2012 New Years Resolutions

Yeah, I know!  Everyone hates New Year’s Resolutions, but we seem to keep making them none-the-less.  And from what we find, people read them.  But keep them – not so much.  So here we go:

Lose weight. Stop smoking. Drink less (or more expensively). Join a gym or health club and actually go there.  Promise to be more loving to your family, spouse, etc.  Be kinder to others.  Clean out your closets, garage, car, etc.  De-clutter your office – are file folders that you last looked at two years ago really necessary??  Balance your checkbook.

Now that I’ve gotten the usual list out of the way, here are a few others that you might want to consider:

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Local Generosity - National Philanthropy Day

There are many not-for-profit orgnanizations in this community  who support the less fortunate, the arts, education and other worthy endeavors which make Ithaca and Tompkins County a very special place to live.  Each year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, NY Finger Lakes Chapter presents four awards honoring the people and organizations that make philanthropy work in our community. This years award winners are:

Professor Arthur Kuckes was presented with the Philanthropist of the Year award for his major gifts to the Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation that funds over 60 student scholarships at TC3 annually.

John Potter, the owner of Seneca Beverage Corporation in Elmira received the Corporate Philanthropist of the Year award for his company’s work with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and guidance to Glover house, the Boy Scouts and other organizations.

Brigid Hubberman received the Outstanding Professional Achievement in non-profit leadership award for her un-tiring work in creating and nurturing the Family Reading Partnership.

Lastly, Larry Baum, CEO of The Computing Center received the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year award for his work with the TC3 Foundation, Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, Finger Lakes Wine Center, and other local not-for-profit organizations.

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You already knew, only you did not want me to speak it

 I was watching a really old episode of Stargate SG-1 and that line was spoken.  The context was when one person was on trial for something he had done in the past and was being defended by another.  It got me thinking.  How many times do we know things but refuse to acknowledge them or reject them as false when someone else raises them up to us?

As a business owner and consultant I often had to tell clients things we discovered in their business that were not easy things to talk about.  And the reverse is I also had to hear things from staff and others that I did not want to hear.  One of the most difficult conversations I had to have with a client was when my staff told me the reason there were so many repeat problems on one of the computers there was due to an executive in the firm going to explicit websites.  They didn’t want to say anything to the client because they didn’t want to rock the boat. I had to weigh what the impact on our relationship with the client would be if we spoke up and also how it might affect their business if we did or didn’t speak up.

We talked for quite a while and you could see that they were finally ready to acknowledge the problem. Sadly, readiness happened after they spent a lot of money that did not need to be spent.  Has that ever been you?  Were you unwilling to face the reality of what someone was telling you because it would create friction, cause a confrontation with someone, or make you change something you were doing?  Did you know something about yourself that you refused to deal with because you did not want to admit you had a problem with it or with someone?

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Blackberry Outage in US

 The RIM Blackberry Outage that began in Europe and the Middle East has expanded to the US and Canada.  We began noting problems with our Blackberries this morning around 7:15am.  We will continue to monitor what is occuring and will add more to this article as we know more.

Here is the link to the RIM Status Site:  www.rim.com/newsroom/service-update.shtml

Update - 10/12 @ 16:30  -- We are starting to see some email coming through our Blackberry Enterprise Server at Computing Center.  Still not totally reliable.

Update - 10/12 @ 19:20 - Most local BlackBerry emails are now working.  There are still some BlackBerry Messenger and browswer issues.

Update - 10/13 @ 10:00 - RIM reports that all Blackberry Services are back to normal and all backlogged emails have been delivered.

Donating cars to Charities

Many people who donate a car to charity hope that the charity will give their car donation to a deserving person. While some charities actually do give donated cars to the needy, they are in the minority. This article looks behind the scenes.

Charities only give away cars that run and have no mechanical problems or major body damage. The reason for that is that a charity is considered in the eyes of the law to be the same as a used car dealer. As such, the charity is only allowed to give or sell a car to a needy person if that car passes inspection and meets emission standards.

Most cars donated by the public need some type of repair. Many car donations have either major body damage or major mechanical problems, sometimes both. Those cars are donated because the donors do not want to fix them, are sick of fixing them, or cannot afford to fix them. Again, the charity is required to repair the car before it can donate car or even sell it to a deserving person.

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