By Shimmy Blum
It is the fascinating tale of a young frum entrepreneur who utilized his childhood experiences tracking predatory animals around his native Johannesburg, into a business philosophy that placed him onto the highest echelons of the speakers circuit for Microsoft and other corporate giants around the world.
On June 1st, Kivi Bernhard will be at the 2016 J-Biz Expo and Business Conference in the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, delivering the keynote address.
Kivi, who currently resides in Atlanta, turned $800 into a multimillion dollar diamond business. His book, Leopardology: The Hunt for Profit in a Tough Global Economy, which teaches positive business skills based on the nature of a leopard, is an international bestseller. He delivers lectures for the most prestigious Fortune 500 companies, and has been interviewed by major media outlets around the world. Leopardology has also been incorporated into the MBA programs of leading universities.
Charming, original and motivated, Kivi dazzles every audience he addresses, but he has a particular soft spot for the audience at J-Biz. Members of our community, he says, have a deep understanding of the value of money and the good that it can accomplish. “Others chase dollars, but we chase value and the money follows,” Kivi explains. “When you understand why you do what you’re doing, you don’t struggle with the ’how.’”
For the son of a rabbi, Jewish values aren’t mere lip service. In one of the most telling occurrences of his career, Kivi was invited by Microsoft several years ago to address one of its most prestigious conferences, attended by Bill Gates and other top executives. When he realized that it was scheduled for Shabbos, he refused the invitation, despite being offered any level of compensation he would ask for. Microsoft refused to go without Kivi, so they changed the date of the event. A top Microsoft executive later shared that upon discussing Kivi’s Shabbos observance, Bill Gates remarked, “That’s what happens when you have something money can’t buy.”
Kivi says that he will talk about the intersection of Jewish values in the corporate world at J-Biz. He firmly believes that the common instinct for frum individuals to try to mask their religious lifestyle amongst non-Jewish colleagues is a mistake. Instead, showcasing our values in a proud and positive way helps us stand out and excel amongst the corporate masses, making it attractive to do business with and hire religious Jews.
Additionally, Kivi’s keynote address will include lots of practical business leadership tips.
J-Biz founder and director Duvi Honig remarks, “The fact that Kivi will deliver the keynote address at the business conference is an enormous honor for us, and an opportunity of a lifetime for the entire community.”
Mr. Honig says that Kivi’s participation is symbolic of the great lengths that J-Biz goes in order to secure business resources for our community from the most prestigious circles. In addition to Kivi, a slew of other top level presenters and business workshops will grace the event. J-Biz Expo and Business Conference is a project of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (OJC), a powerful body of community business throughout the metropolitan region and well beyond.
This year, the business conference will take place from when the doors open until 1:00 pm. While the conference is ongoing, the expo‘s B2B floor will be closed. The B2B portion of the event will commence once the business conference and workshops have concluded. This schedule ensures that all attendees maximize their knowledge and networking capabilities at both segments of the event without distraction.
Hundreds of diverse business services, of all sizes, in a variety of industries, will exhibit at J-Biz, which attracts thousands of motivated attendees from throughout North America, Europe, Israel and other countries around the world.
“J-Biz offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to brand your business, acquire new clients and expand staff,” says Mr. Honig. “The ‘P2P,’ person to person, aspect of business networking is a tried-and-true formular that is key to successful ‘B2B’ networking.”
For more information about J-Biz Expo or to reserve space, visit www.jbizexpo.com.