A happy and productive workforce

April 1st, 2020

The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers. –Sybil F. Stershic Back in my salad days at Lakewood Publications, when I was in my mid-30s I was working with a lot of people in their mid-20s, who liked to ask me […]

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Renewable energy: what’s your business plan?

March 1st, 2020

By Galynn Nordstrom Doing some recent reading on entrepreneurship, I came across an article in Forbes magazine, in which the author, Dr. Steven Berglas, gives some tips to budding businesspeople, beginning with: 1. Marry a June Bride (or Be One). He explains that the concept of, or preference for, a “June bride” isn’t that most […]

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Making more than money

February 1st, 2020

January always brings two things forcibly to mind: first, the NFL playoffs, and second, an almost viral need to find lists of reasons to make business or economic predictions for the coming year. (This is the February issue, I know, but it’s January 14 as I write this.) The Minnesota Vikings … washed out of […]

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100 years of IFAI Expo

January 1st, 2020

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were Temperance organizations in nearly every state. In 1919, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol, was ratified and went into effect on Jan. 16, 1920, beginning the era known as Prohibition. Almost immediately after it was ratified, organizations […]

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Future history

December 1st, 2019

On Sept. 12, 1912, 14 manufacturers of canvas and awnings from the central part of the U.S. met at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver to form a new trade association: the National Tent & Awning Manufacturers Association. By 1915, membership had grown sufficiently that the group decided to form a central executive office to […]

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IFAI president and magazines recognized with MMPA Excellence awards

November 8th, 2019

The Minnesota Media and Publishing Association recognized IFAI president and CEO Steve Schiffman with the Hedley Donovan Award at its Annual Awards Gala. In addition, three IFAI magazines received Excellence Awards at the November 7th event. The Hedley Donovan Award, created in 1999 by the MMPA, recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding lifelong dedication and have […]

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The ultimate fabric; the ultimate customer

October 1st, 2019

A few weeks ago, many members of IFAI’s board of directors and division managers converged here in Roseville for severals days of meetings and presentations. I always enjoy these visits, as it gives me the opportunity to ask questions about when we’ll have awnings that can communicate, change color on demand, wrap themselves around intruders while […]

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Boots on the ground

September 1st, 2019

Since IFAI’s editorial department moved back to the third floor a month or two ago, I’ve had a pile of pennies sitting on my work surface, just waiting for a co-worker (or a visitor, or even an intruder) to ask about it, so I could smile modestly and say “It’s to remind me that change […]

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Riding the cluetrain

July 1st, 2019

The art of working with people is found in meeting them where they’re at, which means I must be willing to go where I am not. –Craig D. Lounsbrough Almost 20 years ago, Robert Putnam published “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.” He posited that the demise of bowling leagues was only one […]

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IFAI EXPO: past, present and future

June 1st, 2019

Some weeks back, my book club was discussing the book “A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression,” which mostly details the government’s sometimes tortuous efforts to convince the U.S. public that they could eat less if they’d just eat more wisely. Results were mixed, but they did sprout 100 years of constantly […]

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