Really… The STAR is born!!!!   The Stasko Agency is proud to announce the new division of their company, called STAR (Small Town Association of Residents)!  We will focus on helping smaller towns, communities, and neighborhoods connect residents and neighbors with their local businesses, schools, and municipalities in a unique and productive way, bringing pride in the community, tourists for local businesses, and prosperity for everyone.

 

Our Experience in Building Stellar Communities

You will know the work The Stasko Agency has done with developers, retailers, restaurants, and municipalities with brand publicity and PR strategy. For 25 years, we have been doing PR and publicity for our beloved clients and at the heart of the work is always connection.  We have loved connecting our clients to their customers, retailers to their shoppers, restaurants to their patrons, and municipalities to their community.

HUNI Hour in the LoHi Neighborhood

We loved creating the connections that transformed one of Denver’s neighborhoods, Lower Highlands (LoHi), into a premier urban destination.  Many remember the local Happy Hours, which were for the residents that were members of the RNO (Resident Neighborhood Organization) called HUNI (Highland United Neighborhood Inc.)  These Happy (or HUNI) Hours were just one example of the monthly events that put LoHi on the map and helped change this neighborhood into a thriving and in-demand area to reside and do business.

 

We Spotted a Trend: Gen Z is Moving to Small Towns

We are now seeing a new opportunity that we are excited to share.  2020 was the tipping point for so many people.  Given all the big changes in the world, many of us were able to focus on what really matters in our lives – and many of our urban neighbors have been choosing to move to smaller towns and communities where the pace is slower, their dollar goes further, and they can live and work rather than just work to live.  People are moving from big cities to small towns to find peace and a new way of life.

After Covid, people are noticing that the urban corridors are getting crowded, and the traffic is becoming worse. There is a trend where these folks are starting to find these small towns and wanting to settle there.

Just follow the Gen Z’ers because they have a knack for finding beautiful small towns with picturesque mountains, working remote jobs, and having a sense of place-making – designing the very place in which they choose to live.  They envision themselves retiring in these smaller towns and these small towns need to know that Gen Z’ers are arriving with their pets, their plants, and a whole lot of possibility.  They have ideas they want to share about the potential they see and they want to help to make it better.

A STAR IS BORN

So you see the reason for creating STAR! Our services will assist in building relationships and connections with the residents who are responsible for making such towns, communities, and neighborhoods welcoming, and charming. Our sole mission is to help small town residents to connect with one another, remind them of why they live there, and inspire them to share their communities. We also help city officials see that residents and neighbors are the influencers that are right in their own backyard.

Bridging the Connection Gap

We have found in our experience that when the residents are connected to the visions of those who serve their city, they feel excitement and part of a bigger plan. They feel like it truly is “their town, community, or neighborhood.”

When communities are brought together, there’s a sense of pride – being proud of living in a neighborhood or small town that is so well connected, where neighbors know and help each other on a regular basis, where the business owners know the local’s names. A familiarity with the history and the environment of that area is created, which brings a welcoming feeling to those who are visiting!

When Communities Unite, Pride Ignites!!

How to connect with STAR

If you are looking for ways to bring your community together and reach your local residents in a new and unique way, please contact us at info@staskoagency.com and type in STAR in the subject line.

We look forward to showcasing your influencers from your own backyard.

The Vision of STAR

The Vision for STAR, on a larger scale, is to help County Commissioners, Chambers of Commerce, Business Groups, and Economic Development Directors, use the power of the town residents and neighbors to promote the towns’ events and vision, and to share the benefits and sites of the area. STAR will be a vital teaching tool and a resource for the smaller towns that are experiencing challenges for many reasons, to reignite the spark, one town at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Is there a trend coming to Colorado?

The big cities are no longer holding their zest for life anymore as more Generation Zers, the young population who were born between 1990-2010, start to move into rural America.

They are moving across the United States in droves, specifically in the Midwest and Southern states

According to Thrive Global, since the pandemic, there has been a growing interest in rural and suburban lifestyles.

Rural America offers cheaper housing, easier access to the outdoors, and a greater impact on the local community. 

RentCafe mentioned that in light of cheaper housing, Gen Zers look for  “a vibrant local scene that feels authentic and closer to home for these young adults who are starting out in life in times of great uncertainty and change.”

As more Gen Zers move into rural towns, these towns need to be ready for the migration of younger people and offer what bigger cities could not: a sense of community and impact that Gen Zers crave.

Why should small towns be excited about more Gen Zers coming into their communities?

Suburban and rural communities should be thrilled that the younger generation wants to settle in smaller towns!

     

The boost to their economy will not only be improved, but when there’s more money being spent locally, the township can offer more to meet the needs of their growing population.

Another benefit of why communities should be excited is that their history could be preserved and cared for as the older generations pass on.

Has the trend caught on in Colorado?

In 2020, Boulder, Colorado, was the number one choice for Gen Zers to rent apartments, so Colorado is on the minds of our young people.

With its richness of history, great mountainous landscape, and diverse population, Colorado gives Gen Z everything they are looking for. 

That is why Small Town Association of Residents (STAR) searched for and found two people who moved from the big city to small-town life to start enacting their dreams and desire in a small town in Colorado.

Helena Cappon and Tom Orr moved from Denver to Walsenburg, 45-minutes south of Pueblo, Colorado, with the goal to start a business and make a lasting impact within the community.

    

From Big City to Small Town Impact: How Two People are Making it Happen

Meet Helena Cappon and Tom Orr, two Daniel Scholarship Recipients and Graduates from Denver’s prestigious college, the University of Denver, who moved to a small town where they both share their desire and vision to start a business.

Tom grew up in the small town of Walsenburg a few blocks away from where Helena’s family had just recently purchased a home.  

After a year of friendship and the start of the pandemic, Helena and Tom found themselves living together in the small town of Walsenburg, cooking, baking and enjoying all the other hobbies they had in common.  

Knowing that they were both meant to be a driving force of positive change (hence why they were chosen for the Daniel Scholarship), they knew they wanted to do something in Walsenburg that would not only benefit themselves but the folks around them too.  

They decided to combine all their passions and experience in cooking and business to open a Pizza and Ice Cream place called Gub Gub’s. 

Their plan is to revitalize a significant and historically essential business of an old gas station into a campy, fun 60s-style casual eatery with a plaza surrounding the building.  

Eventually, they would love to incorporate community events to maintain traditions and enact sustainable, positive change that benefits Main Street, businesses, residents, and the town as a whole.  

Helena and Tom want to be part of the planning in the community and help work the other residents into becoming more community-focused.

They plan on using this business to start a small scholarship program with John Mall and La Veta High Schools, so that other young people in the community have the same opportunities that both Helena and Tom had with the Daniels Fund Program. 

Construction on the restaurant is planned to start in Fall 2022.

Small Towns can become Communities of Change

If you’re a member of a small town where you’re seeing more Gen Zers coming in, know that you have an opportunity to watch them flourish and help them to bring your community together. 

How could your community benefit from more Gen Zers moving into your town?

Do you want to live with more ease and grace? Would you like to feel more ‘in the flow’ as you move through each day—no matter what’s in front of you? Do you need some guidance and inspiration to help you live with more confidence, strength, vibrancy, and a true sense of well-being?

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These beautiful souls share their hearts as they provide guidance for you based on their own journey of living in alignment with their gifts as an empath. You will learn how they transformed their mindset, adjusted their habits, and alchemized their ways of being. They’ll speak of their experiences and how they manifested shifts in their emotional state, relationships, mind, body, and spirit.

The Empath Insights Summit provides 20 inspiring author interviews over 10 days filled with inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and lessons—especially for you!

You CAN live a life filled with ease, always coming from your heart, and inspired by your soul. These authors will help you do it!

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We’ve heard a lot of trumpeting about the virtues of remote work in the last 2 years… expanded flexibility, increased productivity, decreased overhead expenses. But besides the decrying of “Zoom fatigue,” we’re not talking enough about what this new world of virtual work is costing us.

1. Use Intention and Creativity to Drive Human Connection

What’s it like for employees to go months at a new job without ever meeting their colleagues in person? How do teams rally around a shared purpose when they’re not telling stories in the hallway, or seeing each other’s successes and lessons first-hand?

Organizations are made up of humans, who have a deep need for connection and a sense of purpose. That need can be fulfilled in a virtual world of work, but not without intention and creativity. It simply won’t happen by accident, and organizations that fail to pay attention to this need are putting themselves at massive risk when it comes to building and maintaining connected, fulfilled, and profitable teams.

2.  Rally Your Team Around Their Shared Purpose

At The Stasko Agency, we’ve been diligently designing the antidote to this emerging problem of disconnected, disengaged teams. We call it Your Evolution Story (YES), and it leverages the power of storytelling to provide what we’re all yearning for: connection and purpose.

None of us has emerged from the last 2 years without a story to tell. Your Evolution Story will help your team see, shape, and share their stories, individually and collectively. 

3.  Propel Your Team into the Future… Together

Through a designed experience available as individual sessions and team workshops, we lead your team on a journey of discovery, helping them mine their experience for the story of their evolution and then share that story with others. We’ll also help your team write a new collective story that rallies them around a shared purpose and propels them into the future… together.

To learn more about the YES experience- click here

It’s a win for your team, for your organization, and for humans.

If you’re ready to give your people what they want (connection and purpose), let’s connect.

 

Americans are increasingly turning to alternative therapies to maintain their health and wellness. In fact, in 2016, the New York Times reported that U.S. spending on alternative and complementary medicines and procedures was $30.2 billion annually.

While consumers are embracing alternative health options, marketing an alternative wellness business can still be a bit tricky. Alternative treatments often require a lot of explanation or can be met with skepticism. That’s why Angie Larson, owner of Intrinsic Wellbeing turned to The Stasko Agency for help.

Our YES (Your Evolution Story) service turned out to be a great fit for Angie, whose business had evolved from offering services focused on physical wellness to include others emphasizing mental and spiritual health. In particular, Angie needed help explaining her work as an energy healer.

We developed an easy-to-understand presentation tracing Angie’s journey to energy healing with compelling visuals so potential clients could better understand this unique service and its benefits.

Since Angie’s website mainly featured stock photos, we also spent time capturing images of Angie in action to better illustrate her story and persona. We knew that having authentic photos of Angie would also help build her Internet profile and drive traffic to her site.

Finally, we created an online sparkdeck  and a hardcopy book of the sparkdeck for Angie to share with her potential clients and students.

Through this process we uncovered Angie’s passion for sharing her skills with other practitioners who want to add spiritual work to the services they offer their clients. To that end, Angie has launched classes to teach energy healing. We’ll be working on outreach to other wellness providers to educate them about Angie’s new offerings.

If your business has evolved or you simply need to find a new way to reconnect with your audiences, we’d love to help. Our YES service is a great way to identify your key messages and determine the best way to convey those messages to the people you most want to reach. For more information visit www.staskoagency.com.

Angie is hosting an AMAZING Transformational and Healing Retreat May 28 – June 4th, 2022 in Marina Chacala, Nayarit Mexico  –  Click here for more information Retreat .

 

It’s been a busy summer for The Stasko Agency. In addition to expanding our service offerings, we’ve also added a new client and reconnected with a client whose relationship with our firm dates back nearly 20 years.

After a year of social distancing and remote work, we were thrilled to actually take a trip to Hotel Colorado to help the hotel’s resident polo professional Barry Stout promote the Devereux Cup, a long-running polo tournament named for the hotel’s original owner, Water Devereux. Devereux, a silver baron and founding father of Glenwood Springs, brought polo to the Roaring Fork Valley, organizing a match for the Hotel Colorado’s opening ceremonies in 1893.

First played in 1902, the Devereux Cup has served as a festive summer tradition in Glenwood Springs and an event that The Stasko Agency has been proud to publicize since 2007. After a multi-year break, the tournament returned this year with a two-team competition at Stout Ranch, outside New Castle, Colorado. Because of the tournament’s deep roots in Glenwood Springs, this year’s event benefitted the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and the Frontier Museum, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The event drew a sizeable crowd and positive media coverage, including this recap in the Grand Junction Sentinel.

 Our recent work also includes several campaigns for Pearl Certification, an innovative startup that is empowering homeowners to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of their homes through a unique certification program. We spent much of the last few months helping Pearl with outreach to the HVAC, solar and energy industries to help contractors in those sectors understand how Pearl’s certification can help their customers.

Our media placements have included:

We were also successful in securing LeBaron and fellow Pearl Founder Cynthia Adams as guests on the Building HVAC Science podcast, where they discussed how HVAC contractors can use certifications as a competitive advantage. You can listen to the podcast here.

Our success with Pearl demonstrates our expertise in helping clients reach key B-to-B audiences to grow their business.

If there’s any way we can help you attract attention and gain exposure for your products and services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us here.

 

Many of us have had to shift our business strategies or evolve how we do business over the last year. I have found that more and more of my clients are trying to find a way to tell the story of that evolution.  Spurred by demand for that service, I recently partnered with a few bad-ass colleagues to form the YES (Your Evolution Story) Story Squad, and we are making it our mission to help businesses mine their experiences of the last year so they can see, shape, and share their evolution stories with the world.

Our unique YES process is designed to help business owners overcome the challenges that often accompany a big change. We help you:

  • Discover and connect your new story with your “why” and what’s important to you now.
  • Rally your team around a shared vision of who you are now.
  • Engage your team to tell their new story and a shared vision of who they are now.
  • Share your story with the media/press and your current and future customers in a condensed, easy-to-access format.
  • Clarify your marketing message and uncover new emerging market opportunities.
  • Identify new possibilities for your work/business and define next steps.

The YES Story Squad includes a Visual Strategist, Narrative Storyteller, Strategic Publicist, and Social Media Orchestrator.  With our expert guidance, you’ll be able to see and celebrate your company and how you serve your customers now. You’ll have a renewed sense of connection with your customers, and the confidence and clarity that will allow you to see new opportunities to expand your customer base and the value you provide your community.

Check out these other businesses who have recently said YES:

Happy Dog Adventures—an established business looking for ways to share the founder’s story and expand her market reach.

Jonathan Siegel—a solopreneur (and heart transplant survivor!) creating a brand new business and looking for a way to tell his story.

Rebecca Saltman—a social impact entrepreneur whose business is evolving right this very moment!

 

Do people need to get to know you again?  Are you ready to say YES, too? Let’s chat about how this new approach could benefit your business. Send me an email here or call 720-404-4507 and let’s discuss how to get your story told.

 

 


2020: When Everything Crumbled
(and I’m not even talking about the pandemic!)

For the last 22 years, I’ve made a living helping businesses tell their stories. Storytelling connects us, inspires us, and opens us up to new ideas and experiences. I love helping others tell their stories, and I’ve gone to the mat again and again to make sure those stories get shared in all the right places with all the right audiences. It’s my passion and my joy to support my clients in this way.

But Then…2020

Then 2020 happened, and my own story demanded my attention. In 12 months, I managed to hit every standard plot point of a very dramatic novel—from the death of both my parents, to a murder trial (not my own!), to a rare cancer diagnosis, to a freaking global pandemic. The only thing missing was a hot-steamy affair with the dog walker (maybe I should get a dog?)! I take consolation in the idea that perhaps I can be the muse for James Patterson’s next bestseller (or maybe a Netflix series? Do you think Julia Louis-Dreyfus is available?).

The bottom line is that 2020 was hard—really, really hard—and I see that it’s now time to share my story, in the hopes that it will inspire you to find and share yours. That is, after all, how we connect, inspire each other, and continue to grow.

A Death in the Family

Before I’d ever even heard of COVID-19, my 2020 story began when my beautiful mom passed away in January, at the age of 82. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her family in her own home.  Going through this experience I found a peace that I have never experienced before, knowing my mom is Rejoicing In Paradise (RIP).

On the heels of this profound experience, I was stunned—along with everyone else—when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and the whole world shut down, practically overnight. Businesses were forced to close their doors as we were asked to quarantine at home for an unspecified period of time. This sudden shutdown caused many of my long-standing clients to scale back on their publicity and PR efforts, resulting in a 63% loss in business from 2019.

I spent the next three months buried in paperwork as I applied for many forms of COVID relief, while simultaneously trying to figure out a new strategy to reignite my business.

Plot Twist! It’s the C-word!

All thoughts of business strategy were immediately abandoned when I was diagnosed in June with a very rare form of bone marrow cancer, called Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, AND (because apparently one life-threatening illness wasn’t dramatic enough for my 2020-novel-in-the-making) a blood disorder called Hyper-Viscosity Syndrome.

Over the course of the summer I learned that keeping a positive attitude was key, as I spent 21 days in the hospital, received 2 blood transfusions, 9 plasmapheresis treatments, 5 chemo and antibody replacement infusions, and dealt with numerous side effects and complications that go along with this diagnosis.  Neutropenic fever landed me an extra 2 nights in the hospital on the COVID-19 floor. Needless to say, I wasn’t having a good time.

My Parents Are Reunited

On September 1st, just 7 months after my mom passed away, and 5 days before their 62nd wedding anniversary, my Dad too passed on. Though he died of complications from West Nile (which he contracted in 2015), my sisters and I believe he just did not want to celebrate an Anniversary without his “beautiful bride” – as he called our mom over the years.

I spent the fall—in between chemo treatments—cleaning out my parents’ home with my sisters, hosting multiple estate sales, and selling their house.

Over Christmas, I lost a very dear 90-year-old friend and advisor, Beverly, who was like a Grandma to me.  So, my 2020 began and ended the same way, with the death of a loved one and an opportunity to reflect on the people and experiences that matter most.

Lessons of Generosity, Boundaries, & Courage

So, what have I learned as I reflect on my 2020 future-Netflix-show? I’ve learned that people are remarkably empathetic and generous when you give them the chance to be. Asking for help does not come naturally to me, but 2020 left me with no other choice, and I was blown away by the emotional and financial support I received. The abundance of calls, cards, flowers, and monetary gifts uplifted and inspired me each day through my journey. 

I learned that it is okay to step away from work in order to heal. My plate wasn’t just full, it was overflowing, and my body and soul simply could not handle it. I was forced to confront that I am not Wonder Woman. I finally slowed down and adjusted my focus toward my own physical and spiritual healing.

And now, as I return to my beloved work in public relations (Oh! I’m in remission! Did I forget to tell you that part?!), I find that I am both more grounded and more fearless. I’m setting and honoring new boundaries that allow me to do the work I love while still nurturing my wellbeing. And, now that I’ve gone to the mat with cancer and grief, there’s nothing I can’t conquer. I’m ready to go to the mat with any challenge that comes my (or my clients’) way.

It’s Your Turn Now!

So what’s your 2020 story? What did you learn and how did you evolve? Did you evolve so hard people need to get to know you again, too? I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Spring roared in like a lion on so many levels this year!  The new season brought a fresh dusting of snow and marked the beginning of a global pandemic.  Our hearts and prayers are with all of you and your families at this difficult time and we hope you to stay safe and healthy as our world fights to overcome this pandemic.

This month, The Stasko Agency has been busy conducting business in a whole new way.  On March 8th we joined the Rebecca Saltman, the Founder of Root Weavers, who offered a unique tribute to International Women’s Day by hosting a virtual expo and a 7-hour live event featuring 24 expressions of purpose and passion videos from women around the world. It was a day where women were recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.  This was a free event offered worldwide.

This was the first virtual conference that The Stasko Agency has participated in.  The event was hosted on Women on Purpose’s new Digital Ecosystem, the Game-changing Platform, eZ-XPO. To get a taste of our day, click here and register to explore all videos and live footage of the day.

Businesses are being forced to reimagine a new normal and to innovate around a new paradigm, yet many do not have the framework or tools to do this work.  To help bridge that gap, the founders of The 3rd Place – myself, Janine Underhill and Myrna James Yoo – have created a workshop to teach businesses and communities how to proactively respond to crisis situations. We recently filmed a COVID-19 Scenario Planning Workshop called Reimagine the Response.  It is a workshop designed to provide a framework for business owners and to help them visualize and anticipate changes in their workflow and creatively problem solve to find new ways of doing business.

Our guest speakers were Leona Cohen, a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) with over 15 years of experience in Business Continuity and Emergency Planning at Fortune 500 organizations and Dr. Michael Schmidt, PhD, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of Sovaris Aerospace, which is focused on assessment and solutions applied to humans in space and extreme environments on Earth. He spoke to the reality of the coronavirus from a medical perspective and how to best serve your customers and employees and keep them safe.

We will be offering this Workshop on-line in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned for the dates.

Stay safe, healthy, active, and look for all positive in being present!

 

 

 

West 29th Restaurant & Bar Updates Menus, Website

Every year offers the opportunity to try new things, so if you haven’t visited West 29th Restaurant & Bar in Wheat Ridge yet, now is the time. The quaint neighborhood eatery has recently updated its dinner and Happy Hour menus, offering an array of dishes to keep you warm this winter.

New additions for dinner include a Baked Sweet Potato Fritter appetizer served with garlic aioli, Bruschetta with balsamic reduction and parmesan cheese; Squash Ravioli, coated with brown butter, fried sage, parmesan cheese and pepitas and Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque.

The new dinner menu has captured lots of media attention with Westword, the Denver Business Journal, LoHi Lifestyle magazine, North Star Magazine and 303 Magazine all reporting on the changes.

The new Happy Hour made its debut late last month and includes such great deals as $6 house wines, $9 specialty cocktails (including the popular Basil Lemon Drop Martini), $4 Colorado bottled beers and a half pound of pan-seared mussels for just $11. The restaurant offers Happy Hour from 5 pm to 7 pm Tuesday through Friday.

If you’re unfamiliar with West 29th, the restaurant was founded by Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker, who in 2013,  transformed what was once a grocery store into  a beautiful eatery that offers Old World cuisine in a New West setting. The restaurant features two patios, an open kitchen, a fireplace and stained glass windows showcasing familiar natural landmarks.

The Stasko Agency has been working to gain West 29th more exposure through a series of events and promotions, including hosting a media dinner and coordinating a live remote with the Gabby Gourmet Show. We also helped the restaurant launch a new website and raise its profile on social media.

West 29th  is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic special occasion, casual Happy Hour or a sunny weekend brunch. It’s also available for private parties, special events and business meetings. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and every weekend for brunch. For more information visit http://west29th.com/