Speaking at the Orange County Sheriff’s Leadership Retreat

tellem speaking

TGPR Partner Susan Tellem, our crisis team leader, was invited to discuss the “10 Commandments of Crisis Management” at the Orange County Sheriff’s Leadership Retreat this week.

She highlighted various law enforcement crises she has been involved with, including the Michael Jackson molestation trial in Santa Barbara, A Safer Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Malibu and the very tragic death of Emily Shane on PCH, also in Malibu, by an out of control driver when 911 calls were not responded to by the sheriff’s department.

-Dan Grody, TGPR


Kevin James Appears on WGN to Promote Client THE ILLUSIONISTS

image-2Kevin James, one of the many stars of THE ILLUSIONISTS – WITNESS THE IMPOSSIBLE, appeared on WGN’s top rated morning show to help promote the upcoming tour. THE ILLUSIONISTS makes its North American premeire in Akron November 19-20 before opening on Broadway December 4, then embarking on a 30-city tour.

This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth.  Full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, THE ILLUSIONISTS has dazzled sold-out audiences of all ages.

Kevin James, known as “The Inventor” for his innovative illusions, is also a comedian and collector of the strange and unusual. Kevin is one of the most prolific inventors of magic in the world and has created some of the most celebrated illusions of the last century.


For more information, visit http://www.theillusionistslive.com/.

-Dan Grody, TGPR

TGPR’s Food Issues Group (FIG) Offers Tips to Manage Allergy Accommodations

restaurant kitchenThe Model Retail Food Code, which was modified by the FDA in 2009, says that the “person in charge” of a food establishment must know and understand food allergens and make sure employees are trained on handling food allergy guests and recognize allergy symptoms.

“Of all the issues that a restaurant or cafeteria must deal with, allergy accommodation may not be a priority,” says Jeff Nelken MA, RD (retired), an experienced professional in all aspects of food safety and a member of the TGPR’s Food Issues Group (FIG). “However, this can be a life threatening matter. There are roughly between 200 to 300 reported deaths due to food allergies each year. In addition, there are more than 30,000 emergency room admissions, half of which are due to foodservice-related situations.”

Major food allergens to watch out for include: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts and pecans), soybeans, wheat, fish and shellfish (such as crab, lobster and shrimp). Gluten is also becoming a growing concern.

Some tips to manage allergy accommodation include:

  • Written policy that is fully communicated to the entire staff
  • Allergy training should be documented and employees should be evaluated for competency Wait staff should be trained on how to effectively listen to the allergy concerns of patrons and how to communicate allergy needs to the kitchen staff.
  • Restaurant should have a master menu that lists all of the ingredients required for each dish in case a patron inquires. The days of “secret recipes” are long gone. Transparency is the new standard.
  • Allergy training should include a section that reviews the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions which could occur within minutes of exposure or as long as two hours.
  • Recognize the most frequent signs of allergies including: a) hives, itching, or skin rash; b) swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body; c) wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing; d) abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; e) dizziness, light-headedness or fainting.
  • Avoid cross contamination by cleaning all utensils, pans, cooking surfaces and cutting boards.
  • Verify safe cooking oils, marinades, sauces and seasonings.
  • Advisory notice on the menu that states if a person has a medical condition or food allergy to inform the server.
  • Designate one person in the front of the house to deliver allergy safe orders to patrons and one person in the back of the house to prepare it.
  • Allergy programs should be reviewed by a food health and safety expert before training and implementation.
  • Check the expiration date in EpiPen® often.

Allergy Facts:

  • Peanuts are the most common food allergen for children
  • Shellfish and peanuts are the most common food allergens with adults
  • Allergens can be transmitted in frying oil or steam

Serving Tips:

  • Sanitize menu jackets between uses
  • Replace condiment containers and holder with a set that has been sanitized
  • Set up a code on order slips that indicates the specific allergen to avoid for the kitchen
  • Have mock allergy rehearsals to test the efficacy of your allergy program
  • Check labels: tuna may contain casein, Worcestershire contains anchovies, soy sauce contains wheat

-Dan Grody, TGPR



The Fresh Beat Band Returns with Greatest Hits Live Tour

THE FRESH BEAT BANDWe are jumping in excitement to share the news about client The Fresh Beat Band, who today announced a return to the road for a brand new concert tour visiting 35 U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and more (tickets on sale Friday, Aug. 8).

The Fresh Beat Band Greatest Hits Live, presented by Nickelodeon, will feature Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout performing the band’s greatest hits including “Bananas,” “Here We Go” and a remixed version of “Great Day,” plus new songs including the pop classic, “Walk Like An Egyptian.”

But wait, there’s more good news for the Beats…

Nickelodeon is currently in production on Fresh Beat Band of Spies, a brand-new animated preschool series based on the hit live-action show, The Fresh Beat Band. In the new series, the bandmates are also undercover spies. The pop band uses their individual talents and the coolest transforming spy gadgets to outwit a goofy cast of bad guys and solve wild and wacky mysteries. The series, which teaches problem-solving to preschoolers, is created by Nadine van der Velde and Scott Kraft (The Fresh Beat Band). Fresh Beat Band of Spies will premiere in 2015.

For more information, check out the full press release here or visit www.freshbeatbandlive.com.


-Dan Grody, TGPR


Neil deGrasse Tyson, Smarter Than Thou


It’s not everyday you get on the cover of National Review. Read more about our client Neil deGrasse Tyson in the July 21 issue here. A quick snippet:

Neil deGrasse Tyson told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes in early June, “is that we’ve in fact been visited by intelligent aliens but they chose not to make contact, on the conclusion that there’s no sign of intelligent life on Earth.” In response to this rather standard little saw, Hayes laughed as if he had been trying marijuana for the first time.

He really cracks us up too.

Tyson’s new speaking tour, recently announced on the TGPR blog, kicks off in January 2015.

-Dan Grody, TGPR

Is Google Burying Forrest Hayes’ Death?

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.47.41 AM

What do you get when you mix a married man, five kids, a yacht, a prostitute and heroin?  A great big gooey Googley mess.  So how’s Google handling this crisis? In about 55 characters…

Read the full story about Google’s response to the exec’s death in this new CommPRO.biz article from TGPR Partner and crisis management expert Susan Tellem.

-Dan Grody, TGPR

Client Aurora Releases Flurry of Holiday Plush

Aurora - 2014 Holiday Products (group)

TGPR client Aurora World Inc. — one of the world’s leading plush toy, gift and doll manufacturers  — today announced highlights from its all new Holiday catalog featuring more than 200 proprietary and licensed products.

Aurora’s all-new breakout character Yulli Yeti is sure to be a “monster” seller at retail. The award-winning Taddle Toes line, a runaway hit, expands to include seasonal styles while Aurora’s popular Mocha and Latte bear collection brings in the winter season with warm, festive scarfs and gingerbread accessories.

For more information, read the full press release here.

-Dan Grody, TGPR