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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” ~ JOHN MUIR
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We need that moment, when we feel small, when we look upon something that brings up concepts of such vast time, space, or experience that our minds just cannot comprehend. It is in these moments of such expansive contrast to our own little lives that we begin to feel wonder, and possibly — belonging — to something well beyond ourselves.

This was John Muir’s approach to being inspired. Born in 1838, he spent countless hours trekking the Yosemite Valley in California, along with Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. He was fascinated by glaciers and forests and was the first to present a theory that Yosemite was made from glacial erosion.

His writings and journal entries perfectly evoke the beauty and wonder of our beautiful wilderness areas: “How glorious a greet the sun gives the mountains! To behold this alone is worth the pains of any excursion a thousand times over.”


  • Ansel Adams took his first picture of El Capitán in 1916 when he was 14 years old. 
  • First ascent: In 1958, it took 47 days of climbing over an 18 month span for Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, and George Whitmore to successfully make the first ascent.
  • Age of rock: About 100 million years.
  • Depth below ground before El Capitán was uplifted and it was exposed by erosion: 2.5 to 9 miles deep. 
  • Time it took to form El Capitán: 2.7 million years.
  • At sunset, the color of the rock is so warm, it looks like it is on fire!
{Yosemite's El Capitan glows at sunset. iPhone photo by Kari Cobb, National Park Service}
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From a Mountain of Fire to

Asheville’s Hottest Chicken

Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack is legendary for their delicious, fresh, made-to-order Nashville-style fried chicken, and now they are receiving big accolades for it. Not only have they held the “Best Fried Chicken” slot 5 years in a row on the Best of WNC list, they recently landed on USA Today’s Top 20 list for Best Fried Chicken in America!

Congratulations, Rocky’s!

They have weekly specials, including a 10% discount for Teachers and Tatoos on Tuesdays, traditional soul food accompaniments, and yummy homemade desserts served in jelly jars — all served in a relaxed, cheery setting. Visit them at their two locations: WEST SIDE: 1455 Patton Ave, Asheville 28806 and SOUTH SIDE: 3749 Sweeten Creek Rd, Arden 28704. Here is a link to their menu. 



A New Project on the Horizon ...

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We have so many interesting people that make up the Platinum community — each with their own, unique story, and it all comes together to form a great opportunity for connection and mutual patronage. This year, we are creating a series of feature articles, lifting our clients up and sharing what they do. Click on the image above and there, you can drop us a line and we will set up a time tell your story. And, thank you for doing what you do.

KEEPING UP WITH ... CEREAL!  Last month we had the best time volunteering at MANNA Food Bank. We took a giant box of bulk cereal (see Sarah modeling said giant box, above, left) and filled over two hundred 10 oz. bags to be distributed in the Western North Carolina area. In 2018/2019 alone, MANNA distributed 19.8 million pounds of food, which equates to 16.5 million meals, and averages out to be 45,000 meals per day. Because of their strong and critical volunteer base (7,000 volunteers donated 73,000+ hours), they are able to derive four meals from every dollar donated. You can sign up to volunteer here, or give a monetary donation here.

W-2 AND 1099s   According to the Internal Revenue Service, W-2 and 1099 forms should be mailed out no later than January 31 for forms derived from the previous calendar year. Platinum Group has completed processing and printing of these documents for our Payroll Clients. Per specific Client instructions, W-2 and 1099 documents have either been mailed to Client primary address or are available for Client pickup in our office. If you have questions regarding receipt of your W-2 or 1099 forms, please contact Sassi Roberts,

PLATINUM GROUP TURNS 20!  While we are not as old as El Capitán, in business years, we’re getting up there. What started as a one person show back in 2000, Platinum Group has now grown to a team of 10, happily serving local, regional and national businesses. We are planning to celebrate in so many ways (random acts of kindness, planting trees, giveaways), so stay tuned! It’s going to be a great year.

We are passionate about what we do, knowing it empowers people to get back to doing what they really love to do for their businesses. We made these stickers to celebrate that. Click here to get one for your car, summer camp trunk, forehead, ... we’ve got you covered! {AVAILABLE IN ORANGE, TEAL, AND LIME GREEN}

do what you love sticker for news

The Surprising Benefits of Employee Complaints

If you are getting more complaints from your employees it may cause you concern that something has gone systemically wrong in your company.

In fact, an increase in complaints can actually mean that your employees have become more comfortable talking about their issues and are more likely to tell you rather than vent to each other or, worse, on social media.

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A Helpful Guide to Giving Effective Feedback

Giving feedback might be one of the most difficult things that managers have to do regularly, but providing useful and constructive information about your employees’ performance is an absolutely essential part of fostering a positive company culture. It’s important for your employees to know that the lines of communication between them and management are open.

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Welcome to a new year and decade! With twenty years under our belt, we are entering 2020 full of energy, purpose, and especially gratefulness for the many clients we have served over the years. If you are new to learning about our company, — welcome! And if you’ve been with us on this two decade journey: we are so glad you’re here.

Have a wonderful 2020, and let us know how we can help you utilize your precious time.   

Be Well,



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