2007 was my first full year of running my own public relations agency in Vermont and I couldn't have done it without the help of quite a few others. As a way of offering some thanks and giving my favorite of kudos to others, I have invented my own Best of 2007 list of recipients!
~ Best Computer Doctor: All Systems Repair - They are simply the best. The work they do is great and their customer service can't be beat. I don't think I could have gone on at times without them. Viruses, infiltrations, dirtiness, and all else that plagues my sweet little laptop - All Systems Repair keeps my home office in operation. And, they are fair. Check them out in Winooski at www.allsyst.com.
~ Best Place for a Business Lunch: New Moon Cafe - Located in Downtown Burlington, New Moon Cafe is another new business of 2007 and definitely a fantastic place for any kind of lunch. I have been using if for all of my lunch meetings and love it! It's healthy "fast food" - so yum, so classy, so much to rave about - check them out on Cherry Street and at www.newmoonvt.com.
~ Best Car Service: Shearer - I love Shearer and no they don't pay me to say it. I have complete brand loyalty to Pontiacs (thanks to my dad) and currently drive a Vibe (see my Vermont Vibes blog for more on that). But, regardless of my Vibe, the customer service, oil changes, people, autobody shop, etc. at Shearer are exceptional. A few weeks ago my wipers weren't working so I stopped by, the service guys fixed them up and sprayed all the ick off my car. While they were helping me and my beloved car, I took notice of a sign of all their services and the cost comparison with all other nearby services. In only two out of seven or eight options was Shearer the lowest, and the honesty and helpfulness was some of the best marketing I have seen around! Anyway, Shearer takes care of me, my cars, and my contact with the road. Check them out on Shelburne Road in South Burlington and my friends in the service department at www.shearerpontiac.com!
~ Best Banking: Key Bank - They support the women business owners, treat me like a person (unlike my previous bank), helped me deal with my 401K (meaning they also offer financial planning - convenient), and Jeannie Lynch is simply remarkable. In my opinion all motivated women should bank with Key bank - check out the Key For Women program.
~ Best Place to Find My Equilibrium: Vermont State Parks - When I need peace, when I need to realign with the forces, and when I need to clear my head and reconnect with reality, I go to a state park. A snowshoe in the winter, a nature walk in the summer, a paddle in the fall, or a history exploration in the spring. I go by myself, bring some healthy snacks, a camera, and a journal and breathe. Sometimes I even sing. It feels good. I have never once left a state park without feeling more connected with my perspective on life. Everyone should sojourn to a state park for a few hours, solo. www.vtstateparks.com
~ Best Work Music: VPR Classical - I have always found classical music enjoyable and have also noticed my office managing cats really like it. I tried listening to regular VPR for a wile, but would get distracted by the different programs and discussions (not in a bad way, I would just focus on my work less and the radio more). But VPR Classical is purrfect (I had to). The music offers a calming and soothing backdrop to the sometimes heightened stresses that come with PR, and the occasional news keeps me in touch with the world. Who says radio is dead? Tune in with VPR at www.vpr.net.
~ Best Office Supplies: Recycle North and when they don't have it, Staples does. Recycle North is a great place to go to check first for what you may need and then go to Staples - you can save good money that way and get groovier office supplies. www.recyclenorth.org and www.staples.com.
~ Best Networking: Women Business Owner's Network (WBON) Events - They win. I go to a LOT of networking events and the best advice and most business comes from the WBON, bottoms down. If you are a woman business owner you should join - no ifs, ans, or buts. www.wbon.org
I have already started compiling kudos for the Best of 2008 - good luck!