Calling All Nominees!

Welcome to the weekly update for the Chamber! We have had a busy year creating new programs, reinvigorating old ones and finding new ways to grow our business networks. As the Board of Directors looks ahead to 2018, we will be taking nominations for new Board candidates through the end of the month. If you, or someone at your organization, would like to have a stronger voice within the Chamber, please consider serving on the Board of Directors.

Currently we are reviewing three potential candidates, Derek Tweten, Landscape Director at Barrett Lawn Care. Derek currently serves on the Hennepin Technical College Advisory Committee and MNLA Government Affairs Committee.

Our second candidate is Craig Holje, Chief Human Resource and Administrative Officer at Richfield Public Schools. Craig has been with RPS for over 10 years. He also volunteers as Divisional Director for the Minneapolis Downtown Council and is a Governing Board Member for the Emerging Leaders in Teaching & Education Academy.

Our third candidate is Sandy DeGonda, Owner of A-1 Travel. Sandy comes to us with over 20 years of business experience. She serves as a Chamber Ambassador for Richfield & Bloomington. Sandy is also active in Team Women MN, Aspiring Women’s Independent Network, Cities West Networking Group, ASTA and MN Small Business Procurement Program/Women Owned Business. Each Board candidate offers a unique perspective and will help grow the Chamber within our business community.

If you would like more information about what it means to serve within the Chamber, please contact Anne here. For a current list of chamber board members, click here.

The next opportunity for you to connect with Chamber members will be at our General Member Meeting this Thursday, October 12 from 11:30-1:00pm. This is the first meeting in an ongoing series that the Chamber will be hosting to help our members develop strong leadership skills and strategic development strategies for their companies. Please sign up today if you are interested in attending.

To see what else is happening in the Chamber, please visit our website here and learn more ways you can get involved.

Health & Wellness: Spend Less Time on Fitness in Order to Improve Fitness (and Everything Else)

What if you could become more fit, a better businessperson, and an all-around more developed human being by spending less time on exercise and nutrition? To most people this sounds like an impossible proposition. However, growth and expansion occur in all kinds of industries and domains without the initiating person ever gaining more than the already-fixed 168 hours in his or her personal week. More time in a week never comes. We all have near-and-dear examples of increased effectiveness, productivity and improvement; and we never acquired more time in our weeks during those successes. Allocation of effort, focus and influence made all the difference; and we know it was never the gaining of more time. The secrets, of course, lie in how exactly to reallocate that effort, focus and influence. The good news is that experts have already shared the secrets.

In Warren Buffett’s biography, The Snowball, the author, Alice Schroeder, introduces us to a barrage of win-win scenarios. That is, in many cases a gain did not require a sacrifice. Buffett’s mentor, Ben Graham, had a formula for investing that guarded against loss of any kind. He would scour the landscape looking for companies whose tangible assets were worth more than the company’s stock valuation, generally because they were failing. Then Graham would buy as much of that company as he possibly could. Buffett followed suit. It sounds like a quick way to throw away ones time, effort and capital. But the fact of the matter is that it was a very forward-looking form of leverage. If, by luck or by his influence as a controlling shareholder, the company could do an about-face, it was a win: stock price went up beyond what he paid for it. If, by already-set-in-motion trajectory, the company failed, still it was a win: he sold the assets for more than he paid to obtain the stock.

Later in the biography, Schroeder describes other techniques of win-win in the stock market, namely arbitrage. Using options/futures on the opposing bet from ones stock or commodity wager, it’s possible to come out on top no matter what the volatility of markets does.

Biological and physiological systems are no different. There are ways to place bets on both sides of the wager and come out on top no matter what. Then, like Warren Buffett’s snowball of wealth, your own snowball of health and fitness give increasingly greater leverage and investment capital for every successive endeavor. It’s a fact. It’s science. As people become more fit, they become smarter, their brains function better, and they become more efficient. A single bout of moderate intensity exercise equates to a demonstrable IQ increase in immediately-following testing. Better problem solving and accelerated learning equate to improved business acumen. They equate to improved everything.

Dr. John J. Ratey, MD’s book, Spark, makes a cogent and conclusive argument for the brain benefits of exercise. His citation of the Naperville school district and apropos neuroscience research is exhaustive. However, the reader is still left with the very real and palpable first-step: spending more time on health and fitness. But again, what if you don’t have to spend any more time on fitness? In fact, what if you could spend less time on it? What if you NEED to spend less time on it to become more effective?

The easiest illustration for the layperson to consider is the comparison of elite-level sprinters versus elite-level distance runners. On average, mere seconds of effort produce better physiques than hours of running. Various exercise science programs at universities around the world have long been studying this ostensible paradox of efficiency versus duration. MacMaster University in particular has been catching headlines for years for their work on the lasting positive physical benefits from very short duration bouts of exercise. And in this past year, Martin J. Gibala, the lead researcher at MacMaster University, released his paradigm-disrupting book, The One Minute Workout.

Even outside of overt activity, there are dozens of analogous arbitrage-like wagers one can make. Just examine two of them. One is to spend even less time and effort on dietary planning and decisions. Another one “earns” minutes of exercise without anything but slight alteration to water drinking habits. You can win whether you spend more or less time on either one of these.

First, consider food timing. Without getting into the debate, the reader need only reference the longest-lived and healthiest individuals on earth detailed in Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones or NASA scientist Paul Jaminet’s research on supercentenarians. What dietary practice do all of these super long-lived and ultra healthy individuals and communities share in common? They fast at some point somewhat regularly. It could be 12-20 hours daily. It could be 28-40 days yearly. It could be supported or modified. But they do it. Though at first this idea is anathema to the average American, think about it. It requires less time and planning. There are no decisions to make of one “good food” versus another “bad food.” Brad Pilon’s bestseller, Eat. Stop. Eat. described a fairly accessible way to try this. And one of the most revered medical researchers of all time, George F. Cahill, spent decades at Harvard demonstrating the many benefits of controlled fasting.

Even less time than Gibala’s 60 second workouts is the act of drinking water. We do it already. So there is zero additional time cost for this one. What’s the trick? Make it cold, real cold. Dr. Jack Kruse, MD has spent years running the numbers on something called cold thermogenesis. Essentially, we lose fat by strategic exposure to cold temperatures. The energy it takes your body to heat several ounces of 50 degree drinking water is equal to minutes of exercise. Without spending a single second at the gym, people can drink 64-128 ounces (depending on body mass and goals) of chilled drinking water and net the same outcome as if they’d performed 15-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. It is simple physics and math. The colder the water and the greater the volume, the more white fat you have to burn to process it. And this isn’t even getting into the residual benefits, hormonally and otherwise, which will extend beyond any given day you do this.

Now, the takeaway isn’t that you should mimic Naperville and get smarter. The takeaway isn’t that you should follow Gibala’s 60 second sprint guidelines and get fitter. The takeaway isn’t that you should starve or freeze your pounds off. The takeaway is this: you don’t need more time. It’s all about right effort, not longer effort. You don’t need to sacrifice precious work productivity to improve your health. You don’t need to sacrifice sacred family time to become more fit. Quit thinking about it as pushing a boulder up a hill. Start with something small at the top of a hill; And let it snowball!

This post was written by Chamber Member Jonathan Watters

Quarter 4 – Time to Take Stock!

It’s October and with that 4th Quarter is here. It is time to take stock of how well you have progressed towards the goals you set in Quarter 1. It is also a great time to organize your year end financials. Schedule a meeting with your accountant or financial team and make sure there are no surprises with your tax projections for the year. The Chamber has a list of excellent businesses able to help you with that process listed in the directory.

For our retail members, have you prepared for the holiday shopping season? Do you have your social media and promotions plan in place yet? Find a list of companies here that can help you get people in the door, likes to your company profile and clicks on your email promotions. If you are not sure where to start, give me a call at the Chamber office and I will help you develop a plan.

If you haven’t been to a Chamber event in a while, we are finishing out the year with some of our best programming. Tomorrow morning (October 4) start your day at the Chamber office with our coffee meeting (8-9:30am at the Chamber office). If you have been thinking of a new strategic plan for your organization, but don’t know where to begin, join us on October 12 for our Leadership Series, register here.

Chamber members are always looking to connect with other business leaders to grow their network. What is one connection you would like to make? Visit the directory today and find a company that you would like to do business with and tell them, the Chamber sent you!

Community Connections: Kerry Galbraith

Welcome to this week’s Community Connections! This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Kerry Galbraith, Creative Designer for Minnesota Interactive. Kerry is the talented individual that takes my “scribbles and thoughts” each week and formats them into a consistent, well-formatted email (like the one you are reading now).

If you have done any advertising with the Chamber by purchasing a banner ad and needed an expert to create it, chances are, Kerry is the person you worked with. Kerry is coming up on her 2 year anniversary as Minnesota Interactive’s Graphic Design Specialist. She came from the highly competitive fashion design industry in New York City, but is now happy to be back to her Midwest roots. Kerry has an eye for detail and the knowledge of how to navigate social media.

Besides being a creative force, Kerry donates time to local non-profits like Art Buddies, Mohamed Fofana Memorial Foundation and Free Arts Minnesota. Kerry has a strong desire to find organizations that inspire her and has adopted the millennial attitude of giving back to the your community.

On the weekends, when she’s not volunteering, you can find this newlywed sipping a macha latte at the new Penny’s Coffee in Linden Hills, or spoiling Finley, her 3 year old terrier mix who never seems to run out of energy! The next time you have a question about a Facebook retargeting ad, or if you should expand your social media reach to Instagram and Snapchat, send Kerry an email and ask the expert!

Jobs! Workplace! Schools!

At the Chamber, we’ve been thinking Jobs! Workplace! Schools! For the past few months, we have been partnering with RealTime Talent Exchange to bring you the best jobs platform for recruiting new workers. MN Job Match is an excellent resource offered to our Chamber Members. It not only matches your company with top talent, it also matches you to the top talent with the personality profile that best fits your company dynamic. When attracting new employees, it’s important to have a “Best Place to Work” reputation as well.

U.S. Bank has developed a program that companies can offer as a Human Resources Benefit to their employees. For the employer, the program is effortless, and at no cost. For the employee, it is a valuable resource. The focus is to guide employees to and then through the home buying and mortgage process in a simple, educational way, with no pressure or obligation. This program serves as a resource that can be relied on no matter the level of the employee’s finances or knowledge of the process. There is no requirement for employer or employee to have a relationship with U.S. Bank. We believe the program is too important to limit. If you would like more information on offering this program as an employee benefit, please reach out to Cliff Morse here.

In addition to educating our members on resources available to them, the Chamber is also supporting the current Operational and Capital Referendum for 2017. Chamber staff met with educational representatives and is asking our community to vote Yes on the November 7th School Referendum. Information about the referendum can be found here. Supporting the community means supporting the educational process and helping our future business leaders receive the best education possible!

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