entrepreneur social club lietains riga retains kool

Lietains Riga Retains it’s Vess

Lietains Riga Retains it’s Vess.

Day two in Riga, the capital of Latvia, sandwiched between Lithuania to the south and Estonia to the north. As recently as 1991, all formerly controlled by Russia. Lietains, in Latvian, is rainy, and Vess means cool. Today Sunday July 3, 2016 it rained (lija) all day, yet the charm and vess of Riga, Latvia never diminished! Just like while under Russian authority, the sparkle of Riga remained strong, even when soaking wet. Better, brighter and more beautiful days are here for this gem of a city.  So after a hearty (and included) breakfast in the swanky cellar of this renovated, historic structure, the Royal Square Hotel, I borrowed an umbrella and headed off for my Lietains Riga adventure!

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Entrepreneur Social Club Hello Riga Latvia

Off to Casablanca Whoopsie Hello Riga

Off to Casablanca Whoopsie Hello Riga!

Our aloha pos system went down at my main gig, wedding and event venue NOVA 535 (ugg, hard drive crash, quickly fixed by fellow ESC member Justin Petro of Advanced Millennium Computers, he’s fabulous!!). Too bad the NRC team wasn’t as great as Justin, they got 50% right then I left, and well the crazy busy night we have every First Friday was rocky. The POS wasn’t returned to “good to go” condition as planned. Luckily my amazing brother Chris Novilla and big Nick Mazeika were there to lead our team NOVA and our 100s of partying guests to victory, rough night but they got things done! Bravo guys!!

This was followed by our sound system crashing at NOVA, (a HUGE thanks to Chuck Taylor of Production Source, [he’s the Gandalf of the AV world] for saving our arses, THANKS CHUCK!!). Plus my packing and the usual craziness inside the NOVAverse. My original plan of going Tampa Airport to JFK to Casablanca got scrapped yesterday due to bad weather around JFK.

My heart dropped upon seeing this delightful update…

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Entrepreneur Social Club in Las Vegas for Catersource 2016

Our Fellow Entrepreneurs at Las Vegas Catersource 2016

Every year here in Las Vegas, or as my late father always said, Lost Wages, there is a gathering of business owners and Entrepreneur for a convention called Catersource. This year was March 15 and 16th, 2016, and my long time business associate, adventure chef and brother from another mother Chef Brent Shaver, aka A Chef’s Adventure, decided to join me on this culinary world adventure for Las Vegas Catersource 2016. See my primary business, the historic wedding and event venue NOVA 535 Unique Event Space, located in beautiful downtown St. Pete, Florida, allows outside catering for our events. I want to stay up to date with how the best of the world creates, serves, presents and stores is food offerings, plus I’ve been hankering to do more on-site cooking as well. Las Vegas Catersource 2016 sounded like a great way to accomplish all these goals plus spend some time in a fun city with one of my favorite humans. Here’s the story of Our Fellow Entrepreneurs at Las Vegas Catersource 2016. PS we always review people’s business cards – at least 10 a week since 2009. So please take our advice with a smile, we’re only trying to help.  (more…)

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CES 2016 Las Vegas

Interesting Entrepreneurs I met in Las Vegas during CES 2016

Every year I head out to Sin City, aka Las Vegas, aka Lost Wages, Nevada for the CES 2016. CES = Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest showcase (and getting larger every year) of everything in the tech and electronics industry. Health, Robotics, 3D Printing, Automotive, Entertainment, Phones, Gadgets, 8k HDTVs; I mean everything. For those of you who have never been to Las Vegas, huh, really? Gambling, strip clubs, pool parties, dining,  dancing, drinking, shopping and entertainment options galore; plus world-class shows like Cirque du Soleil (amazing!!!) and newcomer Absinthe (incredible!! adults only), wow what a great way to spend a week networking and enjoying yourself. WORK CAN BE FUN…

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Washington DC 727

A quick anonymous get-a-way to Washington DC

By July I had enough of people, parties, planning, brides and booze, well maybe 4 out of 5, so I Googled, “Direct flights from Tampa to _____”. I was searching for a few days escape, somewhere within 1-3 hours flight, English speaking, with an easy in and out. Somewhere that offered lots of quiet green spaces, plenty of modern food, architecture, plus lots of conveniences and nightlife that I could enjoy without having to play host and run the show. A quick anonymous get-a-way to Washington DC was just the remedy I was seeking! Flight booked and packed and off to our nation’s capital – DC here I come!

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La Basilica in Quito Equidor

Quito boasts up in the clouds hotel Rumiloma plus La Basilica

Ok so I decided to do the ‘ol hop, skip and jump, from Cartagena, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador, finally jumping onto Peru as my final destination during my latest travels, during August 2015. So the “skip’ was here into Quito, the capital of Ecuador. I knew nada about Quito, just trusting my instincts, and so everything was a complete surprise. And what a pleasant surprise it was!

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KPI wheel

Books I Keep Recommending for the Beginning Entrepreneur

Books I Keep Recommending for the Beginning Entrepreneur.

I’ve noticed a common occurrence recently, I was finding people who wanted to follow their passions yet didn’t know how. See I was spending 5 weeks abroad, from Budapest to Bratislava to Vienna to Prague (where my father’s grandmother hails from) to Split and Dubrovnik with a quick stop in Mostar with superstar tour guide Marko – wow what an adventure that 24 hours was! Then off visiting my delightful pal from back in MBA grad school at the University of South Florida, super stud Olivier,  in his hometown, the wild port city of Marseille. Afterwhich I went to hang with my best friend Drew Edwards, who married the beautiful, brilliant, lovely French Helene on the 4th of July 2015 (celebrating his loss of Independence – my words, really – haha) at my gorgeous unique wedding and event venue NOVA 535 here in beautiful sunny downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Congrats to Drew and Helene!! =D

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Livraria Ler Devagar Bookstore Lisbon Portugal

Pinoquio is no liar – When in Lisbon go visit El Pep and the Professor at Ler Devagar

After marrying off my best friend since University of Florida Drew Edwards back in July 4th 2015 at my wedding and event venue NOVA 535 in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida to the lovely and French wifey Helene, I was told there’d be a party in the south of France with her family in early October. Well I managed to make it to Montpellier and was even able to score Drew’s possibly final week of travels alone with me before he heads home and gets to work on baby making. We decided to hit Lisbon, Portugal, neither of us having visited there before and it’s on the way home via London LGW.

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Michael Novilla playing pinball in Hungarian Pinball Museum Budapest

Hungarian Entrepreneur scores with the Flipper aka Pinball Museum in Budapest

Wow do I love pinball!! So you might imagine my raw excitement as I saw a listing for The Hungarian Pinball Museum , located in the heart of Újlipótváros, Budapest, billed as “Hungary’s first and Europe’s largest continuously operating interactive pinball exhibition.” You had me at Pinball. The only downside was it was closed on Monday and Tuesdays, opening at 4pm Wednesday, my last full day in Budapest. Us “kids” hate to wait, right?? Come on Wednesday!! (more…)

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Birthday Gaming with Pinball and Mr Do at the TI Fun Center

Birthday Gaming with Pinball and Mr Do at the TI Fun Center

I’m a gamer at heart, though these days my gaming is expressed solely here in the real world, via social media and event planning. I was born in 1968 so was just a lad when the first PCs came out, the Atari 800 and Macintosh, Commodore 64, etc along with video arcades, populated with the likes of Atari and Nintendo games. I spent a LOT OF $$, one quarter at a time, avoiding flashing monsters, plants begin dropped on my head and incoming missile strikes.

2015 04-01 Michaels-Birthday-TI-Fun_Center (3)

April 1, 2015, is my 47th birthday, yes I’m a proper FOOL, and I was invited to join my brother Chris and his son Christopher, for Birthday Gaming with Pinball and Mr Do at the TI Fun Center. A business we’ve been supporting for decades, except now it’s out in Seminole – same name TI Fun Center, different address. Good thing is that it’s STILL AWESOME and provided a delightful afternoon for all generations of gamers.

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