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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

On the Road with the Advantages Show — Day One from Minneapolis

Filed under: Travel

Hi from the Twin Cities!

This is the first day of the Advantages traveling show, which will take me from Minneapolis today to Des Moines, Omaha, Kansas City and St. Louis.

This is the first road show I’ve ever done and am already loving getting to spend time with some awesome suppliers I don’t normally get to hang out with like Eddie Roth from Aunt Beth’s Cookie Keepers (who is a CHARACTER!!!), Tom Vann (aka “Tommy T-shirt”), president/CEO of Target Graphics, Mike Contreras from Perfect Line, Harry Fotopoulous from Custom HBC Corp. and Sydra Newell from SnugZ, who was looking forward to working on the four-hour bus ride to Des Moines. She would like you all to know that I am the Devil, because I have stocked the bus with various types of alcohol so we can all enjoy road sodas. I have explained to Sydra that a glass of water is a perfectly good waste of a tumbler.

Having never been on a road show, I was surprised by the packed crowds this morning as the show drew more than 200 distributors from the Twin City area. Suppliers were happy with the attendance and are now tearing down for the next stop.

More from the road and on to Des Moines!!! Hilarity is right around the corner, with pandemonium just around the bend.  


— Michele

Halls & Co.’s Eric & Connie Johnson and I at the Twin City Grille last night in the Mall of America. You gotta love a restaurant that has a Wall of Wine.

Having never been to the famed Mall of America, I was amazed by the sight of an amusement park in the center of the complex. I went over today and rode the rollercoaster — as if my life wasn’t erratic enough.

My pal Tom Ngo (left), sales & marketing manager for Key-Bak, signed on to do this week of the Advantages Roadshow to hang out with me and keep me out of trouble. The consensus is that he’ll have his hands full. Harry Fotopoulos, regional sales manager for Custom HBC Corp. is a new friend who revels in his Greek heritage and wants to take me to a Greek Island, which I will happily agree to!

Clockwise from top: Perfect Line’s Mike Contreras, Key-Bak’s Tom Ngo, Dreama McDaniel from Expert Performance T, Me, Andrew from USK and Andy Townes (of the illustrious Townes family) having cocktails last night at the Holiday Inn bar. Mike Contrares, who is more physically diligent, shall we say, than I am, wants to run fitness and self-defense classes every morning for the suppliers on “tour.” He believes that people should treat their bodies like temples… having treated mine with Dionysian decadence, I’ve offered to be the water girl.

Andy Townes, here helping Nick DiNicola — who runs the Advantages road shows — keep everything going smoothly, hangs at the bar with Tom Vann, president/CEO of Target Graphics. And yes, tequila shots were involved…

The Advantages road show drew over 200 distributors to the Holiday Inn in Minneapolis, on the first day of the five-city tour.


  1. Bob Hechler Says:

    Now that you are in the North with bad weather, rain, snow…etc. I hope you have your Windbrella!! Happy Trails, see you in New York or the Betty Ford clinic!!

    Tuesday March 11, 2008
  2. Michele Bell Says:

    LOL!!! The Editorial Strumpet says hi and can’t wait to see you!!!

    Tuesday March 11, 2008
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