Archive for April, 2010

What if I were to tell you that it’s possible for you to walk in one room and meet and talk with some of the most highly regarded corporate communication professionals and thought leaders in the country?

That’s exactly what you can expect when you attend the CCM Reception and Sponsor exhibit on Wednesday, May 5 at the annual conference.

When CCM professionals gather it is truly a meeting of the best minds in the business. CCM members all have at least 10 years of experience and more than 50% of them have over 20 years in the business!  In addition to talking with corporate communicators from companies of all industries and sizes, you can also talk with consultants from The Grossman Group, Towers Watson, Gagen MacDonald, Spring International, Swanson Communication, Connect Consulting Group, Bridge Consulting, On the Same Page and Vitiello Communications Group to learn what they have been working on and what best practices and trends they are seeing.

Bring your questions and greatest challenges and be ready to engage in conversation. If you’re a nonmember joining us for the evening, we look forward to welcoming you and sharing our expertise.

The reception kicks off at 6:00 pm, with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and snacks. I’ll see you there.

Chris Gay, Conference Chair


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Last week Marie wrote about her favorite Philly food haunts. Marie calls herself a common Joe (or Marie). I’ll be honest—I’m a food snob. When I go out, I want food I can’t make at home (OK, food my husband can’t make at home). I’m also a casual gal. I want to be comfortable and not concerned that my raucous laugh might startle the other customers. So I don’t seek out restaurants that are highfalutin. Instead, I look for those that produce extremely well-executed and memorable food. Oh, and not a chain. I don’t do chains.

If you’re a snob like me, lucky you! Philly’s become quite the foodie mecca. Here’s my rundown of places to visit while you’re here.

Garces Trading Company: With casual seating, a menu that spans paella to pizza—all done well—and an on-site wine store, Garces Trading Company is fast becoming my favorite of Jose Garces’ restaurant empire. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong with any.

John’s Roast Pork: A tiny hut by railroad tracks, with hours that are indecipherable to most, John’s is still worth the effort. How many sandwich joints do you know that’ve been recognized by the James Beard Foundation?

Vietnam Restaurant: Similar to people’s heated arguments over which outfit turns out the better cheesesteak, Pat’s or Geno’s, Philadelphians love to argue over which Vietnamese restaurant straddling 11th Street ranks supreme. My vote goes to Vietnam, which has the best darned nem nuong (grilled meatballs), bun (vermicelli noodle bowl), and … forget it, everything!

Mama Palma’s: It’s a tough call which pizza spot my family likes best. It always boils down to either Slice or Mama Palma’s, with Mama Palma’s usually winning out because the owner always treats our girls to free dessert. Their pizza options include unusual concoctions like mascarpone and pistachios, veal sausage and brie, and so on. Trust me, you’ll love ’em. If you’re less daring, their polenta bread appetizer, salads, and traditional pies will more than do the trick.

Parc Brasserie: A traditional French bistro on one our loveliest squares, you just can’t go wrong with Parc. Luckily, you can go anytime, as they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner― each fabulous. If you go, try for a seat outside or beside the flung-open windows. And keep your eyes open for celebrities. I greeted Kathleen Turner during my last visit. I’m sure she was thrilled.  😉

Tiffin: I kid you not, this is the best Indian eatery in Philadelphia, low-brow décor notwithstanding (Zagat gives its food a hefty 26 and its décor a respectable 13). It’s on a rough-and-tumble Philly street—transitional, if you prefer—so if that’s not your thing, use their takeout service. You won’t be disappointed.

There are so many other spots I adore, from Lolita, a bring-your-own-tequila Mexican restaurant, to Maoz, a fresh falafel fast–food vegetarian restaurant, to a great coffeehouse near the Four Seasons called La Colombe. Please don’t be afraid to hit me up for more ideas now or at the conference.

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On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, we’re offering a special workshop on change communication at an amazing price: $99.00.

Our workshop leader is Chris Thornton, Senior Manager, OIM Communications at Deloitte, former Director of Internal Communications at Pfizer and Senior Consultant, Employee Engagement & Communication at Right Management.

Chris will bring his dynamism and his experience as a Senior Communicator and senior consultant for leading Fortune 500 organizations. This highly interactive workshop will focus on how senior communicators can help leaders navigate change. Chris will share proven and practical approaches he has used to help leaders through realistic change processes. Chris will share actions that you can take back to your organization to sustain engagement levels during this challenging economic climate. You will learn how to align leaders with consistent change strategies, help leaders adopt employee engagement best practices, and move leaders out of the safety of change theory and into action.

You’ll learn:

  • How to provide leaders with realistic counsel
  • How to put change communication best practices into action
  • How to align your change strategies with business objectives

Register today.

Workshop logistics:
9:00am – 12:00pm, The Four Seasons Philadelphia

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marie gehret and i love food. i mean, we really love food. happily, philly has a lot of it. we’re going to break things down for you with a little “she said, she said” action, starting first with marie’s favorites. look for mine next week.

Admittedly, I have the epicurean tastes of a 5-year-old. I don’t eat haute cuisine. Don’t like fancy sauces or dishes whose names I can’t pronounce or translate. Hold the hummus and arugula, please. I like traditional American comfort foods.

As a Jersey girl born on the South Jersey side of the Betsy Ross Bridge right outside of Philadelphia (please, no Snookie jokes!) and a decade-long Philly resident, I can tell you that I’ve visited many of the city’s finest restaurants (although I can’t really say that I’ve tasted the food at all of them – alas, the harsh reality of a picky eater). In the end, I still prefer the lesser-known around-the-way spots that define the uniqueness of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and provide hearty, down-home cooking.

Here are my personal Philly fare faves:

Beef & Beer: The Ten Stone (2063 South Street, just south of Center City) has an amazing, melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon cheesesteak plus draughts for any beer enthusiast. The New Deck Tavern (3408 Sansom St./University City) has juicy burgers and chicken fingers (mom says fish & chips platter is excellent as well). Also, the Dark Horse Pub (421 South 2nd St./Society Hill) and Thomas Restaurant (4201 Main St./Manayunk) have delicious charbroiled burgers and fries.

Pizza & cheesesteaks: Both Wolf Street Pizza (2135 Wolf St./South Philly) and Celebre Pizzeria (1536 Packer Ave./South Philly) offer delicious and perfectly greasy and flavorful pie, and the cheesesteaks at Wolf Street are better than any cliché, touristy place in the city. Tip: Everything tastes better with extra cheese!

Steak: If you prefer to eat in downtown Philadelphia, try the Capital Grille (1338 Chestnut St./Center City) for consistently flavorful steaks. Now, if you’re adventurous enough to cross into New Jersey, I highly recommend The Pub, located in Pennsauken, NJ just minutes outside of Philly, which offers steaks more delectable than Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris combined. The Porterhouse is my personal favorite.

Pasta: La Stanza (2001 W. Oregon Ave./South Philly) has a chicken parm to die for, plus a great South Philly vibe.

Best diner: Penrose Diner (2016 Penrose Ave./South Philly near sports stadiums) is a Philly landmark and all-around great American diner serving a tasty hot open-face roast beef sandwich.

Overall romantic ambiance: Love the Rose Tattoo Café! Located at 19th & Callowhill streets – not far from the Art Museum steps and Four Seasons.

Dessert: White Dog Café (3420 Sansom Street/University City) has a sweet lineup of tarts, cheesecake and pies, plus a charming atmosphere.

So, there you have it – from the woman with simple tastes. If you’re looking five-star restaurants, please be sure to Google Steven Starr, Georges Perrier or Marc Vetri or consult Philadelphia Magazine.

— Submitted by Marie Gehret Williams, CCM Board member

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You say you’ve heard about CCM – good things, of course – but you’d like to know more?  Well, have we got a deal for you!

If you’re a communication leader from the Philadelphia region, you’re invited to be our guest on the first day of conference to sample CCM – for free – and see what all the excitement’s about.


Because we feel very confident that when you sample our two greatest strengths – knowledge-sharing and networking with other senior-level communicators – when you see first-hand what we’re all about – you’ll want to be part of our special organization.

And even though our annual conference is just around the corner, it’s not too late to take advantage of this offer and join us at the Four Seasons Hotel at One Logan Square in Philadelphia.  Here’s what we have for you starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5:

  • A presentation by Richard Nacht on the future of social media. Richard is senior research fellow at the Society for New Communication Research.
  • Next, a panel discussion focusing on social media case studies, with panelists from Walmart, General Electric, Sun Microsystems, and Day & Zimmerman.
  • Then our opening cocktail reception where the emphasis is on networking.

If you’re a communicator in a position of leadership and you’re interested, get in touch. I’ll send you information on how you can join us for an afternoon and evening to meet our people and experience the fun. You can reach me by phone at 215-997-1287 or by email at wtavani7@comcast.net.

It’s the best we have to offer – our people and our annual conference.   For free!


Bill Tavani (member since 1994)

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Arrival tips

Traveling to the CCM 2010 Annual Conference will be really simple, thanks to the numerous ways you can arrive and how navigable Philly is. Here are a few tips that can further ease your way:

Plane arrival: You can travel from the airport directly to the hotel via taxi, rental car, or train. Taxis charge a flat $28.50 rate, adding $1/person for each additional person ($3 max). Another option is catching the train from the airport to Suburban Station, which is only a short walk from the hotel. PHL’s ground transportation page provides additional detail.

Car: The hotel provides excellent directions. If you are driving, overnight valet parking is $49.00. There are alternative lots in the area, plus limited paid on-street parking.

Train: All trains come into Philly’s beautiful 30th Street Station. Taxis are available outside the east entrance. Fares should hover around $10, plus tip.

Bus: Philly is served by MegaBus, Bolt Bus, and Greyhound bus lines. MegaBus bus stops vary, so please refer to their bus stop informationBoltBus lets off near 30th Street Station. You’ll walk a few short blocks to catch a taxi or take SEPTA public transportation from the station. The Greyhound station is located at 10th and Filbert and taxis are available outside the station.

Questions? Leave them in the comments.

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This may be one of the first faces you’ll see when you arrive in Philadelphia for our CCM 2010 Annual Conference. If you’re not a sports fan, you may not recognize him. He’s the Phillies Phanatic, the loyal mascot for Philadelphia’s baseball team.

As part of a public arts project, “Phanatic Around Town,” the well-loved icon will soon be scattered all over town. The first statue appeared in March, and new ones will continue to pop up until August. You’ll find him at Love Park, Rittenhouse Square, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum, and in many other popular sites.

Whether or not you’re traveling with kids, be sure to hunt him down. If you come to love him, you’re in luck. All 20 will be auctioned off by the Phillies to benefit local charities.

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