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Archive for March, 2010

I just returned from The Summit & Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD and was so happy I did. This was a single program with two important goals.

First, the Summit brought together America’s leading corporations, government agencies, women business owners and strategic partner organizations. The comprehensive two-day program focused on business forecasts, market trends, best practices, and provided the perfect networking environment making it conducive to do business.

Second, the Salute honored WBENC’s award-winning Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Stars for their achievements and leadership, and also paid tribute to America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises.

The Opportunity Connection theme was based on one of WBENC’s three core values: Certification, Opportunity, and Resources. This theme re-emphasized WBENC’s ongoing commitment of connecting major corporations and WBE’s to identify and negotiate future business opportunities.

In addition, the Summit & Salute offered WBE’s wonderful opportunities to build their business; opportunities to informally introduce themselves and their company’s to corporate and government leaders without an appointment; opportunities to learn about the latest macro and micro trends and how they’ll affect their business; and opportunities to grow as business leaders.

Corporate representatives were presented with opportunities to learn about best practices from their peers; opportunities to speak to WBE’s who can supply them with important new products and services to increase their productivity and profitability; and opportunities to meet a broad range of WBE’s who represent a substantial market for their company’s products and services.

I am so happy I attended and cannot believe how much was accomplished in two days. As a certified woman-owned business, I openly embrace and take pride in the fact that we are a community where we welcome the opportunity to support each other through referrals, ongoing support and a camaraderie that is second-to-none.

Thank you to all my fellow WBE’s for sharing these two days with me – I learned a lot and made a lot of wonderful connections. I look forward to our next event.



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10 WAYS TO GO GREEN AT WORK
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GREENER HOMES ARE IN THE SPOTLIGHT these days, but what about the other places where many of us spend huge chunks of our time—our offices? Some simple changes of habit can save energy and resources at work, and these small steps can be multiplied by persuading the powers-that-be at your workplace to adopt environmentally friendly (and often cost-effective) policies.

1. BE BRIGHT ABOUT LIGHT
Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings.

  • Turn off the lights when you’re leaving any room for 15 minutes or more and utilize natural light when you can.
  • Incorporate it into your office policy to buy only Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures (www.energystar.gov), which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they’re not needed.

2. MAXIMIZE COMPUTER EFFICIENCY
Computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year.

  • Turn off your computer—and the power strip it’s plugged into—when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you’re still burning energy even if you’re not burning the midnight oil. (Check with your IT department to make sure the computer doesn’t need to be on to run backups or other maintenance). During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don’t save energy.
  • Invest in energy-saving computers, monitors, and printers and make sure that old equipment is properly recycled. Look for a recycler that has pledged not to export hazardous e-waste and to follow other safety guidelines. Computers that still work, and are less than five years old, can be donated to organizations that will refurbish them and find them new homes. You may even get a tax deduction (check with your accountant).

3. PRINT SMARTER
The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year.

  • Print on both sides or to use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible.
  • Buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Also consider switching to a lighter stock of paper or alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, or kenaf. Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones.

4. GO PAPERLESS WHEN POSSIBLE

  • Think before you print: could this be read or stored online instead? Request to be removed from mailing lists for any unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines, and junk mail.
  • Post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They provide you with more flexibility as they’re easier to update too.

5. RAMP UP YOUR RECYCLING

  • Recycle everything your company collects. Just about any kind of paper you would encounter in an office, including fax paper, envelopes, and junk mail, can be recycled.
  • Make it a policy to place recycling bins in accessible, high-traffic areas and provide clear information about what can and can not be recycled.

6. CREATE A HEALTHY OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

  • Use nontoxic cleaning products. Brighten up your cubicle with plants, which absorb indoor pollution.
  • Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won’t off-gas toxic chemicals.

7. WATCH WHAT (AND HOW) YOU EAT

  • Bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office.
  • Provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for parties and other events. Provide filtered drinking water to reduce bottled-water waste – also keeps your office neat.

8. RETHINK YOUR TRAVEL

  • Take the train, bus, or subway when feasible instead of a rental car when traveling on business. If you have to rent a car, some rental agencies now offer hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles.
  • Invest in videoconferencing and other technological solutions that can reduce the amount of employee travel.

9. RECONSIDER YOUR COMMUTE

  • Carpool, bike, or take transit to work, and/or telecommute when possible. If you need to drive occasionally, consider joining a car-sharing service. These are great alternatives to owning your own wheels.
  • Encourage telecommuting (a nice perk that’s also good for the planet!) and make it easy for employees to take alternative modes of transportation by subsidizing commuter checks, offering bike parking, or organizing a carpool board.

10. CLOSE THE LOOP

  • Purchase office supplies and furniture made from recycled materials.
  • Incorporate it into your office policy to buy only Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures (www.energystar.gov), which use at least two-thirds less energy than regular lighting, and install timers or motion sensors that automatically shut off lights when they’re not needed.

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USE PERSPECTIVE TO CREATE PRESENTATIONS
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When you and your team have finished writing a top-notch presentation, you’ve got one more step to go. And that’s putting together the finished product so your information is clear, easy to access, and engaging. Just as you’ve created a presentation with your recipiEasy Bindersents in mind, you’ll want to use that same perspective when putting your work together in a presentation binder. With these tips, you’ll be able to put your presentation together so it’s an attractive masterpiece.

Training Manuals Built to Last

What’s the key to any effective training manual from the user’s point of view? Finding information quickly and easily. So when putting together a training manual, make sure it’s simple for the user to navigate. Use dividers to create different sections in your manual, so users can flip to the section they want right away. Label both the front and back of the divider tabs, so no matter which section the binder is already opened to, it’s easy for the user to turn to another section. Avery Index Maker® Clear Label Dividers with Easy Apply™ Label Strips are easy to create right from your desktop. Avery Templates and the auto-fill feature helps you create and print multiple sets of divider tab labels for both the front and back sides of the tabs.

To construct your training manual, you’ll want something sturdy that will stand up to heavy usage and be easy to navigate. The Avery Durable Binder is the perfect solution. In addition to its sturdiness, the binder features patented EZ-Turn™ Rings. The unique shape of these rings ensures that pages lie flat and turn more smoothly than they would on regular round rings, and holds more pages than the same size round rings.

Marketing Presentations that are Truly Professional

Let’s get straight to the point. When you’ve created a marketing presentation for busy people, you’ll want a binder that’s just as organized, concise, and professional as your work. Whether it’s next year’s marketing plan or a competitive analysis of the current market, your users will appreciate reviewing your information in an Avery Flexi-View Presentation Binder. These flexible binders are perfect for shorter, concise presentations. They’re durable and lightweight, making them easy to carry. Plus, they have a stylish graphic border on the cover that frames your work, giving it a polished and professional appearance. To create customized covers, turn to free Avery Templates to get started.

To keep the presentation organized, combine the Avery Flexi-View Presentation Binder with Avery Index Maker Clear Label Dividers with Easy Apply Label Strips. These unique dividers make it easy to create multiple sets quickly because you can actually apply all the tab labels to the dividers in one swoop. Not only are these labels easy to print and apply, they’ll give your dividers a custom-printed look.

Business Presentations that Make a Lasting Impression

Making a new business presentation for a potential client? Show them you’ve created a presentation with them in mind. A potential client wants to feel like the presentation was crafted and customized just for them. So add the details that make a difference. Best of all, you won’t have to go to an expensive outside print shop to get the job done. Start with an Avery Framed View Binder, and create an attractive title page that includes the client’s name and logo as well as your own. Avery Templates make it easy for you to create and personalize your title page. The front cover of the Avery Framed View Binder frames your title page, giving it a clean, polished look. To organize your work, use Avery Index Maker Clear Label Dividers with Easy Apply Label Strips. The clear labels give your dividers a print-shop quality look right from your desktop. For added impact, consider including the client’s logo on each tab divider. Avery Templates make it simple for you to do.

For another extra touch, create a specially designed business card to include with your presentation. With Avery Clean Edge® Two-Side Printable Business Cards andd free Avery Templates, you can create personalized cards in a snap. On one side of the card you can include your contact information, such as your name, company, address, e-mail address and phone number. On the other side, consider adding a customized message to help you close the deal.

The next time you’re putting a presentation together, take a moment to think about the information and final product from the user’s perspective. When you create a presentation with them in mind, your presentation can make a valuable and lasting.

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