Archive for May, 2009


Monday, May 18th, 2009

See the FOX 13 news clip below, followed by a press release regarding a program I am involved in to award a deserving new Tampa Bay entrepreneur $25,000 in pro bono services.

Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart
3111 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Ste. 100
Tampa, FL 33607

Julie Heidelberg
Heidelberg PR

Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart Contest
Will Award Budding Entrepreneur $25,000 Prize
The Jumpstart package provides a wide collection of FREE start-up services to help a
local victim of downsizing create their own small business

TAMPA, Fla. (May 18, 2009) – In honor of national Small Business Week, eight local business entities, including have banned together to launch the Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart contest. The contest winner will receive $25,000 in pro bono business start up services to launch a company of their own.

To qualify, aspiring entrepreneurs must meet two primary criteria:
They lost their job due to the economic crunch (laid off, downsized, etc)
They are not looking for a new job with another company or organization, but instead, have either decided to start a business of their own in the last six months or plan to start a business within the next two months.

The Jumpstart winner will receive a package of services that includes internet marketing and web site development, on-site IT support, a public relations campaign, office space and receptionist support for nine months, start-up accounting services, life coaching, printing services and ongoing business planning and counseling. Full details on the award package are posted at

Jumpstart contest applications will be available online at on May 18, 2009 and are due at 5 p.m. on June 18, 2009. There is a $20 application fee, and all contest proceeds will be donated to the Hillsborough Achievement Resource Center, which serves disabled adults.

Jumpstart Origins
The Jumpstart concept originated with Jeremy Knauff, CEO of Wildfire Marketing Group and author of School’s Out: A Real World Guide to Marketing Your Business from A to Z.

“There are a lot of people out there who have lost their jobs due to the economy,” Knauff said, “and that reality drove me to recruit like-minded business people who wanted to help at least one person overcome an unfortunate hardship.”

Jumpstart participant Karen Gillman, sales coordinator at Intelligent Office in Tampa, was one of the first to team up with Knauff.

“Today, with so many people facing unexpected changes in their careers, the Small Business JumpStart contributors felt compelled to provide some assistance to someone who wants to change their life in a very significant way,” Gillman said. “To start a new company after losing a job requires so many things – not to mention courage, determination and creativity – but you also need tangible resources like office space, marketing materials and advisors. That’s where we knew we could help.”

Who are the Jumpstart contributors?
Providing life coaching:
Clestine Herbert, Divine Discipline,
Providing public relations services:
Julie Heidelberg*, Heidelberg PR,
Providing virtual office services and meeting space:
Karen Gillman*, Intelligent Office,
Providing on-site IT support services:
Louis Ayoub*, IntelliTECHs,
Providing printing services:
David Bell*, PA Printing Service,
Providing accounting services:
Rosella Rinaldo Paul*, CPA,
Providing ongoing business planning and counseling services:
Kim Wagner, USF Small Business Development Center,
Providing Internet marketing and web site development services:
Jeremy Knauff, Wildfire Marketing Group,

*These contributors are also members of the “Profit Pros” chapter of a Tampa Business Networking International (BNI) chapter.

For more information about the Tampa Bay Small Business Jumpstart contest, the contributors, the application and the award package, please visit


EDITOR’S NOTE: Headshots of the contributors are available through Heidelberg PR.

Bragging on Intelligent Office

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Plant City’s Karen Gillman and Tampa’s Intelligent Office® Both Nominated for Small Business Leadership Awards
Gillman works for the Intelligent Office® franchise in Tampa, and both she and the company received nominations for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce annual awards

TAMPA, Fla. (May 7, 2009) – Plant City resident Karen Gillman has been nominated for “Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year Award,” a prestigious award given annually by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

And, the family business she helps manage, the Intelligent Office®, located at 3111 Dr. W. Martin Luther King Blvd. Suite 100, in Tampa, was also nominated for the Greater Tampa Chamber’s “Small Business of the Year Award.”

“We are very honored to be nominated,” said Gillman, whose primary responsibility at Intelligent Office® focuses on sales and client services. “Like any small business, we’ve faced many uphill battles over the years, and we are grateful to be recognized in this way. Our entire team is thrilled!” she said.

Veronica Wages, an account manager at Alternative Capital in Tampa, submitted both nominations to the chamber. “Karen Gillman is one of the most professional and diligent people I have had the pleasure to work with,” Wages said. “She not only exhibits this in her role with Intelligent Office, but through the various charitable organizations to which she belongs. Nominating her was a no-brainer because she is the epitome of what the Tampa Chamber is looking to recognize with these prestigious awards.”

Small Town Girl with Big Time Accomplishments
Although she didn’t realize it, Gillman’s training as an exemplary leader began in her teenage years upon high school graduation. Summoning her inner courage, she decided to move away from her Jerome, Idaho family farm, where she grew up picking strawberries, feeding baby cows and gathering eggs, to accept a live-in nanny position for a two-year-old boy in Boston.

“I had $75 saved up from working at the local drive-in restaurant, which I hid in a small tin behind my mom’s washing machine. After high school, my friends were all getting married and starting families and I knew I needed to do something,” Gillman said.

“I looked into joining the Air Force, travel jobs … and then I saw an ad in the paper for the nanny position. My mom said, ‘Oh, you’ll never do something like that!’ and at that age, that was all I needed to hear to set the wheels in motion. Off to Boston I went,” she said, “with $75 stashed in an emergency tin at home just in case I needed a way to get back… that was my big plan!”

The small town girl’s “big plan” plan paid off, and Gillman spent 11 years working for the Boston family while simultaneously earning her B.A. in Psychology from Framingham State College.

Eventually, Karen returned to the Midwest where she worked as an executive secretary for a large church and for Supra, a General Electric company best known for the production of realtor lockboxes.

During this time, Gillman met her husband, Mark through a business friend. “She didn’t really know Mark, but she knew of his personality and demeanor from leading worship at her church, and felt certain we were a match, so she set us up – on Valentine’s Day of all days!,” she said. The couple immediately fell in love and got married the following Valentine’s Day nine years ago.

Karen and Mark moved from Salem, Oregon to Tampa five years ago to settle closer to his family. Coincidentally, Mark’s father, Leo Gillman, owner of the Intelligent Office® Tampa franchise, needed help at the office and asked Karen to start work there immediately after their move.

As it turned out, it was yet another fortunate turning point in Karen Gillman’s seemingly blessed life. Today, both she and her husband manage six employees and all Intelligent Office® operations – an arrangement that perfectly suits the couple, who each spend about 80 percent of their work week in the office.

When asked about her leadership style, she said, “We like to lead by example. Our motto at Intelligent Office is that you can ‘work anywhere, professionally,’ which is what we strive to do.”

“Partnering with Intelligent Office affords small businesses the luxuries of a large office with small overhead,” Gillman explained. “Once you are a member of Intelligent Office your business image is immediately elevated to the next level of professionalism.”

Quality Time and Quality Life in Tampa Bay
Today, Karen supports her Plant City community in a variety of ways, and is also very involved at her church and an assortment of professional groups in Tampa, including the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the local Profit Pros chapter of BNI.

“I believe in face-to-face marketing – really getting to know people and understanding what their business needs are all about,” Gillman said, explaining that this is one of her most effective growth strategies for Intelligent Office. “Today, everyone wants instant gratification. We live in a world surrounded by fast food, overnight mail, e-mail and instant messaging. In business, it takes time to sow enough good seed to reap a fruitful crop.”

Gillman volunteers her time as an ambassador for HARC – Hillsborough Achievement and Resource Centers – and supports their fall fashion show and other fund-raising efforts, and she also runs her own networking group, Charity Chics, with business colleague Lisa Ford, owner of Invent Your Image.

Gillman serves as a national spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson in support of their gastric banding product, the Lap-Band®, a tool that has given her an amazing weight-loss success story to share.

Through Intelligent Office®, she is currently collaborating with a handful of local small businesses to launch a short-term philanthropic program called JumpStart.

For more information on Intelligent Office, visit or call the Tampa office at 813-350-7800.

About Intelligent Office
Intelligent Office® is the national leader in virtual office solutions, shared serviced office space, and receptionist services. Intelligent Office® offers professional, temporary and virtual office space with all the amenities of a real office, and memberships include address services, remote receptionists, phone numbers, ala cart business services and nation-wide meeting spaces. All services are customizable to fit varied business needs, offering a smart, affordable and easy way to work from home, another office, or on the road. As part of the national franchise, the Tampa location currently serves over 250 business professionals.