Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hob knobing (Warning, political)

My boy Roy Manning got me to attend a men's picnic down in Columbia last night. Said it was a fund raiser for a good cause and asked if I would buy a couple tickets. You know I am all about that good charity martyr buzz so I headed down to partake in whatever Roy had gotten me in to. Turns out it was a major local political rally up picnic with a beer truck and smoked meats. Longtime acquaintance Gary Banks was presiding over the 200-300 people there, really had a good time. I must have been the only one not running for office, because after all of the announcements were made, virtually everyone there was recognized for either having had an office or for soon to be seeking one. I thought that was pretty neat considering the fact that I usually stay away from stuff like that.

Frankly, I have no idea what that world is all about, politics, campaigning, glad handing. My dad used to own a restaurant in Jeff City called Phil E. Busters, he was a local politico, a lobbyist, a statesman, I think he might have been the President of the Missouri Young Democrats back in his day. I always wondered what in the hell all those titles meant and what all those people do, at events like these. I wondered if he ever really got any work done or was it just a bunch of picnicking. Phil's was a local watering hole for the Missouri Legislation ilk. Quite the place in its hey day. It is now called Bone's.

I saw Boone County Prosecutor (now a judge he tells me), Kevin Crane. We went to high school together, one of the funniest humans on earth. He really knows how to work it. In between handshakes and back slaps of common people passing by, I was able to get exemplary technique on how to glad hand during a social event, as a politician. I was astonished, and to be quite honest, a little turned off.

I suppose it would come as no surprise to my readers that I think the whole system, the lobby, the schmoozing, the spending, status quo of government is so broken that participation in the system only adds to the continued evolution of inefficiency. That sounds bad doesn't it? It would not be worth my stab at public service to get caught up in gridlock. I would be too frustrated and, yes, there are the skeletons... Though my contemporaries would argue that the whole thing is a necessary evil, a slow, indulgent political process of posturing, I choose to provide influence in my own way.

So call me a pessimist. Fact is, my advocacy gets more done, even if it isn't as measurable. Pfoodman and just about everything I do as a human being resonates that which has become my position on everything. This blog pretty well sums that up. I was trying to explain myself to Senator Chuck Graham at the picnic (pictured above), how disturbed I get with the lack of clear vision, that which our politicians navigate daily in their world of influence, how strategies seem so ambiguous, how change is such a lengthy process of give and take.

I don't have to deal with any of that stuff if I am authentically engaged in what our company is about. Our business and its creative marketing program that has been strategically designed to encourage active living, nutrition and wellness beats out any declaration, writ or whereas-of-the-people that these guys can put together. It is we, the small business owners of the country who have the power to change, to establish our direction with a clear plan without much standing in our way. Pfoodman does this with creative marketing programs designed with the community at heart, business development strategies that speak to the culture of our clients best interest, brands that resonate a sustainable future. We are not mandated to do anything by bill proposals or laws.

So it is with this in mind that we manage our company. We take on the responsibility of change for a better future. We want to change the world a bit and it is part of the deal, because of our passion for good living and active lifestyle, sustainability. It is part of the budget, our "green initiatives". We spend a little here and there, justifying our position and our mission. It is not political at all, though very influential. That is why Pfoodman and Trailnet have entered into the new Active Living Partnership, where we help fund their ability to make a difference in the childhood obesity issue. That is why we have funded the MS Society Bicycle Tour, the Arthritis Foundation Walks. It is why I sit on the Board of the St. Charles YMCA. We are in the middle of promoting a 6 race mountain bike series and way too many other initiatives to mention. The theme, active living decreases health risks.

So I must have struck a nerve with Chuck Graham and a couple others at that picnic at Rockbridge State Park, Monday. In the last two days I have been contacted by two offices who want to sit and talk about my concerns. I learned from my father that when a politician says this, and they are running for election, chances are that the hand is out and donations are important to re-election. "You got to get a ticket to the ball if you want to dance." he would say. Hey, so be it. I think it's time to get the word out.

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