At our monthly GWIN meeting two business owners have the opportunity to give the GWIN membership an exclusive look inside their business. This month two of our Executive members, Daina Makinson, Newsletter Editor and Leah DeSpiegelaere, Hospitality Coordinator took the stage. For those who could not attend, or perhaps you would like to enjoy again, take a read below for both of their Business Bios!

Daina MakinsonDaina Makinson – Snap Shot Solutions


Are you drowning in your digital photos? I get asked by overwhelmed people all the time where do they start to get control of their digital mess? As we continue to snap photos at an alarming rate (1.7 trillion photos will be taken in 2017) and don’t do anything about the photo clutter, we are in danger of losing the stories of our lives. How do you take all the devices with photos and turn them into a family album that everyone can cherish? Or create a private family website where all can safely and securely share and enjoy? It all starts with the first step.

Six Tips on How to Organize Your Digital Photos

1. Gather all your devices and copy the photos into one single folder

– Devices will include smartphones, cameras, flash drives, memory cards, CDs and DVDs, and external hard drives

– Back up this original “photo mess” folder in two other locations

2. Remove the all duplicates

– Download a duplicate removing software app. You may choose to opt for a free program or use a paid one. I recommend Duplicate Cleaner Pro by Digital Volcano.

– Remove all duplicates to a separate folder titled DUPLICATES*

3. Sort chronologically

– Create folders by year and subfolders by year-month

– Move all photos to the corresponding dated folders

4. Rename all photos

– Sort the photos in each folder chronologically

– Rename groups of photos by the who-what-where of the story starting with the numerical year-date in the name i.e. 2017-10 Makinson Family Thanksgiving Dinner Toronto

– Create subfolders for each month by the unique groupings, then move photos to appropriate folders

5. Edit series photographs

– Using the duplicate remover program, view groups of photos that are multiple images of the same subject – i.e. those five pictures you took all at once to make sure everyone’s eyes were open and looking at the camera!

– Select best photos to keep and move all unwanted photos to a separate folder titled EDITS*

6. Tag photos for easy search-ability

– Using the tag function of your operating system tag all photos with pertinent names of family and friends, locations and events

Once the entire collection is complete back it up in two locations i.e. External hard drive and a cloud service. Once your photos are safely backed up and secure you can then delete the duplicates and edit folders if you wish.

When these six steps are complete you will have a beautifully curated collection in a photo ecosystem that you can easily manage and maintain. Then you are ready to create that family year book you’ve always craved!

Want to learn more about how to do-it-yourself? Register for my 2 hour course “Digital Photo Organizing” at Upper Grand District School Board Continuing Education. Click THIS LINK to find out more.

Leah LandriaultLeah DeSpiegelaere – Best Version Media


Leah DeSpiegelaere (pronouced “Duh-Spee-Gler”) came to Guelph back in 2000 to complete her Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing. After graduation she spent 7 years in Arts Administration helping theatres and orchestras sell subscription series tickets then moved on to corporate retail working for Cadillac Fairview shopping centres for another 6. Through the career transitions with different companies, Leah always found great joy in the connections that she made with and for the individuals that she encountered. And that is what she loves the most about the neighbourhood magazines she is currently producing … having the ability to connect residents in neighbourhoods with each other and with the local businesses that surround them.

In addition to the Guelph publications, Best Version Media magazines serve over 500 neighbourhoods in North America, 100 of which are in Canada. So, though Leah’s day-to-day work is extremely local, she does have the support of a larger organization behind her.

When you get your hands on the publication I’m sure you will think “Yes Leah, it is a magazine. I have seen a magazine it feels like a magazine and I’m sure it works just like a magazine.”

But these publications are unlike any other magazine you have seen ….. for a few key reasons.

First is the content — On the front cover each month, we feature a family that lives in the Neighbourhood. The only qualification is that they live in the geography in which it is delivered. (We will get to that in a moment) …… Because of the feature they will become celebrity for the month and be able to meet people in their neighbourhood they didn’t know where there before. The rest of the content is created by the businesses who sponsor the publication and residents who read it. As the Publisher, it is Leah’s responsibility to show this opportunity as a communication tool and facilitate its creation.

The publications do not exist until they are fully sponsored in to the neighbourhood by the businesses that you see it its pages. But, once it is there, it is serving a purpose to bring neighbours together in a way that no other publication can.

The Second difference, is the distribution. Leah is currently engaging exclusively with neighbours in the areas of Westminster Woods, Pine Ridge and & Rolling Hills . The South End issue is exclusively delivered free of charge to 3800 residents in that geography . We do use the services of Canada Post so the issue lands in mailboxes and we do know that we have a 89% open rate driven by the family story alone. Unlike a flyer that could be considered junk mail by some, our publications are being read and enjoyed rather than tossed aside.

In addition to South End of Guelph, Leah is working with the neighbours of Exhibition Park. And recently, I have welcomed a new Publisher to the city who will be working on Kortright Hills. Eventually, as others join the team, we will be launching up to 9 magazines in various areas including East End Watson Parkway, Old University, West End Willow Road, etc

The THIRD difference is longevity. Unlike some other publications, ours do not offer 1 week 1 month 3 month short term campaigns. All of the Sponsors you see in those pages are with us for 12, 24 or 36 months. BVM is not a quick fix call to action method. Our focus is on long-term branding, building trust and creating relationships.

One analogy I always like is that of a gardener and their seeds. The question is, would you rather be given 100 apple seeds, but only enough water to water them once. Or, only 1 seed, but enough water to hydrate and care for your apple tree for as long as you need to see it flourish year after year. The 100 seeds is equivalent to some publications that promise distribution of 10s of thousands but they are only distributed once a year to random locations around the city. On the other hand, a Best Version Media neighbourhood magazine is only 1 publication with a distribution of around 3000 but you are able to care for the neighbourhood month after month and keep a closer eye on your message.

So Marketing & Communications has been my career for a number of years. This just happens to be the product I have wrapped myself around at the moment. I get great joy in watching businesses explore new forms of advertising and sponsorship and I recognize that this is only one piece of their communications puzzle. So, if you or any of your contacts are interested to share their story with me over a cup of coffee, I would love to hear from you. If partnership is possible, that is great for us both, but if nothing else, we can say that we have met and have learned more about each other.

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Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by GWIN