Blog Home > Archive (August, 2018)
Karisma Hotels & Resorts, an award-winning luxury hotel collection which owns and manages properties in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, recently awarded Carolyn Sandgren (Kempf) a travel expert with Elite Travel Inc. and a certified Gourmet Inclusive® Vacation Consultant, with the Elite 1 Diamond status a recognition indicating the highest level of commitment to exceeding service standards.

“It was our privilege to honor Kempf for her outstanding work, continued dedication and loyalty,” said Kelly Poling, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts. “This past year has been especially exciting with the announcement of the Caribbean’s first Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma in Riviera Maya, Mexico; Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya; and three new resorts in Cap Cana (El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas Royale and Sensimar Cap Cana) – all in 2019. Additionally, coming in 2018, Holiday Villages Montenegro and Allure Palazzi Kotor Bay by Karisma will open in Europe and El Cielo’s Vineyard, Villas and Spa by Karisma will open in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe. Our success and dramatic growth has continued thanks to the dedication of our esteemed travel agent partners.”

Kempf’s deep understanding of Gourmet Inclusive resorts allows her to provide individualized guidance to surpass guests’ expectations and assess particular client needs to create a tailored vacation experience. Launched in 2008, the Gourmet Inclusive® Vacation Consultant Program is limited to an elite group of travel agents who are obligated to meet specific standards and requirements to exceed extremely high expectations with regard to bookings, customer service, and support.
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Travel Weekly and TravelAge West are proud to announce that professional travel advisor Carol Nunnery of Nunnery Travels & Associates was selected to attend a Global Travel Marketplace (GTM) event. More than 800 applications are received for the approximate 200 spots available across the two exclusive events, and only the top-performing advisors in the industry are selected to attend. Applicants undergo a rigorous screening process, which evaluates their business model, confirms annual sales and requires industry references. Nunnery recently attended GTM at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida.

“This experience introduced me to so many amazing travel brands and allows me direct access to contacts within the destinations. I’m so excited about the opportunity to create amazing vacations all over the world while having the resources to build a unique experience.” said Dream Vacations franchise owner and vacation specialist.
Over the course of two-and-a-half days, GTM connects top-producing travel advisors in North America with leading cruise, hotel, tour and destination suppliers through one-on-one appointments, boardroom presentations and numerous networking events. They learn about new and existing products, destinations and services, providing them unparalleled support in the marketplace and distinct pricing advantages—both of which help them to best serve their valuable clients.
“Advisors selected to attend GTM are truly the best in the business. The majority of attendees have more than 20 years of experience selling travel, a diverse and growing portfolio of discerning travel customers and are truly experts at what they do,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. “As true pros, however, these advisors also understand the ever-changing nature of the travel industry. They recognize the value in furthering their product knowledge and creating valuable relationships in established and emerging destinations and with leaders at cruise, tour and hospitality companies. GTM creates a platform for just that, ensuring they’re fully equipped to meet clients’ needs.”

For more information or to book a dream vacation with Nunnery, please call 573-334-5857 or visit

About Dream Vacations
Travel agents with the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. A member of the International Franchise Association, Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings and has received partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines as well as national recognition for its support of military veterans.

About Travel Weekly
Travel Weekly, the national newspaper of the travel industry, is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. In addition to a weekly print publication,, updated several times daily, is the most-visited industry website. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.

About TravelAge West
For more than 46 years, TravelAge West has been the trusted voice of the travel industry in the Western U.S. With award-winning writing and design, the publication brings the best of travel to life for readers. The magazine's first-hand, on-site reports and fresh destination coverage is a valued resource for travel advisors. TravelAge West is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.

Media Contact:
Carol Nunnery
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Robinson Construction Company was recently awarded a $14.4 million contract for design and renovation of Building 751 at Patrick AFB, Florida. Building 751 is a 1940s era maintenance hangar that houses the 920 Maintenance Group, 920 Aircraft Squadron, and 920 Maintenance Squadron.

Robinson was awarded the contract for design and renovation of the 47,000 square foot facility on July 19, 2018. The renovations include upgrade of the existing building systems such as electrical, mechanical, and fire protection; resurfacing of the hangar concrete floor surface; repair of hangar doors and their components; central HVAC installation in the office area; installation of approximately 25,000 square feet of bird netting in the hangar bay; and site preparation and utilities for temporary facilities.

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First Midwest Bank is pleased to announce the addition of Billy Puckett as Business Development Officer at its Cape Girardeau location at 1820 N. Kingshighway.

In this new role, Mr. Puckett will focus on growing First Midwest’s portfolio focusing on business and commercial services.

Prior to joining First Midwest, Puckett was Director of Business Operations/Insurance Agent from 2010 to 2018 and was recruited by leadership to open his own agency in 2013 based on strong sales, operating and team leadership performance.

“We are thrilled to have Billy join the First Midwest family,” said Kathleen Bertrand, Community Bank President at First Midwest Bank in Cape Girardeau. “The addition of someone with Billy’s knowledge and expertise is a great asset and one we feel will continue to help us expand the First Midwest footprint in the Cape Girardeau/Jackson area.”

A Southeast Missouri native, Puckett returns to the area with his wife the former Christie Hogan and their two children, Hogan and Collins.

For more information on First Midwest and its lineup of services and products, visit or call 573-335-3682.

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Auburn Creek and The Arbors at Auburn Creek, Assisted Living by Americare, recently named Teresa Blattel- Compton as administrator. Mrs. Compton has worked in the long-term care industry for over 30 years.

“I am very pleased about this new opportunity,” says Compton. “My career in long term care began at a young age due to my father, who served as my mentor in the industry. I was attracted to the job because of the intimate size of Auburn Creek and The Arbors. I felt I would have more opportunity to interact with the residents in this setting. We have so much to be proud of here. I hope to build on those strengths to keep our campus the community of choice in Cape Girardeau,” she adds.

During her career Mrs. Compton has been a member of the Missouri Assisted Living Association, where she currently serves as a Board Member including two terms as President. According to Mary Eaves, the facility’s operations director, “We are very pleased to have someone of Teresa’s caliber at Auburn Creek. She has had a very successful career in the eldercare field and I am sure she will be an asset to our community in Cape Girardeau,” she finishes.

Auburn Creek assisted living and The Arbors at Auburn Creek memory care assisted living is located at 2910 Beaver Creek in Cape Girardeau. It is licensed as an assisted living facility by the State of Missouri.

For more information and to welcome Teresa please call 573-651-0199.
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TORCH Awards

Drury Plaza Hotel Cape Girardeau Conference Center 3351 Percy Dr., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
October 11, 2018
5:00 PM


BBB TORCH Awards recognize companies and charities that are committed to exceptional standards for ethical business practices and service to their customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. 

We look for businesses and nonprofits that others will want to emulate.

TORCH Award winners must show creativity in their ability to manage customer expectations, provide excellent customer service and resolve disputes. They must demonstrate the ways they inspire their workforce to adopt and communicate their ethics and further their mission. They must embody truth in advertising and help foster ethics within their industry and community. 

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EmployAbility Summit

Cape Girardeau Public Library
September 25, 2018
9:30am - 1:00pm


Enriching Lives & Businesses through Inclusion

Join other area employers for a presentation on disability inclusion in the workplace. This is our 2nd annual event and it is designed to dispel myths about hiring individuals with disabilities, provide information regarding community/agency resources, and learn more about inclusive business environments. Participation is free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided through our sponsors.
During this event you will be able to:
• Meet employers with successful inclusive business environments
• Get information from a Labor and Employment Attorney. This attorney focuses her practice on five primary areas. (1) Assisting employers with preparing and implementing sound practices, procedures, and agreements. (2) Conducting employee training on a variety of topics such as harassment, discrimination, FMLA and ADA. (3) Advising Human Resources representatives on day-to-day situations. Examples include: FMLA issues, ADA accommodations, difficult terminations, affirmative action obligations, wage and hour issues, and discrimination and harassment issues. (4) Conducting audits and investigations. This includes conducting Fair Labor Standards Act audits, investigations of employee complaints, and affirmative action audits. (5) Managing litigation when it arises, assisting with investigating and defending Charges of Discrimination, responding to demand letters, assessing the legal strength of a claim or potential claim, and managing the work in a lawsuit.
• Hear from a Senior EEOC Investigator from the St. Louis District Office. This speaker has over 13 years of experience investing allegations of employment discrimination and has investigated complex class and systemic cases as well as egregious single issue cases.
• Learn about the journey to employment from a first person perspective. Our Keynote speaker is a Rehab for the Blind Counselor who also happens to be completely blind himself. He is ready to explain to area employers his journey to employment, hurdles along the way, roadblocks he encountered, ADA questions, employer insurance concerns, his employment success, and how he now works to help others in their employment journey.
• Ask your questions to a panel of experts! We will host a Q&A session so bring your questions with you!
• Come network with other area employers, agencies, and organizations.

Please register at this address:

The Southeast Workforce Development Board is seeking SHRM credit approval for event attendees, but this has not yet been approved. 



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First Midwest Bank, 1820 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau
September 5, 2018
5:00 pm


You’re invited to attend the B Magazine Newsmaker 2018 Awards Reception sponsored by First Midwest Bank on Wednesday, Sept. 5th. Held at First Midwest in Cape (1820 N. Kingshighway) the reception begins at 5 pm with a social hour followed by the awards presentation at 6 pm. The event is open to the public. Please RSVP by Aug. 28 to Heather Short at 335-3682 or

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August 28, 2018
Regional Development Center, Cape Chamber
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


On August 28 from 11am-1pm, AAF Cape Girardeau will host a premium workshop for marketing professionals: “Digital Marketing in 2018 and Beyond”. The workshop will be led by Brian and Caitlin Schlichting, co-founders of Digital Fire Online Marketing.

If you think your website and Facebook page are everything you need to get new customers online, it's time to re-assess. In today's marketing landscape, a website just isn't enough. The ""shotgun"" approach to online marketing is incredibly wasteful. You need smart tools and automations based on analytics.

Join us to learn about online sales funnels and how they work to drive growth online. The workshop will help you define your customer’s journey online, as well as best practices on the various platforms you’ll use in that journey. Platforms discussed will include Google AdWords, Facebook, ClickFunnels and Aweber email.

The event will include interactive activities designed to help you visualize these marketing practices for your own business (or client’s business). So bring a laptop (or pen/paper if you’re old school) and get ready to take copious amounts of notes. This is one workshop you won’t want to miss!

Registration is required for this event. Admission for members is $20 and $30 for non-members.

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Regional Development Center 220 North Fountain Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
August 16, 2018
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Lunch with an overview of a globally proven program currently used by leading companies to enhance communication, teamwork, and Sales! Ideal insight for Team Leaders, Department Managers, CEOs and HR Specialist looking for core competency training opportunities. This is a unique opportunity to see Wall Street resources now available on Main Street.

Space is limited! Register at today.

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