Wednesday, January 9, 2013 September 4, 2013 148th Birthday Subscription MyConnection Special Published every Wednesday and delivered free by The Newnan Times-Herald Check Out the Classifieds on Page 7 ➤ See page 6 for details! WORKING SMARTER Telework is business as usual for Newnan family By Clay Neely firstname.lastname@example.org An alarm clock buzzes and we begrudgingly remove ourselves from the warm, inviting comfort of our beds and begin our morning rituals. For many, getting out the door and facing the new day unfortunately begins with a grueling commute to our places of work. We hop in our cars and right into the stop and go grind of morning traffic and all of its inevitable delays, all the while watching the clock tick away. By the time we arrive at our destination, our mood hasn’t cha nged much from the moment we woke. So, just what were those first few hours for anyway? What if we could regain this valuable time and begin our workday with a different perspective? For one couple, teleworking from their Newnan home is not only the “norm,” but it’s also a way of life they would never dream of giving up. Meet Kent and Erin Smith. Erin is a program manager for Davaco Inc., a retail and hospitality service company based in Dallas. On any given day, she’s running teams from all across the country whose jobs are to ensure products from clients like Nike and Kenneth Cole are set up correctly for the specialty stores they will occupy. Her day begins at 8 a.m. and winds down around 5 p.m. As president of both Tattoo Artist Magazine and Tattoo Culture Magazine, Kent stays pretty busy. He recently founded his own website as well, Illustrated.monthly.com — a website which specializes in digital reference guides for artists. He wears many hats in business. “PR, administration, bookkeeping, art direction and janitor,” he laughs. “It’s even on my business card: ‘Vice President/ Janitor.’” Add a four-year-old daughter and a newborn son to the mix and one might imagine things could get complicated quickly. Not so much. Erin and Kent have been working from home since 2006, and have established a routine maximizing the harmony between both productivity and a happy family life. Prior to her current role at Davaco, Erin has held three other positions, all via telecommuting. In fact, she was the first to incorporate Skype into her division. She grim ly reca lls the p e r i o d b e fo r e S k y p e w a s utilized. “Not only were we spending money flying out to meet the candidates, we were losing the candidates as well since we had to wait until a certain amount were eligible in order to even begin the interview process.” Sk y pe ch a nged t he pro cess and savings have been tremendous. The savings are seen from across the board Photo by Clay Neely Kent and Erin Smith have been teleworking full-time since 2006. — from financial savings to smarter time management, not to mention the carbon footprint. “It just makes more sense,” she says . “I f a meet i ng is ca nceled, we simply move right along to the next order of business. We’re not stuck trying to catch a f light back or experiencing a high volume of downtime.” Erin recognizes that telework is still a growing phenomenon and the learning curve associated with using Skype can be tricky. “Mainly operator issues,” she laughs. “We’ve conducted job interviews with candidates who have laundry baskets in the background, maybe a bathroom door is open. People still need to realize they are, in fact, still in a business atmosphere.” When the topic of possible distractions from home is brought up, Kent is quick to elaborate on the subject. Kent says a distraction-free environment is what led him to work from home. Clean Sweep Prior to working from home, Kent was running both of his publications out of an office. He often found himself distracted by people who liked to drop in and take a glimpse into the inner workings of an internationally-published magazine located in Newnan. Being at home allows Kent to manage his time more efficiently, thereby increasing his productivity and focus. Kent ack nowledges t hat teleworking, page 4 i n s i de Bite-size d Recipes ➤ Bite-sized Photo Courtesy Dave Smith PAGE 6 Sunset Sliders Menu Ben Butler, left, and Gillian Kaye came from Decatur and Gainesville, respectively, to participate in the Rivers Alive cleanup at Chattahoochee Bend. Family Features Volunteers clean Chattahoochee at state park Happy Hour. A time of day renowned the world over for relaxing just before dinner with small bites and small pours. To create your own happy hour at home for family and friends, try a bitesized menu including ground beef sliders along with the recipes listed on page 6. Pair these flavorful dishes with food-friendly wines. By Sarah Fay Campbell email@example.com Volunteers recently pulled 560 pounds of trash out of the Chattahoochee River at Chattahoochee Bend State Park at one of more than 200 clean-up events in the state that were part of Rivers Alive 2013. There were 28 volunteers scouring the river at the event. Most worked from canoes or kayaks, with two cleaning from the bank. There have been several cleanups held along the park's river frontage in the past few years, and a lot of the larger debris has been removed. There were no shopping carts or refrigerators this time but there were lots of balls, a set of wooden steps, and a muddy Cabbage Patch doll. Because of heavy growth along the banks and high water levels there hasn’t been many opportunities for shoreside cleanup. There were plenty of volunteers for the Sunset Sliders Photo by Sarah Campbell This soggy Cabbage Patch doll was one of the more unusual things pulled from the Chattahoochee River. event, said Steve St. Laurent, president of the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park. But he's hoping for greater community involvement in the next few months as the friends group begins building new trails for the first time in a year-and-a-half. The next major event at the park will be held on Sept. 28. It’s a major volunteer day, as well as being “Your State Parks Day” throughout the state. Admission is free to state parks on that day. Those cleaning the river included locals as well as volunteers who heard about the cleanup on meetup.com. Ben Butler, Gillian Kaye and Gabriel Gomar came from Decatur and Gainesville for the cleanup. Gomar read about the cleanup on the meetup.com page and brought some friends. “I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Kaye. “We’re definitely coming back.” Melanie Thrasher and Susan Meals were camping at Chattahoochee Bend when they heard about the cleanup. They were at the park to check out new kayaking spots, and decided to participate in the cleanup. “We’re very much into conservation, so this worked out perfectly,” Thrasher said. They weren’t able to get as much trash as they would have liked because the water was high, and it was moving quickly. The high river levels also covered up a lot of the trash. This was Anne Jensen’s second river cleanup. “It was a pretty day. It was a lot of fun to be on the water,” she said. There were no accidents, said Archie Davis. “Safety is more important than all the trash in the river,” he said. “Safety is cleanup, page 4 Servings: 8 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 6 to 8 minutes 1 pound lean ground beef (preferably grass fed) 1/2 cup finely chopped baby portabella mushrooms 1/4 cup minced shallots or red onion 1/4 cup Mirassou Sunset Red Wine 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon sea salt Freshly ground pepper to taste 1/2 cup shredded aged Gouda cheese 8 brioche, ciabatta, or other small slider rolls 8 thin Roma tomato slices 4 strips cooked cherry wood or apple wood smoked bacon, broken in quarters 5 baby arugula leaves Using your hands, mix beef, mushrooms, shallots, wine, rosemary, Dijon, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape into 8 very flat patties. Grill, broil or pan fry for 3 minutes. Turn and top with cheese; cook for 2 minutes more. Serve on lightly toasted rolls with tomato, bacon and arugula. Recipe Tip: Dress arugula with a bit of olive oil and balsamic for extra flavor.