Tom Garrity

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Thanksgiving with a twist…

In Life on November 24, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Spending Thanksgiving this year in Las Vegas, Nevada (being from New Mexico it is necessary to differentiate which Las Vegas).  We had a chance to work with my niece’s church, Calvary Chapel Spring Valley with their BlessFest event.

Blessfest is an outreach to those who are having a difficult time making ends meet or ended up somewhere in life they hadn’t really anticipated.

My job was to work transportation to ensure that guests getting off of the bus made it to the right area.  I, of course, made it a little bit more and turned into a mini welcoming committee.

What a great and encouraging time to welcome people, see them eye to eye and to provide encouragement.  Inside, they had a chance to take a shower, visit a hairdresser, get a manicure, visit a dentist and get a meal… among other things!

Between busses, I had a chance to send some tweets sharing a little bit about who I met and some general observations.

@Tom_Garrity An early morning and lots of volunteers at #blessfest #LasVegas

@Tom_Garrity Working transportation at #blessFest in #lasvegas

@Tom_Garrity Had a nice convo w/a guy named Paul who is at #Blessfest w his 2 kids, out of work for about 8 months.

@Tom_Garrity Paul is a carpenter says he helped to build many of #lasvegas casinos, no more to build for now. He is thankful for health and family

@Tom_Garrity People getting off busses all with different needs some with all of their belongings.

@Tom_Garrity A lot of thankful and a humble people here, another van just arrived #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Seven people on the last van. A daughter and her father, ppl in 20s 50s and 60s … big bus just arrived

@Tom_Garrity Nearing 1,000 ppl served and it isn’t even 8am in #lasvegas #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Met a guy named Tim from Colorado Springs he has lived in 47 states and is here getting treatment for an illness.

@Tom_Garrity Another person named Russ is an avid USC fan tho he talked more about LSU and Alabama #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity A young mom, about 22 has flipflop and her feet are black from being on the streets

@Tom_Garrity Just high-5’d a grandma and she hits hard! #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity So, who serves these folks the other 364 days? Another van is here…

@Tom_Garrity A nice man named Norman has lived in a lot places but is glad that he is in #LasVegas today. #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Met a lady named Kathy who is originally from Ohio and has lived in #LasVegas since coming out here to take care of her mom. #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity Kathy has been without a job for a while now and is moved to tears by the thought of free dental care and a good meal.

@Tom_Garrity Another woman named Liza is here with here three kids, another mom just showed up pushing g a twins stroller #blessfest #lasvegas

@Tom_Garrity Another person named John moved to #LasVegas from #LosAngeles 9 years ago and lost everything when you the real estate market crashed.

@Tom_Garrity This is fun, sharing some tips with other volunteers on how to start conversations with strangers! #blessfest

@Tom_Garrity A nice young woman named Cindy is here at #blessfest she calls LasVegas home and is looking forward to free dental exams.

@Tom_Garrity Another person just came out holding some teeth that were just pulled says he is thankful for the pain to be gone #waituntilthenovacainw …

@Tom_Garrity Our time at #Blessfest is done, a great way to start the day with a different perspective.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

If the Hotel is rocking…

In Reputation on November 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Almost a year ago I had the fortune to stay overnight in Portales, New Mexico.  The nicest hotel option I was aware of was a Holiday Inn Express.  I reviewed their website and made a reservation. 

What I quickly learned, through the school of loud knocks, was this hotel was located adjacent to an active railroad line.  Something that wasn’t even hinted at on their website or at check-in.

While I did blog about this last December, I also wrote a review on (which is the reason for revisiting this topic).  Since December 2010 a whopping 228 people have read the review.

Since my railroad rock and roll event, there have been four other reviews posted.  None were responses from the Holiday Inn Express.

Maybe they don’t want to draw attention to it, since it is, really, the only option in town?  Perhaps.

Either way, there are 228 people who read the review and didn’t see a response from the hotel management acknowledging the problem, addressing plans to install more soundproofing or even offering free ear plugs to those on the railroad side of the hotel.

Typically, silence is golden.  In this case, I am not so sure.

The Tale of Two Coaches

In Reputation on November 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”

In the Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens was clearly not referring to the University of New Mexico Football program.  However, comparing the opening news conferences for two of its most recent head football coaches reveal two very different styles.

When Coach Mike Locksley was introduced as UNM’s head coach in December of 2008 he said “This isn’t a rebuilding project. I look at it as a renovation. I’ll be putting my personal touches on the great foundation that’s already been laid.”  But it was his comment about lighting up the scoreboard and adding a third digit to the scoreboard that haunted his 2-26 record.

When Coach Bob Davie was introduced as UNM’s 31st head football coach (November of 2011) there was no talk of lighting up a scoreboard.  There was some plain talk to the Albuquerque Journal, “So it’s gonna take a while to build this thing back up. I’m not gonna panic. I’m not afraid to lose a game to build a foundation for the future.”

Coach Locksley told fans what they wanted to hear, he talked of the possibilities.  Coach Davie is telling things like it is, talking about the realties of walking into one of the worst college football programs in the NCAA.

Will Coach Davie have success?  If he coaches like he handles opening news conferences, UNM will have a winning record before Davie’s contract expires.

Restoring Normalcy

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

While touring potential universities with my oldest daughter, we had a chance one night to catch the movie “In Time” with Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake.

The moving is based on replacing currency with time. In the PR world, we’ve been living with this reality that time is our currency.  The movie featured some implied and spoken clichés about time. It was fun to get a fresh look at an old concept.

Today, setting back my clocks an hour, I was reminded how a precious commodity time is.

Since September I’ve been engaged in client and company projects in Albuquerque and around the country.  The travel has been worthwhile and successful for our clients and the firm.  But at what cost?  It seems that the sporadic time I spent in the office or at home was spent more on catching up and “maintenance” rather than rest or productivity.

Moving the clocks back an hour, for me, signifies restoring normalcy needed impacts and quality time are the results instead of rushing off to the next project or destination.