Boat Brands Win






They say the best two days of your life are the day you buy a boat and the day you sell it. This week, I had one of the BEST days, as I closed on my new-to-me boat. Yes, I saved up and bought a used 2017 Ranger Tug R-31, which I will park down in Urbanna.


I started my search in February of 2019 and was ready to pull the trigger in the spring of this year — but we all know what happened in March — the world decided to close for “15 days to stop the spread.” (And then that turned into 7+ months to slow the spread.) Soooo, I put my plans on hold and continued researching boat brands. After 100+ hours of research and a few masked visits to check out various “pocket yachts,” I narrowed my choice down to three boat brands; Greenline, Nordic Tugs, and Ranger Tugs.


The Greenline was super nice. A hybrid trawler, it is made in Slovenia, and they’re very rare. So rare, in fact, I never got to see one in person or try one out. The Nordic Tug is a great boat and they hold their value, but the design didn’t seem to match the times. I wanted a classic look, not outdated design. I finally settled on the Ranger Tug. A great boat, American-made in Washington state. And in this case, it was another real world example of how #BoldBrandsWin.


First, the boat is as solid as the company’s reputation. Thousands of satisfied boat owners since 1958. Secondly, the company is very creative; the design features are genius — especially the “gull wing” bench seats that give you more room to entertain friends. Third, they take customer service to an entirely different level by giving customers what they want and staying engaged with them — through social media, factory delivery, meet-ups, online webinars (As The Prop Turns), and they even host a website forum called TugNuts, where owners can get together and share stories and info.


OK, I was sold. But it took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to find one. After searching from Florida to Michigan to Maine, I finally found my tugboat a few miles away in Gloucester. I closed Thursday and I am sitting here writing this week’s post from the boat. Special thanks to all of my friends and colleagues for boat name suggestions…we had some real doozies:


Honorable Mentions:

  • B-YACHT’ch (Submitted by my daughter, Hattie)
  • M.Y. Sharona (Submitted by me)
  • Old Spice (Submitted by a longtime friend who reads the Weekly Report every week)
  • S.S. Minnow (Submitted by my friend JJ White)
  • The Main-iac (Submitted by Molly Whitfield)
  • #AllTheWay (Submitted by Texas Inn General Manager Rhonda Rankin)


In the end, I chose Tug Life, submitted by Madison+Main’s uber-creative Copywriter Derek Fair. It was the clear winner. Now I can truly say, “I didn’t choose the Tug Life, the Tug Life chose me.”





Monday, October 5 — Bold Brands Win…Awards



Over the weekend, our client Pinnacle Living was named as a “2020 Top Workplace” by the Richmond-Times-Dispatch for the third year in a row, placing second in the Large Company category. The recognition was well-deserved and included a full page article in Sunday’s newspaper. See the article here, ICYMI.


Leanne “Ray of Sunshine” Ferry dropped off a special package at the office Monday afternoon — a beautiful Waterford Crystal decanter and two bourbon glasses. The Madison+Main-iacs bought me a 15th anniversary gift. #awwwshucks Only one problem: this simple country boy from Lynchburg is scared to use it, because it’s a little too fancy for me. I usually drink my liquor from an old fruit jar. (As an aside please don’t step on my blue suede shoes.)





Tuesday, October 6 — Big News



The download numbers for the Virginia Department of Health’s Exposure Notifications app COVIDWISE continued to grow with 615,461 Virginians downloading the app, as of yesterday. This represents 14.5% of Virginians with smartphones. To share the news of the successful campaign, I was featured on CBS6 News Monday night and Tuesday morning in a great segment by reporter Jake Burns. Never fear, we did the interview via Zoom and I even wore pants for the occasion.


Wednesday, October 7 — Energy Efficiency Day



In honor of Energy Efficiency Day and October being Energy Awareness Month, I visited the Virginia Energy Sense website, got some information on weather stripping, and sealed some of the leaks around doors and windows in our 133-year-old building. My $23.17 investment will save me money on future power bills. For more energy-saving tips, click here.


At 7:37 a.m. Wednesday I had the pleasure of speaking with John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio Network to talk about COVIDWISE and help his audience understand how the app works, why it’s important, and how it protects your privacy. John and I spoke for more than 18 minutes. I only had half a cup of coffee in me so please forgive my stammering. 


We ended the day with our Virtual Mixer and it was good to see colleagues, clients, and friends — even if we were apart.




Thursday, October 8 — Celebrate!



Congrats to two special Madison+Main-iacs, Account Executive Allison Throckmorton-Nida and Copywriter Derek Fair who both started on the same day two years ago. The wonder twins virtually celebrated their second anniversary with the firm. And Derek…this one’s for you. “Time flies when you’re writing puns.” 


Thursday brought another reason to celebrate as Kent “Mr.” Brockwell celebrated 39 trips around the sun. I was going to sing to him for his birthday and give him a big bear hug, but he was on vacation this week. Don’t worry, big fella, I’ll get ya when you come back. 


M+M President Molly Whitfield joined a panel of marketing experts and spoke to members of the University of Richmond’s American Marketing Association Chapter on Thursday evening. Reportedly, Molly dispensed some great advice for the soon-to-be graduates. Other speakers included Matt Mattox and Katie Long of The Martin Agency and Alison Schaffir of Loft.








Friday, October 9 — Gone Fishin’




Not really. I planned to take the day off but found myself connecting to the York River Yacht Club WiFi. I knew I shouldn’t have brought my laptop with me. I asked a neighbor for the WiFi password. “Yes, I am a pirate, 400 years to late.” #wifipirate











A Few of Our Favorite Events


Go Forward Team Ride

4308 Hermitage Road | Richmond, VA

October 24, 2020 | TBD


Our good friend, Bobby Kelland from Aflac, is gearing up for his second non-profit bike ride this year on behalf of Andrea Starr and the Forward Foundation. This time, it’s a 50-mile ride from Bryan Park to Ashland and back. The ride will raise money to support single mothers and provide them financial assistance for quality childcare, as well as educational workshops. Donate today online or text “Donate” and the amount to 804-352-2820 (ex: Donate $5) to help him reach his $15,000 goal by October 24.


VAEEC & Virginia Energy Sense Chat

Virtually join in on Twitter

October 28, 2020 | 1-2 p.m.


Hop onto Twitter on Wednesday, October 28 to see a live chat between the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council and Virginia Energy Sense. Log on to get energy-saving tips, learn about available incentives, and get recommendations from energy-efficiency experts. Click here to follow VAEEC on Twitter and click here to follow Virginia Energy Sense on Twitter.


Master Distiller’s Dinner at A. Smith Bowman Distillery

1 Bowman Drive | Fredericksburg, VA

November 14, 2020 | 6-9 p.m.


A. Smith Bowman Distillery and Earth Apple LLC have partnered to bring you a unique bourbon experience! Master Distiller Brian Prewitt will start the evening off with a guided tasting of rare Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Whiskies, accompanied by delectable small bites specially selected by Chef Jessica Wilkins. Following the tasting, Chef Jessica will treat guests to a 3-course dinner served with carefully crafted bourbon cocktails. Tickets will cost $125 per person and go on sale October 14 at 10 a.m. via Eventbrite.


Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!




For the ocean is big and my boat is small. Find the courage.

Alanis Morrisette