handpuppet_face_shotI’m proud to say that 1000 Cranes has been in business since September 2003!

We proudly filed our articles of organization with the State of North Carolina in 2003.   We will be going on 12 years in business, and it hasn’t been without its challenges, but I’m thankful to say that this little business has continued to be a bridge to delivering key business principles and applying these to the nonprofit community.

That has been our niche for many years.  We are in the business of helping nonprofit organizations become more effective through proven business practices to make them sustainable.

Part of the success of 1000 Cranes relies on the five principles that were created at the start of the business.

We call these the five philosophies which include:

1) Success comes from Faith and Vision

2) Success comes from Planning and Execution

3) Success comes from Embracing Change.

4) Success comes from Collaborative Relationships

5) Success comes from Helping Others.

Of all the philosophies listed here, the one that I believe has been the hardest to achieve for myself and others is the fourth principle.

When I first wrote this principle, my original thought came from the observation that when people were in meetings, often they created negative energy because of petty arguments and disagreements.  Their perspective had become so clouded, and they spent so much time defending positions that when the obvious answer was revealed, it typically came down to a collaboration.  If that positive energy and been used at the beginning, so much time could have been conserved and not wasted, and people could work together in a harmonious fashion.

I’ve now come to realize that there is a deeper meaning in this principle of Collaborative Relationships.

It comes from the idea that no one person or organization can do anything alone.  We all need to work with someone or some other organization in order to be successful and to rise to greater heights of success.

Maddie Winecoff and Naomi Takeuchi

Maddie Winecoff and Naomi Takeuchi

In reflecting on the last year, I’ve noticed many collaborations that have resulted in some amazing work.

For example, I had the opportunity to work with an intern from Salem College after giving a speech at one of their women’s business conferences.  Maddie Winecoff became a true asset in the way 1000 Cranes treated its branding to become more attractive to the children’s market.  She worked to develop an amazing marketing backdrop and marketing strategy regarding our tradeshow uniforms which we used at the Licensing Expo and at the National Trademark Expo.

1000 Cranes Licensing Expo Las Vegas Nevada

Naomi Takeuchi, Arthur Won (Naomi’s brother), Cozy Meyer and Guy Dawson. Notice our uniforms and orange Converse shoes per Maddie Winecoff’s suggestion at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.

At both of those events, I had the pleasure of working with several people including my brother, Cozy Meyer and Guy Dawson in Las Vegas for the Licensing Expo and Kathy Crowley for the National Trademark Expo.  Both of those events had foot traffic of roughly 15,000+ people who would talk to us about our work.  No doubt, I would not have been able to do that alone.


Veronica Agostino and Naomi Takeuchi

For one of my clients, the Southeast Association of Rail Shippers, there is a great deal of work that goes into organizing and hosting a conference.  We just finished a session in Savannah that was the highest attended in the history of the organization.  231 attendees/delegates had come to Savannah, GA to learn about the railroad industry and from their peers in this fluctuating economy.  I had the pleasure of working with Veronica Agostino in the planning of that conference, and I know that our road trip down to Savannah of 5+ hours made the time go by more quickly.  Having her expertise in catering and food services has always made these events go much smoother, and I am grateful that we are able to partner in this way on a regular basis.


Terry Bartlett of Dunedin, New Zealand

And this year is bound to be even more amazing.

1000 Cranes has been approached directly by several organizations to work closely on some future projects.  One of the most exciting is a collaboration with Corner Enterprises, Ltd. out of Dunedin, New Zealand.  I met Terry Bartlett at a Toastmasters Convention in Paihia, New Zealand last November, and we have been in discussions about how to move 1000 Cranes into the children’s market.  Terry Bartlett is a blind man who works quite a bit with others who are visually impaired in New Zealand.  As we started our discussions, I shared with him a children’s story I had written in 2007 for a potential children’s book project.  The project stalled because I had not found an illustrator and/or publisher to take on the work.

This is where brilliance comes into play.

Terry, quite concisely said, “Why don’t you just do an audio read of the story?”  With so many people doing podcasts and recordings this is so easy to do!  I was amazed that in all those years that story sat on the shelf, it has now come to life because of the perspective of a different person.  It took a blind man to make me see the possibilities.


Kingi Biddle of Rotorua, New Zealand with Naomi

As such, we are now working on “The Crane in the Bamboo Forest”, and the intent is that it will be a voice recording in a New Zealand accent (Terry’s), a reading by the author (me) and a Maori translation that my friend, Kingi Biddle, has agreed to help in the story telling in that language.   In addition, a braille translation would also be available, and all this can be done wtihout illustrations.  Of course, now that we are building momentum with this project, the reality of an illustrated book is becoming more real.  I would have never imagined that my trip to New Zealand would have resulted in a collaborative partnership that opens up not only an International market, but also aligns with the additional direction of providing products and services in the children’s market.   This new collaboration also led me to me a new focus on looking at more audio projects.

On May 12th, I’m happy to announce the first episode of “1000 Cranes – Believe. Plan. Fly. Radio” on the BlogTalkRadio platform.

I will be partnering again with Kathy Crowley who I worked when we had episodes focused on Toastmasters projects.  The plan of the radio program is to inspire others with the 1000 Cranes Five Principles as a base and interview special guests regarding how to progress farther in those principles.  Our first guests are Ryan and Chelsea Avery and their “Map to Dreaming Big.”  This aligns very well with our principle of “Success Comes from Faith and Vision.” and “Success Comes from Planning and Execution.”  It seemed appropriate to be part of our first launch.


Kathy Crowley and Naomi Takeuchi at the National Trademark Expo.

If you would like to participate in our BlogTalkRadio program, the episode will air live on Tuesday, May 12th at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET.  All are welcome and you can participate by simply calling (917) 889-3039 from any phone!  

Come join us and learn more about what it takes to Believe. Plan. Fly!  Feel free to comment below or Contact Naomi here.