Who Makes The First Impression in Your Community?

“Mo!!!” Everyone in the room yelled in unison. Of course, everyone knew instantly who I was talking about, but all I said was, “The security guard out front is great!” Mo is the security guard at the main entrance to Seton Hall University. He is the first person that everyone meets and greets as they […]

Marketing More Won’t Solve Your Engagement Issues

FedEx Print & Office thought I was crazy for ordering 1,000 posters. A friend of mine was in a wedding competition to win a dream wedding. The competition was based on the number of votes each couple received. With less than a week left in the competition, my friend needed help getting more votes. That’s […]

And the Winning 2023 #FreeHugs Postcard Is…

Thank you to everyone who has participated by submitting wonderful designs and voting for our 2023 #FreeHugs postcard! We are so grateful to Kevin Battersby for such creative contributions. He designed six wonderful postcards for us, and through your votes, one was chosen! Kevin works at Lehigh University as the Assistant Director of Housing. 3 […]

Increase Engagement By Changing The Environment

I couldn’t believe I was standing in front of a 50-foot, 250-pound giant red ball. My daily morning routine to get coffee at the local cafe in Chicago before heading to work was drastically interrupted when I crossed paths with a giant red ball squeezed between two buildings. By giant, I mean 50 feet tall […]

Celebrating E-Board Members Increases Engagement And Retention

I never thought putting numbers into an excel doc would win me an award, but that’s what happens when you do the job no one else wants. For the past two years, I sat on the executive board of the NYC National Speakers Association.  By the time I joined the board, the only position left […]

The Key To Successfully Closing Down Your Community

Our regular uplifting monthly meeting had a dark cloud of sadness lingering over it because I felt like I had to say goodbye to eight friends all at once. For the past two years, a community of e-commerce business owners hired us to grow and engage their members. I facilitated several of their monthly meetings, […]

The Best Way To Come Up With New Activities For Your Community

Nothing feels worse than standing in a room filled with party balloons but you are all alone because no one showed up. In college, I was elected student leader for the honors club. I was a club member the prior year and thought that I could offer a lot of value if I stepped into […]

The Three Core Principles of Member Engagement that Apply To Every Community

Even though I can hold my breath for over three minutes, what could I possibly teach the U.S. Military about engaging their Marines? Marines are known for swimming for hours in freezing cold water while holding heavy weights above their head. I’m known for Free Hugs and my love of peanut butter. So when the […]

Why Strong Communities Have Secret Internal Languages

I joined a virtual community that I thought was about being a better parent,  but seeing everyone with bingo numbers in their name almost made me leave, thinking I had entered the wrong zoom room. As a parent, I’m constantly thinking about how to be better because just when I think I’ve mastered the game, […]

Why Random Acts of Kindness are a Sign of a Healthy Community

My foot was seconds from frustratingly hitting the broken parking machine when I heard a voice behind me, “Is it broken? That happens all the time.”  The story of the broken parking machine took place during a business trip I recently had to Salt Lake City, Utah. I was there to speak to a group […]