Help Monster Clean win Best of the Beach…Only One More Day to VOTE

To my business networking buddies and friends.

My husband, Jim Stallings, and his company Monster Clean is attempting to win this years “Best of the Beach” award for his business.

He’s up against competition, so would like your assistance to help us ‘win’ this contest.

The Virginian Pilot requires participating companies to ‘advertise’ in the newspaper to qualify for the text voting and public relations from the campaign.

Unfortunately, we were short-changed and were NOT listed in the “Best Of” paper section included in this Sunday Paper – with all the other ‘contestants.’

(Yeah, we got to get that resolved – we paid big bucks for that advertisement and they didn’t put the MonsterClean advertisement in the right section!!!).

Since there was an ‘oversight on their end’ we are trying to make up for their ‘error.’ (We don’t want to fall behind in the votes versus the competition (whose ad was in the right section).)


The Virginian Pilot requires the company to have supporters vote either of two ways (or BOTH – please text the vote in AND vote online):

1) Via text message – Send a text message to the (short) phone number 21333 and in the body of the text message put the code letters in:  ECA

(It won’t matter if your area code is out of town – but you’ll only get to text vote once for MonsterClean.

2) Go online and if you don’t have a registered account already, you can sign up for a profile account on

Once you have your account in place, you can go back to , scroll down the list and vote for your favorites listed OR you can write in a vote for any company not on the list (but hopefully you’ll vote for MonsterClean for Carpet Cleaning)

AND – you can write in the name MonsterClean in all nine cities listed for carpet cleaning or service contractor!

Thanks so much for your help!

Dawn Boyer & Jim Stallings


Argh – this new health care bill is driving us crazy!

Keep an eye on the news!  This Sunday could essentially make or break the back of this country’s economy!

Best of the Beach – Do a Small Biz a Favor?

Monster Clean has added itself to the “Best of the Beach” listing of vendors this year for several reasons:

1) To see if the advertising (small business card size) generates any extra business
2) To see if we can get enough votes vs our closest competition (ServPro) to win the “Gold”
3) To see if the post card campaign we used will generate any new business (it did – 4 new jobs on the books the day after we mailed them!)

When we signed up for the contest, we were told our ad would be in the “Best Of” section with all the other vendors. The Virginian Pilot screwed it up (dang it!) and placed our ad in the “Home Section” instead. This might be OK for regular advertising, but unfortunately no one is looking for us to vote in that section of the paper.

So we are doing damage control AND get as many votes as possible.

You can help us by voting for us three ways (and we hope you DO vote for us all three ways:

1) Whip out that handy, dandy cell phone and text the code letters “ECA” to the short # 21333.

2) Go to and create a profile (takes all of 5 seconds). Then go to, and scroll down to:

(a) Virginia Beach – when that page opens, click on the “Home Services” link and we are near the top – Carpet Cleaners – vote for Monster Clean.

(b) Then go back to all the other cities on the available lists, and “write in” (or vote for if it’s appeared on the list) Monster Clean – usually in Carpet Cleaning or Home Contract Services listing(s).

FYI: ANY BUSINESS CAN BE A WRITE IN – so if you haven’t planned on entering the contest, but want to – simply get all your customers, friends, and family to go to the paper’s website and write in your name in the appropriate category. Good Luck!




Dawn Boyer

Help Monster Clean Win “Best of the Beach”

We are working hard to get Monster Clean to win for the Best Carpet & Upholstery business in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.

Please text the Code Letters “ECA” to the phone # 21333 to help MonsterClean win the Best of the Beach (Virginia Beach) this year.


Go to

…and sign up for a profile there – just a simple name, address, and e-mail

then go back to the /bestof

Go to the City of Virginia Beach,

then go to the Personal and Home Services

Scroll down to the second listing – Carpet Cleaning


You’ll get a response back via e-mail for a 10% coupon off your next scheduled carpet cleaning from Monster Clean (in the Hampton Roads area).



This will be one of the most lively arguments that will never be resolved in any discussion. According to (The National Center for Educational Statistics)’s graph (Link Below) 63,100,000 students (out of the 74M-drop outs) were in “Elementary and secondary school” (K-12). It also shows that of those 63M students, only 21M are in “post-secondary school” (college). Therefore, only 33.28% of all High School graduates go on to college. But, 76.34% of High School students are READY to go to college.  Links:

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2006, 66 percent of high school completers, nationally, went directly to college. Some differences in immediate enrollment rates among groups of completers have not changed. The gap in rates of those from high- and low-income families persisted. Likewise, completers whose parents had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher were more likely than those with parents who had less education to enter college immediately after high school graduation (United States Census (2000). URL accessed on June 17, 2005.).  In 2008, 36% of enrolled students graduated from college in four years. 57% completed their undergraduate requirements in six years, at the same college they first enrolled in (Michelle Singletary (2009-10-22). “The Color of Money:Getting through college these days almost requires a degree in thrift”. Washington Post. pp. 20A.). (

Among the country’s adult population, over 85 percent have completed high school and 27 percent have received a bachelor’s degree or higher. The average salary for college or university graduates is greater than $51,000, exceeding the national average of those without a high school diploma by more than $23,000, according to a 2005 study by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Another good panel discussion on this topic is located at

The statement that over 50% will not get an education directly related to job they expect to get needs to be research based, but I do agree that could be a vein of truth.  Many students go into college with dreams of one career, but after they graduate find the career they dreamed of is not attainable, not profitable, or they are unable to find entry to the industry.  I wanted to be an artist all my life, but a BFA was worth as much as spit on a sidewalk when I graduated, so had to aim toward a vocational job as a business owner while I went back to school for a more practical career in another field via a Masters Degree.

The observation about college degrees many don’t make is they allow you to make your money via using your brain, while those without college degrees usually make their money with their physical strength such as HVAC, plumbers, electricians, painters, welders, truck drivers, and other skilled trades.  On the other hand, it’s an expensive proposition for a parent to send a kid to school for the tuition of about $20K the first year as a way to determine what the kid wants to do for the rest of their lives. If the parents push a kid into a college without the student being ready – shame on the parent.

Perhaps all high schools in the US should force students to take some sort of vo-tech class in addition to the academic classes revolving around standards of learning education.  Many high schools are slow on the uptake of forcing each student to have a office automation and computer course – basic computer skills on Microsoft Office, learning about social media for networking, and resume, cover letter, and application (job search) tools everyone needs going to college or out in the world. Every kid who drives a car should be able to change the oil, or swap out a tire to see if auto mechanics is of interest.  Every high-schooler should go through first aid and advanced CPR courses (including infant curriculum) to prepare them for medical emergencies and possibly interest them in a medical career.  Every kid should not only go through the parental preparation class (with the mechanical baby), but also a basic home repair course (change the toilet flapper, fix a leaking pipe, figure out if the fuse has tripped, etc.).  Who knows how many end up starting their own businesses because of a vocational course they may have taken in high school, which steered them into a life with more challenge.  Every student should go through a finance course teaching them about scams eager to take their money; provided a mentor entrepreneur to show them what opportunities there are to starting their own business; how to shop at a grocery store, use coupons, and comparison shop.

As for the argument about going to college at all, or not getting the job after graduation one intended – college does provide a well-rounded education, which opens students’ eyes to a global community, people and cultures to which they would never have been exposed.  They are provided viewpoints to issues, as they are related to basic studies.  It’s not that a student now knows how to perform algebra; the student has been exposed to how to work out a problem, use a formula, apply the synthesized knowledge to a new problem by thinking critically, and can work out an answer with the tools available – now and in the future.  That’s what education, including higher education, is all about.

So to boil it all down, I don’t think the issue is students are not prepared to go to college; I believe the issue is the high schools are not doing enough to prepare them for entering life.

Cute Text Message – Enjoy

My teenage daughter just sent me the cutest text message and I have to share this, with apologies to whomever initially made it up about 100 ‘forwards’ ago:

“I take you, 2B my legally wedded Text Buddy, 2 hav & 2 harass, in rich quotes and nasty jokes, til low battery do us  part.”