FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.,“Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest. The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB” column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week. Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so. FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers. “LEFT JAB AND RIGHT JAB” “Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest. The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB” column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week. Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so. FOOTNOTE: Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.,“Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest. The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB” column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week. Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so.,“Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest. The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB” column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week. Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail,“Right Jab And Left Jab” was created because we have two commenters that post on a daily basis either in our “IS IT TRUE” or “Readers Forum” columns concerning National or International issues.Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan’s comments are mostly about issues of national interest. The majority of our “IS IT TRUE” columns are about local or state issues, so we have decided to give Mr. Biden and Mr. Reagan exclusive access to our newly created “LEFT JAB and RIGHT JAB” column. They now have this post to exclusively discuss national or world issues that they feel passionate about.We shall be posting the “LEFT JAB” AND “RIGHT JAB” several times a week. Oh, “LEFT JAB” is a liberal view and the “RIGHT JAB is representative of the more conservative views. Also, any reader who would like to react to the written comments of the two gentlemen is free to do so.
Councilman Bob Barr submits his nominating petitions to City Clerk Melissa Rasner. By MADDY VITALEFourth Ward City Councilman Bob Barr turned in his nominating petitions to City Clerk Melissa Rasner on Friday.Barr, 38, is seeking his second four-year term in the May municipal election. He is running unopposed.Over the four years of serving on Council, Barr said he has accomplished a lot, but there is still a lot he wants to do. He also noted that working well with Mayor Jay Gillian and Council and with the support of state officials, the city has been able to achieve a lot of things to help the residents.“I am most proud of the fact we held the taxes stable. Our back bay dredging program is a model across the state and our beach replenishment program is going well thanks to Congressman (Jeff) Van Drew and our mayor,” Barr noted. Barr pointed out that there have been a multitude of successful, ongoing projects in his ward.“Millions of dollars have been spent in the Fourth Ward on capital improvements,” he said.There is still a lot he wants to do, including continuing his Fourth Ward meetings on Saturdays. The meetings allow residents to discuss their concerns and talk about the issues affecting the Fourth Ward.His plans for the next four years are in line with what he and the Council are already doing.“We have to continue to keep our property taxes stable and hold the line on that. We have to work with our congressman and state people and make sure beach replenishment continues, along with the back bay dredging program,” Barr said. Fourth Ward Councilman Bob Barr speaks with resident Jackie Wolchko after a community meeting in July.Some projects he is hoping to get underway during his next term are a number of capital projects, Barr said.They include raising buildings in areas of town and finishing up drainage projects at 35th and 36th streets for flood protection.“These things take time,” he said.Barr, who was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, has worked with the mayor on longer mobility mats on the beaches and making the entire community more accessible.“I think from the citywide perspective the mayor has made the city more accessible in the downtown and the beaches. Seeing me all of the time, I think it makes people more aware,” Barr said. He continued, “What we have done so far is something I am very proud of. But there is more work to be done.”Barr noted that although he is running unopposed, he will still show the community there are many reasons why he is not taking his next term on Council for granted.“Even though I am unopposed, I will still work to know and understand what people want and not take anything for granted,” he said. “We will campaign like we are running against something.” On Friday at 4 p.m., all candidates are asked to go to City Hall where they will draw from a hat to determine their ballot position.
Jo Fraser, Manchester’s River Valley Coordinator from Groundwork said: Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment and Skills, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: An award-winning scheme which restored a stretch of the River Medlock has been further boosted after juvenile brown trout were found in the watercourse.Previously known as the Red River, the Medlock underwent a £250,000 transformation at Clayton Vale which re-naturalised the waterway to encourage habitats for wildlife.Juvenile brown trout, a key indicator species, were found in the river following a fish survey conducted in April 2018.A large-scale project was undertaken in 2013 along a 300 metre section of the river in Clayton Vale, just upstream of Philips Park and the Etihad Stadium. The aim was to restore the river and re-naturalise it – the brick lining was removed, concrete foundations dug-up and the watercourse widened.Two weirs were removed in the river which slowed the flow of the water; riffles and runs added to provide protection for fish and insects and deep pools created to help with water quality by reducing sediments.The increased presence of fish is particularly encouraging as the Environment Agency and Manchester City Council are also installing baffles in the rivers culvert to further help fish move up and down the river.The River Medlock was originally modified over a hundred years ago by lining the channel with concrete and bricks. This provided essential power and resource for local industry, but damaged natural habitats in the process.It became known as the Red River as eight million bricks were used to channel the river following the Great Flood of 1872 when the Medlock burst its banks and washed away tombstones and bodies from Philips Park Cemetery.The project was led by the Environment Agency and supported by Manchester City Council, Groundwork and Irwell Rivers Trust with lots of community engagement.Oliver Southgate, the river restoration project manager from the Environment Agency, said: It’s wonderful to know that our partnership work is paying off and that nature is responding so impressively tothe restored habitat along the River Medlock. This project has benefited both wildlife and local residents by enhancing a fantastic place for nature-lovers,walkers, families and anglers, within just a couple of miles of Manchester city centre. The Environment Agency is committed to protecting and enhancing our rivers. If you see a pollution please call the 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60. It is great news to see fish and other wildlife flourishing in what was long seen as a dead river. We hope this will encourage people to help keep it clean and get involved in future projects. Finding juvenile brown trout in the Medlock is a massive step forward as it shows we have created suitablespawning habitat in the river. These fish are a key indicator species, which means the overall ecology of theriver – good water quality and habitats for fish – have markedly improved. Our mission at the Environment Agency is to make this a better place for people and wildlife and I’m reallyproud of our work to bring this river back to life. Further work on the Medlock is planned and I really hope thelocal community come and enjoy this city oasis.
A study on the impact of coronavirus in care homes in England indicated that one of the common factors in care homes with higher levels of coronavirus infection among staff was how much they employed staff who worked across multiple sites.So in the adult social care winter plan the government committed to new regulations to limit staff movement between care homes, and between care homes and other health and care settings.The government now wants to make regulations that would temporarily modify regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 which deals with staffing.This would mean residential and nursing care home providers in England must restrict the movement of staff providing personal care or nursing care in their services. If you’re using the easy-read version, the deadline for responding is midday on Wednesday 25 November 2020.
Four members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) M.B.A. Class of 2012 have been named winners of the School’s prestigious Dean’s Award: Jessica Bloomgarden, Tiffany Niver, Andrew Rosenthal, and Daniel Rumennik.Bloomgarden, Rosenthal, and Rumennik were among the founders of Startup Tribe, an ad hoc group of HBS students who met weekly to brainstorm ideas, offer support, and pick the brains of local venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, and others on the tactical aspects of starting a business. As co-president of the active and influential HBS Women’s Students Association, Niver fostered an energetic and engaged community of women at the School and amplified the sense of excitement these women have for their roles as future business leaders.Bloomgarden also helped strengthen and communicate the advantages that HBS presents to women interested in pursuing high-growth entrepreneurship, while Rosenthal was an influential catalyst, connector, and advocate for the robust entrepreneurial communities at Harvard and in Greater Boston and beyond. Rumennik was also lauded for working closely with Bloomgarden and Rosenthal, as well as HBS faculty and staff to create and launch the Minimum Viable Product Award, a competition for funding HBS students’ early-stage entrepreneurial ventures.For more information.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is set to offer a second year of the Journeyman Farmer training for beginning and young farmers this August. This multi-session crash course in business planning, vegetable and fruit production, or goat and sheep husbandry provides those thinking about starting a farm and those who are new to farming with the solid foundation they need to build their business. Participants also have the opportunity for a Hands-on training to gain farm experience. Farmers who complete the entire training will receive a Journeyman Farmer Certificate, signifying that they have completed coursework in business planning, production training and hands-on training. “Many of the young people interested in farming don’t come from a farming background,” said Julia Gaskin, director of UGA’s Sustainable Agriculture Program. “We have been very interested in developing a comprehensive training program to help this group and those currently farming that want to improve their operations.” This is the second year that the partnership has offered this training. The 2015 class provided training to 60 farmers from 11 counties. “I found the course very helpful in starting up my farming business,” said Ellis Lamme, a Lawrenceville small farmer and president of the Upper Ocmulgee River Resource, Conservation, Development Council. “Take the time to better you farming business knowledge with this course. Your green thumb will get greener.” The partnership hopes to expand the number of farmers served this year by conducting the trainings throughout the state, including Screven Co, Carroll Co, Dougherty Co and in metro Atlanta. Registration for this low-cost training opportunity is open now, so check with you county agent in these areas. Participants need to register before the business training classes in August to be eligible for their Journey Farmer certificate. The first step of the training program is small farm business planning. The UGA Small Business Development Center — a unit of the Office of Public Service and Outreach — and AgSouth Farm Credit will provide business planning and financing workshops to the farmers. After completing the small farm business training, participants can enroll in the production training offered in their area, choosing Small Fruit and Vegetable Production or Small Ruminants Production. These production areas were chosen because there is demand for these crops and to help beginning farmers start farming on small parcels of land. “Goat production is an ideal enterprise for beginning farmers because of (growing) demand for goat meat in the United States and because they do not require an intensive system,” Dr.Tom Terrill, part of the of FVSU team led by Dr. Niki Whitley, said. “Goats can utilize brush, broadleaf weeds and grasses on marginal land and still be productive.” Dr. Whitley also heads up the Hands-on Training which will allow beginning farmers to gain experience on a working farm. Georgia Organics is leading the Hands-on Training for farmers interested in small fruit and vegetable production that will offer internships and/or mentoring experiences. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UGA Small Business Development Center, Georgia Organics, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Fort Valley State University and AgSouth Farm Credit, along with other partners, are developing the training and mentorship program to help beginning farmers become sustainably successful farmers. This Journeyman Farmer program is funded by a 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Grant. For more information about Georgia’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, see SustainAgGA.org.
Read or download the November issue for FREE HERE Gear Up 2020 Giveaway! Cold-Weather CastingThe chilly months at the end of the year offer new opportunities for trout fishing. The GoodsWe’ve got gift ideas for the gear lover in your life. Giveaway! Trail MixTake a listen to the sounds of emerging artists from the Blue Ridge and beyond. ExploreAn avid whitewater boater appreciates the calm seclusion of a Low Country creek. Quick HitsHow the war on Asian carp, an invasive species pervasive in the Southeast, could falter due to COVID-19. Q&A with Jordan JonasBRO chats with the winner of reality TV series Alone about surviving 77 solo days in the Arctic and living in Virginia. Gear Up 2020Top Picks for Great Gear Special Sections Fighting Fire with FirePrescribed burns are used throughout the Southeast to manage vegetation and restore habitat. Higher LearningA visit to an outdoor school in the Tennessee mountains gives an avid explorer new perspective on adventure. On the Cover: Adventure opportunities abound in Charlottesville, Va., the top medium-size town winner of the 2020 Blue Ridge Outdoors’ top adventure towns contest. Photo by Robert Radifera Departments Skiing During a PandemicWith COVID-19 cases still rising, find out what resorts are doing to make slopes safer. Go Outside and PlayTurnkey itineraries for the perfect 24- or 48- hour getaways. Top Adventure TownsFor the 10th straight year, our readers selected the best outdoor hubs in the Blue Ridge. Features
By Dialogo July 02, 2009 Panama City, July 1 (EFE).- Fifty-seven-year-old businessman Ricardo Martinelli was inaugurated today as Panama’s new president for the next five years, in a ceremony in which eight presidents and the Prince of Asturias, Felipe de Borbón, participated. Martinelli received the presidential sash from the new president of the National Assembly, José Luis Varela. Martinelli’s inauguration and that of businessman Juan Carlos Varela as first vice-president, began with the summons of the seventy-one members of the National Assembly and of the Assembly’s officers. Martinelli, a multimillionaire businessman, took office as president of Panama after having received nearly 60 percent of the votes in the elections held on May 3, with a message of change. Owner of one of Panama’s largest supermarket chains, Ricardo Martinelli, who has a Spanish grandmother and an Italian grandfather, was born in Panama City on 11 March, 1952. After being a public officer in the previous administrations of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PDR) and the Panamanianist Party (PP), Martinelli decided to create his own party, Democratic Change (CD), founded in May, 1998. At the head of this group in his campaign for the presidency, he demonstrated his negotiating skill by forming a coalition called Alliance for Change, under his leadership. Martinelli achieved this coalition by incorporating one of the parties with the longest tradition in Panama, the Panamanianist Party (PP), and also including the Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement (Molirena) and the Patriotic Union (UP). Martinelli is considered a populist who is committed to neither the left nor the right, despite his ties to the business world. Martinelli’s inauguration ceremonies were attended by the presidents of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe; of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias; of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom; of Mexico, Felipe Calderón; and of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández; as well as Prince Felipe de Borbón. The ceremonies were also attended by the president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou; the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz; the vice-president of the Cuban Council of State, Esteban Lazo; and the U.S. Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, among other distinguished guests. The ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, arrived at this handing over at the last minute, while Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega canceled his visit to Panama following the death of Managua mayor and former three-times world boxing champion Alexis Argüello.
Fee statements are on the way: Members asked to support ‘Challenge for Children’ Mark D. Killian Managing EditorFlorida Bar members soon will receive their 2003-04 fee statements, reflecting no increase in annual fees and only minor modifications to the form.The fees are payable July 1 and are late after August 15, according to Bar Finance Director Allen Martin.Members will receive one of two fee statements: one designed for active members and another for those who have elected inactive status. Annual fees are $265. Inactive members pay $175. Challenge for ChildrenMembers also have an option to make a voluntary $45 contribution to The Florida Bar Foundation’s Lawyers Challenge for Children campaign to help bring the benefits of the law and of lawyers to the lives of poor children. The Foundation will dedicate Bar members’ contributions to legal assistance to children through grants to legal aid and legal services programs across the state, according to Bar President-elect Miles McGrane.“Today, there are fewer than 20 legal aid and legal services attorneys dedicated full time to addressing the special needs of children in Florida,” McGrane said. “That’s only one legal aid attorney for every 31,000 poor children.”Even counting the significant amount of pro bono services for children already donated by Florida Bar members, McGrane said, the need for advocacy is far greater, including:• For learning-disabled children to secure testing and services required by law.• For children suspended from school or placed in the hands of juvenile justice authorities or law enforcement for behavior problems directly related to a disability.• For older foster children who do not receive mandated independent living skills training and, at age 18, are simply removed from state care.• For disabled children improperly denied federal benefits, or for foster children denied health care or mental health treatment ordered by the courts.“Every dollar donated will help a child in need reach his or her potential and become a contributing member of society,” McGrane said. “Please help create a brighter future for these children and for all Floridians.” Dignity in LawMembers also have an option to make a voluntary $45 contribution to the Bar’s“Dignity in Law” public education and awareness program, which seeks to communicate the positive work of attorneys across Florida.“communicating our positive stories to editors, reporters, and directly to the public, Dignity in Law has literally made millions of impressions on Floridians. We counted at just the half-way mark 79 million impressions alone via positive news stories,” said President Tod Aronovitz.“We cannot, however, rest on our laurels. We must continue to plant the seeds that will grow increased knowledge and respect for what lawyers and judges do every day through the eyes of those we help. That is the mission of the Dignity in Law program.” Historical SocietyBen Hill, president of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, said a $25 contribution to the society will assure the continuation of the various programs designed to chronicle and preserve Florida’s judicial history for generations to come, including oral history programs honoring former Supreme Court justices; the publication of books chronicling Florida’s judicial history; the development of exhibits to educate visitors at the court about the evolution of justice in Florida; and continue the docent program which attracts more than 6,000 school kids to the Supreme Court each year. “Our sole means of existence is through contributions and memberships,” Hill said. “Individual attorneys hold the key to help preserve our heritage for future generations.” Online PaymentMembers also will have the option to complete their annual fee statement and pay their fees online via the Bar’s Web site at www.FLABAR.org.“Members should be aware that the fee statements are two-sided and must be completed both front and back and be mailed along with their payment to cover their fees and sections joined,” Martin said.Under the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, fees postmarked after August 15 will be assessed a $50 late fee. Members who do not pay by September 30 will be deemed delinquent. The delinquency may be cleared by petitioning the Bar, paying the fees, the late fee, and a $150 reinstatement fee.Under the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, members delinquent for five years will lose their Bar membership on October 1. To be reinstated, those members must meet all the requirements of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. Pro Bono ReportsThis year’s fee form again includes a pro bono section for Bar members to report if they have met the Supreme Court’s aspirational pro bono goals. The court asks lawyers to provide 20 hours of pro bono service or donate $350 to a legal aid program each year.A series of questions promulgated by the court appears on the fee statement, depending on what option the attorney selected. The court wants to know:• How many hours of pro bono service the lawyer donated and if the work was done through an organized legal aid program or on the lawyer’s own.• If the lawyer’s firm provided pro bono collectively under a plan operated by a circuit pro bono committee, with an indication of how much was allocated to the member.• If the lawyer has contributed to a legal aid organization in lieu of performing pro bono work.• Whether the attorney was unable to provide pro bono service or met the provision for being deferred.• How the lawyer fulfilled his or her service if done in some manner not specifically envisioned by the plan.The details of the pro bono plan, including the reporting provisions, can be found under Rule 4-6.5 beginning on page 779 of the September 2002 Bar Journal directory. Community ServiceThis year’s fee statement again features a purely voluntary section that allows members to report the community and public service they have performed over the past year. The purpose is to obtain data to show contributions lawyers make by way of community service. Lawyers may voluntarily report whether they have provided service to the legal community, religious organizations, civic organizations, or other charities and how many hours they donated.The community service questions are separate from the court’s pro bono reporting requirements, and answering these questions does not constitute compliance with the required pro bono responses. Trust AccountingThe statement also requires that all lawyers indicate whether they comply with the Bar’s trust accounting requirements and the interest on trust accounts rule.answering the trust accounting question, members certify they comply with Bar rules that mandate, “All nominal and short-term funds belonging to clients or third persons which are placed in trust with any member of The Florida Bar practicing from an office or other business location within the state of Florida shall be deposited in one or more interest-bearing trust checking accounts in an eligible financial institution for the benefit of the Foundation.”The Florida Bar Foundation may be contacted at (800) 541-2195 (for in-state members only) or (407) 843-0045 to answer IOTA questions. InstallmentsMembers who meet eligibility requirements may pay their annual fees in three equal installments. The first payment must be postmarked by August 15. To be eligible, members must be in the second or third year since admission to the Bar or be employed by a government agency in a nonelected position that requires the individual to maintain membership in good standing with the Bar. Only annual fees or prorated fees may be paid in installments. Section dues must be paid in full. The three payments must be postmarked by August 15, November 1, and February 1, 2004. The Bar will send statements for the second and third installments. A $50 late fee will be assessed if any payment is received late. For more information on paying in installments, see Rule 1-7.3(c). Other OptionsBar members also may join sections and the Out-of-State Practitioners Division using the fee form. Sections marked show the attorney’s current membership. To join other sections, members may darken the circles next to the section they want to join and include the section dues with their membership fees.The fee statement also provides lawyers the opportunity to reduce their section dues by joining combinations of the Government Lawyer Section with the Administrative Law Section and/or the Criminal Law Section or the Administrative Law Section and the Criminal Law Section.Members also may opt for inactive membership by marking the inactive status proclamation located near the bottom of the front page of the active membership statement and paying their fees by a postmark date of August 15. Active members may not elect inactive status online.Those who chose inactive status on last year’s statement will receive an inactive membership fee statement this year. It has many of the same features as the active membership fee statement, but does not allow the inactive member to join sections. Inactive members, however, can become affiliate members of the Out-of-State Practitioners Division or the Administrative Law, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law, Environmental and Land Use Law, and Tax sections.choosing inactive status, Bar members will reduce their annual fees by $90 and get automatic exemptions from continuing legal education requirements. They will, however, also give up a number of privileges, including the privilege to practice or advise on Florida law or hold a job that requires a Florida law license; to participate in the Bar’s certification program; to vote in Bar elections or be counted for purposes of apportionment of the Board of Governors; and to receive Bar publications, including the Journal and annual directory. Inactive members do continue to receive the Bar News. Inactive members who wish to become active again must call the Bar’s Membership Records Department at (850) 561-5832 or (800) 561-8060, ext. 5832. Fee statements are on the way: Members asked to support ‘Challenge for Children’ May 15, 2003 Managing Editor Regular News
Santa Is a Great Listener and a Creative Problem SolverThe average Santa will listen to more than 30,000 wishes during a typical holiday season according to the Reader’s Digest. So chances are, this isn’t the first time he has heard your kindergartner’s wish for a puppy or a pony or a new iPhone 6. But you’d never know it from the careful consideration and respect that Santa gives each whispered request. Yet Santa never grants wishes on the spot or overpromises. He doesn’t prime kids for disappointment and leave their parents with the Christmas morning tears and tantrums. Instead, Santa empowers his young visitors by giving them a supportive place to voice their hopes and dreams while also giving family members the perfect opening to discuss finances and priorities.What lessons can your credit union learn from Santa’s listening and problem solving skills?It’s important to give your members and prospects an avenue for feeling listened to and heard. Creating an appealing and non-intimidating framework for them to think about and articulate their financial goals is empowering in and of itself.Providing access to financial counseling, whether in-person or online, gives financial neophytes a sense of control by giving them “big picture” structure.Once developed, a member’s financial roadmap can help put everyone at your credit union on the same page to coordinate onboarding and cross-selling activities according to a master plan.4. Santa Is the Ultimate Team PlayerIt takes a village to create delightful member product and service experiences, and Santa’s village at the North Pole provides a great role model. Santa knows that his December 24th deadline is cast in stone so he creates a passionate sense of mission among his elves and reindeer to get the job done on time and on budget. He motivates his team with a generous attitude, a flat organization structure and lots of treats from Mrs. Claus’s kitchen. His trust, in turn, inspires his team to go the extra mile every year to achieve success against impossible odds.What lessons can your credit union learn from Santa’s team player attitude?Setting ambitious but attainable goals inspires a sense of common mission and purpose.Building project teams and trusting them to deliver brings out the best in your staff.Many hands make light work, so find ways to involve everyone in your desired outcome(s) and recognize them for their hard work.5. Santa Is a Master of Logistics and Omni-Channel DeliverySanta may not look it but he is one seriously disciplined dude when it comes to time management and outcome thinking. To paraphrase the old FedEx ad slogan, Santa knows that his gifts “absolutely, positively have to be there overnight” and that mandate dictates his entire approach. If there isn’t a chimney, he uses the door. He recruits and coordinates legions of onsite parent helpers to assemble the bikes and hem the princess costumes. If he doesn’t have time to eat the whole cookie, he takes a bite. And when you satellite track his progress through the new NORAD mobile app, you’ll see that he uses old-school carrots to always, always keep those reindeer moving.What lessons can your credit union learn from Santa’s omni-channel delivery system?Start with a member focus and use whatever channels necessary to get the job done right.Retain the old-school methods that work but supplement them with new technology.Never, never, never give up until you cross the finish line. Then wake up and do it all again next year! We may hate Black Friday and Cyber Monday (or hate ourselves for loving them) but they’ve become such established beachheads on the holiday calendar these days that we’ve added Gray Thursday, Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday just to round out the week. Can Wiped-Out Wallet Wednesday be far behind?But visit any shopping center in America, and you’ll quickly see who’s really packing in the crowds. Spoiler alert: It isn’t newspaper inserts, doorbuster deals or 40% off coupons—it’s the Man in Red. That’s right; visits and photo ops with Santa are so powerful that they lure grown adults off the sofa and out into traffic to brave crowds, parking garages and food courts with children and pets in hand.Ho-Ho-How to Bring Santa’s Magic to Your Credit UnionThat’s when it occurred to me that Santa—that homespun, humble man of the people—just may have some gifts in his bag for credit unions about ways they can inspire the same fanatical loyalty and lifelong relationships that he does. I’ve made my list and checked it twice so here are five lessons from Santa for your credit union during the holidays and for the year ahead.Santa Lives and Breathes His BrandAccording to Bloomberg Businessweek, over 90% of mall Santas working today are BYOB—Bring Your Own (Natural) Beard. Many work during the rest of the year in white collar professions such as accountant, stockbroker or realtor but take time off every holiday season to assume their Santa alter egos. Virtually all Santas working today are graduates of one of the nation’s six professional Santa schools, the oldest of which was established in 1937.That mix of mission and training serves to prepare mall Santas well for working continuous 10- to 12-hour days during the holiday season without a single day off. Yet job turnover is virtually unheard of because age, experience and the right mindset are such strong plusses in the Santa profession.What lessons can your credit union learn from Santa’s iconic branding?Find passionate employees and train and compensate them to represent your brand with pride and professionalism.Update their skill sets and equipment to reflect modern demands (for today’s Santas that can mean everything from posing with pets to maintaining an impeccable image on social media to herding live reindeer).Above all, commit to rewarding your veteran staff for getting better in their jobs as they log in years of age and experience. 45SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Arnie Goldberg Arnie Goldberg is Director of Business Development for Advisors Plus, with primary emphasis on practice expansion through service enhancement and the creation of individualized business and marketing solutions. Arnie draws … Web: www.advisorsplus.com Details Santa Welcomes Everyone Equally and EnthusiasticallyWhether you’re two or 92; whether you’re an infant or grandparent, cat or dog, elf or reindeer, Santa has good cheer and a ready smile to share with you. Oh sure, that “ho, ho, ho” routine can get a little corny at times, but that’s part of its charm. Santa doesn’t do “trendy” and he doesn’t put on airs. There’s predictability to his iconic presence and a chain of continuity from one’s own childhood that is very reassuring. Plus, Santa never worries about being politically correct or keeping up with the neighbors: He lives on milk and cookies, isn’t the snappiest dresser, doesn’t get out much, and never gives a thought to materialism when it comes to upgrading his own lifestyle.What lessons can your credit union learn from Santa’s V.I.P. treatment?There’s never a second chance to make a first impression, so make your credit union a destination where the encounters are always upbeat and positive. Who doesn’t want to visit a place, whether brick and mortar or online, where they feel welcomed and valued?People like to know where they stand. Delivering a constant, consistent experience is endearing and rare in this day and age. Using a signature greeting to all branch visitors, dressing your client-facing personnel in neat uniforms or making your contact center and website a pleasure to visit go a long way.It’s never too early to build loyalty with the next generation. Being the place with the children’s play area or the free lollipops can give mom and dad just the incentive they need to sit down and discuss a car loan or a mortgage. And seriously, what’s not to like about free coin counting or a free pen?