Abia: ‘Politicians Are Buying Citizen’s PVCs For N5,000’ – APGA Raises Alarm

The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has alleged that some politicians were buying the PINs of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, for N5,000 in Abia State.

APGA has raised the alarm, alleging a plot to rig the 2023 polls in Abia State.

Augustine Ehiemere, the APGA chairman, on Sunday, November 13, 2022, raised the alarm while unveiling the party’s Campaign Council in Umuahia.

He claimed that some desperate politicians go about collecting the pin number in the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, of unsuspecting voters under the guise of giving them empowerment.

“Some greedy politicians go about pretending to be empowering people by sharing N5000 to unsuspecting voters and collecting the pin number in their PVCs. Abians should resist them.

“This is nothing but an attempt to rig the 2023 elections. INEC and security agencies should rise to the occasion,” he said.

Ehiemere urged security agencies in the state to caution their officers and men against being used by the government in power to intimidate and harass members of the opposition.

He cited the recent arrest of APGA House of Assembly candidate for Obingwa, Chikezie Nwosu, at a filling station where he was distributing free petrol to motorists.

“We wish to state without equivocations that APGA, as a party, will no longer tolerate any further intimidation by anybody.

“Heads of security agencies in Abia should caution their field officers against being used as tools to suppress the opposition.

“We won’t accept a repeat of the recent intimidation of our candidate who was whisked away by security agents while distributing free petrol to motorists at a petrol station in Aba.

“They arrested him alongside others that were with him. It took the intervention of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe for those arrested to be released.

“We won’t tolerate this rascality and impunity again,” he warned.

APGA called for a united action against any attempt to muzzle the opposition in Abia State.

“We call on the opposition parties in the state to rise in unison and vigorously resist the despotic tendencies of the ruling party.

“We also call on the  Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, to rise to the occasion.

“All these intimidations, destruction of billboards of opposition candidates, denying opposition access to public places and fabrication of petitions to incriminate key opposition members must stop!”

The APGA Chairman, said that but for the non-violent posture of his members “as a disciplined political party, there would have been bloodshed when recently, thugs and agents of the ruling party attempted to deface APGA campaign office at Okpara Square Umuahia”.

He challenged heads of security agencies to prove their political neutrality by stopping agents of the ruling party from further provocations against the opposition.

“Recently the State Director of DSS and Commissioner of Police summoned all chairmen and secretaries of political parties and told us to promote peace and avoid politics of bitterness.

“Now the security agencies should tell the party in power to stop denying opposition parties access to public facilities during their campaigns.

“The party in power should rein in their agents from such action that could cause crisis in the state.

“We have not and will not take laws into our hands because we don’t believe in violence.

“But our gentleness should not be taken for timidity. We won’t take it kindly again if any attempt is made to deface billboards of our candidates,” he added.

APGA urged Abians to vote wisely in 2023, based on competence, capacity, and antecedents of candidates.

“Abians should be wise and ask these emergency philanthropists jostling for their votes, how many persons they have empowered in the past, or if they have any investments in the state.

The APGA Chairman cleared the air over the party’s governorship candidate, Professor Greg Ibe, declaring that “he is hale, hearty, and very fit to govern the state” if elected.

Ehiemere dismissed those making a fuse out of Ibe’s health condition as propagandists.

New Jersey – How Long Does It Take to Get Temporary Disability In NJ?

New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program provides New Jersey workers who suffer physical or mental illness or injury up to 26 weeks of financial support following a non-work-related disability. This is a short-term disability program, unlike the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) program, which is only available to workers or former workers who suffer long-term disabilities lasting at least one year.

Because the New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance program is intended to respond to the needs of workers with short-term disabilities, it’s important that the program’s claim process is as quick and as efficient as possible. Generally, the waiting time from application to approval is between two to several weeks.


Is There Any Waiting Period Before You Can Apply for NJ’s TDI Benefits?


There is no waiting time to file your TDI claim, but there is a “waiting week,” built into the system.


When you receive your TDI payments, you will notice that the payments begin covering your 8th day of missed work, not the first week you were disabled. But don’t worry; after you are disable for at least 22 days, the state will then pay you for your first 7 days of disability.


You can and should file your NJ TDI claim as soon as you experience your first day of missing pay due to a disability. If you know in advance that you will become disabled, planning for a scheduled surgery perhaps, you can file your claim for Temporary Disability Insurance Benefits in advance. Filing in advance does not begin the review or approval process, but it does allow you to collect and organize all the medical information and documents necessary to process your claim when the date arrives.


How Are Your NJ TDI Benefit Amounts Calculated?


To determine the amount of your New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance benefits, the state looks back at your earnings for the past 5 quarters (15 months) and uses the earliest 4 quarters as your “base year.”


Your base year is used look at the average pay you made in any “base week,” which is any week in which you earned $240 or more. When your average base week pay is identified, the state sets your TDI benefit amount at 85% of that pay.




Here is a table illustrating how a person’s last 5 quarters are used, focusing only on the earliest 4 quarters. The total they earned in each quarter is shown, as are the number of base weeks they had in each of those 4 quarters. Then the total earned is divided by the number of base weeks to arrive at their “average base week pay.”

Previous Completed Quarters  Timeframe Covered     Total Earnings      Number of Base Weeks
Quarter 510/1/21 – 12/31/21$5,50013 base weeks
Quarter 47/1/21 – 9/30/21$5,50012 base weeks
Quarter 34/1/21 – 6/30/21$5,50012 base weeks
Quarter 21/1/21 – 3/31/21$4,00010 base weeks
Quarter 110/1/20 – 12/31/20$4,20011 base weeks
  • 1). Total earnings in the earliest 4 quarters of the previous 5 quarters: $18,200
  • 2). Total number of base weeks in the earliest 4 quarters: 45 base weeks
  • 3). Average base-pay during earliest 4 quarters: $18,200 divided by 45 = $404.44
  • 4). 85 percent of average base pay ……………………………………………………….= $343.77


In this example, the TDI claimant’s weekly benefit payment will be $343.77 throughout the duration of their claim period.


NJ Temporary Disability Insurance Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount


There are limits to the amount any claimant can receive from New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Program. The formula described above is used for everyone, both qualifying low wage earners and workers making high wages.


However, the new maximum level any TDI claimant will receive in 2023 is $1,025 per week. This may seem high for many workers who earn less than that amount even when they are working. It’s helpful to remember that the TDI program is paid from a fund contributed to by all New Jersey workers in the form of payroll deductions.


The same percentage is deducted from each worker’s paycheck across the board. The higher earning workers pay a larger amount into the TDI system funds and get a proportionately higher benefit payment up to a maximum cap.


If you need help determining if you or your family member qualifies for New Jersey Temporary Disability benefits, contact our office to speak with one of our highly trained disability advocates or attorneys. LondonDisability is eager to lead you through the process.


2023 Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount – Workers will receive 85% of their average earnings up to a maximum of $1,025 per week.


2023 Minimum Earnings Requirement – To qualify in 2023, you will need to have worked 20 weeks earning at least $260 weekly or have earned a combined total of $13,000 in the base year. 2023 Worker Contribution Amount for Temporary Disability Insurance – There will be no Temporary Disability worker contributions deducted for the 2023 calendar year.


2023 Worker Contribution Amount for Family Leave Insurance – Workers will contribute 0.06% of the first $156,800 in covered wages. The maximum Family Leave worker contribution for the Waiting Week for Temporary Disability, Explained.



Michael Evans Behling Years, Wife, Spouse, Web Worth, Top, Members of the family


However, He states that their soulmate could well be a woman just who possess a feeling of humor and he loves to possess people who he can completely faith

The fresh new Western Star Michael Evans Behling grabbed the news having their appearance regarding American crisis collection “All-american” produced by April Blair. He is most commonly known to possess his character just like the a beneficial Jordan Baker who is the fresh new man regarding Billy and twin-sis out of Olivia Baker. Will known for his charming personality and you can hurrying look, Michael is even a model and a myspace and facebook personality. He could be still too-young and you may cherished from the ladies admirers.

Produced into the Columbus, Ohio (. Considering their birth date, he presents the new delivery signal Pisces. He was biracial however, try then followed from the a white nearest and dearest, Mike and Carol Behling. In one of his YouTube video clips, the guy stated that his father is actually away from Nigerian descent and his awesome mother is out of Italian language origin. Matt, Adam, and you will Andrea was his three sisters. The guy discovered to love the outdoors when he grew up towards good 10-acre piece of land where their family kept pet. Therefore, he is together with a supporter off animal interests applications.

Broadening up, football became a majority from their lifestyle. Behling Played recreations for a few years and you will ran track when he went to Columbus Northern Highschool. He advised Avant Journal which he was so good at the running the newest 400m obstacles at Indian State School. This may had been his choice profession. Unfortuitously, the guy bankrupt his base twice along with a couple of biggest operations you to he had to quit into the athletics. Following, the guy concludes battle during the tune and he went to Indian Condition College or university for two many years as a beneficial pre-med pupil to pursue acting and you will pretending.

Behling been acting from their school https://datingranking.net/kink-dating/ days. The guy been his occupation for the 2017 having a role because “Handsome Guy” regarding the tv collection “Empire”.

He found delight in one animals too deserve roaming easily

Next, he had been shed while the a good “Jordan Baker” with the All american From inside the . Jordan Baker is the son from a black child, a recreations mentor, and you may a white people. He will get envious and you will frustrated when some other character grabs every one of his father’s notice. Michael claims that he relates to toward reputation Jordan Baker since the both are biracial and proceed through in search of its input people.

If you’re going after their aspirations since a star, victory never ever arrived with ease to him. They have undergone of many imbalance and concerns. The guy transferred to Los angeles for the filming of all the Western but lives wasn’t so easy because of it younger actor. The guy ran out of monetary information along with no place so you can alive. During the time, one of his true friends allowed your to sleep in their house in which he slept on to the floor with no comfort off Bed mattress.

Currently illustrated by the HRI Skill and you can Administration, We could discover him in different Television Commercial brands for example Finishing line, Macy’s, Nike, Adidas, Light Castle, and more. Additionally, new actor starred in an occurrence “A good Shepherd” just like the Brady away from Grey’s Anatomy let you know. Except that an using industry, He’s got plus already been a shirt range, DesignedAt5Am with three family members out of his senior school, Nicholas Steven, Received Thompson, and you will Floyd Athaide.

He’s got started thriving to construct a large fan base to your social media platforms that will be currently illustrated because of the HRI Talent and Government. As of 2021, Michael Evans Behling’s estimated Net Really worth is just about $1 million which he fuels away from their some pretending gigs, acting plans, and knowledge looks.

It teenager actor have achieved plenty of female admirers that have his Charm and you may hurrying looks. They have left the fresh name of his girlfriend private.

The Savvy Senior | Daily Money Managers Can Help Seniors with Financial Chores

Dear Savvy Senior,  

Can you recommend any services that can help my elderly mother with her financial chores? My dad always used to handle the bill paying and paperwork, but he passed away last year, and mom struggles to keep on top of things. And I don’t live close enough to help her on a regular basis.   

Dear Concerned,  

It sounds like your mom could use a good daily money manager (or DMM). These are financial-savvy professionals who can help older adults who have difficulty managing their own day-to-day personal financial affairs.   

The types of services they provide typically include paying bills, maintaining financial records, balancing checkbooks and negotiating with creditors. DMMs can also prepare checks for clients to sign, help older people organize bank and financial records, prepare and deliver bank deposits, gather and organize documents for tax returns, help decipher medical bills, and review bank statements in order to detect potential financial abuse or fraud.  

Where to Find DMMs  

Depending on where your mom lives, DMM services may be available through private nonprofit elder assistance organizations or government agencies. These agencies often use volunteers to provide basic DMM tasks, such as bill paying, at no cost. To find out if this is available in your mom’s area contact her Area Aging Agency. Visit ElderCare.acl.gov or call 800-677-1116 for contact information.  

In addition to the nonprofit DMMs, an increasing number of individuals and private for-profit companies have started offering DMM services for a fee. Cost for these services varies by region but it often ranges between $25 and $100 per hour. Most clients need approximately four hours of services per month, but this too varies according to the complexity of the person’s financial situation.  

The best place to look for a professional DMM in your mom’s area is through the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM.com), which offers an online directory that lets you search by ZIP code. All the pros listed there have signed the group’s code of ethics. Some have passed a certification exam to earn the designation of Certified Daily Money Manager.  

Before hiring a daily money manager, however, get references from two or more of their clients and check them. Also, find out what they charge and what type of insurance coverage they have. Keep in mind that neither federal nor state governments regulate the DMM industry, so there is little oversight of these services. So before turning over your mom’s bills, make certain it’s someone you can trust.  

One other highly rated bill-paying service you should know about that’s specifically designed for older adults and caregivers is SilverBills (SilverBills.com). Available nationwide, this is a secure concierge bill management service that will manage your mom’s bills and pay them on her behalf, on-time and correctly, for a flat fee of $50 per month.  

If you opt for this service, your mom will be paired with an account manager who will communicate and work with her over the phone, or through email, text or mail (her preference) – no computer is required. SilverBills also reviews all bills for errors and fraud and provides monthly statements showing the date, amount and manner of each payment.  

Accounting Cost Systems and Cost Behaviors


You are applying for a managerial position at an innovative and rapidly growing company. This is a dynamic company that wants an individual who adds value to the organization. Managers at this company wear many hats, so the position requires managing products, people, and financial aspects of running the company.

As part of the interview process, you are required to make a presentation covering four different topics, one per module for this course.

You choose the company and the new product that you want to showcase in your presentation. It can be real or fictitious (based on an industry). This is for background purposes only. The presentation is to showcase your abilities and what you can contribute to the organization.

IBIS World (access on the Portal through the Online Classroom & Library, Additional Library Resources link) and BizStats have estimates of cost of goods sold and some other categories of operating expenses. Information about contribution margins is not available, but adding new products typically mean incurring both fixed and variable costs. Consequently, cost of goods sold is a reasonable estimate. Net operating income as a percentage of sales or some variation thereof may also be relevant if the new product is expected to contribute significantly to the bottom line. As a candidate for a position you would not have internal information available, but being resourceful and being a skilled researcher are desired traits for the position. IBIS World also has a wealth of other market statistics that may be helpful. Use listed background material and other resources as needed.


Include the following items in your presentation.

  • Present an idea for a new product.
  • Describe the product.
  • Show some cost estimates and pricing suggestion for this product based on research.
  • What approach would you use to determine selling price (for example cost plus or target costing)? It is important when choosing a design.
  • Explain your rationale for the pricing approach.
  • Show expectations of growth and potential profit.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Submit a PowerPoint presentation or a Word Document. A PowerPoint presentation should have no more than six slides and a Word document cannot exceed two pages. Use words, tables, and graphs to make a succinct presentation. Document all sources and provide links at the end. It is acceptable to add another slide or page to list the sources.


Module 1 – Background


Modular Learning Objectives

Keep the following objectives in mind as you work through the material in this module:

  • Define managerial accounting.
  • Describe the role of managerial accounting.
  • Differentiate between variable and fixed costs.
  • Prepare a contribution margin (variable costing) income statement.
  • Recognize various approaches to categorizing costs.
  • Prepare and analyze a segmented income statement.

Required Reading

Begin this module by familiarizing yourself with the following sections pertaining to managerial accounting while keeping the above six objectives in mind. Click on the three arrows to explore each topic in more detail.




Check Your Understanding

Check your understanding to make sure that you have a good grasp of the background material. If you are not comfortable with the concepts, review some of the material again or go to the optional resource for more examples.

 Click on the quiz icon for an ungraded, 20-question true-or-false self-study quiz to check your progress. If you are not satisfied with the score, review some of the material again. For more in-depth information, review materials listed under optional reading at the bottom of this page.

Final Thoughts

Contribution margin income and absorption income are two distinct approaches to assess operating profit. Many companies use both approaches. The two approaches have benefits and limitations.

Multiple descriptive names exist for the two methods of costing and computation of income. For example, the contribution margin approach is also known as variable costing, direct costing. or marginal costing. Absorption income and costing are also known as full costing, GAAP income, financial accounting income, or traditional costing.

Management mostly uses the information provided by variable costing method for estimates and internal decision-making purposes. Variable costing is appropriate for detailed analysis of a product or service. GAAP is required for publicly released and audited financial statements. Management uses both approaches for internal decision-making.

Cost behavior refers to the way different types of production costs change when there is a change in level of production.

There are two main types of costs according to their behavior:

Fixed Costs:

Fixed costs are those, which do not change with the level of activity within the relevant range. These costs will incur even if no units are produced. For example rent expense, straight-line depreciation expense, etc. Fixed cost per unit decreases with increase in production.

Variable Costs:

Variable costs change in direct proportion to the level of production. This means that total variable cost increase when more units are produced and decreases when less units are produced. Although variable in total, these costs are constant per unit

How to Consolidate Your Debt: A Helpful Guide

Are you feeling overwhelmed by debt?

Everyone has their fair share of debt to deal with. Whatever debt you have, though, too much is too much. Having too much can affect your mental and emotional health as well as your financial health.

If you’re at your breaking point with debt, it’s time to consider how to consolidate your debt. Debt consolidation helps you manage your debt by setting a single agreement for all bills to go towards reducing one debt.

It’s advisable to seek help from a credit counselor or consolidation loan company to help you consolidate your debts. How will you do this? Keep reading to find out!

Define Your Debt Goals

The first step on how to consolidate your debt is to always assess your goals. What are the causes of debt? What are you hoping to achieve by consolidating debt? Is it to save money on interest payments?

Once you know your goals, you can start researching your options.

If you have good credit, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer credit card with a 0% APR introductory period. This can help you save on interest and pay off your debt more quickly.

If you have a home equity line of credit, you may be able to use that to consolidate your debt as well. And, if you have a student loan, you may be able to consolidate that into a single loan with a lower interest rate.

No matter which option you choose, the key to success is to make sure you stick to your repayment plan.

Create a Budget

To consolidate your debt, you’ll need to create a budget and make a plan to pay off your debt. Creating a budget will help you see where your money is going and where you can cut back. Once you have a budget in place, you can start looking at consolidation options.

When creating your budget, be sure to include all your debts, as well as your income and expenses. Once you have your budget, you can start looking for a debt consolidation loan. Be sure to shop around for the best interest rate and terms.

Once you’ve found a loan that works for you, make a plan to pay off your debt. Include the loan payment in your budget, and be sure to make extra payments when you can.

Research Your Options

Another way on how to consolidate your debt is to research your options to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

There are many different ways to consolidate your debt, so you will want to compare rates and terms to find the right option for you. Once you have consolidated your debt, you will want to make sure you are making your payments on time and in full to avoid any penalties or fees.

You can go through a company that specializes in debt consolidation, you can work with a credit counseling agency, or you can do it yourself. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each option. There are a lot of scams out there, so you need to be careful.

There are also a lot of different fees associated with debt consolidation. Make sure you understand all the fees before you sign up for anything.

If you’re not sure where to start, there is always a helpful article that can help you. The bottom line is that debt consolidation can be a helpful tool, but you need to be careful and do your research before you do anything to avoid financial issues. 

Make the Plan

Making a plan is an important step in getting out of debt. This will give you a clear idea of where you stand financially and what your options are. From there, you can work out a budget and decide which debt consolidation option is best for you.

There are a few things to consider when making your plan. First, you need to work out how much debt you have and what your monthly repayments are. This will help you to see where your money is going and where you can make savings.

You also need to work out your income and expenditure. This will help you to see where you can make cutbacks to free up some money to put toward your debt.

Lastly, you need to research your debt consolidation options. There are many different ways to consolidate your debt, so it’s important to find the one that’s right for you.

By taking the time to do this, you’ll be in a much better position to get your debt under control and start working towards a brighter financial future.

Maintain Your Progress

When you’ve finally gotten a handle on your debts and are making headway with paying them off, it’s important to maintain your progress. Here are a few ways to do that:

Keep track of your spending. This will help you stay aware of where your money is going and where you can cut back if need be.

Make your debt payments on time, every time. This will help you avoid late fees and keep your debt from growing.

Stay focused on your goal. It can be easy to let your debt snowball again if you’re not careful. Keep your eye on the prize and stay disciplined.

Talk to your debt consolidation company if you’re having trouble. They may be able to help you renegotiate your payment plan or offer other help. By following these tips, you can keep your debt consolidation progress on track and eventually be debt-free!

Learn How to Consolidate Your Debt Today

Debt consolidation can be a helpful way to pay off your debt. By learning how to consolidate your debt, you can save money on interest and fees, and get out of debt faster.

To find the best debt consolidation option for you, consider your financial goals and the type of debt you have. Then, compare your options and choose the best one for you. 

Was this helpful? If so, please keep reading our blogs for more tips.

Discover Beautiful Girls Finding Boys at TenderMeets


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Join this amazing site and commence hooking up with these female lookin for men for different sort of relationships. However some are merely in search of relationship, most players are looking for some one they can connect with within a deeper top. These are, therefore, lady who’d always have traditionally-title dating.

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The website also has a really love gallery. You could play around on it by taste profiles of your own anybody you have in mind conference. Once they like you back, it indicates one to a match has been created. You can begin chatting with the brand new suits and come up with arrangements for a night out together.

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There are numerous single ladies in The united states that happen to be certainly looking to possess solitary males for various type of relationships. For folks who join on this dating site, you’ll be able to know that you will find many people from the Joined Claims. That it high number of women looking boys means that, given that a guy, you’ll have many choices to select when you use this site. There are also certain female seeking girls toward platform.

Bringing a fit utilizes what exactly you’re looking for. How would you like people toward enough time-title or maybe just a pal? Are you presently simply in search of wealthy single people shopping for love, and/or financial status cannot really matter? Might you head the sort of faith him or her signs up to? Think about the ethnicity? Are you interested in Israeli lady dating? Reacting this type of issues allows you to get the form of individual you are looking for easily.

It is important that the truth is some body that have whom you show views, viewpoints, and you can requirements. A little diversity is even advisable that you spice up the new connection. The very first grounds would be to introduce if there’s being compatible. If you are suitable, upcoming you will find less affairs on your relationship or relationship.

Of several men and women girls on this subject platform require long-title people. You’ll find a wedding spouse on this web site. You need to use brand new chats as an easy way of getting so you’re able to know both because you you will need to present if the this woman is just the right mate to you personally. Fundamentally welcoming their getting a date usually set you for the a better status to assess the lady inside the real world. Sign up with that it system today to begin with linking with the help of our solitary ladies searching for guys.

Spencer Matthews opens up about Mount Everest climb to find brother’s body


Vogue Williams cheered her husband on when Spencer Matthews embarked on the climb of his life earlier this year.

The former Made in Chelsea star climbed Mount Everest in April in what has been described as a “gut-wrenching” expedition.

His journey comes 23 years after his older brother, Michael, made his own journey up the treacherous mountain.

Tragically Michael died at the age of 22 during his climb but his body has never been recovered. Spencer, who was just 10 at the time, traversed the mountain to find his brother’s body.


Speaking about his journey on Holly Rubenstein’s The Travel Diaries podcast, he said: “I was aching to find out more about his death. I was ten at the time. I remember thinking it was really unfair.

“I always believed that I’d see him again and never took it on the chin that he was dead. I thought it was impossible. It never crushed me in the way it affected my parents and my brother.”

He explained that he learned that helicopters could fly onto Camp 2 and this is how he decided that he would bring his brother’s body home.

“I’ve always been uncomfortable with him being up there, especially in plain sight. Around 600 people a year summit Everest. I’ve always been uncomfortable that he could be laying up there like some kind of tourist attraction but also on his own, away from us.

“He died up there and his last thoughts will probably have been that he’s never going to see his family again. We have not seen his body and I set off to go to Everest and find him and bring him home. We made a film about it. It’s called Finding Michael and it’s out in February 2023 [on Disney+].”

He made the journey just five days after the birth of his son Otto after a “weather window” made scaling the mountain possible.

Earlier this year, Spencer discussed his brother’s death as it was revealed he had been spending the last 18 months making a documentary about his sibling’s final days with Disney+.

“I was aged ten and for a long while afterwards believed in a youthful way that I would see him again,” Spencer shared.


“During recent years the question of whether or not Mike could be found and brought home to our family was often on my mind. I became uncomfortable with the thought of him being left up there, possibly in plain sight.

“So, 23 years after his death and with my family’s support and an experienced team led by @Nimsdai, I travelled to Nepal and trekked to Mount Everest to find my brother and bring him home.”

TV adventurer Bear Grylls led a secret expedition to Mount Everest aiming to recover the body earlier this year.

Spencer reunited with his family in May after his gruelling journey up the mountain

For Richer, For Poorer



This week, Liz Picarazzi, Hans Schrei, and Laura Zander talk about something they have in common: They all own and run their business with a partner who also happens to be a spouse. Which suggests some interesting questions: Is someone in charge? How do they divvy up responsibilities? What do they talk about? What do they fight about? Do they fight in front of the employees? How do they make decisions? Who does the dishes? Do they ever wish they were not in business with their spouse? Do they know what would happen to the business if they were to divorce?

— Loren Feldman


Laura Zander is CEO Jimmy Beans Wool.

Liz Picarazzi is CEO of Citibin.

Hans Schrei is CEO of Wunderkeks.


Jess Thoubboron is founder of Blank Word Productions.

Full Episode Transcript:

Loren Feldman:
Welcome, Liz, Hans, and Laura. Maybe the best way to start would be if you could tell us how you’ve structured your work relationship: Are you 50-50 partners? Do you have separate titles? How do you, basically, divide responsibilities? Liz, maybe we can start with you?

Liz Picarazzi:
Sure, absolutely. So my husband, Frank, is my CFO. And the delineation, totally simplified, is that he’s an implementer, and I’m the visionary, which is a great place to be. So that is really how we structure it. Right now, he actually leads the whole team. Everyone reports to him and not to me. And so that’s really enabled me to focus on growth, and on more partnerships and strategic projects. I can chat at some point here about kind of how it came to be, but that’s how we structure right now.

Loren Feldman:
I think just the one point that I think you’re alluding to is, you did not start the business together with this arrangement. Correct?

Liz Picarazzi:
Correct. I started the business eight years before I hired him, which, interestingly, people always assume that we started it together. They kind of have a hard time imagining that I started it, and then I hired him. But that’s a whole other topic.

But yeah, I started it, and then he ended up joining in May of 2020. At the height of the pandemic, as were many corporate people, he was laid off. And we needed to decide whether he was going to come and work for the business, which was very much struggling with probably a 90-percent reduction in revenue, awaiting PPP. We decided that was the time for him to join Citibin, and he did. And for me, part of the decision was that I was very weak in some of the areas that he was strong in. And so for us, in a way, it was less about the income—which yes, was important—and it more was about filling a lot of the gaps that could have hurt us if I didn’t fill them.

Loren Feldman:
And are you 50-50 partners in the business? How does the ownership work?

Liz Picarazzi:
So I’m 100 percent owner, but because we’re legally married, he’s 50-percent owner.

Loren Feldman:

Laura Zander:
Wow. And Liz, like I keep hearing you say, “I hired him. And he reports to me.” How is he with that? Do you say that to him, to his face?

Liz Picarazzi:
No, I’m actually just kind of bragging here on the podcast. I don’t often talk that way. But you know what, he definitely wants people to know that I’m the founder. When we’re at trade shows, he’s really good about saying, “Do you want to meet the founder?” Because often I’m just sitting there in the corner on my phone or something.

And he understands how important that COO role is. So there’s no way that he’s going to think that somehow he’s lesser. And I certainly don’t treat it that way. I really see it as something that helped, and maybe even saved the business, because as we grew, we got into a lot more operational challenges—which not only do I not like, I actively dislike. So he filled in all of those gaps.

Laura Zander:
Do you think the staff sees you guys as equals?

Liz Picarazzi:
I would have to ask them, but I actually think they probably see a healthy interchange. They know there are certain things that are in his realm and other things that are mine. And we’ll argue—sometimes in front of the whole team—not in a nasty way.

But the other day we were having a conversation that when I thought about it, I was like, “Wow, that really wasn’t appropriate to have at a staff meeting with him and me.” And I know at one point I said, “You know, you and I, we should probably discuss this offline.” And he was like, “No, we’re going to discuss it right now!” And that’s something where, to the team, we all kind of laugh about it. It is sort of fun. But I could see, for some people, it could send some mixed signals.

Loren Feldman:
All right. I want to get back to that. But Hans, why don’t you tell us, How do you and Luis divide your roles?

Hans Schrei:
Actually, I started the business, like 10 years ago, in Guatemala. And Luis joined me because I couldn’t really handle it anymore. But up until we decided to move to the U.S., it was really my business and he was helping me. And he had his own thing going on. He’s a photographer. But when we moved to the U.S., basically, we started over. “Okay, we’re partners, 50-50 here,” but it was kind of difficult to move away from the original dynamic. So it took us a while.

And actually, to this day, we go to couples counseling, which is great, because it’s like this space that you get to say, “Okay, that thing you said on Tuesday? I didn’t like it. I want to discuss it.” And you save it. You put a pin on it until we come to the next therapy session. And that’s super helpful because then you can let go of things.

And the way we have it set up now is, a lot of it has to do with each of our talents, because we are very different people. He is a people person. I really am not. He’s an extrovert, and I’m an introvert. So I’m very comfortable dealing with numbers and dealing with the operational side of things, and he’s great with people.

So actually, right now we are building a team and developing profiles and everything. And the way we set it up is that we have split it between internal and external. So one is outward focus, and the other one is inward focus. I take care of the inward—and inward means product—and outward is sales, partnerships, all of those things.

Loren Feldman:
Do you have separate titles?

Hans Schrei:
Yeah, technically, I’m the CEO, and he is the CMO, but we don’t really have titles, because it’s such a tiny thing that it doesn’t really make sense. And we’re going to have to figure this out at some point. Because at the end of the day, we are very aware that we need someone to make the final call on stuff. And I’m talking about, say, finances, and signing this document, that type of thing. So usually I do it, but that’s mostly because I am better at being on top of that type of thing. So I do it myself.

But we’re going to have to figure that out at some point, because as we bring people into the fold, we need to have a lot of clarity of who reports to who. And we have made the mistake of having not such a nice discussion in front of our staff. It takes so long to recover from those. It makes everyone so uncomfortable. And for ownership, because of our visa, I am legally required to own 51 percent of the company. So that’s how we have it set up.

Loren Feldman:
Laura, how about you? You’ve talked about Doug’s role in the company. But you did, in fact, start the business with him, correct?

Laura Zander:
Yes, kind of. I mean, he still had another job. So I started it, and opened the shop. But we’ve worked together since the very beginning. So he wasn’t necessarily in the store doing anything. He came on full-time and quit his day job, I think maybe three or four years into it. So the business was finally making enough money that we didn’t need his income after a few years. But, yeah, from day one, he’s worked on the website and worked on the technical side, which is what he continues to do.

And from day one—hindsight is 2020, of course—but from day one, he’s also been the strategic advisor. All big decisions we make together, and even small decisions we make together. So I tend to be more of, I guess, the face. Like, he’s never been to a trade show. He’s never met our vendors—I mean, very few of them. He has a team of one or two people who he works with. He works mostly from home, whereas I have a team of 70.

But we talk about everything. We divide our finances. He manages the cash flow and paying the bills. He does the stuff that requires a responsible adult. But then I’m the one who manages the profit and loss and the financial statements and the budgeting. And I’m looking at how much we’re spending and what we’re spending stuff on.

And then, in some ways, he’s really my mentor. We talk about things when there are problems, or we need somebody who’s not in the day-to-day to give a perspective. So as far as titles are concerned, I mean, we’re kind of like Hans. I guess technically, I’m CEO, and technically, I own 51 percent, but honestly, we made those decisions back in 2011 to join EY Winning Women. We changed it from 50-50 to 51-49 so that we’re a women-owned business. And then we made me CEO, because I’m the one who’s forward-facing, but we go through everything together. And we’ve always worked together. We met at work. So we’ve never even really had conversations about who does what. It just kind of happens organically. We’ve never really talked about it. We just kind of fall into those roles.

Loren Feldman:
All right, let’s take a quick break to hear from our sponsor, Work Better Now.

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And we’re back.

Liz Picarazzi:
I have a question, Laura. Sometimes when I talk to other entrepreneurs who work with their partners or spouses, I like to ask the question: What do you discuss over dinner?

Laura Zander:
Oh, yeah, well, the benefit of us working together is that we never run out of things to talk about. So I think it really helps our relationship a lot. We talk about work. We have a 13-year-old son, so we talk about our son. And then we dream about retirement and what we’re gonna go through when we have time off. We talk about travel a lot, and biking and skiing and running and surfing. That’s kind of our life. Before we opened the business and we worked at different companies, we would do side projects together just to earn extra money, like travel money. So it’s part of our relationship—to work on projects together. This just happened to be a bigger project.

Loren Feldman:
I wonder if any of you have felt the need to set guidelines—

Hans Schrei:
Oh, yes.

Loren Feldman:
—dividing personal and business, what’s in bounds and what’s out of bounds. You have, Hans?

Hans Schrei:
Yeah, what happened to us is that we moved here in 2019. And then the pandemic hit, so we knew no one the first year, because we’re just going to farmers markets. We were super busy, working super hard. And then we were stuck going from the office to home. So we knew no one, and it really took a toll on us. Luis is more of a people person, so he really misses going out with people. So he really suffered during the pandemic. And the thing is that it was not really obvious that it was the pandemic. But we had to force ourselves to actually divide those things and actually say, “Hey, I need to go out. I need to talk to people.” And in my case, it was like, “No, I need to stay home.” And it took us a long time to be comfortable saying, “Hey, I am fine going out today, but tomorrow I want to stay home, so you’re free to go,” that type of thing.

And it took us a while, because we spent so much time by necessity just being together 24/7, like joined at the hip, that when that was no longer necessary, it took us a while to adapt. And it really took a toll on us. So one of the things that we’ve been discussing lately, actually, is that it’s really hard. We’re spending a lot more time at home, working from home now, for many reasons. And when we hired this team, that’s not going to be possible anymore. And we’re actually excited about that. Because we feel that separating the different spaces really helps to separate the things, because otherwise, it’s kind of frustrating.

Because yeah, of course, you always have stuff to talk about, but the worst thing that can happen to us is that we get tangled in our work discussion at 6 a.m. It happens a lot. We wake up very early. But we are like, you know, when someone has a dream, or was thinking about this and wants to tell the other, and he’s super excited, like, “Oh my God,” this happened, actually, this morning. I was super excited. Like, “Yes, we’re gonna do this and that. What do you think and how do you feel?” And then the other guy is like, “I need to have my coffee first,” which is absolutely normal. And if this was just your co-worker, you would tell them at nine, when they are in the office. You wouldn’t be bothering them in their pajamas.

So it’s been really hard to learn that. But what we’ve learned to do is to say, “You know what? I’m not ready to talk about this. So let’s talk about it later, because it’s not a good time.” Usually what happens is that we end up fighting whenever we don’t respect that time. One is excited and the other is like, “I really don’t want to hear about this.” So we’ve learned to say, “Really, this is not the time. I don’t want to hear about this,” and to say, “You know what? No more work today.”

Loren Feldman:
How about you, Liz? Do you set guidelines?

Liz Picarazzi:
So I would say one guideline—it may be more of an informal one—is that we have a daughter who’s 16: We usually talk to her and with her and about her day before we talk about anything else. And I know that there have been a lot of times in the past when we didn’t maybe even ask her about her day, because we were talking about the business. So I think that was a really important shift. But we also do sometimes have fun talking about the business with her, especially in the last year, because there’s been so much drama with journalists and with different partners and city agencies. So it’s almost like, there’s gossip that we do that she’s a part of.

Laura Zander:
I have so much fun talking through profit and loss and profitability with my son, and like reinforcing. Because he’s like, “Math doesn’t matter. We’re never going to need algebra. Why do I have to take this stuff?” And I’m like, “Okay, so here’s the deal. This is our productivity.” And I give him these word problems, right? “One dyer can dye 100 skeins per day. If we have five dyers, and blah, blah, blah, how long is it going to take us to do this? And if we’re paying him this, then what’s our profitability?” And we go through this whole thing.

And it’s really kind of neat to be able to round out his school stuff. I mean, it’s not like I put it on the whiteboard. Because I’m more comfortable in the financial world, so that when we have financial word problems to solve, it’s fun to get his two cents on it, too. And he’s been so great, again, because he’s objective and he’s a kid. So he’s just going to be honest. I can say, “This employee is doing blah, blah, blah,” and he’ll be like, “Just fire her.” [Laughter] Or he’ll be like, “Mom, it sounds like you’re being kind of a bitch.” You know, I appreciate that. That’s really helpful. Do you guys do the same thing?

Liz Picarazzi:
We do. I have her engaged more in marketing things and some of her skills with video editing that she’s learned in school but she hasn’t applied really in the real world. She has been able to help us—not only with marketing, for Instagram and whatnot, but even videos that we send to the factory to help illustrate things that we want, that we found is a much better way than operating through text on Basecamp with our factory.

So she’s really brought to life some of the important evolutions of the product, especially over this summer. So we pay her to do that. She has been asking for more hours lately, which is great, because we’re kind of short-staffed. But she’s very involved in the business. She hears us talking about it a lot, and I think she sees the practical application of some of the things that she’s learning in school.

Laura Zander:
That’s so cool. I love that. Really, really neat.

Loren Feldman:
So you guys brought up already the relationship between you and your spouse and the employees. And obviously, that can be a tricky situation, in that it can kind of put employees in a difficult position. For example, no one’s going to want to run into your office and say, “You know, your husband’s really driving me crazy.” I’m wondering, has that situation presented itself?

Laura Zander:
For me, it hasn’t. I can’t think of a time… But Doug and I have a very, very peaceful relationship. We’ve don’t argue. We don’t fight. It’s all him. Like, I would fight, but he’s not a fighter. And so, he’s taught me how to not fight and how to not yell. We don’t yell. And so, we have really clear lines of—I want to just kind of say respect, of what each one brings. So we just naturally defer to each other. Wwe don’t even have to talk about it.

Like, if he feels really passionate about x, y, and z, then I’m going to defer to him in that area, because that’s what he feels passionate about, and vice versa. So we just let things slide either way. And I think, at the end of the day, while I’m the face, and I’m the one who’s there, we all know that, at the end of the day, he probably is smarter than I am. And he’s definitely more mature. And so I’m always gonna kind of defer to him, even though I’m the one who’s technically in charge.

Loren Feldman:
But I’m sure that varies by topic. I mean, there must be aspects of running a yarn business, as opposed to handling the technology underlying the yarn business, that you’re more familiar with than he is.

Laura Zander:
Absolutely, and that’s where it kind of comes into—and this is gonna sound like I have daddy issues or something—but he’s just a really great mentor. So on the day-to-day stuff, I’m gonna handle it, and there’s a lot of stuff. I mean, like, we just found out we’re getting audited. And I haven’t even told him, and I’m not going to tell him. I’m just going to do it, and I’m just going to handle it. And he never needs to know. Because we’re so by-the-book. Everything’s going to be fine. Worst-case scenario, I mean, it’s gonna take up a lot of time, and there’s no need for him to know about that. And we’re being audited by the state of Nevada for sales and use tax and blah, blah, blah.

So there are areas where I feel very confident, and I don’t even need his input. But there are areas where it’s not that he is necessarily smarter, I guess, but he’s a great mentor. It’s like talking to Jay, or talking to one of you guys where you’re not in it day-to-day, but I can go to you and say, “What do I do about this? I don’t know how to handle this. What would a responsible adult do?” And then I take his input, and usually we’ll go with kind of what he says, because he has better judgment than I do. And I guess that’s what it comes down to. He’s got really, really good judgment. And he’s one of those people who, when he meets people, he can tell if they’re a good person or a bad person kind of right away. He’s got a good read, whereas I don’t.

And maybe part of it is just, in our areas, we know our shit. And we want to stay married. I mean, that was a decision that I made maybe 10 years ago. It was about 10 years ago when we were kind of on different trajectories, and I really wanted to grow, grow, grow. And I had all these big, huge wild dreams. Loren, you remember. And Doug was like, “I don’t want to take outside money. I don’t want to report to anybody else. I don’t want you on the road.” Not that he’s in control of me. But he’s like, “I don’t think that we will enjoy it, and you will enjoy going from franchise store to franchise store,” and blah, blah, blah.

And so there was a little bit of tension and frustration on my part, because I’m like, “Why are you holding me back? Why don’t you just want these big, huge dreams the way I do?” And at some point, about 10 years ago, I was like, “You know what, I can make a decision: either I can stay married and have a nice, peaceful relationship and a healthy business that grows a healthy amount,”—and if you want to call it a lifestyle, family business, call it a lifestyle, family business—”or I can go for broke, and I can try to be the next Drybar. But realistically, I’m going to end up being divorced, seeing my kid once every other week. And I’m going to be working 90 hours a week.” So that was a conscious decision that our marriage and our relationship comes first, even if that means that the business is going to be smaller than somebody else’s.

Hans Schrei:
Yeah, we’ve had the exact same conversation. At some point, if decisions need to be made, that is a decision that needs to be made. And actually, we just did it again. We said, “Okay, we need to put ourselves first and say, ‘We’re going to rest a bit and gather our own thoughts and be comfortable again,’ because it’s been a rough ride for a while,” even if it means slowing down. And actually, we’re slowing down significantly for a couple months. There are a few opportunities that introduced themselves in the past couple of weeks that—actually, it was like on a silver platter that said, “Hey, there’s this opportunity, but it means you have to slow down and wait a little bit.” We’re like, “Okay, we’ll take it! We’ll slow down.” So we’re going to have three months that are slower and mellower. And that helps.

We’ve been very burnt out lately, so that doesn’t help. But we made a deal, a pact, to be very respectful of how each other feels about doing the business. Because in our case, particularly, we don’t have kids. We’re not going to have kids, and this is kind of our legacy. The whole safe spaces thing is definitely our legacy. So we just want to make sure that we’re giving it everything that we have, and we aren’t just doing it to go through the motions. So if at some point one of us feels like that, either one is free to say, “You know what, I give you a year, and after that I’m out.” And we had to be comfortable with that. If you’re the party that says, “I’m out,” be comfortable with the other party not wanting to. I don’t really see that happening, that only one of us remains, but that is in the rulebook right now.

Loren Feldman:
Liz, you’ve talked a little about the different ways that you and Frank see the business.

Liz Picarazzi:
So, I have a mostly very glowing report for Frank. If I were his boss in a corporate setting, he’d have a really good performance review. But there are a couple of areas where we persistently have tension. The first one is really about short-term versus long-term thinking. And a current example of that: I’m the long-term thinker. He’s the short-term thinker. We’re looking to move all of our operations from three places into one, and it’s a big five-year real estate decision on a lease. And he pulls together the analysis of the space that we should get, and I realized that it just occupies our current inventory and not any more.

So I said, “Well, what’s your growth factor that you applied to this?” And he said, “None.” I’m like, “Well, short-term thinking is that this is the size of our warehouse. What’s gonna happen if we double next year? We can be having this conversation again about moving.” That’s what I’m trying to avoid. So he’s definitely very conservative. With any sort of investment, he thinks about what’s in the bank versus what cash is coming in. As the entrepreneur, I know the cash coming in will run the business as it comes in. And he’s going to say, “Well, we can’t invest in this because we don’t have the money in our bank account right now.”

I would say the other area where we have persistent issues is kind of on our product assortment. So we’re very known for our trash enclosures, but we also do package lockers, and sheds and planters. And over the last few years, I’ve worked very hard to position Citibin as a premium outdoor storage brand, and not as that trash-enclosure business. But the truth is that the margin on our package lockers is much less than our trash enclosures. And he’s going to be really focused on that margin, because he’s putting our efforts toward that thing that sells the best by far, which for us is the trash enclosure. But what I’ll say is that: If we’re ever to be acquired, an acquirer is going to be impressed that we are a portfolio of outdoor products—multiple products—not that we’re just a trash-enclosure company.

So I’ve got that long-term vision. He’s got the short-term, “Let’s just focus on what sells.” And like there’s one product, one of our package lockers, that doesn’t sell very well, and he will do anything to get rid of them. He’s gonna probably fire-sale them, and he never wants us to make them again. And he’s really let me know that, every chance he gets, how truly unprofitable that was because of all the R&D that went into it, the tooling. Honestly, that was all my initiative. It all happened in 2019. I was very forceful on that project and on the investments, and it has not paid off. And so he’ll bring that up to me.

It’s not nasty—we don’t really fight like that. But he definitely has some good examples of my weaknesses and where my vision sometimes doesn’t go so well. And he’s counting the inventory all the time. So he’ll be in the warehouse, and he sees those package lockers, and it almost makes him angry because they’re not moving very fast. And he’s hands-on at that level that he can see the results of Liz’s decision two years ago to pursue this.

Loren Feldman:
Liz, do you agree with him at this point? Do you think that you should end that line?

Liz Picarazzi:
I mean, the holidays are coming up. So for package lockers, that’s our biggest season. I’m hoping that we do really well, and I’ll have the evidence to support my desire to keep the package locker. But we have two of them and one of them sells much less. That might be one that we decommission, or maybe do like a special order once a year for people who want it, that they just are gonna have to wait. That’s a special order. Because we’ve already done the tooling on that, so a lot of the upfront investment has already been made.

Loren Feldman:
It sounds like your differences could be a really healthy tension in a business—having people coming at issues from different perspectives. Is that the way you see it?

Liz Picarazzi:
I do. I think it’s a really healthy interaction. Like I said, if someone is an implementer, and the other is the visionary, it’s a really great combination—as long as you appreciate the other and you understand what you each do. My stuff with being the visionary is we’ve realized that if I have some idea that I’m urgently wanting to discuss with him, and he’s working on something in the weeds, then I will get irritated because I want to discuss my grand idea as soon as possible. He’ll say something like, “Why don’t you go call one of your entrepreneur friends, share your idea?” Because he knows that I want someone to get excited about what it is, and he just can’t manufacture it. Nor should he!

If I’m interrupting him during the middle of the day to come tell him about my latest marketing idea, that can be distracting. And I realize that can be distracting, so I do take that feedback. And I accepted that there are some ideas that are maybe really big that I need to call someone else about. But I don’t always realize it in the moment because I’m very impulsive. And when I want interaction about my latest idea, I want it right then.

Laura Zander:
God, he and Doug would just get along so well, I think. And do you do this in your personal life as well? I’m like, “You know what, I think we should move to New Zealand, or let’s move here, or let’s do this, or let’s do that.” We’ll be somewhere, and we’ll be talking with people who we don’t know very well, and they’ll come up to Doug. And they’ll be like, “So when are you guys moving to New Zealand?” And Doug laughs, “You just have to ignore like 98 percent of what she says.” Because apparently I say it really convincingly. And I’m super passionate about it in that moment. So he’s just gotten really, really good at basically pretending like he’s listening and smiling: “Yeah, that sounds awesome.” And then he knows I’ll forget about it by the next day, for the most part. He’s really good at not being a buzzkill, you know what I mean?

Liz Picarazzi:
Well, right. And he may know that if he does engage with you, if he’s not as enthusiastic as you might want him to be, then he’s going to be irritated. So yeah, it’s better just to not engage, because he knows that if he engages, you’re going to engage him back. And next thing you know, you’re talking for a couple of hours about Laura’s latest idea.

Laura Zander:
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, it’s interesting. I’d be interested, like, who does the laundry in your house? And who does the dishes? And how do you guys divide up—

Liz Picarazzi:
He does both.

Laura Zander:
Yeah, Doug does all of that stuff, too. He’s a better parent than I am. I’m the one who travels. He’s the steady force. So really, really interesting. It sounds like we have very similar dynamics going on.

Loren Feldman:
Liz, does this ever translate into an issue with employees where they feel they’re being pulled in different directions by you and by Frank?

Liz Picarazzi:
Not by Frank, but by me. For sure.

Loren Feldman:
How big an issue is that, and how do you resolve it?

Liz Picarazzi:
So I think I’ve gotten better at really keeping track of what I’ve assigned to people and reprioritizing if need be, because—

Laura Zander:
Are you a tornado?

Liz Picarazzi:
I don’t know if I’d call myself that, but I’ve definitely got the bright-shiny-object thing. I will work on reprioritizing, or I’ll tell someone that maybe I’ve given like 12 totally disparate things to do, I can help reprioritize that because something has come up that’s more important than the others. But I would say the other thing is that, Frank, when there is something really important that really needs to be done but there isn’t buy-in from the team, or there’s just not enthusiasm, he’ll help me get it done. That has been from the very start that he joined. He knew that there were a lot of strategic projects that I felt were not moving.

And so, when I told him, “I really would like for you to help be that intersection to help make this thing move forward,” he’s done that over and over. And so for me, I’m very grateful that he’s an intermediary. And I don’t think it’s necessarily that the employees weren’t for the idea, but they just need someone to really follow up. And oftentimes, I will kind of issue proclamations but I’ll never follow up with anybody. And then when they hear two weeks later that it was something that was actually important to me, they’re surprised because some people probably forget. But with Frank in the middle, he knows the things that need to move ahead. And he’ll help me leverage the team to do it. But without him, I’m thinking, “Yeah, people are very confused.” I provide confusing directions.

Loren Feldman:
So you would need someone to play Frank’s role even if it weren’t Frank?

Liz Picarazzi:

Laura Zander:
It’s funny you say that. That’s the trajectory that we went through, and I didn’t realize that, obviously, until later. But when we got our general manager, when we hired her six years ago, I realized that she was actually a surrogate for Doug. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Doug really played kind of that number two role, and the one that would make sure that I was less confusing or that we have priorities going on. He and I would talk through all these projects, and blah, blah, blah.

And then—actually, well, long story—but when we brought on Shannon, who has now filled that role, Doug had stepped back because we had a kid. And so he became the parent. But I didn’t realize how important that role is, that you have that translator, if you will, who can translate all of these crazy big ideas and disparate priorities into something that the masses can understand and digest, and doesn’t drive them crazy. So, anyway, yeah, we had the same thing, same thing. What a huge roll that is.

Liz Picarazzi:
It’s so important.

Loren Feldman:
You know, it occurs to me that just being married is a challenge. I know in my marriage, I think it’s been a healthy thing that my wife and I have both been able to go off and do our jobs on a regular basis separately. And when there’s been tension, it’s served as a way of clearing our heads. And we come back and things that looked dire don’t look so dire after eight hours doing something else.

Laura Zander:
Oh my God. Mine’s the reverse. I’m like, “If we didn’t work together, what would we talk about?” I mean, we have this shared life goal. But we do everything together. We had worked out together. We exercise together. We ski together. I mean, it’s one of those sick relationships where we’re just together. For me, it would be so sad if we had different jobs and worked for different places. And then he’s got this whole life I don’t even really know about. He’s got all these co-workers I don’t know. And like I said, even when we did work at different places, like we came together on separate projects so that we could work together.

Loren Feldman:
How about you, Hans? Do you ever feel like having that separation would be helpful and healthy?

Hans Schrei:
Yeah, but that is one of those situations where the grass is always greener on the other side, I think. For us, what really helps is because we built the business, and then with building the business came the purpose of the business. And that is something that we both have absolute buy-in into. That is something that we’re absolutely passionate about, as opposed to the cookies, which frankly, it’s a love-hate relationship sometimes, as it is with any product.

The idea of building safe spaces has become our personal mission for the two of us as a couple, as an entity. And the way we see it is that, yeah, we’re not going to have kids, so that’s our legacy. So where we are is that those are two separate things, and one is there to serve the other. Where we are is that no matter what the business is, no matter if we choose to do something else with the business, this other mission that we’ve set ourselves to accomplish as people, as immigrants, as gay men, that is our legacy. That is our life’s project. The cookie company is incidental to that.

Loren Feldman:
How about you, Liz? Do you ever think it would be easier if you had more separation and you had someone else playing the role that Frank is playing?

Liz Picarazzi:
Well, it’s actually a funny question, because we’re doing a renovation on our house. We’re kind of transforming it from a two-family to a one-family. And during the renovation, me, Frank, and Lydia have all been sleeping in the same room. So not only are we living in the same house, but we’re literally sleeping in the same room every night since July. And it was really difficult at first to adjust to that, but I have to say, we kind of are enjoying spending more time together, and especially with our daughter. Because she’s at the age where she would just sit in her room alone, on her phone for hours and hours. And now, for her, she’s kind of forced to hang out with us all the time. So in terms of our physical separation, right now, I’ve been surprised that we’ve been okay with these cramped quarters.

But I would say in terms of just other types of separation, not just physical, we each have our own hobbies. So I’m really into DIY home projects. He doesn’t care at all about it. So this renovation for me has been—I’m really enjoying picking out tile and choosing doors and all these things that he has no interest in. And that’s fine, he defers to me on that. But he’s a musician. And so then his time outside of the household and outside of work and parenting is composing and performing music. And so we know that because we have our own hobbies, it not only strengthens our marriage, but it also strengthens our work relationship, because we have a strong marriage. And I know that’s very difficult to achieve, but I think we’re kind of uniquely… we just click. We click. We don’t always get along, but our life works really well. But I don’t think it would be if we didn’t each have our own hobbies.

Loren Feldman:
It’s kind of conventional wisdom that any business partnership should have an agreement at the beginning that stipulates what would happen if the partnership ends. Now I know none of you will ever need this, but I’m wondering if each of you has that kind of agreement with your spouses. In other words, do you know what would happen to the business if your marriage relationship ended for whatever reason?

Hans Schrei:
We’ve talked about it, and where we are is, we could probably keep it going, even if the other one was to disappear. So it’s a very frank conversation that we had to have at not a great moment in the relationship. Of course, in our case, a lot of it has to do with our ability to stay in the country. So it’s not like, “Oh, I’m going to find a job.” But still, something that we are, I guess, if push came to shove, we’re prepared to do.

Loren Feldman:
How about you, Laura?

Laura Zander:
Yeah, we don’t have anything written down. But in the dreams that I have—my abandonment dreams, which happen when I travel a lot—I get the business. I get the dogs. Doug will have full custody of Huck. You know, we’ve got it all split out. I mean, realistically, I would probably run the business because I’m the one who’s on the ground more often. And Doug has no deep desire to work forever. And apparently, I’m more wired to work forever, and I have more support than he does on the business side of it. So I’m assuming that that’s what would happen.

Loren Feldman:
How about you, Liz?

Liz Picarazzi:
So we’ve never discussed it. I can say, though, that I think our marriage has improved since he joined the business. So I guess it feels like the conversation is less applicable now than it would have been a couple of years ago when our marriage wasn’t as strong. But I guess I just figured that if something happened with the marriage that we would just split the business 50-50 in terms of ownership, and then see whether or not we could still work together. And I kind of feel like we could. But it’s not something I have really thought about. But if I do, I feel like it would probably be somewhat simple. Because I think we would just understand it’s 50-50, and then we’ll figure something out with whether the company continues and who’s in leadership. I don’t know, I feel like maybe it’s not that difficult to figure out.

I would say, if you look at the things that attracted you to your partner—like in Frank’s case, he’s very intelligent. He’s very fun. He’s fun to be around. So that’s kind of, on the personal side, what attracted me to him. When I see him being smart and funny in the workplace, it actually—this is cheesy, but it kind of rekindles the original love, because I see people see him as smart and funny. And I don’t know, sometimes you don’t always see your spouse in the way that you originally came to know them. And so I’ve found that I really admire him in the workplace. And it brings me back to when I first met him, like really what I thought.

Loren Feldman:
Well you know, when we went into this, I kind of thought I might have to offer each of your spouses equal time. But I don’t know that that’s necessary. You guys were very kind to your spouses, and I’m sure they’ll appreciate that. My thanks to Liz Picarazzi, Hans Schrei, and Laura Zander. Thanks for sharing, guys.

Matt Gaetz turns on Marjorie Taylor Greene over McCarthy endorsement


Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has turned on Marjorie Taylor Greene after she backed Republican leader Kevin McCarthy for House speaker.

With Republicans close to gaining control of the House, McCarthy has been maneuvering to shore up support to take Democrat Nancy Pelosi‘s job. He can do so if he manages to secure the 218 votes needed in an upcoming leadership vote, but he may be facing challenges following the GOP’s disappointing performance in last week’s midterm elections.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, announced on Monday that he will challenge McCarthy for speaker.

But Greene on Monday broke with her allies in the caucus and endorsed McCarthy.

Gaetz, a close ally of Greene’s, has hit back, suggesting her support of McCarthy would backfire.

“Whatever Kevin has promised Marjorie Taylor Greene, I guarantee you this at the first opportunity, he will zap her faster than you can say Jewish space laser,” he said on FrankSpeech.com, referring to a conspiracy theory the congresswoman has promoted and been criticized for.

Gaetz continued: “I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is the conduct, and it is the pattern and practice of Kevin McCarthy over years that showcase this.” McCarthy has said that Greene would be allowed back on committees if Republicans win back the House.

In an interview on The Charlie Kirk Show, Gaetz also dismissed the notion that McCarthy had a chance of becoming speaker.

“Right now, there are a lot of the establishment Republicans in denial, believing that Kevin McCarthy can somehow still become speaker,” he said.

“What I’m here to tell you is there are definitely at least five people, actually a lot more than that, who would rather be waterboarded by Liz Cheney, than vote for Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House, and I’m one of them and so then you can kind of dispense with that.”

Gaetz said that he believes there is “a real desire to have fresh faces, new leadership, new ideas, and to turn a new page so that we can get to the important work that we promised the American people we could get to.”

Greene, during an appearance on Steve Bannon‘s podcast on Monday, urged Republicans to unite behind McCarthy or risk the speakership going to Cheney.

“There is no way in hell I’m going to vote to hand that gavel to Liz Cheney or anyone else Nancy Pelosi wants,” she said.

In the same conversation, Greene also said she isn’t afraid of a GOP civil war.

“We’re going to fight it out. I’m telling you, I’ve always said I’m not afraid of the civil war in the GOP. I lean into it,” she said.