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TODAY MAGAZINE

for these Niagara Philanthropists, it’s personal.

ROOT CAUSE

BUILDING A SOLID THE RESURGENCE OF DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES

[ plus[ THE REV INSIDER, Redefining Retirement – Part II, and how to build a better rapport in the workplace.

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MEET THE

CONTRIBUTORS

FLAVIO IAMMARINO

MARIANA BOCKAROVA

GABRIELLE TIEMAN

JILL THAM

LYNN OGRYZLO

Mariana Bockarova is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Psychological Resiliency, the Science of Happiness, and the Psychology of Relationships. Her research explores narrative medicine and mental health. She also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University concentrated in Psychology.

Gabrielle is a passionate about the written word. A newcomer to Niagara, Gabrielle is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Journalism program and has written for a number of newspapers and publications across Canada. Her passion lies in profiling members of the community and uncovering the hidden gems within a city. When she is not writing you can find her on her bicycle - most likely with a large coffee in hand.

Convinced she would have made a better teen in the 80s instead of the 90s, Jill’s passion for writing came after seeing the movie Stand by Me. When Jill is not moonlighting as a freelance writer, she is an Elementary teacher juggling her three children. Along with being a regular contributor to Today Magazine, Jill’s articles have been featured in Canadian Running, Pedal, Allergic Living and @OECTA. @JillBT jilltham.wordpress.com

Lynn is a food, wine and travel writer, author of three international award-winning cookbooks and regular contributor to REV Publications. Lynn specializes in culinary tourism covering regional cuisine destinations, slow food, culinary holidays, wine, spirits and “la dolca vita”. She can be reached for questions or comments at lynnogryzlo.ca

PH.D., SW.,C.CHT

Renowned for his amazing ability to affect profound change in people within an impressively short period of time, Flavio works with professional athletes, corporate clients and individuals. He has trained and instructed in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has established an excellent reputation as an effective and skilled therapist working largely on referrals from physicians, psychologists and lawyers.

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NIAGARA FALLS • ST. CATHARINES • WELLAND

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CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Sarah Thomas and Justin Morabito

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ONTENT

PUBLISHER Rev Publishing Inc. PRESIDENT & CEO Daniel A. Pasco GENERAL MANAGER Candace LeBlanc SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Alex Mills ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Joe Visentin, Barry Archer, Brody Whetham BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER David Mace EDITOR Megan Pasche CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tina Lanzillotta GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tabitha MacDonald, Rachel Bertrand Christina Picton, Jenn Blais IT/WEB DEVELOPER Justin Soungie MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Kaila Henderson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jill Tham, Lynn Ogryzlo, Mariana Bockarova, Flavio Iammarino, Ph.D, SW, C.Cht PHOTOGRAPHY David Haskell, Justin Morabito, Megan Pasche, Sarah Thomas TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825 WEBSITE todaymagazine.ca

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Business by Today Magazine is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Business Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Rev Publishing, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Business Magazine for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Business Magazine. All unsolicited manuscripts and/ or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Business Magazine are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Business Magazine does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.

ON THIS PAGE Beechwood Doughnuts (see pg 32, 100% Vegan, 100% Delicious: Beechwood Doughnuts)

{Photo: Justin Morabito & Sarah Thomas}


Lifestyle & Culture 11

ROOT CAUSE

21

BUILDING BETTER RAPPORT

24

REDEFINING RETIREMENT: PART TWO

These four philanthropists inspired by real life struggles, have overcome hardship to come out the other side and plant the foundation for a legacy of hope and healing in the Niagara Region. Tips, tricks and techniques to having better interpersonal interactions in the workplace. When work ends, be interesting.

Innovation 31

BUILDING A SOLID CORE It’s an exciting time for Downtown St. Catharines. Anybody who has visited in recent years can see that change is afoot, driving an influx of people to the downtown core.

32 34 38 40

BEECHWOOD DOUGHNUTS NIAGARA ARTS AND CRAFT MARKET PISKIE PIE COMPANY N’ATA COSTA

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SAVE A BUCK Get a head start on your competition and get your business noticed before the rest.

BUILDING A BETTER BUSINESS A Q&A with Flavio Iammarino.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING The best times to post on social media channels. TODAY MAGAZINE

for these Niagara Philanthropists, it’s personal.

ON THE COVER

ROOT CAUSE

BUILDING A SOLID THE RESURGENCE OF DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES

Steve Ludzik (see pg 12, Root Cause)

[ plus[ THE REV INSIDER, Redefining Retirement – Part II, and how to build a better rapport in the workplace.

{Cover Photo: David Haskell} FIND ANYTHING, ANYWHERE! DOWNLOAD THE FREE SAVE-A-BUCK APP TODAY!

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal� Albert Pike

ROOT

CAUSE by Jil

l Tham

These four philanthropists inspired by real life struggles, have overcome hardship to come out the other side and plant the foundation for a legacy of hope and healing in the Niagara Region.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 11


FIGHTING BACK AGAINST PARKINSON’S DISEASE:

STEVE LUDZIK AND HIS MISSION


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teve Ludzik recalls standing at the top of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls at the young age of 16 with a sense of awe. “It looked like Las Vegas to us. It was 10:00 pm and my buddy, John Kirk, and I were looking at our hockey contracts saying, ‘This is unbelievable,” recalls Ludzik. “I had just left home to play junior down here.” Prior to this evening, Ludzik had spent two months in the hospital for his Crohn’s Disease. “I didn’t listen to anyone who said I was too sick to play. I was the seventh round pick: the scrap yard of hockey. I came to camp here in Niagara Falls weighing 198 pounds and tore it up,” says Ludzik. From 1981-1993, Ludzik had a successful career in the NHL. He played for the Chicago Black Hawks and the Buffalo Sabres for a total of 424 games, 46 goals, and 93 assists before becoming the Head Coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Shortly after being let go as the coach of the Lightning, Ludzik received a call to appear as a guest on The Score, and his career in sports broadcasting and writing began. Ludzik’s life has had its ups and downs, particularly with his health. “I was 39 years old when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I kept up a pretty hectic schedule until I came out with it five years ago,” says Ludzik. His decision to discuss his health issues publicly came from a desire to confront the disease and a willingness to help others in their fight against it. “When I was nine years old, a 13 year old kid was bugging me and I came home with a black eye. My mom went to call the school and my dad told her to put down the phone. He said to me, ‘Tomorrow you need to drop him and he is going to stop,’” recalls Ludzik. “So, I treat Parkinson’s like a bully,” says Ludzik. “I try not to be intimidated by it.” “Parkinson’s causes stiffness and rigidity in your limbs with tremors in your hands and in your body. It disrupts your sleeping patterns and tires you out during the day,” says Ludzik. “It is a tricky son of a bitch.

It pecks and pokes at you until there is nothing left of you,” explains Ludzik. Being grateful for the excellent care he has received by his Toronto based physician, he knew the Niagara Region would benefit from a rehabilitation facility close to home. It quickly became his goal to start a rehabilitation clinic to help individuals like himself deal with the symptoms of the disease. Ludzik also wanted to share his treatment regime and knowledge of the disease with others. “For ten years, I’ve been hitting the punching bag in my garage for 20 minutes a day. Now, the experts are saying it is most fitting for the disease.” In 2013, The Steve Ludzik Centre for Parkinson’s Rehabilitation opened up inside Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St Catharines. The Centre has an interprofessional approach to treatment consisting of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, social work, rehabilitation, dietary counselling, and advanced practise nursing. “Truthfully, I get a kick out of helping people. I greet them at the Parkinson’s Clinic on a Monday, when they start the program, and six weeks later I see them and they are totally different people,” says Ludzik. The program, which is ranked number one in Canada, is free for participants and is not covered under OHIP nor does it receive government funding. However, there is a need for continued funding and donations as there are currently 200 individuals on the waitlist. “Our objective is to raise more funds to close the gap, so no one has to wait that long,” says Tim Housser, who volunteers his time as Director of the Steve Ludzik Foundation. In April of 2015, Bob Miller participated in the program. “As a result of that program, I am happy to say I experienced an overall improvement >>

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DEFEAT IS NEVER FINAL. THE MARK OF A GOOD MAN IS GETTING UP ONE MORE TIME TO BE KNOCKED DOWN AGAIN.

in my mobility and general health. I was also a part of a follow-up program,” says Miller, who is a member of the St. Catharines Rotary Club. As the program runs solely on donations, Ludzik and his team spearhead four different fundraisers per year including: a golf tournament, hockey game, celebrity roast, and a concert with the Light of Day Canada Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and Care. Ludzik’s most notable event, his roasts, are an enjoyable evening of entertainment where close to 1000 people meet former NHL players and hear their stories. “I got the idea (for the roast) from the Dean Martin Show, but with hockey players,” says Ludzik, who was laughed out of the office of the first organization he reached out to for support. “I was retelling the story while I was golfing with a representative from the Scotiabank and she thought it was a great idea,” explains Ludzik. “They stepped to the forefront right off the bat.” “It’s a great night out for a great cause,” states Housser. “It’s like a gala or a wedding.” Housser, whose father also suffered from Parkinson’s and had to travel to Hamilton for treatment, understands first-hand the need for the facility and the benefit it brings to the region. August 13th, 2016 marks the fifth year for the roast and will feature the Bad Boys of Hockey. The cast of characters includes: Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, Battlin’ Billy (Hatchet Man) Smith, Al “The Rock” Secord, Bill “Goldie” Goldthorpe (The inspiration for the character Olgie Oglithorpe in the movie Slap Shot), Bob “Big Daddy” McGill, and Chris “Knuckles” Nilan. Ludzik’s roasts have developed a solid reputation for good clean entertainment that has not gone unnoticed across North America. “We have a good format that we have perfected and we do something better each time,” says Housser. “Cities like Calgary and Chicago have asked us to do the same for their charity and will give a portion to the Steve Ludzik Foundation. Although the details are still in the early planning stages Ludzik and Housser are excited about the possibility of expansion. “It would be great for us to take the business model for the roast to any hotbed of a hockey town outside of Niagara and find community partners and support,” explains Housser. Last April, Ludzik was presented with The “Paul Harris Fellowship Award”, the highest recognition that Rotary International offers. “Steve was honoured for his outstanding contribution in promoting Parkinson awareness and his tangible care through the Steve Ludzik Centre for Parkinson’s Rehabilitation,” says Miller. Ludzik has never been the type of individual to succumb to setbacks and loss. When asked about being fired as Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, what he calls the greatest defeat of his hockey career, he responded, “Defeat is never final. The mark of a good man is getting up one more time to be knocked down again.” It is this outlook on life that inspires Ludzik’s drive to make a difference in the lives of individuals who, like him, are suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. “I came here at 16 and people welcomed me with open arms. Niagara Falls was there for me when I was getting on my feet in my hockey career. I love this town and I am proud to call it my home. This is my way of giving back and to help others in the fight against this despicable disease,” concludes Ludzik. For more information visit ludzy.com. >>


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PASSION FUELED BY LOSS:

BRINGING AWARENESS TO CYSTIC FIBROSIS


W

hen you were in high school or college did you ever have a wild house party? Come on be honest. You told your parents just a few friends and before you knew it the entire student body was in your living room. Rob Donovan certainly had a few of these nights. “Not only did he live life to the fullest, but he could command a crowd. When Rob walked into a room, everyone went to him and within two minutes he would have the group laughing,” says Colleen Donovan, Rob’s mother. Rob suffered from Cystic Fibrosis, a life threatening disease that causes the body to produce mucous that affects the lungs, organs, and systems in the human body. From an early age, Rob experienced many health problems, most of which were repeatedly misdiagnosed as asthma. Donovan watched helplessly as her son’s health steadily declined. When Rob was 16, Donovan decided to switch doctors and Rob was finally diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. “We were devastated, we believed Cystic Fibrosis had been ruled out years ago,” says Donovan. By this point Rob’s lung capacity had deteriorated to 34%; leaving him behind the eight ball with an exceedingly difficult disease. Being a genetic disorder, Donovan’s other three children were tested for Cystic Fibrosis and it was discovered that her nine-year old daughter, Karen, also had the disease. Over the next several years, Rob would make the most out of life while he waited for a suitable donor for a double lung transplant. On February 25, 2005, everyone’s prayers were answered: they had found a match. The surgery was a success and Rob regained a sense of normality in his life. “It was nice to see him do all the simple things that people take for granted like jump on a bike and go for a ride,” recalls Donovan. Five years after the transplant, Rob began to experience stomach pain that was not related to his Cystic Fibrosis. It was discovered that Rob was suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that can occur with transplants. “With Rob and his donor there was a mismatch in the Epstein-Barr Virus that causes mononucleosis (mono), which they believed caused his cancer. We were aware of the mismatch, but if we waited for another donor they thought he would have died,” explains Donovan adding that Hodgkin’s Lymphoma usually develops within one year after a transplant and Rob had already survived five years with his

lung transplantation. Rob and his family were in disbelief. “How can one person get two horribly deadly diseases?” questions Donovan. In order to be treated for the cancer, Rob had to stop taking anti-rejection medications for his lungs. Without the medication, his body began to reject the transplant. “Treating the cancer shut down the lungs, which the doctors said wouldn’t happen. Rob began to experience internal bleeding that they couldn’t stop,” says Donovan. On September 16, 2011, Donovan and her family watched as the nurses took Rob off of life support machines; he was only 31 years old. “His fragile body could no longer house his wonderful spirit,” says Donovan. Donovan’s loss has undoubtedly changed her outlook on life. “When they say don’t sweat the small stuff, I don’t sweat the small stuff,” explains Donovan. “It makes you empathetic to people who have sick children and who are caregivers. It gives you a deep understanding of other people.” In 2013, Donovan left her career in the banking industry and started her own staging company called CMD Home Staging. While working as the Vice President of Membership for the Real Estate Staging Association, Donovan met Lynn MacMillan, a fellow stager and Interior Designer who had also left the banking industry. “I recruited her and we ended up doing quite a few jobs together,” recalls Donovan. It didn’t take long before the two became business partners. Their company, GEM Home Staging & Designs, offers a wide variety of services to their clients. Whether they are staging a home for sale on the market, consulting on colours, referrals, or helping to redesign a home, the pair are able to use both a staging and interior design approach to meet the needs of the client. “We also provide the seller with trade resources and discounts at paint stores,” says MacMillan. “It sounds like glamorous shopping, but it is a lot of work,” explains MacMillan adding that they travel to Toronto a few days a week to seek out deals with wholesalers. “Neither one of us knew how much work it would be,” says Donovan. From setting up to tearing down, at times staging homes can feel like a huge feat. “It takes a while to find a vision for a house and hours to prepare it properly,” explains Donovan. “It’s almost sad when you have to undo it.” >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 17


IT READS LIKE A NICHOLAS SPARKS OR JOHN GREEN NOVEL THAT COULD EASILY BECOME A MOVIE.

The pair has definitely found their calling as they have a growing list of accolades. Recently, one of MacMillan’s luxury Niagara homes was featured on WNetwork’s television show, Buying the View and Donovan, who also writes a blog with advice for homeowners on her website, was interviewed on Kapeleris Talk TV (Rogers Television). “People see our items in a staged home and they call us to ask us to do it in their home,” says MacMillan. The “GEM” name isn’t an acronym, but holds a meaning of brilliance, beauty, and other meanings that come along with different gemstones. “In real estate you often hear, ‘look at this little gem,’” says MacMillan. “The name just fit.” Two aspects of being a business owner that Donovan values the most are the ability to show her creative side and support the charity of her choice; Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Three percent of all of GEM’s earnings are donated to the organization. “We can also support other charities, but the majority will go to Cystic Fibrosis,” says Donovan. “I am thrilled that I get to do this.” Rob’s story is unforgettable and somewhat unbelievable, it reads like a Nicholas Sparks or John Green novel that could easily become a movie. Although it has been painful for Donovan to retell, she knows it is necessary in order to bring more awareness of the disease with the ultimate hope of helping her daughter Karen. “This is my tragic story. If by telling the story people are willing to help, then I have achieved my goal. I want to save my daughter,” says Donovan. Recently, Daniel Pasco, Owner and CEO of REV Publishing, read Colleen Donovan’s Facebook post about her son and daughter’s journeys with Cystic Fibrosis and he was immediately compelled by the story. “When I was in my early 20s, I was quite ill with ulcerative colitis and was hospitalized for several months at Wellesley Hospital in downtown Toronto. They placed me in the ward with Cystic Fibrosis patients,” explains Pasco. “I was so sick that the doctors didn’t think I would make it. The patients with Cystic Fibrosis would get together and pray at the end of my bed,” recalls Pasco, who witnessed first-hand the effects the disease has on individuals and the high mortality rate. “At times the patients would be in my room chatting with me and trying to be positive and at the end of the week they passed on and it made it hard for me to heal,” explains Pasco. “The young deceased patients were on stretchers, zipped up in black bags, and it was the most horrible experience I’ve encountered. One day you’re having a conversation and the next day they’ve disappeared…it was like a movie. I’d cry myself to sleep every night hoping I’m not the next victim, but my disease was not as life threatening as theirs,” says Pasco. Donovan is living every parent’s worst nightmare; the loss of a child. Through her grief she continues to focus on the health of her daughter. “In some ways I am in denial. I believed Rob was the miracle. Karen is in much better health then he ever was. It makes me believe she will live longer,” says Donovan. “Now they have infant screening and every child in Ontario has a genetic test done within days of being born. Kids nowadays will never have to go through what my son went through,” says Donovan. For more information visit gemhomestaging.com TM


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BUILDING BETTER BY MARIANA BOCKAROVA

RAPPORT IN THE WORKPLACE Tips, Tricks & Techniques

Not too long ago, I did what any self-respecting woman who sees a glorious pair of boots on another woman while shopping at Costco would do: I stopped her half way through the pastry aisle and asked where I could find a pair. When she replied, flattered, “Nine West”, I went on a wild goose chase hoping to find what looked to me to be the perfect boots-boots that I imagined would undoubtedly make my hair look shinier and my torso slimmer. After calling several locations, I was directed towards a mall near my home where I spoke with a sales associate. While the system indicated having my size in stock, she was unable to find them. Instead of leaving me hanging, she told me she knew exactly how I felt and promised to call me in a half hour, after thoroughly checking the stock room. With a jovial tone, she assured me not to worry and that she would do all she could to help solve the mystery

of the missing boots. Exactly thirty minutes later, as promised, she returned my call only to tell me, with grave disappointment in her own voice that the boots had been shipped out to a warehouse. While she could have stopped her efforts there, already going above and beyond her duty, she then made her best effort to track down the delivery truck, speak to the driver, who assured her the boots were long gone, before calling me back to tell me, painfully, that she hoped another equally wonderful pair of boots would come in soon. While I could have been left incredibly disappointed by the entire ordeal - as the purpose for my search had ultimately gone unfulfilled - I was, instead, overwhelmed with gratitude, not only towards the sales person for her efforts, but towards the company as a whole. This got me thinking; what was it that made an otherwise unfortunate encounter so positive in the end? It was all about building excellent rapport. According to Tony Robbins, “rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel that you understand him, that you have a strong common bond.” Surely we have all met someone like this: charming, charismatic, trustworthy and likeable. In the end, this person, one who is able to build effective rapport, makes us TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 21


feel positive and understood, and in turn, we tend to respond in kind. Being able to build effective rapport not only, allows us to feel more meaningfully and effectively connected to others, but it can help us successfully communicate, garner support for our actions and ideas, create a good base of clients and customers, help us settle in to jobs more smoothly, keep workplace volatility at bay, and become more likeable, as a whole. In fact, there is a reason why many medical schools teach future doctors how to build effective rapport with patients: A person is much more likely to be honest and thorough, opening up to even the most embarrassing events when they perceive there is mutual liking and trust and that, their doctors will have their best interests in mind. Although the idea of building rapport may seem like a daunting task, especially if we haven’t been born with the gift of being particularly charming, there are specific skills we can learn in order to improve our rapport with others:

REMEMBER NAMES Often, when we first meet someone, we are so concentrated on introducing ourselves that we pay little attention to what the other person is saying. According to Dale Carnegie, author of the best-selling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language”, and remembering and using another person’s name allows them to feel as though they are important to us and more at ease. If you have forgotten someone’s name, just asking him or her, “kindly remind me of your name” will tend to do the trick.

SEE EYE TO EYE Identifying areas where you can see eye-to-eye helps both parties feel comfortable and immediately connected. For instance, a good set of polite questions to ask when first meeting someone which will field for areas of common ground include: where do they live (do you live around/grow up around here?), who is in their family (do you have any siblings?), what is their profession (what are area you in? what do you enjoy most about your job?), what do they do for fun (did you catch the Jays game? what kind of movies do you like?), and if they’ve recently gone away (have you ever visited Europe?). Asking open-ended questions which start with ‘how’ and ‘why’, tend to be good markers for prolonging conversation and getting to know someone beyond the simple “yes and no’s”.

If you can’t quite seem to find much in common, however, become genuinely interested in your differences and talk about the person’s interests. For instance, if someone were to tell you that they’ve recently taken up knitting, a topic you presumably know little about, ask why, why has she or he decided to take up the hobby now, and ask about the basic fundamentals of how to knit. This will not only help you finetune your listening skills, but if you are sincere in learning about the other person’s interest, it will make them feel important, as well.

EMPATHIZE Being able to see a situation from another person’s perspective is crucial; it makes them feel understood and cared for. To empathize, let the other person do a great deal of the talking and sit in a different “perceptual position”. For instance, how does the situation look from your perspective? From the other person’s perspective? From a third party’s perspective, who might just be observing? Trying honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view will allow you to be empathetic to their ideas and desires, allowing them to feel more positively in your response.

NEVER CRITICIZE, CONDEMN OR COMPLAIN. Criticizing others never yields any positive results. Think back to the most negative person you know; what was so displeasing about them to you? Was it that they were frustrated and seeking advice about a situation, or that the way in which they were complaining was incredibly off-putting, negative, and aimless? Seeking advice from others makes them feel important and valued, complaining or criticizing makes them feel obligated to listen, but not much else.

MIRROR When we like someone, we subconsciously change our body language and speech patterns (like vocal tone and volume, and in some cases, even the words we choose) to be similar to theirs. This technique is called ‘mirroring’. When building rapport with someone, take note of their cues and subtly mirror them (for instance, if you are speaking to someone who leans back in their chair, follow suit and mirror their new position). Be subtle with conscious mirroring, as over-doing it can seem insincere and annoying. According to research by the FBI, “when interviewers intentionally align themselves with a witness or suspect through these matching or mirroring techniques, the interviewee is more inclined to respond to the interviewer and subsequently provide information”. Interestingly enough, the sales person at Nine West exhibited all the areas of establishing good rapport; using my name, emphatically explaining that she knew exactly what it felt like to search for the perfect pair of boots (thereby seeing eye to eye and empathizing with me), never complaining about the extra work she had put in to help me, and mirroring the disappointment in my voice. All of this, in turn, made me feel that she genuinely cared to help me, leaving me with an incredibly positive experience. Though eventually, I did receive my coveted boots, it was the excellent rapport that made the experience so transformative. A little rapport goes a long way; just imagine what it could do for you! TM


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PART TWO

REDEFINING RETIREMENT WHEN WORK ENDS, BE INTERESTING BY LYNN OGRYZLO Where did the time go? It’s 2016 and you’re thinking about retiring. To those with plans it comes with great excitement, but to most, it comes with fear, doubt and an awful lot of anxiousness. It’s normal, after all, most of our identities are tied into our work and without anyone needing us, it leaves a gaping hole in our day-to-day activities. The biggest question is, what to do? In the immortal words of John F. Kennedy, “efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” And yes, to many it takes courage to retire, but purpose and direction? Always! Today we’re living longer and we’re living younger. Studies have shown that due to our healthier lifestyles, we’re living 10 to 15 years younger than our chronological age. That means most of us will have plenty of energy, an active mind and much, much more to contribute in this lifetime. While it may seem strange to think of retirement when you’re still feeling young inside, it does present a world of possibilities. Before we talk about possibilities, let’s first start with a list of the things you will do when you retire: go ahead, make that list right now. If your list is full of meaningful activities, then you are more likely to have a purposeful and happy retirement. But very few lists are like this.

What you don’t want to include on your list are any onetime activities like sorting through the boxes of old photographs. Even though it may take weeks to do this, it’s not a meaningful activity in retirement. If you’re having difficulty with your list or are feeling a little anxious, I have a few ‘next step’ options for you to consider. First, think about starting an encore career. Many people’s careers were started decades earlier when they had financial and family responsibilities and no ability to switch careers if they were unhappy. Now that you’re retiring, you have a rare opportunity to work at what you’ve always wanted to work at, to start a totally new, unrelated career that many find liberating and exciting. You could start a new business. American statistics (Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity) shows that last year more Americans became entrepreneurs than at any time in the past 15 years. And it’s not just a young person’s game. Entrepreneurship activity was highest in the 35-44 and 55-64 age brackets. What small business you ask? Many people turn their skills into consulting businesses with the benefit of flexible schedules. You can turn a hobby into a moneymaking opportunity or perhaps you have an idea that will take advantage of the needs in your community. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 25


WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO BE INTERESTING. My favourite is a camp for adults. I guess camp isn’t just for kids anymore because there are adult camps for music, arts, adventure and cooking. There’s even a camp for learning to drive a car on the ice! They include a week away, totally immersed in the subject of your passion. These camps came about because someone saw a gap in the market and decided to use their skills to fill the gap – a new industry, a new business. In fact, according to the Kauffman report, 0.34 percent of American adults created a business per month in 2010 or 565,000 new businesses per month. Being your own boss is great in so many ways. There’s no need to ask permission to skip out of the office to catch a ballgame, the buck stops with you and you’re doing something you love. It’s a time when you can flex your risk muscle (not financially of course) because after all, what have you got to lose? That’s what farmer Dave thought. I’ll call him Dave because he doesn’t want his real name revealed. Dave lives in a small town and retired when his son took over the family farm. He kept two acres of land for himself and each year he grows a variety of vegetables and some fruit. It was a project that allowed him partial work and partial free time, a better balance in his life. For the first time, Dave had the time to be creative so he pursued his passion for growing exotic vegetables. Dave grows things other farmers don’t have the time to grow like Belgium endive and white asparagus. Then on the weekends Dave takes his vegetables to the farmers’ market to sell them. This was a totally new experience for him. He discovered just how much he loved talking to his customers, especially the ones who became regulars and he looked forward to seeing them each week. The money he made from a summer selling vegetables, gave him the resources to escape a Niagara winter down in sunny Florida. David found the perfect balance, an unexpected, rich new life after full time work. If you’re not sure about an encore career or starting a business, think about taking a year off. After all, it was the Boomers who invented the gap year between high school and university, or university and work. So why not do it after retirement and before your next move? I call it a Freedom Year and it has many advantages like the ability to decompress after a hectic pace and successful career. It allows you to gain perspective about

retirement and clarity before your next move. In fact, most opportunities for an encore career or business venture come only after word of your retirement gets out. If I were looking at a Freedom Year, it would be in my family’s hometown in Italy learning Italian. Perhaps yours is to build houses for a relief organization or volunteer for a charitable outfit abroad. Like Dave, many retirees become snowbirds, but that still begs the question of what to do the rest of the year. Some get complete satisfaction by volunteering and the jobs come in many different shapes and disciplines. You’ve seen volunteers: they’re all around you from assistants in the hospital to ushers in the theatre. Volunteers sit on boards, mentor children, advise small businesses and even join executives abroad associations. Think in terms of what you would like to do and which organizations you would like to help, then contact those outfits and tell them you would like to help. In these days of cutbacks it is the rare nonprofit or government body that couldn’t use an extra set of hands. I have a friend who has transitioned from a demanding career into a brilliant life. I will call her Sophie. Sophie retired as a school principal over a decade ago and she has volunteered ever since; first to mentor students, then on the Board level and now as Board chair. Her volunteer role allows her to contribute in meaningful ways and to put her extensive knowledge and finely honed skills to good use. Besides volunteering, Sophie’s business is running her popular bed and breakfast. Sophie has an outgoing personality and absolutely loves meeting people from all over the world. She’s even become an enthusiastic ambassador for the region and volunteers on tourism committees in her neighbourhood. While Sophie could easily run her bed and breakfast full time, she chooses to block out the time she needs to enjoy life – a business on her terms! Neither David nor Sophie would consider themselves retired and why would they? They’re working with purpose, direction and have the freedom to make their own decisions. They are two of the most interesting people I know. Reminds me of Kathryn Hepburn who said, “we have an obligation to be interesting” – and that includes your retirement years. Part one of the retirement series ran in the spring issue of Business by Today magazine. It’s now online at revpublishing.com TM


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THE RESURGENCE OF DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES

PHOTOGRAPHY: JUSTIN MORABITO & SARAH THOMAS

A

nybody who has visited downtown St. Catharines recently can see that change is afoot. There are less empty storefronts, there are several new restaurants and stores, facades are being spruced up, and the new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

and the Meridian Centre are bringing an influx of people to the downtown core. It’s an exciting time for Downtown St. Catharines. Here, we’ve profiled just a few of the businesses that are helping to shape the new face of Downtown St. Catharines.>>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 31

INNOVATION

BUILDING A SOLID CORE:


By Jill Tham

5 JAMES STREET. MON TO FRI: 10 - 6, SAT: 11 - 6

T

he history of the doughnut dates back over 200 years. All around the globe, these fried favourites come in many shapes and frequently take their spot on staff room tables and soccer fields. What makes a Beechwood doughnut so special? Is it the melt in your mouth softness, the sweet aroma, or the satisfaction when you taste the frosting? Imagine, for a moment, never being able to experience the feeling you get when you take the first bite. Shane Belanger and Tayler Book, Co-owners of Beechwood Doughnuts located on James Street in downtown St. Catharines wanted to make these mouth-watering treats in a way that everyone can enjoy. Since its opening, Beechwood Doughnuts has hit the mark with their vegan doughnuts. For Book and Belanger, eating vegan is a way of life for the two and it is one that they desired to share with the Niagara Region. “As vegans we wanted to make a vegan product,” says Book. “We want to show things can be vegan and delicious too.” “Shane was one of the original bakers at Rise Above which was the first vegan bakery in Niagara,” says Book. When Rise Above began picking up momentum in the community they started having difficulty keeping up with the demand for doughnuts, Belanger and Book saw an opportunity. “They started with doughnuts, but now they focus more as a restaurant,”


says Book. “With the blessing of the owner of Rise Above we branched out and opened Beechwood Doughnuts,” explains Book. Along with essential ingredients such as flour and sugar, these delectable treats are made without using animal products. “A lot of the ingredients are easy to switch out,” explains Book. “We use applesauce instead of eggs and we substitute soy milk for cow’s milk. We also use a vegan alternative to butter and shortening.” Beechwood is a unique facility as patrons can view the baking and production process through large glass windows. “You can get close to the action and see everything but the storage room,” says Book. “Not too often can you see the donuts being made from scratch,” says Book. She adds that most other places will freeze, reheat and then decorate them. A great deal of time and care goes into each batch of doughnuts made at Beechwood. “From mixer to the front rack takes two and a half to three hours,” says Book. “We start at five in the morning, earlier on Saturdays.” With the most popular flavours of doughnuts being cookies and cream, coconut cream and a wide variety of fritters, Beechwood has something for everyone. From Peanut Butter and Jelly to Key Lime Pie, each donut is made to perfection and full of flavour. Over the past 15

months, the Beechwood team has put their heads together to come up with some original flavours. “There has been some outrageous ideas that haven’t worked out and there have been some that made the cut that didn’t do well and they won’t be back,” says Book. “Every once in a while someone will drop a list of flavours on my desk and we try them out and try to come up with creative ideas together.” Beechwood is constantly proving that age is only a number when it comes to appreciating a high quality donut. “It is actually a big mix of people from little kids to a lot of older generation that are looking for the in-store freshness they had growing up but can’t find anymore,” explains Book. The storefront also serves a wide variety of students and businesspeople and Saturday brings in a lot of people from out of town. “It is a little bit of everyone which is nice and was what we were going for,” states Book. After reading The China Study, a book on the health concerns linked to animal proteins such as casein, it became a priority for Andrea Stranges to adopt a vegan lifestyle. “We feel good that we indulge in an unbelievably delicious treat, like Beechwood Doughnuts without straying from our choice to live a vegan lifestyle,” explains Stranges. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 33


WE WANT TO SHOW THINGS CAN BE VEGAN AND DELICIOUS TOO. For the Stranges family, eating a Beechwood vegan doughnut isn’t just about being health conscious and ethical. “My daughter is lactose intolerant and as a mom it was always heartbreaking having to say no to her when other kids her age were indulging in cakes, ice cream, and cupcakes,” says Stranges. “I felt such a relief when I discovered Beechwood because I am now able to offer her a dessert that she and all her friends could enjoy equally together.” Book enjoys seeing the excitement on children’s faces with egg and dairy allergies or who are vegan when they finally get to try a doughnut for the first time. “People come in and they get excited because they are vegan and haven’t had a doughnut close to home,” says Book. When Beechwood Doughnuts opened its doors more than one year ago, Book and Belanger were overwhelmed and overjoyed with the unexpected outcome. “When we opened we would be sold out within the first hour,” says Book. “It was just Shane, his sister, and I. We would be sold out and then spend hours making more and then be sold out again in an hour,” recalls Book. Admitting that their first year was a learning curve and a lot of unexpected growth, Book is elated when she reflects upon their first year in business. “We’ve exceeded everything we could have imagined in the first five years in the first year.” This year of growth has led the partners to envision the future of Beechwood. “Eventually we would love to expand the store so we could take orders and keep up with walk-ins which would involve upgrading our equipment. We weren’t expecting this volume, so our fryer is not as big as we would like,” says Book. With freshness and quality at the top of their list, Book and Belanger realize that expanding needs to come with the proper equipment. “We don’t want to start the day too much earlier because we want the doughnuts to be as fresh as possible throughout the day, so upgrades would be necessary,” explains Book. Beechwood Doughnuts is right at home in the downtown core. “We love it! A lot of new entrepreneurs opened up when we did, so it is great to have that community base and be able to help out our neighbours,” explains Book. “I don’t think we will ever be able to leave downtown.” Beechwood is surprising customers on a regular basis. “Some people think that if you are vegan all you can eat is boring lettuce and none of the good stuff. It is nice to open them up to what vegan food is and to help them understand you can make things compassionately and make it taste great,” concludes Book. For more information visit beechwooddoughnuts.com


MARKET By Jill Tham

7 JAMES STREET. MON TO FRI: 8 - 5 SAT: 9 - 5

A SPACE FOR ARTISTIC ENTREPRENEURS

W

hen Craft Arts Market opened on St. James Street in downtown St. Catharines, Co-Owner Nancy Kapodistrias was ecstatic. “We opened at an odd time. It was surprisingly busy as January is usually slow for retail,” says Kapodistrias. “But there was a lot of excitement about something new opening in downtown St. Catharines.” Inspired by the local markets and hand-made stores in Toronto, Kapodistrias and her business partner, Sarah Jarvis, wanted a year round place in the Niagara Region that supported local and hand-made products. “We wanted an outlet for them in the city to sell their goods,” says Kapodistrias.

Kapodistrias, who is active in the theatre, stitching costumes for the Shaw Festival, and Jarvis, who has a background in retail and a business called Embellish where she makes and sells head bands and hair pieces, were excited to use their artful sides to create a unique business. From belts, adorable baby items, tea towels, and purses, the store is filled with high quality, original pieces that are guaranteed to impress any shopper. “We have a variety of home and gift items, jewelry, natural skin care products, and accessories for yourself and your home,” says Kapodistrias. “We also have hand-made greeting cards.” >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 35


Jarvis has also incorporated her skills working in the coffee industry and brought her talents and experience into the store. “We started the coffee bar last summer and along with our latte of the month we serve teas, lattes, coffees and espresso in a tea form,” says Kapodistrias. The pair is committed to serving high quality products right down to the coffee beans. “We serve Pilot Coffee Roasters from Toronto known for their award winning beans. We use local milk and honey,” says Kapodistrias. Kapodistrias and Jarvis celebrated their one year anniversary with a sense of pride. “It has been a surprisingly great year. We didn’t know what to expect. We started off strong in January and it has only gotten better form there,” says Kapodistrias. “We have had a lot of support from the community, we are growing strong.” Their environmentally friendly products bring in a wide variety of customers. “We have a lot of regular customers, but we often have people that come in and say, ‘Wow, when did you open?’” explains Kapodistrias. “We serve mostly people from the area who appreciate handmade items and want to support the local people, and are excited about the revival of downtown,” adds Kapodistrias. Jolene Antle, founder and owner of Garden City Essentials, sells all natural, small batch soaps, skin care products, perfumes, essential oils and candles. Antle met Kapodistrias while working together at the Shaw Festival. “I met Sarah at the Artisan Collective Pop Up Shop I had organized with friends in the downtown, prior to Craft opening. They invited me to apply to become a vendor at Craft, which I did, and I have had my products there since the beginning,” explains Antle.

Antle enjoys attending traditional markets and events where she can have an opportunity to interact with her customers. “It’s a great way to introduce people to my products and educate them about what I’m doing. Spending a whole day out at the market is fun and I love engaging with my customers, but it’s also time that I could spend making and developing products and growing my business. As a small business, not having enough time is always an issue,” explains Antle. With this in mind, Antle is appreciative to have her products featured at Craft Arts Market. “When I’m out at traditional markets and other events, it’s so great to be able to tell people they can buy my products at Craft. It’s such a great shop and I’m really proud to be part of it!” adds Antle. Since becoming affiliated with Craft Arts Market, Antle has observed a steady increase in her sales. “Having my products at Craft has opened my business up to customers I might not have been able to reach otherwise,” says Antle. “It’s great to have a bricks and mortar store downtown where people can go buy my products any day of the week. The ladies have really great style and taste so everything is nicely curated. There’s a great community vibe in the shop. It’s an awesome place to spend some time and to be able to get a fantastic latte while you do, is a huge bonus,” concludes Antle. Since opening more than one year ago, Kapodistrias has had a feeling of nostalgia. “We accomplished something really amazing and unique to this area,” says Kapodistrias. “We want to promote the importance of community and shopping local. We like to support the small guys.” For more information on visit craftartsmarket.ca


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ie connoisseurs and food lovers rejoice! The Piskie Pie Company has arrived and begun to fill downtown St. Catharines’ bellies with hand-made, hand sealed, hand chopped, hand everything savoury pies. Bakers and owners Marlee and Gerry Dickison founded the Piskie Pie Company out of a desire to plant their roots on St Paul Street and work with the community while serving their family’s delicious, hearty meaty meat pies. “We are big fans of the pies and we hadn’t found too many places in the area to buy them,” said Marlee. “We don’t strive to, but actually use only real ingredients, prepared fresh and cooked fresh daily.” The restaurant will serve a number of authentic Cornish Pasties –a traditional baked pastry which is particularly associated with Cornwall, in the United Kingdom – that can be purchased to go or enjoyed in a cozy nook of their home style storefront. Pasties offered will include traditional savoury meat options like Steak and Ale along with modern fillings

including Chicken, Bacon and Leak, Canadian and Vegan. “Even though we are a savoury meat pie shop we want to appeal to everybody,” said Marlee. The menu will also feature authentic British dishes including take away roasts like Cornish Hens, Bangers and Mash and Rotisserie Beef that will be available on the weekends and require a minimum order time of 24-hours in advance of pick up. But what is the secret behind the mouth-watering pasties? That is a family secret and can only be found in the family recipe that was passed down to the Dickison’s from Gerry’s mom who is a native of Cornwall. “[Gerry] has been cooking for me for the past three years, I am so happy he can cook for everyone else now,” said Marlee. The Piskie Pie hopes to include local beers on tap to accompany their handmade pies; with a focus on crisp drafts and naturally carbonated beers similar to those found in the UK. “We are hoping to make a pint and a pasty a thing someday soon,” said Marlee. >>


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OLD WORLD ITALIAN FLAIR: N’ATA COSA By Gabrielle Tieman

A

uthentic homestyle recipes marry with chic modern dining at N’ata Cosa – the latest culinary destination to open within downtown St. Catharines. The family owned and operated N’ata Cosa offers a diverse old world Italian menu and cozy, welcoming atmosphere for a family friendly, casual-fine dining environment sure to satisfy every diner to be seated at their red checkered tables. As for satisfying the palate, N’ata Cosa’s scent of fresh espresso, dough and sweet goods envelopes your senses upon walking over the threshold; with enough warmth to ease any wandering soul down for a multi-course meal. N’ata Cosa is quickly growing their fame by offering a diverse menu of regional flare meets Italian cuisine made in house from the on premise Pizzaiolo Chef, Cristoforo and his team. From Napoli style pizza to house made pastas and sauces and hearty, fresh entrees – N’ata Cosa prides itself on using only the finest and freshest ingredients to ensure a very memorable dining experience. And though the lightly dusted calamari fritti and King Cole duck breast are enough to make any foodie swoon, the true gem of N’ata Cosa is the Napoli style wood pizza oven, complemented by the incredible array of flavour rich pizzas to choose from. Options include Salsicciota – a combination of tomato sauce,

mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms and basil; Napoletana – tomato sauce, mozzarella di bufala, oregano, garlic, anchovies and parsley; the classic Margherita and more. The N’ata Cosa team says only one taste of true Neapolitan pizza made with authentic ‘00’ flour is “enough to make one feel as though they were immediately transported into a piazza in Southern Italy.” Add to the menu fresh seafood and top quality meats, local Niagara VQA and imported wines and a fresh from scratch children’s menu and N’ata Cosa ensures a truly memorable dining experience. Prices range from $14-$15 dollars for a pizza, $16-$18 dollars for a pasta dish and average $25 dollars for a dinner menu main course. N’ata Cosa also offers fully customizable packages for events of any size including corporate and private events, product launches, showers and weddings. N’ata Cosa said it is due to the support of the community and their families and friends that have helped create instant success for the restaurant on the culinary heavy St. Paul Street. “We would like to thank our family, friends and customers for their continued support,” said co-owner Frank Calabrese. “We appreciate your business and we look forward to having you dine with us.” TM

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REV SI INSIDER


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ince 2001, Rev Publishing has been one of North America’s most progressive publishers of niche products. The publication to start it all is the Save-A-Buck coupon booklet. When company founder Daniel Pasco launched this direct mail piece, it was sent directly to homes in the Niagara Region. Save-A-Buck rapidly expanded into the rest of Southern Ontario and beyond. In 2005, Rev introduced their first in-room tourist magazine, Niagara Today and continues to expand yearly on its now extensive collection of in-room, tourism magazines that encompass the Niagara Region, Toronto, throughout the Muskoka area and in to the United States with it’s most recent additions: Casino Rama Resort, Today: Western New York and Soaring Eagle Living (view the full line up of publications at readtodaymag.com). In addition to the tourism publications, REV has strong ties to the Niagara Region and is a proud supporter of the local community. REV is committed to showcasing the area through the bi-monthly release of our popular Today Magazine local lifestyle editions. These are distributed throughout popular establishments and delivered direct-to-home via Canada Post in the Niagara Region. The market is constantly changing and evolving and REV continues to adapt with it. Our most recent launch into the digital world include the Save-A-Buck App (an evolution of the successful coupon booklet), AdFuel (a mobile location-based advertising platform) and Offercraft (a true game-changer for any business hoping to engage their clientele and encourage repeat and loyal business). Whether you are a long-time, successful business owner or a savvy new start-up, the following pages were designed to share REV’s inside tips, tricks and solutions to your ever-changing marketing needs across these multiple platforms. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 51

TOOL KIT The Rev Insider

A LOOK INTO REV PUBLISHING


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One thing we all understand without even needing to refer to stats is that smart phones are here to stay and are steadily on the rise. They have become part of our daily lives and many people can’t imagine themselves living without their phones. The attachment to phones has gotten so prevalent that it has even developed into a phobia: Nomophobia, the fear of being out of contact with a mobile phone. People are now using their devices not only for media and entertainment, but also for research and purchases. This constant contact with our miniature computer screens has opened the floodgates of possibility to advertisers and marketers around the world.

Despite the common knowledge that these devices have become mainstream, mobile advertising is still under utilized. If your marketing strategy doesn’t include mobile then you’re not putting yourself where your customers are. AdFuel gets you on the right track to embracing all that mobile marketing has to offer to your business and your customers. We caught up with Justin Soungie, IT Manager at Rev Publishing, to talk about AdFuel and hopefully answer all the questions you may have about this exciting new venture.

different areas of the webpage and other times a full screen ad will prevent us from continuing reading or using the website/app until we take action. Those are some of the few common areas that are utilized by display advertisement. Our mobile marketing platform gives businesses the ability to advertise their brand across our 45 ad network integrations, including Google AdExchange. This allows us to provide our clients access to over 16,000 location-aware websites and apps – that’s almost every major website, brand and app out in the consumer market.

What exactly is AdFuel and how does work? AdFuel’s advertising platform uses ad spaces you are likely very familiar seeing while using your mobile device - at the top or bottom of a webpage or app, some of them display in

How we do this is by utilizing a mobile device’s native GPS data to identify a consumer’s location at any given time. This allows us to make sure your brand is being delivered to the right locations. Now the next layer utilizes >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 53


Doesn’t Google AdWords do the same thing? AdWords relies on the consumer already showing interest, or intent. What I mean is that the end-user already has to go to Google and enter what they’re interested in finding, and this is where Google AdWords comes in to play. Where AdFuel differs is that we display your branding during the consumers most receptive times with the right advertising to create intent. Why we know this is effective is based on the location and behavioral data points we use to identify your target audience. This includes both already interested consumers looking for what you have to offer and people who will be interested in seeing what you have to offer. People are getting used to seeing ads everywhere. Won’t people just ignore the ads or get more annoyed? This is true; they’ve started to coin this passive consumer behavior as Ad Blindness. The golden rule to any advertising is that it is only as good as the messaging. As we know, not all ads are the same. YouTube video ads, radio ads, we’ve all had more then our fair share of bad ones that we skip over. Where we stride to rise above this issue is through utilizing our targeted consumer data. Making sure the right audience in the right places are being shown your ad at their most responsive times of the day. People are more likely to receive your ad when the ad relates to them and their interests. Our team works to craft every ad with your target audience in mind. They figure out what it is that will entice your targeted audience, and make your offer successful. What does AdFuel do differently then the competition? The AdFuel platform provides transparent access and analytics to every campaign. At any time you can log in, view your campaign live and see how it’s running and performing 24/7. Our hands-on approach to support gives constant attention to your ad campaign’s performance while your campaign is running to constantly adjust along the way to make sure the right messaging is getting to your audience. Effective ads can’t be treated with a “one-size fits all” approach. Your audience just may respond better to different messaging or offers. We keep adjusting your ads to make sure that you are getting the best results. With all of this access to data, what about user privacy? This is a very common question that comes up. Because we depend on display advertisement there isn’t a need for consumers to opt-in. We don’t

mobile device technology to identify it’s user’s interests, income, behaviors, and many other determining factors that your phone passively collects. This data empowers us to deliver your display ads and branding to the right person, at the right place, and at the right time.

IF YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY DOESN’T INCLUDE MOBILE THEN YOU’RE NOT PUTTING YOURSELF WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE. get access to any personal or identifying information through our ad call - but instead deploy ads based on context and behavior. We set layers such as location, income, age, etc., and if your phone meets those qualifiers then it will receive the advertisement. If Mobile Advertising is so big why isn’t everyone doing it? Mobile advertising has been constantly growing and becoming more popular for over the past five years. With that growth comes more reliance on mobile devices and the growth of this massive gap that is this new niche digital marketing. As much as we all want to think of ourselves as highly adaptable and great in any new situation, it’s human nature to stick with what we know works. We’ve made more advances as a society in the past 100 years then we have in the past 1000. We’ve gone from newspapers to websites, social media, and now mobile phones and tablets. These platforms can all work in tandem with each other, especially as part of a fully rounded marketing campaign. As consumer growth continues and people incorporate more and more technology into their lives, marketing opportunities will only continue to grow. TM


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THE KEY TO SHAREABLE CONTENT: EMPATHY, ENGAGEMENT & EASE. What makes some things go viral and some things fade into the Internet ether, never to be seen again? What is it that drives people to click that elusive share button? Why has pretty much everyone seen the video of the woman who is now known as “Chewbacca Mom”, but no one is sharing a video you made that you thought was equally hilarious? It’s all about harvesting a genuine reaction out of people. If somebody views a video and has an actual belly laugh about it, tears streaming from their eyes, chances are, the video is getting shared. If someone looks a picture, and it makes them think, “wow, I wish I was in that place”, they’ll probably like and share it. It’s all about creating content that generates genuine emotion, be is happiness, sadness, sympathy, or anger. So how does this apply to your business, and what can you do to ensure that your social media content is as shareable as possible? We’ve outlined some great ways to start.

MAKE IT RELATABLE All over the Internet, you’ll find scores and scores of click bait articles, ones you have to continuously click through to continue to access the content. These aren’t necessarily things

people want to share. You need to find some thread of human connection, and let your audience connect with the content on a deeper level. Whether it’s a story of human survival or something people can laugh along with, it needs to be relatable.

BE POSITIVE The biggest complaint people have about the news is that it is always negative. People are tired of negative, so enlighten their day with some positivity. The stories that get shared the most on the Internet are the happy ones. Whether it sparks creativity, is entertaining, or makes people feel better, those are the kind of things people want to share.

READ ALL ABOUT IT The headline is the first thing a person sees, and it’s the thing that will either make them continue reading, or decide to scroll on past. Just make sure, when you come up with a great headline that you have great content to go with it, or the reader will start to lose trust in you. It shouldn’t be about just getting clicks, your content needs to be useful and people need to feel happy that they clicked on it.

PRACTICALITY Touching on our last sentence…give the reader something of value. It needs to benefit them in some way (and they’ll share it if they think it will benefit their friends in some way). Nobody is going to share anything that ended up being a waste of his or her time. Don’t fall into the trap of putting up shoddy content just to get people to click on your content…this is a shortterm solution that will only end up costing you customers. Create value for people. They will appreciate that. Give them advice that is actually useful. Give actual instructions for things, and don’t leave room for misinterpretation.

MAKE IT EASY People don’t want to read something only to look up every other word. And they don’t want to read something that requires them to click 10 times to get to the end of the article. The best ways to improve readability of your online posts are to incorporate bullet points, keep paragraphs short, don’t be overly verbose, pepper your content with several images, screenshots, gifs, charts, infographics, leave space between paragraphs and divide content with subheadings. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 57


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Take control of your business page Customize your business listing from photos and an engaging description to website and social media linking to pump up your online traffic.

Priority listing Always be ahead of the pack. Get your business shown before the rest.

Convert visitors into customers When you claim your business you can offer deals and coupons to peak even more interest. People are always going to spend money, let’s get your offer in front of them and make their choice to spend even easier.

Bring in new customers Save-A-Buck isn’t just about saving users money, it’s about gaining exposure and expanding your client base.

Convert Save-A-Buck users into your customers. Offer free-to-redeem coupons to encourage purchases and foot traffic or even make sales on Save-A-Buck through our Today’s Deals to generate new revenue streams!

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 59


EXPAND YOUR CLIENT BASE

Save-A-Buck isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about saving users money, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about gaining exposure and expanding your client base. We advertise on multiple print, digital and social media platforms to reach them where they live, work and play.

FULL PAGE

ADVERTISING in over 30 targeted publications distributed throughout Canada & the United States.

SOCIAL MEDIA

PRINT & DIGITAL Key-card holders, 15 second in-room television ads & in-room tent cards in popular hotels located in Canada & the United States.

Highly active on Facebook and Twitter.

The average person looks at their phone 150 times a day or once every 6.5 minutes of every waking hour.

56%

of the North American population own a smart phone.

76%

77%

actively use their smart phone to research before making a decision.

of users opt into location sharing because it provides more meaningful content.

62%

of smart phone users consume mobile media.

94%

of North American smart phone users search for local information.

of the SaveA-Buck coupon booklets are distributed annually through: counter stands located in hotels/motels, bed & breakfasts, wineries, restaurants, travel information centres, attraction lobbies and in street boxes.

ONE MILLION

CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT MOBILE APP USERS ARE FOUR TIMES MORE ENGAGED THAN THOSE BROWSING THE WEB. (*ComScore Mobile Metrix, March 2012)


GET ON THEIR RADAR

There’s no arguing that today for any business to succeed they need to have a strong digital presence. The struggle for any business is in reaching a captive audience; traditionally this elusive goal is sought out with a big budget and many man hours. Wouldn’t it be great if magically, your business and the consumer could have their needs met both mutually and intuitively? Well, that time has come. The magic wand is here.

ENTER THE SAVE-A-BUCK APP. Recently a mobile app version of Rev Publishing’s widely popular Save-A-Buck coupon booklet was released. This free app, designed as a “city guide that saves you money along the way,” incorporating numerous features and is currently available in several cities throughout Niagara and presently expanding into other markets. This GPS based app includes an extensive category of listings that serves as a guide to everything there is to do in a city: restaurants, attractions, hotels, shops, bars, clubs and even special events. In keeping with the legacy of the Save-A-Buck booklet this app has corresponding coupons for each category. Business by Today Magazine met with Justin Soungie, the Development Manager of the Save-A-Buck app, to chat about the app and what goes into it’s creation and development.

• Can you talk about how you came up with the idea for the Save-A-Buck app? The idea to bring the Save-A-Buck coupon booklet into a digital form was initially brought to the table by our CEO, Dan Pasco. He wanted to bring the already successful and widely used coupon booklet in the digital and fast paced direction that the market is going in today. After discussing it a few times with our team, making it available not only digitally, but also in the convenient form of an app seemed like the most logical move with both iPhones

and Android devices being a staple in today’s society. To make the app even more useful to our consumer base we wanted to build the ability to use coupons around a travel guide. Be everything a visitor needs to find their way during their stay, while offering them exclusive coupon discounts.

• What kind of niche does it fill in Niagara? People tend to rely on prior planning of their arrival to determine what they do and where they go, usually via digital search engines and forums, or their hotel staff. But there is so much more that is available, that may not be easy to find, but is very worthwhile to the tourist. We strive to fill that gap, be the city guide that puts the entire Niagara Region in the hands of our visitors.

• How does the SAB app work? The app first has you determine the city you would like to discover. Then it breaks the city into categories that allow you to choose what you are looking for based on the category that interests you. After finding your desired category you can view it by what is closest to your current location or see everything the category has to offer. You can also select the coupon feature, and your desired categories will now only show businesses that are offering coupons and discounts. Each profile lists the hours, phone number, address, website, short description, and even

will give your directions to the business. If you don’t want to go immediately you can save the business or event in your favorites for later.

• What kind of work goes into the process of creating an app like this? Can you describe what the process is like? It’s all about planning and having the right team. Before even getting to the first line of code many long months of planning are put in. It’s not about having a good idea, it’s about how the public will view and interact with it. But it all grows from the one question, what do we want our app to do for people? We want to be the guide that every visitor can use, because before they got here they weren’t able to plan every detail of their stay. Where is somewhere great in this area to eat or where else can we take the family that wasn’t found right away when planning online? That’s the point of visiting somewhere new, you don’t know much about it. And I want Save-A-Buck to fill that gap to bring the visitor everywhere and to have access to everything. After seeing what you want the app to do for the user, then the features just come naturally. Having access to directions in an easy place helps save time, hours are something that can make or break that drive you made with the family, or can be handy when trying to find somewhere close to your current location to buy yourself a new backpack because yours ripped while hiking.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 61


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SUCCEED IN

BUSINESS

Q&A WITH FLAVIO IAMMARINO, PH.D, SW, C.CHT

M

aking a career change is something that most of us will do more than once in our lifetime. Whether it is a decision to start your own business or change careers there are questions that consistently come up. A portion of my practice includes mental coaching and personal and business development and I have assisted hundreds of individuals and teams with strategies for success. In this issue I would like to share some of the questions and answers from a recent seminar and encourage readers to email their own questions to be answered in a future issue. What are some of the qualities a person needs to have in order to be successful in business? The most important thing is to “believe” in one’s self. Important qualities include being self-motivated, confident, self-reliant, driven, patient, and optimistic. You must be passionate about the business you want to start or be involved in. You really need to be a good communicator, hold integrity high on your scale, and be a person who can stay focused on your goals no matter what curve balls may come your way. Any doubt about one’s self or the business will only bring failure—you must believe in your business for it to thrive! If you love what you do it will show and others will want to be around you and support your business. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 63


DON’T AIM FOR SUCCESS IF YOU WANT IT; JUST DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND BELIEVE IN, AND IT WILL COME NATURALLY. – DAVID FROST

Is owning your own business plagued with sacrifice? Many individuals that have been successful in business have similar stories and state that there was some sacrifice in the onset of their business. Whether it was a monetary sacrifice in the beginning, or a sacrifice of time, there was something that had to give while the business was built. You may not be able to spend as much time with family and friends or you may miss a pay cheque or ten in the early years… but if you stay focused and on path, owning your own business can eventually deliver freedom and afford you more time (and money) as your company matures. Again it is important to state that if you love what you do, all the hard work and provisions that have to be made in the beginning will not feel like ‘sacrifices’. What is the secret element of starting a business off on the right foot? One very important element that will make the process of starting your own business easier or harder is your approach. If someone is focused on the positive possibility they will not only succeed but they will enjoy the process. Starting your own business, although a lot of work, should be fun! It is an exciting time and so much positive energy and creativity flows in the beginning… you should embrace it, have fun with it and watch the positive return of your efforts. The Law of Attraction states that we get back whatever we put out, so if you want your business to thrive you need to put your heart and soul into it and have fun doing it. If you follow this approach in the beginning you will most certainly see a positive result in return. Why are some people so stressed when starting a business? The ones that believe that starting their own business will be a burden of hard work will be stressed to the max! If the focus and thinking is on what could go wrong, rather than all the things that could go right— guess what the universe will deliver? A domino effect of challenges and stressful situations. What lessons have you learned in business? In my experience in business I have learned many lessons. My first lesson was that for a business to be successful it needs your focus and attention. If your mind wanders, or you don’t feel like working, you will likely have no clients that week. If you are stressing about having no money one week, you will probably lose two more clients to add to your stress. It’s just how things work! Whatever you project comes back— don’t forget this! If it is negative and stress ridden… situations will be created around you to keep you in that state! What is the morale of the successful business story? In my profession I am the business, so I always have to be there to make money, and always have to be on my game. Other businesses may allow you to hire resources to help you but whether you are a one man/ woman show, or have a team working with you, a business needs your full attention, passion and effort. The morale of the successful business story is to love what you do and you will succeed! If you have questions about this article or are interested in learning how Flavio can help you bring your business to the next level contact him today at 905-684-1717 or by email at flavio@askflavio.com. TM


REASON NO. 8

BRAND RELEVANT IMAGERY MAGAZINE EDITORIAL IMBUES ADS WITH BRAND RELEVANT IMAGERY, ASSOCIATIONS AND A FRAME OF REFERENCE THAT DELIVERS GREATER READER RECEPTIVITY TO BRAND ADS. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK TO DISCOVER MORE BENEFITS OF MAGAZINE ADVERTISING CONTACT YOUR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE TODAY AT 1-877-888-2825 OR INFO@REVPUBLISHING.COM


INFOGRAPHIC DESIGNED BY: JENN BLAIS

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: THE BEST TIMES TO TWEET, POST & PIN

THE LESS PEOPLE WANT TO BE AT WORK, THE MORE THEY ARE ON FACEBOOK! -BUDDY MEDIA

1PM

TO GET THE MOST SHARES

3PM

Fortune 500 Companies,

SEE THEIR PHOTO POSTS SPIKING BETWEEN

TO GET THE MOST CLICKS BROADER SUGGESTION OF ANYTIME BETWEEN

9AM-7PM

THE TOOL FANPAGE KARMA TO FIND THE TIP: USE OPTIMAL TIME TAILORED TO YOUR AUDIENCE.

3PM-4PM

Followers that interacted with videos posted by Fortune 500 Companies: 22.5/1000 DURING WORK HOURS 33.4/1000 DURING OFF-HOURS

ACCORDING TO DAN ZARRELLA, TWITTER ENGAGEMENT FOR BRANDS IS 17% HIGHER ON WEEKENDS

3PM

12PM

PEAK TIME FOR FASHION & RETAIL

HIGEST CTR*

8PM-11PM

5PM

ARE THE BEST TIMES TO PIN

HIGHEST RETWEETS

According to SEJ,

6PM

ACTIVITY PEAKS AT APPROXIMATELY

HIGHEST CTR*

9PM

THE TOOL FOLLOWERWONK TO FIND THE TIP: USE OPTIMAL TIME TAILORED TO YOUR AUDIENCE.

ACCORDING TO BUFFER, LATE MORNINGS DURING THE WEEKDAYS ARE BEST TO SHARE ON GOOGLE+ BEST TIMES TO POST ARE

9AM -11AM According to Fannit:

POSTS ON

THE BEST TIMES TO POST ARE:

WEDS. AT 9AM

DO THE BEST IN TERMS OF SOCIAL APPLAUSE AND ENGAGEMENT

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

AddThis stated that:

YOU GET THE MOST CLICKS & SHARES ON

TUESDAYS, 10AM-11AM

THE TOOL TIMING TO FIND THE TIP: USE OPTIMAL TIME TAILORED TO YOUR AUDIENCE.

THE BEST DAYS TO TWEET, POST & PIN

7AM-8AM 5PM-6PM

MON-FRI: B2B* WED, SAT & SUN: B2C*

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

*B2B = BUSINESS TO BUSINESS *B2C= BUSINESS TO CONSUMER *CTR= CLICK THROUGH RATE SOURCE: QUICKSPROUT


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Profile for TodayMagazine

Business - Volume 2 Issue 9  

Business - Volume 2 Issue 9