A Chalkboarder Fighting Project

We’ve got an exciting new “barter client” to announce this month…

Alive Mixed Martial Arts PDX & Jana Simms Alive Boxing

Alive MMA

Chalkboarder’s CEO Jeffrey J Kingman will be chronicling his journey into boxing and mixed martial arts at this gym, one of the top MMA gyms in North America. His personal journey will be shared on his latest blog, Two Guys and a Fight, and distributed via social media networks.

In addition, Chalkboarder will be providing continual social media consulting to Alive MMA’s management and members.

Two Guys & A Fight – Phase 1 to Strength Hike 2014

Personal Post from Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO of Chalkboarder

I’ve had a dream for a couple years now. This dream goes to my core – it gives to the community. It’s complex and yet simple at the same time. I’d like to lay out the vision here for you.

Imagine a society where no child goes hungry.

I’ve subscribed to this vision since 1994, when I first participated with Share Our Strength. Share Our Strength is a U.S. nonprofit, dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger in the States. As a chef, I participated in numerous fund-raising events and instigated the launch of the Maine Chapter. I was fortunate to travel with Food Network Chefs and Share Our Strength to New Orleans just after Katrina. I have long been passionate about this organization and believe that this society can eradicate childhood hunger.

Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. — Muhammed Ali

That’s the background for this post.

I have a vision to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail (2650 miles) as a progressive fund-raiser for Share Our Strength. I’ve set my start date for March 15th, 2014, to finish by August 15th and to travel North-to-South, from Canada to Mexico.

Most PCT thru-hikers travel South to North, avoiding the remnants of winter on the northern half. My first pledger, Eric Stromquist of Oregon Culinary Institute, challenged me to travel South in exchange for being the first pledge. [thanks, Eric]

This is no easy venture. Snow in Washington/Oregon in March and April can be over six foot deep.

Here’s how the progressive fundraiser works. Every 300 miles, your pledge doubles. If you pledge one cent per mile to start, and I complete all 2650 miles, your pledge becomes $1405. I intend to sign up one-hundred pledging units before starting – which would make (if each started pledging at one-cent per mile) a total funds raise of $140,500.

At mile 2300, with one hundred pledgers (who started with me at one-cent per mile), the total pledge doubles – from $70,000 to $140,000 – with 350 miles left to complete. That’s motivating to finish!

You’re probably going “ok – but what does that have to do with boxing and fighting?” I’ll get to that in a moment…

In 1998, with my then girl-friend (now former wife), I hiked 1700 miles on the Appalachian Trail in five months. I have a good idea of the challenges I’m undertaking in this venture.

In 1998, I was 34. I’d been on my feet 14 hours a day as a chef and soldier for fifteen years. In 2014, I’ll be turning 50. Things are different now. Back then, I didn’t train for a long-distance hike. After a month, we were banging out 20+ mile days in succession. I cannot approach the PCT without training.

Phase One Training – Conditioning

Get in shape. Quit smoking. Increase endurance at high energy expenditures. Develop the body’s ability to avoid injury naturally and without thinking. Develop a high level of physical awareness.

I’ve partnered up with Coach Jana Simms of Jana Simms Boxing – part of one of the top Mixed Martial Arts gyms in the USA, Alive MMA. Jana has heard my vision and I am placing my trust in her to springboard me toward the Trail. In return, I’ll be launching two blogs that detail the training and the thru-hike. The first blog, called Two Guys & A Fight, will journalize my experience learning boxing, muay thai, gi jiu-jitsu and other forms of mixed martial arts.

Someone asked if I was going to fight. Yes, I will – when that time comes.

Phase Two Training – Skills

Long-distance endurance. Situational awareness. Back-country survival. Minimalist expeditions. Biathlon and expedition skiing. Marathons and parkour.

The Pacific Crest Trail is tough. It’s more remote than the Appalachian Trail and higher in elevation.

Medical care is harder to get too. Wild animals are more prevalent.

In 1998, I sought out B&Bs along the way. I traveled with a lot of gear. Gear and comfort slow you down. I’ve set a time limit of 5 months for this venture and will plan this trip as minimally as possible. Gear will be as light and minimal as possible in order to cover as much distance each day that I can.

Phase two focuses on distance endurance, survival skills, injury prevention and winter travel. It also focuses on being easily able to deal with danger – that’s where the sport of parkour comes in.

Phase Three Training – Logistics

Hiking plan, logistics, resupply points, gear. Continued training in MMA, extreme survival and long-distance endurance.

The final phase deals with planning and logistics. In this phase I’ll plan and purchase equipment, rest and resupply stops and conduct quick recon trips to short-hike key sections of the PCT.

By this phase, I’ll be able to hike a week of 20+ mile days with 50+ pounds on back.

Village and Vision

For pledgers, besides the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to eradicate childhood hunger, they will live vicariously through the hike.

I’ll be tweeting, blogging and sharing the entire venture, from phase one training to the actual five months of hiking from Canada to Mexico. Technology by 2014 will allow me to do a weekly “thru hike webinar check in”, post numerous videos from the trail, tweet images and thoughts – you name it. I’ve already launched a second blog, called Strength Hike 2014, where I journal this entire venture.

My intent is to 1) generate a sizeable contribution in the fight against childhood hunger and 2) build a tight-knit community of visionaries through the experience.

What I Ask For

I seek your encouragement.

I won’t be able to make this happen alone.

Please contact me at jkingman (at) chalkboarder.com anytime.

Strength Hike 2014 is 35 months away.


Oregon’s Best Chefs Dominate James Beard NW Nominations

The sassy and irreverent Portland-Man-About-Town Byron Beck nailed it Monday in his blogpost “Chefs Night Out: Beard Celebration & Ace After Party“, when he described Sunday’s James Beard in Oregon Dinner at the Multnomah Athletic Club as being “the food equivalent of the Battle of the Network Stars.”

As beautiful Jennifer Heigl of Daily Blender eloquently stated in her article “Portland Hosts James Beard Awards Pre-Announcement Soiree“, it was the “must-attend spring event in Stumptown”, bringing together in community our best culinarians, foodies and food media, hipster elite and high society (the Schnitzer’s bought the first VIP table).

MAC Executive Chef Philippe Boulot was in fine form, even with arm in sling from a reputed vehicle accident, hobknobbing with every VIP guest and almost everyone else. As host, the MAC’s food station was glamorous, befitting the societal stature the club enjoys here in Portland.

Oregon’s “Culinary Old Guard”, including Philippe, Vitaly Paley, Greg Higgins, Cory Schreiber, Cathy Whims and the culinary team of Caprial & John Pence pressed flesh and passed foods, receiving foodie-love like Eric Clapton or Paul Simon at an Earth Day concert. What a pleasure – for me – having been away from Oregon from 1995-2009, to bear witness to these fine chefs thriving so well. We’re so fortunate in Oregon to live in the food-Eden of North America, leading the US in local chef/local farmer philosophy for thirty years.

The other chefs being honored – Daniel Mondok, Matthew Lighter, Charlene Rollins, Scott Dolich, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, Andy Ricker, Christopher Israel, Oswaldo Bibiano, Jenn Louis, John Gorham, Gabriel Rucker, Jack Czarnecki and Naomi Pomeroy – I have only just begun to get to know over the last two years. It is a distinct pleasure to begin knowing you all.

Nicky USA, perhaps the best meat purveyor in North America, led by the venerable and determined Geoff and Melody Latham, rolled up in style to both the MAC and the Clyde Commons after-party in a stretch white Expedition (yes, I did get to sneak in for a sip of whiskey).

In beverages, while local coffee was not represented, Widmer Bros, Willamette Valley Vineyards, House Spirits, Sokol Blosser, Hawks View Cellars and Anne Amie Vineyards provided delicious sips for a crowd estimated at 650 or so.

Social Media Coverage

Active social media coverage began months ago with a team led by Oregon Culinary Institute and Chalkboarder. Numerous video interviews were produced by Kevin Richards of OCI and distributed on the James Beard in Oregon Facebook Fanpage. The Twitter account @beardinoregon spear-headed the Twitter hashtag #jbfa into Portland’s trending Twitter topic all evening, by tweeting the night’s program in the hours leading up to the dinner.

James Beard Foundation 2011 Nomination Announcement Lunch

For a great description of the media-only lunch at Oregon Culinary Institute on Monday, where James Beard Foundation read-out the final nomination announcements, please visit Daily Blender’s blogpost “Oregon Culinary Welcomes the 2011 James Beard Award Finalist Announcements“. Nice write up over there.

Congratulations are in order to Gabriel Rucker for being one of five Rising Star Chef of the Year nominees. A pleasure to know you, Chef.

Oregon led the category Best Chef Northwest, with nominations going to Christopher Israel, Cathy Whims and Andy Ricker.

Finally, appreciation is due to the students of Oregon Culinary Institute – you represented yourselves with professional distinction in assisting the Chefs, MAC Club, Lane PR and James Beard Foundation in executing this high-profile event.

Northwest Center for Photography – new client

We’re very excited this afternoon to announce a new relationship with Northwest Center for Photography and iWitness Gallery, in Portland Oregon. The Northwest Center for Photography offers classes and workshops for both professional, avocational and beginner photographers. Instructors include the former White House (USA) Chief Photo Editor and Sunset Magazine Director of Photography. The iWitness Gallery offers rotating exhibits from some of the world’s finest photographers.

“We’re extremely excited to consult Northwest Center for Photography and iWitness Gallery on their social web optimization. Compelling imagery is incredibly valuable in a digital world; photography schools, like NCP, that take advantage of the connectivity and community building available through the social web are able to not only achieve full enrollments, but also expand reputations. Photographers able to maximize their presence online can see their art increase in valuation and reputation” says Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO of Chalkboarder.

Chalkboarder is providing Northwest Center for Photography and iWitness Gallery with social media consulting and seminars on social media for professional and avocational photographers.

Brazilian Coffee Exporter NUCOFFEE and PDX-based Pail Design – new client

We’re very excited this morning to announce our newest international client, NUCOFFEE, based in Brazil. NUCOFFEE focuses on providing the best green coffee beans from Brazil to roasters around the world.

Chalkboarder was retained by Pail Design (Portland, OR), marketing representative of NUCOFFEE, to provide complete Social Media Optimization of NUCOFFEE to North America. The mission of this SMO Plan is to connect North American coffee roasters and consumers with Brazilian coffee producers/farmers.

“The beverage industry just became a natural fit for us after working with many beverage clients over the last ten years. We take pride in helping our international clients such as NUCOFFEE (based in Sao Paulo, Brazil) grow and gain awareness through all kinds of mediums while staying on top of the technological wave” said Jessica Bernert, owner of Pail Design.

“Connecting consumers, roasters and coffee shops with top Brazilian coffee farmers and producers is a natural extension of Chalkboarder’s social media competencies. We’ve been in the specialty coffee and tea industry for two years, building relationships internationally for other clients, such as Coffee Fest Tradeshows. Social media optimization provides NUCOFFEE and Pail Design the ability to create a lasting village” says Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO of Chalkboarder. “We’re very excited to work with NUCOFFEE and Pail Design, creating a global community.”

For more information please contact:

Jeffrey J Kingman : (503) 481-2479 : jkingman@chalkboarder.com


Pail Design

Pail Design, is a ten year old, Portland, Ore. Based creative agency which specializes in the food and beverage industry. Made-up of Art Director and owner, Jessica Bernert who has worked continually with Barista Magazine, and clients such as: Aviation Gin, Portland Roasting Coffee, Domain De Canton, with business partner and web director Gregory Spies.

Pail does two things very well: Make things look better for happy clients, and loving what they do, passionately.


NUCOFFEE. You may be trying to imagine the meaning of this unusual name.

NU is a modern abbreviation for new. NUCOFFEE is a new way of thinking the coffee chain. Simple, more humane and transparent.

NUCOFFEE connects growers, cooperatives and roasters in a transparent business partnership. We offer support and integration through commercialization of quality coffee, helping to create a closer relationship between demand and origin.

Our commitment is to value the origin and recognize the producer, promoting quality excellence, adding real value and creating effective evolution throughout the coffee chain.

NUCOFFEE is an initiative of Syngenta, leading company in agribusiness that reinforces our commitment with a sustainable agriculture.


Chalkboarder creates interlocked and interdependent villages for brands, organizations and consumers internationally. We offer strategic brand and concept development, relationship engineering and social web optimization. Discover more of our core competencies here.

Social Media Panel at Foodportunity Serves Up Mike Thelin, Nick Zukin, Gregory Denton & Carrie Welch

February 24, 2011 1 comment



Portland’s food community gathers to talk food with tastes from some of the new kids in town — St.Jack and Aviary, as well as Beaker & Flask, KOi Fusion, Lincoln, Accanto, Genoa and Serratto.

PORTLAND, Oregon (February 15, 2011) – Think of the food blogger you follow daily, but have never met. Or your favorite butcher, artisan chocolate maker or cheese guru. Portland will once again host Foodportunity, an opportunity for people from all different food and beverage careers to mix, mingle and talk about food. Meet local chefs, food writers, photographers, publicists, artisan producers and farmers who have all contributed to Portland’s thriving independent food scene. A regular event in Portland, Foodportunity will be held on Monday, March 7, 2011 from 6-9 p.m. at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are $20 in advance, $26 at a later date (w/ all handling fees) and include bites from a collection of Portland restaurants such as Accanto and Genoa, Aviary, Beaker & Flask, KOi Fusion, Lincoln PDX(Culinary Artistry and Sunshine Tavern opening

Spring 2011)St. Jack, Serratto and The Heathman Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are available now through Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/154180.

“Our last Portland event was a hit and food professionals love the chance to catch up with colleagues or meet someone new in the food community,” said Keren Brown, Foodportunity founder. Foodportunity is one of the few events of its kind that brings Portland’s food community together in one location on one night – a true meeting of the minds and tastebuds!

Grazing is Encouraged…

Portland restaurants will serve up some tasty bites included in the admission. Beer and wine will be available from a cash bar, and a wide range of food products from local companies will be available to sample. Companies interested in showcasing their product may contact Keren Brown, Kerenlovestocook@gmail.com.

Down & Dirty with Social Media

New to the Portland event will be a social media panel made up of some of our favorite Portland social media stars including Mike Thelin, a local food writer, Cooking Channel contributor, and food event maven. Joining Mike on the panel will be Carrie Welch, formerly the Vice President of PR for the Food Network, Nick Zukin, food writer and host of www.portlandfood.org and executive chef Gregory Denton of Metrovino. Learn a few insider tips to starting a social media campaign in your restaurant or food business and share your personal experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

Speed Networking – for Foodies

The first 30 Foodportunity ticket-holders to send an email to infopdx@foodportunity.com will get a seat at the “speed networking” session, hosted by Byron Beck, a freelancer for national and Oregon-based publications, who also appears on television and radio, has his own blog at byronbeck.com and contributes to pdx.eater.com. What better way to meet so many foodies at one time (for 1 minute each) and hand out business cards in this intimate and fast-paced setting.


About The Heathman Restaurant and Bar

The Heathman Restaurant exemplifies the best of the Pacific Northwest using seasonal ingredients inspired by the flavors and cuisine of France. Recipient of the James Beard Best Chef: Pacific NW award in 2001, Philippe Boulot partners with the region’s select growers, producers and vintners to find the highest quality ingredients. Boulot was honored by the Academie Culinaire de France as the Academie’s Chef of the Year. The Heathman Restaurant and Bar was chosen as one of the “Best Bars” by Portland Monthly. For more information, please call 503-790-7752 or visit www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com. The Heathman Restaurant is located in the historic

Heathman Hotel at 1001 SW Broadway in downtown Portland’s cultural district.

About Foodportunity

Keren Brown, aka Frantic Foodie, conceived of the food networking idea known as Foodportunity and has held more than a dozen food-related events last year in both Seattle and Portland. Recently recognized by MarthaStewart.com as “Doer of the Week”, Keren also organizes monthly events for Seattle food bloggers where she holds Q&A sessions with famous authors, tours of food companies and other events to help bloggers interact. Keren’s food events information can be found at Frantic Foodie in the Seattle PI, www.FranticFoodie.com and on the events page of MyNorthwest.com. For more information, visit www.foodportunity.com/portland and follow us @foodportunityOR and #Foodprtpdx and #Foodprt.

A Mildly Dissatisfied Customer Service Experience #Custserv

February 10, 2011 3 comments

Update – Hootsuite kindly responded in the comments.

Many of you know that I have co-hosted a weekly chat on Customer Service since late 2009. With over 77,000 tweets since April in this chat (#custserv), we’ve discussed much about best customer service practices across industries.

Early this week, I had an experience with Hootsuite, that left me disillusioned, mildly dissatisfied and a bit cynical about their Customer Service Department.

I’ve been using Hootsuite for over half a year, to manage both personal and client social media (one of the tools). I love it’s functionality, especially being able to group accounts/streams into tabs.

During the time I’ve been using Hootsuite, there have been several times a day where messages would not post to Facebook personal and fanpage accounts. I’ve dealt with it. I’ve known that they have an API issue with Facebook for months.

I’ve been a paying subscriber since they moved to a subscription format.

Beginning Sunday night, however, it all crashed. I kept getting session key errors and fails to post messages. I spent about eight hours between Sunday night and Tuesday researching their Help FAQ, user community blogs, etc., seeking an answer. Finally, fed up and frustrated, I reached out on Monday afternoon. They got back to me on Tuesday, mid-day. Here’s the exchange:

Jeffrey J Kingman
@hootsuite_help Are you guys having issues with Facebook again?
HootSuite Helpers
@jeffreyjkingman What is the issue you’re experiencing with your Facebook connections? ^DL
Jeffrey J Kingman
@HootSuite_Help complete fail on facebook connectivity, multiple fanpages and personal accts
Jeffrey J Kingman
@HootSuite_Help have already done help blog solutions many times.
HootSuite Helpers
@jeffreyjkingman Have you attempted testing in a new browser after clearing cookies and cache? ^DL
HootSuite Helpers 

@JeffreyJKingman Our operating hours are 9am-6pm PST. Tickets are answered in priority sequence. ^CT
HootSuite Helpers 

@jeffreyjkingman This is a known bug that Facebook has been working on:http://ow.ly/3TlFB ^DL
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@hootsuite_help Update #3 onhttp://ow.ly/3TIFB is dated Dec. 29. Any resolution in sight? #custserv
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@hootsuite_help With 1000s of paying users worldwide, would it make sense to pay $80,000/year for 24 hr help desk?#custserv
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@hootsuite_help Cleared cache/cookies. Tested on Chrome, Rockmelt and Firefox last night. #custserv
HootSuite Helpers 

@jeffreyjkingman It does continue to be a bug with Facebook’s API. We’re anxiously awaiting their solution on this. ^DL
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@hootsuite_help I’m frustrated/not angry. There is a disconnect between your marketing/what product can do.#custserv
Jeffrey J Kingman
@hootsuite_help Hootsuite Brand Promise http://ht.ly/3Tmsh // Product Disconnect http://ht.ly/3Tmut #custserv
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@hootsuite_help I love the product – when it works as promised. #custserv
HootSuite Helpers 

@jeffreyjkingman Please read the Support Captain’s Note on this issue, particularly the section on Facebook functionality http://ow.ly/3Tn4h
Jeffrey J Kingman
@hootsuite_help I have used Hootsuite/FB for months with spotty issue. It’s complete fail at this point.#custserv
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@hootsuite_help Yes, I’ve read that blogpost about a dozen times since November #custserv
HootSuite Helpers 

@jeffreyjkingman Good! Since November, we continue to document the issue. When the status changes, we’ll give everyone an update. ^CT
Jeffrey J Kingman 

@HootSuite_Help So in other words, I should stop depending on Hootsuite to manage Facebook accounts. #custserv

And that is it. No further interaction from Hootsuite.

Here are my points:

  • There’s a broken, or at least mildly unsustainable, brand promise issued by Hootsuite; that one will be able to manage postings across social networks, including Facebook, with ease and dependability. See this snapshot.
  • When a social media tech company has 1000s of paying customers spread around the world, having a help desk that only operates nine hours a day on Pacific time isn’t providing good customer service. What would that cost be? Hiring two reps, one for swing shift and the other for graveyard?
  • I had stated early in the conversation that this issue was repeating and that I had used all of their existing information over the previous months. They then referred me to a blogpost from November (which I’d already read and stated I’d read).
  • The end of the dialogue was weak. Simply congratulating a customer that they’ve done everything suggested, and leaving the customer frustrated – what? It doesn’t feel like good customer service practice.

My point in blogging this is a deep desire to better the practice of customer service across industries. I’m curious to hear what others think; if you would have handled it differently, if you think Hootsuite’s customer service was adequate or excellent (or abysmal) and any other opinions.

Meanwhile, to Hootsuite, I’m not satisfied. I’m not angry either. But the exchange and your Customer Service response felt trivialized; almost a brush off. I’ll keep using it and paying for it, but if another product appears with equal or better features, I’ll probably switch.

Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO, Chalkboarder