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Dominique Grubisa is so vain, she probably thinks this award is about her

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Dominique Grubisa boasted on social media about winning an award from the seemingly dodgy Industry Era magazine (Image by Dan Jensen)

Self-professed property and law maven Dominique Grubisa has bragged about a prestigious industry award, but a closer look reveals the award is as hollow as her career. Dave Donovan reports.

SEVERAL WEEKS after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued a strongly worded media release announcing it had banned property maven Dominique Grubisa from credit and financial services for four years, Grubisa took to social media in April to celebrate being awarded ‘Industry Era Women’s Leaders top ten CEOs for 2022’.  

Industry who, you ask? Industry Era.  

On its website, it is described as

‘...one of the leading media brand [sic] offering technology-based magazines about the latest occurrences in various verticals.’

The website explains that

‘The magazine proffers excellent articles which partake in the technology trends in every vertical prevalent across the world.’

Good to see articles partaking in technological trends!

Industry Era is also well featured on websites such as hucksters.net and scampulse.com.

A Melissa Baker commented on scampulse.com:

‘I received several emails telling me that I’ve “won” an opportunity to pay $1,800 [USD, we assume] to be featured in the “Ten Most Inspiring Women Leaders of 2022.’

Ms Baker went on to describe how she works for a tiny company, barely updates her LinkedIn and says:

‘...there’s no possible way I could have even been nominated for a national award, much less won it.’

Catherine Weigel from U.S.-based company ProShare Advisors commented on LinkedIn about her experience with Industry Era.   

Baptism has come quite some way it seems. In the good old days, you got a dip in a font and a welcome to the Christian Church. Now you can go straight to the top of the class as an inspiring leader.  

‘Simulated expertise’. Well, now we are going deep. We will leave what that means to Professor Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford. But as Eric Steinhart, Professor of Philosophy at William Paterson University, said, Bostrom’s simulation argument has many intriguing theological implications.

Is this email one speaking to the existential crisis of AI and reality? Yeah, nah. It’s just a pile of dribble.

Google reviews are no more flattering.

So who is Industry Era?

Well according to the website hucksters.net, it is an entity associated with a Harvi “Divya” Sachar. Hucksters.net suggests Harvi Sachar is ‘a fraudster and imposter and spammer’.  

But surely they are as they claim — a ‘leading media brand’. They must have some journalistic integrity.  

So we dug deeper to find out which honourable journalists represent this “leading media brand”.

A media kit from Industry Era from 2020 named its managing editor as Sarah Fernandez.

Good. No doubt Ms Fernandez is a respectable journalist given she works for such a leading media brand. That took us to Twitter.

Ms Fernandez looks legit!

But sadly, no. A simple Google image search shows the photo on Ms Fernandez’s account is not that of Ms Fernandez but that of Sarah Berry, a Certified Public Accountant in Texas.

Surely a simple mistake.

Here’s Ms Fernandez again promoting the top ten Best Innovative Technology Solution Providers of 2020.

When provided with these pictures of Sarah Fernandez and asked about her knowledge of Industry Era, Ms Berry responded to IA as follows:

‘Um, no. I have never heard of this but that is my picture.’

We have previously exposed that Grubisa has had the habit of fake reviews and fake guest posts. Now paid-for awards.

Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first such award that Grubisa has received.

On the DG Institute website, Grubisa proudly shows pictures of her Stevie Awards from 2018 and 2019.

What awards, you might ask. Stevie Awards. Featured on Wikipedia under the category of “Vanity Awards”.

In May last year, we wrote the second of our articles about fake reviews of Grubisa’s business. In that article, we referred to the fishy and openly mercantile activities of the Inspiration Feed blog and an article supposedly penned by founder Igor Ovsyannykov from Warrington, Virginia, who falsely claimed to have attended one of Grubisa’s seminars. 

The article was no more than a paid-for puff piece promoting Grubisa’s “Business Turnaround” program.

Igor was very happy to comment about Grubisa’s 2018 Stevie Award:

‘She’s even quoting corporate law sections! It is also reassuring to know that Dominique won the 2018 Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Australia. It just adds that extra slice of credibility, if all the info she gives wasn’t enough.’

Actually, Grubisa didn’t win the award for Female Entrepreneur of the year in 2018 in Australia. She won a Silver award. Of course, recipients have to purchase their trophies from the Stevie Awards store.

As noted on the website for the Stevie Awards:

‘All entries that receive a high average score in [preliminary-round] judging will automatically become Finalists.’

All finalists win an award!

And according to the Steve Awards website:

‘Historically,  30-40 per cent of all entries submitted are honoured with some level of award.’

How robust is the judging for the Stevie Awards you might wonder? Not so robust, it seems.

We will leave you with this blog post from their own website where they admit they were had by an investigative reporting team from Korea who submitted fake nominations, received awards (now rescinded) and even managed to apply for and be accepted as judges without confirming their identity.

Follow IA founder David G Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. Also, follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus, on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE.

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