Three Perspectives

I came across the following perspectives at the Rockford Association for Minority Management (RAMM) event last evening.  These perspectives apply to us individually and collectively as a community…

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

There are two types of opportunities: 

1. Seized opportunities

2. Missed opportunities 

Three Ways To Overcome An Obstacle

    (you need all three)

1. Love your way through

2. Work your way through

3. Struggle your way though

Great event!  Great organization. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill was an outstanding guest speaker as well.  I would love to see him come back to Rockford and speak to our middle and high school students at some point.

Twitter in Rockford: 32 People / Groups Who Are Killin’ It

TwitterOk, I admit it. At first, I didn’t like Twitter.

I didn’t ‘get it.

It was so random and noisy compared to Facebook and LinkedIn.

But then, slowly, I started to learn/do things that allowed me to see the value of Twitter:

 

1.  I started to follow quality people and groups who put-out good content. Some of these people and groups were local, some regional, and some national. Some of the people I follow are specialists who share info on one topic (community, development, insurance, weather, politics, motivation, business, sales, education, current events, sports, etc). Other people ‘tweet’ on a variety of subjects.

2.  I started searching by topic and that cut-out the clutter.

3.  I started using and paying attention to #hashtags.

4.  I started to ”re-tweet” good content and, as a result, more and more of my tweets were re-tweeted.

5.  I started to use Twitter to get real-time reaction on live events. Ex: Presidential debate, Super Bowl, etc.

6.  I “un-followed” negative people. This is not to be confused with people who challenge the status quo. There is a big difference.

7.  I started to comment on and “favorite” the tweets of others.

Below are 32 people / groups in the Rockford area who are killin’ it on Twitter.  Disclaimer: there are many others more that are not on this list but should be. Please let me know who else should be on this list. That being said, my list of 32 is a good start - these folks put-out good content and are not afraid to “re-tweet” the good content of others.

1.  @TransformRkfd

2.  @rrstar

3.  @gorockford

4.  @CoachVest

5.  @RScottAnderson

6.  @DDGriffith

7.  @pablokorona

8.  @Next_Rockford

9.  @RClewer

10.  @Btfrench

11.  @Chris2nite

12.  @Rockford_IL

13.  @MayorMorrissey

14.  @CityofRockford

15.  @annaderocher

16.  @13Wrex

17.  @JeremyDeWeerdt

18.  @ManOfCulture

19.  @johnmguevaranow

20.   @AlignmentRkfd

21.  @WesterWuori

22.  @ANDYandAARON

23.  @RockfordLink

24.  @MyStateline

25.  @CathyBayer

26.  @HeartlandCC

27.  @ERICSORENSEN

28.  @TheRealDJA

29.  @BuyWBL

30.  @FourCornersRock

31.  @johngroh

32.  @goicehogs

Again, this is, by no means a complete list of everyone who is doing a good job in the Rockford area on Twitter. So, help me. Who am I missing?

Who do you follow on Twitter because they put-out good content?

Thanks for reading!

Frank Haney

“Rockford’s Insurance Coach”

Eckburg & Bates Insurance Agency

(815) 979-4045    Twitter: @FrankHaney_Biz     Email: Frank@FrankHaney.Biz

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mentioned information.

 

Monday Morning – Cup of Quotes

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Here are 6 quick quotes from around the Twitter world to start your week.  Enjoy!

1.  Leaders think about empowerment, not control. 

               – Warren Bennis @WrldLeadersConf

 

2.  There is never enough time 2 do everything, but there is always enough time 2 do the most important thing.

                 - Brian Tracy @BrianTracy

 

3.  Everyday is a new opportunity to learn from your mistakes and become a better father. 

                 - The Father Effect @thefathereffect

 

4.  The difference between a name dropper and a network builder is follow-up. 

                 – Marcus Buckingham @mwbuckingham

 

5.  Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

                  – Peter Drucker @AlignmentRkfd

 

6.  Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.

                   – Elizabeth Gilbert @GilbertLiz

 

Please follow me on Twitter at @FrankHaney.Biz.  

Questions?  Give me a call (815) 979-4045.

Thanks for reading!

Frank Haney CIC, CLCS

(815) 979-4045

frank@frankhaney.biz

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.

How do RVC Trustees ensure affordable, accessible, and excellent education for all?

Great question!

No community needs its community college more than the Rockford Region needs Rock Valley College.  We live in a community with great people, great opportunities, and great challenges.  High poverty and low educational attainment levels are among those challenges.  Crime is a symptom of this disease. 

Here are seven things I would do as Trustee to take steps closer to the goal of affordable, accessible, and excellent education for all:

1.  Be sound with budget. 

  • Tuition at RVC has doubled in the past 10-years.  Was it too low to being with or is tuition inflation increasing too quickly?
  • Salaries / benefits are approximately 70% of the total budget.  Benchmarking within education as well as within like professions within the area are important.

2.  Have a pro-growth agenda.  You can’t shrink your way to greatness!  We need to recruit / retain more students.  Continued excellence in education is not possible without growth.  This is what our community needs us to do well.

  • Can RVC help A & B students?  Yes!
  • Can RVC help C&D students?  Yes!
  • Can RVC help dislocated workers?  Yes!
  • Can RVC help people who don’t want to pursue a 4-year degree?  YES!

Are we communicating this message more aggressively than some of our competitors?  No!

3.  Partner with school districts, RVC Foundation Board (grants) and donations, other taxing bodies whenever possible.  Leveraging community resources and collaboration will define RVC in the future.  We can no longer afford to work in fiefdoms.

4.  Ask the question, “what else can we do” to communicate the Financial Aid / Pell process and grant opportunities for middle/low income students?  I don’t have all the answers but I do think that sometimes the key is to ask the right questions.  This is the right question.

5.  The working / middle class is getting squeezed.  College debt is crippling first generation college students more so than credit card debt. This is a huge problem.

6.  Measure twice, cut once when determining capital expenditures.  Operating costs need to be part of the discussion.

7.  Take the college to the community.  In the future, RVC needs to continue to explore off-site and perhaps on-line options.  People can take the “next step” in life as an RVC Student on the main campus as well as off campus.  If you are poor and lack transportation, then you don’t have an obstacle….. you have a roadblock to furthering your education.  We need to at least explore options to remove these roadblocks.

Questions?  Call me at (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney

 

 

 

 

What is the role of a Trustee at Rock Valley College?

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What do you see as the role of a Rock Valley College Trustee and how should the students influence that role?

Role of a Trustee:

1)      Elected to represent and serve all constituents:

  • Students.
  • Faculty, staff, and administration.
  • People who work in education, business, NFP’s, and Gov’t.
  • People who don’t work (unemployed, retired, etc).
  • Residents / tax payers / non-students.
  • Rich, poor, middle class
  • Black, Hispanic, and white.

This is why we need strong, independent Trustees.

2)      Set policy, approve expenditures and contract negotiations.

  • Trustees should set the tone but also should follow this motto:  Trustees should be in the balcony, not down on the dance floor.
  • Hire experts to execute the plan.

 

3)      Help set the vision of the college.

  • Where does our community need us to be in 5-10 years?

 

4)      Focus on growth.

  • RVC must increase student recruitment / retention.
  • RVC needs to be re-branded as the college of 1st choice not the fall-back choice for students in the Rock Valley District.
  • Align programs with the jobs that exist in this region both today and tomorrow.

 

5)      Lead. 

  • Be good stewards of tax payer and tuition dollars.
  • Tough, even unpopular, decisions need to be made on occasion to ensure we are best leveraging our resources.
  • Remember: we are spending other people’s money (OPM).

 

6)   Connect.

  • Connect the college to the community and the community to the college.
  • Collaboration on and off campus will define RVC in the coming years.

 

7)   Be an ambassador.

  • Be a cheerleader for the college.

 

8)   Synergize with College President

  • Work closely with College President and expect him/her to do the same with his leadership team as well as Faculty and Staff.  Teamwork matters.

 

How do students influence that role?

Rock Valley Students influence every decision that Trustees make.  Ultimately, the RVC mission is the success of its students.  RVC needs to create opportunities and pathways to facilitate that process.

Also, see my previous blog post on ways RVC Students can have input into the process.

Questions?  Give me a call (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney

 

 

 

 

 

160 Attend Campaign Event + Yard Sign Blitz

RVC

Thank you to the 160+ people who attended the Frank Haney for RVC Trustee Campaign Kick-off Event on Feb. 17.  It was fun to officially start our campaign with a standing-room only event!  Special thanks to my friend and campaign co-chair, Mike Broski, for introducing me and for the Capri Restaurant for hosting our event.

Although the majority of the people there were long-time friends and family, I was pleased to have 9 elected officials / candidates in attendance as well.  It speaks to the importance of the April 9 election and the relevance of Rock Valley College in our community.

There is a sense of momentum in our campaign; however, there is also the realization that there is a lot of work is ahead of us.  There are 10 people running for 3 spots and we need to work to standout from the crowd of candidates.  We need to have a great March to ensure success on April 9.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs! 

Here are 2 ways you can help with the campaign:

1. Confirm yard sign locations.  Speak to friends, family, and contacts about residential and commercial yard sign locations in Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle Counties.  Keep a list of locations you are able to confirm.  We can get you the signs to deliver or we can deliver for you.  Do not underestimate how many yard sign confirmations you can get in 25-minutes of calling a few of your friends and family members.

2.  Help deliver signs.  We have ordered 2,500 yard signs and we need help delivering them.  We will begin March 9 and make a big push the next three weeks.  You can make yard sign deliveries at a time convenient for you.  Do not underestimate what two hours of volunteering does for our campaign.

Call or message me at (815) 979-4045 for more information.

Vote Frank Haney for RVC Trustee on April 9, 2013.

 

 

Campaign Kick-off: Sunday, February 17 @ Capri

you're_invite

Frank Haney, candidate for Rock Valley College Board of Trustees in the April 9, 2013 Election, announces Campaign Kick-off Party:

Frank Haney for RVC Trustee

Campaign Kick-off Event

Sunday, February 17, 2013

12:00-2:30 pm

Capri Restaurant (313 East State St, downtown Rockford)

 Learn more about the Frank Haney for RVC Trustee Campaign:

  • Why Frank is running for Trustee
  • Why RVC is critical to our community
  • Ways to get involved
  • Meet the campaign team and special guests

Cost: Adult: $20          Child: $10          Family: $35

Includes lunch, pop, and coffee.

RSVP ASAP.  Questions?  Call Frank at (815) 979-4045.

Sign-Up Form

Name _______________________________________________________

Street __________________________  City ______________    Zip______

Phone ____________________________________________________

Email_____________________________________________________

 

Event Payment:

________ Adult $20         ________ Child ($10)       ________ Family ($35)

 

Campaign Donation (optional – please consider):

$25     $50     $100     $250     Other:_______________

Checks payable to:  Frank Haney for RVC Trustee

Mailing address:  8119 Scott Ln, Machesney Park, IL 61115

Paid for by Frank Haney for RVC Trustee.

From Grad To Dad – RVC Is For Me!

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My name is Frank Haney and I am running for Rock Valley College Trustee.  I am asking for your vote on April 9.

Some have asked, “Why run for elected office?”  Others have asked, “Why run for RVC Trustee?”

The purpose of this article is to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I am running for RVC Trustee.  In the coming months I will share my thoughts on a number of opportunities and challenges facing the college and our community.  However, I want to start with the most important aspect of any candidate’s platform – why I am running?

From Grad To Dad….. RVC Is For Me!

RVC Grad!

  • First, I am a proud Rock Valley College graduate.  RVC was a great “next step” after graduating from Boylan High School.
  • I am a first-generation college student from a working class Rockford family.  Why do I mention that?  Because our community needs more of its people to be the first in their family to take a “next step” after high school.  We have lower than average educational attainment levels in our adult community.  This is true for both the number of 4-year degrees and the number of people who have career-ready job skills.
  • RVC needs to position itself as the 1st option and best option for our community’s traditional and non-traditional students.  The college is perfectly positioned to help fill the “skills gap” facing our community as baby boomers retire and leave the workforce.  There is not a community in Illinois that needs its community college more than the Rockford area needs Rock Valley.

RVC Dad!

  • Today, I am a father of three children:  Leah (11), Zach (10), and Frankie (3).  My daughter, Leah, will be a senior in high school at the end of my first term as Trustee (6-year term).
  • RVC needs to be a great option for all kids, including mine, and I am dedicated to making that a reality.
  • RVC prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow.  In the 1970′s, 8 in 10 jobs required only a high school diploma.  Today, 8 in 10 jobs requires education past high school.  As a friend recently shared: “we have a K-12 educational system; however, we live in a K-14 world.”
  • It is critical to our community that RVC remains affordable and accessible at a time when tuition costs at 4-year schools out-pace inflation.  Tuition has increased 12-fold over the past 30 years in our country.  This presents a great challenge to both middle-income and poor students.  As a result, too many former college students have too much loan debt.

 RVC is for Me!

  • Although I am aggressively pursuing this office and intend to have a successful campaign, RVC is too important to walk away from if I come-up a couple of votes short on April 9.  As a citizen, I will support the college and share my positive experience with others win or lose.  I am encouraging other candidates to take the same approach.
  • RVC is a community asset.  It helped guide me and others into our current roles as parents, community activists, and productive citizens.  I’d like to give back to RVC as an engaged, informed, and independent Trustee.

I believe I would be a good Trustee for several reasons:

  • Track record of service.  I have extensive board experience and   service to the community.  This includes but is not limited to being      the Next Rockford Facilitator, Rockford Area Economic Development Council Board of Directors, and Carpenter’s Place Board of Directors.
  • Connection to RVC.  I know the college both as a student and also as an RVC basketball coach.  I have developed many relationships     on campus and in the community through my experiences with RVC.
  • Balanced Perspective.  I have a background in business and education.  I believe in the need for a strong, independent Board who seeks input from other constituent groups – both on and off campus.
  • Understand the complex issues facing both the college and the community.  In addition to having a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership, I have worked hard to study the issues facing the college.  This includes the political / financial landscape of our local and state government.  RVC is critical to economic development efforts in our community and region.
  • Good steward of tax and tuition dollars.  Trustees need to understand the budget and not be afraid to ask the tough questions:  “Is this affordable?  “Is this sustainable?”  “What are our other options?”  “Is this expense an investment in our mission?”  “Are there higher priorities that require more attention?”

I would appreciate your vote on April 9.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the campaign, please give me a call (815) 979-9121.

Frank Haney

P.S. – Join us February 17th for our Campaign Kick-off Party at Capri Restaurant (downtown Rockford) from 12-2:30 pm.  $20 per adult, $10 per child, $35 per family.  RSVP to (815) 979-4045 by February 10.

 

 

 

5 Halloween Safety Tips

I have three kids: Leah (11), Zach (9), and Frankie (3).  All three are excited about Halloween and trick or treating with friends.  However, with this fun comes safety concerns.  The good thing is that most Halloween accidents are preventable.

Here are 5 Halloween Safety Tips for families as they prepare for the upcoming week’s festivities:

1.  Costume Safety.

Costumes need to be:

  • Size appropriate.  Avoid costumes that are too long; especially when it is being handed-down to a little brother.
  • Void of any sharp corners, pieces, or accessories.
  • Void of masks that obstruct vision
  • Hypoallergenic when make-up is used
  • Highly visible.  You need to be able to be seen; especially by people driving automobiles.

 

2.  Carving Pumpkins (Knife Safety)

  • Here is the picture of a pumpkin that represents the look of a pumpkin my wife, Leslie, expects me to carve every year.

 

  • Here is a picture of what my carved pumkins look like:

 

Regarding the carving of pumpkins - BE CAREFUL with sharp knives!  Last year, we had three pumpkins being carved at one time, two knives being passed between the adults, and three hyper kids, all on a sugar-high from candy, running around the room.  As a co-worker of mine likes to say, “what could possibly go wrong?”

 

3.  Trick or Treaters Coming To Your House. 

  • Think about the liability implications when you are having 50-100 guests onto your property.  You have a duty to create a safe environment for these guests.   Your guests have an expectation that the environment is safe.  If you breach that duty through an action or inaction, and there is resulting bodily injury to a visitor, then the parents could sue and you could be found liable.  Although your homeowner’s coverage would respond and cover you up to your policy limit, you are best served to avoid this situation all-together.
  • Is the walkway clear…..  I mean extra clear?  Kids do not walk single-file when approaching your house to get candy.  They go up and down your steps in tandem.  Make sure landscaping rocks, brush, and other items are not in the walking path of young kids.
  • Are handrails loose?

 

  • Put the dogs away.  Animals are territorial.  Typically, even the nicest dogs don’t like 50-100 strangers coming to their home.  Speaking from experience, it is hard to open the door with one hand, reach for candy with another, hold the dog back with one leg, and stand on the other leg.

 

  • Lighting is critical.  Trick-or-Treating starts in daylight and ends in the dark.  Are your exterior lights working?  Do you have enough lighting?

 

4.  Fire. 

  • Place battery-powered candles in pumpkins vs. regular wax candles if at-all possible.
  • Wax candles can catch costumes on fire.
  • If you do, in fact, use wax candles, then make sure you blow-out the candles before you go to bed

 

5.  Trick-or-Treating & Candy. 

  • Trick-or-Treat on streets that have proper lighting and that you are familiar with.
  • Bring a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Most parents will accompany kids under the age of 12.
  • If allowing your kids to trick-or-treat without you, then make sure they know the ground rules: carry a cell phone and identification, establish a curfew and where they can / can’t go, as well as make it clear they should travel in groups.
  • Parents should inspect candy.

Like this article?  “Share” me with your friends and family.

I help businesses and families with their insurance.

Give me a call (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney CLCS

Rockford’s Insurance Coach    

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information

 

 

My Insurance Blog 1 Year Later: Lessons Learned

My blog, FrankHaney.Biz, celebrated it’s 1st birthday last month.   

To celebrate, I wanted to write a blog post that focused on two areas:

1. Recap of year #1 as well as a preview of year #2.  We have some exciting things coming-up in the near future! 

2.  CALL TO ACTION: PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON FRANKHANEY.BIZ. 

Please note: In addition to my usual readers, I emailed this post to some clients, friends, and people in my network to ask for their feedback.  If you don’t want to receive my blog posts via email, then just let me know – no sweat!  A lot of people have already signed-up to receive posts via email; however, others prefer to access it via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, RSS Feed or by going to www.FrankHaney.Biz directly.

Why Would An Insurance Agent Start A Blog?

  • To add value to the people I serve: clients, prospective clients, community connections, friends, co-workers, other professionals inside and outside of the insurance industry. 
  • To share thoughts, ideas, and lessons learned on insurance, social media, and business development.   
  • To stand-out from the herd of insurance agents.  They are everywhere – saying and doing the exact same things. 
  • A lot of people (see stats further down page) are using social media but only something like 1% actually blog and share content with others. 
  • Maybe I am crazy but sharing ideas (content marketing) vs. making a sales pitch just makes sense to me.  It just feels like a better long-term appraoch. 

Regarding blogging, I get the same two questions all the time:

1.  Are people reading?  Thankfully, yes! 

- In the past 70 days, my blog has received 1,819 visitors and generated 7,604 page views.  I had 89 visitors to my blog yesterday.  That is a lot better than the initial days of my blog where I would get 10 views…  three of which were family members.  LOL!

- My blog has also driven people to connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and vice versa – my social media platforms have driven people to check-out my blog as well.

- People I don’t even know are finding me via my blog.

2.  Is it generating business?  Thankfully, yes!

- The best part is I am also staying in-front of people who may not need me today but might tomorrow.  In business, this is a difficult thing to do.

 

Why Blog About Insurance?

“Insurance is like a hospital gown – you never know what is covered!”

Like it or not, insurance matters!  Although everyone has some form of insurance, it is often misunderstood and, as a result, avoided by consumers.  This is true for both business and personal insurance.  That simple fact can create problems and at the worst possible time = after something bad happens.   

I also think people, and not just younger people, will be more inclined to read about insurance when it is presented to them in small bites and in a medium they like (via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, RSS Feed).  Not everyone reads their 50-page insurance policy (even though they should); however, they may take 5 minutes and read a short article on a particular insurance topic. 

Listed below are some of my favorite year #1 insurance-related blog posts from FrankHaney.Biz:

What’s Next? 

We will be rolling-out short insurance blog posts that have a YouTube video embedded in it to make our content more visually appealing.  Disclaimer: I am borrowing this concept from an insurance in New York who has used social media to help people with their insurance as well as anyone in the country.  His name is Ryan Hanley

Also, I am also going to focus a fair number of my insurance-related blog posts on safety and prevention.  As much as I like talking about insurance coverage, prevention is as important.  Let’s face it – insurance is the one thing you buy that you don’t want to use!  

Why Blog About Social Media? 

  • My readers tend to come from the business and professional community and have expertise in other areas; however, they are curious about social media and know they need to learn more about it. 
  • I believe that social media will become more and more “mainstream” over the next 10 years.  In many cases, businesses are incorporating social media into their larger marketing and sales strategies.  

I blog about social media because it is relevant.  How do I know that?  The numbers tell me so:    

  • In 2005, less than 1% of people 65 & up used social media.  Today, that number is 33%.
  • In 2005, 6% of people between 50-64 used social media.  Today, that number is 51%.
  • In 2005, 6% of people between 30-49 used social media.  Today, that number is 70%.
  • In 2005, 7% of people between 18-29 used social media.  Today, that number is 83%.

Where will this be in another 5-7 years?

  • Most of my readers are taking baby-steps into the scary world of social media.  Although it is good to hear from the “experts” it is also good to hear how an average guy is attempting to create a social media program to build his business.

Listed below are a few of my favorite year #1 social media-related blog posts from FrankHaney.Biz:

What’s Next?

Future social media posts will involve some of my “lessons learned” as well as shared content from other social media bloggers (will acknowledge the source).  My readers are busy and don’t have time to surf the web for this stuff.  However, if there was a collection of articles on social media in one place (FrankHaney.Biz as an example), people will quickly be able to access good information about this important topic.  

Why Blog About Business Development? 

  • Does there ever come a time when you should stop trying to grow personally or professionally?   No! 
  • Do you agree that success is the by-product of growth?  Yes! 
  • Are you under more pressure than ever to produce better results?  Yes!  

I have found that my readers want a mix of topics…..  they will read insurance blog posts but want other stuff too!  Business development content just seems to fit.

Listed below are a few of my favorite year #1 business development-related blog posts from FrankHaney.Biz:

 What’s next?

Future business development blog posts will be focused on two areas: 

1. Sales development

2.  Personal leadership

CALL TO ACTION:

1.  I want to hear from you.  What do you like about my blog?  What do you not like?  What do you want to see more?  Less of?

2.  I want to see if I can help you with your insurance.  I love to connect with good people.  Call me today for a 20-Minute Protection Review of your business and/or personal insurance…..  or click-on the ”Get Quote” button on the main page of FrankHaney.Biz.

Thanks for reading!  I look forward to hearing from you. 

Questions? Call me at (815) 979-9121.

Frank Haney

Relationship-focused insurance agent dedicated to protecting your business and family.

Agency: Williams-Manny, Inc. – located in Rockford, Illinois.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information