Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation Joins AgentsPayingForward

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How Does Somebody You Didn’t Know Touch Your Life Like This?

Memorial Day ( I wrote this last weekend) is a day when we honor those who died defending our country. For one family, in a sense though, every day is Memorial Day. I didn’t know Kristy Lasch, and I’m very sorry for that. Kristy was 22 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and 26 when she passed away from the disease. I first heard of Kristy this afternoon from a friend of her family, Cindy Papale, a breast cancer survivor. Cindy became a friend on Facebook, and she asked if I knew of any women who had contended with breast cancer. Cindy has written a book, "The Empty Cup Runneth Over" about breast cancer, and how it affects more women at a young age: Cindy has a website as well: http://www.theemptycuprunnethover.com/. A portion of the book proceeds go to the Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation. I wrote back to Cindy to contact Gina Andrews, and Nicole Maclean: both cancer survivors and both inspirational stories in their own rights.

Cindy asked if I could help the Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation, and I shared with her my sites Agentspayingforward.com and ACNPayingforward.com. My intention is to have the Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation as a charity to be supported, and, when you hear the story, I hope you consider supporting their mission.

I asked the question about how somebody you didn’t know can affect your life above. I spoke to Kristy’s mom, and asked if she would provide content for this blog piece. Ms. Lasch didn’t feel comfortable doing so, and asked if I, after reading the website for the Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation, would do it. I thought to myself how hard it must be to lose a daughter so young, but to start an organization dedicated to changing the lives of other women afflicted by this disease. Kristy Lasch, a name I did not know 12 hours ago, forced me to think about the fact that I now have been involved with a young woman, Gina Andrews who, Thank God, has beaten cancer. Gina also started the Sacramento Breast Cancer Resource Center as a resource for young women with the disease.

I then thought about a woman, Nicole Maclean, who is currently going through treatment for breast cancer. In spite of her affliction, Nicole stays positive and helps other women fighting breast cancer. Nicole also writes a blog about her experiences: http://fabulous-boobies.blogspot.com/. As I thought about it, and I’ve met one women who beat breast cancer. I met another woman who is fighting breast cancer currently, and I met, through friends who knew her, another woman who died too damn young from breast cancer. All of the aforementioned women inspired me. All of them have fought, or are fighting their disease. All of the women chose to share their experiences, and also help others fighting breast cancer. Kristy Lasch was 26 years old when she passed, but had the maturity to want to help others.

More importantly for me, I learned once again that there are great organizations that need financial help for their missions: such is the case with the Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation. It is a great organization dedicated to helping women, women far too young to have breast cancer, beat the terrible disease. Agentspayingforward and ACNPayingforward are designed to help agents and charities network together for mutual benefit, and the Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation is a charity well worth supporting.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Connecting Through Our Word

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Blog posting from Erick Pettersen from People Connect

Good morning,

So, it’s Thursday, and usually I post these on Tuesdays.  A friend once told me an apology comes without ‘ifs, ands, or buts,’ so I apologize for the two day delay of this blog. 

Yesterday, I had such  an awesome customer service experience that I wanted to share it with you.  Several months ago, I bought a pair of jeans at Eddie Bauer.  Last week, the back of one of the knees came out of the dryer shredded.  Eddie Bauer stands behind all of their products with a 100% no excuses guarantee, so I decide to try that guarantee out.

Last night, I walked into a local Eddie Bauer.  When the sales lady greeted me, I held up the pants and told her the story.  She looked at the tears, asked me if I wanted to look for another pair.  After I said yes, she said she would hold the ripped pair behind the counter.

A few minutes later, after I found my size, and tried them on, just to be on the extra safe side, I brought them to the front counter.  The guy behind the counter asked me if I had a receipt.  Thinking that my lack of a receipt would get me something like a $25 store credit, which would leave me with a bill of $25 or more, I admitted to my lack of a receipt.  He said ‘no problem,’ continued on with the transaction, asked me if I wanted a bag (As a Green travel writer, my conscious and my mouth said no), then handed me a receipt.  I thanked him and walked out of the store with a brand new pair of Eddie Bauer jeans no questions asked.

Few people know the history of Eddie Bauer.  Few people know that he was the first person to use Down in jackets, which he provided to our soldiers in World War II.  Few people know the story of the guy who brought a tennis racket (When Eddie made tennis rackets) back to him, said it got ruined, and Eddie restrung the racket in spite of examining it and determining that the racket got ruined in the rain. 

One thing everybody who buys Eddie Bauer merchandise knows is that years after Eddie Bauer’s death his legacy lives on.  Eddie Bauer made a name for himself by standing behind his products, an he demonstrated that by naming his store Eddie Bauer.  Yesterday, they earned themselves another life long customer.

If you want to connect with people, be a man or woman of your word.  Among many others, one of my mottos is, “If I can’t be anything else, I can be a man of my word.”  I created the concept of People Connect because I want to connect with people who realize if they can’t be anything else, they can be men or women of their word.  Today, I encourage you to connect, but I encourage you to connect by standing behind whatever service or product you offer.

As a nation, we have come to a place of absolute desperation, because we don’t know whom to trust anymore.  And we don’t know who to trust because we’ve become a nation of isolationists who stand within the shadows rather than by our word.  If we’re going to get out of this economic slump, if we’re going to learn to trust our teammates, we need to connect with each other.  That means we need to hold each other accountable, and we need to be men and women of our word.

 

Until next week, keep connecting.

 

 

Erick

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your Anchor

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Blog posting from Erick Pettersen from People Connect

Family is awesome. Okay, my family is awesome. My 16 year old Nephew just walked into my room to use my bathroom, so he can head off to his first day at the local high school. Across the hall from me, my brother and sister-in-law, who flew to California from Minnesota with their family, sleep off another long day of keeping up with their four kids and one granddaughter. Over the weekend, my household went from three to 15, which happens every few years. Sometimes it gets up to about twenty, but my sister Kristina went to Cancun. Since neither of her daughter’s drives, they can’t come down here. Though, there is not shortage of laughter.

I cherish the summer days that my brother and his family spend with us, because while they do not happen that often, they happen. For several years, my brother Tom and his family never came to California. I don’t know why, but I assume it always came down to money. During those years, if I wanted to see him, I had to fly to Minnesota; and since all of my money went to paying for college, rather than taking leisurely trips, I went for several years without seeing my brother and his family. In fact, his two youngest children reached and passed several of their childhood years before I met either of them. Now, when Tom and his family fly out here, all of my surrounding family from southern California, Arizona, and Nevada takes a week off and joins the festivities.

For an entire week, we play card games, throw each other in the pool, update each other with stories about our life’s happenings, and eat brawts. Yesterday, Tom told me he is thinking about moving out this way, but he said right now the slow economy keeps him in northern Minnesota. Last night, after we finished the dinner my sister-in-law Mary cooked for the family, we celebrated my niece Brittany’s upcoming 15th birthday with Cake (my brother John forgot the ice cream), then five of us sat around the dining room table and shared more stories. After we finished our series of stories, we took our plates to the kitchen, I swiped a finger full of cake frosting onto my finger, wiped the rest of the frosting into the garbage, and set my plate and fork on the counter. Standing behind Tom’s wife Tammy, I reached out my cake frosted finger in front of her, and smeared it on her face. She called me a ‘dork,’ told me to sleep with one eye open, and went to clean her face. Our days of laughter, story telling, watching each other’s children grow into young men and women, and enjoying each other’s company will end.

For now, I enjoy them, because life will change. I tend not to hang around one spot for too long, so a year from now I may be in northern California or in a different state (I doubt it will be that soon). For now I enjoy the incessant noise, one or another of my nieces or nephews walking into my room and using my shower (I don’t even mind that they squeeze the toothpaste from the middle), my great niece looking wide eyed at the big people, and my sister Deb explaining the rules of Rummy 500 to me for the umpteenth time. Life may go on, but opportunities to enjoy today and the people who surround you today will end.

In all of your connections with people throughout your life, keep your family closest. I spent two years in Boston while my family enjoyed each other 3,000 miles away. And while I will always remember and be thankful for my time in Boston, the loneliness of holidays spent alone, birthdays singing ‘happy birthday to me,’ late night subway rides on the orange line hoping I didn’t get mugged, and breaking up potential bar fights between my Laker buddies and Celtic fanatics made me realize that of all of the connections I wanted to make in order to pursue my life goals, none of those connections mattered without family.

At the cost of sounding preachy, I am going to encourage you today to make your first and strongest connections with your family. All of those connections you make throughout your life are like a chain, but your family is the anchor that keeps your ship from drifting too far. You can make all of the connections in the world that will lead to wherever you want to get to, but without that anchor that is your family the ship that is your life will drift out to sea.


I am going to go spend some time with my family. Until next week, keep connecting.

Erick

Friday, May 15, 2009

Biking For a Better World & Disabled Sports

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As many of you know, I volunteer at Disabled Sports Far West where I help teach people with disabilities how to ski and snowboard in Lake Tahoe: it's the best thing I have ever done as it has transformed my life. However, I'm also a cyclist. I received a note from Vanessa at Disabled Sports letting me know about a fundraiser involving cycling that helps support Disabled Sports - a perfect marriage. The group involed in the cycling aspect is Biking For a Better World.
These people are going to ride 2,500 miles to help support Disabled Sports Far West, and it's cycling program (I rode 30 miles and was crying like a little redacted so as not to offend!). Click on the link to learn more about their ride in support of Disabled Sports. However, in the mean time, they are kicking off their affiliation with a fundraiser at Squaw Valley with a bike swap in the Squaw Valley village: see the information below and please come on out and support two great groups!

Please consider supporting Disabled Sports USA Far West by checking out Biking for a Better World's First Annual Tahoe Bike Swap on Saturday, May 23rd from 11am-5pm at the Squaw Valley Village.

Who is Biking for a Better World? A local, non profit organization that sees riding a bicycle as an empowering, enjoyable activity, understood universally and utilized throughout the entire world. Biking for a Better World strives to constantly transform the very act of pedaling into a force to make the world a better place. http://www.bikingforabetterworld.org/index.html

How is Biking for a Better World supporting Disabled Sports USA Far West? In September 2009, Jake Spero, President, and Duncan Sisson, CFO, will ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from the Canada border in Montana to the Mexico border in New Mexico. The route is 2500 miles long and the self supported riders plan to finish the route in 4 weeks. Fundraising efforts associated with this ride benefits Disabled Sports USA Far West and our summer biking programs.

Support two great organizations at once by stopping by the Bike Swap on May 23rd.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beyond Shelter Food Drive - Today in Beverly Hills

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I very much enjoy helping companies get the word about events in their specific area. I saw this event on Facebook last night, and contacted Robert Aigner, a Keller Williams Realtor in Beverly Hills, about it. Robert sent this, and, if you are in the Beverly Hills area, please help.

This information proves two things to me: the economy is affecting people everywhere: even Beverly Hills. Secondly, there are a lot of good people - once again even in Beverly Hills! Please help if you can.

News Release

MEDIA CONTACT: Veronica Oliva
(561) 909-7162
veronicao@kw.com

Keller Williams Realty of Beverly Hills
Sponsors Food Drive for Beyond Shelter


Beverly Hills, CA—05/14/2009—The Keller Williams Realty of Beverly Hills Market Center team, believes in giving back to the Los Angele's community. In that spirit, the Beverly Hills office will hold a food drive at our local Ralph’s grocery store to benefit the Beyond Shelter organization.


We believe in supporting the community that we live and work in. It’s our way of saying thanks to our friends, neighbors, clients and customers,” said Team Leader, Rob Aigner.

Beyond Shelter is a non profit organization helping homeless families find shelter, food, and a new way of life. The organization has an 85% success rate on helping and keeping families off the street. If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile campaign, please contact Veronica Oliva at 310-432-6400. The Keller Williams Realty of Beverly Hills Market Center, located at 439 North Canon Drive, Suite 300, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, is a full service real estate firm with 270+ sales associates. We are currently the third largest real estate company in the United States.

About Keller Williams Realty:
Founded in 1983, Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI) is an international real estate company with more than 350 offices located across the U.S. and Canada. Currently the fifth largest U.S. residential real estate firm in North America, Keller Williams began franchising its offices in 1991. The company has succeeded by treating its 33,200-plus associates as partners, and shares its knowledge, policy control, and company profits on a system-wide basis. KWRI’s agents are distinguished by their level of professional education, their full-time commitment to real estate sales, and their level of business success. For more information, visit Keller Williams Realty online at www.kw.com.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Enjoying Greener Tables

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Blog posting from Erick Pettersen from PeopleConnect

Good afternoon,

Forgive me for getting this blog out a little later in the day than usual. The good news is that I am getting busier; the bad news is that I did not account for the extra time it would take to get that extra work done. For that, I apologizze.

Anyways, I spent this morning revising an article I submitted a couple of hours ago to the editor of SDgreenlife.com. A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Catt Fields White about her website Greenertables.org, which rates Green restaurants based on their environmental efforts.

The more White explained how Greenertables will work, the more it seemed like Google. Just much smaller. Greenertables.org, which is in its beta stage, will encourage restaurants and restaurant suppliers to form partnerships; though, it goes a step beyond that by allowing users to get involved by making their dining selections based on those Green restaurants listed on Greenertables.org, which they can also rate. I could say more about it, and I did in the article, but I am going to encourage to go to SDgreenlife and read it on June 1.

I wanted to tell my readers about this site because most of us dine out. It’s part of our culture. We go to the theatre and dine out. We take people to restaurants on first dates or for business meetings. If you’re an American, you’ve most likely been to some sort of commercial eating establishment.

Today, I am not going to write a post about how to connect or why to connect. Instead, I am just going to encourage you to connect. Greenertables.org encourages a Greener future we can all enjoy.

Usually, you won’t see a post like this from me, so please comeback if it’s not what you were expecting. Sometimes, it might be. For this week, I wanted to share a practical way we can all start connecting with each other in a way that’s already part of our culture, while encouraging a Green future.

Also, check out SDgreenlife.com. We do Twitter and have a Facebook. I run both, so come connect, and let me know you read my blog.



Until next week keep connecting,

Erick

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Quick Tips to Connecting People (Virtually)

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Blog posting from Erick Pettersen from People Connect:

Today, I’m going to write a crash course on my methods to connect people to people by getting people to your web site.  Right now, I am working on multiple projects.  Some of them have a little more steam under them than others.  Those that have steam, I fuel; those that don’t I fuel from the flames of those projects that have steam.

Go to SDgreenlife.com.  If you go to the about section, you will notice a guy who stole my picture and my name writes for that website.  I confess, it’s me.  We’re growing and getting some attention.  If you enter in the words ‘San Diego Green Life’ SDgreenlife is the second result.  Though, I’m sure we’ll go back to No. 1, since the UCSD link is date specific. 

Okay, so our site's listing on Google dramatically changes when you delete the word ‘Green.’  Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Erick, marketing isn’t your strong suit.”  Sure it is, and the numbers show.  The other night, I got an e-mail from the publisher, who said my efforts are paying off.  In the first three days of May, we already had 75% of the readership we had throughout the entire month of April. 

The first thing I did was find out who our competitors were.  After that, I did a little keyword research.  SDgreenlife is rich with such keywords as ‘Green,’ ‘Sustainable,’ and other words.  A little more than a month ago I started a Facebook page for SDgreenlife.  This last weekend I accepted our 100th friend, so to celebrate I started Tweeting.  As of this morning, just 48 hours later, we have 80 followers all over the world.  Okay, so we’re no Ashton Kutcher, but he’s overrated.

When I started the FB page, I decided to focus on finding friends who would be the most interested in our project.  People in San Diego, who take an interest in Green issues.  Now, a little more than a month later, 73 of our 102 friends are here in San Diego.  This last week, I interviewed a couple of people from our Facebook page for articles that you will be able to see in next month’s issue.  I am using our FB page to get San Diegans involved.

Okay, so when I started Twitter, I focused on an exchange of information, rather than Green San Diegans.  For me, Twitter is like a news wire.  Like standing at a virtual water cooler.  Honestly, I neither have the time nor the interest in reading Tweets about the latest Hollywood gossip.  I am using Twitter as a news source, which I can pass on to other Green people.

You’re business relies on developing lasting partnerships, whether you find those relationships through Google, Facebook, your local church, or hiring a skywriter to write ‘Eat at Joes’ over the beach at sunset. 

Of course, this is my method and may not work for every person, or in every situation, but this is the one that works for me.  If you would like to follow SDgreenlife on Twitter or join our Facebook page, we would welcome your friendship.

 

Until next week keep connecting,

Erick


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Three Day - A Breast Cancer Fundraiser

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Last night I was doing some work on the computer, but procrastinated by going over to Facebook. I came across a video post by Melanie Eatherton. I had not seen Melanie's post all day, and I was surprised to see it since Melanie is on the East Coast and it was late. Melanie's Post was about “The Three Day”, which is a breast cancer fundraiser affiliated with the Susan Komen For the Cure organization. I contacted Melanie, and was surprised when she responded at 1:00 AM her time (she doesn’t require much sleep apparently!). I asked Melanie if I could promote her event on my blog, and she was all for it.

It’s interesting to me how many people are affected by the ravages of breast cancer. In the last few months I’ve met people of all ages, ethnicitie's, and economic backgrounds who have been affected by breast cancer. As a man, I’m not likely (but could) to get breast cancer. However, many people thought they are too young to get breast cancer: then I met Gina Andrews. Gina was in her early thirties when she was diagnosed. Two days ago, I met Nicole McLean who just turned 40. Nicole is in the midst of fighting breast cancer. Another good friend of mine, Danielle, has a Mom who is about my age: she also has had breast cancer: breast cancer is everywhere.

In meeting the aforementioned people, I’m amazed at the people and their reactions to the disease. I don’t know why Melanie volunteered to help in the fight against breast cancer, but I’m amazed that she stepped up on Saturday morning at 1:30 when asked. Gina beat breast cancer, and decided to turn a negative into a positive: she started the Sacramento Breast Cancer Resource Center. Nicole, in the midst of fighting breast cancer, started a blog, Fabulous-Boobies.Blogspot.com, to help inspire others: do you think you would think of others when fighting cancer? I'm not sure I would show that kind of courage when confronting something so scary.

The aforementioned women inspire me, because they stepped up. Each of them wants to make a difference, and is not afraid to walk the walk. Please help support Melanie Eatherton with her goal to raise $2,300 for breast cancer through the The Three Day event. In addition, please help Gina Andrews and the Sacramento Breast Cancer Resource Center in her ongoing efforts to help women with breast cancer. You never know, your efforts may help save the life of somebody you know and love.

 

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