Calling all CNAs & PCAs: Care Advantage,

Calling all CNAs & PCAs: Care Advantage, Inc. is hiring!

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A PR Faux Pas: What Can We Learn From E. Lauten About Our Own Social Media

I am by far no expert on what to post or better yet, what not to post on social media sites, but reading all the commentary on Ms. Lauten’s facebook post regarding the President’s daughters I can’t help but take a few things away from what should be a learning experience for all of us.

I have personal social media sites, pick one: facebook, linkedin, twitter, instagram, google+ etc, but I also have similar number of social media sites for our Chamber and events within the Chamber.  I post work and family stuff on my personal sites and I tend to let people know that if you are facebook friends with on other side of the friendship you may get tons of Chamber information that I’m proud of sharing, but also tons of family photos, especially, my kids.  I also note, you will never get that photo of me dancing on the bar and throwing back a few bottles either.  (I’m fairly certain those photos don’t exist).

My personal social media sites represent my image.  That’s the image I want to reflect to outside world of who I am.  That doesn’t mean I hold stuff back and it’s not a true, genuine representation of myself, because for those that know me, would say it probably is a good reflection of me.  However, I probably rarely jump of the rooftop with my comments, photos etc.  Knowing that as the President of the Chamber, those posts could encourage or discourage a potential business in joining or renewing their membership.  I have colleagues who will not share this thought, but, I am Facebook friends with any Chamber Member or business person in our area as long as I do have some knowledge of you or your business.  Same thing on LinkedIn, if we share 500 connections more than likely, I’ll connect with you.  It is my own way of showing transparency and at the end of the day, people do business with people, so my people need to know me personally and professionally.

If I am being truly transparent, I occasionally slip up, write a post, make a statement and then have that 10 second thought…maybe not.  If there is ever a hesitation in what you post, error on the side of caution and don’t post it.  If you have no filter at all with your posts, ask a friend who will give you honest feedback.

Social media is a strong force to be reckon with, pick a hot news story and watch a quick, painful death.  Social media can also be the strong force of good to come such as the ALS challenge or Pay It Forward initiatives .  Ultimately you have control of your social voice and remember our childhood nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never kill me.”  I beg to differ, in today’s modern age, words can kill you.

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Member Story 2 – A Raging Chamber Fan Rooted in Old Towne


Most folks in our community know Russ Johnson, owner of Bistro at Market & Grove, but did you all know his willingness to serve.  Russ is what a like to call a new found cheerleader.  He rejoined our Chamber shortly after I came to Petersburg and was a little bit of a skeptical member, but rejoined after just a few meetings.  That being said, our Chamber had a little fence mending to do.  Russ quickly became in engaged with the Chamber and helped were he could and always had a warm word to say when you stopped in to grab a bite or just to say hello.   After, seeing our Chambers new direction and work, Russ was quick to become a part of our Chamber leadership, the Board of Directors.

They tell you, to make sure you know everyone that goes on your board, which I think I did pretty well.  What I didn’t know  is Russ became our “Raging Fan.”  Quickly news travelled, as it always does in small towns, “did you know just how highly Russ thinks of you, here at the Chamber?”  I began to hear those comments repeated back to me.  I always say, you don’t know what people think until you know what people think and then it’s too late.”

Russ is always the one of first to say, “just tell me where and when you need me and I’ll be there.”  Even better, Russ will quickly say, “if I can’t be there, I’ll send one of my staff people and just pay them.”  What are you kidding me, yes and thank you.

We often here owner operated small businesses say I don’t have time to get involved, I’m busy running my shop.  Here you have a perfect example of a small business owner investing in his business, by investing with work, wisdom and wealth in his local business, civic organization.

Russ not only gives of his time, but he is often an advocate to others when the opportunity presents itself to let others know what our Chambers  is doing.  In a “Raging Fan” one can only dream of having a membership full of Russ Johnsons, ones that are willing to go to bat for you.  Ones that are will to stand up and fight for you.  Russ might be a little embarrassed for me to say this, but it’s not often you have a members say “Danielle, do I need to go to fight for you.”

I can thankfully say, Russ will always go to fight for us and that’s what communities need those “Raging Fans” who stand at the ready to serve..

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Member Story 1 – Bandyworks, President, Tom Bandy does work!

Tom Bandy is all about Big Data and Accountability in his company, but when he isn’t thinking data (which I’m not sure is possible) is always thinking for how he can help you.  Very quickly within my three-years in Petersburg, Tom has become my biggest referral partner.  You might be thinking, well he’s on the Chamber board, he should be referring members, but this is the above and beyond expectations referrals I’m talking about.  At some point Tom says, “Danielle did you know you sent the most in closed revenue last year.”  What, I was just doing my job, working for our members, referring them when the opportunity came.  So then I went back and began to check our new members and what did I find.  Tom sent me the largest number of referrals for new members.  Now we all know how this works, we still have to work the referral, close the deal etc.  However, in many instances, Tom had “warmed” them up already for us at the Chamber.  Over time and I would get these nice little emails from Tom saying “Danielle, I think they are ready to commit and join the Chamber, I’m working hard on them.”  Who doesn’t want a volunteer like that?

Not convinced, it’s above Tom’s civic duty.  I’ll keep going, let me count the ways that Tom just gives.

Tom, serves as Chair, Chamber Economic Vitality Committee giving even more time, driving, steering the group into the direction of a sustainable body of volunteers all committed to helping the region, helping Petersburg grow.  I feel like weekly Kelley or myself get another one of those great little emails from Tom, that just says “I have someone interested in helping the Petersburg Chamber and wants to get involved can they.”

Are you freaking kidding me, that’s a…mazing, yes bring more volunteers, that’s more capacity for us to do more in the region.

And yet, Tom is consistently asking “Danielle am I doing enough?”  Like the saying goes, “Tom at Bandyworks WORKS

Our Chamber is thankful to have Tom and his team at Bandyworks as a proud member and look forward to continuing to WORK with him.

Visit Tom at

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We Have Had 2306 Fanactics…Do You Know The Next One!

We are just weeks away for the beginning season to watch, play, tailgate and cheer on your favorite football team. Whether you are an avid NFL-Redskins fan and made it out to Fan Appreciation Day this past weekend or maybe you go for the upcoming of the next generations and watch college football to find the next “super-athlete” from UVA, VSU, VCU, VMI, WM and yes even VT that fact is you get ready for the season. You are a “FAN”. For some of you it might be a little bit of nostalgia, for some it is the opportunity to get together with old friends and cheer on your team favorite. Like the “Fan” that you are, you sit by patiently and wait for week 1, cheering on spring training camps, watching new recruits perform, convincing your neighbors and friends a like that your team is the best, able to compete at any level and more importantly out compete the biggest rival.

What does this upcoming football season have to do with our Chamber. We want you our raging “FANs” to get engage, volunteer and serve. Before you, there were 2306 Petersburg Chamber Board Members. That’s the first row level of “Fans” leading our organization for over 133 years as the number ONE business-civic organization. There are just a few seats left for next seasons first row and it might be yours. Are you or someone you know ready to start cheering for the Petersburg Chamber? Are you prepared to give of yourself in work, wealth and wisdom in the upcoming season.

Our Chamber is about creating “Fans”, not just any fan, but raging FANS that will tell our story about the Petersburg Chamber. Become our Number #1 FAN by joining the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, applications for seating begins NOW.

If you are interested in nominating someone for the Petersburg Chamber Board, let us know


If you need to prepare for the season view


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It’s Better in the Burg

It’s Better in the Burg

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How-To | Training Resources to Help Your

How-To | Training Resources to Help Your Small Business Finances

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