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The Silent Givers

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As I awoke yet again to a beeping pager going off in the middle of the night, I realized the static was another urgent call either for mom, or if dad was home from flying planes, maybe for both of them.

Growing up, I just thought it was a usual thing that people like my parents, who were always helping others, simply just did. Whether it was being a volunteer EMT on-call 24/7, youth sports coach, fundraising officer, school board member or taking in a foster youth, I believed this was the norm, and what all of us people just did.

With time, I began to learn a new realty, which was that maybe this behavior wasn’t as common.

It wasn’t until more recently, decades later, that I realized that what my parents were doing, and are still doing, is more of a rare attribute and certainly one that is vitally important to the health and well being of local communities.

You see the way Sandy and Kent Owen have always gone about their service, is in a quiet, unassuming way. While others may grab the spotlight, it’s Sandy and Kent who are quietly laying low doing the hard work.

I’ve come to understand that humanitarianism is quite a rare and honorable human trait, and one that I admire.

For many years in the community of Three Rivers, CA there was only one person qualified as an EMT 2 for the volunteer ambulance, (this means you can administer an IV), and she worked quite hard to become certified as such. That person is Sandy Owen (3rd from left above). As she raised us three kids, she also gave her medical expertise and time to saving the lives of others. Additionally, my mom took charge of the ambulance finances to keep this service going for our small rural community (it was 45-min+ to a hospital). When she finally retired from this long-time duty, sadly soon thereafter, so did the ambulance service itself.

Currently, at age 81, mom directs the Woodlake Foundation Scholarship Committee, which is often a full time volunteer position for the high school.

Meanwhile, after dad Kent Owen retired from decades of military and commercial pilot duties (Air Force Purple Heart, National Guard Colonel and Captain at United Airlines), he quickly jumped into coaching (more full-time volunteerism) the girls varsity basketball teams, where he still is today at age 83.And this is along with coaching duties at the local elementary flag football team. Oh and by the way, he’s also serving another term as a Trustee on the Woodlake Union School District School Board.

I’m guessing it’s my DNA that propels me into service for my community, but I don’t do enough. As I look around, today I notice we are a small number though, and often it’s the same people doing the service…but as the Mandalorians say: “this is the way!”

The silent givers of love, time and patience are Sandy & Kent Owen. They get the award and the spotlight for true leadership. On behalf of all those they serve, including us family folk, here’s a shout out of DEEP GRATITUDE AND THANKS to Sandy & Kent, the selfless first-responders who make the world a better place.

Going Mobile – benchmark biz model

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Most of us who are reading this have grown up with reproductive healthcare rights. My daughters, sisters, nieces, circle of friends, their families and friends…all of us would never understand otherwise.

After all, it’s only us, with our doctors and loved ones, who can make the decisions about our family planning, and therefore our economic futures.

The decision when and if to become parents is entirely up to us, not the politicians.

Regardless of the recent SCOTUS ruling, we’re going to continue overseeing our own bodies and it’s a critical time to help those who live in places where this basic healthcare has been taken away.

That’s why I’m volunteering for the nonprofit Just The Pill  an innovative, responsive mobile reproductive healthcare clinic that is closely following the legislative laws in order to legally and safely provide abortion care. The medical experts at Just The Pill offer telemed and mobile care.

This benchmark business model is now one that other brick and mortar clinics are quickly replicating to address a growing immediate healthcare crisis facing women, girls and families across our country.

Abortion healthcare is necessary for people to be able to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.

Due to unnecessary legislative restrictions, those from rural communities or who don’t have financial means to go far for abortion services are now facing more hurdles than they already had.

The medical professionals at Just The Pill understand, like most of us do, that each person should be able to make their own decision about whether or not to become pregnant or have children, and that these decisions most certainly support families.

“Lack of access to safe, timely, affordable and respectful abortion care poses a risk to not only the physical, but also the mental and social, well-being of women and girls.” World Health Organization 2022

Forced pregnancy is inhumane (and it seems those who try to force pregnancies are also against contraception, child care support and the list goes on–who knew?).

We simply won’t accept a ruling that codifies our economic inequality, and denies our right to privacy and freedom.

Just The Pill’s  mobile clinics are responding to hundreds of patients from the politically-motivated hostile states.

Please consider the patients under the care of the medical experts at Just The Pill. Those on the front line responding to this healthcare access crisis are our brave soldiers. Follow @JustThePill, DONATE and/or Volunteer

Let’s put a stop to this dangerous healthcare intervention of government-mandated forced-pregnancy.

Make sure to VOTE in the midterm elections and in every election at every level of government. Reproductive freedom candidates endoresed by Planned Parenthood HERE

Pro-choice candidates are pro-life (make no mistake those claiming this term are actually anti-life quality). Abortion is basic healthcare and is part of supporting healthy families.

Here’s the article that first inspired me to contact Just The Pill: The Atlantic: Abortion Underground

Get Empowered

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Wow I just learned about this incredible program being offered at Cornell University that’s specifically geared to support women entrepreneurs. It’s a free certificate program open to anyone worldwide (regardless of gender) and the only on-line entrepreneurship program at an Ivy League institution. Let’s Get Empowered!

Details here in article (7-min. listen option):

Article in Forbes by Marybeth Gasman

Rutgers graduate school professor Gasman is also an author of several books including her newest: Doing the Right Thing: How Colleges and Universities Can Undo Systemic Racism in Faculty Hiring (Princeton University Press, 2022)

Digital Literacy – it’s up to you

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Recently, many young adults in my circle have enthusiastically supported and joined in on the call-to-action to be digitally literate so I decided to share this with you. The basic gist is that for professional success, it’s vital to get your info. from legitimate news sources and you’ll also have to counteract misinformation.

Here’s a check-list to help you steer the path to digital literacy (vs. being manipulated) –stay in the driver’s seat! 

  • Ask yourself: Who is the author and why did this author post the info?
  • If you see something false: inject truth with respect to the sharer (this person may be mislead).
  • Follow members of the free press and journalists who are proven, established, research-driven and who work for legitimate news sources: Associated Press, Reuters, NPR, BBC, Wired, Time, WSJ, National Geographic, New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, PBS, CSPAN, Washington Post and more.
  • Take note of how much time you spend on news passively vs. seeking factually correct, high quality news sites.
  • Unfortunately, social media algorithms reward shares and likes of incorrect info. Social media transparency features can help you discern fact from lie. Scrutinize the content before sharing it to make sure it’s true vs. an emotional reaction. 
  • Follow educational leaders:  @DisinfoPortal   @Graphika_NYC   @FSIStanford   @HumaneTech Podcast

These Fact-Checkers can help you confirm/share truth: 

Snopes

AP FactCheck

PolitiFact

Org

Educate yourself about online manipulators of conspiracy theories:

Physics to Finish

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She’s in-motion past her opponent to the hoop. With the right amount of force to ball spin and placement, she delivers!

According to author and speaker James Clear, “Newton’s laws of motion reveal insights that tell you pretty much everything you need to know about how to be productive.” Here’s the gist and for more examples, see his full article cited below.

Get Started! Just get going and stay in motion vs. procrastinate because objects in motion tend to stay in motion.  Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. (i.e. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.)

It’s not only about how hard you work. It’s also about where you apply your limited amount of force. Newton’s Second Law of Motion: F=ma. The vector sum of the forces on an object is equal to the mass of that object multiplied by the acceleration vector of the object. (i.e. Force equals mass times acceleration.)

Your productivity is a balance of opposing forces and if you remove some obvious opposing forces, you’ll be more productive for the longer run. Newton’s Third Law of Motion: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. (i.e. Equal and opposite forces.)

The Physics of Productivity: Newton’s Laws of Getting Stuff Done

Hit the Bull’s-Eye

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Focus. Pull-Back. Launch.

There are many ways to hit the bull’s-eye and here’s how one company does it with on-the-ground research. (By the way, I’m aiming to be an ethnographer).

A pioneering partnership between Hyundai Motor Company and the United Nations Development Programme is looking to grassroots innovators around the world to solve far-reaching sustainability issues…according to Basma Saeed who is the head of Solutions Mapping for the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Sudan, “When policy decisions are so high level, they tend to miss what’s happening on the ground. In this case, the think tank did not have the perspective of women cycling in the city and what infrastructure is missing in order to make it easier for them to interact with it.”  The insights gained from the cyclists helped to shape urban-planning recommendations while advancing safer public spaces for women. Read More here @ Fast Co. Magazine: ethnographic research to sustainable solutions

3 Top Actions for Business Leaders Now

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Sharing this quick excerpt from an article posted on thedrum.com. Read full article:    https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/08/03/3-actionable-insights-simon-sinek

Simon Sinek’s 3 insights for how business leaders should act during COVID-19:

1. Double down on ‘good leadership’.

2. Put the customer at the front of the equation, not yourself.

3. It doesn’t matter how mature your company or your industry is, you are a startup.

Simon Sinek is a wise human being. He taught us that organizations can only truly inspire if they “start with why”. He taught us that leaders eat last. And now, he is teaching us how leaders should behave in the age of COVID. Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist, New York Times best-selling author, TED Talk all-star, provider of ‘a bit of optimism’ via his podcast and an online professor.

Eyes, Ears & Brain – Wide Open!

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“If I am through learning, I am through.”   

John Wooden

This is one of my favorite quotes from the all-time winning UCLA basketball Coach and for more than a decade, I had the honor to work for a Company with a related core value: We Will Continually Learn & Improve.

The learning culture at Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. propelled our success. Every manager could freely share ideas and mistakes to keep reaching for the highest bar. One of the business planning tools that we used was called Start. Stop. Continue. I point it out here because it’s a continuous learning model and can greatly help your marketing planning.

The way Start. Stop. Continue. works is you first make a list of the things you want to START such as testing a new idea to better please the customer or beat the competitor. Next, list those you should STOP such as programs that didn’t boost employee morale or didn’t have a ROI (abandon ship!). On a separate list, keep track of the proven methods you plan to CONTINUE.

This learning-based model will certainly help guide your strategic marketing planning and its evolving tactical execution. It’s useful on an ongoing basis. And heck, the Start. Stop. Continue. model can even help you grow on a personal level… perhaps to improve your relationships.

In the spirit of continuous learning, it’s important to always keep your eyes and ears (and brain) wide open especially when it comes to observing and learning how to navigate your communications strategy. I often find myself being a ‘scientist of human behavior’ (my passion for psychology started in college) and on a day-to-day basis, I’m an avid reader of diverse perspectives and expertise.

I learned early on from my expert marketing mentors (thank you Doug and Julie) to think of your marketing plan as a living document responding to the ebbs and flows of technology changes, customer trends, and research. In other words, it is the result of continuous learning. It’s an evolving tool that invites new infusion of tactics (ideas you want to START) while keeping true to proven successful strategies (those to CONTINUE).

A marketing plan should not reside on a shelf to collect dust but rather, it is a daily planner sitting front and center on your desk or desktop. It will keep you aligned to top priorities, force good time management and ensure respect to your budget.

I love working with clients to deliver a successful marketing effort and during the process, there’s a sweet bonus which is: we all get to learn and improve! 

 

Grab & Go Tips

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I recently had the pleasure to share some tools of the trade with some business owners and operators in the Lake Tahoe region.

The two, 1.5 hour workshops were sponsored by Sierra Business Council, Tahoe City Downtown Association and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

Co-led with Kathleen Lee of East River Public Relations, we brought expertise and passion to the room and it was fun!

I was also able to learn from the expert attendees as they contributed their own thoughts and ideas to strengthen the workshop.

DIGITAL MARKETING WORKSHOPS WITH A PURPOSE

Despite about 3-4 feet of new snow, many of us made it to this first session and maybe you can find a tip or two as it lays the foundation for an effective brand communication platform.

Heads up there are some sound issues and to get started quickly, use your scroll bar cursor to start the video at 17.56:   Workshop 1

The 2nd workshop, helped to bring the digital marketing effort forward to make it more tangible for those wanting to take it to a higher level.

Two links are provided here and there’s a bit of content that goes missing but if any of this is of interest, feel free to reach out via email TOC and I can help fill in the blanks. Again, to get started quickly, scroll to start as noted below.

start 14.05:  Workshop 2: first part

start 7.38 Workshop 2: second part

 

Strategizing What’s Next

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The fall season is amazing with vibrant opportunity to begin mapping what’s next for your communication program. It’s a time to reflect and strategize for your next effort and one way to start is by thinking of your favorite brand and you can begin to identify how it makes you feel. Why are you attracted to this organization, product, service, effort, or project?

THE WHY BEHIND THE FEELING

Write down how you feel when you think of or engage with it. Understanding the role emotions play when it comes to brand loyalty is mission critical. A good way to improve your understanding is by thinking about why you are loyal to one brand over another. For me, I love Toms shoes. My feet feel really good when I wear them and they look nice but what’s at the core of why I truly feel good when I buy and wear these shoes is that I know my purchase has also helped another human being. My values are aligned with the company and I certainly love the quality and style. I have other brand favorites but let’s focus on yours and why you are pulled to that brand.

GETTING TO THE ESSENCE – JOT IT DOWN

Start keeping an eye out for what brands you engage with and why. Keep a running journal of the what (list the organization, product, service, effort, project or entity) and the why (how you feel when engaging with it). By doing this, it will help you when you’re working on making your organization’s brand and communication program relevant to those you most want to attract. Where do the values align? Articulating and delivering on this, my friend, is the essence of a successful brand communications program.