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Business Black Box Quarter 3 • 2011

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What Matters: Lauretta Pierce

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Layers of thought GUT CHECK RANDOM & RELEVANT Status Check Trail Blazers Speed Pitch What Matters

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101 Days: Wyche Law Firm

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law ceos small biz SALES global HR growth politics kidbiz

Big Picture: The Harris A Smith Building


Why Business Black Box? EDITORIAL

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. That’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.

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At the heart of every event, every blog, every magazine issue, and every documentary Business Black Box produces, you’ll find a relentless passion for connecting, advising and growing Upstate business.

Editor-in-Chief Contributing Writers

Research

Jordana Megonigal Julie Godshall Brown Andy Coburn Noelle Coyle John DeWorken Todd Korahais Emily Nelson Ravi Sastry Tony Snipes Alison Storm Geoff Wasserman Terry Weaver Chad McMillan Emily Nelson

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Geoff Wasserman Mary Wray Conner Charles Richardson Amy Smith Mike Zablocki

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LAYERS OF THOUGHT BLACK B OX

In a franchise, you can actually clone your business model, put it in a notebook, hand it to someone else, and they can start their own. That’s the glory of it. While before, you might have had a market of 20,000 people, suddenly your market expands, and soon you have millions of people asking you for your product or service. The franchise option is one we wanted to explore, and so in this issue, we spoke with Felix Mirando (see the article on page 38), who has a background

in the restaurant industry and now in the medical industry—both franchises. Except in his current company, ARCpoint, he’s the franchisor, setting the rules and determining the vision of his many locations. The concept of multiplication was one we wanted to investigate in this article. So, with a little inspiration, we decided to focus on the style shown— an artistic, colorful, cloning of Felix Mirando himself.

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Cloning. It’s an idea that gets a lot of flack, but honestly, don’t we all wonder what it would be like if we suddenly had four or five of “us” running around doing the piles of work that need to be done? Of course, overwork is only one reason that you might clone yourself, at least in a business sense. More practical (and realistic) is the idea of “cloning” your business to that its brand goes further, or you can serve more people. Wait. We already do that. It’s called franchising.

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hen I was first starting my career, right after I graduated college, I took a job in the customer service department of a local sporting goods manufacturer. There, I handled calls from French Canada (yes, it is a different country), and pretty much got chewed out every single day—most of the time, for something I had no control of whatsoever.A lot of days, it was like walking naked through the woods waiting for the bear to jump out and eat you. Anxiety ran my life as I waited for one more person to call and let me have it. But I dealt with it. It was my job, wasn’t it? Ulcers and all. I eventually left for something that didn’t leave my stomach churning for eight hours a day, but fortunately not before I learned some things along the way. Primarily, I learned that customer service isn’t a job. It isn’t a title or a “thing” that you do. It’s a mindset. Customer service is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Every single time. Regardless of how angry they are, how tired you are, or how much you can do about it. But in corporate America, customer service is a department. Many times, it is a completely inefficient department solely purposed for explaining the basics of a product or service. There is no power to help; there is no common sense used by the person in that department. It’s not needed. “I’m sorry, that’s just our policy.” “Of course I can connect you to my supervisor, but they won’t be able to do anything more than I can.’” “You can also find answers to this question online.” Of course, there are exceptions. Southwest is defined by its customer service, as is Zappos and Starbucks. Interesting note: Which companies dominate the air travel, retail, and coffee sectors? The connection isn’t lost on me. Is it on you? It’s a shame that what used to be a standard in customer service has now become “excellent” customer service. If you say you’re gonna do something, do it. If you say you’ll call back, call back. Think of ways to make the customer happy. Figure out why they’re really mad (sometimes it’s more than just a broken product or late shipment.) It’s a bigger shame that many times small businesses mimic these habits, thinking that they lead to a corporate future. Sure, some companies will get by with the department (now outsourced overseas). Some will get by with a shoddy “policy” response. But for how long? You, on the other hand, have a chance to revive “excellent” customer service. I do, too. (Confession: As you read this we are defining our own service measures. I’m looking for suggestions, and would love it if you would send yours to us. ) I’d encourage you—in the last few months of this year, take a look at your own service, whether you’re a one-man show, and employee, or the head honcho. (Remember, it’s a mindset, not a title.) You may be doing a great job already. You might find a few gaps. But if the connection between great service and great sales isn’t lost on me—I’d be willing to bet it isn’t lost on your customer, either.

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Editor, Business Black Box jordana@insideblackbox.com • 864/281-1323 x.1010 twitter.com/jmegonigal • facebook.com/jordana megonigal linkedin.com/in/jordanam Q3 2011

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


Fill ‘er up. No, wait. Plug ‘er in. Where are the gears? How does it work? What is it? Where can I get in on the ground floor?

Visit InnoMobility.com to find out more.

What’s next.

INNOMOBILIT Y Global Conference, October 18 - 19, 2011 in Greenville, SC Q3 2011

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InnoMobility brings customers, capital, technology and talent together in a community dedicated to transforming mobility. Connect with business developers, entrepreneurs, designers, investors and other professionals from around the world.

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Calendar EducationGap Here are just a couple of things going on around the Upstate for business owners, networkers, or entrepreneurs.

• WHAT - Health Information & Technology Forum • WHEN - August 10 & 11, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. • WHERE - IT-oLogy, Columbia, S.C. • DETAILS - As part of InnoVenture Southeast’s year-round series of forums, the Health Sciences Forum will feature new business opportunities related top the high-growth health sciences and health care information technologies industries. Presented by IT-oLogy, CareCore National, and BlueCross BlueShield of S.C., the two-day forum will feature various speakers from around that state of South Carolina, as well as provide opportunities to network and meet other InnoVenture community members. To attend this event, visit www.InnoventureSoutheast.com. • WHAT - TEDx Spartanburg • WHEN - September 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • WHERE - Hub Bub, Spartanburg, S.C. • DETAILS - Under the theme “Together: Creating a New Vision,” Spartanburg will host the first TEDxSpartanburg, part of the family of TED events, where videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www. TedXSpartanburg.com

Get connected by listing your event for FREE on our Business Black Box master business calendar:

Is College A Good Value? % who rate the job the higher education system is doing in providing value for the money spent by students and their families as... Excellent

Good

Only Fair

Poor

Good

Only Fair

Poor

3% 17% 21% 59%

Excellent

35% 5% 15% 42%

Note: Views from The general public (GP) are based on a Pew Research Center survey of 2,142 adults, March 15-29, 2011 views from the college presidents (P) are based on a Pew Research Center survey of 1,055 college presidents, March 15-April, 24 2001. “Don’t know/Refused” responses not shown.

Is College Affordable for Most People Today?

% who agree General Public

College Presidents

22%

42%

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• WHAT - Euphoria • WHEN - September 22-25 • DETAILS - The “Southeast’s premier pairing of food, wine and music” will be held once again in downtown Greenville. VIP packages are available, and all tickets go on sale July 15. For more information, visit www.EuphoriaGreenville.com

In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center this spring, two sets of people were surveyed on their thoughts about college—adults over the age of 18, and college presidents. The gaps in thinking are amazing. Take a look. (For more about this survey, visit http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1993/survey-is-collegedegree-worth-cost-debt-college-presidents-higher-education-system)

General Public

what’s happening?

College Presidents

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PEW RESEARCH CENTER GP/14, P/6

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Random&Relevant RANDOM & RELEVANT

Lots more to see at www.insideblackbox.com

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The Best We’ve Heard... “Bu hea siness i a ch lthy as s neve a ce icken, when, r so scra rtain it mus like amo t do tch whaing aro unt of t it g und ets.” for - He nry Ford

Business directory

What we read: The E Myth Revisited:Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber The Gist: According to Gerber, the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life. By walking you through the steps of creating and maintaining a successful business, one that is independent of your own life, you can go to work on your business, not in it. How it’s Written: The book maintains a simple format and is very easy to read. It is broken down into three parts and many chapters offer bullet points in addition to specific steps to follow throughout the process of producing a business. Gerber also uses his own real life experiences as well as others to demonstrate that his ideas are based off of previous occurrences. Great if: Your business has started to overrule your life,making you frustrated and angry with having to“go to work” everyday.

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Don’t miss: The purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but rather for your business to serve your life.

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Our Read: Definitely a great book any small business who is trying to maintain balance. Also a must read for those who are about to start the adventure of creating a business in order to get it right the first time.

Q4 2011 Q3 2010

Cybertary

Cybertary Sheri Huesman Spartanburg@Cybertary.com www.cybertary.com/spartanburg • (864)641-1152 Cybertary is a collaborative and cohesive network of professional Virtual Assistants (VA). Having a VA is fast becoming an essential need for the entrepreneur, small business owner and busy executive. Since we work virtually, you can think of us as your “remote staff”. A VA can perform duties that range from word processing, bookkeeping, creating brochures, flyers and business cards, travel arrangements, maintaining databases and sending out mailings, etc. We work when you need us, so you only pay for productive time on task. As your VA team, we will be handling many of your day-to-day operations, allowing you to focus on tasks that generate new income for yourself. We can increase your productivity by streamlining systems and removing your administrative burden.


RANDOM & RELEVANT

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Right to Work States

Winning the Future

are

by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint

Statistics show businesses prefer to operate in right-to-work states. Right-to-work states experienced a 46 percent higher increase in private sector businesses established from 1993-2009. In the 22 right-to-work states, 497,041 new businesses were added, while only 339,834 new businesses were established in the other 28 forced-unionism states. This is especially notable because rightto-work states only account for 40.3 percent of the total U.S. population, but nearly 60 percent of all the new private sector businesses are located in those states. The logic is simple - more businesses means more jobs. From 1993-2009 private sector employment increased 37.9 percent in right-to-work states, compared to only 19.6 percent in forcedunionism states. The difference is 1.3 million in new private sector job creation. All of the new economic opportunity has led to increased wages for workers living in right-to-work states. From 19932010 real per capita personal income grew 39.5 percent in right-to-work states compared to 35.7 percent in forced-unionism sates. Bottom line, rightto-work states have faster job growth, faster income growth, and faster business growth than forced-unionism states. This winning strategy should be duplicated nationwide. That’s why we have introduced a bill, along with Senator Lamar Alexander, to preserve the federal law’s existing protections for state right-to-work laws. American companies, like Boeing, must have the freedom to create and expand businesses where they have the best chance to succeed. Our bill prevents Obama’s political appointees from trying to stamp out the healthy interstate competition that makes America the best place in the world to do business. Because if they keep it up, new jobs are much more likely to be created in China instead of places like South Carolina. *reprinted with special permissions from Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Jim DeMint

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In President Obama’s State of the Union address he said, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.” We agree. Global competition for business and jobs is more important than ever as our country struggles to recover from the lingering recession and cope with the massive debt burden imposed on the economy by increased government spending. Unfortunately, recent actions by Obama’s handpicked political appointees at the National Labor Relations Board are making it more difficult for America to win the future. The NLRB, at the behest of Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, has taken unprecedented legal action against The Boeing Company to prevent it from expanding productions into South Carolina, a state that assures workers the freedom not to join a union as a condition of employment. This is a malicious attack on millions of workers in South Carolina and other right-to-work states, as well as a government-led act of intimidation against American companies that should have the freedom to build plants in the location of their own choosing. The NLRB action is also vexing when one considers that President Obama’s own White House Chief of Staff, William Daley, was on the Boeing Company Board of Directors when the Board approved the decision to open the second assembly line in South Carolina. Or the fact that the CEO and President of The Boeing Company, Jim McNerney, also serves as the Chair of President Obama’s Export Council,which operates as an advisory committee on international trade. If the NLRB prevails in this unprecedented action, it will only encourage companies to make their investments in foreign nations, moving jobs and economic growth overseas. America will not win the future if Washington penalizes workers in states with winning economic strategies. The facts are clear—by every economic measure right-to-work states are outperforming forcedunionism states.

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LAW owning and running a business – liability can get personal

BLACK

LAW B O X by andy coburn

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.

run an investment bank and engage in illegal insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission is coming after both you and your company. And certain laws expressly place personal liability on officers and directors if the corporation fails to meet its legal obligations. If a corporation fails to withhold income taxes from employee pay, for example, officers and directors can be personally liable to the IRS for the amounts that were not withheld. Then there is that elusive, shadowy, threatening menace known as “piercing the corporate veil.” The basic idea behind this legal doctrine is that, under certain circumstances, the law will decide A corporation is supposed to protect you, the owner and that your corporation is just a sham and should be ignored. When principal officer, against personal liability for corporate activities. the veil is pierced, third parties owed money or harmed by the That’s what your lawyer tells you. That is the primary reason why company can go directly after the company’s shareholders to the corporation was invented. Before the corporation, the owners satisfy the company’s obligations. Veil piercing has always been of a business were all personally liable for its obligations. In the troublesome for business owners because the tests for determining good old days, you and your business partners borrowed money in when it applies are subjective and highly dependent on the specific England to send a ship to buy spices in the Far East. If your facts and circumstances. ship sank on the trip home, you had to pay the lenders For example, in South Carolina, the two requirements back personally or you went to debtors prison. The for veil piercing are (i) the dominant shareholders must whole idea behind the corporation was that if the have failed to observe corporate formalities and (ii) business did not work out, the owners would there must be “an element of injustice or fundamental only lose what they had invested in the business, unfairness” if the dominant shareholders are not held not everything they had. As with most things, liable for the corporation’s obligations. In applying the however, business owners need to remember requirements, courts look at such factors as whether that reality is not quite so simple. The corporate the corporation maintains proper books and records, liability shield is important but has limits. holds shareholder meetings, has working capital that is For example, every small business owner with a grossly inadequate for the business and has officers and line of credit was rolling their eyes by the middle of directors that are not fulfilling their duties. the first paragraph. That’s because they all have given The good news for personal guarantees to their banks—a legally binding shareholders is that the commitment that they personally will repay money burden of proof is on the loaned to their company if the company party bringing the veil does not. A personal guarantee piercing claim, and to a bank is better than courts are generally unlimited liability hesitant to apply for all corporate the doctrine absent debts, but that compelling facts. The is little comfort best defense against if the bank veil piercing claims debt is enough and personal liability to bankrupt the generally is to run your owner. business professionally If you engage and to take legal in illegal conduct compliance seriously. while conducting business, you may get your company in trouble too, but don’t expect to hide behind the corporation and avoid personal and dvise visit a , m r liability. You see this ou sto Brain in when y om/Law in the news—if you .c h x ig o e w kB

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STATUS CHECK

Two big deals—Amazon and Wal-Mart—made news earlier this year when legislative deals and tax breaks were offered in exchange for a corporate move to South Carolina. Whether you see these agreements as “bait” or “reward,” what are your thoughts on these deals?

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While I appreciate the economic development efforts I do believe that it all comes down to good business/

financial decisions in the end. If for any large company it makes sense to come to S.C., with or without the incentives then it will happen. I believe that there are times when promises and highreaching incentives confuse otherwise simple decisions—Is S.C. a place where your business will flourish or not? If it is, the new business helps the local economy and the company involved. If it is not, regardless of incentives (even if they come through), it will be a short-lived relationship that will undoubtedly leave the area worse off than if it never existed.

Large deals with government incentives and special opportunities have been the norm for decades. That’s what

economic development people do. The only difference in this case seems to be that we didn’t live up to our end of the bargain. Having a major regional distribution center in the state for a huge global business would seem to be a good thing for S.C.­— bringing jobs, increasing the tax base, etc. But if we don’t stand by the deals we make we may find we are not a desirable alternative for corporations looking for new locations.That could really hurt us in the long run.

Laura Harrigan-Haight

Danielle Cuddie

Portfolio

Velocity Design Group

I’ve never been for the state legislature choosing winners and losers by giving tax incentives to some in

an industry and not to others. That simply privileges the huge corporations from out-of-state over the smaller ones down the street that already exist. On the other hand, I think corporate taxes are far too high and should be slashed across the board. So I don’t begrudge the BMWs and Boeings of this world with being able to get what they can get. Cutting taxes for all corporations, as well as cutting the regulatory burden, would create a level playing field, sans incentives and other central planning attempts by the legislature. I do agree that offering government incentives to large out-of-state corporations or to choose certain industries over others seems to be what many economic development people focus on the most. But I’m deeply grateful for the many things that economic development people do that are helpful and less involved in attempts at central planning and control. Just want to make clear that I value many other activities of E.D. folks.

The whole Amazon saga is just an icky, lose-lose-lose example of how the

economic development game is played by big corporations. Companies hold taxpayers hostage, playing state/cities/regions against each other to extort the best deal. They hire consultants who have worked for government entities and now use the insider knowledge they learned against their fellow taxpayers. Economic development agencies operate in a world of limited transparency and are so insulated from the average voter on the street that they have little accountability and a distorted view of what the public actually wants them to do. So they keep doing what they’ve always been doing—throwing tax breaks at companies in a race to the bottom against neighboring states/ countries/cities. By the time the deals are exposed to any kind of public scrutiny, any objections create an Amazon situation where promises made in the dark end up getting broken in the light. Meanwhile, we stuff our IRAs and 401(k)s with the stocks of companies such as Amazon, with the implicit demand that their value always go up. So in the end, we taxpayers get what we deserve. Like I said, icky.

“...if we don’t stand by the deals we make we may find we are not a desirable alternative for corporations...”

Sarah Hey Social media, Brand Identity & Publicity Consultant

Richard Breen Crawford Strategy to support big business as well as small business. They seem to be snuffing out small businesses with a large tax burden before they even have a chance to grow. I’m all for bringing the Amazons and the Boeings of the world to South Carolina, let’s just level out the playing field and make South Carolina a state worth doing business in.

Ken Flournoy

Join the discussion! Join our group— Business Black Box—on LinkedIn to give us your feedback on this and many other subjects!

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Our government should be willing and able

Ken’s Plumbing Q3 2011

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by Emily Nelson & Jordana Megonigal

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At

12 years old and with two broken legs,

Angermeier was told that without proper physical therapy, he

might never walk at least, without a limp. Fortunately, Angermeier’s doctor knew a swim team coach who helped him out to get him back on his feet. He still remembers going to practice and the meaningful words the “popular, good looking” teammate said: “of all the people, I admire you the most because of the pain you have to swim through.”

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Becoming a state champion that same season was only the first victory of many for Angermeier, who throughout his life, has continued to make remarkable strides.

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But it all started when an immigrant child moved to Nebraska.

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One would think that Angermeier was born a natural leader.

“Anyone can do anything, it doesn’t matter what you come from. What you know and what you can do is what matters,” Angermeier remembers. “There are no limitations in America; you can do anything.”

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Business Black Box

While this may in fact be true, a lot of Angermeier’s hard-working characteristics come from his parents—especially his father. Angermeier was born, along with his three siblings, in post-World War II Germany. When Russians came looking for Angermeier’s father because of work he had done for Americans during the war, Angermeier, only three at the time, and his family fled to America. After spending three days in Ellis Island with little money, Angermeier’s father selected Omaha, Nebraska, to live—largely because of its location in the middle of the country, as well as a large German-American community. Without his license in architecture being transferred to the States, the senior Angermeier moved the family into a house in the middle of the ghetto of Omaha, while taking up a job as a custodian in a woodworking mill. After working there for years, Angermeier’s father was cleaning the engineering department when in broken English, he told the designer in charge of redoing the chambers of the U.S. Senate how to better design the room, even going so far as to make a sketch of the design. Two weeks late the owner of the company called him in, asked if those were his drawings, and eventually offered him a piece of ownership on the company—making him head engineer and draftsmen. While his father would go on to design everything from cathedrals to Club Meds and even parts of Disneyworld, Ingo was growing up an immigrant in a strange land. Still, a clearer message couldn’t have been sent to the young man growing out of a poor Nebraska community. His father was, in essence, “the classic American dream.” “Anyone can do anything, it doesn’t matter what you come from. What you know and what you can do is what matters,” Angermeier remembers. “There are no limitations in America; you can do anything.” It was a concept that Angermeier took to heart. A long-distance swimmer, he was selected by the American Athletic Union to swim the English channel in the late ‘60s. But due to tense international relationships between France and England, the swim was cancelled only weeks before. Rather than forfeit all the training to that point, the AAU decided to change the challenge to a 50-mile lake swim. “We all started at the same time in different places and I was the dummy that finished first,” Angermeier says of the world record he held in the challenge. He adds the real-life comparison—a 50-mile swim is much like swimming from Greenville to Spartanburg and back. But swimming would only get him so far, and making the strides toward a career was becoming increasingly important to him. Angermeier attended Ripon College on a full scholarship and, by never taking less than 23 hours a semester, was able to graduate in three years with a Bachelor of Arts in the majors of Economics, Philosophy, and English, all while working two or three different jobs.

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False Start

After graduating, Angermeier interviewed for a position as a part of an investment team at a local bank.

During the interview, he asked the question of his interviewer: “If you weren’t a banker, what would you be?” “Suddenly, the man sat up in his chair and got all excited,” Angermeier recalls. “He said he would run a hospital. He would manage people and make a difference in the human condition. He said, ‘Banking is just pushing paper, pushing money, and pushing numbers; there’s no real satisfaction in it for me. But running a hospital, that’s what I would want to do.’” Although Angermeier liked and was good at math and economics, he knew that eventually he would look like the banker who interviewed him—tired and ready to retire. So, he took the lead set before him, went to the library and did research on hospital administration. Soon, Angermeier was a student at the University of Minnesota, receiving his master’s degree in Hospital Administration. While a resident at the Marshfield Clinic, Angermeier was given the task of finishing a construction job as project manager. Soon after, he was given the title of chief operating manager. When Jim Enzyme, the CEO of the Marshfield Clinic, left after being offered an opportunity to be the CEO of Creighton University hospitals in Omaha, Angermeier followed him, becoming chief operating officer. After more career-building moves to Kansas, Oklahoma, and the LSU medical center in Shreveport, he eventually became president and CEO of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System on April 1st, 2001.

the call light quickly enough, so he called 911 to get an ambulance to come move him to another room,” Angermeier remembers. “There was that kind of foolishness happening. It was just messy and it was hard to tell what the real problem was. “But what struck him the most was the fact that no one had paid attention to the operations of the hospital, nor the people or employees in it. Right from the beginning, Angermeier harbored a desire to change things for the better, so employees felt enthused to go to work and patients felt taken care of. “One of the first things I wanted to do was measure and manage the culture,” Angermeier says. So, he started a survey, called the PMI (personal management interview), in order to begin to resolve the issues the hospital was suffering. “It’s really simple. You can start with a blank sheet of paper and have every worker fill out an agenda with what they wan to talk to their supervisor about,” Angermeier explains. “The general topic is: ‘what can we do to make my job more effective?’ It’s written, organized, and done on a routine basis. It might be monthly, every two weeks, or weekly, but each worker has a meeting with the person that does their evaluation.” Lots of businesses have surveys or “suggestion boxes”, but Angermeier realized that true change comes from the action attached to the information. “We posted the results and fed back those results to all employees. We noted the good and the bad, and told them what we were going to do about it to make a change.” The most important point Angermeier instilled in his employees’ mind was the need to understand their job relative to the mission of the organization, realizing that job satisfaction is twice as high if the employee knows his or her job relative to the big picture, no matter the job—janitor or surgeon. What happened, over time, was a massive culture shift. Because results were given by departments, as well as for the hospital as a whole, the biggest and the smallest problems could easily be identified. For instance, in the Hematology department, where patient identification was a major issue for employees, a customized approach could be taken. “You fix it. That may mean you have to work with nursing, transport, or even computers with bar coding,” Angermeier says. “It doesn’t matter, you solve it.” Over time, a culture developed where it was okay to complain and to find fault with things, in order to fix it and produce a solution. A sense of pride developed and communication was a frequent part of work everyday. The enjoyment that came with going to work now had a positive affect.

“One of the first things I wanted to do was measure and manage the culture,” Angermeier says.

Diving In

Before that time, it seemed as though Spartanburg Regional was consumed with negativity. The previous five-year period had seen just as many interim CEOs. Employees felt beat down and worn out. The hospital had been on the front page of the newspaper for nearly 17 days in a row, each time for a different negative story. “I think one was: a patient didn’t think the nurse answered


Even more impressive was that employees weren’t the only people to experience a positive change—patients sensed it too. While patient satisfaction had only previously been in the 40th percentile, it now jumped to the 90th percentile, and included four or five units that hold the highest patient satisfaction in the country. As for medical practice, Spartanburg Regional remains in the top five percent of clinical outcomes for health grades. Malpractice claims decreased from four million dollars a year to less than half a million, and the turnover rate became a third of those hospitals comparable. “It was amazing addressing the core function of our job, improving peoples’ attitudes, and getting them to be as productive as possible. Suddenly, the issues with the medical staff just melted away,” he says. “It’s kind of like being sick—and you’ve got symptoms of the gastric systems like being tired, or a lymph. If you address the core issue, the symptoms look very different.”

Making Waves

Business Black Box

Apart from the vast culture shift, Angermeier instituted other changes that have transformed Spartanburg Regional into one of the leading hospitals in the U.S.

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For example, the development of the Regional One helicopter program changed capabilities within the state of South Carolina when it came to emergency response. While in years past, response to emergencies in many areas had been limited to the first ambulance or fire unit on site, who many times were either volunteers or not equipped to provide specialized care to the victims, Regional One allowed precise teams to be deployed as soon as a call came in. “It’s a golden hour,” Angermeier says of the time a trauma victim has. “We can now send a trauma surgeon, a trauma nurse, and a neo-natal doctor right there to the accident sites. It just saves lives.” In addition, Spartanburg Regional now has the first-in-the-nation stainless steel walls in new operating rooms, specially ordered from and configured in Germany. With technology continually developing, changes are constantly occurring in operating rooms. By using removable, sanitary walls instead of the typical drywalldrilling solutions, “You can change the configuration of a room in a matter of two weeks instead of two years,” Angermeier says. “It’s seamless and easy to clean. You can have more uses per room, it’s very efficient.” With all the changes he helped make at Spartanburg Regional during his tenure, one would think that he’d be far too busy to incorporate himself into the local community. Instead, Angermeier has become, and remains, one of the most prominent leaders in the Upstate, due to his dedication toward the region as well as his involvement on a personal level in many boards, committees, and community activities. One such group—Ten at the Top—reflects Angermeier’s own thoughts on leadership in a community.

Q3 2011

“Spartanburg and Greenville have the same population as Dallas and Fort Worth did back in 1954, and we’re about the same distance apart,” he explains. “We can learn from their random growth to grow in a way that is more coordinated, to grow for our benefit.”


“The Cheyenne and the Sioux Indians have different chiefs...but the main decision-making chief...their job is to place current decisions within the context of how they affect seven generations from now,”Angermeier relates. He is, of course, mindful of the future of the Upstate, as well as his part in creating that future. “Spartanburg and Greenville have the same population as Dallas and Fort Worth did back in 1954, and we’re about the same distance apart,” he expands. “We can learn from their random growth to grow in a way that is more coordinated, to grow for our benefit.” “I think that a motivator...or fear? or hope? for me is to imagine 25 years from now, a grandchild sitting on my lap asking me: ‘what did you do to make the Upstate a better place?’” On February 3, 2011, Angermeier returned to his roots when he braved the cold to jump into the Gibbs Cancer Center fountain—part of a “deal” made with employees to incentivize employee giving to the Spartanburg Regional Foundation. A small price to pay, considering that $1 million came out of the pockets of the employees themselves—illustrating a good measure of employee satisfaction and mission understanding. Two months later, on April 1, Angermeier resigned—exactly 10 years after his arrival at Spartanburg Regional. While it shocked many and others thought it was an April Fools’ joke, Angermeier knew it was time for him to move on.

tool for corporate culture and psychological data—and turned it into a software component that could be used far beyond the Upstate Region. Called SmartPulse, the product is a real-time, searchable employee survey database that helps manage people and collectively, corporate culture. By using modules that include automated employee evaluations, job descriptions, and 360-degree surveys, SmartPulse can provide businesses a tool to help them discover their strengths and weaknesses relative to their business organization as a whole. “I know that in 50 years, we are going to use collective psychological data harvested from surveys to manage people,” he says. “We are just scratching the surface and Spartanburg Regional is a real leader in managing culture.” While Angermeier now consults with groups on SmartPulse and its uses in a corporate environment, the challenge has always been to take the concepts found throughout his history—and now through SmartPulse—beyond his own person. “The challenge is trying to find something that is sustainable, beyond my presence, and is replicable to other industries beside healthcare,” Angermeier says, but adds, “Sustainable and replicable are two very different concepts.” Already getting rave reviews across the U.S. and internationally, SmartPulse may just be the “next big thing” in corporate retention, employee satisfaction, and culture development. For Angermeier, who leaves behind a legacy of greatness at Spartanburg Regional while he creates a new vision for other businesses, it would seem that the American dream has come true. “I want to look at people and say, we did things right,” he says. “We did this today with an eye toward what the future will be like.”

“I think that a motivator...or fear? or hope? for me is to imagine 25 years from now, a grandchild sitting on my lap asking me: ‘what did you do to make the Upstate a better place?’”

New Waters

Although he knew he had to pass the reigns at Spartanburg Regional on to the next generation of leadership, Angermeier’s passion for examining corporate culture has spurred on a new chapter of his life. Almost immediately, Angermeier turned around and took the thing he had spent years cultivating—namely, a measurement

Want to know more about SmartPulse? Visit www.Smart-Pulse.com.

Q3 2011

Business Black Box

Fortunately, Angermeier’s story doesn’t end with his retirement from hospital administration.

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CEOs & LEA B O X CEOs & LEADERS BLACK

embrace “stuck”

by geoff wasserman

Business Black Box

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.

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For years, I thought that the most frustrating thing I’d ever experienced in my professional life was the moment when I realized I was stuck. The deadline to submit part of a manuscript to a Publisher is looming, and after weeks of re-writes it’s Sunday night and I’m not quite there. I’ve looked over the personnel problem, the operational breakdown, the go-to-market strategy a hundred times and I keep ending up with my head in my hands. The prospect’s expecting the “big idea” from my team’s pitch on Thursday, and Tuesday I step back and look at the pitch and say “We’re not there yet.” I’ve tried writing the same column 23 times (true story), and all I’ve got to show for it is a wastebasket of crumpled paper. “Stuck” is when, ultimately, you know it’s good, but it’s not great.You can see the runway, but you can’t quite feel the landing. It’s good work, but it’s not your very best and you know it.You’re feel like you’re pushing a solution upstream through the system, but you know it doesn’t feel like being led through a rushing downstream current. Here’s a paradigm shift that’s changed my life. I’ve learned to embrace “stuck.” Stuck, I discovered, is a great place, and I’ve finally learned to treasure my arrival at “stuck.” It’s where you realize you have to get, in any process of breakthrough. It means you’re being challenged, being sharpened, pruned, and out of “stuck” will come growth. Stuck forces you to step back, step away, and step up. Up above the problem, where you can see it in perspective from above like the view from an airplane. And, it allows for breakthrough if you’re willing to change one of two things: Change the view, or change the viewer. In other words, change your environment or change the set of eyes looking at the problem. Environmental change: Once you discover what environments produce your greatest breakthroughs, you’re unwilling to work in any other. For some it’s a coffee shop, others it’s with a laptop on the back porch, others it’s in a bullpen of cubicles with a lot of noise and energy; maybe it’s behind a desk, or on a couch with no desk at all. People are much like fruit trees, flowers, shrubs and other living reproducers: We can probably grow anywhere and produce something in almost any condition if given enough time. But, there’s that one environment, that ideal set of circumstances that’s ideal for our best fruit to be produced. Plant us there, and we’ll flourish. There’s something magical that happens when you step away Q3 2011

from a problem when you’re stuck, and you hand it over to someone else with little direction other than “tell me what you see.” When we interview business advisors who have had their own consulting businesses, the biggest frustration we hear unanimously is, “it’s hard not having anyone to bounce ideas off from time to time.” So many companies and non-profit organizations, with good hearts and intentions, hire and subsequently lose creative people because of their inability to embrace, understand and structure (yes, structure) the right boundaries for creativity and innovation to flourish. Great leaders, great innovators, great over-comers spend less time dealing with problems that arise, and more time fine-tuning and cultivating the right environments with the right sets of eyes. They’ve mastered the ability to not just live in the vision of “tomorrow” while tolerating the realities of “today,” but build organizations with cultures that thrive on “stuck” because it’s been trained to embrace it., designed to look for it, and built to break through it.

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WHEN looking to start a business, there is a myriad of options available.

For

many,

the

opportunity to invest in a business that already has brand recognition and systems in place is far more tempting than starting from scratch. But those opportunities also present

Business Black Box

far different challenges.

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In 2010, more than 765,000 franchises were in operation, employing 7,614 of the workforce and producing more than $706.6 billion in goods and services,

according to survey results produced by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Although the growth in the number of franchises was only up 0.3 percent from the year before, franchises—brands—were still able to produce in a starving economy. Forecast for this year is a 2.5 percent growth in number of establishments, employing 7,808 and raking in more than $739 billion. In South Carolina alone, 13,252 establishments provided 145,000 jobs and more than $10 billion in revenue. Representing every industry from restaurants to real estate, wireless communications and automotive repair, the franchise model is something that has been proven to work—even in such an economy as we have seen the past few years. It begs the question: is opening a franchise a better decision than a start-up, given our economic circumstances? Maybe, but many times, franchises simply help “round out” options and opportunities already provided by those entrepreneurial test pilots. After all, without the entrepreneur to build the franchise in the beginning, there would be no model to adopt.

Q3 2011

Business Black Box

Such is the position that Felix Mirando found himself in almost 10 years ago. Now the founder and CEO of ARCpoint Labs, Mirando was no stranger to the franchise industry, having owned Heavenly Ham stores in the Upstate for years. But when the franchisor of Heavenly Ham sold to Honeybaked Ham, Mirando saw his chance to do something different. Years prior, in 1997, Mirando had read an article in Forbes about new technology in drug testing. The FDA-approved testing transformed the typical 48- to 96-hour lab wait time into an instant result. Mirando called the company to inquire as to distributorships. They told him to call back in a year. He did, and became one of the sub-distributors for the product. “Mainly at that time we were selling to manufacturing facilities that had R.N.s on staff,” Mirando said. “Prior to this product [drug testing] was all lab-based, so this product was revolutionary in the drug screening industry.” The company didn’t become a franchise however, until 2004, when Mirando bought out his largest competitor in Greenville, and decided to build it into something bigger. Mirando himself brought an intricate knowledge of branding—he had sat on the national advisory board for Heavenly Ham for nine years—while the acquired competition provided a good B2B business, as well as testing methodologies for the judicial system and for collegian athletics. He hired a company in Chicago to develop the business plan and get all the licensing completed in 2005; in 2006 he began to award franchises. The business soon grew, providing services that include workplace drug screening, DNA and paternity testing, fingerprinting, background testing and even—yes, it’s true—“doggie DNA.” By working alongside, in partnership with, and in competition with other lab-based drug testing companies like LabCorp and Quest, ARCpoint has built a network that today represents 42 franchisees and 64 locations in 20 states.

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“Within our industry it’s like a spider web.You compete with everyone and you almost have to affiliate with everyone because you have to work with them in certain areas. It’s very unusual,” he says. While it may seem odd that a national company with such growth is based out of Greenville, one must also remember that the glory of a franchise is where it can spread to, not where it begins. Kentucky Fried Chicken grew out of Corbin, Ky. in 1952, while Molly Maid was imported to the U.S. from Canada in 1984. Subway’s birthplace was Bridgeport, Conn., and the master of all franchises, McDonalds, began in San Bernardino, Calif. Logistically, Mirando says, the headquarters matters most in terms of travel. The nine-person ARCpoint support team travels to the franchise locations primarily for openings and initial set-up support, providing continual marketing and sales support remotely. Still, there are reasons that one might set up their headquarters in a larger city. “When you get into a metropolitan area, the flights in and out are the biggest thing,” Mirando says. “So Atlanta and Charlotte in the Southeast, have easier access. It’s certainly something I entertained, but Greenville is an up-and-coming city, in my opinion, and we need to do whatever we can to showcase it.” He quickly notes: “We haven’t had anybody not come just because it’s been difficult to get here.” To decide whether or not to begin a business is a hard enough task; to decide whether it should be a franchise or not is a completely different challenge. For Mirando, who had interest in the drug testing industry prior to starting ARCpoint, a background and experience in franchising made the decision easy. “It’s a mandated industry, so all federal employees and anybody who does business with the government have to be tested, so there’s a portion of it that is recession-proof,” Mirando says, of his decision to start the business. But it was his view of the drug testing industry as a “growth industry” that ultimately made the decision to be a national franchise occur. “More and more companies were doing drug testing. Ultimately, I saw it as more of creating a national brand where there was none. That’s where it sparked my attention. “I already knew franchising. And through franchising, you have a better success rate,” he adds. “But ultimately, where franchising becomes successful is when you have local owners, in their communities, who are networked and can build out their business, as opposed to having an employee who is responsible.”

GETTING STARTED

Business Black Box

For those trying to decide if buying into a franchise is right, and if so, which one, Mirando makes things much simpler:“Find a business that you are interested in and one you are going to love to do.” After all, just like any other start-up business, you’ll be living and breathing your career for as long as you own it. The biggest advantage is loudly repeated throughout the franchise industry—in franchising, you are “in business for yourself, but not by yourself.” In fact, the support systems that typically come with a franchise can many times help you just pick up and start almost instantaneously. “Franchising is really about having systems in place. And that means

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SITES WITH HELPFUL FRANCHISE INFORMATION www.franchise.org www.franchise.com www.franchising.org www.aafd.org www.franchiseopprotunities.com www.everyfranchise.com www.franchiseamerica.com www.franchsieconnections.com www.ownyourownfranchise.com www.topfranchises.com www.worldfranchising.com www.franchisedoc.com www.franchiseregistry.com www.startup.wsj.com www.bison.com *info taken from www.franchise.org

marketing, support, administration, bookkeeping, so in franchising you’re basically packaging your business for someone to be able to take and run with,” Mirando says. “In our particular industry since it is medical and fairly technical, the learning curve to get into it on your own would be substantial, whereas we can take that and with the support staff and what we’ve learned over the past 14 years, we can cut that learning curve down considerably. “ Part of that setup is also the brand, which in mature companies can be a huge benefit—to already have a name in the market can mean instant consumer buy-in. On the other hand, franchise owners must adhere to the standards set forth by the franchisor—usually found in a massive “operations manual”— and are limited in the level of decisions they can make on behalf of their business. And, because their identity is attached to a larger brand, any “bad behavior” on the part of other locations might reflect badly on them as well. So, if a built-in support system and already-running structure are things that sound appealing to you as a business owner, opening a franchise may be a step in the right direction. If you decide to buy into a franchise, following some of these tips might help.

DECIDE WHAT FRANCHISE YOU’RE BUYING INTO.

Is it a more mature brand, or is it a newer, younger business? Yes, it does matter—mature franchises may have better systems that have stood the test of time, or better brand recognition. In contrast, because they have been around longer (and have possibly grown bigger), you may have fewer opportunities in your location, depending on where that business needs new locations or management. With a younger franchise, you may have more opportunities and chances to build as you grow, and as Mirando notes, many times, franchisors in a smaller, younger model, are more open to new ideas and service notes from a franchisee. “If you go to McDonalds and want to try to get venison on the menu, it’s not gonna happen,” he notes. There are other things to consider and ask yourself, as well. Consider costs (they vary, depending on which brand you are buying into, and in what area), your abilities and personal support system (are you built for this level of management? Do you have people locally that can help, or mentor?), the local market (will it sustain this product or service? Is there already locally-based competition?), and the future growth of the company (what are the growth plans already in place?).

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Business Black Box

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE.

Now that you’ve selected an industry, and possibly a franchise, that you want to align with, do your due diligence. Somewhat like the initial research, take a deeper approach to finding out more about the company, the franchisor, the other franchisees, and anything else you can find out. “I would say, look at the history of the franchise as far as the company

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units, how long they’ve been in the industry, the support staff with the franchise company…all of that,” says Mirando. “See what they do within their particular business and how they run it, how they view the franchisor, how is the industry? Has it been affected by any new legislation or trends? Due diligence can make all the difference.” Another thing to keep your eyes open for is differences based on the type of industry. For Mirando, whose franchise is medical-based and highly regulated, there are different rules depending on which state the franchise is in. “You have an operations manual, and that’s fairly standard, but in our particular industry you have different states who have different regulations,” he says. “So, you have to have an idea of those regulations.”

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR RED FLAGS.

One of the biggest red flags, according to Mirando, is any pending, past or recent litigation between the franchisors and franchisees. To investigate various companies, consider different books and magazines, like The Franchise Opportunities Guide, Franchising World or even Inc. magazine, to get a feel for different histories and situations that various franchises have been through. Even the Wall Street Journal and New York Times keep information such as this in publication, so do a lot of research through back issues, as well. Online offers a lot of information, too, with sites like www. FranchiseRegistry.com, www.Bison.com, and www.FranchiseAmerica. com. (A full list can be found on www.Franchise.org.)

BE READY TO PAY.

Business Black Box

As a franchisor, expect upwards of 1 million to get everything moving. As a franchisee, however, the cost is much less, averaging around $125,000 to $160,000 with working capital, according to Mirando. Many times, according to the International Franchise Association, franchisees will make up any differences in commercial bank loans, but keep in mind that the Small Business Administration often offers competitive rates and longer terms on loans, and this does not exempt franchises. In other instances, the franchisor himself may offer direct financing.

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For Mirando, the franchise model has served him well—as both a franchisor and a franchisee. By the end of the year, he hopes to have grown his 64 locations to 85, and then to 120 in 2012. They are high hopes, but he is confident that his product and services have what it takes to thrive. “Remember, in franchising, you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” he says. “To be a franchisee, you are ultimately responsibly for your success in your market. Now, that said, remember that it takes work on both ends.”

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SMALL BIZ BLACK

B OX

SMALLBIZ

4 questions that define your brand Tony Snipes is former director of Redemption Marketplace Alliance, an entrepreneurship training program, where he utilizes a unique combination of years of leadership experience in the corporate arena and 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.

by tony snipes

· In a word, your brand is your “Reputation”. · In a sentence, your brand is what you stand for and to whom. Your brand is not just seen in a logo, but it is experienced in every contact point you have with a current customer or potential customer.

That means: · Every store or office visit or meeting. .............................................................................. · Every employee. Many entrepreneurs read, hear and even use this term without · Everything you wear. really knowing what it means and especially what it means for their · Every phone call. business. Let’s clear it up here: · Every voice mail message. What your “Brand” is not: Your brand includes your logo, but it is not limited to your logo! · Every email message. · Every conversation with a satisfied customer. That’s where many entrepreneurs (and even some larger · Every conversation with a dissatisfied customer. businesses) stop when it comes to thinking about their “Brand”.

What your “Brand” really is:

Business Black Box

(I like narrowing down meanings and definitions to as few words as possible to help me understand stuff!)

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Oh yeah, your logo, too. To clearly define what your business stands for and to whom, ask yourself these four questions: 1. What is your reputation? 2. What can you be an expert or authority on? 3. Who is most likely to do business with you? 4. What is appealing to these people?

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Z Reserve your seat next to some of the biggest names in food, wine and music. Now in its sixth year, euphoria is expanding its roster of exceptional offerings to include new music venues, enhanced culinary demonstrations and additional wine tastings. The weekend-long event has also added exciting experiences for beer and spirits enthusiasts — and a farm-to-table ‘Sunday Supper’ finale featuring acclaimed chef Sean Brock. To preview the entire fall 2011 schedule, and to reserve your tickets, visit euphoriagreenville.com today.

september 22-25 greenville, sc euphoriagreenville.com


With even more to taste, see and hear — euphoria is the perfect way for Upstate businesses to connect. Not only has euphoria become an ideal place to enjoy food, wine and music, it has also become a favorite venue for regional businesses to connect with clients and colleagues. This year, consider entertaining your guests at euphoria with one of our Corporate Sponsorship Packages. To learn more, review the opportunities to the right, then email info@euphoriagreenville.com or call us at 864-233-5663.

Business Black Box

september 22-25 greenville, sc euphoriagreenville.com

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Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/euphoriafoodwinemusic, and follow us on Twitter @achieveeuphoria.

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Corporate Sponsorship Packages GOLD SPONSORSHIP — $10,000 SILVER SPONSORSHIP — $5,000 BRONZE SPONSORSHIP — $2,500

*All Corporate Sponsorship Packages include marketing of sponsor’s logo and link on our website, social media pages and on sponsorship banners displayed at each event. *All ticket credits must be used towards euphoria events and in accordance with ticket guidelines. For deadlines and more information, log on to euphoriagreenville.com.

Q3 2011

Business Black Box

*Event ticket packages and credits can be customized for each sponsor.

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S Pull up a chair with your favorite chefs, wine experts and musicians. More than a front row seat for great food, wine and music, euphoria is a seat at the table with some of today’s top culinary and cultural personalities — including national recording artist Will Hoge. Tickets are selling fast, so log on to reserve your seats

Business Black Box

for one of this fall’s most anticipated events.

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september 22-25 greenville, sc euphoriagreenville.com


SALES educate, train and practice

SALES

BLACK

B OX

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.

.............................................................................

Traditionally, my columns tend to follow a theme where concepts build upon each other and ultimately produce actionable items designed to help you in your sales career. Well, that’s the plan anyway, and, in theory, it works every time. The next concept we’ll cover begins with the universal problem that life never goes as planned, thanks to unforeseen realities that get in the way. Let me give you an example: If you looked at a football team’s playbook, you would notice that if all 11 players executed each play flawlessly, the end result would be a touchdown every time the ball was snapped. “That’s why they play the game,” Chris Berman says—because every play is not executed flawlessly, just like most sales calls. We’ll begin with “educate” because it involves mental awareness. Educating yourself alone will not help you improve your skills as a sales professional. Let me give you an example: if I educate you about exercise, you will be more knowledgeable. However, if I train you on how to exercise, not only will you be more knowledgeable, but in better shape, as well. Training involves action, and rarely do

sales people have action training built into their weekly routine. I ask all my top-producing agents to be part of three to six training sessions per month, or, quite simply, I’ll ask them to lead a training session for me and invariably they all say it has improved their skills. So now that we’ve established education as broadening your mind and training as improving your skills, you’d be tempted to stop there. Please don’t. In order to thrive during this economic downturn and not just survive, my recommendation to you is to first educate yourself continuously about your customers and their needs, both currently and in the future. Second, train to improve your skills at prospecting, marketing, lead-conversion, presentations, overcoming objections and life-long follow-up. Lastly, who do you practice with? If you prospect and market two to three hours a day to generate appointments, you may want to consider practicing and role-playing with a respected peer who is also in sales.This will give you ample feedback and critiques to improve your skills, thereby getting more appointments and closing more customers/clients. One of my favorite examples is a basketball player named Isaiah Thomas. His goal was to win an NBA title. He had been a professional basketball player for over 10 years, and every night after practice he spent two hours in the gym by himself shooting jumpshots and then another hour after that practicing free throws. Now, the team he played for was the Detroit Pistons, whom I could not stand, but that is irrelevant. His team won two NBA titles back-to-back, primarily because of him and his determination. Focusing on fundamentals and practicing every day often lacks appeal and requires great discipline. However, it will also make the difference as to whether you plateau or truly thrive going forward. I’m sure by now you’ve noticed $4-per-gallon gasoline and other areas of economic concern for you, your company and your clients. These concerns can be overcome through greater education, consistent training and a dedication to disciplined practice. The truth is these disciplines have always been required of anyone to succeed in sales. Now, though, the stakes are higher and failure is less forgiving.

Business Black Box

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BLACK

B O X BIG PICTURE Metal Composite Wall Panels: Pickens Roofing & Sheet Metal Spartanburg, S.C.

Glass:

Tri-State Glass Greenville, S.C.

Translucent Canopy: Ventilated Awnings Greenville, S.C.

Sign:

Dennis Adams Designs Atlanta, Ga.

Landscaping:

Business Black Box

Clemson University

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The Harris A. Smith Building Q2 2011


BLACK Architect:

Lord, Aeck, & Sargent Atlanta, Ga.

The Harris A. Smith Building, Clemson University

B OX

• The newest building on the Clemson Campus

Associate Architect:

Michael Keeshen & Associates Greenville, S.C.

General Contractor:

Melloul-Blamey Construction Greenville, S.C.

• Three-story, 28,000-square- foot structure. • Home of the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design & Graphics • State of the art design center where Packaging and Graphic Communications students can collaborate and create synergy in the design and printing of packages. • The building contains a range of equipment that can perform functions such as helping design labels for the blind and testing shipping containers. • Approximately 100 students graduate annually from the program

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In the 17th century, the Port of Charleston was one of the largest and wealthiest ports in the nation— and the hub of commerce and trade to the entire southern region. Crisp sails flapping in the breeze, horse-drawn wagons loaded with cargo, stories of intrigue and pirate encounters on the high seas and sea salt drifting in the air—all this and more was part of the scene during its infancy and for many years following.

Business Black Box

Although Charleston remains one of the most important ports in the U.S., even until today, time and technology have changed everything, and the sights and sounds today are far different from what they were in the late 1600s. Today’s behemoth ships make the ships from the 17th and 18th centuries look like toy boats. (The first boats to Charleston, not unlike the replica Adventure housed at Charles Towne Landing, were around 73 feet long. In comparison, today’s cargo vessels are upwards of 958 feet in length.) And as the ships get larger, their depth gets deeper, requiring ports worldwide to deepen their harbors. While “deepening” of the Charleston port may, at least on the surface, seem like something that the Lowcountry alone should address (after all, they are the region most influenced by the port, right?) the fact is that without that positioning for the import and export of goods from and for the state of South Carolina, we could all be run aground quicker than we realize.

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The Port of Charleston’s current depth is 45 feet at low tide inside the harbor and 47 feet in the entrance channel. There are already ships arriving at the port that are too big and must wait until high tide before they can be unloaded. And when the widening of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014, even larger ships will be passing through South Carolina waters. But in order for these postPanamax ships to dock in Charleston, the port must be deepened. “We literally have tens of thousands of jobs across South Carolina and millions of dollars in business at stake,” says U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, an avid supporter of obtaining government funding to deepen the port. “If we don’t get this done, the impact on jobs in our state will be devastating.” The statewide impact of the port, Sen. Graham says, is an estimated 268,000 jobs and $11.8 billion in wages. “In fact,” he adds, “one out of every five jobs in South Carolina is tied, directly or indirectly, to operation of the port.” A good example of this effect, says Kevin Bishop, communications director of Sen. Graham’s Greenville office, is BMW. Businesses along the I-85 corridor, he says, employ thousands of employees who contribute to the interior, exterior, electrical and mechanical components of the vehicles that are then rolled off BMW’s assembly line in Spartanburg. Then, of course, there’s the railroad employees who assist in loading the vehicles and delivering them to the port. A resolution was passed to study the feasibility of deepening the port to 50 feet, and that study’s first step, referred to as a reconnaissance study, was completed in July 2010. Byron Miller, vice president of marketing, PR and planning for the South Carolina State Ports Authority, says the study “determined there was a federal interest ... and national benefits to study it further.” The next step, he says, would be a feasibility study—a much more intense evaluation that requires 2-D and 3-D modeling of the harbor. The study would cost an estimated $12 million to $20

million, depending on its scope and issues that may arise. This cost, he says, would be cost-shared 50/50 by the port and the federal government. The actual deepening construction, he adds, is estimated to cost $300 million. Unfortunately, efforts to continue the study to deepen the port have hit a snag as political leaders argue over where the funding will originate. State political leaders such as Graham and Congressman Jim Clyburn are in favor of the deepening and are working diligently in Washington to secure federal funding. But others including Senator Jim DeMint, are against obtaining government earmarks for the project and are pushing for an alternative solution. Political leaders outside of the state have also offered support for the project. Senator Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, stated to Congress that out of the 12 ports in the nation expressing a need for deepening studies,“there is none more needed—and we as a country would get such a bang for our buck—to do what is necessary than the port of Charleston.” One of the reasons the deepening of Charleston’s port would be less expensive than others is due to the minimum potential for a negative impact on the port’s environment. Unlike other ports such as Savannah, Miller says, the deepening in Charleston is on a smaller scale, due to its proximity to the ocean. In addition, it would not have any effect on freshwater environments. As of late June of this year, Graham and others had been able to procure agreement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include the port’s study in their 2011 work plan. The state and federal government will each pay half of the study’s cost. Whatever the final result turns out to be, the fact remains that the port is vitally important to more than just the Charleston area. Businesses throughout the state depend on having access to the port for importing goods and supplies and exporting their products. According to an economic impact study performed by Wilbur

“One out of every five jobs in South Carolina is tied, directly or indirectly, to operation of the port.”

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Just when you think a cargo vessel couldn’t possibly get any bigger, one of the leading freight carriers proves you wrong.

Maersk Line’s latest ship design, currently under construction and expected to be delivered in the next couple of years, will hold a capacity of 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU). That’s a huge difference from its 1996 model, the Regina Maersk class, which had a capacity of 6,000 TEU. The latest and greatest will be called Triple-E class vessels, which stands for Economy of scale, Energy efficiency and Environmentally improved. Just how big is a ship that holds 18,000 TEU? Envision a basketball court, a full-sized football stadium and an ice hockey arena, all lined up side by side. And that’s just it’s prowess below deck. The Triple-E will measure more than 1,300 feet long and more than 190 feet wide. The bottom of the hull was designed in a U-shape rather than the V-shape of its most recent line being used, the 2006 Emma Maersk class vessel. This allowed room for an additional 1,500 containers in the Triple-E’s hull.And thanks to its energy efficiency and environmentally friendly design, the Triple-E will emit 20 percent less carbon dioxide per container moved compared to the most efficient ship operating today.

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www.worldslargestship.com

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Smith Associates, more than 112,700 port-related jobs are based in the Upstate, earning $5.3 billion in annual wages. That same study also found that 60 percent of the port’s in-state cargo originates from or is destined for companies in the Upstate. “The port actually creates more jobs outside of Charleston than it does inside Charleston,” says Lewis Gossett, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “With the heavy manufacturing base that you have in the Upstate of South Carolina, without the port a lot of it wouldn’t exist, so it’s absolutely essential.” More than $135 million worth of goods are shipped through the port every day. Industries across the board send goods daily by train and 18-wheel trucks to the port for export to markets worldwide. One of the more predominant industries utilizing the port is manufacturing. As mentioned above, one of the larger South Carolina businesses using the port is Greer-based BMW Manufacturing Co. Max Metcalf, communications manager with BMW’s Corporate Communications, says that the port’s proximity to the Upstate influenced the company’s decision to build here. “It did and continues to be an important part in our decision process each time we expand or add a model because we are a global manufacturer for BMW and the models that are produced here at the Spartanburg plant are exported all around the world,” he says. Of the more than 159,000 vehicles produced in 2010, roughly 110,000 (69 percent) were exported to 130 markets around the world. Based on the value of BMW exports, the Spartanburg plant is the largest automobile exporter from the United State to nonNAFTA countries. Metcalf says the BMW plant imports anywhere from 700 to 800 containers of tools and supplies per month. That number does not include the imports that are arriving for its numerous suppliers throughout the state. “The efficiency of the port is a tremendous asset for economic development not just in Charleston, not just in the Upstate, but for the entire state,” says Metcalf.

More than 112,700 port-related jobs are based in the Upstate, earning $5.3 billion in annual wages. That same study also found that 60 percent of the port’s in-state cargo originates from or is destined for companies in the Upstate.

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Although it may be one of the largest users of the port in Charleston, BMW is hardly alone. “It really would be hard to come up with very many of my members that don’t depend on (the port) one way or another, whether it’s bringing raw materials or component parts in or shipping their products back out,” Gossett says. “I think you could probably call it the single most important asset to the state of South Carolina for recruiting industrial development.” In a joint op-ed that was published throughout the state this past November, business leaders at Boeing South Carolina, Sonoco, BMW Manufacturing, Milliken & Company and Michelin North America voiced their support for the deepening study. “Our five companies employ more than 25,000 South Carolinians,” explains the executives. “Each of our businesses relies on the Port to some degree, including two of the Port’s largest customers. All of us, therefore, understand the essential role the Port plays in the economic well-being of the state. ... We unequivocally support [deepening efforts]. If our state’s political leadership has the vision and courage to act decisively, South Carolina will be poised for sustained growth. Failing to act and squandering this opportunity, however, will suffocate South Carolina’s economy for generations.” It’s not just large corporations using the Port of Charleston — what happens at the port is just as important to hundreds of smaller companies in the Upstate, too. Global Sales Group Inc., in Easley, is one such business. The trading company, which has five employees, buys component parts for the lawn and garden industry that are manufactured in China, Taiwan and Vietnam, and distributes those parts to customers such as John Deere Outdoor Products, MTD Outdoor Products and Husqvarna. Owner Steve McNeely says he receives anywhere from three to five containers each week through the Port of Charleston. He also occassionally receives containers through a port in Los Angeles when there’s not room on the ship coming to Charleston, but he prefers working through the Port of Charleston. “It takes longer for [a shipment] to get from the Far East to Charleston, but it’s cleaner,” he says. “There are not as many things that can go wrong with the container.” This is because when his containers come through Los Angeles, they are loaded onto a train

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that travels to Atlanta and then reloaded onto a truck that travels to Easley. Shipments coming into Charleston, however, will be delivered by truck within a day of arriving at the port. “Whatever we can do to make things more efficient and make the United States more cost competitive, I’m all for it,” McNeely says in reference to the deepening project. Miller says that if the port is not deepened, South Carolina will lose its competitive advantage. “Right now we have an asset and resource that has helped us attract tremendous jobs,” he says. “If you raise the cost of doing business in our state, then you discourage companies from doing business here.” Going forward, Gossett says there are four issues the port needs to address: deepening the port; completion of the Naval base expansion; infrastructure surrounding the port (most notably the access road and I-26, which at times, he says, is like a parking lot loaded with big trucks arriving to the port); and dual rail access. All four are on his working agenda. The Naval base expansion, which is part of a 10-year plan, will add a new terminal with three berths for ships. This will allow more cargo to flow in and out of the port and, Gossett says, will encourage the growth of manufacturing plants currently based in South Carolina and the relocation of future plants. “There’s only so much cargo you can move through any facility during the day, so having this additional terminal at the Naval base will be a very good thing for manufacturing,” he says. Plans have also been set into motion to improve the port’s surrounding infrastructure. Access road improvements will help boost the number of trucks delivering and receiving goods through the port. In addition, Gossett says the interstate going into Charleston needs to be widened to accommodate the growing number of trucks. “Delays are money,” he says. “It’s a lot more to us than just simply sitting in a long rush hour ride on your way to work. It can become a big money item to trucks that are sitting in dead traffic on the interstate.” As for the dual rail access, there has been some controversy in Charleston regarding railroad access at the port due to what


“Right now we have an asset and resource that has helped us attract tremendous jobs. If you raise the cost of doing business in our state, then you discourage companies from doing business here.”

Gossett calls a monopoly CSX has on the railroad lines to the docks. His organization, and many others, would like to see dual rail access for both CSX Railroad and Norfolk Southern. There has been discussion in recent months to build a second rail line north of the port, but local residents are opposed to that idea due to both the environmental impact and the affect it would have on property values. The location of the new line has not been chosen yet, but officials with the Ports Authority and the Department of Commerce have said its necessary to accommodate the expected increase in business that will arrive as the port grows. “Railroads don’t always work well with each other, so we’d rather have an equivalent system so there can be good competition between the rail lines for our businesses,” Gossett says. Miller explains that the cost of the Naval base expansion and improved infrastructure are part of the port’s 10-year, $1.3 billion capital plan. This amount excludes the deepening project, he says, but does include the new $800 million terminal at the Naval base. “If you accomplish those things you’re going to put South Carolina and its port in a position to absolutely blow away the competition the next 20 or 30 years on the Eastern seaboard,” says Gossett, “and with that, manufacturing products will grow and others will want to come to South Carolina.”

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YOUNTS CONFERENCE CENTER

at Furman University

S ERVI C E, V E RSATILITY, AN D ELEG ANCE COMPLIMENTARY AMENITIES • Free wireless internet • Event planning staff • Built-in projector and screens for audio, video, and presentation support

• Flexible sound system, podiums, and conference calling • Business center • Abundant free parking

Business Black Box

Bell Tower Catering offers custom menu planning and flexible service options. Corporate meeting packages also available.

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CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION! 864.294.2390 email: younts@furman.edu furman.edu/younts


GLOBAL BLACK

GLOBAL B O X

run to the revenue 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 25-year 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.

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In our first segment (in the Q1 2011 issue), we discussed some of the key factors associated with the economic growth of Asia. We spoke in-depth about the top 25 global company trends over the past 10 years, the top 50 competitive nations, and how Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has influenced the in/out flows of money. As companies from Asia continue to penetrate the U.S. markets, so too must North American enterprises penetrate Asia. The opportunities are vast, but the task of executing a successful strategy can be even more daunting. Strategies developed by most U.S. companies, either small or large, don’t work well in Asia for two main reasons: 1. DNA Transfer: Assuming that if it worked in the U.S. then it must work in Asia. Sending the same processes, procedures, equipment, people, and replicating it in China, India, or other markets, only adds to the cost, reduces productivity and frustrates the local employees as well as management that was sent to set up the operations.\ 2. Underestimating Locals: Believing that emerging markets are years behind western nations. Multinational companies (MNCs) and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) believe that they can be the savior, assuming it will be just a matter of time before they see their current business model/value premise transferred successfully to developing countries. As economic shifts continue to take shape, how are you going to take advantage of the competition in Asia? Let’s examine five strategies for success that will allow U.S. companies to increase revenue, expand market share/customer bases, and add to the bottom line. Customization: Do the “homework” to understand the needs of your customers, the market trends, and the weakness of the competitors. Develop suppliers, services, and products that will allow you to mix and match the needs of the local market. Just because it works at home does not mean it will work in Asia. McDonald’s spent years and millions of dollars in establishing themselves in India. Their thinking that the brand name would automatically bring the customers clouded their judgment to the cultural fact that none of the more than one billion people eat beef or pork. They changed to lamb and veggie burgers and began cooking the fries in vegetable oil rather than beef tallow. The brand is still very much alive; it is the product to fit the market that changed. Barriers: The obstacles of doing business in Asia are insurmountable compared to the U.S. However, Asian companies have “figured it out” in America, so can you in the competitor’s backyard. Know the rules of engagement, which are the right people that make decisions

with respect to logistics, IT, and distribution channels. Pick the right partners to guide you through the process of establishing your business, accessing markets, and developing local suppliers. Above all else, know the financial model before you invest. Making money in the U.S. is much different than making it in Asia. Technology: Asian competition, regardless of industry or market, has a very good handle on the latest technology, not necessarily in terms of IP or innovation, but in respect to keeping costs to a minimum. This ensures that customers get the latest products/services, and are able to make rapid adjustments to changing market trends. Having a local robust IT service is the foundation for success in this area.To put this in perspective, Baidu, a major search engine in the PRC, exceeds Google by four times. In India, Bharti Airtel competed directly with Hutchison Telecom and has become the leader in the cell phone market. Cost: Do it like the locals: tap into local labor rather than investing in automation. Going low-tech for assembly and back-end manufacturing processes will help on two fronts. First, it will allow you to validate your costs, processes, and viability in the market with minimum upfront capitalization and/or fixed costs. Second, it allows the company to gain respect from the local government for tapping into the number one resource in any developing country, its people. This will only work if the labor content of any given manufacturing operation is greater than 30 percent. In-house training can help reduce costs and ensure the employment pool is taken care of with local management. Implementing a train the trainer program will be vital to the success of an in-house program. Talent: Gone are the days when executives regarded working for a foreign company as something special. Today, they believe it is just as rewarding to work for a local company. Do not underestimate the necessity of skilled talent. Talk to any western manager that has spent more than three years in Asia, and they will tell you local managers are hard to find and hard to hold. They’ll go on to say, it’s not the money that has them moving around every 18 months. It comes down to training, a career path, support from within the country and the parent senior management staff, as well as trips to interface with their counterparts. When looking for management positions, be sure to look at local companies with local people. Ask the search firm to find local managers that have experience with western companies as well as local enterprises. Globalization has a double-edged sword. The local Asia companies have become very smart by using globalization to narrow the gap in technology, capital, and the employment pool in order to compete with companies from western nations. Whether you are an MNC or SME and want to expand your presence in Asia you must be able to fight the locals on two fronts. First, you must be able to emulate some of the local practices. Second, you must develop strategies that the nd locals cannot replicate. vise a

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B O X TRAILBLAZERS

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Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios Q3 2011


F

rom a life of real estate investments and construction, Charlie Banks was thrust into the life of an entrepreneur after being introduced to the world of Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPs. Manufactured as pre-insulated sections that can be used for roofs, walls or floors in the construction industry, SIPs are the “next best thing” when it comes to clean, efficient and green construction, but because of how they are manufactured, are also unaffordable for the traditional consumer. But Banks saw something bigger in those pre-fabricated walls. “Once I was exposed to the product, I immediately thought, ‘why is this not being used in every single building in the world?’” he says. Because of its inherent strength, as well as the speed of construction and the energy efficient qualities, the panels are ideal for all types of construction, including low-income and relief housing. Instead, Banks says, “There was a significant gap in where the product was being used and where it should be used. It was used in high-end building but not in lower-income housing, where it’s needed the most, and one reason it’s not being used in those places was because of the cost of manufacturing.” That’s when it hit him. “We should be doing this,” he says. And out of this realization, PanelTech Building Systems was born. By developing a manufacturing process to build SIPs in a faster and more affordable manner—either in its corporate facilities for domestic housing or through its mobile container manufacturing operations anywhere in the world. A true startup, PanelTech is still in its infancy, and is attracting investors to expand the opportunities for the company. With a focus to provide SIPs domestically to wholesale distributors, the market trends show significant growth opportunities for the company. But while the first steps are to take SIPs into the traditional market, and not just high-end construction, there remains a vision of what the company will be in the future. There, Banks hopes to takes SIPs international for use in relief efforts, by constructing them in a mobile manufacturing unit. “No one can feasibly manufacture these panels, then ship them internationally to these job sites,” Banks says, explaining his intention to build a mobile manufacturing unit that, instead of shipping panels, can itself be shipped to manufacture on location. “Our intentions to use for international relief housing, it came as we got into it,” Banks adds. “Social projects (relief help and low-income housing) was definitely at the top of our minds.” Even in its beginning stages, PanelTech is set to change the world view of green construction and affordability. And Banks, as the entrepreneur at the help, is set to take it to the top.

2005

Graduated from Newberry College with a degree in business

2006

Started first business in real estate investments (WilBanks Financial Solutions)

2008

Diversified into residential construction with a focus on historical restoration with The Banks Group

2009

Became actively involved in “green building” practices

2010

Year long research/due diligence on the SIPs industry

2011

Began building PanelTech Building Systems, LLC

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The facts: The percent of total U.S. energy consumption associated with buildings alone

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The percent of home’s heat loss, due to air leakage

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The average SIP room 15 times more airtight than its stick framed counterpart with fiberglass insulation

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Pounds of waste produced in the standard construction of a 2,000 sq. ft. home *information from the Structural Insulated Panel Association www.sips.org

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HR

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HR

can my small business afford (not) to offer flexibility? by julie godshall brown

Julie Godshall Brown is President of Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing, a firm specializing in direct hire and contract staffing solutions in professional, healthcare, manufacturing, legal, financial, accounting, and technical markets. Julie holds a Master’s degree in Personnel and Employee Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She has been in the human resources field for 18 years and is very involved in the Upstate community, currently serving in leadership roles on several business, civic, and university boards

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Business Black Box

Ahhh…time off. For many employees, it is more valuable than gold. Business owners, it may also be good for your bottom line. According to a Society for Human Resource Management study of over 3,100 U.S. workers, flexible work schedules are associated with a decrease in work-related impairments and an increase in job commitment. Additional documented benefits include: improved recruiting, good morale, improved retention, increased productivity, better work/life balance, and even “green” benefits due to reducing carbon emissions and workplace “footprints” in terms of creation of new office buildings. Several types of flexible work schedules are common, including flextime, part-time, job sharing, telecommuting, and a compressed workweek, among others. Did you know that more than 68 percent of organizations of all sizes offer at least some of their employees the option to work an alternate schedule? But for all of the benefits it may offer a firm and their employees, offering flexible work schedules can be a challenge for smaller businesses. They may not have the benefit of technology or the number of employees to cover the work that needs to be done. Remember that you are in business to serve clients. If you cannot serve your clients, someone else will. If you cannot serve your clients, someone else will. (Repeated deliberately for emphasis!) I offer a few practical tips for the business owner who is considering a flexible work schedule arrangement for employees:

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1.ASK. Before responding to a request for flexibility or saying “no”, ask the employee to offer a plan for covering the business needs. The employee knows their own job and may have already thought through problems and solutions for the issues surrounding a new work schedule. They also have a vested interest in making their plan successful. 2.KEEP IT SIMPLE. Consider the simple solutions first. Particularly for a small business, it may be best not to implement an ultra-formal policy or a costly plan. Often, the ability to work a four-day week or leave at 3 p.m. to pick up a carpool is a win-win solution for the employee and the company. As with any change, it is advisable to start small. 3.START WITH A TRIAL. When coming to agreement for a new work arrangement, first commit to a trial period. For example, if two employees request the opportunity to job share, offer a 90-day trial period. During that time, meet regularly to work out the inevitable kinks. Communicate often with clients to ensure that service is not interrupted. Management has the final responsibility to avoid a breakdown in process due to an employee absence. If it the situation does not work well after a Q3 2011

trial, exercise caution when eliminating a program that isn’t working, in that the loss of a perceived benefit can hurt morale. 4.HOLD TO YOUR STANDARDS. Hold employees to performance standards while recognizing that your expectation of their output needs to be adjusted to their new schedule. Often, an employer’s desire to offer flexibility and the employee’s desire for work life balance can lead to a reduced schedule with no reduction in expectations. Consider the effect on the workload of other employees. 5.USE CAUTION. Recognize that the company will set a precedent by accommodating the first employee. Other than time off or accommodations mandated by the Family Medical Leave Act or Americans with Disabilities Act, your company is not required to offer a flexible schedule in South Carolina. Employers must be concerned about discrimination in their administration of the policy. The Society of Human Resource Management advises employers to ensure that they are “focusing on the unique needs of specific groups of workers without creating a second class of workers and without engaging in unlawful disparate treatment or disparate impact discrimination.” If you have questions, always contact a reputable employment attorney. Employers know that they must take care of their own employees, and that those engaged employees will take care of their clients. With planning and careful administration, flexible work schedules can be a win-win for your employees and your bottom line. The 2011 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work “Work,” profiles practices that make work “work” better for the bottom line and for employees. This guide is available at www.shrm.org.

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“It’s like bootcamp for businesses,” he explains. “It’s a very high impact thing.” The Greenville program, known as The Next Big Thing, is a member of the super successful TechStars Network, a series of 12week “startup accelerators” located in 22 cities around the world, including 10 in the US. Many entrepreneurs apply, but only about 10 are accepted to each location. “The process is more selective than getting in to the Ivy League,” says Barth. The spots are highly coveted because the program gives fresh entrepreneurs everything they need to turn an idea into a viable business or product in a very short amount of time, including $6,000 per team member (with a maximum of $18,000), free office space at the NEXT Innovation Center, and 12 intense weeks with skilled mentors. Scheduled for summer of 2012, the program’s development is already in full swing as Barth and upwards of 20 mentors prepare for what may be one of the biggest impacts the Upstate has ever seen in the technology sector.

Kristian Andersen, an angel investor and CEO based part-time in Arkansas and part-time in Indiana, describes the team Barth has assembled as an “all-star cast” of mentors. “I’m on the junior varsity squad,” jokes Andersen, who says he signed up to be a mentor for two reasons—to help young entrepreneurs and to scout new investment opportunities.

The process is more selective than getting in to the Ivy League. - Peter Barth

When TechStars began in Boulder, Colorado back in 2007, Clemson graduates Josh Fraser and Rob Johnson were part of the first class. The college roommates applied for TechStars, pitching their innovative idea for creating a service that developed online communities for conferences to enhance networking among attendees.The idea landed them one of the exclusive TechStar spots, so Fraser and Johnson left the Upstate and headed west for the chance to rub elbows with successful CEO’s and investors. “We didn’t know a whole lot of people [in the Upstate] in the tech industry. We didn’t know other engineers. We didn’t have mentors around that had started a successful tech company,” says Fraser. But with TechStars they had all that and more. With the help of the program, Fraser and Johnson secured thousands in startup capital for their company EventVue. “You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose,” Fraser says about TechStars. But despite Tech Stars’ success rate, EventVue eventually failed. Fraser and Johnson were forced to shut it down in February of 2010—ultimately because, Fraser says, they were selling a product that wasn’t necessary. “When you have something people want but don’t need they’re not willing to pay that much for it,” he says. Still, the entrepreneur lived on, and Fraser recently launched a new company called Torbit, which makes websites faster. But those encounters with both success and failure are lessons Fraser is excited to pass on to fledgling entrepreneurs as a mentor for The Next Big Thing.

While the lessons entrepreneurs need to learn to reach success aren’t taught in a classroom, these innovative business people are the ones driving growth and economic development in America, according to Andersen. “The vast majority of new job growth comes from startups,” he says. “The Next Big Thing is playing a critical role in helping that industry mature.” Knowing the impact startups can have on the economy is what makes local business owners like Frank Greer so excited about the creation of a program like this right in the Upstate. According to Q3 2011

Business Black Box

Mentors, Barth says, are a key component of The Next Big Thing. He’s secured 12 national mentors that will come to Greenville for one week. These big names include Brad Feld, a TechStars founder and one of the top angel investors in the country as well as Lloyd Taylor, the former director of global operations for Google.

“Mentors aren’t paid,” he says. “They just help, but in return for that help they get an early look at these promising companies and, if they’re so inclined, they have the opportunity to invest.” Andersen sees entrepreneurship as an “apprenticeship profession,” like brick masons or blacksmiths of the past. “There were certainly a number of people that came alongside of me early in my career, with no promise if remuneration, that took me under their wing and gave me a chance and taught me how to hire and fire people and raise money,” explains Andersen. “That’s something you can’t get out of a text book and you certainly don’t get out of an MBA program.”

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Greer, who grew up in Greenville, finding job opportunities here wasn’t always easy. “I’ve worked my butt off to be able to stay in this area,” the President and CEO of Zipit Wireless says. “There weren’t a lot of technology jobs related to PCs and wireless technology. We had to create a team that would be valuable to other companies.” With his company’s technology now being sold by Verizon Wireless, Greer is a perfect fit, and signed up to be a mentor for The Next Big Thing. He hopes some of the startups that develop out of the program will stay put. “I’m interested in seeing more technology companies come in and build an attractive climate. It’s good for us and good for the economy of Greenville and the state to have those kind of knowledge companies start and grow in this area,” he says.

Andersen sees entrepreneurship as an “apprenticeship profession,” like brick masons or blacksmiths of the past.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM What do you get? Each team will receive up to $18,000 in seed funding ($6,000 per founder), coworking space at the NEXT Innovation Center, access to an amazing set of mentors, server hosting, advisory services (legal, accounting, and public relations), and the opportunity to pitch hundreds of investors. In exchange for the funding and services provided we are given a 6% stake in each company. Our shares look just like yours, no special rights, board seats, or controlling interests, just think of us as the newest member of your team.

What do you do during the program? You’ll develop and perfect a business model and investor pitch, spend time one on one and in a group with our mentors, and work harder than you ever have for 12 weeks, but you’ll have fun doing it. Then on demo day you’ll pitch hundreds of investors and hopefully find the perfect match.

Do you have to be from and commit to stay in Greenville? No. Sure we love to help local startups and we would love for everyone to stay and add to the great technology community here, but there are no restrictions.

SCHEDULE 2/1/2012: Application Period Opens 4/20/2012: Application Period Closes

Entrepreneur John Pizzi earned his degree in the South, but opportunities lured him out to Silicon Valley, known as the hub for tech companies. Pizzi serves as the COO of mFoundry, a leading provider of mobile solutions for financial institutions and retailers, and has also signed up to be a mentor for The Next Big Thing. He says a program like this could completely change the Upstate’s reputation as an ideal place for tech startups. “All it takes is for a couple of these companies to take off and to stay in Greenville and the whole dynamic changes,” he says. “I think it’s hard to project Greenville as the next Silicon Valley, but I don’t know that that’s the goal. It’s about creating entrepreneurs and creating steady business growth and bringing more companies there.” Several of the mentors agree that once a few tech startups make roots in the Upstate, it will create a snowball effect.“It attracts more of

5/4/2012: Finalists Notified 6/13/2012: Program Begins 9/7/2012: Companies Presented For Demo Day


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You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.

- Josh Fraser

those people so success builds on success,” says Peter Waldschmidt, CEO of Greenville-based software company GNOSO. “As these startups grow and turn into successful companies some of those really smart people start new companies and it creates a whole eco-system of jobs and opportunity for this area.” Waldschmidt arrived in the Upstate to attend Bob Jones University and started his first company while still in school. While he says he never felt like he needed to leave the Upstate in order for his company to be a success, he does add that he would have “applied in a heartbeat” to a program like The Next Big Thing. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything like that when he was a young entrepreneur back in the late 1990s. “I made friends and local business people took me under their wing,” he says. “It wasn’t an official program, but it was a lot like that. I had the opportunity to learn from experienced business people.” Now Waldschmidt—along with his fellow mentors, both national and local—sees this mentoring opportunity as his chance to sow his wisdom into other young men and women—entrepreneurs who may just create the next big thing for the technology industry and for the Upstate’s economy.

TECHSTARS AT A GLANCE as of 2010

The TechStars Network consists of independently owned and operated regional organizations that operate a start-up accelerator program with a model similar to TechStars.The TechStars Network provides professional development, networking opportunities, training, consulting and ongoing support for members.

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companies have gone through the program are still active have been acquired have failed never lauched

As a result of the TechStars Network,

156 full-time jobs were created in the Upstate in 2010.

SUCCESS RATINGS

(by percentage)

15% - acquired 13% - have failed 3% - never launched

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69% - still active

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GROWTH BLACK

B O X GROWTH

growing your business–part 3 of your selling system

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.

by terry weaver

Accepting that not everyone is going to buy. For many reasons beyond your control, some prospects just aren’t going to buy from you­—at least, not now. As soon as you realize that, move on.

Enough suspects. Implicit in disqualifying (discarding) prospects is that there are some left over. A broken selling system (not enough lead generation) causes poor prospects to be retained, simply because there isn’t anyone else to talk to.

Business Black Box

A clear-cut vision of your Ideal Customer.

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“I’m doing okay, making enough money, having some fun— what’s so important about growing my business?” If you don’t have business growth strategies in play, your business is soon going to be shrinking as competitors and other natural forces cause you to lose customers. What’s the essential strategy for finding new customers? A selling system. A “machine” that continuously produces new suspects, new prospects, new proposals and new business. Here’s an overview of a selling system: http://bit. ly/mTXimo. This article is about Qualification­— sorting out the “best few” prospects from the many you might spend time chasing. This eludes many cub sales people. Why? Because they’re humans. And most have a plethora of fears. Fear of rejection, fear embarrassment, fear of failure and other fears, the root cause of which is low self-esteem. The fatal symptom of a salesperson’s low self-esteem is spending time with people who will see them, rather than people who are ready and able to place orders. The classic euphemism for this? “We’re building a relationship.” What’s the best way of actually building a relationship? Do some business together—just get an order! What are the essentials of qualifying a prospect? Or, more importantly, disqualifying one?

Exactly what does that person look like, sound like or act like? Think of a “customer muse”—a visual representation of the customer you’re looking for. Not a silly idea, actually.

Recognizing that a prospect is a person, not a company. People buy from people, and despite the company’s apparent need you have to find the person who has the emotional need, authority and readiness to buy.

Authority. Can this person really buy from you, or is he really a “recommender”?

Readiness. Confirming that the prospect actually has a pressing need, sufficient budget and is ready to buy­—anything....from anyone—any time soon. The answer you’re looking for? “NO.” Yes, I said“no.” That’s the signal you’ve found a prospect to disqualify, so you can move on to the next one without wasting any more time. If you get a “Yes, but not now,” put that prospect into the “farming” step of your selling system (more on that in a future article). Does your selling system have a good disqualifying process? Do you regularly downgrade prospects and quit spending time with them? Do you get to “no” often enough, or do you just wear out?

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1. What was your first job? Scooping ice cream at “Swensen’s”

6. What was your biggest failure as a professional?

in Greenville at 15 years old... I begged my parents to let me work and I have never stopped since.

Not taking a few big opportunities when they were right in front of me. Mistaking an investment in “me” and not just “work” as selfish.

2. How did you get involved in your line of work? Funny, I started in theatre, and media was quite the blessed accident. I filled in on a radio morning show after they heard a commercial I voiced and the late Jim Phillips told the manager to hire me. My television career came from being naive enough not to know that you didn’t just build your own show and knock on the door... but they did say “yes.”

7. How do you avoid similar failures today? You become far more fearless with age. I don’t rule out risk. I’m still growing. I now know that working on “me” along with “work” gives an employer a stronger product

3. How do you strike a balance between you personal and professional lives? My entire adult life has been in the public eye—from Morning Radio shows to TV—so the line has certainly gotten blurry, but honestly, the community has just become my extended family. It sounds sappy, but it is true. I’m the oldest of five, so privacy and a quiet life have never been an option.

4. What are some strategies you use to do so/keep yourself in check? *I grow my own food—hands in dirt keep you grounded (and I really mean that as more than a “pun”)       *I listen to a lot of Bob Dylan *I leave on a SUP board on the lake for some quiet time... nothing like nature to show you your small place in the world. *I had to sit ‘out of media’ for six months once for a “non-compete” before I could go to another station... you quickly learn the average person does not eat, sleep and breathe media! *It sounds silly, but I rarely (if ever) use caps on my name. It’s my own personal reminder to not let things go to your head.

Business Black Box

5. You’ve built yourself up as one of the most well-known brands in the Upstate. Was this a conscious effort, or something you grew into? Wow. It

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was definitely not something I set out to do (if indeed I did). I once had a director in Atlanta say, “I will refer to you as I would a product.” I understand branding and marketing, but I feel it is most effective as an honest expression of creativity. I honestly just wanted to do a job where I could be that creative. Projects get stale, but the ideas don’t stop. I still have ideas I want to see played out—we’ll see if I get that chance one day.   

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

8. What’s your most difficult responsibility (personal or professional)? My schedule, by far! I am a control freak when it comes to work - I should say “no” more often, but I truly want to do it all. Somehow, that crazy schedule just sneaks up on me.      

9. How do you deal with it? I put everything on the calendar— family and work and when that day is full, it’s full. Being the oldest of five kids, I have lots of family in town who help me—often at the last minute. I also stay plugged in almost non-stop... if I let messages build up, I’ll get buried and I like to answer them all.      

10. 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? Get help! (an assistant, agent, etc.) I have always handled my own business affairs, but I could have done twice as much had I not been negotiating, writing contracts and invoicing on my own.  

11. What is your take on social media? I have two Facebook pages. I did not want a “fan” page... I am really uncomfortable with that term. I find it to be quite silly. However, after about a year, when that page was full, I had to add the “like” page (I still won’t call it that ‘other’). I hated Twitter at first, now it’s my favorite. It’s strange but I have met such wonderful people by way of a cold, heartless computer. I post everything from personal to show. I also know that no one wants a commercial on line—I really try not to ever do that. If the show has good information, I get it out there and it’s fun—which is a good gauge for content on air as well.


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Q3 2011


POLITICS POLITICS Black b ox

want to influence a legislator? It’s all in the coffee. John DeWorken is partner in The Sunnie Harmon and John DeWorken Group, a pro-business government relations and advocacy firm, committed to giving each client the personalized attention it needs to reach its goals.

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It is refreshing to see citizens who belong to the Tea Party getting involved and influencing change, and others like them in other movements. But too many people focus on things they cannot change, not realizing that there are things they can change. I am here to say that you can affect change. Sometimes, “It all starts with coffee.” If you pick up the phone to call a legislator for the first time when a crisis arrives or when you need something from an elected official, you are too late.You will not affect change.What you should have done months or years ago is this: Pick up the phone, introduce yourself and ask that legislator for coffee. It’s as simple as that. When you begin a relationship with a legislator in your district, you are, in effect, beginning a relationship—a relationship that goes both ways. You are an expert in whatever you do, and you bring expertise on which the legislator could rely. The legislator is an expert in whatever field he or she is in, and he or she brings to the relationship a vote and more influence in the policy-making process. Elected officials­—from City Council to the Halls of Congress— see thousands of bills and pieces of legislation each year, ranging in every sector of life you could imagine. No elected official is an expert in every area. But, what each elected official does have is a circle of constituents from which he or she can call to get their opinions. It is not rocket science nor is it troublesome to do­ — pick up the phone, start a relationship over coffee, be there to assist the elected official, and, the elected official will listen to you. Interestingly, what you will become is more than a voter. What you will become is a constituent who represents scores of other voters. That is real influence, and it all begins with coffee.

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Business Black Box

After working with legislators for over 10 years for many different clients, including corporations, small mom-and-pops shops, chambers, inside the halls of the South Carolina Senate and associations, I’ve come to one undeniable truth: The voters back home trump all other special interests and lobbyists that walk the halls of the State Capital. I see the success or failure of powerful lobbying efforts come to a screeching halt or finally get over the finish line because of three or four phone calls from everyday, regular citizens. In fact, while working on the unemployment insurance crisis this year and trying to motivate a very important South Carolina Senator in a leadership position to try to provide relief to the 25,000 businesses hit hard by the tax, it wasn’t until he received a few phone calls from back in his district that he began to work hard to deal with the crisis. Think about that. All the media attention and sophisticated efforts to educate and influence a Senator, and it all comes down to a few folks picking up the phone. Interestingly, I would bet that those people have no idea that they were the catalyst to motivate one of the most powerful state Senators and finally move a vital issue to this state’s economy. Those types of instances occur every week. Unfortunately, most citizens have no clue as to the power they hold in their voice.They have no idea that with a single phone call, they could represent hundreds more voters in that legislator’s district. There lies in the depths of most citizens’ psyches a sense of apathy, a feeling of disassociation from the policy making process, and a sentiment that they cannot affect change, which is simply not true.

by john deworken

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2,424 HOURS

145,440 MINUTES

8,726,400 SECONDS

After 90 years in service to the Upstate, Wyche law firm is in a place to truly celebrate. But even as they plan an anniversary bash to mark such an historic occasion, business must go on. Take a peek at what really goes on in a law firm of this size, in this 101 days.

Business Black Box

Hurdling towards disaster OR conquering the mighty competition.

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THE PURPOSE

THE PEOPLE

THE PLAN

In April 2011, Wyche law firm celebrated 90 years of service—a landmark that was celebrated not only by the firm, but by the community that it calls home, as well. To mark that occasion, they decided to change their name, as well, and became known as Wyche Professional Association. With a fresh direction and solid team of more than 30 attorneys, the firm is poised to move forward with innovation and superior client service in mind.

While Wyche includes 32 attorneys in 32 practice areas, it is one attorney in particular—Wallace Lightsey—who walked us through our 101 Days. As partner in the firm for more than 25 years, Lightsey gives us an “inside look” at some of the dealings happening on a day-today basis, with some help along the way from fellow attorneys. All are focused on different clients, while at the same time maintain a collaborative effort withing their community.

Surviving 90 years is not without its challenges, and in this issue we look at what the daily agenda holds for a law firm of their stature— including being the only South Carolina member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms.Through daily legal battles, client interactions and community growth-building activities, we followed a few of their attorneys, all as the company also prepares for a celebration of historical proportions.

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With the decision to

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change our name and the upcoming 90th anniversary of the firm here in Greenville, we thought this was a great opportunity to celebrate the firm’s history...as well as our plans for the future.

Day 1: Wallace Lightsey meets with Marion Crawford of Crawford Strategy to discuss plans for the media event to highlight the firm’s many contributions to the community and transition to younger leadership, which will ultimately culminate in their 90th Anniversary celebration on April 12. At the same time, the firm will be renamed the “Wyche Professional Association.” “With the decision to change our name and the upcoming 90th anniversary of the firm here in Greenville, we thought this was a great opportunity to celebrate the firm’s history of commitment to the community and the environment as well as our plans for the future,” Lightsey says. “Crawford had some very creative ideas on how to accomplish that, and we immediately began to flesh out the details.”

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Day 4: Tommy Wyche, attorney and shareholder of the firm, receives an “Extraordinary Achievement Award” at the second annual ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon, which honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions in the fields of land conservation, air and water quality, sustainable development, public service and volunteer work in the Upstate. Because of his leadership for nearly 40 years, he is responsible for one of the most significant conservation achievements in United States history – the protection of over 100,000 acres of the Blue Ridge Escarpment in South Carolina.

Business Black Box

Day 15: In a high-profile lawsuit brought upon Vice Admiral Jacoby by Richard Padilla for alleged involvement in the detention of Mr. Padilla for acts of terrorism against the United States, attorney Henry Parr argues a motion to dismiss. Judge Richard Gergel granted the motion to dismiss for Jacoby and other defendants in the same lawsuit, including the Secretary of Defense Richard Gates, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

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Day 18: LG Display Co., one of largest makers of LCD panels in the world, retains Wyche to defend them in a suit brought by the Attorney General. “One of the great things about our firm’s practice is that we enjoy the challenge of representing the world’s largest companies, like LG Display Co., on cutting edge matters like this one, and we get to enjoy living in Greenville at the same time,” says Parr. “Antitrust cases are especially interesting, as they offer the opportunity to learn about many dwifferent products and how they are marketed and distributed worldwide.” That same day, Wyche attorney and Chair of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, Jo Hackl, speaks to the Greenville International Alliance for Professional Women on economic development in Greenville County.

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Day 24: The S.C. Court of Appeals affirms a grant of partial summary judgment obtained by Wyche attorneys Wallace Lightsey, Ted Gentry, and David Koysza on behalf of the Beaufort County School District in Beaufort County School District v. United National Insurance Company, in which The District settled cases with seven students who claimed injury. The insurance company took the position the seven students presented only one “claim,” which would limit the amount the insurance company might have to pay.The partial judgment establishes that there were seven claims, which gave the School District access to approximately seven times more insurance coverage. In addition to their daily work on cases such as this,Wyche hosts an educational roundtable for in-house counsel of local businesses titled “Ethical Issues for Corporate Counsel: 2011 Update.” Wyche brings in Professor Robert M. Wilcox, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, University of South Carolina School of Law, as the speaker.

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Day 25: Wyche attorney Melinda Davis Lux speaks at Clemson’s Small Business Development Corporation’s “Jumpstart Your Business” workshop, presenting on legal issues related to starting a business.

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Day 30: Attorney John Moylan helps secure a favorable verdict from the South Carolina Supreme Court for the Fairfield County Election Commission. The Supreme Court not only denies the plaintiffs’ (three political candidates) requests for new elections In Fairfield County, but also requires them to pay partial costs for the county’s defense. “The Supreme Court sent a clear message that our courts are not to be used as a second chance to win an election. Losing candidates whose rights have been violated will have redress in the courts Q3 2011

but losing candidates who do not have a legitimate claim will take their chances at having the costs of the protest assessed against them.” In another victory for the day, the S.C. Court of Appeals affirms a trial victory obtained by attorneys Wallace Lightsey and Rita Barker on behalf of Doug David and Martins Point, LP in David v. Martins Point Property Owners Association, Inc., which established that a deed restriction prohibited the construction of a community recreational dock at Martins Point Plantation, a residential site developed by our client and located on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. Ted Gentry joined with Wallace and Rita in briefing and arguing the appeal, in which this favorable result was affirmed.

Day 31: Molly Cashman, a new hire as Marketing Director for the firm, meets with Marion Crawford and Richard Breen of Crawford Strategy to coordinate plans for the 90th anniversary celebration and event and media campaign. Molly works with Crawford Strategy to collectively settle on media outlets to target and a schedule for the media outreach. “This is a great campaign and project to dive into during my first week on the job. During the interviews and planning sessions, I got amazing insight into the true character and culture of the firm,” Cashman says. “What made the attorneys successful back when they were starting out—their true dedication to the growth and betterment of the Greenville community—has really helped them to thrive over these 90 years.”

Day 38: Molly Cashman meets with Wyche executive committee members Lightsey and Moylan to review media outreach schedules and corresponding communication pieces, including the media advisory and press release, which will be used to alert the press about the 90th anniversary celebration and the name change.

Day 39: While Parr participates in an all-day meeting of advisors for the American Law Institute project on Principles of Liability Insurance in Philadelphia, other Wyche attorneys and staff gather

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101 DAYS to finalize logistics for the 90th anniversary celebration. Details are settled, such as the food, drinks, flowers, the flow of the event and rental items needed, music, and more. The decision is also made to extend the invitation to include attorneys’ and staff ’s families, as well as former Wyche attorneys, to make sure to include those who have had an impact on Wyche over the years.

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Day 43: Wyche sponsors and attends CREW Upstate’s first Awards Reception to honor upstate women leaders in the Commercial Real Estate Industry. Wyche attorney Maurie Lawrence, is the current President of CREW and one of the Founding Members, and Megan O’Neill, a senior attorney, is a Founding Member and Board Member.

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and motivating at-risk middle school students to attend college and equipping them with the tools to succeed there,” Hackl explains. “The challenge and the opportunity of each of these projects is that they have many moving pieces and involve collaboration across the community. Our team is focused, committed and strategic and working to create a lasting legacy for Greenville. I am in heaven. “

Day 53: Crawford Strategy begins reaching out to media outlets to share news about the upcoming 90th anniversary celebration and the name change. Many outlets are interested in learning more and schedule in-person interviews with Wyche. Meanwhile, attorney Greg English prevails in the Administrative Law Court to obtain for Sloan Construction Company necessary permits to commence construction of its new Blacksburg Quarry, a proposed granite quarry adjacent to I-85 South in Blacksburg, S.C.

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Day 47: A few short days after the Awards Reception, the firm sponsors and attends TEDx Greenville, a conference bringing together people from three worlds - Technology, Entertainment, and Design. “Wyche understands the importance of innovation and how it can be sparked through many different forums,” says attorney Terrell Mills. “TEDx is a wonderful environment that offers many of our cutting-edge entrepreneurial clients an opportunity to engage and connect with others on the forefront of many diverse areas, including technology, entertainment, and design. We were thrilled to support our community and clients by encouraging this type of innovation and engaged discussion.” The company is a startup dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel bioanalytic tools such as nanopore DNA sequences and other biosensors, along with companion services for advancing personalized medicine, cancer screening, disease diagnosis, drug development, as well as for improving animal welfare and agricultural and food products, and even environmental protection.

Day 52: Newly selected as Chair of the Board of Directors for 2011, Jo Hackl presides over the board meeting for the Community Foundation of Greenville, a local non-profit whose goal is to improve the quality of life in Greenville County by linking philanthropic leadership, charitable resources and civic involvement with needs and opportunities in the community. The Community Foundation is a both a catalyst and a sustaining force for gamechanging philanthropic projects for our community. “Our board received an update on two of its leadership initiatives: building a park adjacent to the A. J. Whittenberg school

Day 57: Parr and David Koysza represent client, Milliken, in a lawsuit against Grupo Antolin, involving claims exceeding $7,500,000 arising from a manufacturing dispute regarding headliners for the automotive industry.

Day 58: Wallace Lightsey interviews with both The Greenville Journal and The Greenville News about the upcoming 90th anniversary celebration and name change. “The meetings were great,” Lightsey says. “It was very exciting to start talking with the press, not just about the firm’s celebrated past, but also about its strength today at every level of seniority in the firm and the optimism we feel for the future of Wyche.”

Day 65:Wallace Lightsey interviews with SC Lawyers Weekly about the upcoming name change and 90th anniversary celebration.

Day 66: Wyche sponsors the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Excellence in Teaching Banquet, held in Columbia, S.C., at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Attorneys Ted Gentry and Cary Hall attend.

Day 67: It’s a day where everyone is moving in different directions. Jo Hackl is presented with a YWCA Woman of Achievement Award at the Amy K. Stubbs Women of Achievement Awards luncheon, and also receives a plaque of commendation from the S.C. House of Representatives, honoring and recognizing her hard work and dedicated service to legal aspects of the Greenville Community.


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“What an honor to be included in this amazing group of women who have accomplished so many positive things for our community,” she says.“Our children were able to attend the awards ceremony and seeing the event through their eyes made it especially meaningful to me.” Meanwhile, a reporter from SC Lawyers Weekly, Fred Horlbeck, visits the office and interviews both Melinda Davis Lux, the youngest member of the Wyche executive committee, and Tommy Wyche, the oldest member of the firm for whom the firm will be named after. “It was great that SC Lawyers Weekly spent time talking with Tommy not only about his part in shaping the culture of our firm, but also about his involvement in shaping Greenville’s downtown into the lively, beautiful area it is today. Tommy’s vision is an example and an inspiration throughout the firm and throughout South Carolina,” Lux says. At the same time, Crawford Strategy distributes media advisory to additional local media outlets, encouraging their attendance at the 90th anniversary celebration.

Day 68: Lightsey, interviews with GSA Business magazine about the upcoming name change and 90th anniversary celebration.

Day 69: Wyche attorneys Henry Parr and Eric Amstutz represent the firm at the North American meeting of Lex Mundi in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Wyche is the exclusive member firm for South Carolina of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms. Lex Mundi member firms are elite firms with an international focus, representing a broad range of domestic and global clients. Each member firm is admitted only after substantial due diligence and must undergo regular quality and peer review procedures in order to retain membership in the association.

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of the firm,Tommy Wyche and Jim “Poss” Parham, are also honored, receiving framed copies of Mayor White’s proclamation. “We’ve been called ‘Wyche’ for years, and so there’s nothing really new in adopting that as our official name,” Lightsey says. “But we think the move to this single name, from a name composed of the names of individual lawyers, emphasizes that our founders, like Tommy Wyche and Jim ‘Poss’ Parham, have created a whole that is distinctly greater than the sum of its parts. And because of their examples and continuing influence, the aspects of the firm that have made this a truly special place to work, will not change: our commitment to the community and the environment; our unique team approach to giving our clients the best service possible; our deep pool of talented, experienced, and creative lawyers.”

Day 73: Hackl presides over the Greenville Area Development Corporation’s (GADC) 10 year celebration luncheon, as Chair of their Board of Directors. At the luncheon, she announces significant achievements the GADC has made over the past decade, including producing 12,000 new announced jobs and more than $2.3 billion in capital investments in the county over the past decade, plus returning more than $7 in revenue to Greenville County for every public dollar invested in the organization. “In 2011, so far, GADC has worked with client companies to create over 1,600 jobs and attract more than $119 million dollars in investment. I’m proud of those numbers. Jobs and investment create a huge ripple effect in our community and literally make dreams come true. To be a part of that growth is enormously satisfying,” she says. For those media not in attendance at the 90th anniversary celebration, Crawford Strategy sends a press release announcing the name change and providing highlights from the celebration.

Day 71: Wyche hosts a firm retreat at High Cotton for all attorneys and senior staff, focusing on new opportunities for expanding the firm’s practices, and narrowing a list of potential areas of growth down to a few select focuses. The retreat is followed by a dinner celebration at American Grocery Restaurant.

Day 87: In what will inevitably be a statewide issue in the coming year, the S.C. House Democratic Caucus retains Wyche attorneys Moylan, Matthew Richardson, and Tally Parham for possible redistricting litigation. Wyche attorneys are quite experienced in this area, as they’ve been involved in redistricting cases in S.C. for the past 20 years. “Redistricting should protect all citizens’ rights to one person, one vote and should be done fairly and with respect to natural communities of interest,” Moylan says. “The South Carolina House and Senate Democratic Caucuses have retained counsel to ensure that the process proceeds fairly and protects the rights of all South Carolina citizens.”

Day 72: The big day has arrived, and the Wyche firm hosts a celebration to share its vision of a bright future and mark 90 years of service to the Greenville community. Greenville Mayor Knox White issues a proclamation and names April 12 as “Wyche, P.A. Day” moving forward in Greenville. Long-standing senior members

Day 90: As part of Hands On Greenville (HOG) Day, five Wyche attorneys and staff members help to spruce up Taylors Elementary School, where the main task was to spread mulch around their playgrounds, making them safer and more pleasant for the kids. “It was inspiring to see the community come together for Hands

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101 DAYS on Greenville Day,” says Sarah Batson, an associate at Wyche. “We accomplished a good deal in just a couple of hours with everyone working together. Greenville is a beautiful place to live and it is rewarding to give a little back.”

Day 93: Wyche hosts a peer group meeting with leaders from fellow Lex Mundi firms from around the country, including those from Maine, Iowa and Utah. During today’s meetings, the group confidentially discussed several pertinent issues in depth, with compensation systems and firm structure taking a majority of the day. The firms openly shared the structure of their compensation systems, what works and what they would like to change. “I think I can speak for everyone involved in saying that the meeting exceeded all expectations,” Lightsey says. “We had a very open and frank discussion of our respective compensation systems and the issues each of us have experienced with them.The depth and substance of this discussion would not have been possible had the meeting not involved a small number of firms similarly situated, who are not in competition with each other and therefore willing to share detailed financial information based on an agreement of confidentiality.”

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Association as the sole arbitrator to resolve arbitration claims in excess of $5,000,000 in North Carolina; he is a member of the large and complex case panel and health care panels of arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association. Tonight, the firm hosts a celebration at the home of attorney Ted Gentry, welcoming two new associates on board—Sarah Batson and Marty Tomlinson.

Day 96: Attorney Marshall Winn travels to Amsterdam to attend board meetings with clients, including New World Resources, the largest coal-mining operation in Central Europe, along with other operations across the globe. “With email, smartphones, Skype, and the like, international clients might as well be my next-door neighbors. So I like to get to know them personally, as well as their business and legal affairs.”

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Day 94: Wyche hosts an educational roundtable focused on conducting internal investigations and minimizing risks associated with the False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the Marriott in Greenville for in-house counsel of local businesses. Moylan presents, along with attorney Ross Booher from Bass Berry & Sims, a fellow Lex Mundi firm based in Nashville, while Wyche attorney, Tally Parham, moderates.

Day 95: Tommy Wyche is presented with an Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Carolina Arts Commission, the highest honor the state presents in the arts, at an awards ceremony held in Columbia, SC. “I was honored - and surprised - to receive the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts. I had the good fortune of having musical parents and four artsy sisters. As the youngest child, it had to rub off over many years and I developed a deep appreciation of Art at a young age. As I became involved in community affairs, I felt that Art should be available for folks both as painters and as viewers, and that for the future of attracting new companies to the Upstate, Art is important. Greenville is definitely better with such Art,”Wyche says. Meanwhile, Parr is appointed by the American Arbitration

Day 99: At the Peace Center’s groundbreaking event,Wyche is recognized for contributions to the reconstruction efforts. The Upstate landmark will undergo a huge transformation, thanks to leaders like Wyche, who have supported its growth from its beginnings.

Day 100: Wyche sponsors InnoVenture 2011, a conference held in Greenville geared towards discovering and developing new business opportunities by connecting customers, capital, talent and technology. The entire Wyche Entrepreneur Services team—Terrell Mills, Andy Coburn, Eric Graben, Melinda Davis Lux, and Cary Hall—was there in full force, along with clients, such as Lab21, Kemet,VidiStar, Milliken, and Michelin. “We find that many of our best clients are those we help to develop and grow – from initial formation, through various phases of growth, to maturity and success,” Mills says. “InnoVenture has been a great event where we’ve been able to help connect existing clients to new resources and meet budding entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing their business concepts.”

d shoul e w y n @ ompa email us c a . know ays, fI you or 101 D kbox.com f lac follow @insideb info Q3 2011

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The Pitch: Ania Apparel is about comfortable and luxurious women’s clothes made in America. Whether going to a cocktail party, yoga class, work, or just running errands, you can have the style and distinction of a fashionista. Some people will want to sleep in our clothing because the fabric is so soft. With 60 percent of the American female population being a size 14 and above, our styles can be worn by women of any age, sizes 14 to 24, unlike the majority of clothing designers who cater to fashion model-sized women. At Ania, we feel that every woman is beautiful, and our mission is to provide a fabulous experience in customer service, shopping, quality clothing, and the entire fashion package including the best in style, comfort, and quality. Based on input from consumers, we choose the best quality and most durable fabric, our clothes are “tagless”, and are easy to travel with. Ania listens! You will be able to find our products in our hand-picked boutiques across the nation and soon to follow online. As a company we are team oriented and love to have fun because you spend most of your life at work. We are also passionate about giving back through community service and through our family foundation, GSGR Foundation.

One new design house wants to change how women feel about and buy their clothes.They are “Passionate about Comfort” and think real women will be, too. But does Ania Apparel have what it takes to make it in such a competitive market?

(clockwise, from top left) Carrie Mussman, Angela Santerini and Sonia Rudisill. Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

Brainstorm, advise, weigh in.

Wanna offer your advice? Log on to www.insideblackbox.com/SpeedPitch

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What They Say...

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The owners of Ania Apparel have definitely included everything that their company is about in their pitch. They ve hit on many aspects of what makes their clothing special and why people should choose them when they are shopping, but from their pitch I m left a little confused as to what their main focus is (quality, sizes offered, service, a great company to work for, etc). From my experience in the industry I think the fact they are catering to an under-serviced part of the population with quality and stylish clothing is a HUGE selling point that they should take and run with. I think leading with the Q3 2011

aspect that they are serving women size 14+ and then explaining why this segment will love their clothes cleans the pitch up and makes sure they are hitting their target market right off the bat. Great quality, customer service and truly listening to their customers are all great selling points, but unless you re hitting your target market they mean nothing. I think tying in the Ania Listens idea coupled with their passion for community service portrays that they are truly a company that cares not only for their customers, but for those around them as well. By streamlining the last paragraph and only including their website it

will allow people to visit their site and learn in more detail about the merchandise they offer, what stores to find them in and other social media sites they can be found on. Michele Woodward Owner The Runway I like the way this speed pitch paints a lot of pictures that draw you in and help communicate their value: First, they communicate the versatility of the product. Next, they share an unexpected, but effective example of how soft their

fabric is. And last, the all important communication of the problem they solve: how they provide a quality clothing line for women needing sizes 14-24. If I were to change anything here, I would keep the speed pitch to the above-mentioned key points rather than adding the info about how they interact as a team, how they spend most of their time at work, etc. Tony Snipes TonySnipes.com Small Business Advisor Business Black Box


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KIDBIZ

KIDBIZ Black b ox

four mistakes parents of young entrepreneurs may make

by tony snipes

Tony Snipes is former director of Redemption Marketplace Alliance, an entrepreneurship training program, where he utilizes a unique combination of years of leadership experience in the corporate arena and 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.

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I usually write and encourage you to do specific things to help introduce your son or daughter to the world of entrepreneurship. This issue I thought I’d tell you about the things that you don’t want to do. Here are four mistakes that many parents make when it comes to raising young entrepreneurs:

1. Picking the business idea for your young entrepreneur.

This is the one that I had to personally adjust to first. Allowing your child to explore entrepreneurship needs to be a pleasant experience, and one key to that is to allow what they choose to try to be their choice. Of course, as a parent, advise, guide and recommend, but let the young entrepreneur make the final decision. This is not their permanent career choice so they can always try something different if it doesn’t work out.

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This is another one I had to personally adjust to as well (maybe this article is for me!). My kids tried an entrepreneurial idea, had great success with it, but won’t do it again for the life of me! As an adult, I found this frustrating, but I had to remember that these are kids who are exploring, so trying a new idea and forsaking a proven idea may happen. It’s not their career choices they’re making. What I do suggest is that you layout the pros and cons of every option, then allow them to choose. And if they fall short with the new, unproven idea, it’s also okay to be the one to remind them that the proven idea is still a viable option.

3. Not allowing them to spend the money their way.

Allowing your young entrepreneur to manage their earnings from their business ideas works in two ways. First, it serves as an incentive for them to try the business idea out in the first place. The thought of having their own money and to spend it as they please makes them jump at the chance to try a business idea outw The cool thing about this mindset is if they spend all of their earnings, they learn what the consequences are. What happens next is you get a glimpse of that little boy or girl thinking as a responsible adult as they consider about how to make their dollars stretch.

4. Giving Them an Allowance.

This is one that I learned from Troy Dunn, author of Young Bucks: How to Raise a Future Millionaire. Dunn says that giving your child an allowance rather than letting them earn from their own resources teaches them that if they want something, they should count on others to provide it. Teaching them to launch their own entrepreneurial ideas counters that. Entrepreneurship is an exciting opportunity for your young business person to explore. Be sure not to allow yourself to get in the way of the fun.

ack b nd d e Fe torm, adviseoua visit

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“It’s not their career choices they’re making.”

2. Making them stick with the idea.

s . Brain in when y m/KidBiz o c h . x ig we BlackBo e Q3 Q2 2011 93 Insid


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ears ago, Lauretta Pierce was a viciously abused woman whose life was almost taken from her. She was a mother of four who lost her job because of the time spent to care for her seriously ill (and uninsured) daughter. She was dyslexic, and spent hours writing Bible verses down to memorize them. Today, Lauretta Pierce is altogether a different woman. She is world-known for her story; an independent woman who will soon sign Darryl Strawberry and his wife as partners in her business. She maintains constant TV appearances around the world, telling her story and inspiring others. The thing that changed it all? A cookie. Depressed and with little motivation (aside from her children) to live, Pierce was praying for guidance. “I need a word from You,” she says, remembering the day she prayed that everything became clear for her. “And I heard, as clear as anything, ‘So does everyone else.’” She opened the book she was reading, and there, staring back at her, was a cookie. The idea for Covenant Cookies was thus born, and has grown—unstoppable— since day one. Although they look like prettily decorated fortune cookies, Pierce is quick to note (as does her website, www. CovenantCookies.com) that “it’s not a fortune; it’s a promise.” Appropriately, the messages inside are inspirational, Biblical, or even motivational in nature. They are not unlike Pierce herself, who in passing an unemployment office has been known to stop immediately and hand out boxes of cookies to every person in line. “I’ve been there, and I remember what that feels like,” Pierce says. “It means so much just to hear a little bit of encouragement at that point.” With partner companies like Spartan Bakery in Spartanburg, customers of all levels of fame and finance and growing investment partnerships, Covenant Cookies has spread across the world, changing life one cookie at a time. And while Pierce will gladly offer that what matters is inspiring and loving people, her answer to the question “Why do you do this?” is far more wrenching. “Because I lived.” Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios Q3 2011


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Business Black Box - Q3 - 2011  

Business Black Box, Q3, 2011

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