To Bee, or Not to Bee, It is not even a Question-The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 17, Interview with Don Popp Honey


For Episode 17 of the Outstanding Ohioans show, I had the pleasure of interview Don and Tracy Popp, a father-daughter combination who own and operate Don Popp Honey in Hamilton, Ohio.

Don began keeping bees in 1995 and the business has shown spectacular growth.  Last year, Don Popp honey produced 95,000 pounds of honey from 500 hives.  The product is known for its high quality and does not last long on the shelves in stores like Jungle Jim’s and Krogers.

Here are some of the highlights from the show:

  • Learn about the importance of bees to mankind, and why there is cause for concern with the declining populations.
  • Varroa Mites…the deadly killers of honeybees
  • What the average homeowner can do to protect the bee population.
  • “If something eliminated bees from our planet, mankind would soon perish.” -Albert Einstein
  • Open House event every August on the farm.
  • Why it is beneficial for his farm partners to keep hives on their property.
  • How they use the “honor system” to sell their product directly from their farm.
  • Beekeeping start ups
  • Don and Tracy’s purpose of working to sustain the bee population for future generations.

To listen to the show, click on one of the following:

Some of the bee resources mentioned:

Thank you for listening, have a great day!


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The Siliko boys 2.10.17 Sledding Adventure


Sometimes, you just have to take your best guess and make a decision.  Spoiler Alert:  It was not a tough decision.

Earlier this week, I wrote about some ways we have taken advantage of many warm days this winter.

Wednesday night, we got a rare (for this winter) snowfall that covered the grass.  I thought about sledding on Thursday, but it was cold enough for me to think we would not be able to stay outside too long.  We then had Ryan’s basketball practice in the evening.  Ryan asked me on the way home from practice when we were going to go sledding and have a snowball fight.

Friday, I happened to be off of work.  I looked at the 10-day weather forecast.  There was not a day below 45 degrees.  This would take us to nearly the end of February, and while we have had snow in Ohio in May, I could not take the chance on missing this chance before the snow was going to melt, which was forecasted to be late afternoon on Friday.

I talked to Jen Friday morning.  My plan was to get Ryan on the bus, take Sawyer to school, and then go to the park to see how much snow was left on the hill.  After the drop off, I was happy to see there was very little grass showing on the hillside.  I came home and excitedly packed up the car, including a jug of hot chocolate.

I picked up Ryan and Sawyer around 1230p (yes, I picked them up from school early).  They were both very surprised and excited.  We stopped at my friend Dan Rambo’s house to pick him up and put on our snowsuits for our adventure.

While the temperature was right at freezing by the time we got to the park, I was dismayed to see there was not much snow left on the hill.  The sun beams had already gone to work.

Fortunately, there was enough snow that we were able to go down the hill with a decent amount of speed.  We spent the next 90 minutes laughing and cheering each other on.  Dan went sledding for the first time since his daughters were home.  We then refueled with hot chocolate and headed home.  By 4p, almost all of the snow was completely melted.

The fact the boys talked about it the rest of the day made it worthwhile.  If this was our last chance to sled this winter, it was worth it.  If we get another chance, it was still worth it.  I am so thankful the adventure fell into place.

I would love to hear about your winter adventures, have a great day!

Ron’s Amazon Author Page


Winter Is What You Make Of It…..


Ryan taking his hacks on February 5, 2017

To a typical Midwesterner, Winter in Ohio means cold and snow.  Bundling up, shoveling snow, snowball fights and forts, ice fishing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and sledding are just some of the activities Ohioans get to enjoy.  Growing up in Northeast Ohio, snow and ice were commonplace.  If memory serves, I do not remember the last of the 9 foot tall snow piles from the Blizzard of ’78 melting until April.

However, living in Southwest Ohio for the past 2o winters, we have the cold temperatures, but not much snow.  If we’re going to have cold weather, I want the snow too.  A couple of inches of snow in SW Ohio, is cause for alarm, while this amount in NE Ohio is a mere nuisance.

The winter of 2016-2017 has had little snowfall, some cold, and some exceptionally warm days.  There have been numerous days in the 40’s, some in the 50’s, and a few in the 60’s.  The picture above was on one of the high 50 degree days.

With unusual circumstances, comes opportunity.  These unusually warmer days have allowed us to spend more time outside playing (it seems during bone-chilling weather, parents spend more time bundling and unbundling their youngsters than the actual amount of time they play outside).  Here are some of the activities we have had the chance to do often rare in this time of year:

  • camp outside
  • night crawler hunting (the evening of February 7th was incredible, night crawlers were diving back into their tunnels with every step we took)
  • play baseball
  • take a long bike ride through town
  • hikes
  • water balloon and water gun fights
  • playing on the playground

I wrote this article on a day that we had enough snowfall to cover the ground.  I am not sure who’s hoping more for a snow day tomorrow, myself or my boys.  Thank you for reading and I would love to hear your favorite winter activities.



Ron’s Amazon Author Page



The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 54-Don’t Bureaucrat This One, Conversation with guest host Angus Macleod


This show brings the audience great things Ohioans are doing to make their communities, the state, the region, and the world a better place as entrepreneurs, leaders, historical and popular culture figures.

To connect with the Outstanding Ohioans show, here are a few ways:


Yes indeed, I am now using the word bureaucrat as a verb.  In this conversation with Angus Macleod, we talked about several topics.  These topics included:

  • Leadership philosophies
  • Delegation
  • what makes working in sports, recreation, and wellness so compelling and fulfilling
  • In customer service, strive not to have staff bureaucrat customer requests as much as possible.
  • Ownership
  • Connection
  • Apathy

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show.  Please leave a review on ITunes or Stitcher, or email me at  Please refer any recommended future guests to my email.

The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 38, Interview with @jamessturtevant


This show brings the audience great things Ohioans are doing to make their communities, the state, the region, and the world a better place as entrepreneurs, leaders, historical and popular culture figures.

For episode 38, I had the pleasure of interviewing James Sturtevant, a 31-Year Teacher extraordinaire at Big Walnut High School and Author of the book You’ve Gotta Connect: Building Relationships That Lead to Engaged Students, Productive Classrooms, and Higher Achievement.  Mr. Sturtevant was referred to me by previous guest Jim Burson (Jim Burson Interview 1 & Interview 2.  You will love his energy and commitment to serve his students.

Connect with the Outstanding Ohioans show on Facebook, Itunes, or Stitcher

James has been around great teachers his whole life.  His father was a history teacher at Muskingum College (now Muskingum University).  He graduated from Muskingum with his bachelor’s degree and then Ohio State with his master’s degree.  He is married to Penny, the principal at Big Walnut Middle School.

Here were some of our discussion points:

  • his tipping point were he made up his mind the teaching profession was his path
  • how to connect and to engage all types of students
  • The influence of Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind and TedTalk, as well as John Hattie’s Visible Learning for Teachers:  Maximizing Impact on Learning
  • why it is important to move beyond “nostalgia” and embrace the present and future
  • the classroom value of acceptance, communication, non-verbal communication, safety, enjoyment, & advocacy
  • sharing stories
  • the impact he hopes he has made and thoughts on serving others in his future

Connect with James Sturtevant on his website or contact form.

Thank you for listening.