Tom Garrity

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Getting ABQ Into Tech

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

InnovateABQThe great recession and double dip recession in Albuquerque continues to have a devastating impact. Some reports indicate the city lost $1.5 billion in wages since 2007.

On a personal and professional level, I’ve seen friends and competitors leave the state for other, greener pastures. I miss them but don’t blame them. We all have to do what is needed to survive and eventually thrive again.

One of the great bright spots in Albuquerque’s horizon is in the City of Albuquerque’s economic development office, Gary Oppedahl. In addition to being the department’s director, Gary is also a proven tech entrepreneur.

Sitting down with him recently, it is very easy to be optimistic about the future for tech firms in Albuquerque. He is one of “them” and speaks the tech language. This is a good thing. He plays to his strength’s which is knowing Albuquerque about as well as he knows the life cycle of tech companies.

It seemed like we had a 2-hour conversation in 30 minutes. Central to Gary’s plan to promote tech entrepreneurship in Albuquerque is a blueprint of sorts, developed by Brad Feld. Feld is the tech entrepreneur who captured and best explained tech success in Boulder, Colorado.

Gary told me that in order to appreciate Albuquerque’s developing tech road map that I should, “read Startup Communities by Brad Feld.” I downloaded the audio book and listened to it twice while traversing New Mexico for company business.

The premise of the book is built on an approach called the Boulder Thesis. It is a set of four rules that will help to create vibrant tech communities. Those foundation elements include: The tech community needs to be led by entrepreneurs, it needs to be a long term commitment, it needs to be inclusive and engage the community. Make sense? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Check out this fun and short sketchbook video by the Kaufman Foundation that does a better job of illustrating it.

Here is the exciting thing, the steps outlined in the Startup Communities book are already coming to life. ABQid is a tech accelerator that already has its first class. The 1 million cups of coffee mentorship approach is already 60 cups into its Albuquerque journey.

Both of these initiatives are under the InnovateABQ umbrella. It is a collaboration of public and private sector that is dedicated to creating an environment where the tech community can test, succeed and fail (only to try again).

Trust of Police Officers in #NM and #ABQ

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2014 at 2:15 am

The Garrity Perception Survey is a franchise element of The Garrity Group Public Relations.  Since 2011, the firm has commissioned Albuquerque-based Research + Polling to conduct the 3rd party, statewide, survey of New Mexico residents.

The survey provides insights to the favorability of 17 industries, trust of 14 professions and how New Mexico residents access news and information.  It has a 95 percent level of accuracy.  That means if you ask for the opinion of 10 random New Mexico residents, their answers will align with the survey 95 percent of the time.

Police officers are one of the 14 professions where trust is measured.

The survey question is phrased, “on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being very favorable and one being very unfavorable, what is your level of trust of police officers?” In Albuquerque, this is broad enough to include the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s office, New Mexico State Police, United States Marshalls Service, Federal Bureau of investigation and other certified law enforcement officers.

The “favorability” numbers below represent New Mexico residents who responded with either 5 or 4.  The statewide survey was in the field the last week of February 2014 through the First Week of March 2014.

GPS11 to 14 Trust Police Region

When Albuquerque Police Chief Eden addressed the Albuquerque Economic Forum recently, he indicated wanting to increase trust of police officers as one of his goals.

Why only the “Top Line Data”?

The first year of the survey, representatives of the Albuquerque Police Department requested a copy of the results for the trust of police officers.  They wanted the information so they could respond to a media inquiry from KOAT-TV.  As a favor to the director of communications for the Mayors office and the APD communications staffer, I provided the valuable “cross-tab” information.

However, when I wanted to follow-up and explain the information, neither of them returned my phone, text or email messages.  That urgency to get the data, followed by their lack of responsiveness is why I only release the top line results to the public.  Our clients have access to all of the information.

Both of the city staffers are no longer employed by the Mayors office or APD.


2013 in review

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 in review

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Please Don’t Mess It Up

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2012 at 2:50 am

The first Tuesday in June means the New Mexico Primary Election is underway.

In New Mexico, there are 574,748 registered Democrats, 379,537 registered Republicans and 203,378 registered voters who “Declined To State” a party preference.

New Mexico is a politically closed state for primary elections, meaning only Democrats and Republicans can vote in their respective primary elections.

As one of the 203,378 “DTS” voters, I just have one small request of the 20% anticipated to vote in the primary election: Please, don’t mess it up for the rest of us.

You like playing party politics, and feeling good about making a political statement only to leave the best, and sometimes most electable candidate either out of play or so covered in mud that they are virtually unelectable.

But, Republicans and Democrats, it is your primary party.  The valued DTS, swing voters who will help decide November’s winner, will be watching and hoping you give us candidates that don’t agitate us too much.

The iFactory

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

Recent months have been profitable and uncomfortable for Apple Computer.

In the shadow of record iPhone and iPad sales, fair labor and human rights groups have taken aim at the company and its suppliers for how it treats those who manufacture the works of art.

The critics successfully hurled accusations of low wages, unsafe working conditions and issues with some workers committing suicide at the China factories.  They made Apple flinch.

Facing pressure from its customers, the media and elected leaders, Apple opted to move towards transparency, opening the doors to ABC News Nightline Anchor Bill Weir.

The “unprecedented” tour of the Foxconn factory where the Apple iPads and iPhones are created was very interesting.  Though 20 minutes hardly seemed long enough to really “tell” the story, the show provided a glimpse into the factories that have generated so many products and so much controversy.

Would this kind of tour have seen the light of day if Steve Jobs was still alive? That is a question that has been debated at many levels.  My guess is, probably not.

Three key takeaways to how Apple handled this simmering crisis:

1)   While it was a difficult program to watch, Apple was able to position itself as the owner of the intellectual property while introducing FoxConn as the manufacturer.

2)   Apple did well by inviting a respected program to tour its facility “no holds barred”; having a gaggle of media would not have been easily controlled.

3)   Apple was available for this piece, their PR move of not granting any on camera interviews for the story (referring Bill Weir to statements made at an investors meeting) was risky but smart.

The news media story and third party audit of its Foxconn supplier is a good transparent move.


In Uncategorized on January 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Billy The Kid is one of those iconic figures.

Most people have heard of him, first year students of the old west know him by William H. Bonney.  A small number of people know about either his connections with Pat Garrett or Lew Wallace, the person who would go on to write the classic Ben Hur.

In the words of Billy Joel “his daring life of crime made him a legend in his time, east and west of the Rio Grande.”

Tonight, PBS’s American Experience will debut Billy The Kid to its national audience.  From a PR Perspective, Billy’s fame wasn’t generated by 60 Minutes, Twitter, FaceBook or a YouTube video.  Billy got his fame through the ultimate in viral messaging: word of mouth.

In the old west, people talked about Billy and his exploits.  Some were eyewitnesses, others had second hand information… the power of story.

While I was familiar about Billy the Kid through high school history classes and the Billy Joel song referenced earlier, I really didn’t appreciate the “legend” until I covered a story for KOAT-TV in the early 1990’s when I went to the old Dona Ana County Courthouse where some old warrants from Pat Garrett were found behind a false wall in a basement storage area. Speaking with some of the clerks and other “old timers” I was hooked.

The Garrity Group is helping to sponsor PBS’s American Experience Billy The Kid broadcast, and other similar programs, to raise a awareness of the people and events that shaped a portion of New Mexico and the West.  The other programs will focus on Jesse James, Geronimo, Little Annie Oakley, Wyatt Earp and Custer’s Last Stand.

In the “Old West” and even in the “New West” word of mouth is the ultimate viral messaging.  These programs give us a chance to see how it was done before Twitter and a 140 characters.

Billy The Kid Photo Credit: Robert McCubbin

A Different December: Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Today we will be finishing our Different December outreach in great fashion but hosting the residents and house parents of the Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home.

The ACCH is dedicated to providing God’s love and care to school-aged children who are neglected, abused, or in need of  a home and family through long-term and short-term residential care.

The Garrity Group’s Christina Grant identified the ACCH for her own unique reasons.

“The ACCH opens their doors to kids that most people walk away from and do an amazing job that makes a real, positive, tangible impact. I know, because there was a time in my life that I was one of their residents.

When I was 13 years old, my life took a difficult turn that resulted in me living at the ACCH. I was thankful to have had a safe place to live that not only provided shelter, food and clothing, but also a supportive, family-oriented environment.

Many of the children there have struggled their entire lives just to survive and have never had a safe and healthy place to call home. I was luckier than most, I had family members in the area and did not grow up in the same harsh environment as many of my friends.

Many of these children have never had a place to call home or even a place where they were provided the basic necessities. During my two years as a resident there, I learned how to face my own personal challenges and experienced the true meaning of grace.

I have selected the ACCH as my Different December charity because I know they make a difference.”

The Garrity Group will be hosting 12 residents and the respective house parents from the Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home for dinner and dessert at Lumpy’s Hamburgers.  In addition, because of your gracious gifts, each child will receive a gift from their wish list.

If you’d like to help, just click on this link and donate as a part of the “Garrity Group Fund”.

Thank you for helping us make this a Different December!

A Different December: New Day

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Today, for a Different December, The Garrity Group’s Ariel White provides a different look at charity providing assistance to participants in the New Day Youth and Family Services.

In 1976, the founders of New Day discovered that homeless and runaway youth in Albuquerque had no safe home or shelter facility to turn to for help. New Day is Albuquerque’s first and only runaway house.

The objective of the program is to protect runaway and homeless youth, ranging from 11 to 17 years of age, in a residential setting with the ultimate goal of reuniting youth to their families, or locating a safe alternative. Over the years New Day has developed many new services according to requests by the community to full fill the needs of struggling at-risk youth and families.

The Garrity Group will be visiting New Day on December 13 to teach a class on work skills for the residents. The class will include how to interview, resume writing and workplace communication.

Ariel says “I think that we forget about the kids who have gotten in to trouble, and write them off. We hear so many times that someone is just “a bad kid,” and I think that is wildly incorrect. These aren’t bad kids, and being labeled as one is not a lifelong mantle that they have to bear. The work that New Day embarks on is providing these teenagers with the support that they are not getting in other areas of their lives by teaching them life skills and how to reshape their futures. What The Garrity Group can offer is insight in to the process of writing a resume, interviewing well, and working with other people so they can keep a job in the long run.”

Other ways you can is by purchasing a $50 School Survival Kit that includes: 3 ring binder, daily planner, divider, pens, #2 pencils, loose-leaf college ruled paper, college lined spirals, highlighters, graphing calculator, thumb drive.

You can also purchase a $150 Apartment Ready Kit that includes: Mac and Cheese, ramen, set of silverware, plate, bowl, laundry detergent, all purpose cleaner, rags, can opener, set of cooking utensils, roll of quarters.

For more information visit

A Different December: Casa Esperanza

In Uncategorized on December 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm

The second week of The Garrity Group Different December outreach will focus on Casa Esperanza.  Members of our team will cook its guests an authentic New Mexican dinner with the help of the generous donations of Bueno Foods.

Founded in 1987, Casa Esperanza provides a home away from home for families facing cancer. Casa Esperanza serves families who are referred to Albuquerque for cancer treatment, regardless of their financial situation. Today the 18,000 square-foot residence can accommodate 28 families at a time. In addition to housing, Casa Esperanza also provides clinical counseling as well as patient navigation and survivor services to support cancer patients.

Amanda Molina, Director of Public Relations for The Garrity Group, selected Casa Esperanza as her charity of choice for a Different December.  “I choose Casa Esperanza as an organization for our team to work with because being away from  home is hard and being away from home while ill or tending to an ill family member is harder, especially during the holiday season. The comfort that Casa Esperanza provides to patients and their families is invaluable and a true gift to our community and state, I am thrilled that our team can be a part of such a great program.”

There are multiple ways you can help by donating your time cooking a meal, volunteering at a special fundraising event or providing administrative support. Casa Esperanza is also in need of a variety of kitchen, office and house supplies. Please visit to learn more about how you can help.