Thursday, December 11, 2014

Best Of The Best Holiday Gift Ideas

Image courtesy of

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
servicing clients throughout Ontario

We are currently accepting new social media clients, so if you would like to procure our services, contact us at


Also find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Shout Out to Great People & Resources

We didn't want 2014 to end without mentioning some of the great people we had the pleasure of meeting as well as some fabulous resources that we discovered that made our workdays much more streamlined.  These mentions are only the tip of the iceberg so that we can keep this post from being waaay too long.

Individually, one of the first people we want to mention is a lawyer within the City of Kawartha Lakes, Robert Nagel.  We've met other lawyers who are thorough, experienced, knowledgeable and even rather nice but never one that is all of that in one complete package.  Until we met Robert.

It wasn't just his professional attributes that Robert brought to the table, but his down to earth friendliness that made every meeting a comfortable experience.  He went above and beyond what any expectations were that we may have had and even during trying times of a legal situation, we always looked forward to our meetings with Robert because of his personality.  He never displayed showiness, superiority or assertiveness, that which we have encountered with other legal representatives, and we always shared lots of smiles and even a few laughs during our meetings.

If you are looking for legal services in the area of Real Estate, Wills & Power of Attorneys, Estates, Corporate or Commercial in the City of Kawartha Lakes we highly recommend Robert Nagel. 

You can reach Robert by calling 705-328-2727 or by email at .

Another fabulous professional in the City of Kawartha Lakes is Darolyn Jones, Realtor & Broker. Darolyn is one of the kindest women we've met.  When it comes to business she is an expert in her industry but also brings a wealth of knowledge to any discussion well beyond Real Estate.  She pulls no punches when it comes to integrity and she has the patience of an angel when things need to get done. She is truly a woman who knows her stuff and sincerely surpassed any expectations we had in our professional dealings with her. And did we mention that she has a smile that brightens any room?

If you are looking for someone to assist you in buying or selling any property, we highly recommend Darolyn Jones.  Her tag line of providing 'Service that Moves you' justly represents what you will receive.  Darolyn is a Broker of Record and recently acquired independent ownership of Realty Executives Way Ltd. in the Kawartha's. 

Next on our list we'd like to mention We have been using this resource for stock music for our projects for about 6 years now.  Dan O'Connor is an acoustic rock singer songwriter who enjoys experimenting with all kinds of instrumental styles. His tracks include everything from techno pop, acoustic rock, tribal house, reggae mix, instrumental and so much more!!

Up until June 10th of this year provided music that could be licensed for free, requesting donations be made to support his time to add new music on a regular basis. Due to his music often being claimed by companies on YouTube without his permission and being used in other ways not allowed by the license, Dan stopped offering free licensing and downloads to protect those who use his music correctly. Currently, offers individual tracks for sale or you can purchase 77 Royalty Free Music MP3 Tracks for legal use in your video, apps, games, films or other media for a fee of $49.95 US, which is an awesome deal!

We use music in our videos and slideshows to set the tone of images and video footage and to enhance our viewers experience. Statistics prove that viewers spend a longer duration of time watching a video with sound and are more inclined to return to watch it repeatedly if they enjoy their experience.

We highly recommend because of the wide variety of options in music available, constant additions of new tracks and because of Dan's professional service delivery.

And last for this post, we'd like to mention Zamzar Ltd.  Zamzar is a web application to convert files. It was created by brothers Mike and Chris Whyley in England. It allows a user to convert files without downloading a software tool, and supports over 1,000 different conversion types.

Many times our clients send us PDF images to be used when promoting their products or services that we would like to manipulate by adding text onto or below the image, get creative by changing colours, adding a frame or combine it with or within other images.  Without these being in an 'image' format this would be impossible.  That's where Zamzar comes in!

We simply go to and follow the instructions by choosing the file on our computer that we want to convert, select which format we want to convert the file into, type in our email address and click the convert button.  Zamzar immediately sends an email with a link to our email which we copy and paste to open the link to where the new file is and then choose whether to download the zipped file or regular file and voila, we have the JPeg, GIF or whatever file we need to work with to do our magic.

Zamzar has saved our day on many occasions and we highly recommend it because it ALWAYS works for us.

Find Zamzar at as well as at (@zamzar)

We hope you enjoy the opportunity as much as we do to learn about great people and services in and beyond the Kawartha Lakes!

We look forward to receiving any comments or questions you may have about this post.

If you know of a business or professional in Ontario who could benefit from promoting their products and/or services online, please tell them about HM Coordinator. 

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
servicing clients throughout Ontario

We are currently accepting new social media clients, so if you would like to procure our services, contact us at


Also find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter

Friday, November 7, 2014

Addressing NO!SPEC Concerns

Anyone following social channels for HM Coordinator already knows that we held a logo competition back in October of this year for secondary school students from Kawartha Lakes to participate in.

It appears some business professionals may have concerns in regards to us offering this initiative, as we received a tweet from a local business, PB&J, with a link to a website for No!Spec

First of all we’d like to thank PB&J ( @addpbj & @nospec ) for sharing this website with us.

Secondly, our thoughts are that perhaps, PB&J was not fully aware of the details of our competition, which may have raised some concerns on their part, enough to want to share this website with us.

After taking the time to review the No!Spec website we'd like to share the following:

Who is No!Spec:
  • A group of designers who have banded together to educate the public about speculative work.

No!Spec Concerns:
  • “designers will often be asked to submit work under the guise of either a contest or an entry exam on actual, existing jobs as a ‘test’ of their skill.”
  • “designers in essence work free of charge and with an often falsely advertised, overinflated promise for future employment; or are given other insufficient forms of compensation.”
  • The client “chooses on the basis of “the prettiest design.”
  • “designers are the ones with the training, the ones with the marketing experience.”

To address these concerns we would like to share that this ‘contest’ was offered only to students attending secondary school and not designers; therefore, participants had no prior training to the ‘contest’. In fact, every participant identified that they had never used any type of illustration program prior to the ‘contest’. Whatever marketing experience they had was that which may have been learned from within their secondary school curriculum.

The ‘prettiest’ design was not chosen in this ‘contest’. In fact, no matter which design had been chosen, only the concept would have been taken into consideration due to the lack of skill set that each participant had, but that was anticipated in the beginning.  The intent was to have a professional re-design the logo from the beginning while also providing an enriching and explorative opportunity to local youth.

We would also like to share how this ‘contest’ came to be.

Heather McMahon, Owner of HM Coordinator, has worked in the past as both an employee of the Durham District School Board as well as contract staff on numerous initiatives with and for several School Boards as well as with the Ministry of Education through the Province of Ontario.

Heather has always had an interest in assisting both elementary and secondary school students to help them bridge their in-class learning with experiences of learning beyond the classroom. “These types of experiences allow students to not only apply what they may have learned in class, but also to explore interests outside of their in-school curriculum. By allowing students to participate in these types of initiatives, our young people are able to expand their knowledge and skill sets, to help them make more informed career choices. This type of learning and exploring of interests and skills goes much further than beyond what our school classrooms can offer”.

Heather has been a community partner of several School Boards in numerous communities for many years.  She is always there to accept the opportunity to speak to young people about being an entrepreneur, starting a small business, as well as her own career path. She has coordinated many workshops and events where elementary, secondary school students and even educators have participated, to learn more about career destinations and requirements.

She is well known by professionals and businesses in many industries from Skilled Trades, Retail, Health Care and Service as she has frequently called upon these to partner with her to be able to offer great learning opportunities for young people.

The students who participated in the Design Our Logo competition had the opportunity to learn new skills, test their abilities and explore a new career, hands-on.  An open invitation was received by school administrators and educators to call upon them should we have any other similar type opportunities for students to participate in.

We stand behind our logo competition as being a worthwhile opportunity for both the participants and our business and feel that students were compensated more than fairly for their participation and skill level. The chosen submission was passed on to a professional graphic designer, also a young graduate of Kawartha Lakes, and full compensation was paid for his services to take the concept and re-create the design.

We look forward to offering continued opportunities for youth to learn beyond the classroom and encourage other businesses to do the same.

We encourage PB&J or anyone else to comment or contact us, should they have further questions or concerns.

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes

Servicing clients throughout Ontario

For more information contact:

Find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter

Friday, October 31, 2014

How Did Halloween Get Started?

Halloween has Celtic origins. In pre-Christian times, many people believed that spirits from the underworld and ghosts of dead people could visit the world of the living on the night of October 31. These spirits could harm the living or take them back to the underworld. To avoid this, people started dressing up as ghosts and spirits if they left their homes on October 31. They hoped that this would confuse the ghosts and spirits.

Halloween was also a time, when spirits might give messages to people. In some areas, it was traditional for unmarried girls to poor molten lead into water. The shape that the lead took when it hardened was seen as a clue to the professions of their future husbands. Halloween traditions were brought to Canada by Irish and Scottish immigrants. Halloween is now celebrated in a range of other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.


HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes

Servicing clients throughout Ontario

For more information contact:

Find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Introducing Our New Logo!!

Well, the delightful time has come to unveil the new logo for HM Coordinator which was inspired by the winner of our 'Design Our Logo' competition, taking place in the City of Kawartha Lakes among Secondary School students.

Logo Submission by Travis Thaxter
Travis Thaxter, a grade 12 student attending Fenelon Falls Secondary School submitted his design which incorporated his concept of the growth of a tree and a wifi symbol, both of which represent key components of our Social Media business.

We couldn't have been more proud to forward Travis' design along to professional Graphic Designer, Andrew McNamara to complete our logo!

Andrew is also a graduate from City of Kawartha Lakes who graduated from LCVI in 2010.

Andrew shared this with us about his career choice:

"It wasn’t until grade twelve in the midst of AP-art programming that my teacher (who I owe much to, Percy Payette) suggested graphic design might be the best way to apply and make use of my fine art skills, and to use them to develop a real career in something I’m interested in.

At the time I was doing generally quite well in all of my programs (taking academic courses to prepare for university) but I never really felt like I belonged or wanted to be apart of any of those traditional streams. I had always illustrated as a hobby and enjoyed it more than almost anything else, so when Percy suggested I could make a career out of my creativity I jumped at the idea.

Shortly afterwards I set up a visit with Conestoga College (renowned for being brutally difficult, but with very high employment rates and small studio style classes) for an unofficial portfolio review. Percy had been a former peer/ colleague of Vincent Sowa who was the head of the graphic design programs at Conestoga and was the only person in Canada to hold a doctorate in Graphic Design. I was drawn to the idea of the challenge and his prestige. I applied and was accepted to a couple of other schools in Toronto but they didn’t have the appeal, mysticism or community I desired after my first visit to Conestoga’s studio.

Fortunately I was accepted shortly after an official interview. After three years of intense work, many all-nighters at the school and becoming family with the small class of 30 peers (and unfortunately watching a few slip away from the pressure) I graduated and was employed within a month.

Since then, for a little over a year and a half now, I’ve been working at a small studio downtown Kitchener (Studio Locale). Since I’ve started we've been awarded and recognized twice by GRAPHIS international, and I have personally been invited to events such as illustrating live in Toronto for Design for Hope and competing in Pixels of Fury, a live design challenge, at last years Designthinkers.

It’s a very fluid industry to be involved in and if I could offer some advice to anyone interested it would be 'don’t wait for anyone else to help you get involved'. If I had listened to my guidance councillors I’d probably have dropped out of some engineering program by now because I thought I should be involved in it.

In rural areas especially, creative career avenues aren’t really considered or endorsed which is a shame because they’re growing faster and have more opportunity than any other field. If you like design or anything related, research it as much as possible, get your hands dirty, talk to people in the field and put yourself out there. Networking is as important as your talent. And your teachers might not know what’s out there.

Suggested skills: (Take with a grain of salt as most skills can be developed and honed over time)

• Communication
• Communication through visual mediums
• The ability to accept criticism (very important) and to be able to distance yourself from your work mentally, especially if its for someone else
• An eye for composition
• Computer skills with design programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator are a big plus, but can be learned in school. More importantly, learn composition, line dynamics, layering, colour etc. through working with your hands and experimenting
• Challenge everything, there’s always a better way to do something
• Problem solving skills
• Writing skills are VERY important
• An innate interest and sharp observation skills about the world around you"

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...

Introducing our new logo!!

We want to thank the Secondary Schools in Kawartha Lakes for allowing us to share this 'learning beyond the classroom' opportunity with our local youth and give special thanks to Fenelon Falls Secondary School for their extra involvement to make this a wonderful success!

An exceptional thank you also to Travis Thaxter for his creative design, his efforts to learn and use Adobe Illustrator and his commitment to work within our timelines. It was a challenging experience!!

And, thank you to Andrew McNamara for being a partner in this initiative, bringing the expertise to take Travis's creative concept and refine it into a distinctive logo.  Andrew offered guidance, direction, professionalism and on-time delivery for a product that truly represents the growth and evolution of social media and our business.

Should anyone have any questions about our competition process; a request for in-class presentations around social media, career paths or small business & entrepreneurship; or would like to contact Graphic Designer, Andrew McNamara, please feel free to email

If you are a small to medium sized business in Ontario who would like to expand your marketing efforts through an extended on-line presence, please feel free to contact us.  To view more information about the services we provide click on this post.

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes

Servicing clients throughout Ontario

For more information contact:

Find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Congratulations Travis Thaxter, Winner of 'Design Our Logo' Competition!!

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winner of the "Design Our Logo" competition, Travis Thaxter!!

Travis, a grade 12 student attending Fenelon Falls Secondary School in Ontario says his concept was actualized by the phrase, 'grow substantially', which was mentioned in the Rules and Guidelines for the competition.  Travis says that his thoughts were that "as a tree grows, it is helping the other trees around itself grow. The 'Wifi Symbol' was influenced by the social media connections, as that is exactly what the symbol is meant to convey." Travis was awarded $100.00 for winning the competition.

Congratulations also to Runner Up, Emily Love who shared her concept which derived "by first searching 'best colour combos for logos,' blue and brown seemed to have the best combination. I then wanted the logo to catch viewer's eyes and I figured a big circle would do the trick; but with the coordinator in your company name I wanted to coordinate the two words so they looked like they flowed."  Emily was awarded $25.00 for her submission.

This competition was by no means an easy challenge.  Both students had never used Adobe Illustrator, were not familiar with the variety of formats that were required for submission and they had a very tight timeframe to work within in order for their submissions to be considered for judging; they did it all!

Each logo was judged on: Originality, Concept, Relevance, Creativity and Impact. It was a very tough decision to choose a winner.

Emily's logo came in looking more polished, where as the design by Travis created more of a unique symbol which we felt was more relatable in respect to the field that we work in.

It was anticipated that the winning logo would require refining in order to attain a final product, as per the Rules and Guidelines.  The decision was made that Travis' design could actually become a brand moment where he would be able to see his concept realized as an evolution of his original thought process.

When asked what words they would use to describe this competition, students who participated shared: learning, reaching, enriching, challenging, exciting. 

It is always such a pleasure to see what our youth can produce when given the opportunity and we encourage more businesses in the City of Kawartha Lakes and beyond our City to do the same. 
Opportunities are what have helped each of us get to where we are today and we must never forget to do the same for others.  With proper instruction and clear communication today, our young people will be leading our tomorrows, helping us continue to grow our businesses and professions. 

Thank you Travis and Emily!  We couldn't have done this without you and the support of your school staff and administration at Fenelon Falls Secondary School!

To see the before and after version of Travis' concept, please visit our site again next week. We look forward to sharing with you!!

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes

Servicing clients throughout Ontario

For more information contact:

Find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter

We hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!!

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Management & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes

Servicing clients throughout Ontario

For more information contact:

Find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter