About Karen Hendricks

Professionally: HendricksCommunications.com For Fun: OfftheMerry-Go-Round.com

Gettysburg’s Growing Culinary Scene

New: Ribeye breakfast sliders marry breakfast and lunch on mini croissants at Christine’s Cafe, Gettysburg

“The most famous small town in America” is gaining a reputation as one of Pennsylvania’s new culinary hot spots. Gettysburg not only boasts a thriving downtown restaurant district, but an abundance of outlying, rural restaurants dotting the surrounding agricultural landscape.

Gettysburg’s growing reputation as a mecca for foodies is thanks in great part to the talented chefs locating to the area. I had the pleasure of interviewing two of the newest chefs in town, for two magazine articles, both published this month (October 2017).

Bon appetit!

At the Crossroads of American Fusion: Christine’s Café in GettysburgSusquehanna Style, October 2017 – with photography by Jen Foster, The Premise Studio

 

The Parrot: A Colorful History & Bright Future, Celebrate Gettysburg, Cover Story, Sept/Oct 2017 – with photography by Casey Martin, Casey Martin Photography

 

The Parrot, Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg

Chef Keith Lowman, Christine’s Cafe, Gettysburg

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Introducing TheBurg

Harrisburg, PA

By Karen Hendricks

Central Pennsylvania is one of the most unique media markets in the country. That’s because unlike most markets geographically focused on one city, the Central PA media market combines four cities clustered together, along with additional medium-sized outlying towns. Often called “Hilly,” for its acroynm of HLLY, the area encompasses the capital city of Harrisburg, along with Lancaster, Lebanon and York.

Each city has its own unique personality, yet together the cities of HLLY form the heart of central PA–a region where urban landscapes give way to rolling farmland, where technology and tourism merge with manufacturing and agriculture to form the top industries.

My career, geographically speaking, has come full circle. I began my work in the HLLY market by living and working in Harrisburg in 1993; a recent move back to the Harrisburg area after 22 years in the York/Adams region feels like a homecoming of sorts.

So I consider it an exciting honor to begin writing for a Harrisburg-based publication that I’ve admired for its quality of writing and journalistic integrity for a long tme, TheBurg.

I hope you enjoy reading my first two pieces for TheBurg, with links below:

Born to Run: Fred Joslyn takes his love of running around the midstate, across the world (TheBurg, August 2017)

Hoppy Trail: Best of the West Shore featured in the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail (TheBurg, July 2017)

Al’s of Hampden in Enola

 

Susquehanna Valley Staycations

By Karen Hendricks

A “staycation” is defined as “a vacation spent at home or nearby,” according to Merriam-Webster. Here in the Susquehanna Valley of Central Pennsylvania, there are infinite possibilities for summer staycations, saving traveling time and shrinking vacation budgets, with the added benefit of seeing our hometowns in a new light. In fact, some of the state’s top tourism destinations are right under our noses.

One of the most authentic staycation experiences can be found at one of the “farm stays” within A Lancaster County Farm Stay, an association of 20 bed and breakfasts and guesthouses that welcome families with children. Not only do these accommodations provide pretty, pastoral farm settings, but they also offer behind-the-scenes tours and opportunities for couples or families to experience farm life.

I headed to Airy Hill Farm B&B to preview their rustic, back-to-basics farm charm.

“Airy Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast: Life as it should be,” reads the sign aside the winding driveway, in the midst of lush, rolling green farmland, shady clusters of trees and several babbling brooks. Situated in northern Lancaster County, just a few miles from Lebanon County, Airy Hill Farm B&B is named for its picturesque
Lancaster County backroad, Airy Hill Road, in Manheim…. click here to read the full article, Susquehanna Valley Staycations: Finding Farm Charm and More–Locally, a cover story in the June issue of Susquehanna Style.

Enjoy a few photos I snapped along the way, below! Fun fact: I covered this story in between snowstorms during the winter of 2017, attempting to make the photography look as “summery” as possible for publication in June.

Coulda Woulda Shoulda: Baseball Stories You May Not Have Heard (Yet)

By Karen Hendricks

Just in time for summer, York County author Chris Williams has released a book of 12 little-known yarns about American’s favorite pasttime, baseball. I am so proud of Chris, a former radio colleague who is a fellow writer. Best practices call for us writers to write about what we know, and Chris certainly knows about baseball.

Could the 1966 Cubs be the best team to ever finish in last place? Would Greg Luzinski, Fernando Valenzuela, or Eric Gagne have had the careers they did, if they hadn’t been September call-ups? Should Dick Allen be finally elected to the Hall of Fame? Chris tackles these questions and more, including the unusual case of a rookie who hit .313 in his rookie season only to be sent back to the minors the following year.

The book is sprinkled with statistical analysis, along with human interest stories, and nostalgic memories. Chris recounts a childhood trip to one of baseball’s historic ballparks with his own father, and he transcribes an invaluable recording made by his great-grandfather Jacob “Jake” Jeremiah who played professional baseball in the early 1900s. Baseball simply must be in Chris Williams’ blood.

Congrats, Chris, on the fantastic book, perfect for summertime reading by fans of all ages.

Click here for more information and ordering! 

Savor Gettysburg Food Tours: As Authentic as it Gets

Straight from the vine…

One of the biggest buzz words right now is “authentic.”

According to Merriam-Webster, “authentic” is defined as “real or genuine; not copied or false; true and accurate.”

Chances are, whatever your field of work, the concept of authenticity has touched or reshaped your work because it’s being driven by consumer demand. (To delve deeper, check out communications agency Cohn & Wolfe’s recent study examining the relationships between consumers and authentic brands.)

I think one of the most significant markets where authenticity counts is the food industry. Studies show that more consumers care about where and how their foods are grown and made, whether they are organic, pasture-raised, cage-free, and local. (Click here for a recent Forbes’ article detailing 2017 food trends, with “Sustainability” as #5.)

So, being a foodie myself, and spending a good deal of time writing about food, I want to shine a spotlight on a friend who is doing an amazing job creating fun, authentic food tours and experiences. I first met Lori while covering a foodie magazine assignment, Beech Springs Farm’s Farm-to-Table Dinner Series, where she is one of the organizers. (Click here for the delicious backstory!)

Lori Korczyk created Savor Gettysburg Food Tours, and last summer successfully launched a new offshoot tour, the Gettysburg Farmers’ Market Tour & Cooking Class. I tagged along with a fellow foodie friend, and we had a blast. Try this for authentic:

  • The tour began directly at the Gettysburg Farmers’ Market on Lincoln Square, led by Lori and Chef Jeremy Schaffner
  • All of the tour participants–8 women who were fellow foodies–were lovely to meet
  • We met real farmers, honey producers, cheese makers, etc directly at their stands, and they chatted about their unique products
  • We all contributed ideas and let the “produce/products of the day” dictate a working menu and recipes (click here for a video clip)
  • Heading back to the professional kitchen at the Adams County Arts Council, we unpacked all of our “finds” and Chef Jeremy put us each to work: washing, slicing, peparing ingredients
  • Chef Jeremy led numerous instructional talks, showing us how to prepare key ingredients, how to tie a pork tenderloin, how to prepare a tartine (click for video clips)
  • The day culminated in an absolutely delicious summer meal–prepared by us, directed by Chef Jeremy, with produce/products we had selected directly from farmers/producers that morning…
  • Lori enhanced our meal with local wines and ciders, and lots of fun conversation flowed between our new foodie friends

Enjoy a visual tour, below; click on any photo to arrow through a slideshow. Visual storyteling is, after all, proof of an authentic experience!

Notes:

Savor Gettysburg is launching a new authentic tour for 2017: The Field-to-Fork Agritourism Experience. The original “Savor Gettysburg” tours kick off the 2017 season this weekend (April 1), and the Farmers’ Market/Cooking Class tours begin in June.

 

Carlisle: All-American Spirit and History

Colonial-style China, featured at 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, Carlisle

Colonial-style China, featured at 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, Carlisle

By Karen Hendricks

As we celebrate Presidents Day, here’s a piece of Pennsylvania-themed presidential trivia:

Only one president has ever acted as commander-in-chief of troops in the field. Which president? What was the situation?

Answer: President George Washington acted as commander-in-chief of troops while staying in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for a week in 1794 when he organized federal suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. That’s because Carlisle was Washington’s choice for the location of our first arsenal and school for the U.S. Army.

These fascinating facts relate to two stories I recently covered for two regional magazines. Both stories are based in Carlisle, a quaint, charming historical town that also features a fun, hip vibe.  In 2015, Carlisle was named one of America’s Top 100 Best Small Towns in 2015 by Livability.com (Carlisle came in at #16).

feb-2017-susquehanna-style-coverAll-American Spirit: Carlisle’s 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, published in the February 2017 issue of Susquehanna Style, is a restaurant review for popular downtown spot, 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion. It’s all very straightforward and comfortable: a simple and traditional American menu, blended with whiskey and history. Click here to read more!

Also location in Carlisle, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) is considered the nation’s leading cover-jan-feb-2017-celebrate-gettysburgorganization dedicated to educating and preserving the legacy of Americans who have served their country as U.S. army soldiers.

The range, depth, and breadth of USAHEC is staggering: a 54-acre site housing 16 million military items (and growing), including what’s considered the world’s largest collection of Civil War photographs with a grand total of 1.7 million military photographs. USAHEC not only includes an indoor museum component, but also outdoor exhibits, and an extensive library, archives, and artifacts collection—all free and open to the public. “It’s one of the treasures of our region,” says Aaron Jumper, communications coordinator of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.

Read more: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center: Telling the U.S. Army’s Story, One Soldier at a Time, published in the Jan/Feb issue of Celebrate Gettysburg magazine.

And enjoy a collection of behind-the-scene photos taken during my research and interviews for both stories! (Click on any photo to arrow through the collection.)

Related Links:

1794 The Whiskey Rebellion

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau

Show Your LinkedIn Photo a Little Love

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By Karen Hendricks

Branding has become personal. According to a recent article in Forbes, “The term branding has long been relegated to companies, but today almost every individual has a personal brand… a digital footprint in the sands of time and space, crowd sourced by friends, colleagues, and bosses.”

Perhaps the most important personal branding takes place on LinkedIn, social media for professionals, with our profile pictures playing a starring role.

linkedin_logo_initialsLet’s face the facts, pun intended, and review 10 simple guidelines to be sure your LinkedIn image is picture-perfect:

  • Use an image that depicts you looking into the camera as directly as possible. Think about how you would approach a potential contact or employer in person—you would establish eye contact, look at them directly, and smile.
  • The correct image size is a  minimum of 200×200 pixels. Don’t upload an image that is smaller. You can upload a larger image size (500×500 pixels, for example), as long as it’s square in dimensions.
  • Use a professionally-taken image if possible. LinkedIn is social media’s professional marketplace. Your image could form a first impression by a potential employer, and it’s the image your colleagues and network will associate with you.
  • If you don’t have a professionally portrait, then ensure your photo has a clean, plain background.
  • Don’t lurk in the shadows of LinkedIn by leaving the standard gray shadowy image in place of your real photo.
  • The photo should be a headshot; not a full body shot.
  • Wear a complimentary color but avoid busy patterns. Dress to impress!
  • Use a current image; nothing more than five years old at most.
  • Don’t use a logo or graphic design for your personal account; that would be appropriate on your company page however.
  • Smile! Your photo should be warm, genuine, and professionally pleasant.

Perusing LinkedIn, here are a number of faux pas I recently spotted in profile pictures (try not to LOL):

  • Sunglasses.
  • A pair of sneakers. Yes, you read that correctly. Simply a pair of sneakers as a profile picture. I don’t believe he/she was a professional athlete either.
  • Lots of gray “blank” LinkedIn photos. How will people recognize you?
  • A child’s hand caught in a woman’s hair. Whoops, it must have been a family photo, with the child cropped out. Ouch.
  • A smiling couple. Who is the contact—the man or the woman?
  • A man photographed with his dog. (He wasn’t a K9 officer or veterinarian!)
  • A man posing with his motorcycle.
  • Photos obviously taken during a summer vacation. Is this an image you want to project to your professional contacts?

Now for a few samples of outstanding images I gathered, with permission, from a few of my contacts on LinkedIn:

Jen and Joseph, below, both stand out against plain backgrounds, with pops of color in their professional attire, and friendly smiles. Perfect!

Jen

Jen

joe

Joseph

Meantime, Geoffrey and Trish, below, successfully incorporate a dash of professional personality into their profile pictures. Geoffrey, an artist, is photographed with one of his works behind him. Trish, a marketing strategist whose company name includes the word “Strategic,” strikes a thoughtful, reflective pose and evokes the feeling that she is indeed strategizing. Great personal branding!

Geoffrey

Geoffrey

trish

Trish

What does your “personal branding” and profile photo say about you? Show yourself some “LinkedIn love” and update your photo to reflect your professional personality!

Sources:

LinkedIn Help: Profile Picture

Forbes