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

Historic Victorian Mansion Opportunity

If you have often thought of having your own bed and breakfast inn, there is a great opportunity to purchase a truly historical mansion that has already been structurally converted, and operated, as a successful B&B.  The owners are selling due to health reason, not the lack of devoted guests!

The property is a fully restored Queen Anne, Victorian mansion that was built in 1892 by W.C. Ellis, owner of the Ellis & Son lumber mill. Ellis was also co-founder and president of the Kelly Canning Company, which was later named Iowa Canning Company, and at the time was considered the largest operation of its kind in the world. At the turn of the century, there were two banks in Vinton, Ellis was president of one bank and vice president of the other.  His home was as impressive as he was.

As you can imagine, this historic mansion has long been an important property in the community, and now, the opportunity is available to purchase it.

This immaculate and unique property is move-in ready and located in the Iowa village of Vinton.  There are six bedrooms and seven baths, a professional kitchen, a formal dining room, living room, foyer, piano bay and beautifully restored woodwork. The basement is finished with a two bedroom apartment.

New roof, new chimneys, and a new oversize two-stall garage are just a few of the extras you’ll find.  For full details contact the realtor,  Connie Barnes at (319) 981-6221 or (319) 472-5353.  To view photos and more information, go to

Vinton, Iowa mansion for sale

Historic mansion on the market and a great opportunity for any aspiring innkeeper!

Roadtrip: Texas to Arizona

Those of you who follow my twitter feed, or this blog, may have noticed that I’m on the road right now, and have been for most of the winter.

The roadtrip started out great with a number of book-signings and lots of “photo opps” for a future book I’ve been researching and working on for over a year.  But just a few days after Christmas my husband entered a Lake Conroe, Texas, Emergency Room and triggered a medical drama that made it necessary to cancel workshops, book-signings and other travel plans.  That is, until now!

We leave this week for a spring road trip to Phoenix, Arizona,  where we will spend some time meeting innkeepers in the area, signing and distributing a few books, and offer a few Internet Marketing Workshops.