Monday, February 4, 2008

Congratulations and Thank You

(Archived) 10th Anniversary of e-Commerce Video
Our relationship with's team, members, speakers and exhibitors have influenced our vision for the future of our online e-commerce community, Pastor Paul's Club. Thank you again and congratulations on 15 years of pioneering success that has paved the way for the entrepreneurs of the future.

On my Sun Country flight from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Orlando, Florida, I brought a book to read I had purchased a few years ago from 'the book cliffs', their tagline-'a used and a few new books'. When Pastor Paul and I travel along the Mississippi River in the summer, we have to stop in Wabasha, MN to visit Nancy Falkum to chat and buy books. On one visit Nancy asked me if I had heard of the book 'Blue Gold' by Maude Barlow and Tony Clark. On the cover it reads 'The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water.' After a few years, she understands my interests because we have had many conversations. Of course I buy the book. At this time I have a very renewed interest in the book. However, it is not the type of book that you would think to bring to a Strategy and Innovation Forum. Or is it?

Little did I know that it would prepare me for yet another conference and Orlando, Florida.
I must admit I am not an avid reader. I never read fiction and I tend to read books related to science, nutrition, business, medicine and more recently technology manuals and dummy books. The only book that keeps my attention and focus is the Bible-(66 books) the real deal. I read it almost everyday to start my day. As I looked at the cover of 'Blue Gold', I saw more than a 'Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water', I saw the product that would represent Pastor Paul's brand, a water bottle. Water is so essential to life, without it we will die.

On Blog Action Day, October 15, 2007, I joined 16,000 other bloggers. We blogged about the environment. This is the anniversary date that I entered the 'blogosphere'. Almost 4 months later; the Pastor Paul's Blog, the environment, personal branding, social media and Pastor Paul's brand identity are coming together for Pastor Paul's Club. This is a new endeavor, an e-commerce store. The goal is to raise needed revenues to support its mission to feed hungry people. I needed to understand online marketing and found Online Marketing Workshop in April 2007. This was a fateful connection.

Soon I would be landing in Orlando to attend the Strategy and Innovation Forum. I was looking forward to another insightful event. I knew I would get the answers I was looking for about the direction to take for Pastor Paul's Club. This forum was the first of its kind and was founded by innovative leaders. While I was looking forward to the forum, my focus was on what I was reading about how the world is running out of fresh water. Many aquifers are drying up caused by increased industrialization and farming irrigation, population growth, toxic runoff and other environmental forms of pollution that threaten the remaining fresh water supply. It was time to fasten my seat belt and get ready to land in Sunny Orlando Florida.

While taking an unexpected two hour ride in the Mears shuttle to the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, I started a conversation with Ernie, the driver. I asked him if they were in a dry spell because the plants and the trees looked like they needed water. He said as a matter of fact, they were in the middle of a drought. Of course, I should have known that important fact prior to the visit. I began to tell him about the book I was reading and he confirmed what I had just read, that the Florida aquifer is drying up and that the surrounding states are disputing fresh water supplies. I was Ernie's final stop. I thanked him for the unexpected tour and said I hoped it would rain soon.

I checked in and went to my room that overlooked a beautiful pool, and lagoon. The grounds filled with exotic plants, orchids, and palm trees
were meticulously trimmed with no signs of drought. Yet I couldn't stop thinking about water. It is funny how traveling opens up your awareness. I think it is because you are in an unfamiliar environment so your sensitivity is awakened. It was time to get ready for the Opening Reception. I was open to receive.

In the elevator on the way to the reception I met Jay Shaffer of in association with They collect thousands of reviews by actual buyers verified by the retailer that sold it to them. Pastor Paul's Club has the capacity for customer reviews and is looking forward to building a community of supporters, so meeting Jay briefly is one example of finding like minded people and the value of the conference. Come to find out in our conversation, he was familiar with the Food Banks in San Francisco. He understood our need to raise revenues and thought Pastor Paul's Club was innovative. I was off to a good start. Then who is my next contact, but the incredible Mitch Joel of Twist Image-'a marketing agency that bridges the present to the future.' We first met in Hollywood Florida at the first Online Marketing Workshop in April 2007.

Scott Silverman, one of's founder's and the Executive Director, introduced us at the Dinner and Reception at the Tequila Ranch at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where we were entertained by the most memorable bull rides. Mitch was the Keynote Speaker earlier that day and he gave a very inspiring presentation on new media that includes blogging and podcasting. The following day he pulled me aside at breakfast and we had a conversation that was recorded on the 'M-Audio' that he later included in his weekly podcast called Six Pixels of Separation Episode #48. Well to say the least, I left my first Marketing Workshop very inspired and had the direction I was looking for

So here we were again, attending the Strategy and Innovation Forum. As we talked at the entrance of the Opening Reception in the beautiful Wantilan a flurry of people came to say hello to Mitch. He introduced me to Andy Sernovitz, author of, Word of Mouth Marketing Wednesday's Keynote Speaker and Andy Nulman, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Airborne Mobile Entertainment Thursday's Keynote Speaker. Later after hearing them speak I would find them both very inspiring confirming the future direction that Pastor Paul's Club marketing would take. At the time, I just enjoyed the presence of their good energy. Later that evening I met John Keating of, John Pape of WreslingGear.Com, Austin Wilson and Kelly Sieben with Microsoft Corporation Product Development and Matt Wilson of CLS. So many good conversations with such knowledgeable people a foreshadowing of what was to come.

On the way back to my room, I noticed it was cloudy and it looked like rain. And it did rain in the evening and in the early morning on both days. But of course, 'The Rainmakers' were in town. It was glorious...

This week
to commemorate their 15th Anniversary, I will be blogging about my experiences with and about some of the great people I have met at the conferences and workshops. Please join this conversation with some of your comments or experiences with Tomorrow on Super Tuesday our Focus is Mitch Joel of Twist Image.

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