Nanny Goat Salsa

Locally made Nanny Goat Salsa


After suddenly being laid off from her job of 8 years; LaRicher Parks had a lot of time on her hands. She was looking for ways to keep busy and seriously one could only scrub the tub, floors and toilet so many times. So she decided to refocus her energy  on cooking. She remembered baking a zillion loaves of friendship bread, cookies, cakes, casseroles- you name it. 

She got bored with baking and decided to try her hand at making salsa. After several batches she finally had something worth sharing with family and friends. Her family was eating it faster than she could make the salsa. 

 10 years later, she convinced her husband, who never takes anything to the company potluck, to take a couple of jars of salsa with him to work. After the potluck he called to let me know everyone loved the salsa and several folks offered to pay for more. That evening he came home with a few of orders from his coworkers. Soon after she had a chance to serve the salsa at a local ribbon cutting. After receiving positive feedback from the community they decided to give the salsa business a serious consideration.  Along the way one of LaRicher’s sisters unexpectedly passed away, so in honor of her they named the salsa after her, well her childhood nickname.- Nanny Goat.

The salsa can be purchased in the following flavors original, cilantro lime, or chunky. The salsa can either be ordered online HERE or at local events North East of Austin like the Elgin Farmers Market and Sip Shop and Stroll.

Externship Opportunity for Small Businesses


In June, Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WSCA) will connect 100 teachers and counselors from AISD, Del Valle, Elgin, Manor and Pflugerville ISDs with three-day externships.

During the externship, an employer provides a teacher or counselor with the invaluable opportunity to observe and speak to employees, including management, about the skills, certifications and career pathways within the employer host’s organization. After completing their externships, the teachers must create lesson plans based on their experiences, which they can then use in the classroom. Here is a short video that WSCA created, which highlights some of the companies and teachers who participated last summer.

Are you an employer interested in participating? Please register here. For small businesses with less than 150 employees, WSCA is able to offer $500 stipends to businesses hosting teacher externs, as a token of appreciation for the time they are dedicating to the teacher externship. Please note that this year, they are placing a particular focus on Health Care, Information Technology, and Skilled Trades/Manufacturing industries.

This unique professional development opportunity connects the classroom to the workplace. In summer 2019, WSCA placed 48 teachers from 3 area school districts in externships with 24 employers in various industries.

Help our teachers be more effective in educating our future workforce!

Sales meeting

Sales Meetings – it matters where you sit


By LeAnn Pashina, founder of Creatively Communicate, Inc .

Believe it or not, where you and your prospective client sits at a table during your presentation will play a factor in the conversational flow, success in closing the sale, and the energy in the room. Understanding this will enable you to set up every meeting for success before you speak your first word.

Every sale happens between two or more individuals , and any time people are part of an equation, it can create some interesting dynamics. Sales are difficult enough as a profession; if you can increase your rapport and closing ratio with your client simply by selecting the right place to sit, then why wouldn’t you?

Research shows that more sales are closed when the salesperson sits to the left of their potential client than to the right. I am not saying that if you sit in the left-hand seat, you will close every sale; there are too many aspects that lead to a sale for that to be true. You still need to deliver a good presentation, although I am suggesting that by simply understanding the seating strategy, you can increase the percentage of your successful closes.

Keep in mind that I am not talking about manipulation in your sales presentation. What we’re discussing is basic human nature and information you can use to have your meetings and presentations proceed with more success.

Whenever possible, you will want to be the one deciding where each person sits, instead of leaving it to chance. Choosing who sits where is not always possible, but you can still make some minor changes or modifications to benefit you during your presentation. There are various positions to consider, in this article, we will cover where to sit when you are at a conference table.

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The corner position seating arrangement creates a casual, friendly environment for conversation. It has an advantage over having a confrontational “face to face” setting, which is perceived as too direct and aggressive – not the most welcoming qualities to display when you are meeting someone new or presenting to a prospective client.

Corner positioning allows for good eye contact and the opportunity to use numerous hand gestures and body language expressions as well as a vantage point to observe the gestures of the other person. The corner of the table or desk is a partial barrier for each person, which is important because it will provide some security if one person begins to feel threatened for any reason, and at the same time avoids territorial division of the table or desk.

The corner position is the most successful strategic position from which you, the salesperson in position B, can deliver a presentation to your prospective prospect in seat A. By simply occupying the chair in location B shown in the above diagram; you can prevent a tense atmosphere and increase the chances of a positive outcome.

The other significant thing to keep in mind with the corner seating arrangement is to sit to the left of your prospective client whenever possible, especially if you’ll be giving a presentation. Research shows that more sales are closed when sitting to the left of your client. It is because you are speaking more into the right brain hemisphere of your client, which is the emotional side, and where we all make most of our decisions. (We make decisions based on emotions and then justify them logically.)

Knowing and understanding this information will allow you to apply it to your next sales meeting easily and enjoy even more success.

Need more detail about sitting positions?  Grab a copy of our book “Sit Your Way to Success” to learn how you can apply even more strategies.

co lab North Austin

CO.LAB Community Makers to celebrate one year of empowering creators


CO.LAB Community Makes provides a creative space by the community for the community. The donation-based and volunteer-driven studio has provided community makers that visit this North Austin location with ongoing training & support, materials, and space for almost a year now. 

The Makerspace offers a wide selection of tools and the training required to work with them safely, from laser cutting to  CNC milling to sewing and screen printing. ​​ The organization operates on a volunteer-driven schedule. Hours has continued to evolve as more volunteers are available. Anyone interested should check the calendar on the web site for the most current schedule.

The Co-working Space is a comfortable common workspace, ideally suited for sharing ideas, equipment, and expertise. Many groups also use co.lab to host a class, teach a workshop, hold an event, or arrange a meet up.

Creatives should consult with one of CO.LAB Community Makers experts to help bring ideas to life with their fabrication equipment. ​ Equipment includes 3D printers, laser cutter, and a vinyl cutter.

SAVE THE DATE–March 28th–CO.LAB birthday celebration & community day . For more details follow them on Facebook or stay tuned to their web site.

Transportation for people with disabilities


Transportation is an extremely important issue for those with disabilities in the rural areas or in the inner city. People with disabilities have consistently described how transportation barriers affect their lives in important ways. United States Disability Chamber of Commerce aims to develop and implement a transportation plan that addresses these concerns of people with disabilities.

Over the last two decades the National Organization on Disability (NOD) has sponsored three successive Harris polls with people with disabilities, and respondents in each survey have reported that transportation issues are a crucial concern. In the last survey, undertaken in 2004, just under a third of those with disabilities reported that inadequate transportation was a problem for them; of those individuals, over half said it was a major problem. The more severe the disability of the respondent was, the more serious were the reported transportation problems (National Organization on Disability-Harris Interactive, 2004). Donations will assist in developing policies and implementing a plan to address this issue. United States Disability Chamber of Commerce’s plan will create new transportation ideas or leverage existing ones to fulfill the needs of people with disabilities.

For more information on how to help people of disabilities in our area, visit

Tax office foundation communities

Foundation Communities helps during Tax Season


Tax season is officially underway, and Foundation Communities has 7 tax sites throughout Austin and Round Rock through April 15. All of their tax preparation services are FREE and available to anyone who makes less than $55,000/year. Please help them spread the word! Drop off is available at all 7 sites for anyone who wants to drop off their tax documents and pick up their completed return the following week. When coming in for tax prep, all tax clients would need to bring photo IDs for primary taxpayer and spouse, SSN/ITIN for everyone on the return, and all 2019 tax documents.

More information is available on their flyers. Click to view HERE.

If you are interested in volunteering at the enter, click to view HERE.

At the Prosper Centers, our mission is to build pathways to financial wellness, higher education and health coverage so that those who face barriers have opportunities to prosper.

The Best New Year’s Purpose


By Jorge Ramos, Director of Prinso Health Center

If you are little or very overweight, your New Year’s Purpose is not to Lose Weight, but to solve the underlying problem of Overweight, that is, RESOLVE THE CAUSE OF OVERWEIGHT or what causes your body to gradually accumulate fat.

Certainly the cause is not the same as the consequence. Currently in society there is great confusion regarding being Overweight, although it is considered a public health problem, given the high frequency with which it occurs both in developed and underdeveloped countries.

This confusion affects even health professionals such as family doctors, internists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, bariatrists, nutritionists, psychologists, etc. and of course to the community in general.

When individuals start taking the overweight problem seriously, they consider it a problem and there is the problem, there is the confusion.

Everyone may think that being overweight is a problem: eating, poor eating habits, compulsion, stress, hormonal, emotional, carbohydrate addiction, lack of exercise, indulgence or neglect, etc. etc. etc. And it is not like that.
Overweight is not a problem; Overweight is the Consequence of a Problem.

The real problem that causes a person (eat what they eat, with or without stress, exercise or not exercise), accumulate fat progressively in the body, is always: a production greater than the corresponding amount of insulin by the pancreas. And that is the true cause of being Overweight. And this increased production of insulin in the body, is called Hyperinsulinemia and most of the time, although not always, it is accompanied by insulin resistance that predisposes to develop Diabetes.

Although it is difficult to believe and difficult to accept; In all cases and in all people with extra weight, The Cause of Overweight is Hyperinsulinemia.

The word Hyperinsulinemia (Hyper-insulin-emia) is composed of HYPER which means high, much or more. INSULIN or Insulin which is the main hormone produced by the pancreas in all people and EMIA or Hemia which means in the blood.
If you are overweight, you should read articles from serious and reliable sources on the Internet about Hyperinsulinemia and Insulin Resistance.

Thus, being overweight is never a problem, it is always a symptom; a symptom of hyperinsulinemia.
A symptom is never a problem, on the contrary, it is a blessing, because it is a sign, a warning, an indicator, a messenger, a warning that there is a Problem.

So the best Health Purpose for someone who is Overweight, whether it is a little or a lot, is: Solve the Background Problem of Overweight and not focus on the symptom, not aiming to lose weight, as this will come as a result of solving the problem. cause or resolve Hyperinsulinemia.
And if that is your purpose; Prinso® Health Center is on your side.

PRINSO® means: INsulin Regulation Program in the Overweight and is 100% specific, 100% natural and 100% effective.

The Prinso® Program, which is unique and exclusive to solve the underlying problem of overweight, is based on a specific, healthy, natural, complete, varied and always more than enough diet and is supported by an essential Natural Support that can be Acutens (Local Natural Support in Austin and San Antonio TX) or Prinso ® Capsules (Remote Natural Support with shipping to any city) which, due to its promoter effect of regulating the function of the pancreas, helps you resolve Hyperinsulinemia.

With the wonderful advantage that the results begin to be noticed from the first week.

And when the Prinso® Program is properly finished, you will no longer be overweight and there are precise indications, so that without the need for the Prinso® Natural Support and always being well nourished, avoid developing Hyperinsulinemia or Overweight again.

Here you can BOOK an APPOINTMENT online.
Request an appointment by phone call North Austin TX at 512 450 5150 and San Antonio TX at 210 547 8500.

Toastmasters communications public speaking

Improve Your Communication with Bilingual Toastmasters


Would you like to improve your English AND Spanish speaking skills?  Regardless of your experience in either language, Bilingual Lady Toastmasters meetings can help you:

*decrease your fear of public speaking

*enhance the effectiveness of your message

*remove filler words from your speech like “ah” and “um”

*improve your grammar-immediately respond to questions you do not have much time to think about

Additionally, the Bilingual Lady Toastmasters club provides a warm and supportive environment made up of AMAZING ladies.
Be a guest at the next meeting at Genuine Joe’s Coffeehouse (2001 W Anderson Ln in North Austin)  cellar room from noon to 1 pm.  Meetings are every 1st Wednesday (in English) and 3rd Wednesday (in Spanish) of the month. More on this group can be found HERE.
If you are unable to make these meetings and prefer a Toastmaster club at a different time or place, find a Toastmasters club near you at THIS LINK.
Valerie Chavez can also be reached at 512-919-9634 for any questions.

There is another Bilingual Toastmasters that meets in South Austin on Mondays’ from 12 to 1 PM at IHOP 1101 S Mopac Austin, TX 78746 . More about this group can be found HERE.

Meet Sheila Hawkins-Bucklew, Founder & CEO at Hawkins Bucklew Jewelry Designs and Showroom 808


Sheila Hawkins-Bucklew is an entrepreneur whose journey has been woven together with a common thread: the empowerment of women. She is a proponent of equality and women’s rights, something she has held close to her heart throughout her career.

Sheila was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and earned a B. S. Degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University. Sheila began her professional career in retail buying and store management. She lived in Washington, D.C. before moving to Austin, TX.

Through her servant leadership roles in the Austin community, she began to want to do more, she wanted to impact her global community by empowering women. In 2014 during Austin Fashion Week she launched Hawkins Bucklew™ Handcrafted Jewelry Designs as the face of her mission and the financial arm of the Hawkins Bucklew™ Foundation.

These two Hawkins Bucklew ventures tied perfectly together the common threads of Sheila’s creativity, business expertise, and passion for helping the under served.

In 2017 Sheila was selected by the U.S. Department of State for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange Award. A flagship program of former President Obama, the Reciprocal Exchange program supports American professionals in their travel to Sub-Saharan Africa to engage in collaborative projects that demonstrates a substantial impact on the community and country of an African Fellow. Sheila partnered with Hauwa Liman, a Nigerian Fashion Designer to host their inaugural “Creative Entrepreneurship Bootcamp” in Lagos, Nigeria. This project focused on entrepreneurial programs for women who were creative entrepreneurs.

Sheila remains active in her local community as a member of the Greater Austin Black Chamber, the Four Point’s Task Force in District 6, and Jewelers of America. She is also a former member of The Links, Inc. Town Lake Chapter, National Black MBA Association, National Council of Negro Women, and National Association of Real Estate Brokers (RE-ALTIST). Sheila enjoys volunteering in the community dedicating her time to such organizations as the Capital City Black Film Festival, Austin Area Jazz Festival, and SXSW. Sheila has been featured in articles of the following periodicals: The Austin Chronicle Newspaper, Community Impact Newspaper, Austin Women’s Magazine, Tribeza Magazine, Eclectic Shades Magazine, and British Vogue.

Her most recent awards include the 2018 Profiles of Prominence Award given by the Austin Metroplex Chapter of the National Women of Achievement, Inc., the AFTV5 African Champion Award for 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year, and in September of 2018 Sheila was honored with the African Community Service Award given by the African community in the Washington, D.C. area. Sheila’s personal manta “I Am Because You Are” is what keeps her engaged in the community. Knowing what she has accomplished could not have been possible without the efforts of those who had come before her. Her current mission is to inspire mankind by empowering women through jewelry design. She hopes by sharing her personal story she can positively impact the lives of others.

Sheila, a life-long learner is a 2019 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in their Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy. This gained knowledge centered around social business enterprises has helped launch Showroom 808; a collaborative marketplace for creative women entrepreneurs.

Wedding speech

Advance your speaking and leadership skills with Austin PM Toastmasters


Does the mere thought of standing up to say a few words fill you with fear?
If so, you’re not alone! Fear of public speaking is reputed to rank even higher than death! Whether it’s the upcoming wedding speech, an important pitch to a client, or simply making your point in a meeting of colleagues, it’s easy for the fear to take over – so that you don’t perform at your best. There are consequences for how you’re viewed by friends, family and your boss, with follow-on emotional and economic impacts.

So what would you like to do about it? If you’re employed in a reasonable sized organisation, you might have already attended a presentation skills course.  If you really want to tackle your fear, and also if you’ve not got access to in-house training, Toastmasters is the perfect answer.

Our wide network of clubs and their learn-by-doing program are sure to help you become a better speaker and leader because you’ll be building your skills at a pace that you choose. And the regular meetings (typically twice per month) ensure you practice and develop your skills – just as you might build your muscles through regular exercise .

Here are just some of the benefits of joining Toastmasters:

  • Regular and constructive feedback from other learners as you practice organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly
  • Access to a wealth of educational materials and resources on public speaking, listening skills and effective communication in conferences and meetings.
  • Insights on communication, leadership, club activities and other relevant topics.

Members quickly gain the skills that allow them to excel at job interviews, present humorous, informative or special occasion speeches or give powerful business presentations.

Attend the next meeting to find out more and see it in action. Guests are welcomed. Austin PM Toastmasters may be the place for you. The group originated to serve Project Managers, but it is not limited to professionals in that field. This group meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month at 6:30 pm in North Austin at Asian American Resource Center (8401 Cameron Rd Austin, TX 78754 ). For more information on this group, visit HERE.

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