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HER spectives

February 2010

A publication of the Women’s Business Council of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce

IN THIS ISSUE It’s All About You

Breaking New Ground Finance Column HR Column Legal Column Marketing Column Newsletter Title Winner Nonprofit Article Sponsor Spotlight Business Kudos Upcoming Events New Members 2010 Committees & Chairs Photo Gallery

MISSION The Mission of the WBC is to promote the role of women in the workplace at all levels, as business and community leaders and as team members, while providing support for those challenges and issues which are unique to women in business.

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU Chair’s Chat Our 2010 “It’s Not Business as Usual” theme is off to a great start! WBC members gave the January program, featuring Maureen Werther, a 9.8 overall rating. One thing that members consistently ask for are programs with speakers who will inspire and motivate them. Maureen Werther, owner of pie ala moe!, certainly did that as she shared her journey. As Chair of the WBC, it was truly gratifying to me to hear of the number of WBC members that Maureen reached out to for guidance and help, and how they came through for her in such a big way. Women have a tendency to not ask for help, and we need to change that. The WBC is all about providing support to women and helping them succeed in their professional lives. The depth and breadth of knowledge and experience that WBC members have is unmatched by any other organization in the area. I encourage you to take advantage of that–just like Maureen did. The WBC leadership is doing this by bringing you educational programs that will help you do business, not as usual, in this new economic environment, and through our new quarterly newsletter, “HerSpectives.” We reached out to members in various fields and asked them to share their knowledge through quarterly columns that you’ll find throughout this inaugural issue. The goal is to bring you the information and guidance you need to be successful. As you go through your personal and business lives, and find yourself in need of certain products and/or services, please look to your fellow WBC members to provide you with what you want. Our nonprofit members are always looking for people to donate their time and help with fundraising–please consider helping one or more of them. Women helping Women–that’s what the WBC is all about! I also ask that you consider joining a WBC committee–not only will you help our Council continue to grow and move in a positive direction, but you’ll also meet wonderful women that you can develop long-term relationships with at both a business and personal level. Thank you for continuing to support the WBC. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming programs and events. And, please consider inviting a friend–we’re always looking for new members!

Mazie McMahon

2010 Women’s Business Council Chair The Bonadio Group mmcmahon@bonadio.com www.bonadio.com One Computer Drive South | Albany, NY 12205 www.acchamber.org


BREAKING NEW GROUND... LITERALLY Feature Article If I were to ask you to imagine a welder, who would you see? How about a computer n e t w o r k i n g technician or a machinist? Did you picture a man? Most people do–and not without reason. These occupations are currently on the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of non-traditional occupations (NTOs) for women. These are jobs where women comprise less than 25 percent of the workforce–but not for long. We’ve seen women become more and more prevalent in the office and now, looking to break more glass, we head to the quarry.

In 2009, they partnered with Time Warner Cable and had an amazing turnout. Female service technicians and technical help desk support from Time Warner Cable spoke about how they got their start and why it is so important for women to enter into these fields. One of the speakers discussed how she grew up not being very social and acted as “one of the guys;” she couldn’t see herself behind a desk and was a very “hands on kind of girl.” On a typical day she is climbing a 25 foot pole with a 50 pound tool set on her back fixing wires that allow for her customers to have cable and internet services. Recently she was promoted to supervisor (the first women supervisor in her department) where she trains and oversees a team of five men and couldn’t be happier.

In 1997, New York City’s famous Plaza Hotel hired its first female doorman (or doorperson). During the same year, the NBA announced that they had hired their first female referees. These stories are only the fairly recent of many “firsts” for women–and will not be the last. As more women enter jobs that were once dominated by men, many jobs that were nontraditional for women in the early 1980s are no longer nontraditional for women today. These occupations include purchasing managers, chemists, physicians, lawyers, athletes, postal service mail carriers, bailiffs, and correctional officers.

For more information check out www.new-nyc.org.

As women, we are free to follow our own personal paths, interests, aptitudes, and values as we look into the diverse job opportunities of the future. With the considerably higher pay for nontraditional occupations, women can have more options when attaining economic self-sufficiency, support for families, and building assets. No longer will we be stuck behind a desk! The typical image of professional women in skirts and heals are no longer; some of today’s women wear hard hats, pocket protectors, and even work boots. These are strong, educated, and motivated women who are gaining momentum and–literally–breaking new ground!

Miranda Mazzariello

ITT Technical Institue MMazzariello@itt-tech.edu www.itt-tech.edu

A great benefit to NTOs is that there are many training programs available for women who are just starting out. Training programs are available through the state’s Government Employment Sector Office, local high schools, union/employer joint training committees, community colleges and nonprofit organizations. One local college that focuses on building the careers of women in NTO’s is ITT Technical Institute. Annually they hold a Women in Technology event on campus where they educate the public and current students about the importance of women in nontraditional careers.

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FINANCIAL PLANNING TIPS Financial Member Column Physical health is a common theme among the most popular New Year’s resolutions set by American women in recent years: “Quit smoking,” “Lose weight,” “Exercise more.” This is not surprising, since good health leads to a longer, less stressful life. Women, on average, live up to 10 years longer than men–even before making these resolutions. Taking the past year into consideration, this year I propose that women make a commitment to get “financially healthy.” If we’re going to live longer than our male counterparts, we should be able to enjoy it–being comfortable in our bodies and with our finances. Nine out of ten women will be responsible for their own finances at some point in their lives–and there is no better time than now to begin preparing. Make no mistake about it–your financial future is up to you. Not your employer. Not your husband. Not the government. A woman’s need for financial security is no different than a man’s–but achieving it is another story. While women need to plan for a longer life than men, they often don’t take the steps to do so. Women typically invest much more conservatively than men, plus spend fewer years in the work force earning fewer cents on the dollar. This can be a recipe for disaster. There is good news, though. Women are making huge strides toward improving their financial health. Here are ten tips to help you do the same in 2010: 1. Get educated. The more knowledgeable you are about something, the less intimidating it becomes. This is no different when it comes to money matters. 2. Take control. Once you familiarize yourself with some basic knowledge about investing, it is time to take a look at your current financial situation, both personal and professional. A woman who owns her own business and makes investment decisions that affect her family should look closely at both sets of finances. It’s important to follow a financial plan that is specific to your goals and accounts for every part of your financial life.

take the path of least resistance. Look at your current account balances and analyze your current saving habits. Where can you improve? 4. Define your goals. Once you’ve taken an honest look at your current situation, you are ready to have fun and define your goals. What is the purpose of your money? Do you want to retire at a certain age? Do you want to pay for your kids to go to college? Maybe you want to start a business or simply leave a legacy for your heirs. Remember, every smart goal should be measurable. 5. Start saving! The earlier a woman begins to plan for her financial future, the easier and more natural it becomes. And it’s never too late! 6. Save more. Because women spend fewer years working, earn less money and live longer, it is important to save more of what we earn to make up for this difference. 7. Know your risk tolerance. The higher the average return is on an investment, the more risky it is. Look at your time frame and make sure the amount of risk to which you are exposed doesn’t jeopardize any of the goals you’ve set. 8. Participate in employer plans. This is a simple and common way to save for retirement. Money comes out before it reaches your hands so there is no chance that you’ll spend it. Also, many employers offer incentives for participating in a retirement plan at work such as a contribution match. Take advantage of this! 9. Use resources. Getting educated is the first step so make sure you stay educated. Life changes, and so should your financial plan if you want the end goal to stay the same. There is a wealth of helpful information on the internet and at your local library. Remember, you don’t need to be the expert! That leads me to my last tip: 10. Seek help; it’s there for a reason! Meet with a qualified financial advisor to create a financial plan that is designed to help you reach your objectives. Nobody plans to fail, they only fail to plan. If you have a plan of action, you’re more likely to succeed. Good luck! Have a happy, healthy, and wealthy 2010!

Logan Hibbs

Halliday Financial Group www.hallidayfinancial.com

3. Reassess. Where are you now? Like any journey, it is necessary to know where you are beginning if you want to

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HOT TRAINING TOPICS FOR TODAY’S WORKPLACE Human Resources Member Column The year 2010 will continue to revolutionize training in the workplace, expanding on trends from years past and helping offset some of the effects of the poor economy. Some of the trends to watch for are computer-based training, communication training across the generations, civility training, and the best use of social media. More organizations will turn to computer-based training (CBT) to round out both staff and management development programs. Classroom training and on-the-job training will continue to thrive in combination with CBT. The struggling economy will inspire organizations to offer a variety of management and personal development topics. Managers will need training in motivating and inspiring employees who are dealing with wage freezes and benefit scale backs. Talent retention and succession planning will top the list of senior management offerings. Senior management will need to learn how to use non-monetary methods for keeping top talent in a down economy. They will no longer be able to ignore their best people without risking alienation, disengagement, and defection. Today’s managers will need to develop better skills for communicating to their staff in a time of belt tightening. They will have to know how to offer honest communication in a timely manner so that the rumor mill doesn’t take over and poison the environment. Management and front line staff will look for more personal development training options for dealing with the tight economy. Programs in “Managing Everyday Pressure at Work” will replace the standard “Stress Management” classes to help employees avoid negative self-fulfilling prophecies and learn now to “pressure proof” themselves to achieve and sustain a healthy, balanced lifestyle at work and at home. Communication skills training will continue to be the numberone “soft-skills” training request. As social media, the Internet, and other electronic resources erode face-to-face contact, employees will become less and less proficient in both written and verbal communication skills. Workplaces will be forced to make up for this deficit by offering more basic skills programs in business writing, presentation, and interpersonal communication. In the area of interpersonal communication, one of the most urgent topics will continue to be “Cross-Generational Understanding.” With four different generations working side by side (partly because the Traditionalists and Baby

Boomers are staying in the workplace longer due to the poor economy), conflict will inevitably arise. Without the proper training, generational misunderstanding may undermine productivity. Cross-generational training teaches everyone to recognize, respect, and work with differences without casting judgments. Professional appearance and attitude will be another topic of interest in 2010. As the workplace has become more casual, some employees have started to blur the line between casual and sloppy. Hygiene concerns have also arisen in this climate. Although today’s trainers won’t be teaching employees to “Dress for Success,” they will be conducting workshops that help employees distinguish what constitutes appropriate workplace dress and behavior. Beyond behavior, more organizations will be offering classes in “Civility in the Workplace.” Once thought a parental responsibility, organizations now realize that a baseline for civility needs to be established through workplace policies and training. More employees will be attending classes to help them learn basic listening and speaking skills that set a respectful tone in the workplace. The civility topic will also spill into many organizations’ customer service training. With stiff competition for the consumer’s precious dollars, organizations will have to distinguish themselves by offering outstanding customer service. Customer service is the single most important issue affecting organizational survival. Today’s Internet-based generation will need training in respectful communication, how to deal with difficult customers, and how to stay cool and collected when under customer attack. With social media becoming an ever increasing mainstay, organizations will need to address it, both from a policy and training perspective. Organizations will have to focus on how to use social media to strengthen their employee community. They will have to develop social media guidelines, build online employee communities, create cross-functional teams, identify people & skills to manage social sites, and devise metrics to assess impact on the bottom line. The year 2010 will be an exciting and challenging year in the training and development community. Leading edge organizations will stay ahead by addressing these topics, and more, in a proactive way.

Judi Clements

Judi Clements Training & Development www.judiclements.com

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NEGOTIATING CONTRACTS Legal Member Column Many business persons don’t enjoy negotiating contracts. Whether you are negotiating with the assistance of a broker or attorney or doing the bargaining yourself, odds are you would rather concentrate on your revenues than worry about renegotiating your office lease or your sales contracts. Here are five core principles to keep in mind before your next trip to the bargaining table. 1. Have a Plan. To get the best results, develop clear goals for what you would like to achieve before trading offers and counteroffers. The cardinal rule is to tailor your initial offer so that you have room to compromise later without giving up your big priorities. Separate your goals into two basic categories: (a) things you absolutely “must have,” and (b) things you can sacrifice if necessary to get your “must haves.” If you are negotiating price, know your “ideal” price point and your “drop dead” price point before you start talking. In most cases, if you are buying, your initial offer should be a healthy margin below your ideal price and, if you are selling, your initial offer should be a healthy margin above it. 2. Be Organized. Once you have agreed to terms, you should memorialize your deal in an organized contract document that is signed by each of the parties. Don’t make the mistake of having the terms of your deal scattered informally through a series of letters and emails. Correspondence is fine for negotiating your deal, but when you finally agree to terms they should be set out clearly and formally in a signed writing dedicated to that purpose. Ideally your contract should contain: (i) a clause specifically stating that this writing is the “entire agreement” between the parties, and supersedes all prior oral or written promises; and (ii) a clause stating that the contract can only be amended in a writing signed by each party. This should prevent your adversary from claiming, after the fact, that there were additional “unwritten” promises made before or after you signed the written contract.

promise of the second party. Price terms should be stated in specific dollar amounts. If the contract is for the sale of property, the contract should clearly identify and describe the property. The inviolable rule is: if it’s part of the deal, it should be in the written contract. Don’t let your adversary tell you, “We can just agree that the widgets I deliver will be water proof, but we don’t need to put that in the contract.” Even sophisticated business persons make this type of error all too often, and it leads to difficult and costly problems down the road if a breach occurs. 4. Beware Form Contracts. It is increasingly common for certain industries to use pre-printed, form contracts where the parties “fill in the blanks” with the variable terms (most vehicle sale contracts are handled this way). It is crucial that you read all of the fine print–with very few exceptions, you will be bound by each and every term contained in the form. Also, if the parties agree to make changes to the preprinted terms, those changes should be clearly typed out in a written attachment to the agreement that each party signs (called an “addendum”). Merely scribbling the changes on the pre-printed form contract, in ink, can lead to difficulties in interpreting the parties’ intentions later. 5. Be Careful About Your Remedies. Pay close attention to proposed contract clauses that limit your remedies if the other side breaches. For example, some negotiators like to include arbitration clauses in their contracts. Arbitration clauses are broadly enforced. If your contract contains one and a dispute occurs later, you will be compelled to resolve the dispute in private arbitration rather than in a court of law. There are significant pros and cons to arbitration which you should discuss with an attorney before agreeing. Also beware of a “liquidated damages” clause–a clause that sets your damages at a specific, predetermined dollar amount if the other side breaches. While there are some advantages to these types of clauses, they can cost you a lot of money if the pre-set damages amount is less than what your actual damages would be if the contract is breached.

Theresa Marangas

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP www.wilsonelser.com

3. Be Clear. The written contract is not worth the paper it’s printed on if it isn’t clearly drafted. All terms should be spelled out unambiguously. We recommend organizing the contract into numbered paragraphs. The contract should specifically recite every promise of the first party, and every

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SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS Marketing Member Column If your company is not on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you may want to consider these powerful social media tools. Facebook is a great way to find additional information about a company and see their customer demographic by seeing who are their “fans.” Twitter is the place to give and receive up-to-date industry information by creating 140 character mini-blog post “tweets” and LinkedIn is tailored to creating an atmosphere for professional networking without the high-calorie cocktails and long drive.

access to things you may not find out in the normal course of the day. By simply looking at Facebook and LinkedIn statuses I can usually tell who is happy at their job, and who may be open to hearing about a new opportunity. I often look through my coworkers’ LinkedIn connections, and ask to meet people who, based on their profile, may be a good candidate for me to meet with. If it weren’t for social media, I would not have known that some of these people existed.”

These sites also have associations, trade organizations, and groups that you can become part of to help increase your knowledge about your industry or your clients. And, because they’re online, information is likely to be updated on a regular basis. These sites save you time by creating a one-stop-shop for all the industry information and links you need.

Content. You can’t just plug your company constantly and expect people to care. Post links and provide information that is worth people’s time to explore.

These websites allow you to listen to your community, your customers, your competitors, and your prospects. Short of a focus group, which is time-consuming and expensive to conduct, nothing else can provide you with this type of immediate feedback. The importance of twoway communication cannot be overly stressed and these websites are the most convenient, free way to do this.

Posting regularly. A major role of any type of media presence is to provide frequent and compelling information. However, with a free outlet like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter one has to be sure to not over do it. You don’t want to be the annoying kid at the party who continues telling jokes long after people have stopped laughing. You also run the risk of being blocked or un-friended.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide you with an opportunity to nurture your current and potential relationships and build trust. One way to building trust is to offer free information and educate your “followers” about your company and your products. This can be done through “status updates” on Facebook, “tweets” on Twitter, and through creating a new “discussion topic” on LinkedIn.

Reply to people. Again, this is two-sided communication and it has the ability to be constant. If someone asks you a question or posts a comment that you have a good response to, then respond! Conversations are meant to be two-sided.

Your presence on these websites should be reflected on your company’s website. A great way to do this is by localizing content if you have a national website (if your company is already local, disregard) and by having click-through icons on your “contact us” page that allow the user to find you on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn through a new open window.

Social Media Tips Voice Matters. There should be a single “spokesperson” for your company even online. Anyone can use it for networking, but for putting out information and for responding to questions there should be a clear, consistent “voice” that reflects your company.

Go off-topic. Add in a funny headline, cool picture, or short fun comments. This helps to increase the likelihood of people following your company.

Other Postings. Some fun ways to increase interest online via your website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts include posting surveys, polls, video clips, news articles, and industry happenings.

Michelle Barson

CMC-KUHNKE www.cmc-kuhnke.com

Ilana Smith, Director of Development for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, shared an example of how social media works for her. “Social Media is a great tool. It gives you

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WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Carie Sala Capital Communications Federal Credit Union

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

KeyBank www.key.com/html/womenowned-business.html

The Bonadio Group www.bonadio.com

WBC NEWSLETTER TITLE WINNER, JOE LANDY Contest Winner Profile Joe Landy, winner of the “Women’s Business Council Name the Newsletter Contest,” works as a lending officer for the Capital District Community Loan Fund. The Community Loan Fund is a private, non-profit organization which lends money in the community through its social mission, “To serve businesses who are underserved by banks.” Businesses served by the Community Loan Fund include those owned by women, minorities, and people of low to moderate incomes. Loan amounts range from a maximum of $10,000 for new owners to a maximum $35,000 for business expansion, and CDCLF lends to Capital Region non-profits as well (up to $500,000), helping them stay afloat or manage cash flow issues while working on grants. “It’s terribly rewarding to work with community development,” Mr. Landy says. “I get to use my financial skills to help build businesses in the area.” In addition, the Community Loan Fund works in conjunction with the Chamber’s loan program, helping to make sure that local businesses get the financing they need. In addition to the Community Loan Fund’s business development program, the company will also begin a residential program this year after receiving a $1 million grant from the Treasury Department. Mr. Landy believes that the Community Loan Fund may be able to help up to six families purchase a home, plus assist six to eight families with home repair loans in 2010. A Rockland County native, Mr. Landy moved to Albany after working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for eight years to get some “elbow room.” He got involved with the Albany-Colonie Chamber not only to obtain business contacts, but also to meet professionals

in the area–since he didn’t know anyone when he moved here. An active participant in the Chamber since moving to Albany five years ago, Mr. Landy works with the Ambassadors Council, where he helps Capital Region professionals meet others. He has also attended several Women’s Business Council programs, where he has felt welcomed. “Anytime anyone I work with, or myself, can educate themselves about how to be better business owners or better business managers, there’s a definite value,” he said of the WBC monthly programs. “If I learn something new at a WBC event, whether it’s better ideas about how to advertise or insurance matters I wasn’t aware of, that helps me help other businesses.” Mr. Landy didn’t expect to win the Women’s Business Council Newsletter Name Contest. “I didn’t expect to win,” he admits. “But I like the name and I’m happy to be a part of it.” When asked how he developed the name “HerSpectives,” he is humble. “I wish I had a creative story. When I received the WBC e-mail, I just started doodling on a piece of paper,” he said. “I wrote down ‘woman, her, she’–gender-specific pronouns–and just fiddled with them. There was no epiphany.” For more information about the Capital District Community Loan Fund, you can contact Joe Landy at joe@cdclf.org.

Lisa Cangelosi

Sunmark Federal Credit Union lcangelosi@sunmarkfcu.org

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BUSINESS KUDOS TO WBC MEMBERS Jeanne A. Benas has just illustrated a book of poems similar in style to Shel Silverstein’s entitled Beyond the Sky and Water Line, written by local author Dahl Quarray. It is available at The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza and some other local bookstores as well as Amazon.com. Please congratulate JulieAnn Calareso, Esq., of Burke & Casserly, P.C., for being named to the Board of Directors of Senior Services of Albany effective January 1, 2010. The law firm of Pattison, Sampson, Ginsberg & Griffin, P.C. would like to congratulate its partner, Mickki L. Harrington, on her election to serve as President of the Rensselaer County Bar Association for the 2009-2010 term. MZA Multimedia would like to congratulate Annmarie Lanesey, Multimedia Producer for winning a Davey Award for the animated production “Waterwheels & Horseshoes,” created for the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter would like to congratulate the following individuals who have recently joined the Chapter’s Board of Directors: Maxine Barasch, Attorney, Maxine Barasch & Associates, PLLC; Melanie LaRose, Program Manager for Business Acceleration, Center for Economic Growth; Wesley Slyke, Capital District Manager, Legacy Bank. Please congratulate Tracy Metzger of TL Metzger & Associates for being elected to the Center for Economic Growth Board of Directors. The Bonadio Group would like to congratulate Cynthia Nixon, CPA on her promotion to Principal.

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF THE CAPITAL REGION 2010 Adopted Nonprofit Building life-changing friendships for over 40 years. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, we know that developing meaningful relationships is essential to success in all we do–family, school, career and community. We help vulnerable children reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships which help children stay in school, stay off drugs and alcohol, and improve their relationships. In 2009, Capital Region children matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister made the following gains: • 85% showed improved self-confidence; • 79% improved their academic performance; • 81% improved their relationships with their families; and • 73% had a better sense of the future. Our children are the future of our community. We’d like to invite the women of the WBC to join us as we envision a community in which all children reach their potential. Want to get involved? • Leadership Volunteers. Seeking candidates for our board and committees who have a passion for our mission and a drive to contribute towards our success. • Fundraising Committees. As a donor supported volunteer agency, we rely on community support to maintain our vital services. • Mentoring. Be a Big Sister and make a difference in the life of a child. • Get Your Company Involved. Participate in Bowl For Kids’ Sake; “adopt” a school and start a work-place mentoring program; sponsor an event. • Other Ideas. Host an event for our current “Bigs” and “Littles,” solicit donations of back-to-school items or holiday presents, paint our conference room, and more! On behalf of the children we serve, thank you for this opportunity to build a relationship with you!

Natasha Pernicka, CEO

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region www.bbbscr.org

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UPCOMING 2010 PROGRAM DATES WBC meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month at Wolferts Roost Country Club, 120 Van Rensselaer Blvd., Albany, NY.

February 16

Social Media/Networking 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

March 16

Financial Planning Program 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

April 20

Susan Scrimshaw, Sage College Pres. 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

May 18

Structured Networking 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

June

Women of Excellence

July 20

TBD 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

August

No program

THIS YEAR, RESOLVE TO PUT CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY BELONG - FIRST Sponsor Spotlight Customer service is a value. In the most successful companies, it is also an organizational imperative and plays a vital role in shaping brand identity. For proof, you need not look any further than BusinessWeek’s 2008 Customer Service Champs. According to the magazine, the companies that do customer service right—Amazon.com, Lexus, Apple, RitzCarlton Hotels, Nordstrom… and Key– invest in doing it right, even during a recession, even amongst budget cuts. Understandably, not every business can invest a lot of money in service-based initiatives. That doesn’t mean service can’t be a priority. In fact, the foundation of excellent service is possibly the most cost-effective measure for improving your businesses bottom line. More important, it is within the sphere of what you can control. Here are seven ways to make it happen:

September 21

1. Set clear expectations. Remember, it is always better to under promise and over perform.

October

Symposium on Excellence

2. Operate with consistency. You need to take the same approach with every interaction and project.

November 16

3. Identify your best clients, and take care of them.

December 14

4. Provide value. Understand your place in the market and set your price accordingly.

WOE Panel “Unplugged” 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

TBD 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Holiday Party/Nonprofit Fundraiser 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Meetings: $15 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Albany-Colonie Chamber members only Lunch Meetings: $20 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Albany-Colonie Chamber members only

5. Invest in your employees. Provide them with the training and technology upgrades they need to do their jobs better. 6. Get involved in the community. 7. Say thank you… to your clients and those who make them feel special– your employees.

Also, don’t underestimate the value of technology in making it easier and more cost-effective to reach both existing and potential clients. In his book The World is Flat, author Thomas Friedman writes about how the world is changing, and what countries, companies, communities, and individuals must do to keep pace. One of the premises of the book is that social media–networking tools–are changing the world. As businesses, we must adapt. We must find ways to leverage this open network to build closer relationships with our clients and to engage our workforce. So the next time someone talks about tweeting or posting information on their wall, or Wikis, don’t roll your eyes. Look at it for what it is–an opportunity to remove barriers and communicate directly with your clients, expand your business network and even change how your business shares and interacts with data. The bottom line is that building a successful business, or maintaining one in a recession, can sometimes feel impossible. The obstacles are real and substantial. However, the businesses that succeed will do so because they look for new ways to show others–both employees and customers–that they are worthy of their belief and business. So whether it is paying more attention to the basics of good service, improving the way you communicate with your customers via social networks like Facebook or Twitter, or building your professional network through LinkedIn, resolve to try something new and positive this year… something that changes the way clients experience your business.

Joyce Weiler, Vice President

KeyBank Business Banking Division wwww.key.com

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PHOTO GALLERY:

WBC 2010 LEADERSHIP TEAM ELECTED POSITIONS

JANUARY 2010 MEETING CHAIR:

Mazie McMahon; The Bonadio Group

INCOMING CHAIR:

Suzanne O’Connor; Siena College

PROGRAM COMMITTEE:

Janet Kaplan; Stuyvesant Plaza, Inc.

Joella Viscusi; Ambient Environmental, Inc.

NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE:

Lisa Cangelosi; Sunmark Federal Credit Union

Miranda Mazzariello; ITT Technical Institute

mmcmahon@bonadio.com soconnor@siena.edu

jkaplan@stuyvesantplaza.com joellaviscusi@nycap.rr.com

lcangelosi@sunmarkfcu.org mmazzariello@itt-tech.edu

2010 January WBC Meeting: (left) Guest Speaker, Maureen Werther, pie ala moe! www.piealamoe.com (right) Moderator, Kara Conway Love, Law Office of Kara Conway Love http://conwaylove.com

APPOINTED POSITIONS WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE COMMITTEE:

Teresa Spadafora; First Niagara Bank

SYMPOSIUM ON EXCELLENCE COMMITTEE:

Marie Bettini; Albany Realty Group LLC

teresa.spadafora@fnfg.com

Tamara Slater; The Bonadio Group tslater@bonadio.com

marie@albanyrealtygroup.com

Sarah Johnson; Rose & Kiernan, Inc. sjohnson@rkinsurance.com

AD HOC COMMITTEE Pauline Bartel; Bartel Communications, Inc. ON PUBLIC RELATIONS: paulinebartel@cs.com

If you would like to share your upcoming business/community event with the rest of the Chamber membership, please view our Community Calendar online at http://acchamber.org/events.aspx. You can post your own event and view other member events as well!

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR:

Maureen O’Brien Thornton;

ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY OF:

Jeanne A. Benas; Benas Art Studio

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Upstate NY maureen.thornton@lls.org

jeanne@benasart.com | www.benasart.com

NEWSLETTER DESIGN Malissa Pilette-McClenon; COURTESY OF: AIDS Council of Northeastern New York mpilette@aidscouncil.org | www.aidscouncil.org

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Herspectives - February 2010