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volume four issue seven

2015 YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ISSUE

+

All About Internships

SBA Elevates Millennial Entrepreneurs

Lessons from the

Lemonade Stand

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from the founder Lessons from the Lemonade Stand

When someone asks me when my entrepreneurial career began, they’re surprised to hear that I was only 7. While that might seem young, it’s how many of us started – on our parents front lawn, selling a product to neighbors. Whether we’re selling lemonade, or in my case it was baseball cards, many of us experienced many of the same challenges at 7 that we do much later in life. Here are 5 lessons we can learn from the lemonade stand: WHAT AM I SELLING? It all begins with an idea. For some of us we start with what we’re good at, while others start where they see the biggest opportunity. For me, I was an avid baseball card collector. I knew I could buy cards cheap or build sets at a low cost from packs and sell them at a higher margin. As I got older, I perfected my craft to evaluate how to buy low and sell high. As entrepreneurs, we need to always identify what it is we’d like to sell, but more importantly, make sure there is a market for those products or services. Selling lemonade in the Summer makes sense, but if we don’t switch to hot chocolate in the winter, we’re not adjusting to our market demands. WHO IS MY CUSTOMER? Understanding who your target customer is and that they are within your geographic area are an important start to the marketing process. If you’re starting a lawn mowing business, you’d be more likely to target busy adults who do not have children at home that can help or older adults who would gladly pay for these services. If you’re starting a lemonade stand, you might look at what time families go for walks around your neighborhood and target them. Understanding this will help insure that our audience is large enough to start your business, while also helping to shape how you market your services. HOW WILL I MARKET MY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES? The first place to start is by establishing a brand. A lemonade stand with a hand-made sign that reads “Gil’s Thirst

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Quenching Lemonade, only $.25” is as sophisticated as we need it to be in the early stages of our career. It shows we took the time to build our location, give it a name, tell people our unique selling proposition (USP) that it quenches your thirst, and that it’s affordable. As we build our companies much later in life, many of these same principals will apply. WHERE WILL I SELL MY PRODUCTS? When I first started, I would sell cards on my front lawn knowing there were kids in the neighborhood that would come by. As I learned there was opportunity in baseball card sales I moved into bigger neighborhoods and partnered with friends. I went where the business was. With lemonade stands, I often see them on the side of the road while there are town parades or neighborhood functions. Understanding your audience and how to be visible to them is key at any age. HOW MUCH WILL I SELL IT FOR? Pricing is a challenge for many of us. Our first priority is to understand our cost to be sure we’re profitable. Once we’ve established that, we need to understand our market. If I’m selling the same Don Mattingly 1984 Topps Rookie card as the baseball card up the street, it’s a hard sell to charge more for it than they do. At a lemonade stand however, I have the opportunity to offer a better product than my competitors. Maybe I have a secret ingredient or a special process that allows me to charge more. We don’t always have to have the lowest price. It’s how our product is perceived, and the market we’re selling to that dictate how much we can charge. The lessons we learn at an early age shape who we become. Our entrepreneurial experiences and our education play a key role in our future endeavors. It’s important that we embrace those experiences and continue to learn from them.


Gil Lantini Founder Ralph Coppolino Co-Founder Mike Casale Senior Designer Amanda Repose Managing Editor Rob Gonsalves Senior Account Manager Interns Lauren Bansbach Yadira Campos Andrea Canavan Marcella Giacoman Autumn Harrington Katherine Hickey Caitlin Williams Contributing Writers Michael Brito John V. Carvalho III Stacey Crooks Ted Donnelly Lynne Finnegan Larry Girouard Seth A. Goodall Nick Hurley Tuni Schartner Amy Levesque Matthew R. Plain, Esq. Kristen M. Whittle, Esq. Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro Lisa Shorr

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Upcoming Events

AUGUST 18 AUGUST 19

Mesa Cafe SBR Cranston Rainmakers 11:45 am Rolfe St., Cranston, RI

Greenwich Farms Leading Edge Networking 7:00 am 75 Minnesota Ave., Warwick, RI

AUGUST 20

TBD Wednesdays, Women & Wine Networking Event CWE RI 5:30 pm TBD

Rebel Lounge Network After Work at Rebel Lounge 6:00 pm 50 Exchange Terrace, Providence, RI

Crowne Plaza The Fourth Tier Network Lunch 11:30am 800 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, RI

AUGUST 21

CWE Rhode Island Marketing on a Shoestring 9:00 am 132 George M. Cohan Blvd., Providence, RI

North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce Business Consulting: Tuesday’s at the NK Chamber 10:00 am 8045 Post Rd., North Kingstown, RI

North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce Business Consulting: Friday’s at the NK Chamber 10:00 am 8045 Post Rd., North Kingstown, RI

AUGUST 26

AUGUST 5

Chelo’s Restaurant Business Networking-Referral Pros 12:00 pm 1275 Reservoir Ave., Cranston, RI

AUGUST 13

CWE Rhode Island Change Your Image, Change Your Futre 9:00 am 132 George M. Cohan Blvd., Providence, RI

AUGUST 7

Aldrich Mansion Central RI Chamber of Commerce LEADS Luncheon 12:00 pm 836 Warwick Neck Ave., Warwick, RI

AUGUST 8

The Hive Lunch & Learn at the Hive RI Do You Really Need Attorneys & CPAS? 12:00 pm 650 Ten Rod Rd., North Kingstown, RI

AUGUST 4

JULY 30

Casey Farm Managing Organic Farms for Drought & Weeds 5:30 pm 2325 Boston Neck Rd., Saunderstown

North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce Business Consulting: Friday’s at the NK Chamber 10:00 am 8045 Post Rd., North Kingstown, RI

AUGUST 11

Greenwich Farms Leading Edge Networking 7:00 am 75 Minnesota Ave., Warwick, RI

Corner Bakery Cafe Capital City Connection Networking 8:00 am 160 Hillside Dr., Cranston, RI

AUGUST 12

North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce Business Consulting: Tuesday’s at the NK Chamber 10:00 am 8045 Post Rd., North Kingstown

JULY 31

JULY 29

JULY 21

Networking & Workshops

Greenwich Farms Leading Edge Networking 7:00 am 75 Minnesota Ave., Warwick, RI

Crowne Plaza The Fourth Tier Network Lunch 11:30 am 800 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, RI

For More Events Visit www.risbj.com 6

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contents

volume four issue seven

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

6 Events 8 Small Business News

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14 A Message from the General Treasurer 16 Capital City 17 A Message from the Secretary of State 18 2015 Young Entrepreneurs 23 Educate Rhode Island 24 Rhode Island Education Survey 26 The Spirit of Entrepreneurship

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28 What Have You Learned Today? 29 College Degree Pays 31 SBA Elevates Millennial Entrepreneurs 32 All About Internships 33 Education During The More Relaxed Summer Months

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34 Understanding Financial Aid for College 36 Take Note: 5 Tips for Mobile Device Security 38 Reducing Workplace Stress 40 It’s Time for Commercial

ON THE COVER

44 Personnel Practices

volume four issue seven

2015 YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

46 Change The Design

ISSUE

49 Featured Nonprofit: Education in Action

+

50 Real State News 52 Local Small Business Directory

33

All About Internships

SBA Elevates Millennial Entrepreneurs

Lessons from the

Lemonade Stand

Featured Young Entrepreneur Winners Education in Rhode Island

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SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Eight Optics And Swim Revolutionizing the entire consumer experience with a mobile showroom

PROVIDENCE, RI - After perfecting his talents designing sunglasses and swimwear, Rhode Island-based designer Artiss Akarra and his brand Eight Optics and Swim are now revolutionizing the entire consumer experience. Akarra, a Florida native, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduate, and StyleWeek Northeast staple, launched the first in a fleet of mobile showrooms onat the prestigious RISD Alumni and Student Art Sale. Speaking of the RISD launch, Akarra said, he is “thrilled that RISD is supporting him - a fellow RISD graduate - in this capacity and allowing him the honor of launching at their event.� The vehicle - a truck that has been kitted out with dressing rooms and racks for clothing - served as both a mobile showroom and store front, and created a new intimacy in the shopping experience by providing the consumer with a trunk show vibe, allowing them to browse an entire collection in all sizes and colors. Shoppers were able to try-on and purchase

items right in the truck, which is fully stocked, and should they find their desired item has sold out, they can place an order at an on-board kiosk for next-day delivery. The truck also appeared at the StyleWeek Swim show in June. Attendees had the unique opportunity to shop designs straight from the runway immediately after seeing them debut by heading out to the truck. Monday through Thursday the truck will be on the road, providing store owners with the opportunity to browse the collection for retail in their own stores. On Fridays, Akarra is expecting to situate the truck in downtown Providence, and anchor it by the beaches on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to this schedule, the truck will also be available to attend private functions, or public events such as fundraisers or fairs.

For further information on Eight Optics and Swim email info@eightoptics.com. www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Rhode Island’s Only Business Expo Takes Place For The 7th Year - Hosted At The Crown Plaza Hotel In Warwick

WARWICK, RI - The 2015 Ocean State Business Expo is slated for Thursday, October 8, from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. Join our Rhode Island business community as they gather together for a day of inspiration, ideas, and building connections. The Ocean State Business Expo is Rhode Island’s premiere event dedicated to connecting businesses across all industries, for optimum outcomes. Our goal is to support growth and development of small businesses in Rhode Island. The expo features over 125 exhibitors, workshops by local experts and the biggest networking event of the year.

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The Ocean State Business Expo has partnered with the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and Cumulus Media (630 WPRO/99.7 FM along with AM 790) to make our 7th annual Ocean State Business Expo the best expo yet! We proudly announce our sponsors: Blue Cross/Blue Shield RI, Natural Awakenings Magazine, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn more about the event at OceanStateBusinessExpo.com


SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Ethan Allen to Open at Garden City Center The 6,000 Square Foot Design Center Will Be Opening In The Fall

CRANSTON, RI - Strengthening its position as the premier place to shop for your home, Garden City Center today announced the addition of Ethan Allen, a leading interior design company, manufacturer and retailer of quality home furnishings to its line up of great places to shop. Ethan Allen’s new 6,000 square foot Design Center will be opening in Garden City Center in the Fall of 2015. This new Ethan Allen showcase will offer the full breadth of services and offerings Ethan Allen is known for, including design consultants equipped with the technology to show clients how to create the right look in their home – a look that is custom made for them. “To us, the appeal of Garden City Center is that it offers more than just shopping,” said Amy Franks, Ethan Allen’s vice president, Northeast Region. “The community events and outdoor concerts make this an ideal location for Ethan Allen to have a presence in the community.” The new Ethan Allen Design Center, which will replace the store in Warwick, will be located near LA Fitness in an area that is being redesigned to include a new façade. This area will also be home to the recently announced New Balance and Barrington Books Retold stores, which will both open later this year. “The addition of Ethan Allen is a key part in the Phase Three redevelopment of Garden City Center,” said Deb DiMeo, vice president of Leasing for The Wilder Companies, which manages Garden City Center. “Ethan Allen’s style of livable luxury and design makes Garden City Center a destination experience that will attract shoppers seeking unique home furnishing and design options.”

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SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Raimondo Names Chairs t a n d

S e c o n d a r y

E d u c a t i o n

PROVIDENCE, RI - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today designated Daniel P. McConaghy as chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education and William Foulkes as chair of the Council on Post-Secondary Education.

“Strengthening our K-12 and post-secondary education systems is an investment in our children, teachers, economy and our future,” said Board of Education chair Barbara Cottam.

“From record funding for K-12 education; the full implementation of all-day kindergarten across the state; and proposals for dual enrollment, last dollar scholarships, loan forgiveness and workforce development – the budget calls for significant investments in education to set our students on a path of opportunity,” said Raimondo.

“Dan and Bill bring a wealth of diverse experience and are strong advocates for Rhode Island students. I know they will be great partners and I look forward to all that both Councils will accomplish.”

“Great schools and a pipeline of well-trained, well-educated workers are key to attracting companies to invest and create jobs here. Dan and Bill have the experience and talent to help implement these proposals and build the foundation for success in our schools.”

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a n

“It is an honor to have been selected to chair the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education,” said McConaghy. “As a parent of three public school children, I understand firsthand the importance of a quality education from a young age. I am committed to making an excellent public education system accessible for all Rhode Island students.”


SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

to Councils on Elementary d

P o s t - S e c o n d a r y

“I am honored by the opportunity to chair the Council on PostSecondary Education,” said Foulkes. “I will work on behalf of all Rhode Islanders to empower young adults through education so they can achieve their full potential. I am excited to get to work with my fellow Council members to prepare our students for post-secondary learning and success in a 21st century economy.” The Board of Education is the chief policy-setting body overseeing PK-20 education in Rhode Island. Through its designated powers and duties, the Board helps shape the course of public education to ensure that all of the state’s students receive the best possible education. Daniel P. McConaghy is the executive vice president for Gilbane Building Company. He is a member of the New

E d u c a t i o n

England Council, AGC of Rhode Island and Massachusetts Chapters, Construction Management Association of America, the Phoenix House Executive Committee, San Miguel School Board, and the LaSalle Academy Board of Trustees. He is a past member of the American Association of Cost Engineers, Town of Warren Hall of Fame Committee, and served as a Carl Lauro School mentor. McConaghy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration from Babson College. William Foulkes is a strategic planning and marketing consultant, and currently a faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design where he teaches entrepreneurship and business. Foulkes holds an A.B. in History from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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GENERAL TREASURER | Seth Magaziner

A message from Rhode Island General Treasu

Transparent Tre by General Treasurer Seth Magaziner

At the Rhode Island Treasury, responsible stewardship of the state’s investments is the most important responsibility of our office and we must be accountable to the public we serve. Our office oversees more than $15 billion of public funds, most notably the $8 billion Employees Retirement System, and the public has a right to know where its money is invested and how it is performing. Last month, we launched our Transparent Treasury initiative, a series of new policies and tools that will allow Rhode Islanders to access information about how their public dollars are managed. Under Transparent Treasury, money managers who seek to do business with Rhode Island must publicly disclose information about performance, fees, expenses and liquidity. While this new policy might seem like an obvious step for us to take, it is among the first of its kind in the country, and we also believe it to be the most wide-ranging. There are other states that promote a level of transparency for their pension plans, but Rhode Island is distinct in that we now require fund-by-fund disclosure not only of management and performance fees, but also investment-related expenses. The basic fees structure charged by most fund managers includes a flat management fee on the amount of capital invested, and a performance fee based on the fund manager’s performance. Rhode Island has already been one of the few states fully reporting management and performance fees for the past three years, but management and performance fees are not the only way that investment managers charge states like Rhode Island. It is common for fund

managers to separately charge what are called “investmentrelated fund expenses”, which can include reimbursement for legal, auditing, trading commissions, and other costs that fund managers incur. These so-called “hidden fees” have come under great scrutiny in the media lately due to their opaque nature. In the 2014 fiscal year, investment related fund expenses charged to the Rhode Island pension system added up to more than $5 million. As part of the new transparency initiative, we will begin reporting these fund expenses at an aggregate level immediately and on a fund-by-fund basis later this year. This has never been done in Rhode Island, and to the best of our knowledge is not being done in any other state. As a matter of policy, funds that do not agree to fully report all management fees, performance fees and fund expenses will not receive investment dollars from our office.

As proud as I am of our new policy on fee and expense disclosure, there are several other exciting aspects of our Transparent Treasury initiative also worth noting. We have launched a new investment information center on www.treasury.ri.gov, as well as a new data portal that offers unprecedented access to state treasury information. The

I am very pleased that Governor Raimondo has included this infrastructure bank proposal in her economic package, and that the plan has earned the support of business, labor and environmental leaders across our state. 14

RISBJ | rhode island small business journal


Seth Magaziner | GENERAL TREASURER

urer Seth Magaziner

easury Initiative investment information center includes interactive graphics that show the allocation and performance of state funds going back more than three decades. It also displays information on each of the state’s fund managers including written descriptions of their strategies, along with information on the performance and cost. I encourage all Rhode Islanders to spend some time looking at the new investment information center and data portal on our website, and I hope that these new sources of information will ignite a productive dialogue for how we can better serve the public in the future. Another important part of the Transparent Treasury initiative is a new set of policies and procedures for how our office contracts with

external vendors like legal firms and IT consultants. Too often in Rhode Island, the awarding of state contracts is opaque and subjective. Existing contracts are extended repeatedly with no competitive bidding process.

Under my administration, as a matter of policy, all contracts that are due to expire during my term in office will be put out for competitive bid. We have posted a calendar on the Treasury website of when we anticipate putting out these RFPs, we will use objective scoring systems to evaluate bids, and we will publish the scoring results online. Those of us tasked with oversight of public dollars must never lose sight of our role as public servants. In the coming months and years our office will continue to work hard to be a leader in implementing best practices for transparency and accountability in public finance. When all Rhode Islanders are able to know and understand how their public funds are being managed, we will have truly achieved a “transparent treasury.”

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CAPITAL CITY | Addressing Providence’s Abandoned Properties What Clams Me About SMALL Manage A Remote Worker or Office SMALL BUSINESS BUSINESS || How Dear To Mom: A Taught Letter Home From ALeadership One Day Warrior

PROVIDENCE’S EDUCATION SCENE by Mayor Jorge Elorza

of our locally established institutions stretch far beyond Providence’s neighborhoods.

Providence has the largest concentration of institutions of higher learning in the state. Among those bodies are Brown University, Providence College (PC), Johnson & Wales University (JWU), Rhode Island College (RIC), the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), many trade and vocational schools, and satellite campuses of the University of Rhode Island (URI), the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), and Roger Williams University (RWU).

Yet a problem lurks amidst such promise—a large portion of this invaluable talent leaves Providence after graduation. Others are unable to acquire experience in their fields and must be content with underemployment. Earlier last month I announced the formation of my Millennial Task Force, a group of young engaged and motivated Providence young adults that share the City’s goal of retaining our graduates.

A proud member of the Ivy League, Brown is among the most prestigious and innovative universities in the country, and along with other private colleges, they are among the largest contributors to our local economy. Together, Brown, PC, and JWU employ 5.05% of the employees in the Creative Capital –that’s about 6,100 jobs directly with countless others sustained indirectly. The resources and promise

In the coming months, their recommendations will help to guide my administrations’ policy initiatives that aim to keep the innovative talent here in Rhode Island. In order to ensure future success, we need to form lasting partnerships with business leaders, officials, and institutions of higher learning. We need to understand and meet the needs of our Millennials and the new knowledge-based economy.

This means partnering with postsecondary schools to ensure their degree programs, their technologies, and their infrastructures are ones that will prepare students to excel in an information-based economy. It requires finding creative ways to transform Providence into a city that better serves its current and future workforce by improving public transportation and continuing to enrich our arts and culture. The quality of higher education is one of Providence’s and Rhode Island’s strongest resources. If we work together to act on our present realities, we can make long-term decisions that move us towards a city that works for the future, and towards an innovative and creative New Providence.

F FICE O THE MA F O YO

R

THE RESOURCES AND PROMISE OF OUR LOCALLY ESTABLISHED INSTITUTIONS STRETCH FAR BEYOND PROVIDENCE’S NEIGHBORHOODS. 16 16

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Jo

rg

e O. E

lorza


Nellie M. Gorbea | SECRETARY OF STATE

Strengthening Rhode Island’s C i v i c

P r i de

Th r o u g h

by Secretary Of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Over the course of nearly four centuries, Rhode Island has played a critical role in the formation of our country and shaping the American experience. From serving as a global beacon for religious freedom and tolerance to ushering in the American Industrial Revolution, we have a lot to be proud of as Rhode Islanders. It’s important that we celebrate, educate and capitalize our state’s history to boost civic pride and support the growth of Rhode Island’s tourism sector. As Secretary of State, I am dedicated to empowering and engaging all Rhode Islanders. An important part of this goal is to build and strengthen Rhode Island civic pride. The Rhode Island State Archives, a division of the Department of State, is the bridge that connects our state’s rich history to the present day. The State Archives also oversees the preservation of our state government documents, which makes transparent government possible. The State Archives is home to millions of historically significant documents, images and past records dating back to 1638. Our State Archives has the potential to make Rhode Island a national leader in U.S. archives and to help create valuable opportunities in civics education and tourism. It is located at

The State Archives is home to millions of historically significant documents, images and past records dating back to 1638.

E d u c at ion

337 Westminster Street in downtown Providence and offers two hours of free validated parking as a way to encourage Rhode Islanders to visit our treasures in person. We have already started to increase Rhode Islanders’ engagement with the State Archives through a combination of outreach, education and improved accessibility. In February, the State Archives hosted an exhibit of documents and materials that told the fascinating story of Rhode Island’s contributions during the Civil War. I was honored to host a roundtable discussion at the State Archives on the role that African Americans played in the formation of the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery regiment during the war. The discussion included Civil War scholars, local high school students and leaders from the state’s African American community. This month, we are offering a new exhibit titled “Historic Odds, Ends and Other Curiosities” that runs through the end of August. The exhibit provides the public a unique opportunity to view remarkable and curious items spanning hundreds of years of our state’s history. These items range from examples of colonial money, both authentic and counterfeit, to records of piracy trials, drawings of the Independent Woman, and even H.P. Lovecraft’s death certificate. Looking forward, we plan to expand the State Archives’ role as an educational resource to increase access and opportunities for Rhode Islanders to reconnect with our state’s wonderful history. The Department of State is developing interactive educational tools and will also be expanding its virtual exhibit collections to ensure that everyone can learn about Rhode Island history. I look forward to providing these opportunities for all Rhode Islanders to experience and enjoy the State Archives. Ensuring greater access to our State Archives can help make civic education relevant, contribute to local tourism and bolster Rhode Island state pride. www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs of 2015

Congratulations to the

W inners

The 2015 Young Entrepreneurs are true visionaries in their fields. It is not without hard-work and dedication that make them the successful entrepreneurs that they are, even at such young ages. The ability to lead and create lasting impacts in their lives and the lives of others is what is so intriguing about them. They are the new generation and we can only wait to see what’s ahead for these highly motivated individuals.

InspiringYoungLeaders

High School Student William Watterson Brown University Yelitsa Jean-Charles Rhode Island School of Design Alec O’del Rocky Hill School Alexander Brown Smithfield High School

Alison Hornung North Kingstown High School Dennis Gastel Wheeler school Grace D’Antuono North Kingstown High School Juliano Baez The Met High School

Kristin Carosotto East Greenwich High School Kyler Dillion MET Center for Innovation Noah Salem The Met School Thomas S. Wilkinson North Kingstown High School

Bradley Adams Bryant University Crystal Cote Community College of RI Ingrid Zippe Rhode Island School of Design

Linda Reyes University of Rhode Island Nicholas Hanson University of Rhode Island

College Student

Abdiel Eloi Johnson & Wales University Amanda Bucci University of Rhode Island Arran Maran Providence College

Young Alumni Adam Brunetti New England Institute of Technology

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Brittany Medeiros Johnson and Wales

Yoel Langomas The Met School


Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs of 2015 | SMALL BUSINESS

Christian Leonard | High School Recipient

Christian Leonard is an Independent Contractor for Social Media Promotions and has worked extensively with social media group, GrapeStory out of New York. Christian has cultivated an impressive list of companies in which he has completed contracted work. Companies including Coca-Cola, Nickelodeon, Microsoft and Virgin Mobile have sought him out to create campaigns that align with their products. His work has been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America and numerous online publications. He also just completed high school at Bishop Hendricken! Christian’s work involves creating short, 6-second videos on the popular social media platform, Vine. He has coined the term “vine magic” and creates videos that will encaptivate you for hours. What began as a passion, eventually turned into a career. Companies hire Christian because his Vine videos are clean and family friendly, yet are truly captivating.

The biggest startup challenge for Christian was growing his social media base. He began as we all do, at zero, and in one year gained 10,000 followers. At 150,000 followers he gained his first contract with Aquafina. He describes his first experience as an independent contractor and the process behind video shoots, “This was all new to me. I was told to send over three storyboards but at this point I was naïve – I didn’t even know what they meant by storyboards. I soon found out that this meant illustrative concepts for my promotional videos. I had to go through rigorous approval and shooting process. Shooting a video is an extremely stressful task because it can take hours and I refuse to stop until the video is perfectly shot.”

Education has always been in the forefront for Christian, when asked about the impact education has had on him, he explains, “People need to study for the sake of learning. Some of the principles that I have learned are to do things completely with maximum effort.” In the fall, Christian will attend Duke University where he will undoubtedly expand his skillset and continue to pursue his high-standard for learning. Christian plans to continue his success with social media by growing his Instagram and twitter accounts.

Sean Fay-Wolfe | High School Recipient

Sean Fay-Wolfe is an 18-year old entrepreneur who recently graduated from South Kingstown High School. He is a game programmer of self-published online games and creator of self-published Minecraft fan-fiction trilogy, The Elementia Chronicles. Sean was recently contracted by HarperCollins, one of the largest publishing companies in the world and is scheduled to appear at Comicon in San Diego where he will sit in on a panel among the bestselling middle-grade authors in the industry. His publishing deal allowed him to officially incorporate Diamond Axe Studios, a multi-faceted media company that will produce books, video games, online video games, and other creative products. Sean was first introduce to programming in seventh grade. He always had an interest in coding his own games and after seeing a presentation by someone who was comparing different coding languages, one of which was Scratch, he went home, downloaded the program and began his programming career. At the age of 13, Sean crafted his own video games and created Diamond Axe Studios to

establish his professional identity. At the age of 16, he finished writing Quest for Justice, the first book of the Elementia Chronicles trilogy that was later contracted by HarperCollins. At 17, he completed the second book of the chronicles and currently, he is finishing the last book. To gain the attention of one of the largest publishing companies, Sean self-marketed his first book via social media, community presentations and other media outlets. After selling thousands of copies of Quest for Justice, he peaked interest of HarperCollins. Now, he has contracts from other countries to translate and publish the trilogy abroad.

In the fall, Sean will attend the University of Rhode Island where he was awarded a prestigious Centennial Scholarship to pursue a major in English, second major in Elementary Education and a minor in Computer Science. He will continue to build Diamond Axe Studios and recruit more creative, like-minded individuals and understands that the true challenge in moving his business forward is finding the right talent. The truly impressive thing about Sean is that not only is he a creator and author, but that at such a young age his focus is to continue to be involved in education. DAS is working on an educational guide for teachers on how his books can be used in the classroom. He foresees himself to continue to give presentations at schools, libraries, and museums across Rhode Island to inspire kids to want to challenge their minds through reading and writing.

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs of 2015

Ava Anderson | College Recipient

At a young age, Ava Anderson founded Ava Anderson Non Toxic, a social venture that sells non-toxic products for the body and home. The business began with one skin care line that has since expanded into 16 distinct product lines with over 90 products that are among the safest on the market. To date, Ava has been awarded numerous accolades, spoke at TEDx talk, lobbied Congress for national legislation on chemicals and continues to inspire young entrepreneurs as a successful founder and CEO.

Her company was built on the idea that she could create chemical policy change and offer non-toxic alternatives to everything we use on a daily basis. She has learned a lot from her parents who taught her to be persistent, creative, and to believe in herself. Since the founding of the company, AANT has attracted the

attention of Forbes.com who featured her company in 2014 as one of Five Entrepreneurs Inspiring Today’s College Students. The company has been awarded Inc. Magazine’s 2015 Coolest College Startups, in addition, Ava has won RISBJ’s 2014 Entrepreneurial Women to Watch Award. Her company has donated over $620,000 worth of non-toxic products to the Gloria Gemma Cancer Foundation and has been named to Environmental Working Group 2015 Sunscreen Guide. As a senior at Babson College, she uses her network of professors who have had their own entrepreneurial successes to learn from. “I’ve learned to look at things from all sides – and respect a variety of opinions and approaches.” Although she is in college, she is a multifaceted student who is involved in all aspects of her growing company with one goal in mind, “to create a well-informed populace, whose voices –collectively – can make a real and lasting difference for health and well-being.”

Rebecca Giambarresi | College Recipient Rebecca began college at the age of 16. She received her Associates degree in Culinary Arts and Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition with a concentration in Clinical Dietetics and Food Science. She is the Chief of New Product Development and Co-Founder of The Hippothecary, a Food Pharmacy that will provide consumers with therapeutic food and apothecary products that protect against the progression of chronic diseases that are related to: • • • •

Heart Health Brain Acuity Systemic Inflammation Digestive Health

Their products are designed to work with current medications to provide consumers with a solution for targeted health products to focus on the four

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

primary chronic diseases. Their product focuses customers who recognize food as possible solutions to gaining greater health. In the United State, 47% of the adult population between 3555 years old is at risk for one or more chronic conditions related to the food they consume, The Hippothecary is a solution to this devastating statistic. One major challenge as an entrepreneur Rebecca had to overcome was gaining the knowledge of how to properly run day-to-day operations of a business. As the head of product development she works primarily in conducting product trials, research, and developing a system for organizing formulas. She is also versed in all aspects of the business. As a Johnson & Wales graduate, Rebecca will work alongside former professors and mentors to grow her business exponentially. “I have taken what was done in the classroom and applied it directly to my life now, and the success of my future.”


Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs of 2015 | SMALL BUSINESS

Maeve Jopson & Cynthia Poon | Young Alumni Recipients

Cynthia Poon and Maeve Jopson are RISD graduates who studied industrial design in 2013. It was at RISD that a question was prompted to find a need in the blind community for a group project. After much time and research their group found a gap in the toy industry for children who are blind. Their research concluded, “Toys designed specifically for children with disabilities look like medical devices and are ostracizing.” Their research also found that teachers and therapists developed their own adaptive toys and learning tools from scratch to better address social interactions and foster developmental skills for their students with disabilities. In 2013, further research brought Cynthia and cofounder, Maeve Jopson to the Meeting Street School where they later developed O-Rings: a full-body, sensory learning toy, for a young girl named Megan who lives with vision and motor impairments. From

there, Increment, a Rhode Island-based company that develops playthings for children of all ages and abilities, was born.

Increment toys encourages independence, exploration, and social play through sensory learning. The company was founded to make the world a better place and to maintain core values: collaboration, inclusive learning, health, accessibility, social innovation, and play. Cynthia and Maeve believe that their product can be differentiated in that, “Competitors in the market fail to address the benefits of inclusive play and universal design – we differentiate ourselves by creating products that foster developmental skills that are vital for children with disabilities, but rather than making them feel different, they help bring kids together, regardless of ability.” Starting the company was not without its challenges, with little experience in the business/startup sector Cynthia and co-founder, Maeve look to their former professors at RISD who provide them with constant feedback, mentorship, and advice. Their education has prepared them for better addressing a need, developing a prototype, bringing a product to market, and realizing the social impact of a collaboratively designed product.

William Nangle | Young Alumni Recipient

William Nangle is the Owner and Founder of The Rhode Island Brew Bus, LLC. The business provides all inclusive tours around the state of Rhode Island and into parts of Connecticut. Four tours are offered featuring visits to multiple breweries, tastings and tours of the breweries, trivia in between stops and tickets that include it all so you never have to open your wallet while on the tour. The brew bus was conceptualized by Bill when he visited his first brewery, from there he realized how much he really enjoyed the business of beer and the fascinating industry behind it. While studying at the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island, he spent his evenings researching and developing a plan for his big idea. During the day he applied his

ideas to courses he took to further his dreams. He found that internships were the most beneficial portion of his learning process. Bill’s ability to lead always came natural. He played sports in high school and was taught the value of leadership both in the classroom and on the playing field. “As captain of my volleyball and hockey team, I learned how to motivate and influence people and how to realize my mistakes and fix them the first time.”

As the owner/operator of the business Bill does just about everything. He works a full-time job in marketing and sales in addition to running all aspects of the Brew Bus on nights and weekends. Fortunately, Bill has a strong support system thanks to his parents who have supported every endeavor he has taken on and his fiancé and friends who are there to help him remain successful.

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

21


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Educate Rhode Island | SMALL BUSINESS

EducateRhode Island

A G u i d e t o L e a r n i n g i n t h e O c e a n S ta t e

$31,560 The average debt for Rhode Island College students from 2012-2013

The Average GPA

of 2014 University of Rhode Island accepted students was

3.43

According to Pew Research

91% of millennial

generation X, and baby boomer generations combined believe that college has, or will pay off.

81% Rhode Island’s

4th Place

Where Rhode Island ranks in the United States with highest amount of student debt.

High School Graduation Rate

31.3 %

of Rhode Islanders 25+ have a bachelor’s degree or higher www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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RHODE ISLAND ED and the sur

How did you finance your education? Help from parents, grandparents, loans, and myself Most difficult aspect involved in financing your education, if any: Everything Age 20, Managment Major, Franklin, MA

Most important factor when choosing to pursue higher education: Return on Investment How did you finance your education? Working, Scholarships 24

Age 20, Economics Major, Burlington,VT RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

Most important factor when choosing to pursue higher education: The curriculum of the field of study you want to major Age 21, Entrepreneurship, Providence, RI


DUCATION SURVEY rvey says...

Most important factor when choosing to pursue higher education: It wasn't a choice, I knew I was going to go to college. Wanted a good job. Age 49, Bachelors Electrical Engineering, MBA Middletown, MA

Most important factor when choosing to pursue higher education: Career Growth Most difficult aspect involved in financing your education, if any: The volume of loans and consolidating them after graduation to make the payment manageable How did you finance your education? Loans and employer contribution Age 44, MBA Business Natick, MA www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship Runs Deep At Johnson & Wales

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Runs Deep at Johnson & Wales Entrepreneurship and self-employment are quickly becoming viable alternatives to traditional jobs for many people, including recent college graduates. Few, however, have had any formal education, mentoring or assistance in how to start and run a business. But that’s changing at Johnson & Wales University.

The Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship on our Providence Campus is a regional hub for entrepreneurial activity. Known as the “eCenter,” it brings together entrepreneurial studies, experiential opportunities, alumni mentors, venture funding and the small business support services to transform students into entrepreneurs and their ideas into commercial or social enterprises. It also serves as a bridge to local, national and international businesses, chambers of commerce, business groups and government agencies such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). At JWU, students from all academic majors work within a supportive environment where they can try out their new ventures. Students can get a running start on their endeavors in a number of ways:

At “SharkFest,” students compete annually for cash awards,

JWU is the first “One Million Cups” (1MC) site in the area,

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incubator space, mentors and support services provided by the university. Modeled after the “Shark Tank” show, this contest began in 2011 and has grown to include all four campuses in the JWU system (Providence, North Miami, Denver and Charlotte). Alumni and students are both offered the opportunity to present their ideas to a select panel of judges who are leaders in the business community. joining 72 others throughout the United States. Chosen by the prestigious Kauffman Foundation as its initial New RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

England location, 1MC is a way to engage entrepreneurs in communities around the world. Every Wednesday morning at the JWU eCenter, two local entrepreneurs present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors and entrepreneurs. During the feedback and questioning segment, entrepreneurs gain insight into possible ways they can improve their businesses, gather real-time feedback and connect with a community that cares about their progress. The public is welcome to attend.

Johnson & Wales provides stipends for our students to participate in unpaid internships that are more aligned with their career goals. These opportunities have opened doors for them to seek employment in the nonprofit sector, an option some may not have considered prior to their internship. Students may also work on their own business in the eCenter and receive a stipend, too.

The spirit of entrepreneurship runs deep at Johnson & Wales; it’s in our DNA. A recent career progression study showed that entrepreneurial activity at JWU is higher than national business startup and/or business ownership rates. Supporting students in their startup efforts, as well as providing formal educational programs, greatly expands the range of options they have upon graduation. That’s good news, as economists point out, because growth in entrepreneurship has historically been a precursor to economic recovery. Come see for yourself: members of the community are invited and encouraged to stop by the eCenter to observe a One Million Cups session, take a tour and meet some of the young entrepreneurs on our campus who are experiencing their future now. For more information, visit www.jwu.edu/ecenter. John Robitaille is executive in residence at the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship at Johnson & Wales University.


WHERE NEW BUSINESS IDEAS COME TO LIFE

LARRY FRIEDMAN INTERNATIONAL 27 CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven


SMALL BUSINESS | What Have You Learned Today?

What have you

by Michael Brito

Learning comes in many forms, many experiences and from many areas of our lives. Do we have a standard for learning? Do we have an all encompassing method by which we must go about it? Do we ever think about how we learn? Let’s look at the many ways I’ve learned from and about life… From my early days as a heavy and road construction laboror to one of a business owner, I’ve always lived by the words of my father, “Mike, always be a student!” My Dad had a lot of trouble getting through school. Back in his day education wasn’t a priority and it was not seen as a necessity. When my Dad was a boy, working to provide for a young family was the focus. Pre- and post-depression, my Grandfather and Father knew that learning was accepted as part of the process not separate from the process. Learning came by doing, and doing was a mandate, not a choice! Generations have gone by without much fanfare regarding formal education for our minority community however, for the majority (those with the expectation of higher education) this was very different. The minority community (we all can agree) have a much different view of continuing education, a view from a “work or school” value. This juxtaposition life-scape may or may not be our choice and here is where this piece may acquire political tones (and that’s not what writer’s desire) however, I refer to this mindset as a choice of ones path and not the result of generational genetics! Yes, some of us have the wisdom of those before us regarding a “breaking the cycle” mentality but to what degree? We tend to think that all Rhode Islanders have

equal opportunity regarding the educational choices throughout our young lives however we indeed are not granted such blanket pathways. Being Rhode Island residents and minority business owners we see quite a different picture. We as entrepreneurs need to know the immense offerings and programs available for our staff! Select classes, seminars, twilight meetings or industry specific training; there can be a better tomorrow based upon the new and exciting things our state offers. My Dad was savvy enough to know that times change and what worked for his Father and himself wouldn’t be the answer for his children. He also knew that without a solid foundation of a formal education there would be little chance of continued success! That’s why he made it his main goal to be positioned professionally and personally to provide myself, my brothers, sisters and his grandchildren any and all opportunities of advanced schooling. Now I understand how unique my situation was; however, through my own pursuits regarding our employee’s needs of further learning, these opportunities do exist within the Ocean State for those that have the interest. We agree that finding opportunity takes a level of perseverance, diligence and commitment and all effort is rewarded! If your business is a member of any specific agency, union or trade association, chances are, there are training events available. If you do not currently belong to a trade or industry specific group, join one or two and you’ll find many resources available to you. Businesses are also able to contact the Department of Labor and Training for a wide selection of learning and training avenues. Don’t be intimidated by your desire to be seen as the “know it all”. My Dad always said, “When you think you’re ripe, you’re getting rotten!” Always seek out those men and women that can be advisors, mentors and leaders. Remember to question everything and seek out better ways to improve. Let’s all continue to be students of our trade and along the way, help others expand their minds by continuously looking for a better way! Remember…forever a student! Michael Brito Team Member, Managing the Road Ahead www.managetheroadahead.com

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College Degree Pays. Paying For It Is Challenging | SMALL BUSINESS

pay i ng

f or

i t by Ted Donnelly

As parents, we understand the value of obtaining a college education in today’s competitive workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a typical college graduate earned $11,749 in the last three months of 2011, nearly three times more than a high school dropout’s salary of $4,026. And for most with graduate degrees, the median earnings were $15,733 for the same period. But, even though a college diploma can pave the way to greater advancement and earnings potential, paying for it still remains a challenge for most American families. A recent Christian Science Monitor article reports the average tuition for a public, four-year state school rose 5% in 2012 to $8,655 per year. And, at private institutions, students need to shell out a staggering $39,518 per year for tuition, fees, and room and board. All told, in the past five years, tuition costs for private schools have increased 13% beyond overall inflation. Even as college tuition and other costs reach unprecedented levels, there are still plenty of options available to help ease the financial burden. Look into available state and university scholarships, financial aid packages, special college savings plans, and low-cost loans.

i s

c h a l l e n g i ng

Save smart and early. Gain a significant advantage and maximize your resources by choosing the college-savings plan that’s right for you.

Ask relatives to share the responsibility. Talk to grandparents and other relatives about contributing money to your college fund.

Encourage your children to save. Teach your kids to start saving for college early by putting aside a portion of their monetary gifts.

College is a major investment in your child’s future. And, like any investment, it is wise to do as much early preparation and research as possible. It may also be beneficial to consult an experienced financial professional who can advise you based on the specifics of your situation. This educational, third-party article is provided as a courtesy by Ted Donnelly, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Ted Donnelly at 401-276-8728 or efdonnelly@ft.newyorklife.com. Ted Donnelly, Agent New York Life Insurance

Here are some steps you can take to make the whole process as easy and as painless as possible. •

Improve your credit score. Establishing good credit can help you secure the low-cost loans you may need—and save thousands of dollars.

Plan for the unexpected. Estate planning and the right kinds of insurance will help protect against the derailment of your child’s college plans.

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SBA Elevates Millennial Entrepreneurs | SBA

SBA Elevates

M I L L E N N I A L by Seth A. Goodall

Millennials, born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, are the largest generation in the U.S., representing one-third of the total U.S. population in 2013. Millennials are a technologically connected and diverse generation. Their unprecedented enthusiasm for technology has the potential to spark change in traditional economic institutions and the labor market. The priority that millennials place on creativity and innovation make them an important engine for the U.S. economy for decades ahead. Millennials were born to be entrepreneurs and at SBA in New England we’re making millennial entrepreneurship dreams come true. It’s exciting to witness millennials becoming entrepreneurial trailblazers in our local communities and neighborhoods with SBA assistance. Despite their promise, unemployment remains high among millennials. One in four millennials are experiencing unemployment. Millennials who grow up in underserved communities face even higher rates of poverty and unemployment. Young AfricanAmericans and Latinos under the age of 25 are twice as likely to be unemployed. For many young millennials of color, entrepreneurship isn’t about monetizing a hobby for some extra cash, it’s about finding a way to support themselves. Research shows that more than half of millennials are interested in starting their own business, especially AfricanAmerican and Hispanic males. That’s why the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Maria Contreras-Sweet recently announced the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative for Millennial

E N T R E P R E N E U R S

Entrepreneurs. It’s a new federal outreach and education campaign to help America’s millennials become what we call “enterprise-ready.” President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young people of color and to ensure that all young people can overcome challenges and achieve their potential. The President’s new economic opportunity agenda for millennials creates new policies to support this generation.

help jumpstart their small business potential in where their talents and interests lie. Overall, we want to help millennials start, grow, and succeed as small business owners and we won’t charge them a dime for it. Entrepreneurship can be the answer if your question is “What’s next for me?” If you’re a potential millennial entrepreneur or know someone that is, go to www.sba.gov/young to learn more.

Seth A. Goodall New England Regional Administrator U.S. Small Business Administration

At the SBA, our message to millennials is clear. It’s a message of inclusion and possibility to

Millennials were born to be entrepreneurs and at SBA in New England we’re making millennial entrepreneurship dreams come true. www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | All About Internships

All About Internships by Lynne Finnegan

Lynne Finnegan from The College of Business at the University of Rhode Island gives us an in-depth scoop on internships for interns and businesses looking to receive interns. Highlighted are reasons why students should do an internship and why businesses should share their knowledge with interns. What are the benefits of an internship? √ Educational Experience √ Future job opportunities • • • • • •

• •

Internships provide work experience to students and recent graduates. An internship provides the opportunity to gain hands on work experience within the student’s field of interest. Employers see interns as prospective employees and many finish their internship and continue working with the company in a part time or full time capacity. Internships can help you decide if this is the right career for you. Internships are generally short-term, so you can test your future career without committing and find out if it is a career that will satisfy you. Internship are great ways to meet people and develop your professional network. An internship allows you to meet people that might help you land a job later on and give you the contacts in the industry you’re trying to break into. Also, internships can help you develop professional reference with in your industry. Internships are a great place to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. Internships are a great way to build your confidence and professionalism. It is also a great way to build your resume so you are more marketable.

What are some of the benefits for a business to hire interns? • Internships allow the company to see if this student will be a good fit with the company.

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

The company can hire a well-trained person at the end of the internship.

What can a company learn from students? Internships provide employers fresh innovative business solutions. Tell us about the process for assigning students to an internship. Do you follow a specific strategy? Students search for an internship just like a full-time job search. How do you best prepare your students for internships? Students in the College of Business take a required one credit career class to prepare them for the internship search and job search. They develop the tools that they need for applying and the interview process. An example of this would be a resume and cover letter, the skills that they need for interviewing and searching for an internship. The also participate in various career events though out the semester. This is all of the same tools that they will need for the full time job search after graduation. Do you recommend specific ways for business to attract great interns? Follow the academic cycle for the college (fall, spring, and summer terms) and start your process early, this would be posting and interviewing. Students are looking for experiences about a semester ahead of when they need to be doing the experience. They are also looking to work their academic schedule around an experience or vice versa. One of the more significant advantages to providing internships is the opportunity to select and develop your future talent. You have the opportunity to evaluate and screen potential employees prior to making a full-time position offer, which leads to financial savings. Lynne Finnegan The College of Business at the University of Rhode Island


Education During The More Relaxed Summer Months | SMALL BUSINESS

EDUCATION D u r i n g Th e M o r e R e l a x e d S u m m e r M o n t h s by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

School is out, but there is still time for education. Some of the more obvious educational opportunities include visits to museums, historic sites, and reading books. Some schools, of course, have summer reading lists. There are also numerous opportunities to attend workshops and special programs at colleges and universities. There are also college trips for families with rising high school juniors and seniors (though summer is probably the worst time for these trips, because one doesn’t get a realistic preview of the school). Summer also affords a great opportunity for all of us as small business owners, community leaders and as family members to think about our goals and to develop meaningful plans to achieve them. As small business owners we ought to think about where we are today and where we would like to be in the future. We need to also think about how our business environment, such a changing demographics and technology are changing. We should then prepare a very detailed step by step plan of how we will maintain relevancy and grow. Our plan should include general goals as well as specific learning actions

Some of the more obvious educational opportunities include visits to museums, historic sites, and reading books.

(with dates) we will take during the current year to prepare us to achieve our goals. As community leaders we need to recognize that students often do not know very much about business and career options open to them. We also need to recognize that with rising costs of higher education and well as the national need for more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), having some career goals at an early age is more important now than it was in the recent past. We can help by preparing career programs which are educational, memorable and fun for elementary, middle and high school age students and presenting these to youth groups and school career days during the academic year. Ideas for some specific activities may be found in previous issues of RISBJ. As family members we need to help all of our family members to achieve their educational goals. Start by asking everyone from middle school up to write down their long term objectives. (Help elementary school children to do this.) Then help them to come up with plans to achieve their objectives, and finally come up with some very specific actions – such as reading specific books or taking specific classes – or talking to professionals in a variety of careers. Be sure that people aren’t overburdened with too many activities, such that nothing happens. Assign dates for the most critical activities. Remove the others from the list. Then, throughout the year be sure that everyone is achieving their goals. Have fun while learning! Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro Independent Consultant in Human Factors Learning & Human Resources I would like to thank Industrial Consultant Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Understanding Financial Aid For College

Understanding Financial Aid For College by Stacey Crooks

Your child has made a big commitment by choosing to go to college. Likewise, you are putting a large commitment in your child by agreeing to pay for college. But many parents, like yourself, can’t help but wonder, “how the heck am I going to pay for this?” The sticker price on a college education can no doubt lead to shock. If you see that number and wonder how to pay for college with no money, know that there are options available. Most families these days don’t pay the sticker price published on a college website. Financial aid can greatly reduce that number to something that is affordable for your family. The amount of financial aid you are eligible for is directly related to your family’s personal circumstances, including income, assets, number of children, age of parents, etc. The formula used to determine how much aid you will qualify for is called the “Federal Methodology.” Some colleges also use an “Institutional Methodology” for awarding their own institutional funds. The federal methodology is put to work when you submit a FAFSA. Submitting this form as soon after January 1 as possible - and definitely before your

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

school’s deadline - is essential to receiving federal and state-based student financial aid.

1. Institutional grants are provided by the school itself and they will include them in your financial aid award if you qualify.

There are four major types of financial aid and none of them require up-front payment from you. These four types of aid are characterized into two categories: gift-aid and self-help aid. Gift aid is exactly that - a gift to you. It doesn’t require any investment from you and doesn’t need to be repaid. Grants and scholarships fall into this category. Self-help aid, while it doesn’t require up-front payment, does require an investment from you and/or your child. Student loans and work-study are forms of “self-help aid”.

2. SCHOLARSHIPS

1. GRANTS

The best type of financial aid to get, hands down. If you submit your financial aid forms (including the FAFSA, and if your school requires it the CSS Profile), by your school’s deadlines, and they determine you are eligible for a grant, they will simple add it to your financial aid package. Federal grants come in the forms of Pell Grants and FSEO Grants. States offer grants as well. For example, in Rhode Island, you will be considered for a Rhode Island State Grant as long as you submit your FAFSA before March

Scholarships are much like grants in that they don’t need to be repaid, but they sometimes have requirements you must meet in order to renew them, or they require that you send in a separate application for the scholarship, in addition to the FAFSA and CSS Profile. If the scholarship is awarded by the school itself, you may need to get your application materials in earlier than normal to be considered. For example, in order to qualify for the University of Rhode Island’s Centennial Scholarship, you must have your application in by December 1 and meet a host of other requirements. If the scholarship is being awarded by an outside organization, you will need to spend a considerable amount of time searching for opportunities. Just keep in mind you can’t complete a scholarship search in just one day, and you don’t need to be a straight-A student to get one. They are available to some based on financial need, or for other qualities. A great place to start your search is at your high school guidance office, or


Understanding Financial Aid For College | SMALL BUSINESS

The sticker price on a college education can no doubt lead to shock. sign up forRIScholarships.org to search an online database of local scholarship opportunities.

3. WORK-STUDY

Work-study is a federal program that sets aside dollars for a student to earn while working at an on or off campus job. The only difference between this program and a regular part-time job is where the funds come from. By providing workstudy funds, the federal government simply opens up more job opportunities to students. So, if this is included in your financial aid award, it is money that will help your child pay for everyday and living expenses, but they must do the work to get it. Just don’t expect it to reduce your tuition bill because this money is only paid as it is earned and is not awarded up front.

4. LOANS

Student loans are a form of financial aid that helps you pay up front tuition costs, but needs to be paid back. Student loans come in a variety of forms: federal, statebased and private. Federal student loans include the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (Stafford), Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loans (this one is for parents). State-based loans are offered through a network of nation-wide lenders, such as Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, and often offer very competitive rates and fees. Private loans vary widely from lender to lender and you must be careful to investigate the details of these loans (as with any loan!) before signing the note. So, you don’t have money set aside for college? That’s okay - you are not alone. Just remember there are billions of dollars in financial aid available out there to help. Stacey Crooks The College Planning Center of Rhode Island

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SMALL BUSINESS | Take Note: 5 Tips for Mobile Device Security

Take Note

5 Tips For Mobile

Device Security by Lisa Shorr

‘Tis the season for summer vacations! Textbooks tucked away and school buses toting kids to camp programs instead of school! Families venturing out to spend relaxing time at the beach or jet set to destination hot spots! Time away from structured environments such as the classroom or workspace often leads to increased usage of our mobile devices. Watch out: Hackers are ready to take advantage of this opportunity to steal your data! Even though school is out, it does not mean our education must come to a halt too. Last summer many celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton had quite the shock when their phones were hacked and compromising photos were released to the public. Think about what is on your phone. Banking information, passwords to various programs even private photographs. All of this is valuable and profitable information that can be sold on the black market. A good rule of thumb to follow: Remember your phone/tablet is not as private as you think.

against known threats that a hacker uses to gain access to your device. 3. Be aware of “Public Wi-Fi or Hotspots”: We all love the freedom of working from Starbucks or Panera Bread. As a convenience, these locations offer FREE Wi-Fi for guests. Be leery of hopping on to these and thinking your data is safe. A hacker could easily be lurking in the background waiting to see your bank account password or grab your contact list. It’s better to use a 4G cellular Hotspot instead. Hotspots are built into most phones. 4. Turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: Don’t make it easy for hackers to access your device. Turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use. Incidentally, this will also save battery life. Proactive actions now can prevent problems later. My goal is to turn this tip into a habit. You should too!

So what lessons can be learned from all of this? Here are 5 tips to take note of:

5. Turn on Remote Wipe: What if you lose your phone or worse, it is stolen? Turning on the “Remote Wipe” feature on your device allows you to perform a “factory reset” by erasing all of your data and bringing it back to its original state. For Apple’s iPhone & iPad use Apple’s iCloud service. Google Apps has an Android solution too.

1. Passcode Protection: A passcode for logging into your phone will help prevent unauthorized access to your information. Be sure to change this regularly, every 90 days is our recommendation.

The lesson to be learned is that we now need to treat our mobile devices with the same security mindset as we do our computers. Hackers are always going to push their limits. Be prepared! This is one test you do not want to fail.

2. Update Device Software: Like your computer, it is imperative to update your phone/tablet’s software too. While this is not a 100% guarantee, it will protect

Have a fun, safe and secure summer!

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Lisa Shorr Secure Future Tech Solutions


www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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Reducing Work SMALL BUSINESS | Reducing Workplace Stress

In 2014, 60% of employed Americans surveyed reported that work was a significant source of stress in their lives, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. Many health and medical authorities agree that sustained stress has long-term impacts on worker productivity, job satisfaction, and health. Stress can also lead to costly mistakes, accidents and injuries, while stressed workers are more likely to miss work or quit a job.

doesn’t function properly, can lead to stress and fatigue, muscle soreness, and repetitive strain injuries.

Poor air quality. Indoor and outdoor pollutants such as chemicals, smoke, unpleasant smells, or mold in the air ducts, can cause allergies, headaches and asthma, and can have long-term health impacts.

Overcrowded work space. Sharing work areas or having workstations crowded too closely together often increases interpersonal stress and conflict.

Long, difficult, or crowded commutes. Starting and ending every day with a long commute through heavy traffic, or rushing to catch trains and buses is a serious quality of life issue for many workers.

Stress in the workplace is usually caused by multiple factors. These are a few of the most common: •

Poor lighting. Lights that are too dim or too glaring, or not directed properly to work areas, can lead to eyestrain and headaches, especially for workers with visually demanding tasks, and older workers, who need more light to see detail.

Noisy environment. Noise is a proven stressor whether it’s caused by machinery, traffic nearby, or just the disturbance of common workplace sounds like telephones, office equipment, or conversations. A Cornell University study showed that noise also affects worker concentration.

Uncomfortable or broken workstation furniture. Furniture that isn’t ergonomic for the individual, or that

Even the best physic ruined by conflict or ten between employee 38

RISBJ | rhode island small business journal


Stress Reducing Workplace Stress | SMALL BUSINESS

kplace •

Uncomfortable climate conditions. Excessive heat, cold, dryness or humidity in the workplace can all add to workers’ discomfort and stress.

Clutter and disorganization. Clutter reduces efficiency by wasting workers’ time as they try to find what they need amid the disorganization.

Poor or dysfunctional interpersonal communications. Even the best physical environment can be ruined by conflict or tension among workers or between employees and supervisors.

While eliminating some of these stress factors may require major effort, others can often be addressed with some fairly simple changes. Whether you are the boss looking to make your whole company happier, healthier and more productive, or an employee who wants to improve your own conditions, try these steps:

Add natural elements

A work environment that incorporates features from the natural world has been shown to reduce stress. Natural lighting is a huge factor here. Windows are the best, but light fixtures that use glare free lighting and indirect lighting can also make a difference. If adding furniture or redesigning work areas, consider incorporating elements of wood and stone and other natural materials, such as wood furniture rather than metal or plastic. Where changing the décor is not practical, studies have shown that adding live plants reduces worker tension, depression and fatigue. Plants also improve indoor air quality and even help reduce noise.

cal environment can be nsion among workers or es and supervisors.

Manage the noise

If you share a large, busy workplace with other workers, it may be hard to manage this, but sometimes all you need is a closed door or a pair of noise dampening earphones to filter out distracting sounds. As an employer, you can manage the stress of noise. You can establish rules for music and conversation around the work areas; add sound absorbing materials; provide ear protection for workers who are exposed to loud machinery; and make sure your break room is a quiet refuge from the noisy work areas.

Get organized

As an employee, you can keep your own work space meticulously organized to reduce visual and mental clutter. If you need equipment such as file trays to help you manage your work materials, ask your supervisor if you can get them and explain how it will help you work better. As an employer, you can set standards and procedures for organized paper flow, as well as good management of any products or inventory or other materials. The more organized your workplace is, the more productive it will be.

Establish excellent communications

While it would take several books to address all the management and psychological issues and strategies involved in workplace relationships, a key starting place is having clear and respectful communications. As an employee, if you are having persistent problems with one individual, and a respectful conversation with that individual doesn’t help, then it’s your job to seek help from a higher-up to resolve the problem. As an employer, you will want all your employees and supervisors to know how to talk and listen respectfully, and to establish processes for giving instructions, addressing problems, and resolving conflicts. While some work-related stress is an inevitable part of life, you may be surprised at how much stress you can eliminate for yourself or your employees, once you identify and address its sources. Rob Levine & Associates specializes in Personal Injury throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability throughout the country. As “The Heavy Hitter” Rob Levine not only works hard on your case, but also believes in making a positive impact in the communities he serves. Through internal resources, education and volunteerism, Rob Levine & Associates strives to help prevent accidents, as well as raise awareness around the needs of our elderly and returning veterans. For more information visit www.roblevine.com, or call 401.529.1222 or toll free 800-529-1222.

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | It’s Time For Commercial

IT’S TIME F O R

C O M M E R C I A L

T h e a rg u me n t g rows fo r l aws r e q u i r i n g b u s i n e ss e s to m o n i to r c a r b o n m o n ox i de by John V. Carvalho III

In 2014, a carbon monoxide leak in the heating system at a large national seafood restaurant chain in New York resulted in the death of a restaurant manager, the hospitalization of another staff member and the need for 26 patrons to be treated at a local hospital. This tragedy sent a shockwave through the restaurant community. The seafood restaurant responded by installing carbon monoxide detectors in all the chain seafood restaurants. Yet the question most people had was, “why didn’t the restaurant have carbon monoxide detectors to begin with?” This is a good question with a most troubling answer: most states, including Rhode Island, do not require restaurants and retail to outlets to have carbon monoxide detectors. The Rhode Island Uniform Fire Code (RIUFC) does require carbon monoxide detectors in all apartment buildings, dormitories, lodging and rooming houses, one-, two- and three-family dwellings and child day-care facilities, but for places where patrons will not be sleeping, there is no requirement. The scary reality is that it doesn’t take much of a leak to have an impact. For example, if your employees work an eight-hour shift in an environment with an unknown carbon monoxide leak with a concentration of 200 parts per million (PPM), they would begin to experience headaches in as little as two to three hours.

Health Effects of Carbon Monoxide (CO): • 9 PPM %: 0.0009 Exposure time and symptoms: Maximum allowed ambient by EPA

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• 35 PPM %: 0.0035 Exposure time and symptoms: Maximum for 8 hour exposure • 200 PPM %: 0.02 Exposure time and symptoms: Headache in 2 to 3 hours • 400 PPM %: 0.04 Exposure time and symptoms: Life threatening after 3 hours • 800 PPM %: 0.08 Exposure time and symptoms: Dizziness, nausea, convulsion in 45 minutes. Death within 2 to 3 hours • 1600 PPM %: 0.16 Exposure time and symptoms: Headache, dizziness, nausea in 20 minutes. Death within 1 hour • 3200 PPM %: 0.32 Exposure time and symptoms: Headache, dizziness, nausea in 10 minutes. Death in 30 minutes • 6400 PPM %: 0.64 Exposure time and symptoms: Headache, dizziness, nausea in 2 minutes. Death in 10 to 15 minutes • 12800 PPM %: 1.28 Exposure time and symptoms: Death in 1 to 3 minutes Making the problem difficult to pinpoint is that everyone reacts differently to carbon monoxide. Some people fall ill in a short amount of time; for others it can be longer. As was the case at the seafood restaurant, it doesn’t take overnight exposure to carbon monoxide for it to be lethal. In some cases, 10 to 15 minutes of exposure can put you at serious risk. We recommend a carbon monoxide detection system for any retail store,

restaurant, hotel/inn that uses fossil fuel sources (oil, propane, and natural gas) in the basement or boiler room. It is even more important to have a detector if your heating systems employ elbowshaped pipes. Elbow pipes can be dangerous when there’s a leak because the shape of the pipe will slow the flow of the carbon monoxide and create much greater exposure than a straight pipe. In terms of the types of systems businesses should choose, that can vary on the size of the building and the number of people in that building at a given time. A smaller business could get by with a store-bought, battery-operated carbon monoxide detection system similar to the ones you might have in your home. Yet when you consider the potential risks and the devastating impact one incident can have on a business—even with no fatalities--it makes sense to take that extra precaution for your customers and staff. One recommendation we make with the installation of any gas detection


t’s Time For Commercial | SMALL BUSINESS

Some people fall ill in a short amount of time; for others it can be longer. is a maintenance plan. Why? If the gas detection system doesn’t work, you typically find out when someone gets sick or worse. Regrettably, many facilities managers for hospitality and retail outlets go by the mantra that if the gas detection system doesn’t see or read anything other than zero then nothing is wrong. Unfortunately, you can’t know a gas detection system is working unless it’s tested with the appropriate gases. That’s why it’s critical to work with a certified gas detection company with the appropriate accreditations. Sure, a maintenance plan is an added expense, but think of the cost of one incident like the one at the seafood restaurant. For smaller stores, restaurants or hotels, that could be a business-ender. When you compare the cost for a gas detection system and maintenance plan to potential litigation and bankruptcy, it really is a no-brainer.

John V. Carvalho, III is the president of Apollo Safety, Inc. Veteran-owned, Apollo Safety specializes in gas detection products and services for portable and stationary systems. For information, please visit www.gasmonitorinstallation.com or call 800-813-5408.

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SMALL BUSINESS | Personnel Practices: Rhode Island’s Newest Pregnancy Discrimination Law

Personnel Practices R H O D E I S L A N D ’ S N E W E S T P R E G N A NC Y D I S C R I M I N AT I O N L AW by Matthew R. Plain, Esq. & Kristen M. Whittle, Esq.

Rhode Island’s General Assembly recently enacted a new law providing greater protections to pregnant workers. Signed by Governor Gina Raimondo on June 25, 2015, this new law is intended to “combat pregnancy discrimination, promote public health, and ensure full and equal participation for women in the labor force by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition.” In enacting this law, which amends Rhode Island’s Fair Employment Practices Act, the General Assembly found that “Current workplace laws are inadequate to protect pregnant women from being forced out or fired when they need a simple, reasonable accommodation in order to stay on the job. Many pregnant women are single mothers or the primary breadwinners for their families; if they lose their jobs then the whole family will suffer. This is not an outcome that families can afford in today’s difficult economy.” Except as otherwise noted, this law takes effect immediately, and it applies to employers employing four or more individuals. Under this new law, it is now considered an unlawful employment practice for an employer: 1. To refuse to reasonably accommodate an employee’s or prospective employee’s condition related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, including, but not limited to, the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, if she so requests, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the employer’s program, enterprise, or business; 2. To require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to an employee’s condition related to the pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; 3. To deny employment opportunities to an employee or prospective employee, if such denial is based on

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the refusal of the employer to reasonably accommodate an employee’s or prospective employee’s condition related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; 4. To fail to provide written notice, including notice conspicuously posted at an employer’s place of business in an area accessible to employees, of the right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions pursuant to this section…” Employers must provide such notices to new employees upon the commencement of their employment, current employees by October 23, 2015, and any employee who notifies the employer of her pregnancy within ten days of such notification. In addition, the new law declares it unlawful for any person to obstruct or prevent anyone from complying with the provisions of the law.


Personnel Practices: Rhode Island’s Newest Pregnancy Discrimination Law | SMALL BUSINESS

Many pregnant women are single mothers or the primary breadwinners for their families; if they lose their jobs then the whole family will suffer. In order to comply with the new law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations upon an employee’s request, which the General Assembly defined to include: “more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, seating, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, break time and private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, assistance with manual labor, or modified work schedules.” Although the law provides an exception where the accommodations would pose an “undue hardship,” meaning an action requiring significant difficulty or expense, the burden is on the employer to prove that an undue hardship exists. Factors considered in determining whether an undue hardship exists include the overall financial resources of the employer; the overall size of the business of the employer with respect to the number of employees, and the number, type, and location of its facilities. Matthew R. Plain, Esq. Partner, Barton Gilman LLP Kristen M. Whittle, Esq. Associate, Barton Gilman LLP

THIS IS YOUR HEALTH BENEFITS EXCHANGE. YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW IT’S GOING. Be a part of Year Two. Buy your health insurance through HealthSource RI. 1.855.840.HSRI HealthSourceRI.com HealthSource RI is the official healthcare portal for the state of Rhode Island. Copyright ® HealthSource RI logo is the trademark and service mark of HealthSource RI.

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | If You Are Not Satisfied With The Way Your Business Is Running, Change The Design

I F

Y O U

A R E

by Larry Girouard

Every once in a while a defining moment presents itself. Several years ago, I attended a program with 20 company presidents. The featured speaker was Max Carey, noted author and national speaker. He started his three-hour program with a direct question to the group: how many of you are not satisfied with the way your business is running, and feel that there is a lot of room for improvement? Everyone raised their hand. He followed that question with this statement, while pointing an accusatory, but friendly, index finger at all of us: “Your business is running exactly the way you have designed it to run. If you are not satisfied with the way your business is running, change the design. If you change the design, behavior will follow.” Change the design! Sounds logical, but what should the new design look like? How do you even begin to entertain the notion of a new design for your business? What does new design really mean? Is Max Carey’s statement a convenient and catchy phrase that, in reality, is a Herculean undertaking when attempting to put it into practice? It is interesting that when I talk with company presidents about their businesses, almost all of them will state that they want to grow their businesses and improve their bottom lines. Business owners are very competitive. They like to win. Market penetration is a form of winning and when a company is penetrating a market, this growth is intoxicating for both the business owner and the employees. Profitable growth is energizing for all company stakeholders! Most companies have less than 3%5% of their served available market (SAM, defined as the total market for the

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N O T

S A T I S F I E D

product or service a company provides within the geographic region they cover). In most cases, management talks about growing 5%-10% a year rather than strategically discussing how they can capture another 1%-2% of the market representing double digit growth of 15%, or more.

What is stopping them from this level of growth? Two prime reasons: 1. Not taking the time to step back and think strategically 2. An ineffective business design Most markets are relatively mature, making it difficult to differentiate the core product or service your business was founded on to deliver. Competition has the same challenge. Capturing market share, and differentiation, go hand in hand. As markets mature, differentiation must be established by changing the way your company

W I T H

runs internally, resulting in a customer experience that is measurably different. Differentiation is all about the looking at your product in a more holistic manner, defining it as the total interaction, or touch points, between your customers and your company. Defining the current output, the “As Is” is the first step. How good is your company’s output relative to competition? It is good enough to hold on to your 3% of the SAM, but certainly not exciting enough to capture

T H


H E

If You Are Not Satisfied With The Way Your Business Is Running, Change The Design | SMALL BUSINESS

W A Y

Y O U R

additional share, or it would have happened by now. OK, it’s time to start thinking about a new business design. Why? Because the current design has only allowed you to capture, and hold, a 3% share of your SAM. Customers will not switch suppliers or providers unless they are given a real reason to do so.

Here is a thought that I would like to leave you with:

B U S I N E S S

If you take the time to list all the elements of the current output of your company, and distribute this list to all your employees to review, comment on, and make additions, this will begin the process of changing the business design. This output list is comprised of all the needs, wants and complaints that your customers have. Some examples on the list might be on-time-delivery, live operator, quick response to a customer request, professional communication on projects, electronic billing, quality, and lead times. This list will easily exceed 30 separate items. Because employees add most of the value to the company output, they must have most of the input into the change process, or the new design will not be sustainable. Having your employees look at your company through the current output lens, or the customer’s view, has

I S

R U N N I N G

the tendency to not make this approach personal to any single employee. For example, if lead times are three to four weeks (the “As Is”), and the goal is to reduce this to two weeks (the To Be”), this transition is not the result of one employee’s actions, or inaction. Having your team of employees look at the existing overall company process that impacts lead times will naturally result in discussions, and suggestions, that positively impact the work flow through the company. The existing “As Is” process in the company yields a three- to four-week lead time. Most efficiency gains are realized through the employees’ suggestions that result in time and motion compression in the way they personally work, and how all employees work together. Management and employees can use the many common sense tools to provide them with guidelines to drive the change process. In the world of lean (based on the Toyota Production System), it is stated that 95% of all the actions that we do in our companies are considered non-value added by our customers! Driving internal efficiencies through the elimination, or reduction of waste, will have a positive impact of your company’s output. Changing corporate processes that directly link to improving elements of the corporate output provides marketing with a value proposition that is quantifiable leading to real differentiation. The opportunities to dramatically improve your company’s output are profound. Differentiation starts with process optimization driven by the employees. Pick a process within your company as a beta test. Have the employees drive the process modifications and measure the improvement. You will be surprised with the results. Larry Girouard Business Avionix Company, LLC

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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Education in Action | FEATURED NONPROFIT

Education in Action by Nick Hurley

Education in Action is a non-profit organization located in Providence, Rhode Island whose mission is to educate and inspire youth for real world success. EIA executes this mission by means of hands-on, experiential programming in the field of financial literacy. Founded in 2008, EIA has served over 25,000 students in its variety of programs. The hallmark program of Education in Action is Exchange City, which served 2,300 students last school year alone. Education in Action believes that education, particularly financial literacy education, is the only currency which can end the cycle of poverty. Education in Action is a small operation with a full-time staff of two; Executive Director, Henry “Hank” Johnson, and Program Director, Nick Hurley. EIA also employs several Program Facilitators who instructed the Exchange City curriculum at various schools throughout the New England. Corporate governance is managed by a board of directors which includes individuals from Rhode Island Credit Union, Citizens Bank, Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University, Roberts, Carrol, Feldstein, and Peirce, Hasbro, National Grid, Verizon, and Samuel Slater Junior High School. EIA’s flagship program, Exchange City is an immersive, handson curriculum which culminates in a field trip to a state-of-the-art mock city in which students are both the citizens and economy. In the classroom, students are exposed to a variety of topics including economics, civics, and personal finance. Students write resumes, apply for the jobs in Exchange City, and ultimately

interview for those jobs. Students are then placed in the various jobs and develop a business plan, which includes accounting for payroll, developing a budget, and creating various marketing campaigns. Once the student’s business plans are completed they take a field trip to Exchange City and apply what they have learned. EIA averages 40 field trips during the school year. EIA also offers a variety of after school programs. These programs are hosted in Cranston, Providence, West Warwick, Pawtucket, and Central Falls. EIA’s after school programs are also based in financial literacy, however they are presented in different packages to entice a wider range of student participation. For example, EIA offers Music Moguls After School Club in which students learn the customary financial literacy skills, but also create their own ‘record label’ in which students compose original music, write lyrics, record the song, and leave the program with a CD with their own music on it. Additionally, EIA offers financial literacy programs that also contain elements of photography, healthy living, and cooking. EIA is committed to the improvement of financial literacy skills for all individuals in Rhode Island and is starting at the schools. EIA generally targets middle school students, as this age group is old enough to firmly grasp the concepts and carry the learning lessons with them as they grow. This age group is also young enough that these individuals can hone these skills and develop into well-rounded, well-informed citizens, wise consumers, and active members of a 21st century democratic society. Nick Hurley Education in Action

www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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REAL ESTATE

NEWS

Rhode Island Pen I N D I C A T E

S T R O N G

H O U S I

WARWICK, RI - The Rhode Island Association of Realtors released sales data today which showed that single family home sales climbed upward in May, with the number of sales rising six percent from 12 months earlier. The median sales price increased nine percent to $227,500. Perhaps the most telling statistic was pending sales, which rose 13 percent from the prior year. With 1755 Rhode Island homes under contract, the May data showed the highest number of pending contracts since record keeping began in 2005. The significant number of homes under contract is an indication that the housing market should gain significant momentum during the summer months.

favorable conditions for both buyers and sellers,” commented Bruce Lane, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. Lane further explained that the number of single family homes on the market decreased slightly from a year ago and that decrease, along with increased sales, created a housing market equally balanced between seller supply and buyer demand.

“Continued low interest rates and an improving economic outlook have lured buyers back into the market. We don’t have winners and losers at this stage in the game. We’re seeing

In other categories, condominium sales also saw positive growth after months of fluctuating progress. The number of Rhode Island’s condo sales increased five percent in May and

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A 33 percent decrease in the number of single family home foreclosure and short sales was further evidence of the return to a healthier housing market. Distressed sales accounted for less than one in eight sales last month.


REAL ESTATE

NEWS

nding Contracts N G

M A R K E T

T H I S

median price rose 11 percent to $221,000. Conversely, after significant gains in March and April, activity in the multi-family home market dropped off by 19 percent. The median price of those sales however, increased three percent. “Buyers are regaining the confidence they need to invest in their future, so we’re telling our clients, if you price it right, it will sell,” said Lane.

About the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®

The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®, one of the largest trade organization in Rhode Island with approximately 4,000 members in 750 offices, has been serving Rhode Islanders since 1948. Advocating for Rhode Island’s property owners, the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® provides a facility for professional development, research

S U M M E R

and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property. The Association is one of more than 1,437 local boards and associations that comprise the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America ‘s largest trade association, representing over 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

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Lynch’s Cleaning & Restoration www.lynchsrestoration.com Shawn Lynch 25 Starline Way Cranston, RI 401-464-8937

Local Loyalty Partners, LLC www.loyaltyprogram.com Ernie Pitochelli 150 Midway Road Cranston, RI 02920 401-368-6911

COACHING & CONSULTING Redwood Environmental Group www.redwoodenv.com Contact: Gary Kaufman 10 Elmgrove Avenue Providence, RI 401-270-7000

PuroClean Disaster Restoration www.purocleanri.com Terri Abbruzzese 5 Minnesota Avenue Warwick, RI 401-633-5565

ENERGY Super Green Solutions www.supergreensolutions.com Robert Cagnetta 300 Quaker Lane, Box # 6 Warwick, RI 401-932-1985

FINANCE

The Growth Coach www.thegrowthcoach.com/dmarantz Daniel Marantz 33 Urso Drive Westerly, RI 401-612-4769

J.P. Matrullo Financial www.jpmatrullofinancial.com Jonathan Matrullo 10 Orms Street, Suite 410 Providence, RI 401-276-8788

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Morgan Stanley www.morganstanley.com Rick Bellows 1 Financial Plaza, 19th Floor Providence, RI 401-863-8400

Butler Realty www.butlerrealty.us Jeff Butler 655 Main Street East Greenwich, RI Scotti & Associates www.scottirealestate.com Peter Scotti 246 Hope Street Providence, RI 401-421-8888

DESIGN & MARKETING Artinium, Inc. www.artiniuminc.com Darren Marinelli 5 Division Street, Building D, 2nd Floor Warwick, RI 401-729-1997 Big Fish Results www.bigfishresults.com Tony Guarnaccia 5 Division Street Warwick, RI 401-484-8736

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

The Ameriprise Financial Planning www.ameripriseadvisors.com/Eric.Coury Eric Coury 1 Citizens Plaza, S. 610 Providence, RI 401-996-7660

HEALTH & WELLNESS Aflac Allen Miller 29 Crafts Street Newton, MA 02458 617-658-1820 www.aflac.com

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Thrive Networks www.thrivenetworks.com Kevin Ellis 836 North Street, Building 300, S. 3201 Tewksburry, MA 978-243-1432

TIMIT Solutions, LLC www.timitsolutions.com Tim Montgomery 100 Randall Road, Unit 93 Wrentham, MA 02093 774-307-0652

INSURANCE Allstate Benefits www.allstate.com Jeff Davide 98 Hollis Avenue Warwick, RI 401-500-3748

PAYROLL Paychex www.paychex.com Andy Pachomski 501 Wampanoag Trail Riverside, RI 401-663-6677

RENTALS Ocean State Rentals www.oceanstaterental.net Jim Baldwin 530 Wellington Ave Cranston, RI 401-941-4002

SIGNS AA Thrifty Signs www.aathriftysign.com Linda Iannotti 221 Jefferson Boulevard Warwick, RI 401-738-8055

TELECOMMUNICATIONS Wireless Zone www.wirelesszone.com Jason Sorensen 76 Gate Road N. Kingstown, RI 401-886-8484

TRANSPORTATION A Airlines Express Limousine & Car Service, Inc. www.aairlineexpresslimousine.com Virginia Coulley P.O. Box 222 Saunderstown, RI 401-295-4380


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www.risbj.com | volume four issue seven

53


Better ambiance keeps guests coming back. From heating and cooling to lighting, our specialists can suggest energy saving solutions that will cut costs and improve your restaurant’s ambiance.

Find energy saving solutions at ngrid.com/smallbusiness

54

RISBJ | rhode island small business journal These programs are funded by the energy efficiency charge on all customers’ gas and electric bills, in accordance with Rhode Island law.

RISBJ - Young Entrepreneurs  

Young Entrepreneurs issue of RISBJ

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