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What Though the Odds

first_imgWhen Haley Scott DeMaria received a call earlier this year from University President Fr. John Jenkins, she had some idea about what their conversation would entail. But the last thing she expected was for Jenkins to ask her to give this year’s Commencement address. “We had conversations in the past months about different things, so when I got the phone call there were 10 other items I thought the conversation would be about,” she said. “If I put commencement speaker on there, it would probably be about [number] 998. “[I was] stunned, really. I was surprised. Once the shock wore off, I was very honored.” DeMaria, a member of the Class of 1995, suffered a broken back and was paralyzed when the bus carrying her and the rest of the Irish women’s swim team slid off the Indiana Toll Road and rolled over 20 years ago. Doctors told DeMaria she might never walk again, but she beat the odds, regaining the ability to walk and returning to swim for the Irish the following year. DeMaria said she hopes she can give a special speech to this year’s graduating class because, like them, she once walked the campus as a student. “I think one of the unique things about having an [alumna] speak is I understand many of the things they are experiencing because I have been there,” she said. “The main thing I would like to get across is what it means to be a Notre Dame graduate – what it has meant in my life and what it will mean in their lives in ways they have no idea.” One of the main concepts DeMaria said she wants to convey in her address is to be prepared for the unexpected in life. “I think one of the main ideas, and really one of the main themes of how I live my life, is that understanding that you can plan, and you can be prepared, and you can know exactly what your life is going to be and chances are, that’s not what is going to happen,” she said. “And then that is okay. How do you go through life having a great game plan or life plan, but also knowing life doesn’t always turn out the way that you think it will.” DeMaria said Notre Dame graduates are fortunate because the University prepares students well for life after college. “Not in a doomsday way, but so many of the tools that we have here as a Notre Dame student will apply to ways in life that we don’t even know,” she said. DeMaria, who gives talks up to five or six times a month, said this speech will be “different” and “bigger” than any she has ever given. However, she still plans to draw on her personal experiences to communicate the core message of her address. “Many of the talks that I give are about my story and what we experienced as a university, as a swim team, my personal journey – certainly physically and the faith aspect of it,” she said. “There will be some of that. I know that’s certainly one of the reasons I was asked to speak.” However, DeMaria said she recognizes this speech is different due to her audience. “But graduation is not about me, it’s about the graduates,” she said. “So I’ll take what I’ve learned and certainly share some of that, but really use it to apply in a meaningful way to the graduates.” In speaking to people during the past weeks leading up to her address, DeMaria said she has distinguished two types of commencement speakers – those who are remembered for their name, and those who are remembered for the speech they give. She said she hopes to fall into the latter category.  “I’d rather leave the graduates with two or three or four key words or messages that they hear, they listen, they remember. They may not totally get it now, but at some point in their lives they will,” she said. “That’s my goal.” Reflecting on this notion, DeMaria said her own class expected to have a “big-name” commencement speaker, as it was the 150th graduating class of the University. But students were initially disappointed with the selection of a relatively unknown speaker. “We ended up with the first African-American female provost at a major research university,” she said. “It was an interesting choice at the time, but it was Condoleeza Rice. It’s been good for me to understand everybody’s different perspectives.” Ultimately, DeMaria said she is excited to return to the University once again to serve in a new role. “I truly look forward to addressing the class,” she said.last_img read more

First Turns in Tucker County Giveaway

first_imgEnter our First Turns in Tucker County Giveaway to win one of two Grand Prize packages!Two winners will be chosen for the Tucker County and Canaan Valley Resort grand prize package.Each grand prize winner receives:Two-night stay for two at Canaan Valley ResortSki/Snowboard rentals for two from Ski BarnTubing session for two at Canaan Valley ResortTwo-day Ski the Valley Lift Tickets for twoThis giveaway is now closed! Thanks to all who entered and good luck!DON’T FORGET TO ENTER ALL OUR OTHER GREAT GIVEAWAYS! Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on December 15th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Tucker County Tourism, Canaan Valley Resort, and Ski Barn reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before December 30th, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

If in doubt, throw it out: Spoiled chicken, sour milk and your brand

first_img 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: www.markarnold.com Details I’ll admit it – I’ve been known to keep milk in the refrigerator too long. And, depending on the odor, I’ve been known to push the limits on that “best used by” date. Not so much with chicken, though. Once that bird smells the slightest bit off, it’s gone. Past rough encounters with slightly spoiled chicken taught me that lesson the hard way.Part of that philosophy is just my stubbornness. The other part is probably human nature. After all, we paid for that milk and that chicken, we lugged it home from the grocery store and we put it in the refrigerator. In other words – we have an investment in it.The same is applicable to credit union brands. Credit union marketers and their executive team members invest a great deal of time, energy and money into creating solid brands. Whether or not those brands survive and pass the test of time depends upon a variety of factors. Regardless, the last thing any of us wants to think is that our brand has spoiled or gone sour.But they can.Credit union brands face a legion of enemies, all anxious to see them falter and fail. These can include brand gaps, lack of brand training and the disillusionment of brand authenticity.Brand Gaps A brand gap is a fundamental disconnect between the credit union brand and a key participant. Brand gaps can include chasms between branding and strategy, branding and staff and branding and operations. It is therefore critical that marketing and executive leadership team members work hard to ensure the brand is bridged solidly between all relevant parties. For example, a proactive way to confront a strategic brand gap is to preface every strategic decision with the question “will this help or hurt our brand?” The gap between brand and staff is best addressed by a coordinated and continuous brand training program, for both newly onboarded employees and existing employees. Finally, a gap between brand and operations is solvable by open communication between departments. For example, if you developed a brand that revolved around the notion of your credit union offering terrific, personalized hometown service and member surveys came back in droves complaining about the lack of such service, you have a gap. Asking tough questions ahead of time can help solve this potential brand pitfall. Lack of Brand Training As mentioned above, training is a critical element in the overall brand process. Just like the military educates service members on the proper and safe handling and use of weapons, so most successful credit unions continually educate staff on the right way to live the brand. While your marketing team took the initiative in creating the brand and your executive team leads the brand, it is your employees who must live the brand every day, in front of every member. Successful brand training programs help solidify the critical link between brand and members. In fact, many forward-thinking credit unions have replaced the traditional sales and service training modules with advanced brand engagement training. Such training empowers employees to connect with members on a personal level and gives actionable tips and tactics for engaging consumers. Without continuous training, your brand could rapidly approach its “best used by date” without you even knowing it.Disillusionment of Brand Authenticity A genuine peril facing all brands is the gradual erosion of authenticity in the minds of consumers. Examples of this outside the financial services realm include J.C. Penny (just who is their target audience?), Quizno’s (everybody toasts their subs these days, and cheaper) and Volkswagen (embroiled in an emissions reporting scandal).Make no mistake — your credit union brand is just as vulnerable. In order to remain relevant and viable in a hotly contested industry, credit unions must strive to create and nurture brands that strike an emotional chord with consumers, resonate as sympathetic with the plight of members and, most importantly, tells their stories. Nothing is more relatable to consumers than the authentic, nonfiction accounts highlighting ways your credit union has aided other consumers in their same boat.Creating and growing a credit union brand is a heck of a lot more expensive and time-consuming than buying a gallon of milk or bag of chicken legs. However, staying on top of its freshness is just as important. Spoiled milk or chicken can give you food poisoning. A spoiled brand will poison the entire body of your credit union. Keep a close eye on brand gaps, brand training and brand authenticity to ensure that the next time you uncap it for a whiff, the rotten smell doesn’t knock you off your feet.last_img read more

Alderley home goes for over a million in hotly contested auction

first_imgPlace Auctioneer Peter Bergin found a new owner for an Alderley home. (AAP image, John Gass)A TRADIE that sold up his childhood home after he got a job in New South Wales became an instant millionaire at auction.Rhys Lawler made the difficult decision to sell the Alderley home he grew up in when he took a job at power company Port Macquarie.With him departing the Sunshine State, 9 Edith St in Alderley was put up to auction, and he found no shortage of people wanting to move into his old digs.“It’s a great house, I bought it off my parents,” Mr Lawler said.“The (suburb) has become very family friendly and relatively sought after.”After some heated bidding between five interested parties in the backyard, the old Queenslander went for $1.021 million.The auction attracted a number of bidders and curious onlookers. (AAP image, John Gass)It was a high price considering the median for a house in the area is currently at $813,750, and he was clearly pleased with how smoothly the sale went.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoAgent Matthew Jabs from Place Newmarket said the house was a bit more than you average old Queenslander in a good suburb.“This is a very tightly held street, a lot of the people here have been here for 30 to 40 years,” Mr Jabs said.“If anything comes up it gets a lot of interest.”At 602 sqm it was a lot larger than a lot of other homes in the neighbourhood, and with a recent renovation, the elevated home four bedrooms, a covered deck an office and a living room on each storey.The home has had a dramatic makeover yet retained its original character.Buyers agent for the winning bidder Belinda Shields said the family from Wavell Heights would be the new owners.“It’s a character home which they liked very much, we recognise that Alderley is a very good area especially in this location,” Ms Shields said.9 Edith Street, Alderley was held by the same family for decades.As for Mr Lawler he will have the pick of the litter of Port Macquarie homes when he moved down in a few weeks, with the median house price currently at $570,000.“Yeah, it is a very different market,” Mr Lawler said.last_img read more

Jason Derulo performs at Conquest

first_imgFollow us on Twitter @dailytrojan On Monday, USC students celebrated the 10th annual Conquest in McCarthy Quad. The tradition highlighted Trojan spirit and athletics as USC prepares to play crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday. The event, which featured a carnival and concert headlined by platinum-selling artist Jason Derulo, was hosted by the USC Concerts Committee in conjunction with Undergraduate Student Government and the Office of Campus Activities. The event was open to all students free of charge.‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ · Featured artist Jason Derulo performs in front of students during Conquest on Monday night at McCarthy Quad. – Benjamin Dunn | El RodeoHeather McDonald, a comedienne and USC alumna, co-hosted the event along with fellow comedian and actor Steve Rannazzisi. They led the crowd in introducing USC athletic teams, along with announcements of events during the night. At one point during the night, the event experienced technical difficulties in the traditional burning of a Bruin bear effigy. After a few minutes, however, the crowd began a new countdown and the wooden bear exploded into fireworks and a bonfire in front of Doheny Memorial Library. A fireworks display, featuring USC-colored cardinal and gold fireworks, lit up the sky for several minutes.“That bear is burning and these girls are burning a lot of calories,” McDonald joked. “There’s like 25 teams here.”The Trojan Marching Band also performed alongside the Song Girls and Spirit Leaders. Along with celebrating the 10th year of Conquest, this year also marks 125 years of Trojan athletics and 45 years since the introduction of the Song Girls into USC events.Planning for the event proved to be more complicated than usual since the UCLA rivalry game falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Concerts Committee, however, was able to work around the event this year by changing the concert from Thursday, when it is usually hosted, to Monday. Concerts Committee also faced a tough decision in picking a performer.“It is impossible to pick an artist that makes everybody happy but the committee considers the variety of tastes among the student body. Any USC student is welcome to attend our meetings [on Monday nights] and offer input and suggestions for who to bring to perform at USC,” said Alison Wotton, the co-assistant director of Program Board Concerts.Some students felt that Jason Derulo was not the most appropriate choice given that many of his most popular songs are from several years ago.“USC is amazing in that we have a concert Monday night. But we could have had somebody more relevant,” said Natalie Li, a freshman majoring in biology. She added, however, that “Whatcha Say” was her favorite Jason Derulo song. “I’m glad he played that one,” she said.Many students enjoyed other aspects of the event besides the concert. “I’m enjoying the spirit and the food. And Jason of course,” said Elli Wang, a freshman majoring in environmental studies.The food trucks proved to be a particularly popular aspect of the event.“I’m happy they have food trucks here and I’m happy about the Jason Derulo concert. My friends have been talking a lot about it,” said Megan Joseph, a freshman majoring in computer engineering and computer science.The concert opened with DJ Papo, billed as the official DJ for Jason Derulo. He played remixes as the crowd waited for Derulo, who came on stage and opened his set with “In My Head.” He played a variety of his songs throughout his time onstage, including crowd favorites “Whatcha Say” and “Marry Me.”Students said they enjoyed the music more as the night went on.“I think he’s a smooth dancer,”   said Linyan Tian, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics and law. “He’s super charismatic and he’s just as good in person as he is in the studio.”last_img read more