Paws and Stripes Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paws and Stripes
Albuquerque, New Mexico
“A strong web presence is imperative for veterans to find us.”Lindsey Stanek, Co-founder and CEOPaws and Stripes has 14 employees.link www.pawsandstripes.orgLindsey Stanek’s husband, Jim, came home with injuries from his third tour in Iraq. Like so many combat veterans, he suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While in treatment, Jim was comforted by therapy dogs. But a trained service dog costs $10,000 to $60,000. The former soldier felt alone until he found Sarge—a shelter dog he trained as his service dog. His life was transformed and he saw an opportunity. He and Lindsey wanted to help other veterans while giving shelter dogs a purpose. The couple founded Paws and Stripes in 2010. Their mission: rescue and train shelter dogs as service dogs for wounded military veterans in New Mexico.
From the start, Google has helped them build their brand and operate the organization. Most of the traffic to their site comes from Google Search. Their Google My Business listing displays their hours, directions, and reviews. They use social media, including YouTube, to engage veterans in discussion and share resources. Google Apps for Work, including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs, help volunteers coordinate efforts. Veterans don't pay a dime to enroll in the service, which is supported by grants and donations, so the website is mobile-optimized to make it as easy as possible for site visitors to make donations from any device.
Paws and Stripes now has 14 employees. They’ve been featured in Time magazine and were the subject of an A&E reality TV series, Dogs of War. Google tools have helped increase their visibility in the U.S. and internationally, which is helping Paws and Stripes raise awareness about PTSD and the value of enlisting shelter dogs to be trained to assist veterans. They’ve accomplished their original mission, but their success in New Mexico now has them considering expanding to other states. “We want to increase our impact in more veterans' lives,” Lindsey says. “That's what we are about."Paws and Stripes has 14 employees.link www.pawsandstripes.org
Los Alamos Co+op Market Los Alamos, New Mexico
Los Alamos Co+op Market
Los Alamos, New Mexico
“I don’t know how we’d compete if we didn’t have a strong web presence to develop our community and build our business.”Steve Watts, General Manager14 quarters of double-digit growthlink www.losalamos.coopThe Los Alamos Co+op Market is a market with a mission, and that is to improve the community. This is no easy task with a population spread across the sprawling landscape of northern New Mexico, explains General Manager Steve Watts, but it’s made easier with the web. “To connect to our community, we rely on the Internet. It makes us feel a little bit more close-knit, even though we have many, many miles between us,” says Steve. Since opening in March of 2011, the member-owned natural and organic market has grown to nearly 2,000 members and 32 employees.
To keep budgets low, Steve takes advantage of the many free and low-cost online tools offered through Google. The market uses Google Maps to direct customers to the market, Google Analytics to monitor and optimize their site, and Google+ to get valuable feedback from the community. “We think customer happiness is a good way of measuring success. Social media helps us see that picture in clearer terms,” he explains. The market also relies on Google Apps for Work to manage daily operations, communicate, and schedule events and classes.
Thanks in part to these tools, the Los Alamos Co+op Market is a $4 million operation that had tremendous growth for its first 3.5 years. Steve explains that it’s only the beginning. With the naming of Valles Caldera in Los Alamos as a national park, he expects their community will soon see many new visitors. And with the opening of a competing market nearby in 2014, he’s focused more than ever on offering the community an experience they won’t find anywhere else—one that begins online. “Retail is very competitive,” Steve says. “You have to use everything you can to stay relevant and make sure technology is helping people find you, and helping people enrich their lives.”14 quarters of double-digit growthlink www.losalamos.coop