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“Don’t Be a Cow!”

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Authors George & Rachel Barker shed some light on “Finding Your Own Path” to Happiness

Tallassee, AL (May 2, 2017) – Taking a cue from the ups and downs of their own path to happiness, George & Rachel Barker have penned, “Don’t Be A Cow! A Collection of Daily Observations and Lessons For Discovering True Happiness.”

“The title came to me while I was working with high school seniors at church and we were trying to come up with a way to teach them about not following the crowd,” George said.

I recalled driving through the countryside (Tallassee is just outside Auburn, AL) and observed that in the middle of a cow pasture there was a worn-out path down the middle, but lush green grass surrounding it, and I thought, the cows can go anywhere but they follow each other in a straight path.”

Inspired, that created the metaphor of not being a cow, but instead finding yourself and being individual.

“Years later we would run into some of the teenagers we had first introduced the idea, and overhear them talking about ‘not being a cow,’ or that a ‘friend had been a real cow,’ and that’s when we realized we could take this teaching moment to another level, a book, which could help people of all ages,” Rachel said.

George said he began by writing a list of life lessons – things that Rachel and he had gone through in life while raising their blended family of four children – and when he finished the list, there were 31.

The authors, through the characters Joe and Jane in the book, take you on a journey of awareness, personal reflection and sharing in discovering true happiness. Each day features a thought-provoking illustration by Pat Achilles, game exercises, and soulful enlightenment in song and quotations relevant to that particular day’s journey. Along the way you’ll be inspired by famous (and not so famous) people such as Deepak Chopra, Mother Teresa, Gretchen Rubin, Thomas Jefferson, Kris Kristofferson, Katy Perry – even Samuel Jackson. The appendix features a section where you, the reader, create your own list of inspired quotes and songs and an explanation “Who’s who” of those quoted throughout. “We really wanted to make this an interactive book, a stepping stone, for an individual’s own journey in finding one’s path to happiness and celebrating our uniqueness,” George said.

“Take some time to reflect on who it is you are,” George said. Are you doing the things that make you who you are? And, what you enjoy? If not, figure out what are the things you would change or do differently, and work through it,” he said.

“Believe us when we say, we have lived this book and not just written it,” adds Rachel. “But, through it all, it was also fun. We didn’t sit down and write together,” she said,” but did our parts and saw the big picture. In the end, hopefully our fun, light-hearted approach inspires others on their path of personal growth.”

The Barkers also have a big love of the outdoors. Rachel has a degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture and George has a degree in Forest Resource and Conservation. Their passion for the environment lead them to dedicate their book to Mother Nature, “who provides us with a great playground,” with their non-profit organization Land and Trees Unlimited receiving a large percentage of the books proceeds.

In addition to the book, you can share in the discussion on their website,, on the blog, Cow Talk, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

“Life really is a collaboration and sharing what works and doesn’t work is what it’s all about,” she said.

The book is available through and the website.

About George and Rachel Barker: “Don’t Be A Cow! Find Your Own Path: A Collection of Daily Observations and Lessons for Discovering True Happiness!” is their first book, and is currently available on and the website, Rachel has a degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture; George has a degree in Forest Resource and Conservation. They dedicate their book to Mother Nature, “who provides us with a great playground,” with a portion of the book sales being given back through their non-profit organization, Land and Trees Unlimited (LandandTreesUnlimited.Com)

George Barker
LTU Publishing
(334) 324-4914







Five Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Just came across this article from Forbes and it is a great explanation regarding the differences between an advertising agency and public relations. Even though Public Relations has become more integrated with marketing, more so with the advent of the Internet, a good way to understand the differences today is: most people are looking to “pull” information (public relations) rather than be “pushed” to buy (advertising). Yelp & Trip Advisor, reading an article vs. seeing an ad on television or Facebook (unless it’s a time sensitive offer)

Source: Five Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Celebrating 20 years in Asheville, NC with a cake and a chili cook off, North American Roofing is having a stellar year


Celebrating 20 years in Asheville NC, North American Roofing headquartered in Asheville, NC on track for a $100 million-plus year

Asheville, NC, (October 16 2013) – North American Roofing, headquartered in Asheville, NC, celebrated its 20th anniversary recently with a cake, a hotly contested chili cook-off, and impressive sales.

President and CEO Brian Verble, along with judges Grant Hower, Approved Contractor Network Manager and Jennifer Stalnaker, Collection Coordinator, sampled some dozen or so chili entries ranging from mild to “raging hot.”

Verble recalled relocating to Asheville from Indianapolis when his father moved the company in 1993. Some 15% of the 100-plus employees at the national headquarters in Asheville have been here since the move.

Recognized with numerous awards and accolades for customer service and quality by GAF, Carlisle, Firestone and Seaman, some of the nation’s biggest manufacturers of building products, North American Roofing has grown to become the 3rd largest commercial roofing company in the United States, and as Verble put it, “we have a lot to celebrate.”

“North American Roofing has seen excellent revenue growth, on average 20% per year over the past few years, so we weathered the recession well. We’re on track to break our sales projections for this year, which will exceed $100 million. And, with over 100 people employed full-time here in Asheville, we are one of the area’s largest employers.”

Some of their national clients include Home Depot, IKEA, Lowe’s and GE. [youtube][/youtube]

Approximately 70 of those employees attended the celebration that had all the appearance and feel of a tailgate party of close friends and a family get together rather than a typical company event. The company became an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) company in October 2012.

And, just for the record, the winners of the chili cook-off were: Randy Talley, taking first place honors and the 2013 trophy, with runners-up, Jarrod Geoffrey in 2nd and Stacey Sordahl in 3rd.


* * * *

ABOUT NORTH AMERICAN ROOFING – A pioneer in the commercial single-ply roofing industry since 1979, North American Roofing specializes in commercial and industrial low-slope roof systems and is the 3rd largest commercial and industrial roofing company in the United States. In addition to installation, repair and preventative maintenance, the company continues to expand its operation, which now includes the North American Roofing’s Energy Services Group specializing in integrated solar roofing and energy systems by designing and installing high caliber solar arrays. Employee-owned and in continuous operation for three generations, North American Roofing has installed and serviced more than 950 million square feet of roofing on more than 19,500 facilities across the United States, in its 34-year history.

Jake Stansell

North American Roofing

41 Dogwood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806
T/828.687.7767  (800) 551-5602

Video link to event: NARSI celebrates 20th video





GAF, the nation’s largest roofing manufacturer, honors North American Roofing with two 2012 Master Select Commercial Roofing Awards

Only 1% of roofing contractors in the country have earned GAF’s Master SelectÔ status, according to Jim Slauson, Vice President of GAF Certified Program and Services. “It is a distinction that truly sets them apart from the rest … North American Roofing is among the ‘best of the best’,” Slauson stated.

Harrah’s Casino Chef Stage Presentation and Press Conference

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort





Harrah’s Cherokee Casino presented a “REGRAND OPENING,” March 22, 2013. As part of the press conference, there was a demonstration at the Chef’s Stage, a new concept for buffet dining at the Resort.

This is a p.r. video featuring the Food Presentation.




Harrah’s Casino Grand Opening Press Conference



Cooperative Purchasing Speeds Up Public Sector Projects, North American Roofing Expands National Presence

Meeting strict compliance standards and competitive bidding requirements, North American Roofing strengthens its national position as one of the largest commercial roofing companies in the U.S. with the award to participate in the National Joint Powers Alliance® (NJPA), through their premier construction program with ezIQC®, which helps municipalities find sources for construction and repair facilitating the competitive bid process on behalf of their members.

North American Roofing Wins Two Prestigious Industry Awards

North American Roofing, headquartered in Asheville, N.C., has been awarded a 2013 Firestone Building Products Inner Circle of Quality Award in addition to winning a prestigious Master Contractor Award, their third in a row in that category.

Announcing the highly regarded honor in a letter to North American Roofing CEO Brian Verble, President of Firestone Building Products Timothy Dunn states, “You demonstrate a commitment to commercial roofing excellence and superior installations and it is clear that quality is at the foundation of your roofing firm’s success.”

North American Roofing Tops Off Sierra Nevada’s East Coast Brewery

While most of us had visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, North American Roofing was busy finishing the roof installation of Sierra Nevada’s East Coast Brewery under construction in Mills River, NC, 12 miles south of Asheville.

The $1 million+ roof installation contracts with Sierra Nevada were for two facilities – one 147,000 square foot, the other a smaller 10,000 square foot structure.

Barley, hops and a brewery add to farm production –

Henry Ruhlman brewed beer for himself for about six years and now has opened a retail venture at his Creeping Creek Farms in northern Carroll County, using a key ingredient he grows right there. He started with 24 hops plants three years ago and has expanded the crop to more than 1,600 vines
“It is more than enough to get me launched in the business,” he said.

Ruhlman Brewery Joins craft scene; releases 4 ales

Brewed locally, using water from the farm’s well and naturally-grown 100% whole flower hops, Ruhlman Brewery enters the fast-growing craft brewery field with the debut of their four hand-crafted distinct ales, marketed as “Our Ales.”
Located at Creeping Creek Farms in Hampstead, Maryland, Carroll County about 45 minutes north of Baltimore, Ruhlmans Brewery makes its debut with Milk Stout, Tavern Pale Ale, Red Ale and India Pale Ale (IPA) during a special release party, Saturday, August 11, from 8am to 5pm.