Happy Labor Day from The Gallery Collection!

by Joe Goldstein on September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

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I was on the Holiday party committee last year and it was the first year I was involved. There is an awful lot of work that goes into planning that I never knew or frankly, thought about. It was a good experience for me but being the newbie I had to try twice as hard to get my suggestions approved. Each year an email was sent to the employees giving the details of the party; I thought holiday party invitations would be nicer. I had to come up with a proposal that would be not be dismissed. I did some research to find the invitation I had in mind and the cost. i knew it would be a hard sell, spending money on the invite when an email worked every other year.

Save the Date Holiday Party Invitation

My proposal was centered on thankfulness to the employees that worked so hard all year and a printed invitation would be respectful of that hard work. We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. I pointed out that people like to be treated well every day but especially around the holidays when we take time to count all of things for which we are grateful. An invitation can be a kept as a reminder of a great party, it can be brought home to show the family that the company appreciates dedicated people. It says “We’re better because of you. Thanks for all you do.” Or “It’s great working with you. You are one of the reasons for our success.”

My idea was a unanimous YES! I was actually thanked for bringing new ideas to the group and the employees really did appreciate the gesture.

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I have had the great pleasure of traveling around the country and visiting 42 of the 50 states. At different times of my life, I have been North, South, East and West and points along the way. When I viewed these great City Scenes Christmas cards, I was taken back to some of those fabulously happy trips.

Boston Beacon Hill Christmas Card

Being a fan of history, the quietly elegant Boston Beacon Hill card is one of my favorites. Traveling to Boston brought out the history buff in me. I was able to see where the tea was dumped in the harbor, I know the British thought dumping the tea was an act of vandalism (quite honestly we might think the same thing if it happened today), but to us it was one of the first steps in a revolutionary new concept of freedom. Bunker Hill, Faneuil Hall, the USS Constitution and Beacon Hill were some of the other sights I visited, but my favorite was the beautiful homes (where many famous people through the years have lived) in the Beacon Hill area. Oh and Boston has great New England Clam Chowder. Happy memories, great card, worth seeing for sure!

Seattle Harbor holiday card at twilight with its great scenic view was another favorite place I was privileged to see. The laid back welcoming attitude of the Seattle people leaves you feeling really good about the city. I remember standing in the very spot that is pictured on this beautifully rendered card and thinking I could enjoy watching this peaceful view forever. Now everyone knows Seattle has great coffee, but have you ever had a Hangtown Fry? That is an oyster/bacon omelet and it is worth visiting Seattle just to experience it.

Who couldn’t love the iconic Beverly Hills City Hall Christmas Card with the palm trees swaying in front? I loved the glitz and glam of this area. Who among us doesn’t dream of living with day after day of sunshine in one of those fabulous mansions? It may be a day dream, but I remember having a burger at the famous Brown Derby and enjoyed my day dreaming of the famously glamorous stars of the 40’s & 50’s walking through the door. It is amazing how many different foods are available in Beverly Hills and some of the most famous chefs have restaurants there. Everyone should visit the land of make believe at least once.

The Miami Skyline Christmas Card as viewed through the tree branches in this card bring back the really surprisingly vibrant energy that you feel in Miami. Party City for sure. The nightlife here has to be experienced! South Beach, Downtown or Wynwood/Midtown will provide a vast variety of nightlife and I enjoyed this immensely, of course, I was a little younger when I visited. This was also my first introduction to Cuban food. Great flavors without the really hot flavor in some other Spanish cuisines. Biting into a great Cuban sandwich will also transport me back to one of my favorite spots.

The New York City Skyline with Statue of Liberty Christmas Card is probably one the most beautifully moving pictures to me. Have grown up with this view all my life, I still never tire of it. There is a different feeling in New York than any other city in this country. The feeling of sophistication, the vibrancy of walking on the city streets, the culture that is so diverse and plentiful adds to the attraction of New York. It is considered one of the premier destinations for visitors from around the country and the world. This is where you get the best of the best from every different cuisine in the world. The best pizza, the best Italian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, French, German, etc. can be found here. But the absolute best treat is to have a hot pretzel from a street vendor, now that is food heaven.

As you can see I am a great foodie, but consider this foods as well as pictures trigger a happy response to all those great memories we have stored over the years. So eat, travel and live life to its fullest.

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The Gallery Collection, as part of our charitable donations program, recently donated 500 birthday cards to the Paralyzed Veterans of America Central Florida Chapter. The PVA sends these birthday cards to the Veterans that they serve throughout the year.

Sophisticated Presents Birthday Card

The Paralyzed Veterans of America Central Florida Chapter and the membership is comprised of those who have sustained a spinal cord injury/dysfunction or disease and those people who support the quest of the membership for cures to their infirmities or seek to help create an atmosphere whereby the injured and suffering can assume a place in society that can be mutually beneficial.

For more information about the Paralyzed Veterans of America Central Florida Chapter, and how you can help, please visit their website at http://www.centralfloridapva.org/

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Common Job Interview Questions – Be Prepared

by Lauren C. on August 21, 2014

Probably one of the most stressful situations after speaking in front of a large audience is sitting for a job interview. You want to make a good impression and let the interviewer know without a doubt that you are the right person for the job. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Like every good Boy Scout will tell you, the key is to be prepared!

Common Job Interview Questions

A big part of your preparation will be reviewing some of the more common job interview questions and practicing how you will answer them.

Here is a list of 10 of the more common questions asked when going on a job interview:

1. What are your strengths?

2. What are your weaknesses?

3. What would your previous supervisor/manager say about you? What would they say are your strengths/weaknesses?

4. Name an accomplishment you are most proud of.

5. Describe a time you made a mistake and how you handled it.

6. What is your understanding of the position?

7. Describe a time you disagreed with your boss and how you handled it.

8. How do you handle disagreements with co-workers? Or What types of personalities do you find it most difficult to work with?

9. Why are you interested in working for this company? Or What do you know about our company?

10. Why should we hire you?

Most likely you will be going to more than one interview before you find that dream job at the company that is the right fit for you. Be sure to review these questions before each interview as you will want to tailor your responses as needed to the specific industry and/or company culture (Are they more corporate and traditional? Is this company more cutting edge?) You’ll want to do your homework. But most of all, you’ll want to be honest, be yourself and be prepared!

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When To Send Out Company Christmas Cards

by Marina F. on August 18, 2014

When you send out your personal Christmas cards to friends and family, you can choose to mail them out anytime from December 1st to the week of Christmas itself. I know a few family members that like to send them out so they are at your doorstep for Christmas Eve! However, when it comes to business, when to send out your company Christmas cards should have a more defined time frame.

Holiday Glamour Card

A good rule of thumb is to send out your cards 2 weeks before the holidays. Since business Christmas cards usually serve in theory as a “thank you” as well as a “Merry Christmas” sentiment, it is good to send them out to your clients, vendors and employees not too far away from the holidays, but not at the last minute either. Some companies choose to send out Thanksgiving or Happy New Year cards in lieu of your typical Merry Christmas. It is a more generic way of wishing someone the best for the upcoming season and year ahead. So put it on your iCal or on your smartphone reminders – send out your company Christmas cards by the week of December 7th and you’ll be good to go!

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So it’s your birthday, huh? I know what you’re thinking… man, I look good for my age. Everyone thinks that. Even the ones that don’t. So put an end to that thought right away!

Office_birthday_Party_Style

You want to celebrate your birthday at your place of work. I don’t blame you. Then again, Mr. Mingle doesn’t blame anyone. Who has time to waste on blaming when you could be out there mingling? Good Question, Mr. Mingle. Thanks, Mr. Mingle! (Mr. Mingle winks at his clone)

Mr_Mingle

Here is what I will do for you since I have nominated myself to be your life guide and trusty companion. Think of me as your life’s Swiss army knife. Except I am not Swiss, so technically I am your British army knife. Some people call me BAK for short. I have removed those people from my life.

Without further ado, below are my top 5 ways to celebrate a birthday in style.

  1. Throw a get together in a common area that everyone has access to in your workplace and invite everyone. Yes… even Dave from accounting. I know everyone hates Dave from accounting but invite him anyway.
  2. Learn everyone’s names beforehand so you can thank them personally. But Mr. Mingle, how can I possibly learn everyone’s names? Simple, learn the easy ones and just call the rest of the people that show up pal and comrade.
  3. Play a couple of birthday games to build team chemistry. This is a great way to separate the strong from the weak so you know who to work with on that next big work project.
  4. Make sure you give your manager the largest piece of the cake. I know you love cake but so does your manager. Plus, who is more important, you or the person in charge of you? Exactly!
  5. Make sure you are the last one to leave the party. I know, I know, Dave from accounting is always the last one to leave a room. Well tell Dave you need that pie chart in a different hue of blue. That should get him to evacuate the party premises.

So there you have it. My 5 tips to celebrate your birthday at the office in style. Remember, Mr. Mingle is here for ya no matter what you need. Mingle is the name and Mingling is the game.

Mr_Mingle

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Congratulations to the winners from the third round of voting in the Gallery Collection Scholarship Contest!

10 Designs moved on to the finalist round as a result of them finishing in the top 10 in voting, plus, our scholarship team also used our 1 save available to us on the design submitted by Lisa Lopez. The scholarship team loved the shading and creativity of Lisa’s drawing.

Check out the top 10 vote getters and the saved design that are moving onto the finalist round in the gallery below.

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Appropriate Christmas Party Themes For Your Office

by Millicent T. on August 11, 2014

Having a Christmas Party at work can be strenuous. First, you have to come up with an appropriate Christmas party theme for the office. Then, the planning begins. The planning is the easy part. One of the hardest part seems to be a theme. Since I have been in charge of this project, we have had four themes.

Christmas_Party_Themes

The first year we did ‘Christmas Around the World.’ That was fun. We had the words Merry Christmas and Santa Claus in languages from different countries. We had dishes from different countries on the table. And we even had people tell short stories of their Christmas traditions. That year was one of my favorites. The next year, we worked with Toys for Tots. Our theme was ‘Santa’s Christmas List.’ The idea was to buy a gift that you would have wanted as a child and donate it. Everyone who brought in a gift for a child received a ticket to our Christmas Buffet. It was a great year for the kids. My associates were very generous. The third year, our theme was ‘Generosity and Kindness.’ The idea was to be generous and giving for the Month before Christmas. Every time you did something nice or charitable, you received a ticket for our tricky tray. The nicer and more generous you were, the more tickets you got to put into the bucket. Everyone seemed so much nicer that year!

This year, I’m working on something really special. We are actually having a Christmas Mini Carnival. We are inviting the families of the staff so they can enjoy some carnival games, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, and of course, a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus. Then we will have a sit down style dinner. I know family is the most important thing in life, so why not include them in the fun. I’ve already called The Gallery Collection to order my corporate holiday party invitations. Everyone is so excited. My boss can’t wait to dress up as you know who!

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Preparing for a Job Interview

by Tabitha K. on August 7, 2014

I’m sure each one of us would agree that one of the most stressful events in our lives can be not only going on job interview but also preparing for a job interview.

Preparing_Job_Interview

From the moment a face to face meeting begins, everything is about you – your appearance, speech, ability, personality, even your smile – is being assessed. It’s up to you to create a favorable impression. And preparation is the only sure-fire way to make an important job interview a winning experience.

By following just few simple steps, you can better prepare yourself before the interview:

  • Select and layout your complete interview wardrobe. Carefully go over what you plan to wear the day before.
  • Sort out the credentials you plan to bring with you. Be sure to include several copies of your resume, letters of commendation. Be sure to include any achievements you received in your field.
  • Have a notebook and pen handy. Review notes and other data you compiled to help prepare you for the interview.
  • Most importantly, get a good night’s sleep! You never want to arrive late for an interview.

As an applicant in any job interview situation you are bound to be tense no matter how relaxed the interviewer may try to make you feel in his attempt to have you reveal yourself fully. During the interview, the interviewer will take note of your knowledge of the company, the manner in which you respond to questions as well as in the kind of questions you ask him. He will observe how you talk, sit, and smile. You always want to listen attentively. He will observe your enthusiasm (or lack of it). You always want to present a positive attitude. You shouldn’t talk too much during your interview; you don’t want to talk yourself right out of the job. One of your biggest goals during the interview (besides being offered the position) is to get the interviewer to like you. All these observations will be the basis for determining whether or not you are rejected, placed in a doubtful category, maybe be invited back for a 2nd interview, or in some cases, you’ll actually be offered the position.

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