NEW Employee Spotlight: Danny Bates

Get to Know Our Graphic Designer, Danny!

IMG_1543

Danny is originally from Dayton, Ohio but recently moved to the Cincinnati area and began working for RSVP in January of 2019.

 

76

Before he started working for RSVP, Danny played hockey and studied Fine Arts / Graphic Design at The University of Mississippi.

 

DogsWeb

Even though he doesn't have any pets of his own, he still loves being around the fur balls in his family!

Left: Zeke, Husky & Great Pyrenees (Sister's Dog)

Middle: Sidney, Golden Retriever & Irish Setter (Parent's Dog)

Right: Laela, English Bulldog (Girlfriend's Dog)

 

811910

When he's not creating designs for RSVP, Danny enjoys staying creative by painting, drawing, and making music with friends.

IMG_1542

Danny is extremely grateful to have amazing people in his life. He loves creating art, music, and design work but his favorite place to be is spending time with his family.

 

All images are Danny's own & may not be republished without express written permission.

 

 

How Kids Judge the Halloween Candy You Give Out

Everyone has their candy preferences, but what are kids thinking about what you’re putting in their bag?

However grateful and well mannered they are, it’s impossible for trick-or-treaters to avoid casting some judgment on the treat-giver-outers they encounter.

The Old Timer

You’re old school. You don’t go for newfangled gadgets or trends. You like the classics. When you’ve been around the block as many times as you have, you know what’s good and you stick with it.

The Spaz

You get an A for awkward. Either you grossly underestimated or “Candy” was flagrantly forgotten on SEVERAL grocery lists.

The Party Pooper

You’re probably allergic to sugar and happiness, but our new cavities are still going to get some sweetness tonight.

The Trusty Provider

Nothing too fancy, nothing too nasty. You’re a solid source of one or two enjoyable or tradable “fun” sized treats.

Cheapy McCheapster

You’re handing out candy from last year’s after-Halloween sales, aren’t you? Money may not grow on your trees, but tonight some toilet paper might.

The Legend

We shall one day tell our own kids of you good sir/madam. And the gold-plated private jet you must have lying around somewhere.

 

Contributed by Bethany Briggs

 

Need a little pick-me-up?

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." – Aristotle

 

There comes times when I have some self-doubt creeping in or sales may not be landing in my favor. Other times, it feels like relationships just don’t seem to be clicking. When I start to get a little anxious, I always get that hunger for learning. I wander around the aisles of the bookstore. I get on Amazon and read the reviews you know those “if you like this book you might also love ____”. Lately, everything I’ve read is just meh. Just repetition of the same material and content I’ve heard years before. It had been quite a while since I found a gem of a read. Definitely, quite a long time since I’ve picked up a book that is life-changing.

While waiting on a cell-phone repair, I wandered into a bookstore and this one called out to me, “READ ME!” High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. It’s off to an inspiring start. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to rush home and devour some more.

I’d love to share a few of my all-time faves. This is my go-to list of books I’ve read most more than one time. Some are dog-eared. All have highlighted passages. Some I’ve read 10 times. Not only does the content never get old, I often discover something new messages within the pages. Life situations change and that old text now speaks to me in a different way delivering a new and timely lesson.

Whether you’re looking for a little positive thinking or ready to grow your business to the next level, I hope you enjoy these classics (followed by my two cents).

E-myth by Michael Gerber (Critical for every entrepreneur)
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
How to Win Friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Duct tape Marketing by John Jantsch (Practical advice for small businesses marketing that doesn’t cost a fortune)
Positive Personality Profiles by Dr. Richard Rohm (Forever changed my perspective on interactions with others)
10 X by Grant Cardone
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (I had this one on cassette tape in my first car)
Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
The Bible
Drive by Daniel pink
One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard (Principles are timeless)
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Give yourself permission to do great things!)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Fascinating research into top achievers)
Just Listen by Mark Goulston

I’d love to hear your all time faves. I’ll add them to my “MUST READ” list.

 

Contributed by Heather Kuth.

All images are Heather’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

50 Years of Gratitude

“The healthiest of all human emotions is Gratitude” was spoken by Zig Zigler as he described what he called an Attitude of Gratitude

This is not human nature, and therefore not always easy to implement, and those around me know I am not always grateful in the moment.  However, when I step back and reflect on my time on this earth - Grateful summarizes my posture. You, like me, have so much to be grateful for, if we can keep redirecting our attention to gratitude.

 

I’ve had the fortune of visiting some cool places in the US and abroad. These are a few pictures where I’m feeling grateful!

 

 

I have been blessed with what I believe are God’s greatest gifts. I turned 50 this year and I’ll illustrate some of my most precious gifts below:

 

 

My amazing, beautiful and talented wife Ira. I took this picture of her recently with the Alaska landscape in the background.

 

 

We were married in September 2016 in Asheville at the Omni Grove Park Inn, now one of our favorite destinations…  The air in the mountains is so clean and fresh, and that resort is magical and very relaxing…

 

 

My loving and supportive parents, Justin & Ilde Sucato. My parents are both 100% Italian, and my Mom came over from Italy when she was a little girl. My Dad’s parents came from Sicily. My parents taught and were examples for my brothers and I that honesty and hard work are the foundations for success. Although my Dad passed in 2010, and I miss him dearly, I’m very grateful for the man that he was, and the example he set for me.

 

 

My brothers (Justin, Dan, and Joe) and I grew up very close. We’re all in different professions now, but each successful in their field. I’m grateful that we are each married to wonderful wives and have beautiful families. I’m also grateful that we schedule annual family reunions to spend time with each other during these busy times. Justin’s a successful business owner, Dan is a world-renowned Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of Staff of his hospital, and Joe is an accomplished Jazz Musician and aspiring entrepreneur.

 

 

My 3 Handsome Boys:  Anthony 23, Andrew 19, and Christopher 16 are my pride and joy. These guys are growing up to be fine gentlemen and they continue to make me proud.

 

 

My 3 Beautiful Girls:  Emma 9, Gia 12, Maya 11. These are my step-daughters and they are a handful!  Girls are for sure different than boys, and I’m learning that first hand now! They are caring and sweet, and little firecrackers!

 

 

Our Family! This picture was taken at the foot of a waterfall (fed by a glacier) in Alaska. We were all together for this once-in-a-lifetime trip! The boys and the girls. and Ira and I had the best time!

 

 

Our puppy Nova was my gift to the girls for their wedding gift. The boys and Ira and I picked him out. He’s a multi-poo and he’s smart and intuitive. I can’t imagine our household without Nova!

 

 

This is my ex-wife Teresa. I include here in my collection of gratitude because we shared 18 years our lives together married and raised my 3 boys together. I’m grateful for that chapter of my life, my 3 boys.

 

 

This is one of my favorite pictures of our family altogether after our wedding ceremony! It doesn’t get better than this!

 

 

And finally, I am so grateful for my RSVP work-family (pictured below) who have been incredible for the last 18 years. Although some of my team members have changed over the years, this group of fine professionals inspires me daily to be my best. They have unique personalities and interested, and that makes our team unique and world-class! We have reached national status for our performance, sales accomplishments, and quality. Each of them has family not pictured here and I’m proud that our business supports their fine families.

My clients who we serve are amazing! My staff and I work with hundreds of incredible people and their businesses who we are proud to consider RSVP family. Each one of them has helped to grow me and my team - and we’ve helped them in a small way in exchange.

 

This is my family and I’m proud and grateful to be among them and serve!   

 

I hope you’ll join me and make 2018-2019 your best year ever by having an Attitude of Gratitude!

 

 

 

Anthony R. Sucato

Owner, RSVP / Sucato Marketing Systems

 

All images are Tony’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

NEW Employee Spotlight : Amy Flounders Baker

Get To Know Our Administrative Assistant, Amy!

The last year has been a whirlwind! Amy got married, moved to Ohio with her husband, and started working for RSVP.

 

 

She loves staying active but has never been a natural athlete. Slow and steady is her mantra! She crossed two items off her bucket list in the last few years. She ran the Flying Pig marathon in 2014 and in 2015 finished the Maryland ½ Ironman.

 

 

She's a huge animal lover. Amy and her husband have a small dog herd.

 

 

Amy renovated a house in 2016 during some time off. She loved demo day and the whole process of rebuilding from the studs. Her friends and family all helped out, which made the end result even better.

 

 

Amy and her husband went on a cruise in March (our first one). She loves the ocean and most of her vacations have revolved around the beach.

 

 

Her favorite place to be is with friends and family, giving thanks for every day!

 

 

All images are Amy's own & may not be republished without express written permission.

NEW Employee Spotlight : Bethany Briggs

Get To Know Our Graphic Designer, Bethany!

What is one thing Bethany could never live without? Her FAMILY

(Left to Right -Thomas, Shelly (Dad & Mom)

Stratton, Bethany

Zane, Kirsty

Nevaeh)

 

Bethany's favorite place to be is at the lake with friends and family. It’s a lot of fun whether they go tubing, kayaking, fishing or they are just hanging out by the fire.

 

Bethany cannot resist petting all the animals. She is definitely a softy for fuzzy critters. She has a pooch of her own named Willow.

 

 

Bethany was born into a racing family. Her dad raced and now her brother races midgets and sprint cars. It’s a very intense sport but once you get into it it’s hard to not want more! Forever cheering for #71, Stratton Briggs! 🙂

 

 

Bethany's favorite place she has traveled to is New Orleans. She says that words can’t describe how beautiful New Orleans was. Street performers, local artists and amazing architecture had her in awe of the city. She stopped at Cafe Du Monde for some mouth watering beignets and coffee and was not disappointed! She recommends if you get the chance to visit New Orleans, Beignets from Cafe Du Monde.

 

 

Picture of Bethany is owned by Leslie Nicole Photography and may not be republished without express written permission.

All other images are Bethany’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

#Unplugged

Last week, we were blessed to travel to the lovely Dominican Republic home to gorgeous white sand beaches, gracious hospitality, and very spotty almost non-existent wi-fi.

We were very excited for our nine-year-old son to experience his first trip out of the country. Between the three of us, we had 2 cell phones, one work laptop, our family laptop, an iPad, and a Fitbit.

Upon arrival, like bonafide tourists, we were snapping photos of the palm trees and buildings and ourselves with tropical beverages. And what would one do with these photos next, upload to Facebook, of course! No such luck. Downloading…. Error…. Unable to process….

I joined the gaggle of other guests at the lobby desk in search of wi-fi codes. In a resort that attracted visitors from various parts of the world, I could see this desire to connect is not unique to the USA.

But alas $40 per day!?! I’ll pass, thanks. Reluctantly, we unplugged for the week.

In any language or even without words, you can see the disconnect being connected has created. It’s no wonder this video has been viewed over 50 million times.

In our week of being unplugged, we discovered:
1. We didn’t miss it that much. (Okay… maybe after day 2)
2. We still like each other. Whew!
3. Work went on fine without us. The people we trusted did what they were supposed to do.
4. We spent more time really appreciating the beauty of our surroundings instead of just photographing the sights for social media.
5. We made new friends poolside from all over the USA, Canada, and France. We learned about their culture and even picked up a few new words in other languages.
6. We got a real kick of watching people take selfies (one gal must have taken 40 selfies in the pool) and Snapchat (one musclebound dude nearly broke a leg on sandcastle while capturing his best kissy face on camera). Very entertaining!
7. Without tracking it via the device, we’re pretty sure we logged 20k-30k steps/day. There’s a lot more time to walk and discover when your heads not down on a screen!
8. On the four-hour flight home (GASP) we played cards and talked while others watched movies solo they had downloaded in preparation.
9. By day 7, disembarking at home and observing entire families deeply entranced in their phones, we found ourselves reflecting on what impact all this connectivity is having on real social relationships.

I hope that you will get the chance to be #unplugged if not, by force, then perhaps by choice. In a recent survey, 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.” I assure you, you can. It’s quite refreshing!

Challenge: Set aside a day each week to be device free. Can’t do a whole day? Start with an hour each morning.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” —Anne Lamott

 

All images belong to Adventure Photos & may not be republished without express written permission.

Sitting in the Lap of Luxury

The lap of luxury as defined by The Free Dictionary is “a freedom from financial difficulty that promotes a comfortable state.”  Some of us are able to live in the lap of luxury and others are only able to have a few moments there.

Regardless, where is your lap of luxury?  Is it cooking or baking in your state of the art kitchen?  Is it sitting in your own backyard paradise?  Or maybe for you it is sitting in a massage chair having a pedicure while listening to your favorite music or visiting with your friends.

As an office we have been reading Luxury World:  The Past, Present and Future of Luxury Brands by  Mark Tungate.  A couple of things struck me as they discussed luxury and its forms.  First, a representative from Bentley Motors defined luxury as not something one can necessarily afford but as something one feels they deserve.  I think we can all relate to that idea.  After a long hard week of work or reaching a goal that we have strived for most of us will do something to treat ourselves that may not necessarily be in the budget.

The other point that struck me that I believe most of us can relate to is that in this busy world time has become a luxury.    How I crave to sit on the couch and read a book without falling asleep.  However, my daughters, their activities, my commitments, and housework begging to be done after a day of work deny me this luxury.  Or how about quality time with friends and family simply enjoying each other’s company?  I’m not sure if my daughters enjoy it more or if I do, but the simple joy of them crawling into my lap is a luxury I will too soon miss.

image-4 gak2vso3rpgpz1xhsiv48gfile-3 aleks-cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributed by Amber Fasig. All images are the author’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day weekend has become the time when many celebrate the start of summer & a long weekend with barbecues, picnics, and general fun-in-the-sun, ready to leave the cool, drizzly weather of spring behind. Amidst all the holiday sales, parties, pool openings, and other distractions, the true meaning of Memorial Day has gotten lost in the buzz. Memorial Day started shortly after the Civil War, when survivors remembered those who fell on the battlefields by decorating their graves & hosting parades in their honor. It wasn't until the 1970s - nearly 100 years later - that Memorial Day became the holiday it is now.

Memorial Day weekend is especially dear to me because it is the weekend my family hosts its annual reunion - a gathering steeped in a tradition that spans generations. My parents took me to my first one at the age of 8, and I expected it would be much like the family reunions my friends' families had: everyone meets at a park, they grill out & eat burgers with potato salad, and then the kids run around and play while the grown-ups mingle & chat.

I should have known ours would be different.

papa bear

I mean really, when your dad looks like this, you should learn to expect the unexpected.

I should have known ours would be different when my dad insisted we make the 7-hour drive from our home in Dayton, Ohio to Crossville, Tennessee in the middle of the night so we could make it in time for breakfast. I was plugged into my Walkman headphones, probably listening to New Kids on the Block & wondering why breakfast was such a big deal. I mean, milk & cereal or eggs & bacon weren't that exciting, right? (It turns out, breakfast was a big deal because my great-uncle Burl made the meanest biscuits & gravy in Cumberland county.)

I should have known ours would be different when we pulled up to Uncle Burl's modest clapboard house at 6:00 a.m. & discovered that he didn't just have breakfast ready for me, Mom & Dad, but rather a pile of hot biscuits & pot of steaming sausage gravy big enough to feed us, his wife Mattie Mae, my multitude of cousins (Cody, Gary, Rachel, and who knows who else), their parents, my great-uncle Fred, and anyone else who happened by. With leftovers to spare.

I should have known ours would be different when we bought ornate flower arrangements at the flea market that Saturday morning, then drove from cemetery to cemetery, replacing faded blooms with our fresh displays & sticking small American flags into the soil by the graves of our family's soldiers. Dad narrated as we went along - "This right here is the grave of your great-great...and this was his wife...and their son fought in World War I...."

uplifting msg

"And this is the grave of the family optimist!"

I should have known ours would be different when I woke up in the guest bedroom of Uncle Burl's house the morning of our reunion & he wasn't making breakfast in the kitchen.

I should have known ours would be different when I sleepily made my way to the front porch & saw him slicing lemons into a Styrofoam cooler while Uncle Fred dumped in a 5-pound bag of sugar & my dad held a running garden hose, the water filling the cooler at a slow, steady pace.

I should have known ours would be different when I asked them, "What are you doing?" and Uncle Burl answered in his thick, throaty southern accent, "Makin' lemonade."

I really should have known.

But it wasn't until we drove down the shady, winding road to our reunion that I fully grasped just how different our reunion was. For one, the road we drove down was named after us.

pugh cem rd

Hey! That's my name!

And, most tellingly of all, my dad parked our enormous blue Cadillac Fleetwood not in front of a sunny park with swing sets & charcoal grills, but instead in front of, well, this:

decorated

Yes. That's a cemetery.

What is going on here?! I thought, slightly panicked. Instead, I asked my dad, "Where are we?"
"This is our family cemetery," Dad said proudly, waving at people walking by carrying covered dishes & buckets of fried chicken.
"Why are we here?"
"This is where the reunion is. We get to eat, then hang out with our ancestors."
He's making fun of me! I thought and flopped back in the seat. "I am not eating in a cemetery! That's gross," I said, with the kind of defiance that only a preteen girl can muster.
"OK, but your mom & I are getting out & taking the keys with us," Dad replied, opening his car door.
Sigh. "FINE."

I reluctantly got out of the car & saw at least 4 full-size picnic tables set up just outside the cemetery gates, covered with delicious food - chicken & dumplings, potatoes, biscuits, cakes, pies, and puddings - with the Styrofoam cooler perched at the end of one of them, people already eagerly ladling lemonade into disposable plastic cups. "You gotta get some before it's all gone!" Cody said as he rushed by to get his cupful.Well, I guess I'll try some...I took a sip from Dad's cup, and then immediately joined the throng of my chatting, back-slapping kin around the cooler.

It is still the best lemonade I've ever tasted.

food 2

And don't even get me started on the food.

food 1

Really - have you ever seen so many deviled eggs in one place?

I started to look forward to visiting my large, loud, strange family & spending the holiday weekend "eating with the dead" as my dad calls it. I learned to appreciate the utter weirdness of it all - from the tour d' tombstones, right down to the hose-water lemonade. I looked forward to Uncle Burl & Uncle Fred's stories, and was amazed by their youth & vigor, even as they aged well into their 80s. I remember the year Uncle Burl went hunting - with a crossbow! - and bagged a large wild boar that we later barbecued & ate, and I remember how Uncle Fred, a World War II vet, would give me a hug at the end of our visit, covertly stuffing a $10 bill & handful of Werther's Originals into my hand as we embraced. Both men passed on a few years ago, but they never lost the spark in their eyes or the vitality with which they lived each day.

uncle fred

Uncle Fred at one of his last reunions.

I won't be at the reunion this weekend - it's a bit tougher to get from Seattle to Crossville than it is to make the trip from Dayton to Crossville - but I'll make it back someday, and I can't wait to once again see this sign & drink some delicious lemonade.

pugh cem


All pictures are the author's own & may not be used without permission.

Contributed by Renee Pugh.
ReneeWeb

 

 

Happy Holidays, From RSVP!

card

 

Warm holiday greetings, from our family to yours! We appreciate your continued support & look forward to serving all of your advertising needs in 2015. Please note that our offices will be closed both tomorrow, Wednesday Dec. 24th & Thursday Dec. 25 to allow our employees to celebrate with their families. We will re-open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 26th. Until then, have a safe & joyous holiday!


Contributed by the RSVP Staff
599989_490444994334164_1259671619_n