Reader Editorial: Where’s the Leadership Around Planned January 2019 Closure of SR 99 in Seattle?

January 2019 Closure of SR 99 in Seattle brings nightmares


Dear Editor:
Hello. You may or may not have seen the friendly reminder emails that state of Washington plans to CLOSE DOWN a major north-south interstate hiway 99 in the middle of Seattle for (a minimum) of 3 weeks in January 2019 (the middle of the winter) while they tear down the viaduct and open the new toll tunnel. What is truly astonishing is that there is absolutely NO help from any government agency to help emergency providers, citizens, business and transporters that drive through this state, the Puget Sound region and the City of Seattle except periodic friendly reminders and a sad list of homey tips- if you happen to subscribe to email from WSDOT-Seattle Area Traffic News.. 
Where the hell is leadership and resources to get this state’s residents through 3+ week closure Hiway 99 viadict? INTERSTATE HIWAY 99 carries 100,000 cars a day. IT’S beyoe APPALLING. NO PLANS NOR no BUDGET FOR ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATIOM MEASURES HAVE EVEN BEEN DISCUSSED.

This is it folks: . See below for the list of friendly suggestions for geting through this traffic nightmare. And they promise ONLY 3 weeks? Really. Hmmm.
Where are the EXTRA BUSES that should have been brought into the region, staffed and ready to go along with the extra service and additional routes before this closure is put in place? NOTHING has been done. EXTRA TRAINS? NOPE. What’ coordination has been done with major employers to handle commuting traffic? Has the state/region/city reached out to small and medium business? How will this KILL business even further. How about small service providers. How do working mom’s get to daycare before they close? (Editor’s Note: although mom’s definitely have the toughest job in the world, ALL parents’s and citizen’s needs should be met).  What’s the EMERGENCY PLAN? What if we have THE earthquake?

Continue reading “Reader Editorial: Where’s the Leadership Around Planned January 2019 Closure of SR 99 in Seattle?”

7 Tips to Develop Your Leadership Skills

Dr. Alok Trivedi Offers Ideas to Enhance Leadership Skills

By Dr. Alok Trivedi
Whether you’re trying to climb the proverbial career ladder or digging your feet in as an entrepreneur with big visions, solid leadership skills are a must. The tactics of great leaders can be overwhelming for many to embody, but with hard work and determination, it is more than possible. The jump from employee to employer is a big one, but a strong foundation of leadership skills can further the success of you and your company. The following seven tips are to help you develop your leadership skills when moving up in the business world:

  1. Seek perfect alignment.

As a leader, possess an authenticity that encourages others you are worthy of following. Align yourself with your business beliefs. Your employees will see your enthusiasm and buy in to what you want from the company. Do not lead based on expectations from others. This can be risky because you will always be receiving feedback from outside opinions. Take in constructive criticism, but follow your gut. A great leader does what is best for the whole of the team. Alignment of goals and desires enables a great leader to stay steady on the path to success.

  1. 2. Don’t make fear-based decisions.

Understand why you want to make certain decisions. Find the root of your desire and become aware of a path to achieve it. If you have good reasons for making a decision there should be no fear. Fear stems from confusion or misunderstanding of your true purpose. Many leaders make fear-based decisions out of haste and a failure to plan ahead appropriately. Don’t fear failure as it is a means to learning lessons along your journey. Consider and explore all options before selecting the best decision for your team and business.

  1. 3. Align values with the company’s goals.

The best business leaders are those who live the words of their professional vision. You must set a standard that is reflected in your leadership behavior. Hire individuals that are a reflection of the company’s values. Create a company culture around the foundational ideas and mission of the business. The mission needs to be rooted in the values of the company. If leaders believe and reflect an authentic message, the employees and customers will too.

  1. 4. Expect and embrace failure.

Life’s challenges are unavoidable and leaders are always ready to face them head-on. Regardless of the outcome, a great leader knows failure will occur, but they don’t view failure as a loss. As someone seeking a stronger leadership role, you need to welcome failure as an opportunity for growth. Overcoming life’s obstacles allows you to blossom both personally and professionally. Continue to seek opportunities for new situations because these bring you lessons to learn.

  1. Focus on the vision more than in the doing.

Root your business in efficient and concise plans. The vision and mission behind the plans carry the message for the product. Set goals both big and small to achieve your necessary outcomes. Action should be taken only after careful consideration and a well thought out planning stage. Find your inspiration in the early phases and coalesce it with your vision. This helps your employees understand the inspiration at the root of the company’s mission. 

  1. Balance both logic and emotion. 

Seed inspiration through emotions. Conversely, utilize a more logical method of thought for operations in the company. A great leader knows when to use emotion versus when to use logic. These two work as a yin and yang of one another. A balance of both is needed for success. Develop an emotional intelligence to distinguish various situations from one another. A strong balance of emotional and logical paradigms creates a savvy business mind and leader.

  1. Don’t motivate, inspire.

Motivation creates a pressure on an individual because it leads employees to think they need to perform. In a complementary fashion, inspiration activates employees to improve their performance. No-one can make an employee work harder except themselves. It is your responsibility to bring in the inspiration for them to feed off. Stimulate their minds by creating a sincere and resonate connection to your employees as people rather than workers.
You are stepping up into a bigger role in business, and leadership is no easy task. Create a concrete vision and articulate it with sincerity. Get into alignment with yourself and merge the values of yourself, the business and your employees for ultimate success.
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a psychological performance expert, author of the book Chasing Success, and the founder of The Aligned Performance Institute.

Talking Rain 's New CEO and Sparkling Ice Sales

Talking Rain Beverage Company, the makers of zero sugar Sparkling Ice®, formally announces on September 6, 2018, the appointment of Chris Hall to CEO following a record sales period for the company. With this transition, Talking Rain is also pleased to announce Sarah Gustat as Vice President of Marketing, and Ken Sylvia as Vice President of Sales.
Chris Hall, CEO
Having most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer, Chris Hall is a trusted voice at Talking Rain, and was identified by ownership as the individual that would continue to enthusiastically drive the company forward. Through his decade long tenure at Talking Rain Beverage Company, Hall has risen through the ranks by using his sharp analytical skills, approachability, clear vision and passion for collaboration. Previously, Hall served as the Vice President of Sales for the Midwest and Northeast, where he helped achieve the company’s goal of 100% DSD coverage and distribution. His exemplary leadership skills, stemming from his years as a Submariner in the United States Navy, match his ability to eagerly take on any task.
“I’m incredibly honored by this appointment,” Hall stated. “Having had the opportunity to work with various teams throughout my roles with the company, I’m inspired not only by the confidence that has been placed in me, but also by the creativity and passion of the entire Talking Rain team, who I have come to know well over the past 10 years. I look forward to our continued collaboration as we grow the Talking Rain Beverage Co. family of products.”
Sarah Gustat, Vice President of Marketing
The company is also pleased to announce that former Director of Marketing, Sarah Gustat, has been appointed as Vice President of Marketing at Talking Rain Beverage Company. Gustat brings over a decade of beverage industry experience, having worked to lead marketing operations at Neuro Drinks and First Aid Shot Therapy, in addition to Talking Rain.
Ken Sylvia, Vice President of Sales
Ken Sylvia, former VP of Distribution at the company has been promoted to Vice President of Sales. Sylvia has been an integral part of the Talking Rain team since 2010, and has played a key role in building out Talking Rain’s DSD network in the Northeast and New York City markets. In his new role, Sylvia will oversee all national and international sales, plus all partner brands at the company.
Record Summer Sales
These appointments come on the heels of a tremendous sales period throughout June, July and August, where company records were broken with over 15 million cases of Sparkling Ice shipped throughout the U.S., making it one of Talking Rain Beverage Co.’s most successful summers in history.
“It’s been an exciting summer at Talking Rain, and we are focused to continue our success with a renewed mindset to over deliver for our partners and the consumer,” added Hall. “In the past year, we’ve expanded our internal creative department to be fully self-sufficient, enhanced our digital and social strategies, and put ourselves on a clear path to sustainable success through critical collaboration efforts which have resulted in increased speed to market, supply chain optimization, cross-department collaboration and increased channel observation in the field.”
The company’s recent sales success is attributed in part to a robust summer marketing program where Sparkling Ice’s creative partners including Epsilon, Bread n Butter and 5WPR collaborated on the launch of a Mystery Flavor and contest resulting in 245,000 entries, in addition to a highly targeted digital campaign featuring wacky summer interns “Gary and Ana,” whose ideas, Hall jokes, “Aren’t all that different from some of our lively creative brainstorms here at Sparkling Ice.”
On the CSR side, Talking Rain activated their annual Honor Flight program, for which the Sparkling Ice sales team successfully executed over 850 in-store Honor Flight displays across the country. Talking Rain first began to support the organization several years ago when U.S. Navy Veteran and current CEO, Chris Hall, discovered the organization after stumbling upon a moving Honor Flight departure at the airport. The flight will escort WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans to visit their memorials in DC.
In addition to the record sales results, the company raised over $100,000 for Honor Flight through donations from vendors, retailers and distribution partners, enabling Talking Rain to fully fund an Honor Flight for aging veterans from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC in fall 2018.

FastSigns Bellevue Top Performance

Melissa Christiansen and Garan Ingersoll, both Outside Sales Professionals at FastSignsⓇ of Bellevue, received the Bronze Sales Award at the 2018 FastSigns Outside Sales Summit recently held in Arlington, Texas. This award recognizes sales employees who achieved sales of $300,000 to $499,999 during the 12-month period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

FastSigns Bellevue Top Performance

With almost 700 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS centers worldwide, only 82 Outside Sales Professionals received the Bronze Sales Award. Catherine Monson, President and CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., presented the award.
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Eastside Business Woman Named Finalist in 15th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business

Seattle, WA – Oct. 4 – Whitney DeBerry is a Finalist for Employee of the Year – Business category in the 15th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business. Ms. DeBerry, Digital Marketing Manager at Tresemer Group of Kirkland, WA, will ultimately be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award winner.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees and the companies they run – worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards. Continue reading “Eastside Business Woman Named Finalist in 15th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business”

Open Letter to Senator Maria Cantwell from The Washington State Debate Coalition

Dear Senator Cantwell:
We know that you agree Washington residents deserve highly promoted, visible and accessible candidate debates that are broadcast to voters across the state. That’s why we are especially disappointed in your campaign’s decision not to participate in the two public debates organized by the Washington State Debate Coalition.
We hope you will reconsider.
Publisher’s Note:  Why is Senator Cantwell hiding?  Could it be that she is embarrassed about the way that her party has been acting?  Does she condone and stand for the violence, harassment and smear campaigns that her fellow Democrats apparently think are ok? Continue reading “Open Letter to Senator Maria Cantwell from The Washington State Debate Coalition”

Colocation Northwest Expands Bellevue Data Center to One Megawatt

Bellevue’s Only Public Colocation Data Center Undergoes Significant Upgrade for Multi-Billion Dollar Video Game Publisher

Colocation NorthwestColocation Northwest, a division of IsoFusion, a provider of Internet access and IT services in the Puget Sound region, announced today it has completed upgrades to its Bellevue data center to allow for one megawatt of service capacity.  The data center, located in Bellevue’s Eastgate neighborhood, completed a four-fold capacity increase from 250 kilowatts to one megawatt. The expansion included a state-of-the-art data center wing, immediately occupied by a video game publisher and distributor.
The data center features state-of-the-art power, cooling, fire suppression and security. To comply with the City of Bellevue’s sound impact concerns, Colocation Northwest installed Liebert DSE zero-water cooling units, MC Outdoor Condensers and Econophase pumped refrigerant economizers. Not only is this system whisper quiet, it significantly improves data center efficiencies. Continue reading “Colocation Northwest Expands Bellevue Data Center to One Megawatt”