November 6, 2015

Movember Madness

Movember Madness

It’s November 6, and I haven’t shaved yet this month. Why? you may ask. Because it’s “Movember,” the month when men are challenged to grow out their facial hair for charity. “Mo” may be for “moustache,” but I’m going full throttle. The Movember Foundation is all about raising awareness and funds to address men’s health crises like testicular and prostate cancer, which cut too many lives short. My unshaven chin is an expression of solidarity.

If you read my column last week, you know I’ve been looking forward to this month as a time to finally relax after a grueling October. Some people who don’t know the reason for my stubble may think not shaving is pushing the relaxation envelope a little too far. I have to admit that I hardly recognized myself in the mirror this morning when I got dressed for work; there’s a little too much gray for my liking. But that’s OK. It’s for a good cause.

Besides, beards are making a come-back. Everywhere I go, especially in the city, facial hair seems to be the new fashion statement. Let no one say Jeff Weiner is out of step with current trends. So, my beard will be my new accessory for the month.

As you all know, health and wellness is a big topic with me. Tracy and I have been through boot camp together, and we both love a good fitness challenge, whether of our own making or for charity. It does seem like November is starting out as Philanthropy month in the Weiner household. Last week Tracy ran the New York City Marathon for the first time and raised over $10,000 in the process for Team Andi at Mount Sinai Hospital. She was awesome, finishing in 4:42!

It was Tracy who got me hooked on the Fitbit, which, by the way, has become indispensable in my daily health routine. I log my steps and calories burned and track my progress, and I’ll even admit to evangelizing now and then. I’ve also made Fitbit a part of Marcum’s corporate culture. On November 1, we started our second Firm-wide Fitbit challenge and put up a fairly substantial prize to incentivize employees to participate. Anyone who logs 10,000 steps a day for three months will be eligible to win a $2,500 gift card. Every 10,000 steps over the goal gets an additional entry in the raffle. How’s that for motivation?

This friendly competition is just one aspect of Marcum Wellness, a Firm-wide program aimed at helping our partners and staff maintain a healthy work-life balance. We also present health workshops and a range of other activities to keep people moving and aware of the health benefits of an active lifestyle.

Of course, the approaching holiday season, and the attendant parties and eating-fests, are sure to test our collective will power. But that’s a challenge for another day. For now, the Movember Foundation is doing a great job of calling awareness to the men’s health crisis, and I’m happy to do my part. As long as I can resist the urge to mow my face. So for those of you I run into this month, know the facial hair is not for fashion or out of laziness, but rather my way of trying to give back to those going through a tough time.

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In last week’s column, I alluded to a pending merger that would expand Marcum’s footprint into the Midwest market. It’s official: Frost, Ruttenberg & Rothblatt, P.C. became part of the Marcum organization as of Monday, bringing over 100 partners and staff, and offices in Chicago and Deerfield, Illinois, to our Firm. We are extremely excited about the supreme talent and depth of service we are now able to offer our clients in the Chicago region.

Stay tuned for additional expansion news in the coming weeks.