Feb / 12

Customer Service – Above and Beyond

233827LOGOTwo years ago I had the privilege of staying at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in western Pennsylvania. I was on a job for a client who paid for my stay at the resort; not a bad gig, I must say.  Nemacolin is truly a 5-star facility, it’s a gorgeous place with huge rooms – mine even had a chandelier. When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by a professional staff of valets and bell hops, everyone I encountered was courteous, professional, and completely focused on making my experience comfortable and relaxing.

So, I was quite perplexed the next morning when I jumped into the shower to get ready for my day and the shower head didn’t seem to be working properly. The stream of water coming out of the shower was really wimpy, so I tried adjusting the shower head but couldn’t seem to get it working the way I thought it should.  Since I had a very busy day ahead of me, I didn’t spend too much time messing with it, but after a second morning of a poor shower experience I decided to tell someone – well, actually I decided to tweet about it.

So at 9:51AM I sent out the following tweet:

shower

To make a long story short, within 30 minutes of sending that tweet, I had a response from the Nemacolin staff, and by the time I got to the room that evening, the shower head was replaced and in excellent working condition!  Of course, I thanked the folks at Nemacolin with a tweet!

Fast-forward one year later. Twelve months after my wimpy shower, I found myself once again at Nemacolin – lucky me!  When I arrived in my room – to my amazement – I found a note on the desk along with a gift package. The note mentioned the “wimpy shower” from 12 months before, and said the gift on the desk is for the trouble I had.  I was sincerely impressed!

Nemacolin NoteBut hold on – this year I was back at Nemacolin Woodlands working for the same client, and walk into my room, and on the bed – yes, TWO YEARS after I had trouble with a wimpy shower head  – they had a huge gift basket on my desk and a note. Two years later, they remembered and gave me a gift!

Nemacolin Gift BasketThe level of customer care that’s exhibited by the staff at Nemacolin Woodlands is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced anywhere – and I’ve stayed at some really nice places!  Why do they do this? Maybe it’s because they’re a 5-star resort? Maybe its because they really understand the power of social media? Maybe it’s because they actually care about their guests!
I think it’s because they really understand how to treat people – their customers.

Without customers no business can survive. Without customer service, no business will thrive. Going above and beyond expectations adds value to your business, and often earns customers for life.  For me, I will always be a huge fan of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and I will be a customer for life!

Take time today to do something that goes above and beyond your customer’s wildest expectations!  Surprise them, and they may surprise you!

Oct / 12

ConjoStudios, LLC Wins Regional EMMY® Award

52026b813402b.preview-620FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2015
The Great American Wheat Harvest wins a 2015 Mid-America Regional EMMY® Award

Emmitsburg, MD

Film maker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC is excited to announce that his 2014 documentary the Great American Wheat Harvest film has received a Mid-America Regional EMMY® Award!  On Saturday, October 3, the Mid-America Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held the EMMY® Gala in St. Louis, Missouri and the Great American Wheat Harvest was selected as the WINNER FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY – CULTURAL.

The Great American Wheat Harvest is the story about the American harvesters who risk everything to put food on our tables. Each year they travel from Texas north across the Western Plains harvesting wheat and other crops that feed the world. The film follows their journey and tells their stories.

The film aired on WQPT (Quad Citiies PBS) this past February, and consequently qualified to be submitted for the EMMY® nomination. As one of nineteen regional chapters of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Mid-America Chapter is the standard-bearer for excellence in the television broadcasting industry and the gatekeepers of the prestigious regional EMMY® Awards.

Conrad Weaver EMMYIt’s the first EMMY® nomination and win for Weaver. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized in this manner, it truly was unexpected!  First, I want to thank my family: my wife, Jodi, and children, Laken and Spencer who supported me throughout the four years of production that went into making this film. Without their support and love, I couldn’t have worked on a project like this!  I also want to thank all of our sponsors who helped make this film possible, and for the staff at WQPT for airing the film on their Quad Cities PBS station. And last but certainly not least, I want to thank the harvesters who took a risk and allowed me to document their lives and work. I’m truly blessed to call them my friends!”

Weaver is currently working on a new documentary film called, Thirsty Land. It’s the story about the drought in the American West and its impact on agriculture, communities, and the environment. Thirsty Land is expected to be released in late 2016. Be sure to check out the photos and videos on the Thirsty Land Facebook page, or visit, www.thirstylandmovie.com.

Sep / 2

ConjoStudios Collaborates with Archai Media

YouTube-HeaderConjoStudios and Archai Media Collaborate on Documentary

Frederick, Maryland – Will there be enough water to survive? “Thirsty Land” is an exciting new documentary that tells the story of drought, its impact on agriculture, communities, and the environment, and two Frederick production companies are collaborating to produce this film.

Frederick County filmmaker, Conrad Weaver is already well known for his Mid-America EMMY® Nominated documentary “The Great American Wheat Harvest.”  His work with farmers and harvesters has led him to turn the focus of his company, Conjostudios LLC, exclusively to agriculture, and now he’s focusing on the drought that’s strangling our landscape.

“Those of us living East of the Mississippi River very rarely think about the amount of water we use. That’s why this story needs to be told!  The drought in the American West ultimately impacts all of us, and I want to make the audience think about it every time they take a drink of water, enjoy a shower, or water their lawn,” says Weaver.

Weaver recently collaborated with Archai Media in Frederick to provide production support for the documentary project. Sam Tressler with Archai Media has taken on the responsibilities of Director of Photography for the film that takes the team across the country from the Central Plains to the Central Valley of California.

samtressler“I’m excited to be a involved in this important project”, said Tressler, “Working with Conrad and helping him capture the story has taken us to some of the most beautiful parts of this country. I’m really looking forward to help bring this film to the big screen.”

Weaver is excited to have Archai Media involved, “Tressler’s experience and expertise in shooting in High Resolution 4K is what really made it exciting for me to collaborate with Archai Media. It’s been fun so far to have him along and capturing the story; he’s making my job so much easier,” says Weaver.

Production on the project began in April and will continue throughout  the Summer and Fall months. The film is scheduled for completion in the Spring of 2016. Weaver plans on a Frederick premiere screening once the project is completed.

For more interview requests and more information on the making of the film, contact Conrad Weaver at 301-606-7794 or email conjostudios@gmail.com today.

Nov / 24

ConjoStudios Announces New Film

For immediate release:

November 24, 2014. Emmitsburg, MD

ThirstyLandTwitterNEWConrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC announces new documentary
We are thrilled to announce that we’re in Pre-Production planning for an exciting new documentary film called Thirsty Land. This film will tell the story of drought, its impact on agriculture, communities, and global food supplies. Farmers are working hard to produce more food for a growing global population and they are doing it with less available land and a dwindling water supply. As drought and weather changes impact ground and surface water supplies, the battle for water rights and control of our nation’s fresh water supply often has farmers and communities in conflict. Thirsty Land will explore these and related issues.

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has recently endorsed this project, saying they are “proud to share our support for Thirsty Land, a documentary film which will highlight the issue of drought and its wide reaching impact on agriculture, local communities, and food supplies.”  We hope to be able to work with the Water for Food Institute and other similar organizations to highlight the work that’s being done to mitigate drought-related issues world-wide.

Our goal is to begin filming Thirsty Land in early 2015 as funding becomes available, and since this is such a pertinent subject we hope to be able to complete production later in the year.  We are currently seeking funding from companies, organizations, and individuals who are would be interested in working with us in telling this important story. Please contact us if you’re interested in supporting the Thirsty Land film project.

Jul / 19

“The Great American Wheat Harvest” Showcased At 3i Show

Tyler HarrisOriginally Published by FarmProgress.Com

Conrad Weaver has spent the last four years traveling 150,000 miles throughout Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, North and South Dakota, even as far as Idaho and Saskatchewan. “It’s been a really amazing journey,” Weaver says. “I’ve met some of the most amazing people in this country.”

This journey has involved following five custom harvesting crews on their annual treks across wheat-producing regions of the U.S. and Canada for the filming of the documentary, “The Great American Wheat Harvest.”

“I knew it was going to be a challenge,” Weaver says. “For me, the ideal budget would be five crews. We didn’t have that, so it was just me. I stayed in contact with these harvesters and where they were at. I came out and filmed two weeks at a time.”
AUDIENCE REACTIONS: So far, reactions to the film, “The Great American Wheat Harvest” have been “overwhelmingly positive,” Weaver says, noting an example in his friend in Washington, D.C., who he describes as a “pure urbanite.” “He said, I will never buy a loaf of bread again without thinking about where this comes from,” Weaver says. “If thats what I can do for people, Ive accomplished my goal.”AUDIENCE REACTIONS: So far, reactions to the film, “The Great American Wheat Harvest” have been “overwhelmingly positive,” Weaver says, noting an example in his friend in Washington, D.C., who he describes as a “pure urbanite.” “He said, ‘I will never buy a loaf of bread again without thinking about where this comes from,'” Weaver says. “If that’s what I can do for people, I’ve accomplished my goal.”

The film was released in March, and since then, Weaver has been traveling and showcasing the film, giving viewers a look at the everyday lives of these harvesters, most recently at the 3i Show in Dodge City.

Bridging the gap
Coming from a farm in Ohio, Weaver filmed the documentary with the goal of helping to bridge the gap between producers and the American consumer. “My grandfather and uncle had a small dairy farm,” he says. “I grew up milking cows, putting up hay bales, and picking corn. It’s something that’s pretty much in my blood.”

So far, reactions have been “overwhelmingly positive,” Weaver says, noting an example in his friend in Washington, D.C., who he describes as a “pure urbanite.” “He said, ‘I will never buy a loaf of bread again without thinking about where this comes from,'” Weaver says. “If that’s what I can do for people, I’ve accomplished my goal.”

There is also a gap to close within the ag community – producers in the eastern Corn Belt don’t encounter custom harvesters on a regular basis, and may not be as familiar with this sector of agriculture spends months on end traveling throughout wheat-growing regions each year. Weaver notes one of the harvest crews, a family from Manley, Nebraska, as an example. “Their neighbors don’t understand what they do and why they do it,” he says. “And they live in a rural community.”

Overcoming challenges
But it also gave Weaver a chance to learn some new things about the challenges the custom harvest community is facing. Finding help in the U.S. isn’t an easy task. Many, like Jim Deibert of JKD Harvesting in Colby, Kansas, hire most of their operators from countries like New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Scotland, and Ireland.

“That particular crew was amazing,” Weaver says of Deibert’s 12-man crew. “They fly into Hays and drive to Colby. It’s the first time they’ve been to America, and they spend their first month in Colby.”

Working as custom harvesters in the U.S. provides an opportunity they wouldn’t have in their home countries, giving them valuable work experience and a competitive edge over their peers back home. “They can’t see semi-trucks like these or combines with big headers like they do here,” Weaver says, adding after filming was complete, all 12 of the employees were asked about the experience they gained. “Every one of them said, ‘I’m a little better person for coming here.'”

Weaver says the biggest takeaway from his experience was the resilience of custom harvesters when facing challenges with the weather – especially in recent drought. “If there’s no wheat to cut, they’ve still got a combine mortgage to pay,” he says. “Their response was we’ll get it figured out. They’re all looking toward what next year is going to bring.”

More information on “The Great American Wheat Harvest” is available at www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com.