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by Ed Duffy

Keri Funkhouser has spent 15 years helping non-profits such as Goodwill, YMCA and The Chamber of Commerce/EDC with their marketing communications, branding and overall strategic messaging. Now she wants to bring her expertise to the small business owner and entrepreneur as well as non-profits with her own business, Funkonnect Media and Brand Management.

Keri didn't exactly stumble into marketing and branding. She had dropped out of high school and went to work managing restaurants for 10 years. But she had her sights on something else. She worked two jobs to put herself through school at Pikes Peak Community College and then CSU Pueblo. She received a degree in mass communications with a dual emphasis in advertising and public relations. She graduated with honors and began working as an intern and networking, making the contacts and gaining the experience she needed to land the job she wanted. She spent 8 years working for Goodwill in marketing communications before becoming Regional Marketing Director at the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region. She later went on to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC. In 2018 she decided to go independent. Media and brand management is a field Keri sought out and aggressively pursued, to say the least. It's nice to know you're hiring somebody who is that into their work.

Keri Funkhouser

Funkonnect offers marketing and branding services on a project basis. They can take on a single campaign, like a new product or service launch, an event or sale, or help you create and implement a complete, long term marketing and branding strategy. Services include copy writing/editing, graphic design, digital marketing, ad placement, social media management, content creation, SEO, public relations including press release writing and submission, event planning and marketing and photography among other things.

Keri explained that every business is unique and has its own story. She helps her clients discover, clarify and present that story with the aim of creating a great overall experience for the customer that will be remembered and shared.

Rates are project based and can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the size and scope. It all starts with a 2-hour or so sit down, where Keri and the client work out things like goals and budgets. You can reach Keri Funkhouser of Funkonnect at 719-238-0383, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website at

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By Ed Duffy

Independent Records of Fountain, Colorado was among the businesses that needed a new home in preparation for the renovation of the Fountain Valley Shopping Center.

They are now open for business at 6436 S. Hwy 85, Ste L, behind the Applebees and IHOP and next door to King's Chef Diner.

Independent Records offers cd's, new and vintage vinyl, concert and event tickets, smoking accessories, t-shirts, posters and more. They're open daily from 10 am to 9 pm.

You can reach Independent Records at 719-393-1255 and visit them on Facebook at

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Press Release (PRNewswire)

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) today announced the launch of STANLEY Earth™, the company's new global brand for purpose-driven product technologies that innovate for social good.

Through this brand, the company will leverage its core technology expertise and broad partnership network to create new solutions that address unmet societal needs, including critical sustainable development challenges such as water, energy, and climate.

"The world is facing a growing number of increasingly critical societal issues today, and as a company that makes products and services that help create and shape our world, we have an obligation to leverage our resources and expertise to create new solutions that address these challenges," said Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO Jim Loree. "Our new STANLEY Earth brand is a reflection of our commitment to 'Innovating with Purpose,' which is a core pillar of our CSR Strategy and 22/22 Vision."

"These products will play a key role in helping our company create positive change and get us closer to achieving our goal of enhancing the lives of 500 million people. Our basic goal is to be a force for good in alignment with our purpose, for those who make the world," Loree added.

STANLEY Earth's first product is NADI™, an eco-friendly, low cost solar-powered water pump that provides reliable irrigation for agricultural applications.

The new technology is now available in India and offers a sustainable alternative to the 25 million inefficient alternating current (AC) and diesel pumps used for agriculture, which draw almost 20% of the electricity generated in the country and pose an environmental pollution challenge.

"Nearly two years ago, we set out on a mission to deliver a self-sustaining irrigation solution that can provide India'smillions of farmers with a solution to one of their key challenges – reliable and consistent access to clean water," said Ramana Gogula Vice President of Clean Technology Innovation at Stanley Black & Decker. "Through the innovation of our STANLEY team and collaboration with key partners, we've delivered an affordable solution that can help transform not only the lives of farmers in India, but also the lives of farmers in any part of the world that faces water scarcity."

NADI™, which means "river" in Hindi, uses STANLEY's highly efficient brushless direct current (BLDC) motor technology to drive the pump and solar panels to power the entire system. The smart pump has an intelligent controller that enables micro-irrigation, and it incorporates an IOT-based agricultural platform complete with sensors that connect to the cloud and mobile networks, providing real-time data that enables farmers to efficiently monitor system performance and conduct preventive maintenance as needed.

NADI™ was piloted in India with a farmer who was initially growing only fruits and vegetables. After installing the technology on his farm, he was able to add rice to his crop mix and manage his water supply well enough to produce multiple harvests per year. The smart pump will be made available to rural farmers across India through a strong partnership network that includes Agri-Retail Networks, distributors and systems integrators. Stanley Black & Decker will also be soon announcing an innovative financial mechanism that will help make this technology affordable for farmers in India.

In addition to its introduction in India, the STANLEY Earth team is exploring opportunities to expand its availability to Africa, South America, and South East Asia, all water-scarce regions where this technology can provide significant value to farmers.

"NADI™ embodies the mission of STANLEY Earth, but it is the first of many products to come – we're excited about the difference we can make," Gogula added.


For more information on STANLEY Earth or NADI™, please visit


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By Ed Duffy

Valley Espresso, is the last business to move out of the Fountain Valley Shopping Center at Highway 85 and Main Street. The shopping center is being prepared for a major makeover, which will first involve running City of Fountain water to the whole thing, so it may be a while before any new stores open for business there.

Don’t worry though. Your favorite local coffee shop is only moving across the highway. They’re setting up shop at the Security Shopping Center (where Ross is) on the corner of Security Blvd and Main Street in Security-Widefield.

Owner Ethan Laberge says he hopes to be open regular hours this weekend.

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Press Release

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers®, a fast-casual restaurant concept, opens Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 4445 Venetucci in front of Walmart and Sam's Club. It marks the fifth Freddy's restaurant in the Colorado Springs area. Freddy’s is known for its cooked-to-order steakburgers made with lean 100 percent ground beef, Vienna® Beef hot dogs, crispy shoestring fries and frozen custard treats made with freshly churned chocolate or vanilla frozen custard.

“We’ve enjoyed getting to know the Colorado Springs community since we first opened in the area in 2012,” said Kyle Gerstner, franchise owner. “We look forward to making Freddy’s a convenient dining option for guests in the southern part of the city.”

The 3,213 square-foot, freestanding restaurant sets 84 guests and has additional seating on the patio. Drive-thru service is also available. Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“Our teams work hard to provide a relaxing environment in the restaurant, focusing on cleanliness and quality service,” said Gerstner. “We hope families in the nearby residential neighborhoods will stop by for a quick bite to eat and get a taste of what Freddy’s has to offer.”

Co-founded in 2002 by Scott Redler and Bill, Randy and Freddy Simon, Freddy’s opened its first location in Wichita, Kansas, offering a unique combination of cooked-to-order steakburgers seasoned with Freddy’s Famous Steakburger & Fry Seasoning®, Vienna® Beef hot dogs, shoestring fries paired with Freddy’s Famous Fry Sauce® and frozen custard freshly churned throughout the day. Today, more than 300 Freddy’s restaurants serve 32 states across the nation from California to Pennsylvania, Virginia and down the East Coast states to Florida. Freddy’s has been named No. 1 on Forbes Best Franchises to Buy, Franchise Times magazine’s 2018 Fast & Serious top 10, Entrepreneur’s 2018 Franchise 500 top 50, Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest-Growing Private Companies” 2018 list and many other nationwide and local industry awards.