Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Orfalea Foundation: A Focus on the Youth of Santa Barbara and the World

The Orfalea Foundation is an organization in Santa Barbara that focuses on early childhood education and youth development by providing financial support and guidance to charitable organizations. It consists of several different arms including the Orfalea Family Foundation, which is the arm that looks after the areas of personal interest of the Orfalea family. Another arm, the Orfalea Fund, is a separate, not-for-profit organization, and it exists as part of the Santa Barbara Foundation. In addition, this arm provides funding for grants that are distributed by the Santa Barbara Foundation. These arms are often collectively referred to as the Orfalea Foundation.

Ken Slaught

A Focus on Early Childhood Education

The Orfalea Foundation has three main focus areas. The organization’s focus on early childhood education has been a priority for the Orfalea Foundation since 2000. The investments range from supporting the quality of preschool education centers to supporting healthy food and habits of young children. The foundation also provides outdoor learning opportunities for young children. The organization also supports a directors’ retreat for directors of early childhood education programs to find support and build ideas through annual conferences. One of the organizations supported by the Orfalea Foundation is the Storyteller Children’s Center, a center for early childhood education for children who are either homeless or at risk. The Storyteller Children’s Center provides full-time and tuition-free early childhood education for 42 children every year. The Storyteller Children’s Center believes that it takes a village to raise a child, and the Storyteller Center team consists of educators, administrators and a board of directors including Kenny Slaught.

A Focus on Learning

The Orfalea Foundation also has a focus on general education and learning. The organization has donated over $45 million in funding to educational programs in Santa Barbara and the surrounding counties over the last seven years. The foundation also contributes to state and national programs. Their interests in education focus on young learning, but they also work to support students in pursuit of higher education. By working with both non-profit school programs as well as developing partnerships with universities in California, the Orfalea Foundation has provided both scholarships and career support to students throughout the state.

A Focus on Youth Development

The third main focus of the Orfalea Foundation is within general youth development programs. With a focus on leadership skills, the foundation works to facilitate initiatives that take place outside of normal school events. The purpose of these events is to provide an opportunity for both learning new skills as well building mentorships and connections with positive adults. These programs aim to give a sense of belonging to students as well as a sense of usefulness by showing students that they have a voice both in their lives and in the world. The REACH Initiative is the capstone of the work the foundation does in the area of youth development. The REACH Initiative accepts applications from students in their sophomore year of high school to join a four-year initiative that would last through their second year of post-secondary education. The project recently took students on educational adventure field trips that include programming that is focused on skill building and community involvement.

The Orfalea Foundation has been working to serve the Santa Barbara area for many years by working with the community to provide better education opportunities for children both in and out of the classroom.

Make Your Brand Memorable With Video Marketing

If you find yourself struggling to create a successful marketing campaign, don’t panic. Contemporary digital marketing techniques are complex and can leave the average layman frustrated. Professional digital marketing consultants, on the other hand, are experienced to read the markets and utilize advance analytical tools to create an effective campaign for your company. Hiring their services allows you to focus on your business while a team of experts promote your brand.

Your brand is your company. It’s how consumers perceive you and your services, based on a set of qualities that you may or may not have cultivated. Smart businesses know that they can develop a brand that people will not only recognize but positively identify as a service or product provider that they want to support. In order to build a strong and influential brand, you need to take into account the power of digital marketing techniques.

branding

Video marketing campaigns are becoming an incredibly successful tool in any promotional drive. Since the spread of the internet, video has become the dominant form of communication for this generation. It’s no wonder, as more and more of the population has handheld devices that are made for this use in mind. Android phones, iPads, and other personal devices can bring up popular videos with a simple touch of a screen, and they can be shared between users in the same way.

People want to watch and share things. It’s written into our biology. In recent studies, neuro-scientists have proven that visual data is processed faster by the brain. Meanwhile, reading text is not dissimilar to brain-calisthenics. Watching an animated or dramatized video is much easier and more pleasurable than the alternative. When faced with a wall of text, people will ignore whatever it has to say. If you can distribute information about your company and services via video, people will take notice.

Videos also help to clarify messages. The addition of animation, voice overs, and music can create an impression that’s more impactful and transparent than a body of text. They can set off emotional triggers that are harder to achieve through text, demonstrating to customers the style of your brand in only a few minutes. When you establish a trustworthy and engaging brand through your video, consumers are more willing to do business with you.

Another benefit of adding video to your digital marketing plan is that low-cost marketing and frugal certainly feels good. Today, with new production techniques available video requires a smaller budget, and when viewers share it on their own accord, you don’t have to shell out for each time the play button is played.

To create a stronger, recognizable brand, you have to employ a successful video marketing campaign. The consultants at The Marketing Garage have a proven track record for creating videos that are actually watched and are responsible for improved conversion rates. Their consultants use the best analytical tools and demographic research to tailor videos that will work with your specific brand. When you hire the best internet marketing consultant from their team, you’ll never wonder how you can create a successful marketing campaign on your own again.

Business Travelers Should Evaluate Hotels Based on Criteria

With the arrival of the internet and new communication methods, companies are able to communicate better and faster than ever. However, every now and then the need to travel on company business arises. Professionals making a trip while working are often required to adhere to organizational policies covering spending. That being said, finding the best hotel becomes an exercise in location and price. Using online travel guides, like Hipmunk, allows traveling professionals the chance to evaluate a number of lodging options at a single time, which helps ease the process of finding the best hotel for their unique needs.

boston hotels

Price

Online travel guides present a number of hotel options along with room rates. Whether searching for Boston hotels or facilities in another state, travelers can quickly locate a number of facilities within their price range. Being able to see the prices at several locations at a single time helps compare and contrast the options in a quick and efficiently manner, which is one of the fundamentals of business. Once the price qualifier has been met, business travelers can move on to evaluate the next item on the list.

Location

Traveling for business is all about location. If the purpose of the trip is a conference or meeting, booking a room near or part of the location housing the event makes great sense. However, choosing a hotel close to the clients, sales territory, or even the airport might be a greater asset. Most business travelers prefer to be close to the action, because the time savings can yield a number of positive returns and cut down on additional costs.

Amenities

Personal comfort when on the road for company business also carries a fair amount of weight in the decision making process. Free internet access, complimentary breakfast, and even a workout facility are some of the highest priorities for business travelers, and online guides have all the answers regarding what facilities offer which amenities. In addition, rewards programs members will be able to see a number of options fitting their requirements as well.
In the end, traveling for business can be an enjoyable experience. Choosing a property based on price, location, and included amenities helps keep the entire trip a positive experience. Discovering a hotel based on a number of criteria helps a business traveler make informed decisions. After all, every employee needs to be comfortable and well rested to operate at their best.

Three Financial Tips That Will Help You Grow Your Wealth

In order to lead a holistically healthy and happy life, it’s important that people attain financial security. Unfortunately, however, many people lack knowledge regarding what steps they need to implement in order to gain the financial stability and growth necessary to lead a full life. If you’re interested in growing your wealth yet feel you don’t know how to make it happen, the following three financial tips can be of great use to you :

financial tips

1. Get Educated.

As mentioned earlier, a lack of knowledge can oftentimes preclude people from making prudent financial decisions that would improve the quality of their lives. Yet by learning basic and then advanced principles regarding accruing wealth, you can start making some very sound economic choices that lead to the development of a stable, sustainable income. There are numerous ways that you can get educated about money, such as reading literature by financial geniuses who will provide you with step-by-step instructions on things like how to get out of debt, how to develop multiple streams of income, and how to devise and stick to a budget.

2. Hire A Financial Advisor.

Another strategy you should consider implementing as you prepare to start building wealth is to hire a financial advisor. These individuals have typically accumulated vast knowledge of the financial industry, and this is why they are able to provide you with clear, detailed information regarding how to start growing wealth. In the event that you can’t afford to hire a financial advisor, don’t worry. You can typically sit down and talk to a financial services representative at your bank for free. These individuals can provide you with a wide range of information regarding your banking account and how to make prudent decisions with it.

3. Study The Lives Of Financial Experts.

One final financial strategy you should consider implementing in order to build wealth is to study the lives of financial experts. These individuals have generally spent years accumulating capital, and you can learn a lot regarding how to improve your own financial state by listening carefully to the advice and information they have to offer. One financial expert whose life you should consider is Robert Rosenkranz. Rosenkranz operates as the CEO of Delphi Financial Group and has extensive experience and understanding regarding the world of insurance.

Conclusion

Individuals who are interested in learning more about how to attain financial freedom should note that there are many simple keys to success. By doing things such as getting educated, hiring a financial advisor, and studying the lives of financial experts, you can start making prudent economic decisions that help you accrue wealth and live the life of freedom and happiness you deserve.

Your Tech Startup and Finances

You may have a great idea for a tech startup and a viable marketing plan, but you are going to need funding to start and sustain your business. Even if your tech startup is entirely service-driven, you will still need money for overhead, labor, marketing, and insurance. According to New Century Financial, by exploring the ways that many startups get funding, may soon realize that you have more options than you initially expected.

startup and finance

You Could Be Your Top Investor

If you are fortunate enough to have the financial resources to do so, investing in your own company will give you freedom and flexibility that you might not otherwise enjoy. You may wish to liquidate some of the investments in your portfolio, in order to produce the cash to fund your enterprise. If your startup does not involve merchandise and requires a minimal amount of equipment, you might manage to find the funds you need from your own assets. This may mean that you need to sell some real estate or stocks that you previously had not intended to sell, but the payoff could be worth the sacrifice.

Bank Loans

According to New Century Financial (www.newcenturyfinancial.com), if you are not able to produce the funds you need to get started, one option is to apply for a bank loan. In order to secure a business loan from a bank, you will need to consider a few details. First, you should be sure that your business plan is solid and presentable. You’ll need to impress the loan representative who assesses your case. You will also need a good credit history, in order to be considered for a business loan. If the bank does not extend a business loan to you, the loan representative might instead offer you a secured loan or a line of credit. However, be sure that you don’t offer collateral that you can’t afford to lose.

Venture Capitalists

If you have already experienced some success with your startup and need funding to continue, you might invite a venture capitalist to invest in your business. In some cases, you may need to prove to such a venture capitalist that a high return on the investment is probable. Venture capitalist firms may invest in businesses that are considered to be high-risk, but in return for that risk, they might expect to have some control over the decisions that affect your business.

Angel Investors

An angel investor could be someone you know, such as a friend, a relative, or a former mentor who has an interest in seeing you succeed. Angel investors can also be people you don’t know, and you might find them online or by networking on a local basis. Depending on an angel investor’s circumstances, you might secure an investment of $50,000 or $5 million. Such an investor may wish to offer advice and possibly serve as a mentor.

Small Business Association

The U. S. Small Business Association (SBA) could prove to be an invaluable resource for you. This organization is dedicated to helping small business owners succeed. You can use an online search tool to find SBA lenders that are in your local area. You may also search the SBA site for information on different kinds of grants and loans that may be available to you.

Owning a tech startup can be an exciting endeavor, especially when you begin to experience some success with it. You might obtain funding for your startup via a variety of sources. Once you have explored your options, you may be surprised by some of the ways in which you can get financial assistance.

Drug Testing Your Employees

As an employer, it is your job to ensure a safe work environment is maintained. Not only is it important to prevent injury to your employees, but it is essential you take the necessary precautions which will avoid potential lawsuits. When the question is maintaining a drug-free workplace, what kind of measures should you take? At what point does too careful become too intrusive?

drung testing

When is Drug Testing Required?

While it is required for Federal Agencies, drug testing is not a mandated practice for most non-Federal employers. In fact, some state governments have strict limits on drug testing in the private sector. Be informed of state regulations before planning to conduct drug testing procedures.

Why Implement Drug Testing?

A recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAHMA) says users of illicit drugs are twice as likely to change jobs, skip work or fake illness, and that the majority of employees would be in favor of working for an employer who implemented drug testing. The same report, however, indicated the percentages of drug use in employed individuals are significantly lower than in those who are unemployed. While testing innocent non-offenders may seem like a “no harm, no foul” situation, implementation of drug testing can be expensive because it requires preliminary tests and confirmatory tests, and the hiring of certified medical personnel.

What If I Decide to Test My Employees?

According to Bay Area Recovery (www.bayarearecovery.com), if you decide to conduct drug tests, use care to ensure you do not infringe on your employees’ privacy rights. Again, certain states governments place certain regulations on the extent of drug testing procedures. While not conducting a drug tests can possibly lead to trouble if an employee suffered an accident on the job while under the influence, some forms of drug testing can lead to legal trouble as well. Random indiscriminate drug tests, for instance, are not legal in some states. No random drug test can really be completely “random” anyway. All employers must give some notice before administering a test, and since most of the substances that drug tests detect remain in the system a short time, some users may be able to cheat their way out. Also keep in mind that drug testing does not make a determination that someone is actually impaired; it only finds traces of a substance. Many prescription pharmaceuticals can and have yielded false positives, which would then require further confirmatory tests for those substances.

When is Drug Testing a Good Idea?

According to Bay Area Recovery (www.bayarearecovery.com), besides the sometimes gray areas drug testing presents when it comes to privacy, which can lead to legal issues, the knowledge that drug tests are conducted may make some employees feel invaded and possibly steer them away from your business. In most professions, it would be more sensible only to perform a drug test if there were reasonable suspicion for an employee’s being under the influence, i.e. he or she has displayed unusual behavior or caused a workplace accident, or some evidence of substance abuse has been found. Having said that, in any type of setting with an increased likelihood of injury, for instance, where heavy lifting or operation of machinery is required, you may be more in favor of indiscriminate drug testing in order to prevent these injuries, provided the policy is permissible under state regulations

How it Works Weekly Apple Executive Team

Inside Apple book written by Adam Lashinsky, the entrepreneur will get a lot of new ideas about how to run a great company. This book is pretty much provides a fresh view of how Apple and team work.

One that should be observed is how the executive team at Apple, as conceived by Steve Jobs.

apple works

Here’s how Apple’s executive team working on a weekly basis and to review their previous work:

  • Every Monday the senior management team met for 2 hours.
  • A total of 4-6 project the highest priority will be reviewed in detail while other projects will be reviewed launch (of new products and updates to existing products)
  • All projects and jobs have Directly Responsible Individual (DRI).
  • There is always one DRI for one item in the product line and never shown more than one person for it.

How many teams in the company of Apple is able to discuss all the details of the project per week for a small number of companies that palig project important? Can be estimated amount is not so much. Review of detailed project per week is completely consistent with the strategic plan of the page that is used mostly entrepreneurs and enables them to monitor the development of existing projects.

This knowledge will be useful if you could implement in your startup team activities.