To Protect and Serve

Protect and Serve. Two powerful words that remind me to remain honorable and humble.Those who know me may recall a time in my life in which I pursued a career in law enforcement. Last night I had the benefit of receiving an eye-opening education on an important subject matter that unfortunately, is very dark and disturbing. However, it's what you choose to do with the knowledge that makes the difference.

Last night I attended the VIRTUS Certification Training to assist parents, teachers, volunteers and anyone working with children, to be aware of what we can do individually and collectively, to protect God's children. After receiving this certification of training, I choose to use the information in a proactive approach, openly communicating with my students and their parents.

The 5 Steps: A Plan to Protect God's Children

Step 1: Know the Warning Signs- If we know the warning signs, then we can identify potential situations before they happen and do not have to rely on a child to report an incident.
Step 2: Control Access- Controlling access means that we are careful about whom we allow to work with our children.
Step 3: Monitor all Programs- Our classes are held in areas where other adults can always pass by, and we encourage parents to view and monitor our classes at any time.
Step 4: Be Aware- When we observe and communicate with our children, we are more likely to detect any subtle signs of a problem.
Step 5: Communicate Your Concerns- We advocate and encourage open communication with our students and their parents. Only by communicating our concerns can we use our knowledge to protect children.

If you are a parent, teacher, volunteer or an adult that is working with children, I would highly recommend that you participate in this education. There is no charge to attend this 3-hour session, and the knowledge you gain will give you the tools that may prevent another tragedy. 
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and help protect God's children. 


Creative Learning

There are many "schools of thought" about improving our educational system today. However, integrating the arts into core academic subjects was the focus of a free workshop this week hosted by the department of teacher education at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

Below is an excerpt from the article in our local paper, Teachers Learn the Art Way, about the importance of art and the benefits they have on student learning.

"Because it's all about the scores, they want you to just work on the standardized tests and core subjects. Now they're realizing you have to stimulate both sides of the brain, and they're learning that arts draws out dialogue from children and helps improve their reading, writing and critical thinking skills, so it's so exciting to have your craft promoted in the field."


CTN Animation Expo 2011

CTN Animation Expo 2011

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." -Wayne Gretzky

It's not everyday that you get to see, have access to, and visit with some of the greatest artists in the comic book and animation industry. It is a dream come true! So How did I get this wonderful opportunity? The direct answer is by taking a shot.

Back on September 27, 2011, I attended a special lecture held by Animation Nation. I invited a few friends with me and together listened to an industry veteran speak for a few hours to a crowd of over 200 other aspiring animators. Afterward, most of the attendees rushed the stage to ask for autographs.

The next day I e-mailed the speaker inviting him to a cup of coffee so I could ask him questions that time did not allow the night before. He responded and accepted. This started a chain of events that not only created a new friendship, but ultimately provided me the opportunity to partner with him on a special project, and be his special guest at this year's CTN Animation Expo. With heartfelt gratitude may I say, "Thank You."


Customer of the Month

Make Their Day. It might be as simple as saying thank you, or telling a customer, from your heart, how much you appreciate the opportunity to serve them. It moves past just being civil or pleasant—it’s taking that extra step you didn't have to take. And that makes all the difference.

From the FISH! Philosophy, there are 4 simple but powerful practices:
  1. Be There
  2. Play
  3. Make Their Day
  4. Choose Your Attitude

Customer of the Month began after our highly successful
Spontaneous or planned, when you make the effort to brighten someone’s day—not because you want a reward, but because that’s the person you want to be—you receive an internal gift that makes life even more meaningful as well. No matter what, making someone’s day is a win-win. Every single time.

Ways to Stay Creative

stag·nant  /ˈstagnənt/
1. Not moving or flowing; motionless.
2. Foul or stale from standing:
3. Showing little or no sign of activity or advancement; not developing or progressing; inactive
4. Lacking vitality or briskness; sluggish or dull


Ciara Caricature

Baby Books. It wasn't too long ago that I had this grand idea to not just have pictures in my daughter's baby book, but actually also drawings of her life as she was growing up. That was over 10 years ago and I have a lot of catching up to do!

Now I have an opportunity to share that idea with others. Below was a fun project I was asked to do for a client's grandchild who happens to be turning 1 year old next week. Happy Birthday Ciara!