Sunday, April 26, 2009

Leadership 301

Kevin Smith of the Food Network, taking upon the cooking theme of the AMA Leadership Summit, talked about adding spice as a leader using a PEPPER acronym:

  • Passion (bringing energy and imagination to all tasks)
  • Emotional Intellegence (not just keeping emotions in check but having an awarenes of your gifts
  • People Leadership (relating well to others in achieving goals)
  • Prudence
  • Education and Learning
  • Relationships

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leadership 201

Part two of Michael Smith's talk about Leadership in Marketing from the American Marketing Association Leadership Summit:

Michael spoke about servant leadership and asked the crowd to focus on how make people feel not on what you say. He also quoted Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give."

It is interesting in the marketing field to examine our leadership in the context of not how we position ourselves and our organizations at the front of the pack but how we can serve the interests of others and help them reach their goals, perhaps even before we act to suit our interests.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Leadership 101

Day one is over at the American Marketing Association Leadership Summit in Chicago. For the uninitiated, the Summit is what I refer to as the "Amway Convention" for AMA Boards of Directors for the Association's 75 chapters around the country.

I will be filing the first of three reports on the talk of keynote speaker Michael Smith who spoke tonight on the topic of "Building a Brand One Bite at a Time: Lessons in Marketing and Leadership." Michael is Senior Vice President of Marketing, Creative and Brand Strategy for the Food Network.

The first component of Michael's talk on which I'll center is not so much about leadership but about what it is that makes our work fulfilling. He stated the three things that work should provide is meaning, complexity and autonomy.

Let me expound upon each. Meaning is important because at the end of the day we want our work to matter for something. We want to feel as though we've added joy to others' lives or contributed to the company's sustainability.

Complexity relates less to the human element and relies on our ingenuity in problem-solving. Autonomy is the antithesis of micro-management. If we feel free to solve problems, gaining the end result without worry that our bosses will try to convince us we need to do it a certain way, we feel less constrained, and can move on to our next obstacle, taking pride that we solved this dilemma on our own.

TOMORROW: Servant Leadership

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Interesting Results for Cinti Riverfront District Naming Contest

A few days ago I told you voting had begun on naming the under-construction Cincinnati riverfront district which has been known as The Banks. That name and three others have been culled from choices brought forth earlier by the public. So far with more than 2,200 votes, most people think keeping things as they are is just fine. Forty eight percent favor keeping that name while 25% like the name Roebling Point, with 20% for River District and North Shore pulling in last at eight percent. You can weigh in by going to the develop's website ( and voting but you have to do so before midnight on Monday, April 20th.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Travel Journalist Trade Group Spreads Its Wings on Thinking Out-Of-The-Box Attendance Building

Any doubts about how worried meeting planners are about the impact of the economy on attendance at trade shows? I have never heard about a group partnering with airlines to discount fares for attendees. Take a look at the email I received yesterday from the North American Travel Journalists Association (


NATJA is offering a discount of 10% off airfare on AirTran!!! This discount applies to anyone attending our Cleveland Conference June 2nd-5th. For more information about the conference, visit us online at
Act now to save by simply using the code listed below.
AirTran Airways EventSavers Program Congratulations, your Event Planner has registered with the AirTran Airways EventSavers Program. This program offers discounted air travel and unique benefits for conventions, meetings or other events when ten or more individuals are flying into a single destination from different cities. Attendees and Travel Agents should call the AirTran Airways EventSavers Desk at 1-866-68EVENT (1-866-683-8368) to obtain more information about the following features:
A 10% discount on the lowest available AirTran Airways one way fare.
No minimum stay length or Saturday night requirement.
Advance seat assignments at time of booking.
Confirmed upgrade to Business Class, when available, for passengers booking in the “B” and “Y” fare levels.
A one time waiver of Change Fee per reservation for any name or itinerary change, but any applicable fare increase will apply
A single Event Code provided for each event so passengers may book their own reservations at their leisure.
A convenient toll-free number connects you directly to our EventSavers Desk.
Attendees have the option of contacting the EventSavers Desk directly or they may book their reservations through their designated travel agency.
Travel Agents and attendees must book all EventSavers reservations directly with the EventSavers Desk to receive the 10% discount. Reservations booked through a travel agent General Data System or the internet will not qualify for the 10% discount.
Attendees may travel three days prior to the event start date and three days after the event close date if they wish to spend any additional time at the event location.
Receive special EventSavers rates from our rental car partner Hertz, just for being transferred to the Hertz Desk by our EventSavers Coordinator!
To take advantage of this special program, contact the AirTran Airways EventSavers Desk at 1-866-68EVENT (1-866-683-8368) for reservations. All patrons will need to have the listed Event Code and must provide the name of the Event upon booking. Please provide the Event Savers Coordinator with Event Code: CAKDAY060209 (NATJA) start saving today!
Thank you for choosing AirTran Airways for all your air travel requirements!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Voting Starts For Downtown Cincinnati's Most Talked About Development

Let the voting begin! The final stage of public input has begun on the naming of Downtown Cincinnati's much anticipated riverfront redevelopment project in and around the stadia and the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Up to now, it's been known as The Banks, and that is one of the four choices on which the public can vote beginning at noon today.

I had the pleasure to be on a marketing panel recently to streamline the process for naming the project. I know that the name of the product or development is the first and most important step in creating its identity, which is why the developers are taking the time and energy to get it right.

People are passionate about this subject and the name submission, panel and voting processes helps give Cincinnati a say and ownership of the project. The panel process provided the opportunity for us to share our thoughts and ideas and bring our expertise to the table. We were able to reach consensus on great additional names that we believe represent the broader input from citizen submissions and what will work best for the development. Below is the news release about the final voting process.


Residents Asked for Final Vote on Banks Renaming
Developers Include Residents’ Suggestions

Cincinnati, OH (April 14, 2009) – The Master Development Team of Carter and The Dawson Company announced that the final public voting process began today at 12 a.m. to determine the name for the up-to-$1 billion mixed-use development on the banks of the Ohio River.

The choices are:
1. North Shore
2. Roebling Point
3. The River District
4. The Banks

“This development belongs to the people of Cincinnati and Hamilton County,” said Malloy Peterson, director of marketing at Carter. “We want their input to help us choose the best possible name for a development that has come to mean so much to the community.”

Residents interested in defining a piece of Cincinnati may vote at The survey will be live for one week, closing Monday, April 20 at 11:59 p.m. The final result will be available for public viewing and announced Tuesday, April 21.

Members of the development team evaluated the number of votes that each of the four given names received and reviewed more than 650 online submissions from the first round of voting. Many write-ins appeared multiple times or had similar themes, which allowed the team to divide the suggestions into categories. Some write-ins used the opportunity to shorten their favorite name, Riverfront District, to The River District. Other popular entries focused on the development’s location on the river, the Roebling Suspension Bridge and Cincinnati’s location on the “north shore” of the Ohio River.

The team organized a panel of some of Cincinnati’s top marketing, branding and communications experts from business, economic development, tourism and young professionals groups to review the most common submissions and categories from the write-ins. The panel discussed connotations of the submitted names, their favorites and the shortened version of one of the top vote-getters from the previous survey – The River District. After much discussion, the 11-person panel put it to a vote to determine names that would be added to The Banks and The River District.

“This is more than just a new development to the people of this region,” said Tamara Kimble, vice president of strategic marketing & external affairs at The Dawson Company. “This represents the region’s progress and promise for future opportunity, and we need a name that the people can get behind.”

Known as The Banks since its inception, the development is a joint City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Carter, Dawson project. Once completed, The Banks will be Cincinnati’s largest single, mixed-use development and be composed of a dynamic blend of residential, office, hotel and retail components. Phase 1A of the riverfront development is under construction and will include a revised street grid, parking facility, a minimum of 300 apartments and 70,000 square feet of retail.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Walking Our Way Along the Ohio

The $50 million dollar proposed Riverfront Commons project spanning five Northern Kentucky communities along the riverfront continues to gain momentum. See the new video created to help generate excitement for what could be to come for the region.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Addition at Newport Aquarium

Just in time for Newport Aquarium's tenth anniversary next month, the Aquarium announced today the first birth of a sharkray...
Newport Aquarium Unveils
First Baby Shark Ray Ever on Display in U.S.

Newport Aquarium – already the site of historic firsts in the study of rare and beautiful Shark Rays – announced today that it will be displaying the first Shark Ray pup, affectionately named Sunshine.

Sunshine is less than a year old, weighs about 25 pounds and comes from Penghu Island, off the coast of Taiwan. It’s believed to be the same place from where Sweet Pea, the Aquarium’s female Shark Ray and the first to be displayed in this hemisphere, came.

Newport Aquarium continues to lead the scientific community in the study of Shark Rays. The Aquarium also initiated the first-ever Shark Ray breeding program in the world. By closely monitoring the growth of Sunshine, Newport Aquarium biologists believe they will be better prepared for any future Shark Ray pups that might be born at the aquarium.

“This was the first time a Shark Ray has ever been transported so far, so young,” says Mark Dvornak, fish curator at Newport Aquarium. “Her size and youth make her an extraordinary animal from which to learn. Newport Aquarium is committed to raising awareness about this species, in the hopes that public education will inspire global conservation efforts – not just for Shark Rays but for all endangered aquatic life.”

Sunshine will be on display in the Coral Reef display, a 60-thousand gallon “tunnel” exhibit through which visitors walk and are surrounded by aquatic life.

This week also marks the fourth anniversary for Sweet Pea at the Newport Aquarium. A two-week celebration from April 4-12 will highlight the species.

For more information on Newport Aquarium or for hours, tickets and directions, visit

# # #

Newport Aquarium showcases thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water. You’ll be amazed at all there is to see and do, including fun and interactive activities, like touching a shark or meeting penguins. Like its sister aquarium, Adventure Aquarium, on the Camden Waterfront, Camden, NJ, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company ( and a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a leader in global wildlife conservation. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located only two minutes from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee. For information, visit or call 859-261-7444.

How old is Sunshine?
Estimated birth is around July 1, 2008, making her 9-10 months old.

How long has Newport Aquarium had her?
She has been off site at the Aquarium’s warehouse facility, where Aquarium staff could monitor her health since December 3, 2008.

How big was she when she arrived? How about now?
She was about 6 pounds and 1.5 feet long when she arrived. She is now almost 25 pounds and a little over 3 feet long.

How does that compare to Sweet Pea and Scooter when they arrived?
This simple chart shows the weights and sizes of each Shark Ray on arrival and now:

On Arrival Now
Sweet Pea Around 40 pounds, 4 feet Around 200 pounds, 6.5 feet
Scooter Around 100 pounds, 4 feet Around 125 pounds, 6 feet
Sunshine Around 6 pounds, 1.5 feet Around 25 pounds, 3 feet

From where did she come?
Sunshine came from Penghu Island, Taiwan. We think it was the same place where Sweet Pea was collected.

What does Sunshine eat?
Lobster, shrimp and a variety of fish.

Will she get as big as Sweet Pea and Scooter?
Probably, but so little is known about the species. By gathering important data about the animal, Newport Aquarium is leading the scientific community in Shark Ray research. The Aquarium also initiated the first-ever Shark Ray breeding program in the world. By closely monitoring the growth of Sunshine, we’ll be better prepared for any future shark ray pups that might be born here at the aquarium.

Will she be part of the Shark Ray Breeding Program?
We hope so, but it could be a long time for her to reach maturity.

How big is the Coral Reef tank where she will be staying?
The Coral Reef tank is 60,000 gallons.

Will she eventually be moved into the big shark tank? When?
It’s hard to say when. It will be entirely based on Sunshine’s growth and her acceptance of the new environment. We’d like her to grow to about the size Sweet Pea was when she was added to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit (roughly 4 feet long).

Was anything unusual about her journey here?
This was the first time a Shark Ray has ever been transported so far, so young. Her size and youth make her an extraordinary animal from which to learn. Newport Aquarium is committed to raising awareness about this species, in the hopes that public education will inspire global conservation efforts – not just for Shark Rays but for all endangered aquatic life.

How is she fed and will she eventually be trained to “target feed” like Sweet Pea and Scooter?
Sunshine is currently hand fed by a diver. After she becomes more comfortable in the new tank then divers can begin training her to target feed the same way that Sweet Pea and Scooter are fed. But it will likely take some time, since the animal is still so young.

Who will be her tank-mates in the Coral Reef exhibit?
There are two shark species in that exhibit with Sunshine: two Zebra sharks and two Zebra Bullhead sharks. Other fish in the Coral Reef tank include a variety of colorful Indo-Pacific reef fishes.