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Fido, Felines, Fitness, Family and Friendships

Those who know me know I love my dogs. Spud, our precocious miniature dachshund, has been featured in many of my videos. I’ve never been a cat person, but my animal-loving son talked me into getting a cat to deal with a rodent problem we have. It turns out the cat, who we named Spartacus the Mighty Rat Killer, not only has done his job…he’s pretty cool too. Geez...I'm one of those "cat people" now!

Through social media, I’ve gotten to know some other industry pets. Somehow I feel I know Walter Kurt’s cat, Mr. Boozie, although I’ve never asked how they named him. Promo Pup from Motivators looks like a pretty fun dog. My wordsmith, Glenda Stormes-Bice is very active rescuing/re-homing pets and shares her home with three rescued French bulldogs and two cats. Those who love animals are my kind of people.

Some of you may have participated in or perhaps heard about our first SuccessFit4Life! FUN Run/Walk at the 2015 PPAI Expo. This program raised money for the Promotional Products Education Foundation while pushing forward the benefits of fitness as it relates to success.

As part of the ongoing SuccessFit program, we created the FreePromoTips SuccessFit Facebook Group where everyone is invited to post what they do to have fun and stay fit. Please join us and share what you do away from the office! It’s a community for people interested in the active lifestyle.

The FPT SuccessFit4Life! FUN Run/Walk started with a PPAI Board Member Challenge, where competitors; Brandon Mackay, Dale Denham, Tom Goos, and Charles Duggan, talked smack and had some fun with it. We kicked off Expo Week with a fun, energizing morning. This set the stage for making SuccessFit something that can be done annually at the Expo and around the country at Regional Events.

I credit Megan Erber from Brynn Speaks Promo with the brilliant idea to do a 5K Fun Run/Walk at the Expo. It seemed like (and was) a perfect fit for the program. With my plate full, and having no clue how to coordinate an event like that, I told her to have at it.

We worked through some of the details for the event and Megan was prepared to handle it all. Unfortunately, days before the Expo, it was discovered that her beloved dog Bella, would need surgery during the week of Expo. Megan needed to cancel her trip to Las Vegas.

Many were concerned about Bella’s tumor and surgery. With plans already started, Megan reached out to a few people for help and immediately Charity Gibson from Green Banana Promotions, Roni Wright from The Book Company, Michele Jennrich from Howard Miller Clock Company, and several others stepped up to help.

The event was great, but more importantly, it showed that friendships are what really make our industry special. When Megan had something come up in her personal life, people immediately stepped up to help. And those who knew what was happening, truly cared about Bella…who, by the way, is doing great now.

In another example of industry heroism, Robby Cordes with Showdown Displays shared this heart rendering story. Robbie took the red-eye out of Phoenix at 11:45 PM one night after attending business meetings. Unfortunately, TSA pre-check, used by frequent travelers was down. He had to go through the regular screening process most of us are familiar with. Your shoes and jacket come off and your laptop goes in a plastic bin. Robby hadn't done this in years. It was it late at night, he was out of his airport routine, and he was the random one that got picked for more screening. Bad luck!

The agent grabs all his stuff...goes over to his little table and swabs it for explosives including his hands, says he’s good to go. As this travel nightmare continues, it turns out that his laptop was left in one those nice plastic tubs. Robby gets off the plane in Cincinnati totally wiped out, arrives at home...throws his suitcase down, gets ready to set up his laptop, then realizes it’s gone. That’s not good!

Robby thinks…who do I know in Phoenix that can help? The first person that comes to mind is Kim Weaver from Geiger. He messages her on Facebook and explains the situation asking for her help. Without hesitation, she said, "Of course, what can I do"? And she did it. Kim took some of her Friday afternoon, drove to the Phoenix International Airport, went to the TSA Lost and Found department in terminal four located on the 2nd floor, identified herself and retrieved Robby’s laptop. She boxed it up with extra padding, drove to FedEx, and shipped it out overnight for his next stop in California.

Robby notes that this is what our Industry is all about: "Partners whom we very seldom get the chance to see face-to-face because we are all across the country, are willing to take time out of their busy day to do something like this for a fellow Industry Partner.” Obviously, Robby greatly appreciated what Kim did. Our industry relationships are special!

Through the years, my colleagues have been through personal triumphs and tragedies. Births, deaths, sickness, and the growth of families.

Social media enables us to follow life’s journeys. And we support our friends during these journey’s…wherever they take us. The times we get to get together in person at the Expo and Regional Events are special.

To sum it up, I think what really matters in life and business is dogs, cats, staying healthy, family, and friendships.

© 2015 Jeff Solomon, MAS


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