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Visiting with Pony Baseball is Even Better than the Playoffs

Pony Baseball Headquarters Washington, PA

Pony Baseball Headquarters
Washington, PA

If you know GoldenCom very well, you know a lot of us follow baseball. I, personally, am a lifetime Angel fan, so with my horse out of the race even before the All-Star break, I started following the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates have not been to a World Series (or even made the playoffs) in over 21 years – dry since 1992 to be exact. I can still remember that early 90’s team with Andy Van Slyke, Orlando Merced, Barry Bonds, Jose Lind and Doug Drabek to name a few of them – geez, we have a couple of people in the office that were not even born yet in 1992!  At the All-Star break, I decided that rooting on the Pirates was the best second choice if my Angels were out of the hunt, and that’s what I did.

So it was with great luck that in August a speaking opportunity came up in the Pittsburgh area for a late October date. Looking at the calendar and comparing it to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ record, I accepted the engagement and started crossing my fingers that I would be in the Iron City for a Word Series game.

Well, as you know, the Pirates did make the playoffs, won their wild card game, but lost to the Cardinals in the NLDS – no World Series. Bummer.

As my Pittsburgh trip got closer I received the list of attendees that would be in my website optimization seminar. One of the companies signed up was Bear Construction out of Canonsburg, PA.

Kris Bell, CEO and Owner of Bear Construction

Kris Beil, President of Bear Construction

By clicking around on their website I noticed they have a pretty awesome portfolio.

One project they completed immediately caught my attention – they were the builders of the world headquarters of Pony Baseball.

Did someone say, “Pony Baseball?” Whoa – if you know me you know I LOVE PONY BASEBALL.

After the seminar, Kris Beil (President of Bear Construction) gave me directions and I headed over to the home of Pony Baseball. The lobby is awesome, as you can imagine –  it doubles as a museum and has a ton of history, photos, baseballs, jerseys and bats of kids that played in the past and made it to the Pony World Series. Just this summer, I had the honor of helping coach my son’s team (Mustang Division) with good friends of mine Coach Jim Stowell and Coach Richard Lemmon (we all had sons on the team).

The highlight of the visit was spending time with Pony President and CEO Abraham Key and their Director of IT Brent Liberatore.

Abe Key and Brent Liberatore

Abe Key and Brent Liberatore

These guys were nice enough to give me a tour and talk baseball with me.

We also got into an interesting discussion about their business and the challenges of their website – which is in position for a re-design sometime in 2014.  It’s not like you have to ask me twice to talk about baseball or websites – pretty awesome day.

The Pony.org redesign will be no trivial effort as that website has to schedule thousands of scenarios from hundreds of teams all around the USA and the world in elimination brackets on the road to the Pony World Series. Good luck with that project fellas!

Oh yes, the construction of the facility is TOP KNOTCH – nice job Bear Construction.

Meeting Great People + Visiting Pony Baseball = Better than Playoffs.

Hope to be back soon.

 

E-Commerce Royalty? Meet Jo Benson of Vortx…

If there were such a title as “The Queen of E-Commerce” you would have to appoint Jo Benson to the monarchy. If you’ve met Jo, you know it’s really not that far-fetched to think this. Some little-known factoids about “the queen” is that before an e-commerce executive, she worked for IBM London as well owned and operated a Country House Hotel in the English Cotswolds. A perfect blend of technology and hospitality, and it shows.

VortxJo

Geoff Martinez and Tim Payne “guarding” Vortx’s COO, Jo Benson.

Jo and the Vortx staff put on a world-class e-commerce conference in Denver earlier this month. Vortx is the maker of AspDotNetStorefront e-commerce shopping cart platform that our team has developed more than 80 on-line stores.

I could not help but to write this blog after experiencing Jo’s hospitality first hand. Ok, enough royalty talk… time to get ready for Cyber Monday!

Agility Leadership and E-Commerce Alive and Well in San Diego

I had the pleasure of spending three (3) days with Vistage Chair and Agility Leadership Expert, Mike Richardson.  On the third day of my visit, we got inside the walls of a multi-million (hundreds of millions of dollars) dollar e-commerce company, Provide-commerce

For me, going to a company that does hundreds of millions of dollars of on-line sales is like a 5 year old going to Disneyland. My first reaction was, “How could I not know of a company that did this much in on-line sales?”  The answer is pretty straight-forward.  While I had never heard of the company with their name on the building, with just a few minutes of research I learned that Provide-commerce operates several website properties, such as ProFlowers, RedEnvelop, and ProPlants, just to name a few.

Mike Richardson stacked the meeting with over 20 CFO’s from San Diego businesses all talking about measurement and ROI from website optimization.  Many thanks to Provide-commerce Adam Fischer for being the most awesome host. 
Instead of saying, “I’m going to Disneyland!” I think it should be, “I’m going to Provide-commerce!”

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Adam Fischer, Mike Richardson and Jason Lavin

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Provide-commerce building

POM Bombs + The Bruery + Beach Pit BBQ = Awesome Holiday Party


On Saturday night, December 8, 2012, GoldenComm and a handful of guests celebrated the holidays at Jason and Brenda’s home with an awesome gathering of people, food and drinks.

A special thanks to POM Wonderful for supplying us with ample flavors of their pomegranate juices. The night’s specialty was "The POM BOMB" – which is, POM juice, soda water and… well… drinker’s choice of third mix.

Also chipping in was The Bruery, supplying their six favorite microbrews (quite the conversation pieces). And, of course, we can’t thank enough The Beach Pit BBQ for supplying the smoked BBQ Turkey and all the trimmings – YUMM.

Special (non-GoldenComm employee) guests included:

  • Jim Wendt from BigTrain.com (you rock, Jim) and his wife, MaryAnn – Jim, you are a great client – we so appreciate you.
  • Troy Wooton from BroadStreet Real Estate Group and his wife, Shannon (Troy is working his tail off over the holidays helping us find a new building for next year – thank you so much – your efforts are not unnoticed).
  • Terry Liebman (GoldenComm strategic advisor) and his wife, Patti (thank you for brining that chocolate cake) – Terry, geez, what can I say, "Thank you" for another great year of advice and counsel.
  • John Olson (great friend and neighbor and bartender extraordinaire) and his wife, Carrie – thanks again, pal, for helping out – One of these days we’ll have a party on a 90-foot Offshore Yacht!

Overall, about 50 people, lots of fun and a great way to reflect on 2012. We are blessed, indeed. Merry Christmas everyone.

Talking Business in Northern Virginia with Peter Schwartz

Had the opportunity to spend 4 days with Vistage Chair Peter Schwartz in the Washington DC / Northern Virginia area this week. One of the highlights of the trip was sitting in on the Executives Leaders Radio Show, hosted by Peter himself.

Every week, Peter conducts "elite interviews" of local CEOs, CFOs, and Presidents focusing on the human side of business (e.g. getting to know the person, not just the business). It’s talk show for small to medium sized businesses – LOVED IT.

Hard working productive people need to be applauded, so I could not help but to throw Peter and the Executives Leaders Radio Show a compliment. Keep it up!

Featured on the show this week:

Jim Kershaw from Aegis Technologies, Inc.
Bryan Gernert from Resonate
Sabret Flocos from Fox Archtitects
Joshua Konowe from Uppidy, Inc.

Finally, thanks to the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce for hosting the event.

Phoenix ET and Nekter Juice Bar Honored at the OC Metro Hot 25

Last night Golden Comm unplugged the computers and donned our finest clothes to mingle with the OC Metro’s Hot 25 honorees. More than 500 of Orange County’s elite were in attendance at the newly renovated Island Hotel ballroom.

Golden Comm was there supporting the event as a silver level sponsor and celebrating with two of our clients, Nekter Juice Bar, home of Orange County’s best cleanses, and Phoenix Energy Technologies, Enterprise Energy Management experts. Steven and Alexis of Nekter and Lisa Vargas of Phoenix ET were two of the Hottest 25.

Steve and Alexis Schulze of Nekter Juice Bar

Lisa Varga (on right) CEO of Phoenix ET with Susan Belknapp of OC Metro

The night was filled with delicious hor d’oeuvres, including mini chili bread bowls, a grilled cheese sandwich bar and assorted cake pops, all from Executive Chef David Man of the Island Hotel. We left full and happy.

Of course this night would have not been such a fabulous event without OC Metro publisher and Churm Media CEO, Steve Churm.  If you are interested in Orange County Businesses, Steve Churm is your guy.   He left the audience with some words of wisdom,  “Work like there’s no tomorrow and when you get there, feel damn lucky.”

Thank you OC Metro for including the team at Golden Comm in such an awesome event!  We can’t wait for next year!

Unbelievable Service at the Montage Resort, Laguna Beach

I recently got married at another venue in the area, but I wanted to do something special for my bridesmaids the day before the wedding.  My mom and I decided to treat them to a lunch at the Montage in Laguna Beach.  I thought I would call the restaurant and just make a reservation, but because of the size of my group, I worked with the event department.

Showing off the most amazing cake!

A close up of the cake. My invitation had the SAME dress on it! WOW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I book the Excel-Your-Business seminars each month and work with the same contact at the Montage, Casey Witherspoon.  Every time I contact her, she is so polite and prompt in her response.  I feel important and welcome every time I talk to her.  We had another successful seminar today at the Montage, and everything went perfect because of Casey and her wonderful team.

Anyway, back to my lunch.  I was pleased to find out I would be working with Casey again for my personal event!  She knew exactly who I was when I contacted her to book my event and the process was just as easy to book.   She asked me to send over the invitation for the event.  I was in wedding mode and completely forgot, I finally sent it to her 3 days before the event.  I didn’t think anything would come of it.

Come Friday, we arrived at the hotel and everyone was wonderful.  Our restaurant choice was rained out so they made arrangements for us to dine inside.  I noticed the menus they created for the event matched the invitation of the luncheon.  So thoughtful!  The colors and font were a perfect match.

The lunch was amazing, service was unbelievable and we couldn’t have asked for a better day.  We had finished up our main course and then they brought out the desserts.  This is when I found out that Casey and her team went above and beyond.  Our server brought out a complimentary cake to congratulate me on my wedding!  The best part- it was decorated with the SAME design as my invitation.  They got this 3 days before and went out of their way to make my day even more special.  To top it all off, it was the most delicious cake!  I take my hat off to the ingenious pastry chefs.  WOW! (pictured above)

If you are ever looking for a top notch venue for an event, look NO further than the Montage Resort and Spa in Laguna Beach.  It’s not just a beautiful spot, their customer service is the BEST of Orange County.  Heck, the best of most hotels I’ve ever been to!  If you don’t have an event to plan, get down here ASAP for a drink, a lunch or dinner date, or just to enjoy a little piece of paradise.

And if you’re looking for a reason to stop by, check out our next SEO/SEM seminar!  Learn a few things, meet some people, and enjoy everything the Montage has to offer!

 

New Room, New View! Excel-Your-Business.com at Montage Resort, Laguna Beach

Still at the Montage- we have a new view!

Can’t come to the Montage and NOT take a picture of this view. Such a beautiful day!

It’s always a good day when you spend it at the Montage Resort and Spa, Laguna Beach. It’s even a better day when you are there for Jason Lavin’s Excel-Your-Business seminar!

The wonderful team at the Montage, Julie, Rusty and Raymundo provided outstanding service- as usual. They took great care of our huge group- as you can tell below, the room was packed!

Packed room today!

Jason starting off the meeting

Bummed you didn’t make it out today- don’t worry! Jason does these seminars monthly- in fact, the October 26th seminar is booking up quick! Register soon, you don’t want to miss out!

Harold Payne puts GoldenComm into Song!

Vistage All City, 2012 Orange County- a day of meeting people, making new connections, awesome presentations, and a GREAT entertainer.

That’s right! I’m talking about none other than Harold Payne – the Orange County songwriter and master improvisor that was invited to play at the Vistage All City. He charmed the crowd with his songs thanking the sponsors and presenters.

Check out his awesome performances at the evening reception. Can you hear what he says about Jason? How about GoldenComm?

Thanks Harold!

Alan Beaulieu, Vistage Keynote Speaker, Visits Our Booth at All-City 2012 Orange County.

Keynote Speaker : Alan Beaulieu with Jason Lavin

Alan Beaulieu, Vistage Keynote Speaker, Visits Our Booth at All-City 2012 Orange County.

The Golden Comm team chatting about responsive web design with Orange County’s top CEOs at the exclusive Vistage All City event.

Today, Jason Lavin leads seminars discussing SEO and how businesses can grow online while reducing marketing costs.

All of this happening today in the heart of Costa Mesa at the Westin Hotel South Coast.

Learning so much from all the folks leading the sessions. We are all inspired to “make our move” today with Alan Beaulieu!

Goldencomm Booth at Vistage All-City Event

Vistage All-City – All day event

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