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Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership Expands Engagement Efforts Sector Partnership Sets Sights on Fremont, Custer, Chaffee and Lake Counties

Florence, Colorado, September 16, 2021: The Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership recently announced the expansion of outreach and engagement efforts to include small businesses, chambers of commerce, and other stakeholders in Lake, Chaffee, and Custer Counties. With the majority of the Sector Partnership’s initial efforts being focused on developing a localized strategy specific to Fremont County, Engagement Coordinator Kevin Mahmalji and his team are hoping to expand on early successes such as the recent launch of a hyperlocal job board and online career center. 


“We’re seeing some progress, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. Our message of accelerating economic growth through workforce empowerment is resonating with employees and employers alike,” said Mahmalji. “With upskilling and reskilling resources such as Career Readiness Bootcamp, Customer Service & Sales certification, and more, the Sector Partnership welcomes the opportunity to strengthen alliances within the Arkansas Valley region.”


To kick-off the next phase of outreach and engagement efforts, the Sector Partnership recently unveiled a promotional video – which will help raise awareness while expanding their digital footprint. Following the launch of the digital campaign, the Sector Partnership is hitting the road for a four county tour to promote a new online job board and career center as well as upskilling and reskilling opportunities. 


“Small businesses across the Arkansas River Valley, regardless of their best efforts, continue to struggle with staffing issues so they’re desperate for help. That’s why it’s imperative for the Sector Partnership to utilize the resources at our disposal to create a pipeline of skilled labor,” added Jeremy Boswell, Vice President of Park Operations, Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. “While it’s easy to speculate what the driving forces behind the labor shortage are, we’re focused on providing tangible solutions to re-energize our local economy – this starts with putting people back to work.” 


In addition to networking opportunities to grow their professional and personal connections, the series of after hours mixers will provide attendees a brief presentation about the work of the Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership across the region. 


  1. Custer County (Westcliffe) 

Location: Silverwest Feedstore

When: Monday, September 20, 2021

Time: 4:00PM – 6:00PM


  1. Fremont County (Florence)  

Location: Pour House 

When: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Time: 5:00PM – 7:00PM


  1. Fremont County (Canon City) 

Location: World’s End Brewery 

When: Friday, September 24, 2021

Time: 4:00PM – 6:00PM


  1. Chaffee County (Buena Vista)  

Location: Eddyline Brewing Company 

When: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Time: 5:00PM – 7:00PM


  1. Chaffee County (Salida)  

Location: Amicas Pizza and Microbrewery 

When: Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Time: 4:00PM – 6:00PM


  1. Lake County (Leadville)   

Location: Tennessee Pass Cafe 

When: Friday, October 1, 2021

Time: 4:00PM – 6:00PM


The Upper Arkansas Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership works in collaboration with Pueblo Community College, Colorado Workforce Centers across the region, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council, to promote resources and training for individuals currently employed in, or recently displaced from the tourism and retail industries to up-skill through the Lives Empowered Training Academy – which has been made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council.


For press inquiries, please contact Diana Armstrong, [email protected]

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Congratulations Team Bravrr!!!

Recently, Bravrr was awarded $280,000 venture investment funding, and an opportunity to accelerate the development of BruxRelief at the world-renowned HAX accelerator. This unique opportunity will allow them to take their product from prototype to production. BruxRelief is a bio-sensor device that helps to diagnose and treat bruxism. This investment will enable Brock and team to further develop the model, conduct user interaction studies, and build marketing and business plans.

Bravrr’s focus is in developing smart, wearable technologies that enable healthcare professionals and patients to assess and treat illnesses and disorders. “Bio-sensor innovation and the broad adoption of smartphone technology is paving the way for a new generation of personal-health management solutions,” said Bravrr founder, Brock Predovich. Originating in a hotel room in Bali, Bravrr has spent the last two years developing the product using sensors, PCB plastics, and 3-D printers.

Bravrr represents a growing trend in the startup space – a lean and highly distributed team of people developing world class technology. Operating out of a rural tech community in Fremont County Colorado, Bravrr has benefited from the established entrepreneurial base at TechSTART. “Although Bravrr has a distributed, international team, we were honored to have founder Brock Predovich headquartered in our rural co-working community,” said Brad Rowland, program director, FEDC TechSTART

HAX is a two-stage program that starts in Shenzhen, China, and finishes in San Francisco. Companies that are admitted will spend four to eight months in Shenzhen co-developing technology, followed by two to three months in San Francisco, where they focus on business development, fundraising, and growth.

To learn more about Bravrr, visit

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Double Under Wonder is Expanding!

We’re moving the administrative operations of our eCommerce company to 415 Main Street, and remodeling some space in an office building that was built in 1904.

We couldn’t be any more excited.

There’s just something special about walking the same hallways the men, and women in our town have walked for over a century, while still enjoying blazing-fast fiber internet from SECOM, and sharing the same block with a super-hip coffee shop, and our town’s brewery.

I couldn’t wait to move into our new digs, so I begged our landlord to let me in a day early to start sprucing up my office.  As I was repainting, I noticed the doorknob pictured above.  Apparently, sometime in the last 103 years, someone did a really terrible job cutting-in around it.

At first I was annoyed, and had plans to take the errant paint off with a solvent, but then I started wondering who was responsible…

Maybe it was an entrepreneur in the 1920s who didn’t have a ton of time to spend on silly things like painting. (like me)

Maybe it was someone in the 1970s who bribed their friends with a 6-pack of beer to help them repaint their office. (like I did)

Maybe it was a parent in the 1990’s, who had a child who insisted on “helping” them paint their new office.  (like mine did)

Whoever is responsible for this sub-standard paint job, I’m going to leave it the way it is as long as I’m here.

I love the idea of using the same offices as the people who helped build our town into what it is today.  I love wondering what they were like, what they worked on, and who they were. Most of all, I love dreaming about how I can be a part of our town’s future.

At Double Under Wonder, we’re INCREDIBLY excited to be part of the new TechStart project here in Canon City, Colorado.  If you’re interested in being part of it too, shoot us an email, or give us a call.  We’ll show you around, we’ll take you down the street for an Owl Burger.  Heck, I’ll even let you use my less-than-perfect doorknob!

There are big things happening in Canon City, and it’s not every day you get to be part of history. Come see how you can partner with us to bring new tech-driven jobs to our area, while being around a growing group of incredibly talented, and interesting people.


Have a wonderful day!


Ian Sturgeon


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Fun-To-Read Marketing Materials

by Matthias Miller

Multiply Your Strengths is a qualified solution provider for However, our relationship does not end there. We’ve provided marketing consulting for, empowering them to more effectively reach their prospects.

While the Marketing and Strategy Deep Dive ( laid the foundation for their marketing strategy, this was only the beginning. Without an online presence or marketing collateral–that is, without actually implementing this strategy–we had little value to provide them.

Of course, our goal was to help establish them in their market. However, let’s dig more deeply into the specifics. When implementing this strategy, we focused on three critical pieces.

First, we worked with their website designer, proposing a basic website structure, then writing all of the copy for their website. Because of our in-depth involvement in the Deep Dive process, we were able to craft a website that matched their objectives–establishing them in their specific niche.

Second, their designer used the copy that we had written for their website to develop full-color professional brochures to distribute to their clients. Although we had already written the copy, we were able to work with them to further refine their terminology and tighten the copy.

Finally, we wrote several white papers that they could use to promote their business, allowing them not only to further educate their prospects but also to continue to establish credibility within their target market. And while white papers may sound dry and boring, if you enjoy reading this newsletter, you’d actually probably enjoy reading some of them! (Well, except for the technical papers.)

Why did we choose to publish white papers as part of our marketing plan? We had three reasons.

First of all, while works with solution providers to create custom software, they’re ultimately in the business of taking the headaches out of running a business. The white paper allowed us to effectively (and vividly) paint that picture for their prospects.

Secondly, everyone fears what they don’t understand, and many people assume that “custom software” is way too complicated to understand. We wanted to put it in language that they could easily understand.

Finally, white papers provide a great way to test a prospect’s engagement, an easy way to start a conversation, and most importantly, a way to genuinely provide value early in the sales conversation.

The best part? By partnering with their designer, we were able to provide them a website, brochures, and white papers that they not only could be proud of, but that helped to establish them in their market.


Matthias Miller is the business growth consultant and founder of Multiply Your Strengths. He’s passionate about seeing people excel in their strengths. His intentional pursuit of professional growth has given him extensive experience in software development, project management, leadership, and marketing. He lives in Canon City, Colorado, with his wife Bonita and their family.

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From Serial Entrepreneur to Juggernaut

by Matthias Miller

Andrea is a vivacious serial entrepreneur. She’s narrowed in on the few things that she’s really good at–hiring great people and starting new businesses. Her work ethic, embrace of healthy risk, and reliance on skilled talent has proven significant on her journey to success.

However, she’d hit a wall in one of her businesses.

When she came to me, she wanted to discuss ways to improve profitability of her lawn care business. She’s always prided herself in providing exceptional service at a competitive price, even though there’s always some individual selling his services on Craigslist for a slightly lower price.

Up until now, she’s been reinvesting her profits into the business, allowing her to continue scaling and gaining market share in her area. She’s hunted for ways to tighten up the business, and she’s done everything she can to continue to drive down her costs.

When she first called me, she wondered if she’d gotten into the wrong business. She wasn’t facing a crisis, but she wasn’t seeing the profitability that she’d hoped for either.

As we dove into the tactical pieces of her business, we discussed her expenses and her processes. We knew that because of the excellence she provided, her costs were higher than her competitors. However, if we’d hoped to find a gushing artery, we were disappointed.

Halfway through the meeting, our conversation shifted towards her entrepreneurial vision. It took her less than 30 seconds to name six business that she’d thought about starting in her area. Yes, she’s a full-blooded serial entrepreneur.

I’ve found my best consulting calls always have an unpredictable element, and when she started to describe the other businesses that she wanted to start, I began to paint a picture for her.

I started to describe an entire ecosystem that she could build–multiple businesses feeding into each other–allowing her not only to eventually drive down operational costs but also allowing her strong competitive advantage as she continued to scale. We discussed specific marketing tactics that she could use to feed customers from one business to the other.

As we talked, she suddenly began to see the true asset that she had built–one piece of a bigger puzzle that would serve to firmly embed her in the business landscape of her area.

My prediction? While it’s going to take time, if you come back in ten years, you may just discover that Andrea has built a juggernaut network of businesses that her customers absolutely love…and that create a healthy profit for herself.


Matthias Miller is the business growth consultant and founder of Multiply Your Strengths. He’s passionate about seeing people excel in their strengths. His intentional pursuit of professional growth has given him extensive experience in software development, project management, leadership, and marketing. He lives in Canon City, Colorado, with his wife Bonita and their family.

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Customer Appeal Through Crystal Clear Messaging

by Matthias Miller

Multiply Your Strengths is a qualified solution provider for While we’ve described solutions that we’ve built using the platform, we’ve also been deeply involved in helping them develop their marketing strategy.

At the time, the platform had already been used for years by Fortune 500 clients. However, the platform was going to market for small- to medium-sized businesses for the first time. The challenge was simple: make it easier to close contracts by demonstrating the established credibility within this space.

Our consulting relationship started with a Marketing & Strategy Deep Dive ( This process began with an in-depth interview to understand details such as the competitive landscape, business strategy, marketing objectives, and the unique challenges that they face.

While this initial interview was very extensive and in-depth, it played a critical role in clarifying the current needs and direction not only for us, but also for our client.

Once we completed the initial interview, we organized the details from the interview and took it into our “think tank”. We attacked this from every angle we could think of. We dug into the competitive advantage, positioning, branding, marketing opportunities, and additional business growth opportunities. We identified potential points of confusion within the business structure, as well as specific ways to clarify them. We covered not only high-level strategy, but also dug into more specific tactical items, including specific marketing verbiage they could use.

Once we emerged from the “think tank”, we organized and published our ideas into a 17-page personalized report. This report included very specific instructions: “Don’t use the entire report. Find the 1 or 2 best insights that you can use now, and leverage them to grow your business. As you grow, keep reviewing this report for new ideas and opportunities to grow.”

This 17-page document guided our 45-minute follow-up interview, where we explored each of these ideas more thoroughly, reviewed them with our client, found additional details or opportunities to include in the report, and answered specific questions.

With the client’s final feedback in our hands, we completed a final revision of the report and sent off their completed copy.

Since then, the insights from the Marketing & Strategy Deep Dive report have allowed to land bigger contracts. This also laid the foundation for the website.

To learn more about, you can visit their website at


Matthias Miller is the business growth consultant and founder of Multiply Your Strengths. He’s passionate about seeing people excel in their strengths. His intentional pursuit of professional growth has given him extensive experience in software development, project management, leadership, and marketing. He lives in Canon City, Colorado, with his wife Bonita and their family.


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Marketing Assistant

by Matthias Miller

Jared (name changed) reaches over a half million people every week on social media. Energetic, motivated, and visionary, he’s clearly capable of figuring things out and making things happen.

However, because he’s got so many things demanding his attention, he doesn’t have time to do it all. His vision goes far beyond what he’s focused on now.

In the past, he’s hired assistants to help him with some of these operations. However, they left his projects in chaos and some even ran away with the cash bag. Despite his optimism, he eventually gave up on getting an assistant and started doing more of the work himself.

Jared made the same mistake many entrepreneurs make: he hired someone exactly like himself. And by the way, how many entrepreneurs do you know who would make great assistants?

Jared approached me about one of the projects he needed to complete. As we talked, I realized the technical part of the project was only half the problem. The other half was finding the right person to help get it done.

That’s when we started looking for an assistant.

Whenever we look for team members, we evaluate four characteristics.

1. Integrity. Can you trust this individual will never steal from you…ever? Will they tell you the truth, even if it costs them? Since you must have deep trust in your team members, you’d better be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt they’re trustworthy!

2. Personality. Does the role fit their personality? For example, don’t try to turn an introvert into a gregarious party host (and please don’t sit the chatterbox at the bookkeeper’s computer in the back corner!).

3. Conation. Does the role fit their instincts? The Kolbe assessment is the only scientifically validated index that measures conation, which is how individuals take action when they’re trying to get things done. We rely heavily on this index to ensure individuals naturally fit their role.

It’s worth asking, “Will this individual naturally behave in a way that fits the role?”

4. Skill. Does this person have the required skills? If not, will they be able to quickly learn the skills required?

In Jared’s specific situation, we prioritized integrity and behavioral instinct as the most critical factors. While we could have posted job listings in specific venues, we instead targeted recruiting within our network.

The result? We managed the project for Jared and he was delighted by the outcome. In fact, we were so happy with the assistant we found, we ended up taking her from an independent contractor and hiring her as a member of our MYS team.

That’s a win-win!


Matthias Miller is the business growth consultant and founder of Multiply Your Strengths. He’s passionate about seeing people excel in their strengths. His intentional pursuit of professional growth has given him extensive experience in software development, project management, leadership, and marketing. He lives in Canon City, Colorado, with his wife Bonita and their family.

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Marketing Strategy for Coworking Space

by Matthias Miller

Amy (name changed) is passionate about her coworking space business. Recently, we were able to chat about possibilities to fulfill her goal of providing a quiet, collaborative workspace for creative individuals.

Amy faces several significant challenges. First, freelancers, part of her bread-and-butter, are being hired back into big corporations and are working in corporate offices. Second, she is in a young industry, requiring her to educate her prospects. Most people are unaware of coworking options and instead are searching for commercial office space. Third, her major competitors have marketing budgets much larger than she can afford.

The upside, however, is that Amy is committed, and this kind of business has great potential for collaborating with other businesses. She will benefit nearby restaurants and other businesses as she fills her building, and she shares a client base with other businesses that she may be able to collaborate with later.

As we talked, we developed a few ideas to market her space on an affordable budget.

First of all, Amy’s prospects often work from coffee shops. We discussed various ways of collaborating with a local coffee shop, including a possible loyalty program with discounted memberships or coffee. Meanwhile, the coffee shops could retain their customers without filling tables for extended periods of time. Incidentally, Amy actually knew the manager of a popular coffee shop in the city and thought it possible to collaborate with him to make this idea a reality.

Second of all, we discussed hosting and collaborating with meetup groups. While Amy had little room for large groups, she already hosted a meetup group in her space. I suggested she promote her co-working space to meetup groups such as authors, graphic designers, developers, and similar kinds of people who work from home.

The third idea came a month later as I watched a kickstarter video for the Purpose Hotel, a hotel which includes a coworking space. The idea was obvious: collaborate with hotels to make marketing materials available to their guests. This was an easy way to begin tapping into tourism.

If we could have spent more time together, we would have worked together to develop a more specific plan. However, Amy got some new ideas to revitalize her plan for building out her office space and filling up the empty offices. And she realized it didn’t need to cost her thousands of dollars to be effective.

Matthias Miller is the business growth consultant and founder of Multiply Your Strengths. He’s passionate about seeing people excel in their strengths. His intentional pursuit of professional growth has given him extensive experience in software development, project management, leadership, and marketing. He lives in Canon City, Colorado, with his wife Bonita and their family.

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