Richard Bliss is LeTip of Northridge’s chapter Printer who has sold Printing and Promotional Products (including embroidered apparel) for over 30 years. He specializes primarily in printing, but with the recent virus travel restrictions across the nation he has had very few orders in the past few weeks. Rich wasn’t going to let that stop him from carrying on doing business, and looking for an opportunity to help fellow LeTip members and the business community at large:
“My business has been very slow for the past 3 weeks. So, I’ve had to “re-invent” myself and see what I could do to spark some business. So, as a company that sells Printing and especially Promotional Items, I am a member of ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute). I used their Search Engine and searched for products everyone has been looking for. I contacted via phone and email a few companies and found a very reputable company that normally sells Promotional Items. They have an employee in China, and has contracted with a company there that has PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) items. They have the KN95 Masks (plus other items), which is for all intensive purposes the same as our domestic N95 Mask. The “K” means it is produced overseas. If you want masks, everyone is out of the N95, and this is the best option.”
In efforts to help bring protection to people across North America, Rich has already sold 12,000-15,000 masks at very reasonable pricing where others are engaging in unfortunate price gouging. If you or your chapter knows anyone who needs PPE such as Masks, Gloves, Sanitizer Bottles etc, Rich is generously offering great deals to businesses and chapters.
In regards to how the coronavirus impacted his chapter, Rich went on to tell us that they went dark for only a single week then on the second week they had a board meeting on Zoom to go over what they would do next. As chapter Program Director, he is included as a Board Member of their chapter, and in the meeting and after brief discussion they have quickly moved towards having their meetings online on net video conferencing. All of their meetings the past several weeks have been done on Zoom. As Program Director he emails his chapter twice a week (one to all members, and one to that week’s Program Participants) with chapter updates, agenda info, and speaker bio info.
Some cool ideas they are using was to set up private calls with the Showboaters and Greeters beforehand so they could prepare; for the Showboaters to get setup and show their display, and for the Greeters (who Rich calls “on-deck speakers”, since they actually aren’t greeting people at a door like usual as of now, they have time to prepare for their 10 minute speeches for the upcoming week). For the current Speakers they run a 10 minute countdown to give them time to speak, they ring a bell with 2 minutes remaining, and hold up a “Time is up” sheet when it’s time to wrap it up. On the calls everyone is muted when speaker is talking. Their meetings have become more efficient after a few practice runs and have started getting into a groove. They have even helped get the non-technical people in their group onto Zoom and getting them comfortable doing online meetings. It sounds like they are adapting quite well. Through LeTip he has met a lot of nice people, made friends, and grown his business.
Rich lives in Northridge, CA with his wife of 34 years, Dayna, who is now teaching 6th grade remotely. They have two kids, Emily (29) who is a 3rd grade teacher (also teaching remotely), and Son Jacob (24) who lives in Washington DC and is working remotely for the Government. Plus, we can’t forget their dog Bernee. Rich also plays softball twice a week and has had Doug Christian, LeTip’s West Coast VP as a team-mate. He also coaches Girl’s Softball at a local middle school. When asked if he had any tips for members to get through hard times, he mentioned his signature line that he has been using as his closing line in each of his recent emails which reads: “Let’s work on our goals together, as we stay apart”.
Do you know anyone who might be needing PPE during these times?
Got more tips for Rich? Please send them his way, he would love to help you and your chapters!
Feel free to send him and email, or call him on his cell for best contact.
RAB Printing Solutions
PO Box 8660
Northridge, CA 91327
(818) 802-4224 Cell