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The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. The Strategic Fit - Building Relationships with Speakers' Bureaus

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. Part one introduces the value of the speakers’ bureau, and part two talks about event speaker trends.

Christy: What do you do about speakers who speak from scripts and are reluctant or unwilling to adapt the message to an audience?

Sue: It’s essential to make sure every client gets a unique and custom experience. Audiences will not accept “canned” presentations, although once that was the norm.  Every speaker search I do starts with a thorough questionnaire for the speaker and the planner so that I know exactly what is expected from and needed from both sides.  It doesn’t matter how many times I have worked with a client; every piece of business must be earned.  Fresh, relevant material is a must and that means adapting to the audience.

Christy: What do you say to those who think they can’t afford to hire a speaker or to those who would prefer to simply book directly?

Sue: I focus on creating an experience from the initial contact, so fees are not the first thing we discuss. I want to know what the client is looking for and what the goal is for bringing in the speaker. From there, it’s my job to find solutions and secure a speaker they like and need.

As for being able to afford my services, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Always ask if the bureau’s fees are paid for by the client or the speaker as it varies by organization. At Remarkable Speakers! the speaker pays for the booking, so there is no cost to the client for utilizing my services. It is also important to know that the speaker fees we quote are not marked up to cover the fees the speaker pays us.

The additional thing to keep in mind is the expertise offered by the bureau. After listening to what the client wants, I make initial recommendations, factoring in not just the speaker’s content but their style. It has to be a good fit at every level. No one has time to waste, so working with a pro means only seeing speakers who meet your needs, style and budget. Watching clips on You Tube and searching the net for speakers can take hours and may not lead you anywhere.

Christy:  Planners are so often in ‘go’ mode that they forget to stop and consult the experts. It’s a good reminder that help is available and that the service providers will likely do a better job than we could. Thanks for that quick reality check!

Sue: I think we can all fall into that trap sometimes! To continue: as for budget: I never apologize or shy away from the cost to book a speaker. Some of the best advice ever given to me that I live by was: “when quoting fees you should be able to do it without blinking an eye. Do it with confidence, facts, and commitments.”

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation.  Both sides need to walk away feeling good about the partnership. I can work with both parties to create mutually agreeable terms.  I love the “thrill of the hunt” and closing deals. After booking thousands of speakers I have tons of creative ways clients and speakers can find middle ground.

Christy: My friend is a speaker. Why do I need one of yours?

Sue:  Now, more than ever, everyone thinks they are a speaker, or knows someone who is! I always thank my clients for the opportunity to “earn their business.” Often, when looking for a speaker, initially, people do not know what they want. Even if they have a friend or colleague in mind, it’s a good possibility they still are looking for suggestions. I find that many times after a few questions, the client is not quite as sold on their friend as it might have first appeared.

Knowing the speaker has advantages but does not guarantee it’s the right fit. I ask questions about what they are looking for in their speaker, and does their friend have all need to have a successful event. I share key things to look at; great video clips, an active and engaged social media presence where you can see reviews and testimonials, and what their marketing materials look like to see how fresh, current, and relevant their speaker is. I make sure they think through the ‘why’ around choosing their friend as the speaker.  It’s important to remember that the impact of choosing the best speaker reflects on them.  I want my clients and potential clients to be seen as “rock stars” for choosing the perfect speaker and having a successful event. Sometimes their friend may be their speaker of choice.

To me it’s about helping people make good decisions so even if we don’t book a speaker, I am still thankful for creating a relationship that can be developed for future business. The other opportunity is for me to add a new speaker to my roster as we are always looking for Remarkable Speakers!

A huge thanks to Sue for her time, expertise, buoyant personality and wisdom. I speak to many people each day and few have Sue’s remarkable spirit, candor and enthusiasm. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I had speaking to her. To continue the conversation, leave a note in the comments section below, find me on Twitter: @SMEChristy or email me: Christy.lamagna@strategic.events.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.

 

Happy May Day!

murielThis week “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency received the greatest award and gift of a lifetime! I received a poem written by the well-known poet, Muriel Hoff, about our company!

Meet Muriel! She is an awesome lady I met through a community event we hosted.  She is 92 years young, and has published 3 books of poetry, won numerous awards, and is working on her fourth book-perhaps her memoirs! Her life evolved from being a “legal secretary” to Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Leader in her community, and an accomplished writer and poet. She is very active, attends events, and loves to have people all around her.

When I visited with Muriel this week I saw her eyes light up when she said: ” I was thinking of you this week, and the great solutions you are offering with the great talent you represent, and I wrote this for you. It’s not much, but hope it will encourage and keep you going!”

When I looked at the short piece of work she handled to me, I realized the effort and thoughtfulness that had gone into making this for me!  Muriel does not use a computer, she chooses to type on her old Smith-Carona typewriter. But she does have a copier by her typewriter, so she can make copies of her work without having to use carbon paper!

I was honored to receive this poem and thought you might enjoy reading it too!

I can book you a speaker
anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

Our speakers are bright,
they will light up your life.

We can fulfill your every need.
Yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed!

I am sure our Talent we represent here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency can live up to this poem, and know I will keep going to find those events where they can “light up your life, anytime, anywhere, anyplace!”

Thanks, Muriel Hoff for making everything in my life so worth it!

Sue Falcone
Owner: “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency

Happy Birthday “Simply” Sue Speaks!

Happy Fabulous Friday! It is an exciting time here at “SSS!”  To celebrate our 2nd Year as a Booking Agency, we are launching a new look here at our Website!

happy2birthday To over 200 Clients- We THANK YOU!
To our PROFESSIONALS YOU are Awesome!

We are now officially a “Global Booking Agency” ranked first on Google under that heading!

I am honored to represent the best Professional: Speakers, Creative Trainers and Presenters, Executive Coaches, and Authors on the Planet! They ARE “Simply” Sue Speaks! and now they are front and center featured first on the Home Page! Have you seen them?

To bring the #WOWfactor, I asked our Clients to help us share the message of who we are and what we do! You will find on our About Us Page our Clients asking me those “burning” questions everyone wants to know about us as a company, and some personal things about the owner too! Then all you have to do is click on the question for my answers! Amazing technology!

This quote is so true, and we feature it on our About Us Page:

“If you are not clear and concise in communicating who you are and what you do–they will invent it!”
Nyght Falcon  www.nyghtfalcon.com

Yes, we bring the #WOWfactor to your next event, but we are much more! Take a look at our Home Page, which says it best!

We invite you to take a look around and leave us a comment at the bottom of this post! We love to hear from you and for doing so your name will be entered into our drawing for fabulous prizes to be given away on Thursday, May 1st!

A special thanks to my great Assistant, Angela McPherson of  www.noteworthynetchicks.biz  for her awesome work on the re-design of this website, and for all she does at “SSS”, and to Carol Andrews who did the video featured on the Home Page.

Again THANK YOU for your help and support, and we look forward to many more great years bringing the #WOWfactor to your next events!

Simply Sue Name Only Signature

 

Approaching Change

Today I’m thinking about change. Specifically, how people approach it.

Some fight change. “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” Although there is some merit to that the world just doesn’t work that way.  Someone, somewhere is always coming up with new, innovative approaches to “the norm”.

Some choose support roles.  “It’s not my idea, but I am the team player to make it happen”.  Commendable but perhaps not everything you want when personal dreams take a back seat to the so-called bigger picture.

Some effect change.  They come up with ideas that have everyone else saying “why didn’t I think of that”?  For some reason, sticky notes come to mind.

For this group change is like breathing.  They thrive on it. Whether personal or professional they chart a course and put people and things in place to make sure they reach their destination.

The last group doesn’t just effect change, they embrace it. They realize they are going to need people from the other groups.  They realize that beyond obvious limitations, there is good in each personality type.

The person who fights change signifies the caution needed when developing new ideas. Is the change with or without purpose?  Is there a plan to make it happen?

The person(s) in the supporting role signifies the reality that No Man is an Island. There is no reason for a “think tank” if the all of those ideas simply lay dormant.

sticky-noteThe person effecting change signifies that no matter what the idea or plan, someone has to bear responsibility and convince others of a risk worth taking.  Easy if everything goes as planned.  Not so much when things head south.

In the end it all spells the importance of team.  Each of us has to decide our role.

  • Opportunities arise.
  • Sometimes you lead.
  • Sometimes you follow.

Perhaps the lesson is one of flexibility and respect no matter where and how you fit.

#kindnesscounts #teambuilding

Carol AndrewsAs a Speaker, Journalist, TV Media Personality, Corporate Trainer, Author, Blogger, “Carol is the ‘real deal’ shares Anne Wear, former News Producer at WGHP Fox 8.

As a speaker and coach, Carol Andrews takes a common sense approach, laced with laughter, to inspire and help people of all ages to be their best. From children to CEO’s, she has helped audiences find tailored solutions to often difficult subject matter.

Seen by thousands as week-end News Anchor on WFMY-Channel 2- Greensboro, NC and currently writing her next book, Carol says the key to success is: Be Grateful, Be Respectful, Be Kind, and Be Willing to Laugh!

We want to welcome Carol Andrews as the newest addition to our Professionals here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Click Here to book Carol as your next Keynote Speaker or Seminar/Workshop Presenter.

Social Media: Getting It Done

arrowtemplate 2I am a dedicated student of social media and its implications on modern communication. Admittedly, the more I learn, the more I need to learn. From tweets and posts to making sure your site isn’t overrun with robotic spam, it is a non-stop job.

It’s most certainly not a job a small business with less than 5 employees wants to take on. Yet, unless you can pay someone else to do it, you have to find a  way to make it happen or get left in the cyber dust.

I say the idea, no matter your staff size, is to work smart, not hard.

I Like these basics:

Tell me something, don’t sell me something. In general, people love fresh nuggets of timely information. They don’t love feeling even the slightest pressure to buy.

Start a conversation. Engaging your followers/friends gives them a chance to react. It also sets you up as a go-to person for information and lively conversation.

Listen more than you talk. You can learn a lot by hearing what others want and need from you. Short and sweet comments are also a lot easier to process.

Keep the fun in the function. Social media is not a one-size-fits-all platform. Your brand should dictate how you use it. It will also dictate areas of needed improvement. My rule: Kindness Counts

Fill a need. If you are not filling a reader’s need, they might ‘unfollow’, ‘unfriend’ or ‘unlike’ you. That’s not always a bad thing, because when it comes to measurable analytics it is more about the clicks you get on your posts than the number of likes or follows that you have.

Let the real you shine through. It is never a bad thing to give people who have taken the time to follow or like you a glimpse of who you are. A picture of you having fun with family or coworkers; cheering on your favorite team during the big dance; or sharing a thought through your pet is great. Your followers dictate through response when you’ve gone beyond moderation.

One of the things I love about the advances in social media are the dashboards that are pretty standard on most sites.  At a glance you can check progress. Even better than that, you can put all your outlets under one umbrella like Hootsuite ot BufferApp.

I can schedule a post or post in the moment. Again the key is moderation.  Graphs on your pages will help serve as a guide.

  • Be selective on what and when you post.
  • Look at your personal pages and see what works.
  • Keep the good, tweak the rest.
  • Don’t be afraid to get social and have fun doing it!

Let me know what you think, as we grow together.

-Carol

 

Carol AndrewsAs a Speaker, Journalist, TV Media Personality, Corporate Trainer, Author, Blogger, “Carol is the ‘real deal’ shares Anne Wear, former News Producer at WGHP Fox 8.

As a speaker and coach, Carol Andrews takes a common sense approach, laced with laughter, to inspire and help people of all ages to be their best. From children to CEO’s, she has helped audiences find tailored solutions to often difficult subject matter.

Seen by thousands as week-end News Anchor on WFMY-Channel 2- Greensboro, NC and currently writing her next book, Carol says the key to success is: Be Grateful, Be Respectful, Be Kind, and Be Willing to Laugh!

We want to welcome Carol Andrews as the newest addition to our Professionals here at “Simply” Sue Speaks!  Click Here to book Carol as your next Keynote Speaker or Seminar/Workshop Presenter.

Get It Done – Every Day

Post ReBlogged via NetchicksMarketing.com

notimelikepresent2Life and business coaches give terrific advice.

One piece of advice that I’ve gotten lately is to focus on accomplishing a certain number of tasks each day that may contribute to the success of my business.

These can include a variety of things and you can customize the list for the day to fit your own particular needs.

By doing this exercise regularly, it will help you regain momentum, steer more business your way and establish relationships for future endeavors.

Here are ten ideas to get your mind going in the right direction:

1. Update your LinkedIn profile.

This online networking tool can be a great source of leads, advice and relevant information. Make sure you are regularly taking a look at your profile with fresh eyes, making updates and refreshing your skill set. These updates will not only help you stay focused, it will show up in the feeds of your contacts and bring you to mind with them.

2. Make new connections.

Look through the list of contacts for your LinkedIn connections. If there are people you want to meet, reach out and ask your connection to make an introduction. There is a tool on LinkedIn that makes this very easy.

3. Join a group.

Either virtually or in person, seek out groups of other professionals either in your industry, or in industries you are interested in. For example, a communications person would look at marketing and public relations groups, but also groups that have needs in their specialty, such as healthcare or real estate.

4. Have lunch!

Find a business group that you’re interested in and attend one of their monthly/bi-monthly/weekly meetings. This can be a great place to connect and meet new, potential clients.

5. Take someone to coffee.

Reach out to business connections and invite them to coffee. You can pick each other’s brains, bounce ideas around and maybe walk away with some fresh ideas.

6. Reach out.

Have you built up a good base of connections on LinkedIn? Reach out to a certain number of them every day (when this is on my list, I reach out to five). Ask how they are doing, update them on your business endeavors and offer your services if it makes sense. They could serve as a referral or a new client.

7. Clean it up.

Take a look at your website. Invest a little time every so often in freshening up the content, looking for new ways to promote it and making sure your contacts know about it.

8. Find a mentor.

There are great people out there, and you’re probably connected to a few, who love to help foster relationships and help people grow their businesses. Look for them, reach out and set a time for a brainstorming session. You’d be amazed at how much direction you can glean from a phone call.

9. Do it better.

You have probably thought “I could do that better” on any number of occasions. Well, do it. If you have an idea and you have a connection at that company, consider offering it up. A thoughtful, creative suggestion could open a door to projects, work or even a position.

10. Help others.

Write a recommendation, endorse their skills, connect them to your connections. Making the effort to help others will help you as well.

It’s all about relationships and the more we can help one another, the better off we will all be.

5 Strategies for Working Less and Accomplishing More

labor less

  • Do you work late night and weekends, and feel guilty that you’re not spending more time with your family, or simply having some fun?
  • Are you frequently overwhelmed or discouraged with your progress?
  • Do you find “to do’s” in your office when the time to do them is long gone?
  • Are you frequently starting new things, but not finishing them?
  • Do you spend the majority of your time doing things you dislike?

I’ve always said that what I teach my clients I’ve learned from experience.  What I want to share with you this here certainly comes in that category.  I’ve recently gone through a major restructuring of my company – to a large extent because I answered “Yes” to the questions above!   Based on my experience, here are five simple (Notice I didn’t say “easy!”) steps to help you significantly increase your productivity and decrease your stress:

  1. Set aside time to identify what really matters to you in life.   As the old saying goes, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”  Many of us are like ducks swimming across the water – we look calm, but underneath we’re paddling like crazy – and going in circles!  It takes real courage to stop long enough to assess your current situation.  An important priority in my life is health – but you certainly couldn’t tell it by the way I’ve been living my life.  I started exercising several years ago, but now I’ve blocked out time for educating myself about natural healing, and am taking advantage of services offered by natural health providers.
  2. Figure out what it is you do best and spend the majority of your time doing it.  There are a variety of companies that offer services to help you identify your strengths.  I’ve taken most of them – and many just left me more confused.  One I found particularly helpful can be found at www.kolbe.com or check out the free assessment available at  www.GetMotivatedBook.com.  With websites, a world economy, and virtual technology, the possibilities for hiring or subcontracting people to do what you don’t do best is limitless. Sure it takes time to train someone else, but if you don’t, you’ll be limiting the time you have for what you want to do.  As a child I remember seeing an old Burma Shave sign:  “Choose your rut carefully.  You’ll be in it for next 30 miles.”
  3. Make your home and office a place where you can accomplish your work and enjoy your day.  My passion is helping people create and sustain what I can a “productive environment” — an intentional setting in which everything around you supports who you are and who you want to be.  Look around your environment. How does it make you feel?  If it’s anything negative, you can’t afford it!  Here’s my mantra:  Have nothing which you do not know to be useful, think to be beautiful, or love.  In your office, does everything support serving your customers or increasing your income? If not, you can’t afford it!
  4. Use technology tools to streamline your life.  Growing up on the farm in Nebraska, my daddy always said “Half of any job is having the right tool.”  Actually it’s more than having it — it’s using it!  Sometimes it can be something quite simple — I recently threw out a can opener that caused me to spill something every time I used it.  Other times it’s more major.  A few years ago I converted to a MacBook Air.  I have admired Apple products for years, but didn’t purchase one because most of my clients were Windows-based.  With the advent of cloud-computer and a change in my role in the company, that was no longer an option.  My productivity has increased and my stress level has decreased significantly!
  5. Every time you think “I need (or want) to  …” continue on by asking “What is the NEXT action?” and “When?”  If it is just one task, make an appointment with yourself to do it.  (Isn’t is amazing how great we are at doing what other people ask of us, and keep procrastinating about what we need or want to do for ourselves?) What tool do you use?  Your calendar is certainly an option.  I like to use my SwiftFile which sits on my desk, and when I travel I carry the individual folders for the days I am on the road with me.  It ensures that nothing falls through the cracks because I forgot!   If it is a major project, break it down into tasks which you can track.  If the project has a deadline, start at the end and work backwards.

And here’s a bonus tip:

Continually ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now?” and encourage everyone around you to do the same.   If you’re not sure what is the best use of your time, fill out the Productive Environment Scorecard at www.ProductiveEnvironment.com for your free 30-minute phone consultation.

HemphillBar0711-133Barbara Hemphill is a Nationally known Productivity Expert, helping people eliminate the physical, digital, and emotional clutter that prevents them for accomplishing their work and enjoying their lives! To book Barbara as your next Keynote Speaker or Seminar/Workshop Presenter: contact Sue Falcone at 1-888-766-3155 or email her at sue@simplysuespeaks.com.

Together We Are Better

better togetherSaturday night as I was preparing for dinner guests, I noticed that the green plant that has been sitting on the counter for several months was looking really droopy, and I started to toss it out.  (In spite of the best efforts of my grandmother, I never developed much of a green thumb!)  As often happens to me, I interrupted myself, and started arranging the flowers I had for the table.  Suddenly, I had an idea.  I stuck some of the live flowers into the green plant.  The results were amazing!  A few days later, a friend who is in my house often, saw it, and exclaimed, “Wow, I didn’t know that plant bloomed like that!”  I told my story, and we both had a laugh.  I have no idea how long that solution will last, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the results.

The episode caused me to think about how many times we throw something out — whether it’s a physical item or an intellectual idea — when with a little more ingenuity we could create something beautiful.  It also was a beautiful illustration of one of my favorite life philosophies: “Together We Are Better.”

By itself, the green plant left much to be desired, and the red flowers I put in it were dramatically enhanced by the addition of the plant.

The same principle applies to relationships.  When I decided it was time to update Taming the Paper Tiger at Home, I wanted to make sure it would appeal to future generations, so I partnered with Jennifer Wig to write Organizing Paper @Home: What To Toss and How To Find the Rest! to add a younger perspective.

My business partner, Andrea Anderson, and I frequently refer to each other as “Peanut Butter” and “Jelly.”   I love to be out front, and she thrives behind the scenes.  Together We Are Better!

So here’s my challenge for you this week, “What area of your life would be improved — or be more enjoyable — if you partnered with someone else who has skills that are complimentary to yours?”

HemphillBar0711-133Barbara Hemphill is a Nationally known Productivity Expert, helping people eliminate the physical, digital, and emotional clutter that prevents them for accomplishing their work and enjoying their lives! To book Barbara as your next Keynote Speaker or Seminar/Workshop Presenter: contact Sue Falcone at 1-888-766-3155 or email her at sue@simplysuespeaks.com.

Where Were You?………………………

Eleven years ago today will always be etched in my mind and forever in my memory.  It was a beautiful crisp sunny morning in North Carolina.  I was listening to a favorite radio program and planning my business day ahead;  when all of a sudden an emergency message came on and urged everyone to pray and turn on their TV.

I could not imagine what I would soon see. As I grabbed the remote to click to my favorite news station, my mind was racing.  Was our country being attacked? Were our leaders safe? Where was my family? Was I safe?

I was not prepared to see the next image that roared from my TV. I saw the raging fire, the buildings, and realized where they were located.  I saw the second plane storm into the second tower.  I couldn’t comprehend the total picture, but I knew I needed to contact my husband before he left the Post Office to deliver his mail route.

As I hurriedly pressed the buttons I was thinking ahead.  As I am a “list maker,” I started jotting down what I needed to do. When my husband came to the phone I was so glad I was able to reach him and share my love for him. He advised they had all the news coming into them very quickly, and they were being prepared for what they might face.

I had not had time to think about the fact that as a Postal employee in a uniform, even though they were now a private agency, they were still thought of as “government employees”, which could put them in danger too!

My husband and I decided to pray and continue on in the mission of our day.  He would probably be late getting home, and I had a big business event planned that night which would surely have to be rescheduled.  But our first thoughts were of our children, grand children and other family members. I told him I would contact everyone, and reach him later on that day, as this was a time before everyone carried cell phones!

As I hung up from that call, I began hearing all the stories that could not be confirmed with the true facts.  Everything was happening so fast, and as I worked to reach all our family, it took longer than usual to make the phone connections. As I completed my list, and assured them we were fine, I wanted to make sure each one of them knew how much I loved them. That was the one key element on my mind and in my heart.

The next thing on my list was to contact the lady in charge of our business event, and see what her thoughts were. She worked at a hospital, and it took me a long while to reach her. When I finally contacted her, she advised she had been in touch with all who were on the agenda, and our guests, and they all wanted to still have the event. She asked me would I consider doing it instead of being at home with my family?

What a choice!  I know some of you might not agree with my decision, but I felt I needed to be there.  I contacted my husband and he felt the same way.

My list completed I spent the day preparing for that evening, and eagerly watching the TV as the scene developed for all the world to see.

I learned there were more planes involved and that our Pentagon had been hit and more lives lost there too. Then it became personal and real as we learned that another plane, which had probably been headed to our capital, had crashed in Pennsylvania.  Brave Americans on board that plane had stormed the terrorists and were able to bring the plane down before it reached its’ deadly destination.  All lives were lost including a stewardess, Sandy Bradshaw, whom I was honored to know, and lived here in Greensboro, not far from my home.

The questions of: How could this be?  Why? What do we do now? all raced through my mind!

But I knew I had to go on and see how I could help others that were gathering as planned for our business event.  Prepared as I thought I was, I could not imagine the events that night would bring.

I arrived early and so did everyone else. It was like the people needed a safe place to be with those they cared about.  We agreed to have TV coverage on during our event, since there was so much still not known. Our meeting was scaled down to the basics, but it ended up with most of us sharing our true emotions and stories with one another.

Business did get done that night, but also hearts were healed, and many lives were changed!  I remember the Mom who was still attempting to get in touch with her Marine son, the daughter whose Dad was a local responder and was heading to the scene, and the sister who had just gotten the news that her brother was involved and was missing, later to learn he gave his life.

I saw people hug one another, pray openly for each other (even at a business setting), and share a time that many of us had never faced before.

This is the day one doesn’t forget. I don’t ever want to. It was a Tuesday, the same as today; but I saw our country rise up in unity, and each of us make a choice to not let this defeat the spirit of love, trust, and faith in our God.

Since that day we have been through a lot. Not everyone is in agreement, but one thing is for certain: we are still here, and live in a free country that has been bought with the blood of our Lord, and others who defend our right to be free!  I will never forget, and am more thankful and grateful for what we stand for! How about you?

God Bless America!

 “Simply” Sue