Business & Economy
Local Rainbow International® Business Receives International Award PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kimberly Denman   
Friday, 19 September 2014 14:05

WACO, Texas (Sept. 16, 2014) – Kevin and Joy Beirne, owners of Rainbow International of the Quad Cities, received the Top Gun Award and Franchisee of the Year Award from Rainbow International corporate during The Dwyer Group® International Conference held Sept. 7-10 in Orlando, Fla.

This award goes to franchise owners who achieve top sales and reach operation benchmarks. The Top Gun recipients represent the top 10 percent of Rainbow International franchise owners across North America.

“The idea of ‘Top Gun’ was established by the Navy in the 1960s as a way to give training and credit to elite fighter pilots,” said Mark Welstead, president of Rainbow International. “Taking a page from the Naval Top Gun Program, each year we recognize our franchise leaders for their accomplishments and dedication to the trade. It takes dedication, hard work, expertise and commitment to reach the Top Gun goal and we are honored to have these winners on our team.”

The Franchisee of the Year Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a franchisee. This award is presented to the franchisee who has consistently grown through proper training and management of their organization and has had a consistently high level of sales through quality, professional service.

“The Rainbow International team is thrilled Kevin and Joy won the Franchisee of the Year award,” said Welstead. “They have high standards and achieve a level of excellence that sets the standard for Rainbow International franchises.”

“We are honored to receive these awards,” Beirne said. “We are committed to working hard every day to provide timely, courteous and professional cleaning and restoration services that meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.”

About Rainbow International®:

Established in 1981, Rainbow International is a global franchise organization providing residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its “Franchise 500,” Rainbow International franchisees offer a broad range of damage restoration services (ranging from water, smoke and fire damage to carpet and upholstery cleaning and deodorization) to more than 400 locations worldwide. The new Rapid Structural Drying Network of Rainbow International has established a network of elite water loss mitigation franchises across the United States. Rainbow International is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc., family of service franchises. For further information or to find the location nearest you, visit


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5 Ways to Ensure Your Marketing Video Will Suck PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 19 September 2014 14:01
Tips from an Online Video Marketing Specialist

Online video marketing has become a staple, with 81 percent of companies producing video content for their websites and 69 percent producing it for social media, according to the 2014 Online Video Production Trends Report.

“There are loads of marketing videos on the web now, and some extremely effective,” says Jennifer Santoro, integrative marketing specialist and Chief Happiness Officer for InVidz Smart Video Technology, ( “But there are plenty that just don’t work.”

Santoro says she’s noticed common themes among the latter group. Based on those, here are her five ways to ensure your marketing video will suck.

1.  The Video Takes Too Long to Get to the Point
In the age of the “tweet,” marketers have only a few seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. In order to get the viewer to engage, a marketer must put serious thought into what the main point of the video is, and then clearly communicate that message as quickly as possible. The attention span for video watching seems to be about 60 seconds, so viewers don’t want to hear a marketing message that goes on and on. Every word counts! Don’t use five words when three will do. This is where the practice of writing, rewriting and then rewriting a script helps.

2.  The Video Content is Inauthentic
Today’s consumers value authenticity and they can smell B.S. a mile away. Never try to portray yourself or your company as something you’re not. Embrace who you are and what you actually offer; people will relate to and engage with that content. As soon as viewers suspect pretense, their trust will be gone. In today’s market, the truth shall set you free. Take some time for self-reflection about what you offer potential customers and authentically communicate that message.

3.  Distracting Noises on the Audio
Rule of thumb: The visual can suck but the audio can’t! Visually you don’t have to do anything fancy. A simple shot of you speaking in front of a nice background will never be distracting. However, distracting noises in the audio will kill your video every time. If you’re on a budget, put your money towards a decent microphone as opposed to a fancy camera. It’s amazing what you can do visually with an iPhone! However, without a proper microphone, the recording will pick up too many distracting noises. Try the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone to get started. It’s affordable and compatible with an iPhone; you just need the adapter.

4.  The Intention of the Video is not Clear
This goes back to No. 1 and the importance of putting serious thought into the point of the video. Too often we get distracted by special effects and features, or telling elaborate stories, and forget that the video needs to have a clear and concise message. Never shoot a video simply because you think you’re supposed to have a video. If that’s the only reason you’re shooting one, you’re pretty much guaranteeing it won’t be strong because it will lack intention for the viewer. BEFORE you ever pick up your audio equipment and camera, spend significant time clarifying the intention of the video and composing your script around that intention.

5.  Viewers Can’t Take Immediate Action
The whole point of a marketing video is to get your viewer to take some sort of  action. Internet video marketing technology has advanced significantly with the dawn of the smart video, which allows viewers to take immediate action directly from the video itself. We all know the power of the impulse buy! Consumers are much more likely to follow through on a decision if they can act upon it instantly. Therefore, smart videos are a marketing video’s best friend. If you haven’t already started using a smart video marketing platform for your videos, it’s time to start. has made the process extremely easy and affordable. It even offers a free membership to get you started.

“Remember the rule of quality over quantity,” Santoro says. “One extremely effective video is better than 10 ineffective videos.

“When considering your next marketing video, check down this list to ensure it doesn’t suck. You’ll see the difference in your conversion rates!”

About Jennifer Santoro

Jennifer Santoro holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication and Management from the Florida State University and is a specialist in online video marketing. She’s the Chief Happiness Officer for InVidz Smart Video Technology, ( A Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, she has more than 10 years of professional communication experience in the non-profit and private sectors.

Branstad, Reynolds, Education Director Buck unveil Financial Literacy Work Team recommendations PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:43

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were joined at their weekly press conference today by Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck to announce the recommendations of the Financial Literacy Work Team. Buck convened the 13-member work team in January of 2014 to ensure Iowa students are learning the financial literacy skills needed for success.

“We know our children need to be financially literate in order to have a bright future and many Iowans, including educators, financial services experts, and elected officials have expressed concerns about the status of financial literacy in Iowa,” said Branstad. “I’m pleased the Financial Literacy Work Team has completed its review and offered recommendations for the state to move forward educating our young people on how to make smart, responsible financial decisions.”

The work team included representatives from public and nonpublic schools, financial services, higher education and the Iowa Department of Education. The group’s recommendations included the following:

1.       Taking a close look at our financial literacy requirement for K-12 schools. This is included in the 21st century skills portion of Iowa’s statewide academic standards. The work team’s idea is to make sure the financial literacy component is clear and age appropriate.

2.       More support for schools around putting the financial literacy component of the standards into practice. More support would include providing better, more centralized resources to teachers.

3.       Tap into external stakeholder groups with expertise in financial literacy to assist in professional development trainings for teachers.

4.       Review how school districts approach financial literacy education.

5.       Improving communication statewide to keep a focus on this important issue.

“As former Clarke County treasurer, I understand the importance of financial literacy. I saw how far too many Iowans struggle to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to issues like tax payments and license fees,” said Reynolds. “Success in the 21st century requires being financially literate. These recommendations will help us focus on assuring that all students fully understand financial commitments and decisions.”

“We must do more to help students understand the power of financial literacy. And given that there’s this groundswell of support among stakeholders to be part of the solution, it made great sense to form the Financial Literacy Work Team,” said Buck. “At the Iowa Department of Education, we have moved forward by designating a staff member to the issue of financial literacy and we’ll work to provide leadership around professional development activities and a central online location for high-quality resources for teachers.”

The full report, including the Financial Literacy Work Team’s recommendations, can be found here.


News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Aleisha Chiesa   
Monday, 15 September 2014 09:29

The FieldHouse is now open at NorthPark Mall!

WHO: The FieldHouse is new to the Quad Cities, but they have been in business throughout Iowa for over 80 years. They specialize in black and gold décor for those die-hard football fans in the Midwest.

WHAT: The FieldHouse is directly across from Skeffington’s Formal Wear. A good place to park is in between JCPenney and Barnes & Noble. The FieldHouse has over 20 beers on tap with big screen TVs broadcasting the games, plus enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere that makes this spot appealing for youth sports teams after a big win. You can now enjoy burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza and steaks made to order in the all new FieldHouse at NorthPark Mall.  Grand Opening festivities will take place on September 20 including entertainment and great specials.

NorthPark and SouthPark will host annual Job Fairs at both centers. Retailers and outside businesses will be available at NorthPark on September 12 from 4-6p and at SouthPark on September 19 from 4-6p.

For more information on great sales and events, visit or or follow us on Twitter @NorthParkMallIA or @SouthParkMallIL and like us on Facebook at or

WHEN: FieldHouse Grand Opening September 27, 2014 11a-1p

NorthPark Job Fair September 12 4p-6p

SouthPark Job Fair September 19 4p-6p

WHERE: FieldHouse - NorthPark Mall across from Skeffington’s or at the outside mall entrance by JCPenney.

Job Fair, September 12 – NorthPark Mall in the common area between JCPenney and Younkers

Job Fair, September 19 – SouthPark Mall in the common area between Younkers and Dillard’s

8 Initial Steps Women Can Take to Improve Their Relationship with Money PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 12 September 2014 14:35
Money Directly Impacts Her Overall Satisfaction in Life, Says Business Coach

Do women have different relationships with money than men? Very definitely, yes, says entrepreneur and business coach Meriflor Toneatto.

“For women, money is an emotional currency, tied to our sense of self-worth and confidence, which can lead us to financial pitfalls that ultimately limits what we pursue in life,” says Toneatto, a certified business and life coach, and author of “Money, Manifestation & Miracles: 8 Principles for Transforming Women’s Relationship with Money,” (

A woman’s emotional relationship with money directly impacts her overall level of satisfaction in life – or lack of it, Toneatto says.

“Wealth isn’t just about money; it’s about the quality of a woman’s overall life,” she says. “Greater awareness of how you feel about your life can yield helpful insights regarding your relationship with money, which can immediately change for the better.”

There are a number of ways to start doing that. Toneatto reviews eight of them:

•  Give yourself permission. For better or worse, women tend to seek support or permission for significant life decisions. Skip a step and give yourself permission. It’s important to have an open mind and heart as you proceed with financial self-improvement, which includes being grateful for who you are right now, warts and all, for arriving at this moment in your life.

•  Be honest. Total honesty is the best way to get to the root of your feelings, beliefs and attitudes about money. Women often keep secrets about our true feelings, especially regarding money.

•  Put yourself first. Commit to taking care of yourself and putting your needs at the top of your priority list. Think of it as “self-full” rather than “selfish.” When you love yourself, you’ll experience positive changes that will benefit those around you; you will operate better. “Self-fullness” may include scheduling uninterrupted time alone for reflection, reading, meditation, physical training and other ways to get in touch with your emotions.

•  Start a money journal. Consider keeping a gratitude journal and, taking it a steep further, a financial journal. What you focus on will grow, so focus on being grateful about money and you’ll start to see positive changes in your life.

•  Practice forgiveness. A key way to move beyond your emotional obstacles with money is to let them go and forgive. Practicing forgiveness is a powerful way to remove what’s standing between you and having more money in your life.

•  Feel prosperous and rich now. Prosperity and wealth is a state of mind. It’s essential that you don’t feel poor because that brings your thoughts toward poverty. Your goal is to take stock of what you have now, embellish it with gratitude, and enjoy the return.

•  Pay attention to synchronicities. As you begin to work on transforming your relationship with money, pay attention to what comes back to you as a result of your intention. Be aware of coincidences, synchronicities and opportunities that come your way. This may include new clients at unexpected places, hearing references to new books or even a mentor, or the possibility that you’re at the right place at the right time.

•  Celebrate the big and small – have fun! We always notice the big things in life, but we tend to overlook the little steps we took to get there. They all count! And, take heart in your journey – an adventure of self-discovery, love, courage and possibility. This is at the heart of true, lifelong self-improvement.

“Just like other crucial life factors, such as health and spiritual well-being, a healthy financial relationship is a lifelong commitment, and what I detail here is just the beginning,” she says. “Maintaining the right money mindset will require further guidance for some women.”

About Meriflor Toneatto

Meriflor Toneatto is the founder and CEO of Power With Soul, a company dedicated to empowering female entrepreneurs and professionals by helping them transform their relationship with money. The author of “Money, Manifestation & Miracles: 8 Principles for Transforming Women’s Relationship with Money,” (, Toneatto holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and management and graduate certifications in personal, professional and financial coaching. A former corporate executive, she is a recipient of the Amethyst Award for Excellence and Outstanding Achievement from the government of Ontario, Canada.

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