Archive | August, 2013

Hot Air Balloons, Oktoberfest, Chili & S

29 Aug

Hot Air Balloons, Oktoberfest, Chili & Salsa Cook-off, Dracula, Canoeing Trips, Racing, Big Band Night (think Frank Sinatra), Gourmet Gone Wild. MYPros Marquee Check it out! http://ow.ly/onEw5

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Bumpy Ride

23 Aug

Bicicletta. Fahrrad. Bicicleta. Biciclo. Bisiklet. Bicycle…Midland, MI is filled with people from many different languages and although we may not all come from the same background, bicycling is a common outdoor activity in all countries. Luckily in Midland we have the opportunity to bike not only on the Rail Trail, but on sidewalks that run throughout the city. I truly believe that you could get wherever you want to go in Midland, by bike! With that being said, traveling by bike is not always the smoothest or safest when you have cracked sidewalks, untrimmed greens covering the paths and no bike lanes on main streets.

Let’s first talk about the sidewalks. Yes, I am 100% grateful that they weave and wind everywhere throughout Midland, however some of those turns can easily cause a crash, because they are so sharp and abrupt. The sidewalks are also uneven in many areas and although there are spots which are fixed, there are still several “drops” in the paths. These cracks make it easy for quick accidents to occur and are hard on the structure and tires of the bicycles themselves.

Trees and greenery add a color ambience to a scenic bike tour. Midland Blooms does a wonderful job at making Midland look beautiful in the summer months, filling the sides of the roads with bright flowers and colorful plants. As plants and trees continue to grow more maintenance is required. There are locations throughout Midland that have overgrown their planted “homes”. I am specifically talking about the tree branches that hover the sidewalks, like door frames, and the plants that have grown across the ground, like carpet. These plants create visual impairments for riders making the journey quite dangerous, unless you travel off the sidewalk, through the grass, to avoid them.

Bike Lanes are placed on main roads to keep bikers out of the way of walkers/runners. These paths travel alongside the road and are marked with a white line and a bicycle symbol. Although Midland has been improving their non-motorized transportation paths, more bike lanes through the city would eliminate the first two problems stated above, keeping biking safe and protecting the riders.

I know that Midland is an active town. People love to be outdoors whether it is biking, running, swimming or walking. I do not believe that the cracked sidewalks, untrimmed greenery or lack of bike lanes will hold anyone back from enjoying the beautiful summers we have here, however it would make for a smoother ride!

Learn more about what the City of Midland is doing today to improve transportation in our area at http://www.midland-mi.org/government/departments/planning/Planning/NMTCommittee.htm.

Follow the City of Midland online for transportation updates and information and view the map of the current routes through the city.Biking in Midland

 

 

I Don’t Even Know Who Nancy Pelosi Is.

20 Aug

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We’ve got another Pilsners and Politics event coming up next week with State Representative Kevin Cotter, and I know what you’re thinking (Unless you’re Sydney Allen, Chair of the MYPros Gov. Issues Committee)…”Government stuff is so boring” or “I don’t know anything about politics I will be so out of the loop at this event.” Well, I am here to tell you that I don’t even know who Nancy Pelosi is and I actually enjoy these events!  Now I must admit that normally, I probably wouldn’t even think about attending an event about government issues.  However, I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to organize these events and attend them as well. These events are not just for the super well-informed political person.  This event is more of an intro to government and politics. I have never felt that I was the ignorant person in the room while everyone else knows it all, nor have I ever thought this event was boring. It’s actually very interesting.  I have really started to enjoy learning the ins and outs of government, and learn why things are the way they are. And more importantly, how I can get involved rather than just live with the status quo and complain about it.  So to that end, we have a Pilsners and Politics event coming up on August 27th in the Saints and Sinners Lounge at the Midland Center for the Arts. We keep the registration limited to 30 people so that it’s more informal and conversational.  We are almost full so register today!  And hey, even if you leave there deciding that politics isn’t really for you, at least you got a beer out of the deal! 🙂 Click to register.

 

4 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Today

5 Aug

You wouldn’t go to a professional networking event wearing flip flops and a t-shirt, right? Surly you wouldn’t walk in and refrain from contributing to the discussion. The whole point is to be prepared and expand your presence. You certainly shouldn’t neglect your professional online presence either.

Using the examples of two leaders, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and The President of The United States, Barack Obama (yeah, he’s on LinkedIn) we’re going to evaluate the most important parts of a profile and how you can step up your game a bit, too.

1. Always Have a Professional Photo

You should use a head and shoulders style shot and of only you. Find one that is as professional as possible. Professional doesn’t necessarily mean your typical “corporate” head-shot, either. Notice that Mr. Obama isn’t looking at the camera almost giving a more casual demeanor. He also has a simple background. If it was not the president and perhaps you or I it’s something that could have been easily taken by a friend or cropped from a larger photo. Jeff’s is a more standard-looking corporate shot but it is simple and you can clearly tell who it is.

Both types of photos are great examples to aim for when choosing your own.

Obama LinkedIn

2.      Headline Title

Your headline is the description you give of yourself at the very top of your profile. This doesn’t have to be your official title because that will also be reflected within your experience section. This is an eye catching one-liner that describes you professionally. It should be clear and to the point. I guess if you’re the president or a CEO you really don’t need to elaborate any further than what they have. However, it’s not always that clear cut for everyone and many like to get creative with this liberty. To start, read some best practices from the pros and develop some options for yourself.

Have you seen some good headlines or think yours is noteworthy? Share some with us in the comments.

3.      Summary

Take this very seriously because this is going to be the last thing people are likely to read on your profile if they make it this far.

Think of your summary as your written elevator pitch. The best part about writing out this pitch for your summary is that you now have a practiced and thought-out elevator pitch when you need it. Harvard Business Review has some great resources for crafting your perfect pitch as well as a pretty awesome tool that walks you through building it out.

For LinkedIn, I recommend keeping it down to 1 paragraph of no more than 4 sentences. Always include a call to action. Some examples could include:

4.      Completed Job Entries

To complete your profile optimization list out all of your relevant job experience. Include the title of your last role at that company or break them out into 2 separate roles. For example, if you received a promotion or were in two different departments, decide if it makes sense to create a new entry. If not, be sure your most recent role is reflected for that company.

At least one sentence to describe your role is sufficient. Include measurable results if you can provide them. There are more advanced ways to elaborate on your role and if you’d like one of your experiences to stick out more than others consider adding a project or a presentation to that experience like Jeff did in his.

Jeff Weiner LinkedIn CEO, Experience

What would you add to this list as a best practice for LinkedIn?

 

Jessica Robinson