Rotary is 115 today!! #serviceaboveself

Rotary is 115 today!! #serviceaboveself

Rotary is celebrating a birthday. This organization founded by Paul Harris on February 23, 1905, is 115 today!! With a core mission of #serviceaboveself, these business leaders in Chicago set out to build a better community. Using their influence and power they used service, the act of reaching out and helping others, and a way to bring business leaders together for the greater good.

Rotary is #serviceaboveself

Locally we have a variety of Rotary Clubs doing good in our community while Rotary international works on their core mission of eradicating Polio worldwide. The 7 pillars of Rotary include Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development, and sustainability. Rotary is open to everyone to join. Most clubs have weekly meetings including a meal to build community within the club members and have a speaker usually telling us about local organizations or activities. These weekly meetings bring us together and allow us to better know each other and our community.

Rotary Soapbox Car

Rotary Club of Rockingham County, the club I belong to, has a variety of service projects throughout the year. Much of our work focuses on youth in our community including our founding and continued support of the Harrisonburg Soapbox Derby. We have also done grants to support PurMadi, Harrisonburg Rockingham Big Brothers Big Sisters, cleaned up Route 42 just outside of Harrisonburg, supported First Step and Generations Crossing, and so much more.

Rockingham County Rotary Club

I encourage you to look at the local Rotary Clubs in your area, each has a different vibe, and find the right fit to magnify your service in your community. Want to visit our breakfast club next Tuesday at 7 a.m.? Just reach out to me and I am happy to have you as my guest.


Happy Birthday Rotary! Thanks to all Rotarians for putting #serviceaboveself.

Rotary end polio

Rotary is #serviceaboveself

You are not invited to attend this fundraiser!

You are invited NOT to attend! We need your help to support two local non-profit organizations in our community.

The Rotary Club of Rockingham County is pleased to invite you not to attend another virtual fundraising event. Rather, we hope you will purchase a $100 ticket for a chance to win $1,500. Each ticket purchased includes local delivery of 2 pounds of pork barbecue, which purchasers will have the option to donate to a local charity or enjoy themselves. The donation option can be selected at check out. The first 100 purchasers will receive their pork April 8 – 9 and the second 100 in May.

The raffle drawing will occur in May (exact drawing date TBD). This raffle will benefit First Step: A Response to Domestic Violence and Generations Crossing. So stay home, kick back, read a book, or take a nap, just don’t plan on attending yet another virtual event.

Purchase your ticket, enjoy the bbq, and maybe you will be the lucky winner of $1,500.Visit for more information and to purchase your tickets!

Pints for Polio – Sweet Treat for a good cause

Join us for a SWEET Pints for Polio event at the Harmony Square Dairy Queen located at 1755 Virginia Ave. Harrisonburg, Va. This event is a fun way to treat your family and support Rotary in their fight to eradicate Polio worldwide. Just show up and buy dinner and a medium (PINT) blizzard for everyone in your entire family and bring your friends too!


Harmony Square Dairy Queen has generously offered to make a donation based on % of sales between 5pm and 8pm on October 22. Lets fill their restaurant and enjoy doing good in the world together.


Polio is a crippling and potentially infectious disease. It is caused by the poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis.

Harmony Square Dairy Queen is located at 1755 Virginia Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

History of Rotary

Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business professionals in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is non-political and non-sectarian organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference.

Marketing a locally owned business

I understand that marketing a locally owned business is critical for the survival of that business. However, I find it is difficult to find the right places to invest our marketing dollars for the best return on investment. Most of the ways you can market affordably are hard to measure success – outside of “is your business growing.” I know it is critical that we continue marketing and finding ways to reach a broader audience when we are busy and when we are not. Our strategy of being active in the community, supporting local efforts that build community, and investing in other local organizations is working well from a standpoint of “is your business growing.” However, I still wonder if we are growing fast enough, investing in the right strategies, and using our limited marketing dollars to the best of our ability.

So in an effort to learn what you think works best – give me your feedback in the comment section below. What do we do that has worked to grab your attention? What should we be doing? What can we do better?

Rotary Ad

You may not have noticed all of our marketing and I will not list all of it here – but here are some places that I am wondering about this morning.

Facebook – We do a lot on FB to build trust, show our work, and promote other local businesses. However, our number of likes, views, and follows is small compared to other local events and businesses. I have asked for our supporters to share our page to build likes, paid for ad space, and done contests. It all seems to get lost in the noise. What do you think? Do you follow our page? Do you think we provide quality content?

Twitter – We have a solid number of followers on Twitter, but not a lot of retweets. This platform announced yesterday that it is growing again after making changes to the spam members. Are you following us? What do you think about using this as a marketing platform?

Blog – Of course you are reading the blog so I know I have your attention – but is the content what you want? What should I be posting? How often do you click to read more?

dnr business journal

Community Organization Support – We pick a few organizations each year to support. This year we are supporting the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign, On the Road Collaborative, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Montessori School of Charlottesville, Eastern Mennonite School, Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Day Care Center, Massanutten Technical Center, Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center, Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley, Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, Shenandoah Valley Scholar’s Latino Initiative, Red Wing Academy, Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center, Shenandoah Women’s Alliance, Rotary Club of Rockingham County, Harrisonburg Soap Box Derby and some others. We see this as marketing for a couple of reasons. One these organizations are helping grow a more diverse and inclusive community for us to live and work. We want to see these organizations survive and thrive for the health of our communities. We also see these organizations as a way to reach out to grow our reputation. We want to be known for supporting local community efforts that are working to build the best community possible. Is this the right strategy? What organizations we should work with that we have not reached yet?

virginia living

First Friday Art Openings – this monthly event at our office invites our friends into our space to see local art work and enjoy some food and drink. This is a chance for people to get to know us and see our office. We have examples of our work hanging in the space and we did the design work to renovate our historic building. This takes a lot of time, coordination, and investment to do each month. Is it the right place to invest those efforts? Do you attend?

First Fridays

We also advertise in / on the WMRA, WNRN, Daily News Record, Cville Weekly, and Virginia Living Magazine. Do you see or hear these ads? Do you like the ad? Is it effective to build trust with our company? Which platform reaches you? What platform should we be using that we don’t yet?

Cville Weekly Ad

I know there are other options and we do marketing in some other formats. My primary goal with our marketing is to use our investment to the best of our ability to continue to foster this business forward while supporting local community. If you have suggestions or thoughts, please share in the comments below. While I want to invest in local community organizations and publications to follow our mission to build community, I also need to grow our reach. That means I need to see more followers on social media sites. I need more clicks on our blog each year. I need the phone to continue to ring. I need our First Friday crowd to grow. This all justifies and for me tells me the marketing is working. It also allows me to continue to build on past success when requesting the next budget the next year. So even if you don’t have input, please like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, and click links and more links on our website. Even better, get your friends to do the same. Thank you for reading and for your support of our business. At the end of the day, we are only successful if we have made a positive difference in our community. Working with you has allowed us to do that on so many past projects. We hope to continue to do it for many years to come.




Blogging and Social Media for the Construction Industry

Blogging and Social Media use for the Construction Industry is an interesting topic for me that continues to evolve in how I see it. Social Media in our industry is brand new to some even today, a waste of time to others, and old hat to many. I used to do presentations on how to do social media in our industry years ago to help builders create an online brand. I was thinking about how I use Social Media this week a few different ways. What is Social Media etiquette? What blogs do I need to write? How personal should I be on my blog that has been in existence for 10 years – can I change direction on content? Am I adding to the noise in life or adding value with my blog and monthly newsletter?

facebook logo

Earlier this week at our Rotary meeting someone mentioned in passing that they followed me on Twitter. They were required to start an account for their job and don’t really use it, but followed me since they know me. He also mentioned that he was impressed that I have so many followers. It was an interesting comment since I don’t have many followers on Twitter compared to many that I follow. When I started my Twitter account ten years ago it was a lonely place – not many locals had heard of it or were using it. I basically used it to read the morning news subscribing to specific sources for the stories I wanted to hear. It was a way to filter information for me. Deb Van Horn and I used to have Tweet-Ups locally where we would invite the dozen or so local people we knew on the platform to lunch through the platform. It was a fun way to get to know people that we had only met virtually in some cases. Ten years ago Twitter was for me a calm place with the ability to create groups and build relationships. Now it seems there is simply too much information there to ever feel caught up leaving me not to use it as often or as much. Twitter’s growth locally reduced the usefulness for me somehow.


Facebook for me started as a way to connect to friends from the past. I eventually started a business page and now manage a couple of non-profit pages as well. The platform continues to change the way information is shown reducing the free views for businesses. It is a struggle for me to keep the pages all fresh with interesting content knowing that FB is throttling the views because I am not paying to “boost” them. However, it seems you must have a Facebook account as much as you need to have a website to be in business.

The amount of information that is available through blogs and social media can be or IS overwhelming. How you use those pages to benefit your business continues to evolve. For me there are questions that need to be asked on a regular basis to understand your audience and stay relevant. Where do you look for trusted and manageable amounts of information in the Construction Industry? How can you digest and share the right amount of information to stay relevant? How much should you share from your experience?


I have been doing online marketing for 10 years now. I have worked hard to stay authentic, build trust, and to stay relevant. My blog posts range from projects to building science to personal life stories. I have built a brand that people recognize in our community. I have readers and supporters of my work across the country. It is gratifying to see the work pay off. However, I continue to wonder how to improve. What should I write about next? How can I get better? Is there a better way of doing this online work? Am I being a good citizen online, in the construction industry?

What do you think?

Get your tickets for the Rock Rotary party supporting local non-profits!

It is that time of year again, The Rock Rotary annual Car Raffle Party! Get your tickets for the Rock Rotary party supporting local non-profits today! This annual event is hosted at JMU’s Bridgeforth Stadium Club Level on February 23, 2019 from 7:00 pm – until. The event benefits several local non-profits that do great work in our community including First Step, Generations Crossing, and The Rotary Foundation. Your donation of $150 provides one pass to get into the party and one chance to win a 2018 Ford Fiesta Hatchback while helping your community. This must attend party includes an vast spread of food and drink along with some of the best networking in the valley. Join us this year for a special scale Soap Box car race event. Just send me an email or call for your ticket. I would love to see you there.

Rock Rotary

First Step: A Response to Domestic Violence believes that all people have the right to live without violence or the fear of violence. This organization is dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic violence through support and education. First Step says abuse is not always physical. Threats of violence, destruction of property and / or pets, name calling, humiliating you in front of family and friends, putting you down – all of these things are abuse. Abuse is not caused by alcohol. It is not caused by stress. Abuse happens when one person seeks to hold power over another. First Step supports people who are living with violence or the threat of violence in their lives.

First Step

Generations Crossing‘s mission is to provide high quality, innovative adult and child care for our ethnically and economically diverse community. Unique to this program is an opportunity for adults and children to develop meaningful relationships with all ages within their loving, inter-generational setting.

The Rotary Foundation transforms gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. This foundation enables our club to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. This fund supports our local club’s grant program that has in recent years supported a grant for On the Road Collaborative, Big Brother Big Sister, and Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation.

rotary foundation

So get your ticket as soon as possible before they are sold out. This event allows you to help three non-profits, attend a great party, and gives you a chance to win a new car!