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Family Policy Councils: The Real Grass Roots Needed for the Next Conservative President

January 9, 2007 | By | One Comment


Policy Review

November & December 1996In the mid-nineties, Charmaine wrote a column for Policy Review magazine. One of her articles reviewed the Family Policy Councils. The FPCs are state based non-profits considered faith-based, cultural and economic conservatives.

A conservative president usually needs Ohio to win. And the embrace of the Family Policy Councils.

These state-based organizations work somewhat with the Family Research Council in DC and Focus on the Family in Colorado.

Originally published in 1996; and even more important today.

State Groups That Fight for Mom and Dad

by Charmaine Crouse Yoest

Rudy Gonzalez, a “cowboy poet” with a handlebar mustache and a home-on-the-range accent, strummed his guitar, then launched into a joke. The crowd relaxed into laughter as he regaled them with tall tales and folk wisdom.

This is the Idaho Family Forum’s annual summer fundraiser, the Spud Bake, where this group of moms and dads marks the end of summer by eating baked potatoes. Lots of them. Followed by spud-shaped ice cream.

But cowboy poetry soon gave way to public policy. U.S. Senator Larry Craig rose to address the group, and the question-and-answer session that followed was brisk and well informed. The Idaho Family Forum (IFF) and its supporters are dedicated to changing cultural trends that are undermining the stability of families — from no-fault divorce to teen pregnancy to chronic welfare dependency.

Led by executive director Dennis Mansfield, a former businessman, the IFF is part of a growing national movement of independent, state-based policy organizations called Family Policy Councils (FPCs). There are now more than 30 such organizations across the country, loosely affiliated by shared goals, common strategies, and mutual support. In order to win the ears of lawmakers, the media, and academics, they prefer research over rallies and education over activism.

Continue reading at the jump


Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger served on the Board of Directors for The Family Foundation, a Family Policy Council in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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13 Dec



Non-Profit Corporate Governance: The Rotary

December 13, 2006 | By | 2 Comments


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Finalist Please remember to vote for Reasoned Audacity for Best Business Blog. We will be in your debt. Thank you!

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Alexis de Tocqueville In the United States associations are established to promote the public safety, commerce, industry, morality, and religion, wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America.

If Tocqueville were driving today into Anytown, U.S. of A., the first road sign he might see would be for local Rotary. And he would not be surprised at the mission of this civic organization.


The Business Monthly ‘Service Above Self’

In 1905, attorney Paul P. Harris gathered three friends together in downtown Chicago as professionals with common interests for the common good. The group expanded and began to rotate meetings among members’ offices, lending the name of “Rotary,” with a wagon wheel (now the familiar cogwheel) as the logo. As the membership grew, they realized that internal networking was not enough. Harris wanted to serve more than just that group.

Rotary International is recognized as the world’s first service club. The organization’s first contribution to the community was a horse. A local preacher’s “transportation” died and the congregation could not afford another. The Rotary stepped in. Harris’s Rotary then built the first public restroom in Chicago and the Rotary began to grow.

Rotary members donate their time, talent and treasure to the local communities.

Succession Management…


Thank you (foot)notes:

This article was orginally published in The Business Monthly as Rotary Governance this year.

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Self-Interest Rightly Understood: The Rotary

December 7, 2006 | By | No Comments


The Business Monthly The Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, had a unique analysis of America.

And the Rotary underscores, even today, the generosity and the indirect, intangible rewards of American associations.

The following article was originally published this year by The Business Monthly.

The Rotary: Making a Difference

By Jack Yoest

The teacher’s lounge in Belle Grove Elementary School needed work, lots of work, but no one really saw the need. After all, only teachers frequent the lounge.

But the Glen Burnie, Maryland, Rotary Club stepped in with the time, talent and treasure of its members and refurbished the rest area for the educators. The Rotarians spent a weekend gutting and then rebuilding the room. They saw this as the perfect project — make a difference toward improving education, with no one really noticing except the teachers and the students.

Patrick Perry, Glen Burnie Rotary president, said, “Our club intends to undertake a similar project this year for [another school]. Please don’t publicize — this will be a surprise for the teachers.”

Rotary is known as an international organization of business and professional leaders. But what is less well known are the good works of the local clubs. District Governor Pat Kasuda, who shepherds the 69 area Rotary clubs, said, “We only see a need and want to give back to the community.”

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Rush Limbaugh Does DC for the Fisher House Foundation

November 23, 2006 | By | No Comments


Rush Limbaugh, the program

Rush Limbaugh gave a red meat speech to a red state audience to a sold out crowd at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC last week. The 1,800 plus capacity was treated to a two hour stand up of vintage Rush.

Rush led off with Howell Heflin’s old joke about Ted Kennedy’s “off shore drilling.” It is funny the first four times one hears it. But most still laughed.

His delivery and timing were that of a practiced professional — Rush referred to his “notes” infrequently. Notes in quotes because it looked like he scratched out something on the back of a cocktail napkin.

His talk was done from memory.

And it was entertainment and education at its best. Charmaine and Your Business Blogger were honored to be in the class as the guests of Rebecca Hagelin, the VP of Communications for Heritage.

The real purpose of the evening’s show was raising money for the Fisher House.

There is at least one Fisher House TM at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House TM program serves more than 8,500 families, and have made available more than two million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.

Consider a contribution to the Fisher House. Denzel Washington donates as a trustee of the Fisher House.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Rush Limbaugh’s speech transcript and audio available at Rush 24/7.

Management Training Tip: When your presentation is important, memorize it.

More on the Warner Theater at the jump.

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The Lifetime Value of a Customer, A Strategic Prospective

May 15, 2006 | By | One Comment

Business on the ball, outside the Ritz, Tyson’s Mall in Northern Virginia

This weekend Charmaine was managing logistics for a presentation at the Council for National Policy near Your Nation’s Capital. Her goal was to make her boss look good.

One of her concerns was the dependability of the hardware supporting a Powerpoint presentation.

We’ve all been there. Something always goes wrong. New surroundings. Strange equipment. In front of 1,000 critical sets of eyes.

But I told Charmaine not to worry. She’s at the Ritz.

Years ago, I sat at the feet of the General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton for at TQM presentation. (Total Quality Management — the management fads do come and go, no?)

The GM interviewed every hire in the hotel. In the hospitality business where turnover is a mess — he beat the problem by hiring the best staff. And motivating them with,

“We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

When the Ritz pledges,

…to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests…

I believe them.

And it’s not because the Ritz group are nice guys. They are in it to make a buck. Each employee has a $2,000 authority limit, no-questions-asked refund policy for guests.

Why? Is the Ritz giving away the store?

The upscale chain has determined that the life time value of a customer is $300,000. Solving a 1,000 dollar complaint instantly, is small change for a $300K customer.

The presentation went off without a hitch.

So the boss did a flawless presentation. He was, however, interrupted twice. Not with equipment malfunctions.

With applause.

Exceeding expectations at the Ritz.


The Penta Posse



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Thank you (foot)notes:

This was an unpaid puff piece.

Man on a Mission reports that the Ritz has the best mission statement he’s ever seen.

26 Apr



Is America Trending Pro-Life? Why Should a Marketer Care?

April 26, 2006 | By | 3 Comments

Susan _B_Anthony_List.jpg

Real Women’s Voices The Roe Effect.

Babies. Lots of them. And business is noticing.

If your job is strategic planning, you should know where Charmaine is today, instead of lounging in Nordstrom’s.

My Helpmeet and her cohort are making news; making a market. And creating a trend line. With who has children and who does not.

James Taranto in 2003 coined a theory called the Roe Effect in The Wall Street Journal where pro-abortion women were more likely to abort their children than pro-life women and so pro-lifers were more likely to have more children.

The Wall Street Journal plotted out this graph in Best of the Web in ’03, explaining,

Not all women, after all, are equally likely to have abortions.

It also seems reasonable to assume that parents have some influence on their children, so that if liberal women are having abortions, the next generation will be more conservative than it otherwise would be.

The next big thing will be little bundles of joy by a particular market segment: Conservative, Church going, Traditionalist, Republican.

This strategic trend will also have political muscle. These consumers are voters.

Today, I sent off the Little Woman with two of our girls for a real ‘take your daughters to work’ experience. To join lobbyists on Capital Hill.

Charmaine, The Dreamer and The Diva have appointments in Senator Hillary Clinton’s office this afternoon. We’ll let you know what happens.

The Dreamer is equipped with a camera.

From the Susan B. Anthony List:


A Panel Discussion at the National Press Club with release of

NEW POLL on Americans’ views regarding Roe vs. Wade

WASHINGTON – Ten years ago, Congress was on the brink of passing the Freedom of Choice Act. Today, from parental notification to informed consent laws, state after state is passing more restrictions on abortions. Some suggest the watershed moment for pro-life forces was the introduction of the Partial-birth Abortion Ban. Others point to the growth of pregnancy resource centers and the improvement of medical technology, such as 4-D ultrasounds. Whatever the cause, the case can be made that America is trending in the pro-life direction. An expert panel will discuss this phenomenon and its implications for the 2006 elections and beyond. A new poll regarding Americans’ views on Roe vs. Wade will also be released.


Kate O’Beirne – Author, “Women Who Make the World Worse”

Ramesh Ponnuru – Author, “The Party of Death”

Kristin Day – President, Democrats for Life

Karen Smith – the polling company,inc/WomanTrend

Moderator: Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List

Finally, a warning. If your strategic planner is a woman, or if your chief marketing officer is a woman, she will not know, nor care about these demographic shifts. She might very be an abortion advocate, with a particular bias and blindness.

So test her. Ask her what the Roe Effect is and how this will affect business for the next decade.

Continue reading at the jump.


Crew, 2010


Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Thank you (foot)notes:

Wall Street Journal blockquote BY JAMES TARANTO, Friday, January 17, 2003 1:47 p.m. EST citing Sex and the GOP

More at the jump.

See Uncorrelated for more analysis.

See Daily Pundit on Roe Effect Multiplier.

Visit ProLife Blogs for the Party of Death.

Basil’s blog has a Picnic.

Jo’s Cafe has Specials.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

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Girls Rule: Three Women in the Willard

April 8, 2006 | By | No Comments


Connie Mackey and Charmaine Yoest

plotting strategy for world domination

at the Willard in Washington, DC Your Business Blogger is hanging with his favorite peeps at the Willard in Your Nation’s Capital. Where a room goes for four figures.

Actually, the MSRP of a room is only $640, but the mini-bar charges drive the bill deep over the G. Large. I have a weakness for Pringles.

Anyway, the girlfriends took some time out from their Nordstrom’s Support Group Therapy for a relaxing cabal. Charmaine, works for a C-3 and Connie works for a C-4. Sounds explosive.


Julia Ward HoweThey did girl talk at the Willard located across the street from The White House.

They were standing on holy ground.

No, no — I’m not just talking about the Willard lobby.

The hotel is the site where Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic and published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1862.


The Atlantic Monthly In the early dark days of the Civil War; after Julia watched Union soldiers marching off to face death and eternity.

Julia Ward Howe and her husband, were Abolitionists.

Anti-(slavery) choice.

My favorite line:

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free…

Alert Readers will note that most versions today read different. Political Correctness is a cultural infection–

The lyrics were changed sometime after 1960:

As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free…

Liberal denominations, such as the Unitarians, dropped the Hymn from church hymnals altogether.

Liberals, of course, won’t risk death; nor die for anything, anybody.

And liberals wish to change more than words to songs.

We are fighting a war on terror, a war on our culture. And liberals will lose.

Julia, Connie, Charmaine. Three women in combat. Three women in the Willard.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Lyrics at the jump.

And visit the VOLuntarilyConservative for his take on lobbyists. A former student of Glenn Reynolds.

Random has more.

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Strategic Resources for Non Profits

March 2, 2006 | By | No Comments


Peter Drucker

courtesy: Claremont Peter Ferdinand Drucker passed away November 11, 2005. But his work and frameworks will serve management for some time to come.

Your Business Blogger was recently asked for resources to outline a strategy for a non-profit. Nothing beats Drucker:

The Five Most Important Questions

You Will Ever Ask

About Your Non Profit


1) What is our business (mission)?

2) Who is our customer?

3) What does the customer consider value?

4) What have been our results?

5) What is our plan?

One of the sharpest business minds I’ve ever worked with, Leon Masiewicki, Ph.D., a former McKinsey consultant, expanded Dr. Drucker’s questions with a list of his own:

1. How do you define your business?

2. Can you describe an ideal customer? Can you describe a bad customer?

3. Who are your competitors? Why are you better? What advantages does your competitor have? How do you stack up on the cheaper/faster/better scale?

4. What growth rate are you anticipating for the next three – five years? Why?

5. What are your three/five year profit projections? Why?

6. What are the organization’s plans for expansion/New Markets/Products/Manpower/A Physical Plant?

7. How do you measure quality? What was the rate of quality improvement in the last three years?

8. How much has your company’s productivity (revenue per man-hour, value-added per man-hour) increased?

9. If I handed you a “magic wand” that would allow you to change anything, what would it be?

10. Where would you like to start?

11. What are the strengths of your organization?

11. What are your goals in the next 12 months?

13. What are the obstacles that stand in the way of your group reaching its goals?

14. What do you need, in terms of additional resources or training, to do your job more effectively?

A business session with Drucker was a Socratic conversation where he asked questions non-stop. You will notice that Leon’s list is like Drucker’s:


The answers come from the leadership of the organization. I have found that the collective wisdom of the top dozen managers from the client company can be extracted, pooled and applied.

Consultants never have any answers.

But you knew that.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

For more information, see Non-Profit Board Management

So what is leadership really?

Drucker’s Writing Secret

Non-profit Boardmanship in Business Development; a short Powerpoint to the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council.

And see more of Leon Masiewicki’s work at Non-Profit Success.

Mark Your Calendar for Best Friends and Best Men

February 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

best_friends_rock_and _roll_DinerGraphic.jpg

You are invited!


Three Dog NightYou are invited to Washington DC’s hottest rock and roll party.

The Best Friends Foundation presents

“Do You Remember When

Rock Was Young?”

6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2006

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Featuring live performances by:

Three Dog Night:

Joy to the World,

Mama Told Me

Sister Sledge

with lead singer Kathy Sledge

We Are Family

Don’t miss this fun night of great music, great food

and great company which benefits the girls and boys

in the Best Friends and Best Men programs.

No speeches, no auctions. Just come dressed to dance!!

Proceeds from this annual event are the primary source

of funds for the Foundation’s elementary and middle school

Best Friends and Best Men programs and the high school

Diamond Girls Leadership and Best Men Leadership programs.


Sister Sledge with lead

singer Kathy SledgeSecretary of State Colin Powell says:

I always present the Best Friends program as one of the answers to the problems we have in our society…it is a winner, and I know that many more communities will be embracing it.


Was this helpful? Do comment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Read more about Best Friends at the jump.

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Blogging from NRB: Calm Before the Storm

February 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

Cross Post at NRB from Charmaine.


I’m here in Dallas this weekend for the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters with an FRC team at the Gaylord. The exhibits open up at noon today and we spent yesterday getting set up — we are at Booth #317: if you are in Dallas, come by and see us!