This past weekend Piedmont CU presented at the Danville Home Builders Expo held at the Institute for Advanced Learning. Here’s my takeaway from the event. Most vendors I spoke with seemed a bit disappointed that the crowds were not as big as usual. However, I thought the level of traffic was good. It gave me a chance to greet and speak with almost everyone who walked by. In our business a good relationship is worth more than dollars. What’s that old credit union slogan? “People are worth more than money.” People may not be in the position to buy right now, but if you establish some relationship with them today, then tomorrow they may become one of your best customers.
I also had the chance to meet and speak with several vendors. There was Steve from Summertime Pool & Spa, David & David from Culligan Water, Karen from Pine Hall Brick, Brad from Security Zone, Liz of Danville Parks & Rec, Durdana from Durdana.com, and the guy from Sound Solutions (sorry I don’t recall your name!). But the most interesting of the vendors was right next to me. Piedmont Credit Union was beside Saunders Building Supply. Saunders is the oldest and sole surviving family owned building supply shop in Danville. They pride themselves on customer service, flexibility, and going the extra mile for people. (Sounds a little like Piedmont CU.) On Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting their owner, Elsie Stanley. I had heard her described as “tough as nails”, ” a catbird”, and “no nonsense”. She may be those things in Donald Trump’s board room but here at the expo she was kind as could be and quite the salesperson. In fact I may be by for some lifetime porch rails or a drain pump for the basement. She took home my very last back scratcher and a set of Piedmont CU playing cards left over from a previous trade show. So if you have some building or re-modeling to do check out Saunders Building Supply and say hello to Elsie and the grandkids.
While looking through my Christmas music library this afternoon, I thought about how some of these song titles are not only fitting for the holiday season they also seem to sum up this year of financial meltdowns, bailouts, and elections. So here are my top ten Christmas songs that sum up 2008.Feel free to share your own favorite songs in the comments.
Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day – Save some for vacation, retirement, college, and other emergencies that are bound to happen. Or just go and spend it all the day after Thanksgiving and continue living the American nightmare called out-of-control debt!
Light a Candle – The politicians all say we need to conserve energy.
Jingle Bell Rock – What misbehaving kids are getting for Christmas this year! (Rocks are better for the environment than lumps of coal.)
Away In a Manger – Where people stashed their money when banks started failing.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – I’m still recouping from last summers high gas prices.
Silver Bells – No! Not another precious metals advertisement!
Silent Night – What you hear when you ask a group of sub-prime lenders “What were you thinking?”
Here We Come A Caroling… In our private jets and asking for a bailout.
A Strange Way to Save The World – That’s what we thought about the first bailout.Aww, maybe it will all work out after all?
All I Want For Christmas is … my 401k back!
We Three Kings of Orient Are … Making everything in Wal-Mart. (Hint: Made in China)
Well I raised enough money to get my self out of MDA jail last week. This morning it looks like Congress is going to approve bailing the financial system out of ‘sub-prime jail’ too. Here’s our latest poll on with which you may share your opinion.
In light of those bank failures earlier this Summer, here’s a short(1 min) video about the safety and soundness of America’s credit unions. It’s from the president of the Credit Union National Association, Dan Mica.
Actually at this time Piedmont Credit Union is financially stronger than it has ever been! This is thanks to the thousands of members who have trusted us and faithfully used our services over the years.
Actually it represents a 30% increase in fuel efficiency. My 1993 Honda motorcycle typically gets about 55 mpg. But over the last few weeks I’ve been purposefully thinking about my driving habits and looking for ways to make them more efficient. Well my efforts have paid off. At my last fill-up the calculator said my mileage was 72.29 miles per gallon! Here’s what I’ve been doing. Much of this can easily be applied to 4 wheeled vehicles.
The biggest improvement to my fuel efficiency was in finding times on my route where I could put it in neutral and coast. Sometimes the distance is so great that I could actually turn off the engine and roll quietly along. On my way home I can coast an entire mile with the engine off, right into my driveway. Many hybrid cars do this automatically.
I’ve been turning the engine off at stoplights & stop signs where I expect more than a 20 second stop.
I’ve not been showing off with my motorcycle, revving the engine or taking off at high speeds. Of course I’ve never done that. (I really did buy the motorcycle for the fuel savings. I don’t put hundreds of dollars worth of shiny chrome on it either and it’s actually much quieter than my lawn mower.)
I’ve been driving at or below the speed limit. I get it’s optimum mileage at around 45 mph, just after shifting into high gear. I’ve not been worrying about my speed, but rather how hard my engine is working and how much gas I’m feeding it with the throttle. This usually causes me to drive below the speed limit.
Watch it on up-hills. If you have ever ridden a bicycle up and down hills you know that you work much harder trying to keep your speed all the way up a hill. The same is true of your car. You’ll use more fuel trying to keep your speed up the hill, so let the car slow down a bit like you would do if riding a bicycle. Watch and listen to how hard your engine is working. Paying attention to even subtle hills on your route can help your fuel economy some. There are lots of hills around here which drain fuel efficiency. Hey, the name of our credit union is “Piedmont”, which means “foot hills”.
Earlier I said that I purchased a vehicle, my motorcycle, to get better fuel economy. But was it really worth it by the time I bought paid the money to buy it? I paid $1,200 for it. By the time I bought a helmet, insurance, registration, and rider safety class I had spent over $1,700. At the time I was driving a 16mpg SUV. Assuming that I could get at least 50mpg out of the bike I calculated that it would pay for itself after about 10,000 miles. Over two years I’ve driven it about 4,000 miles, so it hasn’t paid for itself as quickly as I would have liked. But it sure is fun!
Come to find out there is a name for what I’ve been doing. It’s called hypermiling. Just do a search on the Internet for “hypermilling” and you’ll find loads of information on how to increase your fuel efficiency. Some of it’s not that safe, so pick and choose what ways you can save gas carefully.
In wrapping up I leave you with a home made “Mad Gab” from my college friend Eddie T. … “Dry Foam Say Flea”
Danville’s 2nd Annual Southside Show-Biz Tradeshow was packed with fun and excitement yesterday. Our booth was themed after the movie Casino Royale, the most recent James Bond film. Our guests could view a short slideshow of “007 Reasons to Join PCU”. They also played our roulette wheel to win chocolate casino chips and their choice of PCU prizes. (99% of our guests won! If one person wins everyone wins because that’s just how credit unions work. They benefit everyone who participates.) Those who landed on “00” even got to go on a Top Secret Mission to decipher the hidden clues on our website. Of course we remind you never to play such games with real money. Save your real money at the credit union! Thank you to all our members who stopped by to say hello and win a prize. I hope others who stopped by will also take a moment to see what our credit union has to offer.
Many business whose employees may join our credit union were on display too. I did not get the chance to visit many other booths but here are the ones I recall. If I missed any let me know!
In her blog called Smart Communities, Suzanne Morse wrote about some of the great strides Danville Community College has made over the last few years. Specifically the addition of the Regional Center for Advanced Technology & Training(R-CATT). This facility provides current and future workforce training to our area. Much of this training is on the cutting edge and not only prepares local employees for their current jobs, but prepares students for the jobs of the future, some of which may not exist yet! A few local HR managers whom I have spoken with recently have also been impressed with the training their employees have received through this facility.
In regards to being proactive about the future of our region Morse writes,
“That is where community colleges are so critical–they can literally change the future of our workforce by preparation, but just as important, by working with industry to determine the needs of the future.”
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