July 16 2009
What makes a professional a professional Last week I attended a convention sponsored by Money Concepts, the financial planning company that I am associated with. The convention was held in Asheville, North Carolina, which is a sightseer’s paradise. Of course, I have to attend educational classes, but there was time set aside to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Asheville area. This included visiting the famous Biltmore Mansion and the Asheville Brewing Company, one of the micro-breweries in the area. Deb and I also took a side trip across the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee, N.C. In case you haven’t been across the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s one of the curviest roads I have ever seen. On one side of the road is the straight-up side of a mountain and on the other side of the road is a straight-down drop-off. There are innumerable scenic pull-off spots to gaze at the mountains and take some wonderful pictures. While in Cherokee, we visited a reconstructed Cherokee Indian village. Cherokees were the original inhabitants of the North Carolina area but they were forcefully transplanted in the 1830s from North Carolina to Missouri and places west. Some of the descendants have since moved back to the Cherokee area and purchased the land, now known as the Cherokee Indian Reservation, back from the federal government-good for them. For what the federal government did to their ancestors, I hope they got it cheap. From Cherokee, we crossed over the Great Smoky Mountains, stopping at the spot where the Appalachian Trail crosses over the highway. I have heard of people hiking the Appalachian Trail, of course, but I wasn’t really sure of what the Appalachian Trail would look like. We have the White Pine Trail here in town so I presumed it would probably be something similar to that-wrong. It’s a lot narrower than the White Pine Trail, it’s a lot rockier than the White Pine Trail, it’s a lot muddier than the White Pine Trail, it’s a lot longer than the White Pine Trail, it’s a lot steeper than the White Pine Trail, and it’s not paved either. It looked like a lot of work to hike the Appalachian Trail. All in all, it was a good week. Denis […]
If you still have a job Going to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) luncheons might not make your job easier, but last month’s speaker taught listeners how to deal with their job-related stress. Terri Eudy of Grand Valley Health said not all stress is bad stress. She said too little stress at work leads to boredom and other undesirable results. Good stress can include a challenging job, the excitement of an upcoming wedding, or winning the lottery. Bad stress can lead to divorce, death or job loss. Eudy said Americans are working longer hours than they have in the past three decades and are more at risk for psychological, physical and behavioral problems. A struggling economy adds more stress to many jobs, and people more than ever need to learn to manage their stress. Employers don’t realize enough how detrimental stress is to productivity and their employees’ lives. Unmanaged stress can lead to workplace accidents, diabetes, heart disease, jaw pain, loss of sex drive, and a host of other illnesses. The first step in stress management is identifying the source of stress, followed by inventorying priorities. According to Eudy, three steps to managing job stress are taking responsibility for improving stress levels, learning to identify what is causing stress, and to learn effective communication skills to improve job relationships. The most important step in reducing stress is to keep your body as physically fit as possible, Eudy said. She stated that aerobic activity is proven to reduce stress, and also recommended relaxation and strengthening activities such as yoga. Preferably, physical activity should take place before stress occurs, so morning exercise can reduce stress before it begins. Choosing healthy foods is also a key to fighting stress, and includes eating small, frequent meals, lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of liquids (but not alcohol). Getting enough sleep is also important. Identifying priorities can improve time and task management. Trying to do too much too fast can result in less productivity than setting a realistic pace for production. Stress can also result from simple bad habits. Identifying these-the need for perfection, the tendency to be late, and other self-defeating behavior-is the first step to eliminating them. “Stop that stinkin’ thinkin’,” Eudy said. People who emotionally […]
Airman Keaton Manshaem graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where his flight earned the coveted “Warrior Flight.” He completed an intensive eight-week program that included training in military discipline, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills. Airman Manshaem is currently attending tech school and will be graduating this summer. He is the son of very proud parents, Rick and Nancy Manshaem of Rockford, and is a 2006 graduate of Rockford High School.
Lisa Shaffer, director of Lean on Me outreach center, appreciates all the donations that keep the center helping residents through tough financial times. Recently, patrons of the Sand Bar in Sand Lake held a chili cook-off and raised some funds. A promise of matching the funds was made by a northern Kent County store, and nearly $1,000 of merchandise was purchased for donation to the center. Household goods, food and items such as toilet paper were all received in a shipment of hundreds of boxes, every bit of which will go, free of charge, to families in need. “We are here to just love on them,” said Shaffer of the center’s clients. “We don’t worry about what they are receiving from other organizations. We are just here to help anyone who asks.” The outreach center has the vision to take what society considers outdated, expired or damaged and offer it for free to those who want and need the items. The center relies on donations from businesses, individuals and organizations to provide food and items. On the day of the Sand Bar donation, 135 people had been through the doors. Weekly, the center helps 1,600 people. Shaffer cites items such as toilet paper as an item that is always needed and rarely donated. “You don’t think about something like that that we all need, every day,” she commented. Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Food box distribution hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday. Donation hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday. The center is located at 11555 Edgerton Road, Rockford. To find out more about Lean on Me, call (616) 866-3999 or visit online at leanonmeoutreach.org.