Archive for November 30, 2016

TEAMTRI Thankful Holiday Recipes, Part 2

During this holiday season, our TEAMTRI family is looking forward to connecting with friends, family and loved ones to enjoy the season. To celebrate this time of year, we’ve asked some of our teammates to share their favorite holiday recipes and for whom they are thankful. Enjoy this multi-part series and feel free to share these recipes with your own loved ones!

Teammate: Shelby Watson

TEAMTRI Title: State Officer Coach

Twitter Handle: @TEAMTRI_Shelby

Thankful Recipe: Cranberry Sauce!


*1 cup sugar (7-1/2 ounces)
*3/4 cup water
*1 tablespoon grated orange zest, from 2 oranges.
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*12-oz bag cranberries


1. Pick through your cranberries and discard those that are not ripe. Wash in cold water.

2. In a medium saucepan set over high heat, bring water, sugar, orange zest, and salt to boil. Stir occasionally while the sugar dissolves.

3. Add washed cranberries to pan, return the mixture to a boil over medium burner for 5 minutes, without stirring.

4. Reduce to medium/low heat and simmer until about two-thirds of berries have popped open and sauce thickens, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. You can make cranberry sauce up to 7 days ahead; but be sure to allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving..

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

This recipe is actually from Cooks Illustrated, a publication that my Aunt and dad bond over every year we are together. It is several years old, so I remember it as ours because of all of the years we have been making it. Last year, my dad, sister, and I traveled around the New England area for seven days looking at all of the beautiful leaves that were changing colors. We stopped by an organic cranberry farm to participate in U-pick in rural Maine. There was no one there but the couple who owned the farm.

They were both doctors from the Boston area that bought the cranberry farm 20 years earlier and now they spend every October-November picking their crop. They were nice enough to stop everything they were doing to give us a tour of their entire operation. Everything was organic, still picked by machinery from the early 1900’s, and was cared for with love.

Our family was so impressed by their kindness that we tried to buy an entire case of cranberries, but they didn’t have enough inventory. Instead we sent them a box of fruit once we got back to Atlanta. Now we always remember this amazing couple and write to them whenever we are all together.

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Teammate: Camille Pinder

TEAMTRI Title: Senior Logistics Specialist

Thankful Recipe: 12 Hour Rolls


1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
3 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar


Mix together yeast, sugar and water. Meanwhile, scald milk and add butter. Cool to lukewarm. Add other ingredients. Leave dough quite stick. Cover and let rise 5-6 hours. Turn onto board. Knead one or two times. Divide dough in half. Roll into circles 1/8in thick, 12 to 15 in across. Cut circle into 16 pieces (like thin pizza slices). Roll large to small. Curve slightly on cookie sheet. Let rise to double. Bake 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees (the finished product should look like Pillsbury crescent rolls).

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

These are my mom’s famous dinner rolls! These were always the last thing she would bake for Thanskgiving dinner so that they would be nice and warm and yummy for dinner. Everyone always requests my mom’s famous rolls and they get devoured! They are also perfect for making turkey sandwiches with the leftovers.

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Teammate: Michelle Collins

TEAMTRI Title: Senior Accounting Specialist

Thankful Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes Supreme


2 lbs packaged frozen hash browns (thawed)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded cheese (i use cheddar)
1 cup sour cream
1 stick melted butter or margarine
1 can cream of chicken soup


Combine last 6 ingredients then stir in the hashbrowns. Pour into a 9×13 buttered pan. Cover with 2 cups crushed cornflakes, then drizzle with 1 stick melted butter

Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

My grandmother always made this dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas and we always looked forward to it. I got the recipe from her in my early 20’s. When my husband and I starting sharing family holidays while dating (in my mid 20’s), I discovered that his mom makes this dish also. I knew it was meant to be 🙂

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Teammate: Carla Boulton

TEAMTRI Title: Director of Education and Programming

Twitter Handle: @carlaboulton

Thankful Recipe: Potato Dinner Rolls


1 1/2 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp sald
2/3 soft margarine/butter
2 eggs
1 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour


Measure warm water into bowl. Add yeast. Stir to dissolve. Add sugar, sald, margarine, eggs and potatoes. Stir to mix. Add 3 1/2 cups flour all at once. Sir until smooth and bubbly. Add remaining flour all at once. Mix until easy to handle. Let rest 10 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place in oiled bowl, turning over once. Cover with cloth wrung out of warm water. Let rise to double. Punch down. Let rest 10 minutes.

Make into rolls as desired. Let rise. Bake 10-12 minutes in 400 degree oven. Makes 4 dozen dinner rolls.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

Granny would make these for every big family holiday meal. Regardless of what else was on the table, ham for Christmas and Easter or turkey for Thanksgiving, these rolls were what everyone wanted first. There were never any left at the end of the meal and they are so good! This recipe always makes me feel thankful for my family.

5 Tips for An Awesome Announcement!

Planning a successful announcement – whether it be for a new product, campaign, or initiative – can be challenging. In today’s crowded digital environment, there is a very real chance that your announcement may get lost in the noise if not planned and executed correctly.

Here are 5 tips for planning and implementing a successful announcement that is sure to get people talking.

1. Plan Ahead

In business, just as in life, planning ahead is crucial to success. When it comes to a big announcement, you will find it helpful to start early and map out exactly what steps need to be taken to roll out your announcement.

One great way to do this is to create a calendar with your team that outlines what and when things need to be done. Planning your campaign in a visual way not only helps you stay on track, but can serve as a way to keep the rest of your team on the same page with deadlines and deliverables.




2. Be Innovative

By definition, innovation is achieving a result in a non-traditional way. When thinking about how to capture people’s attention for your announcement, don’t look too much at what others have done before. Instead, put yourself in your audience’s shoes by asking

  1. Which platforms do they use?
  2. When do they use them?
  3. How do they use them?
  4. What is likely to stand out and grab their attention?


By working backwards, you can tailor your specific strategies around their behaviors, thus increasing your chance of successfully getting your message in front of their eyes. If something hasn’t been tried before, maybe it should.


3. Create Anticipation

When Apple makes an announcement, they don’t just decide to host an event and hope that people will show up. Instead, they sent out cryptic invitations out ahead of time in hopes of creating a sense of anticipation.



For an announcement, consider creating some teaser content that provides your audience with details about when the big reveal is.


In my work in the nonprofit world, Nevada DECA did just that before announcing their state theme.

When Samsung was preparing to announce their new line of innovative smartphone, which they dubbed “The Next Big Thing,” they provided popular bloggers and other tech influencers with an opportunity to test out the new product before it was announced to the public. The result was pivotal: positive reviews flooded the Internet the day of the launch, and people were motivated to get their hands on the phone.


When you are planning a big announcement, get a few members and advisors in on it by providing them some details and encouraging them to help spread the news.

5. Maintain Momentum

After the big announcement, don’t let the excitement fade away! Continue creating content that not only reminds people of what was announced but also continues the hype.


If you announced a state theme, include that theme in your future social media posts. If you rolled out your community service project, provide updates that remind people to take action. Whatever your big announcement is, concentrating on maintaining the excitement around it.

Good luck!

TEAMTRI Thankful Holiday Recipes, Part 1

During this holiday season, our TEAMTRI family is looking forward to connecting with friends, family and loved ones to enjoy the season. To celebrate this time of year, we’ve asked some of our teammates to share their favorite holiday recipes and for whom they are thankful. Enjoy this multi-part series and feel free to share these recipes with your own loved ones!

Teammate: Becky Trimble

TEAMTRI Title: Vice President of Team Resources

Twitter Handle: @TEAMTRIBecky

Thankful Recipe: Chocolate Silk Pecan Pie


*1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on package
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup dark corn syrup
*3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
*1/8 teaspoon salt, if desired
*2 eggs
*1/2 cup chopped pecans
*1 cup hot milk
*1/4 teaspoon vanilla
*1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
*1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
*2 tablespoons powdered sugar
*1/4 teaspoon vanilla
*Chocolate curls, if desired


1. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust filled pie using 9-inch pie plate. Heat oven to 350°. Beat granulated sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Stir in pecans. Pour into pie crust in pie plate. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until center of pie is puffed and golden brown. Cool 1 hour.

2. While filled crust is cooling, place hot milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and the chocolate chips in blender or food processor; cover and blend on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Refrigerate about 1 hour 30 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened but not set. Gently stir; pour over cooled filling in pie crust. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.

3. Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in chilled small bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon or pipe over filling. Garnish with chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

My granddad from Texas always sends each of us 10 pounds…yes 10 pounds of Pecans each year. So they are alway plentiful. My mom has made this pie every year for as long as I can remember and I now make it every year two since I got married 15 years ago. As a kid I always opted for pumpkin pie with about a gallon of whip cream on top. Now I love this rich and delicious chocolate pecan pie. I think recipes have a way of connecting generations and bringing back memories of days gone by.

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Teammate: Teresa Mankin

TEAMTRI Title: Association Services Specialist

Twitter Handle: @teresamankin

Thankful Recipe: BUCKEYES!


*1 1/2 cups of smooth peanut butter
*1 cup butter, softened
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*6 cups powdered sugar
*4 cups semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and powered sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Put a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir frequently until smooth.

Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.r pipe over filling. Garnish with chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

This is a Thanksgiving staple at my house. Buckeye trees are common in the Midwest and the state next door even named their sports teams after them. These are easy to make, amazingly yummy and welcome at every feast.

This recipe makes me thankful for my younger sister, Tina. She is very thoughtful and makes these every year because I love them, but she also jumps in to help with lots of things in my crazy busy life. When I travel, Aunt Tina is on stand by. I couldn’t do what I do without my holidays obsessed sissy.

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Teammate: Laura Nelson

TEAMTRI Title: Logistics & Quality Assurance

Thankful Recipe: Fizzy Fruit Drink



*1 2 liter bottle of CHILLED gingerale
*1/2 can of frozen white grape juice concentrate, thawed
*1 small basket of raspberries, rinsed and drained


Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir to combine. Serve in the fancy glass of your choice.

What are your memories that make you thankful for this dish? Who does this recipe make you thankful for?

When you are not allowed to cook (because you shouldn’t be) this recipe is a great addition to any holiday party. I’m thankful for my whole family who gets to share this!

Incredible Life Lessons from Working In A Kitchen

Throughout high school and college, I worked in a restaurant kitchen. I worked in a variety of different places from a fast-paced breakfast restaurant to a high-class hotel restaurant. There are so many different benefits to working in a kitchen – from learning to cook different dishes, to being able to eat all kinds of food.

Although, being able to eat what I cooked was great, I learned a few other important life lessons along the way:

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation!

In the kitchen, we spend anywhere from 25% – 35% of our time preparing for our shift ahead. We must have all our ingredients for every dish ready. This means that every steak must be cut, every bottle of oil must be full, and every vegetable must be chopped and ready. This early preparation will prevent you from needing to complete these tasks when you face a restaurant full of hungry people!

Learning to prepare has one of the best lessons to learn. Preparing for events or activities before they happen will help you avoid getting frantic while at an event or activity. Preparation will set you free to enjoy your event or activity.

2. Listen to the needs of the person you are serving.

While cooking, I had to learn that I must listen to the person that I was serving. Whether they asked for a steak to be medium-rare, asked for no salt on their fries, or they asked for gluten-free bread, I had to pay close attention to their needs. You never know when someone might have a food allergy or what they might not like. Serving someone a dish that they might not like or could hurt them can make for a terrible experience for everyone.

As a leader, you must listen to the needs of the people you are leading. They might be saying that they need help with a task or they might be telling you that they would prefer to do something differently than planned. As a leader, you should be able to listen and react to their needs.

3. Teamwork makes everything easier.

This one might sound obvious – yes, you want to work well with other cooks in the kitchen so no one gets hurt around the kitchen equipment. However, there  are plenty of other people you must work well with to succeed in the kitchen. There are the servers that take the customer’s order, the dishwashers that wensure that you have clean pots and pans, and of course the other cooks in the kitchen.

When you can rely on others to help you with needed and others can depend on you, it can make the job a whole lot easier. There will be times when you get overwhelmingly busy, but great teams can rely on each other to push through these tough moments.

Bon appetit!




I Love Deadlines! (And So Can You)

I am a little crazy about dates. Not dating like going somewhere and doing something fun (although I enjoy that too), but deadline dates. I have to admit that I am totally, 100% date–driven. It is shaped into my personality. I’m the type of person who makes lists of other lists just so I don’t miss anything. Without a due date for things, I feel paralyzed. I’m the type of person that doesn’t do anything, unless it has a deadline. Sad to say, but yes, I’m that person who schedules in time for “spontaneous fun”.

When I got married, I married a man that isn’t 100% into deadlines. Not to be mean, but I don’t even feel that 90% of him is driven by deadlines. My husband, a great man, doesn’t schedule time for spontaneous fun. He tells me that spontaneous fun is supposed to be that…spontaneous. However, even when I was a little girl, I hated surprises and liked (and still love) when everything is planned. However, when I got married, I told myself I would change. I would learn to be that spontaneous person. Little did I know how date-crazy I really was.

I’m writing this article for two reasons:

1) To show my husband that being a deadline lover, in my case at least, is a good thing.

And 2) To teach all the readers out there that setting deadlines and being a date lover can help you!

I have been wanting to post this blog forever. I wrote this two years ago. I just never told myself a due date to get this in. Ironic, right? I felt that there was always a way to tighten it up a paragraph. I felt that there was always a word that could be tweaked or a sentence I could re-write to make it sound better. I found myself living a life (well, with this one blog) that I was not loving. I didn’t set a deadline for it, therefore, it was never going to be posted.

Having deadlines focuses your energy. You feel as if you HAVE to get something in by that date. It will drive you mad, but at the time, it drives your creativity. Let me explain in four steps:

  • Expectations: When a deadline is set, everyone, whether it’s one person, or two hundred people, understands when the work is to be completed. In a fancy word, it’s like a contract. Because deadlines set us up for expectations, it means that people are working together and in sync. It really is amazing how just a deadline can change the whole process of a task!
  • The Value of Time: We all have 24 hours in a day. Everyone is busy. Everyone has projects. When we choose to set deadlines, we are committing to the value of the time of the project. Let’s use an example. If you are in school now, this should be easy for you, however, if you are out of school, go back in time and remember all the papers and projects that were assigned the same week as all the tests. Are you thinking of this time? You had to push. You had to push yourself to get everything done. Sometimes, you even stayed awake all night just to finish that very important paper that was due the next day. Deadlines give us the value of time. I am the type of person that would rather not stay up all night to write a paper. Call me an old grandma, but I like my sleep. For me, I am the type of person that tries to get things in days before the deadline is there. However, if we didn’t have deadlines, we never would push ourselves.
  • Prioritize: Deadlines help us with our workflow. Let’s say you have a report to turn into your boss on Friday, and the next week you have a school paper due on Wednesday. Knowing our deadlines helps us know that we should do first things first. Meaning, you should work on the report due Friday, before working on the paper due Wednesday.
  • Self – Imposed: This is your own deadline. Give yourself deadlines. Hold yourself accountable to your own deadlines. At work, I have deadlines for projects. Being told that something needs to be emailed by Friday, or sent it to my boss on a Monday. I found that what worked best for me, was setting a personal deadline the day before the “real” deadline. This means that I was finding myself a day always ahead. I even did this in college. Making it so I was weeks ahead in classes, enjoying college life way more than the person that was up till 2:00am still writing their paper and not even being able to go to the school dance. When we self-impose and set personal deadlines, we are forcing an effort throughout the process.

Bonus Step: Consequences and Rewards: When I was in school, there was a consequence for missing a deadline. There was also a reward for getting things in on time…higher grades, ice cream runs with mom, etc. When we create deadlines for ourselves it makes us think through the steps that we need to achieve it. Each step does in fact require time. Finishing all the steps helps motivate you to start tackling more and more deadlines. Learn to celebrate deadlines. Learn to let deadlines become a reward. I did this, and I found that everything I do that is fun, I see as a reward for getting my stuff done early.

And that’s why I love deadlines!