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Love Thy Neighbor

Filed under: Community

One of my earliest memories is from a shopping trip to a G.C. Murphy store in downtown Columbus, Indiana. This dime store, as discount stores were called then, had bikes and fun toys, but the most exciting part was the wooden escalator, which went up from the basement level (You walked down the adjacent stairs).

One day, as I held my mother’s hand and stepped onto the clanging escalator to ride up, I heard another mother explain to her crying son that, no, they couldn’t ride the escalator, because it was for whites only.

When we arrived at the top, we waited for the mother and son to climb the stairs. Mom released my hand and told me not to move. She picked up the little boy, walked him down the stairs, turned and walked onto the escalator, carrying him. He was thrilled. His mother cried.

I was totally confused, but asked mom about it later. She quoted scripture: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Here we are, probably 48 years after that escalator ride, and we still don’t seem to have learned that simple lesson. May God forgive us but teach us. Time is short.

When mom was in her early 80s, I asked about a lot of things. One was her view on race. I had never seen her treat anyone differently on any basis, including the color of their skin. She told me her mother was her role model.

Grandma and grandpa were sharecroppers, living in a farmhouse with their 12 children and managing a farm for another family. The farm hands were white and black. One day, in the late 1920s, my very young mom was helping serve food to workers sitting on picnic tables in the front yard. One of the white farm hands told grandma that he didn’t want to eat next to non-whites (he used a different word).

Grandma, my mom told me, had a quick reply: “Great. He doesn’t want to eat next to you, either. But he won’t have to, because you’re getting off this property and heading down the road!”

Mom never saw him again, and those tables were always integrated, with no questions asked, from that moment forward.


Connect, Learn and Marvel at Power Summit Canada

Filed under: News About ASI

Considering that the U.S. and Canada have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, dealing over $2 billion in goods and services every day, it was a no-brainer for ASI to host a Canadian version of our popular Power Summit.

The issues at hand are of particular importance to us all. The Canadian marketplace is growing and the U.S. dollar is gaining strength. Canada is now the single largest foreign supplier of energy to the U.S. and the third largest holder of oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Every trading day, there are millions of jobs and billions of dollars at stake.

Add it all up and it’s clear there’s a lot for business owners on both sides of the border to learn about and profit from.

Luckily, there’s still time to join us at this year’s summit – our third – June 21-23 at the gorgeous Four Seasons resort in Whistler, British Columbia. Picture a quaint European village surrounded by soaring summit glaciers for an idea of the region’s beauty.

We put a lot of effort into selecting a potent mix of speakers and panelists guaranteed to challenge us into new ways of doing business. This year, I’m most excited to hear from Michael Lee, Alibaba.com’s director of global marketing. Alibaba seems to make news every day – from its explosive IPO offering in 2014 to the recent opening of its newest office in Russia.

During our onstage Q&A, Lee will let us in on his global strategies while sharing his thoughts on potential changes to the promotional supply chain. If you’ve got a burning question for me to ask, please post it here as a comment.

There’s more – lots more. Check out the website for details on the venue and a slate of speakers as diverse as Olympic skier John Smart and former British Columbia finance minister Colin Hansen. Topics we’ll tackle over three days include the promos that excite Canucks fans the most, corporate merchandising, Big Data and eco apparel.

The Power Summit Canada is a stylized TED Talks for the promotional products industry – with cold Canadian beer, zip lining and golf to boot, along with exclusive reports, challenging sessions and prime networking opportunities.

For more info or to register, please contact George Murray at (215) 953-3181 or email events@asicentral.com. Click here to register directly.

I’ll see you Up North!