My Mom – Eloise Kreuz

My Mom

Date:  December 31, 2015

Blog Posting: 8

As I we wind down 2015, I was at my parents the other night reminiscing about the year with my mom. I’ve been fortunate to be able to spend some quality time with her lately. I was thinking about all my friends and the one common link we all have is we often talk of our mothers. Some lost their mom’s early, some midstream, and some of us are still fortunate to have them in our lives. Living or deceased, who doesn’t enjoy talking about their mom in mixed company.

Mom has two great grandkids now, and my granddaughter Eloise is named after her. I happened to be there when my daughter told my mom what she was having and what they’d be naming her. That was a magical moment that I’ll cherish forever. As she cares for my dad we’ve been enjoying talking about many things in our lives. She used to love watching Norm and I play gin rummy, and occasionally I’d pick a lucky card and win.

She’s had some great accomplishments in her life: number one in her class in nursing school, a skilled nurse, lifetime accountant for the family Courier Express route, six healthy children, 17 grandkids, two great grandkids, a husband who always knew the difference between right and wrong, a hole in one, attended a super bowl, and sound relationships with all of her daughter-in-laws and son-in law.

Twelve years ago we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and what a party it was, with that monstrous size family of theirs. Twelve years later they are still going strong and Norman appreciates all she does for him. I made a choice not move away 26 years ago, and as I look back at the life we’ve enjoyed in Buffalo, I’d say that was a pretty wise move.

Mom retired from nursing at age 75, and the caregiver in her has held strong for all of us. My family often wonders how many term papers she typed, how many cab rides she took us to the doctor, how many times she walked to the grocery store.

I often tell her how much I love what I do, and she told me her dad retired from farming at age 93. That gives me hope for the next 27 years, and I hope top be as prosperous and successful as he was.

We spent many years traveling back to the family farm in Ohio, and those are memories we’ll all cherish forever. In the world of lavish vacations and social media, I wouldn’t trade those family farm vacations for anything. She taught us values, the difference between right and wrong, and strong morals. I’d say she did a great job.

Happy New Year mom.

 

 

Givers and Takers part 2

Givers and Takers – Part 2

Date:  February 28, 2015

Blog Posting: 7

      I received some interesting responses to my Givers and Takers posting, and, as always, I appreciate them all.  Every day we are confronted with choices, and giving or taking plays an important role in all our decision making.  Over the past month, I have been involved directly and indirectly in two dramatic episodes impacting the fate of a couple of the several partnerships that we’ve been building.  It has been a telling manifestation of giving and taking.  And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate our good fortune, especially when it is challenged.

      On the one hand there was our elation over the remarkable sale of our FedCloud initiative, Autonomic Resources [http://tonywalkerpost.com/2015/02/21/now-that-was-a-ride/], and, on the other hand, there was the contraction of our Consilium One partnership [which, unfortunately had to rely on the protection of the bankruptcy court].  For all of us who are involved in our G8 Partnerships, the good has always significantly outweighed the occasional embarrassment.  

      And now, propelled by the successful sale of Autonomic Resources, we will be venturing forth with the Advantage Business Exchange, FedDROP, and Cloud 9 Resources, our three new ventures that will build on all our past and current successes [while always learning from our intermittent missteps].  These three new partnerships will join an incredible lineup of resources that include our Capax Global and AP Professionals partnerships [not to mention all of the resources of the Advantage Co].  The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.  Thanks for being a part of it.​

 

 

The Autonomic Resources Adventure

The Autonomic Resources Adventure

Date:  February 27, 2015

Blog Posting: 6

Over the years we have built some remarkable companies, some falter, while others meet with remarkable success.  The Autonomic Resources adventure was one of our most audacious pursuits, and I am proud to have been a part of it.  Here is a little backstory from my partner Tony’s blog http://tonywalkerpost.com/2015/02/21/now-that-was-a-ride/

For the first three years, I was little more than an idle observer of our FedCloud initiative; but, for the past 16 months, I have been working directly with Tom and John to bring our FedCloud adventure to fruition.  It was a high risk venture [certainly higher than we ever anticipated], and it was wrought with tension throughout the journey [somewhere between white water rafting and waterboarding].  Fortunately, this past Thursday, we were able to complete the sale of Autonomic Resources [after nearly three months of a roller coaster ride of negotiations and due diligence].

 

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Although the sale of Autonomic Resources’ remarkable FedRAMP ATO’s might put our FedDROP start-up in limbo, I couldn’t be happier for the entire Autonomic Resources family, especially the crew at our headquarters in North Carolina.  And I am particularly proud to have been in the trenches with Tom and John seeing this thing through to such a successful conclusion.

A special round of thanks needs to go out to Butch, Kerry, Mike, Lynn, Geno, and the Pfalzgraf team for bringing this one home.  And an ever bigger thanks to Joe Kreuz, who got all these partnerships started over 20 years ago.

When I look at our lineup of IT partnerships today, especially Capax Global, CBX, and AP Phoenix [which just had it biggest month ever in January], I can’t help but be excited about what the future has in store.

My family is healthy and happy, I have the best partners in the world, the sun is shining, and the sale of Autonomic Resources has provided us with the resources to expand exponentially.  If I could drop a dozen pounds, I’d have it made.

PS  Tom and Anthony are both in Naples today, and we will be over at the Shoppes at Vanderbilt checking out a potential location for our warm weather ABX [along with a new TW&Co and Giancarlo’s].  I’ll keep you posted.

Givers and Takers part 1

Givers and Takers

Date:  February 9, 2015

Blog Posting: 5

 

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A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about givers and takers.  It got me thinking about the differences in people, and I started running through all of the contradictory personality traits I’ve encountered over the years.

One instance that always stuck with me about raising my children was a recent trip to Florida with my youngest daughter, Haylee.  After I gave her some money to spend at Charming Charlie’s, she came away with a boatload of goodies from bracelets to hair ribbons to rings to necklaces.  I asked her “Why so many things?”  And she told me, “They are gifts for my friends.”  I wasn’t sure what to think when she first ran out with a bag full of trinkets, but after she told me her intentions, I was proud that I had a generous and thoughtful child.

A behavioral study I read about 4 year old children comes to mind.  Over many years, the study measured the greed or patience of 4 year old children to ascertain how certain behaviors at the age of 4 shaped certain adult behaviors.  It was noted that greedy kids typically weren’t stellar adults, and patient kids had more favorable measurable outcomes in adult life.  And while I’m certain there are many more academic studies out there, I just enjoy observing behaviors as I navigate through the back nine.

Have I given more than I’ve taken?  It’s good to give pause and offer that question some quiet consideration.  To a certain extent, I guess it depends on the eye of the beholder, but I am confident that I have always had everyone’s best interest at heart, and I believe that is the foundation of being a good ‘giver.’  Any incident of giving or sharing must consider whether you are expecting something in return or not.

Over the years I have given and received my fair share, and I’ve never really kept score, but I do recognize how fortunate that I have been. By the way, I try to stay away from the people who keep score, especially the ones who know who bought lunch last time.

So what constitutes certain personality traits?  As I was talking to my friend about it, it got us thinking about other behaviors and the different types we’ve encountered in our lives.  We’ve put together a short list for consideration:

  • Giver or Taker
  • Generous or Cheap
  • Thankless or Appreciative
  • Substance or Flash
  • Self Absorbed or Concerned
  • Positive or Negative

We all encounter these various types through family, business, and the social activities.  It’s pretty easy to pick and choose where you think your friends, family, and acquaintances fit, but what if you feel like you are on the wrong side of the equation?  How do you change?  Can you change?  Do you want to change?  Is it a thoughtful note, a kind gesture, a random gift, or a random act of kindness that’s missing?  It has me thinking about all of my relationships.

Who hasn’t thought about these scenarios as you navigate through life.  Go ahead, give me your opinion, or just take my thoughts and move on [or make a note on your scorecard, I’ll owe you one].​

What would Norm do?

Aside

What Would Norm Do?

Date:  December 12, 2014

Blog Posting: 4

​      I was talking to my mom the other day about our new business, the Advantage Business Exchange (ABX). I told mom as I begin to recruit a ABX sales agent team I’d be looking for people similar to my dad. His business acumen and sales ability were second to none. The year was 1969. I was in fourth grade in Cleveland, Ohio. My dad was selected as part of an elite sales team to expand LM Berry’s Yellow Page footprint in Western New York. He was good at what he did and off we went. I watched my dad prosper over the years. I often tell people dad taught me social and selling skills at the kitchen table. He sold Yellow Pages his entire life, first for Ohio Bell, then for LM Berry, and finished off his career with White Directory Publishers.

     Yellow pages was the Google from the 50’s to the 90’s. I told my mom Google didn’t exist back then, and if dad were selling today, he’d be top of the heap in Google sales. If you wanted something back then, you had to rely on Yellow pages and word of mouth (and an encyclopedia). One thing I noticed as I grew up was my dad had a great following of clients, and every year when it was time for renewals, he sold those ads with confidence as he renewed one account after another, traveling from city to city around New York State.

   My dad sold one thing and he sold it well. Forty Five years later after my dad was recruited, we will be recruiting our own elite sales team at ABX. I wrote in my high school year book I wanted to wear a suit to work and follow in my dad’s foot steps. I wonder how much more he would have made if he had other things to sell to his loyal following. That being said, ABX has developed a great product mix and we’ll make those products and services available to our ABX tenants, ABX agents, and global commissioned sales force.

​      These ABX sales agents will have the opportunity to sell many of our products and services. ABX’s entire product line will be accessible online in our resource library at http://www.consiliumresources.info/

     ABX will also be developing a complimentary and eclectic mix of other best in class resources, from products to services. To learn more about how to lease offices, sales pods, how to become a ABX certified agent, or registering your products in the ABX resource library, email me at joekreuz@gmail.com

 

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The Advantage Business Exchange

Launching The Advantage Business Exchange

Date:  December 10, 2014

Blog Posting: 3

I am proud to announce the launch of our new business concept, The Advantage Business Exchange (ABX).  At ABX, we are a trusted one-stop resource for all of our clients’ business needs.  We provide our commercial, institutional, and government clients with direct access to premium resources for all of their business activities.  All of our services, programs, and products are fully vetted for our clients’ assurance that they are receiving the finest resources befitting their specific needs.  ABX is located at The Walker Center and showcases many fantastic world class resources including:

  1. AP Professionals AP
  2. iWorld Professionals iWorld
  3. Capax Discovery Capax Discovery
  4. c1Secure CISO
  5. c1Advantage c1
  6. iWorld Shopping Center iWolrd Shopping Center
  7. iWorld Fundraising iWorld Fundraising
  8. Giancarlo’s Sicilian Steakhouse and Pizzeria, Events, and Catering Giancarlo’s
  9. Grivani Corporate Gift Giving Grivani

ABX’s business services will offer robust Resource Library of Business Services and product offerings available to certified and commissioned sales agents, and Physical class A space located at the Walker Center offering professional office space and advertising opportunities, individual catalog and profile displays, virtual web based presentations, and physical presentations all in a succinct bundled package.  You can get a sneak preview of the goods and services available by viewing our annual catalog on line at http://www.theadvantagecatalog.com/2015

ABX will be presenting a weekly Webinar Series and showcasing their subject matter experts in their respective fields commencing with our grand opening January 22, 2015.

 

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The Advantage Catalog

20th Anniversary Catalog Edition

Date:  November 29, 2014

Blog Posting: 2

Check this out!  Our annual catalog will be in the stores, on the shelves, and distributed next week at our annual catalog launch party.  You can view The Advantage Co annual catalog online at  http://www.theadvantagecatalog.comThe Advantage Catalog

 

Here is a little story for you.  For starters, one of my titles I use often is Chief Story Teller (CST).  The Advantage Co opened its doors the summer of 1978 as I was finishing my first year of college.  36+ years later, and as we approach the launch of our 20th anniversary of our annual catalog, I often reflect what has transpired since the first catalog edition in 1995.

​I started my first business as a partnership with The Advantage Co in the summer of 1993, the Walker Center opened its doors the holiday season of 1994, and our first catalog edition was published for the holiday season in 1995.  My mother, Eloise, has the first 19 catalogs neatly arranged, next to the encyclopedias, at the home that Norm built.  Mom and I often reminisce as we peruse the catalogs and what’s transpired over the years and what a wonderful experience it’s been for the Advantage Nation, and the Kreuz family for that matter.  

I hope you enjoy this year’s edition as much as Eloise does.  

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