ADC Launches Initiative to Recognize Community Support for Service Members Military Families

first_imgADC and the Defense Communities Caucus are rolling out a new initiative to recognize up to 10 communities annually for providing outstanding support to service members and military families.The Great American Defense Communities program is intended to acknowledge the unique contributions cities, counties and regions that host installations make to improve quality of life for service members, veterans and their families. Candidates will be selected based on the broad range of efforts they carry out on behalf of military personnel and their families, covering areas such as education, job opportunities, housing, family support during deployments and community appreciation.“There perhaps is no greater champion of a defense installation than its host community,” said ADC CEO Tim Ford. “The Great American Defense Communities program will share positive stories about the exemplary efforts being made in communities to support defense installations and their personnel.”The program will use local and national press events, exhibits in Congress and the Pentagon, and recognition during ADC events to highlight the successful initiatives being employed by defense communities to support the nation’s military men and women.A panel of defense community advocates and experts will review the nominations and select up to 10 honorees as Great American Defense Communities. Winners will be announced at the ADC Installation Innovation Forum in February 2016.Nominations are due Feb. 11. Applications are available on the ADC website.“I believe the communities who support our military installations across the country deserve recognition for the important role they play,” said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), co-chair of the Senate Defense Communities Caucus. “In Kansas, we’re grateful to the communities that love and care for the soldiers at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth, the airmen at McConnell Air Force Base and Forbes Field, and the Kansans in the National Guard and Reserve.”“America is strongest when communities and military installations work together to bolster national security while creating jobs and strengthening their states,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), a founder and current co-chair of the Senate Defense Communities Caucus. “In North Dakota, defense communities like those in Minot and Grand Forks lead the country in building public-private partnerships that support service members and their families, and help the entire community grow and thrive. The Association of Defense Communities will honor exceptional communities through this program, and I encourage defense communities in my state and beyond to pursue this distinction.”“Service members and their families are an important part of every community in the United States,” said Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), a founder and current co-chair of the House Defense Communities Caucus. “My district has a proud history of military service that dates back to the Spanish arrival to the Monterey Peninsula, continued through the legacy of Fort Ord and survives today with the presence of Fort Hunter Liggett, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense Language Institute. These institutions help strengthen our community and I am excited to join in launching this program to honor the rest of America’s Great Defense Communities.”“Our close-knit communities around Fort Leavenworth, Forbes Field and Fort Riley deserve appreciation for the great work they do to help our troops, and their families, and I look forward to sharing their stories as part of the Great American Defense Communities program,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), a founder and current co-chair of the House Defense Communities Caucus. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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The 5 Key Factors of Website Success

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free 5 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. In his book Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website, SEO and online marketing expert Jon Rognerud shows you how to build a high-performance website and get top ranking on all search engines. In this edited excerpt, the author reveals the five critical elements you need to have if you want your online business to succeed.What are the key website success factors? Commonly accepted factors include the following five:   Brand or name recognition. When you’re starting out, you won’t have the advantage of a big name, unless you’re successful enough to merge with an already established company. To build up your reputation, practice good business. For instance, make sure you respond to your customers’ orders promptly. If you can’t do it yourself, set up an autoresponder or hire a person to deal with orders. Offer rebates if the customer is dissatisfied with your product or service. Most of all, keep up a friendly persona. Generally, as the adage goes, the customer is always right. This isn’t always an easy rule to live by, but it’s important that a beginning business try as much as it can to observe it.The more you do good business and the more you promote yourself, the more you’ll get a name going in internet markets. The speed of information today can help or harm you. If you deliver terrible service, a blogger can write about his or her experience and within hours, your name and reputation can be decimated throughout cyberspace.It’s easy to track this via Google Alerts, or for instant updates, check search on Twitter. SocialMention.com is another free tool, as is Mention.net. Trackur.com from expert marketer Andy Beal is your best, low-cost solution for this, and you get a free trial to start.Problems inevitably occur, but be responsive and fix them so you build a solid foundation of integrity for your company.Access to unique resources. Do you have direct access to a specific market, particularly one that would be interested in the products or services you offer? For example, if you sell children’s products and you’re active at your child’s school, the teachers and the parents of the other children could be a perfect base to whom you could market. Your personal connection with this market gives you an advantage because you have access another marketer would have to obtain through email marketing, direct mail or even search engine marketing. Additionally, if your customers like your products, they could use word-of-mouth to market your products further to their family and friends. Don’t underestimate the personal element when it comes to marketing.Customer loyalty. If you do well by your customers, more often than not, they’ll do well by you. Recurring customers not only ensure a steady stream of income, they can also do your marketing for you through word-of-mouth and/or testimonials. Existing customers give you unique reach to your target market–other people like them. Too often, businesses fail to develop long-term relationships with their customers. Even if you’re in a business where repeat sales are years apart, such as real estate or automotive, your current customers can be a good source of referrals. Treat them well, and not only will they buy from you again, they’ll tell others to buy from you, too.Financial resources. To start your business, you’re going to need money. Depending on what you do, however, you may not need much money. For example, a virtual service such as word processing wouldn’t require much in startup costs. All you really need is a computer and a printer. Even printing costs could be reduced if you email documents to your clients. As long as you can get your website indexed high in search engines, you could make money without having to invest much. On the other hand, if you’re running a business that requires inventory, you may need to invest thousands up front. This is why you need to carefully examine your market before you open your internet doors. If it looks like you’re going to make a profit, consider getting a business loan so you don’t have to risk all your own money. If you’re trying to sell a smaller amount of inventory (say, less than $5,000), consider getting a credit card, which are easier to get than business loans, and even at $5,000, the monthly payment would probably still be affordable.Access to distribution channels. Don’t limit your advertising to search engines, even if you get a first-place ranking. Other advertising mediums include direct mail, radio, magazines and, when you really get money, television. Google AdWords, for example, is available for print, radio, video and mobile. If you’re low on funds, you can use the cheap, old-fashioned method of flier distribution. The best marketing strategy employs more than one medium. Today, you should consider both online and offline strategies. March 11, 2014last_img read more

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