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Established On The Internet
Dore E. Frances

November 11, 2004

In response to: But I Found It On The Internet

In regards to the article But I Found It On The Internet, November 9th – I sent this article to a psychologist I network with in New York City. He said it was written to be “purpose- driven.” He also said that there is an explicit reason it was written. Of that I have no doubt.

I do have my assumptions about the purpose, and the drive behind it; however, I do not like to make assumptions about people I do not know. Unless you have done business with me personally, or know me first-hand, you do not know my background, and my purpose for doing this work. I enjoy what I do because it is a passion. I have a genuine interest in assisting children and families and in assisting programs and schools. I am very careful not to be too self focused however, otherwise a person can head off onto the narcissist path. Death is such a monumental event, and that event was what led me to this work. I had to rise to the occasion, and I did. I am not the kind of person who tries to be urbane or sophisticated. I am just me. What you see is what you get. No matter how many times people conduct studies of my work ethics, I am competent I stand up to the utmost professionalism. I do not feel I need to prove to these test people my competency, and I wonder if they are looking for perfectionism. I am very focused on what I want to accomplish in my life, and doing this work is my life. I am vulnerable just like the kids I work with. And it is worth it. I feel good about what I do. I feel good when I take pro-bono cases and can give back. I feel good that I offer parents many different service choices in working with me. I feel good that my service fees are well below many other Educational Consultants. I feel good in that I value every family I know I am touching, as my touch will last far longer than I will ever get to realize. I understand that there is an unspoken code about those of us that are not IECA members. I see the strong emotions, and at times they arise in ways of hostility, and it is always startling to see this, this being an industry of caring about people, and yet it happens again and again. I do not to take these attacks personally. I work hard not to suddenly react to the person. Instead, I step back and try to better understand the situation. I avoid knee-jerk reactions, as that only makes the matter worse. I have learned over the years in working with children and families to tolerate my own anxiety. I have learned to accept the awkwardness of others who do not know me and make assumptions, and then I work to turn the situation into a positive experience by showing respect. Being dismissive or contemptuous just produces more discomfort for everyone, and I do not want to be a person who causes this feeling. I instead choose to be gracious and work harder at creating a working relationship – over time. I have also conducted a study on various search engine results on the Internet over the past two months. However, I did it up front and not behind anyone’s back. As a businessperson, I like to keep up with business trends and see how and what other websites offer to help parents select the best school or program for their child who needs some kind of help. I tell them who I am when I call and make sure I am not wasting their valuable time nor misleading them into thinking I am a parent in need of help.

That is a feeling I choose not to relive. I do not ask them to send me emails or forward information. I do not set up false email addresses.

Yes, there are dozens and dozens of different advertisers on the Internet and in magazines, including, marketing groups and educational consultants. All advertise on the Internet or in magazines for the attention of parents. This is the media of today. Is this good? Well, just like in any business, there are those that are reputable, and those that are not. There are those that speak the truth and those that do not. There are those that are up front and those that are not. I tell parents that every website, including mine, is just like a magazine advertisement. They are all nice and glossy and put their best foot forward, however, you need to dig deeper. I advise them to ask for references, references from parents and references from schools they network with. I agree with you about the sites that do not have a phone number. It is unprofessional and misleading. All of my sites have my direct business line. This week when I called Owen Baisden of Turning Winds, who purchased all of the Ryan Kohler's EMS sites under the name of Family Help 411, Inc., asking about what appeared to be inappropriate marketing efforts on their part, I was advised the information requests coming in to these sites since the purchase date of October 28, 2004, along with the site, of which was part of the purchase, and are requests from parents asking for help, are just sitting …. They are not even being acknowledged. I was so sad, I cried. That means a parent needing help for their child is being discounted as unimportant. How can anyone in this industry disregard the need of a parent in this way? I am heart sickened. I have been a parent in search of help, and the idea that they are so cold and unfeeling about this, that this seems so unimportant to them, is more than just heartbreaking. Owen advised me they are not ready yet to take calls, which is why there are no phone numbers on the 15 or so sites they purchased, and no one is following up on these requests, so they are all in a “bucket” and will get answered in a few weeks.

Owen also made the sad statement that this is “no big deal”, the parent would just go on to the next place on the Internet when they do not receive a response. Perhaps the next place will be another one of their 15 or so sites that do not have a phone number and another information request will be filled out, and another no response, and so on and so on. My hope for these parents is crying out in anguish over this very unfortunate and unprofessional situation. I am appalled and saddened, and told Owen how I felt about this and advised him I now had to end my working relationship with them as a school I have referred to in the past. Now, that being said, I am not part of a coordinated marketing plan. Yes, I do have six websites that I own, and the information you have displayed in your article is not up to date and accurate. Just this week Ryan Kohler said to me, “Dore, your standards are too high.” Well, I stand by my standards. I am a professional, and the idea that someone is once again working to hurt my reputation is upsetting. I do not spend my time going out to do this to others. When I come across something or someone I am concerned about, I call them. I have always said, just pick up the phone and call me. I have nothing to hide, and anyone who knows me knows I am right out front. Now, correction …… I do not own 20 websites. I own six.

Correction: Brendan Dalley has one website which was set up prior to him associating with me.

Correction: Russ Talbot has no website of his own.

Correction: None of us share a phone number with Caring4Youth or USAGuides.

I do answer the phones for Caring4Youth on an emergency back up basis. I am the Educational Consultant that trained their staff 18 months ago on how to work with parents effectively and safely. They cared enough to train their staff and we spent one full week in training each and every day, six hours a day, before they ever started taking calls. I do use USAGuides as my transport company of choice. I am not in business with nor am I associated with nor do I have any connection to Ryan Kohler and his company EMS. I am not on the other websites you mentioned.

As of October 28, 2004, Turning Winds, a program in Idaho, purchased all these sites under their new business name, Family Help 411, Inc.

EMS sold all those websites to Turning Winds, and it is they who have the sites with no phone numbers. They are the ones associated with Ryan Kohler. None of my six sites are anonymous now and have never been anonymous. I was, in the past, as an Educational Consultant, one of several that EMS used on their main site, and several other sites. My toll free number was always displayed.

Another person EMS / used was Kara Baisden, a family member of Turning Winds, who is not an Educational Consultant, however, was assisting parents as an Educational Consultant. She set up a business called H.O.P.E. Consulting, 208-263-1977, located in Coeur' d Alene. I did call her and speak with her about this situation. I was right up front. All of my business information was recently removed from MTT, per my request, as I want nothing to do with this marketing practice. Owen Baisden has advised me that as of next week or the week after they will be changing to an advertising site and are now selling advertising to educational consultants, programs, and schools. Your article was sent, before the final up to date facts were checked, or a call was even placed to check up to date facts. I understand that others map out their path to “greatness” by studying the successes of others.

Seems like a smart approach. Perhaps I am successful because I take great risks, and have ignored naysayers and keep persisting in the face of setbacks. And what is success? It is different to each person. A professor I know at Stanford also read the article and said that it appears someone is drawing conclusions, which can be misleading and dangerous. My success comes from daily achievement and hard work, and success to me is the success of the child and their family when traveling this road. I have been where they are every step of the way.

Their fate on this path matters to me. I can only hope it matters just as much to all of you, and when I see that it doesn’t, it breaks my heart.

Dore E. Frances, IEC
Child & Family Right's Advocate
Independent Educational Consultant
Program/School Advisory Consultant
Horizon Family Solutions

PO Box 1671 | Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 | 208-267-5550
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