Inspired Employee

Inspired Employee

Recognize, Recharge and Retain Employees

Inspired Employee RSS Feed

Making a Difference in Rural Communities

NeighborWorks America’s Safe and Sound rural initiative grants were awarded as part of a competitive application process held earlier this year with criteria including feasibility, capacity, work quality, Green standards and removing health risks for the homeowner.

This organization offers the opportunity for corporations to get involved and make a difference in America’s heartland. Corporate sponsors make the clean-up and restore work possible. It makes a huge difference in our rural areas. - the editor

NeighborWorks America’s training curriculum in housing rehabilitation, green applications and development with factory-built housing will be made available to the grant recipients.

A new survey from NeighborWorks America suggests that adults in rural regions of the United States are not as satisfied as their counterparts in urban and suburban areas. According to the  study, rural residents generally feel worse about their local economy and job outlook than the national average with just one-third  rating their economy and job situation as better than the national average. This compares to 48 percent of suburban residents and 57 percent of urban dwellers feeling positive about their local economy and job outlook.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 20 percent of people and 5.3 million veterans live in rural regions in the United States.

David Dangler, director of the Rural Initiative at NeighborWorks America, said, “NeighborWorks America is working hard to invest in upgrading homes in rural areas and spotlight the unique challenges of adults in rural parts of the country. We are also making rural homes more energy efficient, so fewer people have to make tough choices between food or fuel.”

About NeighborWorks America

For more than 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and safe, affordable rental housing. In 2014, NeighborWorks America and its network created or sustained 35,000 jobs, and in the last five years, member organizations generated more than $24.5 billion of reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development, financial capability and affordable housing professionals. For more information about the NeighborWorks America’s Rural Initiative, visit

Kids and Art: Le Cirque De La Vie

Le Cirque De La Vie
Auction Soirée 

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road
Palo Alto, California






Save the date for this year’s auction, Le Cirque de la Vie. This auction soirée brings our patrons together to support the Kids & Art Foundation. We wine. We dine. We entertain. We sell art.

Art Auction Bid on art made during the 2014-15 workshop season in a live auction. This is the one annual event where patrons and supporters bid on art made by our kids and art donated by a selection of local artists who have worked with us.  Soirée You say party. We say soirée. We’re going for French with an Asian twist or Asian with a French twist. Maybe that will give you ideas on how to dress. Come see and be seen whether your festive regalia suits the theme or not. We’re ready to see you have some fun while you support our dreams of making art with our kids and making our kids into artists.

What a GREAT group, this is an opportunity to support them with your time, money, skills, volunteer groups…. they are interested in helping kids and supporting them through their battle with cancer. If you want to make a difference, this is a place to pitch-in. It is a glorious event, and makes for a happy future… for kids and art.  – the editor

Sponsor the Event: Buy Tickets:

“We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses–one foot is on the horse called “fate,” the other on the horse called “free will.”  And the question you have to ask every day is–which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?”   – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love 

Do 5 things -to Protect your Debit Card from Skimmers

You need  to protect your debit card from skimmers

Keith Culver is the kind of person that is careful with money. The former police officer checks his bank account daily and is careful with his personal information.

ONE BILLION dollars lost a year. Hard to spot, skimmers look like part of the ATM machine. Things to keep in mind! Gas stations are “hot spots” BUT even your bank can be compromised. Even bankers and cops can miss the skimmer and have their bank Debit card and Pin “collected” by crooks. Watch the video below. And use a secured credit card with an EMV chip – you can ask for yours earlier than it is scheduled (yes you can).  – the Editor

That’s why Culver was shocked when he looked at his checking account on his phone in May and saw a $500 withdraw in Towson, MD.  Culver had been sitting at work in Henrico all day, and his debit card was in his wallet.

“I’ve never been to Towson, and I’ve been at work all day.  How could I be there at six o’clock?!” said Culver, recounting his gut reaction to the missing money.

For the entire article:

There are many ways to learn more about Cybersecurity. Look at this IEEE seminar — full of experts and information.

Rock Stars of Cybersecurity 2015 Gives You Immediate Responses to Critical Demands 27 October 2015  |  San Jose, CA Lunch and cocktails will be served

At this essential one-day event, we’ve assembled a group of the newest and foremost thinkers in cybersecurity to bring you up to date on what you can and can’t do to protect your company and enhance your security products and systems. Click HERE to register today!

You Can’t Ruin My Day, a new book

The world’s only “Jollytologist™” Allen Klein will be touring his new book You Can’t Ruin My Day: 52 Wake-Up Calls to Turn Any Situation Around throughout the Bay Area this summer. During his tenure as a motivational humorist, speaker, and author, Allen has helped people learn to laugh in stressful situations and find levity in life’s toughest moments.

You Can’t Ruin My Day features fifty-two inspiring wake-up calls and follow-up ideas—including wearing a red clown nose and learning to love rush hour traffic—to show readers how to take back their power and not let anyone or anything ruin their day. Offering wisdom, good humor, and a set of coping skills You Can’t Ruin My Day empowers readers to have a great day, every day.

Allen will be appearing at San Francisco’s BookShop West Portal on  Thursday, August 13th, where he will discuss his work, read from You Can’t Ruin My Day, and meet with humor enthusiasts—and those in need of a good laugh.


About the Author

Allen Klein is an award-winning professional speaker and bestselling author. His books The Healing Power of Humor, Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying, and Change Your Life!: A Little book of Big Ideas, have sold over 600,000 copies. Klein lives in San Francisco. Find out more about him at:

“Everyone who ever got a traffic ticket should read Allen Klein’s creative new book, You Can’t Ruin My Day. Heck, even those who haven’t gotten a ticket should read it because they are probably bummed out about something else. This book is designed to help people all year long. What a wonderful gift to readers.” —Dave Lieber, columnist, The Dallas Morning News

Advice for the Transition from Military life to Civilian

Five tips for other veterans trying to transition to the corporate world after service:

  1. Have an open mind when you initially make your transition to civilian life. You might not get the job you want, but it will help build on your background and experiences.
  2. Tell your career story by relating your experience to the open position to help prospective employers see the connections between your strengths and their needs.
  3. Don’t have tunnel vision about what you did, or what your rank was, in the military.
  4. Focus on your professional development and set goals.
  5. Take on new, uncomfortable tasks so you can become better at what you do — both during your service and once in a corporate job.

To read the entire article, please click this link for a Wells Fargo Story, its inspiring.

Time off from Work

Everyone talks about this. It can make or break a company, it can lead to optimism, hard work and loyalty or exhaustion, low morale and lack of engagement.  In big companies, it can even very from group to group. When you NEED time off, and you can get it, then life is good. Of course, I have a bias, I quit the employee world and became a contractor over this very issue.  What do I think? Give me time off when I need it? I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.

This article is great – about Virgin and their time off policies: (a quick summary)

  • Employees can now take up to a year of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. (this is depending on time with the company.) Thanks to CEO Richard Branson for his innovative thinking.
  • Retention – or do you want to keep hiring after your key folks leave?
  • Keep Employees Healthy
  • Keep your group creative, productive and engaged
  • Watch designer Stefan Sagmeister TED video
  • Pay attention to what Cindy Ventrice, author of Make Their Day! Employee Recognition that Works  has to say. Her weekly tips are so useful.

Other Additional Resources, Ideas

  • Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert
  • 3M 15% time off to explore
  • 30% – Google gives software engineers time


Fashion for a Cause: Kids and Art event this SUNDAY


We hope you are doing well. I’m not sure if I have shared already this with you… 3 fashion designers are launching their line as a benefit to Kids & Art at the Bay Club in Redwood Shores this Sunday June 28 from 5-9pm. Want to pass on the 50% off promo code I have received for this weekends benefit event: Promo Code: FashionForACause

CLICK THE LINK: You can purchase tickets here    We hope you can come out to this Fashion Show – it will be great! We hope you can be there and please do feel free to share the code.

We love helping kids get involved in ART! Thanks for helping our group!


— Purvi Shah

Founder | Executive Director | Children with cancer making a difference Kids & Art Foundation is a 501(c)3 California non profit organization


Win a special workout session with Shaun T, our new ambassador!

Your Passion, Your Work

Making your current job your best job? This is an important task; and one that each of us needs to work on from time to time, Right?

My passion: I love playtime, making events, inviting friends, enjoying great discussions, meeting new people and pursuing creative & innovative solutions. Perfect Job? Event Manager. IT IS ALL THOSE ATTRIBUTES, plus frustration, working with people that think THEY can do it better, 24/7 time commitment, unpredictable hours and totally exciting.  However, having done that for awhile I realized that I was stressed, worn down and not loving it anymore. Time to quit. Going back to my technology life felt easy and…. I had to admit, it had ALL the elements of the events job and paid twice as much. Good and Good.   I learned that you can get what you want at your regular job, if you know what you want and work towards adjusting the things that don’t fit. Bit by bit, your job will become what you want it to be.

Take a look at this article: How To Be Successful And Happy At Work and see if that stirs up some ideas for you.

Maybe you can get a Walking group going at lunch, or a book review club, or scrapbooking or running or baseball watching. I know of many groups that add one thing (a passion) and each and every day is better. You spend a lot of time at work, you can enjoy it too.

Resiliency can be a learned skill

It’s worth it to tone down your stress and be more ready for the challenges that occur every day.  And you can work on it with your TEAM!!

The good news: Resiliency can be a learned skill, not just a personality trait. You can develop the ability to bounce back — and cope with change — at any age.

These five strategies have worked for others. Maybe they can help you too.

1. Write things down. The simple act of writing about problems may offer stress relief and clearer thinking. Take a few minutes a day to: Jot down thoughts Draft a list of problems or goals Come up with potential solutions or plans of action List some specific, realistic steps to act on

2. Take a step forward. Pick one immediate — but doable — task. Tackle it. When it’s finished, move to another.

3. Picture the positive! Worrying about what you fear can keep you stuck. Instead, think about what you want — and how to achieve it. Visualize the positive outcome in your mind.

4. Reach out to others. Friends, mentors and loved ones can offer advice, tips, perspective or just moral support. If you’re having difficulty coping day to day, you might consider professional counseling, as well.

5. Be kind to yourself. Give your body extra TLC. Eat healthfully — and don’t skimp on exercise and rest. With this strategy, you’ll be better prepared to tackle each new task and challenge. *Check your benefits plan to see what services may be covered.

Another method that works well, is picturing the WORST case and developing a strategy to handle it…… then LET IT GO!

NLP – (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) does this. It’s the opposite of #3, but for some situations it can really help.  Ask a friend to help you brainstorm a difficult problem, you can benefit from their input.  – the editor

– This is an excerpt from the GREAT newsletter from United Health   go ahead and subscribe! It is wonderful and full of hints, tips, articles and an archive. UnitedHealthcare <>

Pitch to a Prospect – Tips!

Some Great information here, on the Wells Fargo Blog. It is available, and has a variety of business articles.  The source of this article. (you can see updates and comments on the original blog.)

My job is to help tweak the evolution of technology at Wells Fargo by working with young companies that have innovations to offer us — and to influence the success of these young companies by exposing them to the scale of a large and complex corporation.

Too often, though, I feel like I’m at a “speed dating” exercise: Startup leaders, I find, seldom are expert at pitching their solutions to corporate executives.

For technology companies to be successful, you need to know how to navigate the labyrinth of stakeholders, incentives, concerns, and the accompanying risk, compliance, and business drivers of a company with scale and complexity.

In advance of Wells Fargo’s 2015 Technology Partnership Summit in San Francisco, we asked leaders from across Wells Fargo* for pointers they would give to tech companies pitching to larger clients.

  1. Acknowledge the obvious challenges
    Large, complex companies can challenge the best of technologies both in terms of size and architecture. Be prepared to constructively respond to this challenge with agility, differentiation, and speed-to-market. Your product, platform, and pitch should reflect this reality.
  2. Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate
    You are potentially displacing or otherwise disrupting incumbent vendors. Be crisp on how you differentiate and fact-based on how your solution is unique. You can also explore partnering with a larger technology company for navigating enterprise scale.
  3. Get specific
    What can your technology do now versus what is in the roadmap ahead? At some stage in the pitching process, you’ll need to review your financials, funding, staffing, and sales pipeline. Be prepared with details for evaluation of things like what your cost model is and how you are positioned to compete and defend against copycats.
  4. Work your contacts
    Avoid the urge to send an email blast to everybody you can get to via LinkedIn. This has a counterproductive effect on a company’s appetite to engage and is a colossal waste of resources for all. A more effective method is to approach a company through a referral from your investor partner, a board member, or a key business or technology executive.
  5. Do your homework!
    Most larger companies have a wealth of public information in print, online, and social media. Understand the company’s scale, business imperatives, risk appetite, and more by doing your research ahead of time. Also know who you’re meeting with. Is it senior technology leaders? Their staffs? The receptionist? Know who they are, and tailor your message for the audience.
  6. Mute the sales pitch
    Most companies are acutely aware of the problems or opportunities for which you’re trying to solve. Avoid obvious and absolute superlatives and “market speak.” Instead, compare and contrast with obvious and not-so-obvious competitors and technically proven facts.
  7. Crawl before you run
    If feasible, start with smaller institutions before pitching to a larger company, which allows you to position more credibly to solve for the opportunity.
  8. Place the geeks front and center
    Bring your senior technical and executive leaders to deep-dive meetings so they can participate. Sales pitches are a dime a dozen. Large companies have armies of sales consultants. Differentiate your company by being technical, visionary, precise, and brief.
  9. Be pragmatic, not dogmatic
    Although you’re certain you can solve every problem — and your ideas are technically sound — be pragmatic in how it integrates in a cost-effective and risk-neutral way with existing technologies. Avoid getting into philosophical debates on what the possibilities are.

Author: Manoj Govindan