Art In Perspective: Fragelina at the R.W. Norton Art Gallery

I was super honored to be asked to give my perspective on Attilio Piccirilli’s Fragelina at the RW Norton Art Gallery. Take a listen:

If you live in or near Shreveport, Louisiana, let me strongly encourage you to visit the R.W. Norton Art Gallery. You will be blown away by the collections held in this exceptional museum.

Follow R.W. Norton:

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

Sometimes things just happen

Recently I was attending a bowling conference in Charleston, SC. While I was scanning the big conference schedule sign to find which ballroom to go to, I noticed a smaller sign with an arrow in the opposite direction that said “Tesla Test Drives”. I pointed the sign out to my friend and our curiosity was sparked. We headed down the hallway and found that the sign was meant for anyone interested in a test drive. My friend was interested and so we scheduled an appointment to drive that baby. When I was asked if I wanted a drive, I said “no, I’m fine”. I almost missed my shot at driving a Tesla – one of the most awesomely fast cars ever made, all because I didn’t think I should take advantage of an opportunity when I had no intentions of buying a car. (Working on eliminating the feelings of unworthiness but that’s another story) So I just rode in the backseat. It was super cool, but I began to regret my decision. The next morning I went back to get my test drive. There was really no point to this video, but I wanted to share the experience with you anyway.

Just some info about Tesla:

Tesla is a company that makes zero emissions electric cars, energy storage and solar roofs. While a Tesla is definitely in the category of high-end, luxury, expensive cars, there are currently Federal Tax Credits available in the amount of $7500 and Louisiana credits between $8000-$9000 depending on the battery size of the model that you purchase.

According to their website, a Tesla can be charged anywhere. The most common way to charge is at home. Plug in when you arrive and your Tesla will be charged by morning. If you take a trip, Superchargers are conveniently located along well-traveled routes. (I noticed Supercharges at Mall St. Vincent in Shreveport.) Tesla charging stations can be found at hotels and restaurants nationwide as part of their expanding Destination Charging program. Check out their website for a really cool charging estimator for range and comparison of price per mile.

Follow Tesla:

After test driving the Tesla, I realized that perhaps I CAN have a Tesla. I have a habit of thinking that I am unable to get things that are out of my current financial range, or that I don’t deserve it. It will take some responsible planning, but I think setting a goal of purchasing a Tesla (or another luxury car) is reachable in 10 years.

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

What will Whole Foods Do for Us?

img_0815Whole Foods Market will open it’s doors to the public on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. I was fortunate to get a sneak peak of what’s to come. Employees were busy stocking shelves, setting up displays and getting trained.

I’ve only been to Whole Foods once while I was visiting Overland Park, KS, so I was looking forward to seeing what we would be getting in Shrossier. In particular, I was interested in what Whole Foods would do for us. I found out that the commitment to our community is absolutely phenomenal.

Whole Foods Shreveport-Bossier has hired 141 local people and only brought in six from other regions for training purposes. img_0829Local artist Ann Gassen has been hired as “The Chalk Designer” to decorate all of the signs around the store. They currently have approximately 50 local vendors, with more in the process. The store has used reclaimed wood throughout the building, most notable is the “Joskes wood” on the walls and soffits, reclaimed from a San Antonio department store built in 1888 called Joskes. That wood originally came from forests around my hometown of Lake Charles, LA in Calcasieu Parish. Electric vehicle charging stations, a bike rack to support the cycling community and energy efficiency throughout the store.

In addition, Whole Foods Market Shreveport will host five community giving days over the next five weeks as part of their commitment to supporting the local community, and to celebrate the opening of their first Shreveport store. One percent of net sales on designated community giving days will benefit the following Shreveport-Bossier area nonprofit organizations: Community Renewal International, The Fuller Center for Housing, Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, Shreveport Green, and The Gingerbread House.

Now, about those services! There are so many fabulous services that are provided in the Shreveport store. Too many to list here, so here are the services that I found of value:

  • The butchers will custom cut, season, steam, fillet or portion your order for FREE just by asking!
  • Full-service seafood shop with experienced Fishmongers ready to help prepare your fish any way you would like it. They fillet, butterfly, debone whole fish, peel and devein shrimp, season, and grill or steam your fish for FREE! In store Seafood Smokehouse with custom smoking available.
  • Have a favorite? They will special order any item by the case with a 10% case discount
  • Free ice to protect your items on the ride home
  • Want to taste fruits or veggies before you buy them? Just ask and they will cut them right there for ya.
  • 500 wines in-house! Get 10% discount when you purchase wine by the case.
  • Expanded grass-fed dairy options including milk, butter, and yogurt and over 2,600 Non-GMO and Organic items!
    A floral area that will include more than 40 cut flowers, potted plants and arrangements in addition to seasonal items such as Christmas trees. For each tree sold, Whole Foods will replant a tree through American Forests.
  • 2000 items on sale every week and an extensive line of 365 Everyday Value® products
  • Louisiana proud! They feature a great selection of Louisiana products. (See list below)

LOUISIANA PROUD VENDORS IN THE SHREVEPORT WHOLE FOODS:

In addition to this list, there are several vendors in the process of finalizing paperwork, so there will be more to come. If you have a product that you’d like to get into Whole Foods, you may submit at Rangeme.com/wholefoods 

Abita Brewery
Acalli Chocolate
Bayou Soap
Bayou Teche
Bee Hippie (uses Hummer and Son beeswax)
Big Easy Bucha
Café du Monde
Cake Face Soaping
Camellia Beans
Chafunkta Brewing Co.
Community
Cool Brew
Covington Brewhouse
Crystal
Davey’s Treasures
Delightful Palate
Dirty Potato Chips
Doodley Dee’s Farm
Edwardo’s Secret Salsa
Evamor
Flying Heart Brewing
French Market
French Truck (beans and cold brew)
Good Granoly
Great Raft Brewing
Gulf Coast seafood
Hanley’s Dressing
Hummer and Son (packaged and in bulk)
Inglewood Farm Pecan Oil
Jennings Apiaries
KenChaux Rice
Kinloch Plantation Pecan Oil
Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce
Magoun’s Kitchen<
onjuni’s
New Orleans Brewing Company
Nuccio’s Olive Salad
Parish Brewing
Red River Brewery
Reve (coffee beans)
Rhino Coffee (beans and cold brew)
River Road Coffee
Southern Art
Star Nursery
Sucre
Swamp Pop
Tabasco
Taylormade Kale Chips
Three Brothers Farm Cane Syrup and Cane Sugar
Tin Roof Brewing Co.

Whole Foods Shreveport Photo Gallery:

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There will be a sneak peak on Monday, November 14 from 4-7 pm. Find info on their Facebook Event. Also, if you are interested in attending the Bread Breaking Ceremony (ribbon cutting), it will be held at 7:30 am on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. The first 200 people who arrive for the grand opening ceremony will receive a Whole Foods Market gift card with a mystery amount up to $100.00.

Follow Whole Foods Shreveport-Bossier:

In terms of community, I believe Whole Foods will do lots for us.

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

Christina is full STEAM ahead

Christina WashingtonRecently I became a STEP FORWARD literacy volunteer which has given me the opportunity to read to third graders each week. Reading to children has been something that I have found to be surprisingly rewarding. Today, I had the pleasure of being on the opposite side of the table and was read to by my new friend, Christina Washington. Christina has published a new children’s book,  “Ms. Pearl Makes a Discovery”, designed to encourage curiosity and get children excited about learning STEAM or science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

“Ms. Pearl Makes a Discovery” has such a creative way of engaging children to explore science. Children are encouraged to see the fun in science by following the example of the exciting characters that reinforce STEAM learning.  14691045_1205398436187409_9182381999145870097_nThe story takes place at a nature park, where a female scientist named Ms. Pearl performs a variety of experiments in her laboratory with help from her animal friends. Each character in the book is representative of each STEAM section.  Sean the Squirrel, Teddy the Turtle, Elle the Elephant, Alex the Alligator, and Max the Monkey. Each character has a special talent while together exploring the fascinating world of STEAM. Readers will witness the shenanigans of Ms. Pearl and her animal friends, and be inspired to reproduce the kid-friendly experiments presented in the book. Ms. Pearl’s character is loosely based on Christina, who also happens to be a Scientist. Mrs. Washington created Ms. Pearl and the STEAM characters to reflect her love for STEAM.

I originally met Christina at the Bossier Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting of her business, Young Scholars, a premier provider of STEM educational programs and services including enrichment programs, custom learning solutions, educational workshops, test prep, and tutoring. Christina WashingtonChristina Washington is such a motivating woman, first and foremost, because she is a scientist (a physicist to be exact). She is an author, educator, Founder of Innovative Learning Solutions, and Founder and Executive Director of Young Scholars, the youth academic division of ILS. She is also a contributing author of two engineering lab manuals and now author of her new children’s book. Christina has received numerous awards for her efforts and continues to be a trailblazer in her industry. Christina is very humble and probably won’t tell you right off that she has participated in research projects at NASA and USDA, so I will tell you for her. WOW – What a woman!

Christina’s self-published book “Ms. Pearl Makes a Discovery” is currently being printed as I write and is available for pre-sale on Amazon, with an approximate ship date of November 19, 2016. All pre-sale orders will be autographed and personalized. Christina Washington is an inspiring woman who is making a great impact in the lives of young people. I encourage you to not only purchase one copy of this book, but purchase many copies to share with school children in your area.

13138993_1078445302216057_9137830259205827830_nRead more about Christina:

I’m excited to see Christina moving full STEAM ahead!

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

 

Who’s Hungry? 318 Restaurant Week Live FB Media Launch

microphone photoYou have had invitations in the past to attend press conferences, right? How often did you forget about it or you just weren’t able to attend? Well, in Shreveport-Bossier we wanted to do something different with a press conference announcing 318 Restaurant Week. We thought how about a live Facebook press conference? One that you don’t even have to leave your office to be in attendance. Cool, huh?

Yep, that’s what we are doing today. A press conference that starts on the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority Facebook page and then progressively tags over to five other social media influencers from around Shreveport-Bossier. We think this is a first, and we need your help! We need an audience. By clicking on each of the live feeds as they happen, you will be part of our audience. Because it’s a first, bear with us if there are any glitches. Just play along! And please, comment on the live feed so that we know you are there!

Who's Hungry?

Don’t miss the live Facebook event – it all starts at 10/11/16 at 11:00 am on the Shreveport DDA‘s page and then will progress to each of the following pages:

Loving This Life Jada at 11:05 am
Tiana Kennell at 11:10 am
Shreveport-Bossier ~ Louisiana’s Other Side at 11:15 am
That Just Happened – Social Robin at 11:20 am
Clint McCommon at 11:25 am
And big finale:
The Shreveport Times at 11:30 am

Make sure you like each of the mentioned page so you can get the live feed! Tune in, comment and share!

And also like the 318 Restaurant Week page and RSVP to the Facebook Event.

Let’s make 318 Restaurant Week delicious!

12920315_10207484979735787_7724960258228867184_n

This is my son, Chase. He’s going to be joining me at 11:20 for my part in this big announcement. Won’t you join us?

#EAT318

 

This is going to happen!!
Robin Williams
Holiday Lanes


Post Update: 10/11/16 at 4:45 pm

If you missed the event and still want to check it out, click on this link on Facebook to view all of the live feeds (and share). It was a super fun event and I can’t wait for #EAT318.

Why volunteer?

I had someone ask me why I volunteer? My initial reaction was “because I can”. I went on further to explain that I’m fortunate to have a job that allows me to do so. The next question I received was “well, how does that help Holiday Lanes?”. I often have to explain how or why I am at so many events around town. My job as marketing director for Holiday Lanes allows for me to be involved in the community in a way that also highlights the programs and services that we offer. I respect and understand the need for salespeople and yet I’ve found it difficult to follow the cold-calling techniques that often come with jobs in sales and marketing. I find that attending events, serving on committees, and volunteering provides a way for people get to know me and what I do without having to work the hard sell edge.

readingSo how does it help Holiday Lanes? It gives us the opportunity to invest in the community. We learn about other organizations and it allows us to be a resource for those people related to the organizations.

Today, I found out that sometimes, it really has nothing to do with my job. I started as a Step Forward literacy volunteer, reading to 3rd graders. I was kind of nervous. I’ve never done this before and wasn’t sure how well I’d be around third graders. When I walked into Ms. Collins third grade class at E.B. Williams Stoner Hill Lab Elementary school, I  was actually sweating. (Ok, so humidity was like 300%, but still!) Ms. Collins introduced me to the class and each student had an opportunity to share their name with me. There were five other Williams’ in the class, and so we had something in common. I was assigned six students as my breakout group. We all gathered together in the miniature burgundy chairs and began the task of reading “Jennie and the Wolf”. I asked each student to read a paragraph to me and then asked if I could read a paragraph. They excitedly allowed me to do so. We then all read in unison. (Kinda cool!) We talked about the vocabulary words (discovery and inspired) and the moral of the story (Help others and they will help you). We compared ourselves to Jennie and the Wolf. It was such a fabulous day for me. Those kiddos really snagged me in way I hadn’t expected. I get to read to them twice a week for 30 minutes and what at first seemed like something I might dread, I can now see is going to help me be better at the rest of my work week.

This has nothing really to do with my job, but in another way, it has everything to do with my job. Sometimes I find that I don’t feel like I’m making a contribution. I get caught up in emails, quotes, booking events, and yes, volunteering. Volunteering with thirStep Forwardd graders is way different than volunteering on a committee. I think this is going to give me energy and make me better at my job.

I would encourage you to consider reading to third graders. From what I have learned, third grade is that “make or break” time in a child’s life where being able to read is an indicator of whether they will graduate from high school. This is the very basic description. You will learn more when you sign up. There is a need for volunteers in both Caddo and Bossier Parishes. If you would like more information about Step Forward please contact Laura Alderman at The Community Foundation at 318-221-0582. As I walked out of the classroom from my volunteer time, one of the young men in the class yelled out “We had fun Ms. Robin!”. That made it all worth it!

Step Forward:

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes