Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Business News in the Lehigh Valley, April 30, 2013

Good morning, Lehigh Valley! It appears to be slightly less cloudy than yesterday, and the weather is expected to be cloudy again, with a high of 64 degrees and only a 20% chance of rain. On this day in 1974, George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States during a ceremony in New York City.

In recent business news, the city of Allentown has formed a public-private partnership to enhance the appearance of buildings and spur investment within city districts adjacent to its Neighborhood Improvement Zone. City Center Lehigh Valley is providing $200,000 in private funding for the first phase of this initiative. PPL will support the initiative through the $100,000 in funding it currently provides for the Main Street and neighborhood-improvement programs on Hamilton and Seventh streets.

Buyers are putting a dent in the housing inventory throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley area, including a huge leap in sales of 45.5 percent in Berks County. Home sales for the region increased by 32.6 percent in March compared to February. "We're seeing a shift in the overall market swinging from a buyer's market towards a seller's market," said Brad Patt, senior vice president of Prudential Patt-White and the Premier Group, Coopersburg. Read the full story on LVB.com.

On May 16, The Chamber will host a mayoral debate between Bethlehem Councilmen J. William Reynolds and Robert Donchez, both Democrats, are the city’s two mayoral candidates for 2013. The debate will take place at 4 p.m. on May 16 at Hotel Bethlehem. There’s a nominal fee for the reception that follows at 5 p.m. and the debate also will air on Business Matters 7:30 p.m. May 20 on WFMZ.

In national news, President Obama has named Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the next Transportation Secretary. Obama chose him because of the city’s investments in transportation and other projects that have boosted the local economy. While Foxx has been in office, the city has broken ground on a streetcar project for the downtown area, extended its light-rail system and expanded the Charlotte airport.

That's all for now, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date event information and member news!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Business News in the Lehigh Valley - April 26, 2013

Good morning, and T.G.I.F. Lehigh Valley! Today is April 26, 2013, is National Pretzel Day. Here are a few news headlines to get your day started.

Allentown City Council has approved a 50-year lease of the city's water and sewer systems. The vote was 6-1 after hearing hours of arguments from supporters and opponents, with Councilwoman Jeanette Eichenwald opposed and Council members Cynthia Mota, Julio Guridy, Ray O'Connell, Jeff Glazier, Peter Schweyer and Joe Davis voted for the lease.

The Phantoms hockey arena is looking less like a hole in the ground and is beginning to take shape, according to Mike Leone, project manager for Hammes Co., the arena developer. The site is more complicated than most build sites due to the extent of underground work that needs to be completed. The arena is set to open in September 2014. The center ice area will be about 100 feet wide.

In a battle of privacy vs. cybersecurity, CISPA (the "Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act") has been taken off the table for now citing privacy concerns, at least until new legislation is drafted. The bill would have allowed the federal government to share classified "cyber threat" information with companies, but it also provided provisions that would have allowed companies to share information about specific users with the government.

According to Reuters, U.S. economic growth regained speed in the first quarter, but not as much as expected. Gross domestic product expanded at 2.5 percent annual rate.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Simple Leadership Quiz - Guest Blog

Guest Blog from Kayte Connelly of Best Principled Solutions

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”
— Stephen R. Covey

Understanding the difference between management and leadership is an ongoing dialogue. There are some individuals in leadership positions who have mastered their craft.  They inspire others into action; communicate the same message consistently; can articulate a compelling vision; and hold themselves and others accountable.

There are other individuals who have leadership titles but they stray from true behaviors and are inward and self-focused.  Most of us have come across both types.

In preparation for the 2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast, this year, a very simple Leadership Quiz, consisting of 7 questions, is available for interested individuals to participate. At the conclusion of the quiz, which you can find at http://tinyurl.com/CFALeaderQuiz, you’ll discover if you are a doer, a visionary, a champion or a collaborator.

There, you’ll also see a link to download 7 tips to Simplify Your Life. These have also been prepared through the Leadercast program.

On May 10, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with other thoughtful existing and emerging leaders at DeSales University. We’ve got a host of activities to kick-off a year-long focus on leadership programs brought to you through the Greater Lehigh Valley Leadership Consortium. To discover more information, go to www.glvlc.com/Services.html.

Dedicate time for you to you. There is no greater gift than one can give to themselves, than the gift of growth. Grow, baby, grow!

©2013 Kayte Connelly CCT. All rights reserved. Kayte Connelly, Best Principled Solutions LLC, is an award winning author, leadership coach and organizational development consultant specializing in personal, professional or community leadership. She helps individuals and organizations identify and eliminate what stands between themselves and their goals. Connelly has more than 30 years of community leadership experience and has facilitated thousands of conversations with individuals and groups supporting them in moving forward. For more information about her services go to www.bestprincipledsolutions.com. 484.769.2327 kayte@bestprincipledsolutions.com.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tonight on Business Matters: Generation Y - Leaders or Underachievers?

Tonight's episode of Business Matters, airing at 7:30 p.m. on WFMZ Channel 69, is
Generation Y – Leaders or Underachievers?

- Allison Lisiecki, The Hilton Garden Inn Airport Allentown Bethlehem Airport
- John McKnight, Lafayette College
- Alfonso Todd, Prolifick Radio
- Dean Young, Boys & Girls Club of Easton
- Bobby Lanyon, Young Professionals Council

Tune in tonight with host Tony Iannelli to hear from our panelists on whether Generation Y is a generation of leaders or underachievers.

What are your thoughts on Generation Y? Do you think it's a generation of leaders?

Growing UR Biz in 2013 - Leap Frog

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Excuses, excuses, excuses, do they make the world go ‘round?  When I talk to small business owners, excuses for not growing your business are plentiful.  I don’t have time to attend a seminar, that’s vacation season I can’t go to a networking event, I can’t join a Master Mind group it’s during my busy time, my business will fall apart if I’m not there.  But, the most frequent statement I hear is business is slow so I cannot leave.  Well, if business is slow the good news is you may recognize it, the bad news is you may not be taking the LEAP to change that today.

Remember the game Leap Frog, a children’s game in which players vault over each other's stooped backs?  Games of this sort have been called by this name since at least the late sixteenth century. They also played this in colonial America.

The first participant rests hands on knees and bends over, which is called giving a back. The next player places hands on the first's back and leaps over by straddling legs wide apart on each side. On landing he stoops down and a third leaps over the first and second, and the fourth over all others successively. When all the players are stooping, the last in the line begins leaping over all the others in turn. Anyone could play and we had a lot of fun taking the LEAP to further yourself in the game. I’m not sure what the purpose was of the game, but we were competitive trying to jump higher and further than any of our friends.

How are you doing in the game of “LEAP frog?” Are you ‘leaping’ into solid and extraordinary cash flow? Or, do you have excuses, excuses, excuses.  If you want to increase cash flow, grow your business and take your biz to a new level, you may want to consider LEAP Frog.

First, LEAP into the “NO WHINING” zone
Second, LEAP into the learn everything you can about how to grow ur biz
Third, LEAP into training, seminars, reading, and coaching

If you don’t take the initiative to LEAP forward in the 21st century, you may be left behind in the pond with all the other frogs.

Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog. Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND TER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com. Like me on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches! Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sunday, April 21 on The PEAK TV

Make sure to watch The Peak TV this weekend, airing Sunday April 21 at 6:30 p.m. on WFMZ.

The PEAK is a thirty-minute regional newsmagazine show dedicated to the interesting people, places, and things that make the Lehigh Valley a wonderful place to live and work. Tune in each week as we explore the latest medical news, healthy recipes, ways to stay fit, financial wellness, giving back through volunteering, and more!

The PEAK, Sunday, April 21, 6:30 PM on WFMZ, Channel 69:

·      St. Luke’s University Health Network - Allentown Campus, was recently recognized as a Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecology.  Find out from the doctors themselves what this means to thousands of women in the Lehigh Valley!

·      An update on the Capital Blue Store located in the Promenade Shops – the welcome addition of the Rodale CafĂ© at Capital Blue, offering tasty and nutritionally sound food for everyday life!  Here’s to your health!

·      Do you remember when milk was delivered to your front door?  A local company, Pure Sprouts, is taking that idea to the next level with fresh, organic, locally grown fruit and veggies, milk AND dairy... right at your doorstep!

·      Raising research funds for pediatric cancer research is at the heart of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  Learn how their unique approach has us all “flipping our lids” and how you can get involved!

Apricot Lane Boutique Celebrates Grand Opening April 19 at Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley

Apricot Lane Boutique Celebrates Grand Opening April 19 at Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley!

WHERE: Apricot Lane Boutique Center Valley 3039 Center Valley Pkwy, Center Valley, PA 18034

WHEN: Friday, April 19 Ribbon Cutting at 12:30 p.m.
media opportunities available on site

WHAT: Apricot Lane Boutique (www.apricotlanecentervalley.com and on Facebook Apricot Lane Center Valley), the newest celebrity inspired fashion destination in Lehigh Valley celebrates its’ Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting by Morning/Noon Anchor at 69, Eve Tannery, local owners Susan and Jeff Kittle and local officials such as Gina Martens, Vice President, Member Relations Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. The boutique features high fashion looks at amazing prices-under $25, $50 and $100!

During the on-going grand opening celebration guests are encouraged to enter to win a shopping spree and take advantage of the in-store specials.

Since opening in 2007, Apricot Lane has grown to include over 90 open and planned franchises in 28 states across the country. Apricot Lane continuously appears in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Franchise List and one of their popular brands, 3Strands is featured in the national magazine People StyleWatch’s May issue. 3Strands was founded by Apricot Lane Boutique franchise owner Ken Petersen to help the fight against human trafficking. With new items arriving almost daily, Apricot Lane is the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind outfits and unique gift items for women of all ages but specializing in being the go-to destination for all mothers and daughters; teens through 50’s. The store carries a limited number of each item to ensure customers have a sense of individuality when making a purchase so when a style is gone, its’ gone!

NOTES: All media and bloggers wishing to cover the ribbon cutting please RSVP to Stacey@sgprgroup.com.

CONTACT: Stacey Graham

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Talent is Never Enough - by Amy Burkett

Guest blog post from Amy Burkett/PBS39 Station Manager - AmyBurkett@johnmaxwellgroup.com

We've all known people who've had a ton of talent but just couldn't seem to find a way to be successful.  I always find that to be such a heartbreaking thing.  We often think of it with young people.  Maybe it's your son or daughter who shows such promise in sports, music or academics yet they just don't have the work ethic yet to capitalize on their potential.

Just because we're adults doesn't mean we're exempt from missing the opportunity to be all we were created to be.  That's a real issue for all of us.  I think it's tough for we middle-aged business people.  These days we're all doing more with less, working harder to balance the challenges of work and our families.  We're all trying to determine when we should lay our professional goals down, because life is good enough.  Well, I hope this is a little shot in the arm.  If we're still breathing, there's still time to make our dreams come true.

One of  New York Times best-selling author John Maxwell's books is titled, Talent is Never Enough and here are some tips that can help us all reach our potential.
  1. Passion energizes your talent.  If you still don't love what you do, do something else.
  2. Initiative activates your talent.  I can't tell you how many times I've watched professionals just sit back and expect their dreams to fall into their laps without any effort on their part.  It doesn't work that way my friends.
  3. Focus directs your talent.  We are all bombarded daily with a myriad of things clawing for our attention.  Will you have the determination to cut through the clutter and focus on the things that make the biggest impact?
  4. Preparation positions your talent.  Maybe college was a long time ago.  What are you doing to continue to grow yourself and your business.
  5. Perseverance sustains your talent.  Life is tough, get over it and push on toward your goal.  Quitters never make it across the finish line.  Do you want to allow your challenges to make you bitter or better.  I recommend better.
  6. Courage tests your talent.  Do you have the courage to stand up and do what's right, even when everyone else says, "oh come on, no one will ever know."
  7. Teachability expands your talent.  How many know-it-all executives do you know? We need to work very hard to be life-long learners.
  8. Character protects your talents.  My friends, in my opinion, we seem to have a character crisis in our businesses.  Many people say there is so many grey issues in business.  I'm of the belief that the world is more black and white...right and wrong than many of us are willing to admit. I say life is grey for those who lack vision, values and the character to stand up for them.
  9.  Responsibility strengthens your talent.  How many times have you seen a business leader create cover for their choices?  Or here's another way to think about it.  Sometimes leaders abdicate responsibility because it allows them to stay in power.  The fact is that type of leadership doesn't strengthen talent.
  10. Teamwork multiplies your talent. I believe one is too small a number to achieve greatness.   We've all heard the saying, together everyone achieves more.  Well, I've lived it and can assure you if you have any doubts, it's true.
So, why do I share these?  Well, they're principles I live by and ones that have helped me go to the next level.   Many of you may have seen the news that after 14 years, I'm leaving PBS39.  Trust me this was the toughest decision of my life.  I love this station and this community more than I can express.  However, I've had a dream to lead a television station for over a decade and I've been tenaciously developing the necessary skills to be able to do it.  I couldn't sit back and live my comfortable life and let my dream drift away.  I felt compelled, pushed and pulled to chase it.  I'm extremely grateful to have been selected as the new general manager of PBS Charlotte WTVI so this will be my last blog written from Pennsylvania. After I get settled in North Carolina, I'll start them up again.  You'll be able to find them at my Facebook fan page.  I'm sure I'll continue to learn many leadership lessons there and I look forward to sharing them with you. Hey, if you're ever in Charlotte, please look me up!

Amy is an Emmy Award winning producer who's passionate about developing people.  She is a John Maxwell certified leadership trainer, speaker and coach.  Like me on Facebook at Amy Burkett Sucess Seekers, 610.814.0610 Amyburkett@johnmaxwellgroup.com.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Master It - Growing Your Business in 2013

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Am I the only one in the Lehigh Valley who doesn't watch golf and the Masters Tournament?  Two golfing friends battling down to the end, then 32 year old  Adam Scott from Australia won the the tourney for the first time ever.  Some thought Adam Scott’s devastating lost in last year’s British Open might scar him for the rest of his career, but he said it ultimately helped him win the Masters.

I don’t know anything about golf. I wish I did, love the clothes, seems like there’s a lot of camaraderie, and the view at these beautiful courses is breathtaking and I would love to take a ride in one of those surreys or carts!!

How is it that a 32 year old has the wisdom to know that his loss in the British Open helped him win the Masters?  Every single time he enters a golf tournament he’s taking a risk but, more importantly, he’s willing to take the risk.

How about you? So many times we go into business with a dream of being the best in town.  Or, we love what we do so much that it’s ok if we don’t make money.  It’s time to Master it because DREAMS don’t come true without CASH FLOW and, I might add ,DREAMS don’t come true without risk.

Here’ are some Masterful Ideas....

- Join or start a MasterMind group (likeminded business leaders)
- Run risky ideas by your colleagues and teammates
- Minimize the risk by researching free marketing first
- Use Adam’s theory, he learned more from a loss than a win
- Change your thinking - a loss can be a bungle, no big deal or a glitch- not the end of the world

Everywhere I went this weekend folks were talking about the Masters, now that’s what you want for your business.  So pick up the clubs, get out on the course and you can win the beautiful green jacket.  To learn more about MasterMind Groups email Carol at tellkids@aol.com

Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.
Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND TER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com  Like me on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Monday, April 15, 2013

Business News in the Lehigh Valley, 4/15/13

Good morning Lehigh Valley, and happy Monday! Today is April 15, and many CPAs and Accountants are celebrating across the U.S. as the end of tax season is here!

Ahead of his lecture this week at the State Theatre, Steve Forbes has been discussing change coming to America's economy. “The most immediate thing in addition to not putting on new taxes is to remove the uncertainty around Obamacare,” said Forbes, the publishing magnate and two-time Republican presidential candidate.

The public is invited to hear Steve Forbes' lecture this Thursday night, April 18th at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $40, but members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce get a special rate of $18.75. The Chamber is hosting a pre-lecture Signature Networking Event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the theater’s Brown-Daub gallery at 453 Northampton St. It includes a cash bar and complimentary hors d'oeuvres.

Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Charles B. Zogby said the state has closed on a $950 million general obligation bond with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which will allow the state to finance public capital projects, provide grants to local water and sewer projects and provide funding for other programs.
The lender was among six companies that offered bids and was successful with a bid offering a 2.904% interest rate. The sale yielded the lowest-ever interest rate, credited to the state's strong fiscal management and good bond ratings.

David Vassilaros, Director of Healthcare Reform and Regulator Affairs at Capital BlueCross, answered a slew of questions last week during a live chat on our Health Care Reform Resource Center. In case you missed his Q&A section, you can still watch it on LVB.com.

In national news, The automakers GM and Ford announced yesterday they will team up to create nine-speed and 10-speed transmissions, that will be smoother and more fuel efficient than the gearboxes currently in their cars and trucks. More speeds will enable the car to shift more smoothly, as there is not as dramatic a change between gears, as well as improving fuel economy.

That's all for now, have a productive and enjoyable Monday Lehigh Valley!

Need more? Check out the "10 Things to Know for Today" from the Associated Press.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Action Alphabet

Guest blog post from Amy Burkett/PBS39 Station Manager -AmyBurkett@johnmaxwellgroup.com

So you feel like you're stuck in a rut.  It happens to all of us.  Maybe it's your business that's grown for years and now seems like it's stuck in park.  Or maybe you're having trouble getting to that next career goal.  Trust me friends we all go through these times of professionally stalling.  I admit I'm not a fan.  I'm more of a put the pedal to the metal scream forward kind of gal.  But like you, things don't always happen the way I'd like them to everyday.  Here's what I do when I feel stuck.  I seek out a new leadership book so I can get some help to find a way to move forward.

Back in 2008 I hit a pretty big career speed bump and thank heavens a dear friend gave me Robert Schuller's book, TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST, BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO!  Seriously, I couldn't put it down.  Every page was better than the last and I felt encouraged...better yet it gave me some concrete tips on things only I could do to make life better and achieve my dream.  I'd like to share a few letters and tips from Schuller's ACTION ALPHABET with you.

  •  A-Affirm that you can do it. You CAN find a job.  You CAN change careers.  You CAN succeed and YOU deserve to succeed.
  • B-Believe that somehow, some time, somewhere through someone's help you CAN achieve your heart's highest goal.
  • C-Commit yourself to a dream.  Nothing holds people back more than the fear of failure. Go back to school, take a course, do whatever it takes to succeed.
  • D-Dare to try.  If you don't dare to take a risk, you'll never get ahead.  You'll never solve your problems.
  • E-Educate yourself.  Don't be tempted to take shortcuts, to avoid the hard years.  The training may be hard but those who are too lazy to learn, weaken their chances for success because knowledge is power.
  • F-Find the talent, the possibilities, the time, the money and the way.
  • G- A Giving attitude is the secret to successful living!  When you have the attitude of "I want what I want when I want it," people can tell and they are repelled.
I know there are 26 letters in the alphabet, but I only had space for seven.  Putting these seven into action will help you a lot toward moving your career and business forward.  This may be the help you need to shift out of neutral into drive.  VROOM VROOM...I think I hear you speeding forward already.

Amy is an Emmy Award winning producer who's passionate about developing people.  She is a John Maxwell certified leadership trainer, speaker and coach.  Like me on Facebook at Amy Burkett Sucess Seekers, 610.814.0610 Amyburkett@johnmaxwellgroup.com.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tonight on Business Matters - What is the role of government in today's society?

Join us tonight with host Tony Iannelli on Business Matters to hear from our lively panelists on the government's role in today's society. Business Matters airs at 7:30 p.m. on WFMZ-69.

What is the role of government in today’s society? 
Is government involved in our lives too much or not enough? 
Is it time government steps up or steps back? 
What can we expect from government in five, ten, fifteen years both locally and nationally?

Sam Bennett, Women’s Campaign Fund
Charles Mitchell, The Commonwealth Foundation
Mike Fleck, Fleck Consulting
Ana Puig, FreedomWorks

What are your thoughts?

WAITING, WAITING, waiting... zzzz...

Guest blog post from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

I’m hungry, want a place where I can get a salad, a little protein and, I’m thinking, maybe a delicious sweet potato.  So, I found the place and sat down at a table in the bar area.  A friend was going to join me in 20 minutes.  I got settled in, looked around and waited.  I waited and waited and waited for someone to ask me if I wanted a drink or a menu or maybe just a hello.  I watched the bartenders completely ignore my presence, they were busy washing glasses. I politely walked to the  reception desk, to the young girl (who was texting) and said, “Excuse me, do I have a waitress?”  She said, “The bartenders are supposed to tell me when someone sits down.”  So she took me back to my table and said to one bartender, “Who is supposed to wait on her?” The answer,  “Not me, I’m going home.” The hostess left and I was still WAITING.  My friend called and asked me to please order him something as he was running late.  I told him I still don’t have a waitress.”  He said, “WHAT, it’s been 15 minutes!”  “I know, I’m starting to think I’m invisible.” Suddenly, a friendly, perky woman raced to my table and said, “How can I help you?”  I wanted to say, “I feel bad cuz it seems like I’m interrupting washing glasses.”  But, I took the high road and and said, “Yes, I know what I want to order.”  She was at our table every 5 minutes asking us what she could do to make our visit more pleasant.  She obviously got the message that we were ignored.

In your business, is washing the dishes more important than selling product or service?  Although most of us prefer clean glasses, when we are hungry we want food.

Some ideas:

- Read the book,  Everyone’s in Sales, by Todd Cohen- the basis of his book is that every single person on your staff sells your product, your service, and most importantly, your reputation.  www.toddcohen.com

- Train your staff, bring in an expert to train your employees on extravagant customer service.

- The animal planet has “Shark Week,” your biz can have Extravagant Customer Service Week where customers vote on the best service provided by your team.

- Raise the Bar - increase expectations for your team.

Do you think I will return to the restaurant?  Do you think I will tell my friends and family what happened?  Will I recommend them to someone else?  Well, I’ve decided if asked those questions I’ll be waiting, and waiting and waiting to reply!!!

To see Carol speak with Sales and Technology experts at DeSales University on May 9th visit www.SalesCultureandTech.com. Learn how to grow you sales, increase your marketing and improve your technology.


Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog. Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND TER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com. Like me on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chamber Seeking Easton & Phillipsburg Area Initiatives Intern

The Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses and individuals that work to improve the economic conditions and enhance the quality of life in the Easton area through involvement with community organizations and the programming of special events.  The Chamber serves the City of Easton, the City of Phillipsburg, Palmer Township, Forks Township, and Williams Township, Nazareth, the Slate Belt, the Pocono Mountains, and the Boroughs of Wilson, West Easton and Glendon. Aspects of this position include database management, event planning, advertising, public relations and networking with the Easton area business community.

An intern in this position would assist with in planning and executing activities and events to further the growth and development of the Easton area.

       Upbeat, energetic, willing to meet new people and take on new projects.
       Event planning assistance
       Have a strong computer background, including the use of Office and the willingness/adaptability to learn new programs.
       Outbound phone calls to members or potential vendors for events
       Basic office duties including photocopying, typing meeting minutes, etc.
       Must have a drivers license and own transportation.
       Able to work at least 4 hours, but no more than 12 hours per week for part time, and no more than 35 hours per week for a full time internship position. May be asked, but not required to attend events in the evenings.

Contact Person:          
Alison Miers, VP of Easton & Phillipsburg Initiatives 
Phone: 610-739-1512, Fax: 610-330-9177

Business News in the Lehigh Valley, 4/4/13

Good morning, and happy Thursday, a.k.a. Opening Day, IronPigs Fans! Are you going to the game tonight to see the Pigs take on the Syracuse Chiefs?

In local business news, the Da Vinci Science Center will be extending its Manufacturing Workforce Initiative as a leading partner of the Manufacturers Resource Center's new Skill Up Project. They are working to build a pipeline that connects students, teachers, and community members with exciting and innovative manufacturing career opportunities.

Martin Tower, the tallest building in the Lehigh Valley (and just 8 feet taller than the PPL Building in Allentown), was taken off the protection list in order to aid the redevelopment of the property. The decision to take the building off the protection list was at the request of the owners, developer Lewis Ronca and his partner, Norton Herrick. The office building and surrounding property has been vacant since February 2007.

PPL Electric Utilities of Allentown has announced plans to rebuild a power line that provides electricity to more than 27,800 customers in Lehigh, Northampton and Bucks counties. The project is part of a $1 billion effort to reduce power outages during major storms and to improve overall service reliability.

The weather this weekend looks as though it will finally feel like spring for an entire three days. The highs for this weekend are: Friday - 60, Saturday - 55, and Sunday - 64. Spend some time out in the sun and enjoy the beautiful Lehigh Valley weather!

That's all for now, but follow us on twitter and facebook to keep up to date on the latest happenings. Have a great day, Lehigh Valley!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Preparing for an EXPO

Will you be exhibiting this year at the 28th Annual BUY LEHIGH VALLEY EXPO presented by the Women’s Business Council of the Chamber? Here are some suggestions to support you during this and other expos that you might be considering.

1. Be perfectly clear about what it is you want to achieve by the end of this specific conference. You are networking to a targeted audience. How many cold leads do you want to gather? How many warm leads?

2. People like to do business with folks they know and trust. How will you gain that in a room with how many other vendors????

3. Draw schemata of what your booth will look like? Where are your entrance points? Your exit points? Above all NEVER SIT DOWN - be prepared to greet your customers.

4. If possible, get an end unit near where the flow of traffic will be. The first row towards the main entrance may be tough because of congestion. If there's a reception area, or a breakout area, location near that may be optimal - you may experience a burst of folks but it's manageable.

5. If you can, put your exhibit behind you and stand in front of your space. Interacting over a table is awkward.

6. Make your space inviting. Colors intrigue people - but use them sparingly.

7. Pretend it's Halloween. You're gonna have the folks who want goodies. They may be the grab and go's. Have a tchotchke that people will want and make sure your tagline and contact info are on there.

8. They may or may not permit selling on the floor. If you have books, CD's or other collateral/products that you are bringing out, remember, you'll have to bring home whatever you don't distribute. Do you have a merchant card account for charge sales? Are you prepared to take cash? Will you accept checks?

9. Offer mini-samples of sessions, if you can. I usually put something up to the effect 10 minute laser sessions available. Have a timer. Have a sign-up sheet.

10. You are there to spread the word about your business and collect warm leads. If you have a drawing, you can easily collect business cards. Make your give-away something of value that individuals who are unfamiliar with your profession will want-to-win.

11. If possible, ask the host organization to provide the name of other professionals in your industry who have participated in the past. Ask for a reference.
Just as we provide references, if you are investing in this costly venture, you'd like someone else's opinion about that particular conference. Then, you have to put it in perspective and see if it will work for you and or your needs.

12. Your residuals. What will you do with the names you've collected? Did you mark your business cards that you collected with some defining information? How about a sign-up sheet for your e-newsletter? What is the burning offer that you can suggest to those folks -a free webinar? A white paper? What will you give them in an email you send out two days after the conference ends? How will you capitalize on your new found friends? Is your newsletter ready to go before you leave? What are some highlights you can share with your new audience?

Your de-brief won't be complete until at least a week after your offer has expired. BUT, you should sit down and write what you liked; noticed what others were doing that brought in crowds. You don't want all of the Halloweeners; but you do want warm leads. What might you do differently next time?

Again, a week after your offer expires be prepared to send something of noteworthiness, a link to a great article you read - something to build up that trust - to demonstrate you are aware of the problems they are facing and offering solutions.

©2013 Kayte Connelly CCT, Best Principled Solutions LLC, is a leadership coach and organizational consultant. Best Principled Solutions LLC is the founding member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Leadership Consortium which will be hosting the 2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast on May 10 at DeSales University. For more information, go to www.bestprincipledsolutions.com, http://tinyrul.com/CFALeadercast or write kayte@bestprincipledsolutions.com.

Growing Your Business in 2013 - Colossal Olives

Guest blog post from Carol Ritter at CarolTalks.com

I need black olives for my salad, I love black olives. In fact, I love all olives. So you wander on over to the olive aisle or maybe the olive bar and look for the perfect olive to put in your salad. If you are in the olive aisle, your choice is small, medium, large, or colossal. If you are at the olive bar your choice is bright green, red, black, purple, dark green olives. You might even get a little crazy with olives stuffed with garlic and hot peppers.

My question for you is, ‘Why would anyone buy a small black olive when a colossal olive is available?” A colossal olive has confidence, it knows who it is and it’s ready to offer you not only a delectable taste but an appearance of confidence. That olive has swagger!

What about your business? Are you colossal or just standing in the background wish-in and hop-in someone walks in. Are you marketing your business with confidence, are you spending a nice percentage of your time marketing or are you sitting in the small olive can wishing and hoping someone buys you.

Wishing and hoping doesn't work, it’s way too risky and way too unintentional. I was talking to someone over the weekend who is thinking about changing jobs. She said, “It’s a risk.” My response was “everything in life is a risk.” And if you think about it, it is a risk to take the job and a risk to not take the job.

Well, it’s time to market with swagger. It’s a risk to market your biz and it’s a risk not to, so let’s do it.  I’m going to assume you already have a vibrant service or product so the ROI (return on investment) is of value.  Here are some ideas.....

* Create the Colossal offer, at the very least offer your customers something heavily discounted or free weekly or monthly

* Give your customer lots of choices, red, green, purple or even olives stuffed with garlic and hot peppers

* Reach out beyond the olive bar - look for that new customer and give them a welcome gift

* Get your name everywhere in the community, become the first thought in a customers mind

* or email me for my 14 GrowURBIZ RECHARGE IDEAS...tellkids@aol.com

If you just can’t make changes in your business, eat COLOSSAL Olives!

Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.
Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND TER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com  Like me on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches! Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia.