Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price

This piece originally appeared on ProPublica.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office.

Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.

Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades.

The investigation of Price’s trades by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which hasn’t been previously disclosed, was underway at the time of Bharara’s dismissal, said the person.

Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys asked to resign after Trump took office. It is standard for new presidents to replace those officials with their own appointees. But Bharara’s firing came as a surprise because the president had met with him at Trump Tower soon after the election. As he left that meeting, Bharara told reporters Trump asked if he would be prepared to remain in his post, and said that he had agreed to stay on.

When the Trump administration instead asked for Bharara’s resignation, the prosecutor refused, and he said he was then fired. Trump has not explained the reversal, but Bharara fanned suspicions that his dismissal was politically motivated via his personal Twitter account.

“I did not resign,” he wrote in one tweet over the weekend. “Moments ago I was fired.”

“By the way,” Bharara said in a second tweet, “now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like.”

Bharara was referring to a commission that was launched by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013 to investigate state government corruption, only to be disbanded by the governor the next year as its work grew close to his office. In that case, Bharara vowed to continue the commission’s work, and eventually charged Cuomo associates and won convictions of several prominent lawmakers.

Bharara referred questions from ProPublica to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. A spokesperson there declined to comment. The Justice and Health and Human Services departments also didn’t respond to requests for comment.

A White House spokesperson didn’t respond to questions about whether Trump or anyone in his cabinet was aware of the inquiry into Price’s trades.

In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Price traded more than $300,000 worth of shares in health companies over a recent four-year period, while taking actions that could have affected those companies. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, chaired the powerful House Budget Committee and sat on the Ways and Means Committee’s health panel.

In one case, Price was one of just a handful of American investors allowed to buy discounted stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics ? a tiny Australian company working on an experimental multiple sclerosis drug. The company hoped to be granted “investigational new drug” status from the Food and Drug Administration, a designation that expedites the approval process.

Members of congress often try to apply pressure on the FDA. As ProPublica has reported, Price’s office has taken up the causes of health care companies, and in one case urged a government agency to remove a damaging drug study on behalf of a pharmaceutical company whose CEO donated to Price’s campaign.

Innate Immunotherapeutics’ CEO Simon Wilkinson told ProPublica that he and his company have not had any contact with American law enforcement agencies and have no knowledge of authorities looking at Price’s stock trades.

Another transaction that drew scrutiny was a 2016 purchase of between $1,001 and $15,000 in shares of medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. CNN reported that days after Price bought the stock, he introduced legislation to delay a regulation that would have hurt Zimmer Biomet.

Price has said that trade was made without his knowledge by his broker.

In a third case, reported by Time magazine, Price invested thousands of dollars in six pharmaceutical companies before leading a legislative and public relations effort that eventually killed proposed regulations that would have harmed those companies.

Louise Slaughter, a Democratic Congress member from New York who sponsored the STOCK Act, wrote in January to the SEC asking that the agency investigate Price’s stock trades. “The fact that these trades were made and in many cases timed to achieve significant earnings or avoid losses would lead a reasonable person to question whether the transactions were triggered by insider knowledge,” she wrote.

What federal authorities are looking at, including whether they are examining any of those transactions, is not known.

Along with the Price matter, Bharara’s former office is investigating allegations relating to Fox News, and has been urged by watchdog groups to look into payments Trump has received from foreign governments through his Manhattan-based business. Bharara’s former deputy, Joon Kim, is now in charge of the office, but Trump is expected to nominate his replacement within weeks.

ProPublica reporters Jesse Eisinger and Justin Elliott and research editor Derek Kravitz contributed to this story.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price

This piece originally appeared on ProPublica.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office.

Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.

Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades.

The investigation of Price’s trades by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which hasn’t been previously disclosed, was underway at the time of Bharara’s dismissal, said the person.

Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys asked to resign after Trump took office. It is standard for new presidents to replace those officials with their own appointees. But Bharara’s firing came as a surprise because the president had met with him at Trump Tower soon after the election. As he left that meeting, Bharara told reporters Trump asked if he would be prepared to remain in his post, and said that he had agreed to stay on.

When the Trump administration instead asked for Bharara’s resignation, the prosecutor refused, and he said he was then fired. Trump has not explained the reversal, but Bharara fanned suspicions that his dismissal was politically motivated via his personal Twitter account.

“I did not resign,” he wrote in one tweet over the weekend. “Moments ago I was fired.”

“By the way,” Bharara said in a second tweet, “now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like.”

Bharara was referring to a commission that was launched by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013 to investigate state government corruption, only to be disbanded by the governor the next year as its work grew close to his office. In that case, Bharara vowed to continue the commission’s work, and eventually charged Cuomo associates and won convictions of several prominent lawmakers.

Bharara referred questions from ProPublica to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. A spokesperson there declined to comment. The Justice and Health and Human Services departments also didn’t respond to requests for comment.

A White House spokesperson didn’t respond to questions about whether Trump or anyone in his cabinet was aware of the inquiry into Price’s trades.

In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Price traded more than $300,000 worth of shares in health companies over a recent four-year period, while taking actions that could have affected those companies. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, chaired the powerful House Budget Committee and sat on the Ways and Means Committee’s health panel.

In one case, Price was one of just a handful of American investors allowed to buy discounted stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics ? a tiny Australian company working on an experimental multiple sclerosis drug. The company hoped to be granted “investigational new drug” status from the Food and Drug Administration, a designation that expedites the approval process.

Members of congress often try to apply pressure on the FDA. As ProPublica has reported, Price’s office has taken up the causes of health care companies, and in one case urged a government agency to remove a damaging drug study on behalf of a pharmaceutical company whose CEO donated to Price’s campaign.

Innate Immunotherapeutics’ CEO Simon Wilkinson told ProPublica that he and his company have not had any contact with American law enforcement agencies and have no knowledge of authorities looking at Price’s stock trades.

Another transaction that drew scrutiny was a 2016 purchase of between $1,001 and $15,000 in shares of medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. CNN reported that days after Price bought the stock, he introduced legislation to delay a regulation that would have hurt Zimmer Biomet.

Price has said that trade was made without his knowledge by his broker.

In a third case, reported by

Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price

This piece originally appeared on ProPublica.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office.

Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.

Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades.

The investigation of Price’s trades by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which hasn’t been previously disclosed, was underway at the time of Bharara’s dismissal, said the person.

Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys asked to resign after Trump took office. It is standard for new presidents to replace those officials with their own appointees. But Bharara’s firing came as a surprise because the president had met with him at Trump Tower soon after the election. As he left that meeting, Bharara told reporters Trump asked if he would be prepared to remain in his post, and said that he had agreed to stay on.

When the Trump administration instead asked for Bharara’s resignation, the prosecutor refused, and he said he was then fired. Trump has not explained the reversal, but Bharara fanned suspicions that his dismissal was politically motivated via his personal Twitter account.

“I did not resign,” he wrote in one tweet over the weekend. “Moments ago I was fired.”

“By the way,” Bharara said in a second tweet, “now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like.”

Bharara was referring to a commission that was launched by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013 to investigate state government corruption, only to be disbanded by the governor the next year as its work grew close to his office. In that case, Bharara vowed to continue the commission’s work, and eventually charged Cuomo associates and won convictions of several prominent lawmakers.

Bharara referred questions from ProPublica to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. A spokesperson there declined to comment. The Justice and Health and Human Services departments also didn’t respond to requests for comment.

A White House spokesperson didn’t respond to questions about whether Trump or anyone in his cabinet was aware of the inquiry into Price’s trades.

In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Price traded more than $300,000 worth of shares in health companies over a recent four-year period, while taking actions that could have affected those companies. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, chaired the powerful House Budget Committee and sat on the Ways and Means Committee’s health panel.

In one case, Price was one of just a handful of American investors allowed to buy discounted stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics ? a tiny Australian company working on an experimental multiple sclerosis drug. The company hoped to be granted “investigational new drug” status from the Food and Drug Administration, a designation that expedites the approval process.

Members of congress often try to apply pressure on the FDA. As ProPublica has reported, Price’s office has taken up the causes of health care companies, and in one case urged a government agency to remove a damaging drug study on behalf of a pharmaceutical company whose CEO donated to Price’s campaign.

Innate Immunotherapeutics’ CEO Simon Wilkinson told ProPublica that he and his company have not had any contact with American law enforcement agencies and have no knowledge of authorities looking at Price’s stock trades.

Another transaction that drew scrutiny was a 2016 purchase of between $1,001 and $15,000 in shares of medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. CNN reported that days after Price bought the stock, he introduced legislation to delay a regulation that would have hurt Zimmer Biomet.

Price has said that trade was made without his knowledge by his broker.

In a third case, reported by

Homeland Security

WASHINGTON ? House Democrats pressed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in a tense meeting on Friday over deportation policies, the president’s travel ban and the White House’s response to recent white nationalist remarks by a Republican congressman ? and they didn’t like what they heard.

Multiple Democratic members came out of the meeting exasperated with Kelly.

‘Pretty damn frustrating that he’s not answering questions,’ Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who walked out midway through, told reporters. ‘He’s just going around in circles.’

Kelly was entering the lion’s den. Democrats are incensed by a number of Kelly’s actions, as he’s the man charged with carrying out some of Trump’s most controversial politices. He oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, and signed the memo instructing the agencies to broaden priorities for removal in a way that puts nearly all undocumented immigrants in the crosshairs. He has floated the possibility of separating children from their parents at the border to deter unauthorized crossings. He was tasked with figuring out how to build Trump’s border wall. He leads much of the implementation of Trump’s two efforts to ban travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries, both now blocked in the courts.

When Democrats pressed Kelly on these topics, they said he at times put the onus back on them: If they don’t like the way the law is being enforced, he told them, they should change it, particularly with regard to so-called Dreamers, the young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

He made a similar comment to reporters after the meeting, urging the public to write their representatives if they want the law changed.

‘I’m not the decision-maker in that regard; I follow the law,’ he told reporters. ‘And by the way, I don’t deport anyone. ICE doesn’t deport anyone. The law deports people.’

Kelly’s remarks to reporters were at times defensive over how Democrats characterized the meeting, particularly when told that members said they weren’t satisfied with the information they heard about Dreamers.

‘The members of Congress that were just with me walked out and said that they didn’t get enough information?’ he said. ‘You’re kidding. … They may not have heard what they wanted to hear, but we certainly discussed it.’

I don’t deport anyone. ICE doesn’t deport anyone. The law deports people.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

In the room, according to an aide, Kelly said that ICE was not going after recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created by former President Barack Obama to provide certain Dreamers work permits and deportation reprieve. Multiple DACA recipients have been detained under Kelly’s watch, although ICE has said that each of them was a priority for another reason, some based on alleged gang affiliation or because their DACA status expired. At that statement, members made sounds of disbelief, according to the aide.

‘Give me a break, will you?’ Kelly said in response, according to the aide.

At another point, when asked about DACA, Kelly told them he was ‘not a lawyer,’ Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) said.

Members said they didn’t get any clarity on what would happen to DACA, which Trump promised to dismantle on the first day of his presidency but has not done yet. Two members said Kelly made comments about how his leadership has been a good thing for DACA recipients, although they weren’t sure what he meant. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said Kelly suggested ‘he is the best friend that DACA has ? he repeated that more than once.’

‘He basically said that he’s best thing that ever happened to DACA folks in the last few months,’ Cárdenas said.

Kelly didn’t tell reporters what would happen to DACA, either, other than to say that his focus would be deporting criminals.

‘I told them that I have a lot of things on my plate, a lot of criminals to apprehend and deport that are here illegally ? criminals beyond just the fact that they’re here illegally ? and the least of my worries right now is anyone who falls into the general category of DACA,’ Kelly said.

He denied to members that ICE agents were entering churches, schools or hospitals, according to Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), who said they brought photos and stories that demonstrated that was untrue. She said he provided them ‘lengthy statements’ with ‘blatant misinformation that he is hearing directly from his personnel.’

Torres was also dissatisfied with Kelly’s response when Democrats asked about his comments about separating children from their mothers ? ‘He said he has not done it yet’ but little else, she said.

On Trump’s travel ban, aimed at temporarily barring many citizens of six Muslim-majority nations and all refugees from entering the U.S., Kelly said it was not a ‘Muslim ban,’ according to members. He told reporters DHS was complying with the court rulings temporarily blocking the executive order.  

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said that he asked Kelly about recent comments made by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an ally of the president and White House on immigration policy. King drew widespread attention for tweeting that ‘we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.’ White House press secretary Sean Spicer said this week that King’s statements were ‘not a point of view [the president] shares.’

Grijalva told reporters he asked Kelly to repudiate King’s statements because he felt Spicer’s comments were ‘tepid’ and ‘many people feel that is really what’s going on ? that there is a removal and cleansing process going on ? and this was an opportunity to say absolutely not.’

Kelly said he did not agree with King, according to members and an aide.

But the entire meeting left some Democrats feeling even more frustrated with the Trump administration than they were before.

‘There’s always a way to work with an administration, but as long as they see Latinos as criminals, as a threat, as a ‘threat to their civilization,’ it makes it impossible to sit down,’ Gutiérrez said. ‘First they have to recognize our humanity.’

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Homeland Security

WASHINGTON ? House Democrats pressed Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in a tense meeting on Friday over deportation policies, the president’s travel ban and the White House’s response to recent white nationalist remarks by a Republican congressman ? and they didn’t like what they heard.

Multiple Democratic members came out of the meeting exasperated with Kelly.

‘Pretty damn frustrating that he’s not answering questions,’ Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who walked out midway through, told reporters. ‘He’s just going around in circles.’

Kelly was entering the lion’s den. Democrats are incensed by a number of Kelly’s actions, as he’s the man charged with carrying out some of Trump’s most controversial politices. He oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, and signed the memo instructing the agencies to broaden priorities for removal in a way that puts nearly all undocumented immigrants in the crosshairs. He has floated the possibility of separating children from their parents at the border to deter unauthorized crossings. He was tasked with figuring out how to build Trump’s border wall. He leads much of the implementation of Trump’s two efforts to ban travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries, both now blocked in the courts.

When Democrats pressed Kelly on these topics, they said he at times put the onus back on them: If they don’t like the way the law is being enforced, he told them, they should change it, particularly with regard to so-called Dreamers, the young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

He made a similar comment to reporters after the meeting, urging the public to write their representatives if they want the law changed.

‘I’m not the decision-maker in that regard; I follow the law,’ he told reporters. ‘And by the way, I don’t deport anyone. ICE doesn’t deport anyone. The law deports people.’

Kelly’s remarks to reporters were at times defensive over how Democrats characterized the meeting, particularly when told that members said they weren’t satisfied with the information they heard about Dreamers.

‘The members of Congress that were just with me walked out and said that they didn’t get enough information?’ he said. ‘You’re kidding. … They may not have heard what they wanted to hear, but we certainly discussed it.’

I don’t deport anyone. ICE doesn’t deport anyone. The law deports people.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

In the room, according to an aide, Kelly said that ICE was not going after recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created by former President Barack Obama to provide certain Dreamers work permits and deportation reprieve. Multiple DACA recipients have been detained under Kelly’s watch, although ICE has said that each of them was a priority for another reason, some based on alleged gang affiliation or because their DACA status expired. At that statement, members made sounds of disbelief, according to the aide.

‘Give me a break, will you?’ Kelly said in response, according to the aide.

At another point, when asked about DACA, Kelly told them he was ‘not a lawyer,’ Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) said.

Members said they didn’t get any clarity on what would happen to DACA, which Trump promised to dismantle on the first day of his presidency but has not done yet. Two members said Kelly made comments about how his leadership has been a good thing for DACA recipients, although they weren’t sure what he meant. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said Kelly suggested ‘he is the best friend that DACA has ? he repeated that more than once.’

‘He basically said that he’s best thing that ever happened to DACA folks in the last few months,’ Cárdenas said.

Kelly didn’t tell reporters what would happen to DACA, either, other than to say that his focus would be deporting criminals.

‘I told them that I have a lot of things on my plate, a lot of criminals to apprehend and deport that are here illegally ? criminals beyond just the fact that they’re here illegally ? and the least of my worries right now is anyone who falls into the general category of DACA,’ Kelly said.

He denied to members that ICE agents were entering churches, schools or hospitals, according to Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), who said they brought photos and stories that demonstrated that was untrue. She said he provided them ‘lengthy statements’ with ‘blatant misinformation that he is hearing directly from his personnel.’

Torres was also dissatisfied with Kelly’s response when Democrats asked about his comments about separating children from their mothers ? ‘He said he has not done it yet’ but little else, she said.

On Trump’s travel ban, aimed at temporarily barring many citizens of six Muslim-majority nations and all refugees from entering the U.S., Kelly said it was not a ‘Muslim ban,’ according to members. He told reporters DHS was complying with the court rulings temporarily blocking the executive order.  

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said that he asked Kelly about recent comments made by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an ally of the president and White House on immigration policy. King drew widespread attention for tweeting that ‘we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.’ White House press secretary Sean Spicer said this week that King’s statements were ‘not a point of view [the president] shares.’

Grijalva told reporters he asked Kelly to repudiate King’s statements because he felt Spicer’s comments were ‘tepid’ and ‘many people feel that is really what’s going on ? that there is a removal and cleansing process going on ? and this was an opportunity to say absolutely not.’

Kelly said he did not agree with King, according to members and an aide.

But the entire meeting left some Democrats feeling even more frustrated with the Trump administration than they were before.

‘There’s always a way to work with an administration, but as long as they see Latinos as criminals, as a threat, as a ‘threat to their civilization,’ it makes it impossible to sit down,’ Gutiérrez said. ‘First they have to recognize our humanity.’

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

The woman who helps 5,000 children orphaned by HIV/Aids

Victoria Emah-Emah runs a charity which helps Nigerian children whose parents died from HIV/Aids..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-38987527
ictoria Emah-Emah runs a charity which helps Nigerian children whose parents died from HIV/Aids.

Distracted to death

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38954975

Drivers using mobile phones on the road are four times more likely to have an accident – but can apps also make us safer?

Women are The Next Great Wave of Innovation: Interview with Daria Kantor, Founder of TruBe

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalia-lopatniuk-brzezinski/women-are-the-next-great_b_14739262.html

There’s never been a more exhilirating time to be a builder or a maker.

Today, tech and entrepreneurialism is a way of life. The values that underpin technology and innovation– access, transparency, inclusion, egalitarianism, grit, democratization of voice and information– are the values that shape the future of work, family, politics and culture.

Makers and creators are challenging “how things have always been done” to create worlds of opportunity never imagined before.

Amongst entrepreneurs, those who are able to occupy the space between tech and emotion, bringing together compassion with coding, and science with humanity, will foment lasting disruption.

I’m convinced women are the “next great wave” of global business. After the Internet, digitalization, the Internet of things and now the “Internet of everything”, I believe women entrepreneurs will remake our world in unprecedented ways.

Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men and taking control of creating new work cultures and new definitions of leadership. Within the ranks of women, I think working mothers are a special niche combining a sense of purpose beyond oneself, an unparalleled dedication to beating the myth of “work-life balance” and just getting things done all at once all the time, with a fearlessness that only a mother dedicated to making a better world for her kids and being a role model for her sons and daughters can.

Daria Kantor exemplifies this type of new wave entrepreneur.

She’s a mother, an athlete, a dedicated wife, a friend and a passionate innovator trying to provide access to all who want to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

The founder of TruBe, a startup democratizing fitness through tech, with the aim of offering flexible fitness to consumers, and linking up personal trainers to these customers using a tech platform. A true fitness fanatic and busy working mother, Daria believes her company will not only make fitting a workout into a hectic day possible, but that the free time it creates will make for a more stress-free, balanced life.

2017-02-14-1487073536-2555158-DariaKantorImage

She’s a woman building her own platform whilst creating a platform for others to generate self-confidence and sense of ownership around our own wellness.

I sat down with Daria over tea in London to discuss TruBe, her beautiful family and what it takes to found a great company with great values in today’s lightning-speed, ever-shifting business climate.

Natalia Brzezinski: Where does your passion and drive come from?

Daria Kantor: I’m quite a competitive person. I like to push my body and mind and I have always seen overcoming physical challenges – such as pushing past your breaking point in fitness – as mentally stimulating.

TruBe was a creative process that I launched from concept into reality, and building that vision from scratch means there are a lot of hurdles and challenges. It’s all down to you and if you can push past the aches and pains then you’re more likely to succeed.

Where did you get the idea for TruBe, what is your “entrepreneur’s birth story’?

I was involved in the sports and fitness industry from a young age, and so have always been close to sport. My goal with TruBe was to create a platform that would allow the user to take full control in the process of finding a trainer, or training in a studio. The other problem I wanted to solve was for PTs, who are freelancers and often have unsold sessions during the week. Given the high costs PTs pay gyms to rent the space, it seemed wasteful and needlessly costly for them to also be losing out on potential customers.

What’s your greatest challenge in attaining your business goals with TruBe?

We are trying to democratise what has traditionally been considered an elite product.

At TruBe we know that people can achieve more with a coach, but not everyone trying to get fit would consider hiring a PT.

The core of our offering is flexible fitness, and our pricing is extremely competitive – so it’s really about breaking down this conception to broaden our appeal to a wider audience, in the hope they might consider a TruBe PT as a one stop shop to staying fit and achieving that elusive balanced lifestyle.

Given the market is so competitive, how do you make the business stand out?

The traditional UK fitness market is quite saturated, but there are still opportunities to innovate in the digital space. TruBe found its audience about ten years ago when the UK fitness landscape was disrupted by the entry of budget gyms, which stole significant market share from mid-upper range gyms and made flexibility a key selling point for fitness providers.

Companies like PureGym and easyGym were so successful because they responded to a shift in consumer behaviour – people didn’t want to be tied down to an annual subscription, at one gym in a set location.

However, budget gyms didn’t satisfy everyone’s needs and there was definitely demand for an affordable, but higher quality, fitness solution that offered human interaction (essential for motivation!). Our overheads are lower than conventional gyms as we don’t pay admin fees, rental and other standard costs of running a gym, so our customers really benefit from this in our pricing structure as we pass savings on to them.

Who is TruBe’s core audience?

Our consumers are working professionals, many in finance and banking or law industries. These people work long hours, travel a lot, and are familiar with the concept and benefits of having a PT.

Our other audience is fitness providers. Personal Trainers were also affected by the shift in consumer behaviour associated with the rise of budget gyms, because in the new fitness environment, consumers trained alone or went to classes, and therefore 25 000 freelancers weren’t as busy as they could have been.

What are the main challenges or roadblocks for entrepreneurs today?

With tech there are high costs – for instance the cost per acquisition per user is very high as the product isn’t in front of the user. If you think about it you have many stages to get through before you have a real customer.

Finding tech talent can also be tough – you want to find not only the best minds, but as a start up, we’re quite small, so it’s very important the personality gels with the team, and that they can support the vision of the company.

What is the most personally difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur for you?

I’m really hands-on with TruBe – for instance I personally select all our PTs- but I also have to project the vision and remove myself from the details so I can be a better leader.

Do you think you were “made to be” an entrepreneur? What would you be doing if you were not doing TruBe?

It has always been in my nature to build and create. In fact, it’s not only my passion for fitness that drives me forward with TruBe, but it’s also in my nature to be a problem solver – which is essential with a start-up.

What is your leadership style?

I am a collaborative leader, and I strive to empower my team to take the right risks and fully embrace their potential.

How do you balance your life at home with your life at work?

The two worlds flow naturally into each other. I also find that I get drive and energy from both worlds, the variety of being a working mother means I get inspiration from home and the office

How has your upbringing and background shaped you?

My international background taught me how to adapt to new languages and cultures from a young age. I’m Russian, was brought up in Switzerland and I’m Jewish. Moving around a lot really toughened me up. I knew I had to carve my own path and establish an identity that would allow me to fit in to new surroundings.

Tell me a way in which you are fearless?

Fear is a feeling that you get for an instant – it’s a response to something, but it’s not always rational.

I tend to take a longer term view of the challenges that life has presented me with – and I think it’s really important to ignore the little voice of doubt in your head and look at the bigger picture.

I founded my first company when I was 19 and I knew I had to aim high and push to be successful.

With TruBe I think I was fearless in launching the company in a saturated market. We knew the consumer wanted more options in terms of access to fitness, but we didn’t have a miracle recipe.

What was the most humiliating setback or failure in your career, and how did you get up and STAND UP from it?

When we launched TruBe, it was after months of hard work, research, anticipation and excitement. We knew the consumer’s response would be key to developing the product, and we were excited to start analysing their behaviour in order to improve the platform. We then launched, and we didn’t get many bookings for the first few months. I was driven to find a solution. That impetus forced me to reconsider our business model, and TruBe now has several thousand bookings a month.

What do you hope your daughters learn from you? Do you think being a working mum is good for them?

I want them to embrace failure but also try really hard to achieve things.

I hope that being a working mum demonstrates this value to them.

I fundamentally believe there is no better way to teach your children things than by setting the example through your own behaviour.

London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Do you feel like an “outsider” in London?

London is a melting pot of so many different backgrounds and a lot of people living here have multiple cultural identities. It’s a truly international scene and I feel that it embraces all of me.

I’m also very much a citizen of the world.

I went to an international school, and I really enjoy immersing myself in different cultures and embracing the rich differences between them.

What is your favourite thing about London?

In terms of business, the tech scene is really exciting and I feel like there is so much talent and opportunity.

In my personal life, I’m a passionate art collector and the scene here is incredible. There are so many great galleries and exhibitions.

Favourite city?

I can’t pick just one, but I have love for London, Tel Aviv, Moscow, and New York.

How would your friends describe you?

Creative, sport-lover, fitness fanatic.

I’m also very straightforward – and sometimes this means straight talking.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

tacitness

It hasn’t rained here in over a month now over by . We are now considered to be in a drought at this time.

viscerotonic

We can finally see our house after having some work done next to . It really looks beautiful.

Page 1 of 41234»