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What we are looking forward to in 2021



Normally at this time of year, most of us are concerned with figuring out our New Year’s resolutions (that we probably won’t keep beyond the first week of January). But as every single person knows, 2020 was not a normal year, and this is not a normal New Year’s Eve.

Instead of resolutions, this might be a time to think about what we can look forward to in 2021. Some of these ideas might be more wishful thinking than others. (It truly remains to be seen if concert halls and Broadway theaters can reopen in the next 12 months.) But with several vaccines already in production for mass distribution and out the door, 2021 is full of far more possibility than the preceding year.

Here’s a list of submissions from Fortune’s editorial staff about what we are looking forward to (or hoping for) most in 2021.

Goodbye, 2020. Hello, 2021.
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I sit here every day hoping and wishing for my return to the Amalfi Coast. I know it is simple, but miss it so much. —Scott DeCarlo, list editor

There’s a concept in childbirth called “kangaroo care,” which reduces infant mortality and strengthens the bond between mother and child. The key is skin-to-skin contact. I think adults need kangaroo care too, and I’m sincerely looking forward to hugs and handshakes again. —Robert Hackett, senior writer

I am really looking forward to the return of spontaneity. During the pandemic, everything takes so much planning. I can’t wait to run out my front door without a mask to meet a friend last-minute again. That’s what I really miss. —McKenna Moore, assistant audience engagement editor

I really miss random work events and wacky press parties and the resulting conversations with strangers I would otherwise never interact with. (Somehow Zoombombing isn’t quite the same.) Some other ones from my wish list: getting on a plane and going somewhere, anywhere new; shopping for new, non-athleisure clothes; and staying home with a good book or to watch Netflix because it’s a choice, and not the only safe option. —Maria Aspan, senior writer

I can’t wait to see live music again. It’s magic when musicians come together in a space to perform in front of other people. The world is worse without it. —Andrew Nusca, digital editor

In 2021, I will never, ever, EVER pass up an opportunity to watch live music in a crowd of other people who also love it. —Matthew Heimer, senior features editor

I am desperately looking forward to the return of massive outdoor shows like the Def Leppard/Mötley Crüe tour. I am looking forward to the return of large in-person marathons, like Boston and New York. I am desperately looking forward to being able to visit Canada without having to quarantine at some motel near the border. —Phil Wahba, senior writer

Sports! Can’t wait to have a hot dog and a beer at a ballgame. —Rey Mashayekhi, reporter

Sure, not being able to safely go to the gym is a bummer, but group yoga—particularly the hot, indoor kind—has been for some of us an even more profound loss. My first stop after COVID is under control will be a small, tightly sealed room where I and 20 strangers will do glorified push-ups while bathing in delirium-inducing heat, pseudospiritual blather, and each other’s sweat. It will be glorious. —David Z. Morris, tech writer

Enough rain and snow to keep California from burning yet again. That city streets closed to cars during the pandemic to create more open space are kept closed permanently. Not talking about COVID. —Verne Kopytoff, senior editor

In Rome, a flat with a terrazzo (terrace) is key. I’ve squeezed onto many a narrow Roman balcony to dine with friends, clinking wineglasses as the sun sets on another scorcher of a day. The setting can turn even the humblest home-cooked meal into a decadent Italian affair. I long for the return of Roman dinner parties. It’s where I get my best story ideas—some even publishable.

And this is a long shot, but perhaps the ski gods will hear my plea. For years, I’ve been planning to ski with my daughters the famed Sellaronda, a 40-kilometer route that circumnavigates the breathtaking Sella massif in the Italian Alps. The village-to-village tour takes the entire day. At the midway point is the stunning little gem of Arabba, where you can find a little refuge that serves a mean bombardino and thick hot chocolates. 2021 is supposed to be our first time skiing it together. —Bernhard Warner, senior editor

I’m looking forward to (hopefully!) spending less time hashing out logistical challenges and nuances and fallacies [in regard to] COVID, but I’m optimistic that the crash course society took in the complex implications of this unforeseen virus will translate into people being better communicators about future problems that affect us collectively.

I’m also looking forward to feeling relieved of a vague sense of dread. While there are plenty of problems in the world to worry about and address outside of (or now exacerbated by) COVID, pre-March I never could shake the idea that we, as a society, were hurtling toward some sort of breaking point [or] come-to-Jesus moment that would force us to reflect on our priorities and trajectories. It will be a relief to be on the other side of a moment like this, but until then, I really can’t predict which aspects of my former lifestyle I’ll resume and which I’ll drop. —Lydia Belanger, production editor

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Vegan Fried Chicken Entrepreneur Rejected $1 Million Shark Tank Offer; Acquired Multi-Million Dollar Facility to Expand Company Vision



California entrepreneur Deborah Torres pitched her vegan fried chicken on season 11 of ABC’s hit TV show “Shark Tank.”

Torres offered the Sharks a $500,000 investment opportunity in exchange for a 10% stake in the company. Instead, billion-dollar investor Mark Cuban decided to partner with guest shark Rohan Oza and offer $1 million for 100% of the company. Torres would receive a 10% royalty.

Torres rejected the offer. Recently, her company acquired a multi-million dollar former food production warehouse in a San Diego Opportunity Zone to expand their vision.

“We are so blessed and excited to acquire our own warehouse facility while still maintaining 100% ownership of the company. I have God, my family, our team, and our awesome fans and customers alike to really thank for the incredible support. Dreams really do come true when you don’t give up or let someone steal your imagination. This is only the beginning,” said Torres told Times of San Diego.

Vegan Fried Chicken Entrepreneur Turned Down Shark Tank Offer

When Torres introduced her fried vegan chicken to the Sharks, they immediately fell in love with it. “This batter is extremely tasty,” shark Lori Greiner said. “It’s got some zip to it.”

“You fooled me,” Barbara Corcoran said.

The Sharks bought into the idea of fried vegan chicken but challenged the financials that Torres delivered.

“On [Shark Tank] there were many edits of conversations to make it appear that I wasn’t intelligent enough for obvious dramatic effects of the ‘shocking’ ending,” Torres told VegNews.

She felt that her appearance on Shark Tank did not accurately portray her business acumen. Torres graduated from high school at 15 and received her first degree at 17.

“I think God works in mysterious ways because what was meant to harm me propelled me to where I am today—the proud and sole owner of the world’s largest vegan fried chicken manufacturing company and 100-percent owner of a multi-million dollar manufacturing facility.”

Torres felt that the Shark Tank offer was not a reflection of the true value of her company. In 2019, she declined the offer and now she projects exponential growth for the company going forward.

Giving Birth to a Plant-Based Brand

Deborah Torres is the founder of Atlas Monroe. The plant-based company specializes in fried vegan foods. According to VegNews, Atlas Monroe is on track to become the largest manufacturer of deep-fried vegan chicken in the world.

What motivated the creation of vegan fried chicken? Her father’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Torres decided to experiment with a vegan diet. One of her main priorities was to develop delicious foods that were healthy.

“My whole family and I went on a raw, vegan and organic diet for 90 days. We grew really ‘hangry’ at each other from just eating salads and fruit salads,” Deborah told CNBC. “After the 90 days, [my father] was completely healed. We vowed to stay organic, plant-based and natural. We continued to experiment, and Atlas Monroe was born.”

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