About Danielle Hatfield

Danielle Hatfield is Chief Dirt Digger at Experience Farm, Managing Partner of Linking Greensboro, That chick who is responsible for hatching @gsotweetup, Admin for Social Media Club Piedmont and a Senior Editor for Mobile Local Social StudioB.

When she is not tweeting about coffee drinking and bacon consumption, her passion is Web Development, Brand Strategy, Email Marketing, Graphic Design, Social Media, Recycled Furniture Design, Vintage Style, Travel, Art, Social Networking Events, . . . oh, and she has ideas - big ones.

Recipe : East Coast Wings Down and Dirty Martini

Danielle Hatfield's East Coast Wings Down and Dirty martiniMost of you who know me – know that a dirty martini is my favorite mixed drink. It reminds me of a by gone era when women rarely left the house without hats and gloves and men wore suits with suspenders and always had handkerchiefs in their pockets.

Occasionally I like to spice things up a bit and try new ingredients in my martini. I don’t deviate much from the simple olive brine & vodka/gin. . . but I love finding spices and sauces that add that extra kick in the pants we all need once in a while.

This recipe is infused with flavor and is a perfect cocktail for those who aren’t afraid of a little heat.

What you will need:

East Coast Wings & Grill EXTRA HOT Wing Sauce (visit one of their locations or contact them to find out how you can get your own!) Full disclosure that my company Experience Farm DID design their website – but this is not a solicited post nor was I compensated in any way except for the free bottle of hot sauce!

Chilled Vodka or Gin (I prefer vodka)

Stirrings All Natural Dirty Martini Spanish Olive Brine

Olives (I used Manzanilla whole olives for this recipe – but I often use Spanish Queen olives stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese)

Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Seasoning (Original Mixed-Up Salt)

Cocktail Shaker

Measuring Jigger

Ice

Martini Glass

 

Directions :

In cocktail shaker – add ice, Two 1.5 oz jiggers of chilled vodka or gin, East Coast Wings Hot sauce to taste (usually 3 bottle shakes for me) and 1 oz of olive brine. Shake until it is painfully cold to hold

In chilled martini glass rim glass with a shake of East Coast Wings Hot Sauce and add 3 olives

Pour over chilled contents of shaker and add a dash or two of Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Seasoning

Serve and enjoy!

 

Serves : 1

You can increase this recipe to make for more that one martini but it is always suggested that you make this to order.

What drink recipes have you been inspired to make thanks to some of your favorite ingredients?

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This posted originally written for daniellehatfield.com

Why Whole Foods Market is one of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’

In the May 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine, Whole Foods Market was ranked 24 on the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. (which they made again this year!)

It’s not surprising to learn that for 15 years in a row Whole Foods has remained one of the top companies to work for. Considering that the Triad is now host to two locations (Winston Salem & Greensboro) I wanted to share a few reasons that Whole Foods Market, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, is one of only 13 companies that have made the list every year since its inception in 1998.

With (at the time of the article) 51,800 employees, Whole Foods Market has proven that it has an committed investment mentality for every community it opens a store in. It’s no secret that they love to support locally grown products.

One thing that really stands out to me is the fact that they have one of the most equitable pay structures I have seen. Considering that the gap between CEO and worker pay has soared in recent decades it was refreshing to learn that Whole Foods Market is proud that they cap salaries of executives at 19 times the average full-time salary and hold no secrets from any employees when it comes to take home pay. For the record, Co-founder John Mackey‘s 2006 pay reduction to $1 a year hasn’t changed.

In case you were wondering, currently a U.S. CEO’s pay is 231 times higher than that of an average worker. That figure puts it into perspective that Whole Foods is true to their motto of Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet. If the capped salaries aren’t impressive enough, once every 3 years the entire workforce gets to vote on benefits packages.

Are you as blown away as I am so far? Wait, it gets better!

Employees, or ‘Team Members” as they are referred to, are rewarded for their healthy lifestyle with discounts of up to 30% off if they meet certain requirements. All employees receive a 20% discount, a six week unpaid vacation for every 6000 hours worked and those same Team Members also have access to 100% paid health care premiums. Yup. You heard me.

The fact that the company actually encourages it’s employees to submit ideas and then take and implement them to further company wide success is a testament as to why they have consistently made Fortune’s list.

For more information on Whole Foods Market be sure to take some time and get to know them online.

I know that I am more impressed than ever with what I have learned about Whole Foods as a culture and a company and am happy they are here in the Triad. I never knew any of this information regarding how they operate until reading that Fortune article and visiting them online.

I am more determined now that ever to support them in our community.

Does your family shop at Whole Foods? What is your most memorable experience?

Do you work at Whole Foods? What benefits did I miss that makes you a proud Team Member?

 

 

High Point Furniture Market : Fine Artist Carolyn McDonald

Artist Carolyn McDonaldAuthor and Fine Artist Carolyn McDonald was a pleasant discovery at High Point Furniture Market thanks in large part to Time Frame who showcased her work.

Carolyn’s bold colors and ‘one a day’ style was a refreshing break from the trite.

You can feel her sense of joy and unique commitment to color in what many would consider mundane subject matter. It was her visible joy in the everyday that drew me in and piqued my interest.

“My inspiration comes from my surroundings and relationships.  I hope to be a student the rest of my life.  I learn from painters such as Degas, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Sargent, Hopper, and Thiebaud.  Also, I gain perspective and skill from more modern day masters such as Dawn Whitlaw, Michael Shane Neal, Paula Frizbe, Timothy Thies, and Carol Marine.”

High Point Furniture Market : Fanshawe Blaine and Interiors from the Road Less Travelled

FanshaweBlaine Map Desk at High Point Furniture Market

For years I have collected maps to hang on my walls, fill my shelves and tuck in my weekend travel bags. My adventurous spirit has lead me on many journeys and I freely admit that I am drawn like a moth to a flame to the travelers design style, especially when I see vintage maps that speak to me in soft nautical colors.

While exploring the Antique and Design Center at Spring High Point Market, I was brought to a full stop by the eclectic antique collection of Amanda and Victoria of Fanshawe Blaine.

See for yourself why I was smitten by their incredible eye for the global travelers style. From FURNITURE, TRUNKS BOXES & TRUGS and ARCHITECTURAL & GARDEN elements to CURIOUS DISCOVERIES – I am in heaven!

 

Wayfair : Bringing Nobility Back to “Homemaker”

Kristine Kennedy is on a mission. Since becoming the Editorial Director of  Wayfair.com, the largest online-only retailer of home furnishings, she has made it her mission to bring the pride and passion back to the label of “homemaker”. . .  one blog post at a time.

With a dynamic approach to building the Wayfair brand and a fresh digital presence, Kristine has made social media content her main focus by creating a growing community of loyal brand advocates and “She is committed to offering inspiration, ideas, advice and conversation to everyday people.”

The Wayfair brand is offering customers, who are passionate homemakers, inspiration and value as well as information. Committing to an active online presence on social sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter as well as having a stable of industry influencers like Kate Smith, president and chief color maven at Sensational Color, Matthew Mead, former style editor of Country Home magazine and Erika Johnson, the voice behind Radiant Republic blog (just to name a few) Wayfair shares with readers a colorful and active community of inspiration with ‘My Way Home’.

Kristine shared quite simply that Wayfair is committed to bringing nobility back to the moniker ‘homemaker’.  “We want it to be a description about those who are passionate about their home, and we all are passionate about our home.”

Note: Special thanks to High Point University for hosting the 2012 Knabusch Shoemaker Seminar where Kristine Kennedy was the keynote speaker.

Do you blog about your ‘homemaking’ adventures? If so, what makes your house a home?

Is an active online presence key to making you more loyal to a brand like Wayfair?

Were do you look for home inspiration online?

 

In it to Win it! – Tracy Myers Signed To Write Book With Sales Training Legend Tom Hopkins

Tracy Myers and Sales Training Legend Tom Hopkins photo by Tracy Myers

Great news in the Triad as local leader, well known author and  owner of Frank Myers Auto Maxx, Tracy Myers, announces a collaborative book with international sales training legend Tom Hopkins.

From Tracy’s site :

“The book, titled “In It To Win It”, will be a collaborative effort of Tracy Myers, Tom Hopkins and other Entrepreneurs and Professionals all around the world revealing their top secrets on an array of subjects ranging from health, wealth, marketing and business success. The book is due to be released in 2012.”

Read the full story  >>

What are YOUR top secrets to be “In It to Win It”?

Learn more about Tracy and order your own copy of his other best selling books!

Favorite Places to Purchase Fresh Food in the Triad

We asked on our  facebook page  what your favorite places were to shop for fresh fruits and veggies in the Triad. LeighAnne Hunt  of You Time Solutions was first to respond and shared that her favorite place for fresh fruits/veggies was United Health Group‘s food service program trough Aramark. “I get great fruit and veggie trays already prepped from United Healthcare’s food service!” says Hunt. “. . . it is actually easier and cheaper than me buying veggies and fruit and cutting it up myself!”

Penney Duddy, FSD at United Health Care of Greensboro, shares “Yes we do buy from local people who have passed Aramark’s strict sanitation standards. We have a program for approved vendors who if they want to sell to us they have to pass certain quality and health inspections. They also have to have a letter of liability warranty. In the spring we will be having a local Farmer’s Market on site so we will be using a lot of local produce.”

Discover your local farmers at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Facebook!

 

In addition to the many farm to table restaurants, and grocery store co-ops there are also the many Farmers Markets throughout the Triad as well as farms that you can support directly.

Here are only a few :

The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is owned by the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA and operated by the NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER SERVICES.

The Greensboro Downtown FARM MARKET – Greene Street’s ‘Green Grocery’ & CSA pickup in Greensboro is a  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) market.

The City of Greensboro recently awarded the ongoing management of the  Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market to the Greensboro Farmers Market Inc.

 

Krankies Farmers Market prides itself as an all-local, producers-only market that offers a variety of fresh produce and foods to downtown Winston-Salem. Healthy, sustainable, and humane practices help them choose their vendors.

Visit The Evening Farmers Market on Facebook

Statesville Evening Farmers Market, a non-profit group of area farmers, bakers, and crafters,  offer the convenience of early evening shopping at Pecan Park in historic downtown Statesville. They also have a growing list of recipes to help you enjoy your fresh finds!

 

Reynolda Farm Market is a local market located in Winston Salem that is known for selling fresh produce, meats, dairy products, and breads. Some of the local farm favorites they carry are Goat Lady Dairy cheeses, Homeland Creamery dairy and ice cream, Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses, Old Mill of Guilford products, Miss Jenny’s Pickles, and Krankies Coffee just to name a few!


Where are your favorite places to buy local produce? Share them with us by leaving a comment or join our discussion on Facebook!

What local farmers do you support and how do you help spread the word about their products?

Do you have recipes you would like to share with Linking Triad made with local farm products? Contact us and we would love to feature your recipe!


 

The Write Motivation

Have you always wanted to write? Need some motivation to finish that novel? Start that blog or understand more about contracts and ideas that sell?

Join instructors Christopher Laney and Dena Harris and get the Write Motivation!

This 6 week inspirational instruction course at Greensboro School of Creativity’s Library takes place on Tuesdays, March 6 – April 10, 2012 from
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Space is limited to only 12 seats – so contact them today to register!

North Carolina Independents : Unaffiliated Voters and the Challenge of Changing the Status Quo

Last week, Frank Stasio of WUNC’s The State of Things was in Downtown Greensboro at the Triad Stage Upstage Cabaret to discuss Independent voters in North Carolina. His guests were Omar Ali, associate professor of African-American Studies and History at UNC-Greensboro; Donna Moser, co-founder of North Carolina Independents; ncindependents.org  and Brittany Rodman, a registered independent voter.

ncindependents.orgThe introduction from the ncindependents.org website explains that North Carolina Independents is a non-partisan association of unaffiliated voters who are challenging party-control of the political process. We’re helping to launch a national campaign to have Congress hold hearings on the second-class status of independent (i.e. unaffiliated) voters. While 40% of Americans self-identify as independent the entire political infrastructure has been built around the interests of the parties. Where is our voice in the mix? Where is our representation? Some 1.5 million North Carolinian’s are registered as “unaffiliated.” Are you one of them?”

 

From a recent USA Today article it was interesting to learn that “More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections, while the number of independent voters continues to grow.” But the big question is why?

What I have learned during my research to answer that question is that a growing number of Americans are fed up with the playground politics of our two party system. My husband and I had a lengthy discussion and agreed that politics in the United States has become more focused on who has control (Republicans/Democrats and corporations that feed them both) vs. who is doing what is necessary to effectively run our country and listen to and do what is right for the voters they represent.

As it stands now – an Independent Candidate would have to gather 85,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot, where as a Republican or Democratic hopeful needs 0. Yup, that’s right. ZERO. I was shocked to learn that an Independent candidate would have to collect a signature from 1 out of every 73 registered voters in NC.

FREEtheVOTENC explains that The Electoral Freedom Act hopes to restore the rights of voters because “Our state’s ballot access laws are intended to hinder competition and artificially assist the two major parties by placing unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on any competition through restrictive signature requirements unparalleled in most other states.

L-R Omar Ali, Brittany Rodman, Frank Stasio and Donna Moser (photo courtesy of ncindependents.org)

As Omar Ali rightly stated during his interview “Most Americans don’t want parties but policies that work.” That sentiment was echoed in fellow guest and registered Independent voter Brittany Rodman, when asked how she came to consider herself an Independent.

Brittany’s decision “took years to come to.” She went on to share that “by default I was born a Democrat by being a black woman from a working class family. I began to see this disconnect with all races and economic classes across America. . . . People are not satisfied with congress and we don’t see how we fit in or how our needs are met as a community.

Brittany is not alone. With congress’ approval rating at an all time low, voters across America are not falling for the sensationalized mud slinging that an election year brings but instead are looking more closely for leaders who are less concerned about what party they are in and more concerned about meeting the needs of families hit hard by the greed and far reaching corruption of Wall Street.

When asked why not pick one of the two existing political parties and fight for reform, Brittany’s answer best reflected a growing sentiment amongst voters of all ages . . .  “I’ve never been a fan of picking the lesser of two evils.”

Learn more about what it means to be an unaffiliated independent voter.

Find out who represents you in Raleigh and get involved on a local level.

Interested in who is lining your representatives pockets? Take some time to review the 112th Congress detailed money profiles, you might be surprised to see who the top national donors are that are funding our government representatives.

How do you see our current political system changing for the better?

What are your thoughts on Corporate Personhood and the impact it has had on our political system?

Are partisan politics dividing America?

Top 5 Piedmont Triad Resources for Small Business Owners

When it comes to owning your own business, finding resources that actually help you succeed without requiring a huge investment of time or money are rare.

This list is meant to inspire business owners to think outside of the box when it comes to what may not be traditional resources to most.

Help to a small business owner comes in many forms.

1) Ed Mckay’s Book Store – Learning about your industry and where you can grow your business is crucial to making the changes you need to survive. Ed McKay’s is one of my favorite places to invest in books for my business library. I can stay in my budget and come out with an amazing selection of books that keep me up to date, inspired and focused on success.

2) Habitat Restore - Whether you are building your home office or furnishing one off site, Piedmont Triad area Habitat Restore Store outlets are a great place to shop for chairs, desks and any thing else you may need to make your space work ready. Not only do you save money – you also support a great cause!

3) Public Library - The public library is an amazing community resource. You can take computer classes, access their premium business databases, receive planning consultations as well as receive direction in career development. It is as simple as contacting your local business librarian.

4) Board of Advisers – Having a trusted Board of Advisers that you can turn to as you make decisions for your small business will help you grow and learn faster that going it alone. It’s recommended to include people that are outside your area of expertise so that you can learn from their unique perspective and see the bigger picture of where your business can grow. Inc.com has an amazing article on How to Assemble a Board of Advisers.

5) Attend Local Social Events - Professional Networking and Educational Groups that offer FREE memberships such as Linking Greensboro and Linking Winston Salem are great examples. They offer social events that share the best and brightest from in and around the Triad on a regular basis. Not only to you get to network with other area professionals and small business owners – for the price of lunch, you get to learn from Triad’s brightest leaders who speak on a wide range of topics. They also offer networking online via Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin Groups – so even if you can’t make their events, you can still connect and benefit both personally and professionally!

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As a small business owner, what have been your top 5 resources to grow your company?

What resources have you discovered that are free or have little to no cost to you and your company?

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