Real-Life Tragedy Inspires Novel

Real-Life Tragedy Inspires Novel

A Contagious Type of Friendship that Brought Strangers Together

Loveland, Colorado, July 2022— On July 5, 2018, Brian Perri was reported missing on Mount Meeker, one of the most dangerous mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park, after a selfie revealed his last known location as the summit. Inspired by her son’s role in the search that was covered by news media far and wide, Loveland resident K.V. Fischer penned the recently released Search Beyond Lies, Book One in the Search & Recovery International Series. Though a work of fiction, the book’s inspiration lies in the rare type of friendship her son, J.C. Fischer, and Kimo McEwen had with Brian, where they put their lives on hold and jeopardized their safety and well-being to search for him.

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Description automatically generatedA suspense thriller with a dash of romance, Search Beyond Lies tells the story of the search for a missing scientist, a top-secret project, and a ticking clock. Desperate to find his friend and mentor, James Frankel knows that only former Army Ranger, Charlie Sommer can help him. But how can he trust a woman who’s keeping secrets?

As a former Army Ranger, Charlie Sommers garnered the reputation of having the highest search and rescue success rate, but she’s plagued by the one she left behind. Now she’s on the verge of an exciting new beginning as a part of Search & Recovery International where her secrets are safe. There’s only one problem: the new assignment will take her back to Colorado and the loss that still haunts her.

The clock is ticking down. With their lives¾and their hearts¾at risk, Charlie and James join forces in an attempt to save the scientist and the world from catastrophe while finding the truth beyond lies in this action-packed thriller. It is available at

K.V. Fischer is an attorney, speaker, and published author with more than 20 years’ experience in the corporate, government, and private sectors. Although she is extensively published in nonfiction, with one book and more than 100 articles (the majority of which were ghost-written), her passion has always been writing suspense thrillers. Search Beyond Lies is the first in the Search & Recovery International Series and her second suspense thriller.

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COWOI Advice for our Intern on her 18th Birthday

COWOI Advice for our Intern on her 18th Birthday

by Ann Clarke

  1. Follow your passion, follow your heart.
  2. Don’t procrastinate.
  3. Don’t give up on your dream. Surround yourself with people who will support you.
  4. Take advantage of the COWOI ladies. They have experience & wisdom to share.
  5. Listen to YOUR instincts.
  6. Follow your heart. Don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never done.
  7. Stay true to who you are. Let your friends be there for you in hard times.
  8. Forget “conventional” thinking. Some of it’s not worth squat.
  9. Dream BIG. Don’t let yourself be an obstacle to your greatness.
  10. Take a public speaking class. It will give you self confidence and you will be able to hold your own in a room, especially a room full of men.
  11. Create a circle of advisors & friends. You can’t “see” or “do” it all yourself.
  12. Have many friends with many interests. Don’t be afraid to let friends go as you change. It’s OK.
  13. “Show up to go up.”
  14. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Just fix anything needing fixing and move on.
  15. Remember that YOU are a VIP.
  16. You are not going to be doing the same thing all your life. Open yourself to various career options.
  17. Be picky when you pick your mate.
  18. Be true to the face in the mirror. Can you be proud of who is looking back?
  19. Be patient. Follow your intuition but keep your eyes opened.
  20. All you have to do is ASK. Follow your passion but keep your eyes on the dream.
  21. Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Do something every day to help your dreams become a reality.
Do You Really Know Your Customers?

Do You Really Know Your Customers?

By Ann Clarke
The Community Business Journal of Colorado

Whenever I sit down with a new client, the first thing I say is, “Tell me about your business” and the second thing is, “Who are your customers?”. The answers I get are interesting, but not always accurate.

A great many businesses know who they’d like to sell to but they don’t always know who they’re really selling to. They’re very good as assuming things. I flashback to my family’s dinner table talks and my father, a successful entrepreneur who didn’t mince words, telling us, “If you ASSUME anything about our customers, you run the chance of making an ASS of U and ME.” By the end of this article, I hope I’ve shown you how to TRACK your customers and clients and gather useful information for planning your marketing strategy.

1. Do you know where your customer and clients come from? Do you track each contact by asking, “how did you get my name?” Were they referrals from an old client? Are they from your church? Did you meet them at a Chamber of Commerce meeting? Did they call from a newspaper ad? Were they driving through town and saw your sign? Keep a tracking sheet beside your phone in your store, office, home and car so you can make notes. At the end of the year, chart the results. Presto, you’ve got a valuable tool to help you decide where to spend your advertising money next year! Maybe that billboard is worth its weight in gold, or perhaps a yellow pages ad paid for itself many times over.

2. Do you really understand your customers and prospective customers? What do you know about your buyers and sellers? Things like: married or not, kids or not, age, occupation and company they work for, income, educational background, hobbies, neighborhood they live in now, and how and where they spend their “disposable” income. You can bet the national brand folks gather all sorts of “demographic” and “psycho-graphic” data on consumers. Auto makers know EXACTLY who is most likely to buy a Ford truck over a Chevy truck, because they’ve PROFILED their past customers. Next time you watch TV, notice who shows people using their truck as a recreation vehicle, and who is hauling bricks. OK, so apply the same principles to your own business! If you have 85% of your customers with families, you’d best haul your kids in front of the camera and incorporate them into your ads. If 50% of your past clients play golf, how ’bout a photo of you with your cell phone teeing up?

3. Do you know what your potential clients really want when they come through your door? Again, don’t assume. It’s easy to do a bit of ‘mini-research.’ ASK if your massage clients would prefer that you come to their home, or if they would rather come to your office. If you’re a Realtor, is holding an open house important? If you’re a printer, would your customers appreciate your delivering their order to their doorstop? Is a toll-free phone number important? Would they do more buying if you accepted credit cards? You can do this ‘research’ informally by casual conversation, or formally through a focus group. You could even create a questionnaire to be returned in an enclosed postage-paid envelope, or by having someone telephone. An extra benefit: To be asked for one’s opinion is flattering. It proves to your customers that you are trying to serve them better.

Are you beginning to get the picture? By researching these three elements, you are creating a road map to “position” yourself in the market. You’ll know where you stand, and what you need to work on. You’ll be able to create a marketing plan that helps you TARGET customers and clients, and lead to more profits than you ever imagined!

You may reprint this article and make copies for your team.
©Ann Clarke 2002-2008
GR8 Ideas At Work!™
“Award-winning consultant, speaker, photographer and writer”
PO Box 412, Masonville CO 80541
toll-free: 877-669-5089 – (970) 669-5089 – fax PHONE: 970-669-5089
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Our Mission: GR8 Ideas™ to grow your business to the next level!

It Doesn't Take Much to Get Organized

It Doesn't Take Much to Get Organized

A wall calendar works for your business, for your family schedule, and for your personal life

Sue Lenthe interviewed me for an article in the Northern Colorado Business Report on “Planning for a More Successful New Year.” Perfect timing, since every November I tell all my audiences to plan now for what you want to accomplish for next year. I told Sue that sometimes a very simple tool can get you headed in the right direction.

For instance, in December drop by Citizen printing (at 1309 Webster, on the east side of Ft. Collins just north of Mulberry) and get a free “Planning Calendar.” (please check to see if they are still offering this promotion) Hang this year-at-a-glance calendar where you can see it every day. Get a supply of those round colored dots (garage sale dots or labels) and assign special meaning to each color. Decide what you want to accomplish.

For instance, Linda Sioux Rosen always sends out a personalized photo postcard for the Holiday season. She might put a green dot on December 10th on her calendar, with the notation “mail out cards.” She knows it takes about two weeks for the cards to be printed, so she puts a yellow dot on November 10th, with the notation “card to printer.” But she knows she has to have a special photo taken outside with her Clydesdale draft horse for the card, and the weather is unpredictable, so she puts a red dot on September 10th with the notation “take photos for Holiday card.” See how by starting with her goal and working backwards she’s able to visualize what she needs to do to make it happen–without STRESS?

By using the wall calendar to target dates for marketing campaigns, you get the perspective you need to plan to make it happen. You’ll focus on what you have to do in January to make your client party happen in June! Dots can mark dates, goals, meetings, deadlines, vacation time, birthdays–whatever you wish. The wall calendar works for your business, for your family schedule, and for your personal life as well. It gives you perspective and makes you at least feel like you have a bit of control. No last minute panic or projects done in a hap-hazard way because you were rushed! Amazing, isn’t it, how such a simple FREE tool can make you a more successful business person?

Don’t you agree that some people know how to make ordinary things more fun? Diana McKinney (of Solid Sound Entertainment) had a suggestion for those of us who make ‘to do’ lists on yellow pads, just for the pleasure of crossing off items we’ve accomplished. Diana says, “If you use a highlighter when marking items off your ‘to do’ list, it really does ‘show’ what you have done.” Yes, rather spectacularly!

My friend Laureen Persson the massage therapist would agree. She uses colored sticky notes for her ‘to do’ lists in her little day planner AND colored pens! You should see her on a road trip–her maps are a symphony of different colors for the trip out, the trip back, and optional side jaunts. I suspect that these folks lead colorful lives in many, many ways, eh?

GR8 Ideas for your Favorite Charity

GR8 Ideas for your Favorite Charity

Non-Profits are businesses, too!

Sometimes a non-profit’s challenges are the same as any business person’s: Sometimes they’re so busy meeting the needs of one set of their “customers” who receive their services that they forget that they have other “clients.”

WE are also their clients: those of us who donate time, money, goods and services. Other business challenges are similar, too. Non-profits need to create a positive image and market themselves to their prospective “customers” – again, US. They need to get out in the community because the principles of marketing apply: you do business with people you know. How can you get to know what a non-profit does if you never come in contact with someone from the organization? That’s why attended networking events is a must.

For instance, here’s what Candace Mayo said when she was with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Colorado. She would attend networking events and tell everyone: “We need women who have the time to do fund- raising, planning, coordinating with the family (we call those folks family advocates), a public relations type (that can hype the build in the press), a grant writer (fundraiser). And of course, as in any project, we need good people persons who are great administrators and can sell the Women Build concept to others. Women business owners who would like to help are great go-getters. We always LOVE those!! If you are looking for a materials list (what it takes to build the house–sticks and bricks) let me know.”

So does networking work for the non-profits as well as it works for you? Oh, YES! Here’s what Diana Larson of Project Self-Sufficiency said: “…networking really does work. After I shared with others that Project Self-Sufficiency needed a computer consultant, several contacted us and I’m pleased to say that we are starting to work on our project with one of them. It was very helpful for our organization to receive recommendations of qualified individuals from others.”

It’s not me, ladies–it’s YOU who are connecting on many levels to help our businesses grow and our communities become an even better place to live. YOU are the ones who are doing exactly what the wonderful Linda W. Norton encouraged us to do: to blend business with community service. It’s up to YOU to make your community a wonderful place to rear a family.