receives 2013 Iowa Excellence Award

 SBIEC Award -- 2013 ~ September 5th 2013 – has been selected for the 2013 Iowa Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (SBIEC).

Each year the SBIEC conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Small businesses of this caliber enhance the consumer driven stature that Iowa is renowned for. has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values which is a trait seldom found in its industry. This recognition by SBIEC marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow.

As part of the industry research and business surveys, various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the selected companies in each category. This research is part of an exhaustive process that encapsulates a year long immersion in the business climate of Iowa.


The SBIEC is a leading authority on researching, evaluating and recognizing companies across a wide spectrum of industries that meet its stringent standards of excellence. It has spearheaded the idea of independent enterprise and entrepreneurial growth allowing businesses of all sizes to be recognized locally and encouraged globally.

**Award Reference # 7122605372

Working with innkeeper at the Bed & Breakfast of Cabin Cove this week

I met Shirley about 6 years ago at the Iowa Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Association’s annual conference held in Ames, Iowa.  This year, she celebrates her 80th birthday and continues to enjoy her role as a successful innkeeper.

I was amazed when I initially met her.  She boldly walked up to me, as I was greeting the attendees of my first workshop of the conference, and introduced herself.  She let me know quickly that she was brand new and that most her friends thought she was crazy to attempt the undertaking and learning curve to become an innkeeper, but she wanted me to know that she was ready for the challenge and would appreciate all the tips I could give her.

Her age and lack of experience with the Internet was against her, but she had no intention of letting either stop her from achieving her goal to operate a bed and breakfast at her two-bedroom cabin overlooking the Iowa River in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

This last week has been enjoyable as I’ve once again working with Shirley to edit and upgrade her existing website.  We had a fun conversation to jump-start the project. We shared news and caught-up each other up with changes in each of our respective lives.  She remains upbeat and busy booking her B&B as far out as the 4th of July week of 2014.  And, it was simply thrilling to chat with a very internet savvy innkeeper that once sat in one of my beginning classes with an extreme desire to learn exactly how to use the web to market her very unique cabin!

Shirley and I both invite you to visiting the new integrated section of her website that is powered by WordPress. 
Just click here. Bed and Breakfast of Cabin Cove

Join me on LinkedIn

This week I am working on expanding my presence on as I believe it to be one of the top internet social networking tools.

As a member of LinkedIn, I have found a number of public and private groups to join (and LinkedIn allows you to join up to fifty!). Having said that, let me also say that being active in 3-5 groups at a time will keep you very busy.  I tend to be very active in one or two groups at a time. The others I am monitoring to see if I feel I’d have something valuable to add to the community.  Groups let you:

* Reach individuals with similar interests
*Answer questions from experts in a specific field
*Network with others

For me, LinkedIn is all about business.  I share my current projects and accomplishments, I keep my resume up-to-date in my profile, and when I have the extra time, I search for and add business connections I enjoyed in the past, but would like to reconnect with now.  Best of all, LinkedIn is an online community that supports and encourages new businesses, new authors, new artists — new entrepreneurs of all types and all ages.

Stop by and visit me on LinkedIn any time!

Have safe and happy July 4th celebrations

Tomorrow is the day when Americans will be celebrating Independence with fireworks, food and fun.  As a web designer I love technology, but as a mother and grandmother, I urge all of you to use safety measures if you or your children are going to handle fireworks.

Technology advances are not restricted to computers and televisions, today’s cutting edge technology includes the ability of fireworks. This year’s fireworks can display shapes, different colors, words and even designs.  Don’t let fascination with these advances dull your vigilance toward safety measures around fireworks.


New Website Launched for Iowa Motel & Cottage

Elkader, IA — Leading Iowa design firm created and launched a redesigned website for Sandra and Dennis Bahls, owners of the Elkader Inn Motel & A-Frame Cottage, conveniently located on Highway 13 just north of downtown Elkader, Iowa.

The City of Elkader provides several seasonal attractions from outdoor events to Opera House plays and musicals. Combining casual comfort with Iowa hospitality, the Elkader Inn Motel enjoys a convenient location near the downtown historic area.  Visitors will find the motel’s location is also comfortable and peaceful — much like the beauty of the landscape that surrounds the city of Elkader near the Mississippi River.

Ground-level motel rooms that can accommodate the single guest, and up to a family of five, has easy access off Highway 13, and there is ample parking near all rooms. The A-Frame Cottage, with private deck, overlooks the scenic valley and the new website showcases the beauty of the area.

The recently launched website also embraces the new era of smart-phones and tablets, as any visitor to the site on an iphone or tablet is immediately redirected to a mobile-friendly site.  Owner Sandra Bahls reported being very pleased with the design and “new look” of the site.  So pleased that she had commissioned Angie Roberts, a strategic partner of, to redesign the motel’s current business card.  It will now be easier than ever for tourists and travelers to find a good night’s sleep when visiting the Elkader area.

Elkader Inn Motel & A-Frame Cottage
24886 Hwy 13 N
Elkader, IA

A-Frame Cottage, Elkader, Iowa

The A-Frame Cottage is nestled in the trees and overlooks the beautiful valley.