A little lesson about Glen Jackson

Glen Jackson, Maryville Retreat Talent ShowJackson Spalding has enjoyed a good run lately. We were named to the AJC’s Top Work Places in Atlanta and then the Holmes Report named us Best Small Agency to work for. (If you want to find out for yourself, we have nine jobs posted right now — send me your resume).

Needless to say there’s been some self-reflection on why we’re such a good place to work. The easy answers are healthy, realistic billable goals and a true focus on work-life balance. But there are a lot of intangibles.

One of those intangibles is the Glen factor. I found this nugget in my email from April 2008 and had to share it today:

To: Jackson Spalding
Subject: A little lesson about selling

Something I thought about today that I wanted to put down in writing about selling:

Instead of selling to people, connect with people.  There is a big difference between the two.

Just a little thought for us to remember.

This is typical of Glen. He finds a connection to everyone he meets. That connection starts as an small ember and he feeds it until it’s a raging fire.

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Register for AIDS Walk Atlanta 2011 on May 1

Jon Santos has already started planning for AIDS Walk Atlanta 2011 with a flash mob at the Dogwood Festival’s main stage in Piedmont Park today. I joined a handful of videographers to capture footage that will soon be transformed into a promotional video to promote registration beginning May 1. Fortunately, there were a couple of professional photographers on hand, too. I was assigned to capture the back of the crowd and the table dancers. (Yes, table dancers).

I pulled together this quick and dirty clip but the footage is shaky and the editing isn’t very tight. Despite all this, I enjoyed spending time in the park with AID Atlanta’s AIDS Walk team. And I know the final product will be more polished and help raise a record amount of money for AID Atlanta.

Midtown Rotary honors AID Atlanta, Volunteer of the Year

Walter Bradley AID Atlanta

From left, Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club President Robert Walker, Walter Bradley and Barbara Rose.

Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club honored Walter Bradley yesterday as the 2011 Barbara B. Rose Volunteer of the Year. This is the fifth year Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club has honored a local volunteer with a ceremony and donations to the volunteer’s nominating organization.

Walter was selected from 18 nominations, the most ever received by Midtown Atlanta Rotary. AID Atlanta describes Walter as “a force of nature.”

Among his achievements, Walter is the most active and visible HIV/AIDS volunteer activist in the city of Atlanta. He reaches tens of thousands of people each year, from junior high youth to senior citizens, with his very personal and compelling message of overcoming substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.

As the most active speaker in the Youth HIV/AIDS Education Program jointly sponsored by AID Atlanta and Georgia Rotary Clubs, Walter travels the state to present HIV/AIDS prevention education to junior high and high school students. Last year alone, Walter presented to 17,899 students. He makes dozens of additional presentations each year to various community groups throughout the city, reaching thousands more people. [Read more…]

Rotary District 6900

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I enjoyed spending this morning with fellow Rotarians from Rotary International District 6900.

My morning was filled learning how to apply for District matching grants. I’m excited about putting this knowledge to work.

Also, Midtown Rotary will look for college students this year who need a scholarship to study abroad. I’ll provide more details on the scholarship over the summer.

Georgia-based Top 200 Charities lead charge on social media

Jimmy Carter at Carter CenterEvery one of the Forbes Top 200 Charities now uses at least one form of social media in its communications strategy, according to a recent report. And that list of social media users includes all 10 Georgia-based Top 200 Charities: American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of America, CARE USA, Carter Center, Habitat for Humanity USA, In Touch Ministries, Map International, Mission to the World and The Woodruff Arts Center.

In fact, all but one of Atlanta’s Top 200 Charities use at least three kinds of online content other than a corporate website. The not-for-profits use the channels to communicate and build relationships with donors, volunteers and other supporters. Skip to the bottom of this post to see a list (and links) of online content from each of Georgia’s Top 200 Charities.

But first, let’s look at those national numbers. The study reveals charities’ adoption of blogging outpaces both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 by 23 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Sixty-four percent of these top performing charities maintain a blog for their organizations. [Read more…]

Mr. Long goes to Washington

Rep. John Lewis and Bryan LongWords cannot describe how honored and humbled I am to have dined with Rep. John Lewis and tour his offices in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

As I described earlier this week, I was invited — on what may have been a whim — by Rep. Lewis to visit him in D.C. I wasn’t certain at the time that the lunch offer would result in a real lunch.

It proved to be much more than I could have expected or asked for.

Rep. Lewis spent more than three hours entertaining Alex and I during a very busy day for the House of Representatives.

We arrived 30 minutes early for lunch and spent much of that time walking the halls of Cannon House on what turned out to be moving day. Alex accurately described the scene as reminiscent of a college dorm on the first day of class. Furniture was stacked high in every hallway as some members of Congress left their posts while others moved in.

When we returned to Rep. Lewis’ office just before noon we were told that the Congressman may be late. We were promptly introduced to a staff member who would join us for lunch. At 12:20, disappointment began to mildly set in as we walked toward the Capitol with no sign of the Congressman. [Read more…]

Georgia Meth Project: Giving that makes a difference

Meth LogoCongratulations to Thomas Siebel and The Meth Project for landing in the third spot of Barron’s annual ranking of philanthropies.

And congratulations to my clients, Lee Shaw and Jim Langford, for their hard work bringing The Meth Project to Georgia. It’s been an incredible first year working with the Georgia Meth Project and next year looks even better.

The ranking announcement was made in Barron’s cover story this week, “The 25 Best Givers.” This is the second year in a row the Meth Project has been named to the magazine’s list; it was ranked number five in 2009.

In awarding the Meth Project its number three spot, Barron’s said: [Read more…]

Giving back to those who give back

Midtown Rotary Volunteer of the Year

President David Zimmerman, Leotha Womble and Barbara Rose.

Yesterday, I attended the annual awards lunch to honor Midtown’s most dedicated and hard working volunteers.

The program was filled with quotes — some popular, some obscure — about volunteering and community service. My favorite is from Tom Brokaw who said, “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot harder to make a difference.”

We had a roomful of people who have made a difference in Midtown so the decision to select the Volunteer of the Year must have been a challenging one for those on the selection committee.

Ultimately, Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club chose to honor Leotha Womble as the 2010 Barbara B. Rose Volunteer of the Year.

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Looking behind vitriolic speech and soundbites

I’ll have to be honest, until yesterday I didn’t put a lot of energy into thinking about the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. My feelings could be summed up in one word: bad.

Bad people, bad policy.

And then Rear Admiral Jim McGarrah spoke to Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club and implored each of us to avoid taking strong political stands on any issue based solely on information provided on television.

“Don’t take soundbites from anyone. Not Fox, not CNN, not even the papers,” he said. “This is a complex issue and it’s impossible to understand based on what you hear from politicians and talking heads.”

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Discovering what Willie McKinney ‘didn’t know’

It was one month ago today that I was lucky enough to join the AID Atlanta Board of Directors.  That day the AID Atlanta staff asked four clients to share their personal journeys. Each one told a heart-breaking story. Despite living with a life-threatening disease, each person shared their hope, love and joy.

I was particularly struck — nearly to the point of tears — by Willie McKinney. Less than six months ago, Mr. McKinney was homeless and standing on the ledge of a bridge. He said he had walked past that bridge many times before and each time thought about jumping. But this day was different. He knew he finally had the courage to do it so he took a step up and looked down.

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