Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grow Ur Biz - High Hopes

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Just what makes that little old ant, Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant, anyone knows an ant can’t move a rubber tree plant, But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes, he’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes. So any time your gettin’ low ‘stead of lettin’ go just remember that ant,  Oops there goes another rubber tree plant. When troubles call, and your backs to the wall, there’s a lot to be learned, that wall could fall. Once there was a silly old ram thought he'd punch a hole in a dam no one could make that ram scram he kept buttin that dam cause he had high hopes, he had high hopeshe had high apple pie, in the sky hopes. So any time your feelin’ bad ‘stead of feelin’ sad just remember that ram.....

Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam.  Thanks Frank Sinatra

I always wondered what that catchy Frank Sinatra song meant.  I think I got it now.  It’s about tenacity!  

Tenacity, described as grasping firmly, forceful, persistent, cohesive and even tenacious cement.  Are you tenacious in your business, do you grip firmly on an idea, are your persistent in making things happen or are you just going through the motions?

It’s time to show up every day for work with HIGH HOPES.  Your internal drive, your external presence can serve as a barometer for the rest of the staff.  The real test will be results.  When you change, you the team will follow.  I remember a baseball coach telling me a long time ago when I was coaching softball, your kids will act like you act and your parents.  Sportsmanship will be a reflection of your sportsmanship.  It still works today.  

Here’s some tenacious ideas.....
          EMPOWER your staff, Be OBSESSED with customer service, Bring ENTHUSIASM every day, be known as a RISK-TAKER,  have a POWERFUL presence, ENJOY what you do!!

If you want to take a break today, join Ole Blue Eyes on YouTube singing High Hopes with a bunch of kids, love it!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-bD0ZG5_2w

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks
  
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 Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Friday, January 17, 2014

What's Happening this Winter at Allentown Comfort Suites?

1)  Valentine's Day and Romance Packages Available:

Come STAY and the New Allentown Comfort Suites with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day!
February 14, 15, or 16, 2014            
Package Price:  $199.00 plus 10% tax on room
Package Includes:
·         1 Night Accommodations at the Allentown Comfort Suites in one of our newly upgraded King or double Queen Suites!  At the Allentown Comfort Suites we offer:
ü  Microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, in-room safe in every suite.
ü  Complimentary breakfast buffet every morning
ü  Free WiFi throughout the hotel
ü  Free parking
ü  Complimentary shuttle service for ABE Airport and 5 mile radius to hotel
ü  Full service Linx Restaurant and Pub on site
ü  24 Hour Business Center
ü  24 Hour Fitness Center
·         Bottle of Champagne, Box of Josh Early Candies, and Rose in your Suite!
·         Valentine’s Dinner provided by Linx Restaurant can be brought to you by room service or may dine-in at the Restaurant on site.  Dinner Menu will be provided. 
Please contact our friendly staff at 610-437-9100 to get more information and to book your package.
Or visit us online at:  www.comfortsuites.com/hotel/pa117
*Valid for February 14 or 15, 2014 only.  Additional nights stay can be added for $99.00 per night plus tax.  Other Terms and Conditions May Apply.  Please contact us at 610-437-9100 with questions.



2)  Stay and Ski Package with Bear Creek:

Stay and Ski Package 2014
Come STAY and the New Allentown Comfort Suites and SKI at Bear Creek!     
Package Price:  $159.00 plus 10% tax on room
Package Includes:
·         1 Night Accommodations at the Allentown Comfort Suites in one of our newly upgraded King or double Queen Suites!  At the Allentown Comfort Suites we offer:
ü  Microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, in-room safe in every suite.
ü  Complimentary breakfast buffet every morning
ü  Free WiFi throughout the hotel
ü  Free parking
ü  Complimentary shuttle service for ABE Airport and 5 mile radius to hotel
ü  Full service Linx Restaurant and Pub on site
ü  24 Hour Business Center
ü  24 Hour Fitness Center
·         2 Lift Ticket Vouchers for Bear Creek Mountain Resort
*Valid for Midweek Non-Holiday (Mon – Fri) and/or Evening (Any evening from 4 pm-10pm)
Please contact our friendly staff at 610-437-9100 to get more information and to book your package.
Or visit us online at:  www.comfortsuites.com/hotel/pa117
*Valid for the 2013/2014 ski season only.  Additional nights stay can be added for $85.00 per night plus tax.  Other Terms and Conditions May Apply.  Please contact us at 610-437-9100 with questions.


3) Bridal Show at the Comfort Suites:

ATTENTION ALL ENGAGED COUPLES!!!!  The Allentown Comfort Suites is hosting an intimate Bridal Show with some of the best Wedding Professionals in the Industry!  The Show is March 26, 2014 from 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM.  Registration starts at 6:00 PM.  This is free to attend!  There will be fantastic prizes and a Grand Prize of a Wedding Cake made by the infamous Granny Schmidt's Bakery in Whitehall!  Please call 610-437-9100 and ask for the Sales Team for more information!



Allentown Comfort Suites
3712 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18103

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Carbon Chamber Letter From the Chairman - January 2014

This article originally appears in The Chamber's January 2014 issue of Connections

Michael Harleman, First Northern Bank & Trust
President, Carbon County Chamber
610-826-2239 • harleman@ptd.net

Happy New Year!

Special thanks to our partnership with The Chamber as we head in to 2014! Marlyn Kissner, EVP The Chamber and Kasara McGlaughlin, Director of Member Relations will be working closely with our board of directors and members on great events, initiatives and member benefits as we work to continue to strengthen the business community in Carbon County.

It will be an exciting year, and I want you to know that you have very knowledgeable and dedicated people working on your behalf to provide many more opportunities and support tools to help you to grow your business!  As for me, I would like to tell you how honored I am to be the Chair of your Carbon County Chamber. I think our members are exceptional people, and I cannot wait for another productive year to unfold... making us stronger than ever! I encourage you to join us and get involved!

Save the date! I look forward to seeing you this year as we begin the networking season at our first official after hours mixer at Home Solutions Partners in Palmerton on March 20!


See you soon.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grow Ur Biz - Sour Grapes

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Research shows that 46% of Americans make New Year Resolutions and only 8% are kept.  Geez! I’m shocked, I’m disappointed, ok, I’m devastated.  Could this be an “ah ha” moment or are you going to be one of those 8%, that’s SOUR! 

Speaking of Sour- This resolution I kept many years ago. I resolved to a weekly diet of lemons.  Did you know that the all-natural alkalizing effect of fresh squeezed juice, from organic lemons, has a very powerful detoxifying effect that can purge toxins from the blood and help assist in removing harmful compounds from your body? Almost everybody has been misled to believe lemons are acidic, but inside your body lemons are an incredibly alkaline food that can help balance your body’s pH, which means better health and higher energy levels. Lemon juice has also been shown to improve your digestive function, acts as a mild diuretic and is loaded with healthy ingredients (citric acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, bioflavonoids, pectin) that helps boost your immune function. 

Not SOUR, just awesome!   I kept my new year’s resolution and have seen years of results.  I started practicing a healthy lifestyle.   One of my friends, Dr. Don Sheffield, says “practice makes permanent” rather than practice makes perfect. 

“No perfection expected no failure anticipated”.  Here are some practice makes permanent ideas for the New Year......

1.  Put a real 3 step action plan in place, make change a priority, have step one completed no later than April 1, 2014

2.  Visit that plan daily, as you are pouring your coffee or your lemon juice, think about how you can implement the plan, take action steps every day
3.  Celebrate your accomplishments, review progress monthly
4.  Build your business immune system, Practice, practice, practice, expect results
5.  Be pro-active stop putting out fires, just prevent them. 
If you don’t succeed with your resolutions/your-new plan/your new ideas, you will have a lot more than “SOUR”, you will have “SOUR Grapes.” in 2014. 

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker 
Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer
610-442-4545 
 
Watch for my new website launch coming soon.


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 Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nonprofit Junior Achievement Expands its Reach in the Lehigh Valley



Nonprofit Junior Achievement Expands its Reach in the Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley. PA – January 6, 2014: Junior Achievement of Berks County and Lehigh Valley is proud to announce new staff and expanded service in the Lehigh Valley. Marsha Rivas of Whitehall has been named as Development Manager and the organization is now served by a 15-member board of directors. Combined with the expansion of its office in Fogelsville, Junior Achievement is poised to bring financial literacy and work readiness programs to over 3,000 students in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. 

Junior Achievement has been active in the Lehigh Valley for more than 50 years; its office is located alongside Dale Carnegie Training. For more than half a century, Junior Achievement has been a force for positive change in Berks County and Lehigh Valley. Overall, the number of students serviced from kindergarten through twelfth grade has increased by 30% from just one year ago. As a result of the JA Graduation Pathway symposiums and Dale Carnegie-partnered programs, more than 350 Lehigh Valley students will benefit from JA-based mentorship and materials outside of the classroom.

Junior Achievement leadership has expanded as well. Marsha Rivas will manage Junior Achievement events, including the upcoming ‘So You Think You Can Cook?’ event that will feature local corporate and community leaders competing to become the 2014 ‘Junior Achievement Top Chef’ on Thursday, January 30 at The Sands Bethlehem. Rivas joined the staff in November. She will also assist with program efforts, which are directed by Ellen Albright, Program Manager. Leading the staff is Judi Simmons, President and CEO.  Chuck Weinmann, Vice President of National Penn Bank, serves as chairman of the Lehigh Valley area board of directors.



Junior Achievement of Berks County and Lehigh Valley is a dynamic non-profit organization headquartered in Reading, PA, that serves students kindergarten through high school. District offices located in Reading and Allentown make it possible to provide comprehensive programs of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy to students in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties through a large network of business and community volunteers.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Creating Change in 2014

Guest blog post from Gina Consalvo of Eat Well with Gina

Many of us have high expectations for a new year.  We enter the new year with good intentions, but despite best efforts 75% of people that start their New Year with a resolution to lose weight give up by the end of their first week and 88% of  resolutions made, of any kind, will end in failure.

3 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail:
They are unspecific, unrealistic, and extrinsically motivated.

UNSPECIFIC
“I want to get healthy this year” “Eat healthier” “Get fit” “Lose weight” These goals are way to vague making it easier to procrastinate. There is no way to measure your success or hold yourself to an attainable, time-based goal.

UNREALISTIC
Making a goal to “Go to the gym 5x per week for an hour” is unrealistic if you previously were hardly making it to the gym 2x per week on a regular basis. Setting unrealistic, highly aspirational goals is a quick way to failure.

EXTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED, not intrinsically motivated
If your resolution is generic or your motivation is external or insincere, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Set a goal where you have a strong, passion, internally, to make a change in your life. To accomplish a goal you will need a strong drive to achieve it coupled with will power and perseverance.

How to Create a New Year’s Resolution that won’t Fail

For optimal success, come up with a simple, concrete goal that can be easily tracked and re-evaluated. Having a goal isn’t enough, you also need a plan.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”

TO BEGIN:

Pick only 1 resolution and make it specific
Create achievable mini-goals that are within reach, but will serve as steps for achieving your larger goal
Answer the following questions:

·         What is my resolution?
·         What is holding me back now?
·         How will I accomplish my resolution?
·         How will I know when I get there, what are the acceptance criteria?

Setting a SMART Goal
A SMART goal clarifies exactly what is expected and the measures used to determine if the goal is achieved and successfully completed. A SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. In other words, a goal that is very clear and easily understood.

SPECIFIC: Define your goal. Is it focused? Will someone else be involved? Where will it take place? Provide as many details as possible.

MEASURABLE: How much change is needed to achieve the goal? How do you define success? Try to quantify your goal. For instance, how much weight do you want to lose or how much money do you want to save?

ATTAINABLE: What are the action steps to attain the goal? What resources or tools are needed? Is this goal within your reach? Is it realistic?

RELEVANT: Is the goal important to you? Are you committed to achieving it? Are you willing to dedicate time and energy to reaching this goal? Does the goal have meaning to you?

TIME-BOUND: When does your goal start and end? What is your time frame for achieving the goal? Is this considered a short, intermediate or long term goal?

Tips for Success
BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK: Tell friends and family about your resolution.  Social support is helpful when trying to accomplish a goal.  Enlist family and friends to help you achieve your resolutions by including them.  Ask a family member to try new healthy recipes with you or ask a friend to be your workout buddy.

Work with a support team of professionals like Health Revolution Easton (www.healthrevolutioneaston), which is a team of experts who specialize in helping you achieve your goals! This team is made up of therapists, a registered dietitian (me), and a personal trainer. This is a great way to start your new year and surround your self with encouragement and support.

REWARD YOUR PROGRESS: A research study from the University of Chicago outlines how positive feedback on any of your new habits will increase the likelihood of your success with your new habits and resolutions.  Being positive and encouraging to yourself about your progress is a powerful tool in achieving your New Year’s Resolution.

Now that we are a few weeks into 2014 are you still working on achieving your resolution?  Need a nudge in the right direction?  Would you like someone to help motivate you?  If so, Health Revolution Easton’s team of experts on mind, body, and food are ready to help you achieve your goals!  Visit www.healthrevolutioneaston to learn more!


It's a New Year.  Let's take a new approach to taking care of ourselves.  Not a resolution but a REVOLUTION!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

25th Anniversary Snow Ball on February 8, 2014


                                                                                                                   
25th Anniversary Snow Ball Auction Proceeds to Benefit LifePath and State Theatre Center for the Arts
The Small Business Council (SBC) of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the silent auction beneficiaries of the 25th Anniversary Snow Ball; LifePath, Inc. and the State Theatre Center for the Arts. The 2014 Snow Ball will take place on Saturday, February 8 from 6 pm to midnight at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center.

Since 1988, The SBC has hosted the annual Snow Ball for the Lehigh Valley business community. This sold-out event attracts an elite audience of Lehigh Valley socialites and the Silent Auction consistently benefits local charitable organizations. Since the inception of the Snow Ball, the SBC has contributed more than $420,000 to local beneficiaries.

LifePath provides the highest quality of services to people needing specialized supports through the blending of professional knowledge, arts and skills in an environment of unconditional respect and dignity.

The State Theatre provides a stage to celebrate and explore the arts together. In accomplishing this goal, the State Theatre brings together, entertains, and enriches the lives of people of all ages, races, income levels and cultural interests.

Event Information:

When: Saturday, February 8, 2014 - Cocktails at 6 pm / Dinner at 8 pm / Dancing begins at 9pm

Where: Sands Bethlehem Event Center

Pricing Information: Single Ticket: $200 / Couple $325 / Corporate Table $3,500

Sponsors: Premier Sponsor: Capital BlueCross / Presenting Sponsor: BSI Corporate Benefits


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Grow UR Biz - Be It Resolved

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com 

Be it Resolved, that I’m going to change my ways, Be it Resolved that I will blah blah blah, be it resolved that I will Grow my Biz by at least 25% in 2014.  How many of us really keep those resolutions? 
How many of us eat the celebratory pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for good luck?  Did you know that eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day is a tradition by the German and Pennsylvania Dutch; they believe it will bring good fortune all year if it is eaten for your first meal of the New Year. The meat represents luck and the greens you eat are supposed to represent the more money you make. It's not always sauerkraut and pork, sometimes its collard or turnip greens and some other kind of meat.  Ah ha, so that’s how we get a successful business, we eat more “GREEN!”
I see “GREEN.”  I’m off to the grocery store to buy spinach, cabbage, collard greens, green peppers, kale and a side of celery.  I will sit back and eat like Popeye and my business will just take off and the cash will flow in like a river of spinach.
I have a suggestion for you, whether you made a resolution this year or not, changing your ways will help you to see more “GREEN.”  Think about the gifted artist that spends all of his or her time painting but selling becomes an after thought.  Think about the author who just loves to write and spends all their time writing and selling becomes an after thought.  Or better yet, think about the person who works at a department store who is so much more comfortable stocking the shelves rather than selling the product.
Here’s how to change your ways......
1.   Flip your time around - start by marketing your biz at least 20% of your time in 2014 - I prefer  50-50 but start slow
2.   Do what you don’t love first and what you love to do second
3.   Commit to work with someone who is an expert in marketing
4.   Join an organization with a natural market for marketing to all sorts of business
5.   Listen to new ideas and new strategies, model your biz after someone who already is  successful at marketing
Be it Resolved that eating pork and sauerkraut is a wonderful tradition, but changing your “MARKETING WAY” will be more likely to bring in the new year with “GREEN!”
I think I’ll make Pork and Sauerkraut for dinner tonight!
Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker 
Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer
610-442-4545 
 
Watch for my new website launch coming soon.


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 Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Friday, January 3, 2014

Recharge Your Business in 2014!

The Nazareth Business Council presents 'RECHARGE' in 2014 - a three-week learning seminar where business owners and employees will learn how to create new strategies and unlock the floodgates to bigger and better opportunities, sensational profits, and faster growth.

The seminars will be conducted at Moravian Hall Square on Tuesdays January 7, 14, and 21 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Seating is limited.

To register, contact Laurel Mikovits at 610-216-5343 or lam8185@aol.com

Cost:
Nazareth Businesses: $79 for all three weeks
Chamber Members: $89 for all three weeks
Future Members: $149 for all three weeks
Individual Sessions: $49 each
To register, contact Laurel Mikovits at 610-216-5343 or lam8185@aol.com

Cost:
Nazareth Businesses: $79 for all three weeks
Chamber Members: $89 for all three weeks
Future Members: $149 for all three weeks
Individual Sessions: $49 each