Monthly Archives: June 2008

Redefining the Gold Standard


Joseph Michelli

Joseph Michelli

In his new book The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Dr. Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. discusses the “service value” that sets Ritz-Carlton apart from its competition.


In a tanking economy (sorry for being glass half-empty), the near future prospects of super luxury brands like Ritz-Carlton seem to be far from rosy.  But as Michelli points out, the company’s constant quest for excellence has elevated the luxury experience to a true art form.  And there will always be buyers for art.

As I commented at BusinessWeek’s excerpt from the book, Ritz-Carlton approaches Corporate Social Responsibility with the same dedication to excellence they are famous for in their customer service.  This is a rare and wonderful thing indeed.


Filed under corporate social responsibility, CSR

Hispanic Marketing For Credit Unions

Financial institutions have always had fun with marketing to Hispanics.  Targeting the right customer, dealing with documentation issues and figuring out the ROI on Hispanic initiatives have always been challenging.

Suzanne Boniface tackles the topic in the latest issue of Credit Union Management Magazine.  

Her statistics point to a good fit between Credit Unions and Hispanics.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Virginia Hispanic Youth Symposium

I received an email this morning from Rosa Castillo at the Hispanic College Fund about the need for volunteers for the upcoming Virginia Hispanic Youth Symposium.

The symposium has been designed for local High School students and will be held from July 16-19, 2008 at the University of Richmond.  The participants of this 1st Annual Richmond Hispanic Youth Symposium will convene at the University of Richmond for a three-night, four-day program that allows them to develop a network of peers and mentors, learn about resources and tools for college, and develop a long-term career vision.

They’ve assigned me to judging the speech contest, where participants need to give an unprepared 2 minute speech.  Better them than me.  I’ll be judging on execution and content.  

Which way should I go?  Randy Jackson or Simon Cowell?


UPDATE:  I had a great time on Friday at the Virginia Hispanic Youth Symposium.  Each of the speech makers put a lot of hard work into their presentations and it showed.  I was so impressed with the enthusiasm, poise, creativity and willingness to give back to the community that was demonstrated in every speech.  Volunteer opportunities like this don’t come along very often.  Thanks to the organizers of the Virginia Hispanic Youth Symposium for including me.  I learned a lot!


Totally unrelated, I just came across this article from Virginia Business Magazine that talks about Hispanic Outreach for  Keep on truckin’.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Multicultural Outreach Strategies for Green Groups

I recently completed a consulting assignment for a major national environmental organization.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot. This is an article I wrote for the May 2008 edition of Virginia Business Magazine that describes the lessons learned.

Since I wrote the article, I’m hoping that Virginia Business Magazine won’t sue me for reprinting it here.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Green Marketing

Project Plant It!

One of the most interesting and complex CSR/Green Marketing efforts I’ve been involved in has beenDominion’s Project Plant It!

This award winning program is a partnership between Dominion, the Arbor Day Foundation and elementary schools in regions served by the company. Project Plant It! was successfully piloted in 2007, when nearly 8,000 elementary school students in Greater Richmond, Va., learned about the value of trees in our ecosystem and how to recognize and care for trees. Project Plant It! enhanced the classroom learning experience and increased comprehension of subject matter to meet state learning standards content by providing a hands-on experience for each child. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under corporate social responsibility, CSR, Green Marketing

The Other Double D

Recently, the crack web team at the ad agency where I work created a cool viral campaign for Father’s Day for S&K Menswear.  You can check it out at

You can read the press release that I wrote and distributed here.  Clever, ain’t it?

You can read the story that resulted in the Richmond Times Dispatch here.

After 5 tries, we also posted the information to CNN’s iReport.  It took 5 tries because iReport kept pulling my submission down, one time after it already had 300 views.  They don’t tell you why, but I can only assume it was because it was too commercial.  So after making the copy more informal and pulling the client logo off the image, the submission stuck.

 Other hits I liked were in Promo Magazine and on screen shot

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized