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Giant Pumpkins

first_imgPumpkins are a staple of the fall season. Some people like pumpkins baked in pie, and some like them carved and lit up on their front porches for Halloween. Georgia 4-H’ers, on the other hand, like them to weigh hundreds of pounds. Each year, Georgia 4-H holds a pumpkin-growing contest where student members have the opportunity to put their green thumb to the test and grow a pumpkin that will outweigh the rest. Jessie Holbrook of Union County, who submitted a pumpkin weighing 644 pounds, took first place in the pumpkin-growing contest this year. Lauren Wheeler of Laurens County won second place with a 511-pound pumpkin, and Reagan Covington of Union County placed third with a pumpkin weighing 479 pounds. The top three 4-H’ers will receive a cash prize from the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association to celebrate their hard work. Other noteworthy pumpkin growers include:Morgan Peney of Union County,  whose 463-pound pumpkin came in fourth placeAliceyn Covington of Union County, whose 340-pound pumpkin came in fifth placeJordan Pandolph of Union County, whose 307-pound pumpkin came in sixth placeGrayson Collins of Union County, whose 199-pound pumpkin came in seventh placeMaggie Payne of Union County, whose 171-pound pumpkin came in eighth placeLane Anderson of Lumpkin County, whose 165-pound pumpkin came in ninth placeDrew Grimes of Tift County, whose 155-pound pumpkin came in tenth placeGeorgia 4-H Program Specialist Michael Rabalais, who organizes the 4-H pumpkin-growing contest as well as the summer watermelon-growing contest, said that the competitions sharpen participants’ gardening skills and give them a feeling of accomplishment.“I love the pumpkin-growing contest because I think it teaches our youth a lot of really valuable skills. It’s hard to raise a pumpkin as big as some of the ones our 4-H’ers submit, and to do so requires a huge amount of patience, dedication and responsibility, so getting to celebrate those traits is really exciting,” Rabalais said. “I’m so glad 4-H’ers respond so well to the competition, and I hope I get to see even bigger pumpkins next year.”For more information about the Georgia 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest, contact the Georgia 4-H agent in your county by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

How to successfully implement data-driven marketing at your credit union

first_imgAs the price of data analytics software continues to decline and the ease of use increases, it’s a good time for credit unions to begin developing strategies that monetize their member data.  While the adoption by smaller institutions still lags behind their larger competitors; it is clearly beginning to pick up. For those credit unions looking to pilot a data project, marketing is the logical place to start.  Marketing provides a data-rich environment, it’s exciting and the results can be significant.  In fact, the incremental revenues from your data-marketing pilot can fund the expansion of your project beyond just the marketing function.Research recently conducted by the Filene Research Institute (see below) shows there is a lot of frustration on the part of credit union CEOs trying to build a data-marketing functionality.  The research first asked CEOs to list their marketing priorities.  The 5 marketing goals listed below are in priority order.  Next, the CEOs were asked how well their organization was doing in achieving these goals; that percentage is in the SATISFACTION column.The GAP column is the difference between priority and satisfaction and it shows a large percentage of unhappy CEOs.  For example; marketing goal #1, identifying members who are good cross-sell prospects is a top priority of 97% of CEOs and only 31% of them feel the organization is achieving the goal. From the research it looks like two out of three (66%) CEOs are unhappy with their organization’s data marketing efforts.Why are almost two thirds of credit unions not able to meet the challenge of using member data to drive marketing?  Using member data is a new skill set for many financial institutions.  It involves not only the mechanics of collecting data, data discovery and then creating marketing campaigns; but also the unintended organizational changes that occur. You can’t solve a new challenge using old paradigms. Credit union leadership has been successful for decades using a tried and true formula; the formula is changing.  There are typically two ways to adapt to this new business model; build or buy.  We believe the answer is unique to each organization…but that for most; it is somewhere in the middle.The days of getting to know your members across the desk are fading.  Whether they know it or not, community focused institutions are in the process of “redefining” their community. Members in increasing numbers are using remote servicing; adopting online account opening, remote deposit, and online/mobile apps.  All this makes it harder to really get to know your members.Why Data-Driven Marketing? Data-driven marketing provides a platform for credit unions to replace face to face data gathering with automated data gathering and analytics that match member account behaviors with demographics and other lifestyle characteristics.  The basics of nuanced sales and product suitability that credit unions excel at, in a face to face environment, are exactly the same for data-driven marketing.  When looking for a vendor to support their project, CEOs need to find a partner that looks to recreate the successful brand dynamics of their face to face selling, in a remote digital environment.Another motivation for CEOs to implement data-driven marketing; there is a good chance your competition is using their data to steal your members. This puts your members at risk (being targeted by competitor’s cross-sell campaigns) of losing them altogether. By running a targeted cross-sell program you can offer your members an appropriate next product, this increases their number of accounts, which increases their revenue and ultimately increases their lifetime value (because with more accounts/member they will be with you for a longer time).Data-marketing also provides the opportunity to expand your marketplace outside the traditional branch footprint. With the proliferation of remote servicing capabilities, many CEOs are considering expanding their market area outside their branch footprint with a remote product/service bundle.  Data-driven marketing can be the engine to grow this new remote business.Generally, the process will target new “high likelihood” prospects outside your current branch footprint. These prospects match the characteristics of some of your “best” members and with predictive analytics identify the most suitable product to offer them.  This new business strategy can usually be tested by configuring your existing capabilities into a “new” branded service offering. Many consumers are getting comfortable with using remote banking institutions like Ally Bank or Capital One.The last reason to get started using member data is really one of the strongest.  Member data is an asset of your organization and it has significant value if implemented correctly.  Not using it, is like not bending down to pick up the $100 bill lying on the sidewalk.What is Data-Driven Marketing?Simply stated, it is the strategy of using member data to develop insights into your member’s behaviors.  These insights improve your member’s experience through improved service delivery, product pricing/structure and more targeted CRM and new member acquisition marketing campaigns.Some of the benefits of data-driven marketing include:Being able to target the right members, with the right product. By targeting the right members you can achieve the same (or better) results with much less media expense. Cost per account goes down and revenue per member goes up.Creating more targeted creative/positioning. Because you are targeting specific member segments you can create more relevant messaging. These segmented groups are smaller and more homogeneous. This creates improved campaign results by producing more powerful copy and call to action.Structured correctly data-driven marketing not only generates an increase in the amount of new accounts and revenue/member, it creates opportunities to learn more about your member’s marketing, product and service delivery preferences. This learning is put into the member database after each campaign and it is used to design and implement the next campaign. This is called the “process of continuous improvement” When structured correctly, each new campaign makes you smarter.A Strategy Template to Implement Data-Driven Marketing  In the New Marketing Analytics the authors articulate a process “Roadmap” for the development of a data analytics strategy (see diagram).  The Roadmap can be used as the starting point for designing an implementation plan for your data-marketing pilot. Understanding this process is critical for credit union leadership as they begin making decisions on the budget and personnel resources required, as well as, the potential payoffs of the program.The process template is a closed loop that functions by taking member data from the database to design and implement marketing campaigns.  At the end of each campaign all the activity generated (data) is put into the database.  This helps improve our understanding of member behaviors; and makes us smarter with each campaign.Each step of the Roadmap is a functional part of your data-marketing platform.  How you address each is dependent on your build/buy business philosophy, strategic plan, budget and available personnel resources. This can also be a useful checklist when talking to and evaluating potential vendors to support your project.Within the Roadmap there are eight “core” elements of your strategy that are critical for success. We break them down into two categories: “organizational” and “mechanical” success factors.  Organizational factors are those that deal with challenges from your organization/culture and mechanical are those factors involving process and technology.Organizational Success Factors:Designating a project lead.  Projects are successful when they have an advocate within the leadership team.  A team leader who understands the technology, process, marketing and company politics of your new program is a definitely a critical success factor.A culture that supports data-driven decision making.  There are many organizations where the conventional wisdom comes from the antidotal experiences of individuals on the leadership team.  Introducing data that identifies “best” member segments, member preferences for marketing and service delivery will begin to challenge a lot of this previous “wisdom.”  This can cause tension within the team. A culture that embraces these new insights will help smooth out this potential conflict.Dedicate adequate resources.   Many smaller credit unions do not have a full time marketing department.  They traditionally have responsibilities that are more tactical like collateral materials, managing events and branch signage.  A project of this scope requires additional dedicated resources.  Staffing this project with associates who already have a “day job” will not work.Establishing realistic goals.  Many credit unions that have successfully implemented data-driven marketing have done so over a period of time.  Typically the project starts with an outsourced pilot program.  The pilot is low cost/low risk and validates the concept for management; providing the confidence to proceed. Growing your data analytics functionality over time so that your organization can catch-up and internalize the changes at each milestone helps create a long-term, custom built solution for your institution.Mechanical/Process Success Factors:Data governance and administration.  It is important to have a process and individual accountability for the security of your member data.  A component part of this success factor is the implementation of processes to ensure the prudent use of your database.  This means standards have to be set (and enforced) on the number of times members can be contacted, the types/sequence of offers and offering the opportunity for members to “opt-out.”Data Management.  This success factor includes the collection, warehousing and analysis of your member data.  For this to be successful, the IT and Marketing departments need to work well together.  IT has the expertise to implement the technology; Marketing has responsibility for the output and to define the end user requirements. Data Discovery.  This involves the analytics process to derive insights from your member data.  These insights will drive new marketing, sales and service programs.  The process needs to be consistent with your business plan and marketing objectives; although sometimes it is fruitful just go fishing and see what happens. The primary deliverable of this process is the identification and evaluation of potential marketing opportunities.Campaign Development/implementation.  This process translates member insights into effective marketing.  The marketing opportunities identified in your data discovery are now becoming marketing campaigns.  A common mistake in this process is to propose creative that is appealing to you…or the boss.  As we begin to use data, the big shift happens, moving your marketing orientation from selling products to selling members (needs based selling).It is important to remember that introducing a data-driven marketing program is not intended to change your brand or the way your members perceive your organization.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  In a marketplace where many of your members will only be in a branch one or two time a year it helps to reinforce the positive aspects of your brand and help them make informed banking decisions. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Frank Koechlein Frank Koechlein is the President at Empower Your Analytics and coauthor of the marketing resource book “The New Marketing Analytics”. Frank has over 40 years of marketing experience in the … Web: empoweryouranalytics.com Detailslast_img read more

Former Tottenham coach Clive Allen recalls almost punching Arsene Wenger before Carlo Cudicini stepped in

first_imgAllen was insistent on a handshake from Wenger (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)‘I stuck out my hand to shake, but he just walked past me, because he’d lost. That’s the way he is. I chased after him down the tunnel,’ Allen wrote in his autobiography Up Front, published by the Evening Standard.‘“Come on Arsene!” I shouted. “Are you a man or a mouse? Shake my hand.” He wouldn’t.‘At that point, I lost it. The tunnel area was teeming with stewards, press and the players, who were beginning to make their way off the pitch. I couldn’t believe his attitude.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘“Where are you walking to? You’re a mouse!” I screamed at him. I was ready to blow. “Just because we’ve won for once!”‘I called him a few choice names. He kept looking at me, edging away. I was ready to punch him.‘Just as I went to swing for him, reserve goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini saved the day. He threw his arm over my shoulder. “Clive, what was the score?” he said, smiling. He dragged me away and into our dressing room.’ Arsene Wenger narrowly avoided an assault from Clive Allen (Picture: Getty Images)Former Tottenham coach Clive Allen has admitted that he came close to punching former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, before Carlo Cudicini intervened.Allen, a start striker for Spurs in the 1980s, says that bad blood began bubbling between him and Wenger when the Frenchman labelled Tottenham ‘cheats’ after a match in April 2006 which ended 1-1.Wenger famously reacted badly to the ball not being put out of play when two Arsenal players were injured, arguing with then Spurs manager Martin Jol on the touchline and later accusing the Tottenham coaching staff of cheating.Allen was far from impressed by this accusation and vowed to ‘shake Wenger’s hand as a winner’ as soon as possible.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTWhile not the next time Spurs would beat their north London rivals, Allen made the bid for the handshake, after a 2-1 win in the Premier League in October 2011, and Wenger was not interested. Former Tottenham coach Clive Allen recalls almost punching Arsene Wenger before Carlo Cudicini stepped in Wenger ignored Allen’s bid for a shake (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)Allen signed for Arsenal before he moved to Spurs, but never played a league game for the Gunners despite arriving from QPR for £1.25m in 1980.The forward did not fit into the formation being used by Arsenal at the time and was moved on to Crystal Palace before turning out in the league, with Kenny Samson going the other way and going on to become a Gunners legend.MORE: Arsenal issue Alexandre Lacazette injury update ahead of Sheffield United clashMORE: Mesut Ozil insists he’ll see out Arsenal contract despite struggles under Unai Emery Metro Sport ReporterThursday 17 Oct 2019 11:25 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link270Sharescenter_img Advertisement Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Wellington Golf Club has new U.S. Golf Flags during Memorial Day weekend

first_imgU.S. Golf Flags on the golf course. Sumner Newscow report — It might not be an ideal weekend for Memorial Day golf. But if you are driving along U.S. 160 take a gander at the U.S. Golf Flags at the Wellington course.These special flags are in honor of the U.S. Veterans who served our country. Derek Harrison, Wellington golf pro, said the flags will be used only on special occasions like Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July and on Veteran’s Day.The patriotic gesture probably didn’t help anyone’s golf game, but most would agree it’s a nice touch and salute to our servicemen.  Follow us on Twitter.center_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (6) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -1 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 324 weeks ago I think that’s great that they want to show their support like that. But I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen people golfing and just lay the normal flags on the ground while taking a shot. Of course, this is a “no-no” with the Stars and Stripes. I hope the golfers this weekend have more respect for the US flag than they do the normal golf flags. Report Reply 3 replies · active 324 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Ted Logan · 324 weeks ago The group in the picture notwithstanding. Report Reply +2 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 324 weeks ago Obviously done the right way in the picture, Ted. And the fact I have at least two “thumbs down” tells me what some people think of the flag. Which is pretty much a reflection of what they think of veterans. Stay classy, Wellington. Report Reply -1 Vote up Vote down Ted Logan · 324 weeks ago ” the fact I have at least two “thumbs down” tells me what some people think of the flag. ” Sure. Let’s go with that. Report Reply +2 Vote up Vote down Crusader pride · 324 weeks ago JustMe are you serious….Wellington does Memorial Weekend like very few small towns. The Avenue of Flags is awesome. The fact that the Golf Course chose to celebrate this great holiday is even more of what Wellington is all about. The fact that you got on here an assumed that the flag would just be thrown around is what people are giving the thumbs down for…I seen several players either just put with the pin in or took turns holding the flag. Maybe you shouldn’t look for the negative in everything….. Report Reply 1 reply · active 324 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 324 weeks ago Mr. Pride, I’ve reread my post several times and don’t see anything negative in it. Only a “hope” that they treat the flag with more respect than the normal golf flags. My first sentence even gave them “props” for doing it. Maybe you shouldn’t just look for the negative in my posts. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

What it’s like to… trek the Wild Alpaca Way

first_imgIf you’re a fan of the fluffy alpaca, then there’s a brand new experience you have to try in the hills of Donegal.The Wild Alpaca Way on Malin Head is a fun new trek for young and old to spend time with lovable animals in the great outdoors.Local man John McGonagle and his family have been sharing their passion for alpacas with visitors all summer through their tours on the Knockamany Bends. But what makes this tour really special is the location. The trekking path offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Five Finger Strand and far beyond. You’ll be amazed by Donegal’s scenery from this point – if you can stop admiring the cute little alpacas that is!Ollie the Alpaca on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalJohn McGonagle and Bounce on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalMojo, Badger, Chestnut, Bounce and the beautiful little newcomer Ollie are the stars of the show. I had Ollie for my trek on Monday, and even though he was quite new to Donegal, he took everything in his stride.Alpacas are great animals for children to be around, they are quiet, gentle and love company. John and his son Sean are full of knowledge about the group and we soon learned that each alpaca has his own personality, Badger is the leader, Bounce is the lively one and my wee Ollie was the shy one of the group. You can’t help but laugh at their habits and their humming.The one-hour trek is very easy going and John makes sure everyone is comfortable with their alpaca. We took plenty of photo stops and treat stops for the animals.  Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalMyself and the lads enjoying a break stop on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalThe field trail is not mucky and they have a great new shelter on-site to stand in with the alpacas and to ask John and Sean plenty of questions about them.This is a new venture for John, who switched from work as a plasterer to an alpaca trekker. Since starting the tours in June, he has welcomed visitors from all over the world who come to do something a little different on the Wild Atlantic Way. People from as far Canada, China, Singapore, New Zealand, Tasmania and closer to home have already enjoyed the Wild Alpaca Way this summer.The famous Donegal welcome awaits everyone on the hills. “We have a way of treating every customer like they’re the first,” John said.Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalViews from the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalWild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalAnd John will be open all year round, as well as hosting hen party mornings, team building days and bringing the alpacas out and about. If you are looking for some very special wedding guests, then this Malin crew would be delighted to get a day out! Check out wildalpacaway.com for details on these alpaca treks. To book, call John on 087 666 5106Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalBounce the alpaca on the Wild Alpaca Way, Malin Head, DonegalWhat it’s like to… trek the Wild Alpaca Way was last modified: November 1st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:InishowenJohn McGonagleMalin HeadThings to dotourismwild alpaca wayWild Atlantic Waylast_img read more