Get to Know You: Brian Rendine
Get to Know You: Brian Rendine 1024 1024 MPatton


In today’s get to know you post, we’re talking with our Director of Program Development, Brian Rendine.

I am Brian Rendine, outdoor enthusiast, father of two boys and husband to a wonderful wife!

United EVENTures is an opportunity for companies to improve their team morale through fun and engaging activities that will leave a lasting impression. I am the Director of Program Development and I work with clients to build their team experience with United EVENTures. The client dreams up the team building event that they want to experience and then it’s my job to make it happen. I work with the company to tailor the experience to coincide with a goal their team wants to achieve. If a team wants to work on communication, I’ll work with them to design a program that encourages positive and thorough communication. Long and short of it, I make dreams come true!

The programs and services we offer motivate me to work hard for both our employees and our clients. It matters when you can see that you made a definitive difference and our clients leave with smiling faces.

When I was younger I debated between being a doctor or a teacher. I ended up teaching Physics for ten years before heading out with United EVENTures. I guess there is a common thread in there somewhere; science, coaching, and helping people reach their goals.

You never really know what you’ve achieved in life until you look back on it later. Right now it’s a work in progress, but my two boys are my biggest achievement.  In ten years I hope to be happy, healthy, and continuing to share ideas and change lives.






This “Healing the Children” Volunteer will Give You a New Outlook on Life
This “Healing the Children” Volunteer will Give You a New Outlook on Life 932 621 Emilie

Healing the Children New Jersey is a local chapter of Healing the Children, an amazing volunteer organization which provides medical services to children in need, both internationally and domestically. HTCNJ provides these services in many ways- from sending medical prescriptions abroad, to sending entire medical teams to perform operations in countries like South Africa and Panama.

Other times, when international children have especially complex diagnoses, it becomes necessary to bring the child to the United States for extended medical care. This stay can last a few months, or it could even last over a year. During this time, children stay with incredibly generous volunteer host families, who devote their time towards helping children in need.

One such host family is the Alectoridises. Incredibly, this family has hosted children with HTCNJ for over 20 years. Recently, I was lucky enough to talk to Jackie Alectoridis to learn more about some of these amazing experiences that she has had over the past two decades.

What is the most memorable experience you have had with HTCNJ?

Honestly every experience is memorable.  It is hard to just pick one.  I have always felt as though each experience is unique and a miracle in it’s own way.  I have seen burn victims scarred from head to toe share how grateful they are for life!  I have witnessed children who are blind or missing a limb learn survival skills that most adults haven’t learned in a lifetime.  And all of them are happy…..just purely and sincerely happy.  They have all taught me so much about living and have each been a gift in their own way.  I could write a book about each of them.
Can you tell us about one of the children who has stayed with you over the years?
Again, it is difficult to choose one child or story but Lesly’s story is quite a miracle.  Lesly is from the Domincan Republic and comes from a very poor family.  Lesly, like many other family members on her mother’s side, including her mother, brother, aunts, uncles, and cousins was born with cataracts.  This genetic condition would easily have been corrected when Lesly was a baby if she was born in the United States.  But none of Lesly’s family members received corrective surgery and Lesly’s case was worse than any other case in the family.
Lesly was completely blind.  She arrived in the United States when she was 3 years old.  She spent the first day in my home scanning the environment with her hands.  She covered the entire house, touching everything and learning where everything was.  She smelled and licked many things, using her other senses to learn about her new environment.  For a three year old child she was quite independent and a tough cookie.
We were so excited for her first appointment with the eye doctor to see what the process would be to help get this child vision.  Unfortunately the doctor explained that because Lesly had gone without vision for almost 4 years that even if they removed the cataracts her brain may never learn vision.  They went ahead with the surgeries but they were not hopeful.  They performed 3 surgeries.  They removed the cataracts one eye at a time and one last surgery to correct the muscles that were causing her eyes to cross.  After each surgery we waited anxiously for a miracle.  We stood in front of her and waved our hands and held up fingers and prayed for some kind of reaction……but nothing. 
healing the children new jersey, healing the children, charity, medical services, volunteer
One day, several weeks after surgery, our friend’s daughter was playing with Lesly and stuck her toungue out at her.  Lesly mimicked her and stuck her tongue out also!  Just like that….Lesly started to see things.  She was recognizing her reflection in windows and looking at herself in the mirror exclaiming “It’s me!  It’s me!”  She was writing on everything.  Taking crayon and coloring on her own hands and proudly showing everyone the scribbles in the palm of her hand.  She would scribble on table surfaces and then stare closely at her creations for several minutes at a time.   On Halloween she admired her reflection in her witches costume and stared forever examining every piece of a candy in a big bowl.
By the time Lesly left us in her adorable glasses she could tell the difference between pink and purple.  Knowing that there was hope for her to read and write was a miracle.  After Lesly left her little brother Louie also came and received the same surgery and glasses and because he was younger his vision was even better!
Why do you volunteer for HTCNJ and what does HTCNJ mean to you?
Being a host parent is something that is part of me.  Every child that has stayed with me has become a part of my family.  When I think about how each child’s life is changed because of the work that Healing the Children does, I think about my own children and what that would mean to me…..and what it does mean to me because of how much I love each of these children.  One case at a time…..every one is worth it and changes the lives of many and hopefully changes the world for the best.
healing the children new jersey, healing the children, charity, medical services, volunteer
How to Help

People like Jackie have made it possible for the lives of children all around the world to be completely changed. To learn more about the services of HTCNJ, go check out their website. You can help HTCNJ by being a host family yourself, or contact HTCNJ about giving a presentation about the organization at your place of work! Of course, doctors, nurses and translators can also offer to volunteer their services. Or, you can choose to donate: every bit helps, and 90% of all donations go directly to programs and services! Help out this amazing organization today!

new jersey, craft beer, microbrewery, new, alementary, hackensack, bergen county, healing the children new jersey
The Alementary in Hackensack- Jersey’s New Microbrewery
The Alementary in Hackensack- Jersey’s New Microbrewery 600 555 Emilie

The Alementary Brewing Co. is the first microbrewery of Hackensack, and a very recent addition to the list of microbreweries across New Jersey. Alementary opened only about three months ago (their grand opening was April 16, 2016). It was started by Blake Crawford and Mike Roosevelt, who wanted a local brewery that Bergen County could claim as its own. Thus, you will see that Alementary embraces the culture and atmosphere of the Bergen County area which inspired it’s creation.

Interestingly enough, both Crawford and Roosevelt have scientific backgrounds, and only switched to the beer industry more recently. Roosevelt has a doctorate in molecular biology, and Crawford was previously a chemical engineer. Nowadays, they are excited to focus their attention on creating fresh, local beer for their community.

Even though only open for a few short months, Alementary has had many exciting events and new beers introduced to their tap list. Just one week ago, they added their first Double IPA called “Hops and Dreams.” Additionally, Alementary offers a wide variety of beers currently available in their tap room. This ranges from their “Let’s Begin” gose, to their “Bitter Steve” english bitter, to their “1st Session” session IPA.

If you’re looking to try some of their amazing brews, stop by Charlie Brown’s in Oradell on July 18th, 7-9 PM for Alementary’s Tap Takeover. All drafts will cost only $3! Proceeds will benefit Healing the Children New Jersey, a volunteer organization that provides medical services to children in need both internationally and domestically.

After checking out their amazing beers, make sure you pick up some Alementary merch. You can pick up a t-shirt for only $15, or grab yourself a hat or a hoodie! To learn even more about this microbrewery which seeks to bring out the best of both art and science, check out their website. New Jersey’s new microbrewery will be sure to blow you away!


Healing the Children, Healing the Children New Jersey, medical care, children, donation, charity, volunteer organization
Healing the Children New Jersey: The Amazing Organization Right in Your Backyard
Healing the Children New Jersey: The Amazing Organization Right in Your Backyard 960 360 Emilie

Healing the Children New Jersey, a chapter of the larger organization, Healing the Children, is an amazing volunteer organization located right nearby in Hawthorne, NJ. This incredible organization brings medical care to children in need, both internationally and domestically. In fact, the New Jersey chapter alone has provided medical services to 33,000 children since 1981 (about 1,000 children per year).

So what does Healing the Children New Jersey do? HTCNJ offers four main services. The first is that they provide medical care for New Jersey children with complicated diagnoses and developmental disabilities. This includes anything from providing eyewear, to orthotics, to therapy, to special care.

HTCNJ also provides international care. Volunteer doctors and nurses have been sent abroad to assist in a large number of countries, including Bolivia, India, Kenya, Panama, Thailand, Vietnam, and more. These volunteer teams consist of everything from pediatricians to surgeons to translators. Most recently, HTCNJ traveled to Trujillo, Peru to provide dental and ophthalmologic care. HTCNJ additionally sends medical aid to other countries, including medications, dental supplies, and surgical equipment to hospitals.

For children with more complex medical needs that can’t be served internationally, international children are brought to New Jersey for an extended stay during which they receive medical care. This may last anywhere from a few months to over a year. During this time, children stay with volunteer host families in the area. HTCNJ will help with the process of getting a Visa and airline ticket for each child that comes over internationally.

For more information about these amazing programs, check out their website today! It contains additional information about past trips, their annual fundraising Gala, and services that HTCNJ provides.

So how can you help? HTCNJ is always looking for volunteer families to host visiting children. Consider hosting a child while he/she is undergoing medical treatment, and you will truly change a life forever! If you are looking for a way to help without such a large commitment, contact HTCNJ about fundraising campaigns, or about bringing HTCNJ to your workplace, where they can give a presentation about the organization. You can also make a difference by donating here, where over 90% of your donation will go directly to programs and services.

An even easier way to help HTCNJ is by liking the United EVENTures Facebook Page. For every like that we receive until July 20th, we will donate $1 to HTCNJ. Do your part and tell your friends to help!


food, jersey girls food tours, jersey city, alessia aron, Zeppelin Hall Bier Garden, Porta, where to eat, places to eat, dining, dinner, lunch, orale, razza, asbury park, pizza
Jersey Girls Food Tours, @JGFoodTours: Where to Eat in Jersey City
Jersey Girls Food Tours, @JGFoodTours: Where to Eat in Jersey City 750 497 Emilie

Written by: Allesia Aron, Co-Founder of Jersey Girls Food Tours

I am not a winter person. I hate the cold. As the weather starts warming up, I am constantly fighting between being skinny or eating the mouth-watering taco or Soppressata pizza (Don’t worry, Ill tell you where you can find them). It’s hard not to want to go out and explore new places to eat and drink! The weather might not be as warm as we’d like it to be by end of April, but we’ve curated a few spots that might inspire you to explore a few new places around Jersey City – both indoors and outdoors. Be warned, these might not help you squeeze into that hot new bikini you just got from Victoria’s Secret, but your significant other will love you anyway (especially after they try some of this amazing food!).

Seasonal Menus at Porta, Orale, and Razza

While it should be a staple that restaurants always use seasonal and local produce and ingredients, that isn’t always the case. My three go-to’s for the best quality ingredients and seasonal menus are Porta, Orale, and Razza, and they just happen to all be in close walking distance of each other.


Orale is a Mexican-fusion restaurant right by the Grove Street PATH. Aside from making the strongest and tastiest margaritas in town, their menu offers a unique twist on Mexican cuisine.

What’s New:

The Barbacoa Pork Nachos: these are not your average nachos. If Orale puts nachos on the menu, they are going to be epic. Don’t you hate when you eat through the first layer of cheesy nachos and the ones at the bottom have no toppings left? The worst. But not at Orale. Each layer of chips has a healthy serving of smoked gouda (not cheddar!), house made BBQ pork, yellow habanero salsa, black beans, raddish, crema and pico de gallo. Nacho overload.

I’m a big guacamole fan. Orale offers a guacamole trio sampler and you can choose from over 9 different types of Guacamole. Recently added was the Doriloco. If you’ve been to LA or Mexico City, you may have heard this word, which kind of translates to “Crazy Dorito.” Bodegas would cut open the Dorito bags and throw in all sorts of crazy ingredients; grated carrots, jicama, cucumber, pickled pork rinds, peanuts, jellied candies, lime juice, chili powder, and swirls of several kinds of fruity syrup and hot sauce. Naturally, Orale had to somehow incorporate this into their Guacamole line-up. The Doriloco guac has doritos, fresh fruit and hot sauce. Don’t knock it til you try it! I tried it this weekend at Boozy Brunch. Oh, and boozy brunch: twenty-five dollars for brunch open bar. You’ve been warned. Let’s just say Monday was a blur.

Other Top Picks:

The pork belly tacos! Suvee-cooked pork belly, aka slow cooked for 18 hours, and then crisped to perfection, served with pickled red onions. THIS is where to eat an amazing taco.

If you are a tequila fan, they have a great selection of tequilas, including my favorite, 1800 Coconut.


Asbury Park is my favorite shore town so when I heard Porta was opening in Jersey City, outdoor fun definitely came to mind. This old department store turned industrial, Napoleon-style pizza joint, spans from Columbus Drive to Newark Ave, and so does the rooftop, which hosts two large bars. Coming this summer, you’ll be able to order not just small bites, but their delicious pizzas too up on the rooftop. It does get pretty packed on the weekends so I prefer dining during the week. Enjoy live music on certain weekdays under the soft-lit Edison string light bulbs.

What’s New:

Spring Betty pizza – creamed goat cheese and spinach béchamel, thyme, and garlic. This pie is definitely something different. I find it to be a lot lighter and a great option for Spring weather even if you’re craving pizza!

Tyrion Clamister – (any GoT fans?!) A ton of flavor and a bit creamy. Baby clams, bacon, Vidalia onion, lemon, parsley, olive oil, breadcrumbs.

Other Must-Try

14 and a half – I mentioned that I would tell you where to get the best Soppressata pizza. This is it. A little spicy, a lotta cheesy, all delicious. San Marzano tomatoes, homemade mozzarella, homemade ricotta, hot soppressata, Calalbrian chiles, oregano, and EVOO.

Wash it down with Lambrusco.

Razza Pizza Artigianale

Chef Dan Richer is a James Beard nominated chef, a master bread maker and very serious about pizza. I dare to admit I am not a tomato sauce fan, yet I find myself asking for a side of tomato sauce (no, he doesn’t use Italian san marzanos here!) to dip my crusts in when I eat at Razza.

A Must-Order This Spring

Maple Bacon Pie at Razza is back! If you are a big fan of savory with a touch of sweet and smoky, this is the pie for you.

Rooftop Dining/Outdoor Dining

There are so many great rooftop and outdoor bars in Jersey City. Skinner’s Loft has a quaint and intimate rooftop that is great for date night. If you’re looking for a little bit more fun with a big group (and possibly pretzels and pizza), check out the Zeppelin Hall Bier Garden or Porta. The people watching from outside of Left Bank Burger Bar is second to none along with almost everywhere on NEWARK AVE! Take a stroll in pedestrian plaza in between stops to soak up some sun and work off all that beer you’re drinking! There is no shortage of options for outdoor seating so if one spot is full, your’e sure to find a spot next door or close by.

Food Tours with Jersey Girls Food Girls

Can’t decide on which amazing restaurant to try first? Try them all and more on a Jersey Girls Food Tour. Yes, this is totally a shameless plug but you can thank me after you experience a tour! Five to six restaurants, along with drink pairings, meeting chefs and owners, learning about the city and eateries we visit, and a pretty damn awesome tour guide. Especially if you’re new to the area, this is the best way to learn and appreciate this great city we live in. And no, you don’t just have to be a Jersey girl to take a tour. Don’t take my word for it though. Go here, and I’ll see you on a tour, or buy someone a gift certificate to a tour. We’ll even make the gift card pretty for you.

About the Author: Alessia is co-founder of Jersey Girls Food Tours based in Jersey City, NJ. When she’s not running food tours, she’s planning her next vacation for herself or others, a service she recently introduced through the business. Her favorite destination, so far, is Colombia and hopes to expand tours to South America in the future!

deskercise, exercise, workout, desk, office, bicep curl, push up, strength training, matthew locascio, wellness, health, lifestyle
Deskercises: Shred in Your Suit
Deskercises: Shred in Your Suit 859 643 Emilie

By: Matthew Locascio

Welcome to the second installment of my weekly blog Deskercises. Showing you how to get a great workout from the confines of your cubicle. Today we’re focusing on upper body exercises you can do while in the office.

Let’s start off with a great warm up and terrific way to rip up those chest muscles. I like to call this one the Office Pleasing Push-Up. Make sure to clear off a small space at the front of your desk. Now place your hands on the edge of your desk at shoulder length apart. While standing move your feet backwards to about a 45 degree angle so that you are holding yourself up on an incline.

With feet now back and even, hands shoulder length apart grasping the edge of the desk and arms extended, do a push up motion. Note that when your body comes towards the desk your chest should be in alignment with the edge of the desk. Try to do anywhere from 10-15 push-ups. Take a one minute break in between and repeat 3 times!

Next we have the Deadline Extension Tricep Extension.  This exercise works the backs of your arms more often and affectionately referred to by people who suffer from flab in that area as “their wings”. While standing grab a heavy book, stack of reports or papers, or anything else with decent weight.

Now while grabbing with both hands hold it behind your head in the area of your upper back where your shoulder blades meet. Keeping the area from your elbows to your shoulder blades in place extend arms upward above your head while only moving your forearms. You should feel the burn in your triceps and make sure not to clunk yourself in the back of the head while doing this! Try for 15-20 reps take 30 seconds in between and then repeat 3 times.

Now for my favorite exercise the Book Worm Bicep Curl. Take two books of the same size and weight and place one in each hand. The heavier the better as long as the weight is not over bearing. While seated at your desk or standing place elbows in at the sides and lock into place so that there is no movement above the elbow.

Now do alternating Bicep curls. Try to stay even balanced whether seated or standing and really try to focus on using those Bicep muscles to lift the books. Try for 20 reps each arm, take 30 seconds and repeat 3 more times.

Finally let’s try to get that posture perfect for your big meeting with the boss with what I call Suit Flexing Shoulder Squeezes. Remember first impressions are everything and if you’re hunched over its going to give off the wrong one. While seated at your desk straighten out your back and squeeze your shoulder blades back and together as if someone has poured an ice cold drink down your back or as if you are trying to hold your favorite work pen between your shoulder blades. Be careful not to shrug the shoulders up as this could hurt your neck. Squeeze and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 6 more times.

Do these exercises and you’ll be looking better in your work attire then you ever could’ve imagined! Best of luck in your workout. Enjoy!

About the Author, Matt Locascio 

Matt is the owner of IHT (In-Home Training LLC).  Matt has been working with North Jersey residents in exercise prescription and fitness training for over 10 years!


  • Exercise Science
  • Sports Medicine
  • Weight Lose Programs
  • Bridal Bootcamps


  • Certified by the American Aerobic Association International (AAAI)
  • Certified by the International Sports Medicine Association (ISMA)
Contact Matt – Email:; Phone # 908-875-3241
Ryan Devir Comedy aka @RYPD12
Ryan Devir Comedy aka @RYPD12 663 884 admin

United EVENTures is always on the hunt for new talent. Recently we were introduced to Ryan Devir and are really excited to add him to some upcoming events. Ryan Devir is stand-up comedian from Old Tappan, New Jersey.  He graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications- Radio/TV/Film and is the co-founder of Reel Genius Media a – professional media company that creates media for all types of entertainment events from start to finish. Ryan specializes in writing, scripting, stand-up and improv and was recently named winner of the NYC Comedy 360 Festival.