The Soul of a City In the Heart of Downtown There’s a buzz on the streets of Greenville. An excitement for the new hotel in the heart of Greenville’s thriving downtown, the center of the city’s business, culture and entertainment. Combining historical architectural and chic design elements with high tech amenities such as the Courtyard Go Board and free high speed internet access, the Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown hotel is the soul of the city.
Small Meetings No Small Matter
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Courtyard by Marriott® Greenville Downtown 50 West Broad Street Greenville, SC 29601 T 864-451-5700 marriottcourtyardgreenville.com
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Q3 ‘ 10 every issue
Status Check: Are You Innovative?
Big Picture: Anderson Arts Center
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11 12 14 80 84 96
LAYERS OF THOUGHT GUT CHECK RANDOM & RELEVANT 11 QUESTIONS 101 DAYS WHAT MATTERS
Q32010 September/October Q1 2010 2009
Measure of Success: S.C.Tourism
the think tank
Trail Blazers: Schroeder & Bean
23 35 38 50 61 64 76 82 93
GROWTH SMALL BIZ GLOBAL CEOs POLITICS SALES LAW HR KIDBIZ
Speed Pitch: STATUS
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Why Business Black Box? Whether planes crash or crews overcome obstacles to successfully complete flights, airlines go to the black box to discover secrets, answers, and missing information to explain what happened and learn for the future. Thatâ€™s the mission of our magazine, our connect events, and our interactive platform.Newsofbusinesses succeeding, failing, merging, hiring, firing and more are reported everyday, all over the Upstate. But in business, the real power is not just hearing the news, but about going behind the scenes, discovering, connecting, and learning from those that made it happen.
BE 1/2 V
EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Contributing Writers
Jordana Megonigal Andrew Brandenburg Julie Godshall Brown Andy Coburn John DeWorken Todd Korahais Ravi Sastry Simone Shahdadi Tony Snipes James Thryselius Geoff Wasserman Terry Weaver Simone Shahdadi Amy Devore Wilson Douglas Kristina Fulton Kyle Noblin
DESIGN Creative Director Art Director Graphic Design Traffic Coordinator Photography
Chad McMillan Lisa Worsham Chris Heuvel Conrad LaRosa Lisa Worsham Brad Forth Conrad LaRosa
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VIDEO & INTERACTIVE
At the heart of every event, every blog, every magazine issue, and every documentary Business Black Box produces, youâ€™ll find a relentless passion for connecting, advising and growing Upstate business.
Interactive Video Services Director
Conrad LaRosa Jonathan Shuler
BUSINESS Publisher Director of Client Services Account Executives Accounting
Geoff Wasserman Missy Nowack Mary Wray Conner Melissa Sample
www.insideblackbox.com/Genesis Q3 2010
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represents Upstate business leaders and the power that they possess collaboratively. In his hand is a small model plane, symbolizing that of Southwest Airlines (or any outside business, for that matter). The irony is this:Although incomparably large and powerful, Southwest Airlines is not necessarily the giant in this equation. The giant is bigger than one person or one company.The giant is the sum of prevailing and influential people in the Upstate coming together to ignite business on a larger scale. You’ll also notice that the
businessman is not looking down. His focus isn’t on the idea that he’s holding on to at the moment.Rather, his gaze is continually fixed ahead to the future with a constant vision, always planning, always dreaming. So yes, there are giants among us. Each day, you face giants in your life and your business. But remember, you are bigger than you think. Keep looking ahead. Keep dreaming. Keep your vision always in front of you. Never look down on opportunity. You are the giant.
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In this issue, Business Black Box leads with the story of how Upstate business leaders came together over a decade ago to put a plan in place for enchanting one of the largest airlines in the U.S., Southwest Airlines, to our area. In many ways, Southwest Airlines is a corporate giant, and bringing them here to the Upstate means a huge influx of something that is already escalating in South Carolina: business. With that said, there’s a bit of irony conveyed through our cover art for this issue. The businessman
B O X GUT CHECK
How to Overcome Your Muddy, Weenie Self
am a weenie. (Okay, not really, but I do play one on TV.) Seriously, ask any of my past (or present) personal trainers. My varsity coaches. My Mud Run team. Heck, ask my sister.
I’d bet that they all tell you that I’m whiny and complain a lot. But I’m extremely capable. I’m pretty strong, and astonishingly stubborn—and so, with those strengths, I can actually do just about anything that I want to do. I just like to whine about it. In May, hundreds (thousands, even?) of people participated in the St. Francis Mud Run to benefit Goodwill and Toys for Tots. With four miles and 30-something obstacles (from six-foot walls to scale to giant mud pits that suck the shoes right off your feet, rope walls, tummy crawls, and a twelve-foot-high-monster wall) this event is nothing to sneeze at.We trained for weeks beforehand and still almost died in a pool of mud. Ironically, our team made it through every single obstacle, save one that we determined a-little-too-dangerous. But for me personally, the hardest obstacle was myself. I had gone through 33 obstacles with my team, and just floundered out of a mud pit, with mud up to my chest. A small, two-foot high mound of dirt stood between me and the final obstacle. And I couldn’t get over it. Each step made the pile of dirt more slippery. With no traction, I couldn’t get a foothold. I almost quit. Really. Almost quit. Let me spell that out for emphasis: I almost quit, with only ONE more obstacle to go, because of a two-foot-high hill. For someone that had scaled wall after wall by this point, swung across pits on a rope, and crawled through the woods and streams on their hands and knees, a two-foot-high hill almost got me. Fortunately, I had three women on my team, and friends and family screaming from the sidelines (and laughing uncontrollably in between!) who encouraged me to get through it.They pushed.They cheered.They pointed video cameras at me. One step back, a new look and new determination, and I was over that hill. There’s a real danger involved in saying you “can’t” or making yourself a victim when it comes to business, though. Say it enough, and you’ll believe it. You’ll give up. You’ll create the circumstances that are “too hard” or “not your job.” In essence, you determine your own end. But it works both ways — you can just as easily talk yourself up. As long as something is possible, it is achievable—even by you, and even with the highest of peaks.
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And if you happen to be lucky to have people cheering you on, you definitely can’t give up. They’re cheering for you, not the crying weenie on top of the two-foot-high pile of dirt.
Editor, Business Black Box email@example.com 864/281-1323 x.1010 twitter.com/jmegonigal facebook.com/jordana megonigal linkedin.com/in/jordanam
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Random&Rele OOPSIE! RANDOM & RELEVANT
Between the Pages
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/insideblackbox
What we read: Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in onYour Passion By GaryVeynerchuk. The Gist: Your biggest passion can be capitalized on, say Veynerchuk.With a few simple “how to’s”, he walks you through the concept of taking your loves in life and building a sustainable and successful career out of them. How it’s Written: The book is easy to read, with sections like “The Best Marketing Strategy Ever” and “Passion is Everything.” A lot of insights sprinkled throughout the chapters add value and examples to the direction.Veynerchuk is also adamant about speaking to his readers—his email address is posted throughout the book to encourage feedback, examples or discussion. Great if: You’re thinking about starting your own company or building yourself as a brand.
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Don’t miss: Chapter 9.It says it all.
Our Read: Great book. A few things that we don’t agree with, but then again,Veynerchuk allows for disagreement. IF you’re looking to start off in your own direction, this is on our “Must Read” list.
There’s this thing about being human: you get to make a lot of mistakes. Sometimes, you just let them pass. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge them so people don’t think you’re crazy. So, we want to address the fact that our Q2 issue’s Big Picture had a glaring boo-boo. We know that Fluor field, home of the Greenville Drive, is spelled F-L-U-O-R. But our word processer insists it be spelled F-L-O-U-R. And darned if that thing didn’t sneak a few in to prove its point. We have now beat it into submission, and this should not be repeated. Still, we hope you’ll forgive our mistake.
what Henry said...
s that s e n i s “A bu g but n i h t o s n r make a poo s i y e mon ss.” busine Ford - Henry
what we said... sure t a h t an, ht “But m e nice rig b would now! about ck Box a l B s s e - Busin
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B O X RANDOM & RELEVANT BLACK
Business Calendar what’s happening?
Here are just a couple of things going on around the Upstate for business owners, networkers, or entrepreneurs.
• WHAT - 18th Annual Greenville Chamber Golf Tournament • WHEN - August 23, 2010, 10 a.m. • WHERE - Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer Course and Riverside Course • DETAILS - Cost to play is $200 per player or $800 for a foursome, and includes greens fees, cart fees, range, lunch, a golfer gift, and attendance to the after party. Guests who do not play in the tournament are invited to attend the after party for $35 per guest. Players and guests are invited to attend an after party at the Greenville Country Club immediately following play. The after party will include dinner, drinks, and even a silent auction, which includes prizes such as signed sports memorabilia, vacation rentals and golf packages! Call (864) 239-3731 for more information.
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Lots more to see at www.insideblackbox.com
It’s no secret self-publishing has gotten a bad rap. But Ink Swift, a division of Emerald House Group, is rewriting the book on selfpublishing by offering completely custom books with more perks and better service than anyone in the industry. So whether your dream is writing the next bestseller or simply publishing a book for your family and friends, Ink Swift can help. Go ahead, learn more about us, review our products and find out why we’re different than our competition. You’ll see how we’re adding style, support and speed to self-publishing.
• WHAT - Women in Business Conference and Luncheon • WHEN - September 28, 2010, 9 a.m. • WHERE - Apex Ballroom, Summit Pointe • DETAILS - This annual event is sponsored by the Diversity Committee of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. The event features a number of speakers on various topics pertinent to educating and empowering women professionals, along with lunch. Sponsorship opportunities are available, contact Yvonne Harper at (864)594-5032 or email at yharper@ spartanburgchamber.com.
The Best We’ve Heard...
“Re m failu ember re t not is an ev hat a pe e rson nt, .” - Zig
Get Connected: Connect with other business owners and tons of potential customers. Submit your business to our online directory for free at http://www.insideblackbox.com/directory
Get connected by listing your event for FREE on our Business Black Box master business calendar:
Visit http://insideblackbox.com/Events 16
Q32010 Q1 2010
Simply fill out the form and we’ll get your event posted to the calendar.
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B O X RANDOM & RELEVANT BLACK
Our Picks: websites you should (at least) visit
1.Behance.com The same people who brought you the book Making Ideas Happen have ramped up this site with links to cool events, software and everything else they can find to help the creative people of the world get stuff done.
6.Ted.com If you liked the TEDx event held earlier this
2.CreativesOutfitter.com From the same
7.Startupnation.com A great place to start out
guys as above, this paper product helps execute the “Action method,” which we will personally vouch for.
if you are thinking of starting your own business. Great layout; great content.
3.Resourcefurniture.com This Italian-styled
8.Wordle.net Hook this up to your blog, or post in
furniture looks pretty, but it’s more functional than anything we’ve ever seen.The space savers convert in a variety of ways and are perfect for small spaces
year, you’ll love this.Thousands of lectures—none more than a standard 15 minutes or so long—on every topic imaginable.
some text and build a word cloud that truly represents you.
9.Gethuman.com We all have to call a corporation
4.Howtonailaninterview.com Funny—but true—looks at things not to do in a job interview.
5.Awkwardfamilyphotos.com Because everybody needs a break now and then, and this will have you laughing out loud.
sometime, and getting a human is proving more and more difficult. On this site you’ll get a list of common offenders, and the codes that take you right to the living, breathing representatives.
10.Politifact.com Started by the St. Petersburg
Times and winner of a 2009 Pulitzer Prize, this site is the best way to navigate the media and make your own judgments based on history, not on hype.
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B O X STATUS CHECK
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All of us have times where we do something truly innovative. It might be a new marketing idea, or a cool plan to increase revenue that goes against the grain.What was your most innovative moment in your career?
I don’t know how “innovative” this was, but when
My MOST innovative idea?
I was selling cars I had CD holders (that go over your sun visor in your car) made with my name and info branded on them. When you bought your car, it came already installed. I never saw anyone take them off, even when they were back for service. At about $3 each, they were the best retention tool I’ve ever had.
Writing a book about the art of small business marketing in 1999 and restricting sales to 2,000 copies (Get it? 2,000 copies for the year 2000). All of them sold, by the way. I almost forgot to keep a few for myself. The book was called The Giraffe Principles. I am now working on an updated project—The 12 Triggers ... That Always Produce More Customers.
TJ Rumler Mortgage Consultant, Merrimack Mortgage Co
Gil Gerretsen CEO, BizTrek International, Inc.
I think we’re all looking When we started conducting live, real-time online auctions. We began to see a decrease in the revenue generated by attendees at our live auctions - so we broke the geographical borders and allowed the world into the mix. Now, we take care of our clients and bring them people from all over to bid on their items. Darron Meares, MBA COO, Meares Auction Group
Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something or “new stuff that is made useful”. It may refer to an incremental emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. – Wikipedia
for innovative and nontraditional ways to deliver our particular message and generate name recognition. We’ve started utilizing various forms of “social media” and are re-vamping our website to become interactive and force us to keep it current. Our 50+ year old aviation company is dealing with cuttingedge technology almost every day as a new Diamond Aircraft Service Center. The Cirrus will be a new fleet addition soon! Steve Wiley Aviation Specialist, Special Services Corporation
Every aspect of my life is innovative because I throw out
Join the discussion! Join our group— Business Black Box—on LinkedIn to give us your feedback on this and many other subjects!
John Hoyt Senior Systems Engineer, Homeland Secure IT, LLC
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traditional thinking and go with something new. This is not just business, but my personal life too! If you want to catch someone’s attention, you are not going to do it by doing the same thing over and over again, or even copying the great ideas of others. The MOST innovative moment in my career? Probably a few years ago when I was offering complete web creation and domain registration with the purchase of a web hosting plan. I had more business than I could handle. Then everyone started doing it.
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GROWTH BLACK B OX
the importance of growing your company
Terry Weaver is the owner and CEO of Chief Executive Boards International, a peer advisory community for successful business owners and CEO’s. He is also the national CEO of Peer Advisory organization. Terry has held many leadership positions, such as Divisional VP for Johnson Controls, Inc., President/COO, of KEMET Corporation, and director of two Japanese Joint Ventures. He is also founder of Metaprise Consulting and Delta Resource Group.
Everyone talks about “growing your company.” Why is that important, if you’re satisfied with it as-is? It’s not exactly obvious. Let’s take a look at the two big underlying reasons that growth is important, if not essential, to your company’s future. First, it’s almost impossible to hold a business at steady state—it’s either growing or shrinking, depending on the strategies in play. If those aren’t growth strategies, a downturn is imminent. So, focusing on growth keeps everyone’s eye on the ball and the company’s culture aligned for success.
by terry weaver
The second is more tangible. It’s about the long-term value of the company—what someone in the future can earn from the company (say, an heir or a successor employee owner) or what someone in the future will be willing to pay for the company. So, growth is a major ingredient in the valuation of the business. Why is that? Aren’t companies generally valued on something like a multiple of free cash flow? Yes, but. The “but” is that growing companies are easier to sell—everyone wants to buy a growing company. Growing companies are easier to buy, as well. Why? Buyers are buying the future and usually paying back a lender.They love the idea of doing that out of a growing cash stream. For both those reasons, buyers pay a premium for a growing company. So, if you have to choose between growth and status quo, choose growth. More in the next issue.
ck a b d Fee m, advise andisit
th ou v stor Brain in when y om/Grow c . h x ig we kBo eBlac Insid
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photos by brad forth
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By Simone Shahdadi
n the Persian culinary world, everything is about balance. “Hot” foods (in essence, not temperature) are paired with “cold” foods to create a perfect combination. It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that for Ali Saifi—owner of Pomegranate and a vast Subway empire—life mirrors that balance, fusing his business acumen with his undying love for his community.
When you look for the offices of Subway Development Corporation of South Carolina—the multi-million dollar company’s headquarters to 380 fast food chains across the state—it’s not exactly easy to find. Driving down Mills Avenue in Downtown Greenville, you’ll see several small old-looking buildings, but nothing with the grandeur and presence most would assume the corporate office of the largest fast food chain in South Carolina would have. But enter into the Mehdi Building, a new and relatively small structure designed to fit in seamlessly with the old mills surrounding it, and you’ll find the base of the franchise giant, as well as the CEO and President of Subway Development Corporation of South Carolina, Ali Saifi. “I’m sure it would have sounded so much fancier to be titled ‘Subway Corporate Office’ or ‘The Saifi Building,’ but that’s not what I’m about,” Saifi explains. His father, Medhi Saifi, was a physician in his native Iran, and Saifi credits his success, as well as his character and modesty, to his late father. Naming the building after his father is just one example of many ways Saifi has striven to give back to those who have given to him along the way.
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Born and raised in the city of Shiraz, located in the south of Iran, Ali Saifi learned “Southern hospitality” long before settling into the Upstate. “I was a Southerner in Iran and a Southerner in the United States,” he says. He parallels the two, saying that people from Southern Iran are also very easygoing, hospitable, friendly, and speak with a slower dialect and a Southern drawl. “I guess you could say that I have a Southern English-Iranian accent,” Saifi jokes. Immigrating to the United States in 1973 to further his education, Saifi had every intention of going back to Iran after graduating. However, after meeting Nancy, now his wife of 32 years, he decided to stay and plant roots in America, becoming a citizen in 1980. He joined the Subway network that same year, a company that was a small chain with a little over 50 locations total. Today, he owns 380 locations in South Carolina, and employs more than 4,000 people Q3 2010
directly (the total Subway empire has over 32,000 locations worldwide in more than 90 different countries). When he decided to move closer to his American family, he visited the possible cities in South Carolina he could settle in. “When I saw Greenville, it just felt like home,” Saifi says. “It’s truly a beautiful city.” Staying in the United States, and settling into the Upstate of South Carolina, Saifi views as a unique twist of fate. Having been born in another country and not knowing English, he could have gone to any country, learned the language there, and never looked back. He has a unique perspective that many Americans do not have, and he says this makes him even more patriotic. “I have been so blessed,” Saifi said. “This city has given me so much, something that my home country of Iran would not give to an American. For that I am so in debt to this community, and that gratefulness drives me to be a part of this city and do what I do.”
Pomegranate: the fruit of success
After transplanting to the Upstate and making Greenville his new home, Saifi was ready to bring a little of his old home to the area. He decided to open a restaurant introducing Persian cuisine to the community, an opportunity to show the culture of Iran to those who would never have a chance to visit. With an empire of 380 restaurants across the state, opening Pomegranate on Main was not a venture with the goal of financial gain—while no entrepreneur goes into a business venture not to make money, that was not a calculation for Saifi. Not wanting to create an American version of Persian food (like how Mexican and Chinese food is in the United States), he made sure that the menu was absolutely authentic and was an accurate representation of the culture of Iran. “The menu is exactly the menu that you would find when you go to Iran and order in a restaurant, or that your parents will make at home,” Saifi says. “No modifications whatsoever.” Persian cuisine is not easy to pull off in mass quantity, as the food
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I am so in debt to this , and drives me to be a part that of this city and do what I do.
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is cooked for hours and every product must be fresh and homemade. Everything at Pomegranate on Main is done the authentic way, from hand-preparing ice cream with pistachio and saffron rosewater, to carefully grilling the kebabs.The rice is repeatedly washed, straining the carbs and starch out, then slow cooked for hours to ensure it is fluffy and healthy. The products are made fresh everyday for that day’s use, and anything left over at the end of the night is thrown away (there isn’t even a fryer in the kitchen, which is a rarity to this region). The entire entrée menu is gluten-free, as Saifi noticed how many people are gluten intolerant.
I had to stay true and take
TraditionGiving creating a of
Crediting his success to the Upstate accepting him, Ali Saifi finds himself extremely lucky and indebted to his community. “Now, it’s time to try to give back,” he says. Serving on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries in the Upstate, Saifi draws from his successful business and prominence in the city to give back to his community. Saifi views Goodwill as a unique nonprofit organization, not giving a handout, but a hand up to those in need, using the money made from donations from the community to pay for job training and teach them how to sustain themselves. The biggest benefit that Goodwill can give to someone is self esteem, Saifi explains, by transforming people who were once a burden to society to hold a job and become a taxpaying citizen of the city (Last year, Goodwill’s training helped people who were once on welfare or unemployment generate income exceeding $4 million). Saifi opened a Subway franchise inside the Goodwill Building on Haywood Road, Greenville, where employees have been through Goodwill’s Food Service Training Program. While the food may not be prepared at the same speed of other restaurants, Saifi says that knowing he had a part in their success is more rewarding. “Connecting Subway and Goodwill was not a business decision so much as a humanitarian decision,” he says. While Saifi does everything he can to give to his community, he is overwhelmed by the opportunity that he has been given from the beginning. “When you come into a new country where they don’t have to have you, and they accept you, that’s huge,” Saifi says. “I never expected special treatment; all I wanted was to be like everybody else. So once a market or a city opens up to you like this, you have to chip in and give back.” He recalls a time when the mother of an employee called him in tears, explaining that because of Saifi providing a job for her daughter, she was finally able to buy her own shirt for the first time in her life. “This is what gives me the drive to do what I do,” Saifi says. Sitting in the building named after his father, Saifi contemplates what gave him such a passion for helping those less fortunate than himself. He recalls his childhood in Iran at his father’s office, watching every person who walked in the door pay cash to the receptionist before they saw his father. When his father would examine his patients, he would sometimes give them their money back, slipping it into their prescription bottle so nobody would see. These people stood at the front and paid their dues just like everyone else, Saifi explains, but his father managed to help those who were underprivileged without taking away their self-esteem. “So do I think my dad had any influence on me? I say absolutely,” Saifi says. “I can never forget that.”
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When visualizing Pomegranate on Main, Saifi wanted something the market had never seen before, offering the concept of a European bistro that brings upscale dining equal to what you would find in Los Angeles or New York City. Striving to step out of the box to present a new level of upscale restaurant, he wanted to show Greenville just how diverse it was. “I am convinced that Greenville, South Carolina, is the most cosmopolitan city of its size,” Saifi says. He sees his plan has worked, as companies and government authorities, as part of their efforts to sell Greenville to visitors from around the world, they always bring their visitors to Pomegranate. He has heard many visitors to Greenville say they never thought the city was so sophisticated until they visited his restaurant. “At first I was afraid this concept would be too extreme that locals wouldn’t accept it,” Saifi admits. “But not accepting it would only mean the restaurant would not be as financially successful as I would have hoped. I was convinced, and even more so today, what a cosmopolitan market this is. I had to stay true to my beliefs, and take some big chances with this.” While both restaurants make healthy choices a priority, there are few other similarities between the fast food chain Subway and the experience dining of Pomegranate on Main. “Of course it’s hard to compare the business of Subway and Pomegranate,” Saifi admits. “There are 380 of one and one of the other!” Saifi knew he always wanted to own a franchise, and studied hundreds of chains before putting his faith in Subway, never imagining the success that would come with it. With a franchise, everything is consistent—every process is the same no matter what the day or location. Saifi brings the same discipline to his own restaurant, Pomegranate—every dining experience you have there will be the same preparation, look the same, taste the same, and you will get the same great service. “Having said that, I will never franchise Pomegranate,” Saifi adds. Not that it wouldn’t be a winning formula, with authentic cuisine, excellent service, and a unique atmosphere—but it’s a formula that he cannot recreate. “Pomegranate is a project that has my heart and soul in it,” he says. Every single aspect of the restaurant, from the color of the walls, to the décor, to the artwork and each dish—every piece was hand selected by Saifi. As this wasn’t a business venture for him, he spent whatever money he felt necessary to make it just the way he wanted it. “I’d venture to say Pomegranate is the most expensive restaurant per square foot of anywhere in Greenville,”
Saifi says. “But I wanted it just right, and it had to be perfect.”
Since you won’t see Pomegranate anywhere but Main Street, Q3 2010
Subway Development Corporation of South Carolina
STARTED Saifi opens state’s first
SUBWAY® in Clemson. At the time, there were only 154 SUBWAY® locations world wide.
STATE’S 380 SUBWAY® locations in LARGEST SC today. Saifi is the state’s FRANCHISE first and only developer for SUBWAY®.
Greenville, what is next for the local businessman? “If you had asked me that question a year and a half ago, I would have said that I wanted breakfast served in every Subway in South Carolina,” Saifi says (earlier in May, Subway just rolled out it’s new breakfast menu, which all of the restaurants in South Carolina have adopted). “I should be careful what I wish for now,” Saifi jokes. The future for him doesn’t involve any huge projects or business ventures, but a more personal approach in bettering the community. “I really want to see this city become the most livable, comfortable city in this country,” Saifi says. Whether it be extended collaboration with Goodwill Industries, helping with feeding the poor or educating the needy, or working to attract industries that could provide the economic base that this city must have to move to the next level, Saifi will be working relentlessly to give back to his community. “Nothing as grandiose as a project or empire building,” Saifi explains. “Just helping the neighbors.”
really “ livable, comfortable I
see this city become
SALES Exceed $100 million EMPLOYMENT Approximately 4,000 employees
National Recognition Saifi is President of the Development Agent Advisory Corporation SUBWAY® Named Saifi 2009 Developer of the Year for Southeast Region
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SUBWAY® Named Most Trusted Brand— Decision Analyst Nationwide Consumer Study
SUBWAY® Brand Ranked Number One Provider of Healthy Options—Zagat Survey SUBWAY® Ranked Number One Franchise —Entrepreneur Magazine
STATE’S Over 400,000 square feet of LARGEST leased space TENANT
Not only does Ali Saifi wish to give back to his community, but he wishes to enlighten people to the true culture of Iran. He explains that Persians are very similar to Americans—they’re educated, welcoming, and warm people, despite what the media and Iranian government portrays them to be. Saifi is grateful for his unique perspective, having been born and raised in Iran and living in the United States for almost four decades. “I feel as though I appreciate what I have here more than I would have otherwise,” Saifi says. He notices people in the public eye, and even people in this community, that hide from their heritage because they are afraid of the ramifications or backlash if they admit it. “Me? I tell everybody,” Saifi says smiling. Saifi hopes that some day, everyone will see Persia for what it really is, rich in culture and history, and full of warm, friendly people just like him. Through Pomegranate on Main, he is providing an accurate, sophisticated view of his Persian culture, and also seems to be making the city more cosmopolitan with every impressed visitor to the Upstate. In addition to his extensive work with Goodwill Industries, Saifi is doing everything he can to give back to his community—the Persian community that shaped his character, and to the community of the Upstate that has provided so much to him.
i n n o vat i on s .
contributions AND LABORATORY
expand to hospitals, plants, offices, and
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The researchers, scientists, and innovators at Clemson University invest their lives discovering new ways to make the world a better place. Clemson University Research Foundation makes the connection to the world of medicine, business, foodservice, and manufacturing to promote the use of their innovations.
Visit our new website at
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SMALL BIZ SMALLBIZ BLACK B OX
how to stay focused when launching your business goals by tony snipes
Tony Snipes is director of Redemption Marketplace Alliance, a Greenville-based entrepreneurship training program, where he utilizes a unique combination of years of leadership experience in the corporate arena with ministry experience in the community. Tony has spent over a decade as an Internet publishing and advertising expert, helping clients for news media companies such as the Greenville News, The St. Petersburg Times, and News Channel 7 WSPA.
How to Avoid Getting Off Track Keep it simple: Make sure that your business target at the end of the term is a simple, achievable goal. Any new idea should directly or indirectly help achieve that strategic goal. If it doesn’t, toss it or at least table it. Finish what you start before branching off to start something new, especially if the new idea does not line up with reaching the target.
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Business Black Box
The biggest enemy to executing your business strategy and meeting the goals of your start-up business is not what many people think. Procrastination is the enemy that keeps new businesses from launching in the first place, but there is another enemy that lurks around the corner waiting to pounce on you after you’ve overcome the hurdle of getting started. That enemy attacks in the area of staying focused and it often appears in the unsuspecting guise of multiple good ideas. Initially you’d think that the bandit that steals the momentum of your launch and highjacks your agreed-upon milestones in the process would be more evident in bad ideas or concepts. But in many cases the ideas that sound great but steals our focus away from the intended target are the ones that get in the way. It’s the good idea that would be great to pursue …but not now, or the one that someone needs to do…but not you… those are the ones to beware of. To prevent this from happening, something I learned from the book Good to Great by author Jim Collins is what I stand by. It’s called the “Hedgehog Concept.” It’s reminiscent to the age old “tortoise versus the hare” tale and it goes like this: There are two different types of business leaders, foxes or hedgehogs. Although a clearly defined objective or goal is defined for his business, the fox is easily distracted, especially when adversity hits. The fox is seen as always running back and forth at every new scheme that is introduced. Just like in the tale of the tortoise and the hare, the fox is picked to win because of
a few short term successes, but loses in the long run because each good sounding idea had no relevance in reaching the intended endgame target. The hedgehog has a much different business approach. A hedgehog in the real world only has one effective method of defense. When threatened, the hedgehog curls into ball, allowing the spikes of its fur to protrude to keep attackers at bay. It then rolls in a direct path forward to get out of the dangerous situation. The hedgehog exemplifies sticking to focused, specific tasks. He is an expert in what works, thus the reason why he’s consistent. Like the tortoise, the hedgehog may not be picked to win at the beginning, but he comes out the winner because of a focused strategy. Both of these business types are approached with good ideas during the course of their growth, but the hedgehog filters out ideas that don’t align with the intended end-game target.
ou stor lBiz. Brain in when y om/Smal .c weigh lackBox B Q3 2010 e 35 d Insi
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B O X TRAILBLAZERS
hile many Trail Blazers begin by making a fresh start in some area of their life, Kevin Bean, president and CEO of O’Neal, Inc., has moved his company in a new direction by making the 35-year-old company relevant to the needs of today. Beginning as a design firm and adding the construction component of the business in 1997, O’Neal has been around for quite a while. 1975 O’Neal is founded by Paul O’Neal as a structural consulting firm Recently, though, the attitude taken by Bean and his associates exemplifies a frame of mind that’s somewhat non-traditional for the construction and design industries 1980 Electrical,civil and mechanical disciplines by making the green movement a key facet of their work. are added to O’Neal’s capabilities “What we are focused on right now is renewable energy,” Bean explains. “That is a new market with not a lot of incumbents.” 1988 Bean moves to Greenville “Most of our focus is on solar and biomass energies, so we have established a partnership with a European company based in the Netherlands, with manufacturing 1990 O’Neal adds piping, instrumentation, in Taiwan and Germany, and what we are doing is helping bring some of their controls and architectural capabilities, technologies here to the U.S.” Brian Gallagher, director of marketing at O’Neal, and begins a more dedicated adds. “In addition to that, we are doing some work on biomass plants, so global involvement in the processes of our energy is gaining some momentum and it is going to continue to gain a lot of clients by now momentum as government program change.” Recently, O’Neal partnered with Coca-Cola, agreeing on a $50 million deal 1993 O’Neal merges with Taylorto design and build the world’s largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in Anderson Architects, an Atlanta Spartanburg, S.C. Every year, the plant recycles 100 million pounds of plastic, which architectural firm can be reused as new bottles.The plastic recycled in these efforts amounts to as many 1994 O’Neal opens an office in Raleigh, as two billion reused plastic bottles produced every year. N.C. to serve pharmaceutical clients; In addition to projects which result in brand new facilities, O’Neal also takes part Bean joins O’Neal as mechanical in creating designs that update and upgrade standing facilities in an environmentallyengineer friendly, cost-effective manner, resulting in overall savings for their clients. “A lot of companies that we work with have corporate sustainability programs, 1997 Adds O’Neal Constructors, LLC as and they are looking at LEED certification for their buildings,” Gallagher says. “They a subsidiary are looking at energy efficiency and conservation measures, and they are also looking at alternative sources for generating energy, so, it’s a natural fit with what our clients 1998 Bean becomes Business Development Manager are looking for, and we want to find some ways to bring more solutions to them.” But the strength of O’Neal lies not only with progressive, efficient designs. 2004 Bean becomes President O’Neal also boasts an energy auditing system where they track a building’s current energy use and identify changes that a business can make in order to use energy more 2009 Adds focus on Renewable Energy efficiently, potentially resulting in tax credits for businesses that make these changes. “It’s not just part of business, but helping the local economy and the planet that puts the “why” behind the business,” Bean says. “I can see that in our employees and team members—they are excited about it. “I think the other thing that’s interesting is that our business tends to be about Profile by Andrew Brandenburg numbers and rate of return, but this is not the primary driver,” he continues. “You have to have a reasonable business case, but a lot of our clientele is based in Europe. They are working to conserve energy because it’s the right thing to do, and that’s what I think is exciting—the financial model is second.” And yet the green movement is still evolving and growing, which makes keeping up with them in business a full-time effort. “We have to kind of navigate it because all industries are trying to determine what the future is,” Bean says. “Renewable energy would be part of it and it will drive a lot of new businesses, and we don’t want to just participate in solar and biomass, we want to help the companies who want to participate, so I see that as a whole new opportunity for us. We are an established business, but now the challenge is that we have to reinvent ourselves and realign what we want to do.”
TRAIL BLAZERS BLAZERS 12
250+ 90 72 21+
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The facts: Number of Design and Construction Employees Percentage of O’Neal’s business that comes from repeat clients Days it took to complete a fill and finish facility in to make small pox vaccine Average years of experience of O’Neal staff members Q3 2010
B O X GLOBAL
the evolution of the expat
part 3 by ravi sastry
Ravi Sastry is president of International Innovations, a consulting firm specializing in American and Asian business and commerce. He has held senior management positions in international sales, marketing, logistics, and operations. During his 25year career, he has lived and worked in 14 countries on three continents, forging strategic relationships with industry leaders like Bosch, IBM, McKinsey, Samsung and others.
How they need to manage:
• Instill mindset that compliance and accountability are essential • Develop relationships with a local but global mentality • Place greater importance on strategic planning than in their home country • Maintain standards of home country • Have a basic understanding of the history and political system of the country in which they are managing • Put a greater emphasis on human capital development than in home country
In our first two issues, we discussed the need for expatriates (expats), why they are important, and the “recipe” for maximizing ROI. In this second installment, we will discuss how the expat needs • Need to be empowered to manage, how they need to be managed and how they change • Need mutually-agreed-upon concrete targets; the statement over time. of “Go fix the China office and good luck!” probably won’t In the 1980s and 1990s, expats both successful and unsuccessful cut it in today’s market were characterized by a curious mindset. They didn’t keep • Need a balance of autonomy and support from HQ anything inside for long, and because nature abhors a vacuum, • Essential that they are educated on the country in which they they constantly needed to ingest something new, replenish will manage from a socioeconomic perspective themselves, multiply, augment. The expat’s mind found it difficult • Essential that a repatriation plan is in place for future critical to stop at one event or one country. Something always propelled functions them forward, drove them on without rest. Such people, while useful, even agreeable, to others, were, if truth be told, frequently unhappy—lonely, in fact. Problems would arise because the expat • Become more culturally sensitive was on his/her own. They lost touch with the best practices • Learn skills of diplomacy of their home country, both professionally and personally. This • Increase importance of compliance and accountability caused two major problems: first, the expat was no longer effective • Resent consensus management at driving the HQ message across and the expat no longer fit in • Can appear to lose national pride from a superficial level back home. • Develop into a state of constant motion, both beneficial and In addition, many expats developed an over-inflated sense of detrimental their capabilities. The result was that the expat became an outcast • Without proper contact with home country, they can develop both at home and abroad. Yes, they would always seek out others, into outcasts, both at home and in their host country and it may have even seemed to them that in a certain country or • Become more entrepreneurial city they had managed to find true kindred and fellowship, having come to know and learn about people; but they woke up one day In the fourth issue, and final in the series, we will discuss the and suddenly felt that nothing actually bound them to these people, that they could leave at once. For all intents and purposes, they repatriation process and how to manage the global executive once they come home. didn’t grow attached to anything, or put down deep roots. Today, the expat has the same drive and impatience to get things done by taking calculated risks, regardless of country, industry, markets and position. However, the expat is a global executive and they also realize the long-term impact on the business, family, and their career. They know that having long lasting relationships and networking on a worldwide level is paramount for success today and in the future. In addition, they become experts in every facet of the enterprise—from Sales/Marketing, to Operations or R&D and Finance—not just care takers of the business. Finally, they know how to balance the local business cultural capabilities and the expectations of what the corporation requires. Regardless of industry, markets, and or countries of patriation, both expats and and senior management need to take special consideration of the advise visit , m r o t following, less they become caretakers of yesteryear. Brains when you /Global. in h .com ig e w kBox c a l B Inside
How they need to be managed:
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How they change over time:
back d e e F
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Securities and advisory services offered through Matrix Capital Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC/MSRB and a Registered Investment Advisor. Q3 2010 Matrix Capital Group, Inc. and Weir Capital Management, LLC, are separate and unrelated companies. 39
B O X BIG PICTURE Bay 3 Gallery
Includes 17 regional and local artists Lighting: Hill Electric
Christine Tedesco of RSCT
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CatScapes Â (now maintained now by volunteer)
Anderson Arts Center Q3 2010
“Bassball Joe” by artist Ruth Hopkins
(Part of the Fish out of Water campaign and the Hooked on the Arts project.)
Signage (on doors): City Glass
Signage (on pavement): Anderson Sign-o-rama
Keystone Ridge Design
Anderson Arts Center
110 Federal St. Anderson, SC 29625 www.andersonarts.org (864) 222-2787 Open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m Admittance: Free Membership: $35 for individuals; $50 for families (Other levels available) Revenue/year $524,000 Renovation of the warehouse: $3.7M Interesting Info: • The Anderson CVB is housed in the warehouse. • The interior staircase was designed by Pendleton artist John Acorn.Acorn used more than 200 drawings by preschoolers, which he integrated into the design. Seventeen replica steps are displayed in the building and can be purchased for $1,000 each. • The elevator, made by Schindler of Charlotte, N.C., helps date the building to 1910.
Business Black Box
Business Black Box
by Jordana Megonigal
Business Black Box
Business Black Box
t 8 p.m. on Monday, May 10, 2010, as he sat in Nantucket Seafood Grill in downtown Greenville, Dave Edwards’ cell phone rang. It was Southwest Airlines. “I was sitting there, thinking ‘This can’t be good,’” Edwards says. The voice of Bob Montgomery came over the line. “Dave, I need to bring some folks on the phone and we need to advise you as to where we were going as a company.” As executive director of Greenville Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), Edwards immediately felt anxious. The anxiety, of course, was justifiable. After a 14-month process, what was seen by many as the final hurdle in attracting Southwest to GSP—namely, the Air Service Incentives bill, or H.4343—was stalled in the Senate. And not just stalled; it was deadlocked in a fight that was growing exponentially by the day. But instead of bad news, good news followed. Southwest had decided to come to GSP, even without the incentives. “It was one of those phone calls where you worry it was a dream,” Edwards says. “I actually woke up the next morning and looked at my cell to make sure it had really happened.” So the deal was done, marking the end of a process that formally started in February 2009, but truly began much, much sooner.
“Southwest redefines the airport traffic of second-tier airports like GSP.” After all, GSP has faced its share of problems. With a 66 percent leakage rate to other regional airports, GSP is losing two out of every three potential passengers in its pipeline. The airport has lost 33 percent of its overall traffic since 2004. What’s more, GSP is typically ranked in the top five for highest airfares in the U.S. It’s true that higher costs trigger the higher rates of bleed-off to other nearby markets like Charlotte and Atlanta, but the higher costs, ironically, may be due to the strong business market found in Upstate S.C. “It’s not a lack of traffic. It’s not a lack of competition. After all, all major carriers come through GSP,” Edwards notes. “It is Q3 2010
Business Black Box
Over a decade ago—although the exact date depends on which person you are talking to and where they were in the picture at that time—the Upstate decided that they wanted Southwest at GSP. At that time, Gary Jackson, thenexecutive director of the airport, had been in contact with the company, trying to woo them into the Upstate. “Gary,as executive director, would always call on airlines, but he had also been trying to get Southwest to pay attention to Greenville,” says Minor Shaw, vice chairman of the GSP airport commission. “Back then we were the type of community that they were going into.We kind of fit that mold and thought we might have an opportunity.” Apparently, the desire was contagious. Joe Erwin, president of Erwin-Penland, remembers a meeting with Shaw that sparked his interest in Southwest. “I remember being in a meeting and Minor saying ‘We want to be able to compete to get the likes of Southwest here,’” Erwin says. “And I remember thinking that was really interesting. “I thought, ’Why Southwest?’ Then, I did the research,” he adds.
The “research” included evidence of what was coined by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a phenomenon that has now become a mainstream term to describe the airline’s impact on areas that it enters. Southwest’s story begins in 1971, when service began between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio,Texas. In only two years, they saw their first profits.That same growth continued throughout the years, and with each new airport that Southwest moved into, cities noticed lower fares—initially beginning with Southwest and spreading as the other airlines fought to be more competitive—more traffic, and expanded service. According to Carter Ganss, director of commercial planning for Southwest, the “effect” boils down to something a little simpler. In fact, it’s all how Southwest operates that allows them to operate so much cheaper. Southwest’s larger but thinner planes allow for less gas consumption but an as-consistent load as other larger carriers; add that to the fact that Southwest operates one of the youngest fleets in the nation (the average among their fleet of 500-plus is around nine years old), and you have a combination that is highly effective at keeping costs low. And because they are currently the largest U.S. carrier (when based on domestic passengers), serving 69 cities in 35 states and operating more than 3,200 flights a day, the “Southwest effect” boils down to a lesson in simple economics. Additionally, Southwest doesn’t work within a “hub” system as other carriers like Delta in Atlanta. Instead, they work city-to-city, which streamlines their service and their costs. So when Southwest comes in, other airlines respond by reducing fares or adding cities. “[Southwest] redefines the airport traffic of second-tier airports like GSP,” says Erwin. For the airport Commission, along with local leaders like Erwin and economic development personnel across the Upstate, Southwest became the challenge to meet. “Like anybody else, I’ve seen the trend of our air traffic bleeding out of our market,” Erwin adds. “I thought we’d get to a point where GSP, as beautiful as it was, would be irrelevant.”
a situation of where we have had and continue to have a strong business market, and so airlines have focused on the business traveler and the quick turnaround business traveler. For that reason alone, prices are higher.” But those high prices, many times, force the traffic to move elsewhere. Prices typically jump by $100 or more when comparing GSP to fares leaving from Charlotte or Atlanta. With such a short drive, many times the sacrifice of time is a far lesser one than cost.
The Bigger Picture: But more than high costs for consumers, a bigger threat is that the lack of quality air service can be detrimental to the area’s economic development efforts. “I don’t know that you’d qualify it as a deal-breaker or a deal maker for any economic development project, but it can be a deterrent,” says Dan Cooper, S.C. House Representative for District 10 in Anderson. Cooper himself refers to a recent trip he had to make to go to Tampa. After trying unsuccessfully to get a flight out of GSP, he looked into Charlotte. But once he paired a two-hour drive, then a flight from Charlotte to New York and then to Tampa, the time cost became equal to simply driving.
Business Black Box
“What this can do for our ability to recruit new companies— words like ‘transformational’ are more than appropriate.”
For Sam Konduros, president of SK Strategies and Chairman of the Upstate SC Air Service Partnership Committee, the possibilities of having Southwest in the arsenal for future Upstate economic development efforts was enough to make him join in the efforts. “This area is on the cusp of attracting more and more sophisticated companies and investments,” Konduros says. “But our air service has been a real impediment. It’s just something that we’ve had to work around. We have been told many times that we’ve fallen off of many corporate radar screens because of our expensive and limited air service.” Kevin Landmesser agrees. As vice president for the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), he explains the problem that has faced the Upstate for so long: “The way companies go through the process is like a funnel, and at each step there is a series of eliminations. Air access is usually at the top of the funnel. So, a lot of times they’ll do “desktop” analysis and we don’t ever know we have been cut.” Q3 2010
Unfortunately, then, we may never truly know the economic hit that a lack of air service has forced on us. As Landmesser says, “If you have it, you have it. If you don’t, you don’t.” Proof can be found, however, in the admittance of companies who do mention it — companies like Proterra, who back in February announced their intent to move to Greenville. In an article in The Greenville News from February 7, one site expert who represented Proterra claimed that the “one enduring weakness” found in the Upstate was the lack of easy air travel. But for every Proterra that overlooks this weakness, there are many more who won’t. For those like Landmesser and Konduros, having Southwest in the Upstate became more than a challenge to fix the “weakest link in our economic development arsenal”—it became a necessity to attract more and more businesses to the region.And with an estimated $6.5 billion in investments for new and expanded companies, and more than 17,500 potential jobs on the table currently, the clock was ticking. In fact, if you look at the numbers associated with the project, it makes complete sense why everyone would jump on board to get Southwest here. Currently, GSP generates around $377.5 million annually; revenues, taxes and visitor spending tacks on another $46.9 million, with a total economic impact of around $425 million. Southwest, even at the most conservative numbers, is estimated to have an impact of at least $69 million. And that’s not even counting the many companies that may be lured here in the future. “The fact that we have [Southwest] now puts us on the radar for other projects,” Landmesser says. Konduros mirrors that thought. “What this can do for our ability to recruit new companies—words like “transformational” are more than appropriate.” But at the time that the Commission began to woo the giant, in the late 1990s, the time simply was not right. “They had called and invited several of us out to their headquarters, including myself, Roger Milliken, the chairman of the airport commission, and Gary,” Shaw remembers. “We had a great visit with them, but it just was not the right time.” Ganss, in turn, explains Southwest’s perspective. “Until that point, Southwest had, primarily, stayed west of the Mississippi,” he says. “We had just started to look at areas in Florida and into other cities that we might be able to service.” In 1996, Southwest added Tampa Bay and Orlando as their first cities east of the river. It was in these early stages that GSP landed on Southwest’s radar as a “city to watch.” Since then, there have been several visits—some from Upstate delegations to Southwest’s Dallas headquarters, and reciprocal site visits from Southwest to the region. Over the years, Jackson and his team kept in touch with Southwest, keeping the lines of communication open and sending information about what was going on in the area. It wasn’t until 2009 that things began to change.
The Winds of Change: In February of 2009, a small delegation made yet another trip out to the Dallas offices of Southwest. Comprised of many familiar faces from the past 10-or-so years (with the addition of Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet), the group traveled to represent the Upstate as a possible location for Southwest’s service.
Business Black Box
The proposal—themed “A Community on the Rise”—included statistics on growth, Upstate recognitions by various organizations and publications, population numbers and everything in between, which had a big impact on the air provider. “That [package] really resonated with us,” says Ganss. From that point forward, GSP was officially on the radar as a possible city of service for Southwest. But for Jackson, the adventure was over. In 2008, he had placed his resignation as executive director of GSP. Dave Edwards was announced as his replacement in February 2009, just as everything began to move—very, very quickly.
Business Black Box
“In hindsight, their decision to come without the incentives is a great statement on the state of South Carolina, and a great statement on their beliefs as a company”
“[The fight for Southwest] played very heavily into my decision to come to GSP,” Edwards says. “The opportunity to have the chance to help recruit them was an integral part of my decision.” In June, in Jackson’s final days with GSP, a site team from Southwest once again visited the Upstate, and included Ganss other site development team members. For three days, they were shown Southern hospitality, introduced to local leadership, and catered to, all kept secret from the Upstate community. With everything from visits to BMW and CU-ICAR to a helicoptered dive into Clemson’s Death Valley, the trip was designed to make an impression. But in addition to all the fireworks and flash, there had to be an actual strategy that would turn heads. “Southwest has a conservative formula for analyzing markets, but it is time tested and has clearly worked,” Konduros says. “And in that formula, service to GSP definitely showed a potential loss in the early years, so we had to make a legitimate business case for them to be able to justifiably deviate slightly from their more traditional approach. So we needed a qualitative story that strongly reinforced the quantitative story on how to recapture the growing passenger leakage and attract new customers to GSP.” That package became the focal point of their three-day visit. “We knew that once they made the commitment [to serve an area], they grow and grow and grow from there,” Erwin says. “Then you’ll have passenger traffic—maybe for the first time ever—driving in from Hartwell and Athens, and Rock Hill and Newberry, coming to GSP for their flights.” Those numbers helped convince the delegation that service to GSP would be beneficial. In September, the Commission was given Q3 2010
a preliminary green light; if all due diligence associated with the package came through, Southwest hoped to announce service to GSP in 2010. While different groups—namely, the Airport Commission and the Upstate SC Air Service Partnership initiative—struggled with the many details of due diligence, other groups began stepping up to help. Erwin, who had been involved throughout the year, committed “whatever it took” to help build the marketing strategy and collateral through his team at Erwin Penland.The Upstate cities and counties stepped up to find funding to help sway the airline eastward. Others—a list too long to print, much less claim true accuracy—stepped up to fill in the gaps as they appeared. “This was one of the biggest things that has happened to the Upstate since BMW,” says Lewis Smoak, an attorney and cofounding partner of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart.With more than 500 lawyers and 40 offices across the U.S., ODNSS was one of more than 200 companies who pledged, formally, part of their air travel to Southwest. Smoak, who admits that ODNSS was “part of the bleed-off ” to other airports, says that the decision to pledge service to Southwest was easy. “We had two travel agencies that we work with give us a list of our flights in and out of GSP for the last few years,” he says. “We looked at where they went, and how often, and then we turned that into a commitment to make Southwest our “airline of preference.” As everything progressed, the goal became more about making each next step. “We tried to make sure we stayed in the game through the entire fall. And tried to make sure the answer wasn’t ‘no,’” Edwards says.
The Incentive that Almost Was: As 2010 approached, GSP remained a serious contender. But one major hurdle still remained—how to financially support the decision, should Southwest decide to come to the area. Until this point, Southwest had never asked for incentives or reimbursements as part of the decision-making process, but the most recent arrival into Panama City, where St. Joe Co. promised to finance losses incurred (up to $26 million) by Southwest during their first two years in the city, had been a game changer that had local leadership sweating. Although airlines understand that they may lose money in the first two years, the Panama deal had potentially—and inadvertently— changed the way that the public looked at incentivizing Southwest. And although Southwest always repaid those incentives to the community, local leadership feared that it would be difficult to make it work without it. Out of this need, the Air Incentives bill was created. Introduced by Upstate representative Bill Wylie on January 14 and supported by House Ways and Means committee chairman Dan Cooper, the bill provided a backstop against worst-case losses. While it allowed $15 million that would be accessible by air providers in cases of loss, it was never intended to be a dollar-for-dollar incentive. And although it may have been created with Southwest in mind, it wasn’t necessarily created to only benefit GSP. In fact, at the same time, Charleston was in almost exactly the same place as Greenville when it came to discussions with Southwest.
“The fund that we were trying to set up would have applied to any of the other cities,” Cooper says. “But, some of the Columbia folks got it in their heads the [Columbia Metro] airport would dry up and that it would harm USC’s ability to recruit.” The bill initially sailed through the House, but on its way through the Senate hit more than a few snags. Senators from the Midlands, thinking the bill would only benefit the Upstate and Lowcountry and harm the development efforts of the middle state, began to block the bill.
“If South Carolina is going to succeed...we have to have a great aviation industry”
So while it would seem that everything worked out easily in the end, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost is this: This is not the end. This is only the beginning. “It’s like we’re engaged now,” says Konduros. “When they start service, that’s marriage. And we will have to sustain that marriage” There’s still a level of support that must be realized when Southwest enters the region, which some estimate may be as early as Spring 2011. Companies that pledged support must then come forward with that support. And while Cooper admits that he doesn’t see another incentives bill on the horizon next year, there are definitely arenas to be explored, when it comes to sustaining the state’s growing air industry. But secondly, and possibly more impressive, is the fact that the fight to bring Southwest to the Upstate, while atypical for most economic development projects, should serve as a template for those projects in the future. For Shaw, the processes of the past year (or more) served as an example of partnership that had never before been seen. Companies promised travel. Local government worked together to attract the area. Groups like the local chambers of commerce and Convention and Visitors’ Bureau put in time and energy to help plan for the delegations. Legislators from across the state and across county lines worked together to get the Incentives bill passed. “What was interesting here was that it was a public/private partnership that made it work,” she says, referring to the many different organizations that came together to make it happen. “That’s a great model. It could not have happened without the entire community coming together. “You had to have all of the communities working together to pull this one off, and I think that it wasn’t any one particular organization that was leading the effort — it was the coordination of the many different organizations. They all have strengths, and they all brought them to the table. And when they did, it was very impressive.” For those like Julie Horton, who has served in roles in economic development and legislation in the past, and currently serves as Governmental Relations Manager for the City of Greenville, it was something the likes of which she had never seen. “I have never seen such partnership,” Horton says, adding that it’s the “most fun thing I’ve been involved with in a very long time. It’s also built some ties between groups that don’t usually work together.” Erwin agrees. “This speaks to what this greater community can do, when we do it right. When people don’t need the credit, when they all want to give. No money was made by anyone involved in this project – in fact, what we gave up might have even been more valuable.” And Edwards, whose first year in the pilot’s seat at GSP was definitely one to remember, and whose 8-o’clock phone call changed it all, is simply thankful. “No one person can do this. I’m just very excited to be able to come in to the middle of the process,” he says. “Without a good team none of us can be truly successful.”
Business Black Box
“Usually, up until this bill, no one region has tried to block anything that was going somewhere else,” Cooper says. “We never had that problem with BMW and we had to get some incentives for them. I don’t know anyone would say that [BMW] wasn’t a good decision for the state.” Still, the fight grew, becoming what Edwards referred to as a “very regional, myopic view of the situation.” Senators added their names to a list blocking it, while at the same time demanding benefits and incentives for the Midlands. What was as first thought to be an easy success was quickly mired down in political war. “If you look at it, you have to admit that this approach was a failure,” says Erwin. “If anything, they’ve cost the Columbia airport, because they didn’t look at the opportunities.” But more concerning to some was how Southwest would look upon the infighting, and upon the possible loss of the incentives package. Many assumed that if the package did not go through, that the Southwest deal would also fail. “At that time, I was probably less concerned about an answer coming back and being no,” says Edwards. “But I knew [Southwest was] getting very uncomfortable with a lot of the contention and rhetoric going on and coming from Columbia.” On Thursday, June 3, the Air Incentives bill died in Senate, almost a month after Southwest had already announced its intent to come to both the Upstate and to Charleston. “In hindsight, their decision to come without the incentives is a great statement on the state of South Carolina, and a great statement on their beliefs as a company,” says Edwards, who still believes the air service bill is a good idea. “If South Carolina is going to succeed to its maximum in business recruitment and retention, and provide a high quality of life for the citizens of the state, we have to have a great aviation industry.The state needs to invest some dollars to help local communities accomplish that.” For Konduros, whose immediate verbal response to the telephone call received regarding Southwest’s decision was, in his own words, “joyously unprintable,” the final result was more than just an opportunity for more business. “Slowly and surely, over the past year or more, Southwest had become an absolute believer in this region and its future,” Konduros says.
The First Day of the Rest of our Flights:
CEOs & LEA B O X CEOs & LEADERS BLACK
put me in, coach: are you ready to play today?
Geoff Wasserman, CEO and president of Showcase Marketing and Publisher of Business Black Box, spends most of his business time advising and consulting with business and ministry leaders developing growth strategies. Before starting Showcase Marketing in 1999, Geoff spent seven years in sports marketing with the Montreal Expos and the Atlanta Braves, and seven years as managing director in the financial service industry with two Fortune 500 Companies. I had lunch recently with a great friend, Roger Rhoades, who has 30-plus year’s experience as a relationship counselor. Somehow we got on the subject of the difference between people who are spectators of life versus people on the field in the game, and the song “Centerfield” by John Fogerty came up. The chorus is amazingly insightful to me, as an advisor who works with a lot of CEOs and pastors, to help them build great organizations that stay relevant to the worlds they’re trying to connect with. I know Fogerty didn’t write it for that purpose, but here’s the chorus: “Oh, put me in, coach—I’m ready to play today (2x); Look at me, I can be centerfield.” The chorus illustrates four great principles that separate dreamers from success stories:
1) Power of the Ask (Put me in, coach!) Over the years I’ve marveled at the people who appear less talented, less qualified, less “voted most likely to ____”, yet they got the job, got the TV show, got the dream girl, got the book deal, fulfilled the dream.The difference: At some point, they realized they’d have to be bold, strike the fine balance between humility and confidence, and say “Put me in, coach!” Notice a critical, subtle key word: ‘coach.’ Are you asking the right person—the person in authority over your opportunity—for the chance to be put in? Telling your friends, complaining to co-workers, asking the wrong people for feedback does no good. At some point, you’ve got to recognize the power of knowing your rights; ask the right person for the right opportunity at the right time for the right motives. This also means asking for the opportunity, confidently, knowing you may get a “no.” It’s your future, your dream, your life. Wanna have it?
by geoff wasserman
your gifts and talents in private in preparation for them to be on display publicly?
3) Power of Priorities (Today!)... I don’t advocate being a workaholic, nor am I suggesting everything happens overnight. However, there are moments we have to recognize that a door is opened, and be keenly aware of its closeability. All doors close eventually—that’s why they’re on hinges. What matters most is what side you’re on when it does close. When the door opens today, what’s your excuse for waiting until tomorrow to charge through it with a sense of urgency? “Oh, it’ll be there tomorrow…I have all these emails to catch up on before I make the call…I can’t possibly pick up and fly to New York just for a lunch…” Well? Why not today? What guarantee do you have the door will be open tomorrow? After all, why would God open it today, if you weren’t supposed to move toward it today?
4) Power of knowing who you are vs. what you do (I can BE centerfield!). The amazing part of that lyric (the part I always thought was bad grammar), an awkward ending to a chorus…I never caught it in 20-plus years until now…he said “be” instead of “play” centerfield. Your gift, the thing inside you that’s uniquely you and opens doors of opportunity for your future—is in you because of who you are, not what you do. Great jobs, relationships, and other opportunities rarely come to you as a result of what you do, they usually come to you because of who you are. He knew he loved baseball, and could play a lot of positions. But the one he was born for—was centerfield. Middle of the action.The one that required the guy with the best speed, the best arm, the best sense of the game to be counted on to cover the most ground and save the day the most times up against the wall. Great success stories are great because they didn’t ask for any job, they asked for a chance at “the” job. The relationship. The internship. The chance. They asked for it because they knew it was in them, it was what they were born to do, and it was who they were.
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2) Power of Preparation (I’m ready to play!)
David had to practice throwing a rock with a slingshot for days, months, years…before he got to throw it at Goliath one time. When the call came, he was ready, and his entire life changed in 24 hours. Olympians spend every day of their life trying to shave the 1/100th off their time to make the difference between bronze and silver medals. Before your door of opportunity finally opens, are you preparing
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thirsty. You’re hungry. You need a photocopy made. Dilemma: You’re What do you do? your intern for [insert your so-called menial task here]. Answer:Send That’s what he or she is there for, right?
No, seriously. Right?
Professional internships, whether for academic credit or not, are often an anomaly in business. There’s generally a contract, but it’s probably not overly binding. There’s work being done, but usually no cold cash payment in exchange. They can be as short as a few weeks or as long as a year. What do students hope to achieve from them (credits? hours? experience?), and how can businesses determine that? How can businesses best utilize these new faces, often eager to try everything at their disposal. Susan Zeiger, Furman University’s internship program director, offers insights on both ends of the spectrum. “From the students’ perspective, an internship is giving them an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom,” she says. “Students use academic principles and case studies, letting them get into real world situations where they can apply their writing, problem-solving and analytical skills. They’re able to get a taste for a potential career that they may or may not pursue, and they gain valuable experience as well as credit at their university sometimes.” From the business perspective, though, the arrangement takes form differently. “Most businesses work to establish a balance between finding an area where the students can come in, learn fairly quickly, make a contribution to the organization, and at the same time take advantage of their mentoring time,” Zeiger says. “It’s always an investment of time from the business side to mentor someone and bring them up to speed, and get them started, but nine times out of 10, they learn very quickly and are able to take a project and actually run with it.”
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Build a Program You Can Benefit From
The first thing to take into account when considering offering an internship program to young professionals is how the program will be structured. Especially for young people with less experience than many of their older counterparts, added organization can help make their time with an organization much smoother. “It does come down to being very concrete about the project that they want the student to do and concrete about how they are going to orient that student, so that it’s very tangible to the student and the supervisor,” Zeiger explains. “Secondarily, there needs to be an understanding of the initial commitment of time that is necessary; businesses need to make sure that have carved that out for the mentor, or the person who is going to be the direct supervisor.” She explains that the supervisor has got to be there and plan on a specific amount of time to spend each week training and investing in an intern in order to get him or her up to speed. The benefit, though, is that there’s much to be gained by both parties. “That return on investment is huge for a commitment of usually 14 weeks, Q3 2010
or a semester, or even a year-long internship,” she says. “So that’s the key, and during the internship, that communication, and having formal feedback from the intern is another key success factor.” By offering a channel of open communication to the interns, businesses are able to better instruct those participating in the program and, ultimately, get better work done and have a more significant impact on the interns as well. “It doesn’t have to be daily, obviously, but once they have a project, there needs to be checkin points where they are constantly getting feedback, again as a learning tool, but also making sure they get what they want out of the project,” Zeiger says. In addition to communication and time structures, job description and performance expectations follow. This facet is two-fold since the program needs to fit the business but also meet the needs of the student and university. “Typically, the internship can meet the educational component with a combination of routine work and a project of some sort that is specifically asking them to apply their learning,” Zeiger says.“If the internship, on the other hand, is working in a lab, and the routine work is the lab work itself, that would meet the criteria for academic credit. However, for administrative type internships, typically there are routine jobs like updating databases or websites, but then they may have a project researching and creating a new article along those lines.The key still comes back to making sure they’re applying some academic component.” Interns operate in every capacity imaginable, ranging from formal research with scientists or professors at another university to working at the zoo in the education department, Zeiger explains. “We have programs where students work in museums with curators, writing the history of art and artifacts, and we have students in government offices doing anything from administrative work, to budgeting or planning, or trying to collect information that would help them determine what legislations might be effective,” she says. “We also have them in environmental areas, working to do research or cleanup.We have them in nonprofits where they do administrative work, fundraising and are actually working to advance the mission of the nonprofit by serving people; they are primarily working hands-on with the clients or in the administration to support what they are trying to accomplish.” Companies can consider running internship programs in multiple venues of their organization, rather than solely what they’re know for or specialize in. Cindy Ballaro, marketing manager at the Peace Center, lists some of the roles and opportunities for interns with her organization. “We have internships available in several of our departments,” Ballaro says. “We have one in marketing, one in the development department, one in education and community outreach, and we have an intern with our facilites rental manager this summer as well.” In its purest sense, the best way to structure most programs is to include one major project the student can work on for the entirety of the internship, with other daily tasks included throughout. “If you
can carve out a project that you want a fresh perspective on, that you can train someone in a relatively short order to pick up and go, it does give them something tangible they can run with,” Zeiger says. “Of course you’re going to have routine work for them to do, but if you can carve that out, balancing the routine work with something like that, you can get a return on investment from a business perspective.” At the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, interns are given largerscale projects to work on, where they can accomplish a good deal and learn as well. “We want intern projects to be very targeted and very specific,” Lee Luff, president of the chamber, says. “For example, we had an intern come in to help us with our business expo last year. When we seek interns for our internship program here at the Anderson Chamber they are project-specific.” Like Zeiger says, giving interns the opportunity to work on a major, longterm project gives them the chance to develop specific skills, grow their talents and complete something tangible they can show to future employers, while making a major impact on the business providing them with the internship—a win-win situation. Obviously, the best parts about a wellstructured internship are the benefits afforded to both internship provider and participant. “I was in Human Resources for years, and I hired interns,” Zeiger says. “Often I would ask them to help me compile survey data, look at the trends and ask them what they saw about it. Or I would have them go interview directors about a policy that was old and needed to be updated, asking their perspective on issues they had around the policy. Having them do that gave me a totally fresh perspective, which was what I needed. Plus, the analytical skills, people skills and communication skills seen here are all applicable across all industries.”
Following age and raw skill come motivation and work ethic. While it may be painfully obvious that businesses want to take on only the best people possible, it’s possible for a lack of enthusiasm in searching or desperation in choosing that lead to poor intern hires. Alan Ethridge, the executive director at Metropolitan Arts Council, shares a variety of qualities he looks for when considering interns. “We look for people with the ability to interact well with the public, a strong work ethic and a good academic record,” he says. “We also look for people who have the ability to fit the internship in with their academic schedule and have a decent amount of flexibility.” Ballaro also notes the value of hosting interns who are motivated and plugged in to an organization. “We really look for people who can take initiative on their own,” she says. “We’re small-staffed, so interns really get to take part in some great hands-on projects, and we don’t always have time to micromanage people. We look for people who can take initiative with a project and run with it.” Beyond availability and work ethic comes the need for common interest. While in a general sense any positive experience is good, it is key to search for and hire interns with at least a general interest in your area of business. “I believe an internship needs to be in a field where you feel like you’re going to end up,” Ballaro says. “In our case, the intern either has some arts background or is looking to work after graduation with either an arts organization or a nonprofit. Those are the best matches.” Luff and his team take a similar approach by taking on interns who are interested in business and are looking to learn more about their local economy. “Generally speaking, we want an intern who has a pro-business mindset,” he says. “We hope to help them advance to the next stage in their maturity as they begin to look at the marketplace and take their next step in the real world so they are prepared.” Being picky, though, obviously doesn’t just benefit interns. By searching for interns that fit the bill and possess a good work ethic, it can make it easier for businesses to invest in the workforce’s next generation. “We don’t like to bring interns in just to do administrative, clerical sorts of things,” Luff says.“When we utilize interns, we don’t want to waste their time, and we don’t want them to waste our time. We want them to have a very positive learning experience while they’re interning here.”
“We hope to
help them advance to the next stage in their maturity.
The program is in place—at least in thought, if not on paper— and now there is a position to be filled (if not multiple). Interviews are a given, but how should businesses screen prior to that? What criteria should they require in order to solicit students who will best fit the program? First comes age and experience. “The typical time for many students to take an internship is during their junior and senior years,” Zeiger says. “Our juniors and seniors at Furman have usually by then declared their major and may have courses in their major and they are technically trying to specifically find an internship within their major.” Prime time for businesses can be during the summer as well— especially since students are typically less occupied with class schedules and the daily grind of college life. “The summer after their sophomore year is also an active summer for students as well,” Zeiger says. “Especially if they know the area of interest they are looking for in an internship.”
Don’t Give It Away Because It’s Free
Definite No-No’s The thought of relatively free labor probably has many businesses chomping at the bit—not necessarily in an unfair way. After all, today’s economy isn’t offering businesses many breaks at the moment. There are pitfalls to watch for and situations to avoid when hiring interns, though. “From the business perspective, I’ve worked in human resources for years,” Zeiger says. “Businesses are looking at ‘How can I gain from having additional man power?’ I agree with that as long as it stays within the guidelines.” 55
Unpaid internships offer businesses the flexibility of hosting eager-to-learn young professionals while avoiding any direct financial impact on the organization. However, with a down economy and layoffs across the country, it’s important to emphasize these six principles the U.S. Department of Labor has established, which must be in place for an unpaid internship to be legal. 1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school; 2. The training is for the benefit of the trainee; 3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under close observation; 4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded; 5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period; and
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6. The employer and the trainee understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
The main fact businesses need to keep in mind is that interns should never fill the roles of actual (obviously vacant) jobs at a company.“I think it’s more just reemphasizing that in these economic times that labor laws are set up to make sure that businesses don’t cut 30 people and hire 30 interns all for unpaid purposes,” Zeiger explains. “This law is set up to make sure that interns are treated fairly, No. 1; and No. 2, if you hire an intern for unpaid purposes, it has to be for education. Basically, the internship needs be an educational experience and not a replacement for someone you should be paying minimum wage.” The U.S. Department of Labor lists six criteria (listed and expanded on in our sidebar) necessary of an internship in order for it to be legally unpaid. For all other internships, minimum wage is, well, the minimum. Q3 2010
Gleaning from Experience While there are obvious benefits to hosting interns at a business, some students may remain skeptical to the true benefits they can receive from working for free. “The biggest benefit students can receive is finding out a lot about themselves in terms of how they work, how they learn, what they are able to accomplish and the confidence they can gain in their skill sets,” Zeiger says. “That’s from a personal standpoint, having been an intern myself.” Many businesses take this same perspective into consideration when offering internships to young professionals. “I think it’s really important for us to be mentors to these students so they get great real-life, real-world experience,” Ballaro says. “It’s important to me that we’re being mentors to these young adults and making a difference in their lives and helping them see if this is the type of work they want to do.” Internships aren’t all about self-discovery, though.“From the business standpoint, interns can take advantage of learning from a mentor in a specific area to find out what that career is like and are able to accomplish tasks or a project that they can include on their resume or use to build a portfolio,” Zeiger says. Internships also provide students with the ability to discover what they don’t enjoy before entering the workforce fulltime. “Sometimes students find out a certain job is not what they want to do, so they are able to adjust before they commit two more years of school or grad school to it,” she adds. Internships coordinated directly with school programs offer additional benefit as well.“If they do it for credit, what they’re doing is taking their reading, assignments and past course knowledge, to the site, and the
With the influx of young professionals taking one—if not multiple—internships and a growing number of mid-career individuals employing internships as a segue into new careers, there are important facts eager hopefuls need to take into account when seeking a new learning experience.
• Use networking to your advantage—family, friends and other associates can offer great recommendations and leads. • Have multiple professionals—preferable from different industries—critique your resume give you recommendations. • Practice interview questions ahead of time to get the jitters out. • Consider your career goals and follow your interests—being passionate about what you do can make a career much more rewarding. • Be open minded. Although a specific internship may not be exactly what you are looking for, any experience can be good, and you may be able to make valuable connections. • Be willing to help in any situation or setting—you can always meet people and network. • Choose the references pertinent or helpful to the industry you’re trying to break into.
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professor is asking them to journal or write about their experiences, and then they write a paper and give a presentation at the end, and that’s what they are graded on,” Zeiger says. “So they are obviously accomplishing that, but I think the biggest benefit for them is to be a part of a unit that is professional and accomplishing a task, and feeling like when they come back out, they have something to offer, number one, and secondarily, come back with confidence in their skills, and say this is an area I’m interested in, or not.” For businesses, though, some of the relative inexperience interns bring to the workplace actually offer a benefit to companies that some may not realize or take advantage of. “They come with a fresh set of eyes,” Luff explains. “Sometimes, since we have people who have been on staff for a number of years, we do everything the same old way. Here, we get a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective from their vantage point.” Beyond academic credit, and learning experiences, and the help provided to businesses, there’s one final facet of internships that make them profitable for both intern and business owner. Internships also give businesses a chance to “pre-screen” employees before formally hiring them and also give students the opportunity to both prove their abilities and try a job before accepting an offer. “We’ve hired two of our recent interns,” Ballaro says. “When we started, we didn’t know there would be a position, but we had a chance to work with them and learned how great they were. When positions became available and they were hired, we kind of laughed. You don’t know what a person is gong to be like when you hire them so it was really perfect actually.”
• Call each company when vying for an internship— making personal contact can set you apart from the competition.
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POLITICS POLITICS BLACK B OX
annual 2010 s.c. statehouse review John DeWorken is partner in The Sunnie Harmon and John DeWorken Group, a government relations and advocacy firm. He can be reached at deworken@ sunnieanddeworken.com.
year used his bully pulpit to rightly shine light on the draconian problems at the Employment Security Commission by refusing to accept a federal loan to cover the insolvent trust fund until the last minute. But, with his point made, the Legislature went to work to correct the embarrassing Commission’s problems, such as paying claims to people who had been fired for cause (drugs, tardiness, stealing). The Governor signed the bill this spring. The Commission, which was more or less a check-writing institution for the unemployed, now will be charged with connecting the unemployed of the state to available South Carolina jobs. Unfortunately, ESC Reform did not solve all of the problems. The final chapter in reforming this system was to determine how to pay back the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit of $900 million. Just prior to the adjournment, the Legislature agreed that businesses would shoulder the responsibility of paying back the insolvent trust fund in the next seven years. One of the most hotly contested issues for the better part of a decade was whether or not to pass a significant cigarette tax increase. Last session, the House and Senate passed the increase, with the Governor vetoing the bill, killing it. This session, the House and Senate overrode the Governor’s veto to increase the cigarette excise tax to 57 cents. The Senate narrowly overrode Sanford’s veto, with 12 voting to sustain his veto, while the House more handily passed it with only 29 House members voting to sustain the Governor’s veto. This increase will take effect July 1 of this year. To wrap up, the budget continued to remain an issue, mostly because the state’s decreased revenue from last year. Word from legislators is that next year the state may reach crisis proportions in terms of money it doesn’t have to sustain education, healthcare, law enforcement and the like. We’ll have to see what plan Chairmen Leatherman (Senate) and Cooper (House) come up with to meet the needs of the state. Tort Reform, a perennial issue, will have to wait another year. Even with Senator Larry Martin’s efforts, the House and Senate will have to take this issue up again when they return in January. Lastly, the voters this fall will see on the General Election ballot a provision that could change the state’s Constitution by guaranteeing the rights of workers to a secret ballot election when voting in a union election. Championed by Representative Eric Bedingfield, this bill combats the Federal legislation, called the Employee Free Choice Act. This bill, too, would further South Carolina as a right to work state.
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Each issue I promise you an insider’s perspective of what is occurring at your South Carolina Statehouse, and this month is no different. I will bring you—as Jim McKay so famously opened each ABC Wide World of Sports’ episode with—“The Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat” at the S.C. State House. There was no greater thrill than the news we heard around the state on a fall day in October 2009 when Boeing announced it would build a Boeing 787 facility in Charleston. Officials say this announcement is as great as the BMW 1992 announcement. The headline in the Seattle Times that day read, “Boeing Chooses Charleston: What Went Wrong.” The agony felt in Washington State countered the immense thrill for Sandlappers to the tune of thousands of new jobs and millions in new capital investment. The Senate, House, Governor’s Office, Department of Commerce, and private sector officials, such as those with the Nexsen Pruet Law Firm, pulled together to bring a huge win for the home team. The legislation to lure Southwest Airlines did not hold the same fate, though it was a victory in and of itself at the end of the day. Charleston and Upstate officials pulled together to attract the low cost airline to each respective region and it did so without any legislative incentive. When the bill faltered in the Senate, the Upstate folks retained a high-powered Columbia lobbying firm in the eleventh hour to pass the legislation. Interestingly, the Midlands business community hired another high powered lobbying firm to fight the legislation. In the end, neither was needed as Southwest circumvented the need for any State House legislative incentive package and announced it was coming anyway. Greenville Spartanburg Airport Executive Director Dave Edwards did a fine job, with the help of some Upstate House members, to get the $15 million incentive package through the House. Unfortunately, they fell to the same fate as many other wellintended bills in the Senate. But, as the saying goes, all’s well that ends well, at least for the Upstate and Charleston. Like the Southwest incentive legislation, the bill to lure Bass Pro Shops stumbled and ultimately languished. But, unlike Southwest, Bass Pro Shops has yet to announce its move to the Upstate. The bill, supported by most Upstate legislators, moved easily though the House Ways and Means Committee, only to hit snags in full House debate. Employment Security Commission Reform and paying back the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to the tune of $900 million was probably the biggest issue facing the business community this year. In a year when Sanford faced mounting criticism, he found an issue that he could be proud to hang his hat on. The Governor last
by john deworken
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o Charyl Schroeder, simply being good isn’t good enough. It’s for this reason paired with her company’s recent success that earned her the 2009 Suzanne Thaler Rising Star Award. Schroeder, now the VP at Interim Healthcare in Greenville, S.C., began a career in nursing in 1983. But following the start of her career as a nurse, she took a rather non-traditional turn. 1979 Ray Schroeder leaves law practice to open the first Interim HealthCare “I decided to pursue a different avenue to make myself a little more well-rounded.” office in Greenville, S.C. Schroeder recounts. “I’m a nurse with a business degree, which is an odd mix, but it has served me well.” 1983 Charyl receives nursing diploma Following her educational endeavors, Schroeder continued her career as a nurse. from Piedmont Hospital School of “I was a trauma nurse for several years and then entered home care as a RN, and Nursing in Atlanta, Ga quickly got into management,” she says. 1990 Charyl graduates from St. Leo In 1988, Schroeder came to Greenville and began working with Medical Personnel University with a B.S. degree in Pool and bought into the company in the early 1990s, becoming a partner. “I ended Health Care Administration up marrying my husband, who was the CEO,” she says. “We were business partners 1992 Charyl becomes a partner of Interim before we were married partners.” HealthCare of Greenville Following these first few years, Schroeder’s role began to evolve. With the aide of her business degree and investment in the company, Schroeder rose in rank with 1993 Full home care services now the company, gaining new responsibility. “The part of the business piece that I’ve provided out of six offices in the loved the most is the marketing,” Schroeder explains “I’ve always done a lot with Upstate (Anderson, Easley, Gaffney, the strategic planning, and about two and a half years ago I started having more Greenville, Seneca and Spartanburg) responsibility directly with what we’re doing with marketing and educating people 1996 The Schroeders open a not-forabout what we do.” profit hospice agency in memory of What distinguishes Schroeder, though, is that while she sees the actual work Ray’s mom. Hospice coverage now Interim is doing as important, she places her focus on the heart behind it as well reaches eight counties as the impact it is making on the customers. “Even though we’ve always run our business like a business—you have to have sound business practices—about 12 to 15 2008 WOW culture is implemented to years ago we said, ‘You know, what we really are is a ministry.We are about impacting take the Schroeder organization the lives of seniors in our community and the healthcare in our community.’” from good to great And it’s here that Schroeder helped take the vision of the company and the services being provided to the next level. “I wanted to make sure that what we were 2009 After WOW: Business growth up talking to our customers about was something we were certainly delivering in the 15% ; employee retention up 18% care that we were promising,” she says. “And we were. However, does that passion for really enriching lives carry through to every employee?” 2010 HomeCare Elite top 5 percent Interim Health is in the top 500 home health care agencies in the country, home care agencies in the nation placing them within the top to seven percent in the country.Yet that wasn’t enough for Schroeder. “That’s when I started thinking, ‘We really want every encounter with us to be a ‘wow’ experience,’” she explains. “Three of our executive managers got together and came up with a ‘WOW Culture’—WOW stands for ‘Wow our Profile by Andrew Brandenburg World’—and we put together a plan for what ‘WOW’ looks like. “The plan encompassed everything we do from how we write emails to how we speak on the telephone; how we interact with a customer; how we treat people when they come to our office; what we wear; the words that we use,” Schroeder continues. “We were trying to come up with what embodies what we really do to take care of the seniors in our community.” The entire process took a while to fully integrate into Interim’s daily workings. “It took about eight months to completely implement the new culture change,” Schroeder says. “We went from a straight-line growth to a 15 percent increase during the first year of the change. And then last year with the economy the way it was, it was also double digits: an 11 percent increase in our revenue. And that’s without doing a whole lot more externally.”
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The facts: Patients served in 2009 in the Upstate by Interim HealthCare of Greenville Interim is ranked in the top 500 home health agencies in the country Years providing care in the Upstate of S.C. Interim Healthcare offices in the Upstate Q3 2010
ordering off the menu
by todd korahais
Todd Korahais currently serves as Operating Partner for Keller Williams Realty. He has successfully built three different businesses and at age 31 sold his first business to a publicly-traded company. His community involvement includes several board positions and leadership roles in civic, business, and philanthropic organizations— most specifically, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Clemson University.
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Many times in life, people choose from what’s listed on the menu, not knowing that you can usually order from what’s not on the menu. Similarly, in goal-setting, many people choose from options they’re familiar with rather than considering anything that’s possible. So as you begin to set goals, first you must dream. And dream big. When you approach your life like a blank canvas, without the confines of a menu (where your options are predetermined), that’s when you can truly begin to set your sights high. The problem with dreamers is they often don’t take action and choose to stay in their dream world. The converse of that are those who never dream at all and simply want a newer car, a bigger house or a higher salary. If you need motivation for your goal, then recognize you’re probably not meant to have it. Typically, motivation to accomplish goals comes from an external source imposed by someone else in order to get someone to do something. Different from motivation is inspiration, which God puts in each person and has been there all along. It’s much like your vocation or calling in life—it’s revealed to you. When you’re truly inspired, you don’t need anyone to motivate you, you find others who are also inspired, and together you go the extra mile on life’s journey. One of the hidden secrets in life is not to waste time in areas where you require motivation, but set your Q3 2010
goals in accordance with your vision—who you are, who you want to become—and your mission—what you want to achieve. When you’re setting goals for your sales, recognize what comes naturally to you. Some sales folks are really good at networking and building relationships, while others are phenomenal at setting appointments. Neither of those is my forte. People I work with often tell me I’m a great presenter and closer. You need to find out what your strengths are and supplement your weaknesses, so they don’t hinder you in achieving your goals. In other words, focus on your strengths. Your personal greatness does not and never will lie in your weaknesses. The joy in the journey is the discovery of your strengths and attributes, which leads to your life’s purpose.This you are inspired to do, and the greatest reward and personal satisfaction come from these areas. We began this series asking a list of questions: 1) what do you want, and 2) why do you want it? That led us to 3) why don’t you already have it? From there we examined our vision—who you are and who you want to become—as well as your mission: what do you want to accomplish? And how do you be a good steward of the things you already have? With this foundational framework in mind, you are now ready to set goals that don’t require motivation and because they’re aligned with your life’s purpose and you’re inspired by them and equipped to achieve them. When you finally reach those goals, don’t thank me.Thank God, because He’s the one who inspired you in the first place. Okay, you can thank me too, if you want, but just recognize that He’s the one who inspired me to write this series in the first place.
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In an economy where streamlining budgets for businesses has become a standard for survival rather than a yearly chore, companies are looking for any means possible to save money, optimize expenditures and, honestly, get more for less. In a society where health problems abound and solutions can be elusive, many people are considering every viable option for their families to live a more healthful lifestyle thatâ€™s conducive with all aspects of day-to-day life. Many times, how that translates into todayâ€™s business culture is companies looking to optimize performance and employees looking to get more out of their job than just a paycheck.
Enter: corporate wellness.
Business Black Box
A program many businesses have put into place for their employees in order to promote general wellness and a healthier lifestyle, corporate wellness can also hold significant perks for businesses that put them into place. The catch is learning how to garner these perks for your business and effectively gauge them in order to see the changes (and savings) that come into play.
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Health Management At the heart of a corporate wellness program is its structure, which will determine not only its effectiveness but also the actual effects the program can and will have on a business. One common misunderstanding many businesses have is the failure to differentiate a group gym membership from a full-fledged corporate wellness program. “We have a corporate membership program, which most gyms call their corporate wellness program,” Shawn Kephart, director of the Imagine Center in Greenville and owner of the K180 program, says. “You have ‘x’ amount of people and pay a certain price for that many memberships.” Kephart explains that while group gym memberships provided by a business can be a plus and definitely a great incentive for employees, these memberships, in themselves, will not displace a full-fledged corporate wellness program—neither will they offer the same benefits to employees or employer. Kephart’s wellness program, for example, features three main facets: quarterly on- or offsite seminars for each client’s employees, focusing on the specific needs of those employees; on-site boot camps and personal training specific to employee needs; and continued education where clients are regularly provided with information ranging from dietary suggestions to fitness tips—all based on individual analyses of clients so the information is pertinent to the recipient. “One of the main problems with many corporate wellness programs is that they’re not being implemented correctly,” Kephart continues. “These companies are spending lots of money and receiving low returns.” An extension of this concept— which may seem obvious— includes making
sure that any specific wellness program being considered refers to actual medical professionals for both analysis and direction. Plans that solely offer facility access without authoritative information and direction can only provide marginal help to a business’s employees. “It’s our belief that having clinical people involved to help interpret and explain health risks is really important,” says Jim Bross, who has worked in hospital finance management at Rutherford Hospital in Rutherford, N.C. for more than 23 years—17 of which as CFO—and more recently as a senior level operating officer and interim CEO. Greenville Hospital System’s external corporate wellness program is one example of how wellness programs get involved directly with the lives of the employees in a company. “We actually prefer to go on-site with employees [versus having the employees visit the hospital],” Jane McBride, director of clinical rehabilitation and wellness, says. “It’s quite difficult to create a plan away from their job. Once we’ve established that relationship, we connect them to as many resources as we can so we can so we can impact the health of their children and their spouses as well.”
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“One of the main problems with many corporate wellness programs is that they’re not being implemented correctly. These companies are spending lots of money and receiving low returns.”
One of the key facets of corporate wellness programs that sets it apart from most other company-run programs for employees are its dual-natured benefits—both a company itself as well as its employees can benefit from it in a significant manner. It’s this fact that makes a corporate wellness program for a business such an important decision to consider, even during an economic downturn when budgets are tight. By nature, a wellstructured corporate wellness program is an investment made by a business. “A company’s most valuable resource are its employees,” Kephart says. “Even during tough times, when companies are looking
for ways to cut costs and maximize productivity, really the best way to accomplish that is to have a corporate wellness program.You are literally producing more productivity through the same people and cutting the turnover rate.” However, with so many “health-friendly” options available to businesses to afford to their employees, it can be deceiving when considering one program versus another. “In a corporate perspective, some businesses are not addressing the real issue,” Derrick Singleton, founder and owner of MaxMotivation in Greenville, says. “Corporations will put on a health fair or health screening, but they don’t follow through.” Singleton brings to light one of the most important aspects (and necessities) of corporate wellness: while health fairs and screening in themselves may provide a healthy dose of information, there’s virtually nothing these programs, on their own, can accomplish. Many of these programs also differ in the fact that they offer generalized information, versus offering specialized help based on the needs of the organization. “A good corporate wellness program will analyze where your people are at and what that is costing you— what’s the bottom line?” Singleton continues. “It’s about addressing the real health issues of the employees and setting up a program for whatever they need to get those folks healthier.The follow-through is really what’s important.”
“A good corporate wellness program will analyze where your people are at and what that is costing you.”
Establishing a Basis First things first. In most corporate wellness programs, employees take part in a comprehensive, company-wide screening process.While specific tests and data may vary from test to test, the motivations behind each test work toward a similar goal. “A fundamental approach to employee health includes starting with a really exhaustive profile—or health risk appraisal— including basic clinical measurements like body mass index,” Bross says. “We take that approach to look on aggregate and individual scales.” It’s the nature behind these tests that makes them so important. By noting areas of specific need, program facilitators are able to tailor plans to accommodate each businesses individually and effectively. “We took a really basic approach to how healthy our individuals are and how can we educate them,” Bross says. The plan that Bross and his team devised touches on another important aspect of corporate wellness.“Quite frankly, you have to get well to call it wellness,” he says. It’s with this understanding that programs work to help employees identify specific health risks and needs in their lives and work proactively to make a positive difference and avoid serious problems in the future—near or far. Greenville Hospital System takes a similar approach in the program it offers to local businesses. “We’re there to look at their bottom line of health care to help them look at risk factor for all of their employees,” McBride says. “We try to address the rising healthcare costs and improve the healthcare of the workforce.” Important to a wellness program are the resources made available to employees. GHS provides a good example of how a corporate wellness program can be run. “We actually have assembled all of these resources we have at the Greenville Hospital System, from the fitness membership, the wellness programs, the education, the screenings,” McBride says. “We put information boards up in the corporations, trying to give them all the information possible about wellness and fitness in order to help them manage their healthcare costs more effectively.” It’s important to note, though, that the information provided to these employees—something employers need to take account of when deciding on a program—is individualized in order to accommodate each business, rather than the general masses. “We do a health risk assessment for the employees, which consists of self-recorded information from them,” McBride explains. “After they complete the health risk assessment, then we will come in and do a screening for them—a bioelectric analysis—which will cover everything from glucose, thyroid, PSA and pretty much any of the other biometric lab values. We’ll also look at flexibility, blood pressure, heart rate, BMI and body fat.” It’s through this information gathered that programs are able to put together a comprehensive plan for each business. Q3 2010
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Like Singleton explains, it’s the follow-through made by businesses that creates tangible differences for businesses and their employees. Without actual changes and implementations, most facts garnered from these health fairs have the potential to slide in one ear and out the other for the average employee. And while lack of employee motivation, in itself, may not be a motivator for businesses to create external motivation or incentive, businesses who know the potential results of corporate wellness programs know the added effort is well worth it. By helping employees know their risks and teaching them how to live in order to avoid potential negative outcomes, these plans can help employees (and their businesses) avoid health disasters. “You’re trying to help these companies curtail major episodes from occurring,” Singleton says. Needless to say, an effective corporate wellness program can change the face of any business (internally and externally), but what very few people touch on is the impact that a business’s corporate wellness efforts can have on people immediately outside of that business. “Corporate wellness can be used as an economic development tool,” Singleton explains, which is a very important aspect to
consider when viewing a local business economy as a whole. “If we don’t have a stronger, healthier, more educated workforce, why would people relocate here?” In that light, while it may not be every business’s mission to implement a corporate wellness program in order to boost the surrounding economy and make it palatable for other, incoming businesses, these facts do bring to light the possibility for a very important role that local economic developers can take part in.
Incentive Types& Rates of Effectiveness The Wellness Councils of America, one of the nation’s leader corporate wellness not-forprofit organizations, lists four broad categories of incentives businesses can offer in “Absolute Advantage” wellness magazine, in order to encourage participation in a wellness program are listed and discussed:
Trinkets and T-shirts Ranging from the obvious to the novel, water bottles, key chains, pedometers and the like can boost employee involvement with a wellness program, with increases ranging from 10 to 20 percent.
Merchandise and Gift Certificates Similar to trinket and T-shirts, these incentives hold higher value for the recipients and therefore boost participation up to 40 percent.
Tax-Advantaged Cash Incentives Obviously, cash can be a huge motivator for employees of any type. WELCOA notes that many companies will offer incentives ranging from $25 to $50. One thing they note, though, is to be sure these incentives are offered in a tax-advantaged format, otherwise, participants will receive odd amounts, which may not be received with as much vigor. Incentives of this type can garner participation as high as 50 percent.
Benefit Plan Redesign Business Black Box
This final type of incentive listed by WELCOA requires restructuring your company’s benefits program. Health assessments can be made obligatory for benefit re-enrollment. While companies can expect 90 to 100 percent participation, employee feedback can be negative when they feel like they are forced into having a health assessment.
Dollars&Sense Regardless of personal benefit, for business leaders what remains at the highest importance regarding any decision is fiscal responsibility. Sure, individuals feel better, but will the business profit? Can benefits be tracked? Will results really reduce healthcare rates each year? Each of these questions is legitimate and points out a potential flaw in corporate wellness programs. With a solid plan and careful practice, though, each of these pitfalls (and many others) can be safely avoided. Return on investment is one of corporate wellness’s biggest questions.What’s great for businesses is the fact that, if implemented and managed correctly, a good corporate wellness programs can pay back three and four times their initial cost, Kephart says. “If they’re implemented poorly or tracked poorly, it’s hard for HR departments to see the benefits of corporate wellness programs,” he explains. “A lot of companies are scrapping wellness programs because they’re not seeing the benefit, so they’re getting rid of one of the best things they had going.” Kephart does continue to explain by noting other benefits from these programs that aren’t as tangible. “The first thing you’re going to see is an increase in workplace morale because the company is saying, ‘We care about you. We’re doing this to get you healthier,’” he says. This potential increase in morale stems from more than just an opportunity to exercise, making these programs a great opportunity for businesses to invest in their employees. “A lot of companies still follow the traditional model of, ‘I write your check; you do what I say,’ like the employees solely owes the employer,” Kephart says. “A really good program gets into the employee’s life and affects his or her world.”
Kephart notes three trangible results of a well-implemented and –maintained program: decreased healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism and raised company loyalty. If measured carefully, the results can be converted into dollars and cents savings for a business, whether it’s through increased productivity and days worked, or lowered turnover rates, which prevent the need to hire and train new employees as frequently.
“What’s great for businesses is the fact that, if implemented and managed correctly, good corporate wellness programs can pay back three and four times their initial cost.” Another aspect about corporate wellness benefits is the diversity of benefits participants (businesses and employees) can experience, both fiscal and otherwise. “It’s a win/win on both the financial and ethical sides,” Lisa Kopera, wellness supervisor for the corporate employee wellness program at Greenville Hospital System, says. “The win for employee is money off prescription and insurance costs. The win for the healthcare and corporate side is that our healthcare costs are decreased, so we’re not paying as much. “On the ethical or personal side, it’s a win,” she continues. “On the employee’s end, of course, the win is,‘Hey, I have fewer migraines; I miss less work from illness; I’ve lost weight; I quit smoking.’ And on that same side for the hospital, it’s a win because your nurse feels better. If your nurse has a migraine or is out of breathe from walking up the stairs, the care for patients will not be as good, versus when you have a nurse that feels great, they’re energetic, they’re not smoking, they have no more migraines—they’re just a better employee, which is shown through patient care.” But Kopera is quick to explain that not all benefits fall solely into the physical or personal areas of work. “Our disease management program shows close to a 3-1 ratio, which means that we save three dollars for every one we spend,” she says. “ROI is very hard to prove in corporate wellness because it doesn’t capture that the nurse was more cheerful and gave better care; it only captures true dollars, and we believe that just one aspect of the positive result that it has, even if the ratio is 1-1, is it’s worth it because of the increase in care.” Part of maintaining a grasp on the tangible affects a corporate wellness program is affording a company includes re-testing participants. “We certainly want to come in every year and do the screenings,” McBride says. “We will look at their baseline screenings and what programs we’ve implemented that year and then re-screen again. We can then take the aggregate results and the turnover data compare apples to apples. Q3 2010
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“Corporate wellness can be used as an economic development tool. If we don’t have a stronger, healthier, more educated workforce, why would people relocate here?”
Statistics and measurements bring up another potentially troublesome facet of wellness programs. Periodic statistics need to be taken based on the same standard each time, in order to affectively track changes over time. “You have a standardized test where you can say, here’s where you were in the beginning, and here’s where you are now,” Singleton says. “After that, it’s the business’s job to measure productivity in-house.”
But the process doesn’t end their. “We can also work with businesses on their insurance claims and determine what savings they’ve had,” McBride continues. “We can look at what we know has been directly impacted by our programs.” This is the area where seemingly intangible results become attainable and usable for businesses. McBride offers a hypothetical example: “We can estimate that if we pick up someone with a triglyceride level of 500 and get them into an intervention program and we can see within that year that their triglyceride levels have lowered, we potentially have saved the business a healthcare claim of ‘x’ amount of dollars, which is what a potential heart attack would have cost,” she says. “We can attach dollar signs that way.”
“Frequently, it’s about economics for employers— it’s not inexpensive. Employers have to make tough decisions to choose to invest.”
Business Black Box
Yet even with tangible, recordable, useable results, businesses still face another tough obstacle: employee participation. And while there are many strategies that can be implemented, most trend toward employee incentive. “What everybody loves is to be incentivized,” Singleton says. “For the guys that perform, you need to treat them better. People need to be motivated, because everybody needs to be ready to be a leader.” The idea of creating employee incentives can be a tough pill to swallow—especially for the business owner who has already made significant investment to begin a wellness program in the first place. “One thing employers need to understand is that, yes, they have to pay that employee,” Singleton says. “But they can either pay that employee to work out, or they can pay him or her to be sick or for some form of workman’s compensation.” However, in light of the situation, creating incentives for employees appears to be a strategy that works well for both employer and employee. “Frequently, it’s about economics for employers—it’s not inexpensive,” Bross explains.“Employers have to make tough decisions to choose to invest. What we chose to do was create incentives for employees and spouses for 20 percent discount off their portion.”
It Ain’t Easy
If corporate wellness programs are so great, why aren’t all businesses putting them in place? Reasons can range from misunderstanding their usefulness to not knowing how to affectively track positive results. One major misconception is the belief that a wellness program offers a morale boost, but nothing else. “Some companies consider Q3 2010
corporate wellness programs to be like a dress-down Friday—one of many programs they offer to keep morale high,” Kephart says. “A good corporate wellness program is recovering for all other programs to increase morale. It’s not just a program, it’s the program.” For those who do understand the true usefulness of corporate wellness programs, the challenge of actually tracking progress and making that information useful to the HR department still remains. “Here’s the tough part about the measurement side: companies have to understand what their current costs are related to absenteeism due to health issues in order to track the benefits of ‘presenteeism,’ reduced turnover and the benefit of incentives for employees to be healthier, happier, and have a better quality of life,” Bross says.“A lot of companies, including our own, have struggled with how to measure these factors.” Not all facets are quite as difficult to track, though. “Of course you can measure turnover,” Bross continues. “The other absolute you can measure is healthcare expenditure per healthcare covered employee from year to year.” “Another mistake to recognize as an employer is that, it’s a matter of time until you go through a cycle of crises,” Bross says.“It’s common to have a claim that’s a million dollars for a transplant.You have to take really large cases and measure those separately.” “Each company needs to figure out what measurement they feel comfortable making and monitor that for consecutive years,” Bross continues. “I can’t overemphasize the importance of having very qualified consultants. In healthcare assessment, there are a lot of variables and a company must at least be aware of them and take them into consideration.” Aside from calculations and healthcare claims remains the challenge of fostering employee participation, even with incentives in place. “The best way to get employees to buy-in is to make the program relevant to them,” Kephart says. “To have great implementation, you need to address the issues that are necessary for them—it’s about making it real for them.” In addition to tailoring these programs to fit the employees, leaders can reach employees through careful deliberate contact. “Make sure that communication is key,” Kopera advises.“Many employees just don’t read.” Kopera goes on to explain that GHS not only puts an emphasis on communication, but they also work to tailor different channels of contact in order to meet the needs of their diverse network,“Even with 10,000 people, there’s not one avenue to treat all of your workforce,” Kopera says. “For the younger kids, we offer information through instant messaging. If you’re not diverse, you will alienate a certain gender or type of person or age-group. So make sure the program is diverse, whether it’s in the goals or implementation.”
Who It Works For The benefits are clear. The struggles are identifiable. Corporate wellness works for business. Yet some leaders, particularly those of smaller organizations, still feel like it may not be the right choice for them. In some cases, smaller businesses might have the most to gain. “Healthcare costs can sometimes be significantly higher for smaller businesses than larger ones, because they don’t get the same discounts,” McBride says. “A corporate wellness program can certainly work for any company, whether it’s four or five, or four or five hundred. A lot of times the smaller corporations get left out because they don’t feel like there are enough people to make a difference but it really can be for anybody.”
The best way to begin is by having a consultation and screening with a good program. That way, each business can identify individually how it can benefit from a corporate wellness
“The best way to get employees to buy-in is to make the program relevant to them.” program. “The main thing that we find with corporations is that they are looking for solutions for their healthcare costs,” McBride explains. “They are looking for someone to come in and determine what the risk factors are for their employees and make a difference in their healthcare bottom line.”
Wellness Statistics American Health Data • 9.9% of people of all ages are in poor health. (2008) • 32% of adults 18 years and older participate in regular leisure-time physical activity. (2008) • 20.5% of adults 18 years and older currently smoke. (2008) • 22% of adults 18 years and older had five or more drinks in one day at least once in the past year. (2008) • 33.5% of adults 20 years and older are obese. (2003-2006) • 32% of adults 20 years and older suffer from hypertension. (2003-2006) (Information gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Healthcare Data • $2.2 trillion were spent on health expenditures in 2007. • 16% of expenditures on Gross Domestic Products were on health. (2007) • 46% of health expenditures were made using public funds. (2007) • 31% of health expenditures were made on hospital care. (2007) • 21% of health expenditures were made on physician and clinical services. (2007) • 10% of health expenditures were made on prescription drugs. (2007) (Information gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Corporate Wellness Program Data • 80% of illnesses and diseases in the U.S. and Canada that are preventable • 81%+ of businesses with 50 or more employees that host some form of health promotion program • 70% of employee healthcare costs cover preventable illnesses (the average annual health cost per employee exceeds $3,000) • 3.5% -- percentage of turnover for employees enrolled in British Columbia Hydroelectric’s wellness program, versus non-participants’ 10.3% • 80% of employees at Union Pacific Railroad believed that their exercise program helped increase productivity
In a study of more than 30 companies with health programs, 29 were cost effective, generating ROIs ranging from $1.81 to $6.15 for ever dollar spent. (Information gathered by preventdisease.com from various sources)
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worker classification: the IRS is coming! the IRS is coming! As an attorney with Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham, Andy Coburn regularly represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, structuring of joint ventures, securities offerings and other financing transactions. Andy also advises and assists public and private company clients in the design and implementation of executive compensation arrangements, equity compensation plans and broad-based employee benefits.
Get ready. In February, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched what one tax expert has called “the most comprehensive set of audits in about 20 years.” The IRS estimates that United States taxpayers fail to pay $345 billion dollars annually in federal taxes. Of that, an estimated $54 billion represents unpaid employment taxes—Social Security, Medicare, federal unemployment taxes and federal income tax withholding. The new audit program is intended to determine who is not paying and provide information for further IRS efforts to ensure that employment taxes are collected. The IRS intends to audit approximately 6,000 employers over a three-year period and has reportedly trained an additional 200 new field agents to assist in the program. The audits reportedly will concentrate on small businesses and self-employed persons with under $10 million in assets. Worker classification has always been a potential problem area for employers, and the IRS audit program will focus heavily on the issue. For those who have been fortunate enough to avoid this topic, “worker classification” in context, refers to whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor for federal tax purposes. Employers generally have to pay employment taxes for employees, but not for independent contractors. Errors in this area can have horrendous consequences, including personal liability, and can create costly problems in respect to employee benefit plans. A column does not provide enough space to do more than scratch the surface of this issue, but here are some key considerations for employers:
by andy coburn
Personal liability. In addition to the typical consequences of a tax violation – payment of back taxes, penalties and interest – worker misclassification can create personal liability for employees, officers and directors who either are involved with compensation and payroll or have authority over those areas. Check your benefits for potential worker claims. Beyond the tax consequences, you may have employee benefit plans and insurance policies that state that “employees” are eligible to participate and receive benefits. If a determination is made that someone you thought was an independent contractor or employee of an employee leasing company is reclassified as your employee, that employee now may have a—retroactive—claim against your company for benefits. That can be really painful if, for example, you have several hundred reclassified workers claiming retirement plan contributions going back five or ten years. Many modern retirement plan documents are drafted to avoid this problem, but other retirement plans, and many medical plans and employee benefits insurance policies are not. Worker classification is for professionals only. It is dangerous to analyze worker classification issues without an attorney or tax accountant experienced in the area. Worker classification and the potential issues created if there is a misclassification are highly technical matters.
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The IRS does not care how you classify a worker. How an employer classifies a worker is generally irrelevant for federal tax purposes.You may have a contract with the worker stating that the worker is an independent contractor, or you may have a contract with an employee leasing company stating that the worker is their employee, not yours, but that is not binding on the IRS.
High risk situations. Circumstances that tend to create a high risk of worker misclassification problems include use of “leased” employees, hiring former employees as “consultants,” using “temporary” workers for long periods of time and using workers supposedly employed by a professional employer organization (PEO). Three-month “temp-to-perm” arrangements usually do not create problems, but having a third of your workforce classified as independent contractors or PEO employees is usually asking for trouble. Don’t believe me? Ask Microsoft about its multi-million dollar lawsuit involving “temporary” employees. Q3 2010
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B O X MEASURE OF SUCCESS
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* Information provided from the S.C. Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism Q3 2010
B O X 11 QUESTIONS
What was your first job?
My real first job was as a part time scout for the New York Islanders. I did it for the experience and, it was a thrill to have a job in the NHL.
How did you get involved in your line of work?
I’ve been playing hockey since I was seven or eight years old through college. After that I struggled in the minor leagues and was then able to get an unpaid scouting position that really prepared me for my career in the league as a front office guy.
What are some of the skills you developed early that you’ve found to be beneficial or essential to your practices now? My sense of observation of details—not many details get by me. I pride myself in seeing details and building the big picture from them, which is important in player and talent evaluations. When I was a scout, my boss told me to write everything down that I saw. It’s a lesson I’ve kept with me forever.
How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives? You have to make it priority. What helps is that you’re obviously passionate about your personal life, and if you’re passionate about your job as well, they’ll blend together. If not, you’re going to be miserable. The key is trying to keep that balance.
7. What vision do you promote for your employees, and how do you get your employees to buy into or tap into that vision? I think the No. 1 thing I try to have is the understanding that we work together, not you working for me. Everybody knows their role is important, and they’re given autonomy to do what they need to do. I try to make them feel good about what they do.
8. If you retired tomorrow and could change to any field except the one you are in now, what would you pick? I don’t ever remember not being in hockey, but I’d love to be an actor. Portraying others is such a talent, and I think I’d enjoy it because I have a good imagination.
9.What has been your biggest failure as a professional? After I got hired to be the GM of the New York Islanders, I learned that my boss and I were in no way compatible. Taking that job was a failed attempt. It taught me to never go into something until you know the situation.
10. How do you avoid similar failures today? I work to not put people in a position in which I know they’ll fail upfront. In life, it can be crueler to put someone in a position to fail, rather than not giving them the chance in the first place, if you know they won’t succeed from the beginning.
11. Why are you bringing a hockey team to a market 5. What are some strategies you use to do so/keep where one previously failed? Business Black Box
yourself in check?
It’s easier in my field maybe because I work in the entertainment industry, so you can bring your personal life into it.Your family and friends are going to be a part of that.
If you could choose one principle or piece of knowledge you know now that you wish you had known early on in your career, what would that be? To be more confident. It’s important to stop worrying and just do it.
The fact that there was a team before actually gives me confidence because I know there’s a market for it. At one point, high numbers were being drawn, and I know these people are still around. I have the benefit of cherry-picking whar worked and avoiding what failed.
Business Black Box
if you don’t know where you are going… by julie godshall brown
Julie Godshall Brown is the owner and President of Godshall Group, a firm specializing in professional recruiting, staffing, and consulting for over 40 years. Julie holds a Masters degree in Human Resources from USC and a marketing degree from Clemson University. She is very involved in the Upstate community, currently serving in leadership roles on several business, civic, and university boards.
Why do I already talk to my preteen boys about what is most important in finding a mate? I want them to decide what is most important to them before they are charmed by the first pretty girl who turns their head! (I’ll let you know in about 10 years how it works out!) Before you ask yourself what my personal parenting mission has to do with an HR article in the top local business publication; let me say that hiring the best available talent is much the same. Employers who hire top talent view hiring as a methodical, logical process where the desired result is determined at the beginning, not the end, of the process. How often do organizations hire for familiarity or convenience rather than hiring based on a predetermined set of criteria? Think about it: what are the chances that the best possible candidate for your position is the person who happened to walk in your door, befriend your neighbor, or run into you at the gym? Even if they are the best possible candidate, how would you know, if you don’t have objective criteria on which to evaluate them? As with so many things, the easy way isn’t necessarily the best.
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What do purveyors of top talent know?
1.They determine the very specific critical skills needed for their organization today and tomorrow. 2. They develop a recruiting plan that specifically targets the market they need to tap. Where are these talented professionals eating, living, reading, hanging out? Does the firm have the resources and expertise to find them or should they enlist an outside expert? 3. Successful firms match their assessment process to the outcome they desire. Hint: an interview is one of the least predictive assessment “tools.” 4. They know that a skill match is only half of the Q3 2010
formula. Common values or lack thereof will make or break the relationship. 5. They carefully assess the candidate’s track record. Past performance in a similar environment or role is a strong indicator (not a promise) of future success. 6.They understand the need to put their best foot forward. These organizations understand that the hiring process is a two way street—both parties are making a very important decision. 7.They understand the cost associated with the wrong hire. Estimates range from one to five times annual salary (including training time, lost productivity, service interruption, poor morale, legal risk, and more). 8.They are patient. Hiring the right person for a position can take time, especially in sectors where the demand for talent outweighs the supply. 9. They do not settle and sell themselves short. Many small firms recognize that they can compete successfully with the largest of employers. Startup or small companies often provide a refreshing and exciting environment and the ability to “make a difference” not often found in other places. 10. Once the decision is made, they nurture the relationship. Your organization and the newly hired employee will benefit from a deliberate onboarding process. Laurence Peter adapted the famous Lewis Carroll quote (from Alice in Wonderland) by saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” Given today’s competitive market, your business cannot afford to end up anywhere else! Stop now and determine what is most important for your long term success before you risk being charmed by anyone other than your best possible match. (Boys, did you hear that?)
acekand b d e vis Fe rm, ad ou visit y ainsto
. Br en in wh x.com/HR h ig e o w B k c Bla Inside
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101 101 DAYS
The last time we saw Dave Ball, he had just begun his new winemaking business, Calicaro Wine, following his passion for Pinot Noir and the Carolinas. With lots of progress, we decided to follow Dave–and Calicaro–for another 101 days of their journey. Hurdling towards disaster OR conquering the mighty competition.
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Dave Ball continues his life as a
The plan is simple: continue to
healthcare business attorney by day
grow Calicaro Wine, building its
consistent. His passion for wine
and enthusiastic winemaker in his
client base and further establishing
has led him into the field of
spare time. Dave began this venture
it as a quality wine producer. While
winemaking, and he continues
based on his childhood fascination
Calicaro has grown a bit since we
to develop his skills as he further
with the process of making wine—
saw it last, there’s still plenty of
immerses himself in this unique
he got his first winemaking kit
progress and growth to be made.
craft. Calicaro’s emphasis on Pinot
when he was in the 8th grade—and
Currently, Dave is working on
Noir reflects Dave’s passion for it,
his adulthood enjoyment of the
offering a wider variety of wines,
but he’s also working to offer a
beverage as well.
better incentives to members, and,
wider, more diverse variety for his
Dave continues to grow in his
of course, a new and distinct line of
customers to choose from.
passion for wine—primarily Pinot
wines that the Carolinas can call their
In addition to his personal
Noir—and winemaking through his
own. What makes Dave’s endeavor
interests, Dave created and branded
business and his interactions with the
so interesting is his involvement
Calicaro Wine to pay tribute to
community, ranging from time spent
in it. Rather than operating as an
both California, where the grapes
at wine tastings and networking with
investor or contracting others to do
are from, as well as the Carolinas,
other wine enthusiasts, to helping
all the work, Dave spends countless
where Dave resides, giving the
organize and donating to an annual
hours researching grapes, vineyards
Carolinas a quality of wine of its
wine auction for a local charity.
and wine; networking with other
own to offer.
enthusiasts, taking part in the blending process, and overseeing label design.
First, he researches potential vineyard sites for these varietals because where and how the grapes are grown have a large effect on the quality of the grapes and ultimately the wine itself.
called Wine 2.0,
Day 4: Preparing for several upcoming tasting events, Dave orders a large quantity of Calicaro wine from the wine storage facility in California. He also spends time emailing back and forth with his customers, answering questions about upcoming events and determining the timeline for making and releasing new wines in the future.
Day 5: Dave spends time promoting his company through his software interactive platform and social media postings for Calicaro Wine. “Sometimes called Wine 2.0, the Internet has become an important means of connecting with current and potential customers,” he explains. “More wine is being sold directly to consumers, bypassing the traditional retail channel for purchasing wine and allowing smaller wineries such as Calicaro to compete by making very high quality wine and selling to the most passionate and discriminating wine buyers.”
an important means of connecting with current and potential customers.
Day 1: Dave is hard at work planning his new wines for 2010. In the process he must determine where to source his Pinot Noir grapes vineyards and begins making plans for new Viognier (VEE-ohn-yay) and Syrah wines. “At the request of my customers, I decided to expand Calicaro’s selection to other varietals,” Dave says. “The focus of Calicaro will remain on Pinot Noir.”
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Day 6: Looking at the numbers, Dave reviews February’s distribution and financial report, tracking who bought his wine, how much they bought, and where it went. “I’m very happy with the holiday sales,” Dave says. “And we even had good sales in January.” Q3 2010
Day 7: Dave works on his April newsletter, a monthly email that he sends to his mailing list and posts on his website. He also delivers wine to Soby’s, one of the Table 301 restaurants in downtown Greenville, for transport to an upcoming Washington D.C. formal wine dinner.
Day 16: Dave sends out his April newsletter and attends a Passover dinner at a friend’s house, bringing Calicaro wines with him. “Wine is a traditional part of Passover dinner,” Dave says. “But I wanted to kick it up a notch from the traditional sweet concord grape wine served.”
Day 11: Dave works on a new format for the future newsletters. Currently, he has to work with an interface through two different computer systems which do not always match up exactly. “It gets tricky and frustrating,” he says.
Day 18: He also takes a look at the sales from Greenville restaurants and reviews the plans for a shared tasting room at the Napa Valley winery he uses.
Day 12: Dave spends time working on his new plan to bottle Calicaro wines in 1.7 ounce tasting bottles. “This is a new and exciting bottling development that will allow customers to try a little before buying a full size 750ml bottle,” he says. “It allows remote customers to have an experience like a winery tasting room for about the same cost.”
Day 13: Being the wine enthusiast that he is, Dave take time to enjoy a wine tasting at The Lazy Goat in Greenville today. He was able to do business while he was there, talking to one of his Calicaro reps and several customers. “The way this business is there’s a huge overlap,” Dave says. “You want to be out there in the community participating in wine activities and functions.”
Day 14: An exciting day, Dave gets valuable feedback from the formal wine dinner in Washington D.C . from Richard Peck of Table 301. He informs Dave that Calicaro’s ’08 Liber ty Bridge Pinot Noir was “ver y well received.” Among other comments, Peck says that Calicaro “was a hit.”
Day 19: Dave spends time today working on his 2010 wines plan. He signs contracts for “custom crush” winery arrangements. His final plans include making several Pinot Noirs, a Viognier and a Syrah. What makes the Viognier even more special is the fact that it’s the first white wine that Calicaro will offer. Dave describes the elements explains the characteristics of Viognier wines that led him to select it, describing the aromas and tastes of jasmine, honeysuckle and orange. “It sort of tastes like and has aromas of a warm humid day in a place like Savannah,” he says. “The Viognier and Syrah are both new wines for Calicaro, and the fruit will come from two of California’s best vineyards,” Dave adds. “I’m also making some wines that can sell at a lower price since everyone has a tighter budget now.”
Day 21: Dave attends a wine charity auction committee meeting for the upcoming Camp Opportunity auction; he serves as a member on the board of this charity, which sends children in Greenville placed in foster home to summer camp. One of the several ways the organization raises funds is through a wine auction. “We poured several Calicaro wines, and I donated to the auction a wine-making experience in Napa Valley where someone can come to the Napa Valley and work in the winery with me,” he says.“I also donated some wine to the auction itself and worked to solicit wine contributions from other as well. It was our second year running the wine auction and almost doubled the funds raised.”
Day 22: Dave exchanges emails with Steve Heimoff regarding a wine review for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, one of the leading national wine magazines. Landing a good review in this publication would offer great exposure for Calicaro wines.
Day 25: Wine Enthusiast emails Dave, telling him that the scores for his wines will be 93, 91, 90 and 87 for the Pinot Noirs submitted. “We are thrilled with the outstanding scores,” Dave says. “Chris Nelson, our consulting winemaker in California emailed me one word: ‘FANTASTIC!!!’” Dave immediately begins sending out emails about the scores. “These are so important because a 90+ is awarded only to outstanding wines,” Dave explains “The 93 score is one point below the highest score that Wine Enthusiast Magazine has given to any Californian Pinot Noir from this vintage.”
Day 26: Dave spends time emailing Greg Walter, the publisher of The Pinot Report, the other publication he has submitted wine to for scoring. “I’d met him out in California and given him wine for reviewing and wanted to follow up and see if he had an opportunity to taste and score the wine yet,” Dave says.
Day 28: Correspondence has started with Greens Restaurants in San Francisco via email—“One of our most prestigious wine placements so far,” he says. “The restaurant is very well-known and well-regarded. It’s been in existence for more than 30 years, and everybody that lives in the bay area knows about it.”
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Day 35: Dave spends time scheduling wine blending sessions. He also has the opportunity to show his wine to Wood Tavern in Oakland, Calif. Following that, he begins to plan an early summer wine tasting event called La Fête du Vin.
Day 36: Calicaro’s ’09 Split Rock Vineyard Pinots are topped and racked at the winery.This process involves adding a small amount of wine to the barrel to replace the wine lost to evaporation. During racking, the wine is moved from one barrel to another and is done to remove sediment from the bottom of the barrel. Q3 2010
Day 37: Dave spends time writing the back label “romance language” for the new Viognier and Syrah wines, as well as building bridges with other California winemakers through numerous emails. Winemakers often share ideas and knowledge this way—for the small lot artisan winemakers such as Dave, it is a close and friendly community.
Day 41:At the same time that Calicaro’s 2009 Doctor’sVineyard Pinot is racked and topped, Dave reviews and approves a press release/news article for the Camp Opportunity Charity Wine Auction.
Day 42: Dave works on changes to Calicaro Wine Club offerings. He makes plans to expand the Wine Club to three levels of purchase: half case, one case and two cases per year. Wine Clubs are a way wineries reward loyal customers through discount prices.
Day 43: Dave meets with his consulting winemaker Chris Nelson for a barrel tasting at the winery. Following that, he visits several other wineries on the Silverado Trail in Napa.
Day 48: Dave shows wine to North Berkeley Imports, a high-end retail wine shop.They like the wine and discuss plans to add Calicaro to their store inventory in the fall. Dave gets his wine review and scores from Pinot Report, a specialty wine magazine for Pinot Noir. Calicaro gets 93 for its “Paris Mountain” Pinot Noir, 92 for its “Liberty Bridge” Pinot Noir and 92 for its “Poinsett” Pinot Noir. All three wines are also rated as “Best Buys.” “These are across the board outstanding scores and a home run for Calicaro!” Dave says.
Day 53:The word is spreading about the great wine scores, so Dave plans a trip to Charleston to show the wine to restaurants and retail shops, as well as another trip to Charlotte to meet with all of the sales reps for Calicaro’s distributor, Grapevine.
Day 63: Dave works on a post for the Crushpad Wine Blog talking about the scores Calicaro Wines received. He also works on the ’08 wine labels and labels for the new Small Pour wine sampler packs, then attends a Vietnamese Wine Dinner at Stella’s Bistro in Simpsonville, S.C.
Day 64: Planning is in the works for La Fête du Vin: Back Deck Wine and ’Cue Party—a wine party he will be hosting as a “thank you” for Calicaro’s first supporters.
Day 67: A new opportunity has shown itself, and Dave pursues the possibility of being interviewed about Calicaro on a radio program devoted to wine. He also works on plans for a Calicaro ’09 vintage release wine party for this fall.
Day 68: Dave follows up on The San Francisco Wine Trading Company, and works on wine labels for ’09 releases. Each label includes technical data about the wine that cannot be completed on the label until the wine is almost ready to be released.
Day 69: Dave works on writing an article for the “Spotlight” on the Crushpad Wine website. “‘Spotlight’ features several of the wines that are made at this custom facility, and they decided they wanted to tell our story, so I spent time putting the facts together,” Dave says. “There are only four winemakers featured, so we’re honored to be one of those.”
Day 70: The San Francisco Wine Trading Company has decided that the store will carry Calicaro wine. They order the ’08 Liberty Bridge Pinot Noir. Dave then works on a plan to move wine storage and order fulfillment from San Francisco to Napa due to the winery’s move to Napa.
Day 78: Dave works on listing Calicaro in a new online wine sales website for artisan-made boutique wines. He also reviews interview questions for an online wine interview and review of Calicaro wines at www.intowine.com.
Day 83: The Calicaro ’08 “Charles Towne” Cabernet is added to the website as wine now available for purchase. The “Charles Towne” was bottled in June and can safely ship to customers this fall when cooler weather arrives.
Day 84: Dave works on planning a trip to Charleston with his wine rep. “Sometimes winemakers will travel with the sales reps in order to show wines,” he explains. “No one knows the wine better than the owner so it can help with the sales process.”
Day 95: Dave finalizes plans for bottling the ’08 Napa Cabernet. He also orders two cases of Calicaro wine for delivery to The San Francisco Wine Trading Company.
resort, and because the Ocean Room has a Best of Wine Spectator Award winning wine list, this is the most prestigious placement so far for Calicaro Wine. “Their sommelier loves the wine and informed me that he will personally recommend Calicaro ‘Paris Mountain’ wine to customers,” Dave says. “I’m very excited.”
Day 99: Dave meets with all the Grapevine reps to lead a sales presentation and tasting of Calicaro wines.
Days 100-101: Strategy and development for the market position of Calicaro over next two to three years has begun. Calicaro has come a very long way in its initial two-and-a-half years. It has already achieved a reputation for extraordinary wine and developed a base of customers, supporters and friends. With signs of some improvement in the economy and the acceptance of Calicaro in the market, Dave anticipates doubling the size of Calicaro over the next two to three years so that it will make in the range of 300-500 cases of wine per year. The larger scale will allow for trying new varietals and provide an opportunity to make more budget friendly wines that can reach a broader market of wine lovers. Although this would be twice Calicaro’s current size, this would be an extremely small production volume for any winery. The heart of Calicaro still hasn’t changed, though. “I want to continue to limit distribution to the Carolinas and Northern California for now,” he says. “I’m confident that I can maintain this impeccable, handcrafted artisan quality of Calicaro wines, while modestly growing production.”
Day 96: After reviewing the experience and credentials for a newlyadded consulting winemaker for Calicaro, Dave adds Adam Smith, who will also be helping Calicaro make wine this year. Dave then travels to Charleston to identify new wine placements in the Lowcountry.
UPDATE: Follow Dave and Calicaro
through their journey. Calicaro’s blog can be found at www.calicaro.blogspot. com. Calicaro’s website can be found at www.calicaro.com.
Day 98: Dave reconnects with Grapevine—this time with rep Jo Jo Crompton to call on accounts on Kiawah Island and Johns Island. The Ocean Room at the Sanctuary on Kiawah Island orders the ’08 “Paris Mountain” for placement on its wine list. As this is the top restaurant at Kiawah, a Five Star, Five Diamond award-winning Q3 2010
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Day 97: Dave works with Grapevine rep Lisa Landy to call on accounts in Mt. Pleasant, Daniel Island and Charleston. He also shows his wines to Laura Albert’s Fine Wines who places an order.
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Day 71: Today shows the effect of a bi-coastal business such as Calicaro—while Dave works on locating a Northern Californian wine broker, he is also showing wine to Stella’s Southern Bistro and to R&M Wines; Dave schedules a public wine tasting for R&M and places a wine order from Stella’s.
B O X SPEED PITCH
Status Social Relations was co-founded in 2010 by Brad Forth and Natalie Hills, with the understanding that Social Media is not just a trend. At Status Social Relations, we help individuals as well as companies establish and sustain Social Media pages,opening a broad range of options for productive connectivity. We enable meaningful projection of identity and empower effective promotion of unique, personal, professional or entrepreneurial paradigm. Grounded in the scholarly as well as commercial culture of artistic communication, Brad and Natalie collaboratively strive for the most aesthetic presentation of individuals and companies. Clients receive personal attention needed to support the creation of Social Media pages that reflect your desired image. SSR provides our clients with services related to Social Media including: The initial start-up of a Facebook or Twitter page as well as the creative development of your Social Media page(s); a photography session with Brad Forth in which we provide you with professional, high quality images ranging from individual or staff portraits, shots of your interior or exterior space for businesses, and product shots; Facebook FBML coding; and monthly management and updates of your Social Media pages. If you or your company already have these accounts in place, we can critique the information and content you currently have to see where improvements can be made.
New times call for new buisness models, and STATUS is merging the world of social media with the world of public relations. But do Natalie Hills and Brad Forth have the plan that can change your business? You be the judge. Natalie Hills & Brad Forth STATUS Social Relations
Brainstorm, advise, weigh in.
Wanna offer your advice? Log on to www.insideblackbox.com/SpeedPitch
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What They Say...
“My initial take on this is that it will be limited, but it will work. What I mean is that if you want to have a special niche, then that’s great.You can basically be a “social media specialty shop.” But if you are going to have clients that need to have more services like crisis communication or strategy, then you might be limited. Basically, if you want to eventually be a fully integrated marketing and PR agency, it wont work, because you’re leaving some tools out of the toolbox— you need as many tools as you can use, because you’ll never know what Q3 2010
your customers will need. But if all you want is to serve that area (social media) really well, then it’s a great idea for a niche. I do wonder, though, how a company like this will manage in the long term, as social media becomes the new norm.” Brett Turner Director of Public Relations, Jackson Marketing “Bringing beauty to social space is a worthy endeavor. There are three pressures in this segment, though, that may make a sustainable business model challenging: first, the
increasing momentum for integrating social media into a comprehensive marketing program; second, the difficulty in outsourcing a heart-and-soul based media to outsiders; and, third, the do-it-yourself appeal of social media. The opportunity lies in the third pressure—the doit-yourself appeal of social media. Status can differentiate themselves by helping clients not only look good but by being good as well. Being good means effectiveness is being aware of individuals in the marketplace, paying attention to them, listening to them,
and responding to them. The sustainable opportunity is training and development— giving the people behind the beautiful brands the mindset, tools, and skills they need to deliver beautiful enduser experiences across all interactions with the company. To the extent Status Social can help clients look good and be good on social media, they’ll have a sustainable business model as social space continues its intense evolution.” Trey Pennington Owner, The Pennington Group
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KIDBIZ BLACK B OX
by tony snipes
Tony Snipes is director of Redemption Marketplace Alliance, a Greenville-based entrepreneurship training program, where he utilizes a unique combination of years of leadership experience in the corporate arena with ministry experience in the community. Tony has spent over a decade as an internet publishing and advertising expert, helping clients for news media companies such as the Greenville News, The St. Petersburg Times, and News Channel 7 WSPA.Tony’s three daughters offer him a unique perspective that he brings to KidBiz.
.............................................................................. Need money to help your young entrepreneur get his or her business project going? Kickstarter may be just the thing. Kickstarter is a start up web platform that matches aspiring entrepreneurs, artists, designers, writers, filmmakers and others with patrons willing to finance their projects.
How Kickstarter Works:
Let’s say your son or daughter wishes to sell customized T-shirts to their friends or teachers when school starts back up.They want to first create a few examples to show prospects, but will need money for materials once people start buying. You help your young entrepreneur set a fundraising goal, deadline, and an optional set of rewards for backers. The rewards for the project’s backers can be anything, but preferably related to the project. In this case, some backers may wish to have their own custom T-shirt. If the goal’s reached by the deadline, then backers are charged via Amazon Payments and they get their cool rewards. If the goal’s not reached, nobody’s charged, so it’s all or nothing.
Is This Good for Young People?
I’d say yes, because it allows your young business owner to familiarize themselves with the concept of taking money and investing it back into the business to gain more money. The tone that the folks at Kickstarter set is much like that of social networks, meaning that they encourage a good project creator to do the following: • Create and upload a video • Spread the word through their network, audience, friends, and family • Keep backers in the loop with frequent Project Updates • Engage with the community that develops around their project • Fulfill rewards in a timely manner Be sure to visit www.Kickstart.com for more information.
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ck a b d Fee m, advise andisit
ou v stor iz. Brain in when y om/KidB c . h x ig we kBo eBlac Q3 2010 93 Insid
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B O X WHAT MATTERS
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lifelong participant in charitable organizations and mission trips, Gerry Barlik turned to volunteer work when his latest job search offered few options. Four years ago, he began volunteering at the Samaritan House, a basic needs ministry in Greenville, S.C., that is dedicated to feeding and clothing the needy. “I’ve always had a passion for helping people, but it didn’t pay the bills,” Barlik explains. Having held jobs in fields including banking and real estate—he even was a high school guidance counselor—his careers supplemented his desire to help people. Barlik now serves as director of the Samaritan House and for the last two years has striven to meet the growing need of its recipients. The number of people that receive the help of Barlik and his volunteers has grown substantially—five years ago, they served about 65 people each month, while today they help 500 to 600 people a month, with nearly 50 new families coming in for the first time each month. Unlike some charitable organizations that receive government funding, the Samaritan House solely operates on money from private donations and church fundraisers. With minimal outside assistance, Barlik relies on his team of volunteers, helpers who’s activity varies from once a month to every day. Of the volunteers, 70 percent are recipients themselves, appreciating what the Samaritan House does for them and working to give back. “These volunteers are wonderful—they know why they are needed, and they want to help in any way they can,” he says. Barlik draws on his background in counseling to help those who come into the Samaritan House. “I don’t just want to give them food and send them away; I want to do all I can to help them change their lives,” Barlik explains. From solving disputes with visitors, to vocational counseling and helping recipients find a job, he forms relationships with everyone that walks in the door. Barlik doesn’t foresee a decrease the need for his services, and with that knowledge comes added effort. He now spends his time acting as a spokesperson for the Samaritan House, working to form partnerships with organizations that can help bring in funding or organize food drives, such as hospitals, apartment complexes and schools. “I’m trying to get the community more involved in the Samaritan House,” Barlik explains. “The last thing I want to do is turn someone away that’s in need.” For more information, or to help, please call the Samaritan House at (864) 299-5898.
- Simone Shahdadi
Q3 2010 issue of Business Black Box