See you at the 2nd Southside Hampton Roads Workforce CTE Forum!

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the first National Youth Apprenticeship Week than sharing in the Second Southside Hampton Roads Workforce CTE Forum, on May 8, 2024, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Centura College, 4455 South Blvd., Suite 200, Virginia Beach. We hope you will join us for an opportunity to network, learn, and partner with others to bring more opportunities for high school students to gain valuable learning experiences in the careers we need them to be prepared to fill. Come spend the morning with our cities’ businesses, workforce development professionals, community colleges/universities, and the region’s high school system’s CTE Specialists.

You must sign up on Eventbrite at and our 100 seats are filling fast!

For more information, contact the Forum Founder and Host, Susan Long-Molnar, at susan@managingcommunications.com. After you register, you may email me which breakout group you would like to attend (send me a 1st choice and 2nd choice):

Job Shadowing Internships Externships Mentorships Cooperative Education

What you need to know…
The Forum is conveniently located off 264 and there is plenty of parking around the Centura College building. We will begin on the second floor at 8:30 so come in for a continental breakfast and networking. The agenda includes a greeting by Mayor Kenny Alexandar, Chancellor of Centura College, updates from

Dr. Nikki Finley, Secondary Workforce Development Specialist_ Region 2
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Virginia Department of Education CTE

Christina Brooks, Senior Director, Community Initiatives, Hampton Roads Workforce Development Council.

We look forward to hearing from our Panelists this year!

 

James L. Templeton, President of Allfirst, LLC has been in the Industrial Contracting field since 1992. He started as a 2nd Class Mechanic who now oversees all Division Managers, Safety Managers, Project Managers, and field employees. James served in the Virginia Army National Guard and was activated for Desert Storm. Through his military and fire department background, James gained experience supporting what he does today. His commitment to safety and quality has resulted in Allfirst winning numerous awards. James community contributions have focused in many cases on our youth including the YMCA Board and Chair, Children Today Leaders Tomorrow, Hero Kids Foundation and ROC Solid Foundation as a current Building Leader.

Christina Perez, Learning & Development Manager at HRSD is responsible for leading HRSD’s employee development and learning programs and facilitating strategic alignment with organizational goals through collaboration and innovation. Christina received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering from Old Dominion University, her Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education from The Pennsylvania State University, and her Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation at New York University. She has worked at HRSD for over 16 years, beginning in the Water Quality Department and transitioning to the training division while also serving as an apprenticeship instructor and a quality facilitator. In her current position, Christina also serves as Chair of the Continuing Education and Development Committee for the Virginia Water Environment Association.

Gene Thompson, Fleet Director of Operations, at Day & Zimmermann, has been working in the fossil and nuclear energy industries since retiring from the Navy in 2001. Gene took his experience and leadership skills into the private sector in management roles of increasing responsibility overseeing field projects at power stations. He currently supports Dominion Energy Southeast nuclear sites. Gene is active with the Virginia Community College System, Virginia Department of Education, and local communities introducing students to nuclear craft careers and developing a Nuclear Worker Training Program to bring persons into the industry. He also serves on D&Z’s DE&I committee.

Kelli Considine is the Education and Talent Development Specialist at the Virginia Spaceport Authority. In her role she provides strategic leadership by articulating the needs of the program and plans to both the workforce and various institutions with which VSA is continuously building partnerships. She helps to establish and maintain clear lines of communication to K-12 schools and universities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Her responsibilities as a specialist include assisting with the year-round internship program which includes recruiting and hiring interns. She attends multiple education events including career fairs, information sessions at various organizations in efforts to encourage and engage students to pursue a career at VSA and helps facilitate field trips to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS). Kelli has a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Old Dominion University and is currently obtaining a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Regent University. Her goals are to help inspire, educate, and encourage students of all different backgrounds to pursue a career in which they are passionate about.

Rob Huffman, Executive Director, Chick-Fil-A, is a seasoned leader with over 25 years of experience, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. His commitment to impactful leadership is evident in the development of The Elements Leadership Training Series, a program designed to empower leaders across diverse contexts. He currently serves as the Chief People Officer / Executive Director at Chick-Fil-A in VA Beach, where he is responsible for strategically shaping and executing leadership initiatives. This role allows him to apply his extensive leadership experience to a dynamic and impactful organization. In the realm of strategic development, Rob’s contributions have led to the growth of organizations by over 100%. His implementation of people + profit philosophies and his ability to develop organizational culture underscores his commitment to holistic organizational development. Above all, Rob Huffman’s passion lies in continuous learning, personal development, and the empowerment of individuals on their leadership journey.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Learn more….

Allfirst, LLC is an industrial general contractor and metal fabricator, as well as provider of HVAC services, located in Suffolk, VA. As an industrial contractor, Allfirst specializes in food & beverage, foundries, industrial manufacturing, oil & gas terminals, paper mills, power generation plants, and steel & pipe fabrication. Specializing in industrial and commercial construction, Allfirst boasts over 50 years of combined experience in the field. With a strong knowledge base and expertise, the company is committed to delivering construction projects safely and cost-effectively, from inception to completion. Their extensive experience likely enables them to tackle a wide range of construction challenges and ensure client satisfaction throughout the entire process.

Charting the Path to Enduring Success for Small Businesses

Author: Julie Morris, juliemorris@juliemorris.org

Achieving long-lasting success in the small business sector requires strategic foresight and adaptability. This exploration focuses on key strategies to solidify the foundation of your small business. From Managing Communications Consulting, these strategies are designed to ensure your business’s prosperity over the long term. They equip you to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the dynamic small business landscape.

Writing a Comprehensive Business Plan

You need to start with a meticulously crafted business plan. This plan should not only delineate your objectives and intended audience but also offer detailed financial projections. Possessing a clear roadmap is instrumental in keeping your business trajectory aligned with your goals. This strategic planning is the bedrock upon which your small business can steadily build its future successes. Some businesses create a plan which focus on the financials but do not include a strategic marketing plan which identifies the specific strategies for how they will develop their revenue.  (please include this link https://managingcommunications.com/strategic-planning/

Increasing Efficiency with Document Management

Consider the benefits of introducing a document management system into your operations. Here’s a solution – converting a PDF to Excel allows for easy manipulation and analysis of tabular data, providing a more versatile and editable format. Such systems streamline your administrative tasks, transforming complex data management into a more efficient and manageable process. Embracing this technology can significantly boost your operational effectiveness, ensuring that your business runs like a well-oiled machine.

Using Insights from In-Depth Market Analysis

Deeply understanding your market is a cornerstone of small business success. This entails a thorough comprehension of customer preferences and a keen awareness of your competitors. Making decisions based on informed insights is a powerful tool in your arsenal, one that can steer your business toward sustainable growth and away from unforeseen pitfalls.

Streamlining with AI Automation Tools

Investing in AI automation tools can revolutionize your workflow. These tools not only expedite processes but also significantly reduce manual labor. The time saved here can be redirected towards strategic thinking and future planning. Automation and AI are not just about keeping pace with technological advancements; they’re about staying ahead in a rapidly evolving business landscape. We would love to talk to you about an upcoming webinar for how to use AI effectively in creating posts and articles for your LinkedIn profile and company page.

Crafting Impactful Marketing Tactics

Develop marketing strategies that truly resonate with your target demographic. This involves a balanced mix of online and traditional marketing tactics. By crafting messages that speak directly to your audience’s needs and preferences, you can create a marketing campaign that not only captures attention but also fosters lasting engagement.

Strengthening your Digital Presence

Your business’s success in today’s digital world depends heavily on a strong online presence. Enhance your business profile by optimizing your website, engaging actively on social media, and exploring e-commerce opportunities. A potent digital presence significantly increases your visibility and draws in more customers. These online platforms provide new ways to interact with customers and generate revenue. Such digital engagement is crucial for the growth and expansion of your business.

Prioritizing Customer Satisfaction

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so prioritizing their satisfaction is crucial. Offer exceptional service and maintain open communication to keep them content. Happy customers often become brand ambassadors, actively promoting your business. Their loyalty and advocacy contribute significantly to building a strong customer base.

Embracing Innovation

In the ever-changing business world, your agility and adaptability are essential. Stay prepared to pivot with market changes, embrace new trends, and seize emerging opportunities. Your capacity to adapt ensures your business remains relevant and competitive. Navigating the fast-paced market effectively keeps your business ahead of the curve.

By crafting a solid business plan and maintaining operational agility, you ensure your small business thrives long-term. Concentrating on these crucial aspects builds a resilient, dynamic foundation for your venture. This approach not only bolsters your current operations but also sets a clear path for future growth. You’re laying the groundwork for a business that’s equipped to succeed and expand in an ever-changing market.

The 2023 Hampton Roads Workforce CTE Forum was an Enthusiastic Success!

Managing Communications and ACT (Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, Tidewater Tech) hosted this exciting event to increase awareness of Virginia Department of Education’s CTE (Career and Technology Education) initiatives and how we can create more high-quality, work-based opportunities for our Southside Hampton Roads high school students. Over 100 attendees included workforce professionals, school CTE Advisors, businesses, college and universities, and others.

Why?

Our Hampton Roads workforce needs are many, both now and too strategically build a pipeline for our future. Our economy depends on young workers in many industries, especially maritime/transportation, healthcare, hospitality, new energies, and manufacturing/distribution. We also want our students to gain the education they need for sustainable careers in the fields which interests them. If we do, we will keep them in our region!

How to get Involved?

If you attended, watch for e-news from MCC for how the clusters’ brainstorming during the Forum is starting to gain momentum. Please tell us your stories so we can share them with others.

Download our CTE Forum Presentation and the Virginia High-Quality, Work-based Opportunities Flyer to learn more!


Want to meet your city’s CTE Administration?
Reach out to Dr. Nikki Finley, Work-Based Learning Specialist, Region 2, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education,
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: 804.225-2051 | nikki.finley@doe.virginia.gov

Make your “Just Admin” your A-Team!

It is likely getting harder to hire administrative assistants and others who support you as we get closer to the holidays. People decide to stay put. To fill your empty slots, you need buzz and reality about how you engage, empower, and recognize your support staff.

You also don’t want your current admin staff to lose heart and think about moving on with the new year.

That starts with you..as a lead, manager, supervisor, or peer on the admin team whether you are in operations, human resources, or any other unit in your organization.

How do you create an environment where your receptionist or your officer assistant or your customer service reps feel great about their work, love their team, and support the business goals as the A-Team?

If you are in Hampton Roads, we want to help you with that on Tuesday, November 1st.

Jamie Vanek, author of Buried in Business, and I are going to show you…

  • Why admin is often overlooked and undervalued
  • The strategies to build expectations, mentoring, and provide meaningful admin contributions
  • How to dismantle current admin functions and gain clarity in hiring, collaboration, and purpose
  • Workflows, passion projects, and communications which will get you unburied
  • How to change your own communications style and practices to engage your admin team!

And…you will have templates to help you make major changes right away. Learn more and register at Move your “just admin” to your A-Team Workshop Tickets, Tue, Nov 1, 2022 at 9:15 AM | Eventbrite

Download Flyer

Local Leadership Forum for Women Continues to Develop

In February 2021, Managing Communications’ President, Susan Long-Molnar decided it was time to create a forum for leaders to discuss their own growth. Finding a way to connect was difficult for our leaders, burdened with employee and health issues still facing us due to the pandemic. Fast forward to 2022, a time for new opportunities for women to expand leadership roles while learning to lead differently, often remote or with employees who for the most part continued to be remote.

Today, Southeast VA Women in Leadership Roundtable meets monthly to network and converse about leadership challenges, equity, collaboration, and mentoring. The Roundtable includes introductions, brief presentations, and discussions between CEOs, Business Owners, Officers, and Directors. Our focus is on topics that impact women. We have explored many topics such as leaders setting high expectations, financial decisions, conflict management, and so on. We also focus on our personal visions, missions, and goals, asking questions like “How will my leadership define who I am in five years?” and “What three to five realistic and essential goals do I need to support my leadership vision and mission?”.

Though our focus over the past 15 months has been on issues directly impacting leaders and their impact on our community and business organizations, we are going to periodically invite our members to bring their promising managers and supervisors to the sessions. This will give us an opportunity to build their leadership skills as well.

We are planning a face-to-face session in August. This may be a quarterly initiative, but most members feel there is a great advantage to continuing primarily remote sessions. We are also excited about potential collaboration of the Roundtable to develop a women’s leadership conference.

If you are interested in learning more about the Roundtable, please reach out!
susan@managingcommunications.com

Leadership- https://managingcommunications.com/about/
Remote- https://managingcommunications.com/four-leadership-skills-important-in-reopening-
successfully/
Presentations- https://managingcommunications.com/training-presentations/frequently-requested-
topics/
Managers- https://managingcommunications.com/strategic-planning/internal-communications/ 

Getting Down to Business: Managing the Details of a Startup

By Courtney Rosenfeld

Starting a business can be an exciting and profitable venture, particularly when you’re passionate about your work. Of course, to be successful requires addressing a number of not-so-glamorous elements of being an entrepreneur, such as developing a business agenda, ensuring you have all of your regulatory compliance issues well in hand, and thinking about operating and succession plans. Let’s break it down.

Business Startup Basics

Before launching your business, you’ll want to develop a comprehensive business plan. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), this will be particularly important if you’re seeking funding of any kind. A business plan helps you think through and articulate the operational elements of how your business will work. Things to consider include forming a limited liability company (LLC) to protect assets, and making a determination about how you’re going to handle financial elements and functions, like payroll, taxes, and accounts payable and receivable. You’ll also want to address financial elements around recordkeeping. Of course, you’ll need to ensure you have the appropriate business license and insurance, especially if you’re operating an e-commerce business.

Targeting Your Market

It’s important to identify your target demographic before you launch a marketing and advertising campaign. In other words, who is most likely to buy your products orservices, and how are they best reached? Once you know the type of customer you’re trying to attract, you can develop a targeted strategy. Social media can be an effective tool , as can creating a website and marketing your company through trade or industry groups. You can also start generating early word-of-mouth advertising through friends, family, colleagues, and any social or business groups you’re involved with. E-mail marketing can also be a smart approach, particularly if you’re operating an online business or have online components.

Creating an Operating Agreement

In conjunction with your business and marketing plans, you’ll want to develop an operating agreement to protect your assets, describe your business rules, and outline your business succession plans in detail. This will help ensure your financial assets are protected. The operating agreement may be built into your business plan or be a stand- alone component, but having such a document in place can help with seeking funding because you’ll be viewed as someone who has thought through all of the financial implications of how your business will run. Visit Zenbusiness to secure an operating agreement template.

Where To Get Funding

Small business loans can help a startup business secure the necessary elements they need to be successful. This might include a website domain, website design, buying equipment and supplies, and purchasing inventory or other products necessary to fully launch and operate your business. Before you can seek funding, you’ll need to have your business plan completed. Many banking institutions offer personal loans, while small business banks specifically service entrepreneurial-type endeavors. Other places  to look for funding include the SBA and state grants through microenterprise initiatives.

Where to Get Help

Depending on the type of business you’re launching, you might find it beneficial to consult a tax attorney, a small business accounting firm, or an employment law specialist. Joining industry associations like chambers of commerce or Rotary clubs can also provide a means for networking, promoting your business, and participating in small business development programs — all of which can help you advance your company.

Starting a business can be immensely rewarding and has the potential to be very lucrative, as well. Ensuring you’re going about everything the right way before startup can help you devote more of your time post-launch to delivering exceptional service and building your customer base.

Managing Communications serves start-up businesses with marketing strategy to help you identify your targeted audiences and services or products which will be important to them. Then, we help you build a strategic plan to realize your goals. Often, we identify a service or market you had not even considered! We also implement as needed for digital and traditional content, ongoing consulting and a host of other services. Let’s talk soon! susan@managingcommunications.com.

Why Organizations Fail to Develop Women for Leadership?

Many organizations around the world have one thing in common; they are run by men.
These organizations do not see female promotion into senior positions as a strategic business
imperative. Thus, leaving women stuck in mid-level positions while the men in the company
promote upwards. There are a few reasons that this bias exists whether the organization is
aware of it or not.

Reason #1: Limited Focus Initiatives
Organizations may have programs in place to develop leadership skills, but they are often not
fully executed, or they are enormous and difficult to follow. They may also have a limited focus
or train employees on lower-level tasks that mid-level employees may have already mastered.
Another issue with some initiatives is that they are not properly communicated as employees
move from entry level to mid-level positions. Therefore, employees are not aware of the
opportunities that exist.

Reason #2: Accountability
The organization is not “walking the talk” or following through with their promises. Women are
shown opportunities to excel in the workplace, but the opportunities are never actually
presented. This happens many times when an inside hire for an upper-level position is given
directly to a man and not opened to other qualified employees, including women.

Reason #3: Power Struggles
Research has shown that women struggle with delegating tasks. Recent studies have shown
women see delegation as more aggressive and assertive, which many think will hurt their image
in the organization. Women are much more empathetic towards their colleagues, whereas the
men are assertive and dominant to get things moving. Men, who are often in the higher
positions, allow this power to be seen as their dominance in the office setting, whereas women
don’t always have the same thirst for power and often seem much more civil with their
subordinates. This is a good quality and one which women can mentor to their male peers!

Reason #4: Risk Takers are Favored
Women have been taught not to advocate for their positions and themselves because society
has taught them to be docile, quiet, and kind. They have been taught to be more accepting.
The women of the organization then feel oppressed, as if they cannot take the risk to bring up
ideas during meetings or take on assignments due to this lack of power and worth to the
organization.

Reason #5: The Full Plate
Along with execution, women are expected to multitask, taking on a multitude of projects at
once because they multi-task well. Unfortunately, with a large number of projects, the
organization often avoids including a woman who has multiple projects already in a leadership
role on new initiatives. Women often use collaborative influencing to aid in the large
multitasking operation and are perceived as not taking a stance on changing the way
production is handled or pushing for new initiatives.

Organizations have much work to do to help women evolve into leadership positions. Some
organizations like Enspire Energy, in Chesapeake, Virginia, are on the up-and-coming women
lead business lists. The opportunities were presented and taken by Mary Hensley and Julie
Hashagen, with their vast experience and knowledge, they decided not to be oppressed
anymore by large organizational life and start their own business to strive.

These Books are the Key to Unlocking Your Leadership Potential

By Courtney Rosenfield of Gig Spark

Hoping to make a change? Leading your community into a better tomorrow is a serious
challenge, but it’s a necessary one. We need people willing to take charge and help us imagine
how the world could be. We’ve gathered these resources to help you find great books you can
borrow and read for inspiration, get into the habit of reading regularly, and unlock your
potential:

Inspiring Individuals 
These memoirs and biographies can help you figure out what kind of leader you want to be: 

– Here’s a list of biographies from Forbes to help you develop leadership in the
workplace.
– These books about women who changed the world challenge our ideas about
who can lead well.
– Memoirs like these help you to learn more about the activists who sparked
change in our nation’s history.

Unlocking the Leader in You 

Check out these guides to finding and using your greatest strengths:

– Start with these books on discovering and recognizing your strengths.
– Then check out these books on developing leadership skills at work and in your
community.
– These books on networking can help you build relationships that lead to effective
change.

Developing a Reading Habit
If you’re not already in the habit of reading regularly, these tips will help:

– Start small by reading an especially gripping book or re-reading an old favorite.
– Set a goal to read a certain number of books each month, and track your
progress.

Other Tactics for Reaching the Next Level
We live in an age where information is at our fingertips. Tap into some other opportunities for
growing and developing your inner leader:
– Could you use a consultant? Managing Communications Consulting offers
leadership support through business development services, marketing, and
strategic planning.
– Educational podcasts are a terrific tool for stretching your mind and learning new
skills.
– Online learning programs offer the opportunity to expand your education and
capabilities at your own pace.

Altogether, these resources give you more than a hundred books to add to your reading list.
Dive in today and learn all you can about becoming a leader. Reading will give you the chance
to learn, reflect, and unlock your true potential.

For leadership strategies and communications services, call Managing Communications
Consulting at 757-513-8633, email susan@managingcommunications.com, or fill out our online
form.

Photo Credit: Pexels

How to Launch a Small Business in Your City

By Courtney Rosenfeld of Gig Spark

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur? There’s no better time to start than right now! Launching a local business is a fantastic way to give back to your community while escaping the rat race and creating a source of passive income for yourself and your family. Of course, getting a business up and running is no simple feat. There are many legal, financial, and operational details to consider as you prepare your business for launch.

Whether you’re launching a freelancing business online or as a retail space in your community, it pays to do everything right from day one. Thankfully, online resources and services like Managing Communications Consulting can help you get your bearings.

Your Startup Checklist

A lot goes into starting a business. Here are just a few of the steps involved and how to tackle them on your own.

  • Determine the viability of your business idea by researching the local market for your product or service.
  • Figure out how you’re going to fund your new business, whether it’s bootstrapping, business loans, or seeking investors.
  • Register your business and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • To free up your time along the way, consider outsourcing some specialized work — such as email marketing — to professionals.

Establishing Your Business

Taking your product or service to market will require an online storefront like a website or a physical retail space. 

  • Determine how you’re going to source or manufacture your products.
  • Create a website and social media accounts for your business. 
  • If you’re opening a local business, set up a Google My Business listing so customers can find you when conducting a local search. 

Building Your Brand Story

The best way to stand out from all of your competitors is to develop an engaging brand story that resonates with your target audience.

  • A great brand story will foster trust in your business, turning indifferent shoppers into loyal customers.
  • LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for promoting your brand authentically and positioning yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
  • Just remember to inject some personality into your branded content.

Running a small business is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work. You’ll have to find funding, tackle your legal obligations, hire help, establish an online presence, and come up with a marketing strategy to get the word out about your brand. Take advantage of all the resources that are available to you! Business consulting from Managing Communications Consulting can help you establish a strong foundation for your new business. Give us a call to discuss your needs today! 757-513-8633.