Category: Local Attractions

Gatlinburg Attractions – Family Fun at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit!

March 14th, 2013 by


You’ll love the plethora of family-friendly fun activities you can take your family to after the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Ripley’s Gatlinburg offers a multitude of fun activities, including a Haunted Adventure, Moving Theatre, Believe it or Not Museum, Mirror Maze, Candy Factory, and Davy Crockett themed Mini Golf. You’ll have tons of family-friendly fun at these attractions which will excite and amaze you!


The Titanic Museum is actually in nearby Pigeon Forge, and it’s worth the short drive because it’s the largest Titanic museum attraction in the world. As you begin your experience you’ll be handed a card with the name of a historical individual who traveled on the Titanic. You’ll be able to learn about that specific person’s experience, as well as view other artifacts from the Titanic.


At the Sugarlands Riding Stables you’ll be able to enjoy a horseback ride through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park with your family, ages 5 and up! You’ll view the beautiful mountains, along with all the flora and fauna, while enjoying a fun guided ride through the Smokies.

What to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee: A video guide by Michelle Wishoun – 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Information

March 14th, 2013 by

Michelle Wishoun would like to invite you to enjoy all the fun activities Gatlinburg has to offer! Dollywood opens for the season on March 23, 2013, the day after the Summit concludes, so it’s a great time to take advantage of the weekend following the Summit.

Join her here:

Have you registered for the Summit yet?
Time is running out! Click here to join us at the Summit.

Gatlinburg Shopping & Attractions at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit

March 7th, 2013 by



While you’re at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, enjoy the fun shopping experience only Appalachia can offer! Here are a few of our suggestions:

Mountain Woodcarvers – Find beautiful locally handcrafted wind chimes, figurines, and custom cedar signs at this local shop.

Buckboard Too - Take a trip down memory lane as you enter this nostalgic gift shop. Pick up some collectible Coca-Cola, Elvis, & Harley-Davidson memorabilia, among hundreds of other mid-century style items.

Jonathan’s Bear Necessities -  You’ll find all your mountain “bear” necessities here, from Minnetonka Moccasins to cozy Fair isle blankets.

The Maples’ Tree - Whether you’ve promised a classy souvenir for your significant other, or you are a stylish lady yourself, you’ll love the women’s handbags, silver jewelry, and home decor this shop has to offer.

Have you registered yet? Registration closes soon, so don’t wait! Check out our Summit page by clicking here.

Enjoy the Beauty of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit

February 28th, 2013 by

Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the entire USA? It’s right in the backyard of the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit in Gatlinburg, TN. After your week of  learning and working hard at the Summit, kick up your heels and enjoy some peace and quite in nature.


Bird Watching - The least physically intense and probably the most relaxing activity in the Smokies, bird-watching here is also incredibly rewarding. The Smoky Mountains are home to over 240 species of birds, such as great horned owls, broad-winged hawks, wild turkeys, and this beautiful red-eyed vireo.

Fishing - A large number of trout in the streams makes the Smoky Mountains the finest place in Tennessee for fly fishing. You’ll be fishing during catch-and-release season, so no eating of your catch! One to three day permits are available for non-residents. Visit the Gatlinburg Fishing site for more permit information.


Hiking - The Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers many trails, from the difficult to the easy. You’ll see gorgeous waterfalls like the Grotto Falls above, as well as wildlife and beautiful flora.

So will you join us for the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit? If you haven’t registered yet, visit our Summit website for more information today! And when you’ve finished, reward yourself with a lovely afternoon outdoors in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Where to Shop in Gatlinburg: Attractions at the 2013 TapRooT® Summit

February 14th, 2013 by

When you’re at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, what will you be doing in the evenings? It’s a great time to take a break from all the learning you’ll be doing, so check out this eclectic mix of places to shop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee:

Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum - What? You didn’t know that the only museum of salt and pepper shakers in the world is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee? It is, and it is quite the sight to see. At only $3 admission, it’s a bargain to see the quirkiest mix American history. And, of course, you can take a piece of history home with you at their salt & pepper shaker gift shop.

Tanger Outlets – Located in nearby Sevierville, you’ll find brands like Coach, J. Crew, Levi’s, Wilson Leather, Nike, and Adidas for a fraction of the price! Enjoy some locally made fudge at The Fudgery and dinner at the local Mountain Edge Grill, all located in the complex.

Arrowcraft Shop – Stocked by the local and regional artisans who practice classic American handicrafts, this shop sells pottery, woodwork, toys, weaving, glass, and basketry. You’ll find an amazing one-of-a-kind piece in this shop, and you’ll help the artists preserve traditional craft methods of the past.


Not registered for our 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit yet? Better grab your seat quickly, as registrations are filling up!

Click here to learn more about the Summit.



Casual Dining in Gatlinburg: 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit

February 7th, 2013 by

The Peddler Steakhouse

While you’re at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, evenings will be the time to relax and connect with your fellow Summit attendees! Why not try one of Gatlinburg’s delicious local restaurants, complete with meat & potatoes and real Southern comfort.

Peddler Steakhouse - With smiling service and succulent steaks cut tableside, the Peddler Steakhouse is a delicious oasis. They also offer Mountain Trout & Marinated Chicken dishes in a comfortable yet classy atmosphere. It’s “literally built on tradition,” they say, because it stands on the original site of the homestead of C. Earl Ogle, one of Gatlinburg’s founding residents.

Calhoun’s - A beloved barbecue joint that calls East Tennessee its home. Calhoun’s set up shop after it took home the title “Best Ribs in America” over 20 years ago, and continues that tradition today. They also serve their own home-brewed beer and casual Southern fare.

Smoky Mountain Brewery – Owned and run by our friends at Calhoun’s, Smoky Mountain Brewery offers the same delicious type of food and home brews in a much more casual setting. Relax and watch the game or laugh with your new Summit friends at this pizza, hot wing, sandwich, and burger joint.

Local Summit attendees, what are your favorite restaurants in Gatlinburg?

Have you registered for the Summit yet? Click here to visit our Summit information page.

Photo courtesy of The Peddler Steakhouse.

Summit Travel Tips: Hiking & Biking in the Smokies

January 23rd, 2013 by

After you’ve attended the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit in Gatlinburg, why not indulge in some inexpensive relaxation in the form of hiking and biking in the Smoky Mountains? Here are a few of our suggestions:

Grotto Falls

For those who like a shorter distance and lovely views, the Grotto Falls is only 2.6 miles long and not steep in the least. You’ll see the Grotto Falls about halfway through your jaunt.


Alum Cave

Hike 4.4 miles round trip and see Alum Cave at your turnaround point. There are gorgeous views of the valley below.

Mt. LeConte

Hike to Alum Cave, then continue your journey all the way up the mountain to Mt. LeConte. This 11 mile round trip hike is for the experinced hiker, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views. Reserve a cabin at LeConte lodge and eat at their delicious restaurant for the full Smoky Mountain experience.


Cades Cove

This 11-mile one-way road is the most popular Smoky Mountain biking trail. You’ll see lots of wildlife and 19th century homesteads.

Gatlinburg Trail

This is a relatively flat 1.9-mile mountain biking trail. It runs along the Little Pigeon River and is also frequented by walkers and joggers.

See More here:


Haven’t registered for the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit yet? Visit our Summit website for more information and to register:

Forbes Is Right: Knoxville One of Top 5 Cities in US!

January 11th, 2013 by voted our hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee one of the best 10 places to live & work in America!

At second place, we beat out cities like Honolulu, Hawaii. We agree, Forbes! We love it here.

Here are the stats, on a scale of 1-5:

Overall score: 4.02
The Company You Work For: 4.13
The Culture of Your Company: 3.92
The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.08
The People You Work With: 4.44
The Person You Work For: 4.13
The Place You Work: 4.06
The Rewards You Receive: 3.66
The Support You Get: 4.01
The Way You Work: 4.51
The Work You Do: 4.19

See the full article here:

Do you want to get a taste of the great work life we enjoy here?
Attend our 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, which we’re holding right next door to Knoxville in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

Click here for a digital brochure.
Click here to learn more about the Summit.

What Does Root Cause Analysis Have to Do with Black Bears?

November 13th, 2012 by

Two guys are out in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park hiking.  Suddenly, a bear starts chasing them. They climb a tree, but the bear starts climbing up the tree after them.  The first guy gets his sneakers out of his knapsack and starts putting them on.  The second guy says, “What are you doing?”  The first guy says, “I figure when the bear gets too close, we’ll have to jump down and make a run for it.”  The second guy says, “Are you crazy? You can’t outrun a bear”!  The first guy says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.”

What does this joke have to do with root cause analysis?  Well, root cause analysis friends and experts are gathering together in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for the 2013 Summit where it is estimated that there are two black bears per every square mile.

I had fun talking with our public meeting planner, Judy, about black bears and the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, March 18-22 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We just shot a video about some need-to-know tips about visiting the park in early spring as all the bears and newly born cubs are slowly waking up from a long winter’s nap.   We’ll be posting the video in a couple of weeks but, as promised in the video, here is a link to more important safety tips to remember when entering the black bear’s natural habitat:

Register for the Summit today at:

TapRooT® on “Top of the World”

November 8th, 2012 by

Alan Scott and I just finished teaching a 5 day course in Dubai and decided to go out and have a look around the city.  In addition to teaching TapRooT®, we have something else in common – a fear of heights.  What better way to confront that fear than to visit the “Top of the World,” otherwise known as the observation deck in the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.  Here is a picture of Alan and I high above the other skyscrapers of Dubai.



Staff Recommendations, Part 2: Best Gatlinburg Attractions During 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Week!

October 25th, 2012 by

Last week, we shared some of recommendations from our staff about must see/do  attractions at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit.  This week we have more great comments from two of our Partners, Ken and Linda and from Ann, Assistant Meeting Planner:

From Ann:

The VERY best thing about Gatlinburg is the beautiful scenery of the Smoky Mountains (the most visited national park)!!!  My picks for the area are the Titanic Museum & the Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge.

From Ken:

One of the greatest things about Gatlinburg is its location as “Gateway to the Smoky Mountains.”  Springtime is a great time to be in the mountains.  Come a few days early, or stay a few extra days and explore the most-visited National Park in the U.S.

From Linda:

When I think of Gatlinburg, my mind always brings up the vision of the beautiful mountains in springtime.  Each season has its own special beauty in the Smoky Mountains, but spring is my favorite.  There are so many shades of green with wild flowers and flowering trees everywhere.  

The conference is only a 5 minute or less drive from the entrance to the Smokey Mountain National Park; so any evening after the conference or the weekends on either end can be enjoyed in the National Park.  You can rent bicycles, motorbikes, horses, ATVs or drive your own vehicle through the mountains.   

If you are an avid motorcyclist, you may have heard of the Tail of the Dragon, but if not, you should look on the web googling “Tail of the Dragon” and see videos of what a cool ride that is.  If you don’t find a site, go to:

However, if you do rent a motorcycle or bring your own and take this ride, be sure you drive safely and at a reasonable speed – many excellent riders have wrecked on that trail by not respecting the curves and driving too fast. I sure don’t want any TapRooT® folks to get hurt; so be extra careful.  You can see some wrecks and evidence of wrecks in the above websites.

As mentioned in the first post, Ripley’s Aquarium was one of TripAdvisor’s top picks, and they picked three other attractions worth mentioning:

CLIMB Works Canopy: Surrounded on three sides by the Smoky Mountain National Park, CLIMB Works Canopy gives you a bird’s eye view of what makes the Smokies so unique.

Quiet Reflections Spa: Relax and rewind – Quiet Reflections offers the ultimate in restoration.

Bill Gladwell, the Mentalist:  Head Case and Hypnotized:  The most mind-bending show in Gatlinburg!

Learn more about the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit on our website, or register today.

Staff Recommendations, Part 1: Best Gatlinburg Attractions During 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Week!

October 18th, 2012 by

Since the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit host city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee is so close to the System Improvements’ home office in Knoxville, Tennessee (it’s just 50 miles away), our staff has plenty of experience visiting this fantastic mountain resort city.

I asked them what they would personally recommend to someone visiting the area for the first time, and here are a few of their responses.  (I’ll post more info in Part 2 next week!):

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Cades Cove.  ~ Mark, President

My favorite thing about Gatlinburg is its proximity to the Smoky Mountains – they are stunningly beautiful and offer many walking trails and hiking opportunities. ~ Amanda, General Counsel

Cades Cove is a valley full of wildlife and history nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Abandoned homesteads from early settlers who lived there until the formation of the national park still remain.  Smoky Mountain wildlife roam free in Cades Cove including black bears, bobcats, red wolves, coyotes, foxes, skunks, deer and more.

Before you venture into the Cove or hike any trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we recommend reading up on how to enjoy the wildlife and stay safe, (Read Smoky Mountain Wildlife Should Be Respected.)

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

My favorite thing about Gatlinburg is Ripley’s Aquarium because I like the sharks exhibit.
Cathy, Receivables Accountant

I agree with Cathy.  I’ve been to several aquariums around the U.S. and this one is my favorite by far.  Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is also one of TripAdvisor’s top picks for U.S. aquariums.  The aquarium boasts a variety of live sharks and over 30 hands-on interactive displays.

The Resort Town of Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is always such a relaxing place to go where you can take in the fresh mountain air, enjoy the beautiful mountain views that surround you, visit the quaint little shops, and maybe even experience that ‘old time’ feeling. ~ Michelle, Licensing Paralegal

My favorite thing about Gatlinburg is the food and candy because there are so many great restaurants and candy shops all within walking distance of the main drag! The variety and quality of candy and delicious steakhouses or legendary pancake houses allow for good eating at any time of the day!
Garrett, Information Technology

I love hiking in the Smokies right outside Gatlinburg. There’s nothing like climbing to the top of a peaceful mountain for an amazing view, then coming back to civilization for some comfort food at the Pancake Pantry. You’ve also got to check out the antique shops that line the streets. I’ve found so many interesting pieces of history there!
~ Megan, Media Specialist

I like to people watch and get fresh hot fudge! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …
Benna, Implementation Strategist

Here are a couple of the irresistable candy stores Garrett referred to:  Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen (Yelp review) and Aunt Mahalia’s Candies.

What about fresh fudge that Benna loves?  Check out Kilwin’s.

Here are two great Gatlinburg steakhouses:  The Peddler Steakhouse and Park Grill Restaurant.

As well as a couple of popular pancake houses:  Log Cabin Pancake House and The Pancake Pantry (recommended by Megan).

And here are just some of the unique shops Michelle hinted at:

The Day Hiker:  Find everything you need for a mountain hike.

The Village Shops of Gatlinburg:  You’ll find The Day Hiker plus 26 unique boutiques, clothiers, eateries & galleries in a quaint Old World setting in The Village Shops.

And as Megan mentioned, there are many interesting antique shops to browse through in this area, including Morton’s Antiques.

Register for the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, or learn more on our website.


2012 Global TapRooT® Summit: Shows at the Flamingo Hotel

January 25th, 2012 by

Don’t have time to go out at night and see a fun Vegas show during our 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit? Don’t worry; we’re staying at the Flamingo Hotel, which offers you fun, music, and a whole lot of laughs without having to leave the building! Take a look at these shows and their descriptions, all located at the Flamingo Las Vegas!


O’Sheas Theatre

Price $22.95, $33.95

7:30 PM

Dirk Arthur’s high-energy Wild Magic show combines comedy, dance, magic, and large uncaged exotic cats at 10-40 feet away.


The Flamingo Showroom

Price $260; $125; $109; $95 (plus taxes and fees)

7:30 PM

Donny and Marie Osmond rock this 90-minute show with their greatest hits and a multimedia production.


The Flamingo Showroom

Price $49.95 plus tax & fees

10:00 PM

Wallace is the winner out of 150 competitors of the stand-up comedy TV special “The Big Laugh-Off,” reading audiences like a book and cracking them up with his humor drawn from everyday life.


The Flamingo Showroom

Price $34.00 General Admission, $44.00 VIP + taxes/fees

4:00 PM

Relax after the Summit on Friday afternoon with Burton’s fast-paced comedy and magic show.


Bugsy’s Cabaret

Price $54.95 + tax/fees; VIP seating: $64.95 + tax/fees

8:00 PM

Vinnie Favorito is an infamous “roaster”with no pre-planned skits or notes. He wins audiences over with his off-the-cuff quips and hilarious digs on his audience members.

“…your jaw aches from laughter…your side hurts…devastatingly funny!” Jerry Fink, Las Vegas Sun

“Rickles with venom” Milton Berle Best Comedian in Las Vegas – Guest Pick, Las Vegas Review Journal

Photos courtesy of Flamingo Las Vegas.

TapRooT® Summit Update: Flamingo Las Vegas Adds New Restaurant!

December 8th, 2011 by

Computer mock-up of the inside of the future Carlos n Charlie’s in the Flamingo Hotel

As if the Global TapRooT® Summit weren’t going to be fun enough! We’ve got our annual golf tournament, Wednesday night reception, a host of family-friendly Vegas activites, and the Flamingo even offers hours of fun right inside the hotel!

Here’s one more perk to add to the list: We’ll be some of the first to enjoy the Flamingo’s new restaurant Carlos ‘n Charlie’s.

Owned by Carlos Anderson of Señor Frog’s and other favorite restaurants, Carlos ‘n Charlie’s is famous as a beloved family-friendly tourist stop in Mexico. Diners love its casual quirky atmosphere and fun-loving philosophy – not to mention the mix-it-yourself guacamole bar.

The Flamingo plans to open the new Carlos ‘n Charlie’s in early 2012, so get ready Summit Attendees! Their delicious Mexican-American menu is sure to spice up your stay in Las Vegas.

Outdoor mock-up. Join us at the Global TapRooT® Summit Week February 27-March 2, 2012 to see the real thing!

The new location will accommodate 340 guests, including indoor seating with fun and funky decor, outdoor seating overlooking lush gardens, and a long 40-seat bar. This is Carlos ‘n Charlie’s only location on this side of the country, so don’t miss it while you’re with us in Las Vegas for the 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Graphics courtesy of Las Vegas Harrah’s Blog

2012 Global TapRooT® Summit Fun: Don’t Miss Food, Fun, and Fashion at the Fashion Show Mall

October 31st, 2011 by

Did you know that right down the street from our 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit hotel (the Flamingo Las Vegas) is one of the largest malls in America? The Fashion Show Mall is home to over 250 shops and restaurants, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Coach, and an Apple Store.

Restaurants include a diversity of treats like Johnny Rocket’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy, The Capital Grille, and Crazy Crepes. Don’t miss tried-and-true favorites like Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s, Sbarro, and California Pizza Kitchen for more casual fare.

Each weekend the mall hosts fashion shows all afternoon, so don’t forget to take advantage of that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after the Summit Golf Tournament on Friday.

Whether you want to snag a souvenir, eat some familiar food, or pick up that pair of socks and iPhone charger you forgot, be sure to visit Las Vegas’ Fashion Show Mall during your time at the 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Photo Courtesy of

5 Reasons to Bring Your Family to the Global TapRooT® Summit

September 9th, 2011 by

We all know about the late night adventures Vegas has to offer, but what if family fun is more your style? Don’t be afraid to bring the kids to play during the Global TapRooT® Summit February 29-March 2, 2012. They’ll love these 5 types of attractions, and you’ll get a kick out of them too.

1. Animals

MGM Grand Lion Habitat – At this free exhibit, the kids will love seeing descendants of the original MGM roaring lion.

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay – See their Shipwreck exhibit, where water, fish, sea turtles, and sharks surround you – behind glass walls, of course!

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat – Come see white lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers, not to mention dolphins! If you have some extra bucks to spare, your child can even be a dolphin trainer for a day.

2. Rides

Adventuredome – Your kids – and you – will be wowed by the Adventuredome Theme Park’s 25 simulations, rides, and IMAX experiences for all ages.

Gondola Rides at the Venetian – Enjoy this quintessential Italian boat ride through the waters near the Venetian Hotel, complete with your own singing gondolier.

Nevada Southern Railway – Do your kids love trains? Take them for a ride Saturday or Sunday after the Summit. For an extra fee, they can even ride in the engineer’s cab!

3. Fun Learning

Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour – This free self-guided factory tour is just as delicious as it sounds, with generous free samples to boot. Don’t forget to check out the Cactus Garden and M&Ms world as well.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum – Learn about ancient dinosaurs, Egyptian pharaohs, and much more at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

4. Nature

Red Rock Canyon, Springs Preserve, and Mount Charleston all offer hiking, camping, and a peaceful getaway from the madness of Las Vegas life.

5. Entertainment

Pinball Hall of Fame – This quirky attraction boasts over 1,000 vintage pinball machines for you and your family to play. Each game costs from 25 to 50 cents. Finally! Machines in Vegas the kids can have fun on too.

Volcano at the Mirage – Come early for this free water, light, and music show outside the Mirage.

Bellagio Fountains – You’ve heard of these famed fountains; now bring the kids and see the hotel’s classic music and light show up close and personal for free.

Tournament of Kings Dinner Show – Take your family back in time and watch jousting, dancing maidens, and invading armies, all while eating like medieval knights: With your fingers.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. You can create memories with your family that you’ll never forget. When you come to the Global TapRooT® Summit Week 2012, you can learn the latest root cause analysis best practices and bring the family for some good clean fun afterward.

Photo Credits: 1 2 3 4 5

Did You Know? Global TapRooT® Summit Tips and Trivia

July 21st, 2011 by

We understand; you’re on a business trip. You’re at the TapRooT® Summit to enhance your root cause analysis skills, not necessarily to indulge in all that lush Las Vegas has to offer. But did you know that the Flamingo Las Vegas offers a host of amenities for you to take advantage of, all without forcing you to leave the comfort of your own hotel?

Here’s our insider’s guide to maximizing your free time.

1. Eat, Eat, and then Eat again!

Nourishment is one of humanity’s primary needs. It’s right up there with breathing. Why deprive yourself—especially when you’re dining on the company’s dime? Indulge in one of the Flamingo’s many watering holes or elegant dining options. Exploit the casual comforts of the Pink Bean Coffee Shop, Burger Joint, or Tropical Breeze Café. Or experience the opulence of the Paradise Garden Buffet and the authentic Hamada of Japan. If you’re looking for excitement, try Bugsy’s Bar, Margaritaville, or Sin City Brewery for hours of rollicking fun!

2. Pamper Yourself – You Deserve It

Fight off your jet lag with a little well-deserved pampering. The Flamingo’s Spa offers lavish services like facials, massages, aromatherapy, and saunas. Or visit the Alexandria Salon and tempt your tired toes with a pedicure or refresh your hairstyle with a new cut! If you simply need a bit of relaxation, spend some time soaking up the sun by one of the Flamingo’s four swimming pools, surrounded by lush tropical greenery.

3. Release Your Pent-Up Energy

Feeling a little stressed about returning to work after the business trip? Just want a physical workout after your day-long mental workout? Exercise on one of the Fitness Center’s treadmills or using free weights. Connect with a new colleague during a friendly game of tennis at one of the Flamingo’s four tennis courts. The hotel also offers some of the best golfing in Nevada, so take advantage of it at our Annual Summit Golf Tournament on Friday after the Summit. Or for some late night fun, what would a trip to Las Vegas be without hitting the tables for some excitement in the hotel’s Casino?

4. Amp Up Your Evenings

Haven’t had enough yet? Nights at the Flamingo have all the bright lights and excitement you expect in Las Vegas. Enjoy the classic performances of Donny and Marie Osmond, or another one of the Flamingo’s rotating comedians, musicians, and even magicians! Don’t forget to get a souvenir or two from the Flamingo gift shop, and see their flock of live Chilean flamingoes in the Wildlife Habitat.

5. Brush Up on Your TapRooT® Skills

We know that enhancing your TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Skills is the real reason you come to the TapRooT® Summit. Get the most out of your Summit Experience by attending a Pre-Summit Course in the preceding days as well.

And we promise, we’ll let you out on time so you can enjoy a spa treatment or Japanese cuisine afterward!

Photo 1 Courtesy Wikipedia|Photos 2-5 Courtesy Flamingo Las Vegas.

Spend Your Summer Vacation with TapRooT®.

May 10th, 2011 by

We have a slough of TapRooT® courses in fun cities this summer! Get essential root cause training, and stick around to enjoy the exciting attractions each city has to offer before the kids go back to school.

Minneapolis, MN – June 20-24

Tourism Info

At the Mall of America, let the kids play at Nickelodeon Universe while you explore the luxury and convenience of over 520 shops. Try the Segway Magical History Tour for a unique way to travel and learn in Minneapolis. Or try a different set of wheels on the Grand Rounds scenic byway, the premiere place to bike and hike in the country.

Denver (Golden), CO – June 28-29

Tourism Info

Denver’s Royal Gorge boasts an amazing suspension bridge, and there’s more to it than a beautiful view: Royal Gorge Bridge Park offers rides, shows, and attractions for the whole family. Afterward, embrace your inner outlaw and visit Buffalo Bill’s gravesite and museum. For a little peace and quiet, simply drive an hour south and visit Pike’s Peak National Historic Landmark to hike the majestic Rockies.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – July 11-15

Tourism Info

Niagara is known for its stunning falls, which you can enjoy by visiting the preserve, by boat tour, or even by helicopter ride. Each night you’ll see beautifully colored lights shine from behind the gushing falls. Other fun for the family includes an indoor water park, horseback riding, and a winery tour of the Niagara area.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada – July 12-13 or July 12-14

Tourism Info

This July, our 2-Day Calgary course coincides with the Calgary Stampede! This rowdy rodeo offers a music festival, chuck wagon races, bull riding, barrel racing, and heart-thumping rides just to name a few. Not the cowboy type? Try seeing the musical Wicked, a magically popular spin on the Wizard of Oz, or visiting the historical Fort Calgary.

Seattle, Washington – July 18-22

Tourism Info

Don’t let the rain fool you: Seattle is far from dreary! Check out the Needle, the highest place in Seattle with a remarkable view. Stroll over the Pike Place Market and try some fresh local produce, trendy café style lunch, or a cup of coffee from the original Starbucks shop. Or, for some peace and quiet drive a few miles out of town and hike Mt. Rainier National Park’s aptly named Wonderland Trail.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee – July 25-29

Tourism Info

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers the best of camping, hiking, and white water rafting, while offering exciting attractions like DollyWood theme park. Prepare for a fun-filled southern experience; complete with comfort food, flea markets, and even the world’s largest Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum!

Orlando, Florida – August 1-5

Tourism Info

Orlando boasts unique and magical attractions like Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Legoland that sweep you away to another world. When you’ve had enough thrills, bask in the Florida sun at one of Orlando’s many beaches. Scuba, snorkeling, airboat rides, and hot air balloon rides are just a few ways you can make the most of the sand and surf.

Lake Tahoe, NV – August 23-24 or August 23-25

Tourism Info

Lake Tahoe has been called the “jewel of Nevada,” and with good reason. White water rafting, canoeing, fishing, biking, and hiking around the lake allow you to enjoy its splendor. Learn Lake Tahoe History at Thunderbird Lodge, the Gilded Age estate of George Whittell. Step back in time and see a historical version of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!

If any of these TapRooT® courses or attractions appeals to you, click the name of the city for more course information.

More 2-Day Course Info: Click here

More 5-Day course info: Click here

More 3-Day TapRooT® and Equifactor® Info: Click here

We look forward to working with you in one of these fantastic cities.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.

8 More Ways to Enjoy Boston TapRooT® Course!

March 11th, 2011 by

So you decided to take the TapRooT® 2-Day Course in Boston. (Maybe you didn’t, which you should remedy. Do that here.) You’ve booked your stay at the Courtyard, your flight itinerary is set, and you decided which pants you need dry-cleaned before you go. (What? You didn’t do that either? Get movin’!)

You’re excited to learn the basics of the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis technique, network with other professionals, maybe even strike up a new friendship or two. But you’re realizing you overlooked what you’ll do after the TapRooT® day. You’ve got to eat dinner, and heck, you’d like to have a little fun while you’re at it!

Worry no more! We’ve done the research and we’re sharing the best ways to spend your extra time while you’re in Boston! (Hint: It’s not laughingly asking locals if you can “pahhk the cahh in Hahhvahd Yahhd.”)

Boston’s cultural climate is a quirky blend of sleek corporate offices, historical neighborhoods, waterfront breezes, and artisanal shops and restaurants. When the TapRooT® day is done, grab your colleagues and take the T (Boston’s public transit) to one of these 9 restaurants and attractions beloved by Bostonians and visitors alike.

1. Cheers – Admit it, you’ve always wanted to go “where everybody knows your name.” The original bar from the TV series boasts your favorite beers, familiar divey dishes, and smiling staff that makes you feel at home. Try to tackle the giant Norm Burger, and get your photo on the wall!

2. Chacarero – Bostonians loved these Chilean sandwiches so much, owner Juan Hertado couldn’t meet the demand with his pushcart. He now owns a casual, low-priced sandwich shop with outdoor tables to enjoy the view.

3. Barking Crab – You can’t visit Boston without paying tribute to the area’s best-loved cuisine: seafood. Located on the Harbor, this crab shack offers an unpretentious seafaring atmosphere, classic New England clams, and even All-American non-fishy options.

4. Newbury St. – Brimming with casual cafes, boutique-style shops, delectable dining, and even vintage stores, this neighborhood offers a refreshing way to treat yourself and appreciate the little things. Right: Bottega Fiorentina, an Italian café on Newbury.

5. Fenway Park – Whether you love the Sox, hate the Yankees, or simply enjoy a good ballgame, visit Fenway Park and explore the exciting world of Boston’s baseball history. Just remember to root, root, root for the Red Sox, or you’re out!

6. Top of the Hub – Climb to the top of the Prudential Center and gaze upon Boston at the Skywalk Observatory. Not afraid of heights? Climb a little higher and drink in the view (and a cocktail!) in the Top of the Hub Restaurant & Lounge.

7. Paul Revere House – You learned about the silversmith’s “Midnight Ride” in grade school; now you can visit his home where the nighttime adventure began. Learn fact & fiction about the event, and don’t forget to snag a silver souvenir in the gift shop!

8. Mary Baker Eddy Library – Amid a slew of learning activities offered by the library, perhaps the most fascinating is the Mapparium. Walk across the transparent bridge and feel like you’ve waltzed smack dab into the center of the earth!

So join us at the TapRooT® Course May 11-12 to learn the basics of Root Cause Analysis and explore the exciting athletics, nostalgic comfort food, and vintage charm of Boston!

Register Now!

Photo sources: Intelligent Travel Blog, Yahoo! TV, Newbury StreetMary Baker Eddy Library.

Attend our 5-Day TapRooT® Course in Nairobi!

February 15th, 2011 by

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training

March 14-18, 2011

Learn all the TapRooT® tools and advanced skills that a Team Leader needs to collect information, analyze root causes, and develop effective fixes that will help your company improve performance.  Find Out More.

Register Now!


Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, was founded as a swampy supply depot for the Uganda Railway.  Far from these humble roots, it blossomed into a political and financial hub of Eastern Africa. Buzzing with residents of African, English, and Middle Eastern descent, Nairobi is home to over 3 million people.

The Maasai name Ewaso Nyirobi, meaning ‘cool waters,’ inspired the city’s name.  Nairobi boasts a comfortable climate, with temperatures ranging from 10-25°C.  Look out from Nairobi on a clear day and you’ll see Mount Kenya and Mount Kilamanjaro rising royally in the distance.


Uhuru Gardens – Rest here with a picnic lunch or explore its historic significance: Uhuru Park houses a monument honoring Jomo Kenyatta, the first Kenyan president.

Nairobi National Museum – Travel 10 minutes away from Nairobi’s city center and learn about Kenya’s nature, culture, and history.  This recently renovated museum will reveal to you the beauty and richness of Kenya!

Nairobi Safari Walk – Experience Kenya’s native wildlife.  Don’t know much about the area? A tour guide will happily lead you along to see animals like the bongo, white rhino, albino zebra, wild cats, antelopes, and various primates.

Nairobi City Market – No trip to Nairobi is complete unless you come home laden with beautifully handcrafted Maasai masks, jewelry, or textiles!  Snag your souvenirs and enjoy the buzz of the city market.

Yaya Centre – Treat yourself to Yaya’s high-end shopping mall and delectable dining options.


Bamboo – Perfect for casual or formal dining, enjoy this elegantly decorated Pan-Asian restaurant specializing in sushi, salad, and soup.

Le Rustique – Come eat on the breezy patio, or dine indoors.  This stylish Mediterranean restaurant creates a new menu each week, making each meal with fresh ingredients and ambiance.  Inside, local artists contribute to a rotating display of artwork, so “no two meals at Le Rustique are the same.”  -Le Rustique

Nairobi Java House – Sit down and relax with friends after the TapRooT® course, or grab your much-needed morning cup o’ joe.  Kenya produces delicious coffees and teas, and Nairobi Java House serves them with style.

Carnivore –  At ‘Africa’s Greatest Eating Experience’, “meat is roasted over charcoal and carved at your table. Delicious side dishes and an exceptional array of sauces complement this fixed price feast that also includes soup, a selection of desserts, and Kenyan coffee. Set in attractive tropical gardens, the service and the décor are outstanding.”

“The pulsating rhythms of Africa combine to ensure an exciting ambiance.”  -The Tamarind Group

Travel to Nairobi!  Experience its refreshing natural beauty and vivacious cultural buzz, all while attending our 5-Day TapRooT® Team Leader Training!

Register Now!

Register Now for our Upcoming 2-Day TapRooT® Course in Birmingham, Alabama!

February 10th, 2011 by

2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis

Feb 16-17

In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events, and other types of problems.  Find out more.

Register Now!

See Event Details

About Birmingham

With a 2009 population of 239,650, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama.  The city was founded in 1871, at the close of the Civil War and the rise of the Industrial Revolution.  Bearing the moniker “Pittsburgh of the South,” it was the southern hub for steel and iron production.  In the 1960s, Birmingham became famous for nonviolent Civil Rights protests led in part by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which rocked the nation and spurred the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Birmingham Attractions

The Comedy Club StarDome – Laugh along with up-and-coming comedian Mike Malone, or stay an extra day to see television star David Alan Grier, one of Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of all time!

Birmingham Zoo – Join the throng of over 500,000 a year that enjoy the fun and exciting animals at the Birmingham Zoo.  The whole family is sure to love their “Rhino Encounter” or “Sea Lion Splash” shows!

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame & Museum – Come experience the glory of Alabama’s fastest and strongest athletes, including Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Willie Mays, Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens.  Over 5,000 pieces of memorabilia cover the walls of the 33,000square foot building.

Black Barons of Birmingham – Celebrate Black History Month by meeting Dr. Larry Powell, author of Black Barons of Birmingham: The South’s Greatest Negro League Team and its Players.

Want more fun?  Try the Birmingham Museum of Art, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, Madagascar Live!, or the Alabama Jazz Museum.

Dining in Birmingham

Baha Burger – Near the TapRooT® Course site, this casual burger restaurant also offers vegetarian options.  Remember to B.Y.O.B.– that is, Build Your Own Burger, one of their most popular menu options.  Don’t forget the sweet potato fries!

Pablo’s Restaurante & Cantina – Also near the TapRooT® Course site, Pablo’s is a casual dining Mexican restaurant with tangy margaritas and refreshing import beers.  Try the fish tacos!

Highlands Bar & Grill – A fine-dining restaurant featuring savory entrees like Grilled Yellowfin Tuna, Pan-Roasted Venison, or Meyer Ranch Beef Ribeye.  Stick around for Creme Brulee or specialty Chocolate Mousse Cake!

Lloyd’s Restaurant – This local haunt is well loved in Birmingham, offering Southern-style meals and spicy-sweet barbecue.  As one online reviewer puts it, “you’ll kiss your sister or slap your mama, it’s so good.” (Yelp)

Want to sign up for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course held Febrary 16-17 in Birmingham?

Register Now!

Attend a 2-Day TapRooT® Course in Chicago, Illinois!

September 20th, 2010 by

chicago-skyline The 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis course will be held October 14-15, 2010.

In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again.

For more information and to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis course visit

“The Windy City” borders Lake Michigan and has a population of 2.8 million, making it the largest city in Illinois. The city’s attractions, businesses, and commerce bring 44.2 million visitors annually. Making use of its abundant resources, Chicago has a heritage for hosting major international, national, regional, and local events that include commerce, culture, entertainment, politics, and sports. On June 4, 2008, Chicago was chosen as one of the final four world city candidates to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and is the only American city on the list.


Chicago has 29 miles of lakefront paths making it one of the world’s most walkable and beautiful cities. Not only dubbed “The Windy City” but Chicago is often called “The Friendly City.” Whether you’re shopping, dining, or sightseeing, Chicago has much to offer. Here are a few recommendations for your visit to “The Windy, Friendly City.”

Area Attractions:

sears-tower2The Willis Tower offers an incredible view of the city from the tower’s 99th floor Skydeck. Spanning up to 50 miles, visitors can see four states from the deck.

Lincoln Park Zoo is home to more than 1,000 mammals, reptiles, and birds. Located just minutes north of Chicago, the zoo is a plush oasis in the shadow of skyscrapers.

The Garfield Park Conservatory is Chicago’s botanical gem under glass. The conservatory has been home to rare tropical plants for more than 100 years.

Navy Pier is Chicago’s lakefront playground and the Midwest’s #1 attraction with more than 8.6 million visitors a year. On the shores of Lake Michigan, the boardwalk offers rides, restaurants, exhibitions, shopping, tour boats, dinner cruises and more!

Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. The park has concerts and events all year long and is located in the heart of downtown.

The Field Museum of Natural History boasts a comprehensive set of human cultural anthropology exhibits, including artifacts from ancient Egypt, the Pacific Northwest and Tibet.

The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s version of the Champs-Elysées: a grand wide boulevard with exclusive shops, museums, restaurants and ritzy hotels.

The Shedd Aquarium is a must-see for anyone visiting Chicago. Entertainment, education, conservation—the aquarium is a definite crowd pleaser!

Dining in Chicago:

dining-al-fresco2From picnics in the park to rooftop eateries to great jazz clubs, Chicago has many ways to enjoy food, fun, and libations.

Andy’s Jazz Club is one of Chicago’s most popular jazz clubs. Great music is accompanied by a full menu including steaks, chicken, seafood, pasta, pizza and more!

The Weber Grill Restaurant will delight even the pickiest of grill masters. Featuring all your favorites, the Grill offers steaks, burgers, barbeque and more.

Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant has been a Chicago favorite for more than 85 years. Known primarily for their breakfast menu, (which they serve all day) they also offer an array of sandwiches. So whether you’re craving breakfast or lunch, Lou Mitchell’s has something for everyone.spread-of-food3

Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse has been one of Chicago’s finest since 1941, but don’t let the name fool you. In addition to fantastic steaks, they also have a full Italian menu with all the traditional favorites.

Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen has been a Chicago institution since 1942. Manny’s offers daily specials, and their regular menu is something to behold–from a corned beef sandwich to meatloaf or even salmon, it’s hard to make up your mind when you walk into Manny’s.

For more information and to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis course visit:

2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis in Boston, Massachusetts!

August 30th, 2010 by

bostonBoston, Massachusetts, will be the location for a  2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course on September 21-22, 2010. In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events, and other types of problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again.

For more information or to register, visit:

Boston is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is considered the economic and cultural center of the region and is sometimes regarded as the unofficial “Capital of New England.” Boston is also the anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston, home to 4.5 million people. (Source,_Massachusetts)

Rich in history, Boston has much to offer visitors. From the Boston Tea Party to the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, patriotism abounds and the city reflects this in its many sightseeing attractions. Here are just a few options to get you started on your Boston tour:

Adams National Historical Park includes the birthplaces of U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

The Boston Beer Company offers tours of their Sam Adams Brewery. Boston Beer founder Jim Koch is the sixth generation of Koch brewmasters.

Acorn Tours offers private sightseeing tours of Boston and the surrounding areas. See everything from Harvard to the Salem Witch Museum to the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock.

Boston Sportfishing is located right on Boston Harbor. Enjoy a day of fishing for bluefish and flounder as well as offshore fishing for cod, haddock, pollock, wolffish, shark, and bluefin tuna.

Boston Common is the starting point of the Freedom Trail. The nearly 50-acre Boston Common is one of the oldest parks in the nation.

The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum offers a multitude of exhibits and memorabilia. It is a full-sized replica of one of three original Boston Tea Party ships.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile route that passes by some of Boston’s  most noteworthy historical sites, including the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church.

Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States. Among its graduates are six U.S. Presidents–John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, and John F. Kennedy.

The USS Constitution was launched in 1797, making it the world’s oldest floating commissioned ship.

Dining in Boston:

Cheers/Bull and Finch Pub is a Boston tradition and was the inspiration for Cheers, the long-running TV sitcom. The menu features wings, nachos and burgers along with Cheers memorabilia.

The Bell in Hand Tavern has five bars and lots of live music plus karaoke. They also have your favorite appetizers, burgers, and sandwiches.

33 Restaurant and Lounge offers a wide array of menu options like Potato Ravioli, Spring Salmon, and Sake Miso Black Cod.

Maggiano’s Little Italy features traditional favorites like Baked Ziti & Sausage, Lobster Ravioli, and Fettuccine Alfredo.

Anthony’s Pier 4 overlooks historic Boston Harbor and offers fresh seafood, prime steaks, succulent Maine lobster and more.

For more information or to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis in Boston, Massachusetts, visit:

When is the last time you have Experienced Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?

June 29th, 2010 by

While this was my third tour to Saudi Arabia, this was my first true Saudi Culture experience while in Riyadh. My first two trips were with the United States Air Force for two tours of duty. These pictures are posted with great appreciation to the employees (my friends) from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Sam 0017

Img 0633 Img 0637-1

Until recently, skyscrapers were not allowed to be built (a night time picture from the skybridge)…..

Sam 0067 Sam 0071-1

Sam 0074 Sam 0077
Experiencing Authentic Arabic Cuisine

Sam 0085 Sam 0034-1
History of and formation of a Unified Saudi Arabia
Sam 0023 Sam 0048

Sam 0050 Sam 0060

The first Medical Devices in Saudi Arabia
Sam 0028 Sam 0027

Dublin Street Music

June 3rd, 2010 by

Went out to dinner at the Temple Bar Street area after day 1 of the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course in Dublin and there was great street entertainment. Here’s a sample …

(Quicktime .mov format)

Connect with Us

Filter News

Search News


Barb PhillipsBarb Phillips
Editorial Director
Chris ValleeChris Vallee
Human Factors & Six Sigma
Dan VerlindeDan Verlinde
Information Technology
Dave JanneyDave Janney
Safety & Quality
Ed SkompskiEd Skompski
Medical Issues
Ken ReedKen Reed
Linda UngerLinda Unger
Vice President
Mark ParadiesMark Paradies
Creator of TapRooT®
Megan CraigMegan Craig
Media Specialist
Steve RaycraftSteve Raycraft
Technical Support

Success Stories

Our challenge was to further improve the medication administration process at our facility by proactively…

Jackson County Memorial Hospital

In this short period of time interesting problems were uncovered and difficult issues were…

Contact Us