Archive for May, 2013

Brick Hill River Cumberland National Seashore

May 28, 2013

Brickhill River Anchorage @ Cumberland Island

We fired up the The Office and proceeded to motor to Cumberland. The weather promised to be nice for the next few days. We were fortunate to enjoy a nice ride down at 1400 rpm @ 7.5 kts to Cumberland Island. Our anchorage is 9.5 miles down the ICW from Jekyll Harbor Marina ( ) on Jekyll Island where we have a home slip. We turned off the ICW at Brickhill River and went past the primitive campsite avoiding

the sand bar we anchored in 11 ft of water at mid high tide. There was one sailboat a mile away. A few fishermen visited while we were there, otherwise we were  alone.

We towed the dinghy, our 11 ft Boston Whaler, she rode easy in our wake with no problems.
The Inverter from West Marine and solar panels ran the electrical needs of our boat for the four days with out any problem.
The weather was nice with a steady breeze out of the south.
We walked across the 2.5 miles to the beach. Any hotter and the trip would be uncomfortable with lots of bugs. We saw alligators and armadillos. 
The green deer flies were very bad. We had screens to enjoy the deck so we were safe. This hornet was about 2 inches long

Cumberland National Seashore

The maritime forest is beautiful. The best time to visit is early spring before hot weather.
The fishing was with mullet we caught with our cast net. We only were able to catch small sharks. We saw one alligator by the boat and it followed us in to the beach where we walked SuSea.


We enjoyed the days with out cell, internet and the peace of a quiet anchorage.
We saw the wild horses on the last day we were there a mare and foal.


  The LED Anchor Light was nice and bright

Jean likes to drive the big boat and the dink! I feel like the big boat is a dump truck with out brakes. I will need a lot more practice to get used to it. SuSea enjoyed it all behaving very good for her first cruise.

The Office was secure on the anchor even with the tide change and current in the river.

This small beach is sand, with lots of mud and oyster shell. Tide range is over 6 ft. so be care full with your dink especially if it is not hard bottom.

Create, Share, Enjoy!
We will be @The Office


Developing a Program Advisory Committee

May 14, 2013

An Advisory Committee, or as what AYES calls, Business and Education Council does not come about in a vacuum. Ideally some one in the education sector decides they want input from the customer and asks advice of the future employers of the student who will be trained in the school. This could be a simple request or a detailed process. Hopefully we will build a symbiotic relationship that builds a win-win attitude for all stakeholders. Developing an active advisory takes time and effort on the part of the instructor and the key stakeholders at the school. I have never known of a excellent program that did not have a dynamic advisory that gives input, guidance and encouragement to the program.

Lowndes County High School Advisory for the Automotive Program

High School Advisory Meeting with former students,  business owners, service managers, technicians, school administrators, parents. interns and interested individuals.


Nothing good comes from an advisory council that meets only to pat each other on the back and agree to meet again next time with nothing accomplished because each person and entity is focused on their own agenda, hidden or otherwise. For example a school has students ready to be hired but they have not graduated or are under 18. The advisory members say “No” our insurance prohibits us from hiring them. The school says “No” we can’t let students off campus to job shadow or interview independently at your dealership during school hours. This is Lose-Lose for everyone and yet we see advisory councils that run like this. No one is flexible or wants to think out side the box. I call this type of advisory a “Mutual Appreciation Society” and often this is the case.  Sometimes the school will hold advisory meetings and invite everyone to a large meeting of all the career fields in one place. The educators will tell the business people that attend what the educators have done and accomplished, often in “Edspeak” jargon and then proceed to tell the business people what they need to do to promote what ever the educators want to do. This has a tendency to drive the business person away because they see no benefit to their business in the meeting. In these trying times business needs to know that the program is a sustaining resource for future employees at every level of the automotive industry. Many instructors are unaware of who is at the dealership as the dealership or shop is unaware they as the taxpayer own the program. I much prefer the AYES model of the business becoming a stakeholder in the program. This requires a sharing of oversight and development that is a learning process for all involved. The first step is to build relationships and this takes time. In building my first advisory committee I went to a new dealership I had never visited. New owner and people from out of town had bought out and built a new dealership. I called and introduced my self and asked for an appointment with the owner. I arrived a few minutes early and gave my card with the school’s name on it to the receptionist. I wandered around the showroom and when the sales people found out I was not buying they ignored me. After about an hour a person came out and handed me a check for $50.00 made out to the school. I said “What’s this?” and was told that was their amount they gave to schools as they assumed I was here about the yearbook. I quickly explained and soon was handing back the check and explaining my AYES program to the owner. The owner introduced me to all the key staff and the dealership began a long and mutually beneficial relationship where we placed many students through the years. Eventually all the dealerships in that small county were on the advisory. Did the owners show up at all the meetings? No. Did some one from the dealership attend? Not always, but enough came to where I always had enough to do business. Would they have attended if all I had done was call on the phone or write a letter? No. My mentor in AYES taught me to visit and build the relationship from the top down. Then develop the relationship with the service manager and technicians. Visit one month before the meeting. Give them a copy and overview of the agenda. Give them action items to work on, Write them a week before and call a day before to remind them. Have the meeting around a lunch hour if you can. We have found this works best. Have them on a Thursday in the middle of the month also works best for me.

How about those other members you need, like parents and community members? I suggest attending the Rotary, Lions, Exchange and community clubs. Ask the membership if you can get on the program and have a Skills USA student do a very short presentation on your program. I have found this is a good way to get donations and support. Pick a parent with care, beware of hidden agenda in any one invited. Enjoy the ride!

Visit the NATEF web site for tips on building and maintaining your advisory. See for the how to and what to do. Here are the required inputs from the advisory to meet NATEF standards

Here is a video of an actual advisory committee lunch meeting.

Here is a set of interviews with advisory members, student interns, teachers

See for more information