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The Sunshine Principle

Finding the Silver Lining

aren and Jay describe the Sunshine Principle - while battling heavy winds of Tropical Storm Isaias

The Sunshine Principle is based on a belief in positivity.  In other words, no matter how bad things may appear on the surface, there is always an opportunity to find a ‘silver lining’ – if only you are willing to look for it.  It’s there.  You just have to find it.

When I began writing the Sunshine Report, I wanted to share a weekly source of inspiration and hope for those who read it. In conversation, I often use the word ‘sunshine’ as a metaphor for opportunity, for positivity, and for optimism. With each passing day, you can always expect the sun to rise, and with it, a new chance to start fresh. No matter what has happened in the past, the future is still yours to write. It’s a powerful principle I carry with me every day. This is part of what I call ‘The Sunshine Principle.’ 

In addition to this spirit of positivity, The Sunshine Principle encompasses another equally important element. That is within any moment of hardship or difficulty, even those that seem insurmountable, there is always a silver lining. Laura Ingels Wilder once said, “There is good in everything, if only we look for it.” 

Over the last few months, our country has experienced an unprecedented public health crisis that has changed both how we understand and the way in which we live and work. We’ve been forced to make unexpected changes and sacrifices for the sake of our communities. Yet, there have been many ‘silver linings.’  Families have had an opportunity to spend time together.  The ‘work from home’ requirement has spawned new thinking in how we organize our work and businesses – and with it, new possibilities.  And, restaurants with outdoor dining have helped liven up communities throughout our state and country.  

Moreover, the last few months have given us a tremendous moment to give thought to what we’re grateful for, and what we might want to do without. In other words, we’ve been given a powerful moment to decide how we will choose our next chapter and the opportunity to do so on our own terms. So, on the days that may be a bit more difficult than others, take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember that the sun will always shine.

Newport Sunshine Initiative – Monthly Meetings Return!

Last week, the Newport Sunshine Initiative held its first meeting since early March, prior to the COVID shutdown, and the turnout was spectacular! For those of you who are new to The Sunshine Report, The Newport Sunshine Initiative is a community-oriented program focused on revitalizing my hometown of Newport, NH. As we held our first meeting in nearly five months, we heard from a variety of speakers about new and exciting projects as well as job opportunities for the Sunshine Town..

Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg described the great progress the town has been able to achieve, even as the community has been dealing with the challenges posed by COVID. In particular, he shared an update on the exciting renovation in process at Newport’s iconic Opera House. The project is in full gear with approximately three quarters of a million dollars being invested. Improving acoustics, electrical, lighting and a number of structural aspects – such that the Opera House will be one of the very best concert and theater production venues north of Boston, once completed! Prominently located at the center of town on the Main Street, the renovation of this beautiful building is a sign for all that Newport is coming back strong. A community on the move!

Following Hunter’s remarks, we heard from CAI, a company based in Manchester as well as Ohio, looking to bring as many as 50-75 new work-from-home jobs to Newport. These jobs are designed to pay well over the average individual income in Newport, plus benefits, and also provide plenty of opportunity for those who cannot always travel for work. Importantly, there will also be the ability for employees to structure flexible hours, including part-time work, so as to provide family-friendly jobs that can fit within people’s current schedules and lifestyles.

And, truly sunshine! We heard about a proposed solar energy project which would not only provide clean and reliable energy for Newport but could over time, provide the energy needs for the entire community.

In addition, we were excited to hear the details of a new Bed & Breakfast being launched in town by Eddy Cortez and Dave Lam – excited entrepreneurs committed to the growth and future of our great community.

And, as described below in our Profile of the Week, David Kulow of All Terrain shared an overview on his company, now located in the heart of Newport and making great progress nationally with its line of natural skincare and related products.

Certainly, the sun is shining on Newport, and I cannot wait to see what the next monthly update in late August will bring.

Small Town Finds Silver Lining During COVID

In the midst of uncertainty brought on by the recent global pandemic, many communities have found themselves scrambling for basic necessities. Everyday items whose availability are often taken for granted have suddenly become a luxury, but not in Newport. Thanks to the incredible efforts of Kevin and Michelle Widmer of Widmer & Davis Artisan Distilleries.  Their business became the first distillery in the state of New Hampshire to switch production from alcohol to hand sanitizer starting on March 19th, earlier this year.

This was no small task and required an all hands on-deck effort from the community. In addition to the great production efforts of Widmer & David, another Newport based business, All Terrain, a natural skin protection products company, volunteered to help in professionally packaging the end product. Several businesses and private individuals donated funds to help purchase supplies. Cody Morrison, the Economic Development Coordinator for the Town of Newport, worked with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission to secure a number of gallons of high-proof alcohol, and the Widmer’s themselves made personal financial contributions to help support the production. This effort was also supplemented by a $15,000 grant from Citizens Bank’s Small Business Recovery Program.

In the end, this amazing effort resulted in the production of over $17,000 worth of pure alcohol into hand sanitizer – amounting to several hundred gallons - that made its way to communities throughout the region.  So, in addition to the valuable product, the teamwork and positive relationships developed during this unprecedented experience truly provided Newport the opportunity to find a ‘silver lining’ – and not surprisingly, this great community successfully rose to the occasion!

Profile of the Week:  David Kulow

Every week one of my favorite parts of the Sunshine Report is being able to feature someone who is doing great things and inspiring others. I can’t think of a better person than David Kulow, a true entrepreneur and lover of our great New Hampshire outdoors whose impact in his industry is living proof that when you follow your passions, great things can come from it.

Early in his career, David worked in the world of finance for some time and was quite successful. And while undoubtedly, he could have continued his success in the sector, he felt the entrepreneurial urge and decided to begin his own journey.

There is the saying “Lighting doesn’t strike twice.” But for David it did, and rightfully so.

Along with his father, David built his first business, a supplier of herbal supplements which was then successfully sold. Rather than call it a day, David, along with his father, began the next endeavor - Rosemont Ventures, focused on investments in the natural foods, nutrition and outdoors space.

The venture quickly acquired a business called All Terrain - a west coast-based venture specializing in all-natural outdoor skincare products like bug spray and sunscreen. David eventually moved the company to New Hampshire and through a series of exciting innovations, along with his passion for the outdoors, All Terrain has seen significant growth, with distribution in some of the best-known national retailers. The company’s leading product is branded as Herbal Armor and is a fantastic bug repellent – all natural and highly effective.  In addition, the company has even created a product offering for the Disney Corporation. 

David and All Terrain have given a terrific economic boost to the Newport-Sunapee region – as well being a positive force for the community.  We look forward to their continued success – as the business grows and as they continue to help make our community a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.  

Quotes of the Week: Silver Lining

Henry David Thoreau

“All misfortune is but a stepping-stone to fortune.”

Henry David Thoreau

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer

“There is beauty in finding the silver lining, even

through the darkness. It is there if you search for it.”

Tracey Ehman

“It's funny how, when things seem the darkest, moments of beauty present themselves in the most unexpected places.”

Karen Marie Moning, Dreamfever

“By walking on the right path, you create a golden fate for yourself and you also become a silver lining for the others!”

Mehmet Murat ildan


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