Monday, August 18, 2014

Learning From Kiss' Gene Simmon's Public Relations Disaster

"I hope Gene Simmons of the longstanding rock band "Kiss" learned a lesson. When you're a celebrity in the public eye and have been for years, anything you say these days in the media (which is automatically conveyed on over to social media in a heartbeat thus millions upon millions of people will read it) will spread like wildfire. Also, their words can be easily misconstrued whether he or she meant it or not. I like Gene and Kiss and still do. However, it seems that Gene's highly criticized news stories that he was quoted in about America's wealthiest 1% and people who have depression and suicide tendencies really bothered me.
In the event of Robin Williams recent suicide which made world-wide news was bad timing for Gene, it also appeared to me that Gene's ego was way out of control with a lack of humility towards his fellow man. I thought his comments were coming off very outlandish, going against the grain of average society, and were very destructive to the Kiss franchise and his business dealings and for his partner, Paul Stanley. Mainly, I thought it was bad publicity and public relations for everyone involved in the Kiss camp and the Kiss name brand at the tail end of their highly publicized and expensive 40th anniversary tour."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bowling Green Based Houchen Industries' "Crossroads IGA" Now Open In Smiths Grove, Ky.

Shell fuel pumps in front of Crossroad IGA
    I've always liked Bowling Green based Houchens Industries, Inc. and the story behind their incredible financial success through the years who now have their world-wide headquarters located down on Church Street in the old Fruit of the Loom building or "The Derby" as they used to call it around here.
According to their website, Houchens have experienced major growth in the last 25 years.
Side of building facing McDonalds
     "From 1988, when the company was purchased by the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), Houchens Industries has experienced unprecedented growth.  Today, Houchens Industries, Inc. is a diversified conglomerate wholly owned by its employee owners. Houchens has businesses in retail grocery and convenience stores, quick-to-service restaurants, insurance, stock brokerage and financial services, franchising of optical stores, construction, fence materials manufacturing and distribution, crushed stone aggregates and asphalt paving, recycling, tanning supply distribution, manufacturing, software and website development, property management and juice concentrate, manufacturing and distribution."
"Listed by Forbes as one of the largest 100% privately held companies in North America and according to the ESOP Association, the largest 100% employee owned company."
Sign seen from I-65

     With Houchens Industries being located in Bowling Green, residents in the Southcentral Kentucky area get to experience a wealth of nice, grocery, retail and convenient food markets throughout the region. One of their latest concept convenient grocery market stores is the Crossroads IGA in Smiths Grove, a small town in the northeast part of Warren County where about 850 or so residents live. The store is located right off the exit ramp of I-65, sandwiched between McDonalds and a truck stop and not far from Wendy's, just down the road. I have shopped at several of their other Crossroads IGA markets in the Bowling Green many times through the years. This new Crossroads is a brand new, state of the art, beautiful building where they are currently advertising, "Your all-new neighborhood grocery store!" Besides tons of regular food items that you would normally purchase at other larger grocery stores, they also offer fresh, fast and convenient foods including a Scholtzky's Bakery Cafe which has 15 different types of sandwiches, Cinnabon Classic Rolls and Carvell soft-served ice cream. They even have a drive-thru window available.
    I stopped by this new store earlier this week and I was very impressed. First, I filled up at their Shell Station fuel pumps located out front and then I pulled around and parked on the side of the building. When I walked in, I was blown away of how clean and orderly the store is. Everything was placed perfect on the shelves and the restrooms, being brand new, were of course super clean and nice too. I couldn't believe how many choices they had to offer as far as take out food including fresh fruits, deli items and veggies. I saw one local elderly farmer just walking around in a daze basically in awe, checking everything out. Also, I checked out the Scholtzky's Bakery Cafe but I ended up settling for a sandwich, chips, a bottled soft drink and a cheese snack out of the deli items area. The young lady who checked me out was very friendly too and I asked her how long they had been open and she said, "Two weeks!" with a smile.