Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced that this year’s Fall Business Expo will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the Valley Events Center, 6436 S. Hwy 85/87 (behind Applebees) from 10am to 5pm.

This year’s event will be held in the newly available, large event hall which can accomodate over 65 exhibitors. The Chamber invites the public to come and see what the Fountain Valley Business Community has to offer. Local businesses will be distributing information, coupons and of course SWAG (Stuff We All Get) such as key chains, pens, samples and other goodies. There will be food concessions and door prize drawings as well.

Businesses wishing to participate should contact the Chamber office at 719-382-3190. Early bird discounts are available through September 30th. If you participated in last year’s Expo, you can also qualify for a “grandfather” rate, if you act fast. All fees must be paid by October 14, 2011. Booth rates range from $200-$450. Spaces are reserved upon receipt of payment. You do not have to be a Chamber member to be an exhibitor, although you’ll get a discounted rate if you are.

Flyer and vendor application

Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce website

Friday, September 16, 2011

Carson Bluffs Uhaul and Storage now has Vans for rent

Carson Bluffs Uhaul and Storage, just west of I25 at Exit 128 in Fountain, now has Vans for rent.

Click on the image for details.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Soggy evening in Security

As of 4:30 pm it's starting to get deep out there, and still coming down steady.

Film at...well, right now.

Pikes Peak Workforce Center Moving to Garden of the Gods Rd

Colorado Springs, CO -- The Pikes Peak Workforce Center will close October 6 to move to the Citizens Service Center at 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.

The Center will reopen at its new location on October 11, 2011.. Hours of operation will remain the same: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During the closure, job seekers can access many job search services online at www.ppwfc.org.


The Pikes Peak Workforce Center connects vital businesses with work-ready job seekers and employer-driven services. More information about the Pikes Peak Workforce Center can be found online at www.ppwfc.org.

7th Annual Coats and Cans Drive

Harris Group Realty, Inc. is teaming up with Catholic Charities and Lighthouse Ministries Pantry to promote their 7th Annual Coats & Cans Community Drive. Please help us assist needy families throughout Colorado Springs .

We’ll be collecting new or gently used clothing, coats, mittens, sweaters, scarves, snowsuits, hats and non perishable food items thru November 15th, 2011. Items can be dropped at our office at 2950 Professional Pl, Ste. 205 in the Kissing Camels Office Park, just east of Coronado High School on Fillmore from 8:30 to 4:00 M-F or at a south location at Easy Street Designs, 109 Kiva Road in Security from 8:30 to 6:00 M-F and 10:00 to 2:00 Saturday.

Thank you in advance for helping us help those in need this holiday season. For more information, please call us at 227-9900.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scam Alert - Fake FTC Complaint Notice

Better Business Bureau warns consumers to avoid clicking on bogus FTC link

The Federal Trade Commission issued the alert below on September 1 warning consumers about a bogus email being falsely sent using their name and leading recipients to believe it is it is from them. In fact, it is not. Below is the legitimate email from the FTC.

FTC Warns Small Businesses: Don’t Open Email Falsely Claiming to be From FTC

The FTC is warning small businesses that an email with a subject line “URGENT: Pending Consumer Complaint” is not from the FTC. The email says that a complaint has been filed with the agency against their company. The FTC advises not to click on any of the links or attachments with the email. Clicking on the links may install a virus on the computer.

The FTC’s advice: Delete the email. For more information on malware, visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov/malware.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Office of Public Affairs

Below is the fake email. As you can see it looks legitimate. Do not click the link!

From: Federal Trade Commission [mailto:complaints@ftc.gov]
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 11:28 AM
Subject: URGENT : Pending consumer complaint!

Dear business owner,

A consumer complaint has been filled against your company.

Your company is being accused of trying to commit fraud against the complaint's filling party.
The full text of the complaint file can be viewed on the FTC website, in PDF format, by visiting the following link :

An official response from your part is required, in order to take further action.
Please review the charges brought forward in the complaint file, and contact us as soon as possible by :

Phone: Call our toll-free helpline: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357);
TTY: 1-866-653-4261
Online: Use our secure complaint form ( https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ )
Email: complaints@ftc.gov

Thank you,
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Protection Department

It is not uncommon for scammers to use the name of legitimate organizations, as well as use scare tactics such as those in the phony email above, to scare potential victims and illicit a response.

As always, your BBB urges consumers to use extreme caution when opening any email. It’s especially important not to click on links unless you are positive who sent the email.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Four Keynotes Slated for 6th Annual Author Fest of the Rockies

Award-winning Colorado-based authors will speak at day-long conference.

The 6th Annual Author Fest of the Rockies remains true to a tradition of rich offerings, with a roster of four Colorado authors who will be speaking at the statewide literary conference from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 9, at the Historic Cliff House at Pikes Peak.

“We’re really excited about our keynotes for this year’s Author Fest,” said Natalie Johnson, Author Fest board member. “These authors are some of the most talented and prolific that Colorado has to offer. Author Fest attendees have come to expect a program that is educational as well as entertaining, and this year will not disappoint.”

Keynote Matt Moseley is a communications strategist and a principal at InterMountain Corporate Affairs in Denver. He has managed many communications projects for companies and organizations, and has worked on many political campaigns. He was the family spokesperson for Lisl Auman and was also hired by Johnny Depp to be the family spokesperson and communications director for Hunter S. Thompson’s funeral and ash-blast. He recently published Dear Dr. Thompson: Felony Murder, Hunter S. Thompson and the Last Gonzo Campaign, which was a finalist for the 2011 Colorado Book Award.
Keynote Barbara O’Neal fell in love with food and restaurants at the age of 15, when she landed a job in a Greek café and served baklava for the first time. She sold her first novel in her twenties, and has since won a plethora of awards, including two Colorado Book Awards and six prestigious RITAs, most recently one for The Lost Recipe for Happiness in 2010. Her novels have been published widely in Europe and Australia, and she travels internationally, presenting workshops, hiking hundreds of miles, and of course, eating. She lives with her partner, a British endurance athlete, and their collection of cats and dogs, in Colorado Springs.

Keynote Stephanie Barron was born in Binghamton, NY in 1963, the last of six girls. Her father was a retired general in the Air Force, her mother a beautiful woman who loved to dance. In 1981, she started college at Princeton—one of the most formative experiences of her life. There she learned to write news stories for The Daily Princetonian – a hobby that led to part-time jobs for The Miami Herald and The San Jose Mercury News. She majored in European History and spent three years at Stanford pursuing a doctorate in history; she failed to write her dissertation (on the Brazilian Bar Association under authoritarianism; can you blame her?) and left with a Master’s. She applied to the CIA, passed a polygraph test on her 26th birthday, and was immediately thrown into the Career Trainee program. Barron wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Fifteen books have followed, along with sundry children, dogs and houses.

Keynote Erin Blakemore learned to drool over Darcy and cry over Little Women in suburban San Diego, California. These days, her inner heroine loves roller derby, running her own business, and hiking in her adopted hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Erin's debut book, The Heroine's Bookshelf, was published by HarperCollins in October, won the 2011 Colorado Book Award in the Nonfiction-General category, and will appear in paperback November 15.

In keeping with Author Fest’s Arts-in-Education component, the event will sponsor young adult author Laura Resau in the Manitou Springs schools. With a background in cultural anthropology and ESL-teaching, Laura Resau has lived and traveled in Latin America and Europe - experiences that inspired her books for young people. Her latest novel, The Queen of Water (co written with María Virginia Farinango) was praised as a "riveting tale...by turns heartbreaking, infuriating and ultimately inspiring" in a starred review by Kirkus. Resau lives with her husband and young son in Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.
As a breakaway event from the Friends of the Manitou Springs Public Library, Author Fest is in its first year as a standalone nonprofit organization. Although it takes an abbreviated form this year, the all-volunteer board has endeavored to replicate the value attendees always gain from Author Fest. Tickets for the event are $75 and include lunch. Registration forms may be picked up at Black Cat Books or the Manitou Springs Public Library, or you can register online at www.authorfestoftherockies.org. Sponsorships for Author Fest will continue to be available this year. For more information about Author Fest of the Rockies, call Laura Ettinger at 719-231-7202, or email at laura.ettinger@authorfestoftherockies.org. “Like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorfestoftherockies) and follow us on Twitter (@AuthorFest).

About Author Fest
Author Fest of the Rockies, a 501(c)3, is a nonprofit organization in process that has as its signature event a statewide literary conference. This conference, also called Author Fest of the Rockies, is open to anyone interested in the written and spoken word. Author Fest is dedicated to keeping a strong arts-in-education component in its activities and to supporting the Manitou Springs Public Library. Visit www.authorfestoftherockies.org.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cottonwood Artists' School Announces September & October Art Classes

Cottonwood Artists' School announces its stellar lineup of September & October Classes. We are particularly proud to offer 2 classes by Rodney Wood, Rodney Wood ~ Promote Thy Art Self on 10/22 and Rodney Wood ~ “The Judge, the Jury and the Art of Self-Assessment” on 10/29 in conjunction with our 3rd Annual Day of the Dead celebration on 10/28 from 5pm to 8:30 pm.

Cottonwood Artists' SchoolCottonwood Center for the Arts
427 E. Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO

Please call (719) 520-1899 for additional information and to register.

Chris Alvarez ~ Plein Air Painting 9/13~ 10/6
Micheal Pach ~ Digital Photography 9/13~10/13
Karen Standridge ~ Fun With Watermedia 9/17
Kathleen Reed ~ Zen/Ikebana Floral Arranging 9/17
Trevor Thomas ~ Fundamentals in Figure Drawing 9/22~10/10
Lisa Hewett ~ Perfecting Facial Features 9/24 & 9/25

Rob Burrington ~ Capturing/Controlling Light 10/1 & 10/2
Sibyl Teague ~ Gelatin Monoprint 10/1
Rick Bongiovanni ~ Introduction to Life Casting 10/4 & 10/5
Jennifer Hanson ~ Throwing on the Wheels(ADDUCE Only) 10/1 & 10/2
Rob Burrington ~ Capturing Controlling Light 10/11-11/15
Jude Silva ~ Line Dance with Dry Point 10/8 &10/22
Kay Beaubian ~ Non-Toxic Mononprint 10/4-11/8
Lance Timco and Jennifer Hanson ~ Introduction to Raku (ADDUCE) 10/8 &10/9
R.W. Carlson ~ Expressive Skies 10/15
Chris Gilman ~ Cartooning Secrets 10/20-11/17
Rodney Wood ~ Promote Thy Art Self 10/22
Micheal Pach ~ Photoshop 10/20-11/17
Rodney Wood ~ “The Judge, the Jury and the Art of Self-Assessment” 10/29

For more information; http://cottonwoodcenterforthearts.wordpress.com/cottonwood-artists-school/

How to make your customers feel stupid

From LauraBenjamin.com

We all know ways to make our customers feel stupid, don’t we? Sure we do! Do we want to make our customers feel stupid? Of course not! Do some of us do it by mistake while others give into “the dark side” and do it on purpose? Yep!

When I worked as a customer service agent for a check-printing company, we got calls from customers who had just received their box of checks in the mail.

They’d follow the instructions on the box and review the numbers of each pad to make sure no checks were missing. Then some would call us to say, “There’s a pad of checks missing from my box.”

So, we’d ask them to go back through the box and read the number printed at the top of each pad. When they read the number from the third pad from the bottom, they’d say, “See, I’m missing a pad of checks!”

Then we’d ask, “Can you lift up the top sheet on that third pad of checks and read me the number of the check just below it?”
(This was the magical moment when the agent could make the customer feel really stupid.)

There would be a very long pause, and then, in an embarrassed tone they’d say, “Ohhhhh….THERE it is!”

Yep. The reorder form is always on the third pad from the bottom and contains the beginning number of the NEXT check order.

It could have been real easy at that point to roll our eyes, sigh and use a condescending tone to make ‘em feel really, really stupid.
OR, we’d say, “That’s okay. You wouldn’t believe how many people make the same mistake!”

Then we’d laugh a little together about the crazy things humans do and end the call with a happy customer who was now more likely to order again.


Are there times or circumstances when you can easily make your customers feel stupid? How do you avoid it? Are there people on your team who can’t resist? How do you “educate” them and redirect them to more respectful interactions?

All material presented on Laura Benjamin’s Blog at LauraBenjamin.com is copyright. You are encouraged to share the contents with others with appropriate attribution. Creative Commons License applies.