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Winning the Customer, Part VIII

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Frank J. Rich

 

 

Readers of this column have read that sellers’ exchange with customers turns on four things: who they are; what they sell; what the customer wants, needs, or is in the habit of buying; and finally, what you deliver. Quality, convenience, price, peer recommendations, and service are the spindles of this wheel of engagement between buyer and seller. Very often, and perhaps even most effective at engaging customers, are the seller’s values. Think L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Henry Rifle, OshKosh children’s clothing, Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, amazon.com, and its child, Zappos. This last company, like its parent, amazon.com, sees itself as a customer service company that also sells shoes. Values matter!

Studies show that consumers are not very loyal to companies, but they are loyal to what they stand for. Often called “cause marketing,” the things important to a company are also important to many that would buy their products. Simply, we connect with others out of an inborn need to belong and for the gratification in joining with like minds. Notice how many executive teams share a common love … of a sport, organic foods, boutique breweries, a particular author or musician, a business guru, etc. Meaningful work is always more enjoyable when those with whom we work are brothers under the skin. Note how much more time women with twins spend with each other on the job.

Who we are can make all the difference in maintaining a loyal customer base and is often the reason we attract customers. It’s the thing that makes us attractive to a buyer. We might buy our caviar from Mote Aquarium because of their extraordinary preservation efforts on behalf of whales, sea turtles, manatees, and other wildlife. The caviar is also excellent and fairly priced. During the years when IBM and Microsoft owned the personal computer business, Apple maintained its presence having convinced the world that Apple was “the computer for the rest of us.” IBM trades on the idea that “nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM.” This view has meant more revenues for IBM than are counted, but often is the reason those looking for enterprise computer solutions go to IBM. It’s a safe choice for those unwilling to risk their reputation or job in taking a chance on a lesser-known quantity.

A key question asked of me by startups is what to name the company. After toying with the serious and the playful, I found a good answer. Understanding what you do and the value perceived in it is critical to a quick connection to customers. Ever asked someone what “they do,” only to scratch your head after their telling you they’re an OD (Organizational Development) expert? It happens every day. When you imbue your company name with two things you go a long way toward answering the key question about what you do. Simply, choose a name that associates with some industry and communicates something of value. Everyone knew that GE makes refrigerators and AC units, so when they added the slogan “We bring good things to life” in 1979, the company introduced the buying public to the breadth of products and technology that defined GE. When L.L. Bean says its return policy is a simple two-word statement—100% Satisfaction—we learn they mean: no questions asked. Ever been twice to a store that gives only a store credit, and then only if items are returned in thirty days? Shame on you! Most consumers won’t return to stores (Jennifer Furniture) with such policies—nor should they.

When sellers openly support causes, they are giving notice to those with like minds to come together. It works! So, too, do values such as “the customer is always right—no questions asked.” Speak plainly and often with customers about your company’s values. They may be enjoying the driveway you just paved for them, but the most loyal customers will appreciate most what you stand for—that you’ll return to fix cracks or heaves, no matter when they occur. Values matter!

February 24, 2017 |

News from the International Stroke Conference

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To Your Health

 

FYI, this week is American Heart Association/American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Houston. Thousands of stroke healthcare providers and scientists come together to share research, learn, and be inspired by their peers in stroke care.

Why report on stroke? (more stroke facts on attached sheet, FYI)

• Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.
• Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year (128,978). That’s 1 in every 20 deaths.
• Nearly 800,000 (approximately 795,000) people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes.
• An estimated 6.6 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke.
• Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventable cause of disability.
• Total direct medical stroke-related costs are projected to triple by 2030, from $71.6 billion in 2012 to $184.1 billion.
• Stroke is more disabling than it is fatal. Early recognition and treatment can save lives and prevent long-term disability.

 

Defining Stroke
• Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die.
• 87% of strokes are classified as ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or a mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to a part of the brain.1
• A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel, or cerebral aneurism, ruptures, spilling blood into the brain. Like ischemic stroke, a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension.
• A cryptogenic stroke is a stroke of unknown cause. About 1 in 3 ischemic strokes fall into this category.2
• A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is often called a “mini stroke” or “warning stroke”. The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. Symptoms are exactly the same as stroke, but usually last less than five minutes. Even if symptoms go away, emergency help should be called immediately.

Stroke Incidence, Mortality and Disability
• Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.1
• Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year (128,978). That’s 1 in every 20 deaths.1
• Nearly 800,000 (approximately 795,000) people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes.1
• Stroke deaths are higher in the southeastern U.S. in an area known as the “Stroke Belt”: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas.1
• Stroke is more disabling than it is fatal.1
• An estimated 6.6 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke.1
• Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventable cause of disability. Stroke, or vascular dementia, is also a leading cause of memory loss.1
• Projections show that by 2030, stroke prevalence will increase by more than 20 percent over 2012.1
• Total direct medical stroke-related costs are projected to triple by 2030, from $71.6 billion in 2012 to $184.1 billion.1

Stroke Warning Signs and Treatment
• Stroke patients who receive tPA within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost 3 x more likely to recover with little or no disability.3
• AHA/ASA updated guidelines for acute ischemic stroke to recommend the use of stent retrievers for eligible patients. While tPA is a drug to dissolve a clot, a stent retriever is a medical device used to pull it out. Guidelines recommend using them together in eligible patients at capable facilities.4
• Only 9 percent of Americans can identify each letter in the F.A.S.T. acronym for stroke.5
• Most people say they would call 9-1-1 for stroke,6 but fewer people are arriving at the ER by ambulance after suffering stroke symptoms.7
• Ethnic minorities and rural residents are less likely to call 9-1-1 at the onset of a stroke.8
• For stroke, someone other than the patient makes the decision to seek treatment in a majority of cases.
• Telestroke allows neurologists to deliver remote treatment to stroke patients through interactive videoconferencing.
• One study found telestroke increased use of tPA by two to six times.9
• Telestroke has proven effective in reducing racial and ethnic disparities in access to stroke care.10

Stroke Prevention and Risk Factors
• More than half (58%) of Americans don’t know if they are at risk for stroke.11
• 80% of strokes can be prevented.12
• What’s good for your health is good for your brain. The American Heart Association recommends following “Life’s Simple 7” to achieve ideal health: don’t smoke, be physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, and control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
• About 15% of strokes are heralded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), aptly known as a “warning stroke”. People who have a TIA are more likely to have a stroke within 90 days. 1
• High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke
• Atrial fibrillation, which causes the heart to beat irregularly or rapidly, raises stroke risk up to 5 times. It’s often difficult to detect because it is sporadic and may not have symptoms. 1
• Stroke risk is 2 to 4 times higher among smokers than nonsmokers or those who have quit for more than 10 years. 1
• Exposure to secondhand smoke is a risk factor for stroke. 1
• Moderate to vigorous physical activity may reduce ischemic stroke risk by 35%.1
High Blood Pressure
• About three in every four people (77%) who have a first stroke have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. 1
• One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure. 1
• Nearly 1 in 5 (17.2%) American adults with high blood pressure don’t know. 1
• Nearly half of people with high blood pressure (46%) do not have it under control. 1
• At age 50, total life expectancy is 5 years longer for someone without high blood pressure, compared to someone with it. 1
• A 10-mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in your reading), or a 5mmHg drop in diastolic pressure (bottom number) can cut your risk of stroke death in half.13

Stroke in Women
• More women than men have strokes each year, in part because women live longer. 1
• Each year, about 425,000 U.S. women have a stroke. 1
• There are about 3.8 million women stroke survivors in the U.S.14
• More women die from stroke than from breast cancer. 1
• A woman’s risk for stroke is affected by hormonal status, pregnancy, childbirth and other gender specific risk factors. 1
• Preeclampsia doubles the risk of stroke later in life.15
• Risk factors such as high blood pressure, migraine with aura, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, depression and emotional stress are stroke risk factors that tend to be stronger or more common in women than in men. 1
• Stroke during pregnancy affects 34 pregnant women out of 100,000, compared to 21 women out of 100,000 who are not pregnant.15

Stroke in Multiculturals
• African-Americans are more impacted by stroke than any other racial group within the American population. 1
• African Americans have nearly twice the risk for a first-ever stroke than white people, and a much higher death rate from stroke. 1
• African-Americans are more likely to suffer a stroke at a younger age. Among people ages 45 to 64, African Americans are two to three times more likely to have a stroke compared to Caucasians. 1
• African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living than their white counterparts. 1
• Stroke prevalence is projected to increase the most among Hispanic men between now and 2030. 1
• Lack of English proficiency is strongly associated with lack of stroke knowledge among Hispanics. 1
• Hispanics are less likely than whites or blacks to know know stroke warning signs. 1
• Diabetes increases stroke risk at all ages. African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and other ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate burden of diabetes in the U.S.
Stroke in Children
• Estimates of the overall annual incidence of stroke in US children are 6.4 per 100 000 children (0 to 15 years), with approximately half being hemmorahgic strokes. 1
• Compared with white children, black children in the U.S. have more than 2 times the risk of stroke. 1
• Maternal health and pregnancies are normal in most perinatal stroke cases1
• Children with congenital heart disease have 19 x the risk of stroke. 1

Stroke Policy Work
• The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act is a bill currently in Congress that would require Medicare to pay for telestroke consultations regardless of where the patient lives.
• President George H. W. Bush first declared May National Stroke Awareness Month, also known as American Stroke Month, in 1989.
• The AHA/ASA will continue to urge Congress to repeal Medicare’s harmful caps on outpatient rehabilitative therapy for all Medicare beneficiaries, including stroke survivors.
• Among other things, the AHA/ASA is also working to address inappropriate limits imposed on therapy services by private insurers, to support the Credit for Caring Act to provide a tax credit to family caregivers who are caring for stroke survivors or others with disabilities, and for policies to prevent stroke and its risk factors.
• Numerous state legislative and regulatory policy advancements have been achieved around the recognition by state health departments of all three tiers of stroke facilities and require EMS authorities in the states to develop and implement transport protocol plans for acute stroke patients. As of March 2016, 12 states and the District of Columbia have enacted these important policies.
• As of March 2016, 12 states and the District of Columbia have enacted policies across the country for the requirement of statewide stroke registries that collect nationally approved consensus measures and metrics.

Research
• The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association funds more research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke than any organization except for the federal government.
• In 2014-2015, AHA/ASA committed to funding 926 new research projects worth more than $149 million. However, we did not have the resources to fund an additional 1,121 worthy projects worth $189.6 million. This means that many scientific projects must be shelved, deferring the knowledge that would result from their completion.
• For fiscal year 2016, Congress gave the National Institutes of Health (NIH) an additional $2 billion in funding. Despite this increase, NIH invests only 1 percent of its budget on stroke research.
About the American Stroke Association
• The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Sources:
1. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2016 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=2712533; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=16874357
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11113218
4. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/06/26/STR.0000000000000074
5. Ad Council Stroke Continuous Tracking Results March 2016
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24926394; http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/42/6/1697.abstract?sid=1250e75e-19df-4188-bf01-746a3a69928c
7. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db194.pdf
8. http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/04/29/CIRCOUTCOMES.113.000089.full.pdf+html
9. http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/24968197
10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26116854
11. AHA/ASA Stroke Discovery Research, Ad Council, 2011
12. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/preventing_stroke.htm
13. http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/65/6/1372.full
14. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/02/06/01.str.0000442009.06663.48.full.pdf+html
15. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/02/06/01.str.0000442009.06663.48

February 23, 2017 |

Exhibitors Wanted for Hudson Valley KidVenture

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13DA103C-C336-4FDC-A1F9-F1309139D3BB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As spring arrives and with it the desire to get rid of cabin fever, everyone should mark their calendars for Saturday and Sunday, May 20th and 21st for the inaugural Hudson Valley KidVenture, hosted by The Chamber Foundation, Inc.

This expo-style event will highlight businesses and nonprofits while offering children of all ages interactive and educational activities. Exhibitor space is still available for Chamber members and nonmembers to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to reach a large, regional audience all while helping to provide a weekend of adventure, discovery, and learning.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to get in front of our community,” said Nicholas Shannon, executive director of The Chamber Foundation, Inc. “Both Dutchess County Regional Chamber members and nonmembers are encouraged to get involved in what is sure to be a signature event in the Hudson Valley.”

Tickets and registration forms are available at hvkidventure.org. The weekend will feature exhibitors’ activities, food trucks, Touch-a-Truck, live music, performances, demonstrations, and so much more. All proceeds will benefit The Chamber Foundation.

“We are very excited about everything we are planning,” Shannon said. “KidVenture is going to be an incredible event that will include a full weekend of interactive activities, performances, demonstrations and hands-on learning and experiences for kids of all ages.”

KidVenture will take over Market Street, The Changepoint Theatre, and the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie and is being presented by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., IBM, ShopRite, and Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Gold sponsor is the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Abilities First is the Accessibility and Inclusion Sponsor. Silver Sponsors are Camp Hillcroft, Fidelis Care, RBT CPAs, LLP, Royal Carting Service Company, TEG Federal Credit Union, and Mobile Life Support Services. Media sponsors are iHeart Media, Pamal Broadcasting, and Poughkeepsie Journal Media. Community Partners are ChangePoint Theater, the City of Poughkeepsie, Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Page Park Associates, and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.

Contact Monica Relyea of Monica Relyea Events, event coordinator of KidVenture for The Chamber Foundation, to register as an exhibitor or with questions. Email her at hvkidventure@chamberfdn.org.

The Chamber Foundation, Inc., was established in 2002 to promote education and training programs for local youth and professionals with the goal of enhancing the Hudson Valley region’s future of economic growth. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities for youth and the workforce, to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills and foster a commitment to community service. For more information, visit ChamberFDN.org

 

KidVentureChamber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 22, 2017 |

‘Welcome to Spring’ Vendor Fair-March 18th

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Vendors Wanted for “Welcome to Spring” Vendor Fair

The “Welcome to Spring” Vendor Fair will take place on March 18 from 10am – 3pm at Seven Star School located at 509 Route 312 in Brewster, NY. Vendor registration deadline is Sunday, February 26th.

The Vendor Fair is a fundraising for their Spring Mainstage Musical Production of Peter Pan Jr. There will be no duplicate companies allowed and vendors will be selected on a first come, first serve basis.

Vendors are asked to donate a percentage of their proceeds to the fundraising efforts of the students. Any questions contact Margaret Carey at Margaret@SevenStarSchool.com or call 845.278.0728. Vendors can submit a request by visiting www.SevenStarSchool.com.

 

WELCOME TO SPRING- VENDOR FAIR

February 22, 2017 |

Make Time for Family Meals

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Juggling jobs, kids and the demands of a busy, modern life often come at the expense of family mealtime at home. Even though life never seems to slow down, now is the perfect time to renew your commitment to creating and serving meals at home that nourish your kids’ brains and help them flourish.13366_aPO

Not only is time together around the table an opportunity to catch up and reconnect, numerous studies provide evidence of the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals. Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that ensure a bright future for children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behaviors.

For example, according to research published in the “Journal of Pediatrics,” kids and teens who share meals with their families three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders.

Other studies have shown that children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit positive social behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect.

On the other hand, research also suggests that aside from missing out on the benefits, families that share fewer meals together can also experience adverse effects when it comes to certain risky behaviors. A study on the relationship between certain family characteristics and adolescent problem behaviors, published in the “Journal of Adolescent Health,” found that teens who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are 3.5 times more likely to have abused prescription drugs or have used an illegal drug; 2.5 times more likely to have used tobacco and 1.5 times more likely to have used alcohol.

Meal planning

Planning for family meal time can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Promoting one more family meal each week is an educational program created by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation and the nation’s grocery stores. Take the stress out of planning and preparing family meals with these tips and begin reaping the benefits of more time together around the dinner table:

  • Commit to having one additional meal with your family each week at home. It doesn’t matter whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. The benefits are the same. After a month, you may be surprised by how easily your new commitment has become a habit for the entire family.
  • Rely on the resources available at your local grocery store. Even when you don’t feel like cooking, there are countless meal-planning solutions such as pre-prepped fresh ingredients, delicious ready-made entrees and wholesome heat-and-eat dishes.
  • Make meal planning a family affair. List each family member’s favorite foods in each of the main food groups and see how many combinations you can create. Then ask your children to accompany you to the store to help select the ingredients (and use the trip for age-appropriate learning, such as comparing prices, reading labels, etc.).
  • Save time by engaging the whole family in meal preparation. Even the littlest hands can help with tasks like setting the table.
  • Set a regular meal time so you can plan other activities around it. Sit around the table, turn off the TV and put away phones and electronic devices. Keep the focus on each other.

Learn more about the positive impact regular meals at home together can have for your kids’ emotional, intellectual and physical well-being at nationalfamilymealsmonth.org.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

 

 

February 22, 2017 |

Escape to a World of Orchids at New York Botanical Gardens

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Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

Are you tired of the snow, ice and howling winds of winter yet? There is a place to escape into a tropical environment that is breathtakingly gorgeous. The Orchid Show: Thailand opened on February 18th at New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) and runs through April 9th, 2017. The show is an homage to the wealth of orchids, acclaimed tropical gardens, renowned orchid breeding, and rich cultural history of Thailand, home to more than 1,200 native orchid species. Visitors to the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will be transported on an epic journey that engages all of the senses and underscores the allure and intrigue of these exquisite beauties.  Visitors will walk through the climate controlled hot house, offering the feeling of being in the midst of summer warmth.

Orchids

The allure of orchids has been with me ever since I was a young girl reading a comic strip called Brenda Starr, Reporter that ran daily, with a full color page on Sundays, continuing the adventures of this vibrant, beautiful reporter. The Brenda Starr series was a mystery and romance, with a modern woman as its lead character. The strip ran from 1940 through 2011 with Brenda, known for her flaming red hair and being similar in appearance to the 1940s film star Rita Hayworth. Brenda had a mysterious boyfriend, Basil St. John, who reappeared in Brenda’s life throughout the storyline. Basil wore a patch over one eye, was ruggedly handsome, and was famous for growing exotic black orchids. Basil, in his orchid greenhouse, was repeatedly woven into the storyline as part of the unknown of why he held these exotic flowers in such high esteem.

Anniversary

 The NYBG celebrates its 15th year of spectacular orchid exhibitions with The Orchid Show: Thailand, a country that in the last century has become the leading exporter of cultivated tropical orchids in the world. Native and hybrid orchids alike have become synonymous with the nation. This year’s exhibition will feature an astonishing array of blooming orchids in a lush tropical garden, including a rainbow of vanda orchids, whose large patterned blooms are widely popular in Thai gardens and homes. The show culminates in a jaw-dropping scene of a large arched facade in the style of a traditional Thai pavilion, festooned with hundreds of exquisite orchids.

NYBG is located at 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458 and is accessible by car or train.

Peek at the breathtaking beauty of some of the orchids present in the show by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YYPdmPZq0g&feature=youtu.be

February 22, 2017 |
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