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With your help, we hope to do even more in 2015!

The Great Give® 2015 is a 36-hr online giving event starting 8:00 am on May 5th. Every gift to participating nonprofit organizations will be amplified with matching funds provided by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Valley Community Foundation and other generous community sponsors. It’s not too late to become a sponsor of The Great Give® 2015. Contact Sharon Cappetta at or call 203-777-7071 for details.

Please mark your calendars for The Great Give® 2015. In the meantime, stay connected by following® on Facebook and Twitter at /givegreater

Want to be reminded about The Great Give®?
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Hear from people around our region about the inspiring work of our nonprofits:

May is Mental Health Month. Did you know that?

1. About one in five American adults will have a mental health condition in any given year, but only 41 percent of them will seek services.

2. About 10 percent of the American adult population will have a mood disorder, such as bipolar or depression.

3. 18 percent have an anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

May is Mental  Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

4. In 2014, there were an estimated 46 million adults (age 18 or older) in the US with a mental illness.

5. Over 31 Million adults (13.7% of the population) receive mental health services during the past 12 months.

6. Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

7. Serious mental illnesses include: major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder.

8. Every year, as many as 10 million Americans who have serious mental illnesses don’t receive adequate treatment.

9. Mental health conditions are the second most reason employees miss work. And by 2020, major depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.

10. Between 70% and 90% of people with mental illnesses experience a significant reduction of symptoms and an improved quality of life, with proper care and treatment.

Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable, according to Mental Health America. Recovery is possible. But not all of us think about our mental health enough. If you’ve had trouble sleeping lately, if you’ve been experiencing racing thoughts, or if you’re just curious, take the mental health screenings and discuss the results with a care provider.




BHcare is planning a variety of free community events in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month including two art shows – May 8 at Blackstone Library in Branford and May 28 at the Valley Social Club in Ansonia and a Mental Health Awareness Month Block Party on May 28 in Ansonia. All events are free and open to the public.

Click here for a full list of events.   
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Whether you are part of a Fortune 500 corporation, a regional manufacturer, a local distributor, an independent professional service provider, or somewhere in between, marketing is a critical component necessary to increase the value of your business. Take a look at your Marketing Department…how many of the 9 activities below do they handle? If something is missing, it is a sure sign that your marketing efforts are not as effective as they could be; therefore, your company is leaving money and valuable resources on the table.

For starters, the responsibilities of a Marketing Department vary based on several factors including business size, industry, corporate structure, and more. To complicate the matter, a Marketing Department’s role will undoubtedly be different for organizations where the department is considered to be a “cost center” vs. a “revenue center.”

The following are my thoughts on the core activities / responsibilities a Marketing Department must handle. They are not listed in any particular order, as they all should be accomplished if an organization wants to grow the value of its business.

  •  Set the Strategy, Plan the Attack, and Execute.

One of the key activities for a Marketing Department is to integrate an organization’s goals, strengths, channels of distribution, competitive environment, target markets, pricing, core messages, and products into one cohesive document known as the Marketing Strategy. As part of the strategy, the Marketing Department should also develop the list of tactical ideas such as direct mail, print advertising, Pay Per Click Campaign (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that will enable the organization to communicate its message to customers and prospects. With a strategy and tactical ideas in hand, the Marketing Department is now ready to take on the responsibility of executing the programs and initiatives to drive sales and revenue for the organization

  • Focus on the Customer.

Marketers should spend time listening to their customers (and prospective customers) in order to understand their needs and wants regarding a particular product or service. Soliciting thoughts and input from internal stakeholders such as Sales and Customer Service is also appropriate, as these departments are typically closest to the customer.

  • Monitor the Competition.

Learning about, and understanding the competitive landscape is also an important function of the Marketing Department. Marketers should be the “go to people” within an organization to answer the following types of questions: Who is the competition (both direct and indirect)? What do they communicate? Which customers do they serve? Why do customers choose the competitor versus you?

  • Own the Brand.

The perceptions and feelings formed about an organization, its products / services, and its performance is what is known as its “brand.” The Marketing Department is responsible for creating meaningful messages through words, ideas, images, and names that deliver upon the promises / benefits an organization wishes to make with its customers. Furthermore, the Marketing Department is responsible for ensuring that messages and images are delivered consistently, by every member of the organization.

  • Find & Direct Outside Vendors.

Internal Marketing Departments do not create magic alone. Therefore, Marketing needs to source and oversee a group of outside resources (a.k.a. “partners”) such as copywriters, graphic designers, web designers, database specialists, and printers so that a company can get the most “bang” from its marketing efforts.

  • Create New Ideas.

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Whether it’s customer acquisition campaigns, keep-in-touch programs, new product promotions, retention efforts, or something in between, the Marketing Department should ultimately be responsible for developing new ideas that generate revenue for the company. This does not mean that the Marketers have to come up with every idea on their own; however, they need to identify, cultivate, and work with others (see point #4) to execute programs that will create revenue.

  • Communicate Internally.

It is important that the Marketing Department communicates with all departments inside an organization. Since any employee (regardless of position) can support (or damage) a brand, value proposition or even specific program initiatives, the Marketing Department needs to take responsibility for disseminating information throughout the organization (this includes internal education and training when appropriate).

  • Manage a Budget.

Establishing and communicating messages to the marketplace costs money. Therefore, Marketing Departments should be responsible for estimating the anticipated expenditures associated with marketing activities. Once set, Marketers should be held responsible for meeting all budget projections.

  • Understand the ROI.

Since marketing activities are an investment — an investment in time, money, and effort — they should be monitored and measured against specific concrete goals and objectives. Marketing Departments should constantly ask themselves…”What’s my expected return?” Answering this simple, yet often overlooked question will result in better, more accountable decisions.

Initially, this might be a lot to digest, but Mosaic will break it down into manageable steps so that it all becomes clear.

Mosaic Marketing Team has developed best practices for how we engage and work with clients, and we will become part of your marketing team in an organized, calm, focused and non-disruptive manner.

We communicate with you, and your employees, so that you never feel left out of the loop or out of control with what’s going on. We will become your trusted partner with a unified goal – your company’s success!

Contact us today to discuss our processes and how we will assist you with your marketing and advertising needs.Contact Mosaic 203-483-4598 Ext 306 and ask for David Cutler

Mosaic logo only_with_color_circle2-150x150The point of a SWOT analysis is to help you develop a strong business strategy by making sure you’ve considered all of your business’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats it faces in the marketplace.

As you might have guessed from that last sentence, S.W.O.T. is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is an organized list of your business’s greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company (think: reputation, patents, location). You can change them over time but not without some work. Opportunities and threats are external (think: suppliers, competitors, prices)—they are out there in the market, happening whether you like it or not. You can’t change them.

Existing businesses can use a SWOT analysis, at any time, to assess a changing environment and respond proactively. In fact, I recommend conducting a strategy review meeting at least once a year that begins with a SWOT analysis.

New businesses should use a SWOT analysis as a part of their planning process. There is no “one size fits all” plan for your business, and thinking about your new business in terms of its unique “SWOTs” will put you on the right track right away, and save you from a lot of headaches later on.

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis To get the most complete, objective results, a SWOT analysis is best conducted by a group of people with different perspectives and stakes in your company. Management, sales, customer service, and even customers can all contribute valid insight. Moreover, the SWOT analysis process is an opportunity to bring your team together and encourage their participation in and adherence to your company’s resulting strategy. A SWOT analysis is typically conducted using a four-square SWOT SWOT_analysis_exampleanalysis template, but you could also just make a list for each category. Use the method that makes it easiest for you to organize and understand the results. I recommend holding a brainstorming session to identify the factors in each of the four categories. Alternatively, you could ask team members to individually complete a SWOT analysis template, and then meet to discuss and compile the results. As you work through each category, don’t be too concerned about elaborating at first; bullet points may be the best way to begin. Just capture the factors you believe are relevant in each of the four areas.

Once you are finished brainstorming, create a final, prioritized version of your SWOT analysis, listing the factors in each category in order from highest priority at the top to lowest priority at the bottom. Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis I’ve compiled some questions below to help you develop each section of your SWOT analysis. There are certainly other questions you could ask; these are just meant to get you started.

Strengths (internal, positive factors) Strengths describe the positive attributes, tangible and intangible, internal to your organization. They are within your control.

  • What do you do well?
  • What internal resources do you have? Think about the following:
  • Positive attributes of people, such as knowledge, background, education, credentials, network, reputation, or skills.shutterstock_32050237-large
  • Tangible assets of the company, such as capital, credit, existing customers or distribution channels, patents, or technology.
  • What advantages do you have over your competition?
  • Do you have strong research and development capabilities? Manufacturing facilities?
  • What other positive aspects, internal to your business, add value or offer you a competitive advantage?

Weaknesses (internal, negative factors) Weaknesses are aspects of your business that detract from the value you offer or place you at a competitive disadvantage. You need to enhance these areas in order to compete with your best competitor.

  • What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?
  • What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?
  • What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?
  • Does your business have limited resources?
  • Is your business in a poor location?

 Opportunities (external, positive factors) Opportunities are external attractive factors that represent reasons your business is likely to prosper.

  • What opportunities exist in your market or the environment that you can benefit from?
  • Is the perception of your business positive?
  • Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market the create an opportunity?
  • Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats (external, negative factors) Threats include external factors beyond your control that could place your strategy, or the business itself, at risk. You have no control over these, but you may benefit by having contingency plans to address them if they should occur.

  • Who are your existing or potential competitors?
  • What factors beyond your control could place your business at risk?
  • Are there challenges created by an unfavorable trend or development that may lead to deteriorating revenues or profits?
  • What situations might threaten your marketing efforts?
  • Has there been a significant change in supplier prices or the availability of raw materials?
  • What about shifts in consumer behavior, the economy, or government regulations that could reduce your sales?
  • Has a new product or technology been introduced that makes your products, equipment, or services obsolete?

Example of a SWOT Analysis For illustration, here’s a brief SWOT example from a hypothetical, medium-sized health care organization:

Strengths Weaknesses
  • A new and/or innovative service
  • Capabilities or cost advantages
  • Cultural connections
  • Extraordinary reputation
  • Other aspects that add value
  • special expertise and/or experience
  • Superior location or geographic advantage
  • Absence of marketing plan
  • damaged reputation
  • Gaps in capabilities or service areas
  • lagging in technology
  • Management or staff problems
  • own known vulnerability
  • Poor location or geographic barriers
  • undifferentiated service lines
(External) Opportunities

  • A market vacated by a competitor
  • Availability of new technology
  • changes in population profile or need
  • Competitor vulnerabilities
  • lack of dominant competition
  • New market segment that offer improve profit
  • New vertical, horizontal, or niche markets

  • A competitor has an innovative product or service
  • Adverse changes in reimbursement or regulations
  • Changing insurance plans and/or contracts for major area employers
  • Competitors have superior access to channels of distribution
  • Economic shifts
  • Loss of key staff or associates
  • New or increased competition
  • seasonality
  • shifts in market demand or referral sources


Mosaic logo only_with_color_circle2-150x150

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Mosaic:  Outdoor Signage & Custom Banners

We make indoor and outdoor custom banner signs of all types for a variety of promotional purposes including sales and special events, product identification, school banners, church banners, sporting event banners, sponsor banners, trade show banners, and directional banners. Our high quality printing combined with our huge variety of banner materials means we can produce custom banners to suit any application. We offer a large selection of reinforced vinyl banner materials in various weights and finishes including some that can be printed on both sides that popular for both indoor and outdoor use.

banner 1

We have synthetic banner materials that are great for indoor use, a wide range of fabric banner options as well as many options for mesh banners and a selection of environmentally friendly banner materials as well.     Some of our available materials below show the selection of different custom banner products we offer. The descriptions for each material will give you an idea of the qualities and uses that each material is designed for.  All our custom banner printing is full color, which means that you can use any number of colors for your banner without it changing the cost.

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Please note the following list is a sample of major categories of our materials.

Reinforced Vinyl Reinforced vinyl is a standard for outdoor banners, as the scrim reinforcement gives them excellent tear strength, but they are also popular indoors. While vinyl banners make many people think of low-end products, there are a huge range of vinyl banner materials, from low end to high end.

Mesh Mesh is popular for both indoor and outdoor use. Generally, it’s used outdoors to reduce wind resistance, but indoors for trade show use, it’s popular because of its semi-transparent look. Using mesh you can have printed wall panels that enclose your booth space without blocking the view in our out of your space. There are a wide range of weights and styles available.

Fabrics Our fabrics are all direct printed with either water based or solvent based inks, and are specially designed for that purpose. There are a wide range of weights, finishes and textures available.

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Mosaic Signage is a Sign Company can provide for you the best quality signage out there for prices you can’t beat! Custom make your signs with Mosaic graphics design personnel. Feel free to call our customer service representatives with any questions. They will be happy to assist you on your way to success!

Mosaic Printing, Signage and Marketing Services

250 West Main St

Branford, CT 06405