An Update on the Carter Center Weekend

What would you bid for a hand-built cabinet made by President Jimmy Carter? The question comes up for those who attend the annual Carter Center Weekend retreat. And it sometimes comes up more than once, as auction winners are known to immediately turn around and re-donate their prize to raise additional funds for the organization. This year’s audience contributed a record $1.5 million to encourage heath, peace and democracy.

IMG_9306aThe 2014 Carter Center Weekend at the Cascade Resort in Vail, CO., attracted the largest turnout in the event’s history. With Wayne Jackson on hand to direct production staff, all preparation and logistics involved went smoothly, despite the need to shift into larger spaces to accommodate audiences. “Every year, more content and programs are being offered,” said Jackson, “and despite the beautiful mountain activities and amenities available, attendees filled rooms to hear about issues and solutions.

Wayne’s relationship with The Carter Center goes back more than ten years, beginning with a chance overlap at a venue hosting the BMI event he was managing. Jay Beck, the Center’s senior event consultant recalls: “I soon realized that Wayne is someone who can handle both high-profile dignitaries and hotel employees with respect and efficiency. We’ve built a relationship that minimizes the headaches involved in event production and makes it easier for me to focus on developing quality programs.”

The Carter Center Weekend helps cement long-term relationships with committed donors, whose gifts keep on giving. Preston is proud to provide the skilled professionals who help make it happen.

All Hail the iPad!

I have been a Mac user most of my life.  And to any Mac devotee that comes at a cost.  (No, not the retail value, though my overpriced laptop still lasts three times as long as that other OS version.)  But what I mean is the price to defend my choice.  For in the “business” world we were the outcasts, the troublemakers, and the enfants terrible of the personal computing world.

Then it happened one day.  The CFO of a major global corporation, prepping for our video shoot, revealed her latest tool: her iPad.  What is this I thought?  A business individual, a numbers person, of all things, embracing the enemy?  Is this a victory for the small guy, the rest of us? All hail the…?

Face it. Despite the worldwide acceptance of the “other” operating system as a business tool, you’ve all suffered from Mac envy.  The sleek lines, the intuitive interface, you can’t deny its appeal. And now you have an excuse to own one.  Because the iPad is rapidly becoming the most successful new business tool to be launched in decades. The consulting firm Deloitte estimates that companies will buy some 10 million tablets this year, the majority of them iPads. That’s companies! Not individuals, companies.

Apple is getting serious about the enterprise.  And Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff described current IT strategies as the “consumerization of IT.”  What’s good for the consumer is good for business. Does your business have a Facebook account? Wasn’t that once for college kids only?

The bottom line is: in the end it’s all about productivity.  Tablets like the iPad have a deep catalog of business apps that turn this mobile device into a real business workhorse. Companies are distributing them to sales people to take into the field to present products, track orders, videoconference and communicate quickly and easily.

And, they are cool.  Admit it, you always wanted to be on our side. Welcome.