• 05 Feb 2018 3:18 PM | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    This at first , may appear to be an unusual topic for a business leader. However, after I share my views,  you may see forgiveness as one of the strongest and most over-looked qualities of a leader.

    The topic in church last week was on forgiveness. As the sermon progressed, it became apparent the lesson was about learning to let things go. Suddenly, I felt my daughter's elbow,  and then that look of, "Oh, Mom!" This teaching struck us both as another important one. Never, until that point, had I really thought about how much negative energy goes into holding resentment, bitterness, and feelings of retaliation.That's a lot of wasted energy!

    Energy that, if harnessed, could be turned into positive energy and used for good . No one ever said it was easy. It takes strong leaders to understand the greater good and to see the importance of forgiving. 

    Look back over time at some of these great individuals: Abraham Lincoln once said, " The man who can't make a mistake can't make anything." His philosophy of the value of forgiveness spurred an entire nation, and he made it a priority to create a compassionate nation.  One illustration of how he embraced forgiveness is seen in the story of Lincoln's first encounter with Edward Stanton. In a public setting among their peers, Attorney Lincoln was publicly insulted and humiliated by Attorney Stanton. Although Lincoln surely felt the shaming, he chose to not retaliate, but instead to study Stanton's court performance.  As a result, he was  inspired to develop the art of effective and persuasive writing.  Years later, President Lincoln appointed Stanton as his Secretary of War, which most certainly was an instrumental choice. It was through actions such as these that Lincoln's practice of quietly forgiving and embracing differences helped heal a nation which he  led in moving past its mistakes and egregious wrongs. 

    One of the most profound examples in history of the power of forgiveness,  when contrasted against bitterness and revenge, is the differences in the outcomes is Nelson Mandela in South Africa in comparison to those of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Mandela, after being unjustly imprisoned for 27 years, was able to put aside his feelings and embrace a greater good,  thus becoming the President of South Africa. In contrast, in Zimbabwe, Mugabe perpetuated feelings of resentment and  bitterness, and there, revenge became the focus. South Africa grew and positively changed whereas, in early 2000s the people of Zimbabwe experienced famine,  economic disaster, and disapproval from the West, because of President Mugabe's violence toward land-owners.  His lack of a forgiving nature created upheaval in Zimbabwe and eventually led to the demise of his leadership, when his resignation was called for in 2017. 

    Transformational leaders understand that holding grudges is a form of arrested development, holding them back. Great leaders understand the power of forgiveness and work to create environments where people are not afraid to think beyond their four walls and can challenge themselves to exceed  without the fear of making mistakes. 

    Think about times when you, as a leader, have benefited from the forgiveness of others, or from your forgiveness of others.  Although we don't forgive for our own gain, it usually turns out to be an unexpected benefit to us when we practice having a loving and forgiving nature. 

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

    Peggy White,  Executive Director


  • 29 Jan 2018 3:06 PM | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    When you live in a rural community it's easy to feel isolated from events happening in other places. It's like an invisible blanket of protection isolating us from the social and financial issues impacting the rest of the world. Sometimes it's not until we get that "wake-up" call  that we realize, whoa,  the world is changing as we know it and it is happening right now and right here in our own rural backyard.

     A simple inquiry can bring it all home. Recently, the Chamber received a call requesting information effecting the decreases in the hospitality industry in our area. What decrease? Here? That was the wake-up call. What we discovered was that the phenomenon of Airbnb has hit our rural community. After doing a little research we have found that Airbnb and Uber are changing the economy.  They have turned basic principles and fundamentals of economics upside down. The founders of these companies have led the way in evidencing that through the use of modern technology, the capital once believed to be essential for entry into commercialism is not always essential.  They have created disruptions in the markets that have yet to be realized. Meanwhile, old models of the hospitality industry try to rebound and develop new markets, and the public transportation industry is trying to compete on a transportation level instead of on the technology level.

     The way we do business is changing and all of us need to stay abreast of these changes. It's not enough to just follow "good business practices." We need to stay informed and prepared for the paradigm shifts that are already taking place in our communities. Technology has changed everything.

     The Chamber will be exploring some of these changes on the first Tuesday of every month at the Chamber office at 6:00 p.m. If you can't join us,  catch us live on Facebook on the Chamber page. Our first series will be Starting Your Own Business - Is it Feasible?",  presented by Theresa Turner, The Biz Doctor.  We hope you will join us!

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

    Peggy White, Executive Director 


  • 22 Jan 2018 3:07 PM | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    Feeling less than productive lately? Not feeling motivated? Perhaps it's the January Blues! You know the feeling where you want to stay in bed and just pull the covers over your head, and wait for spring to reappear despite the fact that you have fifty-million things to do. Instead, you lie there and wonder what is going-on, and how  can I shake this feeling. 

    Well, being the modern day women that I am, I knew that help would be just a shout away. Without even leaving the comfort of my bed, I called on Alexa, my Echo Dot  for the answer.  Alexa responded, "January is the most depressing month of the year. People experience post-holiday blues from missing their families, there is less sun, and the weather is cold." Not that I'm not solid with Alexa, but I felt maybe I should look into this a little bit more with Google.  I was shocked that this 'January Blues' is really a thing. Being different from the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), January Blues come after the holidays and last a few weeks at most.   Not only do some people across the US experience down-heartedness in January, but one Monday in January is even dedicated to this whole weird phenomenon, and it is called "Blue Monday". Imagine that! The good news is if you have these feelings you're not alone and there are plenty of recommendations.  Among the recommendations are: make a to-do list  comprised of things that you can easily achieve, make small wins for yourself, remind yourself of the positive things in your life. Be grateful, be humble, be more social, go running. 

    Start thinking about what you want to accomplish for the year, set some goals, and push past the January Blues!

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

    Peggy White, Executive Director 


  • 01 Jan 2018 3:15 PM | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    Here we are...It's 2018, and we are faced with changes in demographics, economic power, natural resource scarcities, major technological advancements, and breakthroughs that seem to be happening more rapidly then ever before. We're expected to be more knowledgeable, and at the same time turn out a higher quality of work with less money. Despite what may seem like the pitfalls of advancement there are still exciting changes that have taken place. For example, the introduction of Airbnb, where three twenty-something year-old guys turned renting an air-mattress in their apartment into a thriving $25 billion dollar company! There are other notable changes, as well. According to the writings of Daniel Anthes, in How the World has Changed in the Last Five Years, among the worthy mentions of changes, the monthly active Facebook users has risen by 188%, 3-D printing industry revenues have gone up 240%, and the number of active mobile phone users per 100 people is up by 45%. It appears that all these changes are reflective of a generation that is transforming the world at large and are fast becoming our workforce. This represents a generation we need to embrace and develop a better understanding of, if we are to remain a competitive community.

    Change is often good, and some of it can be pleasantly surprising and offer us a hopeful sentiment toward the future. An interesting observation by urbanologist Richard Florida is that young adults meeting one another now ask, "Where do you live" rather than, "What do you do?" He also noted that people are beginning to be more likely to change careers in order to stay in a place connected to family, friends and local culture than change localities to stay in a career. This us good news for us in S.W.V.A.!

    So here is to 2018: May we build strong relationships, prosper, and stay true to our values.

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

    Peggy White, Executive Director 


  • 12 Dec 2017 11:03 AM | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    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 | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    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 | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    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 | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    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 | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    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 | Shannon Ainsley (Administrator)

    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



Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

4440 Cleburne Blvd., Dublin, VA 24084

540-674-1991

info@pulaskichamber.info 

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