Thursday, February 27, 2014

Potandon Produce, food blogger team up for online promotions

I have seen the future of marketing and it is in a crock-pot.

Potandon Produce of Idaho Falls is partnering with Jenn Bare, host of the GetCrocked.com blog, on new recipe videos featuring Klondike Brands potatoes and Johnny’s Seasoning.

The first video, featuring a how-to for breakfast casserole, went live Feb. 24 on the GetCrocked site and Klondike Brands channels, as well as YouTube. Recipes will be featured in Klondike Brands’ March newsletter to consumers.

In a press release, Potandon said it plans to air video tips by Bare on how to care for a slow cooker, fill it accurately and prevent burning. Those will run throughout the year.

With its headquarters at Snake River Landing, Potandon is the nation’s largest marketer of fresh potatoes, selling such well-known brands as Green Giant Fresh, Klondike Brands and Sunfresh.

Throughout March, Potandon will promote the recipes and tips on social media and give away crockpots to fans and followers. Weekly promotions will run as well on Klondike Brands Web site. The first promotion is an online buy-one-get-one coupon for Klondike Rose potatoes and Johnny’s Seasoning Salt. There is also a $5-off deal on a "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" DVD.

This casserole looks really good by the way and I will probably make it, perhaps for brunch.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tacoma Screw opens Idaho Falls store

Tacoma Screw store manager Shawn Senner escorts a customer through the shelves at the company's new Idaho Falls store, at 1811 North Yellowstone.
Although several staff members are still being trained, Tacoma Screw has opened its 10,000-square-foot store at 1811 North Yellowstone, where Plaza Lanes used to be.

Manager Shawn Senner said the store opened its doors Feb. 17, but that a grand opening won't be until March or April.

This is the Tacoma, Wash.-based company's third store in Idaho (the others are in Boise and Twin Falls). Tacoma has a customer base that includes retail, manufacturing, construction, transportation, aerospace, agriculture, food processing and government. For custom orders, the company has a special fabrication shop.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DocuTech, Artcore Visual Studio, announce partnership

Ty Jenkins
DocuTech Corp., a leading provider of compliance and documentation technology, has partnered with Artcore Visual Studio, an Idaho Falls-based marketing and graphic design company, to build brand presence and awareness.

DocuTech provides compliance services, documentation technology and legal counsel to mortgage industry professionals. Its flagship software, ConformX®, is a web-based program designed to transform an Internet connection into a 24-hour loan origination or closing office.

Artcore offers graphic design, photography, marketing and social media assistance to businesses, non-profits and event organizers.

The partnership between two Idaho Falls companies reflects the commitment each has to the local economy and community, with a mutual focus on recruitment and customer growth, said Ty Jenkins, founder and CEO of DocuTech, in a press release.

Artcore was founded by graphic designer and photographer Dayne Dingman and is run by him and his wife, Michelle, who serves as chief executive officer.

Fifty students named recipients of Mayor's Scholarship funds

Fifty students from area schools will be awarded scholarships totaling $50,000 at the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund Ceremony on  March 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls.

This number is up from 32 awarded last year. 

The fund supports two different awards, the  Senior Scholarship, for graduating
seniors, in the amount of $1,500; and the Mayor’s Promise Award, in the amount of $500 for students in grades 8-11 who agree to maintain a college-bound path. Both awards are intended for use at accredited institutions of higher education in Idaho. The Mayor’s Promise Award can also be applied to dual credit courses taken in Idaho high schools. Dual credit courses allow students to obtain college credits while working toward their high school diploma.  

The program dates back to 2006 and was established by Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman in partnership with the District 91 Education Foundation. Since then, it has awarded 248 scholarships totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. An endowment fund was also established.

Here are the names of the students who received awards.

2014 Senior Recipients
Alexandra Brabec Hillcrest
Parker Erikson  Idaho Falls High
Taylor Gunnell  Hillcrest
Jesenia Hernandez Idaho Falls High
Lelainne Horvath Skyline 
Natasha Hughes  Idaho Falls High
Corbin John   Idaho Falls High
Bailey McBride   Hillcrest
Sydney Mecham  Hillcrest
Madison Molino   Idaho Falls High
Katelyn Morgan   Hillcrest
Kennadee Moss   Idaho Falls High
Veronica Nield   Idaho Falls High
Karissa Olson  Hillcrest
Kali Parkinson  Bonneville
Lesly Rodriquez  Emerson High
Marlee Smith  Bonneville
Megan Smith  Skyline
Jacob Taggart   Idaho Falls
Haylea Thomason  Bonneville
Xenya Valdez  Bonneville
Olivia Webb  Idaho Falls High
Kylie Weber   Skyline
Mikaela Wilkins   Skyline
Elon Joshua Wood Skyline
2014 Promise Recipients
Payton Batte  Eagle Rock
Ethan Bauer   Eagle Rock
Brianna Duncan  American Heritage
Kylee Bourdeau  Eagle Rock
Shayley Stevens   Skyline
Maria Flores   Eagle Rock
Jared Anderson  Eagle Rock
Misty Bills   Skyline
Ashley Butikofer  Bonneville
Kenidee Casper  Rocky Mountain
Jessica Dennert   Skyline
Hollyn Drake  Sandcreek
Elijah Duguette  Idaho Falls
Oaklee Gose   Taylorview
Jason Hale   Hillcrest
Emily Josephson  Skyline
Adrianna Larimer  Eagle Rock
Brizeyda Martinez-Sanchez Skyline
BreaAnna Miller  Tech Careers Bonneville
Maria Nunez   Sandcreek
MiKirah Olsen  Taylorview
Chase Owen   Skyline
Julia Rice   Skyline
Tessa Tirrell   Taylorview
Lexi Webster  Hillcrest

Monday, February 24, 2014

Frontier Airlines plans to bring service to Idaho Falls in June

An Airbus A-319 jet owned by Frontier Airlines, which plans to begin round-trip service between Idaho Falls and Denver in June.
Frontier Airlines will begin servicing a route between Idaho Falls and Denver in June, offering three round trips a week.

Idaho Falls Regional Airport Director Craig Davis said the city and the carrier reached an agreement Friday for flights to start June 13. The company plans to fly 124-seat Airbus A-319 jets into Idaho Falls on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10:44 p.m.. departing the following morning at 6:35 a.m.

This will be in addition to IDA-DEN flights being offered by United Express. Davis said he hopes the competition for customers will lower airfare prices out of Idaho Falls and boost the number of people getting on and off planes here. In studies done at more than a dozen other airports, there has not been a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" effect, he said. Rather, both carriers have realized more customers and greater profitability.

Frontier is a low-fare, no frills airline that has expanded in the United States by flying its planes from hubs to smaller airports. (By way of personal example, last summer I flew Frontier from Salt Lake City to Denver, then to Wilmington, Del., where my mother lives. Idaho Falls Regional looks like LAX compared to the Wilmington airport, even though Wilmington probably has 10 times the population.)

Looking at the online booking at www.flyfrontier.com, the Tuesday/Wednesday fare between Idaho Falls and Denver is $48.09.

This news comes on the heels of Delta announcing it would begin round-trip service three times a week between Idaho Falls and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Personal Branding: The other side wants to get to know you

On Friday I was honored to be a speaker at TEDxAmmon. As excited as I was to be part of this inaugural event, at the same time I was petrified.

There shouldn’t have been any reason to be nervous. I was familiar with my topic and had done preparation, research and countless hours of practice. I have been doing public speaking since my preteen years.

This was different, though.  I knew there would be more than 100 people in attendance, a live streaming feed, and within a few weeks a YouTube video. I sat nervously at my table waiting for the event to start, heart racing, reviewing notes, watching my Prezi presentation on my laptop, and praying (oh man, was I praying!) All I could think was if I didn’t completely nail this presentation,  professionally I was toast and probably my business, too.

With about 20 minutes to spare before the event, I made the decision to give up. That’s right – I gave up.

You see, I was so focused on being poised, serious, convincing, well-spoken and rehearsed that I wasn’t focused on what the foundation of the presentation was: personal brands – more specifically my personal brand. When I realized I had lost touch of that I decided to let go of everything that was inhibiting me. I covered my notes, closed my computer, took a deep breath and just prepared to be me. Instead of presenting, I decided to talk to my audience and share my story.

Guess what?  It worked! I was still nervous when I gave my presentation, but the basis of the presentation had my personal brand and the “me” factor written all over it. You see, the presentation itself wasn’t just a presentation but a clear demonstration in real time of the impact personal branding has had on our society. In this case I was the the test subject.

Quite a few people thanked me for my presentation and insight, and some told me I'd moved them to tears. This was what I had wanted, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t let go.

Both personally and professionally, our society is demanding a more personal view of who each of us are. I am not saying that if you walk into an interview I expect you to share every intimate detail of your life story. But I do expect you to share who you are. Your knowledge, experience and career history are important to me, but your personality traits and life experiences mean even more because I want to make sure you are not just a good fit for my clients but the best fit.

How does one create an effective personal brand? As with Friday’s presentation there’s more to the story than we can focus on this week. Next week I'll be focusing on Creating “You” as a Brand.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Smitty's recognized by national travel blogger

 Congratulations to Smitty's Pancake and Steak House, a venerable Idaho Falls institution recently named by "Explore All 50" blogger Alisa Abecassis as one of the Top 10 Breakfast Experiences Across the United States.

Abecassis has been traveling around America with her kids, chronicling their adventures and offering tips to anyone who might be of the same mind.

"Sometimes our hotel doesn’t offer breakfast so we are forced to seek out somewhere tasty to chow down before we head out to our next adventure. Much to our delight we have found some wonderful places that served delicious breakfasts that were truly memorable and we’d like to share that list with you," she writes.

Smitty's was one of my first dining experiences in Idaho Falls, when I came here in 1980 to be best man at a wedding (the wedding party stayed at the Stardust.) Plenty of old Idaho Falls has disappeared in the years since then, and it's nice to see some things not only endure but get the recognition they deserve.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Idaho Falls holding open house on signage plan

The city of Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Division is holding an open house Monday to comments and opinions on the proposed master way-finding and signage program. The event will be at the Idaho Falls Public Library from 5 to 8 p.m.

In May 2013, Idaho Falls issued a request for proposals for the development of a signage program to guide travelers from highways, streets and trails to city facilities, parks and schools. Pasadena-based Hunt Design, a national leader in identity, signage and environmental graphic programs, was the lowest bidder and was awarded the contract at the City Council's regular meeting Aug. 8. The bid was $72,250 for the city and $38,250 for the Tautphaus Park Zoo.  

Better signs will help promote tourism and emphasize Idaho Falls as a unique and attractive destination, said Parks and Recreation Director Greg A. Weitzel. It will also reduce driver and pedestrian frustrations and improve traffic flows, he said.

The proposal is for universal design standards that reflect the city’s identity; comprehensive
signs that identify primary, secondary and tertiary streets; informational park signs; and trail and  bicycle signage and kiosks. The plan would also include comprehensive way-finding and signage for the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Indian restaurant slated to open in Idaho Falls

A blogger's photo of the Tandoori Oven in Logan, Utah, whose owners plan to open a second location in Idaho Falls next month.
Tandoori Oven, an Indian restaurant in Logan, Utah, will be opening a second location in Idaho Falls, at 3204 S. 25th East, in the Sagewood Plaza near Kiwi Loco.

Owner Jatin Arora, who has been doing business in Cache Valley, for about 10 years, said he was originally looking at Pocatello, but a longtime friend from Idaho Falls alerted him to the absence of Indian cuisine here.

"I've been to Idaho Falls quite a few times, and it seems like an ideal market for us," he said. "There is no real Indian restaurant, and there seems to be a demand for Indian cuisine."

Remodeling is taking place right now, and Arora said he is looking at opening in the middle of March.

For more information, visit Tandoori Oven's website or Facebook page.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Demolition starts on old Bank of Commerce building

Since some of you are bound be asking about this (and because we really like pictures of buildings being torn down) here's what's was going on Monday afternoon at Northgate Mile and Holmes Avenue. The old Bank of Commerce building is being cleared away to make room for Matt Cardon's new drive-through car wash. Cardon sold his old operation at 2010 First Street in 2013 to Trent Birch, and it is now called New Image Car Wash.

March 10 opening planned for MacKenzie River Pizza in Idaho Falls

The MacKenzie River Pizza at Snake River Landing, 1490 Milligan Road, will be opening March 10. There will be an invitation-only soft opening March 8.

Are you a visionary leader?

Today is President’s Day, and I’ll be honest with you: It probably won’t be the hardest day of work for me this year.

With school out, kids at home and most businesses closed, it will probably be a day that I juggle work tasks from the kitchen table and running after my toddler before he creates the next natural disaster in our house.

The meaning of President’s Day and its observation isn’t about three-day weekends or sales at our favorite retailers, however. It represents so much more. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were visionary leaders, with dreams, visions and goals much bigger than themselves. Their stories will never die and their passion will never be forgotten. While their hard work, struggles and sacrifices are beyond what we can probably imagine, their stories paint lighter pictures of men with dreams changing the world.

We’d all like to be visionaries in business wouldn’t we? The good news is being a visionary leader really isn’t as complex as it seems and doesn’t involve changing the world by being like Steve Jobs and creating a company like Apple.

Visionary leaders most of the time are able to innovate on things that are right in front them.  They are aware of the world around them and have proactive, not reactive, minds that allow them to plan and create solutions.

Visionary leaders are thinking constantly. They are watching, researching, gathering and analyzing information, and this allows them to move forward. As well as information, they rely on intuition in their decisions.

These leaders have courage and understand that risk is necessary to growth and success. Last of all, visionary leaders are inspirational. They are able to motivate their teams by creating cultures of vision and passion and goals for everyone to share. When it comes to selecting teammates, employees and partners they take special time and pay special attention.

Above all, visionary leaders never stop reinventing themselves, their ideas and visions. All of this comes very naturally and doesn’t take a lot of work because it is a part of who they are, personally and professionally.

Is there anything we can do to become more like visionary leaders? The simple answer to that is, where there’s a will there’s a way.

The TV show “Undercover Boss” offers great examples of executives showing visionary leadership based on input they receive from their employees. By the end of the show you may be an emotional wreck and ready for some chocolates, but it shows that visionary leadership isn’t terribly complex.

You don’t have to be George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or Steve Jobs to be a visionary leader. It simply takes time, discipline and determination. It’s an everyday thing -- even President’s Day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cabela's announces plans for store in Ammon

A typical Cabela's store, one of which is planned to open in Ammon in 2015.
Cabela's Inc., announced today that it will be building a new store in Ammon, on ground at Sunnyside and Hitt Road.

In a press release, the Sidney, Neb.-based outdoor sporting goods retailer announced it plans to open a 42,000-square foot store here in spring 2015. Idaho Falls-Ammon is one of three new markets in which it plans to open stores (the others are Short Pump, Va., and Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.) The company has two other stores in Idaho, in Boise and Post Falls.

They expect to employ 90 full- and part-time people.

"The Ammon store will be designed with a rugged look and feel and offer seasonal product assortments. In addition to thousands of quality outdoor products, the store also will feature museum-quality wildlife displays, innovative digital signage, an indoor archery range and archery tech room, gun counter and more," the announcement said.

Customers will be treated to the exciting Cabela’s shopping experience with access to all Cabela’s merchandise via online order kiosks, as well as free shipping with an in-store pickup program. In-store pickup allows customers to order Cabela’s gear ahead of time and pick it up at their convenience at the store of their choice.

“The continued loyalty of Cabela’s customers across the state, coupled with the success of our Boise and Post Falls locations, made it an easy decision to open a store in Ammon,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s chief executive officer.

The ground where the store is planned is being developed by Ball Ventures and the Salt Lake-based Woodbury Corp., which recently submitted plats to the city of Ammon. City administrator Ron Folsom said work on the infrastructure ought to be finished in time for retailers to begin construction in the late summer or early fall.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Maltese Crossfit moves to new, larger location

"The Rig" at Maltese Crossfit, which recently moved to a new, larger facility.
Maltese Crossfit has moved to a much larger location at 2380 Gallatin, on Idaho Falls' industrial south side.

If you're expecting plasma screen TVs and comfy couches, look elsewhere. Spartan is probably the best word to describe the 5,000-square-foot gym.

Sam Harmer, an Idaho Falls firefighter who started the gym in his garage four-and-a-half years ago, says the hundred or so people who come to classes do so to work hard on strength and conditioning.

"It's a different mentality," he said. "It is hard. It never gets easy. There's no end in sight to what you can do."

What keeps people coming back is camaraderie and shared sense of endeavor. "It's a good community of people who are very supportive of each other. They help push each other," he said. "Everybody goes through the same kind of ordeal."

The concept of Crossfit emerged in the 1990s as a way to keep soldiers, firefighters and police in shape for anything. But whether it's a firefighter lifting a 200-pound person or a 65-year-old woman lifting a 25-pound sack of groceries, the principles of across-the-board strength and conditioning training are the same. Everything is scalable and relative to a person's capabilities.

It was first commercialized in 2000 in California by Greg Glassman.

Harmer has three trainers who conduct classes Monday through Saturday, starting at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays. Anyone can schedule a first hourlong class for free. While the work is hard, the amount a person does is based on what kind of shape he's in. Nobody, beginner or veteran, is going to get pushed beyond what he or she can do.

The oldest person taking classes at Maltese Crossfit is 75 years old. Although contracts are available, most people pay month to month, between $75  and $100. "If you're not here, I really don't want your money," Harmer said.

Membership is growing, and they are looking at adding a second class to the Crossfit Kids program.

To find out more, call (208) 360-9423 or e-mail info@maltesecrossfit.com.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Flights between Idaho Falls, Minneapolis-St. Paul set to start in June

The 76-seat CRJ900, a regional jet that is scheduled to start flying between Idaho Falls and Minneapolis-St. Paul in June. 
Delta Air Lines will begin offering non-stop service from Idaho Falls Regional Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul beginning on June 7.

Service will be provided with a CRJ-900 jet aircraft that will offer first class and economy seating as well as domestic Wi-Fi service. The public can purchase tickets online now at www.Delta.com.

They will initially offer the new service three days a week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) through the end of summer. “The goal is to have the flights be successful enough that it will translate into continued flights and additional service,” Airport Director Craig H. Davis said in a press release.

Flights will arrive in Idaho Falls at 12:59 p.m. and depart at 1:25 p.m., arriving in Minneapolis-St. Paul at 4:43 p.m.

"The connection will provide multiple destination options for both business and leisure travelers to and from our community," Davis said. "(The) airport offers a very comprehensive service to the upper Midwest and East Coast." There are 95 possible destinations beyond Minneapolis-St. Paul, 30 more than what is available beyond Salt Lake City, he said.

Delta began taking delivery of 76-seat CRJ900s in the second half of 2013 as part of a drive to restructure its fleet of planes. In late 2012, it announced it had made an agreement with Bombardier Aerospace under which Delta was to acquire 40 new CRJ900 two-class regional jets, with the option of purchasing an additional 30, phasing out its smaller regional jets.

“The economics and customer features of the Bombardier CRJ900 made it the right aircraft to add to our Delta Connection fleet,” said Delta President Ed Bastian. “Combined with the removal of 50-seat aircraft, this opportunity bolsters our ongoing fleet restructuring program to remove less efficient, smaller regional aircraft from the system.”

Broadway Ford plans new building behind present site

Ann-Michelle Jones
As soon as weather permits, probably late March or early April, Broadway Ford will be breaking ground on a new building behind the West Broadway building they've been in since 1984.

The owners have been talking about a new showroom and servies department for several years, said Ann-Michelle Jones, Broadway Ford's social media and e-commerce director. There was no desire to leave where they've been ("We kind of like where we are," she said), but they are looking forward to a modern new building with a service department twice the size of what they have. They anticipate being open in early 2015.

Preliminary site plans have been submitted to the city of Idaho Falls. Jones didn't have an exact square footage figure to report. "It will be just bigger and better," she said.

For the second straight year, Broadway Ford was recently named Idaho's 2014 Dealer of the Year by dealerrater.com. The ratings are based on online ratings and reviews.

Does Valentine's Day have any business in the workplace?

Cards, candy hearts, roses, and chocolate –- if you haven’t noticed, Valentine’s Day is upon us once again.

As our family prepared for this week, my 8-year old happily reviewed with me her Valentines she made for each of her classmates.  On Friday she will proudly give her cards and candy to friends at her class party. Valentine’s Day has always had a place in the schools and classrooms -– but what about the workplace?

Thousands of people across the country will happily give chocolates, cards, candy and flowers in the workplace on Friday or in turn receive them from loved ones outside the workplace. It seems innocent and harmless right? It would be ludicrous to think that such a fun and casual holiday could have a negative impact on the workplace. But hold on ...

For a holiday like Valentine’s Day, a commercialized annual celebration of love, often times gifts, cards or emails celebrating this holiday can lead to unintentional mixed messages among co-workers.  A simple card, gift or flirtatious comment from one co-worker to another has the potential to create a negative response on the receiving end, which can lead to damaged working relationships and even -- based on the nature of the gift, card, email or behavior -- claims of sexual harassment.

At the management level, if gifts, cards and candy go to selected employees and not everyone, this can lead to charges of favoritism. These issues can damage relations between co-workers and affect internal operations in ways that far exceed the initial impact on Valentine’s Day.

As if this didn’t seem problematic enough, think of how productivity itself is decreased on Valentine’s Day – especially for the employee who has to sign for, receive and distribute deliveries to the workplace. As employees receive cards, gifts and flowers, others are stopping to see what their colleagues have received. I am pretty sure if one were to observe the productivity and efficiency levels of a business on Valentine’s Day the results would be shocking.

Still, for all the bad there can also be a light and appropriate side to Valentine’s Day in the workplace. Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to have fun internal events like potlucks, teambuilding exercises, employee appreciation events and sharing tasty treats like desserts.

It's your business.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cardon files plans for new car wash

The building plans at the Idaho Falls Building Department office for Cardon's new car wash.
Matt Cardon, owner of Cardon's Car Wash and Lube on First Street, has filed building plans with the city of Idaho Falls to develop a 4,483-square-foot tunnel car wash on the lot at Holmes Avenue and North Yellowstone where the Bank of Commerce used to have its offices.

Last summer, Cardon received variances that reduced the width of landscaping strips and setbacks on the Northgate Mile and Holmes sides of the lot (also bordered by Poulson and Payne Streets).

Cardon had filed a site development plan in late. No zoning change was required (the lot is zoned Highway/Commercial-1), which meant that he has had a green light since then to proceed with a formal site plan, building plans and a permit.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

TEDxAmmon speakers announced

Here is a list of speakers and topics to be presented at TEDxAmmon, scheduled for Feb. 21 at Eastern Idaho Technical College.

TED and TEDx presentations draw from a wide variety of subject matter and are meant to be thought-provoking, captivating and inspiring. Speakers are encouraged to give “the talk of a lifetime,” and for many speakers who’ve found a worldwide audience, they’ve been precisely that.

Stipulations by TED require that there be no more than 100 people at TEDxAmmon. Anyone interested in attending may apply at www.TEDxAmmon.com, after which they will be informed if they have been selected. For those unable to be at the live event, all presentations will be simultaneously broadcast on the internet at www.TEDxAmmon.com. Every presentation will be recorded, edited and uploaded to the TEDx event database for later viewing.

The talks run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., with a break for dinner at 7.

Chris Haskell: Blowing Up the Gradebook
Victor Walker: Our Machines and the Stories We Tell Them
Matt Ridley: When Ideas Have Sex (video)
Monica Bitrick: What's Your Story -- Creating You As A Brand
Zane Schenk: The Cutting Edge
Break for dinner
George Brunt: The Value of Cheap Energy
Don Miley: Making Sci-Fi Sci-Fact: Nuclear Energy History and Perceptions
Bastian Schaefer: A 3d-Printed Jumbo Jet? (video)
John Hart: The Life Cycle of Creative Movements
Heidi Reeder: How Commitment Shapes Our Lives
David Gallo: Underwater Astonishments (video)
Tyler Price: The Importance of Failure
Troy Chipps: Conquer Your Key Moments

For updates, information may be found at www.TEDxAmmon.com, on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/TEDxAmmon and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TEDxAmmon.

Work begins on 17th Street Starbucks

Work has begun on the Starbucks planned for the corner of 17th Street and Jennie Lee Drive, with an opening planned for late May, according to Bob Hayes of Keller Construction. A crew from the Salt Lake City-based company is removing the front of the old Los Albertos. Remodeling of the shell will be extensive, but the foundation was solid enough that a complete demolition was not necessary, Hayes said. Keller Construction has built more than 15 Starbucks in the west, including the one on West Broadway in Idaho Falls.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Arts Council chooses visual arts director

Georgina Goodlander
The Idaho Falls Arts Council has hired Georgina Goodlander as its visual arts director, to  lead content selection, program development and activity integrity at the ARTitorium on Broadway. She will also be responsible for the development, coordination and installation of all visual arts exhibitions at the Carr and Hall community galleries, located inside the Willard Arts Center.

“We have known since the beginning that ARTitorium on Broadway would need someone with a uniquely advanced set of skills to meet its mission," said Brandi Newton, the council's executive director. “Georgina doesn't just meet those expectations, she exceeds them.”

From 2003 to January 2014, Goodlander lived in Baltimore, Md., and worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Beginning at the museum as an intern in 2003, she went on to manage its innovative Luce Foundation Center for American Art, coordinated The Art of Video Games exhibition and then became deputy chief of media and technology, where she oversaw web and social media content.

Before this, she taught English in Songjiang, China, worked in a gift shop in Toronto, and was lead hostess at the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room in Yellowstone National Park which began her dream to relocate to this part of the country.

Saving Center demolition begins

We had been watching the Saving Center lot at Memorial and A Street all weekend, waiting for action to begin. By the time we got to the scene Monday afternoon, the work was well underway. This is going to open things up considerably. There has been no word about possible buyers, but the according to Bob Everhardt of the Downtown Development Corp. the owners felt the property would have more appeal without the building than with it.

What Can Businesses Learn From Professional Sports

Professional sports have a major impact in our society, don’t they? As I write this, I am one of millions of people across the nation patiently waiting for the Super Bowl. In a few short hours, I will be cheering on my favorite team, watching professional athletes who earn millions in salaries and endorsements, and choosing my favorite $4 million commercial for the year.  Halftime will come and all of us will talk about how we did or didn’t like this year’s show.  The game will end and life will go on as the nation looks forward to the Winter Olympics.

What do professional sports have to do with the way my company does business? 

Whether you are a fan of any of professional sports organization or not, professional sports organizations can teach us a lot about business management.

Last week we focused on the challenge of finding the best fit for the job – not necessarily the right fit. Imagine how hard that is organizationally for professional sports organizations. Recruiting efforts involve thousands of coaches, business professionals (i.e., agents, managers, consultants) and marketing executives. One player, or even head coach, being recruited and/or traded on a team is a precise calculation of what is needed for the organization based on budgetary restraints, statistical analysis, talent, experience, cultural fit, strategic planning, marketability and risk analysis. There are countless hours, and sometimes years, put into the process of on-boarding one player or coach. The recruiting and retaining doesn’t end with the on-boarding process either, due to the fluid nature of the industry. Organization, team performance, injuries – an organization’s structure can change early season or even mid-season. It is incredible in itself for these organizations to operate seamlessly despite the factors that are working against them at all times. So how do professional sports organizations do it – besides finding the best fit of professionals, coaches and players for the team?

Pretty easy answer – teamwork.  As coaches and players band together in a supportive manner to accomplish common goals, their organizations in turn benefit through increased efficiency and productivity, improved employee relations, increased accountability and responsibility, and opportunities for coaches and players to increase their knowledge and skill set from learning through others.

In turn when any organization or business does not encompass an environment of teamwork the results can be disastrous. I am a true believer that every organization is only as strong and successful as its poorest performing employee. When an organization encompasses an environment that is every man or woman for themselves. morale is low, productivity is low and efficiencies are thrown out the door. Think of how poor the quality of work completed is as well. Think of sports teams that have had all-star players without the teamwork environment – on the outside it seems as though they may have a dream team for success – but in reality they perform poorly and likely don’t make it in post-season playoffs (think L.A. Lakers a few years back with Kobe Bryant).

It is easy to see that through professional sports organizations it is important to find the best fit employees for the right job. In turn, recruiting and hiring these people is only half the battle in long-term sustainable success with an organization. Ensuring that the work environment encompasses teams that work together to accomplish goals is crucial in the long-term success of any business.  While I am not encouraging mid-day tackle football in the break room for any organization, I am saying that there is a lot we can learn in how to manage our own businesses and organizations from professional sporting organizations.