October $25 HoneyBaked Ham Gift Card Winners!

The winners of the $25 HoneyBaked Ham Gift cards are…⁣⁣
Chris Schons – North Ridgeville, OH⁣⁣
Russ Beckner – Middletown, OH⁣⁣
Diane Todd – Cincinnati, OH⁣⁣
Julie DiMascola – Columbus, OH⁣⁣
Lori Pierce – New Carlisle, OH⁣⁣
Carl Brady – Louisville, KY⁣⁣
Justin Collins – Blacklick, OH⁣⁣
Shelley Dickson – Lexington, KY⁣⁣
Betsy Jackman – Stow, OH⁣⁣
Troy Henderson – Chardon, OH⁣⁣
The gift cards will go out today – Enjoy! 🙂

Be sure to visit www.rsvpupscaleoffers.com to enter in our future sweepstakes!

A new one is coming soon!

September $25 Panera Bread Gift Card Winners!

The winners of our $25 Panera Bread Gift Cards are…..

Bryan Sutton – Concord, OH

Renee Kitts – Lewis Center, OH

Richard Wagner – Columbus, OH

Kaitlyn Jordon – Miamisburg, OH

John Holmes – Lexington, KY

Jennifer Harger – Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Thomas Wellinghof – Lebanon, OH

Melissa Schloss – Cincinnati, OH

Lisa Perko – Broadview Heights, OH

Abigail Gardner – Louisville, KY

Go to www.rsvpupscaleoffers.com to enter in our next sweepstakes!

Remote Control: Is the Remote Office the Workplace of Tomorrow?

RSVP is a local business & proud of it. Our office headquarters has been located in Centerville, Ohio for all of our 15 years of business, and our employees are both familiar with & active in the communities they serve in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, and most recently, Indianapolis. We take pride in being small & local because we believe it helps us better understand our clients’ needs & struggles. When you call our office in Centerville, I answer the phone – Hi, my name is Renee – and I help you get in touch with the person in our office who can best assist you. I also write & distribute the minutes for our weekly staff meetings, maintain client records, and manage our calendars and data gathering systems, in addition to generally trying to keep everyone else sane in the face of constantly looming deadlines.

That’s not terribly unusual for an administrative assistant. What is unusual is that I’m doing all of these things from my home office in Seattle, Washington – and probably with one of my cats in my lap.

space needle

The view from my “office” window.

I haven’t always worked from a home office. From 2011-2013, I worked in our Centerville office, and as far as I was concerned, I was going to keep working in that office until they pried my cold fingertips from my keyboard. Life, of course, had different plans for me: in August 2013, just as I hit the big 3-0, my boyfriend – a talented mobile app developer – was offered an incredible opportunity to work for a large tech company headquartered in Seattle!  One month later, we sold my car, loaded our belongings into his Honda Civic, and drove across the country to start a new life in an unfamiliar city.

That’s how I became one of the millions of people who work remotely. Remote employees usually work from home, but sometimes they’re in coffee shops, airport lounges, and even planes themselves! The office as we used to know it has become less ubiquitous as businesses work to accommodate & respect their employees’ personal lives. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace, 39% of companies now allow employees to work remotely. A remote office is now less of an anomaly & more of an expectation, and this rings true even for small, local businesses, like RSVP. In fact, president & publisher of RSVP, Tony Sucato, recently said, “The goal is for all of us to eventually be able to work remotely.”

Not everyone thinks that is something to strive for in the business world, and some companies are actively working to curtail the remote trend. In 2013, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer mandated that employees work from a Yahoo! office. Explaining this decision, Yahoo! Human Resources director Jackie Reeses said, “Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.” This, admittedly, hits home for me. I certainly miss my co-workers & the jokes we shared, or lunch runs we would make to grab mid-day bulgogi at Kabuki (P.S. if you live in Dayton or Columbus, go there on my behalf! I miss their food). Less tangible than lunch dates & inside jokes, though, are the small nuances you pick up on after sharing an office with people for years and years. When I worked in the office, I could tell if Jodie had a sick child at home, or if Heather was talking loudly because she had too many cups of coffee. Now, I am no longer privy to these details, and I miss out on the minutia. Yahoo’s decision was, at least in part, motivated by a desire to re-establish an office environment & encourage the sort of daily interactions that I miss now.

Beyond employee relationships, Yahoo’s Mayer was also concerned about out-of-office employees’ ability to be productive and ignore the many distractions working remotely may present. Writing for Forbes, David Sturt & Todd Nordstrom note that, “[p]ets, children, television, and the refrigerator can all be distractions for people who work from home,” and that remote workers who travel frequently face additional challenges, including noise, chatty co-commuters, and unpredictable work conditions. Still, I am not convinced that the distractions I now confront in my home office are any different from those I had in the RSVP office. Well, OK, granted, this wasn’t likely to happen in the RSVP office:


Captain Morgan, my CFO (Chief Feline Officer)

But something like this?


Ongoing construction outside our apartment building in Seattle.

Now that type of distraction is totally possible. In fact, I remember when we had the roof replaced at RSVP and had to brush plaster off our desks because the work was so intense above us. We couldn’t even use the office phones because of the noise! How is that in-office distraction worse than, say, having a cat hop up on your desk for a quick nuzzle at the home office? I’m honestly not convinced that it is. Additionally, studies have often shown that employees who work from a home office are more dedicated and productive, logging an average of 4 extra hours of work per week & cranking their productivity up by as much as 13%. Remote office employees even report being more engaged in their work than their in-office counterparts.

Still, remote work is not for everyone – businesses & employees alike. Large companies like Yahoo!, whose bloated infrastructure hindered growth in recent years, need to maintain control over many facets & departments chock full of employees, and an easy way to do that is to encourage in-office work. Further, some people are simply not cut out for remote work; the distractions prove too many, or they simply use the office to create a physical separation between their home lives & their professional lives. Sturt & Nordstrom encourage those considering remote work to do it for the right reasons, and believe it comes down to personal preference. According to them, “it may soon be possible that everyone can choose the work environment that suits them the best.” That is, remote office workers can work remotely, in-office employees can stay in the office, and businesses can reap the benefits that come from a happy employee base.

Even though I miss the camaraderie of the office & the convenience of being physically close to our central location, I am glad I have the opportunity to work from home. Working from home allows me to keep a job I enjoy with people I like at a company dedicated to excellence – and those factors are important enough to me that I’m willing to work across space & time (thousands of miles & a 3-hour time difference).

Now if you’ll excuse me, Hemingway needs to see me for my annual purr-formance review.


“We really need to focus on catching the red dot this quarter.”

Contributed by Renee Pugh.








All images are the author’s own. Unauthorized usage without proper credit is prohibited.

Paying Our Rent

lifehack quote

We are fortunate to live in a nation of givers. Amid the pain, fear, and confusion following the unthinkable and unforgettable terrorist attacks of 9/11, our country rose to the challenge we faced. Thousands enlisted in military service, while countless others volunteered not only their time, but also their bodies, assisting in rescue and recovery missions, donating blood, and simply consoling shell-shocked survivors. We greeted tragedy with hope; hardship with hard work; terror with triumph.

It is in this spirit that the 9/11 memorial charity MyGoodDeed created the 9/11 Day of Service. MyGoodDeed encourages those of us who remember that awful day to honor the memory of those lost by doing what comes naturally to us as a nation of givers: volunteering within our communities. Those of us here at RSVP celebrated this year’s Day of Service at T.J.’s Place of Hope.


The RSVP team at TJ’s Place of Hope (from L to R): regional sales manager Heather Craaybeek, T.J.’s Place of Hope chairman Greg Crabtree, regional sales manager Jeff Vice, general manager Jodie Hook, owner Anthony Sucato, and graphic designer Caitlin Tuohy.

T.J.’s Place of Hope is a local safe house for teens struggling with addiction and other self-destructive habits. We spent the day tearing up carpet, clearing out trash, and learning about the challenges faced by those at T.J.’s. Some of our staff took  a little time to reflect upon this experience:

Jodie Hook, RSVP general manager: A few years back, I heard about people participating in a day of service as a way to honor those who were lost in the 9/11 attacks. We originally had an all-day marketing meeting planned, but then I remembered the 9/11 Day of Service. I thought it would be a great opportunity for our team to get together and give back to the community where our office has been located for almost 15 years.

Heather immediately mentioned T.J.’s Place of Hope, and we all agreed to replace our meeting with a day of service instead.

When we arrived in the morning, Greg [Crabtree, chairman of T.J.’s Place of Hope] took the time to tell us about his son T.J., and the struggles their family went through as T.J. battled drug addiction. It was this addiction that eventually lead to T.J. taking his own life.

Greg’s story was absolutely heartbreaking, and it was clear that he still felt the pain of T.J.’s loss, but it is inspiring how he has been able to give back & help other teens as a result of his family’s tragedy. We were incredibly lucky to be able to spend our time helping such a worthy place, and Greg was so thankful for our time.

Heather Craaybeek, RSVP regional sales manager: Does a little really go a long way? When we called Greg to volunteer for our day of service, he was super-appreciative. I asked myself if our one day of work would really help that much – will it really matter? All we were doing was ripping up carpet and throwing away trash.  Isn’t this insignificant?

Then I heard Greg tell stories of how the addiction counseling at T.J.’s helps young people. He told us of young kids torn apart by thoughts of suicide, struggling with severe addiction, and feeling like they have no place to turn. T.J.’s Place of Hope offers them a refuge in those times. Some of the items we sorted were pieces of artwork created by kids from the early days of T.J.’s Place of Hope. Inspirational and encouraging quotes were taped on the mirrors and even hung near the toilet paper roll in the bathroom.  I can imagine being a troubled kid and seeing that message at just the right time.

Then I thought, “What if each of the volunteers asked themselves the same questions I asked myself – ‘Will my help really matter?’ – years ago and just said ‘No,’ and never volunteered? If even one life is impacted because of the help we offered, then it was worth sacrificing a day of work, getting our hands dirty, and having sore muscles for a few days.

“Will my help really matter?”

Yes. Our simple little activities may make greater things possible. I think we were more touched by the experience then Greg. As the saying goes, givers gain.

Caitlin Tuohy, RSVP graphic designer: It was a great experience volunteering together as a team at T.J.’s Place of Hope. Although we got a little dirty and sweaty, I still felt a huge sense of pride when I saw how much we accomplished for a cause so deserving of our time. The results were visible and tangible, and our work will help Greg as he continues to reach out to troubled teens in the area. Like Heather, I wondered if we could make a difference with just one day – and now I know we did. I would gladly do it again – without a doubt – and hope to inspire others to do the same.

Many thanks again to Greg Crabtree for welcoming us at T.J.’s Place of Hope, and for sharing both his experience and warmth. If you are in the Dayton, Ohio area, and would like to volunteer at T.J.’s Place of Hope, please contact Greg at 937-436-4673. For other volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit https://www.volunteermatch.org/.

Muhammad Ali quote & picture from http://quotes.lifehack.org/media/quotes/quote-Muhammad-Ali-service-to-others-is-the-rent-you-89733.png.

Contributed by Renee Pugh.





Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle While Working in an Office


I find that it can be difficult to stay in tip-top shape when you are glued to your desk for 8+ hours a day. When resources, especially time can be scarce, here are some simple tips to stay healthy:

  1. Hydrate – Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee or caffeinated beverage why not grab a glass of water?
  2. Sleep – The average person needs 8 hours of sleep to regenerate your mind and body.
  3. Use Your Kitchen – Keep your fridge stocked with fresh foods and enjoy the fact that you can whip up a healthy and satisfying lunch.
  4. Get Up and Move – Even if you can only get and enjoy the fresh air for only a short break (walk few laps around the office) your muscles thank you for it.
  5. Set Boundaries – Overworking and not taking time for you can be detrimental to your health, your well-being and even your work performance.

Good Luck!
Contributed by Caitlin Tuohy

Why Target New Homeowners?

Some facts about new homeowners:

  • Spend more in the first 60 days than an established homeowner will spend in the next two years
  • Are eager to purchase new services, such as landscaping and other home improvements both interior and exterior
  • Are more likely to buy home décor, furnishings, and appliances – over 75% of new homeowners will make a furniture purchase as a result of the move
  • Need personal services, including doctors, dentists and other professionals soon after they move
  • Need a new bank, supermarket and nearby restaurants and take-out meals for their day-to-day lives
  • Are more likely to buy home improvement goods – tool and electronic sales climb right after the move
  • Make other major purchases – 62% of new movers buy a new car within the first year after relocation