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The Basics of Biomass Despite years of controversy, the overall picture of the biggest investment in Alachua County’s history is still a little hazy. By Chris Eversole
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Is the project needed? Will it cost customers more than a new generating plant using another technology would have?
Is the plant’s technology proven?
Will burning biomass harm the environment and tear up roads?
Is there enough biomass material available to supply the plant?
fter a decade of talks about Gainesville Regional Utilities’ expansion of its power capabilities, the news has seemed to generate more heat than light. Some might say that media reports haven’t fully explained many of the realities of the $500 million biomass energy plant currently being built by a private company at the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center in northwest Gainesville. The biomass plant, located on a sprawling site near GRU’s Deerhaven generating plant, will burn tree trimmings and debris left over from logging and will sell energy to GRU starting late next year. Although construction of the project is one-third complete, with no turning back, understanding the facts about the single
biggest investment in the community’s infrastructure is important for the community to understand. Thus the Business Report researched the key details to answer the following questions:
“We built early, but we built for the future.”
According to American Renewables, the biomass plant will use advanced combustion technology and the latest in boiler and emissions control technology to achieve best available emissions.
However, these conclusions are clear:
—Ed Regan, retired assistant general manager for strategic utility planning
• GRU will need new generating capacity
These questions have no easy answers, due to uncertainty about what will happen during the 30-year life of the biomass plant, including the unpredictability of natural gas prices and the unknown fate of possible federal government taxation of carbon emissions.
sometime in the future, and building it now, rather than later, gets of ahead of future escalation in construction costs.
• Any new generating plant is going to raise
electric rates short-term, but there’s a good chance that in 10 to 15 years after the biomass plant opens, the cost of its power
will be less than the cost of power generated by natural gas.
• Biomass plants have been around for
decades, including one in Palm Beach County that was built in 1995 and is 30 percent larger than Gainesville’s.
• The Gainesville biomass plant will be one of the most advanced in the world.
(continued on page 9)
The Art of the Business Lunch While not the “three-martini” event of old, the crucial business lunch culture endures. By Kevin Allen
alk into Emiliano’s Cafe in downtown Gainesville during any weekday lunch hour, and you are likely to see as many people paying as much attention to papers and smartphones as to their food. “Our business depends in great measure Monday through Friday on the downtown ofﬁces,” says co-owner Wanda de Paz Ibanez. She estimates that 95 percent of the lunch crowd is mixing business with the food. Or check out Heavenly Ham in the Plaza Royale Shopping Center, where insurance adviser Bryan Williams regularly meets with clients and colleagues. “It’s a good place to meet other business people,” he afﬁrms. While it might not be the “three-martini”
lunch popularized in the 1950s and ’60s (and revived, at least in memory, by TV shows like Mad Men), the business lunch is still alive and well in 2012. Even in an age of smartphones, email and videoconferencing, business people say the face-to-face meeting in an informal setting is not only valuable—it’s necessary.
“No matter how good Internet communication is, it can never replace face-to-face contact,” says Geoff Wilson, president and CEO of 352 Media Group, a business based around Web and Internet interaction. “Having a business lunch is a good way to reconnect and establish a business relationship.” While approaches to business lunches vary, personal contact is a constant. For some, like Williams, with McGriff-Williams insurance,
personal contact is central to his business. “In my industry, trust is important,” he says. “People want to trust whoever is handling their insurance.” That makes lunch a valuable, and unique, tool for getting to know people on a personal level. “Meeting face-to-face never goes out of style,” agrees Patricia Craddock, the past president of the downtown Gainesville chapter of the Rotary Club, which was built around the idea of businessmen and women meeting and talking over lunch. Although Rotary is ofﬁcially a group dedicated to community service, Craddock said it is not unusual for members to conduct some business at the club meetings as well. She said the ability to talk directly to someone and see their body language is valuable. John Spence, a Gainesville business coach and author, likes lunches as a vehicle for sizing up people. (continued on page 12)
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The Art of the Business Lunch
Editorial Director Maghan McDowell
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Senior Writer Chris Eversole
Annabelle Brooks Coral Denton Kyle Edwards Aura Franco Rachel Rakoczy Keilani Rodriguez Rachel Sale Alexandria Ugarte
Senior Account Executive
Content April 2012
06 07 11
Editorâ€™s Viewpoint Grooming Gainesvilleâ€™s Next Generation Seeing Green Why Going Green Might Keep You Out of the Red In the News City Tries to Attract Builders to Conference Center
News Briefs CRA Director Search Continues and More
Speaking of Business Spring: Time for Cleaning House
News Briefs Finalists Announced for Cade Museum Prize
Calendar + Transactions Meetings & Start-Ups
Account Executives Carolyne Salt Brandon Warf
Distribution Manager Ryan McDowell
News Briefs Major IT Company Considering Move to Gainesville and More
Business Basics How to Hire a Bookkeeper
Trends Dollar Stores Doing Big Business
Made in Gainesville Info Tech
Building Business How to Hire a Business Coach
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Operations Manager Lori White
Contributing Columnists Philip Geist Seth Lane Jim Meisenheimer Chad Paris John Spence Stephanie Travis
Photographers Chris Eversole Rob Foldy
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( Editor’s Viewpoint ) GROOMING GAINESVILLE’S NEXT GENERATION
recently attended the first meeting of a new initiative from the local United Way’s Young Leaders Society called CEO Chats, during which “youngish” (40 or younger) local business leaders were able to chat with a local CEO about what it takes to become, and stay, successful.
For the inaugural meeting last month, we heard from SantaFe HealthCare President and CEO Michael Gallagher, who also is this year’s newly appointed chair of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce. For a man with self-described 12-hour days and sevenday work weeks, whose most valuable work hours are spent on planes, his time is in high demand. We were lucky to pick his brain about what mattered most to us. I loved that this event valued and supported some of the newer members of the business community, which included about 16 men and women who had both started their own small companies as well as those who were climbing the ladder in larger, national entities with Gainesville outposts. One of the key points that stood out to me was the strong desire for organized mentorship in this community—especially for the 22 to 40 set, which often ﬁnds itself leaving Gainesville for that second job before returning years later to raise a family. In addition to the value of mentorship, Gallagher also shared his thoughts on the future of Gainesville, how he maintains a schedule that sees him traveling weekly and his advice for young business leaders. Here are some highlights on those topics and more:
MORE ON MENTORSHIP. Gallagher emphasized the importance of a formal mentorship he gained early on while on the job at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), which contributed to him becoming one of the youngest partners there. While everyone no doubt beneﬁts from a mentor, it seems it is in the ﬁrst stages of one’s career when a thirst for guidance is most beneﬁcial. The challenge in Gainesville is the “small pond” aspect—that is, it can be difﬁcult to ﬁnd a mentor in one’s ﬁeld (who isn’t a
director competitor!). Gallagher stressed that a mentor needn’t reﬂect one’s career goals directly, but that the most key aspect was an organized program. Wouldn’t it be great if Gainesville could develop a structured network of mentors and mentees among the business community? I am always thrilled when time spent helping ambitious interns or students (I teach a class at the University of Florida) results in them achieving a goal. Similarly, I know business leaders would be happy to ﬁnd the time if asked.
ORGANIZATION MEANS EFFICIENT USE OF TIME. It seems organization isn’t relegated to mentorships. Gallagher heavily stressed its value to efﬁcient time management, and credited an executive assistant who “thinks like he thinks.” He also suggested leaving 30 minutes in between each meeting to allow for overﬂow and planning for the next appointment. When traveling, he mails work to and from his destination. “I’m the worst person to sit next to on an airplane,” he said—that four-hour block of uninterrupted time being one of his most valued work times. While I’m still waiting for that personal executive assistant to help me stay organized, I’ve disabled the audio alerts on my email to maintain my focus where it matters most. CULTURE IS KEY. When interviewing for a job, or selecting a new employee, Gallagher emphasized the importance of matching personalities with the company’s core values. His preference for being active in the community, and constantly working on multiple projects, have led to a diverse resume and to feeling constantly stimulated and challenged. In addition to working with the United Way, he is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and serves on local and statewide boards. He works with both non-proﬁt and professional organizations. He credits the importance of working with others without a big ego and maintains that he “has never worked a day in his life.” I’ll add to that that when you align yourself with projects that excite you, opportunities and goals arrive.
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by Maghan McDowell
THE “BRAIN DRAIN.”
Finally, Gallagher saw hope in Gainesville’s legendary so-called brain drain—that tricky tendency for University of Florida and Santa Fe College graduates to take their talents elsewhere upon graduation. He credited the recent emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship and recent estimates that Gainesville has more incubators per capita than any other town for starting to change this. Although we have only just begun to realize the potential gains of keeping our young workers, the increasing cooperation between the city and the university are encouraging. Our main challenge, Gallagher explained, was the “trailing spouse” syndrome. In other words, attracting one person to Gainesville’s unique combination of bigcity options with a small-town feel is one thing. Finding a job for their spouse, given our lack of major corporations, is the sticking point. 5#3
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WHY GOING GREEN MIGHT KEEP YOU OUT OF THE
ou might have heard of the benefits of “going green” in attracting customers and doing your part to help the planet. “Greening” refers to the sustainable business practices that are incorporated into both a business’s actions and products, and while some might label it a trend, I consider it essential if you plan to expand your venture well into the future. Running a green business isn’t only about attracting customers to a trendy ideal. Operating a business that is green will prove to beneﬁt both your company image and your bank account—while conserving resources.
MAKING THE GREEN Companies that maintain an eco-friendly focus are more likely to utilize energy-efﬁcient resources that are cost effective in the long run. Translation? Lower energy bills. For example, if you plant trees on the west side of your business today, in approximately ﬁve years, your energy bill should decrease by about 3 percent. In 15 years? You’ll see savings of about 12 percent. Green businesses utilize multiple forms of energy-saving resources. Companies that opt for wind, solar and other forms of alternative energy are more likely to qualify for tax credits.
CONSUMER EXPECTATION Beyond simply being the smarter economic choice, modern-day customers demand green practices from the brands they’ve developed relationships with. They’re checking product labels and company mission statements looking for a company that has aligned itself with environmental conservation. While a high-quality product and affordable pricing are essential, modern companies have a social responsibility to make customer participation in environmental conservation a part of the buying experience. Many of my most loyal customers have been deeply interested in Parisleaf’s tree-planting efforts. But Parisleaf isn’t alone in this; many successful, global companies have built their brand around sustainable business practices. Take Ben & Jerry’s, Whole Foods Market and GE, for example. I truly admire their sustainability efforts because they’ve developed products that satisfy market need while remaining dedicated to the planet.
TEAM EFFORT Outside of customer expectations and energy savings, the essence of being “green” relies on company team members who understand and believe in green business. Green culture is
( Seeing Green )
by Chad Paris
a powerful force. Equally as powerful is the education granted to employees on how to carry out green initiatives. Eco-smart employees know the keys to recycling and sustainable business practices. Moreover, employees who understand and participate in the products of green culture are more likely to lead healthier lives both in and out of the ofﬁce. Green culture will point more company employees toward transportation methods like carpooling and public transportation, which are a little easier on the environment. The beneﬁts are truly limitless. “Green lingo” has been thrown around a lot. Yet when companies truly embody environmentally conscious business practices, everyone wins. Smart businesses understand that sustainable business practices must become a part of a company’s long-term plan. The green market is a high-value niche that will continue to expand and develop for years to come. 5#3 Chad Paris is the owner and co-founder of Parisleaf, an eco-friendly design firm in Gainesville. Parisleaf has planted more than 8,000 trees to cut back on the business’ carbon footprint—and has a goal of planting a billion trees. In 2011, the Chamber of Commerce awarded Parisleaf with Business of the Year for its commitment to the environment. Parisleaf plants a tree for every Facebook “Like” as a way to promote Parisleaf’s tree-planting mission.
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( Cover Story )
CITY COMMISSION MADE
After Rejecting Coal Plant, GRU Turned to Biomass for Environmental Benefits & Long-Term Price Stability (continued from cover)
• The area around Gainesville is abundant in waste from
trimming trees and forestry, and the biomass plant will use only a fraction of this available material.
• The biomass plant’s emissions per kilowatt hour of energy
produced are nearly identical to those of GRU’s coalburning Deerhaven II plant for most emissions, which was ﬁtted with a $141 million scrubber and other emission controls in 2009. The exception is sulfur dioxide, with the biomass plant emitting two-third less than Deerhaven II.
Commission Made Policy Judgment
What About the Critics?
he two most vocal and persistent critics of the Gainesville biomass plant had a part in making the plant a reality. Dian Deevy, who formally intervened with the Florida Public Service Commission to stop the plant, helped turn the Gainesville City Commission away from a new coal-burning generating plant that it rejected in 2004. Deevy, then a member of the Alachua County Environmental Advisory Committee, opposed the proposed coal plant as an environmental threat. Nathan Skop, who ran unsuccessfully for the city commission in the recent election based his campaign largely on opposition to the plant, voted for it in 2010, when he was a member of the Florida Public Service Commission. Deevy, Skop and other opponents of the biomass plant focus on the plant’s ﬁnances, both in terms of its impact on electric rates and its ﬁnancial viability. GRU’s rate hurt the poor, Deevy notes, since they pay a higher proportion of their income for electricity and their homes often are not as energy efﬁcient as other homes. GRU ofﬁcials acknowledge that the biomass plant will result in rates going up, but they say the cost of power from any new generating plant would be higher than current costs. They also note that the city’s contract with the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center locks in the company’s ﬁxed costs and guarantees relatively ﬂat charges for variable cost over the 30 years of the contract. The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center bears the responsibility for the plant’s ﬁnancial viability, GRU ofﬁcials note. Public ofﬁcials—the City Commission and the Public Service Commission—made a choice in deciding to approve the biomass plant. The full impact of that choice on GRU rates will not be clear until after the biomass plant has been in operation for several years.
Weighing Options for New Capacity
GRU needed future generating capacity for the following reasons:
Selecting the biomass plant was a policy decision, one made after the Gainesville City Commission, facing community pressure, rejected a proposed coal power plant more than twice the size of the biomass plant in 2004. Biomass emerged as an alternative, with the strong support of then-Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, as a renewable resource and one touted as carbon-neutral at a time when the possibility seemed great that the United States would adopt carbon credits, which would provide incentives for biomass plants. The commission stayed with the biomass plant proposal at a major turning point in May 2009. The commission agreed to
sign the contract for the plant even though GRU ofﬁcials pointed out that the price of natural gas had dropped in half in the year since the commission authorized negotiating the contract. Today, voters appear to support the biomass plant, as illustrated by Lauren Poe’s defeat of Nathan Skop, a candidate who’s campaign centered on his opposition to the plant, in a Feb. 28 runoff election for a commission seat. While GRU, as a municipal utility governed by the city commission, chose biomass, a for-proﬁt utility probably wouldn’t have, says Richard Schroeder, president of BioResource Management Inc., which is coordinating the gathering of wood waste that will fuel the plant. Despite hopes of the previous mayor and GRU ofﬁcials, carbon taxation has not American Renewables Vice President for Project Development Josh Levine at materialized. “With no incentives and cheap the site of the 100-MW wood-fired biomass electric generating project, which is natural gas, it makes it hard to build biomass eight miles northwest of downtown Gainesville. The Gainesville Renewable Energy plants,” Schroeder says. Center site is adjacent to an existing coal power generation facility. A big incentive is available, however. The biomass plant qualiﬁes for a $130 million On the other hand, the cost of biomass material is grant, covering 30 percent of qualiﬁed construction costs, predictable, Levine says. “The cost of pulpwood from forests has been fairly ﬂat for the last 10 to 15 years. from the 2009 federal stimulus plan, providing it goes into “While we’re not using pulpwood, we’re using forest operation by the end of 2013—a goal it’s on target to beat. products, along with waste from urban tree-trimming, and we Gainesville could consider the biomass plant from a broad expect stable costs for these products.” perspective, says GRU’s former head of strategic planning, The contract between GRU and the American Renewables Ed Regan, taking into consideration the economic beneﬁt subsidiary, the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, controls resulting from the plant generating more jobs than a natural pricing. This includes a base price to cover GREC’s ﬁxed gas plant would and the importance of having a diversiﬁed costs and a direct pass-through of fuel costs. mix of power sources. The main factor that will change fuel costs is the cost “Gainesville doesn’t have its eggs in one basket,” Schroeder says.
“Any new power source is going to cost more money, but we needed to find replacement power because we must replace some of our aging plants.”
• It must replace aging power plants over time, since two-thirds of its generating capacity comes from plants that are more than 30 years old.
• A key contract for power with Progress Energy is ending next year.
• The Crystal River nuclear power plant, which has provided a small amount of GRU’s power, is shut down—and may be abandoned.
Waiting as much as a decade would have created uncertainty about GRU’s ability to meet the community’s energy needs, and construction costs undoubtedly will rise in the future. Getting ahead of the need was important, says Regan, who led planning for the agreement to purchase power from the plant. “We built early, but we built for the future,” says Regan, who retired at the end of February after more than 30 years guiding GRU’s development of new generating capacity. Clearly, the capital cost of a new gas generating plant would have been less than the cost of the biomass plant, acknowledges Josh Levine, vice president for project development for American Renewables, the parent company of the ﬁrm building the plant.
—GRU Marketing and Communications Manager Lewis Walton of trucking the biomass material to the plant, Levine says. “Transportation costs, which make up 30 to 40 percent of the biomass fuel costs, will be affected by the price of diesel.” Today’s historically low prices for natural gas won’t last long, Regan says. The sudden abundance of natural gas from fracking—the extraction of natural gas from underground rock formations—will moderate, he says. “Gas wells that use fracking deplete quickly. With low prices, the incentive to develop these wells is declining. It’s not a question of if natural gas prices will come back up; it’s a question of when.” No one can predict with certainty the cost of coal and gas, but this much is clear: The more diverse the mix of fuel sources, the more stable prices to customers can be, since diversity allows GRU to switch from one fuel to another as fuel prices ﬂuctuate. GRU beneﬁted from its diverse generating capacity this winter. For the ﬁrst time, it turned off its Deerhaven II coal generator, its biggest plant, because natural gas had become cheaper to use than coal. (continued on next page)
( Cover Story ) Rate Impact Uncertain
GRU estimates that the biomass plant will result in its charges to customers rising by about 1 cent per kilowatt-hour. With the average home using 870 kilowatts monthly, that translates to $8.70 per month. That’s only an estimate. GRU charges for electricity rise and fall based on the utility’s costs for its full mix of fuels, says Lewis Walton, GRU’s marketing and communications manager. “When we’re paying less for natural gas, we may be paying more for coal,” he says. The price customers pay is based on the cost of fuel, the cost of power GRU buys from other utilities and the utility’s ongoing operating costs. “We manage a lot of moving parts every day and even every hour to make sure we have competitive pricing,” Walton says. Another factor affecting GRU’s rates is its ability to sell excess capacity to other utilities, providing a revenue source that offsets some of its costs. “We’re seeking a variety of contracts with utilities that recognizes that our prices to them are competitive and especially stable over the long-term,” Walton says.
“It’s not often that these environmental and business groups are on the same side.” — American Renewables Vice President for Project Development Josh Levine No matter what type of new generating plant GRU had chosen, its charges to customers were going to rise, Walton says. “Any new power source is going to cost more money, but we had to ﬁnd replacement power because we must replace some of our aging plants.”
Diverse Support for Biomass
SOURCES OF GRU GENERATING CAPACITY WHEN BIOMASS PLANT OPENS
The saying that politics makes strange bedfellows is true—when it comes to the biomass plant. 232 While the project has vocal critics, several established environmental groups aren’t among them. The Florida Wildlife Federation and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy 100 endorsed the biomass plant after research, as did the late Dr. Kathy Cantwell, a longtime environmental activist from Gainesville. Rob Brinkman, who has held leadership BIOMASS COAL NATURAL GAS positions in the Sierra Club and on county advisory boards, sees the project as great All figures in megawatts per hour. for the environment. Note: The Crystal River nuclear plant is closed for maintenance and may be abandoned. Some of the debris from land clearing and forestry that will go to the biomass Association support the biomass plant. plant is now being open-burned. “Ten times more particulates “It’s not often that these environmental and business groups are released by the current ﬁeld burning of biomass than will are on the same side,” Levine says. be released from biomass used as fuel for the plant,” Brinkman estimates. Is Enough Biomass Available? NASA’s James Hansen, a leading climatologist, praised the The area within a 75-mile radius of Gainesville is a gold biomass plant as “a useful step toward the essential task of mine for biomass, says Levine of American Renewables. phasing out coal emissions. The forestry byproducts take two forms—understory that’s “Knee-jerk opposition to all biomass projects has no sound scientiﬁc basis and is harmful to attempts to stabilize climate for removed to promote the growth of harvestable trees and trimmings that are removed during logging. About half of the future generations,” he says. biomass that the plant uses will come from tree trimming in GRU is burning an average of 1,900 tons of coal a day, Brinkman notes. “Our current reliance on coal is unsustainable,” urban areas and about half from waste material in forestry, Levine says. Yard waste will come from Wood Resource he says. “While biomass will not supply all of our power needs, Recovery’s site, located eight miles from the biomass plant on it will be a critical component in reducing our addiction to State Route 121. coal.” “It’s often not affordable to trim the understory,” Levine says. Meanwhile, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, “We’ll make it economically viable to remove the understory, the Florida Forestry Association and the Forest Landowners which is ripe for ﬁre. We’ll help prevent forest ﬁres.” 5#3
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( In the News )
City Tries to Attract Developers to Downtown Conference Center
by Chris Eversole
he City of Gainesville is testing the waters to see if private developers are interested in building a downtown hotel and conference centerâ€”possibly with the cityâ€™s help.
The cityâ€™s â€œinvitation to negotiateâ€? comes two years after the city advertised for proposals for a publicly owned conference center in conjunction with a privately owned hotel failed to generate a viable proposal. The city commission authorized the new exploration. Outgoing Commissioner Sherwin Henry, the biggest advocate of the project, says the assumptions in feasibility studies
conducted by PKF Consulting and Global Spectrum in 2010 are still valid. â€œThe economic climate is better than it was two years ago,â€? Henry says. â€œIâ€™m conďŹ dent that there are developers ready to invest.â€? PKF said in its report that enough market demand existed in the Gainesville area to justify an additional 250-room hotel with 25,000 to 30,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom. A hotel and conference center could generate $22.5 million in direct spending annually, according to Global Spectrum. The project would create jobs, Henry says. â€œIt is important that we bring service jobs to our community. We must produce jobs covering all levels of employment.â€? In 2010, the city was hoping to convince the Alachua County Commission to devote a portion of its tourist development tax to the conference center. The county decided to use that money for a new fairgrounds at the time, but the fairgrounds project hasnâ€™t moved forward and municipalities throughout the county are vying for the money for their own projects. The one cent of â€œbed taxâ€? that is available for new capital projects is accumulating at a rate of $625,000 a year, says Roland Loog, director of the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau. Loog is cautious about the potential for a convention center. â€œI would want to be sure that it would have enough additional meeting space to bring in conventions that the Hilton and the Paramount canâ€™t handle,â€? he says. â€œIâ€™m also
concerned about the burden of ongoing operational costs.â€? In its new request to developers, the city doesnâ€™t indicate that tourist tax dollars would be available for the projects. The request does say that the city may get involved in some way, possibly through money generated by the Community Redevelopment Agency. The CRA provides money for projects from funds generated by increased tax valuation of targeted areas.
â€œI would want to be sure that it would have enough additional meeting space to bring in conventions that the Hilton and the Paramount canâ€™t handle.â€? â€”Roland Loog, director of the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau
The request stated that the 124-room Downtown Hampton Inn & Suites could provide rooms for people attending conventions at the convention center. In 2010, the city proposed placing the project on a parking lot located on Southwest Second Street. The new request expands the potential sites to an area bordered by Eighth Avenue on the north and Depot Avenue on the south and west to 10th Street. The deadline for response to the cityâ€™s request is April 5. â€œAs a destination, we need signiďŹ cantly more accommodations,â€? Henry says. â€œIâ€™m glad the city is pursing this. We used to talk ourselves out of opportunities.â€? 5#3
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( Cover Story )
CHEWING IT OVER Rob Foldy
While business lunchers do some work in the restaurant, most agree that the “business lunch” is less about working—or even eating—and more about accomplishing a little of both while strengthening a relationship. (continued from cover) In town for business, employees of Orchid Orthopedic Solutions, which is headquartered in Michigan, meet for lunch at Gainesville’s Ballyhoo Grill after a morning of meetings. The business lunch also seems to prevail even in the face of up or personal interaction is the purpose, while others stress a down economy. While some business people say the number the need to leave the lunch having moved the business or of business lunches is down, most say that business lunches project forward in some way. remain steady or are actually on the increase. Spence lists three general purposes for a business lunch: “I actually got a little bit of heartburn when I saw how • To settle a particular aspect of a deal, usually the most much we spent last month on business lunches,” Wilson says difﬁcult one; about the frequency of his business lunches. • To network, making a business connection with While the count could be as high as three to four a week, as in the case of Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce president Brent Christensen, “No matter how good Internet communication is, it most say they average a half dozen or so can never replace face-to-face contact.” lunches in a month. Spence estimates he does about eight to 10 monthly lunches —Geoff Wilson, founder and CEO, 352 Media Group with business contacts, but could probably schedule one “every single day I’m in someone, or in some cases helping others to do so by town.” providing the bridge or introduction; and
Business or Pleasure?
While the face-to-face time is at the top of most people’s list for the objective of a business lunch, what actual business is done is a more open question. For some people, the sizing
• To enjoy good company, strengthening the personal relationships.
The discussion topics can “run the gamut,” says Kathleen Bogolea, a development ofﬁcer at Shands, who estimated she has about four to six business lunches a month. She says that while the face-to-face aspect is important, the purpose of a business lunch is not limited to “just breaking the ice.” Topics that are not likely to come up include anything that is conﬁdential or better discussed back at the ofﬁce. And while some ﬁnishing touches may be discussed, ﬁnalizing a deal is usually saved for after lunch, according to multiple sources. The lunch is also not likely to include something totally new and unexpected. “You don’t want any surprises,” says Joe Lowry Jr., a ﬁnancial adviser with Lowry & Lowry. Lunch discussions should “cover territory you’ve been before.” Whether it is personal chit-chat or negotiating a deal, meaningful Known for an elegant dinner service, Mildred’s Big City Food, along with sister restaurant conversation is implied in every the New Deal Café, offers a slightly more casual lunch atmosphere that thrives in the Westgate Shopping Center.
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business lunch. That requires a setting that is relatively quiet and relaxed. Most restaurants cited as favorite spots by business people were quiet, intimate settings that are “conducive to conversation,” as several put it. And while sensitive or proprietary information will likely not be discussed in an open restaurant, there still needs to be a certain element of privacy. That includes the servers as well as other diners. “You want a staff that is attentive, but is not constantly on top of you,” Spence says. The most important consideration for a restaurant is a relaxed and relatively quiet atmosphere. “Business people, like everyone else, eat lunch where they are comfortable,” said Mike Sanford, the editor of the Gainesville Lunch Out blog, in an email. He particularly singled out establishments in downtown Gainesville and what he called “the Archer Road triangle” as popular destinations for business meals. Even though the lunch is a way to develop the personal contact that is not possible electronically, some business lunchers see it as a plus if the restaurant has WiFi access. That allows someone to show a client documents or samples online while still at the lunch table.
Homegrown Flavor A strong local connection also appears to be a draw. Even the occasional chain restaurant, like Heavenly Ham, have a strong connection to the community. Occasionally the local ﬂavor of the restaurant itself is the point of the meal, if someone is trying to impress a client with what the area has to offer. That is usually the case for Roland Loog, the director of Visit Gainesville. His lunches often will include travel writers or convention planners, and he prefers places that have a local connection or ﬂair, which could make a favorable impression of the area. “We look on it as a return on investment,” he says, especially if it brings business or publicity to the area. Decisions on what to eat also vary greatly, though most agree with Christensen that the meal should consist of something that is “not too messy.” Ultimately, Spence says, “You’re not there for the food.” Nonetheless, he stresses the importance of a “ﬂexible” menu that accommodates a wide range of tastes. He prefers something plain, like a sandwich or salad. Ideally, the meal should be light and something that can be eaten in short bites, so it is possible to pause and talk during the meal. Sometimes, that may result in the lunch not being much of
( Cover Story ) a meal at all. Spence admits he sometimes has to have lunch after “lunch.” “Sometimes I’ll have a small salad and iced tea, and two hours later I’ll go, ‘Man, I’m hungry,’” he says with a laugh.
WHERE THE LUNCH CROWDS ARE
he Gainesville area is known for a number of ﬁne restaurants, but some places seem to be well-suited for sealing the deal. Mike Sanford, the editor of the Gainesville Lunch Out blog, says the main requirement is a “comfortable, amicable setting” that lets diners “create healthy dialogue.” He notes in in particular where suitable cafés tend to be congregated. One is the downtown area, a “thriving business center during the day, yet that still possesses the charm of old Gainesville.” The other is Archer Road, where he says, “The convenience and multitude of choices…lends itself to an easy access and ﬁne dining opportunities in an environment for a good lunch and professional dialogue.” Some more speciﬁc recommendations include:
“We look on lunch as a return on investment.” —Roland Loog, director, Alachua County Visitors and Conventions Bureau One item deﬁnitely off the menu? Alcohol. Although some business types like Loog can still remember when a martini was a standard drink special at lunch, the idea of an alcohol-fueled business lunch is long gone. When servers do offer a wine list or a selection of in-house brews, Christensen just responds, “We’re at work.” Other “no-nos’ include:
s¬ EMILIANO’S CAFE The downtown location makes it an
obvious choice, but many diners say it is more than that. The atmosphere and menu are particularly suited for business, says Roland Loog. He particularly singles out the “Crazy Eights” menu, which offers quickly prepared, mix-and-match dishes.
• Arriving late, or not at all; • Checking email or texting (“We’ve all got that temptation,” Christensen says, “but it’s not asking too much during lunch not to check your phone.”);
s¬ BLUE GILL QUALITY FOODS Located just south of Shands
• Being rude to servers; and
on Southwest 13th Street, this newer addition to the lunch circuit is enjoyed by those looking for a more reﬁned approach to Southern cooking. It’s recommended for outof-town guests in town for a more relaxed meeting.
• Not matching the restaurant to the meal requirements of the participants. And don’t forget to follow-up after the meal, Spence says. “Whether it’s just to say ‘thank you’ or to recap what was decided, it’s critically important to follow up.”
s¬ SABORÉ Located in Town of Tioga, it is noted for a
comfortable and relaxed setting, with what John Spence calls a menu “that ranges from somewhat healthy to somewhat decadent.”
s¬ FUJI SUSHI Located west of town, this offers a very quiet and intimate setting, according to 352’s Geoff Wilson. “Talking and eating over sushi is sort of a communal event.”
s¬ BALLYHOO GRILL Located in the Plaze Royale on
Newberry Road, this offers a range of settings and menu options, from an outdoor sports bar to a more reﬁned seafood restaurant.
s¬ FRANCESCA’S TRATTORIA The Italian restaurant off of
43rd Street is another of John Spence’s favorites that meets his criteria of good dishes and a quiet atmosphere “where you can get business done.”
s¬ GAINESVILLE ALE HOUSE Don’t let the name fool you.
Although drinking is generally frowned upon at a work lunch, this nighttime sports bar does a big casual business lunch business at its Archer Road location during the day.
s¬ HEAVENLY HAM Bryan Williams calls it “healthy,” where
he can “see a lot of other business people.” Williams notes it has strong local ownership ties—another plus.
s¬ GATOR’S DOCKSIDE There are times, Spence says, when the point is just to have a good time with colleagues, and places like Dockside are just ﬁne for that.
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( In the News )
NEWS BRIEFS Parisleaf Launches Sprout Site
Local printing, design and web company Parisleaf Printing and Design recently announced the launch of a product they call the Sprout Site, designed to help startup companies build a website. The initiative speciﬁcally targets entrepreneurs who “might have a lot of time, but not as many resources,” according to founder Chad Paris. Sprout Sites were designed to be comparable to a high-quality website but at a lower price. The sites are easy to edit and update, and companies can personally upload pictures, text and more. Parisleaf includes a one-on-one training session on how to maintain the website with the purchase of a Sprout Site. For each site made, the design company will plant 100 trees. Paris hopes that Sprout Sites will help Parisleaf achieve its goal of planting 25,000 trees in 2012. “As a startup company, you may not have the ﬁnancial resources needed to build a quality website,” says Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid. “I wish this was around when I started Student Maid. It would have made things much easier.”
GatorTec Becomes Apple Authorized Reseller
As an Apple Authorized Reseller, GatorTec, located in the Tioga Town Center, is now a one-stop shop for all things Apple: Mac laptops, desktops, iPods, Apple TVs and other accessories. In mid-March, GatorTec started offering free Apple workshops every Saturday morning on topics such as iPad introduction, Mac introduction, iLife and iWork. As demand for the workshops increases, the company plans to schedule additional workshops.
Santa Fe Program Helps GED Students
Members of Santa Fe College’s Pathway to Persistence program will present to Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the White House in May. The program, which was started in 2010, aims to keep GED students from dropping out by providing them faculty and peer mentors to guide them through the college process and ensure their graduation. Students in the program are referred to as “scholars,” and they must enroll in a course called “College Success” to meet weekly to discuss their problems and accomplishments.
United Way Launches CEO Chats
The United Way of North Central Florida announced a monthly program called CEO Chats, a series offering young leaders the chance to network with local CEOs. The Young Leaders Society event allows the participants to share their success stories as well as provide guidance for the young leaders. Don Davis, CEO of Capital City Bank, will be the guest speaker April 9. Future guests include John King of Water and Air Research, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell and Gainesville City Manager Russ Blackburn. All events will be held at the United Way ofﬁce boardroom at 5:30pm. The series will continue through December. To RSVP and receive more information, contact Nikki Wagner at nwagner@unitedwayncﬂ.org. 5#3
The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
CRA Director Search Continues Gainesville City Manager Russ Blackburn has selected ﬁve ﬁnalists in the search to replace Anthony Lyons as director of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency. Candidates include three community development professionals from elsewhere in Florida, a candidate from Reno, and Kelly Fisher, who has been serving as interim CRA director since Lyons left Dec. 1 for a post in Boise, Idaho. Fisher has worked with the CRA since 2007 and has been involved in many of the agency’s projects since then. Candidate Rebecca Bray served as the Pensacola CRA administrator from 2003 through November 2011. Jeffrey Oris, who is a consultant in Florida communities and organizations, was the Martin County community development director from 2007 to 2009. Constantino Purrinos was the Homestead city manager and director of development from 2009 through January 2011. Peter Wallish is the interim redevelopment administrator and economic development manager for Reno. He has been with the City of Reno since 2007. Blackburn, along with a group that includes Brad Pollitt from the College Park/University Heights CRA Advisory Board and Vivian Filer from the East Gainesville CRA Advisory Board, interviewed the candidates March 16. The Business Report will report on the candidate selected on its website, gainesvillebizreport.com, after Blackburn makes a decision.
ST P R I N G !
( Speaking of Business )
TIME FOR CLEANING HOUSE AND “PLANTING” FOR SUMMER
he calendar indicates that we are beginning spring. Unemployment figures have dropped a bit, and consumers are starting to spend again. All is well with the world, right? Well, maybe. Undertake some of the following springtime activities to “spring” ahead of the competition. By being proactive in your business planning and management, you should be able to look forward to a nice “harvest” of proﬁts.
Cleaning begins with the part of the business that none of your customers see—the backroom where you keep your stock. Convert seasonal merchandise and time-limited items to cash. Holding onto them is of no beneﬁt, as their value to customers will decrease as seasons change and expiration dates approach. Hold sales, return items to distributors, sell them on the Internet or at a ﬂea market, or sell them to a liquidator—the important action is to convert them to cash to invest in items that will sell in the upcoming seasons. The physical place you do business must be newer, cleaner and more attractive than the competition if you are going to attract new customers. While you may not have the money to re-do a store or purchase new vehicles, there are less expensive actions that can achieve the same results. Give your business a fresh look by moving aisles around, replacing lighting or painting one wall a contrasting color. Review your systems and processes, update them for cost savings and efﬁciency, and compare them to your competition. If your competitors are able to reduce their costs, they will
be able to achieve the same proﬁt while selling at discounted prices, which will draw your customers away from you.
Once the business is in a position to grow, a direction must be set and measurable goals should be established. An annual operating plan, whether a complete business plan or a few components of it (like a marketing plan and a ﬁnancial plan), are essential if you want to be successful in 2012. If you do nothing else, update your business plan or create one if you have been operating by the seat of your pants. It will increase your chances of long-term viability and the company’s level of proﬁts.
Just like appliances at home wear out and break down, components of your business may require ﬁxing to enable you to fulﬁll your plan. They must be repaired or replaced as needed. Obviously, any equipment you own that is not up to par will fall into this category along with technology and management intangibles. The technology category encompasses items like links on your webpage. Nothing says poor management as much as a broken Web link. Check your email accounts to make sure they are not bouncing back customer emails due to full mailboxes or poorly set spam ﬁlters, and ensure that any received email is promptly responded to. The “management intangible” category covers items like
by Philip R. Geist
customer service, employee reviews, compensation policies and staff training. These are items that can drive away customers and lower staff morale if not attended to when a problem arises. If you have a comprehensive business plan, there should be sections on customer service and employee policies. If you don’t have these, now might be a good time to add them. If you do have them, review and revise as needed.
Just as the farmer has to plant seeds and cultivate seedlings in order to have a crop to sell, your business will have to develop new markets and customers to replace those lost through attrition. You will also have to ensure that you continue to meet the needs of existing customers. Once you have decided to undertake any of the above, you must make it happen. Murphy’s Law has a history of creating crises and issues to prevent you from doing what you planned. You will have to put tasks on your calendar, use a timemanagement system, create to-do lists or ﬁnd any other practice that will work for you to keep the focus on what needs to be cleaned, ﬁxed and implemented. That is what will ultimately lead to increased sales, proﬁts and long-term sustainability. 5#3 Philip Geist, PhD, is area director for the Small Business Development Center, which provides free, confidential counseling to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Call 352-334-7230 or visit sbdc.unf.edu for more information. This material was condensed from Dr. Geist’s blog at sbdc.unf.edu.
( In the News )
NEWS BRIEFS Finalists Announced for Cade Museum Prize The third-annual Cade Museum Innovation contest has announced its 16 ﬁnalists for this year’s competition. Of the 16, seven are Gainesville residents. The ﬁnalists will now complete full business plans that will be judged and scored by a new group of judges. The four ﬁnalists chosen will be announced on April 23 and will have to make a live pitch to a ﬁnal panel of judges before the winner is announced on May 11 at the Cade Museum Prize Gala. The Cade Museum Prize is an incentive competition for early-stage inventors and entrepreneurs in Florida. Competitive entries are those in the early stages of developing a truly groundbreaking idea. Any Florida residents or Florida-based companies were able to apply. The winner will receive $50,000. Last year, Florida Sustainables was the winner and Uptima Neuroscience, Sol-Gel Solutions and Xobotix were in the ﬁnal four.
The 2012 Cade Museum Prize “Sweet 16” finalists include: • Alex Green, Gainesville – Green Pyrolizer Gasiﬁer • Matthew Herbolich, Gainesville – Mind2Market NonContact Vital Sign Monitor
• Kim Wilson, Newberry – Social Newsdesk
• Phil Hipol, Tampa – Electronic Catheter Stethoscope • Stephen Hsu, Gainesville – Delivery of Large Therapeutic Compounds • Ryan Hulslander, Gainesville – Irrisept • Qun Huo, Orlando – Nanoparticle-Enabled Bioanalytical Technology • Matthew Kim, Miami – Early Screening for Head and Neck Cancer • Ian Knapp, Gainesville – Portable Chlorine Dioxide Generation • Bernd Liesenfeld, Gainesville – Cankicide • Kathleen Lovell, St. Johns – Paciﬁer Activated Lullaby • Dominica Maggio, Miami – A New Kind of Topical Anesthetic • David Massias, Gainesville – Digital Clinical Experience • Joseph Moss, Pensacola – Spin Concentrator and Method • Craig Pagan, Melbourne – Navitech Delivery System • Ernesto Pretto, Miami – Intravenous Delivery Systems for Volatile Gas Anesthetics
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is named for Dr. James Robert Cade, the physician, musician, researcher and inventor best known for leading the University of Florida team that created Gatorade. The Cade Museum Prize Gala will feature dinner, drinks and entertainment along with the awards ceremony, and will take place at the Santa Fe College of Fine Arts Hall from 6:30 to 10pm on May 11. Tickets are $105 and will be on sale at cademuseumprize.org through April 20. 5#3
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The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
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Leadership Gainesville Accepting Applications
Leadership Gainesville, a yearlong community leadership program that aims to identify and develop leadership skills, is accepting applications through April 30 for its 39th class. Each year approximately 40 “students” are selected. Individuals can nominate themselves or nominate those who they feel best exemplify the values and goals of the LG program, which is an initiative of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. Activities during the year include monthly meetings, shadowing different people in the community, attending government meetings, opportunities for socializing and a trip to Tallahassee to meet with state legislators. Program members network with those involved in business, law, civic groups, the arts, minority organizations, education, health care, government, human services and volunteer organizations. There are also strong networking ties between the alumni of the LG program. Applications are available at gainesvillechamber.com, and the fee to submit is $25. Tuition for Leadership Gainesville is $1,100 for chamber members and $1,400 for non-members.
Community Bank & Trust’s REV Aids in Job Creation
Community Bank & Trust of Florida is making a special effort to help both new and existing businesses create jobs. Its REV program, which stands for Rebuilding Economic Vitality, offers loans with different collateral requirements than traditional loans, but it requires that the borrower present a
three-year business plan that includes creating three new jobs. “This is designed to help new and existing businesses that have a plan in place,” says John Roberts, the bank’s vice president for the Gainesville ofﬁce. “Many people have the idea, but they don’t sit down and write it out.” Roberts developed the program in response to an Innovation Gainesville meeting at which the need for startup capital was discussed, according the Innovation Gainesville’s blog. Community Bank launched the program through business incubators in Ocala last year. It is working on the program with Santa Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development.
Institute for Workforce Innovation Awarded Grant
The AARP Foundation recently awarded a competitive grant of $190,880 to the Institute for Workforce Innovation to create a one-stop employment center for unemployed adults older than 50. The Lake Area Older Adult Job Center will be created in Melrose, Fla., and will serve Alachua, Bradford, Clay and Putnam counties. Located in the Melrose Senior Community Center, which opened in April 2011, the LAOAJC will provide workshops, resume assistance, employment placement and more. The LAOAJC will have community, state and federal webbased resources for older adults in need. It will also establish a survey call center in partnership with the Florida Survey Research Center and a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver services division that will provide employment to older adults in the community. 5#3
Florida Credit Union appointed Laude Arnaldi as Senior Lender/VP of Commercial
ON THE MOVE
( In the News )
Lending. He will be in charge of Florida Credit Union’s Commercial Services Department. His ofﬁce is based in Gainesville, where he will be meeting the needs of businesses in all of FCU’s 13-county service area. Nikki Wagner is the new Development Director of Leadership and Afﬁnity Groups for United Way of North Central Florida. She holds a Master’s degree in nonproﬁt management. Naima Brown has been appointed to serve a minimum of one year as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs at Santa Fe College beginning this summer. She was the 2011 Student Government’s Faculty Member of the Year. Town Radar, LLC released a free smartphone app, Town Radar, which contains a directory of businesses in the local area. The founder of the app is Mike Mechaney, and the app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store, the Android Market or www.townradar.com. Comfort Inn West has announced that its name has been changed to Comfort Inn University. The change in name accompanies additional amenities. Founder and CEO of Gainesville Health and Fitness Center Joe Cirulli is set to receive the Club Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented by Club Industry Magazine at this year’s Club Industry Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas.
( Transactions )
4001 E University AVE Gainesville, FL 32609 Type: Commercial Seller: Wells, Noel List Agent: J. Red Anderson List Firm: Coldwell Banker/ M.M. Parrish/Spring Hill Buyer: GMB University, LLC Sell Agent: Joanna Pakula Sell Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Price: $139,000 1515 SW 13TH ST Gainesville, FL 32608 Type: Commercial Seller: Reichardt & Taylor, LLC List Agent: J. Parrish List Firm: Coldwell Banker/ M.M. Parrish/Spring Hill Buyer: Brewer Properties, LLC Sell Agent: Manuel Disgdiertt Sell Firm: Campus Realty Price: $440,000
COMMERCIAL LEASES 2233 NW 41ST ST Gainesville, FL 32606 Type: Ofﬁce Lessor Name: Steinberg, Miriam List Agent: Zana Dupee List Firm: Ashby Hintze Associates Real Estate, Inc. Lease Agent: Zana Dupee Lease Firm: Ashby Hintze Associates Real Estate, Inc. 13600 HWY 441 Alachua, FL 32615 Type: Ofﬁce/Warehouse List Agent: David Ferro List Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Lease Agent: Dave Ferro Lease Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Buyer Name: KB Kakes, LLC 305 SW 250TH ST Newberry, FL 32669 Type: Other List Agent: Joy Glanzer List Firm: Prestwick Properties Lease Agent: Joy Glanzer Lease Firm: Prestwick Properties Buyer: Life Church Newberry, Inc. 7328 W University AVE Gainesville, FL 32607 Type: Ofﬁce List Agent: James Ropp List Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Lease Agent: James Ropp Lease Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Buyer: Dynamis Energy, LLC 3920 NE Waldo RD Gainesville, FL 32609 Type: Ofﬁce/Warehouse
Lessor: Hill, Michael List Agent: Perry Pursell List Firm: Coldwell Banker/ M.M. Parrish Lease Agent: Perry Pursell Lease Firm: Coldwell Banker/ M.M. Parrish Buyer: Florida Mechanical Systems, Inc. 4936 NW 39TH AVE Gainesville, FL 32606 Type: Retail List Agent: Michael Ryals List Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Lease Agent: Eric Ligman Lease Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Buyer: Express Book Rack, Inc.
(All content comes from city, county and state official records.)
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ALL COUNTY LAWN CARE P.O. BOX 454 Earleton
FUTUREFLASH! PROJECT 4811 NW 31 TERR Gainesville
MOODY, SALZMAN & LASH 500 E UNIVERSITY AVE Gainesville
DRINKWATER, DEVIN L. MOBILE ONLY
ANGEL GARDENS P.O. BOX 1106 Alachua
GAINESVILLE NETWORK SOLUTIONS 2519 NW 68TH TERR Gainesville
MOW ON THE GO OF GAINESVILLE 9230 NW 27TH PL Gainesville
GAINESVILLE PRIME PROPERTIES 729 NW 22ND ST Gainesville
OAK HOLLOW COTTAGE 5914 SE 230TH TERR HAWTHORNE
FORT, PAMELA T. MOBILE ONLY GENERIC INSURANCE AGENCIES OF NORTH CENTRAL FL, INC 420 NW 39TH AVE GILL, THOMAS MOBILE ONLY HERSHBERGER, EVE A. OAKVIEW ASSOCIATES, PA 1209 NW 12TH AVE
ARCHER FAMILY DENTISTRY 12240 SW SR 45 Archer APPLIED ECONOMICS GROUP P.O. BOX 141162 Gainesville ARMSTRONG’S NEW LIFE AUTO DETAILING 1040 SE 19TH ST Gainesville
GATOR GAUNTLET 5745 SE 75TH ST # 305 Gainesville GATOR SMOOTHIE 4714 SW 80TH TERR Gainesville
1405 NW 13TH ST Gainesville, FL 32605 Type: Ofﬁce Lessor: Old M.M. Building, LLC List Agent: Beery-Rainsberger Group List Firm: Coldwell Banker/ M.M. Parrish Lease Agent: Eric Ligman Lease Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Buyer: Central Florida Community Action Agency
HONG KONG DELI & MARKET 1236 NW 21ST AVE
BANISTER’S ENTERPRISES 208-A NE 7TH AVE Micanopy
HUSKY, MICHAEL W. MICHAEL HUSKY’S AUTO DETAILING & PRESSURE WASHING 6121 NW 28TH TERR
BAY ISLANDS COFFEE CO. 3270 SW 35TH BLVD Gainesville
HAILE GRANITE SHOP 5202 SW 91ST TERR Gainesville
LEONARD R. TRAINA INVENTORY SERVICE 527 NW 35TH ST
BEAREXTENDER 4210 NW 37TH PL Gainesville
HENE’S HEALTH CARE AGENCY 4440 SW ARCHER RD #2105 Gainesville
MOORE, BYRON Q. MOBILE ONLY
HOT PATS! DERBY SHORTS 1530 NE 19TH PL Gainesville
305 SW 140TH TERR Jonesville, FL 32669 Type: Ofﬁce List Agent: G.W. Blake Fletcher List Firm: Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC Lease Agent: (Out of Area) Lease Firm: (Out of Area) Buyer: Procative Tax & Accounting, Inc.
BLUE MOON P.O. BOX 2697 High Springs
NCF BUNK BEDS, INC 4506 NW 6TH ST
BROOKER FLORIDA TRAVEL 1830 NW 230TH PL Brooker
INCEPTION DESIGN AND CONSULTING P.O. BOX 2712 High Springs
CITY OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES
PERFECTION AUTO SALES 4141 NW 6TH ST
ANDERSON LAW OFFICE, PA 1031 NW 6TH ST
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA COMMERCIAL CLEARNERS 4405 SW 35TH TERR ONE STOP SHOP AUTO DETAILING 625 NW 12TH DR
SIMONS, ASHLEY 4113 NW 6TH ST
ATLANTIC COAST MEDICAL REHAB 620 SW 4TH AVE
SMOKEHOUSE GOURMET BARBEQUE, LLC 104 S MAIN ST
BBB&F OF GAINESVILLE, LLC 4055 NW 43RD ST
THOMPSON, CHRISTOPHER E. MOBILE ONLY
BEST BUY MOBILE #2948 C/O THOMSON REUTERS 6419 W NEWBERRY RD
TUPELO 4401 NW 25TH PL
BEVERLY DAWN BURKS 4509 NW 23RD AVE CLARK, JR., ARTHUR MACK 1605 NE 8TH AVE CONCEPT DELIVERY GROUP CORP. 4934 NW 1ST PL COX, DENNIS W. ATLANTIS PAINTING 4721 NW 27TH TERR
UR LEGACY, INC (DBA: SWAG HOUSE ENTERTAINMENT) 926 SW 2ND AVE WOODARD, HONOR G. 921 NW 12TH AVE
FICTITIOUS NAMES A LIL TASTE OF HEAVEN 1520 NE 5TH AVE Gainesville
BUCHANAN-LONG FAMILY REUNION 1256 SE 12TH AVE Gainesville CLAYPOOL LINES AND DESIGNS 8404 SW 54 LANE Gainesville DOSBANANOS 2114 NE 6TH TERR Gainesville DR. B-MAGIC 1636 SE 12TH AVE Gainesville ELITE AUTOMOTIVE CONSULTING, LLC 8304 NW 36TH AVE Gainesville FANTASY SPORT CUTS & STYLES 1207 SW 16TH AVE Gainesville FAST EDDIES 1509 SE HAWTHORNE RD Gainesville FIRST STOP MOBILE ACCESSORIES 3100 SW 35TH PL # 6-A Gainesville
The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
GREEN HARMONY Gainesville
ISENTIAL SKINCARE 4900 NW 41ST ST Gainesville JERRY’S BARBER AND BEAUTY SALON P.O. BOX 913 80 N MAIN ST High Springs JOSE OR GRAVELY LAWN SERVICE P.O. BOX 357712 Gainesville LIVING WATERS AQUAPONICS P.O. BOX 1106 Alachua MANNIE Q’S 15333 SE HAWTHORNE RD Hawthorne MARRIOTT TILE COMPANY 1123 NW 192ND AVE Gainesville MCINTOSH GROCERY 16602 NW 167TH DR Alachua MOM’S AND POP’S MUSIC SHOP P. O . BOX 833 Alachua
OVALEUSA 502 NW 16TH AVE Gainesville PACE CUSTOM JEWELERS & TIME WORKS 2505 NW 6TH ST Gainesville PAMPY’S COMPUTER – TRAVEL AND AATAX SERVICES 14107 NW 148TH PL Alachua PASSAGE FAMILY CHURCH P.O. BOX 5698 Gainesville PICKETT WEAPONRY SERVICE P.O. BOX 1518 Newberry ROYALTIES SALON 4104 NW 13TH ST Gainesville SAVE ON LAWNS 835 NW 109 DR Gainesville SERVICE MASTER MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS OF GAINESVILLE 8240 SW 52ND COURT Ocala SMALL WORLD DAYCARE & LEARNING CENTER 1214 NW 4TH ST Gainesville SUBWAY #20299 2308 SE HAWTHORNE RD Gainesville SUNRISE AUTO SALES P.O. BOX 12666 Gainesville THE CRAFTY GATOR 348 TURKEY CREEK Alachua TRUSTED ARMS P.O. BOX 2643 High Springs WATER DISCIPLES 4003 NW 16TH PL Gainesville WOOD CREEK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION 2440 NW 38TH DR Gainesville
( Monthly Meeting Calendar )
CALENDAR MARCH 22, THURSDAY GAINESVILE AREA INNOVATION NETWORK Start That Business! Workshop Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development, 1pm GAINESVILE AREA INNOVATION NETWORK Startup Stringer Spring Mixer Embers Restaurant, 5pm BUILDERS ASSOCATION OF NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Horseshoe Mixer – Sponsor 11904 NW 234th St., 5:30pm
MARCH 23, FRIDAY GAINESVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Pancakes and Public Policy Gator’s Dockside, 7:30am
MARCH 26, MONDAY BUILDERS ASSOCATION OF NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Government Affairs Committee Meeting 2217 NW 66th Court, 10:15am ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting Books-A-Million, 7pm
MARCH 27, TUESDAY GAINESVILE AREA INNOVATION NETWORK A Celebration of Innovation: Showcase 2012 UF Hilton, 12:30pm GAINESVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Connect Me City College, 4pm BOB GRAHAM STUDENT CENTER CNN’s Katherine Green 6pm
FOOD REVIEWS MENUS VIDEOS SPECIAL EVENTS SEARCHABLE DATABASE
ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting Coffee Culture, 6pm
MARCH 28, WEDNESDAY BUILDERS ASSOCATION OF NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Commercial Builders Council – March 2012 Napolatano’s, 11:45am ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting 2-Bits Lounge, 6pm
MARCH 29, THURSDAY NONPROFIT CENTER FOR NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Branding and Communications Workshop Nonproﬁt Center, 11:45am ADVERTISING FEDERATION OF GAINESVILLE Speaker Tommy Hobin Sweetwater Branch Inn, 12pm
APRIL 3, TUESDAY BOB GRAHAM STUDENT CENTER Bob Graham and Nat Reed – Florida Conservation Coalition 6pm ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Meeting LifeSouth Community Blood Center, 6pm
APRIL 5, THURSDAY NONPROFIT CENTER FOR NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Nonproﬁt Startup 101 Workshop Nonproﬁt Center, 9am
APRIL 6, FRIDAY
APRIL 17, TUESDAY
ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting Maude’s, 6pm
EMERGING LEADERS Board of Directors Meeting LifeSouth Community Blood Center, 6pm
APRIL 9, MONDAY ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting UF Hilton, 6pm UNITED WAY YOUNG LEADERS SOCIETY CEO Chats 6031 NW 1st Pl., 5:30pm
APRIL 10, TUESDAY GAINESVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Entrepreneur Series – Intergenerational Differences Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development, 10am INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ADMINSTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS Chapter Meeting Ayer’s Building, 5:30pm
APRIL 11, WEDNESDAY GAINESVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Ribbon Cutting Gainesville Fashion Week Villa East, 5:30pm ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting Volta Coffee, 6pm
APRIL 12, THURSDAY ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Happy Hour 2-Bits Lounge, 6pm
APRIL 19, THURSDAY GAINESVILE AREA INNOVATION NETWORK GAIN FastPitch Downtown Gainesville Hampton Inn, 5pm GAINESVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Chamber After Hours Gainesville Regional Airport, 5:30pm
APRIL 24, TUESDAY ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting Coffee Culture, 6pm, 7pm
APRIL 25, WEDNESDAY NONPROFIT CENTER FOR NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Creating a Healthy Home Environment Workshop Nonproﬁt Center, 11am ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Committee Meeting 2-Bits Lounge, 6pm
APRIL 26, THURSDAY GAINESVILE AREA INNOVATION NETWORK Free Business Startup Workshops Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development, 1pm
APRIL 30, MONDAY NONPROFIT CENTER FOR NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Grant Writing Workshop Nonproﬁt Center, 9am ALACHUA COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS Community Relations Committee Meeting Books-A-Million, 7pm
REGULAR MEETINGS SUNRISE ROTARY UF Hilton Conference Center Every Thursday, 7am BREAKFAST CLUB OF GAINESVILLE UF Hilton Conference Center Every other Friday, 7am ROTARY CLUB OF GAINESVILLE Paramount Resort and Conference Center Every Tuesday, noon GREATER GAINESVILLE ROTARY CLUB Napolatano’s Every Monday, noon ROTARY CLUB OF DOWNTOWN GAINESVILLE Villa East Every Wednesday, noon KIWANIS CLUB OF GAINESVILLE Paramount Plaza Hotel and Suites Every Wednesday, noon GAINESVILLE AREA WOMEN’S NETWORK Sweetwater Branch Inn Third Wednesday of every month, 11:30am PHOENIX AUCTION SERVICES 1832 SE 3rd Ave., Trenton, Thursday, 6:30pm
Hungry? Visit Gainesville’s Most Complete Dining Guide Detailed Listings for Over 400 Local Restaurants
( Business Basics )
How to hire a T
hose who describe themselves as “bookkeepers” fall between two extremes—from secretaries with dataentry skills to professionals with degrees and years of experience. There is no regulatory body that oversees the bookkeeping profession, so anyone can say they are a bookkeeper. When hiring a bookkeeper, it’s important to know what skill level your company needs and then be able to determine if applicants possess those skills.
Before hiring a bookkeeper, determine which of the following you need: s¬ Data-entry clerk s¬ Clerical bookkeeper s¬ Full-charge bookkeeper s¬ Accountant D A T A - E N T R Y C L E R K S enter the data into the accounting system, but they generally do not understand how the data affects the company’s ﬁnancial statements. Data entry clerks specialize in speed and accuracy. B O O K K E E P E R S perform some or all of the eight steps of the accounting cycle. A full-charge bookkeeper knows how to perform all the steps, and a clerical bookkeeper usually specializes in one or more steps and can also specialize in one area of operations, such as accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR) or payroll. A C C O U N T A N T S set up the bookkeeping system, then monitor it and interpret the results. The accountant knows how to design a system that beneﬁts the business but also captures clear and accurate information in a way that is not burdensome to the bookkeeper. Before meeting with job applicants, ﬁrst talk to them on the
by Stephanie G. Travis
telephone to get a read on personality and communication style. During the telephone interview, discuss a few qualiﬁcations (listed below) to see if you want to move forward. You can also ask your CPA to help with the interview process.
An AP or AR clerical bookkeeper should:
• Be able to reconcile a vendor or customer statements with your accounting system’s records of the same and identify transactions that explain the differences. • Be able to discuss and explain the differences with your vendors or customers. • Be proﬁcient in Excel and your accounting software as it pertains to AP or AR.
A payroll bookkeeper should:
• Know the social security, Medicare and FUTA tax rates for employees and employers. • Know the earnings cut off for FUTA and SUTA • Know the names of the federal and state payroll tax r.eturns that need to be ﬁled and when they are due. • Know when federal and state payroll taxes are due and by what payment method (check or electronic) is required. • Know what an I-9 and W-4 is. • Know the ﬁve types of withholding/taxes that make up a “941” payroll tax payment or “deposit.”
A full-charge bookkeeper should:
• Know the difference between a balance sheet and a Proﬁt & Loss Statement. • Know what a Chart of Accounts (COA) is. • Know which accounts in the COA belong on the balance sheet and which accounts belong on the Proﬁt & Loss Statement. • Know the difference between the three income and expense recognition methods (cash, accrual and hybrid).
The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
• Know the balance sheet equation (Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity). • Know if accounts in the COA are debited or credited upon an increase or decrease. • Know the rules of when and to whom your company should issue 1099s. • Be proﬁcient in Excel and your company’s accounting software.
An accountant should:
• Have a degree or several years of experience. • Know everything that bookkeepers should know. • Be able to talk knowledgeably about the accounting cycle and ﬁnancial statements. • Have analytical skills and know what analyses are useful for your industry. • Be proﬁcient in Excel and in the accounting software your business uses.
As with any job applicant, check references and perform a background check. Rarely does an applicant possess all the qualities you seek, and you have to determine the best ﬁt as you consider salary requirements, personality and qualiﬁcations. If your employee choice is lacking some of the above knowledge, then use the list to help the employee to grow into the position with additional training. 5#3
Stephanie G. Travis is the owner of One Source Accounting, LLC, which provides outsourced bookkeeping, consulting and managerial accounting services. She holds a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Florida and is a 37-year resident of Gainesville.
( Made in Gainesville )
HIGHWAYS BEGAN INFO TECH’S
ROAD TO SUCCESS Two professors who became pioneers in computerized fraud detection now run a diverse, family-focused business.
by Kevin Allen
alk with the men who built one of Gainesville’s most successful businesses, and three words are likely to come up: focus, culture and customer.
Info Tech’s emphasis on those three areas has kept it as one of the leaders in its ﬁeld for more than 30 years. “We’ve worked with so many attorneys general and private attorneys over the years that we’ve got a reputation now,” says founder and chief executive Jim McClave. The company provides a range of products and services, many of which aid in road and bridge construction projects. Info Tech provides construction management software and applications to both private ﬁrms and to 43 state transportation departments, as well as to a national association of state DOT ofﬁcials. It also provides statistical analyses and expert testimony in areas such as fraud and bid-rigging. Info Tech has helped recover more than $1 billion in fraud cases, they estimate.
FROM BID-RIGGING TO BIZ OF THE YEAR
Info Tech has a reputation among business leaders. Florida Trend magazine named it one of the state’s best companies to work for in 2009 and 2010, and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce named it Business of the Year in 2009—not bad for a business that started off in a room off McClave’s garage in 1977. McClave, then an associate professor of statistics at the University of Florida, set up Info Tech as a part-time consulting effort. In 1981, the Florida attorney general’s ofﬁce hired him to examine the extent of bid-rigging (a form of illegal price-
McClave and Rothrock in 1997. During this period, Info Tech established an Atlanta office and had more than 100 employees.
ﬁxing) in state highway contracts. There he teamed up with Thomas Rothrock, who taught economics and computer programming at the University of WisconsinWhitewater and who had written his dissertation on how to analyze data for evidence of bid-rigging. The two developed a computerized method for determining whether there was conspiracy in sealed bids, and helped the state win about $29 million in damages. That got the attention of other states. Info Tech’s beginnings in the Soon after launching in Jim McClave’s home, Info Tech moved into their first office in highway construction area created a Northwest Gainesville, shown here. They moved into their current location in the Florida Farm Bureau building in 1984. focus that allowed the company to carve out a niche for itself, where it That does not mean the company is not willing to still dominates. change with the times. It adapted its bid processing “The fact that every state has the same problem software to a web-based application, and is currently really led us to believe that there was a real market working on a smartphone app to allow managers to here—that we could serve with the techniques that input data from construction sites. And it is branching we had developed and proven success we had had,” now into information technology security. says Rothrock, who shortly afterward accepted At least as important as the strategic focus is the McClave’s invitation to join Info Tech, and is now its emphasis on customer satisfaction. “The way we’ve senior vice president. The two men steered the ﬁrm into its “Our philosophy has always been: Don’t focus on just the revenue two main specialties. Rothrock oversaw and income. They’re important, but they’re really just derivative the development of the computer software and applications that states from treating the customers and employees like family.” and companies use to manage highway —Jim McClave, founder and CEO construction, and McClave led the expert witness and consulting side, which was called in to such cases as the Roger Maris family’s always said we measure success is, ‘How happy are dispute with Anheuser-Busch in the 1990s. our customers?’” McClave stresses. “I think we were at the forefront Despite what Rothrock calls a very unique of computerized methods to analyze situation in which there’s very little competition for statistical and economic data, and draw the type of application they have, the company has conclusions from it,” Rothrock says. faced some challenges from competitors, even losing one contract—only to gain it back a few years later. BALANCING EXPANSION WITH “The lesson learned for us is to serve your SPECIALIZATION customers well, and they will continue to utilize your Keeping a focus on Info Tech’s core services,” Rothrock says. specialties has been a crucial reason The company’s services, or at least the company, for its success, McClave says. “We are also in demand by other ﬁrms. McClave said took some baby steps in directions that a week rarely goes by without some business or weren’t in our main core early on, and venture fund, drawn by Info Tech’s success, inquiring we got burned a little bit.” He says that about a merger or takeover. But McClave gives such maintaining their focus has helped the inquiries little attention. company get through the recession, even “My fear, and Tom’s fear, has always been, as it redeveloped one of its core products. well, could we sustain the culture?” he says. “I’d
(continued on next page)
( Made in Gainesville )
rather have the core values we have now and the odds. As statisticians, McClave and Rothrock the employee atmosphere, and be this size and say they were aware of the odds against a small successful, than acquired by someone or merged startup lasting over the long haul. But they were with someone who didnâ€™t have the same culture.â€? determined to create a culture that would let McClave describes that culture as a â€œfamily cultureâ€? and credits it for much â€œThe lesson learned for us is to serve your customers of the companyâ€™s success. While many well, and they will continue to utilize your services.â€? companies say something similar, Info â€”Thomas Rothrock, senior vice president Tech has worked to instill it, through formal mechanisms like proďŹ t sharing and quarterly ďŹ nancial reports to its 238 employees, them build â€œa company that would outlast us,â€? as and less formal approaches like regular lunches Rothrock puts it. with new hires and holiday parties for employeesâ€™ â€œOur philosophy has always been, donâ€™t focus children (some, like the Halloween party, featuring on just the revenue and income,â€? McClave McClave and other staff and managers in costume). says. â€œTheyâ€™re important, but theyâ€™re really That culture and what McClave calls an just derivative from treating the customers and employees like family.â€? 5#3 â€œentrepreneurial spiritâ€? were his answer to beating
In the 1980s, when this brochure was used, Info Tech was involved in a landmark case about pricefixing in school milk and assisted in the recovery of $33 million in state tax dollars.
Why Pay Retail? Your Dollars Go Further at Auction!
BY THE NUMBERS
From 1992 to 1996, during which time this was the corporate brochure, the company boasted 50 employees, and email came to Info Tech.
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The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
City Vying to Attract IT Company A software development company with no history in Gainesville is considering locating to Innovation Square, potentially creating 400 jobs, with an average salary of $80,000. The interest of MindTree Ltd. in Gainesville illustrates the potential of Innovation Square as an economic magnet, says Edgar Campa-Palafox, the Alachua County economic development coordinator. Gainesville is in a good position to compete with locations in Alabama and South Carolina that MindTree is also considering, Campa-Palafox says. “We have a lot to offer.” MindTree, which has ofﬁces in New Jersey and India, is seeking $1.2 million in state and local incentives, which would come in the form of tax refunds through the state’s Qualiﬁed Target Industry program. The state would provide 80 percent, and the City of Gainesville and Alachua County would provide 10 percent each, CampaPalafox says. The company would be eligible for additional incentives because it would be locating in Gainesville’s enterprise zone. The company plans to invest nearly $3 million in setting up its location, Campa-Palafox says. MindTree would locate in the Ayers Medical Plaza at 720 SW Second Ave., which is being converted into a home for innovative companies. MindTree received the Best Corporate, India Award from World Finance magazine in February, and it was ranked third in the best overall corporate governance category by Asiamoney magazine.
( In the News )
NEWS BRIEFS per day on weekends. The ﬂeet consists of 21 Beechcraft 1900D aircrafts with a 19-person seating capacity with plans to bring in 12 Saab 340Bplus aircrafts with seating for 34 by September. The launch of new services will coincide with the opening of Silver Airways’ new state-of-the-art maintenance facility in Gainesville. The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce will host a Chamber After Hours event on April 19 from 5:30 to 7pm at the GNV commercial terminal to introduce Silver Airways to the business community.
Silver Airways Announces Service to Orlando, Tampa
Silver Airways Corp., a US airline owned by Victory National Park Capital and headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, will begin business out of the Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) this month and has announced 11 job openings, including station manager, supervisor and customer service agent. The company planned 20 more openings that involve technical, operations and administrative positions, as of press time. “The decision to staff our new Gainesville station with our own salaried personnel, versus outsourcing the jobs to a third party ground handler, is a reﬂection of our commitment to the communities we serve and our goal to deliver the highest quality service to our customers,” said Darrell Richardson, CEO of Silver Airways, in a press release. Beginning April 15, Silver Airways will expand its Florida route network by connecting Gainesville Regional Airport to Tampa (TPA) and Orlando (MCO) with daily ﬂights to and from both cities. The Gainesville-Orlando service will operate daily in either direction, and the Gainesville-Tampa service will have two ﬂights per day on weekdays and one ﬂight
the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneﬁcial to all concerned? “Rotary has a four-way test, but we’ve simpliﬁed it to a two-way test in our business,” says Pastore of Crime Prevention Security Systems. “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you and remember the customer is always the boss.” Rotarian Marilyn Tubb, associate vice president for college relations at Santa Fe College, coordinated the awards program, and students from the Poe Center for Business at the University of Florida assisted with the research.
Recipients of Ethics in Business Award Announced “Law in the Library” Series Jon Thomas, president and CEO of Concludes on April 30 Forest Meadows Funeral Home and Cemeteries, and local business Crime Prevention Security Systems, owned by husband and wife John Pastore and Randi Elrad, were the recipients of the Rotary Club of Gainesville’s 2012 Ethics in Business Award. The award ceremony took place on March 13 before more than 250 Rotarians at the Paramount Plaza Hotel. The criteria used to determine the recipients of the award are known as the Rotary Four-Way Test. The test asks: Is it
The Alachua County Library District concludes its three-part “Law in the Library” speaker series on April 30. The series was the result of a partnership with the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association to provide free presentations to inform the public about legal issues and services. The ﬁnal presentation will cover the topic of landlord/tenant and public housing issues. The presentation begins at 6pm in the Foundation Room at the Alachua County Library Headquarters. 5#3
UF BUILDINGS NOMINATED BEST IN STATE MARCH
L T R A C E N
T H N O R
R I D A F L O
scue ny Helps Re New Compa Financial Pinch m fills one Airport fro to Gainesville
The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects has nominated the Baughman Center and the University Auditorium as two of Florida’s “Top 100 Buildings.” A statewide survey on the AIA Florida website to choose the No. 1 building began on March 5. The Baughman Center, which is on Museum Road by Lake Alice, is often the host of weddings and memorials services. It was designed by John Zona to look like small cathedral. The University Auditorium, which is adjacent to Century Tower in the heart of the UF campus, is used for a variety of concerts, club events, meetings and special guest lecturers. The auditorium was completed in 1924 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Both buildings have the opportunity to be named the No. 1 building in the state. To participate in the survey, visit aiaﬂatop100.com. Results will be announced this month.
ays le—void. of Silver Airw The arrival unsustainab air taxis. Eclipse’s by ensive—and designed to be used asago, precipitated years formerly exp strapped with departure three the airport
ich left e has its bankruptcy, nts on the building—wh By Chris Eversol cloud that lining to a t the mortgage payme than $1 million. here’s a silver Regional Airpor more Gainesville have totaled will cover most of the hung over as contribute Now, Silver years. nts as well to move its like past three s’ decision mortgage paymeﬁnances in other ways, bringing Silver Airway ’s Gainesville, facility to to the airport ﬂights to United y transfers— maintenance connecting many of them ny held at local econom providing to the ing ceremo infusing the up to 100 jobs— ll of income due ses from local plans at a welcom shortfa Airlines, and purcha n. the s and company’s Aviatio remove dollars discusses the with salary stay of Eclipse leasing the Richardson short-lived a. will begin CEO Darrell calls landing nance businesses. ance center. and West Virgini Silver Airways Allan Penksa not many its mainten In April, Silver $11.2 million mainte Pennsylvania to have its corporate it will use for Airport CEO that -foot, County New York, the building ng,” noting 61,000-square Gainesville-Alachua continues at an sor of , ncy debt the Silver a “blessi a massive building Silver, which is the succes went for emerge built for Eclipse building that need the Lauderdale, facility fees” d under t Authority s, which businesses ight jets on one hand ofﬁce in Fort “passenger “This is allowe anywhere tional Airline oRegional Airporof innovative lightwe could count eam Interna Penska says. airport. “I done in 2010. Chicag cts we had.” relief, Gulfstr been ptcy has prospe to a manufacturer hot it never r 11 bankru reluctant of the vacant bought number of the law, but into Chapte airlines are 00 yearly cost Capital Group than Penksa says. “The The $485,0 the airport’s budget. less Victory Park nism.” before,” he based paying mecha 2010, this to in late Sentinel building drained some fees and tapped he open the door Gulfstream Florida Sun still, , the South cut costs, raised the shortfall. But on page 9) $30 million cover (continued S SOLID sustainable.” reserves to reported. SILVER SEEMs more than 100 daily trips situation wasn’tand economic as, Ohio, says, “Our arrived Silver operate Florida, the Baham would hadn’t airport Silver If s in ed, the l from 29 airport had worsen conditions that the Federa use of to request ze the have needed istration authori Aviation Admin
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DOLLAR STORES DOING BIG BUSINESS Chains are adding local stores as part of a national expansion based upon bargain-hunter appeal—and improving their look and merchandise in the process. by Chris Eversole
istory is repeating itself, with a mixture of the general store and the “ﬁve-and-dime stores” of the past resurging—albeit with some new twists. Dollar stores, carrying a wide variety of discounted items from food to clothing, are becoming the new “general stores” in Alachua County, reﬂecting part of a national trend toward convenient neighborhood shopping. Dollar General is up to 12 stores in the county, including ones in Gainesville, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Waldo and the Jonesville area. In addition, the Dollar General distribution center in Alachua is a major source of employment. Family Dollar has nine stores, including ones in Gainesville, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs and Newberry. While Dollar Tree, which has three stores in Gainesville, falls into the dollar-store category, it has a much more limited group of merchandise than Dollar General and Family Dollar. Although their prices are low, their impact is great. Building the new stores added construction jobs, and the stores provide employment, says Seth Lane, an agent with Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group and a member of the Gainesville Development Review Committee. “The dollar stores have been the only new commercial buildings we’ve considered in the past two years,” he says.
DOLLAR STORE ECONOMY
Nationally, Dollar General has 9,900 locations and is adding more than 600 this year, says Tawn Earnest, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee-based company. North
Carolina-based Family Dollar totals 7,100 stores, and it’s adding 450 to 500 this year, says spokesman Josh Braverman. If this isn’t indication enough, an August article in The New York Times Magazine stated, “We are awakening to a dollar-store economy.” Although 42 percent of the stores’ customer base earns less than $30,000 a year, 22 percent of Dollar General’s customers earn $70,000 or more, according to Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, in a February article in The Atlantic. “Long popular among the poor, the Great Recession has been a boon to dollar stores, bringing in a whole new wave of customers,” Florida writes. Whether this is true for Gainesville is less clear.
CONVENIENCE IS KING
Beyond savings, convenience is driving customers to Dollar General, Earnest says. “People want to be able to get in and out quickly. We’re ‘America’s general store,’ where you can do no-fuss shopping for life’s basic necessities.” In addition to increasing their locations, both Dollar General and Family Dollar are broadening their appeal. Dollar General has been upgrading the look and convenience of its stores since 2008, Earnest says. “We’ve improved our signage and placed items that are akin to each other closer together. The shampoo
is near the hair brushes.” Dollar General also has improved the quality of its privatelabel products to be close to the quality of name brands, Earnest says. Family Dollar is in the midst of a makeover that has evolved during the past ﬁve years, Braverman says. “We didn’t just improve our physical plant. We also improved our culture of customer service. “It starts with saying ‘Welcome to Family Dollar. Can I help you with anything?’ It ends with saying ‘thank you’ at the register,” he says. Customer Ed Ruben noticed the difference when he and his wife and son shopped at the Family Dollar at 5007 NW 34th St. in Gainesville recently. “I was impressed by how many name brands there were,” Ruben says. “Things were very reasonable. It’s worth it to us just to get the savings on detergent.” Family Dollar slowed its expansion from 2007 through 2010 so it could invest internally, Braverman says. It switched out its computer system with the goals of speeding
“The dollar stores have been the only new commercial buildings we’ve considered in the past two years.” —Seth Lane, commercial realtor and Gainesville Development Review Committee member
The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
(Trends) Chris Eversole
restocking of stores, providing greater training of employees and freeing up managers to spend more time on the ﬂoor.
HIGH QUALITY, LOW PRICE
As part of its strategy of attracting more afﬂuent customers, Family Dollar beefed up its selection of name brands. “You can get your Tide and your Oreos at a good price while having high-quality private labels available,” Braverman says. Family Dollar has also improved its selection of merchandise. The company has increased its food offerings and added beverage coolers. “We’ve improved our seasonal offering, so you can get your Easter candy, your Valentine’s Day gifts and toys for your kids.” In visits to local dollar stores, the stores were well maintained, about one-fourth of the merchandise was food and name brands far outnumbered private labels. Seasonal items Ed Ruben and his son, Josey, were pleasantly surprised when they shopped included gardening tools and charcoal. at the Family Dollar on Northwest 34th Street after not having been in a dollar Sandy Patrick, who was shopping at the Dollar General at 2112 SW 13th St. recently, store for years. says she routinely shops at that store, which is close to where she works. “It’s convenient, Diane (last name withheld by request), who was shopping at and the prices are great,” says Patrick, who had purchased four the Dollar General at 4133 SW 34th St., came to buy 1.25 liter greeting cards and some silk ﬂowers. bottles of Coke for $1. “I like buying greeting cards for two for $1, and the help is good,” she says. The New York Times Magazine article quotes James Russo, a vice president with the Nielsen Company, a consumer survey ﬁrm: “Savings is fashionable again. A gallon of Clorox bleach, say, is $1.44 at a drugstore or $1.24 at a grocery store, and you pay a buck for it at the Dollar General. When the neighbors come over, they can’t tell where you bought it, and you save anywhere from 20 to 40 cents.” 5#3
“I was impressed by how many name brands there were. It’s worth it to us just to get the savings on detergent.” —Ed Ruben, customer
WHAT MAKES DOLLAR STORES
he concept of general merchandise stores with bargain prices goes back to the late 19th Century. Among the first of “five-and-dime store” chains was the founding of F.W. Woolworths, founded in 1979, according to the book Remembering Woolworths by Karen PlunkettPowell. Originally, everything in these types of stores cost five or 10 cents. Woolworths and similar chains eventually failed. They have been replaced by today’s dollar stores. While other chains exist elsewhere, the dollar store chains in Florida are Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. Dollar General and Family Dollar carry a broad range of merchandise, with a growing number of brand names, while Dollar Tree has a more limited selection, mostly priced at $1. Dollar stores keep prices low in the following ways, according to Creditloan.com: s¬ Negotiating discounted bulk deals with manufacturers. s¬ Paying low salaries.
s¬ Cross-training workers to do all the tasks in the stores.
( Building Business )
HOW TO HIRE A BUSINESS COACH
by John Spence
dmitting that they might need a little help—or coaching—is one of the smartest decisions a businessperson can make. However, for the investment of time and money to be worthwhile, taking the time to choose a coach who can deliver the assistance and support you require is critical. The first decision you’ll need to make is: Am I looking for a “life coach” to improve me as a person and assist me with my personal challenges? Or, am I looking for a “business coach” to focus on my skills as a leader and help me in running a highly profitable and successful business? Regardless of which you decide, there are five things to look for when hiring a coach.
WHAT IS THEIR COACHING STYLE? Are they going to assign you lots of reading? Or will they ask you to keep a detailed journal? Will they simply sit and chat with you and try to help you in that way? Or are they only going to give you a weekly one-hour phone consultation? When I coach executives, I let them know there will be a lot of reading involved. Having me as a coach is like signing up for an intensive MBA program—I am going to make you do a ton of studying. So make sure your coach’s style blends well with the way you like to work and the level of involvement you want from your coach.
some charge only if you achieve the agreed upon goals you set together at the beginning of the relationship. One of the top business coaches in the world is my good friend Marshall Goldsmith, who charges upwards of $100,000 for a coaching assignment (he only coaches very top-level corporate executives)—but has an agreement that he gets paid nothing unless the client feels that they accomplished 100 percent of their agreed-upon goals together. Coaches can be very expensive, but they can also help you achieve major life and business goals, so take the time to understand what you will spend to get where you want to go.
DO THEY HAVE ABUNDANT EXPERIENCE IN THE AREA IN WHICH I AM SEEKING HELP? Why in the world would you
ABSOLUTELY DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE. Contact several people who have been coached by this person. Ask them very direct and clear questions. Did they achieve the goals they wanted to with this coach? Do they feel this coach will be able to successfully help with challenges (which are…)? What did they not like in their experience working with this coach? Would they enthusiastically recommend this coach to their friends and business colleagues? If you do not get wildly positive responses to these sorts of questions, keep looking for the right coach for you.
If you can ﬁnd a good coach (with lots of relevant experience who has a coaching style you ﬁnd appealing and charges a reasonable fee), it can be a very positive and rewarding investment. A bad coach simply takes your money and leaves you off exactly where you were when you started— or worse. Choose wisely! 5#3
hire a life coach who is in debt and on their third divorce or a business coach who has never run a highly successful business? Make sure they have walked their talk and walked it very successfully. (And if you ever have a coach tell you they do not need to have experience in what you want help in—run away quickly).
DO I LIKE THEM AS A PERSON? If you do not enjoy their
company, there is little chance you will have a successful coaching relationship. I always ask myself this simple question: Would I want to invite this person over to my house for a BBQ? If not, it is a no-go.
ASK AND CLEARLY UNDERSTAND ALL ELEMENTS OF THE COACH’S PRICING SCHEDULE. Some coaches charge by the hour, some by the month, some for six months, and
John Spence is the author of Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action. He is an award-wining professional speaker and corporate trainer, and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America and also as one of the most admired Small Business Experts in the nation.
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Mike Ryals has been involved in commercial real estate in Gainesville for over 25 years. He has vast experience and expertise within Gainesville, Alachua and the surrounding areas. Whether you are looking to sell, buy, or lease commercial real estate in or around the Gainesville area, Mike can help you. He has handled hundreds of millions in transactions over the last decade and worked with many national and local ﬁrms. So whether you are looking to invest, sell or lease, give Mike a call.
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School Solar Project
In this era of shrinking school budgets, the Alachua County Public School Solar project will generate $2.5 million in revenue for our local public schools over the next 20 years, support renewable energy education, create over $1 million in work for local contractors, and pay annual double-digit rates of return to investors.
$2.5 million in revenue to Alachua County Public Schools
The School District of Alachua County will receive $125,000 annually for 20 years in guaranteed roof lease payments. This is $2.5 million dollars that the school district will earn for using roof space that otherwise would sit idle.
Renewable Energy Education
The Florida Solar Energy Center has developed a K-12 renewable energy curriculum and part of the $2.5 million that is being generated by this solar project will enable the curriculum to be made available throughout our local school district. Solar Impact is donating a computer and large display that links to the web-based solar monitoring system so that students and visitors can see their solar system’s production.
Over $1 million in local employment
The Alachua County Public School Solar Project has created over $1 million in much needed work for local electricians, roofers, and general construction workers.
High yield and safe investment for local investors
Phase 1 investors carefully reviewed the financials of the projects and chose to invest because an investment in the school solar project allowed them to meet their financial goals while helping the schools and the community.
Solar Impact thanks School District staff, School Board, City of Gainesville, GRU, and UF Environmental Health & Safety
Solar Impact would like to thank the many people who worked together to make this innovative project a reality. The Alachua County School District staff and the School Board members carefully evaluated this solar project to make sure that it promoted education and protected the interests of the schools. The City of Gainesville and GRU have been internationally recognized for creating the nation’s first solar feed-in tariff program. All parties worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.
Solar Impact thanks Phase 1 Investors
This project couldn’t have happened without the Phase 1 investors. Solar electric is an investment vehicle that is relatively new in Florida, but has been in existence in other states and countries for many years. The following list of investors includes some well-known Gainesville residents. These investors appreciated their ability to help the local community while also receiving a double-digit annual return on their investment for 20 years.
Ken & Linda McGurn • Dr. Celia Martin Dr. Sam Martin • Steve & Laura Shey Dr. Malcolm Sanford • Marty Tod
Learn more about how you can receive double-digit returns on this safe and secure investment opportunity. Projects will be available for next 30 days or until all projects are purchased, whichever comes first.
The North Central FlorIDa Business Report
Published on Mar 21, 2012
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