My co-worker Beth and I were recently having lunch with our clients Shelly and Leslie from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter. The restaurant had Trivial Pursuit cards on the table and we started playing. That somehow led to a discussion on sitcoms of the ’60s and ’70s, which led to the realization that many of those shows featured single parents raising their kids. 

Interesting enough, according to Linda Walton, diversity director at the City of Scottsdale, in today’s society, the “mom, dad, two kids and a dog” family only makes up about 8 percent of the population.  She spoke at the recent PRSA Phoenix chapter luncheon.

Of course, in these sitcoms, there was always an Aunt Bee, Uncle Charley, Alice or Mr. French to help with the child-raising.  But whether it was Courtship of Eddie’s Father, My Three Sons or the Brady Bunch (Mike and Carol were each raising three kids before they got married), the storylines always focused on resolving family issues by talking it out.

You know what?  That message still holds true today.  According to the Partnership, parents and other caregivers play an important role in helping their kids make healthy decisions.  They just need to start talking.

Guess Uncle Bill was on to something.


“Who Moved My Cheese?”

October 30, 2008

My turn for the HMA book report.

I selected Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD, who also co-authored One Minute Manager. 

It was a good, quick read – which is essential for me.

Basically, two of the characters, Hem and Haw, became very complacent and didn’t notice what was going on around them.   One day – the cheese they had been living on was gone and they were mad – and unprepared for change.  They thought they deserved the cheese just because it was there.

A few more key points:

If you do not change, you can become extinct.

  • Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
  • Movement in a new direction helps you find new cheese.
  • When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.
  • The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.
  • It is safer to search in a maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.
  • Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese.
  • When you see that you can find and enjoy new cheese, you change course.
  • Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.

Change happens, anticipate change, monitor change, adapt to change quickly, change, enjoy change, be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again.

I’m one who always liked things to stay status quo.


The Musical Paradigm

October 29, 2008

Scott sit's "first chair" with Laurie Selby

Scott sits first chair with Laurie Selby

The Arizona Chapter of EO‘s latest learning event was music to my ears. 

My musical taste and knowledge has been pretty much limited to Hootie and Dave Matthews, until I attended EO’s “Musical Paradigm – Lesson on Leadership,” featuring Roger Nierenberg, music director of the Stamford Symphony Orchestra.

 During a performance by the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra led by Nierenberg, not only did I have the opportunity to sit on stage next to Laurie Selby, a 26-year-cellist with the orchestra, but Nierenberg called me up to direct the orchestra!  Was one of the coolest things I have done in a while.  My seat on stage was so close to Laurie I thought she was going to hit me with her bow as she played.

Conductor Scott

Conductor Scott

Nierenberg talked about the willpower musicians have to learn and master their craft.  He discussed musicians’ refined decision-making and the teamwork it takes to make beautiful music.  And he stressed how, in any organization, whether it’s an orchestra or a business, everyone matters.  Each has a key role and without the other, there might be music, but it probably won’t be beautiful – just as in business. 

Now, ah wunna, two-a, three-a….

Jolly Good Fellows

October 27, 2008

The Public Relations Society of America’s College of Fellows has inducted a record 19 new members in its 2008 Class.

It is a tremendously proud moment for each of the inductees, leaders who make a difference in the profession and in our lives.

I am proud to say that I am one of the 455 fellows from among 22,000 PRSA members.

According to the PRSA Bylaws, to be considered for the College of Fellows a member of PRSA must have practiced or taught public relations for 20 or more years, demonstrated superior capability as a practitioner or educator, exhibited personal and professional qualities that serve as a role model, and advanced the state of the profession. Criteria also include being an Accredited Public Relations (APR) practitioner, which requires passing rigorous oral and written examinations involving a depth of knowledge in the strategic analysis of public relations issues including program, research, ethics, legal issues, communications and other areas.

Hip hip hooray!

Sixty Percenters

October 24, 2008

Local freelance writer Geri Koeppel has created a blog, called “60 Percenters,” to connect freelancers all over Arizona.  A writer for Phoenix Magazine, the Arizona Republic, South Mountain District News and other local publications Koeppel created the blog as a “virtual coffeehouse” where freelancers can go for advice from others in the field.  

The story behind the name of the blog is something I find to be very humorous.  Koeppel explains that while the corporate world often expects employees to give 110 percent of their effort to the company, freelancers prefer instead to give 60 percent.  What do they do with the other 40 percent?  Koeppel says it is reserved for “important things such as family, friends and outside interests – including taking catnaps, drinking wine and goofing off in general.”

Sounds like fun!  Congrats on the new blog, Geri; we look forward to reading more in the future.

HMA Baby Time!

October 22, 2008

HMA Time is HMA Baby Time today! We are proud to announce that HMA’s own Deb Plunkett and her hubby Davis welcomed their first child – Chloe Hanalei – into the world this past Friday. Weighing in at seven pounds seven ounces, Chloe was born healthy, happy and ready to make mamma work! Congratulations Deb and Davis!!

Subway Gives Back

October 21, 2008

Subway franchisee Mark Roden had the pleasure of visiting the Children’s Angel Foundation at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix this week, where he got to give the volunteers, staff and residents a special treat – 50 tickets to the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 9. Subway Restaurants of Arizona, our client for more than a decade, wanted to thank this important Valley organization for all it does, and give them the chance to see racing stars Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and more compete in this semi-final race in the chase for the Sprint Cup.

HMA Recycles!

October 15, 2008

It’s a happy day in the HMA office – we finally got our recycling bin!


Take a look at our green poster boy Scott making the inaugural drop.

Free Grant Money

October 14, 2008

Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona, an organization HMA volunteers with that provides sports equipment, uniforms, registration fees and access to major sporting events for kids who might not otherwise be able to participate, is now accepting grant applications from non-profit organizations across the state.

Proposals must illustrate how an organization’s needs directly relate to the mission of Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona. To obtain the application and criteria, click here or call Mark Roden at (480) 705-8500. To be considered, organizations must submit 10 copies of the application, along with any accompanying materials, by 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.

Grant recipients will be announced at the 9th Annual Subway Kids & Sports Golf Tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. Recipients will also be posted to the website in December.

The mission of Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona is to provide sports equipment, uniforms, registration fees, and access to major sporting events for kids who might not otherwise be able to participate.

Our client, Cachet Homes, is proud to announce it is sending Valley residents to the golf course this fall and winter. From October 13 to October 20, while supplies last, visitors to Encore at Grayhawk by Cachet Homes will receive tickets to the Open, which is set for Oct. 23 to Oct. 26 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. Then, anyone who attends the Open who also visits Encore during the tournament will be entered to win one of three ticket packages to the FBR Open, which is set for Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, 2009 at the TPC in Scottsdale.

Encore by Cachet Homes is located just off the 101 freeway and Pima Road and is situated along the Grayhawk championship Talon golf course.  The neighborhood features 45 elegant townhomes and 140 luxury condominiums, with seven distinct floorplans ranging from 1,343 to 2,446 square feet.

Homes at Encore start from the high-$300’s.  The sales office is located at 20750 N. 87th Street in Scottsdale and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The phone number is (480) 419-7656.

For more information or to learn more about Cachet’s communities please click here.