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Congratulations to Darren!

Anyone that knows Darren, knows he’s a workaholic.  He lives, breathes and sleeps digital media and his passion for the industry.  Darren never slows down and doesn’t know the meaning of ‘relaxation’.   Well, all of Darren’s tireless energy and enthusiasm has been rewarded once again as his company kbs+p and The Media Kitchen have created a new role for the agency and specifically for Darren, Chief Digital Media Officer.  David and I couldn’t be more proud of him and are so happy that his late nights and unwavering dedication has been recognized.  Here is the big announcement released today in AdWeek.

Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners’ The Media Kitchen is promoting Darren Herman to the newly created position of chief digital media officer.

Herman, 27, has held dual roles as head of digital media at The Media Kitchen and president of Varick Media Management, a demand-side platform he started 15 months ago. With his new role, Herman will give up operational duties at Varick, which is the MDC Partners play in buying ads across new real-time bidding exchanges.

“KBS+P is known for its big, sexy branding clients,” Herman said. “We’re moving into a world that’s in branded response. We can take big budgets for brands and show them their media dollars are working for them.”

In his new role, Herman will be in charge of digital media planning, buying, analytics and reporting. He reports to Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen.

“It’s a really important role because it’s a visionary role,” he said. “It’s not a tactical media planning and buying job. It’s the kid of job that helps us decide what’s important to the agency and its clients.”

The Media Kitchen handles digital media for clients like Starz, Vanguard, Armani Exchange and Vespa.

Herman will remain on the board of Varick and continue to be involved as it searches for a new top executive.

He credited Lori Senecal, who joined KBS+P as a partner and CEO last August, with pushing the agency to embrace the Web. In another notable personnel move, KBS+P brought in Razorfish ecd Marc Lucas as its new chief creative officer.

“Lori is trying to push digital, digital, digital at the agency,” he said. “Digital is not the afterthought, it’s part of every plan we’re putting together.”

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Grandpa George Turns 85

Grandpa George will be turning 85 on Tuesday so Saturday the Hermans and the Sterns celebrated this fabulous milestone with a family gathering.  The soiree was held at the lake house and what a perfect backdrop for celebrating.  Judy and Bob as always were amazing hosts putting out a huge spread for lunch and dinner for all to enjoy.  The weather was perfect and the water was delightful.  Bob took many of the ‘city’ folk that joined us out for a ride on the lake showing them the sites while the rest of us kicked back on lounge chairs and the hammock soaking up the sun and enjoying some family time.  Grandpa was only expecting the immediate family so needless to say he was surprised to see some of the extended family who came as well.  The kids had a great time running around, playing in the water and taking rides on the tube.  David was too young to partake in those activities but he got lots of love and attention from everyone while he played on the grass and took a quick dip in the water.  A good time was definitely had by all!

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Samantha’s Bat Mitzvah

This weekend was the first of what will be many, many Herman family bat mitzvah’s.  For those of you that don’t know it, Darren has an enormous family on his Dad’s side so there are many celebrations ahead of us.  On Saturday morning, Samantha, the first of all of Darren’s cousin’s children was called to the beama in honor of her bat mitzvah.  The weekend celebration of this incredible milestone began however, on Friday night with a beautiful Shabbat dinner hosted by cousins Peter & Fran at their magnificent home in Wilton, Connecticut.  It was so fabulous for the entire Herman family to get together with many relatives traveling in from all over the country and Canada.  We had not seen many of them since our wedding almost two years ago so spending time with everyone was extra special.  It was also a thrill for Darren and me to introduce everyone to the newest addition to the Herman family.  As usual, David was all smiles and dazzled the entire family.  He graciously went to everyone and was happy as can be to meet his great aunts/uncles and cousins.  He can’t wait to grow a little so he can join the rest of the kids running around.

For the actual bat mitzvah on Saturday we left the little guy at home with my parents while we all attended the service and luncheon.  We arrived just as Samantha was going to begin her torah portion and she was remarkable.  She was poised, confident and truly rocked the shul!  She is going places – that is for sure.  We were all incredibly impressed by her sophisticated command of the service and expect nothing but amazing things are in her future.  After the service we all went back to cousin Caron and Johnny’s house to continue the celebration.  Cocktails were flowing and everyone was eating, dancing and enjoying the afternoon festivities.  Darren and I had a great time talking with family members that we don’t see very often and enjoyed some time without the baby to mix and mingle.  A great time was had by all and we look forward to the next celebration which is in September.

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Super Woman a.k.a Sherri

David is in amazing hands.  Sherri was a born mother, and has instincts that Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Rachel Ray would be amazed of.  2am feedings.  4am feedings.  7am feedings.  Sherri’s there and as patient with David at that time as in the middle of the day.

I’m learning.  Changing diapers and feeding don’t come natural to me but she’s a great teacher and I know I’m in good hands :)

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon – the David Matthew Herman World Tour is coming to a town near you.

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Happy Jewish New Year

Last night kicked off the beginning of the Jewish New Year holiday and what is considered the holiest period in the Jewish religion.  To celebrate the new year, Darren and I joined our parents and family for a great dinner celebration at Aunt Judy’s and today we will head to temple to attend services in honor of this holiday followed by another family dinner.

The Jewish New Year (the Day of Judgment) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) are a culmination of a period of introspection started some 30 days before Rosh Hashanah. The period between this day and the Day of Atonement is known as 10 days of Repentance.  On Rosh Hashanah three books of account are opened where the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of an intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, and they are sealed “to live.” The middle class are allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to repent and become righteous and the wicked are said to be blotted out of the book of the living.

Rosh Hashanah is considered a day of rest much like Shabbat.  Rosh Hashanah is characterized by the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet made from a ram’s horn, intended to awaken the listener from his or her “slumber” and alert them to the coming judgment.  Apples dipped in honey are also tradition as they symbolize a good and healthy new year.

Let’s hope we are all subscribed in the book of life for another year.  We wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year.  L’shana tova!

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Keeping Up With A Wedding Tradition

Everyone has heard that you are supposed to save the top layer of your wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary. So keeping with tradition, the day after our wedding last year Darren and I neatly wrapped up a portion of our wedding cake and placed it in the freezer awaiting our first anniversary to defrost it and take a bite. Fast forward to now and it was time to take that piece of cake out of the freezer. Well, for anyone who has followed this tradition, I am thinking you had the same experience as we did….a tasteless, old, gross piece of cake. After defrosting, the cake looked much the same but one bite by Darren who opted to go first and it was in and out of his mouth so fast. Yuck!

So where did this tradition come from? Reading a few websites it seems the tradition was born when cakes were more fruit based with some alcohol which preserved better. I am not sure if that is really the true story but today’s cakes certainly don’t stand the taste of time in the freezer.

Another tradition in celebrating a first anniversary is that the traditional gift is ‘paper’. Darren secretly did a lot of research on this and keeping with ‘paper’ as the theme for the first anniversary he bought us a beautifully framed picture of the Chain Bridge in Budapest, the very spot where he proposed. In order for our children to grow up knowing what a special spot the Chain Bridge is for us, we hung the picture in our kitchen so as we all have dinner together every night we are reminded of that magical spot.

I was unbelievably touched by this special gift. Unwrapping it brought tears to my eyes as I thought it was the most romantic gift – perfect for our first anniversary. This has been the most incredible year and I couldn’t be happier.

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More Updates to Hermanweb!

Check out “The Family” and “Our Travels” for more content.  We’ve added some fun facts about us as well as where our traveling shoes have taken us.   Stay tuned as we continue to enhance our blog….

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Darren Makes the NY Times

As many of you know, Darren is a major player in the digital media space and since taking the position as Head of Digital Media for The Media Kitchen he has been sharing his expertise in marketing and technology with the advertising world.  In today’s business section of the NY Times Darren is quoted several times on the topic of ad exchanges.  

 Check out today’s NY Times article to learn more or click here to read Darren’s blog which provides additional context around his quotes. 

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Celebrating Father’s Day

Yesterday we celebrated our second annual joint Kepner/Herman/Stern family Father’s Day together at Aunt Judy & Uncle Bob’s lake house.   We always have a great time at the lake, and yesterday was no exception.  

Before heading up the thruway though, Darren, Kenny and I started our day at the Scarsdale Concours car show.  Cars are Kenny’s ultimate passion and Darren also is a fan so we headed over to Scarsdale Village to check out the amazing collection of new and vintage cars.  Ferraris, Maseratis and Lotus’ lined the streets of the village as men, women and children strolled the concourse checking out the cars.   Darren snapped up lots of photos perfecting his photography skills while Kenny networked with his car guys.  While the guys were busy doing their thing, I found my next car (okay, maybe my dream car), a black Maserati coupe.  It was gorgeous! 

After the car show, we headed up north.  The morning clouds gave way to beautiful blue skies and a warm summer day, perfect for being at the lake.  The families gathered and celebrated the day with great food, boat rides and those who were adventurous braved the water and did some tubing.  A great time was had by all!  

 

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Happy Passover

This evening marks the first night of Passover and to celebrate the holiday Darren and I will be spending it with both our families at a joint seder for the second year in a row.  It’s a wonderful holiday that is observed by Jews all around the world and for those that are unfamiliar with the story of Passover, I will share with you an abridged version:

About 3000 years ago the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians under the rule of the Pharaoh. According to the Book of Exodus – Moses, who was a simple Jewish shepherd, was instructed by G-d to go to the pharaoh and demand the freedom of his people but he was ignored. Moses warned the Pharaoh that G-d would send severe punishments to the people of Egypt if the Israelites were not freed. Again the Pharaoh ignored Moses.  In response G-d unleashed a series of 10 terrible plagues on the people of Egypt including blood, frogs, boils, hail and locust.

In an effort to encourage the Pharaoh to free the Israelites, G-d planned to kill the first born of both man and beast.  To protect themselves, the Israelites were told to mark their front doors with lamb’s blood so G-d could identify them and ‘pass-over’ their dwellings.  Hence, the origin of the name ‘Passover’.

The Pharaoh didn’t care and refused to free the slaves until finally the last plague and the Pharaoh agreed to freedom.   In a rush to leave Egypt, the Jews left their homes so quickly there wasn’t even time to bake bread.  They ended up packing the raw dough and taking it with them on their journey.  As they fled through the desert, they would quickly bake the dough in the hot sun into hard crackers, also know as matzoh.

Though the Jews found freedom they were chased by the Pharaoh’s army through the desert towards the Red Sea.  When the Jews reached the sea they were trapped.   Then an amazing miracle happened….the waves of the Red Sea parted and the Israelites were able to cross to the other side.  As soon as they all reached the other side the sea closed keeping the Pharaoh’s army on the other side and the Jews were finally free.

Passover celebrates this history and tonight throughout seder we will remember this story while commemorating certain moments through the food we eat to remind us of the fight for freedom.  Whether you are very religious or even non-observant, Passover tends to be the one holiday that every Jew marks in some special way.

Happy Passover to everyone!!

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