<![CDATA[All Blogs]]> <![CDATA[Richard Kessler’s Success Story - From Diamonds to Personal Branding]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Richard-Kesslers-Success-Story---From-Diamonds-to-Personal-Branding/
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Guest post written by Theresa Clark, Director of Development and Communications for Volunteers of America of Wisconsin, and member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee.

We’ve all heard the radio commercials – “I am Richard Kessler and I want to be your jeweler,” or “We do diamonds better, because diamonds are all we do.”  Recently, the Wauke

sha County Business Alliance Breakfast Club had the opportunity to meet Richard Kessler in person as he shared his “success story,” and his struggles in building his personal brand.

Richard shared that his business really turned around after spending a weekend with motivational speaker Tony Robbins. His takeaway from that weekend was to find one way to serve customers better than anyone else. He began making a list of everything he didn’t like about the jewelry business, and set out to become the most respected name in diamonds. He got rid of suits and ties, changed the music in the stores, designed stores with lower cases and chairs for customers, and started a four-week training program for employees to help reduce turnover. To further differentiate Kessler’s Diamonds from the competition, Richard implemented a simple warranty policy – “If you bought it at Kessler’s, it’s guaranteed.”  The changes worked.  Today Kessler’s Diamonds is the largest seller of diamonds and engagement rings in the state. And, last year the business became employee-owned as Richard Kessler formed an ESOP to gradually transfer ownership to the employees.

Our takeaways are the lessons learned by Richard Kessler – find out how to serve customers better than anyone else, differentiate yourself from the competition, and market your brand 52 weeks a year.

Join the Alliance Breakfast Club May 2 to hear “Building Customer Loyalty Inside & Out,” presented by Debra Schmidt. More information available here

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<![CDATA[How Strong Is Your Brand?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/How-Strong-Is-Your-Brand/
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Guest Post written by Michael Arnold, President of Palmetto Partners, LLC and member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee

 

"I'm Richard Kessler and I'd like to be...your jeweler."

Sound familiar? It should, because it is the tag line heard on numerous radio commercials over the past few years in Wisconsin by Kessler Diamonds. This campaign has helped propel the growth of Mr. Kessler's business, not only because of the frequency of his ads, but more importantly because of the message he has created. 

Most jewelers carry almost anything that sparkles, but his business decided to do something different and specialize exclusively in diamonds. This is why his branding message is unique and it seperates Kessler Diamonds from the competition. He also adds his own personality that conveys a sense he really wants to be MY jeweler. I don't hear anyone else saying this.

How can you craft your brand image to become the one and only choice for your prospects? Well, here is a great opportunity to learn from Richard Kessler himself on what has worked for his business. Attend the April 4th Waukesha County Business Alliance Breakfast Club meeting and see what how your company can benefit from creating its own identity. 

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<![CDATA[Reflecting on Leadership]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Reflecting-on-Leadership/
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Michael Guest Post written by Michael Arnold, President of Palmetto Partners, LLC and member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee

I am not somebody who likes surprises. Whether they be parties, tax bills or last-second losses by the Packers. Unfortunately, this sometimes keeps me from being in the present moment and appreciating unpredictability for its, well, surprises. The appearance by Christine Hill at February's Alliance Breakfast Club was an event that I did not expect to appreciate as much as I did.

With her topic being "Leadership by Choice," I sleepily arrived and awaited a presentation where I would be talked at for 45 minutes about a topic that originally did not excite me. These pre-conceived notions were quickly dashed as Ms. Hill walked among the 86 attendees talking about how we can better recognize others' personality traits and use ours to work better in conjunction with them. Okay, I could learn something here.

 

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<![CDATA[What's the Hallmark of Your Career?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Whats-the-Hallmark-of-Your-Career/
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HeatherGuest Post written by Heather DeMore, DataComm Plus, and member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee.

What is the Hallmark of your Career?

This is quite a loaded question to toss out on the first Thursday of January, the second day back from holiday break at 8 AM.  However, this is just how Craig Schiefelbein ended his presentation on the first Thursday, the second day back from holiday break at 8 AM.

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<![CDATA[Craig Culver: December's Flavor of the Day!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Craig-Culver-Decembers-Flavor-of-the-Day/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

HeatherGuest Post written by Heather DeMore, DataComm Plus, and member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee.


It’s never too cold for custard just like it’s never too early to head to the Country Springs Hotel for the Alliance Breakfast Club to hear an amazing speaker to get motivated and pumped up for your day!

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<![CDATA[Marketing Your Business in the 21st Century]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Marketing-Your-Business-in-the-21st-Century/
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UdoGuest Post written by Udo F. Misch, Managing Member at NeoCloud Marketing.


For business owners, creating an effective marketing plan is a more complex process today than ever before. Today, business owners and their marketing teams need to find a balance between executing traditional marketing strategies with evolving new media marketing strategies.  Decisions to place ads in the phone book, design brochures, send direct mail, and place magazine or newspaper ads must be weighed against their new media counterparts, like a web site design or redesign, a social media campaign, e-mail marketing, search engine optimization and mobile search.

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<![CDATA[Get To Know Your Public Officials!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Get-To-Know-Your-Public-Officials/
   By Suzanne Kelley              (0) Comments

It’s hard to believe the most of 2012 is already behind us! While Waukesha County appears to be on the road to continued economic recovery, now is the time for small business owners to explore new tools to keep the momentum going and plan for 2013.

One-on-One with Public Officials is one of our newer monthly programs. On the fourth Friday of each month, we have coffee and conversation with a public official in Waukesha County.

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<![CDATA[Enriching Relationships through the Young Professionals of Waukesha County]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Enriching-Relationships-through-the-Young-Professionals-of-Waukesha-County/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments


When you’re an event planner for a living, some events and programs will rise above the rest. I’ve found that I have loved planning and participating in every single event for the Young Professionals of Waukesha County (“YP”).

The goal of the YPs is to help “20-& 30- somethings” advance professionally, connect to the community, enrich relationships and become the next generation of leaders in Waukesha County.

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<![CDATA[What You Need to Know About Estate Taxes]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/What-You-Need-to-Know-About-Estate-Taxes/
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Michelle  Guest post written by Michelle M. Friedman, Director of Marketing, DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C.

Has it been five years or more since you last updated your estate plan?   Since then, has your financial situation changed or have you retired? Have any of your beneficiaries married, divorced or experienced financial problems? Are you concerned about estate taxes or probate?

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<![CDATA[Grow Your Business through Exports]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Grow-Your-Business-through-Exports/
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RoxanneGuest post written by Roxanne Baumann, Director Partnerships & Global Engagement Service Line, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP)

If you’re in business, your primary purpose is to make money. America is facing a huge challenge right now to increase or stabilize profitability, maintain or build new business, find growth opportunities and grow jobs. As we emerge from this historic recession now, the world is different. We are challenged to use American ingenuity and intellect to lift ourselves out of tough times. But how?

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<![CDATA[Bandwidth or Band-Aid?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Bandwidth-or-Band-Aid/
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JakeGuest Post by Jake Brunner, Sales Engineer – Southeastern Wisconsin, TDS Telecommunications Corp.     
 
“Okay, so what the heck does that mean,” you’re probably asking yourself. I will try to clear up some the confusion related to what bandwidth really means.

It’s really quite simple.  Everything you do on a computer network requires bandwidth. Network bandwidth could be related to your internal computer network, or from your external Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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<![CDATA[Backing Your Brand with Employee Dedication]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Backing-Your-Brand-with-Employee-Dedication/
   By Kelsey DeMarais              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Mary Scheibel, principal and founder of marketing communications firm Trefoil Group.

Last week, the Alliance hosted the 2012 Top 10 Businesses of the Year awards, with manufacturer DUECO, Inc. taking top honors.  In competitive industries, with numerous prospering companies in the game, you have to wonder what makes these specific companies so successful.

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<![CDATA[The Power Of Silence]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/The-Power-Of-Silence/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest Post written by Michael Arnold, President of Palmetto Partners, LLC, and a member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee. He can be reached at michael@palmettopartners.net

I consider the 1994 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” to be the ultimate film depicting the highs and lows of being a sales professional. It is the story of a group of real estate salesmen who receive an incentive.  Win the sales contest? You just earned a new Cadillac! Lose the sales contest? You’re fired. The first time I watched this movie with my wife she said she got a stomach ache from it. I looked at her and said “Welcome to my job.”

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<![CDATA[Access To Capital For Businesses]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Access-To-Capital-For-Businesses/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Barbara Eckblad, Director of Lending for Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC).

Obstacles and small business are two terms that often coincide.  Fortunately, entrepreneurs are made of tenacity unlike anyone else in the workforce.  Driven, motivated, determined—these are just a few characteristics that make up the clients we see every day in our offices at the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp (WWBIC).

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<![CDATA[Showing Local Leadership To Bridge The Manufacturing Skills Gap]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Showing-Local-Leadership-To-Bridge-The-Manufacturing-Skills-Gap/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Steve Dyer, President & CEO of Dickten Masch Plastics. Steve is also the chair of our Manufacturing Alliance Steering Committee.

I recently wrote a piece for BizTimes Milwaukee highlighting the importance of manufacturing jobs in our state. With 20% of Wisconsin’s employees working in manufacturing, we boast the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the country. Therefore, we must address the need for a robust, skilled workforce.

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<![CDATA[What Are You Doing To Encourage Wellness In The Workplace?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/What-Are-You-Doing-To-Encourage-Wellness-In-The-Workplace/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Barb Knutson, Account Executive servicing all of small business for HumanaVitality. Barb will also be our speaker at Alliance Breakfast Club on Thursday.

As an employer, you have the ability to make a huge impact on your employees. It’s important for your employees to see you making the change as well as making the difference in their environment.  Here are a few things that you can do to start changing the mind-set of your employees.

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<![CDATA[Skills Gap: The Flavor of the Decade!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Skills-Gap-The-Flavor-of-the-Decade/
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This column ran in the Lake Country Publications in January.

Today everybody seems to be talking about the “skills gap” in manufacturing, but tackling this problem “can’t be the flavor of the month, it’s got to be the flavor of the decade!” So said Rick Steinke, vice president of manufacturing at Sentry Equipment in Oconomowoc, at a recent local chamber program.

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<![CDATA[Is Your Company Accepting The Generational Differences In The Workplace?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Is-Your-Company-Accepting-The-Generational-Differences-In-The-Workplace/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post taken from a press release from Rentapen, Inc.

Rentapen Inc.’s Marketing Assistant, Bethany Kratz attended the Young Professionals luncheon held by the Waukesha County Business Alliance in January. The featured topic was generational differences in the workforce and how to mend the gap. There are four different generations working in the same workplace today: the veterans, baby boomers, generation x, and millennials.

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<![CDATA[My Fellow Wisconsinites, The State Of Manufacturing Is Strong, But…]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/My-Fellow-Wisconsinites-The-State-Of-Manufacturing-Is-Strong-But/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post provided by Buckley Brinkman, executive director of Wisconsin Manufacturers Extension Partnership. This article appeared originally in the In Business Wisconsin Report in January 2012.

It’s been a week of high-profile “state of” speeches, but while people of goodwill can disagree about the state of the nation and Wisconsin, there is no question the state of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry is strong, according to Buckley Brinkman, executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturers Extension Partnership.

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<![CDATA[12 Ideas For A Faster, More Productive 2012]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/12-Ideas-For-A-Faster-More-Productive-2012/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Heather DeMore, VP of Sales & Marketing for DataComm Plus. Heather is also a member of our Alliance Breakfast Club planning committee.

The Waukesha County Business Alliance never fails to impress with all the Networking and Educational programs that they offer. The Alliance Breakfast Club presentation on January 5 was presented by Mark Rodgers author of Accelerate the Sale. Mark was the perfect speaker to set the tone for the Alliance Breakfast Club series for 2012.  The topic was “12 Ideas for a Faster, More Productive 2012.” This was the perfect topic to get the crowd revved up and ready to go for a successful year of selling in 2012!

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<![CDATA[Easter Seals Warms Hearts, Hands Of Hope Center Clients]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Easter-Seals-Warms-Hearts-Hands-Of-Hope-Center-Clients/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post from Freeman Newspaper. Written by Sarah Pryor, photos by Charles Auer.

Easter Seals warms hearts, hands of Hope Center clients
Both organizations benefit from collaboration

By Sarah Pryor
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA ­ Winter’s chill was no match for the warm scarves and warmer smiles of Easter Seals’ Workforce Training Center participants who presented hand-knitted items to the Hope Center Wednesday morning.

For the past few months, Easter Seals has worked with adults who have disabilities such as autism to improve their fine motor skills by knitting scarves using yarn donated by families and friends, said Vicki Hastings, Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin’s community relations manager.

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<![CDATA[Qualified Production Credit Proves Wisconsin Is OPEN For Business!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Qualified-Production-Credit-Proves-Wisconsin-Is-OPEN-For-Business/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Jeff Hoffman, VP of Industrial Real Estate, Judson & Associates, S.C., and Jim Brandenburg, CPA and Shareholder of Kolb + Co, SC.

In the early part of this century there was a prevailing thought that if the State of Wisconsin was going to compete in the “Economy of the Future” we needed to move on from our manufacturing heritage and embrace the new economy. The State should be grateful that our manufacturing community did not heed the advice of the experts as manufacturing has shown remarkable resilience in an economic recovery that still feels like a recession for millions of people.

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<![CDATA[Sip. Taste. Meet. Enjoy… (And Then Take Some Home)]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Sip-Taste-Meet-Enjoy-And-Then-Take-Some-Home/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Post written by Amanda Payne, Strategic Marketing Communications, Scheibel Halaska.

Sip. Taste. Meet. Enjoy… (and then take some home)

I’m looking forward to all five of those activities at the upcoming Waukesha County Business Alliance’s World of Wines and Beer on November 4. In its 11th year, the event brings together not only 150 different wines and 25 microbrew selections, but over twice that many professionals and business leaders from across Waukesha County.

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<![CDATA[Re...]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Re/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Post written by Brian Nemoir, President of Full Impact Communications, LLC, and chair of the Waukesha County Business Alliance Board of Directors.

Redo, reposition, revamp, retrench…more often than not anything with the added prefix “re” is in response to a challenge of some sort.  Challenges are often tough to categorize as either good or bad, and as business leaders we face any number of challenges on a daily basis, some of which require those preferably avoidable “re” words.

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<![CDATA[Wants V. Choices]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Wants-V-Choices/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently about the difference between doing what you want to do, and doing what you choose to do. When I said “You can do whatever you want to do!” his response was “No. I can do whatever I choose to do. I don’t get to do whatever I want to do.”

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<![CDATA[Leadership Waukesha – Through The Eyes Of A Transplant]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Leadership-Waukesha--Through-The-Eyes-Of-A-Transplant/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Kelly Ratliff, AmeriCorpsVISTA in the Office of Service Learning at Waukesha County Technical College, and graduate of Leadership Waukesha XXII. Next month, Kelly will begin her new job as the Assistant Director of Student Development at WCTC.

First things first: I’m new around here. Anyone who asks for my ID, phone number, or is lucky enough to pick up on an occasional “ya’ll” will notice anyway. Let’s just be honest from the get-go, shall we?

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<![CDATA[Advocacy Update: Letter To Waukesha Common Council]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Advocacy-Update-Letter-To-Waukesha-Common-Council/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dear Business Alliance Members,

Please take a moment to review the letter that was delivered to the Waukesha Common Council last night. 

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<![CDATA[A Breath Of Fresh Air!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/A-Breath-Of-Fresh-Air/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Susan Marshall. Susan is an author, speaker, president of Executive Advisor, LLC and a member of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. She is currently writing a new book, “Of Beauty and Substance: A Backbone Guide for Women” and plans to launch Confidence Clinics for Women in August. You can reach her at 262-567-5983 or execadvise@mac.com.

The Waukesha County Business Alliance Women’s Professional Development Network Breakfast held Thursday, May 26 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wauwatosa featured Sandy Botham, coach of UWM’s women’s basketball team. What a breath of fresh air!

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<![CDATA[Engaging Your Employees: Not Always From The Top Down]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Engaging-Your-Employees-Not-Always-From-The-Top-Down/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Lisa Forsch, Marketing Manager for Renewal by Andersen & Waunakee Remodeling.

Dan Haight, CEO of BUYSEASONS, Inc. spoke on “Unique Ways to Engage Your Workforce” at Alliance Breakfast Club last week. The stories he shared about his seasonal workers and the ways his organization values employees really gave me a “unique perspective on how to influence the workforce in my office”.

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<![CDATA[Public Relations: More Than Press Releases And Oversized Checks]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Public-Relations-More-Than-Press-Releases-And-Oversized-Checks/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest Post written by Michael Arnold, President of Palmetto Partners, LLC, and a member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee. He can be reached at michael@palmettopartners.net

As someone who has been in sales and marketing for more than 20 years, my ego often likes to tell me that there are very few avenues I have not explored to reach customers. If there is a way to contact a potential client, I have done it. After these thoughts pass, I come back to the realization that this is a fantasy concocted to keep myself in a story. A story that says there is nothing new to learn. This is the definition of a closed-mindset.

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<![CDATA[Washington DC “Fly-in” with IBA]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Washington-DC-Fly-in-with-IBA/
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It’s déjà vu time.  The alarm beeps persistently at 4 a.m.  I gulp a cup of coffee, fly through my morning routine in half the usual time, fling a few last-minute essentials into my travel bag, give my groggy husband and two teenagers a quick kiss goodbye and join other early morning commuters on the bumpy road to General Mitchell Field Airport.  Washington, D.C. – here I come!

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<![CDATA[Young Professionals Volunteer At Goodwill]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Young-Professionals-Volunteer-At-Goodwill/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Nate DeBaun, Attorney with The Schroeder Group, S.C., Attorneys at Law, and chair of the Waukesha County Business Alliance Young Professionals Committee.

This past weekend, the Waukesha County Business Alliance Young Professionals had the opportunity to help Goodwill’s On the Move Program “Celebrate the Magic of Disney” here in Waukesha County. On the Move provides programming and activities for adults with disabilities. Goodwill staffers and volunteers planned a wide array of activities related to everyone’s favorite characters. The YPs helped out with various tasks, everything from assistance with painting, to baking, to anything else they could do to make the day fun and enjoyable for the On the Move participants.

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<![CDATA[R&D: What Does It Mean In Your Organization?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/RD-What-Does-It-Mean-In-Your-Organization/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

There are certain terms that businesspeople tend to throw around a lot. Terms that don’t really mean anything if you really think about:

“Synergy”
“Aha Moment”
“Paradigm”
“Thought leader”
“Strategic partnership”

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<![CDATA[High Impact Leadership]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/High-Impact-Leadership/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Heather DeMore, VP of Sales & Marketing for DataComm Plus Heather is also a member of the Alliance Breakfast Club Committee, as well as one of our Ambassadors.

At 7 AM on a cold March morning it is hard to get motivated to do just about anything. However, on March 3rd at the Country Springs Hotel if you decided to sleep in you truly missed a fantastic event!  Kevin Eichner, President of Ottawa University, passionately spoke on the topic of “High Impact Leadership.”

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<![CDATA[Once Upon A Time…]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Once-Upon-A-Time/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Post written by Carolyn, who serves as head story-teller at the Alliance office. Read more to learn about how she earned that title.

Once upon a time in Waukesha County, the Chamber held a big fancy black-tie ball every year. It was known as the Mardi Gras Ball, and all the princes and princesses (and businesspeople) throughout Waukesha County would attend. It was a wonderful occasion to get dressed up in a tuxedo and a fancy gown and spend the evening hobnobbing with the other princes and princesses (and businesspeople) in Waukesha County. The food was delicious, the decorations were exquisite, and the networking was plentiful.

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<![CDATA[Social Media: Having A Plan]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Social-Media-Having-A-Plan/
   By Kelsey DeMarais              (0) Comments

Social media has overtaken our lives. And although I am continually amazed at the new ways in which we can connect and the new developments that take place daily, weekly, etc. I remain hesitant – like every one else – on some areas. That aside, I came away from Wendy Soucie’s presentation at Alliance Breakfast Club last week a little more excited and a little less hesitant.

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<![CDATA[Strategic Social Media Planning]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Strategic-Social-Media-Planning/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Marcia Rupp, Faith in Action Program Manager at Interfaith Senior Programs, Inc. (formerly from The Delafield Hotel) You can find Marcia on Twitter @InterfaithSrPro.

If your best friend told you to jump off a cliff, would you? If your friend told you to add social media to your business plan, would you? Although social media is the latest channel for developing social business relationships, the way you use it should be done with the same strategic thinking, research, and planning as other channels. Social media, when done correctly, helps to generate revenue, increase support for your brand, and strengthen client relationships.

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<![CDATA[Dedication And Passion]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Dedication-And-Passion/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I do the things I do; why any us of do the things we do. Why am I willing to put in the extra hours, coming in early to get coffee ready for a 7am meeting at our office, or staying at Networking After 5 socializing with some of our best members until an hour after the event is over? Why am I ok staying at the office two hours after we close on a Friday to get things done?

I decided it’s because I’m crazy.

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<![CDATA[A Prologue To “Bringing Out The Leader In You”]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/A-Prologue-To-Bringing-Out-The-Leader-In-You/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest Post written by Yvonne Lumsden-Dill, Executive Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute at Mount Mary College.

It seems that whenever we face challenging economic, political and spiritual times, thoughts turn to criticism of prevailing leadership practices and beliefs.  In his memoir, “Highest Duty:  My Search for What Really Matters”, US Airways pilot “Sully” Sullenberger said, “I didn’t have time in those incredibly intense 208 seconds from when our airplane hit the birds until we landed in the Hudson River to learn what I needed to learn. 

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<![CDATA[MLK Day: A Day ON, Not A Day OFF]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/MLK-Day-A-Day-ON-Not-A-Day-OFF/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Kelly Ratliff, AmeriCorps VISTA in the Office of Service Learning at Waukesha County Technical College.

America faces tough challenges made worse by the economic downturn.  The need is great, millions of Americans are hurting, and our nation’s poverty rate increased significantly from 2008 to 2009.  Though we are blessed to live in a vibrant area, Waukesha County is not untouched by this time of change and hardship.  Critical needs and imperative issues DO exist in our community.

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<![CDATA[Happy Holidays!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Happy-Holidays/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Thank you to our 2010 Events & Programs Sponsors!

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<![CDATA[2010 End-Of-Year Changes And Upgrades]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/2010-End-Of-Year-Changes-And-Upgrades/
   By Kelsey DeMarais              (0) Comments

This year, ranging back to 2009 has marked a lot of changes within the Waukesha County Business Alliance as well as my own life. Like our organization, I have had a recent name change; like me, the organization is going through a lot of changes and “upgrades.” For me: having a child has been a recent “upgrade.” For the organization: birthing a new website.

You laugh, but a new website, although pretty on the outside and wonderful to behold (much like a new baby), takes a lot of LABOR. In order to offer this new website, the Alliance staff has worked hard together to produce an up-to-date, relevant and vital tool.

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<![CDATA[Amazing Experiences And Amazing People]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Amazing-Experiences-And-Amazing-People/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

It’s that wonderful time of year again. The beautiful crisp snow is falling, lights are going up on houses everywhere, people are out doing their Christmas shopping, and The Salvation Army is out en masse ringing the bell.

Thanks to a contact through our Leadership Waukesha class, I got connected with The Salvation Army in Waukesha. Every tour I’ve taken there, and every thing I hear about them, I’m more and more amazed by all that they are able to accomplish.

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<![CDATA[Practical Environmentalism: What Does That Mean?]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Practical-Environmentalism-What-Does-That-Mean/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

When we first started planning our most recent Manufacturing Alliance event called “Practical Environmentalism” I knew it was going to be a good one.  Environmentalism is a hot topic right now, as we all know. It’s a buzz word. It’s a catchy phrase and many companies are trying to pass themselves off as environmentally conscious because they have recycling bins in the front office or they planted a couple of trees out front.

Our three panelists at the event on Tuesday were real champions for the environment. They represented three members who truly understand what “going green” means. They don’t do it because it’s cool or catchy or earns them rewards. They do it because it’s good for the environment and it’s good for business.

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<![CDATA[Why Vote??]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Why-Vote/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

Guest post written by Nate DeBaun, Attorney with The Schroeder Group, S.C., Attorneys at Law, and chair of the Waukesha County Business Alliance Young Professionals Committee.

There are a number of reasons to cast your vote in the upcoming midterm election. For one, it’s one of the few times that the average American has a say in national politics. On the local level, sometimes small margins of votes decide a winner, and in many instances, these local elections have just as great an impact on a voter’s day to day life.

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<![CDATA[Alliance Connections]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Alliance-Connections/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

With just about everything else you do, membership in the Waukesha County Business Alliance requires you to put time and effort into it in order to get results.  Members who join then sit and wait for things to happen for them will most often be disappointed.  Sure, our website links to yours.  Yes, we send out a New Member email with a description of your business to our membership when you join.  Of course, we talk up our membership as a whole and the importance of doing business with members.

But the members who see the most gain are the ones who get involved and take matters into their own hands.  Attending or sponsoring at events, reading and advertising in the Biz Blast, and getting to know other members – these are the ways to see results.

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<![CDATA[Advocacy on Your Behalf]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/Advocacy-on-Your-Behalf/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

When we changed our name on August 25, it wasn’t just a name change.  Yes, we dropped “Chamber of Commerce” from our name, but legally we are still a chamber of commerce.  We reprioritized our focus for YOU, our members, and we decided that Advocacy should be listed as the first of our four pillars.

The Waukesha County Action Network now exists only as our policy board.  They are in place to decide on the issues most important to the businesses in our county, and to come up with action steps for our members when possible.
Our policy board has five committees:

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<![CDATA[YPs: Always up for Something New!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/YPs-Always-up-for-Something-New/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

The Young Professionals Committee strives to provide a platform for twenty and thirty somethings to:

  • Advance professionally
  • Connect to our community
  • Enrich relationships
  • Become the next generation of leaders in Waukesha County

When I started working for the Waukesha County nearly 3 years ago, one of my duties was overseeing the Young Professionals program we have had for nearly 5 years.  Because the average age of my coworkers before I started was over 50, it really didn’t surprise me that they wanted to hand it off to a young punk not too far out of college!  I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I knew that because I was a Young Professional myself, I was up for the challenge.

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<![CDATA[10th Annual World of Wines & Beer]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/10th-Annual-World-of-Wines--Beer/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

It’s that time of year again… time to start planning the World of Wines & Beer!!!  This event will be November 5, 2010 at Davians Banquet & Conference Center.

In beginning the planning and brainstorming this year, I realized that this will be our 10th annual event.  With over 150 wines and over 40 beers served each year, imagine the massive quantities of alcohol our members have consumed!  :)

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<![CDATA[No Longer a “Chamber Of Commerce”, But Still YOUR County Chamber!]]> http://www.waukesha.org/Blog/WCBizAlliances-Blog/No-Longer-a-Chamber-Of-Commerce-But-Still-YOUR-County-Chamber/
   By Carolyn Hahn              (0) Comments

First post as Waukesha County Business Alliance!

As of August 25, 2010, the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce is no more. We have combined with WCAN (Waukesha County Action Network) to become Waukesha County Business Alliance and formed a bigger, stronger organization to better serve our members needs!

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