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BUSINESS JOURNAL A Byrd Newspapers Publication

Shenandoah Valley

Volume 13, No. 2, December 2012



TOP 10

Part II >>>







Monday, December 31, 2012

BUSINESS JOURNAL Shenandoah Valley

The Shenandoah Valley Business Journal is a monthly publication of Rockingham Publishing Company, Inc., 231 S. Liberty St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

Inside This Issue Focus Section: 10 Under 40, Part II ■ Kate Magri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 5 ■ Greg Bray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 5 ■ Clare Eakin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 6

Editorial Staff Editor and General Manager: Peter S. Yates Managing Editor: Kate Kersey Staff writer: Jordan Pye Contributing photographers: Nikki Fox Aimee George

■ David Engel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 7 ■ Stephen Lohr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 8

Columns ■ News To Me by Philip B. DuBose . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3

Credit Union Scholarship Application Deadline March WAYNESBORO — For the 18th year, DuPont Community Credit Union will award $1,000 scholarships to 20 high school seniors and one adult at DCCU’s annual meeting in late April. A total of $21,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the meeting. The deadline for applications is March 4. High school seniors attending public high schools in DCCU’s service area, including the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Highland, Bath and Shenandoah and the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Lexington and

Contact us By mail: Shenandoah Valley Business Journal P.O. Box 193 Harrisonburg, VA 22803 By email: By fax: 433-9112 By phone: 574-6267 (news) 574-6229 (ads)

■ Leadership by Jeff Haden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 ■ Planning by Chuck Boles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 ■ Marketing by Richard Halterman III . . . . . . . . . . Page 9 ■ Real Estate by Scott Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10 ■ Investments by Gannon Irons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10

Cadence Inc. Named To Top 10 List Cadence Inc. announced in early December that it was named one of the top 10 manufacturers in the United States by Inc. Hire Power Awards, publisher of Inc. Magazine and Inc. 500 | 5000. The Hire Power Awards rank for-profit and non-profit companies by how many new jobs they have added in the three years prior. Cadence, Inc. was one of two healthcare manufacturers to make the top 10 list, recognized as the No. 1 manufacturer in Virginia and No. 5 manufacturer in the U.S. In the past three years, Cadence has added 79 employees, for a total of 279 employees. Cadence currently has an additional 56 positions, bringing the total for December to 335 employees. Winners were recognized during a ceremony Dec. 6 at the Mead Center in Washington, D.C.

Harrisonburg, Va.

Buena Vista are eligible for 20 scholarships. Students in local private schools and homeschooled students are also eligible. For the first time this year, an adult student completing continuing education course work will also be eligible for one scholarship. Applicants are required to complete an online course, entitled “How to pay for school,” and type a 300- to 500-word essay, “How do you plan to pay for your college education?” The applicants are required to complete the assignment on their own. Both parts may be found online at If the applicant does not have Internet access, he may visit a DCCU office location in

Waynesboro, Staunton, Stuarts Draft, Verona, Harrisonburg or Woodstock to complete the requirements. For questions or further information, contact Sarah Landram, financial educator, at or (540) 946-3200, ext. 3149.

Downtown Arts Center Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Larkin Arts held its official ribbon cutting ceremony Dec. 11 in downtown Harrisonburg. Husband and wife team Valerie Smith and Scott Whitten opened the arts center in August of this year, to a positive response from the Harrisonburg community. Located on Court Square, Larkin Arts is a full-scale art See SCENE, Page 8

On The Cover: Congratulations to the second five winners of the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal’s 10 Under 40 contest for 2012.

Harrisonburg, Va.

Burris Named CFO Mike Burris has been named vice president and chief financial officer for the Sentara Blue Ridge Region, which is currently comprised of RMH Healthcare in Harrisonburg and Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. Burris has served as interim CFO for RMH since May 1. He has served as CFO Burris of Martha Jefferson Hospital since June 1986. Both RMH and Martha Jefferson Hospital are members of the 10-hospital, not-for-profit Sentara Health System. The two hospitals have been working more closely since they are in the same region, noted RMH President Jim Krauss. Before joining MJH, Burris served as the vice president of finance and CFO at Radford Community Hospital, now the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, in Radford, Va. He began his career in public accounting. Burris holds a bachelor’s of science in business, with a major in accounting from Virginia Tech. He is a certified public accountant and a certified Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Burris and his wife, Diane, have three children and live in Charlottesville.

Connor Appointed To VBA Board STAUNTON — The Virginia Biotechnology Association recently announced that Alan Connor, President of Cadence Inc., will serve on its governing board of directors. The membership of VBA elected seven new members to the statewide trade association’s governing board of directors during its annual meeting in Richmond the week of Dec. 10. The VBA board is comprised of 24 industry leaders from all regions of the Connor Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as an advisory board and an academic council. For more information visit

Hughes Promoted To Assistant Vice President HARRISONBURG — BB&T promoted Sue Hughes to assistant vice president. Hughes, who joined the bank in 2009, is a mortgage loan officer in the mortgage department. She is based at 250 Neff Ave.

McClung Recognizes Employee Of The Quarter WAYNESBORO — Danny Rhodes was recently

SHENANDOAH VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL chosen “employee of the quarter” at McClung Companies. Rhodes is a bindery operator. Established in 1992, the award is based on recommendations from fellow Rhodes workers and recognizes McClung employees who display extraordinary dedication to their jobs. Rhodes has been employed with McClung for one year. He lives in Grottoes with his family.

Pou Recognized By Gastrointestinal Medical Society OAK BROOK, Ill. — The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has recognized Javier A. Pou, M.D., as part of its program to recognize and reward ASGE members dedicated to improving their clinical and professional practice in endoscopy. The ASGE Education Achievement Program is designed to acknowledge physicians who are dedicated to pursuing education in endoscopy and improving their ability to provide the Pou most effective care for their patients. Dr. Pou completed undergraduate studies at Bridgewater College, where he fell in love with

the community of the Shenandoah Valley. Dr. Pou served as one of the first hospitalists at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in 2003. He was also involved in the development of the gastroenterology service at Augusta Health in 2009, setting a reputation for quality and excellence. In the past, he has been recognized by the American College of Physician and American Society of Internal Medicine, and presented in local and national scientific meetings. Dr. Pou’s multifaceted background and familiarity with the Shenandoah Valley continues to shape his individualized approach to patient care in private practice. For more information about Shenandoah Valley Gastroenterology, call (540) 437-0087.

Monday, December 31, 2012




— By Philip B. DuBose Brief summaries from top business publications to help business leaders succeed.

Excitement Factor Keep employees excited: a loftier goal than simply keeping them motivated, and one most organizations would like to achieve. The Dec. 3 issue of Fortune magazine provides some ways to make it happen. First, give employees a voice in organization goings-on. This makes them feel more invested in the company, and as the article contends, makes workers more inclined to step up. A second way to excite

employees is to remove any obstacles — long meetings, unending paperwork or incompetent colleagues — that are slowing their work. The result will likely be a dramatic increase in productivity. A third recommendation is to “grow better bosses.” The article asserts that employees don’t actually quit companies; rather, they escape lousy See DUBOSE, Page 9

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Four Words Employees Need To Hear

Leadership Jeff Haden Four simple words can make a powerful impact on business — and other people. Here’s how: When you need help, start by saying only these four words: Just, “Can you help me?” Here’s why: You’re not a kid anymore. You’re an adult. So, when you ask for help, you unconsciously add image enhancers. For example, if you need help with a presentation you might say, “I’m meeting with investors next week and my slides need a few formatting tweaks.” The problem with that wording is it frames your importance and ensures your ego is protected. You are the one presenting to investors. Plus, you haven’t really asked — you’ve stated. Try this: When you need help take the bass out of your voice and the stiffness out of your spine, and simply say, “Can you help me?” I guarantee the other person will say, “Sure,” or, “I can try,” or, “What do you need?” Then, make sure you

don’t frame your request. Don’t imply that you place yourself above the other person. Don’t make your request too specific, and don’t say what you need. Instead, say what you can’t do: “I’m awful at PowerPoint and my slides look terrible.” Or, “We absolutely have to ship this order by Tuesday and I have no idea how to make that happen.” Or, “I’m lost and I can’t find my hotel.” When you ask that way, several powerful things immediately occur — particularly for the other person:  One, you instantly convey respect. Without actually stating it, you’ve said, “You know more than I do.” Or, “You have experience or talents that I don’t have.” You’ve said, “I respect you.” Respect is incredibly powerful – and empowering.  Two, you instantly convey trust. You show vulnerability, admit to weakness and you implicitly show that you trust the other person with that knowledge. Trust is incredibly powerful — and empowering.  Three, you convey

that you’re willing to listen. You haven’t tried to say exactly how people should help you; instead, you give them the freedom to decide. That level of freedom is incredibly powerful — and empowering. By showing you respect and trust other people, and by giving them the latitude to freely share their expertise or knowledge, you don’t just get the help you think you want. You might also get the help you really need. And so might other people, as they gain a true sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from being shown the respect and trust they deserve. You’ve shown it’s okay to express vulnerability, to admit a weakness and to know when you need help. Best of all, you get to say two more incredibly powerful words: “Thank you.” Jeff Haden lives in Harrisonburg and is a ghostwriter and a columnist for Inc. Magazine. He can be reached at

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Business Value Proposition First, what is a business value proposition? Some business owners claim “superior service,” or “excellent products plus service” as their business value proposition, while others suggest it reflects reputation and history of excellent performance. I believe business value proposition is rooted in the business professional’s personal core values, which form the foundation that stir positive feelings in the clientside of a business relationship. Success or failure boils down to the core value relationship developed between the business professional and client. A core value relationship is an important business taproot to plant and nurture, as it will translate to the long-term revenue that “flows from generation to generation.” As a business professional, have you ever defined your value proposition in terms of personal core values or as feelings? When a client employs your wisdom, or uses your product or service, how does it make them feel? Do your services impart a sense of confidence and trust? Especially ask yourself what feelings do you want clients to feel when exposed to your personal core values: This is a very


Chuck Boles

Planning important factor in defining what you are trying to accomplish with your client relationships and in your business. Most business people are in positions where, regardless of brand or product, the client makes purchases based upon feelings of trust and confidence stirred when taking part in transactions with a particular person. That sense of value accounts for repeat clients, and it motivates clients to refer the business more opportunities. If you are unsure as to precisely what your core values are, there is a simple See BOLES, Page 9



It’s What We Value that Counts




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In the last issue of the Shenandoah Valley Business Journal, we introduced the first five winners of the second annual 10 under 40 award. In an effort to give a more in-depth look at each, winners were split across the November and December issues. Throughout September and October, we asked members of the community to nominate up-and-coming business people. There was quite a response! After whittling the list down to just 10 names, we present the second set of winners. There are many wonder fully talented young professionals in different industries throughout the Valley. If you don’t see your candidate on the list, please resubmit their name next year. Congratulations to all of the winners for 2012! The final five winners follow, in no par ticular order:


When Kate Magri, 25, began dating Greg Bray, 29, neither anticipated that they would end up as business partners in her hometown. In March, however, they became the new owners of Cinnamon Bear Bakery and Deli on University Boulevard in Harrisonburg. “My parents owned Kate’s Natural Products and my mom has a private CPA practice, so, growing up in the business environment, it was always in my mind that I wanted to work for myself, eventually,” Magri said. The couple met while working at Cheesecake Factory in Fairfax, while Magri studied communications, media production and criticism in her final year at George Mason University. Both had worked in service: Bray, in customer service at AT&T

Monday, December 31, 2012


Part II

and at the Cheesecake Factory for nearly four years; Magri worked at Bravo Italian Eatery and Cracker Barrel in Harrisonburg while she attended Turner Ashby High School. Bray graduated from George Mason University with a degree in electrical engineering, but he wasn’t set on making it his career. “I knew I didn’t want to sit at a desk and do calculations for the rest of my life; I would be living for the weekend,” Bray said. “So, when this option came up and she asked me if I was coming, it was almost an ‘of course’ moment in my heart.” Magri spent a couple years in D.C. at office jobs that just didn’t fit. When she heard that Susan Fanella, who had owned Cinnamon Bear for 25 years, was selling the restaurant, she took the opportunity and asked Bray to come on board. “He’s a good business partner,” Magri said. “I know Greg has a good work ethic, he’s detail-oriented and he works a lot of the ways that I work. I know that he’s really driven, too, so I thought it would be successful for us to work together again.” The most notable change the two have made to the restaurant so far is a dedication to sustainability — Cinnamon Bear no longer uses Styrofoam cups, and the couple opted

Kate Magri, 25

Greg Bray, 29 to switch most of the deli meats and cheese to more natural and highquality gourmet products. The overall goal is expansion, especially for delivery. Sometimes, he and Magri make up to 20 deliveries each day during the lunch rush. “We want the delivery business to take off. We want to touch as many people as possible and be more consistent,” Bray added. Although the duo sees room for growth and improvements, they are still introducing themselves to the community. Bray’s advice to other entrepreneurs is to have patience and positive thinking. “It’s all very worth it. You’re going to have your stressful days and then your really rewarding days.”


Monday, December 31, 2012


Clare Eakin, 36

As the youth services coordinator for Massanutten Regional Library, 36year-old Clare Eakin’s job is to find ways to keep kids reading outside of school. And, by gathering sponsors to show support for young readers and their families, she found a way for area businesses to benefit, too. For five years, Eakin worked in Augusta County libraries, before switching to Massanutten Regional Library

three years ago. Her Irish family moved from England to Staunton 19 years ago, and she remained in Augusta County after members of her family moved all over the county. As youth services coordinator, Eakin purchases materials for the library’s collection and oversees programming for children up to age 17, for all seven libraries in Harrisonburg city, and Page and Rockingham counties. On Oct. 20, the Main Library in downtown Harrisonburg opened its new Youth Service Center. The project began in 2011 with a gift from WHSV/TV3, and Eakin helped to fundraise $62,000 from local donors to complete the space. “We’ve been holding programs everything from story time to teen

events to large events, we’ve had over 200 kids in there,” Eakin said. “Now that we’ve got this space, it’s allowed us to open up another space for teens’ books and magazines. I’m navigating a computer bar and hopefully that will be in place in the new year.” Another of Eakin’s accomplishments is expanding the youth summer reading program’s enrollment from 2,858 children in 2009, to 7,743 children today. The nine-week program helps children retain their reading level during the break so that when they go back to school in the fall, teachers spend less time reviewing and more time teaching. Part of the fun is in the program’s tagline, “the library takes you places.” As a reward for participating, registrants in the program bring their parents to a library location and find out which local businesses offer activities for Free Fridays. The program kicked off last sum-

Harrisonburg, Va.

mer at Massanutten Water Park, which gave 6,000 free passes to children who signed up at the libraries. Each business that participates designates a date to admit the readers at no charge, though parents typically pay admission “Businesses are now asking to join in because it brings them name recognition, media exposure and income,” according to Lora J. Rose, assistant director at MRL. Rose recognized Eakin for her work to promote reading skills by working with children, educators and youth services agencies to share the library’s resources. “Clare brings infectious good cheer with her wherever she goes,” Rose said. “It’s clear she enjoys what she does.” Clare and her husband live in Fishersville with their three daughters: Kennedy, age 13, Megan, age 10, and Flannery, age 2.

Harrisonburg, Va.

As a businessman, David Engel knows it doesn’t always pay to play it safe. Salad Creations is the first restaurant Engel has owned and operated by himself and, despite having opened in the thick of the recession, the restaurant will celebrate its third year in April. “If you’re not outside of your comfort zone, you have to take risks that other people aren’t willing to take,” Engel said. “That’s what makes entrepreneurs different ...” While studying human resource development and business at James Madison University, Engel worked in restaurants and ran his own painting company. For a few years he worked as a realtor in rentals, property management and residential sales — an experience he says taught him to be his own boss and manager. Around 2004, he was working as an intern in commercial real estate

SHENANDOAH VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL when a friend approached him about bringing Salad Creations to Virginia. After opening the Harrisonburg location, Engle worked his way up to general manager and trainer, a position where he faced the challenge of promoting an unfamiliar brand in a new market. “When you open a new fast food burger joint, people know what to expect,” Engel said, explaining that spreading awareness of how Salad Creations works is the biggest challenge the business faces. Customers can choose from up to 40 ingredients and 16 dressings for a custom creation, or one of 20 featured salads, all of which can be made into wraps. The menu also features sandwiches and soups, with mix and match entrees available in a “pick-two” special. “America loves two slices of bread and everything in between,”

Monday, December 31, 2012

Got Story Ideas?

David Engel, 31 Engel said. “Sometimes you want to quickly get something and a foot of bread shouldn’t be your only option, so we’re trying to fill that niche.” Engel’s goal is to help open more locations throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Salad Creations has already spread to Fredricksburg, Stafford and Newport News.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Farmer Stephen Lohr, 38, of Broadway, started Endless View Farm in 1998, with two poultry houses and 50 acres. Today, the farm has grown to four poultry houses and 250 acres. With the help of a few part-time workers, Lohr and his wife care for 80 head beef cattle, raise dairy heifers to eight weeks of age for a local dairy farmer and raise 150,000 birds every eight weeks for Pilgrim’s Pride. “A lot of people don’t realize how much [profit] the ag-community and industry in the Valley brings into the district for Page and Rockingham counties and Harrisonburg,” Lohr said. Lohr grew up just outside of Broadway in a farming family that owned and ran a beef, pork and poultry farm, and then a greenhouse business, before selling both in the mid-1990s. “In high school, I worked for other farmers and I was my chapter president of [Future Farmers of America] during senior year, which reinforced my desire to get into production agriculture,” Lohr said.

After graduating from Broadway High School in 1992, Lohr earned an associate’s degree in agribusiness from Virginia Tech, then worked as a field representative for Wampler Foods Hatchery in 1995. Three years later Lohr’s wife, Jackie, found two poultry houses on 50 acres and their family helped the couple purchase the land to begin Endless View Farm. Neighboring farmers use some of the Lohrs’ land, and, in addition to grazing cattle and sheep, the Lohrs grow soybeans and corn. Lohr’s involvement with agriculture extends far beyond his farm. He was a member of the Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative Board of Directors from 2009-11. Since 2007, Lohr has also served on the Shenandoah Valley District Soil and Water Conservation Board, which oversees disbursement of state and federal grant money to farmers and homeowners in Rockingham and Page counties. In 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell appointed Lohr as the Area I Repre-

sentative for Broadway on the State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Statewide board members oversee all water and soil districts, and certify permits for structures such as dams. Lohr and Jackie have three sons: 13-year-old William, nine-year-old Jackson and six-year-old Thomas. Jackie Lohr also initiated the Plains 4-H Club for the Broadway/Timberville area, which now has more than 50 members. Lohr still gives back to his high school’s FFA club he credits with his career inspiration, and he received Broadway High School’s FFA Honorary Chapter Degree for service to the agricultural education program. “When someone needs a helping hand, Stephen is there, ready and willing,” 4H chapter President Lena Osborne said. “He provides opportunities for 4H members to raise animals and complete projects. He is always willing to transport their animals to shows and weigh-ins, even though it may mean getting up at 3 a.m. to get his work done in time to


Rotarians contribute to the drive during each November and December weekly meeting, and accept both monetary and food donations from the community. The program has run for decades, in collaboration with several generations of the Grabill family. The Rotary Club took over the project in 1933, and it has been an annual event for almost 80 years. The club plans to visit more than 40 households this season. The Coats for Kids program provided 55 new coats to local children this year; several more are included in the gift boxes to be distributed Christmas Eve. Contributions to the Christmas Eve gift project can be made to any Rotarian or sent directly to the club, P.O. Box 602, Woodstock, VA, 22664.

Scene center that provides studios for working artists, classes for all ages, two fine arts galleries and a storefront retail space that sells fine arts supplies.

Rotary Club Of Woodstock Christmas Eve Gift Deliveries Woodstock — During the last week of

November, the Rotary Club of Woodstock began its annual drive to fund Christmas Eve toy and food deliveries throughout central Shenandoah County. The delivery caravan is led by Santa riding in an antique fire engine, followed by a parade of cars bearing gifts — a preview of which was given when the Rotary Club led the Woodstock parade.

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After a call for donations in order to save the farm, Volunteer Farms received an outpouring of $39,725, including an anonymous donation of $25,000, and a $500 donation to assist with a mailing.

Harrisonburg, Va.

Stephen Lohr, 38 help those children.” The Rockingham County Fair recently received the award for Best Program for Competitive Agricultural Exhibitors from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, and Lohr attributes this to the hard work of participants in 4H and FFA. The farm is still in need of thousands of dollars to ensure coverage for operating expenses in 2013. In an effort to assist, local businesses and churches have expressed an interest in donating a portion of sales to benefit the Volunteer Farms, including: Anthony’s Pizza, donating a percentage of sales from 4-9 p.m., Dec. 10; First Presbyterian Church in Winchester will donate its Christmas Eve offering; Arby’s in Woodstock will donate 15 percent of sales from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 27; Country Boys Country Club will host a benefit at a later date and the Smokehaus Tobacco Store in Woodstock has placed a donation jar in the store. If a business or organization is interested in hosting a fundraising event to benefit Volunteer Farms, call (540) 459-3478 or email To donate, visit and click “donate,” or send check of money order to Volunteer Farms, 277 Crider Lane, Woodstock, VA, 22664. All donations are tax exempt, and tax receipts will be issued.

Harrisonburg, Va.

Don’t Let Fear Prevent Questions Boles


exercise designed to define what your position is or should be: Ask clients why they choose your business over competitors. Don’t allow the fear of their answers prevent you from asking for honest opinions. Another option some business owners take is hiring a third-party firm to conduct annual client-based surveys. Taking part in surveys is a good business practice, as honest and current client feedback allows the opportunity to periodically reflect on core values, and areas of possible improvement. By asking clients why they do business with you and for a brief description as to how they feel doing business with the company, may open the door to discovering clients associate these feelings about the business with you as a person. Chances are, clients can best explain what business value proposition the company promotes, or should promote. Therefore, a business value proposition is a key asset to the business. Knowing the personal core values behind that proposition may assist in creating deeper, more lasting client relationship and higher levels of longterm success. Ultimately, the success or failure of a business hinges on relationships. Chuck Boles is president of the Chuck & Buddy College of Business Knowledge. He serves as a mentor with New Member Development through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and various other organizations.

Minimize Your Turnover Rate Dubose


managers. An underperforming team likely stems from having a manager who belittles his direct subordinates into feeling alienated and unintelligent, rather than coaching them so that they can excel. Finally, make employees’ dreams come true. One firm experiencing 110 percent annual turnover initiated a program where the company fulfills one wish for each employee. To the company’s surprise, most wishes were modest and the costs minimal — turnover fell to 25 percent. Philip B. Dubose is a management professor in the college of business at James Madison University.


Monday, December 31, 2012


The Shortcut To Entrepreneurial Success For many, the American dream includes the prospect of owning their own business. Essentially, there are three ways this can happen: A business may be started, bought or potentially inherited. If you start one, according to the Small Business Administration, 37 percent of new businesses with fewer than 20 employees survive more than four years, only 9 percent last a decade — restaurants have the highest failure rate, only 20 percent make it past year two. Buying or inheriting a business can also result in failure, so allow me to share what I call “The Shortcut To Entrepreneurial Success.”  Mentality For years, I have been trying to assess what mentality it takes to be an entrepreneur. It boils down to tolerance for risk. Are you a game-player? A competitor? Do you have the “guts” for small business? If you fear mistakes or failure, perhaps entrepreneurship isn’t the path to take. The best entrepreneurs do their homework: They prepare and plan, and once they embark, they constantly look for ways to tweak the business model, in an effort to earn each profit dollar possible.  Planning and/or Consulting Without a doubt, this step makes or breaks the venture. From a startup point of view, a business plan is not simply a requirement handed down by the bank; rather, it should serve as a self-litmus test, so to speak, used to show yourself you have put the necessary thought into the process. Seek professional help: A CPA, business coach or the often underutilized local SBDC office. One of the best ways to hedge the aforementioned failure rate is to purchase an existing business. Odds are the existing business has established a cash flow that should provide immediate income to the owner, as well as assist in paying back the purchase price over time.

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Be aware, however, with this model you reap what you sow — in order to exit on the right foot with this model, it must be entered correctly. Don’t overpay, as is often the case. The American dream of owning a business becomes too enticing; oftentimes, purchasers make expensive decisions without seeking the appropriate advice, to the danger of their net worth.  On It, Not In It Most folks that start a business do so because they have already experienced success. As the business matures, these owners equate success with doing more of the things in which they excel. Some believe that hours worked equals success: more hours worked equals more success. The game plan of a successful business owner should be to make as much money as possible while working the least amount of hours, which ultimately means

working smarter, not harder.  Financial Strength and Accountability Poor management aside, poor financial planning accounts for entrepreneurial demise. Small business owners must plan not only for cash needs and requirements, but also keep good financial records, which should later be analyzed. In closing, if you are a gamer willing to consult and plan, secure adequate reserves, keep good records, react on those records and work on your business more than in it, you will beat the odds and, most importantly, not go broke in the process. Dick Halterman, CPA is the owner of Murphy Business Brokers and Appraisal in Mount Sidney. He deals exclusively in the area of merger and acquisition. The firm also assists in generational business transfers.


Monday, December 31, 2012


What Do Declining Inventory Levels Mean? Two and a half years ago, June 2010 saw an astonishing 1,015 homes on the market in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County — a total comprised of single family homes, townhomes, duplexes and condominiums. Now, there are just 604 homes for sale in our area. This 40 percent decline has far reaching implications for the local community.

Homeowners Losing Less Sleep The median price of homes in our area has declined 10 percent in the past six years. But, for the past year and half, median prices have hovered between $173,000 and $177,000 with very little variation. After 18 months without further declines in median sales prices, homeowners in our local area can relax a bit, knowing that their home’s value is not continuing to decline.

Real Estate

Would-Be Sellers Still Waiting As is evident from the continued declines in the number of homes for sale, we are not seeing a flood of would-be home sellers putting their houses on the market after having seen that home values have stabilized. If anything, it seems fair to say that the high inventory levels of 2006 were would-be sellers hoping to catch the tail end of the housing boom. Today, those would-be sellers that were not successful seem to be waiting to put their homes on the market until there are signs of increasing sales prices. That is certainly a very reasonable approach unless there is some specific impetus for selling — moving out of the area, a growing family, etc.

Would-Be Buyers Frustrated And Elated Many of today’s home buyers are not

Harrisonburg, Va.

Scott Rogers finding very many homes that match what they are looking for in a new home. They often feel they are scraping the bottom of the barrel with the current low inventory levels. Yet at the same time, buyers realize that since we seem to be at the bottom of the market that their opportunities to buy a home at a greater price have been never been better. The added bonus for would-be buyers is the historically low interest rates — as low as 3.25% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Builders Dusting Off Hammers As home values declined over the past six years it became increasingly difficult for home builders to compete on price with homeowners who were selling their homes. As inventory levels have declined, howev-

er, buyers have had fewer options and prices have stopped declining. As a result, some home builders are starting to see renewed interest in their homes or subdivisions. While we are likely to see inventory levels start to increase again in the spring, it is quite likely that we will continue to see historically low inventory levels over the next 12-24 months as our local housing market continues to recover. As always, not only do you need to understand the general market trends in our area, you also must dig deep to explore the specifics of the market that pertain to your particular home. Scott P. Rogers, author of, is an Associate Broker with Funkhouser Real Estate Group in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Smart Retirement Savings Moves For Gen X’ers If you belong to “Generation X” — generally considered those born between 1965 and 1980 — there are many years to go before retirement. However, that does not mean you should delay retirement saving — although many Gen X’ers are doing just that; and, in the process, potentially jeopardizing the retirement lifestyle envisioned. Consider the following:  More than one in three workers, ages 35 to 44, are not saving for retirement at all, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.  Nearly half of all Gen X’ers are at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement, according to the Center of Retirement Research at Boston College. These figures are daunting — but these statistics do not necessarily mean that you will fall short of your retirement goals. As a Gen X’er, you have on your side the world’s most valuable asset: time. By using time wisely and by following proven savings and investment

Investments Gannon Irons

strategies, it is possible to progress toward important retirement goals. What savings and investment strategies should you pursue? Here are a few ideas:  Take full advantage of your 401(k). If your employer offers a 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b) or 457(b), put in as much as you can afford each year — and increase your contribution with each raise. Your 401(k) earnings can potentially grow on a tax-deferred basis, and generally pre-tax dollars are contributed, so the more you put in, the lower the annual taxable income. At a minimum, contribute enough to earn your employer’s match, if offered.

If you leave your job, avoid liquidating your 401(k) account. Instead, consider rolling over your 401(k) to an IRA or to your new employer’s retirement plan, if allowed.  Open an IRA. Even if you have a 401(k), you likely can still contribute to an IRA, as well — and you should. You can fund an IRA with most types of investment: stocks, bonds, government securities and certificates of deposit. With an IRA come valuable tax benefits, too — a traditional IRA can grow tax-deferred, while the Roth IRA offers potentially tax-free earnings, as long as the account has been established at least five years and the holder waits until age 59-½ to start withdrawing.

 Avoid being overly conservative with investments. Many people are afraid of investing in the stock market, given its ups and downs. Yet, historically, stocks have outperformed all other financial assets. And while it’s true that past performance cannot guarantee future results, it’s also true that if you invest solely in “conservative” investments, such as Treasury bonds or CDs, it may not be possible to keep pace with inflation, much less meet savings goals set for retirement. Consequently, an investment portfolio should include a reasonable percentage of quality stocks.  Reduce debt. The more money spent paying off debt, the less available to invest for the future. Try hard to live within your means and work diligently to reduce your debt load. It will take effort, patience and discipline, but, by following these suggestions, you can boost your chances of attaining a financially secure retirement. Get started soon. Gannon Irons is a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Harrisonburg. To contact him, call 433-4907


Harrisonburg, Va.


Nov. 2012

Nov. Nov. 1386, 1017, 1341, 1068,

32.28 25.56



74 180 42 110 192 58 37

55 141 38 85 176 34 36

Monday, December 31, 2012


Sept. Oct.

26,447 44,339 11,908 20,359 39,431 11,877 10,036

25,716 43,266 11,830 20,239 39,220 11,808 9,982

Oct. 2012 34.55 27.66 10.53 29.41 9.09 70.59 2.78

26,155 43,748 12,170 20,622 39,168 11,727 10,005

(percentage) Oct. 2012

Oct. 2012 11 25 8 10

Oct. 2011

$0.88 M $4.32 M $1.40 M $2.32 M

11 9 8 15

Oct. Oct. 2012

Oct. Sept.


Oct. 2012 $ 9.02 $ 4.35 $ 1.56 $ 3.04 $ 3.78 $ 2.88 $ 3.57

$0.88 M $1.78 M $1.64 M $2.61 M

6.5 4.7 8.2 5.9 5.0 6.2 6.4

6.5 5.0 8.5 6.1 5.3 6.4 6.7

7.1 5.1 9.1 6.8 5.9 6.6 7.7

Oct. 2012

2012 2011

$157,000 $164,300 -4.44

$184,750 $190,000 -2.76

$169,900 $161,000 4.97

$137,000 $122,500 11.84

$140,500 $144,950 -3.07

$180,000 $143,900 25.09

$224,000 $140,000 60.00

239 183 30.60

198 186 6.45

105 96 9.38

102 131 -22.14

124 96 29.17

125 125 0.00

87 163 -46.63

30 23 30.43

44 33 33.33

51 45 13.33

25 18 38.89

19 16 18.75

39 31 25.81

6 11 -45.45

Source: Funkhouser Real Estate Group



Monday, December 31, 2012


Harrisonburg, Va.

Shenandoah Valley Business Journal December 2012  

10 under Forty --- Part II