Archive for the ‘employment’ Category

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Ron Rutherford – Liquor Manager/Beverage Steward

I bumped into him quite by accident. I was in the Gilman Street Safeway in Issaquah looking for a hearty red wine to go with the steak we were having that evening. As I turned from the wine rack, my coat caught on a bottle on one of the lower shelves. It fell, landing on the thick glass of the bottom of the bottle. Amazingly, when it hit the floor, it bounced up and landed upright. I was lucky but the noise shocked me. Hearing the commotion, the wine department manager rushed around the wine shelf to see what had happened. I recognized him immediately.

Ron Rutherford.

I knew Ron from my days as a feature reporter at KIRO 7 in the mid-90’s. He started there as a weekend producer, 7pm producer and filled in at 5pm, which is where I met him. Then he went on to produce the morning show. Rutherford was in the news business as a producer or director from 1985 to 1997. After a few years at CRISTA Ministries, he took a job at SearchEase.com, writing editing and managing content for a monthly newsletter that reached more than 65,000 subscribers to TAOnline.com, which helps veterans find employment once their tour of duty is over. Then Rutherford took a job as the wine steward at Auburn Wine & Caviar. Today, while his business card reads Safeway Liquor Manager and Beverage Steward, he’s another Repurposed Journalist, telling stories.

He says, “We’ve got more than a thousand different bottles of wine on our shelves. A lot of people … they’re looking for something. So there’s always a story behind every bottle and telling that story, we’ve got probably 35 different Cabernets on the shelf, but you can find a different story that will help ‘sell’ that because people can engage that story and feel what you’re talking about and they’re willing to try that bottle because of it.”

In 2014, he was hired as Liquor Manager and Beverage Steward for Safeway. But Ron still smiles when he thinks back on his days chasing news, meeting a daily deadline.

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At KIRO, “I was a producer. I started out as the weekend producer and then,” he chuckles. “When KIRO went through the metamorphosis where Belo bought us,” he says, “I was actually laid off for about three months and then I got a call from the station asking, “Can you come in and help us out in the morning?” and I did. And then my return actually was the day of the Oklahoma City bombing (in 1995). I saw that was happening, I called. I said, “Do you guys need help?” and I just stayed.”

Rutherford tells me really doesn’t miss the news business. “No, I don’t. Because, John, it’s changed so much from when we were there. The news is not what it was. I was brought up that you gather the facts and then you presented it and let people decide what the story was. Now, it’s like there’s a preconceived notion of what the story is going to be and we try to filter the facts to make that story.”

JY:  But what did you get out of being a producer? Because you may not miss it, but I think it helped you in what you’re doing now.

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RR: “Well, I started my day with absolutely nothing and within eight hours I helped build an hour’s worth of news for the day and then once that’s all done then I have nothing again. And that’s what I feel here is that it gives you great organizational skills. It helps you in crisis management. Seriously, people here know that if there is a crisis going on that I’m one of the greatest people they can turn to because it’s just what I do. So those are things that I felt really good about.”

 

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JY: I talk to other former journalists and they tell me that they just learned how to do things faster. They developed storytelling muscle. They know how to identify what’s important and how to distill it and I think that you still have that.

RR: “Well, you do because … everything is based upon hours, minutes, and seconds and anytime that you can save time by doing something, that means you’re gonna have more time to do something else. So, it’s not always about how fast you can get it done but getting it done right so you don’t have to redo it the second time too. So it’s that combination of making sure that you know how to manage your time well and that is one of the things that I know has been… that was a big help for me.

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JY: What’s your favorite bottle of wine?

RR: “The one in my hand. I’ve had super expensive bottles of wine and I’ve had really inexpensive bottles of wine. Notice I didn’t say cheap. But I’ve had great bottles of wine and price doesn’t dictate what’s a great bottle. Sometimes it is the story. I look for what went into this bottle that makes it so good.”

JY: Do you still watch TV news?

RR: “When I used to be in the business, my wife never got to see an entire newscast because when I wasn’t working I was flipping channels to see where everything was. So now I get to actually sit back and enjoy it, if enjoy is the right word.”

RR: “There’s still some great productions that I see. There’s some great storytelling and I think that that part of it is still there, and that’s the part that I really enjoy seeing. What I believe that we sometimes miss is that… Well for me this is my personal opinion, the other night, we had Seattle Mariner pitcher, James Paxton, the man throws a no-hitter and by the way the team’s doing fairly well and so, to me that’s what people are talking about, and that’s what news should be, is that what are people talking about? But the lead story on one of the TV stations wasn’t Paxton, wasn’t anything to do with that. It was some sort of random attack where someone got hurt, and violence, and the police blotter and yada, yada, yada, yada. And I don’t think people are talking about that.”

RR: “I don’t know if we’re necessarily always looking at what people are interested in and what they want to hear. We’re feeding them what we think they want to hear, and we’re giving more doom and gloom. So, I try to look at life as glass being half-full instead of half-empty.”

 

JY: So, what’s your purpose now?

RR: “When I’m sitting in this department and I have someone come in, and they go, “Wow. I’m so glad you’re here. I need your help.” Because there are people who come in and search for my experience and expertise here. And that’s really a lot of fun, because it gives you a great sense of purpose in that they enjoy having you help them because they trust you. And I think that’s maybe my purpose, is gaining that trust and keeping that trust with people.”

JY: And a good finish, right?

RR: “Absolutely. A long finish.”

Repurposed Journalist Ron RutherfordRon Rutherford

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Brad Goode – Washington Federal

Try keeping up with Brad Goode. It’ll leave you out of breath. He’s part man on a mission, part kid in the candy store. For the past year and a half, the former TV anchor (KOMO 4, CNBC, KING 5) has been Senior Vice President & Director of Marketing/ Communications at Washington Federal in Seattle. And while for some, the September, 2016 transition to life after the newsroom could have been tough, for this repurposed journalist, the career move to the finance industry is paying big dividends. Brad Goode is still using the same storytelling muscles he did when he met a daily deadline and got up before the crack of dawn to deliver the morning news.

In an energetic, non-stop interview at Washington Federal headquarters in downtown Seattle Goode talked about making the leap from journalism to banking.

BG: “It’s a little bizarre, I’d been looking to transition for maybe six, eight months, just saying, “I love business. I’ve covered business for years in news.” And I just thought the time was right to jump to a business that may need the skill set of a 30-year broadcaster, in terms of marketing, communications, community relations with the time that I’d spent here in Seattle. And after interviewing with about a dozen companies with their executive teams, lo and behold, I come to find that this bank, Washington Federal, that’s been around 100 years, had not done much marketing or promotion of itself or its products. And I come walking through the door saying, “Hey, I’m looking to do something like this. I’ve got an affinity for covering business news.” And they said, “Well, we’d like you to help us out.” And after about six or seven interviews and lunches and I was starting to wonder, “When do you get a job offer in this banking business if things are going so well and you’re meeting with the CEO?” And then finally they said, “No, we would like you to run our marketing communications department.” I thought, “Wow. Well, that’s a big step.” But they embraced what I was able to bring. I’m unlike anybody else in the building, obviously.”

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Goode at Washington Federal Downtown Seattle Headquarters

BG: “I say that because I walked in the door saying, “This institution has a great story and somebody needs to tell it. Nobody has told the story of this 100-year institution that survived Wall Street crashes and the recent great recession, and that we’re still here and that we’ve helped keep people in their homes. And we’ve helped build businesses not only here in Seattle but in eight states now.” And they said, “We do need help with someone telling our story.” I said, “I got it.” And then they said, “Can you help us improve our internal communications?” I said, “Well, what do you have? They said, “Well, the CEO just kinda talks into a camera.” And I said, “Well, yeah, give me that, I’ll make that into a weekly newscast.” “Great.” And that thing’s taken off.”

BG: “I fondly call it, “What’s up at Wa Fed?” And so I give shout outs all over the footprint, on what people are doing. In this week’s episode, I showed all of our branch employees from our Yuma, Arizona branch, out in the middle of the desert, taking their part in the highway cleanup, collecting 12 bags of trash in their community to clean up the highway. We just show what everybody’s doing out there in their communities. And it’s been so much fun. And it’s galvanized these 2,000 employees, ’cause they feel all attached, ’cause they get to watch what everybody’s doing within their company thousands of miles away.

JY: “So when you were in the newsroom, your purpose was to put stories on the air and inform the public. What is your purpose now?”

BG: “Well, now the purpose is to communicate and educate our employee base, 2,000 of them, internally. And then outwardly market our brand. Some of that’s community relations, and you understand that ’cause you do some of that. Where can we position what we do? We found financial literacy is a big part of what we do. We have found that supporting low income housing, since we have been doling out home loans for over 100 years, is a big part of what we like to do. And marketing some of our new… Our checking accounts, our credit cards, typical things that banks have, but why you should go with Washington Federal. And a lot of that boils back to our story.”

JY: “Do you miss it at all? I still see that you’re on KOMO TV on a regular basis. You’re still doing things.”

BG: “Now I get to just play in TV. But it’s not the full time gig. And I enjoy going back into KOMO and at least delivering twice a week the franchise (Goode 4 Business) that I developed six years ago now, and which is similar to what I did on CNBC. And now it’s sponsored by us, Washington Federal, so it’s kind of a neat little thing that we get to do, but it’s fun to go do that for TV and radio and then leave. And I feel like I’m more involved in something than I’ve ever been. And I would say that is satisfying. It’s surprised me to a certain degree. This bank and it’s executive team have embraced my madness. [chuckle] And we’re having a lot of fun, and I’ve created things that they never thought they would do before. But we’re seeing some success and results which makes me feel great.

JY: “What kind of muscles as a reporter are you using now?”

BG: “Oh my goodness, every day. Seriously, countless every day. Decision making, timelines, communicating with people, deadlines of course. Nobody understands deadlines, I believe, in the corporate world like we did in the media world. ‘Cause we were up sometimes (meeting deadlines) several a day. Here deadlines are a week, two, a month, six months out, which kinda drives me crazy a little bit. [chuckles] So I find I’ve had to manage time differently, but I found that what I learned in reporting and anchoring and being part of a news team really helped me transition into this team a lot easier than I thought it would be, even though it was a completely different industry. But I find that it certainly helps to know how to ask questions and dig a little bit deeper, and you have to be humble in saying, “I don’t understand that, I need to hear that again.” Because as we learned in news, if I don’t understand, how can I communicate it to the greater public? So now it’s just a different thing where I have to understand it, because now I have to make sure that what I’m marketing and communicating out, our clients and costumers will understand and adopt.”

JY: “Is there a cause now that you might have? I mean, just set aside the commercial part of this organization, which I can tell from your passion it is. But where is the cause now?”

BG: “Well, I think because we’ve committed so long ago that, as you point out, most people are not financially literate, unless they went to school and studied that, or they’ve worked on Wall Street or become a banker, they don’t understand it. So we said, “Well, how can we be a conduit, if you will, to education for financial literacy?” Because I think, as most people know, financial stress is a huge problem throughout the world and here in this country. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of suicide, I’ve come to learn, is financial stress. It didn’t just happen in the Depression or the Great Recession. People are stressed out about finances. Why? Because they don’t have a clear understanding of what they should be doing. So as a bank, we made the decision decades ago that we need to be a partner with people whether they bank with us or not. What we can give back to the community is some financial literacy.”

JY: “Why are you so passionate about it?”

BG: “Jeez. I really need to get on the decaf. I mean, I really needed. I needed my little peanut butter bar to get me through the day, just ’cause I needed some more energy.”

JY: “No, you are so passionate about this, Brad. I mean, that’s what’s fun to see. It’s just like you really enjoy your place in the universe. It feels like you’ve landed at the right place, and you don’t have any problem being passionate about this organization.”

BG: “I talk to my wife (former TV anchor Dina Napoli, President of Napoli Communications) about this all the time. I feel pretty lucky that I landed here. It was like it was meant to be. I’d been interviewing with a lot of cool companies. I met with the leadership teams at Zillow and Alaska and Holland America and Tommy Bahama. A lot of cool companies, right? I never thought I’d be at a bank. But once I got to know these folks and what they were doing, and learned their story and how they kept 3,000 families in their home during the Great Recession, ’cause we owned the loans for everyone, we re-modified them for people. I was blown away. I was like, “That’s a real business story.” For some, that’s a life-and-death story. And we know in news, we’ve covered our share of those. And it just seemed like they had the need, I was ready for that, and it was a perfect puzzle-piece fit, if you will. So I feel… They’ve said to me in the past, they said, “Jeez, thanks for taking a chance on us, Brad.” And I said, “Well, I’d argue you took the chance on me, I never thought I would have this much fun at the bank.”

JY: “Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you feel like you’d like to include?”

BG: “My gosh. No, but you sure make this fun. Yeah, I think it’s just like anything else. Find what you love to do and throw yourself into it. It is still telling a different story every day, it’s just kinda managed differently.”

JY: “And there’s a bottom line.”

BG: “Oh, that’s right. There’s a bottom line. [laughter]”

 

 

 

Lindsay Cohen - Zillow

Lindsay Cohen – Writer & On Camera Host – Zillow

When she was a rookie reporter, Seattle’s Lindsay Cohen dreamed of a day when one of her stories would air on NBC’s Today Show.  Though every young journalist has similar dreams, no matter how good you are, the odds of that happening are long, the chances – slim. But every journalist seems to start out with a lot of hope. There are so many stories to tell.

Cohen got her undergrad degree in Communications Studies in 2001 from Northwestern and her Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University in New York in 2002. She went on to land her first job in television news at Albany New York’s WNYT as an anchor-reporter in 2002, moving in 2005 to a similar job at WPEC in West Palm Beach, Florida.  In July of 2009, she started a 7-year stint at Seattle’s KOMO 4 TV  (ABC News) where she won a number of Emmy Awards for reporting excellence. But three months ago, Cohen left the KOMO 4 newsroom to become a Senior Real Estate Writer and On-Camera Host for Zillow, the Seattle-based tech real estate site. Cohen says, “I made the right next step.”

While the move was bittersweet, she says she’s still storytelling. “I still get to work with photographers and editors,” adding, “I still do interviews. And I get to tell people’s stories in a meaningful way.” In a normal week at Zillow, Lindsay Cohen will talk with people living in a tiny home or a re-purposed Airstream; she’ll write a ‘House of the Week’ feature or  look for ways to make your home improvement money go farther or a story about the Most Shared Zillow Listing in 2017. One day she’ll be working on a feature about a home design inspired by Hobbits; the next, she’ll be writing about a celebrity home owned by movie star Jared Leno.  And then there’s the story she produced about a castle for sale just outside New York City entitled, I Spent Two Days in a Castle Just Outside NYC. “I’m amazed at the variety,” she says, “and how I can still tell stories that make a difference.”

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While Cohen says she was sad to leave friends and co-workers at KOMO 4, she’s glad she left TV news when she did. She says she wanted to spend more time with her family. “And I looked at how my friends were getting their news – on their phones.” Cohen adds, “There’s a way to tap into how news consumption is changing.”

 

Lindsay Cohen says she was considering other on-line companies like Amazon and Facebook but then a friend told her about Zillow.  What drew her in, she says, is noticing how Zillow was investing in new types of storytelling. Cohen says, “Zillow is growing the content team as they develop for written and social media.” And as she found out more about Zillow she thought, “There are a lot of happy people here.” In March, Cohen left TV news to join Zillow, where her stories run on Zillow’s site, their partner sites, on social media — and even on televisions. Zillow has an app on Apple TV.

Lindsay Cohen - Former KOMO 4 News ReporterAs for making the transition out of the newsroom, she says, “You never know until you try it. Sometimes you have to make that leap. It’s ok to recognize that the world is changing. I feel lucky that I found a place that lets me explore that.”Cohen is convinced she made the right decision. In fact, for many stories she’s reaching a bigger audience than the one she reached with KOMO 4. She says one recent piece on the Zillow website drew millions of hits.

And then there’s the view from Zillow’s offices near Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

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Elliott Bay View From Zillow Offices in Seattle

Every morning she looks out onto beautiful Elliott Bay, far from the blare of newsroom scanners. Lindsay Cohen sips her morning coffee and thinks, “This isn’t bad at all.” Cohen adds, “Sometimes the best decisions in life are the ones staring you right in the face.”

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On Saturday June 3rd, Lindsay Cohen, a newly repurposed journalist, was among her former KOMO 4 peers at the 54th Annual Northwest Regional Emmy Awards Banquet. A story Cohen did was nominated for yet another Emmy. She’s lost track how many nominations she has.

And remember that kid who always wanted to see her stories on the Today Show? Well a few weeks ago, Lindsay Cohen says one of her posts for Zillow was picked up by none other than NBC Today’s website.

Lindsay Cohen can be reached on Twitter at @lindsaycohen and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ByLindsayCohen/

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Caregiver’s Dream

Posted: October 18, 2016 in employment

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vr-NPEbnVwk

In my role as Public Relations Director for Aegis Living, a leader in the assisted living field, I got a chance recently to produce this short video about our extraordinary caregivers. They are the heart of this remarkable company.

http://flipthemedia.com/2013/05/kirotv-coms-michael-fox-tips-for-new-media/

Repurposed Reimer

Posted: December 23, 2012 in employment

Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur on What’s Next for The Mountain’s Marty Reimer.

http://mobile.seattletimes.com/story/today/2019939117/track-ip_news_lite-1.2.2-./

A powerful story told by a gifted writer, National Public Radio’s John Burnett.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/12/12/167120895/from-a-life-of-crime-to-designing-jewelry-all-in-a-nairobi-slum

Life is cheap where hope is scarce. And here in Nairobi’s Huruma slum you have to look hard to find any hope. So much is discarded here; bottles, cans, tires, plastic but mostly people.

John Kangara Mucheru
Project Manager Zakale Creations

42 year-old John Kangara Mucheru knows this. He’s lived in Huruma all his life. But Mucheru looks for use in everything. The word Zakale means “re-use” in Swahili, the cultural language of Kenya. And that’s exactly what he’s done with bottles, cans, tires, plastic but mostly people.

People like 28 year-old Milton Obote. Ten years ago, Milton was playing pick-up soccer, smoking marijuana and burglarizing homes. Until he met John Mucheru. While watching a Humura pick-up soccer game Milton and his friends were playing, Mucheru noticed the artistry with which Milton played the game. “Futbol (soccer) is what I eat”, says Obote. But John Mucheru didn’t like the company Obote kept. He saw something special in the teenager that everyone else had overlooked. If they even looked at all.

Milton Obote – Zakale Creations

The two started talking. John challenged Milton to do something with that artistic side. He gave the teen a piece of wire and asked him to “design something.” Obote brought back a beautifully created hand. Soon, John invited Milton to work for him at Zakale Creations, based right here in Huruma. He knew Milton and didn’t like to see boys like him waste their lives. Perhaps he saw a little bit of himself.

John used to be involved in gangs, petty theft, some robbery. “It wasn’t my wish”, says Mechuro. “I had no alternative.” In a place like Huruma you do anything to survive. Something happens to a person when you’re packed into a place of extreme poverty with 60,000 others. The word Huruma in Swahili (one of Kenya’s official languages) means, sympathy. Some who live here think Huruma is just another word for “madhouse”.

Huruma, Nairobi

Mucheru doesn’t remember anything good about Christmas as a child. No fond memories. “I never got a Christmas present. I was orphaned when both my parents died when I was three.” Today, John Mucheru is turning that around. Today, the ornaments his young men and women at Zakale Creations make are sold to a company called Heavenly Treasures. That company in turn, sells them to World Vision where they are offered in the charity’s Gift Catalog.

Ornament Set
World Vision Gift Catalog

Now each Christmas, John Kangara Mucheru throws a big party for hundreds of his neighbors in Huruma. “Christmas is time for sharing what you have with those who have nothing,” says Mucheru. His young men and women welcome visitors with a ceremonial dance.

They are energetic, happy and appear full of hope. And today, Milton Obote is married with a young daughter and hopeful he can land more design work.

“Zakale Creations,” Mucheru says, “is about creating new life.” What better time of year to find that new life in the discarded bottles, can, tires, plastic but mostly people. Here in the maddening heart of despair, John Mucheru has found a way to deliver a tiny piece of hope.

Zakale Creations employees welcome visitors in song and dance

Zakale Creations employees
welcome visitors in song and dance

http://www.heavenlytreasures.org/contentpages.aspx?parentnavigationid=2619&viewcontentpageguid=53959e0e-fe70-431b-97b0-2c5e6bd92982