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Irma Update: We Made it Out the Other Side!

Well, that was…interesting.

After it seemed like Orlando was in the clear, Hurricane Irma decided a visit to the theme parks was definitely on her agenda. Things began to really get nasty Sunday evening, with the eye wall taking an eastward shift — bringing it right over us.

By late Sunday and early Monday most of Orlando was being battered by 80+mph wind gusts and blinding rain. It sounded like a busy interstate outside, but it was just…wind. We were greeted with that familiar freight train sound as Irma made her presence known.

Most of Orlando is without power, there are massive oak trees down everywhere and random debris littering the roads, but all things considered: we got lucky. Orlandoans were out in full-force Monday morning, chainsaws in hand, clearing trees and brush and helping neighbors. It’s what this city does.

The cleanup effort will be massive and time-consuming, but we’ll be alright. Extremely thankful for our friends and family throughout the state who came out the other side safely.

We’re open for business this week, but unfortunately the office is still without power. We still have full access to our email, so that would be the best method to reach us until further notice.

Thank you to everyone who reached out prior to Irma rolling through, and those who checked in after the storm had passed. Your support and well wishes provided comfort and confidence during a truly frightening event.

Keeping an Eye on Irma

Texans are still in recovery mode in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and now the threat of another–and possibly stronger–hurricane looms. Hurricane Irma was upgraded this morning to a Category 5 storm, and it appears to have Florida in its sights.

Essentially, I may have jinxed us last week when I referenced the fact that I’ve never been in a storm as powerful as Harvey.

Where the storm heads over the week and into the weekend is some strategic guesswork, but Russell and I are prepared to ride this thing out here in Orlando. Clients, colleagues, and friends: we’ll keep you posted as to our hours next week, pending Irma’s path.

Fingers crossed!

Thinking of Southeast Texas

As Florida residents, Russell and I are acutely familiar with the impact a hurricane or tropical storm can have. I distinctly recall the ravages of Hurricane Charley in 2004—emerging from the house after hours of blistering rain and wind gusts mimicking freight trains to find my neighborhood in seeming disrepair.

The 2004 hurricane season brought four named storms through Orlando—Charley, Ivan, Frances, and Jeanne. I remember having to call my girlfriend’s mother—who had taken the family to New Orleans in the aftermath of Charley—to let them know their roof had collapsed. Nothing adequately prepares you for something as violent, as visceral, and as devastating as a strong hurricane.

But we’ve never seen anything like Hurricane Harvey. For that I’m thankful.

Hurricane Harvey has decimated the southeast coast of Texas, and continues to dump millions of gallons of rain on Houston and the surrounding areas. Reports have stated that the area has already received nearly a year’s worth of rainfall—with more on the way.

The images out of Texas are harrowing. Buildings and homes leveled. Water nearing highway overpass signs. It’s akin to something out of post-apocalyptic fiction.

But then there are the images of Good Samaritans rescuing people in their own boats and rafts. Ordinary individuals taking to the flooded streets to help strangers. It’s these situations where all differences are set aside and the only issue on the table is lending a hand.

Texans are quite the proud bunch, and in the wake of such a monumental natural disaster, they’re showing the rest of the world their strength and resilience.

We empathize with those affected in Texas, thank the brave first responders, and hope that Mother Nature eases up a bit in the coming days.

If you have the resources, please head over to the American Red Cross website and donate a few bucks to the relief effort.



An Interview with Russell

For your Tuesday afternoon blog consumption, head over to for a fantastic interview with The Prez himself, Russell Trahan.

In an insightful interview, Russell speaks with Ron Rosenberg about strategic marketing and building name recognition through placing articles in business, trade, and association publications.

Charlottesville is a Symptom

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

That was the prescient, final Facebook post by Heather Heyer, a 20-year old woman who was mowed down by a car during a counter-protest against white nationalists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The anger and division in this country has been simmering beneath the surface for decades—and within the past few years appears to finally be boiling over.

What took place in Charlottesville over the weekend is yet another symptom of the dangerous direction that we’re heading as a nation. A nation that refuses to find middle ground—where people are entrenched in their opinions, insulated by their social media echo chambers, and acting with the ever-perilous “Us vs. Them” mindset that always finds an “other” to cast as a convenient scapegoat.

In a country that has withstood so many external threats to maintain its inherent strength and resilience, it’s demoralizing to see it seemingly torn in half by threats from within.

The scenes from Charlottesville were horrific. It was yet another flashpoint in the populist movements in society and politics—a continental drift of community, cooperation, and conscience.

Heather Heyer was murdered by a coward for expressing her aversion to an abhorrent belief system. Her life taken for speaking out against the scourge of hatred and bigotry. The silver lining in these awful situations is that they can present unwanted opportunities to learn and move forward. Unfortunately of late, America seems immune to education.

This can change, but only if we’re willing to thoughtfully engage one another and avoid retreating to the ideological cocoons that we’ve established for ourselves.