Love That Heals + A Brand That Delivers: A Case Study on Thistle Farms

Since its founding in 1997, Thistle Farms has become one of the region’s fastest growing nonprofit social enterprises dedicated to helping women survivors recover and heal from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. From providing a two-year residential program and medical services to offering on-the-job training and employment opportunities, Thistle Farms has empowered hundreds of women to overcome their past adversities through the most powerful force in the world: love. 

Join us Wednesday, May 15, for an in-depth conversation with Thistle Farms CEO Hal Cato, as he shares his insights on one of Nashville’s unique and beloved nonprofits.

Event information:

Schedule:

11:30am-12pm – Networking
12:00pm-1pm – Panel Discussion and lunch

Location:

The Cafe at Thistle Farms 
5122 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209

About the event: 

This interactive presentation will include an overview of:

  • Thistle Farms’ recent brand refresh
  • Evolution of Thistle Farms’ business model and financial structure 
  • Understanding nonprofit audiences 
  • Brand messaging and authenticity 

About our presenter: 
Hal Cato, CEO, Thistle Farms 

Thistle Farms’ fearless leader since 2015, Hal embraces the ever-changing nature of his day-to-day role as CEO. Whether leading a board meeting, weighing in on product development, getting to know the new women at one of the residences, or driving the mission in any number of ways, Hal keeps his eyes on the end goal: healing and employing survivors. Hal is uniquely qualified to address both the mission and the business of Thistle Farms given this extensive experience in the nonprofit and private sector, which includes founding Hands On Nashville, The Youth Opportunity Center, The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, Zeumo, as well as serving as CEO for the Oasis Center from 2001-2011. Hal has been recognized as “Nashvillian of the Year” by the Nashville Scene and “Best in Business – Nonprofit Sector” by the Nashville Business Journal. 

Reserve your spot! 

Register today – we look forward to seeing you! 

  

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Member Spotlight – Bailey Cairnduff

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q & A feature. We are pleased to showcase new IABC member Bailey Cairnduff, Implementation Specialist at HCA Healthcare. 

What is your current position? How long have you been in this role?

I am currently an Implementation Specialist at HCA and I have been in this role since April, 2018.

How did you get started in this business?

I have always had an interest in communications, along with events. My Bachelor’s Degree is in Hospitality Management, with an emphasis in Event Management, and a minor in General Business. I also have a Master’s Degree in Communications. 

What makes your business/organization stand out?

HCA is one of the largest hospital corporations in the world and patient care is the focus of the organization. Serving patients and giving them the highest possible quality of service is something to take pride in. HCA also has a family-oriented culture, which I truly appreciate and I am thankful to be a part of the organization. 

What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?

I do not work in a communications-specific role currently. However, I do have many aspects of communications intertwined into my role and I have been able to learn some lessons along the way. I have made it a part of my goals this year to improve my ability to choose which avenue of communications is necessary for certain conversations (e-mail, text, Skype, phone call) and what would be the most timely option best suited for the group involved. 

What makes an effective communications leader?

Effective leaders, in any profession, should be approachable, trustworthy, and proficient listeners. Being able to make team members feel comfortable to express their ideas in a comfortable setting will create the most effective results from the employees. Communications leaders need to have a sense of trust between themselves and the employees, because if an employee knows they are trusted, they will have the ability to work without any barriers and feel comfortable expressing their thoughts.  Another important trait a communications leader should have is the ability to give and receive constructive feedback. Being able to discuss how to make improvements is a key factor in any profession.

If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would they be?

Hard-working, authentic, trustworthy

Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.

I was a member of the Women’s Basketball Team at Grand Valley State University.

What prompted you to join IABC?  How did you hear about us?

Mollye Dietrich is a colleague of mine, who told me about IABC. My membership is going to be included as a part of my professional development this year.  I am going to attend as many sessions as I can, in order to learn more about communications and network as much as possible.

What three (3) things are you most excited to gain from IABC Nashville?

Networking, ideas on content development, and improving my overall grasp on the communications industry. 

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April mixer: Springtime cheer with communications friends

Spread some springtime cheer and attend IABC Nashville’s April networking mixer, hosted by our dear friends at Concept Technology and in partnership with redpepper and Craft Content Nashville

Join communications professionals from Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky as we celebrate Nashville Content Week over tasty libations, delicious bites, and engaging conversation. 

Where:
Concept Technology
1009 3rd Ave N #200 
Nashville, Tennessee 37201

When:
Thursday, April 11, 2019
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

Reserve your spot! 

Members are FREE and non-members are $10 to attend! Prepay only. Registration will not be taken at the door. 

IABC is the only place to connect with communicators globally. 

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A Twitterstorm on Twitter about the weather

A guest blog by Joe Diorio

Over a century ago, journalist Charles Dudley Warner* wrote in The Hartford Courant that “everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” Nowadays, meteorologists are doing something about the weather when they talk about it.

Case in point: on December 23, 2015, tornadoes roared across northern Mississippi and middle Tennessee, killing 13 people. As then-WKRN meteorologist Lisa Patton was delivering her report that night she reminded viewers, “I’m using my ‘mom’ voice right now.” Her underlying message was clear: Take what I say seriously.

Patton’s action showed that how we say something is equally important as what we say. And it can come across clearly via the written word. David Drobny, one of three voices behind the NashSevereWx twitter account, demonstrates this regularly in his weather tweets. He also says Patton was “spot on” in her tone of voice on that December evening.

Life-threatening weather events are rare, so many times Drobny will have fun with meteorological terminology by poking fun at his preference for scientific terminology over water-cooler jargon. For example, as a storm headed toward Nashville in January he wrote: “Pro-snow weather terms [include] ‘deformation zone,’ [and] ‘frequent mentions of the ‘dendritic zone’ (impress people by saying ‘DGZ’) … Anti-snow: ‘dry slot,’ ‘dry air monster,’ ‘the low went north’.” He quickly followed up by adding “we cannot be close friends if you like ‘freezing rain’ [or] ‘ice storm’.”

With freezing rain and ice possible, but increasingly unlikely, on the weekend of January 19 and 20, someone tweeted their relief that their drive via I-65 to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center was clear. Will Minkoff, another one of the @NashSevereWx authors, responded “We could all use some culture.”

While Nashville was in the grip of an unusually bad cold spell, NashSevereWx tweeted “26 degrees at the airport. Colder in the hollers.” The tweet was accompanied by an image of John Travolta from the movie “Pulp Fiction,” photoshopped to show him in a large snow drift and holding a snow shovel.

That same day he posted a poll on Twitter, asking readers if bridges and overpasses – which we all know freeze first – are the same thing. Fifty-eight percent of the nearly 400 votes cast over a 60-minute period said they were different. The technical difference does not matter. “The point is they are both elevated and therefore cool off faster,” Drobny says. He was not setting transportation policy. He was driving home the point that drivers should be wary of slick bridges and overpasses.

(FWIW, Dictionary.com says “overpass” – the noun – is a road crossing over something, whereas “overpass” – the verb – means to pass over or traverse a region or space. It also defines “bridge” as a structure passing over something. Let the arguing begin. Break out your Venn Diagrams!)

Drobny’s tweets are indeed humorous, but they all have a bit of weather education included. (BTW, since I didn’t say so earlier, “dendritic” means having a branched form resembling a tree. A good term for a growing weather front, methinks.)

“I try to be humorous,” Drobny explains. “People need to see a lighter tone when I am not concerned, then when I am concerned, and the jokes and good humor evaporate, hopefully people understand the gravity of the situation.”

Drobny started NashSevereWx in 2010. “Friends were contacting me during severe weather wanting to know conditions where I lived (he’s in Williamson County) or worked (downtown Nashville). Weather data and software that had been only for the NWS and local TV meteorologists recently had become available to the weather nerd community. I snatched it up. I was equipped to follow storms myself. Friends were pestering me for information, and I wanted to give to them. Turned out it was easier to put it out there for them on Twitter rather than take multiple phone calls and reply to several text messages.” The Twitter handle gained followers at a rapid pace and Drobny realized he’d need help managing it.

Drobny is an attorney by day. NashSevereWx is something he and two friends –Andrew Leeper and the aforementioned Will Minkoff– run as a hobby, but the hyper-local nature of its weather reporting (it covers only Davidson and Williamson counties in Tennessee) has grown its Twitter presence to over 158,000 followers. Nowadays they have a media partnership with the National Weather Service in Nashville to add more specificity to their tweets.

“Most of what you see on Twitter is me,” Drobny said. “Andrew and Will also tweet, but their primary responsibilities concern other parts of our operation.”

The gang at NashSevereWX may not have a “mom” voice, but they do manage to leverage language to entertain and get their point across.

*Yes, it was Warner, not Mark Twain. Go look it up.

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Joe Diorio is a Nashville IABC member and a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. You can sign up for his newsletter, “A Few Words About Words,” by visiting his website.

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Pitch Perfect: Mastering the Art of Media Relations

Three journalists, three different media outlets, one question: is your brand “newsworthy?” Whether you are in the marketing and advertising industry, retail, or something as intricate as bioengineering, assisting the media’s ability to reach you is essential to the longevity and relevancy of businesses everywhere.

Join IABC Nashville Wednesday, March 20, for an in-depth panel discussion with some of the city’s most well-respected journalists as they share their insights on how to sharpen your storytelling skills and establish a good rapport with the media.

Panelists:

Stephanie Langston
Emmy-nominated reporter, WKRN

Ashley Haugen
Managing Editor, StyleBlueprint

Joel Stinnett
Reporter, Nashville Business Journal

Moderator:

Paul Ladd
Senior Correspondent & Director of Listener Response, World Christian Broadcasting

This lively discussion will cover best practices for business communicators reaching out to news outlets including:

  • Researching Your Story Angle
  • Anticipating Journalist Needs
  • Proper Introductions and Correspondence
  • Practicing Good Habits and Earning Favor

Event schedule:

11:30am-12pm – Networking
12:00pm-1pm – Panel Discussion and lunch

Register today

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