Monday, March 31, 2014

Grow UR Biz - D-D-T

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

I remember, years ago, I was coming home from a speech in Columbus, Ohio.  It was June, hot and when I boarded the plane I realized the plane had no air conditioning.  After about 20 minutes of what felt like heat stroke, I got up and asked the flight attendant what was wrong.  She said the air conditioning wouldn’t work until we got in the air.  Oh please,  I was pretty sure she was not telling the truth.  Well, we took off and I don’t recall ever being so hot in my life.  The natives were getting restless and began to complain and almost beg for drinks.  That was two hours of my life I will never forget.  I wrote the company and did get one free airline ticket which I had to use within the next two months.  I was thinking, how would the trip have changed if she told me the TRUTH?  

Then, this week I was asked to be a reference for a friend.  When Bob called he asked me the usual questions.  He said this is a marketing job, our person needs to be a self- starter.  I said, “He’s driven and he does what he says he will do.”  Bob said, “You said the right word, he’s driven!” Do you know anyone like that?  DRIVEN

And then, I love watching my grandchildren grow up.  I see things I didn’t notice when I was raising my kids.  Like the day Wes was allowed to play on our deck  but his curiosity took him to the gate.  I watched him try, try and try again to get that gate open.  He was only 4.   He would look around him for something to stand on, he would push and push and push again in order to wiggle the lock loose.  After 30 minutes, he did it, he got the thing open and ran down the steps.  DETERMINATION

Three qualities necessary to be an entrepreneur.  

DETERMINATION means strength of character and firmness of purpose. Gotta have it!  

To be DRIVEN means you won’t stop until the job is done, you are committed to the end results.  Gotta have it!

TRUTH-we all know what that means, I always say to my colleagues -just tell me the truth.  I can handle that better than silly games, better than pretending you agree and better than saying I’m right when I’m absolutely wrong.  Gotta have it.

Success comes in many forms, but with DDT, Determination, being Driven and Truth-telling - Success may come sooner than you think!  Gotta have it!


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 BETTER 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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Coffee & Conversation with Dan Pallotta

The Chamber’s Non Profit and Business Partners Council and Air Products present Coffee & Conversation with Dan Pallotta at The State Theatre Center for the Arts on April 1, 2014. Pallotta is a leading advocate and outspoken activist. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend – not for what they get done.

Pallotta’s presentation will be followed by Q & A and a chance for attendees to network with local foundations and corporations that fund our non-profit organizations. A private breakfast will be held back stage for event sponsors Air Products, Capital BlueCross, United Way, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Just Born, Brown Daub, State Theatre Center for the Arts, Crayola, Highmark, Morey, Nee, Buck & Oswald, King Spry, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, Working Dog Press, Friends of the Bethlehem Mounted Police, ASR Media Productions, LVAIC and the Volunteer Center of the LV. There are over 500 people already signed up to attend. Together we might just change the world!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grow Ur Biz - Shirley Temple

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

On the good ship Lollipop, it’s a sweet trip to the candy shop, where bon-bon's play, on the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay. Lemonade stands everywhere, Crackerjack bands, fill the air, and there you are, happy landings on a chocolate bar.  The legacy of Shirley Temple goes well beyond this famous song, her movies and her service to her country as an ambassador to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.  Do you know the story of the world renowned non-alcoholic  drink, “Shirley Temple?”  

We took our granddaughter to lunch for her birthday this weekend and she wanted to order a Shirley Temple.  She asked why is the drink called a Shirley Temple?  

Some say it happened at the famed Brown Derby Restaurant and others believe a bartender created it at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  The exact source of the name is a bit of a mystery, but most stories agree on the reason, which is obvious: the young starlet was out at a restaurant and needed something non-alcoholic to drink. Reportedly, Temple was “whining” over her parents sipping an old-fashioned, so the waitstaff mixed up a tea-total version for her.  
The question is, why can you order a Shirley Temple anywhere in the world and everyone knows what it is?  How about that brand?  Why are some brands completely recognizable and others remain anonymous?  Well, first Shirley Temple was world renowned in her day. 
According to Steve Tobak, he believes that by satisfying one or more of the following three conditions your brand can remain recognizable:
  1. Invention or innovation
  2. Viral use or marketing
  3. Creating or dominating a category 

I would agree.  Back in the 1930’s, when the Shirley Temple was created, it went viral in it’s own way, most likely by word of mouth.  Is your brand spreading like wildfire? Are you using “FREE” social media to promote your brand? Are you dominating in one category or another? Or, are you wishing and hoping your brand will soar?

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 BETTER 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

Monday, March 24, 2014

BUSINESS MATTERS TONIGHT: Everything Local, State, and National You Wanna Know - We got it tonight!

#BusinessMatters TONIGHT with host Tony Iannelli and five powerful (and passionate!) guests as they debate the hottest political topics locally, state-wide, and nationally, including healthcare reform, who will make the best next President of the US, legalization of marijuana, and much, much more! Don’t miss this episode!

Title: Everything Local, State, and National You Wanna Know - We got it tonight!

·Katrina Anderson - PA Commonwealth Foundation
·Joe Hilliard - Leadership for Liberty
·Sam Bennett - Businesswoman, Author & Democratic Strategist
·Kim Sharif
·Jude-Laure Dennis - World Music Institute



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Grow Ur Biz - RULE IT OUT

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Woke up last Friday with plans to run some errands.  One thing I’ve learned is that so many times the best laid plans are sometimes not realized.  I decided to start at the bank.  I wanted to put a payment on my credit card.  Walked in with cash and the credit card.  Stood in line for a bit, reached the teller and she said, “You need to show your identification to make a payment.”  I thought, “Why would I need ID to make a payment?”  Are there rogue people showing up at the bank trying to make a payment on my credit card?  If so, I’m leaving it there so I can take advantage of all those extra payments.  I asked, “Why do I need ID to make a payment, it doesn’t make sense.”  I showed the ID and then began to think.....
Can rules get way too crazy?  Are we so paranoid about liars, cheats and thieves that we ‘Rule our Way’ right out of business. I’m not anti rule, but I do think that sometimes businesses go too far.  No shirt, no shoes, no service, no returns without a receipt, don’t use this door, no more than 4 at a table, don’t use credit card, cash only, stand in this line, stand in that line, hold on I’ll be with you in an hour, and on and on.  
If you’re looking to Grow Ur Biz - only one rule is necessary.  Come in because we are the friendliest business in town.   It’s our pleasure to serve you.  
I don’t have a checking or savings account with this bank, although they ask me to open one every time I’m there.  No thanks, I’m ruling you out!
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 BETTER 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

Gift of Life Donor Program is hiring a Community Relations Coordinator!

Gift of Life Donor Program is #hiring a Community Relations Coordinator!

Gift of Life Donor Program is a non-profit agency serving eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. They're responsible for recovering and distributing organ and tissues used in life-saving and life-enhancing transplants.

Learn more and apply here: http://bit.ly/1iYAyTr

Monday, March 17, 2014

BUSINESS MATTERS TONIGHT: The Lehigh Valley’s War on Drugs: Are we winning or losing?

#BusinessMatters TONIGHT with host Tony Iannelli at 7:30pm. A show you most definitely need to see!

Title: The Lehigh Valley’s War on Drugs: Are we winning or losing?

Guests:
·Jim Martin, Lehigh County District Attorney
·Ken Martz, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
·Tyler Rogers, Safe Harbor
·Tim Munsch, Lehigh Valley Drug & Alcohol Intake
·Laura Acetta, Easton Weed and Seed

How quickly is the drug epidemic escalating in PA? How are local law enforcement officials and legislators responding to the problem? Are we investing enough in rehabilitation effort to avoid the likelihood of relapse rather than spending copious amounts on incarceration?



Nazareth Business Council Invites You to PAIRINGS - A one of a kind Wine & Tasting Event


Nazareth Business Council Invites You to PAIRINGS - A one of a kind Wine & Tasting Event

 

The Nazareth Business Council and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce invite you to a one of a kind wine & tasting event - “PAIRINGS” - on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 2 to 6pm.  The event is sponsored by Merchants Bank of Bangor. 

Your journey will begin and end at the Nazareth Center for the Arts.  Guests will board our Easton Coach shuttle and arrive at the first destination, Widow’s Tavern and Grill; Chef Adam Greismann will delight you with Widow’s most famous dish paired with an excellent selection of wine. 

Next you will arrive at Beck’s Land & Sea where Chef Cale Beck will show you why Beck’s has been voted “Best in the Valley.”  Guests will then arrive at the Classic Victorian Estate Inn, where Chef Cindee Feldman of 29 Cooks Catering will share her passion for elegant dining with a superb wine. 

The shuttle will then bring you back to the Nazareth Center for the Arts to meet the fabulous Amy Cozze, owner of Cozze Cakes. Your adventure will end with her sweet temptations. 

To make a reservation, email Mary at maryh@lehighvalleychamber.org or call to register at 610-739-1520.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Growing UR Biz in 2014 - Walt, Steve, Thomas & Henry

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

What do Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford have in common?  They all are great innovators, they all applied imagination to technology and business and they all became wildly famous and have incredible name recognition.  
After doing some research I learned, Walt wasn’t always a spoon full of sugar.  He struggled with women in the workplace but, in spite of his beliefs, he focused on creating the happiest place on earth.  Love that place.  FOCUS 
In Steve Jobs biography, he proclaims FOCUS as the most important trait for a successful company.   He actually would invite his leadership team to make a list of projects they wanted to work on in the upcoming year.  After all suggestions were made, Steve would elimate all but three so they could put everything they had into those three objectives - that’s FOCUS!  Innovators are catalysts for change, they take ideas and transform them into our every day lives.  Steve was asked about his tough leadership style, he said, “they have a choice to work anywhere and they stay here, so it must be working.”
“One of the most famous and prolific inventors of all time,” Thomas Alva Edison  contributed inventions such as the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, as well as improving the telegraph and telephone. In his 84 years, he acquired an astounding 1,093 patents.  Now that’s FOCUS!!
After designing race cars for his own use, Henry Ford, in 1908, designed the Model T, specifically made to appeal to the masses. It was light, fast and strong. Henry had found and used Vanadium steel within the Model T which was much stronger than any other steel available at the time. He transformed the auto industry with FOCUS.
I have worked with so many businesses over the years.  If I had to pinpoint their two biggest issues, they would be low communication and lack of FOCUS.  Many times they are just all over the place with their ideas and direction. 
FOCUS is the center of attention, the core of what you do, your #1 activity.  Here’s how to begin to FOCUS...
Step 1 -  Choose or strategize about  your #1 profit making activity 
Step 2 -  Increase your time spent on the activity by 50%
Step 3 - Don’t allow any distractions from that activity
Step 4 - Increase your marketing, train your staff and zero in on it daily
Step 5 - Teach your customers that what is #1 to them is #1 to you!
FOCUS, it’s rather simple, takes some planning, but mostly, takes your commitment to profitabliity.  JUST FOCUS
  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 BETTER 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

Monday, March 10, 2014

BUSINESS MATTERS TONIGHT: Paycheck Protection or Paycheck Deception?

Tune in tonight to WFMZ-TV 69 at 7:30 p.m. with #BusinessMatters host Tony Iannelli and four dynamic panelists discussing one of the most debated topics in the business arena – paycheck protection.

TITLE: Paycheck Protection or Paycheck Deception?

· David Fillman, AFSCME Council 13

· Wendell Young, UFCW1776

· (Matt Brouillette, PA Commonwealth Foundation

· Simon Campbell, Pennsylvanians for Union Reform

What is “paycheck protection” and why are some calling it “paycheck deception”? Does this legislation open Pandora’s box in moving towards passing "right to work" legislation? Are labor unions and the working class silenced due to this legislation?



Preparing for Severe Spring Weather

Guest blog from SBA
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

We have all witnessed the devastating effects Mother Nature can cause throughout the year. As we look ahead to Spring, now is the time to prepare for the threats posed by spring storms and floodwaters. Your organization is more than just a place of business to your customers, employees and stakeholders. Your organization is a key aspect of their lives, and one that must be protected. If your organization is affected by adverse weather conditions, how well will you be prepared to serve those who depend on you in their time of need?

Join the SBA and co-sponsor Agility Recovery as we welcome Agility CEO Bob Boyd who will share practical, applicable tips and best practices to mitigate the risks posed by spring weather conditions.  These recommended steps and strategies are based on the thousands of successful business recoveries following weather disasters, including those related to flooding, tornadoes and severe storms.

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Co-sponsorship Authorization # 12-2110-114. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.  Contact: Scott Teel at 704-927-7933scott.teel@agilityrecovery.com.

This Web site is provided as a public service under Co-sponsorship Authorization 12-2110-114.  It may contain links to non-U.S. government information. Inclusion of such links does not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA.  SBA is not responsible for the content, accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of linked information. Please use caution when considering a product, service or opinion offered by a linked Website.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Message From Stephen Patterson - Chair, Board of Governors, The Chamber

Guest blog from Stephen Patterson of TD Bank

While this winter has brought more than its share of challenges, it has also been one of great achievement. In spite of the weather, your Chamber successfully held about 60 events of all shapes and sizes so far this winter. We saw record registration for, amazing attendance at, and excellent feedback from, The Chamber Economic Outlook on January 21 (snow storm). Our Small Business Council’s annual black tie event, The Snow Ball Gala in February was the biggest, and by all accounts, the best one ever with about 600 members in attendance. More than $25,000 was raised at the silent auction to be split between this year’s beneficiaries, LifePath and The State Theatre Center for the Arts (in-between storms). A great networking season by any measure!

With the first day of spring right around the corner, The Chamber is ready to celebrate our recent and explosive growth into new geographic chambers of commerce and new and diverse business councils. Several staff members and volunteers have stepped-up and taken on added responsibilities to advance our mission and improve our product. Now more than ever, The Chamber is focused on helping you connect with other businesses across an even larger footprint and cultural mix to achieve personal success.

And always remember... this is YOUR Chamber! You MUST take advantage of the great networking events, marketing products, exclusive, money saving programs, member benefits, training and information sessions, and amazing committee activities. The more you engage, the bigger the reward.

As we look toward spring, this chamber and its active members continue to flourish to the benefit of the entire Lehigh Valley community. With business and community leaders like you we will dig out of these challenging times together.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

County Commissioner Creighton to Speak at Tuesday Chamber Luncheon


The Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber is hosting a luncheon and presentation by Lehigh County Commissioner Thomas Creighton, on Tuesday March 11th at Neff’s Hotel and Other Side Restaurant: 5635 Rt. 873.

$15 for Chamber members ($20 for future Chamber members) includes lunch; registration is at 11:30 am.

Mr. Creighton was sworn in as the Lehigh County Commissioner representing District 1 in January, 2010. He is an advocate of farmland preservation and of open and accessible government, and ran for County Commissioner as a fiscal conservative committed to decreasing spending and taxes.

County Commissioner Creighton previously served as a Lynn Township Supervisor for 6 years; he cites the lowering of Township real estate tax from 1.3 mills to 1 mill as one of his most significant accomplishments.

He also serves on the Northwestern Recreation Commission. He is a graduate of Widener University with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, and is a network engineer for the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District.

To attend, please pre-register online at lehighvalleychamber.org via the “programs and events” tab, or contact Mary at maryh@lehighvalleychamber.org or 610.739.1520.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Growing UR Biz in 2014 - Match.com

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Match.com says it’s the leading online dating site for singles. I’m not interested in dating, but decided to go there to research for this week’s post. The front page says you can take a chemistry test, the testimony says,“the test works, almost as though they knew me.” Not taking the test either but I do believe in chemistry. It’s almost like you have a bunch of friends and you love them all, but you have more chemistry with one or two. What is chemistry? Answer - a natural connection between two people. According to Psychology Today, “If we perceive at least some similarity, we may feel more at ease disclosing information about ourselves, because we believe the other person will understand us.” Ah ha, sounds like a breakthrough! Chemistry equals someone who “get’s us” or “understands us.” I’m thinking I might agree!

How about we close our eyes and create a clientmatch.com site for recruiting new clients? When you arrive you complete a form that states what you have to offer (your profile) and then you take the chemistry test and then the site matches you with the perfect client. Now, they took the chemistry test too, so it has to work. One of my favorite coaching clients told me recently that her company teaches their staff to “DATE their FUTURE CLIENTS!” What a “Smash the Box” idea! I realized I’ve been doing it for years, just didn’t have a name for it.

Here Are Some Ideas.....

1. Be willing to share a cup of coffee, a meal, attend an event

2. Take the time to pay attention to them bi-weekly

3. Zone in on your natural connection - take the conversation there

4. Invite them to attend events you think they will enjoy

5. Take this trusting relationship into a trusting business relationship

6. Once they become your client, you’re married and we all know that marriage is a work in progress. It’s not easy, you need to pay attention to it and you need to stay committed and loyal.

Match.com may be the leading online dating site for singles and since we have no site for matching you with the ideal client, it’s time to pay attention to chemistry and start dating TODAY!

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer
www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks

https://www.facebook.com/pages/CarolCoaches/194664211990
https://www.facebook.com/Caroltalkscom

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 BETTER 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

Monday, March 3, 2014

8 Energy Cost Concerns for 2014

1)       The Polar Vortex Effect on Energy Prices: After Polar Vortex 1.0 and 2.0, natural gas storage has started the year off 20% below last year.  The Energy information Administration has forecasted the end of season storage (March 31st)  at 1, 541  which is below the 5 year min level of 1,591 Bcf.   With higher gas prices, gas producers are likely to increase supply and fill storage back to the 3, 800 Bcf level by the start of October.
2)       Volatility in Natural Gas Prices: Natural gas basis remains volatile, both in cash and forward markets. In the Midwest, Chicago prices are forecasted to realize near parity with Henry Hub as the market must still source supply from markets in the west and midcontinent that have alternatives to flowing into deeply discounted markets. New proposals to move gas to demand centers continue to emerge, and both producers and end-users are subscribing to capacity to move gas out of the Marcellus and Utica regions and to consumers.
3)       The Effect of LNG Exports: It is likely the Department of Energy will approve each LNG export application it considers this year, leaving the ultimate volumes of LNG exports to be determined by global supply and demand fundamentals and not political considerations in Washington. Lake Charles, Freeport, and Cove Point all received export licenses in 2013, and the DOE is likely to continue granting approvals as it works, albeit slowly, down its queue.
4)       Industrial Energy Demand:energy insights    8 Energy Cost Concerns for 2014 The Energy Information administration Jan 7, 2014 short term energy outlook reported Industrial gas demand is up 2% y-o-y thru October and a 3% growth m-o-m.  The industrial sector has been a continued bright spot for natural gas demand and should continue expanding based on the U.S. cost advantage in domestic gas prices vs. global prices. 
5)       Gas Price Projections: The Short Term Energy Outlook released by the Energy Information Administration on January 7, 2014, Henry Hub prices averaged $3.73/MMBtu for 2013 overall and are projected to average $3.89/MMBtu in 2014 and $4.11/MMBtu in 2015
6)       Gas Exports to Mexico: According to a Goldman Sachs report, natural gas exports from the U.S. to Mexico could more than double by 2015 as demand for natural gas increases in Mexico and U.S. producers try and find a home for excess natural gas.
7)       Environmental Rules: Environmental policy will continue to favor a cleaner generating fleet. The Mercury Air Toxic rules survived its court challenges and takes effect as planned in early 2015, while rules on EPA carbon emissions are inching forward.
8)       Natural Gas Vehicles: In their Annual Energy Outlook, the EIA is forecasting that natural gas is the fastest – growing fuel in the transportation sector, with an average annual growth rate of 11.9 percent from 2011 to 2040.
Want to manage natural gas costs and price volatility without all of the work? Click here to see how Constellation’s  Managed Procurement Program is helping companies manage energy budgets and mitigate the effects of volatile energy prices.