Baskow - In The News
Baskow is acclaimed as one of the top Destination Management & Celebrity/Talent brokers & producers in the world, but in addition to that, we pride ourselves on being involved in the community. Below you will find some news on our most recent charitable endeavors and awards we've received.
Jaki Baskow:Basking in Celebration of 40 Years of Success
She’s been called the Queen of Las Vegas, and it’s a title she deserves and carries well. The founder and CEO of Baskow Talent and the Baskow & Associates Destination Management Company, Jaki Baskow just recently celebrated 40 years on her throne. Through smiles and a few tears, I talked to her about some of the highlights of those four decades and how it all began.
by Arthur Bloberger
Arthur: Congratulations on forty years of professional accomplishments here in Las Vegas, Jaki. How did it start?
Jaki: Thank you. I’ve had the most amazing journey here. I came out here in 1976 to work for a movie studio for a man named Bob Kane. He ended up selling his movie script two month later. It was called Batman. The rest is history.
Arthur: Wow! You know I’m just about the biggest Batman fan there is.
Jaki: Are you? Yeah, Bob was the creator of Batman.
Arthur: Bob Kane was one of my heroes and idols.
Jaki: I came out here with one of my neighbors. She moved to California and got a job and became the assistant to director Sidney Pollack and I stayed here and got a job with Telly Savalas on Kojak for two months. That was the beginning of my career.
Arthur: Then you started a small talent agency. What was your first big break?
Jaki: A man named Jerry Gordon, who was using my models for golf tournaments, referred me to somebody from Italy, who asked if I could produce a TV show. I had no idea what I was doing, but I said, “Of course.” And that took me into 18 years of bringing the biggest movie stars in the world over to Italy, from Kevin Costner to Jennifer Lopez for San Remo to Andy Garcia and Sharon Stone. I’m the girl that took Stallone to the $40 million dinner at Sylvio Berlusconi’s house, who ended up financing a lot of his films. And so on and so on and many other movie stars and people later.
Arthur: What about right here in Las Vegas?
Jaki: I opened Caesars Palace. That’s where it all started for me here. I was an out-of-house contractor for them. They started using models and talent from me, then I started doing all their high roller parties. Then I started doing all their conventions, and 40 years later, I’m still a preferred vendor with them.
Arthur: As a Destination Management Company.
Jaki: I could not make a living off casting movies and TV shows here. I’ve done about 600 movies, TV shows, commercials and infomercials. I started doing parties and events, corporate America, booking hotel rooms and creating memorable experiences for people. I started booking speakers, everybody from President Bush 41 to General Schawrzkopf right after 9/11, Goldie Hawn, Wayne Newton and Michael Douglas and many others. There were four years of doing all the speakers and entertainers for the IBM Golden Circle, so we got to travel to fabulous places with our clients. We were in Hawaii like a month at a time with IBM. I’ve gotten to travel to Italy every month of the year for 18 years. I’ve lived the dream!
Arthur: It sounds like a great dream. And I know you’ve done your share of giving back.
Jaki: We do these crazy parties and events and I get to pay it forward, like with our Canon event for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I get to work with fabulous people like John Walsh(America’s Most Wanted) and John Arnos. I’m blessed were going to be doing it 11 years this year. We have people like Bryan Cranston, who was just up for an Oscar for Trumbo. He’s one of the biggest supporters and usually hosts the event when he’s not working on a film – and Richard Burgi and Alice Cooper and a lot of those guys. We usually have the same cast of usual suspects every year, and then we do a big celebrity golf tournament. One of the big highlights of my career is having the pleasure of working with Canon and the Center. And every year, right before the event, there’s a big happening where they find a child, like last year where they found those seven girls that were locked into a house in Chicago.
Arthur: That kind of thing is horrifying.
Jaki: I recently went to see the movie, Room, and I think everybody should see it. It really hits home on how easy it is for somebody’s child to be abducted. I really support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in a big way.
Arthur: I’ve studied up on you, I know you’ve done much more.
Jaki: In the life of doing this, I’ve gotten to adopt Make-A-Wish kids and belong to different charities like Opportunity Village. I think that’s really what business is about – you work hard to become successful and then you pass it on to other people. We try to mentor a lot of kids at University and the Hospitality School here. I love what I do. Forty years later, every day, sometimes seven days a week, just loving it.
Arthur: Forty years is a long time. Thoughts of retirement?
Jaki: Never. Maybe sometimes I think about becoming part of a bigger company or maybe even working a little smaller because I really want to concentrate on our Entertainment Speakers Bureau. But I can never see myself retiring.
Arthur: Because you’re having too much fun.
Jaki: I do have fun! I love coming to work every day. Age is just a number, it’s how you live your life.
Arthur: I’m a big kid inside, if you couldn’t tell from my Batman glee. How about you?
Jaki: I’m never growing up.
Arthur: What do you have in the works right now you’d like to talk about?
Jaki: I’m in the middle of writing a book with Marilyn Sherman called The Gutsy Girls’ Guide to Opening a Business. And I was just published in Loren Slocum‘s book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive. It tells a little bit of my story, how I got here and my 49-year cold case on my dad.
Arthur: I know, but I didn’t know if you’d want to talk about your father’s unsolved murder. I know it happened in New Jersey when you were 16. Do you want to go there?
Jaki: I get emotional, but yes. 49 years later, we now know who it is. We don’t think that person’s ever going to go to jail, we think that he might be involved as a police informer. But I believe that people who take somebody’s life have to answer to the man upstairs.
Arthur: I’m a big believer in karma.
Jaki: (Tearing up) After 49 years, I’m sorry…
Arthur: It’s alright, Jaki, I understand.
Jaki: Forty-nine years later, I met a guy named Joe Schillaci at one of my charity events, and he took the case on for free. We realized that this person is never going to jail, but these are good tears, because 49 years later when somebody knocks on your door and helps you with a case about somebody who’s gotten away with killing somebody, well, it’s closure for me. In my Chicken Soup story, I talk about closure.
Arthur: Closure brings healing. I’m glad you found it.
Jaki: I’ve been blessed. Who’d have thought I’d end up working with John Walsh? John never knew all these years that I had a cold case on my dad. I sort of waited to tell him, He had his own cold case going on, but I finally told him last year.
Arthur: After knowing him how long?
Jaki: Ten years. I had met Joe Schillaci (of A&E’s The First 48) and a man named Lenny DePaul (A&E’sManhunters: Fugitive Task Force), who told John about my cold case. I think my biggest thing now is I’m able to pass on closure to somebody else, because we dwell on things, whether it be a cold case or the loss of a loved one or whatever. We dwell on these things for a long time and I think the important thing about life is that we enjoy each day because time is so short and precious.
Arthur: Yes, it is, and your story touches my heart.
Jaki: I think people come into your life for a reason. Like they say, a reason, a season or forever.
Arthur: Yes, people come into your life for a reason, although you don’t always know what it is.
Jaki: Absolutely. You know, I look at a lot of things differently, like my dad’s unfortunate death. I look at things that I don’t know for what the reasons are, but I know that things happen for a reason and life makes you stronger. It makes you stronger and I think it makes you realize that we have each day, one day at a time, and we can’t always count on things. You learn that as you go through life, that money isn’t everything. The most important things are your family, your health, the people around you that you love and your friends.
Arthur: Love is the most important thing there is.
Jaki: Absolutely. I’m all about that, Arthur.
Arthur: I can see that, Jaki
Jaki: Thank you. People are important to me. Yesterday, we happened to be at Caesars for a meeting and I struck up a conversation with a janitor in the elevator, because I think that everybody’s position in life and what we do is so important. And not one person is better than the other. I had great parents, and they taught me always to treat everybody the same. And I think that that’s taken me through my journey. I try not to be affected.
Arthur: Though you work with celebrities and movie stars and president of countries.
Jaki: They’re just people. I sat down with President Bush Sr. and we talked about Springer Spaniels. I had a great two-hour conversation with him. It doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting President Clinton. I think just meeting and having the opportunity to work with these people, it’s an honor.
Arthur: So, do you want to talk politics? Everyone else is right now. As an extremely successful woman, what do you think about the possibility of the first woman president?
Jaki: (Laughing) I think she’s very smart and she knows world affairs. I think in the world of politics, it’s not about how much money you have or whatever. It’s about helping this country get back together again because of all the crazy things that are going on here, and some of the things that are going on in Europe, that are out of everybody’s control. We need to really stand strong, and whoever becomes our president, whether we like them or we don’t like them, we have to be supportive of them. We have to be one united team as a country.
Arthur: You’ve done a lot for women, yourself.
Jaki: It’s very important that women have a voice. I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of a lot of women’s organizations and it’s really about women helping women. There have been women with successful businesses here that have challenges. I know that we’re all going through the challenge right now where we’ve started our companies, but they’re small companies, in a sense, compared to the bigger boys. If you’ve seen the movie, You’ve Got Mail, what’s happening, I know in my industry, is that people are becoming national consortiums. So, the little bookstore is getting eaten up by Barnes & Noble.
Arthur: But you’re so successful. Has someone tried to eat you up?
Jaki: I opened as a small talent agency. We’re now and still the biggest talent agency in Vegas, but now the destination management company is a whole new story. There are companies here that have come in and stolen employees, like mine, in the past, and they open companies and do it in each city in the United States and Europe and they become a big national company. And it’s hard to compete on a national level, as good as you are, when you have those with offices in every city in the country. So you wonder, do we want to become part of a national consortium? Do we want to become part of a bigger company? Because the smaller companies are like joining forces and eating each other. I just know that whatever my decision is in life, that I just want to keep my company going until I don’t want to do it anymore.
Arthur: And then you can sell it off for big bucks.
Jaki: That’s a whole other story. I sold my company last year to a Wall Street guy named Steve Black, an amazing man. I was introduced to him by Bob Massey. Semi-kidding around, I said to him, “Do you know someone that wants to buy my company?” And he bought my company two months later. He stayed here two months, bought the company and bought the building. Then he was approached by his ex-boss, probably one of the 15 richest men in the country, to run his 120-some companies all over the world, his personal affairs. And Steve, being the mensch that he is, had to come back and tell me that he could no longer own my company, and he actually paid me for my company and gave me my office building back as a Christmas gift.
Arthur: So he bought if from you and paid you in full and gave it back to you? That’s a miracle.
Jaki: It’s a God story. But I was actually sort of sad. To me, it wasn’t really about the money. It was that I thought Steve could take us to a different level. He’s still a very dear friend and confidante.
Arthur: Those kind of friends, we all need!
Jaki: The most incredible thing is that you meet people and people come and go, but when somebody like that walks into your office, it’s almost like they were sent from Heaven. He and his wife, Robin, are amazing people. I’m going to be working with them and their winery in California on an event here in May. They are just incredible people of their word. And I say “of their word” in big capital letters, because so many people are not of their word.
Arthur: So true. If what you say doesn’t carry water, you really have nothing else.
Jaki: I’m all about integrity. That’s all we have - is our word. And loyalty. Loyalty in life is everything.
Arthur: That’s no doubt why you have been so successful, Jaki. Again, congratulations on 40 years of amazing accomplishments!
Jaki: Thank you for acknowledging me and my company, Arthur.
Reception brings out stars to help missing children
By DOROTHY HUFFEY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Celebrities are part of the attraction of the annual Canon Appreciation Reception and Celebrity Golf Tournament, held each January in Las Vegas to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The red carpet reception took place Jan. 7 at the Bellagio Grand Ballroom. Seen among the entertainers and sports figures were Kurt Bevacqua, Robert Hays, Joe Regalbuto, Rollie Fingers, Paula Trickey, Tommy John, Chris Rich, Nat Moore, Adrian Zmed, Alice Cooper, Zowie Bowie, Murray SawChuck, Chloe Crawford, Rich Little, Laurie Caceres, Vinny Cimino, Philip Friedman, Chris McDonald and Roger Clemens.
Entertainment celebrities were announced by Jaki Baskow of Baskow and Associates. Baskow has produced this star-studded event for the past nine years.
Following their introduction, celebrities were interviewed by Stacey Gualandi, former KTNV-TV, Channel 13, reporter, before they joined the approximate 1,500 other guests in the ballroom.
John Arnos, representing Canon U.S.A., introduced the event’s master of ceremonies, actor Richard Burgi, and John Walsh, co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They spoke about how Canon’s technologies and products are used to protect children.
The Canon4Kids program, a partnership between Canon U.S.A. and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, donates thousands of digital cameras, fax machines, printers and scanners to help law enforcement agencies and the nonprofit center disseminate photos and information about missing children.
The partnership also produces public service announcements with missing children’s photos and gives parents tips for taking and maintaining updated photos of their children.
Walsh also spoke of his weekly investigative/documentary TV series, “The Hunt,” which airs on CNN.
The dinner featured seafood, antipasto, salads and pasta stations offering lobster ravioli, carving stations of beef tenderloin, and chicken followed by a medley of desserts and an ice cream sundae station.
A special guest was Canon U.S.A. President and CEO Joe Adachi.
Among the guests were Arnos’ family, including his wife, Sheila, daughter and son-in-law Mary Ann and John O’Farrell, and son, John Arnos.
Other guests participating in the event’s silent and live auctions were Charli and Dave Carter, Lynn and Craig Garlock, Barbara Lee and Bruce Woollen, Peggy Sanders, John Massey, Ray Packowski and Trish Williamson.
Christian Kolberg conducted the live auction for packages that included a barbecue dinner by Ferraro’s Restaurant for the bid of $1,500; a Segway for $2,000; bidder’s choice of a week provided by International Resorts for $1,500; a 22-seat box at Yankee Stadium for $4,000; a seven-night vacation divided between the islands of Hawaii and Kauai for $3,000; and two autographed guitars plus guitar lessons by Alice Cooper that sold twice for $3,000.
Headliner Frankie Moreno and his band provided the evening’s entertainment.
A celebrity golf tournament took place the next day at Tournament Players Club. Both events helped Canon raise nearly $400,000 to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s mission of bringing missing children home. During the past 16 years, this event has raised more than $5 million to benefit the organization.
The Events & Entertainment Insider Goes to the White House
I was honored to be invited to the White House to participate in the Presidential Council on Tourism and Travel March 20. My trip to Washington, D.C., was an extraordinary opportunity to learn more about the different perspectives of others in the industries that are so important to me and dear to my heart. Not only was I able to see firsthand how important our industry is, but I also felt like my voice as an American was well received.
Business owners and the United States Government alike strive to constantly improve on the experiences of all travelers, with extra importance placed on the international travelers who may be getting their first glimpses of our nation. The U.S. has seen an uptick in tourism and travel numbers. International visitation was up three percent in November 2013, according to the Office of Travel and Tourism. Visitors from outside the country spent $15.8 billion in January. Keeping those numbers rising requires creating a great experience for travelers of all kinds and making sure that all levels of the industry are represented with well-trained personnel who excel at customer service.
One of the most profound topics of the council was a focus on the Department of Parks and Recreation. There is increasing interest in showcasing our wonderful national landscape as desired destinations. Even as a world traveler and businessperson, I have yet to see many of the beautiful state parks and awe-inspiring natural wonders within the borders of the U.S. I have been very impressed by the new marketing campaign for the state parks of this country. I plan to pitch Yosemite National Park, The Grand Canyon, and other regional destinations to future clients.
Another aspect of the meetings that I found pertinent is the continued amazing job Homeland Security has done with assuring the safety of U.S. citizens and travelers from abroad. Their jobs are not easy and can be thankless at times. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that personal safety is a concern that comes first and foremost in all walks of life but is essential for the worry-free and enjoyable experience we supply in the world of tourism and travel. Be patient! The TSA is doing a great job and the added 10 minutes of inconvenience to your itinerary can make or break our livelihood.
I attended the council with my good friend (and competitor) Alan Waxler, which aided me in making an integral realization. I feel that in the world of business all competitors should be friendly and work together. Our industries could benefit greatly from less cut-throat competiveness and more unity. When businesses work together to create a favorable climate everyone stands to benefit. It helps raise the industries’ standards and ensures beneficial scenarios for both clients and companies.
This experience made me feel an overwhelming sense of pride for our line of work and it hammered home the importance of what we do. Beyond creating dazzling and dreamlike entertainment experiences for our clients we also have an enormous impact on the economy and countless other industries. It is important to keep the broader perspective in mind in our day-to-day workings and lives so that we demand the highest quality work.
We look forward to seeing you in our fabulous city of Las Vegas! Travel safe!
Ask us! E-mail your entertainment questions anytime: email@example.com
Jaki Baskow has been CEO and owner of the full-service destination management company Baskow & Associates in Las Vegas since 1976.
America's Travel and Tourism Priorities Headline White House Meeting
Senior Administration officials from multiple agencies meet with travel industry leaders to discuss key travel policies, programs to generate U.S. economic growth.
By Andrea Doyle
March 21, 2014
U.S. Travel Association, along with select industry leaders, met at the White House on March 20 to discuss America's top travel and tourism priorities and advance the goals of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which President Obama launched in May 2012 to draw 100 million international visitors to the United States by 2021.
The small-group meeting featured Administration officials and senior-level staff from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Commerce, the National Park Service, the National Economic Council and the International Trade Administration. Participants discussed national policies and programs to bolster U.S. travel security and infrastructure, welcome more visitors from across the globe and, ultimately, position travel and tourism as a long-term driver of U.S. economic growth.
"Today's meeting is yet another example of the Administration's commitment to invest in and leverage the power of travel, which is growing jobs at a rate 19 percent faster than the rest of the economy," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. "To further build on this sector's growth and realize the Administration's travel and tourism strategy goals, we need to take action on critical measures discussed in today's meeting, including increasing necessary investment in travel infrastructure, expanding the U.S. Visa Waiver Program and reauthorizing Brand USA this year.”
Jaki Baskow of Baskow and Associates, a Las Vegas-based event, meeting, and destination management service company, got the call inviting her to attend the Thursday meeting on Monday. “I’ve always been a proud American but after being part of today’s meeting and seeing how important taking care of US visitors is, I am even more proud,” says Baskow.
Adventures in Babysitting
Jaki Baskow handles some of the world’s most precious personalities
By Bobbie Katz
“Some people call me a star broker; others call me a celebrity babysitter,” laughs Baskow and Associatesowner/CEO, Jaki Baskow, who hires the most famous stars in the world for corporate gigs, special events, TV shows, commercials and more.
Of course, in this case, when it comes to the objects of her attention, “cribs” are some of the most exclusive hotel suites found anywhere on the globe; “bottles” usually involve champagne or other high-end beverages, and “toys” can be something like a pinball machine in a hotel room written into a rider in a contract. Baskow is the one who answers the cries of the rich and famous, from booking a gig to negotiating the contract, looking over the riders, obtaining the airfares, and travelling to a location in advance to make sure that the accommodations are perfect and that everything is ready for the celebrity to appear.
“Dionne Warwick wants Cristal champagne and a Pac Man machine in her room,” reveals Baskow, the winner of the 2011 Las Vegas Woman-Owned Business of the Year for Service and Excellence award, sharing some of the more unusual rider requests. “One of the most famous bands in the United States asked me for a case of suntan lotion whenever they went out in the sun, plus they wanted shrimp platters delivered to their rooms every three hours during an entire day. Diana Ross wanted a red carpet leading from her hotel room to the back of the catering department, going all the way through the kitchen to the stage.
“Another very legendary celebrity had us tent the hallways from the elevators to the kitchen, backstage and the stage so that no one could look at him or say hello,” she continues. “Two A-list pop divas wanted their hotel suites redecorated for two nights in all white – carpet, accessories, everything – including all sorts of spiritual candles. Some of the riders are crazy.”
With it all, Baskow often finds herself in “hot” water, taking the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Andy Garcia, Kevin Costner, Sharon Stone and a myriad of others overseas to Italy to appear on the Italian Oscars or at a music festival or on a TV show. Everything is done with an eye to facilitating each engagement, with nothing rocking the boat, either for star or client.
Although Baskow and Associates is a multi-faceted award-winning company, with 20 employees and 8 divisions that handle destination management, event planning, modeling, casting for TV and movies, the Las Vegas Speakers Bureau, and much more, it is the star brokering aspect that Baskow admittedly loves the most. As the first person to open a full-service talent agency in Las Vegas, the entrepreneur actually fell into that end of the business by accident.
“There was an angel on my shoulder,” Baskow admits. “Eighteen years ago, a man named Jerry Gordon was the general manager of Caesars Palace. He referred me to some people from Italy who were looking to do a TV show on location here with famous Las Vegas celebrities. The name of the show was The Mike Bonjourno Show – Mike was like the Jay Leno or David Letterman of Italy. After doing segments in Las Vegas, they ended up doing 13 shows all over the United States. I traveled with them, setting up the talent and producing the shows. I got them interviews with stars from Engelbert to George Burns, Frank Sinatra Jr, Lynda Carter, Ben Vereen, Michael Crawford and others.
“After that, I began getting calls to bring celebrities to Italy for Italian TV shows and the Italian Oscars,” she recalls. “The first star I ever brought over there was Sylvester Stallone for the Italian Oscars. I took him to dinner at the home of Silvio Berlusconi, who was a media mogul that owned TV stations all over Europe and was and is one of the wealthiest men in the world – he subsequently became the longest post war prime minister of Italy, resigning on November 12, 2011 after 17 years, At dinner, Berlusconi offered Sly $40 million to produce movies for him. It turns out that I had arranged a $40-million dinner. In fact, recently, Sly and the Italians shot a show at Radio City Music Hall.”
In reality, Baskow’s starting her business to begin with was also a fortuitous event. Her drive was spurred early on by a unique set of circumstances. Originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, her father’s murder in 1967, when she was 16, in the restaurant/bar he owned in Camden, New Jersey, not only made Baskow determined to make enough money to support her mother and younger brother but also someday to have the resources to try and find the two robbers who killed him (she recently had the cold case reopened via Joe Schillaci of 48 Hours on A&E and Lenny DePaul, Chief Inspector and Commanding Officer of the NY/NJ U.S. Marshals Service).
Moving to Las Vegas in 1976, Baskow came here to go to work for Russ Gerstein and Bob Caine, who were opening a movie studio. But before it could materialize, Caine struck it big in Hollywood with a project he had created — Batman. Baskow ended up being hired as a secretary for the Kojak series, which was being filmed in Las Vegas. It was actually Kojak star Telly Savalas who talked her into opening a talent agency.
“At that time, there was only one talent agency for actors in Las Vegas,” Baskow remembers. “I borrowed $300 from Ellie Jansen, actor David Jansen’s wife, to get a business license and I broke the monopoly that had existed here for 25 years. Bobby Morris, who had a musical talent agency, gave me my first office. There was a lot of movie and TV filming going on in Vegas back then and I never crossed the line – I booked only actors and extras. Plus, I worked two other jobs – I called Bingo at the Silverbird and also answered phones for Bobby as well as for Eleanor Grosso, who was the first agent to book Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in Vegas. It was a good old boy’s town but I got people’s attention because I wasn’t afraid to go after what I wanted.”
Baskow’s first break was hiring all the principals for a Schmidt’s Beer commercial starring comedian David Brenner. But as her business heated up, so did trouble. She began getting threats on her life. She found bullet holes in her car and came home one night and discovered that her house had been ransacked. Detectives informed her that it was the work of a competitive agent.
“I was quickly becoming the talk of the town as the top agent in town,” Baskow recalls. “She wanted me out.”
The next thing she knew, she was getting a call from a man named Jilly Rizzo, who wanted her to come to Caesars Palaceto meet with him and the “Old Man,” aka Frank Sinatra. It was 1978 and Sinatra and Rizzo, who had just discovered Marlene Ricci, asked Baskow to represent the singer as well as do the secondary casting for a special they were producing around her called “Cinderella at the Palace.” From that happening, Baskow got the nod to become Caesars’ out-of-house party and event planner, a gig that lasted 10 years.
“When the Caesars job ended because of management changes, I had to diversify to survive,” Baskow notes. “I had to reinvent myself. My reinvention was to become a major star broker and to do destination management. I’ve always loved the spotlight, people and doing things for people.”
Through Sinatra and Rizzo, Baskow had met the likes of Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Angie Dickinson, Jack Lemmon and Liza Minnelli. And, of course, thanks to Jerry Gordon, Baskow’s relationship with Caesars led her into the star brokering business in 1992, booking celebrities all over the globe. Some of the other names in the long list that Baskow has brought to Italy for the Italian Oscars, for example, include Tom Selleck, Peter Falk, Roger Moore, Tom Bosley, Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Barbara Eden, Lou Ferrigno, Henry Winkler, Raquel Welch and Dustin Hoffman.
“I was given an actual Oscar for bringing celebrities to Italy for the past 19 years,” Baskow smiles. “I don’t think star brokering is a large field. There are probably just a couple handfuls of people who are seasoned and actually hire celebrities solely. I don’t buy and sell the talent. I negotiate the best price for my clients, working within their budgets, and what I get a star for is the price I give to my client. I have clients that have been with me for 25 years, such as IBM, AT&T and Canon USA. I only charge 10 percent and there is no markup or double-dipping. The most a celebrity has ever gone for is $2 million.
“It’s not easy even when you’re friends with a lot of celebrities,” she continues. “You have to find a common denominator between celebrity and client, whether it’s for a movie, commercial, TV show, infomercial or something else. Most of the time, clients have no idea of who they want. They always ask for an A-List star and that kind of talent is always over $1 million – all the managers and stars have a price set in their heads for how much they want and the client may not have a big budget. Jennifer Lopez wants over $1 million for personal appearances, for example, but I was able to negotiate and get her for under $500,000 for the San Remo Musical Festival in Italy. In this case, it happened because she had new music she wanted to break in the European market and wanted European press.”
Whether she’s booking an artist abroad or in this country, Baskow makes the point that what a celebrity normally charges and his or her reasons for doing something for a lot less are two different things. She also emphasizes that she doesn’t take no for an answer and she will do whatever she can to make a star say yes to a gig, from working with someone who knows the celebrity to e-mailing a star’s representatives to let them know that the client really wants that person and the reasons it would be beneficial for the celebrity to accept the work. She has booked George Bush Sr. twice and Bill Clinton once for speaking engagements, the latter through a third party. In the case of Kevin Costner, she was able to arrange a beautiful honeymoon for him and his bride in Italy, as well as an opportunity for him to promote his band and upcoming movie, which gave him a reason to go there to appear on an Italian TV show.
Admittedly, there are the stresses and pitfalls involved in dealing with stars on a continuous basis, such as when one will have a medical emergency at the last minute and can’t perform or he or she agrees to do a gig and then some business emergency occurs or something bigger comes up.
“I recently had a client offer a major A-list celebrity $20 million to do a body cream endorsement,” Baskow relates. “We were working with my attorney and my client took numerous trips back and forth from Italy to meet her at her home. We thought we had a deal and then we were told that she had taken a different deal. We had a 72-page contract and thought we were in negotiations. These types of things happen. You never have a celebrity until the celebrity has finished your job.”
Baskow is also involved in hiring stars for numerous charitable events, including Canon’s AnnualNationalCenterfor Missing and Exploited Children’s golf tournament and dinner reception with silent auction that is held in Las Vegasevery year. Among the plethora of stars that have attended – many year after year – are Bryan Cranston, Alice Cooper, Patrick Warburton, John O’Hurley, Robert Hays, Ed Marinaro, Kevin Sorbo, Cheech Marin, Lou Ferrigno, Richard Burgi, Christy Swanson, Paula Trickey, renowned sports figures, astronaut Walt Cunningham, and America’s Most Wantedhost John Walsh, founder of the organization. As many as 50 celebrities show up for the event every year. Baskow also produced “Oscar Night” at Caesars Palace for five years for the Arthritis Foundation.
With Baskow being featured in television documentaries all over the globe, a recent Discovery Channel program about her called Baskow “one of the top star brokers in the world” and nicknamed her the “Queen of Las Vegas.” She is currently writing a book called Queen of Las Vegas.” And what with her continuous swirl of activity, which currently includes producing reality and TV shows, producing corporate events and meetings worldwide, hiring talent for infomercials, originating ideas for new products such as she did with Suzanne Somers’ pajamas line, being an entertainment consultant for a couple of Indian gaming casinos, and creating that little bit of “wow” in all the various areas of her business, it’s unlikely that Baskow will be dethroned anytime soon.
Jaki BAskow Produced the amazing Dana carvey in florida for corporate event
Jaki BAskow with Michael douglas, catherine zeta-jones and family
Oscar-winning couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones brought their kids to Nathan Burton’s comedy magic show at the Flamingo. Nathan chose their son Dylan to be his onstage volunteer for a prediction trick.
Backstage while posing for photographs, Michael chatted with Nathan and his crew about currently filming the Liberace film for HBO here.
Michael and Catherine plan to take the kids to Criss Angel’s “Believe” at the Luxor on Thursday.
We Will Miss our friend davy jones
By MATT SEDENSKY
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- An autopsy confirms that Davy Jones, star of 1960s band The Monkees, died of a heart attack.
The medical examiner's office in Martin County, Fla., says authorities completed their examination Thursday morning, a day after Jones was rushed to the hospital. Toxicology tests could take another six or eight weeks, but there's no sign anything else is to blame for the 66-year-old heartthrob's death.
Jones rocketed to stardom in the 1960s as a member of The Monkees, a made-for-TV rock band patterned after the Beatles. Though their television show lasted just two years and the group ultimately broke up, they have endured with such chart-topping hits as "I'm a Believer" and "Daydream Believer."
A spokeswoman for Jones says funeral arrangements have not yet been made.
JOHN WALSH AT LAS VEGAS 'NCMEC' EVENT - Baskow Produces
Photo Ellen Sterling
BY Times Square Gossip
1/18/2012 - For more than a dozen years, Canon USA has underwritten a Customer Appreciation event at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Each year, the event benefits the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), co-founded by John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted.
This year the gala was held at the Bellagio. As always, it was co-produced by Canon USA — which has worked closely with the NCMEC, donating technology and expertise to aid in the search for missing children — and Las Vegas event planner extraordinaire, Jaki Baskow.
In addition to Walsh, attendees included NCMEC spokesperson, multiple Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston, boxing champ Ken Norton, ballplayer Rollie Fingers and a host of performers, including red carpet emcee magician Murray Sawchuk and actors Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown), Robert Hays (Airplane!), Eric Jordan Young, the multi-talented Broadway performer now creating a lot of buzz in Vegas! The Show. Dal Zamora from True Blood was there and Mark Steines also attended.
A silent auction this year raised more than $400,000 for the NCMEC.
Bridging old and new Vegas
Photo Sam Morris
BY VEGAS INC STAFF
12/19/2011 - “I’m the girl who took Sly Stallone to Italy for the Italian Oscars,” says Las Vegas entertainment entrepreneur Jaki Baskow, leaning across the table with her hands delicately clasped, eagerly telling her story. “I introduced him to Silvio Berlusconi, you know. He used to be a media magnate.”
Those types of stories only scrape the surface of Baskow’s experience as a high-profile businesswoman in Las Vegas.
When Baskow was just 22, the New Jersey native moved to Las Vegas and embarked on an adventure that would set her up for a successful career in showbiz and events.
In 1976, Baskow opened what she calls “the only full-service talent agency in Las Vegas.” Since then, she’s worked with stars as big as Jay Leno, Goldie Hawn and Jennifer Lopez on events and appearances.
“I never expected to be in business for 35 years,” she says. “I’m so passionate about living here.”
But during her early years in town, Baskow says, the service in Las Vegas was about being classy. She worked as a consultant for Caesars Palace, putting on corporate events and parties.
“Everything was very personalized,” she says.
The key to her success? Keeping that personal touch. Baskow loves working — and talking and laughing and making connections — with people.
“I have a dream job. Every day is fun,” she says. “I’m still working 16 hours a day, and I love it.”
Baskow has 20 full-time employees in her business, Baskow and Associates, where the job is to throw memorable parties and coordinate group events.
She produces a fundraiser for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children each January and has planned corporate events for IBM and other Fortune 500 companies, she says.
“I’ve had the opportunity to hire past presidents and world leaders,” Baskow says. “I love waking up in the morning knowing I’m going to put smiles on people’s faces.
So for all of her experience in Las Vegas, how does Baskow propose to fix Las Vegas’ economy?
“People need to be working together,” she says, admitting that although there’s competition, teamwork is necessary. “Nobody wants to fail here.” Even better? She says we need to “keep things within our state. We need to be more supportive.”
— VEGAS INC staff
BAskow and Associates NAMED best women/minority-owned business at the 2011 Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Small Business Excellence Awards
A little employee pampering helps fuel prosperity
BY CAITLIN MCGARRY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
9/23/2011 - Massages. Spa days. Trips to the movies. Midday rounds of Trivial Pursuit.
This is not just the stuff of employee daydreams, but rather the perks offered by some of the winners of 2011's Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Small Business Excellence Awards.
The chamber's sixth annual awards luncheon Thursday at the Rio celebrated small businesses in five categories, including Green Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Small Business of the Year with less than five employees, Small Business of the Year with less than 25 employees and Women/Minority-Owned Business of the Year. The theme uniting the small-business success stories was employee appreciation.
During an introductory video to the best business with 25 employees or fewer category, peals of laughter rang out from the crowd of about 250 chamber members as Gerety & Associates CPAs owner Dan Gerety extolled the virtues of his firm, which include regular visits from a masseuse and a yoga instructor.
"Our employees work so hard," Gerety said after winning the award. "We have a lot of due dates, so it's a stressful job. You've got to relieve the tension."
Gerety has offered perks to his 18 employees since he started the company in 2004.
Another winner, Baskow and Associates Inc. owner Jaki Baskow, also places a premium on employee happiness.
"If your employees are not happy, you're not going to get a great product and your clients are not going to get great customer service," she said.
Baskow, who took home the award for best women/minority-owned business, employs 21 workers at her 2948 E. Russell Road headquarters, which was a residence before she converted it into an office. It's a family atmosphere, she said, with afternoon board games, ice cream sundaes and lunch-and-movie outings when the office closes early for the day.
When the economy plummeted, Baskow took a 30 percent pay cut rather than lay off staff.
The award winners credited their employees for their success, but they also thanked the chamber for providing health insurance and networking opportunities, particularly as the economy continues to batter businesses of all sizes.
"Supporting and doing business with each other is kind of what we're all about at the chamber," said chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Kristin McMillan.
Award winners Gerety and Baskow are already business partners -- Gerety & Associates handles Baskow's accounting.
Jaki BAskow Talent Division to Produce Keith Urban in 2012
Baskow Talent is Excited to be Producing Two Keith Urban Shows for Corporate Clients in 2012
8/2/2011 - Baskow and Associates - Talent Division has the privilege of producing two Keith Urban shows for corporate clients in Las Vegas 2012. Both events will take place at Caesars Palace in the fall of 2012. "Keith is an unbelievable talent", said Jaki Baskow, founder of Baskow Talent, "we are very excited to be able to work with him for two shows here next year."
New Zealand-born and Australia-raised, Keith Urban moved to Nashville in 1992. His first American album came as a member of The Ranch (1997), followed by an increasingly accomplished series of multi Platinum-selling solo albums: Keith Urban (1999), Golden Road (2002), Be Here (2004), and Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing (2006). The compilation Greatest Hits: 19 Kids (2008) included such Number One hits as “But For The Grace Of God,” “Somebody Like You” (which was named the top country song of the decade), “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me,” “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Days Go By,” “Making Memories Of Us,” “Better Life,” and “You Look Good In My Shirt.”
Urban has been honored with Grammy Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Academy of County Music Awards, a People’s Choice Award, American Music Award and Australia’s coveted Aria Award. His remarkable musical gifts have also brought him to places where country superstars have rarely gone before, including such very recent appearances as a blazing rendition of the Rolling Stones' classic "Tumblin' Dice" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a powerful rendition of "Lean on Me" alongside Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow on the Hope for Haiti telethon and a CMT Crossroads taping with John Mayer.
Jaki has booked hundreds of international events and shows, cast over 600 motion pictures and television shows & commercials. She has also been honored many times by the National business community, let Jaki’s unparallel connections and buying power work for you.
Baskow and Associates selected as one of the finalists in this year's Small Business Excellence Awards.
Baskow Talent Selected as One of Three Finalists for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Small Business Excellence Awards
7/25/2011 - The Small Business Excellence Awards– the Biz E’s were started in 2006 to recognize the Chamber small business members who provide excellence in their business fields.
Award Categories were developed to help recognize these businesses. Nominations are open to Chamber member businesses only.
Nominations are collected during the months of January to July. Those nominees who qualify as a member in good standing are announced on the Small Business Excellence Awards website and The Chamber's monthly news magazine, The Business Voice.
In early July, the qualified nominees provide additional information for a selection committee of volunteers to review. A blind review of the nominees information is reviewed and scored. The accumulated scores are reviewed by the committee and the three finalists and a winner are selected in each category. Winners are kept confidential and announced at the annual Small Business Excellence Awards Luncheon held in the Fall. The finalists are notified by mail and announced in all Chamber media.
Finalists are then scheduled in August to be video taped for presentation at the annual awards luncheon. Finalists are presented with an award and letters from state and local dignitaries.
Winners for the Small Business Excellence awards receive a Biz E Award trophy and a special gift package. All finalists and winners have their company names, testimonials and photos listed on the Small Business Excellence Awards website.
GOODMAN HONORS BASKOW ON HER 35TH ANNIVERSARY IN LAS VEGAS
Baskow Talent Celebrates 35th Anniversary
3/28/2011 - Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman celebrated the success of Jaki Baskow and her company, Baskow and Associates, with a proclamation declaring March 28 Baskow and Associates Day in Las Vegas.
Baskow, who established her business in March 1976, is one of the city’s outstanding success stories. Her company provides destination management services — meeting planning, entertainment, lodging — for companies coming to Las Vegas from around the world, and does casting for television, films, commercials and a range of live shows. Among the celebrities she has booked are Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Lopez and Kevin Cosner.
The proclamation noted both Baskow’s business success and contribution to the community through her support of many charities.
Special Events Magazine (www.specialevents.com) just named the company one of the top 25 destination management companies in the world. In doing so, they cited the 700+ events and programs Baskow plans and manages each year, noting in particular a “Las Vegas Nights” pool party for 4,000 guests that included a dance number with 60 Elvis impersonators, synchronized swimming routines, more than 40 "Marilyn Monroe" performers and more than 200 neon decor pieces illuminating the pool.
“I believe that being in Las Vegas is a very significant factor in the success of Baskow and Associates,” Jaki Baskow says. “I cannot imagine being anywhere else.”
BAskow Talent Produces Canon USA – Fundraising Event for NCMEC
Baskow Talent Produces Fundraiser to aid National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
1/7/2011 - Canon USA held the 12th Annual Canon Customer Appreciation Reception at the Bellagio Hotel on January 7, followed by a golf tournament at TPC Summerlin the next day. The event, sponsored by Canon USA and produced by Jaki Baskow of Baskow and Associates and John Arnos of Canon USA, is a fundraiser benefiting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Mark Steines of Entertainment Tonight, was Master of Ceremonies, and the special guest was John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted and co-founder of NCMEC.
Since 1998, Canon USA and NCMEC have collaborated to educate the public about the growing issue of child abduction. The Canon4Kids program assists law enforcement to quickly disseminate photos and information about missing children. To date, 691 children featured in Canon4Kids PSAs have been recovered.
BAskow Talent FEatured on justin lee Collins show - LIVING LAS VEGAS (EPISODE 1)