Toni Vallen has been the Managing Director and President of the company since 1988.
Prior to starting Seton Services, Toni worked in Private Banking, primarily in Latin America.
She was Vice President for Manufacturers Hanover (International Private Banking Department), and also worked for Citicorp (Latin American Department, Private Banking) and the Mexican Government for one year, establishing a U.S. representative office for the Public Works Bank (Banobras).
She studied in Chicago, Illinois, at Northwestern University and in New York City, Fordham University (MBA).
Toni Vallen was brought up bilingual French-English, and also speaks fluent Spanish and Italian.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
‘Walking Dead’: In ‘What Lies Ahead,’ the kids aren’t all rightBy Jen Chaney
“The Walking Dead” returned to AMC Sunday night and immediately resumed its decidedly ooky zombie-killing business.
During the 90-minute premiere of season two, an episode dubbed “What Lies Ahead,” we witnessed flesh-deprived, shuffling zombies getting knifed in the back of the neck, stabbed in the eyeball with screwdrivers and taking arrows straight through their heads. And that doesn’t even count the undead dude whose stomach got sliced open so Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon could verify that he’d recently ingested a woodchuck.
But those gory details weren’t the most upsetting elements in this installment of “The Walking Dead,” an episode that made it clear that no character is safe in this post-apocalyptic journey that is now taking our heroes away from Atlanta and toward Fort Benning.
Seriously, no character is safe. Not even the children.
Warning: “What Lies Ahead” spoilers lie ahead.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Here are some inspiring Steve Job quotes:
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
“We’ve gone through the operating system and looked at everything and asked how can we simplify this and make it more powerful at the same time.”
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
“I want to put a ding in the universe.”
“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”
“The Japanese have hit the shores like dead fish. They’re just like dead fish washing up on the shores.”
“Unfortunately, people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better.”
“Bill Gates‘d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”
“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.”
“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”
“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
“Click. Boom. Amazing!”
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”
“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
“Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.
So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.”
“We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place – the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.”
“I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if [Jobs] got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple.
My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.”
“It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.
We just want to make great products. (I think he means “insanely great products!“)”
“So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.”
“When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.
They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else. (this actually reiterates my oft-repeated mantra of “ubiquitous evangelism” in companies)”
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
“Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that inpidual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.”
“That happens more than you think, because this is not just engineering and science. There is art, too. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of one of these crises, you’re not sure you’re going to make it to the other end. But we’ve always made it, and so we have a certain degree of confidence, although sometimes you wonder.
I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things.”
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.
Life is brief, and then you die, you know?
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Kristin Cavallari: 'Dancing With the Stars' boot kicks up fan ire
Kristin Cavallari got the boot on "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday night, but fans of the dance competition think that Chaz Bono was the one who deserved to go home.
On Monday, Cavallari nabbed a 24/30 score for her "Crazy In Love" samba with pro Mark Ballas while Bono earned a meager 18 points for his rumba set to his father Sonny Bono's "Laugh at Me." But Tuesday's results sparked the ire of the audience and boos from the crowd when Cavallari and her partner were voted out of the competition because of low audience votes. Perhaps a tweet from Cher, Bono's mom, promising that she'd be in the audience if her son made it to week four might have tipped the scales?
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said Bono "looked really distracted ... not quite focused in the dance." Len Goodman said it was his best performance though he still had much work to do and Bruno Tonioli said he looked "a little bit lost" during the performance. Nonetheless, viewers kept the competition's first transgender contestant on for another week. Watch the dances below and judge for yourself.
Monday, October 3, 2011
October 24, 2010
#FFP05: Harry Browne's Freedom Principles.]
#16: Know your Achilles' heel (What are the top ten bad habits in making decisions?)
#17: Always take your own best advice (Would you tell your best friend to do this?)
- (1) Biting off more than you can chew
- (2) Detail mania
- (3) Fear
- (4) Losing touch with you
- (5) The green-eyed monster [envy]
- (6) Keeping on keeping on [persistence with what can't work]
- (7) Acting without thinking
- (8) Dithering
- (9) Taking the path of least resistance
- (10) Not believing that things can be better than they are.
- [Personally, I would add the following to the above list:
- (11) Poor diet/unhealthy lifestyle
- (12) Allowing your Self 1 to interfere with your decisions
- (13) Living your life as a "passive passenger" -- obedience or "following the crowd" -- let others decide for you -- automatic acceptance or rejection of information
- (14) Irresponsibility -- blaming others or factors outside yourself
- (15) Dishonesty
- (16) Coercion -- initiating force, threat of force, or fraud in order to impose your will upon others -- see Why You Must Recognize and Understand Coercion
- (17) "Thinking" with your sexual organs rather than your brain -- see #TL05AA: The Breeding Motivation: What You Can Do About It
- (18) Unrealistic expectations
- (19) Not considering the hidden bad side of people -- see #TL15A: The Good and the Bad
- (20) Unwillingness to make drastic changes
- (21) Ignoring or neglecting absolute essentials
- (22) Denial (of personal disadvantages)
- (23) Procrastination and failure to follow through (lack of persistence)
- (24) Failure to be a life-long learner and keep abreast of new developments
- (25) Failure to distinguish between what you can and can't control
- (26) Overconfidence.]
#18: Appreciate the newness of each situation (Are you in danger of applying old learning to s new decision?)
#19: Make yourself proud (Which decision will give you self-respect?)
#20: Pay attention to the big, fat, obvious issues (What are you overlooking?)
#21: Never forget why you made your decision (Are you judging yourself with different criteria from what you first used?)
#22: Know what's real (What realities will affect your decision?)
#23: Get what you need to make your decision a success (Are you equipped to carry out this decision?)
#24: Find and follow an expert (Are you making sure you're relying on smart advisers?)
#25: Keep an open mind (Are you caught in attitudes that keep you from seeing what's best for you?)
#26: Take care of the basics (Will your decision address your basic needs?)
#27: Some things you "know" are wrong (Have you checked your facts?)
#28: You don't have to run from risk (Do you know what the risks are and how to protect yourself?)
#29: Following through makes decisions great (Will you do a great job carrying out your decisions?)
#30: Make decisions to make things wonderful (Will you get something that's wonderful?)