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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

North Suburban YMCA Community Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The North Suburban YMCA hosted a fun-filled, festival style community party on August 25 in honor of its 50th year in its Northbrook facility.

Over a 1000 people enjoyed live music from a giant main stage, kids' activities, and delicious food at "50Fest" with special attention given to founding members who helped establish the Y in the 1960s.

Children found plenty of options to keep busy during the party as they played in bounce houses, selected the perfect balloon animal and airbrush tattoo, and took a break from the sun in air conditioned video game trailers.

Families came together in the Bingo tent, winning fun prizes with the help of celebrity callers WBBM-FM news anchor Lisa Fielding, Congressman Brad Schneider, WKQX 101.1 radio personalities Lauren O'Neil and Tim Virgin, and others.

WKQX 101.1 radio personalities Lauren O'Neil and Tim Virgin

Guests also enjoyed a wide variety of food options from eight local restaurants and browsed special promotions from businesses who sponsored the event.

The North Suburban YMCA reflects on the consistent values that have been the foundation of the Y for decades, honoring the past while looking toward a vital future.

Founded by Ken and Alta Thiel in 1961, the NSYMCA launched a variety of youth and family programs held at various sites around Northbrook.

A multiyear fundraising effort culminated in the construction of the Y's home building at 2705 Techny Road, which opened in 1969.

Community leaders participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the North Suburban YMCA in Northbrook in June 1968.

From its earliest days through the start of the 21st century, generations of local residents have relied on the NSYMCA, learning to swim in the pool, shooting hoops in the gym, and practicing ballet in the dance studios. Various additions over the years transformed the original building into an 80,000 square foot facility to keep up with changing needs.

Children who grew up at the Y in the 1970s and '80s now bring their own kids to enjoy the benefits of nurturing, enriching Y programs. Across the board, these programs emphasize personal growth and values: teamwork, confidence, respect, and the importance of healthy lifestyles.

The Y is now thriving with a growing membership and a rich network of partnerships with other local organizations for specialized programming and events.

Through its Strong Kids Fund, the NSYMCA provides financial assistance that enables individuals in financial need to participate fully in the Y's benefits. More than one out of five individuals at the Y -- over 2,600 people -- receive financial assistance through the Strong Kids Fund for after-school programs, summer camp, life-saving swim lessons, and other activities for all ages.

The 50th Anniversary events featured the history of the Y and its community since 1968 and include launching several new major initiatives: Two Seconds Too Long, teaching every second grader to be safe around water, five Integrated Health Awareness programs, a Community Engagement Expansion Enterprise, and a major capital improvement project and campaign.
Howard Schultz, North Suburban YMCA President/CEO since 2006

"The Y is not just another place to work out or swim; it seeks to improve the lives of people of all ages throughout the community," commented Howard Schultz, North Suburban YMCA President/CEO.

"Our core values of healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility resonate in all our programs and events.

We are eager to celebrate this outstanding resource with events that honor the rich history of the Y and our community over the last 50 years, and are equally excited to launch new transformative programs that will guide our Y for the next 50 years."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Seeking Volunteers at Blessons Chicago Marathon Aid Station #09

The Chicago IFMA Chapter is proudly supporting its charity partner, Blessons Scholarships for Women, at this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Volunteers are needed at the Chicago Marathon Aid Station #09 to distribute water and Gatorade to race participants while cheering them on.

Signup to Volunteer for Aid Station #09

All volunteers must register online individually by Monday, October 1, 11:59 p.m.

Click on the button for Aid Station 09, then click the sign up button next to BLESSONS,NFP to register.

Blessons will receive a monetary donation for every volunteer that registers for Aid Station #09 through the IFMA Chicago Chapter.

Get a group of colleagues, friends, and family to come out October 7th and make a difference while having fun.

The Aid Stations are the most sought-after volunteer positions for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Take pride as a member of this exclusive volunteer team that keeps participants hydrated and motivated throughout every step of their 26.2 mile journey!

In addition to supporting Blessons Scholarships for Women and making a difference, all volunteers will receive a Nike Chicago Marathon hat & jacket AND snacks and coffee will be provided along with breaks throughout the shift.

AmpliVox Sound System, an active member of the Chicago IFMA Chapter, will be participating at this year's event.

AmpliVox megaphones are a great way to bring mobile, coordinated communication to marathons by providing direction, making pre- or post-race announcements, and offering instructions during an emergency.

Communicating through a megaphone establishes authority, and is sure to attract everyone's attention.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

AmpliVox Half-Mile Hailers Announce the 2018 USRowing Masters National Championships

The 2018 USRowing Masters National Championships was held on August 16-19, 2018 at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The Bay Area of California has long been known for its rowing history, in addition to the popularity of the sport in the city’s vicinity.

The regatta was an opportunity for masters rowers from across the country to come together and compete for national championships in more than 200 categories. The Lake Merritt rowing venue is located in the heart of downtown Oakland, providing a unique urban setting that allows views from all sides of the lake.

USRowing is a nonprofit membership organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States.

USRowing selects, trains and manages the teams that represent the U.S. in international competition including the world championships, Pan American Games and Olympics.

More than 75,000 individuals and 1,300 organizations strong, USRowing serves and promotes the sport on all levels of competition.

USRowing membership reflects the spectrum of American rowers – juniors, collegians, masters and those who row for recreation, competition or fitness.

Produce 2 Broadcast, the sound contractor that worked on the audio and video production for the 2018 USRowing Masters National Championships relied on AmpliVox Half-Mile Hailers to make announcements and broadcast the event.

AmpliVox Half-Mile Hailers were fixed to the Start and Finish towers allowing for commentary and public address across Lake Merritt.

The Half-Mile Hailer is great for use in high noise areas and large open spaces.

The weather proof horn speaker produces wider sound dispersion than other available products, projecting clear sound up to a half mile away.

Easy to use 50 Watt amp really powers out the sound, just turn it on, adjust the volume and start talking.

Fingertip volume and tone controls and push button emergency siren give you fast, easy control in changing conditions.

The amplifier runs on 10 D cell batteries good for 200 hours of operation or optional rechargeable NiCad battery with AC adapter recharger.

The amplifier features: dual wireless microphone jacks for multiple presenters, auxiliary input for iPhone or CD player, line out for recording, additional speaker jacks and volume and tone controls. There is even a siren button.

Expand your outdoor sound system with a Half-Mile Hailer Kits that provide additional components such as:
  • Power and Passive Horn speakers
  • Choice of wired or wireless handheld, headset and lapel microphones with transmitter
  • Adjustable compact tripods
  • Nylon carry case with luggage handle and wheels

For more information on the Half-Mile Hailer, please visit:

Friday, August 24, 2018

AmpliVox Exhibiting at the 87th Annual Toastmasters International Convention

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 357,000 members improving their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 16,600 clubs in 143 countries that make up their global network of meeting locations.

The world needs leaders. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate.

By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program.

Every Toastmasters journey begins with a single speech. During their journey, they learn to tell their stories. They listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback—and accept it. Through our community of learners, they find their path to leadership.

More than 2,000 members from 110 countries around the world arrived in Chicago to compete in speech contests, participate in the opening ceremonies, and listen to inspiring and motivation speakers.

Stop by the AmpliVox booth #TICon2018 and hear how our portable sound systems and lecterns offer a style for every speaking need.

Titan Wireless Portable PA System

A versatile go-anywhere PA with a 100 watt amplifier and wireless mic options. Equipped with a wired handheld mic with your choice of wireless microphone, and a luggage handle with wheels.

You can also play your music with the built-in CD player, USB Flash Drive input, or through the SD slot.

Audio Portable Buddy

An easy-to-carry sound system in a briefcase-style design, powerful enough to reach audiences of up to 1,000 people in rooms up to 10,000 square feet.

A proven "Road Warrior", specially tooled and molded plastic briefcase-style enclosure for exceptional durability and portability. Travels and sets up so easily.

Power Pod with Bluetooth®

Specifically designed for classrooms, school yards, tour groups & meetings.

The SW245 is compact and lightweight, but versatile and rugged enough for indoor as well as outdoor venues, offering optimum usability


Extend your voice in large open spaces with the AmpliVox Mity-Meg Megaphones.

They are ideal for crowd control, announcements in noisy environments or emergency services.

ADA Sit-to-Stand Lectern (SN3900)

A versatile lectern that combines motorized height adjustment and wheelchair access, offering a stylish yet functional approach to ADA compliance that easily accommodates the mobility-impaired as well as the standing presenter.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Englewood Fire Dept Celebrates Passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez joined by firefighters from across New Jersey to celebrate passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, during the news conference at Englewood Fire Dept. HQ in Englewood on 07/03/18.

Fires present unique health risks to those who battle them — the flames produce fumes and debris that are known or suspected to cause cancer.

And small particles from burning plastics, carpet or asbestos can worm their way into the lungs.

Firefighters have a higher rate of both cancer deaths and cancer cases than the general population, a multi-year study by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety found in 2013.

The increases were found in respiratory, oral, digestive and urinary cancers.

Another study, which followed a group of 30,000 firefighters from three big-city departments over 60 years, discovered that the more time a firefighter spent at fires, the greater the likelihood of being diagnosed with lung cancer.

It also found a greater chance of dying from leukemia.

Researchers were careful to note that the study could not identify which cancers were caused by the firefighters’ work and which were caused by personal risk factors, such as family history or smoking.

The study doesn’t mean a healthy firefighter will get cancer.

But to many, the anecdotal evidence is enough.

The bill will also consolidate and store information submitted by health care professionals regarding cancer among firefighters, and make available some data to public health researchers for their study.

The news conference was held with speakers standing behind a custom made Pinnacle Multimedia Lectern built specifically for the Englewood Fire Department personalized with their logo.

The AmpliVox Pinnacle Multimedia Lectern helps you look great, indoors or out.

It is available with built in wireless PA with 150 amp (SW3250), connection to house PA (ST3250), or lectern only (SN3250).

The lectern has a rugged, weather resistant plastic shell that comes in your choice of five front panel colors: Mahogany, Oak, Maple, Cherry or White.

Roll this lightweight lectern anywhere using built-in handles and two tilt and roll casters.

A tabletop surface securely holds your laptop or papers and there is a spacious storage shelf.

The ST3250 model adds PA to the lectern with gooseneck mic sensitive up to 18" away and built-in AC power outlet and XLR audio to connect to house sound system.

SW3250 adds a 16 channel wireless sound system with a 150 watt amplifier and two Jensen design speakers.

Both the ST and SW models offer a complete dashboard with digital clock and timer, lectern light, and audio controls. The SW model provides a wireless receiver and Bluetooth connectivity.

AmpliVox offers custom logo solutions to add your business logo prominently on any lectern of choice.

Make your brand stand out at your next event. A customized AmpliVox lectern with your company logo will set your organization apart while enhancing your professional presence at your conferences, business meetings and hosted events.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Contemporary Acrylic Lecterns Make the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Shine

Eight former NFL stars were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. This year’s Hall of Fame class featured:

While Owens opted not to travel to Canton, and instead gave his speech at his alma mater earlier in the day, seven stood on the stage in front of a stadium of fans, family, and players.

AmpliVox's long time hometown favorite Brian Urlacher from the Chicago Bears was elected on his first ballot in a deep class of finalists. His induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a a well-deserved recognition of his career as one of the best middle linebackers to ever play the game.

AmpliVox Acrylic Lecterns offer contemporary elegance that projects your image in any setting.

The AmpliVox Series 3080 Lecterns will help you stand out as someone to be noticed and listened to. They’re made of tough half inch plexiglass, with beautiful anodized aluminum side panels.

You can choose side panels of silver, black, or gold. The reading surface comes in widths 27”, 36” or 48” so you can really spread out your papers.

The acrylic is available in clear, frosted, smoked or a variety of colors. Choose from these standard colors or your own custom tint.

We can even add your logo. AmpliVox offers custom logo solutions to add your business logo prominently on any lectern of choice.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Relationship Goals: Life Lessons to Maximize Sales

In an economy increasingly dominated by online sales and faceless vendors, the notion of customer relationships may seem quaint. When buyers can just search for products on Amazon or a hundred other Web-based clearinghouses, is there a future for sales professionals?

Personal connection is the single most important element in maximizing sales over the long term. Focusing on relationship building allows a sales professional to anticipate customer needs, make targeted recommendations, and become a trusted partner for future purchases.

After 20-plus years in manufacturing and sales, I firmly believe that personal connection is the single most important element in maximizing sales over the long term.

Instead of constantly chasing individual sales, focusing on relationship building allows a sales professional to anticipate customer needs, make targeted recommendations, and become a trusted partner for future purchases.

To cultivate this relationship-based approach, salespeople need universal skills based on human nature.

Everyone wants to feel heard, understood, remembered, and appreciated. Think about these priorities as you approach your new customers.

Reading the Room: Emphasize Conversation
Each customer comes to you with a different set of priorities. Some will be facing a time crunch and need quick, concise answers; others will be window-shopping for purchases that may not be made for weeks or months.

Be sensitive to the tone used by each customer and adapt your approach accordingly. Whenever possible, engage in relaxed conversation to learn about their general business needs. It may not generate an immediate sale, but it can lay the foundation for a more fruitful relationship over time.

Attentive Listening: Be a Problem Solver
If a customer comes to you with specific needs, take them to heart. This is not the time to showcase your encyclopedic knowledge of your entire product line. Listen carefully to the customer’s concerns, taking notes and asking questions to clarify your understanding (and demonstrate that you are paying attention). Then make product recommendations with specific references to the needs expressed by the customer.

If you are trying to lead them toward a more expensive product, be sure to directly explain why the added features or benefits of that product will serve the customer’s stated needs. Taking the time to educate the buyer will leave a lasting impression that can translate into a long-term relationship.

Talking Up: Make Your Customer Look Like a Genius
Frequently, your first point of contact will not be the final decision-maker. That does not mean the initial relationship is any less important. The best way to get access to the person higher up the chain is to take your friendly contact along for the ride.

Suggest a meeting, conference call, or other group communication, and be sure to highlight the ways the employee has helped you understand the company’s needs. Present your proposed solution as a team effort, especially if you can find a way fulfill their requirements below budget. If the boss is happy, you will have made a friend for life in the trenches.

Follow Up: Be the First Choice
Your customer relationship should never end at the point of purchase. Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, stay in touch to ensure they are satisfied and to let them know you have not forgotten them. Adding their contact info to your company’s general marketing lists is an important first step, but you can do much more with a personal touch that shows your knowledge of their company.

Is your supplier offering an upgrade that enhances their purchase? Is there a new product that fills a “wish list” item for them? There’s no need for a hard sell when you tailor your suggestions to needs you already know exist.

In sales as in life, relationships aren’t always easy. They require commitment, effort, and give-and-take. Sometimes they fizzle out. Nonetheless, the ones that flourish can stand the test of time and pay dividends for years.

You may even find that the skills you polish in sales serve you well in your personal relationships. Take the time to step away from the computer and see how one-on-one sales conversations can grow your business.