Home Builders Association Presents $5,000 Donation to Xcel Strategies
(SAVANNAH, GA) The Home Builders Association of Greater Savannah presented a $5,000 donation to Savannah-based mentoring group Xcel in support of the 2019 Dust and Grain Woodworking Competition which will be held on Saturday, May 18 at Maven Makers, 415 W. Boundary St.
“As homebuilders, we are delighted to take part in a project that draws attention to the value of careers in the trades,” said Patty Rietkovich, executive officer of the association. “We need to develop the skilled craftspeople who will build the homes, schools and businesses of the future.”
The May 18 event marks the culmination of a competition that began last month. Different teams got their assignment in April to build a stool using lumber from Emergent Structures, a local re-purposed lumber yard. Judges will select three winning teams, each of which will receive production opportunities from Maven Makers to produce a product for the local home, restaurant, hotel or furniture industry.
Additional competitions and displays of woodworking skills are scheduled prior to the announcement of the winning teams. The day’s activities, which are free and open to the public, are designed to appeal to families and will include Current Catering onsite for lunch, as well as raffles and giveaways.
Xcel is a Savannah mentoring nonprofit organization that concentrates on moving young men ages 15 to 25 into the workforce via the trades. It has partnered with such groups as Bethesda Academy and the Dream Campaign. Jay Thompson, founder and CEO of Xcel, has partnered with Maven Makers, a woodworking maker space, to inspire and train young men in woodworking professions.
ABOUT THE HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF GREATER SAVANNAH
The Home Builders Association of Greater Savannah is an organization of local builders and builder associates, dedicated to promoting homeownership to as many people as possible in Chatham, Effingham, Bryan and Liberty Counties, while supporting each other through continuing education and networking opportunities. The organization was founded in 1955 with 27 charter members. Today, the Home Builders Association of Greater Savannah has more than 550 current members, serving on more than 15 committees and councils, with an additional 500 members of the sales & marketing council. It is the second largest association in the state of Georgia. Membership benefits include continuing education classes, workshops and seminars, trade networking opportunities, lower insurance premiums, a Membership Directory and regular membership meetings. The Association is headquartered at 7116 Hodgson Memorial Drive, Savannah, Ga 31406. Patty Rietkovich serves as the Executive Director. For more information, call (912) 354-6193 or visit http://homebuildersofsavannah.com. #HBAofGreaterSavannah
Marjorie Young to speak in Atlanta about Public Relations strategies to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers
Did you know that 74% of consumers cite “word-of-mouth” as a key influence in their decision making? But most businesses leave so much good news on the table!
Marjorie Young, an experienced public relations consultant and founder of Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc., will share her ideas about creating positive word-of-mouth when she speaks on Jan. 22 to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers. The GABBmeets at the Georgia Association of Realtors building at 6065 Barfield Road, in Sandy Springs at 10:30 a.m., preceded at 9:45 a.m. by a free light breakfast and networking session.
The meeting is free and open to the public, but please fill out the form below to let us know you’re coming.
Young will discuss how small businesses can build a positive reputation simply by leveraging the great content that already exists in your business and in your marketing. Young founded Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc. in 1995. Her firm creates positive word-of-mouth for businesses in the community and online by using reputation management strategies. She also does Crisis PR consulting and audits.
In 2017 the Savannah Chamber named Young Small Business Advocate of the Year. She currently sits on the Savannah Rotary, and Hospice Savannah board of directors. She is an avid hiker and walked Spain’s 500-mile Camino de Santiago in 2016.
The GABBis an organization of professionals who work with owners of Georgia businesses in important and complicated transactions: the sale of their businesses. GABBmembers help owners determine the asking price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for selling their business, identify and qualify buyers, and have the knowledge, experience and skills needed to help maintain the confidential nature of the process. GABBmembers relentlessly pursue professional development so they can provide superior, ethical services for all customers and clients.
Local Rotary Calls for Volunteers for Second Annual Savannah Rotary Read-In
Last year’s inaugural event drew 526 volunteer readers who read to students in 566 classrooms. This year, Savannah-Chatham public schools plans to add pre-kindergarten to the list, which means Rotarians and volunteers will read to students in 600 pre-k through third-grade classrooms in 32 schools.
“We hope to promote literacy with nearly 15,000 local students at this event,” said Lowell Kronowitz, president of the Rotary Club of Savannah. “Our goal is to have around 600 volunteers join our Rotarians in giving back by reading for one hour on this special day to spark young imaginations and encourage the desire to read more.”
A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.
Debra Larson, president & CEO of Hospice Savannah, and retired trucking company owner Frank Moore, Jr., who serves as a substitute teacher in the school system, are co-chairing the event. Moore introduced the idea when he moved to Savannah from California where his club there had run the program for 26 years.
“We are looking for volunteers to help just one day for one hour with just one book. The impact for the students is tremendous,” said Moore.
The club also is seeking 32 volunteers to serve as liaisons to handle communication with the schools’ personnel, confirm classrooms and identify books for the read-in.
E Shavers Booksellers is offering a discount to anyone who buys a children’s book to read during the event.
ABOUT THE ROTARY CLUB OF SAVANNAH
The Rotary Club of Savannahincludes 225 community leaders and volunteers. Over the past 103 years, the club has championed local and regional developments that include completing the road to Tybee Island, improving the Savannah River for commercial traffic, enhancing the Dixie Highway system in southeast Georgia and building bridges over the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers. Most recently in recognition of the 100th anniversary, the club raised funds and constructed an all-accessible playground in Forsyth Park. Meetings are held each Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DeSoto Hotel, 15 E. Liberty Street. For more information, visit www.savrotary.org
FOR MORE INFO CONTACT:
Frank Moore, Jr.
Five Common Social Media Mistakes in Business
By Cynthia Wright
Social media is the 21st-century version of the backyard fence, allowing people to connect with each other, nurture personal relationships and express their opinions. It also has become a powerful tool for business owners to gain customers and foster visibility.
While people might not mind when friends or family members rave about their perfect kids or rant about the political climate, they are less tolerant of companies that are overly self-promotional or express controversial opinions. When businesses make such social media blunders, the results can be impactful, ranging from lost followers to serious brand damage.
Here are the five most common social media mistakes that companies make and should avoid:
1) Ignoring followers
Your customers want to be heard, and they often turn to social media to engage with you. Don’t you get annoyed when you’re trying to talk to someone and they are clearly not listening? The same is true for your followers if you provide no response or a blanket response.
2) Being too self-promotional, political or polarizing
By focusing social media content on hard-sell promotions or product discounts, you’ll likely forfeit the opportunity to build relationships and you may even train your customers to shop with you only when they get a discount.
Instead, consider adding content that provides value. Always balance your site with content your followers are likely to find engaging and encourage their interaction by providing links to helpful information or appealing offers.
You should also avoid posting information that is too political or polarizing. That doesn’t mean ignoring your core values and beliefs, but you risk losing followers and upsetting audiences if your corporate social media posts take political stances for or against issues or political leaders.
3) Forgetting or misusing calls to action
Every post should have a call-to-action, but if you’re simply offering a link to your homepage URL, you’re missing the opportunity to collect leads, increase sales and measure results. Instead, put a link to your purchase offer, downloadable resource or coupon. Send them directly to what they are looking for and you’ll see a significant increase in conversion rates.
4) Being too trendy
One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is not staying true to its core message. Although a little controversy or edginess might be okay to keep your stream from becoming boring, be careful not to go too far. Don’t attempt to capitalize on trending topics by creating “viral” content that does not relate to the company brand or mission.
Additionally, only use hashtags that are relevant and appropriate to your content, products/services and brand.
5) Having no social media strategy
Be realistic. Get started by focusing on the social media outlets that are a good fit for your business and invest in the long term with strategies to grow your impact.
Set goals and objectives that you can use to measure impact. By identifying your goals, you can monitor and evaluate how well you use your social media channels to distribute content that fosters engagement. Your objectives should also include how the company will respond to comments, questions and backlash.
Regularly monitor any negative feedback and respond authentically on a timely basis. Avoid creating costs or responses that might cause followers to “hide” your posts. Once they are gone, you will probably never see those followers again.
Most of all, remember social media was created to nurture relationships. So use it for that purpose. Develop and build a loyal community that will be connected to and energized by your brand.
Cynthia Wrightis the Junior Partner of Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc. and Cecilia Russo Marketing, creating word-of-mouth in the community and online through reputation management strategies. For more information, contact Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
Savannah SCORE Offers Opportunity for Entrepreneurs to Win $10K to Launch Their New Business
(SAVANNAH, GA) Got an idea for a unique exciting new product or service? Then consider the new “BizPitch Savannah™” entrepreneurial competition, a kinder, gentler version of TV’s “Shark Tank.” It’s a chance to pitch your idea to a panel of judges with the potential to win $2500 in cash and a package of professional start-up business services worth an estimated $7,500.
This can either be a new start up or, if you have an existing business, you must have obtained your Savannah-Chatham business license after March 1, 2017. You must be at least 18 years old. Applications will be accepted through midnight, Wednesday, Aug. 1, with a $25 non-refundable application fee payable at the time of submission.
Eight finalists will be announced on Aug. 10, and will make their pitches to a panel of judges at the “BizPitch Savannah™” event on Friday, Sept. 7, from 4-6:30 p.m. at The Creative Coast, 2222 Bull St.
The five judges are Jesse Cole, entrepreneur and owner, The Savannah Bananas; Jen Bonnett, vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Savannah Economic Development Authorityand executive director of The Creative Coast; Susan Speros, founder and president of Speros Business Technology Solutions; Sheree Darien, community development loan officer, Small Business Assistance Corporation; and a certified Savannah SCOREBusiness Mentor.
Three winners will receive the cash and services.
Competition rules and application forms are available at http://bizpitchsavannah.com.
“BizPitch Savannah™” is presented by the Savannah Chapter of SCORE, the nation’s largest provider of free business mentoring and educational programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Sponsorships and donations for the event include those from:
Savannah Economic Development Authority
Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce
Savannah Morning News / GateHouse Media
Small Business Assistance Corporation
Wells Fargo – The Private Bank
City of Savannah Office of Business Opportunity
The Creative Coast
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
Ad Specialty Services
Kids & Pros Announces Fourth Annual Football Camps in Savannah
(SAVANNAH, GA) The fourth annual Kids & Pros No-Contact Football Camps will be held at two locations in the Savannah area. The first camp will be held on Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24 at Calvary Day School, located at 4625 Waters Ave, Savannah, GA 31404. The second camp will be held on Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26 at Pooler Recreation Park, located at 900 S Rogers St, Pooler, GA 31322.
Kids & Pros, started by NFL alumni Bobby Butler and Buddy Curry in 2002, is a 501©3 nonprofit grounded in five core life principles called Game Changers for Life: Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Integrity, Perseverance and Excellence.
The coaches (one for every 10 kids) include former NFL players, college players and local high school and youth coaches. Kids & Pros offers the only free, character-based, non-contact football skills camp in the area. Founder and executive director Buddy Curry, a former Atlanta Falcons player, will be on hand to share coaching tips and encourage players’ motivation.
“We have designated two locations in Savannah this year to make the camps more accessible and to reach more kids,” said Curry. “Our goals are for the kids to improve their football skills, practice safer playing methods on the field, strengthen their character, gain self-confidence and become better positioned for long-term success.”
Kids & Pros highlights on-the-field football instruction as the program teaches football fundamentals and safety techniques and integrates the Game Changers for Life in each component of the clinic. It also offers players guidance on proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.
The camps run from 6-9 p.m. each day and are open to kids of all skill levels from ages 7-13. In addition to three hours of instruction each day, a Parent Info Session will be held the first day of each camp from 6:20-7:20 pm.
Sponsors for this year’s camp include Chatham Orthopedics, J.C. Lewis Ford, GenCapital, The Dewitt Tilton Group, Byrd Cookie Company, Neurological & Spine Institute, Memorial Health University Medical Center, SunTrust Bank, Oliver Maner, LLP, Hussey Gay Bell, Walmart and Enviro Vac Industrial Services.
ABOUT KIDS & PROS
Kids & Pros, Inc. is a non-profit organization, started in 2002 by former Atlanta Falcons Bobby Butler and Buddy Curry to teach character and skills through athletics. Kids and Pros will celebrate its 17th Summer Camp season, providing weekly youth football camps, clinics and football safety training across the country including: Lee County, GA, Houston County, GA, Birmingham, AL, Louisville, KY, Lynchburg, VA, Stafford, VA, Huntsville, AL, Chantilly, VA, Hampton, GA, Bozeman, MT, Charlotte, NC, Knoxville, TN, Chattanooga, TN, Norcross, GA, Coweta County, GA, Danville, VA, Canton, NC, Bluffton, SC, Savannah, GA, Sylva, NC, Chastain Park, GA. For more information on Kids & Pros, Inc., please log onto our website at www.kidsandpros.com, follow us on twitter @kidsandpros, or connect with us on Facebook at Kids & Pros, Inc.
American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast
(SAVANNAH, GA) TheAmerican Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawill host its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.
This fundraising event will recognize local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It will also honor Cecilia Russo Turnerfor her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.
“We hold this fundraiser each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”
Turner, this year’s community honoree, is CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.
“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”
In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.
Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who will be recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each have at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.
The public is invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Crossthrough tax-deductible gifts that range from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.
“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawas established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgiaor call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.
ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC,is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.com or call 912-665-0005.