Sign Up For The Asheville Business Cruise 2015

msc divina asheville business cruise Exciting times are in the making as a group of people from Asheville and Western North Carolina are planning to go on a business cruise from February 21 – 28, 2015. Yes, there are business workshops everywhere around town, but this is definitely a first! Now this is not any ordinary cruise. This Ship is the MSC Divina, an Italian luxury experience with the “best of the best” as many say. Imagine this… going on a week-long vacation combined with highly effective business breakout sessions that will help your company for years to come. The best of both worlds! Cruise the Atlantic Ocean, plus stops in Philipsburg St. Maarten and San Juan Puerto Rico. Enjoy a VIP tour of the ship, a Private Cocktail Party, and even a “Secret Event” for the group from Asheville. Wow! asheville business cruise 2015 On the Asheville Business Cruise, you will learn key elements to help your company in the areas of business plans, marketing strategy, increase profitability, hr challenges, sustain employee performance and longevity, management, online marketing, financials, social media, local relationship building, search engine optimization, cost effective advertising, business strategy, operational improvement, cashflow improvement, increase revenue generation, market penetration, brand loyalty, ROI and so much more! You will also make some new great friends and have serious business leads from among our own group. msc divina cruise deck plan This is an invitation to go on vacation with us and come back refreshed on both the business and personal level. I think you call that a WIN WIN situation. A group of us are meeting this Thursday August 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm upstairs at the Social Lounge in downtown Asheville. You can also call Cherie at 828-233-5877 or email her at for more information and to reserve your spot on the cruise.

Vino Vino Wine Market Closed, Asheville Heads Elsewhere

vino vino wine market asheville

Big Wine News in the area as Vino Vino Wine Market in Woodfin closes their doors, and their customers are now looking for a place to go. Vino Vino was pretty much known for their self-serve wine dispenser where you received a card, put some money on it, and helped yourself to about 20 wines featured on this circular kiosk. I remember having fun there, trying out wine, checking out their craft beer selection, and talking to Capachina who was one of the staff. I think I had a few bucks left on my card still, but oh well; I did not make it back in time and did not notice that they were closing. This does mean that they will have more time to focus on Stoney Knob Cafe, which one of our fave places to eat!

So now I have several choices. I could head to Maggie B’s in Weaverville, or maybe Wine Tunnel on Tunnel Rd; or the new spot everyone is raving about… Divine Wine & Beer in East Asheville. Anyway, we also have few great options on the AskAsheville Wine Page for you to choose from. Happy Wine Hunting!

Something to “Ponder”: Make-up, Missions, and Re-Missions

When sitting down with Asheville-native, Lauren Ponder Boggs, it’s hard to believe she’s a person who’s ever faced adversity.  She is fresh, happy, and optimistic.  Some “quality” sort of dances on her like a light she carries around, but completely on accident.  She seems she is unscathed, untouched, and estranged to the things most people blame their scars on …however, this is hardly the case. Lauren was a competitor from day one.   Before she reached the more tumultuous times in her life, childhood prepared her to become a fighter.  She grew up competing in pageants, dance competitions, and cheerleading competitions before moving on to the ultimate competition that landed her a modeling contract with Hawaiian Tropic.  She spent hours in the gym perfecting her talents, determined to blow her adversaries out of the water. Blood, sweat, and tears were minimal effort. Though, often in the limelight, she still had to work with every fiber that created her to be the cream of the crop.  When she explained to me how she knew she wasn’t meant to be average, she blushed a little, as humans are often taught to do for having the heart of a contender.  Though her humility is a breath of fresh air, it becomes clear why her successes were meant to be.  They readied her for the battle of her life. At 24 years old, when most post-college adults are realizing the world awaits them, Lauren’s revelation came in the form of a rare pediatric bone cancer, living as an unwelcomed mass in her chest.  Doctors explained how they’d never seen a case like hers before, and she would be receiving the most aggressive treatment available. From a medical stand-point, her case had a grim outlook.  The prognosis was frightening. Lauren knew her friends and family were in a state of terror, though they tried to remain calm for her.

Fighting with a friend

Fighting with a friend

“I don’t know if I was naïve, or in denial, but I never thought I wouldn’t beat [cancer].  I wasn’t worried,”  Lauren told me casually. I looked back at her, noticing her demeanor hadn’t changed an ounce when our conversation transitioned to her life-threatening illness.  She didn’t look away, didn’t cry, didn’t flinch.  She couldn’t wait to share her story.  She wanted her half-full glass to spill onto others.  And there is water pure and genuine in that cup.  Sitting there, I wondered if I, myself was capable of this level of hope and optimism. Like she knew she would, she beat the cancer, and it hasn’t dared to show it’s face in town again.  Troubles over, right? Without much calm before the next storm, Lauren, now a wife and mother of two is facing a financial crisis.  The bills are stacking up and there are innocent growing mouths to feed.  It’s a struggle to keep the power on, and to have enough gas in the car for a normal daily routine.  Something has to be done fast.  The economy is in the tank, no one is hiring, and the ones that are won’t make a dent in the situation.  Panic time was an hour ago; the storm is here. She has to jump into mud kicking for the second dare-to-be-great situation of her life. It’s been less than a year and a half.  Lauren is currently a Senior Sales Director, and next month will be crowned Executive Senior Sales Director…except the crown is a shiny new BMW.  Like a mother lioness, she looked out unto the savannah, her cubs behind her, and reclaimed her territory with a vengeance gifted to her by nature.  She doesn’t lick her wounds, she doesn’t show off her scars, and she doesn’t wear any medals of honor.  She shares her story. It is simply a story of a woman, a wife, a mother, and a business person who as she put in her own words, “comes from a place of yes.” Lauren would like to use this story to bless others, as she feels Mary Kay is her mission field.  A quarter of any sales she makes as a result of this story will be donated in the purchaser’s name to WNC Cancer Care. For more information on how to donate or to become a part of Mary Kay please contact Lauren Ponder Boggs at or 828-785-9241.  She can’t wait to share in your mission!

Lauren and her gorgeous family

Lauren and her gorgeous family


Mary Kay face!

Mary Kay face!

Vibrant Asheville Business Socials Thrive

vibrant asheville business playing darts

When it comes to an independent business networking event in the WNC area, Vibrant Asheville Business has quickly taken the huge lead in the community. Alan Rosenthal decided he wanted more than what others offered, so he started building this network from scratch. You do not need to be a member or get “the mark of the beast'” to come and get festive. A simple RSVP will do. This is an open networking meeting focusing on inclusion, relationship building and support. If you have not met Alan, he is a private investigator and helps folks find out what they want to know about pretty much anyone or anything. His job is connecting people with accurate and documented information. He is also heavily involved locally with several great organizations including the Chabad House, the Asheville Jewish Business Association and many others. Alan is a Catalyst!

vibrant asheville business packs tavern

Alan noticed that with all of the online networking, people were missing that face to face, that personal contact that many yearned for. Now he brings a great group of friends and business associates together once a month to meet others and celebrate connections. So what is this meeting like? It is an open networking group that meets at Pack’s Tavern to talk, eat and/or drink. Some just come for the people, others for a beer or cocktails, and some come hungry. There may be a few minutes of announcements, but it is much more of a social club than a formal business meeting.

vibrant asheville business askasheville

At the Vibrant Asheville Business meeting last night, Alan had a few former employees of the Asheville Citizen Times come by to share who they are and what they do; giving others the opportunity to meet them and share potential opportunities with them. AskAsheville attended with several people from our team including Gary Jr who does graphic design and images, and Joe who is one of our social media managers. We talked to about 40 people, initiated some great relations, ate, drank and played darts too! Good times all around. Thank you Alan for putting this group together, and to the great staff at Pack’s for the service, smiles and venue.

You can find Vibrant Asheville Business on LinkedIn, Facebook and Meetup.