Still Standing Strong at the Jersey Shore


sea-bright-exit_mediumSo a year has gone by.  In some aspects it feels like a lifetime ago when our world at the Jersey Shore was changed forever.

We have grown stronger, smarter as individuals and communities.  We were brought together by a storm.  We were strangers; relying on each other to make it through the next day.  Each day the reality of what just happened started to sink in.

So here we are, 365 days later, and with a simple drive around our area in Monmouth County you will see that our communities are still in states of disrepair.  Our neighbors are still in need of help to make their lives whole again.  If you follow Facebook, the Jersey Shore Hurricane News is constantly reminding people across the Facebook world that the Jersey Shore still needs help.   We still need volunteers, goods and services, as well as, financial aid.

The people from New Jersey are special.  We are resilient, we are strong.  Our determination, our visions for a better tomorrow are burning bright in our souls.  Come and visit us and see how far we have come and how you can help make us better.

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Tips for traveling with your pets!


ImageWhen traveling often times it can be hard to leave your beloved pet behind. But often times the thought of taking a pet with you on a trip can become very overwhelming. In order to make it less overwhelming it is important to be prepared. Here are some quick tips to make traveling with your pet easy and enjoyable.

1: Book your hotel rooms before you get on the road. When you call us, tell us how big your pet is a how much they weigh. Some hotels have limits on pets and size so you don’t want to be surprised when you show up. Don’t forget most times there is a pet fee associated with the stay and sometimes can depend on those factors.

2: When you are at the hotel be courteous of other guests. When you arrive at the hotel make sure to ask where the dog walking areas are and take them there before visiting your room. Make sure they are a little extra tired so they don’t get restless in the room and start barking.

3: Everyone has different rules in their home, and while it may be ok for your dog to be on furniture on home make sure to bring some extra sheets. We don’t want to charge you for the accidents of a pet, so better to be prepared in advance.

4: It maybe that you don’t have cleaning product with you when you arrive but always ask the front desk right away if your dog has an accident. That way there is no build up of smell in the room.  Often times a dog especially may just be marking their new territory so it is not their fault but again it’s easier to take care of it right away.

5: Make sure you bring anything your pet might need such as potty bags or scratching posts. Don’t forget to clean up after your pet when you walk outside so as to be courteous to other pet owners.

6: As a hotel we would rather you use a towel to clean off your pet after a trip outside then just letting them shake and dry themselves off after a rainy day outside. It’s easier to wash a towel then clean a whole room and again we wouldn’t want to charge you for your pets accidents.

7: If you need to leave your room make sure to secure your pet and use the do not disturb sign provided. It is also a good idea to provide a cell phone number to the front desk in case of emergencies while you are gone. It is important that you do not leave your dog alone all day in your room. We understand you may need to run out but just like you wouldn’t leave them home alone all day please don’t at a hotel either.

8: Most hotels will not clean your room if a pet is alone in the room. And if you are staying for a prolonged time make sure to arrange a cleaning time of your room while you take the dog out.

9: If you are traveling with an out of the ordinary pet make sure to give the staff an extra heads-up. Surprises may make it harder for the staff to deal with later and make your stay harder.

10: And last but not least have fun. 

EMACC Super 50/50


The EMACC Educational Foundation was established to assist students (both full and part time) who have worked very hard to enrich their future through higher education. The foundation grants scholarships each year. In 2011, the Educational Foundation granted an incredible 11 scholarships totaling $17,500.00 – it was through your contributions and the diligence of the Foundation Committee that this was even possible!

EMACC is holding a SUPER 50/50 where the proceeds will benefit this wonderful foundation. You can buy a book of 5 tickets for $100.00 or you can purchase single tickets for $20.00 each. This is a definite win-win situation! You might be the winner of a couple thousand dollars AND your act of kindness by purchasing a ticket will help a determined student in need.

You can find more information about EMACC and the Foundation by visiting www.emacc.org. The drawing will be held at 7pm on January 18, 2012 during the EMACC Annual Meeting being held at the Shadowbrook (1 Obre Place, Shrewsbury). Good Luck!

Jersey Shore CVB Hosts First Annual Tourism Expo


Jersey Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau and Hotels Unlimited will host a  Tourism Expo on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at Ramada Toms River from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.  Free Admission, prizes and food. Come see all the Jersey Shore has to offer with a live WPLJ Broadcast, local vendors, a preview of 2011′s spring and summer events and networking.

The CVB will also be unveiling the new Jersey Shore icon and hosting a press conference to announce the summer long contest that will accompany the use of the icon. It will be a very fun event and I will be representing Comfort Inn  Middletown-Red Bank joining our partners in tourism.

Directions to Ramada Toms River can be found here. There are some exhibition spaces still available, if you are interested contact Dana Lancellotti at 732-905-2626.

“Now That’s New Jersey”: Our New State Tourism Slogan


What do you think about that?  I’m not sure how I feel about “Now That’s New Jersey” being the new state slogan to promote tourism.  I feel like it can be made negative way too easily and New Jersey gets enough undeserved criticism.  Tourism is a critical component of the state’s annual revenue generators and employment sector. Tourism affects everyone, like it or not.

Want to learn more about what the leaders of New Jersey have planned for 2011 and beyond?  New Jersey’s newly appointed Director of Tourism, Grace Hanlon, will be on hand Friday April 15, 2011 to speak at the Monmouth Ocean Development Council’s April General Membership Luncheon.  She will share the results of the industry’s survey on the trends and impact of the tourism market in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and detail the state’s plan for a new marketing campaign for 2011.

Tourism is a driving force in New Jersey’s economy that directly, or indirectly, affects nearly all businesses. If you were unable to attend the Governor’s Conference on Tourism a few weeks ago in Atlantic City, this luncheon is an excellent opportunity to find out what you missed. There is a Q&A session planned and Grace brings a lot of energy and promise to this new position for her.

The luncheon will take place at The Breakers in Spring Lake from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Co-sponsored by the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Long Beach Island Destination marketing Organization and presented by MODC’s Culture and Tourism Committee of which I am a member.  The cost of the luncheon is $39.00 for members and $54.00 for non-members.  For more information on this event and to register, click here.

A Post About My Love For Twitter That Was Supposed To Be About This Blog


I took a huge leap of faith in July 2009 to move to Middletown, NJ leaving all of my friends behind. I went from a strong social network to having to meet people at work and knowing two people outside of it. Man, is it intimidating not knowing anybody everywhere you go.  I never stayed home on a Friday or Saturday night before I moved, and now that’s a pretty typical weekend. Not knowing anyone left me with no choice but to get over it; to get to know people in new and different ways. I used to be pretty shy which is easy to get away with when I was constantly insulated by a comfort zone of people.

The inspiration for blogging and creating a Twitter account for the hotel came from a joint seminar hosted by MODC and JSPRAA last November where Deborah L. Smith gave a presentation on Social Media and it was enough to rocket me into action. She used examples of @eatontownbb and @funkychunks and all of the great things they were accomplishing on Twitter by engaging with people. I left that event and the hotel had a Twitter account by that afternoon that I wasn’t afraid to use. It hasn’t been any more of a drain on my time or efforts than any other arm of marketing would be. There was no reason to be timid.

I have met and connected with so many great people through Twitter. I can’t say enough good things about it, which is why I wanted to write this post to express some gratitude. Every time I’ve actually met one of them  in person, it was like catching up with an old friend. If you don’t know them already, consider this your official introduction. This is the “LongTweets” version of #FF. They are fine folks that I am quite proud to know:

@RedBankLimo Bill’s face was always popping up in my (at the time very small) Twitter stream. He was always out there with a fun message. At the hotel we were getting frequent requests for airport transportation and because I was seeing his face, he was top of mind.  I sent him a direct message and we sat down together a few days later. Now we talk at least once a week to use each other as a sounding board, share a geeky idea or brainstorm on how to help organizations we’re passionate about. Bill has really been a great mentor to me and has steered me on who’s who in the zoo so to speak

@KeyportIHOP Cliff and I  connected through the simple need of a place to send our guests on their way out-of-town or in a snow storm when there was nowhere to eat. We met through Twitter many months before real life, and much like Bill we talk marketing and social strategies and how to help each other.  We have a wonderful reciprocal relationship.

@Locallylove, She so gets it. She is relevant, shares great content and doesn’t overshare. Plus she’s just a plain nice person to talk with and share a laugh, lots of them (remember the hot pink mustache for your car???) or hardship. If you’re new to Twitter & want to learn, Allyson is your prime example.

@JerseyShoreTog fills my feed with pretty pictures and kind words. Never shy though about busting my chops, Scott keeps me on my toes. When I’m awake at 3:00am for an eclipse or 5:30 am because I can’t sleep from all the snoring, he keeps me company and makes me laugh.

@JMediaMaven Joanna is another one of my early follows. She’s always having fun whether it’s tweeting song lyrics, funny quotes or her foursquare check-ins. Networking events are always that much more fun she’s there and I can live vicariously through her fun other times.

@Sweetsoaps Ellen is another person that totally gets Twitter and you can just tell that she’s totally enjoying doing what she’s doing. She’s very amusing and uses her sense of humor to market her soap business. She has downright cracked me up on many occasions.

@Passionworks Besides running an organization that aids the homeless, Chuck is just a great person. He’s very funny, has excellent timing and came to my rescue one evening after a WordPress induced meltdown. His use of social media has raised a ton of awareness for homeless issues. (Consider visiting Passionworks website and donating a $1 to their “Buck-It” program.)

@ShoreFlicks TJ is one of my very early follows and he has such an easy going and witty personality. His parents even stayed with us last year when the power was out in Middletown. When he travels to RaChaCha I have a virtual garbage plate from Nick Tahou’s every time. TJ was one of the first tweeps I met in person, having my picture as the avatar helped in that.  We were both at a networking event sometime in the early spring and spent some time hanging with the very funny @CraigMahoney.

@InklingMedia All it took was a RT and an hour later I was on the phone with the socially savvy Ken aka @kmueller62. We raved about social media; how it works for business (I totally owe him a blog post!). He has been great to connect with and I use him as a resource for many of my social media questions. Most of them revolve around my paranoia and he has given me my own Facebook Group “Paranoid Chicks from New Jersey”.  As difficult as he makes it, I have been trying to ignore the fact that he is an avid Phillies fan. He’s lucky his other qualities balance that out.

@lgesin Laura always has great info, comes up with cool graphics and always seems to be on some sort of adventure or fun project. I find myself very often agreeing with her random thoughts.

@cortland I enjoy talking with Cort every time I see him. Whether it’s about social media, marketing, Dead shows or blueberry vodka it’s always a good time.

@robotictom it sounds funny to say I bonded with someone over the weather but I’m pretty sure that’s how Tom and I started talking. Hurrilame Earl, the hurricane that never was. Tom has a great retail blog No Turn On Red and tweets cool info on the local area with a focus on Red Bank.  We share a lot of the same interests and live in the same town so the conversation flows pretty easily

Speaking of bonding through the weather @nynjpaweather has turned into a great tweep especially if you’re totally into the weather like me. He sends me advance warning when it is not advisable to be wearing a dress made of light material after I tweeted about a Long Branch wind induced mishap.

@ShoreThingDuo Chris tweets out links to the Ustream feed when his band (duo) plays at Basil T’s and I can listen in my kitchen That’s so cool. Plus, he’s fun to talk to, has funny stories (the ones he remembers anyway) and everything in his house snores too so he’s awake at those weird hours to have a conversation about earplugs.

This is just sampling of the great folks I’ve met through social media the last year. The lead referral source for traffic on my blog is in fact Twitter. Thank you all for your support, retweets and great conversations. I couldn’t get everyone in here for many time and space reasons but I really enjoy interacting with you all. Thank you for making New Jersey feel like home. Have a very safe and Happy Holiday.

***added 7.8.11 Just one more before I go… @realestatechick is hilarious – her tweets always make me laugh. She had me early with a tweet about “Buffalo Bump-Its”! Who knew there were buffalo in New Jersey.  As I say my goodbyes to my time at the Comfort Inn Middletown, this post is just as meaningful to me today as it was 7 months ago when I wrote it. Thank you again everyone.