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  • 12 Dec 2017 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

    Tis the season! Oh how the customs of Christmas have changed over the years. Originally, the custom of giving and receiving gifts was intended to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the wise men. The concept of exchanging gifts is thought to have originated in Italy. Now, let's fast forward to present times. Gift giving is a billion dollar business and the impact on retail sales is still hitting all time highs. Take a look at how Christmas gift giving trends have changed since the last time Christmas was on a Monday back in 2006:

    In all of 2006, U.S. big-box and department store sales totaled $252 billion. In 2017, they are predicted to be just $152.5 billion, according to figures from Statista.

    U.S. online retail sales in 2006 reached $144.6 billion, according to Forrester. They are predicted to exceed $459 billion in 2017.

    Web traffic on smartphones and tablets will likely outpace that on desktops this holiday season, 54% to 46%, according to Adobe's holiday retail report. In 2006, the iPhone was a year shy of being introduced, and iPads weren't unveiled until 2010.

    In 2006, Amazon generated $10.7 billion in full-year revenue. In 2017, it is expected to post $28.5 billion in holiday sales alone. Six in 10 shoppers said they plan to start their Cyber Monday research on Amazon's website, according to a survey by Valassis, a media delivery company.

    According to Byan Pearson, at Forbes, this means for shoppers and retailers that the difference in holiday spending between 2006 ($512 billion) and estimates for 2017 ($680 billion), is a $168 billion dollar change, according to the National Retail Federation. In 2006 online retail was not yet at a prime and 24 hour delivery did not yet exist. Order online today and it's here tomorrow. Retail has taken the art of convenience to a whole new level providing instant gratification. But has this effected the meaning and focus of gift exchange? In this world of commercialism lets remember that "Christmas is about giving from the heart more than giving from the store", Toni Sorensongiving.

    With that spirit in mind I would like to ask you to join me and the staff of the Visitor Center and Chamber to provide some necessities to the residents of Fairview Homes, in Dublin during this holiday season. Their needs are small compared to our wants. They are in need of toiletries-shampoo, razors, body wash, lotion, chap stick, coloring books, socks and throws. We have a box in the Visitor Center where we are collecting these items through Friday December 15th.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    As always work hard, be productive and above all else stay positive.

    Peggy

    Peggy White

    Executive Director

    Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

    540-674-1991

    peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info


  • 06 Dec 2017 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

    While out and about this weekend I observed a lot of different characters, but one in particular caught my attention. He reminded me of the character I watched in old movies and TV shows, like the Mayberry episode where the traveling salesman comes into town selling his special effexor and other wares. He had his slick sales pitch down, filled with every promise he could possibly conjure up. Of course his claims were all backed by the stories of good experiences of other people that he had sold to...in another town. He even managed to throw in a couple of notable names for good measure. The only thing missing was his pinstriped shirt and bow tie.

    Watching this was highly entertaining and comical. A flim-flam artist was what came to my mind. I don't know whether there is a difference between a flim-flam artist and a con-artist but I would imagine that if there is. The  flim flam person would not be as smart or as refined at deception and manipulation. Flim-flam may sound archaic, but it is the perfect term to describe someone wanting to be all-important without the where-with-all to do so. Such a person can't stay in one area long; after all, folks will figure them out. They travel with suitcases filled gadgets and wares of razzle-dazzle that say look at me. Look how important I am. They always spew plenty of information to everyone, and are excited to be quoted, never caring whether the information is correct or not. They know how everyone should do their jobs, because they did it...of course somewhere else. Such a person always has the best way to do things... they are "the all powerful oz."  However, common sense tells us if they did all these great things, they wouldn't have moved on so frequently! Be cautious of a person such as this; thoughtful reflection and mindful analysis will help separate the wheat from the chaff. 

    Work hard be productive and above all else stay positive

    Peggy White

    Executive Director

    Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

    540-674-1991

    peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info



  • 04 Dec 2017 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

     As we enter into the biggest shopping season of the year  we need to be prepared for all the marketing tricks that cause us to increase our buying before we realize what is happening. Call  it pride or echo but we all want to be the savvy shopper and unfortunately retailers know that and they know how to get us to buy, buy, buy. They know that we convince ourselves and pride ourselves on our buying abilities. It's not what you spend, it's what you save. I love that rationale. It has saved me from buyers remorse on more than one occasion.

     Today's marketing strategies are much more complex than they used to be. For years we only had to deal with the newspaper, radio and TV enticing us to come out and be one of the select few to get to purchase an item at a special price. There you go hurrying to get to the store along with all the other people trying to get the super deal and prove that you are a savvy shopper. Do these marketing magicians have our number or what? They play to our egos and our need to prove ourselves why they even created a day for the savvy shopper"Black Friday". The retailers lay in wait with a whole bag of tricks waiting for the na├»ve shopper trying to save a buck. They open special hours and offer special prices. But it doesn't stop there; they know they have to put us in the shopping mood so they adjust the lighting in the clothing stores,  they give out samples, and appropriately place things in specific areas that they know we have to go by at the registers.  Darn those stores, how did they know I needed those cute little stocking stuffers ... and there they are conveniently at the register.  Shoot, if they hadn't put them there I would have left without them.  Fortunately, they know I need those things and what a great buy it will be for me.

    I had come to get one advertised special and thanks to their marketing, I've now completed my entire shopping list and then some.  How did they know?

     Advertising and marketing strategies are all about the about the consumer, so it is only natural that those strategies have taken marketing on the internet to a whole new level. We look on the internet and click on an item and there it is again and again. Before we know what is happening we are being enticed daily.  

    Not only does it provide us with easy access to products we are shopping for, but hassle free shopping.  If you think there aren't any enticing tricks, think again. 

     Work hard be productive and above all else stay positive.

    Peggy White

    Executive Director

    Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

    540-674-1991

    peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info


  • 20 Nov 2017 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

    Just WOW! If you attended the 65th Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet last week, then you already know why I'm saying WOW.  Not only did we celebrate our business community but we celebrated Pulaski County and the reasons we LOVE our community. Please join me in congratulating our 2017 award winners:

    Community Impact Award -Friends of Peak Creek

    Small Business Award - Blue Ridge Fudge Lady

    Business Excellence -Pulaski Yankee's

    Business Executive of the Year - Joe Levine

    I have to say it was an exceptional evening not only because of the beautiful venue but the entire ambience. Don't take my word for it; instead, let me share a few of the comments we recieved:

    " What a great event last night". -Thomas Hollsinger, Lowes 

    "Great job. It was a great event!" - Bill Cunningham, Fairlawn Shopping Plaza

    "This was awesome. Great job!"  -Webb Donald, State Farm Insurance

    "Last night was the best Annual Meeting yet, and not because of the setting, which was unique, but because of the celebration of what Pulaski County is to this region-its leadership: politically, administratively, and the business community; its quality of life; and the pride its people have in being from there or having landed there. -Ed Lawhorn, NRV Marketing Executive, Union Bank

    "The Volvo Customer Experience Center and the new school and the Yankee's and Jackson Park Inn makes our county a star. By that I mean a shining attraction for growth and a better place to live for everyone. I thought I would not live to see that happen. Also, as a homeowner I have worried about property value and feel that is no longer an issue. I give you the chamber and chamber members a lot of credit for progress. You have my sincere thank you.  -   Frank K. Gilbert, NAPA

    The video, Pulaski County is...  was rolled out as the first step in a comprehensive campaign designed to acknowledge the assets that make Pulaski County unique and to share why people come to visit our county. An added value of this film is that it promotes a sense of pride in the beautiful and unique natural and commercial assets found in our home community.  We hope that as you watch the video you can actually feel the enjoyment of riding on the trails with the sun beating on your face, enjoying lake activities like paddleboarding, feeling that prideful thrill when the Cougar football team comes down the steps and touches the cougar before going out on the field, or breathing in that crisp morning air as the sun comes up and the beautiful rainbow of colors dance across the water just as you cast your line, waiting for the fish to bite. Did you feel that? Share the Pulaski County is ...  video with your friends and get their reaction. Post it and re-post it on Facebook.  It is meant to connect us, to connect our emotion and our heart, and to remind us how lucky are we to have this wonderful lifestyle that we might take for granted. It is meant to share with visitors our lifestyle and invite them to experience what we experience every day. We have so much to offer residents and visitors alike, much of which one might only expect in a more urban area. In addition to our breath-taking, back-to-nature offerings, invite others to partake in the extraordinary, urbanesque,experiences Pulaski County offers, including renowned, world class, culinary arts, Yankee baseball, and our international, cutting-edge industry.

    This is an opportunity for EVERYONE to share their positive  feelings that comes from our  individual experiences about what makes Pulaski County a special place. We rolled-out the video  at Annual Meeting,  and people loved it! I  received calls, texts, and e-mails all weekend about how great individuals felt about Pulaski after watching the video. One of the Visitor Center staff told me that the video was posted over and over on her Facebook page, being shared and re-shared, and a neighboring Tourism DMO messaged me saying  how AWESOME the video is. We can certainly be proud to be part of what Pulaski County is...

    Happy a have happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

    Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive

    Peggy White

    Executive Director, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

  • 13 Nov 2017 3:51 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

    Goodness! I want to stand up and shout out there is "goodness" and I want to celebrate "goodness". That is exactly what the Annual Meeting and Awards banquet is all about. This is our opportunity to recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations that exemplify the meaning of "goodness".  I can't wait until  November 16th, to recognize the businesses and individuals that contribute to the quality of life in our area. We live in a beautiful part of the country that is virtually still untouched and taken over by buildings and hardtop. It's place where we can go to work and get off in time to explore the trails, float the river, boat on the lake...you name it, the list goes on. Yes,  we have a lot to celebrate. Please join me in congratulating the following nominees:

     For the ......

    Community Impact Award

    Blue Ridge Mountain Council -Boy Scouts, Jubilee Christian Center, Pulaski County Humane Society, Friends of Peak Creek

     Small Business of the Year

    Blue Ridge Fudge Lady, Lizard Licks Snowballs, Mountain 2 Island Paddleboard Company, OK Barber Shop

    Business Excellence

    NAPA, Pulaski Yankee's, Tucks Collision, 

    Business Executive of the Year

    Frank Giannini, Joseph Levine, Scott Seegmiller

    And the winner is ...........

    Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive

    Peggy White

    Executive Director, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce


  • 06 Nov 2017 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

    I can remember my parents saying this famous quote by Grantland Rice to me, and me passing it along to my kids, "It's not whether you win or lose it's how you play the game." I'm sure my dad was talking about golf when he recited that quote. Golf having always been a true gentle game, is  probably the sport with the least amount of ethical violations. Winning or losing somehow becomes primal,  reducing people to almost desperate actions of survival. Look back over the years a  un-sportsman behaviors includes 1919, when the White Sox and eight men on that team,   including  "Shoeless Joe Jackson", were found guilty of fixing baseball games. Consequently, they were  banned from baseball for life. And, who could forget figure skater  Nancy Kerrigan being injured by Tonya Harding  in 1994, Mike Tyson biting Holyfield's ear twice in the same fight in 1997, or the 1978 Gator Bowl when Ohio's Coach Woody Hayes  punched a Clemson player in the throat when he was forced out of bounds after a game winning interception.

    These are not behaviors that most of us find compelling or flattering. Instead they are prime examples of winning becoming everything and people losing sight of their standards, morals, values and  integrity. Winning isn't everything, it truly is how you play the game and the game is much larger than the game itself. It is the "game" of life where it is carried on in many ways whether it is on or off the field.

    Tomorrow's field is the election field. The players will be wearing uniforms of suits, and  will be playing for your attention and your vote. How do they measure up to your standards? Did they play with integrity and the values you appreciate? Are you going to walk away feeling proud of how the election was handled in our community, or wish it was handled differently?  Remember folks, "It's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game."

    Work hard, be productive,  and above all else stay positive.

    Peggy White

    Executive Director, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

    peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info



  • 30 Oct 2017 9:30 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

     So I ask you, what is in a word? Everything or nothing? A word can be just a word until the person delivers the word and then it is subjective. A word put in the hands of a masterful wordsmith of language can transform our thoughts, make us put aside our ethics and morals, and influence us to do things that were never in our realm of thinking. There is a danger to this particular craft especially when used by strong leaders. In business you expect this type of motivation. It can be the difference in the outcome of the bottom line. However it can be destructive in the world of politics and government leaders.

     Never had the term democracy and its meaning become more apparent to me then when it was used to discuss the current conditions in Venezuela. A charismatic leader motivated by oil money, back in 2005, took the entire country down by 2013 ,despite the warnings from our government.  The devastating results of using the oil money to influence and govern Venezuela reduced the entire middle class to the gross situation of not being able to find adequate food. The leader of Venezuela, Maduro, used the word democracy but his actions were those of a dictatorship.

     Words can be manipulated but actions can hold people accountable. Look at the actions of our leaders when we place our trust in them.  We should ask ourselves, "Do they have the qualities and values that we find inherit in selfless leadership?" Blind-faith in any leader can be dangerous; always look beyond the word.

     Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive

     Peggy White
    Executive Director

    Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce


    peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info


  • 23 Oct 2017 7:42 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

     When was the last time you took time for yourself? That's right... time, that precious commodity that you cannot control or ever experience again. Most of us get so caught-up in our jobs that unless a crisis or a tragedy  forces us to step back,  we just keep driving ourselves. The truth is that regardless of our profession or job,  it is important to our continued success that we take time for ourselves personally. Taking time for yourself has shown to rejuvenate and energize us and to allow us to be more creative and more productive.

     Why am I bringing this up now? Because as you head into the busiest retail season of the year, it's important to remember to keep everything in perspective.

    David Price, wellness expert and managing director of Health Assured, says it is really important to encourage employees to switch off  occasionally over the winter holiday period.

    "As with other key times of year, including summer holidays, it becomes easy to fall into the trap of allowing work to creep into our personal lives and not take the time we need to restore our batteries," he says. "Employers should  encourage employees to take time away from work, both for the good of their health and to maintain their levels of productivity.

    I hope all of us will bear this in mind as we start into this holiday season.

    Work hard,be productive, and above all else stay positive.

    Peggy White

    Executive Director

    Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce


  • 09 Oct 2017 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

    Failure is  one word most of us have come to dread because it means we didn't succeed. We have become a generation wired for success.  The mere thought of failing can render us paralyzed. For some of us the "fear of failing" keeps us from trying. For many of us, from our earliest memories  we are pushed to be the best, get top grades, solve the problems, and win. Whether it be in school or in our jobs,  we are pushed to succeed. The pressure to succeed and not accept failure can negatively effect our abilities to take risks. When fear  takes over and becomes the driving force in our life, it takes our ability to be creative, to think outside of the box, to look for new things, and to motivate us to continue to seek new results. When you look at some of the most successful people in the world they had a healthy balance between success and failure. They accepted failure as part of their success. How do we embrace fear and use it to propel us to success?

    Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx,  told a story about growing up and her father who would ask her and her brother the same question every week, 

    "What have you failed at this week?" Blakely recalled in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday,  "My dad growing up encouraged me and my brother to fail. The gift he was giving me is that failure is [when you are] not trying versus the outcome. It's really allowed me to be much freer in trying things and spreading my wings in life." Said Spanx' founder. Blakely's embrace of failure helped make her the youngest self-made female billionaire in America.

    I wish we could all take that lesson. Consider where we can we go if we are not afraid to fail.


    Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive.

    Peggy White

    Executive Director, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

  • 02 Oct 2017 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members:

     Even though the season for farmers markets is coming to an end  some of the vendors have found a way to parlay their micro-businesses into a full time endeavor.  According to an article about farmers markets from the USDA, "Last Sunday, CBS News featured USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan and discussed how farmers markets are part of a fundamental shift in the way people access their food and interact with their community.  And, as the story notes, "... [f]armers markets and other forms of selling straight to customers are helping to keep farmers in business,". For entrepreneurs that are producers if they are able  to find the right product mix for consumer demand, they can develop a sound business, create new jobs, and grow successfully." That's just what the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady and Lizard Licks were able to successfully accomplish after being a part of the Marketplace.  I'm bragging  about the fact that the Marketplace was an incubator for two of our Chamber members,  The Blue Ridge Fudge Lady and Lizard Licks. They have been so successful as a matter of fact that they were both nominated for "2017 Small Business of Year Award". To think they got their start at a farmers market! 

    Join us in congratulating the  two other nominee's, Mountain 2 Island  and Ok Barber Shop! What an exciting line up of Small Businesses! You'll have to wait until November 16th to find out who is the 2017 Small Business of the Year.  If you haven't' made your reservation for this event please do so because as of now there are only 10 reservations available. 

     Work hard Be productive and above all else stay positive.

    Peggy White

    Executive Director 

    Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

    540-674-1991

    peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info


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Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

4440 Cleburne Blvd., Dublin, VA 24084

540-674-1991

info@pulaskichamber.info 

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