The Follow-Up: Tips for Not Losing Conference Momentum

By: Angela Caban, MHRM

There is nothing quite like the opportunity to get away from the everyday routine of your office and attend a conference to build up your career. The learning, networking, and professional lunches may have you feeling amped up, energized, and ready to share with the world everything you have learned.

However, conferences can also have a crazy period of nonstop meet and greets, to the point where your head is spinning from all the overwhelming connections being made. Plus, you are probably thinking about getting settled back into your office, tackling the emails waiting for you, and attending the meetings that will follow. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose the momentum built within a few hours of returning home.

How will you remember everything you learned, and, most importantly, how will you preserve the post-conference glow and maintain your revived energy?

Before heading home, there are a few must-do items that will help keep the momentum going and get you organized before you dive back into the mayhem of the office.

  1. Brain dump.

Have you ever arrived home to read over your notes and not understood one word you wrote? Somewhere between the overload of conference information and the hastiness with which you wrote down the ideas you wanted to remember, you may realize that this would be the perfect time to know shorthand. Two things to do before heading home, when everything is still fresh in your brain, are to review and to rewrite important notes. I typically carry two notepads with me—one for housing the scribbly day of notes and the other for rewriting any important ideas I want to remember and share with others. Here’s another tip: Search the conference hashtag online. Oftentimes, on the day I travel, I will dive down the hashtag rabbit hole and jot down anything I may have missed from other attendees and sometimes even the speakers.


2018-10-25T13:48:16+00:00October 25th, 2018|

Client Profile: MILLIE

“The Powerhouse team has been essential in helping us scale our venture in a way that has the potential to help so many more military families than we’d ever dreamed. Jessica’s rock-star team of military spouse talent was a key element in our choosing to partner with them. Organized, professional, precise, and punctual are just a few of the ways I would describe Powerhouse and their work, and I would recommend them 1,000 times over for anyone looking for a strategic content or marketing assist.” – Kellie Artis, COO of MILLIE


2018-10-26T14:59:18+00:00October 25th, 2018|

MILLIE Launches New Tools to Improve PCS Experience for Military Families

Powerhouse Service Provided:  External Communications

Moving is a part of military life that will always be a constant. Whether you’re on the go every two to three years, or you get to homestead at a duty station a little longer, at some point there will be orders in hand. And even though this component of the lifestyle has been around forever, families have been facing increasing hardships in recent years. That’s where MILLIE comes in.

MILLIE was created to ease relocation burdens by helping service members and their loved ones feel at home before they even get there. Through a mix of current intel about a duty station and boots-on-the-ground professionals, the company creates peace of mind for every stage of a PCS. Scouts, for example, are scattered around the U.S. and serve as eyes and ears for all of the questions a military family may have. Gone are the days where a military spouse in California has to choose a house sight unseen in North Carolina. Instead, MILLIE’s Scouts will gather information, complete tasks, take photos, and help clients make informed decisions.

Powerhouse Planning recently worked with MILLIE to help launch a new project called Agent Intel, which connects real estate agents to an exclusive subscription-based portal with tools to communicate effectively with military consumers. The goal is to streamline the PCS move for families who have anything but time to waste while also educating real estate professionals on matters important to a military client—like navigating the VA Home Loan process.

Kellie Artis, COO of MILLIE, says her team’s overall focus is to help military families feel more in control of what can be an overwhelming process by giving them tools they can trust. And that trust stems from the fact that each resource is created by someone who is familiar with the military because MILLIE is built on a philosophy of “keeping it in the family.” Artis works directly with veterans and military spouses to craft each of MILLIE’s offerings.


2018-10-26T15:00:43+00:00October 25th, 2018|

Conference Connection Tools

There are so many moving parts when planning a professional conference, and keeping it all organized can be the difference between a success and a dud. As technology continues to advance the more traditional ways of event planning, software tools are simplifying the process of spreading the word about events, both big and small. Below are just a few of our favorite resources that transform the conference experience for both the planner and the attendee.

Whova – This award-winning event planning app allows organizers to connect attendees all in one place. It is the ultimate networking tool for before, during, and after an event, and conference planners can use it to distribute agenda updates, session information, and any last-minute details. Whether you anticipate a few dozen or hundreds of registrants, this management software brings you the latest technology in an easy-to-navigate way.

Eventbrite – The world’s largest event technology platform allows users to create an event-listing page that reflects the appropriate theme and vision. Plus, the use of the page is free if the tickets are free, and then pricing increases depending on what you are charging. Some of the features include a built-in payment processing, sales tracking, automated communication tools to update attendees, and support. And if you make your event public, more eyes are likely to land on it because visitors to the site can search by interests and location.

Social Wall – If you want to create buzz and excitement about your event, you need to let your attendees spread your message. A Social Wall (or Twitter Wall if you prefer to focus on one platform) encourages attendees to be social while sitting in your sessions. It is a display screen that gathers all social posts in one spot so that onlookers can watch the conversations live. Plus, after the event you can pull all of that goodness together for post-conference promotion. Taggbox is a social media aggregator that offers plans starting for free as well as options based on the size of your business.

2018-10-25T13:52:13+00:00October 25th, 2018|


By: Rheanna Bernard

When you think of the YMCA, you likely picture the 1970s hit song with its infamous dance move that is still popular at weddings. But the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is actually a long-standing organization with an incredibly rich history that is surprisingly intertwined with our nation’s military. In fact, that relationship dates back as far as 1861 and has continued to present day.

Soon after the ASYMCA made its initial appearance in the U.S. during the Civil War, the organization inspired volunteers to focus on helping those fighting. During WWII, the YMCA joined with other organizations to create the USO, and when the USO deactivated for a brief period in 1947, the YMCA filled the gap. Later that year, ASYMCA was officially created, with 26 branches and overseas locations.

And its team knows what it’s doing when it comes to serving our military community. The nonprofit organization’s work has continued with a focus on programming for active duty junior enlisted military members and their families. More recently, ASYMCA held the “Angels of the Battlefield” Gala, honoring medical professionals from each branch for actions in and out of the line of duty. The ASYMCA focuses on three primary ways of positively affecting the lives of military families: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.


2018-10-25T13:53:00+00:00October 25th, 2018|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Julia Clark is the daughter of an Army veteran, the wife of a fireman, the mother of three, and a self-employed freelancer since 2008. She’s located on Florida’s sunny space coast, where it’s quite literally summer year-round. Freelancing has allowed her the work-life balance and flexibility she so enjoys, and she’s excited to join Powerhouse Planning’s freelance team.

Julia prides herself on being a versatile member of any client’s team and has years of experience as a social media manager, blogger, influencer, content curator, marketer, graphic designer, and virtual assistant. She has knack for networking and developing creative marketing strategies, and she truly feels she’s a valuable asset on any team, regardless of their niche.

2018-10-02T23:35:43+00:00October 2nd, 2018|

New Powerhouse Team Member

Ariana Detrez is a freelance graphic designer with a background in art education. She received her bachelor’s in art education from the University of Central Florida. She taught high school art 2-D and digital photography for a year until she realized she wanted to get back to her creative roots. She has always been drawn to the arts, and graphic design allows her to tap into her creativity while helping businesses. Ariana is constantly branching out in her design work, testing out trends, and exploring her skills. When Ariana is not expressing her artistic perspective through design, she is exploring other creative fields such as photography, drawing, and paper-crafting.

Ariana is new to military life and being a military spouse; however, she is enjoying the refreshing change. It has been quite an adjustment, but a positive one nonetheless. Learning about the Air Force and the military, along with participating in the community, has really helped her grow and connect with others.

2018-09-26T14:56:59+00:00September 26th, 2018|

Guardsman Uses Minimalist Style to Accessorize Military Uniforms

By: Bianca Strzalkowski

Amy Slinker understands the sacrifices attached to military service, but her entrepreneurial spirit didn’t think fashion sense had to be one of them.

The longtime serving citizen-soldier launched an entrepreneurial venture in 2014 to give her fellow service members accessories with military regulations in mind. WILCO LIFE’s namesake combines the military jargon of “will comply” with inspiration from the unique military lifestyle. Now Slinker is setting her sights on growing her brand to include a larger national customer base.

Her military connection

Slinker, originally from the Midwest, moved to Alaska in 2005 when her husband Dustin received orders there with the Army. Today, Slinker is attached to the Alaska National Guard, but has traveled much of the world in her two-decades-long career.

“I spent most of my Guard career in public affairs and have had the opportunity to travel to South Korea, Romania, Mongolia, and Australia for missions with the Guard. I also responded to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster,” she shared.

Like many military spouses, Slinker faced the daunting task of finding employment when the couple first relocated to Alaska. She started temp work that eventually led her to a present-day job with Pfeffer Development, a multidisciplinary commercial real estate development firm.

“My career before moving to Alaska was in photojournalism. When we PCSed to Alaska, I struggled to find a job. I understand firsthand how difficult it can be as a military spouse to maintain a career while following a military service member’s career,” she said. “I realized I needed to look for other opportunities outside of photojournalism. I started temping at Anchorage business offices to network and broaden my search for job opportunities where I could apply my marketing and public relations skills. That’s how I started at Pfeffer Development—I was a temp for the receptionist and eventually was hired as the Director of Marketing.”


2018-08-06T16:22:40+00:00August 6th, 2018|


Happiness at work translates to productive employees. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Wrong. Satisfaction in the workplace doesn’t always happen organically; instead, it is the job of business owners and managers to find the right tools to motivate the team. And what that looks like varies company to company.

In fact, over 250,000 people stated happiness leads to many outcomes, like improved working relationships and higher output. One way to inject these results into your workforce is through strategic planning of your company’s culture, and the Powerhouse team can help with that. Among our services is company development—including team building and talent management. We work hand in hand with the decision makers on how to create professional development plans to set up your employees for success before they are even hired. Learn more here: Powerhouse Planning.

2018-08-08T01:58:56+00:00August 6th, 2018|

How to Use Team-Building Activities to Engage Your Team

By: Angela Caban, MHRM

A recent report reveals business owners are losing trillions of dollars due to lost productivity among team members.

Eighty-five percent of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work, according to the Gallup study. Some team members may say they are just punching a time clock and have no need for work engagement, but research shows that employees who are engaged are more productive.

Team building may be the answer to this current issue facing companies. These types of activities are a great way to develop workplace camaraderie so that employees have a better understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. It is also a surefire method to improve projects that involve teamwork, resulting in coworkers operating better together. The outcome of team building can be extremely vital to a company’s success and to employee retention.

Some benefits of team-building activities are

  1. Increased workplace engagement,
  2. Improved creativity, and
  3. Enhanced communication skills.

However, many leaders seem to have the wrong idea about what constitutes a fun activity. The common result ends up being that employees feel like they have to get through yet another task, rather than enjoying their time and making proper use of a valuable opportunity. Avoiding this pitfall is as simple as picking ideas that are fun and engaging to the team, while also offering good opportunities to show off some skills.


2018-08-06T16:22:57+00:00August 6th, 2018|