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Denver business extends Relay fundraiser

SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR of Denver is raising money for the eastern Lincoln County Relay for Life.
Owner Sherrй DeMao started raising funds during her 21st anniversary celebration of her business on Saturday, Jan. 21.
“We’re going to have a team in future years for the relay, but we decided this would be a good way for us to get involved this year,” DeMao wrote in an email.
For her recent party, she asked that each guest donate $21 to the eastern Lincoln County relay.
A final figure of the money raised will be released after Feb. 21.
“People that couldn’t attend the party said they wanted to contribute, so we’ve extended the deadline a month from the night of the party,” said DeMao.
She added that by raising funds for this important cause, her party became an event with a purpose.
In a Jan. 11 Lincoln Times-News article, Patsy Black, chairperson for the East Lincoln Relay for Life, said this would be the Relay’s first fund-raiser for 2006.
“It’s really good that Sherrй’s doing this for the Relay,” said Black.

Bucking the system
DeMao’s business philosophy is something she lives by in her daily life.
“You can fish for a man and feed him for a day,” she said. “Or, how I like to do things, you can teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.”
After relocating her business to the Denver area in 1993, she started focusing on medium-to-small businesses.
“All full-service marketing firms were focusing on large businesses and clients and not small business, which is about 85 percent of all business. Period,” said DeMao.
She added that she really likes to buck the system in every aspect of her business.
“From the way we approach our clients to training them to handle some or all of their own marketing in-house, we’re very non-traditional,” said DeMao.
One way DeMao bucks the system is the method of analyzing a client’s marketing needs.
“We’ll look at a client’s operational resources first including people and technology, then we look at finances,” said DeMao.
Another part of the trend of bucking that system is the location of SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR in Denver, in an A-frame house on N.C. 16 across from the Westport Food Lion.
“We’ve had our eye on this house for a very long time,” said DeMao. “In fact, 13 years ago, one of my first clients in Denver operated out of the garage area of this same house.”
DeMao said the house once housed a pottery store but had sat vacant for a number of years.
“It’s ironic that the house came open for us because this is pretty much where my business in Denver started,” she said.
A third way that DeMao herself bucks the system is being an advocate for small business.
“I go to Washington, D.C., about two times per year as a small business advocate,” she said. “I’ve always encouraged business owners to get involved in the political side of running their business.”
The ultimate goal for clients of SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR is to become what DeMao calls “savvy marketers.”
“That’s our whole mission, to have business owners and managers become those ‘savvy marketers’ and create those same kind of marketers among their employees,” she said. “Then, when they get too busy to do their own marketing, we’re there for them.”
The methods that DeMao and her staff use are the coaching aspects of marketing that started with the personal computer/desktop publishing phase that started in the early 1990s.
“I saw the need that people wanted to do their own marketing,” said DeMao. “I also wanted to be sure people did things right. People thought when I first started 21 years ago that I was crazy.”
When she started her company in 1984, she was a company of one.
Now, she’s a part of a team.
“We tell our business owners that eventually, it’s not going to be just them,” said DeMao. “In the future, it’s the team. The team is important for the company’s growth.”

SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR is located on N.C. 16 across from the Westport Food Lion in Denver. For more information call (704) 483-2941.

Sherrй DeMao, owner of SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR, welcomed party-goers to the 21st anniversary celebration that took place Saturday, Jan. 21. DeMao used the occasion to raise money for the eastern Lincoln County Relay for Life, where she asked guests to donate $21 each. Chris Dean / LTN Photo

by Jon Mayhew

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