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The Emmy Award Winning 2008 Minyanville Festivus for Children's Education


The purpose of the journey is the journey itself.

We're an inclusive-not exclusive-community.

Instead, we focused our efforts on helping kids in the good name of my grandfather. The Ruby Peck Foundation is a tribute to my best friend and moral compass, a way for us to connect and smile still.

Thank you all for all you do to support tomorrow's leaders, healers, dreamers and visionaries. A dream is only as powerful as those who believe in it and without you, there would be no us.

I speak for the entire family when I express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support. There are millions of Minyans throughout the world and we're the second fastest growing financial website on the planet.

We can affect positive change and we will affect positive change.

Setting the Stage

The first week in December was circled on the Critter calendar for a long time, with The Emmy Awards on Tuesday and Festivus on Thursday.

The master plan was easy enough as we mapped year-end-win the award and host a snazzy soiree for a wonderful cause. All along, I reminded myself of the immortal words of Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein.

"This... could... work!"

When we first found out about the nomination on November 3rd, a powerful anticipatory energy emerged. It was unspoken at first-superstition runs deep in the 'Ville-but we referenced it with increased frequency as time passed. "It's an honor to be nominated," we repeatedly told ourselves, "it's our first time out of the gate."

Meanwhile, we had our hands full at MVHQ. Stocks plunged as credit froze, calling into question the very survival of our finance-based economy. Our foremost priority in Minyanville is to help folks navigate this difficult environment and the effort took an emotional toll on us all.

Sleep became increasingly difficult as the kinetic energy built. "New approaches to financial and business reporting," I whispered to President Fish in the privacy of his office, "how do we not win the hardware?" I said it for two reasons-first, to put it into the universe and second, to toy with my best friend of 21 years.

Everything seemingly came to a head at the same time. As we left the office Tuesday morning and headed to The Rainbow Room, we asked Jill what the registered attendance was for Festivus.

"We're at 400," she said with a nervous smile, "we sold out last week at 300."

The seven of us walked across town, engaging in small talk while others were in deep thought. I occasionally glanced towards the sky and rubbed the gold bracelet my grandmother gave to Ruby for their 40th wedding anniversary.

We arrived at Rockefeller Center and took the elevator to the top floor.

"We're 65 floors closer to Ruby." I said in the strongest voice I could, "That's a good sign."

The Envelope Please

We sat at table thirteen, front row to the left of the stage. I live on the thirteenth floor in my Manhattan apartment, which I also took as a sign. I reminded myself that I was looking for signs but it didn't matter. You have to believe in your own dream and profitability always begins within.

We ate lunch as The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences handed out the glistening goddesses and we anxiously eyed the program. We chatted softly between ourselves but as our category approached, silent tension grew. It is a wonderful thing to be nominated and for a precious few seconds longer, we still had a chance.

The legendary Bill Small stepped on stage and said "Our next category honors some of the more creative examples in business and financial reporting being broadcast over the air and on the web today."

They showed clips of the three, Minyanville's World in Review and Mr. Small continued.

"The vast majority were not network entries that were nominated but newspapers and magazines who are doing remarkable work on the Internet-television on the Internet, excellent work-so to my colleagues at CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN, you might take a look at that and see why they get nominated and you don't."

He began to unseal the envelope and my heart stopped beating.

"The Emmy for new approaches to business and financial reporting goes to…"

I shot up from my chair and planted a kiss on the cheek of Kevin Wassong, my best friend and someone who left a high profile professional perch to chase his dream. The next few seconds were a haze as I found myself on the podium surrounded by our Emmy-Award winning team.

"I am Todd Harrison, the founder and CEO of Minyanville, although at this point I feel like a cross between Sally Field and John Belushi in the cafeteria scene in Animal House."

I took a deep breath; I was overwhelmed with emotion. Think Rod Tidwell during the Larry King interview in Jerry Maguire. I'm not gonna cry... I'm not gonna cry...

"You know they say that a dream is only as powerful as those who believe in it and it is with humility that I accept this on behalf of not only our team and Kevin Wassong and everybody up here and the partners who believed in us but the entire Minyanville community around the world that believes that we can affect positive change-and we will affect positive change-if we stick together in this world."

I paused, trying to maintain composure for one more sentence.

"And... to my grandfather Ruby," as I kissed the Emmy and held it towards the sky, "This is for you."

We were ushered off stage to the photo gallery and didn't hear what happened next.

Bill Small smiled as he stepped to the podium. "I wonder if anyone is left in the office?" The crowd laughed long. "Their president gave me his calling card with pictures of Hoofy and Boo, who I expect don't have executive positions."

Click here for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences official webcast (Minyanville begins at 46:15).

He continued on to the next category, but not without a chuckle.

Leave it to Fish to work the stage while accepting his Emmy.
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