Mary Ann Lawrence Explores the Multigenerational Workforce and Educates on Excellent Customer Service

Mary Ann Lawrence Explores the Multigenerational Workforce and Educates on Excellent Customer Service

Mary Ann Lawrence is the President and CEO of The Center for Workforce Learning.   Mary Ann has extensive experience in workforce development with over 35 years at the local, state, and national levels of the system in leadership positions.   Mary Ann was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and served on the 2001 and 2002 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award responsible for reviewing and selecting award recipients for high-performing businesses. Mary Ann has worked to train and provide technical assistance to U.S. Department of Labor employees in continuous improvement efforts at both the national level and regional offices.  Mary Ann played a significant role in design and delivery of USDOL One Stop Training including linking the work done from State to State related to occupational learning objectives for staff working in the one stop environment. In addition, she completed a research project related to resources available to assist local and state areas in staff training and development. Mary Ann serves as a professional coach in helping One-Stop areas and executives develop and enhance strategies for successful Workforce Investment Act deployment. Mary Ann has a Business Administration Degree and is also certified in Task Analysis and Curriculum Design. She has extensive experience in non-profit leadership having been the Executive Director of a central Indiana Workforce Investment Board and the Executive Director of the Maryland Institute for Employment and Training Professionals. She founded The Center for Workforce Learning in 1994.  She has been recognized nationally with the Professional Development Award in 1995 from the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP). She serves on the NAWDP Board of Directors and was is Vice-Chair and a member of the Executive Committee.  In addition, Mary Ann served for two years as a member of an advisory council, Professional Workforce Development Panel, established to advise the Department of Labor on capacity building issues system wide. During her two-year term Mary Ann served as a member of the Panel’s executive team. In addition to executive leadership coaching, Mary Ann has extensive experience in non-profit board development, volunteerism systems, and fund development activities. Mary Ann does both Board and staff training in a vast array of subjects. Mary Ann specializes in strategic planning, business plan development, marketing plans, organizational development, team building, balanced scorecard creation, board development, mystery shopping of one-stops, fee-for-service activities, chartering and certification of workforce systems, and third party organizational evaluations. She facilitates planning for a variety of groups including welfare reform, school-to-work, vocational rehabilitation, community based organizations, economic development, educational institutions and one-stops. Mary Ann has been active in helping local and State Workforce Investment Boards establish the reengineering needed at each level to successfully administer, manage, and...

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Career Management: Relationship Building

Career Management: Relationship Building Building relationships, networking, getting to know more people to grow your business.  Call it what you want; it is one of the main reasons many join the Chamber.  Brian Tracy, internationally known author specializing in training and development of individuals and organizations, states: “according to the laws of probabilities, the greater number of people you know who can help you in any given time, the more likely it is you will know the right person at the right time and place to give you the help you need to move ahead more rapidly in your life.  The more people you know, the more doors of opportunity will be open to you and the more sound advice you will get in making important decisions that shape your life.”   Business After Hours are just one of the programs you can utilize as a member to expand the number of people you know, which gives you more opportunity to shape you and your business. Everyone knows that building relationships are important, but it also is something that many people say draw them out of their comfort zone.  According to Darcy Rezac, the author of Working the Pond, “seizing the moment requires you to meet new people, socialize, and hand out business cards.  Herein lies the problem.  Most people are uncomfortable to some degree doing this very thing.” Networking is not about making a sale; it is about starting a relationship.  We all know that people do business with people they know and trust.  When meeting someone, learn what you can do for them now or possibly in the future.  Start off by introducing yourself and asking questions to the person you are meeting to learn more about them.  If you have already met them, ask them something about what you learned from your last conversation. If you want to meet someone, find a person who know everyone or the person hosting the event to introduce you. (hint: ask me J) People are happy to help you make those connections.  Most importantly, be natural and have fun!  If you do get stuck with someone monopolizing your time, introduce them to someone else.  As the circle of conversation widens, you can easily excuse yourself and move on to meeting others.  Remember to follow up when needed after an event.  Also be sure to watch for announcements of your contacts in the newspaper or listen for them on the radio. Then follow up by sending them a note congratulating them on their recent recognition.   I hope that these few tips help you become more comfortable in your relationship building.  Remember, networking is an ongoing process; you never know, the...

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Kyle Thompson is SOS Strong

Kyle Thompson is SOS Strong   Kyle Thompson explains why the SOS Strong Campaign is important to him:   When I was asked to join the SOS 10 Men Strong campaign I knew right away that the cause was important and something I wanted to be a part of. I was raised by great parents and never wanted for anything, so from that perspective I have never needed community assistance. My parents taught us important lessons growing up and one of the many lessons I learned included how to treat women. I can still remember being very young, maybe 6 or 7 years old, standing in front of Newman’s Department store when my mother stopped outside and didn’t open the door for me as she always did. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Kyle, boys open doors for girls,” she responded. It was a lesson I never forgot. Domestic abuse against women and children is something we can’t stand for. Men should be a part of that conversation! Our goal is to raise $10,000 in the month of August to help fill some of the funding gaps for SOS. Please consider donating to our campaign! From left to right: Britton Hart, John Keosybounheuang and Kyle Thompson   Read more about the campaign here. Let’s help them reach their goal! Donate here: www.soskansas.com   Please like &...

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Are You a Leader? Yes, I Mean You!

Are You a Leader? Yes, I Mean You!

Are You a Leader?  Yes, I mean YOU! By Vanda Stephens, Office Manager What a question to start this conversation off with, but hang here with me for a while. Our old friend Webster tells us Leadership is a noun, a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.  Sorry Webster, but that is boring. What is Exciting is that YOU, my friend, are a LEADER! To borrow from the Kansas Leadership Center there are five key elements of the Leadership Principal and YOU possess them. Leadership is an activity, not a position: Ever watch kids on a playground, it does not take long to see who the leader is. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere: Have you ever had that situation where someone needed to step up and get things moving; and it ended up being you. It starts with you and must engage others: Others? Yes, your family, friends, co-workers. Yes, there are others in your life, even a stranger on the street can be considered “another”. Your purpose must be clear: Yes, Purposes are all around us. Our passions, visions, dreams. What is yours? It’s risky: So what if you make a mistake? So what if not everyone agrees with you? It is ok my friend, life is risky. I challenge you to take the risk and don’t think of Leadership as a position, role, or title. LEADERSHIP IS AN ACTION Am I passionate about the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Emporia program, because it is part of my job?  NO! I am passionate about Emporia, my home town. Even when I did not live here I would drive 5 hours across Kansas just to come home to Emporia to get my hair cut, see the doctor, do my banking and shop for clothes, because I love this town. Six generations of my family have been blessed to call Emporia home. I want to see this community thrive and flourish. That is way I am passionate about the Leadership Emporia program. No matter how long you have called Emporia home, I challenge you to look for ways you can be a leader right where you are. Look for volunteer opportunities in your church, local charities/non-profits, civic & service organizations. Consider applying to be a part of the next Leadership Emporia program to challenge how you view leadership. Everyone is a leader, even if you are a quite introvert like myself. Thanks for hanging in here with me for a while. Now take some action and visit www.emporiakschamber.org and complete you Leadership Emporia application. The deadline is August 14. Please like &...

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7 Numbers You Should be Tracking in Your Digital Marketing

7 Numbers You Should be Tracking in Your Digital Marketing Digital marketing, or web marketing, and social media have a very low cost to entry but that doesn’t mean we should ignore tracking our investment and return. While ROI is not entirely possible when it comes to measuring the success of a relationship and loyalty, it can be applied to the proof of such – gaining more new customers and retaining the existing ones. You need to continue (or enter into) digital marketing and social media regardless of what your initial attempts are producing. To throw away the idea of digital marketing because you’re not seeing results, is like tossing out a cookbook because you made a recipe in it that you didn’t like. If you’re not seeing the results you want, change the recipe to suit. The same holds true for social media and digital marketing. But you’ll have trouble adjusting your marketing recipe if you don’t know what you started with. Do This First Before you begin tracking you need to do two things: Draw a line in the sand. List all of your followers, likes, subscribers etc. as they stand today. Your success needs a baseline, so write it all down. Start tracking your digital marketing efforts by day. There are a number of software platforms that can help you keep track of your digital marketing efforts, or you can track them in a spreadsheet, or use pen and paper. Use something you can update quickly and extrapolate the information you need just as fast. If you don’t, you’ll stop using it. You’ll want to track when (and what) you post to your blog and social media, any marketing emails, when you send your newsletters, etc. You’ll need this info because you’ll compare your efforts to your traffic and inquiries. What Should I Be Tracking on My Website? There are several things you need to start tracking on a weekly basis. A weekly basis is ideal because it allows you to see trends quickly and readjust as needed. Monthly allows too much time to elapse before you notice the numbers. For the first several weeks after you start tracking look for true patterns before you begin tweaking. Until you have historical data you won’t know a random blip from a need for course correction. The data listed below can all be obtained from Google Analytics. If you don’t have analytics set up on your site, do so today. It’s important. Really important. Assuming you do, you need to track: The number of unique visitors to your site each week. Where your website visitors are coming from (traffic sources). Look at organic, direct, and referral sources. Organic...

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Shop Local: 9 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

                   Anything that we missed? Please feel free to post your sale or promotions in the comments.  [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form] Please like &...

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