Viewing entries in
Community Involvement

Cyber Seniors:  What it Means To Bridge the Technology Gap


Cyber Seniors: What it Means To Bridge the Technology Gap

Benjamin Franklin was quoted saying, "He that can have patience can have what he will." Never underestimate the determination of an individual who has patience, purpose, and persistence. On Sunday, May 1st, the AfidenceIT team had the honor of leading the Cyber-Seniors event--an international campaign aimed at connecting the older adults with technology. The campaign is part of the Cyber-Seniors documentary, a heartwarming film that addresses the growing gap between the older adults and technology. The idea originated after two sisters, Macaulee (16) and Kascha Cassaday (18) saw the way technology transformed their grandparent's lives. One of our employees sent us the video, and we felt an instant call for action. Armed with a purpose, we partnered with Cedar Village, a not-for-profit retirement community in Mason, Ohio. We developed a cyber seniors program that involved donating 15 Chromebooks, leading three events, and organizing cyber buddy partnerships.


6th Annual Cincinnati Scurry


6th Annual Cincinnati Scurry

If you happen to be in downtown Cincinnati on Friday, April 17th, you just might see several groups of people running around and doing some pretty silly looking stuff!  Don't worry though....they're all sure to be having lots of fun.  They are probably participating in Tier 1's sixth annual Cincinnati Scurry which benefits the Marvin Lewis Learning is Cool program.  AfidenceIT once again has a team ready to participate in the fun and games.  This year Team Afidence ("The IT Factor") participants are Brenden Bowie, Travis Hesson, Christine Olding, and myself, Jamie Gunn.



Countdown to the Scurry

If you're looking for some fun on a Friday afternoon in April, join us downtown to watch as we participate in the

6th Annual Cincinnati Scurry

! What's the Scurry you ask?  Think "Amazing Race."  It's where teams compete against one another as they race around town to complete various tasks.  Some of these tasks just might end up testing one's capacity for embarrassment.  Fortunately, it's all for a good cause.  The Scurry, which takes place on Friday, April, 17 benefits the Marvin Lewis program.

Scurry Team, or better known as the "IT Factor" consists of 4 Team Members:  Brenden Bowie, Christine Olding, Travis Hesson and Me, Jamie Gunn.

Come cheer us on!  Or.....come LAUGH at us..........either way, it's sure to be lots of fun!


Come See Us At LEBfest!


Come See Us At LEBfest!

Make sure you stop by the AfidenceIT booth at this Saturday's LEBfest!  You might just win something SWEET...and that'd be SWEET!

The Lebanon Chamber will be hosting the Annual LEBfest Business to Community Expo on Saturday, March 7th from 9am-3pm at the Lebanon High School on Drake Rd.  Over 90 exhibitors will be displaying their goods and services.  Raffle prizes and door prizes throughout the day.  To kick off the event the Lebanon Rotary will be having their annual pancake breakfast from 7am-1pm.  Tickets for the breakfast are available the day of or from any Lebanon Rotarian.  The EXPO is free family event.

Address: 1916 Drake Rd Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

(Pssst.....When I say SWEET, think Stephanie's Cupcake Company!) 



Merry Christmas from AfidenceIT

Merry Christmas One and All!

At AfidenceIT we love spreading Christmas cheer. With that in mind, we are once again sending the money that we would have spent on Christmas cards and postage, to a local ministry.

This year, we have chosen The Glen at St. Joseph as the recipient of this $500 gift. The Glen at St. Joseph helps single moms break out of the cycle of poverty. By providing them with necessary resources, The Glen is able to help these women provide a more secure future for themselves and their children.

Why the Glen? “According to U.S. Census Bureau, out of 12 million single parent families in 2013, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Today 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 --- a total of about 17.5 million --- are being raised without a father and nearly half (45%) live below the poverty line.” (  Our future depends on today’s children, and The Glen is giving them HOPE.


“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

Professionally staffed, The Glen provides hope to these women and their children with one-on-one coaching and counseling, life skills training, vocational assessment testing, and the assistance necessary to pursue a secondary education. Spiritual growth is encouraged through a Christ-centered exploration of their relationship with God.

For more information on how you can make a difference for families in need in our community, or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact:

937.252.1635      or                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


 Merry Christmas to The Glen at St. Joseph!


 Bryan and Barbara Hogan, Owners of AfidenceIT





Lamplighter's Ministry

AfidenceIT's very own Daron Holland and his wife are involved in the Lamplighters organization.  Haven't heard of Lamplighters?   I hadn't until recently.  It's an International Adoption, Foster Care and Orphan Care Ministry in the Greater Dayton Area.  Their aim is to provide much needed support to those families caring for children who are vulnerable.  The Lamplighters' ministry also provides families with educational tools and resources that are helpful when fostering and adoption issues occur. lamplighters image

Lamplighters will be hosting their 3rd annual Adoptive and Foster Parent Faith Based Conference on Saturday, November 8th, from 9am-4:3opm.  Interested?  See link below:     












Lead Magazine's IT Leadership Awards

Congratulations to Lead Magazine's "best and brightest" IT Professionals.  Several of them were honored last night at the Cincinnati Club for their contributions to the IT world. You can see the full story here. IT Awards








IT Leadership Awards, Class of 2014

Michael Braine, Senior VP and CIO, Retail and Vision Care Services, Luxottica Retail Jay Brown, Senior VP and CIO, UC Health Steve Brunker, CIO, LSI Industries Timothy C. Ferguson, CIO, and Associate Provost for Information Technology,Northern Kentucky University Peter Greis, VP and CIO, The Christ Hospital Health Network Rick Hensley, CIO and Corporate VP, Messer Construction David Hofmeister, CIO, Enerfab John Kellington, CIO and Senior VP, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies Vinit Kohli, VP of MIS, Sibcy Cline Annette Marksberry, Associate Provost and CIO for Information Technologies, Xavier University Rick Moore, CIO, TriHealth Anup Nair, CIO, Vantiv David Shardelow, Senior Director Corporate Information Services, Meridian Bioscience, Inc. Jeremy Shubert, CIO, Triplefin Zhen Tao, CTO, Paycor Jim Umphrey, Director of IT Operations, AdvancePierre Foods Nelson C. Vincent, EdD, VP for Information Technologies and CIO, UC Information Technologies Chris von Ohain, Director of IT, Makino Ralph Watkins, VP of Technology, Pure Romance Philip T. Woods, Chief Information Security Officer - Security, Risk and Compliance, Standard Register


Congratulations to the Class of 2014!



Business Spotlight - Blaze Pizza at Deerfield Pointe in Mason

blaze image Love pizza? If you have yet to try the newly opened Blaze Pizza at Deerfield Pointe in Mason, let me make a suggestion.  Go.  Go now!  You'll be glad you did.   My daughter took me there on my lunch hour one day last week, for a belated Mother's Day lunch.  I'll just say, Blaze Pizza must be literally and figuratively on everyone's lips, because I think half of Mason was there during lunch hour.  When I say half of Mason, don't let that deter you.  They move people through quickly.  The concept is simple yet innovative.  It's an assembly line.  You step along the counter, making your selections of fresh ingredients. Before you're done paying for your food, your pizza is already in the "blazing-hot" oven.  It's done a mere three minutes later...piping hot and delicious.

The menu has several signature pizzas such as the "Green Stripe" and the "White Top" or you can choose the "Simple Pie" with mozzarella, parmesan and red sauce.  If you're really creative,  you can build your own gourmet pizza.....the sign on the wall says "There is No Wrong Way to Play."  I had red sauce, mozzarella, ham, pineapple and goat cheese on mine.  One word.  YUM!  You can see their menu HERE or you can check out their website at

You can order your pizza while in line, or if you like, the online ordering is a great option to utilize (Delivery is not available.).  Once you've selected your pizza toppings, you choose the time you would like to come in for pick-up.  Your pizza is then staged.  Once you get there and check-in, your pizza is put into the oven, where it's ready in 3 minutes. (On line ordering available HERE.)

The Deerfield Pointe restaurant is the 17th Blaze Pizza to open in the United States and the first in Ohio.  Blaze Pizza is located at 9341 Mason Montgomery Rd. in Mason.

(513) 701-9217
Open Daily: Sunday-Thursday:
11am - 10pm
11am - 11pm









Celebrating 10 Years of Music, Media and Faith at the Underground

Maybe you've heard of the Underground but you don't know much about it.  Join them on Tuesday, May 20th to hear their story. . .
underground image 2
"The Underground invites you to celebrate 10 years of
empowering teenagers to tell stories of hope through music
and media.  It will be a powerful night of worship by up
and coming artist Carrollton as well as local worship
band, Emmerson Project."
Tuesday, May 20th
The Underground | 1140 Smiley Ave | Cincinnati, OH
6:30 - 7:00 pm Coffee & Dessert Reception
7;00 - 8:30 pm Program & Concert
For ticket & sponsorship information visit:
  The Underground is the largest youth ministry in the Greater Cincinnati / Dayton areas emphasizing music, media, and faith.  

The Underground offers a safe place for youth to connect, grow, learn, and shape goals that foster hope through music and media.  Schedule a tour to experience The Underground at and help your child connect today!

The Underground works with 20,000-30,000 youth annually by utilizing music and media as venues with positive impact.  Offering a contemporary club concert setting housed in a 13,000 square foot facility is only part of what makes The UG so dynamic.  It's also where lives are changed as The Underground provides live performances with local and national bands, film camps, and Emerge (video promos). The enhanced sound and lighting technology of The Underground are all part of the dynamic experience and gives teens an interactive, highly professional, and fun environment where they can grow friendships, learn, and perform.

underground image




Team Afidence at the Scurry

Christine and I were able to go downtown last Friday and follow the guys around for the first part of the Scurry.  The weather wasn't all that great in the morning but it eventually cleared up, and despite not having a lot of sunshine, it ended up being pretty nice. While Christine and I handed out our very own "Scurry Fuel" to all the participants, our esteemed Team Afidence got registered.  While we were waiting around for the events to start, Marvin Lewis came through the crowd and had pictures taken with all the teams.

By the time we caught up with our team over at Paul Brown Stadium, they had already competed in some events.  We were able to catch up with them in the locker room where Brenden was decked out in a Bengels uniform and they all did the Ickey Shuffle.  They then headed out onto the field where they attempted to kick some field goals and then ran around the field.  I have never been to a Bengels game so I enjoyed getting to be out on the field.

scurry afidence team

From there, Christine and I had to head home and the guys took off on the "Scurry" bus to their next location.

scurry marvin lewis




Stepping Stones Ranch Day Camp

Stepping Stones Ranch is having 6 weeks of day camp this year!  Day camp is Monday through Friday from 9 - 4 and is for students just finishing grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  If you register by May 1st, you can receive $10 off your week.  Sign up soon...spaces are limited!  Dates and themes are as follows: steppingstonesranchimage


  • June 23 - June 27   Wild, Wild West
  • June 30 - July 4      Mission Impossible
  • July 7 - July 11         Jungle Safari
  • July 14 - July 18      Survivor
  • July 21 -  July 25     Water Works
  • July 28 - August 1   The Amazing Race

Click HERE to see the Stepping Stones Ranch Facebook Page.

For more information or to register, call Stepping Stones Ranch at 937-289-0100.




Three Cheers to Our Very Own "A-Team"

Three cheers to the Afidence-Team as they get ready to go "Scurry-ing" downtown on April 25th and compete for gold and silver in this year's Cincinnati Scurry....Well...not really gold and silver, but certainly lots of cheers and shouts from the spectators.  Why do they "Scurry" you ask?  Because they love to train for this event.  In this case, training could possibly mean a little beverage drinking, a little singing, maybe some "dress-up" and a little jogging.....In all seriousness though, Tier 1 and The Marvin Lewis Community Fund have teamed up once again to benefit the "Learning is Cool" program.   scurry image

"Learning Is Cool is designed to encourage the 34,000 students in grades 1-8 at Cincinnati Public Schools, Covington Independent Public Schools, North College Hill Schools, and Middletown City Schools to make the ''A'' honor roll each quarter. Students who make the ''A'' honor roll two quarters of the year are recognized each June at an end-of-year event at Paul Brown Stadium.

Since its inception, the number of students on the ''A'' Honor Roll has increased by 110%. (You don't need to be a math whiz to know that's awesome.)

You can have a part in seeing that number go up even more. Past Cincinnati Scurries have helped expand the program to additional school districts. Just by participating in the Scurry, you make a difference in the lives of local kids by encouraging them to do well in school."  ("Learning is Cool" info. is from the Scurry website.)

Find out more about Learning Is Cool.

Members of this year's "A-Team" include, Trip Bodley, Dustin Werden, Brent Brinkman and Zach Knisley.  You go guys!


Team Afidence to Participate in the Cincinnati Scurry

The Scurry is coming back to Cincinnati.  What's the Scurry, you ask?  It's a four-person team race around the Cincinnati area.  Teams compete against one another as they race around town to complete various tasks. Sounds fun, right?  And it's all for a good cause!  The Scurry will benefit Cincinnati-area children through Marvin Lewis' Learning is Cool program.  Afidence will have another team participating this year.  Members of Team Afidence are Trip Bodley, Dustin Werden, Brent Brinkman, and Zach Knisley.  This year's Scurry will be on Friday, April 25th. Click HERE to go to the Scurry website.

Here's a picture of last year's Team Afidence.






Sleeping with Siri

I always see friendly faces at the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Coffee.  Last week was no exception when Christine and I were able to attend and hear Trip speak on technology.  The title of his talk was "Sleeping with Siri: 24/7 Technology" which got a few giggles from some of the attendees.  He started out by sharing how technology has changed so tremendously in the last 200 years.  We now have iPod's which hold thousands of songs that  fit in our pockets. It wasn't that long ago that a computer could only hold the equivalent of 1 song, was bigger than a refrigerator, and cost thousands of dollars. Yes, times have certainly changed. Technology is such a big part of our lives.  We use it continually throughout the day, accomplishing tasks at work and home.  We live in an age where many of us use our cell phones as our alarm clock and we then end up sleeping with our phones (Get it?...Sleeping with Siri).  When Trip asked how many people check their phones/email first thing in the morning, most hands were raised.  We go to bed thinking about what's on our phone and we wake up feeling the same way.  He commented how, on average, most people will check their phones 150 times per day!! That's a lot of "checking!"  He went on to talk about how many of us will feel panicked, upset, lost or angry if we realize we've driven off and left our phone on the counter.  I can't tell you the number of times I've actually driven back home to get my phone. Yes, I have a problem with feeling like I need to be connected.

Technology is so useful, but we shouldn't let it consume us and get in the way of our relationships.  Trip introduced some tips that can help us disconnect a little.  Here's how we can FOCUS:

  • Find and eliminate distractions - Listen for beeps, alerts and notifications.  Identify which ones are really necessary and which ones are not.  Turn off your email notifications, disable your badge counter.
  • Only do one thing at a time - Decide what task you could accomplish that day that would have the most impact.  Block out enough time to complete the task before proceeding on to the next.  Don't multi-task.  Switching tasks can result in decreased productivity.
  • Choose quality over quantity - Rather than texting, emailing or phoning a co-worker, get up and speak with them directly if possible.  We get more from face to face communication.  Make sure you are allowing yourself to tune out the noise, then pay attention to what is important.
  • Unplug - Go "off the grid" so to speak.  Disconnect from your devices.  Try journaling with pen and paper.  Make the most of your vacation time by either leaving your devices behind or better yet, go someplace without WiFi.
  • Say No - Saying no is difficult.  Making a "don't do" list might help.  Don't sleep with your phone, make it a point to not check your screens past a certain time each day, don't check your devices while you're driving and finally, don't experience life through your screen.

So there you go, just a few tips we can all use........focus and eliminate distractions, only do one thing at a time, choose quality over quantity, unplug, and just say no.




Business Spotlight - City of Mason

Wednesday posts in 2014 will feature businesses that are attracting attention.  For this week's "Business Spotlight" we're going to be taking a look at the City of Mason.  As a result of tremendous growth in the last several years, Mason has caught the eye of Money Magazine.  A few months back I wrote about Mason and how it had landed on Money's "Best Places to Live" list and has since continued climbing.  Here's part of my post:

After first making Money Magazine's list of "Best Places to Live" in 2007, Mason Ohio's rank just keeps climbing.  As a first timer to the list at #81 in 2007, Mason rose to #24 in 2011 and now holds the honor of #7.

Centrally located between Cincinnati and Dayton, the Mason community has much to offer.  King's Island Amusement Park, The Golf Center at King's Island, Great Wolf Lodge, The Beach Water Park and the Western and Southern Open are all great attractions for families, as are employers such as Procter & Gamble and Mitsubishi.

Families love Mason for many reason.  Foremost being the schools, which according to Money Magazine "...are among Ohio's best."

Click HERE for more information on Mason!

city of mason image - Copy

Lebanon's Christmas for Tots

toysundertreeThere is still time to help out with Lebanon's Christmas for Tots.  Would you like to brighten up the life of a child whose family is struggling?  Christmas for Tots is a non-profit organization committed to helping those families in Lebanon who are in need this time of year.  For more than 40 years, Christmas for Tots has been donating to families at Christmastime.  The lives of 820 children (from 330 families) within the Lebanon School District were blessed last year!  For more information on the Christmas for Tots program in Lebanon, call 513-932-1180 or email 

Christmas comes early to Lebanon

christmas image Now that Thanksgiving is over, people have really started focusing on Christmas.  The decorations are everywhere, and it's next to impossible to find a place to park.  It IS December, so crowded malls and beautiful light displays are to be expected.  But did you know that Christmas actually came to South West Ohio in October?  "The Christmas Spirit," a new Hallmark-made for TV movie, starring Nicolette Sheridan from Desperate Housewives, was filmed in Lebanon this fall.  So although Halloween hadn't arrived yet at the time of filming, Christmas took center stage in downtown Lebanon.  The city street lamps were decorated with wreaths while snow covered the ground.  Some shop owners even got into the "spirit" by putting up trees in their windows.  Check your local listings.  "The Christmas Spirit" aired on December 1st and will continue playing throughout the month.

Meet Lakota

lakotaMeet Lakota.....isn't she beautiful?!  Last week, while Afidence was downtown being recognized as finalists in the Cincinnati Business Courier's "Best Places to Work" ceremony, Christine and I had a chance to meet Lakota and we both fell in love with her!  Lakota is a one-year old lab who is part of the "4 Paws For Ability" program based out of Xenia, Ohio.  "4 Paws'" specializes in teaching and placing service dogs into homes of developmentally disabled children and adults.  I was especially impressed with Lakota and her behavior.  I have a few of my own labs at home and one of them is not very well behaved so when I see one who IS behaving, I'm fascinated!  Visit the "4 Paws for Ability" website here for more information!

Mason Volunteers Set to Impact Community with "Mason Serves"


Raking-leaves-300x225This Saturday, November 9, 2013,  marks another weekend of giving for Mason residents through the "Mason Serves" program.  "Mason Serves" is an outreach program where volunteers work together to assist the elderly in our community with outdoor clean up and landscaping.  For more information, click here