Chamber hosts motivational speaker

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A motivational speaker and marketing expert whose clients include Fortune 500 companies will share some of ideas about improving the local business climate with Moffat County residents.

Michael Fortino, who has facilitated two workshops for The Memorial Hospital in the past six months, returns to Craig on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Fortino will speak at a noon luncheon at the Holiday Inn. For $10, business owners and anyone else can hear Fortino's message and enjoy a sack lunch.

"The goal with this particular presentation is to help business owners to think a little more creatively about their ability to brand," Fortino said Friday from Atlanta, where he was delivering a motivational speech.

"In the big picture, I'd like to see Craig become a community that's recognized as a household name," he said. "I think Craig is one of those unknown gems."

Fortino, who said he fell in love with the community during past visits, thinks Craig businesses can band together and develop a "consistent theme" as a quaint place to shop and do business "without necessarily becoming a tourist attraction."

Fortino is president and founder of the Center for Lifestyle Management with offices in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He's familiar with Craig after working with The Memorial Hospital during a managers' retreat last fall, said Pam Thompson, community relations director for TMH.

Thompson is also the chamber's board president. The chamber invited Fortino to speak next week after local businesses requested training to improve customer relations.

"He's asked for a lot of information from our community and some of the challenges we face," Thompson said. "He's very much customizing his speech for people who live here."

Thompson said the hospital was extremely pleased with Fortino's workshop and his high-energy presentations.

"He taught us there's a difference between a a leader and a manager and how to take the initiative and empower ourselves to do what is right," Thompson said. "He also taught us the power of the customer and gave us a lot of great ideas."

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