Blog Home > Archive (January, 2018)

Cape’s regional hub status has long been an important part of our identity, one we must work to maintain in the years ahead. 

Growing up in Bernie, Mo., we made trips to Cape a few times a year. We shopped for clothes, books, cars, ate at the restaurants and enjoyed much of the retail offerings in town. It was an hour-long drive for us and this was certainly something many people from the area did on a regular basis.

When we look at our visitors today, retail is a major driver, but we also have people traveling to town for healthcare, entertainment and education among other things. Additionally, our business community attracts thousands of workers who commute to Cape every day. Our population actually balloons from 40,000 to around 100,000 each day.

These visitors generate a great deal of tax revenue that provides funding for critical services in Cape Girardeau. However, with the rapid shift to online shopping, Cape risks losing some of these individuals who travel here to shop as I did as a kid - individuals who now have many more options available to them online.

Moving forward, it is more and more important to ensure we are improving and expanding the services that bring people to Cape. Whether it’s offering world-class health care and top-quality higher education or entertainment that gets people talking and reliable passenger air service, the resulting visitors will remain a critical part of our local economy. 

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Do you want to come up toward the top of search engine results?

Are you trying to find more effective ways to get new customers, increase spending from existing customers and market your offerings to grow your business?

Plan to attend our free seminar, on February 19th in Cape Girardeau, and get free advice from digital marketing experts that will help your business compete in today's digital world. 

A Google representative will share inside tips for effective digital marketing.  Next, representatives from FOX23/MY49 Digital / Compulse Integrated Marketing, your local Google Premier Partner, will explain a handful of specific tactics that have helped countless small and growing businesses achieve success.

This free seminar is for a limited number of area business owners who are serious about growing their business, so RSVP ASAP to secure your seat!

This seminar will be held Monday, February 19th at Ray’s Banquet Center in Cape Girardeau

Monday, February 19th, 2018 – check in at 11:30am  to register go to:

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Raise the Woof

The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri is hosting their 3rd Annual "RAISE THE WOOF" Dinner and Comedy Show which features three nationally touring comedians and a wonderful dinner. All proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri. Tickets are $50 each and are available at the Humane Society (573-334-5837) and online at Eventbrite.

Doors open @ 4:30 pm, Dinner @ 6:00 pm, Comedy at 7:00 pm. Cash Bar.

It is a great way to celebrate a special occasion and support the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri.

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Tri-State Advertising & Marketing Professionals will host its January luncheon, “How We Work”, at Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant & Lounge on January 23, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“How We Work” is an ongoing series that features local marketers discussing their daily workflow, their most common challenges and tips for overcoming them. Learn how to make your own marketing business or department run more efficiently by asking others in your industry.

The luncheon is structured as a Q&A panel, featuring project managers, account executives and other marketing professionals. Panelists will answer questions about how they manage their marketing projects, including setting timelines (and managing client expectations). Learn how to avoid common pitfalls that undercut your efficiency – and your profitability.

Since much of the session will be dedicated to audience questions, attendees are encouraged to come with questions formed in advance. Have you ever struggled with a project at work and wondered, “how would a different company have handled this?” Here’s your chance to find out. It’s time to talk shop, so think about what you want to ask.

“How We Work” Panelists Include:

    •  Sheila Bizzell: Project Manager, Digital Fire Online Marketing Agency

    •  Toni Keesee: Vice President of Digital Strategy, Element 74

    •  Erica Mastropierro: Account Executive, Red Letter Communications

    •  Tonya Wells: Assistant Marketing Director, Southeast Missouri State University



Tri-State AMP hosts programs for club members and community guests on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Held in Cape Girardeau, Mo., the informative and entertaining programs feature professionals from all areas of the advertising and marketing fields. For more information, please visit or contact Tonya Wells, Tri-State AMP programming committee member, at (573) 651-2459. 

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Hendrickson Business Advisors is excited to announce that they are bringing Vistage to Southeast Missouri.

Vistage is a CEO and key executive peer mentoring group. Groups meet monthly to work through problems and opportunities together. National speakers also fly in and speak to the group several times a year about various topics affecting business.

Please join us in the Dogwood room at the Drury Plaza Hotel for a free informational breakfast on January 18th from 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. to learn about how Vistage can impact you and your company.

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Join us for a night of reflection, dinner and entertainment in commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 17, 2018 at the Show Me Center
Doors open at 5:00 p.m., program begins at 6:00 p.m.

The theme for this year's dinner is “MLK50: Where do we go from here?” Dr. Freeman E. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and advocate for educational success in science and technology for African Americans and others, will be presenting the keynote address.

Tickets are available for purchase! Additional information on this event can be found at

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January 11, 2018 vs. Morehead State
Women tip-off at 5:15 p.m., Men tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

January 13, 2018 vs. Eastern Kentucky
Women tip-off at 2:00 p.m., Men tip-off at 4:15 p.m.

Open at the SEMO Basketball doubleheaders during the semester break, fans enjoy the Fast Break Lounge courtside bar, featuring adult beverage and food available for purchase.

Fast Break Lounge is open to ALL FANS with any valid game ticket.

For tickets, visit

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CS Decisions magazine has awarded Rhodes with its 2017 Best Overall Engagement through Ongoing Campaigns award for creatively engaging customers using social media.  The article announcing the award is available at 

Larger convenience store chains earned awards for growing their social media following including Speedway, Wawa and Maverik (each has 270 to 2,500 locations), but Rhodes was recognized for creatively connecting with consumers through Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

The CS Decisions article states, “Numbers are only part of the story when it comes to social media. This year’s Shout Out award recognizes a chain using promotions or ongoing campaigns on FB to connect with its core consumer base in a particularly creative way, consistently throughout the year. While there were many nominations, we’ve narrowed it down to two chains that exemplify the art of creative posting.”

Rhodes’ 2017 social media campaigns included its success in breaking the world record for largest glass of soft drink, introducing its fruit-flavored lemonades, becoming a football team for its HomeGate HQ campaign and helping customers prepare for Christmas with its “How To” video series.

“Our social media efforts this past year would not have stood out as anything special without the participation of our employees.  They have graciously shared their time and talents to make our customer experiences special inside and outside our stores through our advertising,” said Lindsey Wagoner, vice president of marketing at Rhodes.


About Rhodes Convenience Stores

Rhodes was established in 1956 and now employs more than 600 individuals throughout its 31 Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois locations.  As the area’s largest convenience store network, Rhodes provides a vast selection of quality products, excellent customer service and convenient locations, many of which include drive-thru service, fresh food items and 24-hour service.  It is also an Imo’s Pizza franchisee, with six full-scale restaurants in Cape Girardeau, Perryville, Jackson, Scott City, Sikeston and Poplar Bluff.  
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Nunnery recognized as an Accredited Cruise Counselor

Carol Nunnery, owner of Dream Vacations - Nunnery Travels & Associates LLC, has been designated as an Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC) by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). 

Cruise Counselor Certification is achieved by completing a comprehensive program of cruise sales training and product instruction, delivered through a combination of extensive classroom training and personal cruise experience.  CLIA’s Certification program graduates are widely recognized as the foremost cruise vacation experts among American travel agents.

“As a travel professional, I am always continuing my education so I can best serve the needs of my customers in creating their dream vacations,” said Nunnery. “I am honored to be a member of this elite group of travel agents.”

Nunnery is one of more than 20,000 North American travel agency members of CLIA.  According to CLIA statistics, the overwhelming majority of travelers —about 70 percent— book their cruise through a travel agency and for good reason — travel agents understand the products they recommend and excel in finding the perfect cruise to match their clients’ needs, lifestyle and budget.

CLIA’s Certified Cruise Counselors are the cruise industry’s premier travel agents and can arrange all of your vacation needs while providing the greatest service and value for your vacation dollar. As part of World Travel Holdings, one of the nation’s top travel retail networks, Dream Vacations Nunnery Travels & Associates LLC offers consumers the lowest possible pricing on cruise and land vacations through its relationships with every major cruise line and many tour operators.

In business since 2015, Nunnery is extremely product-driven and has completed certifications with major resorts, cruise lines and river cruise companies. She is certified with Sandals, AMResorts, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Viking River Cruises, Avalon River Cruises and the Globus Family of Brands, UnCruise and more. She was named Dream Vacations’ Business Development Superstar in 2016 for experiencing exponential sales growth.

To learn more and to book your next vacation, please visit


About Dream Vacations

Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company. As an experiential brand, Dream Vacations is the only travel franchise opportunity to have a name that speaks to the variety of vacation experiences its franchisees sell. With unrivaled buying power, franchisees can provide competitive prices and exclusive offers when selling memorable vacation experiences such as cruises, resort stays and land tours.



Media Contact:
Carol Nunnery

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Elite Travel, Inc. has once again been awarded Golden Apple status for 2018 from tour operator Apple Vacations, the leading name in all-inclusive vacations to beach hot spots in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Golden Apple travel agencies are among the elite supporters of Apple Vacations packages in the U.S. and receive extra benefits with Apple Vacations for their customers

“The Elite Travel, Inc. team is committed to providing our customers and friends high quality vacations, exclusive vacation flights and value-added incentives,” said Carolyn Sandgren (Kempf), president/CEO of Elite Travel, Inc. “We are honored to receive this award for another year and to pass on the benefits to our clientele."

Elite Travel, Inc. was founded in 1992 by people who love travel for its ability to enrich lives and increase appreciation for the world in which we live. For more information about the agency and the services they provide, visit the offices located on South Silver Springs Road or call 573-334-1234.

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