S t r at e g i e s f o r I n d u s t r y L e a d e r s
J u ly/AUG / S E P T 2 0 1 2
Bennigan’s Makes a Comeback p. 86
General Motors’ Marketing Guru p. 169
FRONTRUNNER After a 20-year uphill climb to Motorola Solutions’ general counsel seat, Lewis Steverson shows no signs of slowing down p.114
We get personal with general counsel from: General Electric, 3M, Ford Motor Co., Emerson Electric, & more P.112
Women Executives in Baseball p. 179
TO GET THE BEST TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUR BUSINESS, SEE A SMALL BUSINESS SPECIALIST AT A VERIZON STORE TODAY. profile I july/aug/sept 2012
1.800.VZW.4BIZ(4249) verizonwireless.com/smallbusines profilemagazine.com
MAKE THE WORLD THEIR CLASSROOM. From the chalkboard to the message board, Verizon technology enables students and teachers to enhance learning beyond the classroom door. Download assignments, upload projects, use video to collaborate with classmates and learn from more places than ever before. A suite of education solutions and unmatched network coverage and reliability from Verizon adds up to a better—and more expansive—learning environment. verizonwireless.com/education
MOBILE BROADBAND ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS VOICE & MESSAGING MONITORING & CONTROL
Activation fee/line: $35 IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Subject to Cust. Agmt, Calling Plan, rebate form & credit approval. Up to $350 early termination fee/line & add’l charges apply for extra minutes, data sent/received & device capabilities. Offers & coverage, varying by svc, not available everywhere; see vzw.com. Limited-time offer. Restocking fee may apply. 4G LTE is available in 179 cities and 114 airports in the U.S.; coverage maps at vzw.com. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. © 2012 Verizon Wireless. july/aug/sept 2012 I profile 3
The #1 Privately Owned Out of Home Media Company We’re on the ground, in the air, at the, game and beyond the conventional
Van Wagner CommuniCations, LLC 212.699.8400 • www.vanwagner.com • 800 Third Avenue New York, NY 10022
IN GOOD COMPANY
Special section: top corporate counsel
Though their high-powered roles require them to constantly be on their toes, 11 of todayâ€™s top in-house general counsel sit back and let loose with Profile in this special section. From sailing to working on the farm, we get a rare personal look at the colorful characters keeping legal mishaps at bay for companies ranked among the top 150 largest corporations in America by Fortune magazine.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
CONTENTS C-SUITE  Navigating New Skies Joe Kelley of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.  “Soul” Asset Manager Ken Polk of Arlington Family Offices  The Credit Union CEO Christine Chojnicki of Riverset Credit Union
 A Vision for Growth Edgar Higgins of Thousand Islands Agency  Why Quality Outweighs Quantity Leigh Bivings of Artemis Financial Advisors
 Foodie by Nature Richard Armanino of ItalFoods, Inc.
 Upshot’s positive mojo and happy staffers result in campaigns that wow clients
 Bennigan's: Rebuilding a brand after bankruptcy
 The Industrial Brothers Brian and Alex Benyo of Brilex Industries, Inc.
 Fantasy vacations and generous birthday and anniversary bonuses are only some of the perks at MCM
 Western Heritage Credit Union: Helping customers weather tough times
 Inklined to Push Forward Michael Kahn of Genesis Technologies  Redefining Financial Assistance Bernard Isabelle of Vermont Federal Credit Union  Pushing the Boundaries Joan Davison of Staff Management SMX  Building a Safety Powerhouse Gail Grueser and Joe Ventura of Safety Controls Technology  Leading with Transparency Richard Apfel of Skyline Windows  Lending a Helping Hand Barry Heape of DOCO Regional Federal Credit Union
 JMG Financial Group, Ltd. staff wins when company drops its "eat-what-youkill" mentality  Walsh Insurance Group maintains a commitment to its clients and community after 150 years  Mariner Wealth Advisors grows 4,375% after salespeople are separated from advice givers
 Creating Lasting Connections Bart Zimmerman of Digital Direction  The Wealth Managers Allan Zachariah and Steve Braverman of Pathstone Family Office
 Innovest Portfolio Solutions LLC: Juggling all the components and managing to grow a start-up  Safety Service Systems: Selling event-based services during a recession  Marathon Investment Programs: Starting a whole new career as an investment manager  Vogel Consulting: Moving past the hiccups of starting your own firm
 At Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency, employee turnover is nearly nonexistent
 XML Financial Group: Gaining the trust of clients during the financial crisis
 Balentine’s staff bring diverse perspectives and outside innovation to work
 FiberLight, LLC: Grappling with a telecommunications bust  The Fieldstone Financial Management Group, LLC: Finding success by going against the grain
 A True Turnaround Story Judy Morin, Pam Laverriere, and Paul Peterson of Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union
THE GOODS  Compactible and vibrant bags from Flip & Tumble  Eco-friendly bottled water via Nirvana Inc.  The fancy shoes of fortune footwear  Nutritious bars with Think thin
 Being a lifelong geek with International Game Technology’s Chris Satchell
 Kerstin Emhoff of PrettyBird on generating buzz by doing the unexpected
 Moving forward with General Motors’ Michael J. Weidman
 Dick Barton of Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth on how to continually expand the company’s abilities and clientele
 Venturing across the pond with Megabus’ Dale Moser  Turning up the volume with V-Moda’s Val Kolton  Hitting it out of the park with the Texas Rangers’ Paige Farragut  Being a team player off the field with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Vicki Bryant  Giving back to the community with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Patty Paytas  Finding the perfect match with Yeh IDeology’s Angela Yeh  Going from start-up to a billion-dollar company with World Wide Technology’s Jim Kavanaugh  Flipping coins with Kagin’s Don Kagin  Excelling as a full-service out-of-home advertising agency with C2C Outdoor’s Michael Palatnek  Finding your niche with Joel Isaacson & Co.’s Joel Isaacson
 Richard Wainio of Tampa Port Authority on keeping afloat during turbulent economic times prettybird
Impact  Sweet Philanthropy: Laura Pekarik of Cupcakes for Courage  Taking Care of Its Own: Harry Tram of Loyola University Employees Federal Credit Union  Giving Back Made Simple: Ed Finke and Nathan Bachrach of Simply Money Foundation  Brokering a Better Community: John Cramer of TriSure Corp.  Value in Loyalty: John Stephens of RED River Federal Credit Union  Lending a Hand: Patrick Adams, Michael O’Brien, and Dorothy Bell of St. Louis Community Credit Union  Head of the Class: Mark Weinstein of ICUBA
+ PLUS  EDITOR’S LETTER
 Kelly Saxton of The Saxton Group on creating and maintaining a successful franchise  Steve Mungall of Santa Maria Suites on navigating modern hotel marketing and management for a fourdiamond hotel  Jeff Dubofsky of Staff Up America on cultivating a community spirit  Alma Dacanay of Pik-Nik Foods, USA on creating a global brand on a shoestring  Dave Fister and Steve Foerster of Richards Agency, Inc. on how treating employees like entrepreneurs is smart business  William Watson of Coordinated Resources, Inc. on how honoring industry relationships and keeping ahead of trends is a winning combination  Richard Miletic of ZK Celltest on making sure the company doesn’t drop the ball—or a call  Dennis and Jack Walters of Acme Finishing Company, Inc. on how doing things others won’t do keeps them ahead of the competition  Jeff Bush and Laurel Eriksen of Alaska Public Entity Insurance on following an unconventional business plan
 RECOMMENDED READING  UP CLOSE
 5 THINGS  FACTS & FIGURES world wide technology
 behind the spaces  GLOBETROTTING
Drawing Board  Rob Diemer leads two-year-old green spin-off In Posse
july/aug/sept 2012 I
director of strategic partnerships
guerrero howe, llc
director of sales
Pedro Guerrero president
Titus Dawson firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Howe ceo & publisher
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SALES
Christopher Howe managing editor
Kathy Kidwell email@example.com
George Bozonelos firstname.lastname@example.org editorial research manager
Krista Lane Williams
Darhiana Mateo email@example.com
editorial research coordinator
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER/REPRINT MANAGER
Cyndi Loza firstname.lastname@example.org correspondents
Cristina Adams Matt Alderton Chris Allsop Javacia Harris Bowser Caitlin M. Cunningham Ruth Dávila Tricia Despres Julie Edwards Kelly Hayes Jennifer Hogeland Annie Monjar Trenna Nees Mark Pechenik Lynn Russo Whylly Ovetta Sampson Erin Sauder Julie Schaeffer Kaleena Thompson Tina Vasquez Rowena Vergara Stuart Ziarnik
Ty Attiek Keith Cork Kevin Cornell Natasha Gambrell Shaan Haque Kyler Laurie Thomas Lesser Ervin Olson Doug Rowe Maria Sultemeier Gregory Wenrich Jim Williams Stuart Ziarnik
DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Cheyenne Eiswald account managers
Administrative accounting assistant
Mokena Trigueros HR generalist
Diana Schnekenburger executive assistants
Ashley Bigg LeeAnne Hawley circulation manager
Lee Posey RECEPTIONIST
Lindsay Craig Amy Lara William Winter Ashley Zorrilla sales representatives
James R. Ainscough Emily Boyd Maggie Coleman Logan Distefano Benjamin Fongers Matthew Hardy Michelle Harris Brendan Healy Jessica Holmes Gianna Isaia Justin Joseph Rebekah Mayer Agnes Pulawski Chelsie Rowe Bobby Stone Jennifer Ublasi
Art creative director
Karin Bolliger SEnior designer
Jessica Henry designer
Ryan Duggan Caroline K Thompson photo editors
Sheila Barabad Samantha Simmons
Subscriptions + Reprints Printed in South Korea. Reprinting of articles is prohibited without permission of Guerrero Howe, LLC. For reprint information, e-mail email@example.com. For a free subscription, please visit profilemagazine.com/sub.
Office 205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200, Chicago, IL 60601 Profile ® is a registered trademarks of Guerrero Howe, LLC.
Expect the Unexpected. A few months ago, when our editorial team began envisioning a special section showcasing some of the top general counsel in the country, we didn’t foresee many surprises. We imagined a series of profiles on high-powered lawyers talking about their biggest wins and the role they play in securing the future of some of the world’s most powerful corporations. We got so much more. Our special section (beginning on p. 112) reveals a whole new side of some of the country’s biggest corporate counsel representing companies ranked as the top 150 by Fortune magazine, including the likes of General Electric, Ford Motor Co., Emerson Electric, Marathon Oil Corp., and more. This elite group of 11 general counsel open up about their passions, hobbies, flaws, and hopes. We hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we did. An underdog no more, our cover star Lewis Steverson, general counsel of Motorola Solutions, reveals how as a high school cross-country and track-and-field runner, he channeled his relentless drive and discipline to make up for his shortcomings—and how this same discipline has catapulted him to new heights in his professional career. “When you get up at 5 o’clock every morning and force yourself to hammer miles, your personality develops in a certain way,” says Steverson. “The discipline and strength of character you need to be a runner have helped me be an effective lawyer.” Bennigan’s battle-hardened CEO, Paul Mangiamele, shares Steverson’s fighting spirit. In “Rebuilding a brand after bankruptcy,” (p. 86), Mangiamele tells us how the beloved franchise has made a comeback after closing all 150 corporate locations and liquidating its assets. Another example of people beating the odds is our spotlight on three women baseball executives from the Texas Rangers (p. 179), St. Louis Cardinals (p. 182), and Pittsburgh Pirates (p. 185) who are making a name for themselves in the male-dominated sports industry. From the legal field to the restaurant business to the sports industry, the professionals featured in this issue share a passion for their jobs that turns seemingly insurmountable obstacles into exhilarating challenges. And that’s a lesson we can all take home.
photo: SAMANTHA SIMMONS
Darhiana Mateo Features Editor
NEW DEPARTMENTS ▶ Overcoming Obstacles: Your peers share how they’ve bounced back from challenges and emerged stronger than ever ▶ Drawing Board: A close look at some of the most promising start-ups of today from ground zero to future outlook
july/aug/sept 2012 I
r ecommended r eading
Understanding a New Breed of Consumers Why businesses should think beyond social media to truly connect
The End of Business As Usual Delving much deeper than just a look at how social media is changing the business landscape, renowned newmedia thought leader Brian Solis offers a sophisticated exploration of the “rise of the connected consumer,” and how businesses can—and should—adapt to effectively compete for this new breed of consumers’ attention, and most importantly, their loyalty. The book makes the case that for companies to truly succeed in this new technology-driven age, their transformation needs to be bigger than just connecting with customers via social networks. Executives need to understand this emergent consumer category and how to reframe their business objectives, priorities, and financial goals accordingly. Filled with case studies, The End of Business As Usual teaches by example, highlighting how leading companies are finding success with connected customers, and challenging readers to embrace the new reality of today’s marketplace.
About the Author Recognized around the world as one of the most prominent thought leaders and authors in new media, Solis has carved a successful niche studying the effects of emerging media on business and culture. He is a principal of Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm in Silicon Valley. In the past, he led strategy development for Fortune 500 companies and new businesses all over the globe. Connect with Brian Solis
• briansolis.com • endofbusiness.com • @briansolis
“Today's biggest trends—the mobile web, social media, gamification, real time—are changing the landscape for business and consumerism. Consumers are becoming increasingly empowered and influential. They are learning how to personalize their online experiences and as a result, the people, organizations, and information they choose to connect with form a trusted network. How these connected consumers discover, share, and communicate is different than their traditional counterparts and require businesses to rethink their approach. To adapt, organizations need to examine the impact of technology on consumer behavior and understand its affect on how connected consumers make decisions and influence the decisions . of their peers.” Excerpted from The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis. Copyright @2011 Brian Solis.
10 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Target Audience: When I first opened the gym, I thought it was going to be a niche thing for mostly young, fit girls. I was so wrong. I was amazed we immediately appealed to a wide range of women. BORN Newfoundland, Canada
60% Of customers live 20 miles or farther
How does Flirty Girl stay ahead of the competition? Pole dancing may be a fad and come and go, but that’s why it was so important for us to incorporate other classes. It’s one of 50 classes that we offer.
My Proudest Achievement:
My son, he’s my whole world; Having started Flirty Girl Fitness from nothing— from taking it to market to impacting an enormous amount of women.
Why focus on social aspect of working out: I want flirty girl fitness to
be that space where you can actually get to meet people in person as opposed to meeting them all online.
Education: MBA graduate of Concordia University in Montreal
Age of oldest student Business Philosophy: To go big. To set the bar really high. I never had the plans to open just one studio … it had to be something that was going to be bigger.
My Role Models: Oprah was
one of my biggest role models. Someone who started something from nothing—I always sort of looked up to her.
My leadership style in 3 words: To Lead Creatively
7,500 Square feet in
Chicago’s West Loop studio
Locations in North America
Number of members: 102,000 customers in Chicago 11,000
Square feet in Chicago’s Lincoln Park studio (opening this April)
Making the right moves with
Kerry Knee CEO of Flirty Girl Fitness
When fitness-enthusiast Kerry Knee was looking for a place in the United States to open a branch of her “unconventional” women-only fitness studio, Flirty Girl Fitness, she was told to avoid the conservative Midwest. In May of 2007, she opened a Chicago branch, anyway. “To me, it just gave us the opportunity to stand out as something different,” Knee says. Featuring more risqué classes including the increasingly popular pole dancing, this “ungym” is now a female hotspot for fitness in Chicago, with studios fully equipped with a bar and nail spa to give its members ample time to drink a martini while indulging in a pedicure after a long workout. Knee first opened her first fitness and high-end women’s social club—with feminine appeal to spare—in Toronto in 2006 with her sister Krista. Now residing in Chicago, Knee answers our questions on how she evolved her ideal gym into an international business—complete with a clothing line, instructor-certification program, and as-seen-on-TV DVDs. Interview by cyndi loza
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Snagging the Deal business benefits of using a daily deal site
In a tight economy, any opportunity to stretch a dollar is too hard to pass up. Naturally, this appeal draws many to daily deal sites where customers can shop, eat out, or work out at participating local businesses for a fraction of their regular price. Though many take advantage of daily deals through sites such as major player Groupon, Inc., participating businesses marking down their products and services are also reaping the rewards. Here, five entrepreneurs from across the country share why they chose to use a daily deal site and the top perks other business owners should keep in mind.
Maria Baugh Co-owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes, New York City
Mark Cafiero CoFounder of Chimpsy, Denver
Sean Chaudhry Owner of Hinsdale Wine Shop, Hinsdale, IL
Susan Han Owner of Cranberry Café, Philadelphia
Phil Bilodeau Proprietor of Thief Wine Shop & Bar, Milwaukee and Madison, WI
“It’s all about getting the word out to all these people … Groupon reaches so many millions of people. We don’t have the marketing budget to do that. As a small business, one of the hardest things is figuring out how to market yourself with very few dollars. Groupon does the marketing for you.”
“The daily deal was an opportunity for me to take an idea and build it into a business [with] low risk. When I started this business a couple years ago, … we were searching for an avenue that would allow us to expand our operations, and we found it through Groupon. They provided us with a platform to increase our visibility and grow our business from one to 30 local markets … To this day we haven’t done any advertisement.”
“We’ve used Groupon about five times and Living Social twice. At the end of the day, a business is about bringing in revenue so that is definitely the main reason I have used [daily deal sites] and have continued to use them. I first started using [Groupon] in 2009 to promote my businesses, and it’s helped to bring in additional revenue from customers spending above the amount of the Groupon, bringing their friends with them when they visit my establishments, and coming back again because they were satisfied with their experience.”
“Through Groupon, [I] learned that 90 percent of my customers are not from the area my business is in. So I came to learn, because of Groupon, that this whole time I’ve been advertising to the wrong demographics. [Groupon is] offering us market research that you wouldn’t even think to do on your own.”
“There were two equally compelling reasons for using a daily deal site [for me]. One was increasing exposure in the general Milwaukee market place and gaining new customers … The second was rewarding existing customers. Our last Groupon gained 2,300 responses that were two-thirds new and one-third existing customers.”
12 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
facts & figu r es
Are CEOs who fly planes better at their job? “CEO pilot-led firms are more likely to engage in mergers and acquisitions, have more debt in their capital structure—meaning higher leverage and greater overall stock return volatility. Thus, thrillseeking CEOs bring a certain element of this personality trait into the executive suite, as reflected by more aggressive corporate policies.” —Professor Matthew Cain of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business*
Fatal Crashes Per Millions of Hours CEO pilots tend to take bigger risks on the air and in the boardroom 21.5 personal/business flying 20.09 motorcycle 15.50 hot-air balloon 0.98 corporate/executive aircraft 0.06 commercial airlines
“Pilot CEOs tend to complete acquisitions of targets that are smaller in size relative to the bidder as compared to non-pilot CEO acquisitions.” Source: All data and facts are from an April 2011 study Cleared for Takeoff? CEO Personal Risk-Taking and Corporate Policies by professors Matthew Cain of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and Stephen McKeon of the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business *Forbes April 2011 article “CEOs Who Fly Planes Do Better at the Job”
“At 21.5 fatalities per million hours, personal/business flying is over 30 times more dangerous than driving and ranks as the most dangerous activity among the nine forms analyzed, well ahead of even crop-dusting.” The CEO pilots in the study’s sample hold a diverse range of class ratings, which allow them to operate: • multiengine airplanes (55 CEOs) • helicopters (10) • planes that land on water (10) • gliders (4) • experimental aircraft (3) • hot-air balloons (3)
july/aug/sept 2012 I
in the wor kplace
The central element of the pub area is undoubtedly its commanding, old-fashioned fumed oak bar—spanning 35 feet long and able to accommodate 17 stools—meant to replicate a traditional wooden bar top from the past. When you look straight ahead, however, high-tech video screens broadcast sports and news, superimposing the charm of the old world with modern amenities. Still, it’s the people that make the space come alive, says Nick Luzietti, design principal at VOA Associates Incorporated. Every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. , MillerCoors employees are invited to come down and enjoy a cold one with colleagues, clients, or other escorted guests.
14 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Fred & Adolph's Pub
Brewing Good Spirits at millercoors Words: Darhiana Mateo Photos: Samantha Simmons
hile referencing the experience of stepping into an oldworld brewery may be the design focus of MillerCoors’ headquarters in downtown Chicago, it’s clear that boosting employee morale through a stimulating, carefree environment is also on tap. Named in honor of MillerCoors’ founders, the Fred & Adolph’s Pub occupies the top floor of the sprawling 16th floor high-rise along the Chicago River, and its breweryinspired design scheme is full of reminders that an “all-work-and-noplay” philosophy is simply not the MillerCoors way. Here, Nick Luzietti, design principal at VOA Associates Incorporated, the firm in charge of the corporate interior design for the MillerCoors headquarters, breaks down the key design elements of the much-buzzed about pub.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
in the wor kplace
Brewery references (left), a clear love of beer, and a spirit of camaraderie are at the heart of the dynamic Fred & Adolph’s Pub. MillerCoors’ products are prominently displayed throughout the space. “They wanted a ‘beer land,’” says Luzietti of the space. It seems they got that and much more.
16 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
(above) Although raw elements and loft motifs define the pub area, some sections of the 130,000-square-foot space reflect a “dressier, European-style” design meant to echo the sophistication of MillerCoors’ premium beers and international clientele. Sleek furniture in “warm harvest hues of yellows and browns” also helps create an element of elegance and excitement. An updated cork floor reflects MillerCoors commitment to sustainability (the headquarters was certified LEED Silver).
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Navigating New Skies Joe Kelley of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. discusses … ▶ Lessons learned during Desert Storm ▶ Adding a passenger plane line ▶ Hiring 250 new employees
by Trenna Nees
In a turbulent economy, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. has soared as a true global competitor—offering worldwide service to six continents.
18 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
tarted by Pakistani immigrant Michael Chowdry in 1993, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. has primarily operated freighters since its inception. In an economy that is tough for most companies, Atlas Air has emerged as a true global competitor with the addition of passenger planes in 2011. Boasting an annual revenue of $1.3 billion, the company is a strong competitor in its industry with offices in numerous cities around the world to support its worldwide service to six continents. Although it has posed new challenges, human resources vice president Joe Kelley shares how the new line took flight. july/aug/sept 2012 I
the hr department played a key role in Atlas Air's successful expansion into passenger service, says Joe Kelley, human resources vice president.
How did your prior military experience prepare you for your current role as vice president of human resources?
It was a complete understanding of the technical and military culture, which is helpful for a large military contractor like Atlas. The Air Force life taught me about diversity, structure and teamwork for a common goal; specifically my tours in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. What is the companyâ€™s niche market?
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings includes Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, and Titan Aviation Leasing. We operate the world's largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighters on a wet lease and charter basis for some of the world's leading airlines. In 2010, we served 250 destinations in more than 90 countries on six continents. We're also a leading provider of chartered commercial and military airlift for customers around the world. Atlas Air freighters carry such cargo as high-tech goods, pharmaceuticals, aircraft parts, fresh produce, livestock, automotive parts, capital equipment, and other time-sensitive goods. On the passenger side, we operate Boeing 747 and 767 passenger aircraft for charter flights, primarily serving the US military. We also operate a service on behalf of SonAir for flights from Houston to Angola to support the energy industry. Additionally, we provide related aviation services, including flight-crew training for pilots selected to fly Air Force One and the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center, and aircraft leasing. How is your role vital to successfully bringing on additional markets?
The preparation by human resources is key to the organization. HR management must consider the staffing needs of a larger organization with a deeper infrastructure to support the growth, particularly if the markets are outside of the normal company operations. The expansion of an infrastructure also requires an assessment of current personnelâ€™s skill levels to determine if additional expertise is needed. Our technical and flight operations
BY THE NUMBERS
20 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
over the years 1993
Company founded by Michael Chowdry
Atlas Air orders 10 new Boeing 747-400 freighters
Consolidates operations in Purchase, New York
AAWW acquires Polar Air Cargo
Begins trading on NASDAQ; orders new Boeing 747-8F aircraft
Starts passenger service
departments had to prepare for a new airframe to join our fleet as well as all certifications and training needed to operate the new aircraft. In HR, we shifted our focus to hiring individuals that had experience and knowledge of passenger operations and the Boeing 767 aircraft. Many of our employees had to complete comprehensive training programs to launch this passenger service as outlined over an aggressive timeline, including pilot and flight attendant training, and maintenance and operational training. In a tough economy, how was the company able to move forward with the passenger plane line?
Branching into passenger service was a natural with our nearly 20-year history of safety and global reach. Unlike scheduled airlines, we're able to move forward with this because we're filling a nicheâ€”premium service to Angola, for example, or the ability to serve the military with passenger-configured aircraft. Customers have trusted us to move cargo around the world, so passengers are the next
years served in the US Air Force
years at Atlas Air
“Our pilots used to say ‘packages and pallets don't talk.’ Now they're flying passengers, so the entire company is facing new processes and regulations we didn't have to worry about before.” Joe Kelley Human Resources Vice President
logical move. Because we're not a commercial airline in the sense that we're selling tickets on a scheduled network, we're able to take advantage of market opportunities that are less reliant on a stronger economy. What does this mean in respect to additional jobs and opportunities?
The expansion into passenger service means a great deal to the company. In 2011, Atlas hired over 250 new employees including crewmembers and ground staff. For a company to sustain growth like this in these
strategy to share
assess all assets “A company's expansion requires a thorough assessment of all assets, particularly its people. Ensuring the right training and development is in place, as well as committed followthrough, is just as important as new infrastructure and equipment to ensure successful growth.”
Mercer is the proud broker of record and consultant for atlas air WorldWide holdinGs … and thousands of other coMpanies
difficult economic times, it really shows the type of vision and commitment that has been put forward; not only in leadership but the entire Atlas team. The company has even more growth potential and we expect 2012 to be as promising. [P] a message from cigna
Celebrate what makes you extraordinary. The way some companies lead and inspire others make them like no one else in the world. At Cigna, we see that. It’s why we are proud to support the health and well-being of industry leaders like Atlas Air Worldwide. And why we created a different kind of health-service company. Our philosophy is simple: We believe the best approach to health is individual. So we get to know each of your employees. The living, breathing person behind the number on the card. That way, we can help provide truly personalized health care. The kind people need. The kind that works. Our approach doesn’t just keep people healthier, it improves business health too. By lowering costs. Raising productivity. And improving performance. The way we see it, when you’re healthy, you’ll have the strength and confidence to show the world the real you. A leader. To learn more about solutions that stand out from the crowd, visit Cigna.com.
Mercer’s mission is to ensure our clients achieve sustainable business success by optimizing the value of their people and financial resources. For further information, please contact your local Mercer office or visit our website at www.mercer.com.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Unmatched performance. Game-changing solution. d performance.
performance. ging solution. nging solution.
ons. & der
THE ONLY ACMI PROVIDER TO OFFER THE NEW
ONLY ACMI THETHE ONLY ACMI PROVIDER PROVIDER TOTO OFFER NEW OFFER THETHE NEW
THE BOEING 747-8F IS EXPECTED TO DELIVER *
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
THE BOEING 747-8F IS EXPECTED TO DELIVER *
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
USA Europe, Middle East, Africa, India Richard Broekman ........ 1.914.701. 8211
More Payload Capacity
More ➤ 7 Additional Payload Capacity et of Pallet Positions ➤ 7 Additional ➤ 16% More Fuel Efficient aircraft Pallet Positions ➤ 16% Lower Tonneehensive ➤ 16% More Fuel Efficient Kilometer Costs ➤ ➤ Lower 16% Tonnee Fewer CO Emissions 2 Kilometer Costs ➤ Fewer CO Emissions 2
USA Richard Broekman........ 1.914.701. 8211
Europe, Middle East, Africa, India Asia Pacific Tony Carder ....................44.1252.210545 Graham Perkins ............. 852.3403.1822
Asia Pacific Graham Perkins ............. 852.3403.1822
Atlas Air Worldwide is a global leader in outsourced aviation solutions. We are the largest provider of ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance & Insurance) freighter leasing, commercial charter, and the only provider that can offer the next-generation Boeing 747-8 Freighter. In addition, Atlas Air manages and operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747-400 Freighters, the most advanced and efficient cargo aircraft flying today. Our global footprint, value-added services, and comprehensive infrastructure deliver a complete solution for our customers. www.atlasair.com *Compared to market-leading performance of 747-400F, based on Boeing estimates.
22 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
852810 Profile magazine_v1.indd 1
12/20/11 1:48 PM
Less is more for Arlington Family Offices founder Ken Polk. "I asked myself, ‘If I was building it for the family clients, what would it look like?’ The result was a practice that served fewer families rather than as many families as possible,” he says.
“Soul” Asset Manager Ken Polk of Arlington Family Offices discusses … ▶ His unique growth strategy ▶ Viewing clients as “souls” ▶ The importance of hiring the right people
en Polk founded the wealth-management company Arlington Family Offices in 1998, but he’s quick to say he didn’t build the firm himself. He says the credit goes to the families his Birmingham, Alabama-based company works for, his partners, and the great talent that care for each client family. The firm—which offers in-house tax services, an investment team, trust services, and more—started by serving two affluent families and has continued to grow by strategically adding no more than two families per year. Today, Arlington serves 20 families and manages more than $2 billion in assets. Last year, Bloomberg Markets magazine ranked Arlington Family Offices among the top 50 family offices worldwide and in 2010, Bloomberg Wealth Manager magazine named Arlington the second best wealth manager.
by Javacia Harris Bowser
After working as a tax consultant with Deloitte for some time, what led you to start your own company?
I had a dream that was born out of a burden. The burden was that most service companies are founded to serve as many people as possible with the institution or founding company as the driver. Therefore, the question I asked myself was, “If I was building it for the family clients, what would it look like?” The result was a practice that served fewer families rather than as many families as possible. So that was our founding principle: that we would serve fewer, a more select group of families, and be able to serve them in a more
july/aug/sept 2012 I
comprehensive manner. And our services would grow to mirror our clients' growth and their requests for our help. And why did you make the decision to add no more than two families per year?
If we’re going to truly serve our families in a comprehensive manner, then we believe there are two very critical elements to get right. The first critical element is the intake process, which is very complex for wealthy families. You’re taking on a family structure, not only their assets, but multiple personalities, multiple needs. So our goal is to assure at the beginning that we understand the family’s needs and that they understand how we can help. Doing this well takes focused attention. The second critical element is prioritizing client service ahead of business development. Families intuitively know that most businesses try to get as many clients as possible. However, we believe that a focus on business development distracts from serving families who have chosen us to serve them for 20, 30, 40, or 50 years. One of the services you provide is humancapital services. Can you explain what that means at your company?
The people that we serve are considered an asset in which investment is critical. When
strategy to share
hire the right people “We have an exhaustive interview process. If someone is solely driven by investment returns either we have to teach them or we have to look elsewhere for talent. What we normally find is that the person that is fit for Arlington is someone that likes to serve people. So, it’s a profile that we’re looking for: just truly enjoy serving people because in the end it’s really that simple. That’s what we do.”
24 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
From the top down, employees working at Arlington Family Offices embrace the company's serviceoriented culture.
a family passes down financial capital to the next generation, we believe the worst thing that could happen is for the inheritance to become a burden because they don’t understand it. So our job is to understand the family: where they are, the transitions they will go through, and helping them see around those corners. It takes a lot of education, a lot of coaching. For example, many times we have seen the patriarchs say, “I’ve got this incredible, well-run business. Who in the world wouldn’t want to take this over?” But, the dreams of the second generation don’t match the dreams of the first generation and they can’t understand that. A lot of firms in our industry measure their success by assets under management, but we look at "souls" under management. We do believe this make us unique. Currently, we have 101 souls under management. The industry is more focused on assets but we’re more focused on the people that we’re serving. This culture helps crystalize our vision: enhance someone’s life. It’s that simple. That’s our job. How do you encourage this service-oriented, or soul-focused, attitude within your company culture?
First, it is important to hire the right people: those who are passionate about truly serving others. One of the lines in our culture statement is “our clients do not serve us; we serve them.” But, culture is not something you just talk about; it is something you do. Service is deeply rooted in the daily actions of our people. If you spend 30 minutes in our offices, you can see and feel it. Our people are great role models for each other.
At a young age I put together an advisory board consisting of some of the leaders in this industry: Jay Hughes, Peter Evans, and Ellen Perry. And I will have to give them a lot of credit because they helped me mature … quickly. [P] A WORD FROM s.S. nesbitt & company
S.S. Nesbitt & Company is proud to be a corporate insurance partner of Arlington Family Office. Following a thorough business analysis, S.S. Nesbitt worked closely with highly rated insurance companies to design an insurance program specific to Arlington’s unique needs. Visit ssnesbitt. com to learn more about having the right coverage in place.
over the years 1998
Founds Arlington Family Offices at the age of 25
Starts advisory board
Adds trust company and trust services with Arlington Trust Company, Inc.
Adds in-house tax services
Expands management team to include additional senior executives
How did you become so passionate about serving people?
TOGETHER WE protect your companyâ€™s
Greater Service Business
S.S. Nesbitt & Company can support all your insurance needs through our robust portfolio of product lines from Business and Personal Insurance to Employee Benefits, Life Insurance and Financial Planning, and even Specialty Practices.
Congratulations Ken Polk
& Arlington Family Offices on your continued success We know the hard work of providing financial services is essential to client success.
We are proud to serve our clients with Greater Service.
1-800-680-1601 3500 Blue Lake Drive, #120 Birmingham, Alabama 35243 Main: (205) 262-2700 Toll Free: (800) 422-3223
NATIONAL INSURANCE BROKERAGE At National Insurance Brokerage (NIBONY) our sole focus is to offer you and your company iron clad asset protection and help you better manage your cost of risk. NIBONY offers access to world class talent and provides an unparalleled level of service from a staff that is dedicated to maintaining close contact with you. Our entire organization is built and centered around our clients day to day and long term business needs. Integrity and rock solid reputation are the cornerstones of our success and longevity. At NIBONY our entire organization from the top down understands that each individual client is our most valuable asset and that strong long term relationships are paramount. National Insurance Brokerage is licensed to sell both Life and General Insurance (Property, Casualty including General Liability, Workers Compensation, DBL),fidelity, surety, inland and ocean marine.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Christine Chojnicki of Riverset Credit Union discusses … ▶ leading a dramatic transition ▶ cLIMbing to ceo position ▶ community involvement ▶ gaining 300 facebook fans in one month
I The Credit Union CEO by Julie Schaeffer
26 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
n January 2008, Pittsburgh Teachers CU, one of Pittsburgh’s longeststanding credit unions, changed its name to Riverset Credit Union, a name which was more reflective of its increasingly diversifying membership. In June of 2009, the credit union made the biggest move since its founding in 1934: It expanded to serve all people who live, work, worship, or attend school in Allegheny, Beaver, and Butler counties. At the helm during that transition was CEO Christine Chojnicki, who, in her 33 years with the credit union, has seen it grow from $6 million to more than $120 million in assets. Chojnicki explains how she was uniquely positioned to lead Riverset Credit Union into its current position—and how she’s preparing it for the future. profilemagazine.com
How did you get into the business?
I was studying accounting in college, and thought a work study would be a good way to get experience, so I started working part-time at what was then the Pittsburgh Teachers Credit Union. When I obtained an associate’s degree,I became a full-time teller and worked my way up. Did you intend to stay in the credit union industry?
I initially didn’t know anything about credit unions, which I don’t think is uncommon; there’s a general lack of education about what role they play in the financial industry. But, credit unions offer a personal touch. It’s a common stereotype that when you go into a bank, you’re in an assembly line; no one knows you. While that may not always be the case, at Riverset we know our members’ names and stories, and want to build relationships with them so we can help them. The ability to make that kind of difference is why I’ve stayed here. Was it a challenge to ascend to the CEO position?
The credit union didn’t even have a CEO position until it moved from two rooms in the Pittsburgh Board of Education to its own building in 2005. The gentleman hired as our first CEO told me in order to move up I’d need more than an [associate] degree. At that time I didn’t understand how studying history and
BY THE NUMBERS
literature would help me in my role, so I completed the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA’s) Certified Credit Union Executive Program (CCUE). That meant more in the industry than a bachelor’s degree. Obtaining my CCUE was one of the reasons I was chosen to replace the CEO after three years. The business grew dramatically in the years after you were promoted; how did that happen?
We were a single-sponsor credit union, only open to employees of the Pittsburgh Board of Education and their family members, until 2005, when we merged with an area hospital credit union, opening our membership to health-care workers in our region. At that time, we converted to a multiseg[ment] institution and grew to represent more than 100 companies and organizations in our area prior to securing another merger with a lowincome designated community credit union. It was at that time that we began looking for ways to change our brand. In 2008 we changed our name, and in late 2009 we became a communitychartered credit union. It was quite an accomplishment, because we were the first state-chartered credit union to receive approval for a multi-county community charter since there were rule changes in Pennsylvania that made obtaining such a charter more difficult due to opposition from the Pennsylvania Bankers Association.
strategy to share
trust your team “In the early days, I fulfilled every role in the business. When we were growing rapidly, I couldn’t keep up and had to hire people to support me. Selecting the proper people that are subject matter experts in their fields is only part of what you need to do in order to succeed. There is a level of trust that you have to have with your team because you are basing your decisions on the information that they are presenting to you. That support has allowed me to grow the business.”
years in the industry
years with current employer
years as CEO
july/aug/sept 2012 I
In Business Since 1934 Is that what led you to emphasize community involvement?
To some extent, yes. Back in 2010, we asked ourselves what we wanted to be, who is Riverset and decided to come together as a team to be more involved in the community and help our fellow neighbors. We make it a point, even with a small staff, to have at least one community-involvement activity each month. We even changed the way we hire people, looking for employees with a track record of volunteering. The most important thing we can give is our time and when we do, and see the impact it can make, it’s really rewarding. You’re also very high-tech for a credit union. How has that helped your company attract more clients?
We only have two physical offices in one of the three countries we serve, and the younger generation wants to be served 24/7. So in 2011, in addition to our conventional channels of utilization including an expansive ATM network relationship with an area financial institution and shared branching, we changed the way we service our customers. We upgraded our online banking and bill pay platforms and recently implemented mobile banking. We’ve also entered into the realm of social media, ultimately obtaining approximately 300 Facebook fans within a month. That really lays the foundation for the future. Was there a point at which you knew you’d succeeded?
I used to attend area meetings with other credit union managers/CEOs, and found myself asking my peers a lot of questions not as to what they were doing but how they were doing it. I always wondered if anyone would ever ask me “how.” Those tables have now turned and it is a good feeling. [P]
28 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Dryden Mutual is located in Dryden, New York, a 15 minute drive from Cornell University's campus in Ithaca. ƌǇĚĞŶ ĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƐ ƚŽ ĨŽůůŽǁ Ă ƚƌĂĚŝƟŽŶ ŽĨ ĞǆĐĞůůĞŶĐĞ͕ ǁŝƚŚ ŝƚƐ regional focus on New York State.
experience trust. bank on riverset.
• Personal banking services • perks@worksm workplace banking for organization/company employees
• Student banking services - New! Workplace Banking:
Dryden’s Property & Casualty insurance products are sold ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ĂŶ ĞǆƚĞŶƐŝǀĞ ƐǇƐƚĞŵ ŽĨ New York Independent Agents. This gives Dryden Mutual unique insights into the insurance needs of the people and businesses located all across Upstate New York. Dryden Mutual Insurance Co. 150 Years of Service to Upstate New York 1860 - 2010 Dryden Mutual Insurance Co. 12 Ellis Drive Dryden, New York 13053 800-724-0560 www.drydenmutual.com
General Membership: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL ABOARD Though he knew it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing, Edgar Higgins has grown his company, Thousand Islands Agency, from a small boat insurance agency to a full-service insurance provider.
A Vision for Growth by annie monjar
Edgar Higgins of Thousand Islands Agency discusses … ▶ Taking over his fatherin-law's company ▶ the perks of being paperless ▶ Growing 100% in 18 months ▶ joining an insurance cluster
hen Edgar Higgins bought Thousand Islands Agency from his father-in-law in 1976, he faced a major challenge: how could he turn a small boat insurance agency tucked away in the watery Thousand Islands region of New York into a full-service insurance provider that balanced efficiency and expertise? Profile chats with Higgins about how—since the very beginning—he’s used technology to make his business operate more smoothly, and how even from its small Clayton-area headquarters, Thousand Islands has leveraged its network of agents and providers to offer complete client care. july/aug/sept 2012 I
What kind of agency was Thousand Islands when you first bought it?
Back then, we almost completely did what we call marine insurance for small and large boats. This was back when marine insurance was a specialty line. My fatherin-law had a part-time job with a local marina. The marina sold boats, and when people bought one, they needed insurance. He identified that need, and became an expert. Because the business had grown out of a part-time job, most of his client coverage was local. What was your vision for the company?
I wanted to move toward more diversification. I started out by cold calling for commercial clients in the broader county area. We also needed to find some way of creating an added-value plan model, to give people continuous advice on how to improve the protection of their assets. But in a completely manual environment, we
over the years 1976 Edgar Higgins pur-
chases Thousand Islands Agency, then a small boatinsurance company, from his father-in-law
1983 Higgins purchases the
agency's first software
1997 Thousand Islands
engages with a large, selfinsured health-care plan, and begins its fee-for-service policy
2002 Thousand Islands buys
MacIlvennie & Brown Inc.
2007 Company joins insurance 3-S Agency cluster
strategy to share
encourage retention â€œIt's difficult to find a good employee, so when we hire someone, we not only train them, but we work as hard as we can to create an environment that will make them want to stay. We do some unusual things: Optional summer hours from April through November, free snacks and sodas, and we let them go to their kidsâ€™ events if they need to. It's those kinds of things that make us a place unlike anywhere else they would go.â€?
couldn't be cost-effective. There was no way to provide that model without making a major change in our business. In 1983, I looked at a software program that would automate many processes. After that, we began a direct-mail marketing campaign. That helped us grow the agency 100 percent in 18 months. You've been completely paperless for 10 years. How has this focus on technology helped Thousand Islands grow?
We're in the information business, and a big thing is how you maximize the speed of retrieving and processing any data that you need. That savings of time can be translated into providing unique value-added services to clients, like an annual review of their policy coverage every year. We can also attract better-quality employees, because employees want a modern work environment. We have three monitors at every workstation, as well as scanners and wireless headsets. How did buying another company help your growth in the long run?
30 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
A friend of mine was near retirement age, and in 2002, I bought his agency. It was bigger than mine, and with its arrival, we could leverage its financial performance but still be independent. Back in 1975, we had three companies we could place policies with. Today, there are up to 15, because we're much more competitive from a pricing standpoint. It also gave us the leverage to become a member of a larger group of agencies called an insurance cluster. When you're part of a cluster, you can combine your volume with many agencies, and participate in a profit-sharing agreement based on the aggregate volume of all participating agencies. What other investments have been crucial to your success?
We're committed across the board to technical education, so that people are getting the correct answer, the first time, with every inquiry. That does a lot to build client confidence. We've also stayed focused on only being willing to insure people properly. That's created a reputation as being the people who always do it right. [P]
At Artemis Financial Advisors, it's common practice for founder and CEO Leigh Bivings to personally work on client finances. “It’s a choice I made born out of a desire to work directly with clients, not just manage a firm of folks who did all the work,” Bivings says.
Why Quality Outweighs Quantity Leigh Bivings of Artemis Financial Advisors discusses … ▶ the choice to keep her firm small ▶ marketing strategies ▶ why her business isn't all about numbers
n the late 1990s, Leigh Bivings and her husband found themselves in need of a good financial planner and sound investment advice as they were trying to determine how much they needed to accumulate for retirement and how to invest their savings appropriately. Bivings quickly learned she was not going to get the objective, informed guidance she was seeking from the traditional brokerage model. Several years later, motivated by this experience, Bivings decided to start a wealth-management firm of her own. Now, armed with experience in the field and a doctorate in applied economics, her Boston-based firm Artemis Financial Advisors helps successful professionals ages 45 to 60 plan their retirement and achieve their financial goals.
by Javacia Harris Bowser
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“I don’t charge by the hour. There’s no meter running. I want my clients to come to me when they have a financial question.” leigh bivings founder & ceo
Artemis has maintained an important founding principle: if a person hires your firm, you will work on their finances yourself. Why do you make it a point to do this?
It’s a choice I made born out of a desire to work directly with clients, not just manage a firm of folks who did all the work. This doesn’t mean I do all of the work, indeed, I absolutely leverage my employees to work together with me on client finances. I wanted to be the lead adviser on most if not all of the clients of the firm. And this was something that I found missing in the brokerage firms. I recognize that my desire to be the lead client-service person with my clients is a growth-limiting choice, but I’m very comfortable with this choice. I’m not trying to build a billion-dollar shop. I’m really trying to provide top-flight service to a manageable number of families.
strategy to share
pick your spot “It is difficult to run a profitable firm if you are just providing financial advice without also helping clients implement that advice. So I think a key business strategy is to really pick your spot and by that I mean in a small firm you need to decide what types of clients you’re going to serve and what their needs are. [Doing this is] going to drive what capabilities you’re going to build, what you are going to do, what you’re not going to do, what you’re going to charge, what services you’re going to provide, etc.”
32 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
What is a typical day like for you?
It certainly involves some sort of client interaction from answering an e-mail query to having a meeting or preparing for one. I really encourage my clients to reach out to me anytime. I don’t charge by the hour. There’s no meter running. I want my clients to come to me when they have a financial question. So that’s part of my day. It also typically involves studying some aspect of the markets and monitoring clients’ investment performance. How did you grow your company?
Like many firms, it starts with your friends and family: you let everyone know you’re in the business. And then I soon reached out to my broader personal and professional networks and started to get referrals. I’ve been active in marketing. I provide educational content to my network to stay in touch with them. I launched what I call The Artemis Brief series. It is a one-to-three page piece written by me that answers a question that clients typically have. For example, this month I’m writing about what is the value of active management and that’s a key question in my field. So people can in the space of 15 minutes get an answer to hopefully a question that is of interest to them. Another key thing is I’ve been a member of the National Association of Professional Financial Advisors, or NAPFA. What obstacles did you have to overcome as you were growing your company?
Really the biggest obstacle that I have faced, and I’m not alone in this, is educating potential clients. Many do not know what an independent, fee-only, wealthmanagement firm is and how and why it differs from the traditional brokerage model. Independent firms, by definition, do not have any financial relationships
with any brokerage firms or money managers and so are not obligated to favor, nor compensated to push, any firm’s proprietary investment products. Few brokers are trained to provide comprehensive financial planning support, nor are their firms set up to provide personalized support. It is not uncommon for a single broker at a large institution to manage 100 to 200 accounts. In contrast, we limit our services to a select group of clients in order to provide comprehensive advice in the context of close, long-term relationships. What advice do you have for others looking to build a successful career in this field?
Finding a mentor is helpful. I didn’t go out searching for one, but I ended up with one and then I realized the value of that. I would strongly encourage them to join NAPFA. This organization has been unbelievably helpful to me from business setup, practice-management training, generating leads, to how to write good financial plans. And then I would counsel them to never forget that the business is about much more than the numbers. It’s not just about investment returns. It’s really about counseling individuals to make tough decisions about how to achieve their financial goals. It’s a real relationship advisory business. [P] A WORD FROM advisors asset management
For over 30 years, Advisors Asset Management, Inc. (AAM) has been a trusted partner to financial advisors. In essence, we are “advisors to financial advisors.” We offer a broad range of carefully selected solutions that you can take to your clients with confidence. Our experienced Advisory Consultants provide advisors with customized advice and ongoing support including: • Portfolio review, research, analytics, design, and implementation • Advisor education • Practice management advice • Expert opinions from sales, trading, portfolio managers, product specialists and economists • Professional portfolio management • Proprietary and third-party investment solutions
Financial Advisors ADVISORS ASSET MANAGEMENT
For more than 30 years, Advisors Asset Management, Inc. (AAM) has provided innovative solutions to meet a range of investment goals. We offer: • Fixed Income • Unit Investment Trusts • Structured Products • Separately Managed Accounts • Exchange Traded Funds
Pomì congratulates Italfoods for the much-deserved recognition.
Named to Inc 5000 list 2009, 2010 and 2011
For more information, contact your dedicated team of Advisory Consultants at 1-800-697-7220, Option 1 Connect with us on:
Scan this code to watch a video and learn more about AAM. Advisors Asset Management, Inc. (AAM) is a SEC registered investment advisor and member FINRA/SIPC. CRN: 2011-1229-2919 B
Thank you for helping the Tomato Revolution from Italy succeed. Pomì is 100% natural… only the best garden-ripe, fresh tomatoes from Italy, sealed in a stay-fresh package. Pomì is conveniently ready to give you the fresh, natural taste of freshly picked tomatoes to add to all your favorite recipes.
Unlike some canned tomatoes, Pomì has no preservatives, no water added, no citric acid, and it is BPA free. Now you can enjoy the rich taste of fresh, ripe tomatoes the way they do in Italy. With Pomì.
The Tomato Revolution from Italy. www.pomi.us.com
Foodie by Nature richard armanino of italfoods, Inc. discusses … ▶ california cuisine and italfoods' role in it ▶ filling niche markets ▶ the ingredients of success
ood is Richard Armanino's passion. From his childhood years working in his parents' business, Armanino Foods, to opening a coffeehouse with two of his brothers, Armanino has treated his job as his hobby. Now, Armanino serves as the director of sales and buying at ItalFoods, Inc., a California-based importer and distributor of primarily Italian products, but also Spanish, French, Greek, and local products. Profile chats with Armanino about the role ItalFoods plays in the niche California-cuisine food market.
What is California cuisine? by stuart ziarnik
I don't know if anyone can really define that; California cuisine has gone through several different phases. In the 1970s it had a French influence. Then, in the mid-to-late ’80s, Italian foods became a very popular emphasis of California cuisine. Polenta, risotto, sun-dried tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar all became very in vogue. And this was not just at Italian restaurants. Those ingredients could be found at any white-tablecloth restaurant. In the 1990s, you had a little bit of Spanish influence, and today it's become Mediterranean with a local flair. How did ItalFoods come to be involved with California cuisine?
It stems from people traveling, which they commonly base around food. Food Network has brought a lot of knowledge to the consumer, and food magazines have become very popu-
34 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
lar over the last 20 years. I remember an article in Bon AppĂŠtit magazine about garum, a fish sauce from Rome. That one article created enough demand for us to start importing it. It might just be the social networking that's prevalent in all industries today.
strategy to share
remember business 101
Has it been beneficial for ItalFoods to serve an unfilled niche in the food market?
Absolutely. The food market is always changing. Sometimes we fail with items the first time around, but five years later we bring them back in and they work. Timing has a lot to do with it, the marketing of products, even the economy has something to do with it. ItalFoods' outstanding reputation in the industry makes sourcing very easy. I get calls every day from people in Italy who say that there's a new hot item that's doing well in a particular region. As opposed to having to go out and turn every stone and search for something new, they come to us quite frequently. We have a backup, almost a bottleneck of new items coming in. Hopefully if you have 10 new items, one or two stick and become a trendy new item. What advice can you offer to other food distributors?
I believe that everyone you're dealing with (in our case the suppliers, the retailers, and the restaurants) should be profitable. We're each just a link in the chain, and we have to work together.
over the years
ItalFoods was established by Walter Guerra
â€œWork hard. Sometimes we think that with technology we become more efficient, but actually, the opposite happens. Nothing replaces hard work, and nothing replaces the human element of any business.â€?
For example, many people would love to visit a store and sell a pallet of olive oil from their back room, and then go back a month later to see how the store is doing. I'd rather send 10 cases and see that store manager every week. Therefore he's not tied up with inventory costs in his backroom, you're building rapport, and you're managing his business as if you're a partner. There's many times when we'll cut orders from our customers, telling them that they don't need to hold that much, or that it's not going to turn that quickly. That's how we deal in business. What are the next steps for ItalFoods?
We've been fortunate enough to have continued growth over the last five
At age 11, Richard Armanino begins working in his family's business, Armanino Foods
Opens a coffeehouse, Il Piccolo
years, every year, and I foresee maintaining that in 2012. Our current strategy is to align our distribution area differently so that we can better serve it. We're expanding into the outer areas of our distribution and canvassing those areas a little bit better. We're also working more closely with our sub-distribution network and getting a better understanding of their coverage. We're expanding our product lines and working to understand our current lines better: maybe trimming a few items out and replacing them with things that might be more profitable for everybody. Hopefully the end results will be continued growth. We aren't looking to skyrocket our sales: it's incremental growth that we're happy with. [P]
Begins working at ItalFoods
Earns promotion to director of sales and buying
july/aug/sept 2012 I
BRIAN AND ALEX BENYO credit their upbringing for the success of their company, Brilex Industries, Inc. “Being raised in a very supportive and encouraging family who focused on hard work and strong values shaped Alex and I into the individuals we are today,” says Brian, president.
The Industrial Brothers Brian and alex benyo of brilex industries, inc. discuss … ▶ family values ▶ the challenges of a dwindling labor force ▶ strategic partnerships
by Julie edwards
here is no “typical” day at Brilex Industries, Inc., an Ohiobased company specializing in the complete manufacturing of heavy equipment and machinery for a diversified customer base and end users in capital equipment-intensive industries. One day may be focused on crafting power circuit breakers for a two-million household municipality, the next on fashioning turbines fired by natural gas for a Fortune 500 company. What is consistent, however, is Brilex’s focus on offering a broad array of products skillfully fabricated, machined, and assembled by in-house crews comprised, in part, of top-certified fitters, machinists, assemblers, welders, and inspectors. Founders and brothers Brian and Alex Benyo share with Profile their simple yet effective approach to being a heavy (metal) hitter. How did you start out in this business? Alex: Brian and I were raised with an en-
trepreneurial mentality and, with Brilex, we saw a need we believed we could serve effectively. We purchased a small “sheet-metal” shop and started out with a team of four people, a 6,000-squarefoot building, and a 10-ton crane. From
36 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
there, we built the company based on our vision of providing customers with a professional, project-management approach to complete equipment supply. Combined with talented people and continued investment, this vision led the company on a path of rapid growth that continues today.
What lessons shaped you into the executive you are today? Brian: Being raised in a very supportive
and encouraging family who focused on hard work and strong values shaped Alex and I into the individuals we are today. Our parents believed in the fact that your future will be what you make it to be, and they also taught us that it is paramount to share your blessings by helping others along the way. What do you feel are Brilex’s unique philosophies? Brian: Unlike many companies who fo-
strategy to share
lead by example “Alex and I have a simple strategy: We are not the company, but only a part of it. Our company’s success is the result of our people’s efforts, ingenuity, and dedication. We provide the resources and direction, and set a culture based on an ownership mentality through example and working with our people every day.”—Brian Benyo, President
cus solely on the product they produce or the service they offer, Brilex chooses to focus on the people who make it all possible. Our philosophy is “Our people are our strength.” Without our employees, we would not be a successful com- cesses and procedures to verify company in our industry, and we are thank- pliance and to communicate progress ful for their hard work and dedication. throughout the manufacturing phase.
Custom, build to print manufacuring. Tel: 330.744.1114 • www.brilex.com
Alex: Another philosophy we have is that How do you cope with challenges? overall customer satisfaction is the ulti- Alex: You have to believe in the future,
mate goal. If we are given the opportunity to supply a customer with the product they are seeking, Brilex strives to exceed that customer’s expectations. We achieve this goal by taking a project-management approach to all of our ventures.
even when it looks like there may not be one, so we focus on growth through diversification of industries served and customers within each industry. This approach, however, can provide challenges in that the expectations of each vary considerably.
Design/build projects, mostly heavy material handling solutions, process safety and maintenance improvements/upgrades. Tel: 330.746.6881 • www.boltechinc.com
What factors do you feel have contributed to your company’s success? Brian: Right now, the greatest challenge Alex: Brilex is located in the heartland to our industry is the shrinking pool of
of heavy manufacturing, but we believe our human resources are what set us apart from the competition. Our people are exceptionally skilled and have a strong work ethic, and we continually invest in not only our people, but also our equipment and facilities providing capabilities beyond what most of our competitors can offer.
skilled labor. I currently serve as an officer of a local manufacturing coalition focused on indentifying and addressing workforce issues and needs because I see this issue having a significant impact on the future of this industry.
Metal Joining, Induction Heating and Automated Assembly Solutions. Tel: 330.448.4464 • www.taylor-winfield.com
What industry trend is currently on your radar? Alex: Access to quality medium-to-heavy
manufacturing resources has been deBrian: We also believe that we are no creasing over time. The smarter compa-
better than the other people who contribute to this company and are just as accountable. There can be no divide between the shop and administration as we can only succeed as one, and we strive to set this example every day.
nies are strategically aligning themselves with a manufacturing partner they can rely on. Brilex will continue to dedicate our resources and investments to customers who think in this strategic fashion.
What’s next? Expound on the area that you feel is your stron- Brian: Continued diversification and gest competency. growth. This approach has been one that Brian: Our strongest competency is continues to work for the company so,
managing the manufacturing of a proj- for now, we will continue on this path ect for our customers. We have honed and look forward to seeing Brilex and its this skill over time by developing pro- people continue to grow and prosper. [P]
Steel fabrications for the heavy civil construction industry, such as bridges, locks and dams. Tel: 330.530.8230 • www.amrodbi.com
Contact us to recieve more detailed information about what the Brilex Group can do for you!
Email: email@example.com july/aug/sept 2012 I
ALWAYS THINKING AHEAD, Michael Kahn celebrated his company's 20-year anniversary by reflecting on his future goals. "The focus is always to grow the business, but I also want this business to mean something," Kahn says.
Put Sentry’s Experience to Work for Your Business Sentry’s 401(k) business clients expect the best – and we deliver! With more than 30 years of experience in plan design, Sentry has the knowledge and experience to create and provide your business with a customized 401(k) plan tailored for your business. A Sentry 401(k) plan let’s you offer: • A diverse array of investment options • A guaranteed fund
Inklined to Push Forward by tina vasquez
• A full-service bundled approach to plan services
michael kahn of genesis technologies discusses … ▶ following an entrepreneurial path
• Online investment advice services
▶ the challenges of being a small company
• Outstanding personal service
▶ staying afloat in a recession
To evaluate Sentry investment options for your company, or to find an agent near you, go to sentry.com.
Individual life insurance, annuities, pensions and group products are issued and administered by Sentry Life Insurance Company, Stevens Point, WI. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in New York. See policy for complete coverage details.
n 1991, when he was just 27 years old, Michael Kahn learned of a business opportunity from his father that involved recycling used toner cartridges. Despite pursing his MBA at the time, Kahn worked tirelessly to grow the business, making nothing in the way of a steady income. His hard work would eventually pay off when this venture became Genesis Technologies, now considered one of the most notable managed print services providers in the country, specializing in infrastructure optimization and workflow assessment. This past summer the Northbrook, Illinois, company celebrated its 20th anniversary and rather than reflecting on past achievements, Kahn celebrated the milestone by thinking about Genesis Technologies’ next move.
132783 11/16/11 38 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
legacy I’m leaving behind. I want us to be about more than fixing printers and selling cartridges. Those are very good things that help our clients, but I also want us to stand for something more significant.
strategy to share
What experiences, either work-related or otherwise, prepared you for being the CEO/president of your own company?
abide by the golden rule “Treat people with respect. This means your customers, your employees, and your vendors. This is only achieved by hiring people who have values consistent with those you want your company to be about.”
What did the company turning 20 mean to you?
Obviously, it’s a very important milestone. I remember when we first started out I had an accountant who would constantly remind me that most businesses fail within the first two years. To be honest, I never thought of not existing. When the company turned 20 in July we had a big party and I used the time to reflect on where we are, not where we’ve been. I thought about our goals moving forward. I guess I’m not very good at celebrations. Moving forward, what are your goals for the company?
The focus is always to grow the business, but I also want this business to mean something. I want us to stand for something more than the products we sell. For example, the clothing company Patagonia stands for making high-quality garments that don’t harm the environment. We’re searching for a cause we can stand behind and support. As I get older, I’m starting to think more about the
BY THE NUMBERS
Growing up my dad had his own business. Whereas most people consider having a business as exciting or risky, to me it was a “normal” career path. I think that was very helpful in terms of making me feel confident that I could do this. I also played competitive tennis for 10 years. When you play, you’re alone; you’re not competing as a team and it forces you to be very goalorientated. You have to constantly ask yourself, “How do I get better, how do I win?” That kind of mindset really lends itself to having your own company. When the company was first starting out, what were some of the challenges you encountered?
The biggest challenge is being a small company and everything that goes along with that. You’re looking to hire talented, passionate people, but if you think about it, who wants to go work for one guy sitting behind a desk? When you’re a new company with a small staff, credibility becomes an issue and no one takes you seriously. At the time, I remember trying to think of ways to better compete with larger companies providing the same services, but at the end of the day I realized that our service and prices were already better.
that shrunk dramatically, which affected how much printing they were doing and in turn, that affected our revenue. We had to really buckle down on our expenses and we had to eliminate some jobs. I had to look at things differently. The question became is this thing necessary or useful, does it add value to the company? If the answer was no, it was eliminated. What would you tell a person looking to start their own company in this industry?
I’d tell them to trust their instincts, to be confident, and believe in what they’re doing. A lot of people will question your abilities and doubt your ability to succeed, but you have to push past that with hard work. You have to be willing to work hard, to do whatever it takes. You have to be self-motivated or else you won’t make it in this economy. [P]
over the years 1998
Makes Inc. 500 list of 500 fastest-growing companies in America
Expands services to a national scope
Opens up Dallas branch office, which increases sales from customers in those markets
Joins HP's Elite managed print services program
Did the recession affect the company? If so, how did you adapt?
Our revenue dropped between 10 and 15 percent. We’re business-to-business orientated and we had a lot of clients that went out of business and others
Adds Kyocera copiers to product portfolio
years in the industry
number of companies previously employed at
july/aug/sept 2012 I
into bottom line
Caliper helps to ensure that your most valuable asset â€“
the talent on your team â€“ delivers the maximum possible impact to your bottom line.
For more than 50 years, Caliper has helped over 25,000 companies hire and develop the talent that is not a close fit, but the best fit: people with the greatest potential for top performance.
Contact us at 609.524.1200 or visit us at www.calipercorp.com to learn how Caliperâ€™s experts in selection and development can
ensure that you have the right people in place to make 2012 the most productive and successful year possible for your company. 40 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
empowering employees and encouraging them to make their own decisions are the cornerstones of company president Bernard Isabelle's leadership style.
Redefining Financial Assistance
y combining product innovation with member-service expertise, Vermont Federal Credit Union (VFCU) has become a model for industry-leading financial services. Spearheading the company’s winning formula is the credit union’s president and CEO Bernard Isabelle, who has enthusiasm to spare. “I spent nearly 30 years of my career serving financial institutions in Massachusetts and Connecticut,” Isabelle says. “But, when the opportunity came up to lead VFCU, I couldn’t wait to get home.” Here, we chat with Isabelle about his leadership efforts, which have enabled VFCU to become one of the top credit unions in the industry.
by mark pechenik
Bernard Isabelle of Vermont Federal Credit Union Discusses … ▶ staying competitive ▶ credit builder and fuel assistance loans ▶ giving back to vermont
july/aug/sept 2012 I
What is your leadership philosophy?
I strive to lead by example while encouraging professional growth among management and staff. I feel it is important to regularly take the pulse of our company. For this reason, I often make it a point to meet and talk with staff at all levels. By better understanding employees it is easier to promote their own sense of career advancement and leadership. I try to trust in people’s abilities. We strive to choose the right people with the right training and then encourage them in making their own decisions. How has this leadership approach benefited the company?
Take our Innovation Committee, for instance. This employee-staffed committee serves as a think tank, proposing new financial products and services for membership. The committee has enabled VFCU to develop a strong reputation for new approaches in member services such as our reward checking account. As the only high-yield checking account in Vermont, it is geared toward members who utilize electronic services such as e-statements, online banking, and debit cards. The committee also focuses on internal approaches, recently developing a Rock Star employee program where any staff member can nominate a fellow employee for recognition. The honored employee is awarded guitar picks, which can be traded for financial and nonfinancial rewards, such as lunch with your boss or job-related classes. How does VFCU strive to meet member needs?
Credit unions often target products to meet member needs. For example, our Credit Builder and Fuel Assistance loans enable struggling consumers to obtain a helping hand from VFCU. Our Fuel Assistance loans enable members to pay up front for heating fuel, thereby saving them money while honoring the terms of our loans at a moderate interest rate over a 10-month period.
BY THE NUMBERS
42 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
strategy to share
keep your promises “In order to be successful in the corporate world, you need to have a culture of integrity and transparency with your employees and with your members, otherwise there is no trust upon which to build strong relationships. You also need to be progressive and forward thinking in your approach to business and always ensure that you deliver on the promises that you make to your employees and your members.”
Meanwhile, a secured share account is the basis for our credit builder loan that allows members to pay off debts, while rebuilding their credit and earning dividends at the same time. We’re highly competitive in traditional service offerings. For instance, favorable interest rates through our online reward checking accounts have generated more than $43 million in account holdings. In addition, we’re now Vermont’s third-largest US Small Business Administration lender. These product initiatives typify our larger commitment to membership and the community. Seminars focusing on topics including car buying and understanding credit lending and budgeting have proven invaluable to [our] membership. The financial well-being of each member continues to guide our corporate strategy.
We place great emphasis on civic engagement. Our employees are each granted 20 hours per year to serve on the boards of local nonprofit agencies or volunteer for charity projects. I serve on the board of directors of the Vermont council of the Boy Scouts of America. We do business here, most of our staff live here, so it is in our best interests to promote the well-being of the communities who support us. What are the credit union’s goals for the future?
We currently serve residents in Vermont’s six northwestern counties. VFCU has a presence in four of them and we hope to expand facilities into the two additional counties. In our continuing efforts to strengthen service efficiency, we are also investing heavily in online technologies and computerized operations. Considering our positive capacity for growth, I see a very bright future for our credit union and, even more importantly, the members that we serve. [P]
over the years 1990
Company name changes to Vermont Federal Credit Union (VFCU) to coincide with the conversion to a federal charter
Vermontfederal.org website is introduced
VFCU members gain access to online banking
Vermont Federal reaches 30,000 members and $300 million in assets
Vermont Federal Credit Union becomes the thirdlargest US Small Business Administration lender
Service to the community is also important to VFCU. Can you tell me more about this focus?
assets by end of 2011 (in millions)
members by end of 2011
in loan activity (in millions)
P B A K E R’
555555555 55 5 RA 55 N
HRO T OD
55555555 55 5 55 DWIDE
555555555 55 55 ED #1 MSP WO 5
555555 55 555 55
REDEFINING THE STAFFING INDUSTRY’S VALUE PROPOSITION. . . ONCE AGAIN.
In 1988, we established the Vendor on Premise (VOP) staffing model and redefined the temporary staffing industry’s value proposition. Today, we are doing it once again:
Outcome based solutions integrate into your value stream.
Performance based pricing models
guarantee improved productivity and lower labor costs.
Value based frameworks
ensure strategic goal alignment, accountability and business results. Our global Managed Service Provider (MSP), contingent workforce management and temporary staffing programs provide best-in-class results across all skill categories and geographies. Let us provide best talent, drive compliance, yield tangible savings and build sustainable value in your organization.
she may be A woman running a company, but Staff Management SMX’s Joan Davison doesn’t dwell on the rarity of her position. “What works for me and what I would recommend is focusing on the task at hand; how you can fulfill your obligations, and support your company,” says Davison, president and COO.
Pushing the Boundaries by Tina vasquez
joan davison of staff management smx discusses … ▶ direct communication ▶ expanding globally ▶ getting noticed
44 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
n 1996, when Joan Davison joined Staff Management SMX as a regional director, very few companies recognized the value of contingent labor. Davison, however, saw endless possibilities. It was her first position in the temporary staffing industry and by marrying her past business experience with some of the company’s key projects, she was able to climb the ladder, eventually working her way up to vice president and CEO. Sixteen years into a stellar career, Davison is now the president and chief operating officer of Staff Management SMX, which has broadened its reach to Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region—an accomplishment that is a direct result of Davison’s hard work and determination. profilemagazine.com
“The best thing about the glass ceiling is that it’s glass. It may not shatter the first time you try, but it will eventually if you keep on pushing.” joan davison president & coo
What personality attributes do you believe are necessary to be a successful COO and company president?
You must have a clear vision and a direct communication style. You must have passion and be able to communicate your vision in a way that gives people something to believe in. Clients have to know you’re being honest and straightforward with them and employees have to know that the goals they’re working toward are part of a larger vision that benefits everyone. I think that some of these attributes can be learned with experience, but personally, I’ve found that everyone has an inherent skill set. Everyone has particular attributes that work for them and when you learn how to emphasize those attributes and build on them, that’s when real success can happen. Since you were appointed COO in 2006, Staff Management SMX has grown by more than 50 percent and you’ve been credited with expanding the company’s reach into the global market. What do you owe to this success?
[The years between] 2006-2007 proved to be a transformational time that set the standard for how we would proceed. We came up with core business principles, like how to drive client value, how to best integrate our clients, how to provide a flexible product line, etc. Once we
set the agenda, everyone in the company had a very clear focus. When it came to reaching the global market, it was almost like we were playing offense and defense at the same time. While meeting the needs of clients domestically, we also had to recognize their international business needs. During this process we recognized our need for global leaders, so we brought in strong, ethical talent to act as our international executives. For many women, the glass ceiling still exists, but you’re a woman who’s shattered it. What obstacles did you have to overcome in the process and what advice would you offer to young women interested in entering your industry?
strategy to share
never lose focus “Stay focused, have a clear goal, and a welldefined outcome in mind, and surround yourself with talented people with high ethical standards. I believe that with this strategy you cannot fail.”
Every position, whether you’re male or female, has its obstacles. To be honest, I try not to spend too much time thinking about how I’m a woman running a company and how rare that is. What works for me and what I would recommend is focusing on the task at hand; how you can fulfill your obligations, and support your company. If you can state your case clearly and show concrete examples of your hard work, you will get noticed. I’m not saying I didn’t face challenges or that getting here was easy, because it wasn’t, but the best thing about the glass ceiling is that it’s glass. It may not shatter the first time you try, but it will eventually if you keep on pushing. [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
EVERY DAY IS DIFFERENT for Gail Grueser (right) of Safety Controls Technology. “One day, I’m working with Joe (Ventura; general manager, pictured on left) on reviewing engineering plans for a factory’s safety standards. Tomorrow, I’ll assist in providing flu vaccines for workers at a local manufacturing facility,” Grueser says. “It makes for a great work environment.”
Building a Safety Powerhouse by mark pechenik
gail grueser and joe ventura of safety controls technology discuss … ▶ versatility ▶ the occupational-safety and health-engineering industry ▶ growth strategy
hile social work, teaching, and engineering vocations seem to have little in common, Gail Grueser combined these distinct disciplines to form Bedford Heights, Ohio-based Safety Controls Technology (SCT)—one of the fastest growing occupational-safety and health-engineering firms in the United States today. Profile spoke with Grueser and SCT general manager Joe Ventura about SCT’s strategies for success in this niche market.
How did you first enter the safety and healthengineering field? Grueser: I’ve always been fascinated
such work on a regular basis. I decided to pursue my interest by starting Safety Controls Technology in 1999.
with organizational-safety programs. I frequently served on the health and safety committees of the schools where I worked. Eventually, I considered doing
What was your growth strategy for the company? Grueser: As firms became more famil-
46 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
iar and impressed with our quality of
work, they requested that SCT expand into more comprehensive occupational and health-safety training. This enabled us to become a major player in this highly specialized industry. For instance, SCT was honored by the Case Western Reserve University Weather-
head School of Management, which is a nationally recognized leader in advanced degrees in management, with its coveted Weatherhead 100 Award as one of northeast Ohio’s fastest-growing companies. Much of our growth is based on being consistently receptive to customer needs, while also acting quickly and decisively on satisfying those needs. How have you maintained your competitive edge? Ventura: We’ve remained competitive
by providing our corporate customers with whatever services they require to be compliant with governmental health and safety regulations. For instance, we recently contracted with the Construction Employers Association, Ohio’s largest union construction industry association, to perform drug testing for 16,000 union members. Meanwhile, our expertise has effectively maintained the safety of workers rebuilding furnace equipment at a nearby glass manufacturing plant. Similarly, we’ve assisted General Electric in meeting federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates within its lighting division facilities across the country. How exactly do your work with clients? Ventura: It really depends on the cir-
cumstances. For example, we may be asked to review a plant’s respirator program. Subsequently, we’ll get out onto the factory floor and discover that few workers are wearing this safety equipment. SCT will then develop a plan to ensure compliance with management safety and health programs. Grueser: Advocacy is another area of our
expertise. This often takes place when an OSHA compliance and health safety officer (COSHO) inspects a prospective client’s establishment for health and safety violations. In such instances, we work with clients to establish practices that bring them in compliance with OSHA mandates. We’ll then advocate, explaining to OSHA what is being done to correct any violations the COSHO has identified. Every day is different. One day, I’m working with Joe on reviewing engineering plans for a factory’s safety standards. Tomorrow, I’ll assist in providing flu vaccines for workers at a local manufacturing facility. It makes for a great work environment.
International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers strategy to share
Ohio Administration District Council & Safety Controls Technology
focus on the customer “Since 1999, we’ve had Safety Controls Technology (SCT) maintain its focus on customer service. This strategy has resulted in a 98% retention of clients. By also making it possible for SCT to develop a multidiscipline product line, we’ve protected our company from recessionary trends that could have impacted one or more business lines.”
Growth is obviously important to your company. Are you considering entry into new markets? Grueser: In 2012 and beyond, we’ll be
directing much of our work and resources toward arc-f lash safety and tower safety. We’ve established a partnership with nationally recognized firm Operational Safety to reduce the potential for lethal electrical discharges, or arc flash, associated with industrial electrical panels and motors. Regarding tower safety, we’re focusing on developing meaningful training and compliance programs to meet the demand for trained and qualified workers to erect cellular and wind towers.
On September 1, 2010 Safety Controls Technology signed a three year agreement with the Bricklayers Union. This is a perfect bond between management and labor. The Ohio Administrative District Council is always thinking outside the brick and working together has enabled us to stay competitive in this quick changing construction industry. Safety Controls Technology is one of the fastest growing companies in Northeast Ohio. This is the third year that SCT has won the Weatherhead 100 Award. They are honored to receive this award after many years of hard work and integrity. The Union’s objective is to create partnerships through Labor/Management’s joint efforts and to respect all who choose to participate. The OADC-BAC and SCT work on projects such as Steel Mills and Coke Ovens. SCT partnered with the BAC union representation and we are proud to serve the employees of SCT. This company and the OADC-BAC worked together on National Television. Yes. We were on the Extreme Makeover program helping out a family in need on the eastside of Cleveland, Ohio. The OADC-BAC is committed to improving the standards of the masonry industry and believing that a better trained and more productive, drug free craftworker continues to be the keys to yours and our success!
What are your future goals for SCT? Grueser: We’re striving to add a great-
er green component our services. Toward this goal, we are helping more of our clients become LEED (Leadership in Environmental Engineering Design) certified. This certification is bestowed upon by the Green Building and Trade Council for structures that exemplify sustainable, eco-friendly operations. We believe that helping clients go green fits in nicely with our commitment to providing quality, effective services that promote health and safety standards. [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Skyline Windows is in the process of replacing more than 15,000 windows at Rockefeller Center over the next five to six years. At the heart of the Center is the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, also known as "30 Rock."
48 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Leading with Transparency Richard Apfel of Skyline Windows discusses … ▶ The evolution of window technology ▶ energy savings ▶ Improving the end user's environment
by tricia despres
hrough the years, Richard Apfel has seen his share of incredible views. His favorite, by far, is the view of the Big Apple from the Empire State Building. “The view from our windows in the observation deck … they are just spectacular,” Apfel says. As president, Apfel helps Skyline Windows serve as a way of seeing nearly every breathtaking aspect of the New York skyline. Here, Apfel shares with Profile how the company is helping to create the windows that go beyond simple functionality to impacting the end user's environment.
A very special thank you to Skyline Windows for being such a valued business partner for over 30 years. From your friends at Kenseal Construction Products Corp.
Kenseal is the nation’s premier source for commercial sealant and waterproofing products and solutions. With
What was your upbringing like?
I grew up in Detroit during a time when there was a lot of social unrest. My high school days were a bit interesting (laughs). Let’s just say that the National Guard were our hall monitors. I played football and had the opportunity to attend a number of different schools and decided on Cornell University in New York. Having never been out of Michigan up until that point made going off to Cornell quite an interesting experience. What were your interests back then?
I was majoring in engineering at the time. My timing was such that I ended up graduating during the (Jimmy) Carter days and the days of the oil embargos … energy was a big concern of everyone. Cornell had a large and quite prestigious hotel school in addition to
the innovations and expertise that strategy to share
stay on the leading edge “We always try to be on the leading edge of not only the products, but the consumer market. Keeping the spectacular views while still maintaining the energy performance of the windows has always been the key to our success. We are always looking at the end user’s standpoint, not simply just about the performance.”
every job requires, we see your project through so you can finish on time and on budget. We’re the only distributor you need, and our reputation is as airtight as our products.
1-888-KENSEAL | KENSEAL.com
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“Basically, these hotels were commercial buildings being used in a residential way, so their use of energy was definitely unique. I wouldn’t say we were a pioneer, but it certainly wasn’t a concept on anyone’s mind.” richard apfel president
a leading engineering school, and it was a matter of coincidence that I happened to be interviewed and eventually offered a job with Hilton Hotels and placed at the Waldorf Astoria. My main function there was to look at their energy-management systems and the overall operation of the building and determine how energy could be better saved.
the team at Skyline Windows to design a window-installation program at the Waldorf where we could go in and replace windows while the rooms were still being used. Essentially we would go in, remove the old window, install the new window, reinstall the window treatments, and the room could be rerented the same night.
These days, everyone talks about “going green,” but back in the 1970s, how did you and others approach the idea of energy savings?
How did you first begin working with Skyline Windows?
There was really nothing being done at the time. Computers were still in their infancy in the 1970s. The use of computers to do computer modeling or to manage building-operating systems didn’t exist. We were starting at the bottom and looking to see how energy was being used in hotels. Basically, these hotels were commercial buildings being used in a residential way, so their use of energy was definitely unique. I wouldn’t say we were a pioneer, but it certainly wasn’t a concept on anyone’s mind. One of the big challenges is that in the hotel industry you never want to have a room out of order. Years later, I worked with
over the years
What are your day-to-day duties?
I used to work primarily in sales, but a year ago I took over the presidency. With my engineering background, I still spend much time helping layout projects, along with dealing with the day-to-day issues that come up in any construction company. We are probably on 20 jobsites on any given day. However, my main focus is to position Skyline Windows as an industry leader with the right products and services.
From the Waldorf, I moved out to Beverly Hills [California]. During that time, the Kraus family expanded their buildingrestoration service to include window replacement and asked me to come and work for Skyline Windows. At the time, windows were a sideline to the main restoration company, but eventually the What inspires you? windows were our prime business. Over the years I have been inspired with our ability to design and manufacture How has the company evolved over the years? windows that were not available in the We started two or three crews install- market answering the needs of New ing windows for individuals in their York-based designers and consumers. apartment. We would purchase win- We are always focused on how the windows from various manufactures from dow will improve the end users environacross the country. Eventually we be- ment and the aesthetics rather than just gan to manufacture our own windows the functionality of the windows. [P]
Skyline Windows is established
50 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
to service the specific needs of our clients and our marketplace. Today, we ship our windows and doors across the country and have more than 100 installers in the field.
Starts manufacturing in Brooklyn, New York
Moves manufacturing to larger and current location in New Jersey
Is established as a window manufacturer for the national market
Lending a Helping Hand by lynn russo whylly
barry heape of doco regional federal credit union discusses … ▶ innovative programs to help customers ▶ listening to feedback
redit unions are designed by the people for the people, and DOCO Regional Federal Credit Union is no exception. While it offers standard financial instruments such as checking and savings accounts as well as mortgages and auto loans, its primary mission is to improve members’ financial well-being and help the less fortunate. Started in 1959 and run by an all-volunteer board, the Georgia-based company helps the underserved with starter products and low-rate loans that provide opportunities they might not receive elsewhere and is dedicated to financial education and giving back. Profile sat down with Barry Heape, president and CEO, to learn more about what has made this regional icon a success for 53 years.
▶ making the switch from federal to state charter DOCO serves more than 200 small companies. Why are you organized this way?
With a diverse membership, we’re just better able to weather tough economic times. It gives us a greater ability to grow and generate economies of scale, allowing us to offer more products and services at a lower cost. We work with everyone from manufacturers to government, schools, doctors, and lawyers. We will offer our services to any organization that has a need for them. Our goal is to offer to as many groups as possible. How do you help the underserved through the products and services you offer?
We have several products and services that cater to them, such as our Fresh Start checking. With a minimum $100 balance in their savings account, we limit the number of checks they can write and give them one year to build good credit with us, then we put them into a regular account. We also do high-risk auto loans that utilize a technology called a “starter interrupter.” It’s a device installed on the car that, if they don’t make their loan payment within a certain grace period, the car won’t start. Our members love it, because it allows them to have a car they otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy, and it helps them improve their credit scores over time.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
They’ll Go Out of Their Way... Tell us about some of the charitable programs you sponsored in 2011.
We do a lot with Children’s Miracle Network. We support Albany’s annual Alzheimer’s Walk. DOCO raised and distributed $30,000 in 2011 in support of all kinds of organizations: The Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, the Food Bank, Salvation Army, United Way, Humane Society, Red Cross, Newspapers in Education, and then a lot of smaller ones like golf tournaments and special requests we get from members and member groups. We continue to help as many as we can, and we encourage all of our employees to get involved.
for an ATM
federal credit union
In business since 1948
DOCO is very involved in financial education. Tell us about these programs.
We distribute financially oriented learning materials to 130 different schools in southwest Georgia. We give elementary schools games that teach kids how to count money, what money is for, and how it should be used and saved. For the high schools and junior highs, we give them computer software. We also have a member-relations person who conducts financial-literacy classes in schools. She reaches more than 2,000 students annually from preK to the college level. How is the credit union benefiting from your feedback forum?
The feedback forum tells us what we need to keep doing, stop doing, or start doing and we regularly make changes from that information. We recently opened up two branches on Saturdays for drive-through service and expanded business hours at all our other offices during the week for walk-in service. Any products and services our members ask us for we will use that information and start moving in that direction. You switched from a federal charter to a state charter in December. What will that mean for DOCO’s growth going forward?
It will give us the ability to offer more services to more areas and allow more members to come into the credit union. We want to expand and grow in our north Georgia area and that’s where we will start out working toward. [P]
Provide your members and customers with easy account access and cash convenience at less cost to you with ATM Solutions from Welch ATM.
• Reliable Equipment • Popular Retail Locations • ATM Management • Cash Services • Transaction Processing • And more…
Consistently building lifelong relationships through personalized banking solutions. MORTGAGE LOANS CONSUMER LOANS ELECTRONIC BANKING KASASA REWARDS CHECKING
866.286.7961 800-418-1486 www.oceancommunities.com www.welchatm.com
52 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Resilient Banking (left to right) Judy Morin, Pam Laverriere, and Paul Peterson of Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union take pride in helping their small credit union bounce back from almost closing its doors.
A True Turnaround Story Judy Morin, Pam Laverriere, and Paul Peterson of ocean communities federal credit union discuss … ▶ Standing out in the marketplace ▶ strategic partnerships ▶ recovering from a near closure
by Trenna nees
ts roots began as a small charter credit union, established by Reverend Arthur Decary of St. Andre’s parish to primarily help its lowincome parishioners have easier access to a financial institution. These days, Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union (OCFU) remains a strong, viable and healthy modern-day financial cooperative. Withstanding recessions, strained balance sheets, and a near miss with permanent closure, OCFCU has emerged stronger and savvier. Profile chats candidly with three of OCFCU’s officers, Paul Peterson, chief financial officer; Pam Laverriere, vice president of lending; and Judy Morin, vice president of financial services, about how the little credit union that could bounced back—and why business is now better than ever.
In the early '90s, the credit union almost closed its doors. What turned its fate around? Morin: Even with a long-standing rela-
tionship in the community, we came awfully close to ending our tenure. It was timely that a special case officer with the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) walked in and asked to see our CEO. Within 24 hours we cut our staff by 50 percent and began the process of restructuring how we did business. Our capital, at the time, was dangerously low due to a couple different variables: inadequate lending and collection practices. Today, we are a very healthy credit union with approximately 12,000 plus members and over $140 million in assets. Our interim CEO, Bob Begin, continues to spearhead our growth. What key principles guided the credit union leaders as they looked to rebuild and restructure the business? Peterson: As a modestly sized credit
union that must find ways to compete not only against megabanks, but also locally owned banks and thrifts, credit
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Your Security is our business. unions, and non-bank providers of financial services, we knew that we had to find ways to differentiate ourselves from the clutter of the marketplace. Since we are, most of the time, too small to take on the high costs of developing our own “difference makers," we concluded that it was critical for us to embrace key strategic relationships with companies that have established themselves as leaders in their field, either locally or nationally. There are two such strategic partnerships that represent the best examples of Ocean Communities’ identifying a need and finding the right partner that specializes in serving that niche: BancVue Limited and CUSO Mortgage Corporation. Can you elaborate on the benefits of partnering with BancVue and CUSO? Peterson: BancVue Ltd's rewards
COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL
• Security Systems • Fire Alarm Systems • Card Access Systems • Closed Circuit TV • Sprinkler Monitoring • Temperature Monitoring
A skilled technician is always readily available to address your security concerns. We invite you to call and learn more about our services.
10 Princes Point Road Yarmouth, Maine 04096
207.846.3350 www.cunninghamsecurity.com 54 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
checking product lines [will] allow us to eventually extricate ourselves from our past history of heavy reliance on certificate accounts and focus more on increasing earnings through debitcard interchanges, courtesy pay fees, and electronic delivery of monthly statements. This also allowed us to increase core checking savings accounts, which are the true bread and butter of every financial institution. Over the past three years through the use of BancVue’s national brand, Kasasa, OCFCU has seen a 56 percent increase in checking accounts and increased usage as a primary financial institution for members. CUSO Mor tgage Cor porat ion headquartered here in Maine is jointly owned by eight Maine-based credit unions, including OCFCU. Although OCFCU has long been a strong mortgage lender, many periods in the past promulgated by funding limitations left smaller institutions like ours facing a shortage in expertise for the direct sale of mortgages to the secondary market. This naturally forced the credit union to raise its loan rates and, effectively, price itself out of the mortgage-loan market because of lack of funds. We needed a relationship with a mortgage-banking entity that would give us immediate access not only to the secondary market but also to a
strategy to share
hire wisely “Maintaining a healthy balance sheet is important to a financial institution's success; but it is also important to maintain a welltrained staff that is able to respond to member needs. Investing in training, a callcenter that is results-driven, and the right personality fit is key to customer satisfaction and continued membership. Addressing and promoting basic business sense requires more than just routine hiring practices; it is an essential relationship that requires direction, strategy, and leadership.”
strong mortgage-servicing operation. CUSO was the perfect partner for this initiative. What are some examples of the credit union’s efforts to provide all-around service to its members? Laverriere: W hen most banks are
exacting tighter lending practices, OCFCU’s venture into lending to highrisk borrowers has brought success by building new relationships with members who really need guidance and counseling in order to be successful. It is essential that members have a financial institution that will go the distance with them. Because we have committed ourselves to building longterm relationships, we have also experienced an increased interest margin. Essentially, the attentiveness and willingness on our part to simultaneously provide loans for members who would willingly pay much higher rates to unscrupulous lenders equates into a winwin for all. [P]
The challenges facing its industry are opportunities for Digital Direction, says president Bart Zimmerman. “Telecommunications carriers are consolidating and, in doing so, are cutting back on customer service,” he explains. “This means that our own customer-service expertise will become even more valued.”
Creating Lasting Connections
s founder and president of telecommunications management firm Digital Direction, Bart Zimmerman frequently encounters the unexpected with his clients. “As part of an initial analysis, we’ll often discover voice, data lines, and even locations that clients didn’t even know they had and which they don’t need or closed years ago,” Zimmerman says. “Such research can mean thousands of dollars saved monthly for our customers.” We spoke with Zimmerman about how he built Digital Direction into a recognized outsourced-telecommunications leader.
bart zimmerman of digital direction discusses … ▶ managing telecommunications for corporations ▶ emphasizing customer service ▶ staying on top of crises ▶ taking the high road
by mark pechenik
What are the key goals of Digital Direction?
By analyzing, acquiring, and then managing corporate telecommunications services, we enable clients to better focus on growing their own businesses. Telecommunications can be a real headache. We provide a vital service by relieving firms of this necessary burden and we do it well. What is your role within the company?
Much of my responsibilities deal with
maintaining the company’s vision; keeping it on track in our commitment to customer service and technology. I also play a large role in staff recruitment. I surround myself with smart people, and then trust and encourage them to do the best job possible. People are our most important factor. Eighty percent of our staff are operational specialists with vast experience working for major telecommunications carriers such as AT&T or
Verizon. They are experts in getting the most out of telecommunications services and fixing the wide array of issues for our clients. Take us through a typical client-relationship process.
We begin by closely examining the present infrastructure such as the number of voice and data lines, where these lines are located, and the purpose of these lines. This enables us to learn
july/aug/sept 2012 I
For the past 10 years, we have helped CIO’s, IT Directors and IT departments manage telecommunications by serving as their Outsourced Telecom Management team. Our Outsourced Telecom Management (OTM) solution enables us to acquire, provision, and support corporate telecommunications environment. OTM lifecycle capabilities include ordering and provisioning, inventory management, invoice auditing, expense management, contract and rate negotiation, and trouble ticket and billing helpdesk services. • Inven t o r y M an age m e n t • Cont r ac t N e go t iat i on • Trou ble Ti c k e t He lp d e s k • Bil l in g Ti c k e t He lpd e s k • Cont r ac t Man age m e n t • Procu re me n t • Proje c t M an age A ll O r d e r s • De dic at e d S uppo r t Te a m Digital Direction is a company absolutely dedicated to helping customers reduce their telecom spend, leverage their communications environment, and creates a single point of contact for experienced advice and dedicated customer advocacy.
Digital Direction 344 N. Ogden Ave I Chicago, IL 60607 t: 312.633.1920 I f: 312.633.1905
digital-direction.com 56 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
“Telecommunications can be a real headache. We provide a vital service by relieving firms of this necessary burden and we do it well.” bart zimmerman Founder & president
the exact needs and potential costs for telecommunications moving forward. We then sit down with the client and propose how they can best use their telecommunications services. We’ll make suggestions such as removing lines that are not being used, plus restructuring the customer’s contracts with carriers to achieve the best rates, terms, and conditions. We then manage the customer’s telecom moving forward. What happens after securing a carrier contract?
Once a package is put into place, we dedicate resources to effective management. Often, we’re involved in weekly staff meetings with the client where we review service status. This also means that, if anything should happen, we’re there to make things right as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence—if you are a bank, for instance, downed data lines usually mean that your ATM cash machines are inoperational. In response to a crisis, we immediately contact the carrier and stay on top of the situation until it is resolved. Speaking of being in a crisis, have you ever encountered emergencies within your own organization?
Several years ago, we hired two staffers who, one day, abruptly left and started their own company, taking several of our clients with them. It shocked our entire organization. Employee emotions ranged from rage to despair. Some wanted to retaliate. I had two choices: Pursue the matter and probably waste time and money in legal fees and court appearances, or move on. I chose the latter option. I gathered the staff and assured them that everything was going to be okay,
strategy to share
Continue moving forward “Our corporate strategy is [to] continue to build on our process and infrastructure to better communicate with our customers, internal coworkers, and carriers. We are currently in the middle of a systems design and integration project that will take our company to a higher level of management ability. Our investment will enable us to grow at a much more organized rate and allow for an even better customer experience than our customers are receiving today.”
that we could move on. Fortunately, we are such a strong company that this issue failed to make a dent in our operations, and that is why I decided to take the higher ground. Moving forward, what do you see as the industry’s greatest challenges?
The challenges facing the industry are opportunities for us. Telecommunications carriers are consolidating and, in doing so, are cutting back on customer service. This means that our own customer-service expertise will become even more valued. For this reason, I’m very optimistic about our potential for growth in the years to come. [P]
on-call concierge services for the multimillionaire families they hold as clients separates Pathstone Family Office from the pack, according to cofounders Allan Zachariah (left) and Steve Braverman.
The Wealth Managers by trenna nees
sk many people what a family office is and many might guess it’s some kind of home business or even a type of doctor’s office. The type of family office Allan Zachariah and Steve Braverman refer to, however, manages the lives of multimillionaire families providing them with services such as dedicated staffs, complex technology departments, and on-call concierge. Founding Pathstone Family Office in 2010, Zachariah and Braverman serve 29 client families nationally from Pathstone offices in New York, New Jersey, and Atlanta. Collectively, Pathstone families represent over $2 billion in combined wealth. Here, Braverman and Zachariah discuss the unique service they provide and what the future holds for their business.
Allan Zachariah and Steve Braverman of Pathstone Family Office discuss … ▶ managing complex needs for multimillionaire famlies ▶ going high tech ▶ getting a leg up on wall street
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“By maintaining very high (nearly 1:1) employee to client ratios, we have the ability to understand (and hopefully predict) the needs of our clients so we can proactively manage them without disruption to the family.”" allan zachariah cofounder
What common thread or theme do you see amongst the families Pathstone serves? Braverman: Our clients are fast-paced
and busy entrepreneurs. Most are firstor second-generation wealth creators who understand the value of a trusted partner who takes a business approach to helping manage their complex lives. They are still busy running their current business or pursuing their passions and personal interests, but understand that someone has to be able to “pull it all together” to help manage the complexity that is usually unavoidable as a result of all they are doing. Other than the mandate of growing and protecting assets, what other valuable services does Pathstone provide its clients? Zachariah: As basically an accounting
and service firm “stapled to” an RIA, we seek to accommodate all the needs of our client families across multiple disciplines. Not only do we advise on the full spectrum of investment-advisory services (including fully integrated, multiasset, multientity, multigenerational portfolio aggregated reporting), we also sign tax returns for about two thirds of our clients. For most of our clients, we generate balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow projections. We help create and manage
58 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
our clients’ foundation/philanthropic plans. Additionally, we have a fully integrated online bill presentment and expense-tracking mechanism and support team. We have an 18-year veteran of the P&C insurance world whose responsibility it is to advocate on behalf of our clients’ complex holdings. We will be announcing a new hire and formal launch of a program in 2012 that seeks to engage and educate the next generation of families of wealth regarding their needs and goals. Generally, we find ourselves being the “first call” for just about anything that arises for our clients and have helped recently with ranch acquisition, security for overseas travel, and medical concierge services. Explain how Pathstone’s approach might differ from offerings from large Wall Street institutions or banks? Zachariah: Pathstone prides itself on
developing and fostering close personal relationships with our clients. By maintaining very high (nearly 1:1) employee to client ratios, we have the ability to understand (and hopefully predict) the needs of our clients so we can proactively manage them without disruption to the family. By internally staffing all the critical experts within the core disciplines of our service mod-
el, we seek to create a dynamic where a client’s needs are handled with one call from one team. Further differentiating us from larger institutions is our advocacy model under which we don’t “sell” any products, collect commissions, etc. The one and only way we are compensated is from the openly discussed fees we negotiate with the client. It’s our intention that this allows us to manage our success fully in relation to the client’s success. How does technology impact the work you do with clients? Braverman: Markets, news, and data
moves fast. Things can change materially in many ways over night. In order to be well informed and focused in our advocacy for our clients we have to work from the most up-to-date and fully integrated information. Many new clients come to us with the frustration of having investment accounts in multiple locations with service advisers who aren’t “talking to each other.” Our investment in forwardthinking technology solutions allows to not only gather information in a way that is critical to the work we do, it is also made available 24/7 directly to our clients for their review and input as well. [P]
Real People. Real Technology. Real Solutions.
Wishing you continued success.
flip & tumble
It is our privilege to be considered Flip & Tumbleâ€™s outsourced fulfillment partner of choice. A special thanks to Hetal Jariwala and Eva Bauer for their continued support. We wish you continued success. To learn more about how we serve clients like Flip & Tumble visit us at www.promofill.com/pro
TURN-KEY ORDER FULFILLMENT SERVICES:
WAREHOUSE LOCATIONS AND CAPABILITIES:
CLIENT AND SUPPORT SERVICES:
Direct-to-Consumer (DRTV, eCommerce, DropShip)
Bi-Coastal Distribution Facilities
Single-Point Account Management Staff
Wholesale and Retail Distribution
85% of the US population within 2 shipping days
Web-based Inventory Management System
3PL Warehousing and Distribution
Fully integrated systems with all major carriers
Full integration with client systems
Safe and Secure Environment
Online Order Management and History
Promotional / POP / POS Support Programs
Pick-n-Pack, Kitting and Assembly and more.
Freight / Logistics Management
Promotional Fulfillment Services, Inc.
| p (800) 815-1505 | Los Angeles | Philadelphia | www.promofill.com july/aug/sept 2012 I
the goods The Line Up 24-7 Bag: The 24-7 Bag is a reusable bag that’s designed to be with you where you need it, when you need it. Made of rip-stop, machine-washable nylon, it features a stretchy, collapsible design that “flips” into itself to form a convenient, portable ball the size of a balled-up sock. The finishing touch is its handy-dandy shoulder strap, which is lined with felt to keep it from slipping. Produce Bags: Sold in sets of five, Flip & Tumble’s Produce Bags are a reusable alternative to the disposable plastic bags in your grocery store’s produce section. Made of lightweight white mesh, they store fruits and veggies without adding visual clutter to your fridge—or weight to the produce scale. Carry Pouches: Perfect for a big shopping trip, Carry Pouches are reusable bags for your reusable bags. Available in two sizes—large and small—they hold up to 12 and 15 24-7 or Produce Bags, respectively. Salt and Pepper Squeezers: Need to pass the salt? Roll it on over. Grown-ups can play with their food thanks to Salt and Pepper Squeezers, which look like squishy tennis balls but are actually air-tight, spill-proof containers for salt and pepper.
colorfully handy With the ability to become a portable ball the size of a balled-up sock, Flip & Tumble’s vibrant assortment of bags are both practical and fun.
In the Bag With reusable bags that go from a peach-sized ball to full size in seconds, Flip & Tumble offers a simple, sustainable solution to an everyday problem by matt alderton
etal Jariwala was working as a project manager and software developer when she decided her real passion was product design. In 2004, therefore, she packed her husband and moved from Pennsylvania to California, where she enrolled in the Stanford Design Program at Stanford University in 2005. That’s where she met Eva Bauer, a fellow graduate student with whom she later started Flip & Tumble, a productdesign firm that describes itself as “tak-
60 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
ing those pesky, annoying problems, and finding clever, simple, and joyful solutions.” “During our second year [at Stanford], one of our courses was our thesis,” Jariwala explains. “This was our opportunity to explore just about any problem we felt deserved design exploration. I had been exploring the concept of transformative spaces and Eva had been exploring the concept of play for adults. We got two-thirds of the way through the year and felt like we’d gone as far as we could go in our individual areas. So, we decided to work together.”
The idea for their new project struck while shopping at Ikea. “I remember seeing those big [reusable] blue bags they have there and thinking, ‘I own several of these blue bags, but here I am at the checkout and I don’t have any with me,’” Jariwala says. A subsequent trip to the grocery store confirmed her suspicions: Interviews with a slew of shoppers revealed that while most people owned reusable shopping bags, almost nobody carried them. “We wanted to do something about this, so we looked into the different solutions on the market,” Jariwala says. They were especially excited by the
Meet the Makers
Well-rounded products Besides the peach-sized bags (bottom of page) on its product line, Flip & Tumble offers Salt and Pepper Squeezers (below). The squeezers look and feel like squishy tennis balls but remain air-tight, spill-proof containers for salt and pepper.
Photos: Mark Bauer
Flip & Tumble began in Palo Alto, California. That’s where founders and owners Hetal Jariwala (left) and Eva Bauer hatched the prototype for their first product: the 24-7 Bag. Graduate students in Stanford University’s Stanford Design Program, the duo met in 2005 and eventually partnered on their master’s thesis. Although Jariwala’s background was in mechanical engineering, and Bauer’s in biology, they had a shared fascination with simple, clever product design.
idea of a “collapsible” bag that could be easily compacted and carried. Existing collapsible bags, however, were cumbersome and hard to compact. “We wanted to find a better way to compact a bag.” They found exactly that when they were experimenting one day in the “Loft,” the space where Stanford design students do their work. “In this space there’s always remnants of various materials lying around, and one of the materials happened to be a stretch material that made compacting the bag significantly easier,” Jariwala recalls. “As we started playing with it, we realized we could compact it into a cute little ball.” That’s how Flip & Tumble’s first product—a compactible reusable bag called the 24-7 Bag—was born. They hand-sewed their first 50 bags and sold them at local farmers’ markets. People loved them, but the women weren’t yet ready to be business owners. So, the 24-7 Bag was shelved until the latter half of 2007, when Jariwala and Bauer—both of who had since graduated and taken
Luckily, so do consumers, because in 2007 the women turned their thesis project—a reusable bag that collapses into a ball the size of a peach—into Flip & Tumble, whose products are sold in gift shops worldwide, including major retail chains like Crate & Barrel and The Container Store. With mentions in publications like Dwell, Architectural Digest, Real Simple, Newsweek, and The Washington Post, among others, it’s safe to say: Jariwala and Bauer more than earned their “A.”
design jobs with other companies— quit their jobs in order to start Flip & Tumble. The design duo found a local sew shop that made 1,000 24-7 Bags a month, which the women initially sold direct to consumers through their website. Eventually, however, they partnered with a contract manufacturer who found a factory in China that could make more bags more affordably, which allowed the company to scale up
and sell wholesale, as well. Nearly five years later, Flip & Tumble’s reusable bags are sold at gift shops and retail stores worldwide. And they’re just getting started. “We’re now starting to expand our line into other eco home products,” Jariwala says. “Our passion is helping to bring fun, affordable, clever, simple products to the market, so our plan is to continue putting out great products that resonate with our customers.” [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
c o m pa n y c u lt u r e
All work and no play is the furthest thing from the truth at Upshot, where positive mojo and happy staffers result in creative campaigns that wow clients. by Kelly Hayes
ccording to a 2011 Gallup survey, 71 percent of workers hate their jobs. For these people, life begins when they exit the office every day around 5 o’clock. Still, a select few companies do things out of the ordinary to make their employees look forward to coming to work each day. Upshot, a Chicago-based integrated marketing agency with a number of big-brand clients including Hilton, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, and Corona, is one of those rare companies. At Upshot, work and play are closely intertwined, creating a very unique culture where employees not only work together to produce brilliant marketing campaigns for their clients, but where they laugh, dance,
62 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
eat pie, and compete for the title of Long Jump Champion. The best part? The monkey business is not going on behind the boss’s back. “Whether our office games are organic or organized, they make our employees happy, keep them laughing, and most importantly, keep them engaged with Upshot,” explains Brian Kristofek, CEO. “Engaged employees tend to produce better work, so we’ll keep the games going.” Pie eating contests, makeshift long-jump competitions, and other games are just one way Upshot engages and unites its employees. The company uses many different strategies to bring its team together and create a fun, dynamic working environment—so much so that one of Upshot’s top priorities is to become one of the top 10 places to work
on the Great Place to Work rankings, which are presented by Entrepreneur (Upshot was ranked 24 in 2011). “It won’t be easy, but we are committed to achieving this lofty goal,” Kristofek says. “As a matter of fact, being a ‘top 10’ place to work is a key part of the agency’s business plan— it’s one of our objectives.” The agency also views its wellness program and internal communications as important components of employee engagement. “So is having a robust talent pipeline, a generous employee-referral program, and a solid review process that helps us hire and retain the best talent,” Kristofek adds. Upshot also places a lot of importance on employee development and delivers training on many levels, including an ongoing curriculum called Brain Camp, Lunch & Learns,
ENgaging employees (above) Work and play collide harmoniously during Chop Chop, an annual competitive potluck for Upshot employees. (far right) Another way Upshot engages employees is by encouraging them to share their artistic talent through the display of their artwork in the company’s Gallery of Art. “The gallery was conceived by a group of employees in our creative department,” says CEO Brian Kristofek (right). “Every month or so, a theme is circulated, such as ‘alphabet soup’ or ‘Chicago.’ Anyone in the agency can submit artwork as long as it fits with the theme. The gallery is a wonderful way for people to put their mark on the space and the culture.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
What make s U pshot’ s cu ltu r e u n iqu e?
Account Supervisor “Every person that works at this agency is passionate about what they do, and there is truly a sense of camaraderie among everyone. It’s because we work hard together, we celebrate the ideas we create together, and we support each other in our interests and hobbies outside of work.”
Jaclyn “Jac” Gordyan
Senior Art Director “Ask anyone who’s ever worked here—they’ll tell you the same thing. We all have a grasp on how to make work feel like play. And if work ever does feel like work, we make sure to play extra hard afterwards. That mindset keeps us balanced. I’ve met some of my best friends here.”
Research & Intellectual Property Manager “We work in a creative industry, so it makes sense for us to have a culture that reflects that, but I think Upshot really takes it up a notch. The agency does a nice job of encouraging our creative efforts outside of the office as well as finding ways to incorporate those outside efforts into the office, like our employee art shows and similar initiatives.”
64 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
and bringing in outside coaches and speakers. “Growth fuels career opportunity, and everyone at Upshot knows the correlation,” Kristofek says. “We also introduced a new organizational structure that will provide new opportunities throughout the organization.”
pshot’s secret to creating happy staffers lies in its ability to get people excited about their work, the company, and being part of a team. “Upshot’s purpose is to inspire people to take action,” Kristofek says. “We are here to fan the flames of inspiration. It’s part of our culture, it’s part of our marketing, it’s our purpose, and it’s why we come to work every day.” The company’s happy workers are high performers, and its engagement strategies translate to a productive, efficient team that consistently delivers groundbreaking ideas and clever campaigns that wow clients. Noteworthy projects to date include a unique beauty brand campaign created for Procter & Gamble— which became the first pop-up environment in North America—and the “Corona Beach Getaway” campaign for Corona—which served as Upshot’s first national promotion. But while Upshot measures project and account success through client feedback, it also gauges its progress on culture through an annual employee survey. Staff are expected to follow a set of 10 tenets—including “Be a Resource,” “Take a Risk,” and “Never Give Up”—intended to guide how the team operates in its workplace and empower employees. “I think what makes Upshot most unique among other companies with strong cultures is its people-focus,” Kristofek explains. Landing on the top 10 places to work list is simply a measuring stick, Kristofek says. “The real driver for me is walking through the doors of Upshot every day and feeling the positive mojo that a great culture and happy, engaged people generate. You can sense it when you walk through the office, interact with employees, and view the work. In the highly competitive agency business, it becomes a point of differentiation.” [P]
THE GOOD NEWS
YOUR RESEARCH TEAM IS WORKING OVERTIME SEARCHING THE WEB FOR ANSWERS TO YOUR CLIENT’S NEEDS.
THE BAD NEWS
$900 BILLION A YEAR IS WASTED WORKING OVERTIME SEARCHING THE WEB FOR ANSWERS.
u ACCESS INFORMATION you can’t find anywhere else u SAVE TIME with the most precise search and monitoring tools u SHARE INSIGHTS with colleagues over multiple platforms factiva.com/profile/goodnews
© 2012 Dow Jones & Co. Inc. All rights reserved. july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
With perks like all-expenses-paid fantasy vacations and generous birthday and anniversary bonuses, MCM’s loyal employees are motivated to bring their best selves to work each day.
by Julie Schaeffer
few weeks before the birth of Cal Pelly’s third child, his employer, Seattle-based insurance-consulting firm MCM, gave him a unique gift. “We call it a man-shower, and it was a hoot!” says MCM president John Meisenbach, who founded the firm in 1961 and has watched it grow into one of the largest, privately held benefits-consulting and insurance-brokerage firms in the Northwest. That kind of dedication to employee well-being isn’t unusual for MCM, which was named one of Washington’s top 100 companies to work for three years running by
66 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Seattle Business. “We take care of employees and their families because it’s important to us,” says Meisenbach, who learned that lesson early in his career. “I remember when my first assistant left, years ago. I had to hire three people to replace her. I realized then how valuable employees are, and ever since have been dedicated to making this the best possible place to work.” It’s hard to argue that it isn’t. Every year, the firm gives each employee a $1,000 all-expenses-paid fantasy vacation. The firm also gives all the children of its employees $1,000 savings bonds on their birthdays. Employees receive gift cards for their birthdays and anniversaries. Additionally, the firm takes employees who have
reached their 10-year anniversary out to dinner with their families and gives them a $10,000 bonus. The firm is also concerned about employee wellness. It pays 100 percent of the cost of employees to join any area health club, and last year paid part of the cost of a broad employee-wellness plan that included testing and treatment recommendations. “It was one of most successful things we’ve done,” Meisenbach says. MCM encourages employees to give back to the community and contributes a significant amount of its own profits to charitable organizations. For the past two years, the Puget Sound Business Journal has named the company number one in their size category for philanthropy.
What is it li ke wor ki ng at MCM?
“A happy employee leads to a happy client.” John Meisenbach President
Senior Underwriter “MCM feels like a family, my home away from home. Working here makes me feel that I belong.”
Senior Account Manager “We have such a collaborative and positive work environment; it’s fun to come to work each day.”
Photo: Charles Ya Badua
s a result of the firm’s unique culture, retention is phenomenal. “We have people who have been here 10, 20, even close to 30 years,” Meisenbach says. “And a happy employee leads to a happy client.” Lorrie Baldevia, vice president of executive benefits, agrees. Baldevia, who has been with the company for 12 years, knows it’s a rare culture. “We have benefits that are beyond compare,” she says. “From the employee perspective, it’s easy to see that the company cares about you as a person, and that makes you want to work harder for the company.” Lucky for Baldevia and the company’s 71 other employees, Meisenbach doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. He says he gets
his ideas for employee perks when he’s out calling on companies and serving on boards, and wants to keep them coming. “You see what other people do, and you try to think of ways to apply it to your own efforts,” he says. “Culture is one of our greatest strengths, and we plan to keep it that way.” [P]
Director of Client Services “There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit at MCM, and it gives us the freedom to be flexible in meeting our clients’ needs.”
A WORD from ing
ING is proud to have partnered with John Meisenbach and MCM in providing innovative financial solutions. ING US Insurance helps individuals, families, and businesses achieve wealth accumulation and asset protection needs with a full range of individual life insurance, employee benefits, fixed annuity and asset solutions.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
ING is proud to support MCM and John Meisenbach and congratulates them on all of their successes.
Sometimes the road less traveled is a more direct path.
Need a better road map for executive retirement solutions and retention strategies? That’s where ING and its innovative Self Owned Life and Retirement (S.O.L.A.R.) Insurance Arrangements can help. These out-of-the-box solutions will have you cruising down the road to meeting your executive beneﬁts needs.
Inquire about this new ING solution with your financial professional or find one on http//ing.us.
Your future. Made easier.® Life insurance products are issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (Minneapolis, MN) and Security Life of Denver Insurance Company (Denver, CO). Both are members of the ING family of companies. © 2012 ING North America Insurance Corporation cn68703032014
68 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
com pa n y c u lt u r e
JMG Financial Group, Ltd. drops its "eat-what-you-kill" mentality, and staff and clients reap the rewards. by Ruth E. Dávila
Performance incentives, transparent advancement paths, and company bonuses are only some of the staff perks at JMG Financial Group. Yonhee C. Gordon, principal and chief administrative officer (sitting second from left) and Marita A. Sullivan (sitting third from right), principal and CEO, work hard to foster a cohesive workplace environment.
n 2005, when cash was flowing, the top-earning employees of wealth-management firm JMG Financial Group, Ltd. took a major pay cut for the greater good. Prior to that, per the industry standard, JMG’s advisers had been rewarded a substantial percentage of the revenue they generated. “You eat what you kill; that was the mentality,” says Marita A. Sullivan, principal and CEO of the Chicago-based group specializing in investing, wealth structuring, and tax-and-estate planning.
The winner-takes-all mindset, Sullivan explains, failed to contribute to the long-term success of the firm. For a small-sized office such as JMG, which has 46 employees, it was imperative to grow the company as a whole. “After painful discussions, we decided to reduce compensations and leave more in the firm, through company bonuses and owners’ distribution, so that if anyone grew the firm, everyone would benefit,” Sullivan says. After the shock of shifting to a new system, people began to under-
stand the macro value of company growth, beyond the sole focus on individual client attention. That said, the change in compensation only served to strengthen service. In fact, it improved JMG’s culture by breaking down silos, creating a more cohesive workplace, skyrocketing employee retention (to an average tenure of 14 years), and in turn, leading to more satisfied customers. The company today manages $1.4 billion in assets. A new ownership structure offered advisers an added incentive
july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
to excel. “We ensured ownership was spread among the people,” says Yonhee C. Gordon, principal and chief administrative officer. JMG Financial has 13 shareholders, with 11 owners holding five percent or more. The firm also established a succession plan: “We have a mechanism set up so that people know who is going to sell their shares, when, and what the price will be,” Gordon says. By the time financial markets dipped, JMG stood strong, Sullivan says. “The negative impact of the economy and financial markets was never a ‘crisis’ to JMG. We followed our own advice with regard to diversification and long-term planning. We did not have to lay off any of our employees, and continued with our marketing initiatives, which substantially increased our client base.”
ealizing that JMG’s advisers were charged with business development, but lacked in sales acumen, the firm hired a consultant to train them. A marketing budget was created, and the website, marketing materials, and logo were refreshed—all of which help attract new business. In addition to the revamped brand identity (in light, modern blue) JMG made a renewed commitment to technology and won the Charles Schwab IMPACT Best-inTech Award in 2010. JMG works on a fee basis only: as a registered investment, its advisers can recommend any products, as opposed to large firms, which are often restricted to proprietary products. The advisement firm can also leverage its buying power to gain clients access to certain funds that typically would require $500,000 or $1 million to partake. In sum, these factors foster trust among clients. Advisers such as Sullivan, who still maintains a portfolio of executives, have relationships ranging from 10 to 30 years. “We’ve even had a client who was dying and came in just to say goodbye to the staff,” Sullivan says. Sullivan came to JMG in 1987, from what was then Arthur Young, with tax expertise. She started as a certified public accountant and
70 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
adviser, bringing with her a bevy of accounts, including McDonald’s executives and board members. By 2005, she climbed to CEO. And in 2008 and 2009, Bloomberg Wealth Manager magazine named her one of The 50 Distinguished Women in Wealth Management. In 2001, she was invited to join Chicago’s elite womens leaders group, The Chicago Network.
ordon joined JMG Financial after college, one year before Sullivan, as a data entry clerk. Over time, she became a certified financial planner and financial adviser. Eleven years after coming on board, she assumed the vice presidency of administration, for a more flexible lifestyle to raise children. “Starting out as young as I did, I prepared for clients’ financial meetings by entering the data, then I became their adviser, and now I’m seeing them pass away,” says Gordon, a 26-year JMG veteran. “So I’m seeing the whole cycle. We have added so much value to our clients’ lives.” Upward mobility, such as that of Sullivan and Gordon, is not an anomaly at JMG. Forty-seven percent of advisers started as entry-level staff. When conducting performance reviews, Gordon makes a point to chart out career development plans. “I meet with each employee individually after each semiannual evaluation. Once they tell me what they want to accomplish, I tell them what they need to do. It keeps employees challenged and gives them variety,” Gordon says. Clear advancement paths, individual performance incentives, and company bonuses are big wins for JMG’s employees. Other perks—such as flextime, summer hours, and full- or half- day offs in honor of birthdays, service anniversaries, and more—build morale. Staff members bond during baby showers, surprise parties, cook-offs, and luncheons, or on the field playing flag football, volleyball, and kickball. Team spirit abounds at JMG Financial—and Sullivan wouldn’t have it any other way. We are a small firm, and we believe in the team concept,” she says. [P]
du r i ng th e se toug h fi nancial ti m e s , What motivate s you to g ive it you r all at work?
Principal, Financial Advisor “During volatile markets, our clients need our assistance more than ever. While more uncertainty in financial markets clearly makes our job more difficult, the greater needs of our clients during these times motivate me to provide them with the best service possible.”
Administrative Assistant “What motivates me is the people I work with. The camaraderie, driven teamwork, and superb effort that our staff gives to our elite group of clients is like no other in my opinion.”
Principal, Financial Advisor “From day one, I was attracted to JMG because of the sense of family and the career path offered to the employees. I am appreciative of the wealth of knowledge I have gained and the opportunities for growth and development within the firm.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Independent advisors need a strong advocate for their industry.
For more than 22 years, that advocate has been Schwab.
We have the commercial products and services to insure your business while you’re busy running it.
Why Choose Peerless Insurance®? Charles Schwab has been the champion for RIAs at every level—including working
Peerless Insurance and its underwriting companies have
with advisors to guide the direction of the
been doing business in the Northeast since 1901, so we
independent investment advisor industry, advocating in Washington and hosting
know your market. We're a regional insurance company,
IMPACT, the industry’s largest conference.
which means we are flexible, and as a member of Liberty
No wonder over 7,000 RIAs of all sizes
Mutual Group with the financial strength to deliver security
work with and entrust more assets to Schwab than to any other custodian.
Experience the Schwab Difference. schwabdifference.com
and value, we offer national reach combined with local market knowledge. We write only small business insurance accounts, so we have time to learn the ins and outs of your specific industry.
SYRACUSE REGIONAL OFFICE P.O. Box 4858 | Syracuse, NY 13221 | phone 315-431-6100 toll free 800-443-4000 | toll free fax 800-526-0681 ©2012 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab). All rights reserved. Member SIPC. Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading and support services of Schwab. Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affi liated with or supervised by Schwab. (0312-1935) ADP67244
72 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
com pa n y c u lt u r e
Now on its fourth generation of owners and fifth generation of employees, Walsh Insurance Group still maintains the commitment to clients and community that its forefathers held 150 years ago. by Lynn Russo Whylly
ast year, the owners of Walsh Insurance Group in Buffalo, New York, decided to invite its 75 employees and their spouses on a weekend excursion to Woodlock Resort in the Poconos to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary. The happy group attended cookouts and bon fires, were pampered with gifts and services, and participated in competitions, scavenger hunts, and games. The getaway was Jack, Ted, Mike, and Barney Walsh’s way of saying thank you. “We could have put the money in our own pockets,” says CEO, Jack Walsh. “But if we had, we never would have benefited by the kind of return we got bonding with our employees. We came back to Buffalo with an extraordinary feeling of appreciation and respect for one another.” The Walshes also wanted to do something significant within their community to represent the 150 years that Buffalo had given them, so employees and vendors planted 150 trees in Buffalo’s historic Delaware Park. The park system, which had lost significant numbers of its trees over the years from Dutch elm disease, storm and ice damage, was designed by Frederick Law
TIED BY BLOOD AND BUSINESS, Walsh Insurance Group’s executive team includes: (seated from left) Mike Walsh, Barney Walsh, (standing from left) Ted Walsh, Jack Walsh, and Sean Keenan.
Olmsted, America’s signature urbanparks designer and the father of New York City’s Central Park. “The outpouring it created in our community was extraordinary,” says Ted Walsh, president.
Now in its fifth generation of family leadership, the Walsh Insurance Group includes Jacob Hauck Agency (Hamburg, New York), Garrick Insurance Agency (Medina, New York) and Sar-
july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
dinia Associates (Hamburg, New York). Each of them sells the original property and casualty, personal and commercial insurance products, and general contractor bonding that the Walsh family’s forefathers did. In addition, they now also offer the services of an employeebenefits group, including disability, medical and life products. The company’s focus is to provide insurance solutions as trusted advisers and consultants. “We’re doing research and providing alternatives, not just selling products,” says Jack. “That’s a more global conversation today than our ancestors may have had in 1950.”
What is you r secr et to bu i ldi ng a good te am?
CEO & Chairman
he company’s culture is derived from principles instilled in them by their ancestors and refined through the family’s education, experience, and ethics: deliver on your promises, always put the customer first, do the right thing, be honest, admit when you can’t do something, study, and work hard. That culture transfers outside of the company walls into the community, where Jack, Ted, Mike, Barney, Sean, and other family members have led or participated in more than 100 charitable organizations. “Engagement in the community is not something we pursue as a business strategy, it is rightly understood as an expectation of our parents,” says Jack. “We care about Buffalo. We want to help the community we live in, that has been good to us, and that our kids have been blessed by, as well.” That helping hand also extends internally. The Walsh Insurance Group takes in summer interns, celebrates anniversary milestones and encourages everyone, including themselves, to continue their education. They try to share the wealth and are pleased that their colleagues find the company a wonderful place to work. But while the culture hasn’t changed across generations, technology has changed both how and where the company does business. Because of the Internet, “We can now do things faster, easier, and more globally,” says Ted. “People are picking up on articles we’ve written or speeches we’ve given, and as a result, we have customers in different parts of the country and the world that we didn’t have when everything
74 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
President “Hiring bright, capable people and letting them have the independence to be successful. Not putting any kinds of restrictions on them, to provide the opportunity to be accountable.” Jack Walsh
“Seek people more capable than we are, invest in them, and meet them much more than halfway.”
Administrative Services Manager “I am involved in hiring, and we try to look for people who are enthusiastic, who may not necessarily have the experience, but who have the skills we need.”
Our Business is Insuring You! The Walsh Insurance Group was founded in Buffalo, New York. Thanks to superior colleagues, continuing education, technology innovation and trust building through
was much more manual. Today, we can have video conference meetings involving multiple parties and locations and can transfer information back and forth with the push of a button.” Within the next 10 years, the company will be ushering in the next generation of leaders, and whether they be Walsh family or employee family members is fine with them. “Whether our children’s careers are or are not connected to the insurance business isn’t the issue,” says Jack. “We want them to be fulfilled, successful, and hopefully have a commitment to their communities. If those linkages perpetuate in them being involved in the family business, that would be wonderful, but we’re more concerned that they choose paths that make them happy, contributing citizens.” Whichever way it goes, the Walshes have already added a lasting heritage to the family history books, and to that of their community, as well. [P]
four generations, the agency has prospered as a respected and preeminent leader. They salute legions of loyal customers for their support and success.
• Personal Insurance • Commercial Insurance • Group Benefis • Life Insurance
WALSH INSURANCE GROUP 801 Main Street • Buﬀalo, New York 14203
Marty Bicknell was determined to separate salespeople from advice givers at his new firm. With 4,375% growth over the past six years, it seems that model is paying off.
What do you li ke b e st about worki ng at Mari n e r we alth advisors?
Senior Vice President of Wealth Management “I am incredibly fortunate to work with professionals whose passion for helping others is as deep and committed as mine.”
Senior Wealth Advisor
by Julie Schaeffer
ost financial advisers have two responsibilities: finding and retaining clients. In other words, they’re sales people and advice givers. It’s a model that’s worked for decades, but in 2006, one firm decided to rock the boat. “The best producers in terms of sales are usually not the best advice givers because they’re too busy generating business to focus on the client, so we asked, ‘Why are we combining those roles?’” says Marty Bicknell, founder and CEO of Leawood, Kansas-based Mariner Wealth Advisors.
Bicknell certainly had the experience to make that judgment call. He spent the first 16 years of his career as a financial adviser, working for A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., which was founded in 1887 when Albert Gallatin Edwards and his son opened for business in St. Louis. “It was run well by the Edwards family for 115 years, but in 2001, the first nonEdwards CEO tried to turn the firm into a traditional Wall Street brokerage,” Bicknell says. “For five years, I struggled to figure out how I fit into that model, and ultimately determined that I didn’t, so I cofounded a firm we could be proud of, bringing seven people with me.”
“Our roles are focused. Our technology is excellent. And, we have the best resources and support to help us deliver extra value to our clients.”
Senior Vice President of Business Development “The culture here is unique and inspiring. We foster a spirit of community and philanthropy that is contagious.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
icknell’s timing was fortuitous: The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 left many investors with severely diminished assets seeking new financial advisers, and Bicknell and his team were happy to show them how their business model was a better option. “Really, all we did was create an environment where the client comes first,” says Bicknell, noting that in order do so he fostered an entrepreneurial climate that attracted strong individuals. “It’s a concept we call unique ability … We let financial advisers come in and do what they do best, and we find someone else to do everything else.” To that end, the firm currently has 40 financial advisers operating on three-person teams: a senior adviser, a junior adviser, and a client service administrator. They’re brought clients by a group of seven business development specialists, but left on their own to make decisions within certain parameters. Specifically, a five-person investment team sets target investment allocations, and financial advisers use their discretion within those guidelines. “As an example, our strategic investment team may set our large-cap growth allocation at 15 percent to 30 percent of a client’s portfolio, but an adviser can decide what fits his or her clients’ needs within that band,” Bicknell says. “Within that category, he or she can also choose from among three to seven investments, such as ETFs, mutual funds, and separate accounts. To help financial advisors make decisions, we offer all the resources you could imagine, including one dedicated trust and estate specialist, four attorneys, 15 certified public accountants, and 22 chartered financial analysts.”
BY THE NUMBERS
76 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
“We have a simple philosophy: we put the client first, employees second, and firm last.” Marty Bicknell CEO
ompensation, says Bicknell, is equally innovative, with business development officers compensated on sales and financial advisers compensated on retention. The firm also offers a comprehensive benefits package paid at 99 percent (and it would be 100 percent if tax laws allowed it). Perhaps most unique, however, is the firm’s emphasis on charitable giving. An eight-employee board of directors oversees the Mariner Foundation, which supports a number of charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Employees who wish to contribute to the foundation are offered payroll deduction with unlimited matching; they may also contribute their time at the expense of the firm. “We decided that our time is as important as our money, so the foundation’s board organizes quarterly charity events, and we give employees one day of paid time off per quarter to volunteer their time,” Bicknell says. According to Bicknell, the result is a “really special” firm culture, which led the Kansas City Business Journal and Ingram's magazine to name the firm one of the best places to work in 2011.
“We have a simple philosophy: We put the client first, employees second, and firm last,” he says. “But, by finding advisers who want to put client needs first, the second and third pieces just kind of happen.” [P] A message from Grant Thornton LLP
Today’s business demands accounting and consulting specialists that are dedicated to helping you grow and achieve your business goals. At Grant Thornton LLP, our forte is providing a full range of accounting, tax and consulting services to dynamic organizations. We focus our efforts on providing an approach based on relationships—much like the valued relationship we have with Marty Bicknell and Mariner Wealth Advisors. We are proud to serve Mariner Wealth Advisors and would like to congratulate Marty Bicknell for his well-deserved recognition by Profile magazine. This serves as a testament to Marty’s leadership in the industry as well as Mariner’s position of prominence as a premier wealth advisory firm. We would like to wish Marty and Mariner Wealth Advisors continued success in all their endeavors as our clients.
employees at founding
employee growth in 2011
business development specialists
EXCUSES DONâ€™T WIN. Thereâ€™s no reason to be standing still. Now is the moment to leapfrog the competition through R&D, or invest in operational excellence. Because to grow tomorrow, you have to do your homework today. Dynamic companies work with us because we know what succeeds for growth. See what wins at growthwins.com.
Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
The CEO lunches with everyone else at Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency, where employee turnover is nearly nonexistent. by Rowena Vergara
ommunity-based and employee-driven. In the simplest of words, that is the image Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency exudes to residents of the Turlock, California, area. And that is exactly the culture carried out daily within the walls of one of the largest independently owned insurance agencies in the Central Valley. Walking into Winton-Ireland feels a bit like visiting family. Need to speak to the CEO? Of course you can; go right up to his office or find him in the
cafeteria at lunchtime like everyone else. Employees are constantly shown they are appreciated through picnics, a Thanksgiving luncheon, and holiday parties for spouses, significant others, and their kids. Roses are handed out on Administrative Professionals Day. The owners, all of whom work for the company, also know how to show their employees they care. Doctors come in to host monthly wellness workshops and contests are held for employees who complete fitness challenges. Management usually surprise their workforce by bringing in the newest crop, like sweet potatoes, which are well appreciated
“The reason [employees] give of themselves is because if you come from a family that gives, you tend to take on those characteristics.” Rick Adams Chief Operating Officer
78 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
in a community focused on agriculture. “Those are things you just don’t expect anymore,” says Rick Adams, chief operating officer. The benefits of these positive reinforcements speak for themselves. Winton-Ireland’s retention rate is extremely high. It is a business employees are proud to be part of and willing to stay a part of for a very long time. “Most of the people who are coming here, the majority are through referral. There’s not a lot of times we look and recruit,” Adams says. “There’s a sense of being appreciated [here].” Unlike many insurance agencies that merge and become clusters and networks of agencies, Winton-Ireland is committed to growing on its own. The company, nearing its 100year anniversary in 2013, has five offices and 136 employees throughout the cities of Modesto, Livingston, Fresno, and Oakhurst in California, with its main office in Turlock. Throughout each of those offices, the philosophy on getting the job done is to treat all clients with the same level of service. Winton-Ireland’s size and scope of practice, although it insures nationwide, has not stopped it from delivering the best client relations, no matter how large or small. “Some
What is on e word to de scri b e th e cu ltu r e of Wi nton - I r e l an d, Strom & G re e n I n su r ance Ag e ncy?
Construction Specialist, Account Manager “Conscientious. Our company’s primary concern is our client’s needs. We utilize all resources to best meet our customer’s insurance needs and provide them with quality products. If we don’t have the answer, we have the resources to find them that answer.”
Benefits Account Manager “Integrity. I have learned working here that this company is very honest and very reliable along with representing high moral principles. I feel we represent that to each of our clients and to all of the employees here at Winton-Ireland.”
Photos: Lynn bull
Producer “Family. Our business has grown from its humble roots as a familyoperated and owned agency into a multifaceted and experienced agency. Through its growth it has retained the same core values.”
agencies say they can’t be bothered with small accounts. We’ve really stayed away from that; we won’t put our clients through to a 1-800 center,” Adams says. Because they are a communitybased company, they want to keep their approach to business the same way. A good portion of their business is right in the local area, so it becomes a personal commitment for all employees to do their best. “Most of these people are our neighbors and we know them. We may insure their homes, businesses, schools, and even their hospitals,” Adams says.
rounding itself and expanding from within has made the company one of the most recognized local employers of the Central Valley, and well respected in an economically challenged area. With that growth, it has also become a longtime steward of the community, giving back to schools, charities, the arts, and high school boosters. Adams himself enjoys attending high school basketball games and can be spotted among the fans on any given night. Nearing its 100-year anniversary, the owners are also focusing on another key to its success: investing in its young workers. While the ages of employees vary across the board, young employees are especially nurtured through an informal mentoring program. College students who work at Winton-Ireland during their summer breaks are also given first consideration for future openings. The company’s culture of a caring and giving workforce would not be possible without its employees. But, even more so, Winton-Ireland would not be able to command the respect it gets in the community, if it were not for its top-notch staff. In addition to the company contributing dollars to the community, employees themselves vote on a charity to donate to every couple of months. “The reason they give of themselves is because if you come from a family that gives, you tend to take on those characteristics,” Adams says. [P]
Allied Insurance and Nationwide Agribusiness are proud to partner with Winton Ireland, Strom & Green. Allied Insurance and Nationwide Agribusiness offer products through leading independent insurance agents to meet diverse needs of your family, business, or farm: • Home, auto, motorcycle, boat, RV – including high-value property insurance • Commercial Insurance – Business Owners, Commercial Property, Auto and General Liability • Farmowners Insurance – Residential, Farm Buildings, Liability, Auto and Equipment
Experience the difference. Call Winton Ireland, Strom & Green for a consultation.
Call 1-800-236-5184 License 0596517
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Questions about running your business? You have a place to go for answers.
Pershing at work for you. How can you recruit and keep top performers? Are your operations as efficient as they could be? Are you actively managing to profit? You can find the answers you need with Pershing Advisor Solutions. Our practice management programs focus on the key challenges that matter most to your business—driving growth, optimizing human capital, maximizing efficiency and managing risk. From cuttingedge research to interactive forums and personalized consulting, we offer practical, end-to-end solutions that help drive results. It all adds up to powerful practice management solutions at work for you.
See the whole story.
© 2012 Pershing Advisor Solutions © Pershing LLC. Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC, member FINRA, SIPC, is a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Clearing, custody or other brokerage services may be provided by Pershing LLC, member FINRA, NYSE, SIPC. Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC relies on its affiliate Pershing LLC to provide execution services. Trademark(s) belong to their respective owners.
com pa n y c u lt u r e
From teaching in Paris to living in British Columbia, Balentine’s staff bring to work diverse perspectives and outside innovation. by Lynn Russo Whylly
Photos: michael pugh
W diverse backgrounds More than one-third of Balentine's staff have either grown up, worked, or been educated abroad. "We believe diverse backgrounds and experiences help us avoid 'group think,'" says Tonia Edwards, PhD, communications and marketing manager.
hen Robert Balentine opened Balentine two years ago with 10 capitally invested partners, he knew as much about what he wanted as he did about what he didn’t want in an independent investment firm. He didn’t want a corporate agenda driving client goals, but wanted an employee-ownership model to incentivize staff to do what’s best for each client. He didn’t want a commission-based revenue structure, but rather, preferred to base the business on fees tied to growth. And he didn’t want every employee to have the same MBA background and job experience because that, he felt, would always lead to the same answers. To drive true creative thinking, he wanted to build a firm with a wide berth of cultural and experiential diversity. To date, all three strategies are paying off.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
com pa n y c u lt u r e
What do you th i n k is th e b igg e st b e n e f it to worki ng at Bale nti n e?
Director of Communications “I’m someone who loves learning, and with these great people around me who have such diverse experiences, I’m able to learn something new every day. That gives me a lot of satisfaction professionally to work with people with such great ideas.”
Tonia Edwards, PhD
Communications & Marketing Manager “Balentine has a real culture of giving. Everyone in the firm is involved in the community in some capacity; we are encouraged to give back. It’s a great experience to work somewhere that values community involvement.”
Adrian Cronje, PhD
Chief Investment Officer “It’s fun to come to work for Balentine. The focus on doing right by our clients and by each other allows me to be innovative. I get a great sense of pride when people recommend our firm or describe it as being on the leading edge. That’s what I get my kicks from.”
82 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Balentine is actually the third iteration of the company. He and his father, Bob, started their own firm, Balentine & Company, in February 1987. When the firm was sold to Wilmington Trust in 2002, it was the largest privately owned investment management firm in the southeast. Balentine and his employees served as Wilmington Trust’s investment strategy team; Balentine became CEO of Wilmington Trust Investment Management. Over time, he felt that the reality of working in a large publicly traded company had strayed too far from his dream, so in July 2009, he left, and opened his company’s doors the following January. Today, Balentine’s clients include entrepreneurs, endowments, foundations, and pension funds. The firm already manages more than $1 billion in assets and grows almost entirely through client referrals. “What’s unique about our model,” Balentine says, “is that the only revenue we make is a fee based on a percentage of the client’s assets, where the percentage decreases as the size of the relationship increases and most importantly, implementation costs remain separate from the fee we charge to manage a client’s portfolio. This model fuels our incentive to grow clients’ money, and if we do that successfully, we’re rewarded by their loyalty and their willingness to refer others.” Making the best decisions, Balentine feels, requires knowledge of other markets and industries, and that’s where the company’s diversity gives them a competitive advantage. More than one-third of Balentine’s staff either grew up, worked, or was educated abroad and more than half are women. In addition, many of them come from industries outside of financial services. “We believe that diverse backgrounds and experiences help us avoid ‘group think,’” explains Tonia Edwards, PhD, communica-
BY THE NUMBERS
25 total employees
20% 2011 employee growth
10+ years of the average employee tenure
40s average employee age range
4 number of people on executive team
“We believe that diverse backgrounds and experiences help us avoid ‘group think.’ We feel [this] led to a lot of the problems of 2008. Conversely, diversity allows us to bring in outside innovation and look at investments in new ways.” Tonia Edwards Communications & Marketing Manager
tions and marketing manager, who taught at the Univérsité de Paris X before coming to Balentine & Co. and has a doctorate degree in film and media. “We feel group think led to a lot of the problems of 2008. Conversely, diversity allows us to bring in outside innovation and look at investments in new ways.” The team feels the management of risk is more important than the management of return and diversity helps with that, as well. Balentine uses a model called STEEP to manage risk, looking at sociological, technological, economic, environmental, and political trends and issues such as the Middle East and the European debt crises. Diversity also allows people to “see where the ball is going, not where it’s been,” adds Joe Stallings, director of communications, who came to Balentine from Electronic Arts, a software entertainment company. “I spent three years in British Columbia, which has a publicly funded health-care program. Living and breathing it gave me a perspective on the health-care debate that someone who hasn’t lived it can’t provide.” Balentine calls their independent business model the best of both the consultative and money- manager styles. “A traditional consultant provides a neutral, objective, and transparent approach to the management of a client’s portfolio. However, the flaw in that model is consultants often only meet with
clients quarterly, sometimes missing critical opportunities throughout the year to manage both growth and risk,” he says. “In addition, they have no responsibility for the outcome. On the other hand, a money manager can operate with discretion, making changes to a portfolio as necessary, and is responsible for results. Our model, the outsourced chief investment officer, combines the neutrality of the former with the responsibility of the latter.” To keep a fresh perspective, the company will continue to seek out the best and brightest, Balentine says. “We’re already strong in investment knowledge. As the firm grows, we’ll hire additional relationship managers—people who are in day-to-day contact with clients—to further strengthen our already robust clientservice model. We have a centralized investment process, so each of our clients get the best of our thinking, and a partner is assigned to each client. We are always looking for ways to improve that process.” [P] A WORD FROM pershing advisor solutions
Pershing Advisor Solutions understands the needs of our business and has provided us with the tools to optimize our client experience moving forward. Engaged. Responsible. Responsive. That's Pershing." Erica F. Farber Partner and Director Balentine LLC
july/aug/sept 2012 I
84 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
july/aug/sept 2012 I
ov ercoming obstacles
Rebuilding a brand after bankruptcy After liquidating its assets and closing all 150 corporate locations, Bennigan’s is making a comeback with the help of its new CEO
as told to Julie Schaeffer
our years ago, the Bennigan's restaurant chain filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Now, the Irish-pub themed restaurant is finding its stride again thanks in great part to the management of CEO Paul Mangiamele, who was hired in 2011 to herald what he calls a “renaissance” of the iconic brand. “I had the battle-hardened experience and confidence needed to reposition the brand,” Mangiamele says. Armed with a new logo, financial model, and menu, Mangiamele shares with Profile how he’s ushering in Bennigan's comeback.
Bennigan’s has a rich history. The company was established in 1976, as part of the Pillsbury Corporation. It was the brainchild of company vice president and Steak and Ale founder Norman E. Brinker. People liked the [Bennigan’s chain] and remembered it. For more than three decades, the brand evoked a certain nostalgia. Over time, mismanagement led to financial difficulties. The company was sold and bought numerous times, but it failed to evolve. The restaurant concept wasn’t updated, and the food quality deteriorated. The result was a decline in customer visits and revenues. The restaurant just wasn’t thriving. The restaurant’s parent company filed for bankruptcy protection in July of 2008. Instead of filing for Chapter 11, which would have led to restructuring the company’s debt, parent company Metromedia Restaurant Group filed for Chapter 7, which resulted in a liquidation of assets. As a result, on July 29, 2008, all 150 corporate locations across the United States were closed. That would have been a mortal blow to many brands. The Bennigan’s brand was strong enough to survive, though. It’s a tena-
86 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Photo: Annalise Freytag
“Not long ago, we converted a closed TGI Friday’s in the Fort Worth [Texas] market to a Bennigan’s. Every day that the restaurant was under construction, passersby were stopping to watch the construction. They’d even get out of their cars and peek in the windows, and they’d tell us how excited they were about the opening. That reminded me what an iconic brand Bennigan’s is.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
green living Bennigan’s donated copious trees to Openlands and the City of Chicago in honor of the restaurant chain’s 35th anniversary. “Most retailers unlock the door and hope people come in; I want to go outside our door and bring our product to the people,” says Paul Mangiamele, CEO (far right).
cious brand. We’re in 10 countries. We have tremendous intellectual capital through our franchisees. They remained open when the corporate stores had closed and carried the banner for the brand until a revamp of the Bennigan's brand began in November 2010. I came onboard in May of 2011. I had recently completed my tenure as president and CEO of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina when I was approached by the then CEO of BFC [Bennigan's Franchising Company, LLC] to discuss taking the helm of Bennigan’s. I had the battle-hardened experience and confidence needed to reposition the brand. I was both humbled and honored. I see myself as heralding the renaissance of Bennigan’s. I did what any CEO would have done and assessed where we’d been, where we were, and where we wanted to go. It involved, in collaboration with our franchisees, a 360-degree review of all functions, by which I mean operations, real estate, training, communications, purchasing, marketing— all the disciplines of the business. Our strategy to turn the brand around was multipronged. A one-dimensional strategy would not have sustained significant same-
88 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
store sales growth, so all the functional areas we assessed in our 360-degree review needed to be addressed. We created a new logo. We have a new store prototype. We have a new financial model. We have a new franchise model. We have a refreshed menu, a new remodel program, and we have a new attitude. Updating our stores and revamping our menus was critical. We did a remodel to bring the trade dress into the 21st century. The menu had to be repositioned as well, since we have signature items no one else has—the Monte Cristo, Drunken Pot Roast, Turkey O’Toole, the Big Irish Burger. We wanted to keep the iconic image and signature products, but improve upon them. We also introduced a new marketing effort. Most retailers unlock the door and hope people come in; I want to go outside our door and bring our product to the people. To that end, we developed a social-media strategy, tapping into Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Four Square. We added even more texture by hiring a brand manager who is responsible for hiring brand ambassadors for every restaurant; these team members help us not just with the local social media, but also with neighborhood marketing programs. We’re
also introducing the biggest initiative in Bennigan’s storied history: catering. None of our direct competitors are doing this … Catering will be game changer for us. We’re already seeing results. We have a base of 80 restaurants—two corporate and the rest franchises—and we currently have 14 restaurants under development or construction. We are also introducing, “Bennigan’s on the Fly,” our nontraditional, fast-casual concept that will be in universities, airports, and businesses. That’s almost 20 percent growth—not bad for a brand that went through an unfortunate period not very long ago. People ask me if I know how difficult it is for a company that has gone through Chapter 7 to reestablish itself and I say, “Yes, I know how difficult it is, but with a legendary brand like Bennigan’s and colleagues that bleed green we will continue to ‘live’ Bennigan’s and return this iconic brand to the top of food service.” Our goal is not to be in a sea of sameness; our goal is to change the way food service perceives casual-themed restaurants. We are rebuilding the emotional connection to our guests by our flawless execution and by always going above and beyond our guests’ expectations. [P]
Helping customers weather tough times Though its lending went down due to the economic recession, Western Heritage Credit Union was flooded with deposits, growing $5 million in one year
ubbed “Bossy Becky” at an early age, Becky Reed knew her drive to succeed was not being downplayed. Despite the good-natured name-calling, Reed’s inherent instinct to lead has helped Western Heritage Credit Union weather through challenges. As the community-based credit union’s CEO, she’s helped the bank during a time when “delinquency was up and the economy was sketchy,” she recalls. Here, she shares with Profile how she gained the trust of customers and helped find solutions during troubling financial times.
as told to Tricia Despres
My sister and my cousins used to call me “Bossy Becky.” From a very early age, I have always had this classic Type A personality. I have always been very driven, and I guess some people read that as being very bossy. But, I’ve always been a leader and generally, people have always liked me. I remember in school how people would always nominate me to be their group’s leader. I’ve never been afraid to get up in front of people and take charge of the situation. So far, my personality has suited me well in my professional career. Even though I started in retail management, my entire 25-year career has been spent running a business and managing people. I have always been a part of the service industry and was promoted to the management ranks at a very early age. In 1996, I took a job within the credit industry. I basically went from a retail environment working 80 hours a week to bankers’ hours, so to speak. I have been hooked ever since. I agree wholeheartedly with the credit-union philosophy and have become very passionate about credit unions and how we help our members. It just seems to fit well within my customer- service background. My family has always been with credit unions, so I was familiar with them from a customer perspective. I started off just wanting to work with a financial institution, but as I started getting into it, I really became immersed in the philosophy of credit
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“[Back in 2009], a number of large employers were experiencing layoffs, which greatly affected our members. Our credit union was very proactive and tried to work with them and find solutions.” Becky Reed CEO
“When I realized that everyone was not like me … Early in my career, I remember how it would shock me if someone would come late to work! Through the years, I have had to learn how to manage different personality types who just might have a completely different work ethic than I might have. As a manager, I have always tried to be introspective and learn from my mistakes. I have always looked at what happened and what role did I play, and how could things have gone differently. Instead of molding them to turn into me, I considered changing myself.”
unions. The whole credit union environment was quite different back then. Most were based with an employer group, but now, most have evolved into community credit unions. There have been challenges through the years. We are a community-based credit union, and back in 2009, Western Heritage Credit Union was serving a number of rural counties within the panhandle of Nebraska. At the time, a number of large employers were experiencing layoffs, which greatly affected our members. Our credit union was very proactive and tried to work with them
90 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
and find solutions. Delinquency was up and the economy was sketchy. Our lending went down, but we were flooded with deposits. In fact, we grew $5 million in a year. People trusted us and wanted to put their money where it was safe. No matter what happens in the future, I think we are going to continue our efforts to maintain relationships with our employer groups and maintain those contacts within the communities we serve. Throughout my career, I have worked with credit unions worth $50 million to $2 billion and I have seen a lot of different things.
At this point, I think we need to maintain what we are doing. It’s tried and true. Why change the formula? And no, they don’t call me “Bossy Becky” anymore. They are proud of me certainly. Whenever I say that I am a natural leader, people seem to think I want to have authority over people. Leadership is an act of service. I need to make decisions that affect a lot of different people. “Bossy Becky” has grown [up] to be a highly collaborative executive. At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about our staff … our members ... our community. [P]
Shedding Light on Strategic Investing
INNOVEST INNOVEST Investment Consultants Investment Consultants & Wealth Management Advisors & Wealth Management Advisors
â€˘ We serve almost 400 credit unions nationwide â€˘ We offer free portfolio analysis â€˘ We provide bond accounting services to over 140 credit unions at economical rates â€˘ We offer personalized recommendations based on portfolio objectives â€˘ Risk management studies â€˘ References available upon request
For more information, please contact: David Wark Senior Vice Presient (800) 786-1268 firstname.lastname@example.org
Integrity. Integrity. Balance. Balance. Objectivity. Objectivity. As As an an independent independent provider provider of of investment related consulting investment related consulting As an independent provider of services, services, we we believe believe it it is is a a privilege privilege to to investment related consulting serve you. We also believe serve you. We also believe that that services, we believe it is a privilege to respect respect is is not not given, given, it it must must be be serve you. We also believe that earned. That is why our overriding earned. That is why our overriding respect is not given, it must be goal goal is is to to establish establish long-lasting long-lasting client client earned. That is why our overriding relationships built on relationships built on trust. trust. In In order order goal is to establish long-lasting client to to serve serve our our clients clients well, well, we we maintain maintain relationships built on trust. In order the the intricate intricate balance balance of of being being large large to serve our clients well, we maintain enough to achieve economies enough to achieve economies of of the intricate balance of being large scale, scale, but but small small enough enough to to maintain maintain enough to achieve economies of long-term long-term relationships relationships based based on on scale, but small enough to maintain loyalty, candor and respect. loyalty, candor and respect. long-term relationships based on loyalty, candor and respect.
Wealth Wealth Management Management Wealth Management Foundations & Foundations & Endowments Endowments Foundations & Endowments Retirement Retirement Plan Plan Consulting Consulting Retirement Plan Consulting Litigation Litigation Support Support Litigation Support
Are you ready for the
Road to Retirement? When youâ€™re setting out on the road to retirement, make sure youâ€™ve taken everything you need for the journey. Thornburg Investment Income Builder Fund may help you balance your current lifestyle with your long-term retirement needs. The Fund invests globally in companies with a track record of paying dividends and a willingness to increase dividend payouts over time. If youâ€™re looking to increase and sustain your retirement income, Thornburg Investment Income Builder Fund could help you go the distance. Before investing, carefully consider the fundâ€™s investment goals, risks, charges, and expenses. For a prospectus containing this and other information, contact your financial advisor or visit thornburg.com. Read it carefully before investing.
Investments in the Fund carry risks, including possible loss of principal. Special risks may be associated with investments outside the United States, especially in emerging markets, including currency fluctuations, illiquidity and volatility. Investments in small capitalization companies may increase the risk of greater price fluctuations. Funds investing in bonds have the same interest rate, inflation, and credit risks that are associated with the underlying bonds. The principal value of bonds will fluctuate relative to changes in interest rates, decreasing when interest rates rise. Investments in the Fund are not FDIC insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity. Thornburg Securities CorporationÂŽ, Distributor 2300 North Ridgetop Road Santa Fe, NM 87506
Innovest Innovest Portfolio Portfolio Solutions, Solutions, LLC LLC 4643 South Ulster Street, 4643 South Ulster Street, Suite Suite 1040 1040 Innovest Portfolio Solutions, LLC Denver, Denver, CO CO 80237 80237 4643 South Ulster Street, Suite 1040 Denver, CO 80237
ÂŠ 2012, Thornburg Investment Management
!!$'"'Â’eeeW\\]dSabW\QQ][ !!$'"'Â’eeeW\\]dSabW\QQ][ !!$'"'Â’eeeW\\]dSabW\QQ][ july/aug/sept 2012 I
Juggling all the components and managing to grow a start-up After leaving his Wall Street job as a result of a merger, Rich Todd cofounds a culture-centric investment firm that is now thriving
n 1996, Rich Toddâ€™s Wall Street firm went through a merger, shifting the company culture as a result. Disillusioned by the new cultural dynamics, Todd opted to leave his position as managing director and cofounded his own investment firm. Innovest Portfolio Solutions LLC was founded in 1996 with the goal of creating a client-centered, risk-focused, and performance-driven culture. Celebrating its 16th anniversary this year, Todd shares with Profile the highs and lows his Denver-based company has experienced since its inception. as told to Jennifer Hogeland
I was driven to start my own firm when my previous firm went through a merger and the culture changed. It was clear to us the firm was motivated to generate commissions, which was contrary to what we believed was right for the client. Three of us left to start our own firm. We felt being independent was right for our culture and for our clients so Innovest was founded in 1996 as a fee-only firm. I think we have been successful because we set out with purpose. We began by knowing we wanted to provide forward-looking research as we helped clients navigate the market through our portfolio construction and manager strategies. We developed a
92 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
team of professionals inside Innovest that are complementary so, as weâ€™ve grown and evolved, we brought together people from many different backgrounds. It has allowed us to be better partners with our clients. The third component to our success is being team-based in our approach to consulting. We discuss clients, managers, products, and strategies at investment committee meetings every week and we really do our best work with our clients in a collegial environment. The biggest challenge in starting our own firm was juggling all the com-
“When we realized some of the strategies that we were using in one area were very applicable to other areas of our business. A large part of our business is retirement plans, and we developed portfolios for retirementplan participants that are more defined benefit plan-like, based on our experience in working with pensions. By controlling the asset allocation we’ve been able to bring alternative investments into the model and ultimately improve results.”
Taking Closer Looks. One can only see the big picture if they are willing to take a closer look.
Photo: Jay Weise
ponents and managing and growing a business, we were also taking care of our existing clients, doing the investment research, providing client reporting, handling the marketing, trying to run the office, and everything else that goes along with operating a small business. Now that we’ve grown into a larger firm, we can hire employees to help with human-resource matters, to manage the office needs, and to market our firm so we can concentrate on delivering great service and advice to clients. I think the quality of what we deliver today is much better because we are bigger and much more experienced. One of the greatest lessons we’ve learned in the last 15 years is to focus on the culture of the firm. Early on we got caught up solely reviewing résumés to find the people we wanted to hire as opposed to focusing on character. We’ve made mistakes but we’ve always learned from our mistakes. Our experience tells us if we concentrate on hiring people that are a great fit within our firm, and have the highest integrity, we are going to be a lot more successful. Looking back, if we could have done anything differently, it would have been to es-
tablish a flatter corporate structure from the beginning. Today our team, which includes nine partners and 26 employees, has more buy-in and ownership in the decisions made by the firm. We believe that has enhanced our culture and in hindsight we should have done that earlier rather than later. When analyzing our market, about 60 percent of our business is institutional, which includes retirement and foundation clients, while the remaining is families. Our roots are institutional, but we’ve found it very rewarding to work with high-net-worth clients. That is a market we may have entered earlier had we known.
As Colorado’s largest locally owned public accounting and business consulting firm, we take closer looks, deliver fresh perspectives, and provide extended views that enable businesses to thrive. To learn more, visit us online at www.eksh.com.
We continue to offer custom-designed portfolios because we believe that is what our clients need to be more successful. There was a time we thought about setting up models for smaller clients and in the end we didn’t feel it was right for the client, it may have only been right for us. We survey our clients every year and last year on a scale of 5.0, our clients gave us a 4.7. We are proud of that and use the survey as a tool to get better. Last year was our best in history. We currently have approximately 185 clients and manage about $5 billion. [P] DENVER
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Selling event-based services during a recession Though many competitors were forced to tighten their belts, Safety Service Systems found success by shifting its business model to essentially create its own event opportunities
hen Paul (pictured at right) and Mary Beth Gerlach founded Chicagobased Safety Service Systems (S3) in 1996, they thought they had a solid business model: S3 would operate events and provide event- and service-related labor, including security guards and ushers. The business initially flourished; along with sister company Safety Service Systems Security, a full-time guard service. In 2008, however, everything changed when the US economy faltered. The Gerlachs, forced to consider other options, came up with a unique solution: a third company, S3Concepts, which creates events, then populates them with S3 labor. Paul Gerlach shares with Profile how he developed this idea.
as told to Julie Schaeffer
S3 was a natural fit for my experience. After college, I worked as a rock-and-roll bouncer, touring with many bands, including Aerosmith and Cheap Trick. I then managed event operations and security for the Chicago Cubs for 10 years. When I left the Cubs, I worked as a consultant in the same field. We had historically sold S3 services as a unit. I would come in and develop the systems used to manage service operations for special event clients, such as Lollapalooza or the Chicago Bears. Typically, weâ€™d also provide support for other event operations, providing the site crew, housekeeping, or show-support labor. In 2008, we realized we had to move in another direction. As the economy worsened, one of the hardest-hit industries was the service industry. People had less money to spend attending special events and sporting events, but our own payroll was still increasing. The result was shrinking growth and shrinking margins. We saw a lot of companies in the service industry collapse. We built on what we knew was an asset.
94 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
“Quality human service through effective common sense operations.”
Creating adventures After witnessing the 360 production of Peter Pan in London, Safety Service Systems’ Paul Gerlach helped bring it to the United States. The Chicago show (pictured above) ran at the Freedom Center on the Chicago River for 16 weeks. “I thought it would be perfect for that piece of land,” he says.
What we had to offer was our experience creating the operating systems that support events. Previously, we had just used that system to sell man power. Now, we decided we’d sell the system as our product. We’d feature our eventmanagement skills and let the labor take care of itself. It is a product other people didn’t have. We called it S3Concepts. The idea was to create our own events. One of our S3Concepts clients was the Chicago Tribune. The company has large property in Chicago, called the Freedom Center, a unique swatch of land on the Chicago River, which it was interested in using for special events. I worked with them to develop ideas for events to put into the space. We did a rib fest and rock concert as well as a haunted house. In 2011, we brought in a theatrical production. I’d seen the 360 production of Peter Pan in London, and helped bring it to the United States, consulting on shows in San Francisco, Orange County, California, and Atlanta. I thought it would be perfect for that piece of land. The Chicago show ran for 16 weeks. We’ve been working on another theatrical project ever since. S3Concepts is a partner in a venture to open the Riverfront Theatre Company, a new 51-meter theatrical tent, in the same space. In 2012, instead of running one show for 16 weeks, we’ll have a whole series of shows that will run from May through the end of December. We’re bringing in a variety of productions, from dance shows to concerts, theatrical and children’s shows. Our strategy is to develop the Riverfront Theatre into a permanent seasonal venue over a three-year period.
By creating the environment, we’re creating the work. We started S3Concepts with the idea of creating our own event opportunities. By creating our own venue, however, we can populate those events with our own employees. We design the project so that S3 will handle site, front-of-house, production, security, parking, and ushering. In doing this, we make money as both a partner and a manager. S3 overcame one major obstacle, but every day we’re in business we’re overcoming more obstacles. In the service industry, attention to detail is paramount. The care with which you plan things and manage employees can make or break your business. The credit for making sure we get through each obstacle goes to my wife. [P]
“As our market share began to shrink, we knew we had to do something to change the way we made money—a lot of people’s jobs depended on it. It wasn’t an ‘aha’ moment; it was an ‘oh no’ moment. We were scared.”
S3 is the common trade name for three Illinois corporations. S3: Safety Service Systems specializes in event management and operations, including security, guest services, production and labor. Safety Service Systems Security provides industrial, corporate and retail protection services. S3Concepts provides event operation consulting and project management. No facility or client need is ever exactly the same. Too often though, the service provided may not fit the need. What separates Safety Service Systems from other companies is our product orientation, making human service a tangible commodity. We are not a guard service or usher company renting bodies. At S3, we strive to think outside the box to develop innovative service solutions. We have extensive experience working with major corporations, small businesses, civic organizations and individual clients to implement structured service that is customized to meet specific needs. www.safetyservicesystems.com 773-282-4900 july/aug/sept 2012 I
Starting a whole new career as an investment manager Marathon Investment Programs’ founder Fritz Harnsberger walked away from 17 years as a successful medical-device engineer to take on a risky venture as told to Lynn Russo Whylly
anaging other people’s money is a scary business. Make the wrong decision and you could be responsible for the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make the right decision and clients tell their friends, who beat a path to your door. Either way, someone’s entire livelihood or retirement lies in your hands. So, when Fritz Harnsberger walked away from 17 years as a successful medical-device engineer in 1993, he had to feel really confident about his ability to manage investments—enough to forge an entire new career out of it. In those early days, quite frankly, his biggest obstacle was himself—trying to gain customers’ trust when he didn’t have an industry reputation to stand on. Little by little, however, Harnsberger made it his mission to make the right decisions and earn that trust. Today, his company, Marathon Investment Programs, has $36 million in assets under management.
96 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
I had an idea of how to build a model that would determine when to buy and sell. I had a friend in the industry. He said, “Fritz, if you develop a good investment vehicle, I’ll raise money for it.” That’s how I got started. In the beginning, I worked really hard. Some things worked. Some things didn’t. But, I enjoyed making the decisions myself. Today, clients are being referred to me by other professionals. There’s a satisfaction in reaching a point where things aren’t as difficult as they used to be. Years ago, great care was invested in analysis of profit and capital preservation. In recent years, that investment
In 1998, Fritz Harnsberger realized that clients not only wanted good returns, they also wanted to do it without taking a lot of risks or drawdowns. This realization shifted his whole business paradigm.
shifting from a career as a medical-device engineer to managing investments, it’s clear Marathon Investment Programs’ Fritz Harnsberger isn’t above changing his strategy. “Sometimes you have to rethink your thinking and redefine your priorities,” he says.
is paying off. Expectations changed and things have been flowing our way. [It appears that] no longer is the market expected to provide continuous, long-term growth, but to only provide brief windows of opportunity. We continue to believe that the manager that rides those windows of opportunity without getting crushed in between will provide the best returns and the lowest volatility for clients. There was a time in my investment career when clients were asking for less volatility in their portfolios. We were challenged to create steadier gains without taking a lot of risks or drawdowns (a decline in investment value). Significant drawdowns—say of 10 percent or more—make it hard to sleep at night. The basic challenge in this business is in trying to reduce volatility by investing in markets that are inherently volatile. The objective of creating less volatility can’t be reached by buying and holding investments like stocks and mutual funds for a long time because a security will eventually go
through a period of disfavor. So, you have to be willing to sell when that happens. That’s managing risk. Sometimes you have to rethink your thinking and redefine your priorities. When you do that, capital preservation becomes the first priority. That means analyzing portfolios on a monthly, weekly, and at times, on a daily basis. Also, to accumulate growth without experiencing volatility, you have to generate a portion of your overall gain from substantial dividends, not from stock growth. One of the things we learned about creating low-volatility portfolios is that news about the economy doesn’t provide a good decision base. The market leads economic news by a good six to nine months, so by the time you get to the news, the market has already reacted to it. Today we have a great staff. There were many years when I worked alone. Things would have been easier if I had hired competent people sooner. [P]
“To accumulate growth without experiencing volatility, you have to make a significant portion of your overall gain from substantial dividends, not stock growth.” Fritz Harnsberger founder
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Financial stability Industry commitment A focus on client service You need a partner that helps I N V E S T M E N T
P R O G R A M S
take your business to new heights. As the fifth largest bank in the U.S. with total assets of $340 billion, we provide our clients with customized solutions to meet their financial goals. Let us show you what more than
JOHNSTON ASSET MANAGEMENT
100 years of proven institutional trust experience and fiduciary oversight can do for you.
Marathon Investment Programs is committed to serving our clients with the goal of consistent and significant growth.
Founded 2003 For more information visit our website at www.marathonip.com Marathon Investment Programs 902 El Rancho Road Santa Barbara, CA 93108 Office 805-969-9646 Fax 805-969-7283 Email email@example.com
98 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Our suite of Institutional Trust and Custody services > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
Asset Management Benefit Payments Cash Solutions Portal Custody GASB45 Global Custody Insurance Analytics M a s t e r Tr u s t A c c o u n t i n g Money Center Online access Performance Reporting Portfolio Analytics Securities Lending Tr u s t e e
One Landmark Square Stamford, CT 06901
Contact us today and access our team of experts who are committed to helping you take your products to the next level. firstname.lastname@example.org | usbank.com/itc
U.S. Bank is not affiliated or associated with this organization in any way. Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. Credit products subject to normal credit approval.
Moving past the hiccups of starting your own firm By embracing an integrated approach to wealth management and really listening to clients, Rhona Vogel’s consulting business now advises 30 families with a combined $2.5 billion in assets
ising to the rank of partner at accounting giant Arthur Andersen, Rhona Vogel knew how to meet the wealth-management needs of ultrahigh net-worth (UNHW) families and their businesses. Convinced there was a better way to serve this niche market, Vogel started Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Vogel Consulting in 1993, seeking to create a multifamily office approach that would offer affluent individuals and business owners’ unbiased financial advice and integrated services in tax, estate, and investments. While Vogel’s vision looked radically different than the traditional trust company model at the time, she has since proven its viability. After nearly 20 years in business, Vogel Consulting now advises 30 families with a combined $2.5 billion in assets. Here, the entrepreneur shares the lessons she’s learned while building Vogel Consulting.
as told to Mark Pechenik
Many clients I worked with at Andersen had professionals who addressed different pieces of their financial needs—attorneys for the family business, accountants focused on personal tax compliance, bankers and financial planners overseeing cash and investments—but no one was looking at the big picture. My clients told me exactly what they wanted from one provider—I listened. Through the years, I’ve come to realize that the success of an integrated approach rests with our ability to help families consider and respond to the current investment environment, as well as how their financial strategy affects corporate partnerships, estate taxes, cash flow, and philanthropic goals over periods of time. With silos of advisers, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. For example, we work with many families to establish Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT). Families typically invest money and assets into these trusts and, as the accounts grows, the money generated goes to their children without the burden of a gift tax. While this is a common planning tool, GRATs only work if the assets contained increase in value. That’s when you see the need for integration. We help ensure that the investments (stocks, bonds, private equity, and hedge funds) entered into the GRAT have the highest probability of growth, thereby maximizing the tax-free wealth-transfer opportunity. Early on, we appreciated the importance of remaining intimately involved with our families, as well as continually presenting options and “if than” scenarios to our clients, because we came to learn how one
july/aug/sept 2012 I
change can affect an entire model. Of course we have defined processes but we will never settle for assembly-line service. We follow the Rolls Royce approach to wealth management—customized and finely tuned pieces working in concert with one another result in an exceptional finished product. One of the most important, key lessons that I’ve come to learn is the importance of finding the right people for the right job. When first opening my doors, I naturally sought professionals such as bankers and financial planners. Quite frankly, that strategy bombed. I had too many employees who, while technically proficient in one area, were not well-rounded enough to understand all aspects of wealth management. Because the tax piece can be the most difficult to learn, I can take a technically strong CPA and train them on the investment and estate-planning components. I tried going the other way, and bankers and financial planners don’t really make good accountants.
“I had initially pitched the idea of integrated family office services to my colleagues at Arthur Andersen. But they opted not to go in that direction. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I realized, rather than try to forget about it, I should trust my instincts and follow through with my concept. Like I said, I just listened to my clients and built a business that best served their needs.”
100 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
We have a robust training curriculum for new employees and conduct training seminars for staff to keep them apprised of developments in our field. I’ve also come to appreciate the need for hiring professionals with good soft skills. Without a strong relationship, you can’t ask tough questions that need to be asked. Today, we have professionals with the necessary technical expertise who become intimately involved with their client families. [P] A WORD from u. s. bank institutional trust and custody
We leverage industry best practices, market trends, and most importantly—client feedback—to guide our process and product innovation. Our approach to product development is enhanced by our dedicated employees who are committed to providing an exemplary client experience." Jeff Kerr, President of U.S. Bank Institutional Trust and Custody
Photo: John Nienhuis
When Rhona Vogel first opened Vogel Consulting, she naturally sought out bankers and financial planners to staff her company. “Quite frankly, that strategy bombed. I had too many employees who, while technically proficient in one area, were not well-rounded enough to understand all aspects of wealth management," she says.
Gaining the trust of clients during the financial crisis Former Merrill Lynch employees, XML Financial Group's founders went to work convincing wary clients of the benefits of choosing an independent firm as told to Lynn Russo Whylly
Photo: Kevin Wilson
Triple threat Partners Brett Shane Bernstein (center), Michael Jacobs (right), and Robert Kantor (left) traded the big-firm life to start a business they could be proud of and that clients could trust in."I love that people look at me as a business owner rather than a stockbroker," says Bernstein.
he name XML was chosen partly as a joke—meaning they were ex-Merrill Lynch advisers—and partly because the initials stood for a section of the tax code that relates to asset acquisition. To partners Brett Shane Bernstein, Michael Jacobs, and Robert Kantor, the name seemed like fate, so they went with it. The trio worked together for several years at Merrill Lynch before going their own way. Tired of low payouts and conflicts of interest that were typical of big firms, as well as sometimes being told what products to push, they hung up their shingle in Rockville, Maryland in 2004, catering to individuals, couples, small- to medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, and 401k accounts. In 2011, seven-year-old XML Financial Group, LLC was named to Inc 500’s list of fastest-growing companies, with roughly 20 percent annual growth. Profile sat down with Bernstein to talk about his firm’s experience educating clients about the benefits of choosing an independent firm versus a giant wirehouse. july/aug/sept 2012 I
Years of playing favorites to proprietary company financial products came to a head for the XML partners after the post-9/11 economic adjustment. They wanted something more. They wanted to offer customers products targeted more toward them and less toward the big wirehouses’ own interests.
Engineers | Planners | Scientists Construction Managers
Knowledge Creativity XML is completely independent. We have no investment banking group and no proprietary products. We truly come at this from a holistic financial-planning approach. We can look at a client’s situation, understand their risks and goals, and recommend what’s appropriate without outside influences. We price the relationship based on the services the client needs so everyone feels like they’re getting a fair value. Each client has a customized service schedule, so it is proactive rather than reactive to the client’s needs. There’s no hierarchy here where the top clients get all the service and the rest don’t. Everyone is treated equally. It’s been a challenge educating our clients in the independent model and how their money is as safe—if not more safe—at a firm like LPL Financial [a large independent broker dealer which XML is affiliated with] versus the large banks/wire houses. Also, the transfer paperwork was labor intensive, but the hardest challenge was we had nonsolicit agreements with Merrill Lynch, so making sure we didn’t violate any agreements was very important. Plus, we had to learn a whole new technology system. We’ve been fortunate that the domestic economic crisis, world affairs such as Syria and Greece, and local scandals such as
102 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
that of Bernie Madoff have not caused us to lose a client or be unable to attract them. But, these day-to-day news items definitely come up in conversation and get discussed. There’s a little more hand-holding and education that has to happen, but it doesn’t affect our conversations; they’re rarely about which mutual fund or stock the clients should buy or sell and more about holistic planning and goals like retirement and estate planning, rate of return, and how that affects their portfolio in the long run.
www.kci.com Employee-owned Since 1988 ISO 9001:2008 Certified
Being independent during the 2008-2009 financial crisis was a huge positive for us because LPL Financial wasn’t in the headlines. Without the pressures of having to defend a parent company, we were able to do what was best for our clients and focus on the issues—portfolio, allocations, risks and goals. That made clients comfortable and, in the end, we were able to manage their portfolios better. I love that people look at me as a business owner rather than a stockbroker. I am part owner in a financial-planning and wealthmanagement firm. People see my experience and credentials and are confident I’ve got the skill set to provide the best services. But, being a business owner is what I’m most proud of. [P]
Contact: Ed Croft email@example.com 410.891.1850 profilemagazine.com
Grappling with a telecommunications bust Despite the downturn in the market and little financing, Michael P. Miller found innovative ways to drive extra cash to his new business
“We have a motto: Nothing happens inside FiberLight until there’s an order. So, I remember clearly the first order we got after we broke off from Xspedius. It was a $12 million deal with a major company. I though, at that moment, that what we were trying to do was working, and there was a road map for success.”
as told to Julie Schaeffer
july/aug/sept 2012 I
he year was 2005, and Michael P. Miller was working for St. Louis-based Xspedius Communications, LLC, when he had a moment of clarity: The subsidiary he was running, Xspedius Fiber Group, would be better as a standalone entity. Within a year, Miller had found an investor, purchased the subsidiary, and begun operating it as FiberLight, LLC. Today, the Georgia-based company transports high-speed, mission-critical data throughout the Southwest, South, and mid-Atlantic regions via a 3,200-mile largely underground fiber-optic network— with 48 of the top 50 carriers in the nation using the company’s fiber.
It just made sense to me to make the subsidiary [a] standalone. The business models of the parent company and the subsidiary didn’t work well together. The parent had recurring monthly revenues based on low-end data sales; the subsidiary had irregular but large revenues. When you threw lumpy numbers on top of the regular numbers it was hard to manage the finances. There are a lot of potholes when operating a start-up. We faced one in particular: Thermo Capital and I bought the company during the worst telecommunications bust in its history. The downturn in the market was horrible. Little financing was available. We found a way to grow the business without borrowing. We have always been very frugal. We became self-funded by putting together products that allowed us to build networks for specific customers, but maintain control of the underlying assets. When finished, we had networks from which we could then sell data to other customers at a low cost. That drove extra cash to our business. Our debt-to-EBITDA [earnings before
104 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] ratio is 1:1. The industry today runs on an average of four to six times debt to EBITDA. We also adopted a carrier-neutral strategy. That was a major change. Other companies in the industry had decided to prevent other companies from accessing their networks so they could reduce competition. We discovered a huge demand for someone to provide access on a carrier-neutral basis. That opened up a huge window for us. It drove our expansion. It’s OK to mess up. When you operate a start-up, if you’re not willing to make a mistake, you will fail. The ability to recover from mistakes separates good management from poor management. That’s why, in our culture, we communicate that it’s OK to be a risk taker and make a mistake. We empower people to do their job and expect them to make decisions rather than waiting for permission. There’s always one moment when you know you’ve succeeded. In 2007, we rolled out Eth-
ernet after selling dark fiber for many years. I remember thinking, “We’re no longer a darkfiber company; we’re a network-services company. Everything is going to change.” Looking back, I would have changed a number of things. I would have tried to grow the business more slowly. I would have concentrated more on strategic acquisitions, because they might have helped us with our back office and systems. I would have rolled out our Ethernet product faster, in 2006 instead of 2007. I would have hired a chief technology officer to set up our systems and standardize our functions seamlessly. But you make decisions with the resources you have at the time. No matter how smart we are in the end, hindsight makes us all look stupid. At my level, leadership is more important than managing. In any company, people should be more important than the things we manage. This is why people will follow a manager but will run through walls for a good leader. And it’s probably why we have such long-tenured employees. My seniormanagement team averages 11 years with me, and many employees have worked with me for 15-plus years. I am so proud of the people who have made FiberLight what it is today. [P] A WORD FROM KCI technologies
For nearly a decade, KCI Technologies has been a proud supporter of FiberLight’s network growth and expansion in metropolitan and rural regions throughout the United States. Our staff of engineers, designers, inspectors, surveyors and construction managers find practical, cost-effective solutions to project challenges in the rapidly changing telecommunications markets.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Finding success by going against the grain Instead of offering quick fixes, Kristofor Behn gives a "fee-forservice" model via his unconvential firm, The Fieldstone Financial Management Group
anaging more than $250 million in assets, The Fieldstone Financial Management Group, LLC’s president and founder, Kristofor Behn, holds the financial fates of many in his hands. Yet, instead of selling quick fixes or products, he offers his million-dollar clients sound advice. Behn recently sat down with Profile to discuss how he, despite the doubts of many, made his firm one of the most successful in the country.
“When I founded Fieldstone Financial in 1998, there were very few people doing what I was doing at the time and I soon realized that it was going to be much more difficult than I thought it would be.” Kristofor Behn President & Founder
106 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
As told to Tricia Despres
Before opening Fieldstone Financial in 1998, I was doing a bit of consulting in the health-care industry, helping practitioners improve their practices as a whole. It didn’t take me long to realize that the vast majority of physicians did a poor job in managing their own personal finances. My quest was to provide those individuals with advice and get them going down the right financial path. Instead of going the more traditional route, which is providing a commissionbased insurance or investment product, I made the decision to go the other direction and offer a “fee-for-service” approach. I swam upstream a bit because it was not the traditional way of doing things, and frankly, I spent a lot of time explaining why it made sense. Most of the people in this industry are busy selling products, rather than providing the advice people really need. This is an industry-wide problem that stems from compensation. Most investors would rather bury their compensation structure under layers of commission-based products and wrap programs. I felt that it was important to offer another style of business [where] people pay you for advice and you give it to them. It seemed pretty straightforward to me. Whether clients take the sound advice and implement it is a different story. One of the main reasons I stepped outside of the health-care environment as a whole was because those individuals I was counseling at the time did not take advantage of the advice. They were looking for the quick fix and we all know there is no such thing. If you want to be wealthy
Objective Advice From People Who Care About The Outcome
today, you need to do the disciplined work to open yourself to opportunities that others won’t have.
“Another reason I opened up my own firm was because of what I saw my father go through. My dad had worked 30 years for a computer-printed circuit-board manufacturer called Honeywell, which has been acquired by a French company. Soon after the acquisition, the French company closed the printed-circuit-board segment of the company and along with it went all of their pensions under French law. He was 55 with limited job prospects and now, no pension. It made me want to roll the dice on my own endeavor rather than trusting that some large company would keep their promise long into the future.”
When I founded Fieldstone Financial in 1998, there were very few people doing what I was doing at the time and I soon realized that it was going to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. And, through the years, things have changed so much. One of the things I have embraced from the very beginning is the fact that I have surrounded myself with people who know a lot more than me. I also have embraced technology as a platform to build my firm. I seek out talent around the country rather than just in my backyard. As far as I am concerned, it’s more about where the talent exists rather than where the firm’s offices exist. I was in business for three years before I made my first acquisition. And from the very beginning, I was thrust into a large number of client situations where I was forced to learn a great deal in a short amount of time. Between 1998 until the end of 2001, I viewed myself as getting a lifetime worth of experience. I had gained a level of experience that sometimes takes a career to establish, and I really had a clear understanding of what I was doing and how I was going to move forward. I wanted to be prepared for the opportunities as they came around, no matter what. It takes a certain type of personality to succeed in this business. You must have the ability to listen. Each day, I see all walks of life come through my office, but the vast majority is people of first-generation wealth. I too understand that since I am in the same position as my clients. I understand what it takes to build something from the ground up. [P]
The Fieldstone Financial Management Group is a specialized financial planning and investment advisory firm that works with people that are serious about taking control of their financial future. With roots dating back to 1965, we are one of the oldest, continuously operating Fee-Only financial planning and investment advisory firms in the United States.
Comprehensive Financial Planning Investment Advisory Services
Contact us today to get an objective second opinion. www.fieldstonefinancial.com (800) 888-5164
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Nestled within 2,000 acres of wilderness in the majestic Adirondack Mountains is the source of Nirvana Inc.’s natural spring water. Not one drop of water comes from any outside source.
Nirvana Inc., a family-owned bottled-water company, quenches consumers’ thirst for natural spring water— and keeps bigger brands on their toes
by Tina Vasquez
108 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Photos: Alexander Demidov
Pure and Simple
ometimes in life, situations take on a life of their own and you have to be open to going along for the ride. Cousins Dar ya and Mo Rafizadeh are experts in this regard. In 1996, Darya’s father decided to start the bottled-water company Nirvana Inc. utilizing springs located on his brother’s land. Things started out slowly in the private-label arena with just 12 employees and unsophisticated pieces of equipment, but before long the company was contracting with major retailers like Walmart and 7-Eleven. It was a family business and all hands were needed on deck, so the cousins felt compelled to pitch in. Mo joined the ranks on the IT side eight years ago and now functions as the company’s vice president of operations. Darya, who’s vice president of sales, joined the company just three
CASH MACHINE The world’s most advanced shipping platform doesn’t just deliver products—it also delivers savings. Big savings—as much as $2 per unitized load, putting millions of dollars on the bottom lines of leading companies throughout North America. Lower transport costs, more product per pallet, less production downtime and reduced product damage add up to bigger profits, delivered daily. Making the switch to iGPS is simple and fast, and the savings start right away. Learn how to ship out and cash in by calling 800-884-0225 or visiting igps.net
The most innovative companies ship on iGPS
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Meet the Maker Mo Rafizadeh is an IT guy. After studying electronic-engineering technology, he assumed his career path would always be in technology. In 2005, while acting as CEO and president of a tech company in Las Vegas, he heeded the call to family duty and joined his uncle’s water company, Nirvana, Inc. Water manufacturing may not be his chosen field, but it seems he has a knack for the business. Just two years after joining the company, he was instrumental in taking sales from $11 to $23 million.
years ago after graduating from college. But let’s rewind for a moment. The land mentioned previously isn’t just any old plot of grass. It’s 2,000 acres at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in New York. And the water? The 50 naturally flowing fresh-water springs are a phenomenon in and of themselves. The water comes to the surface by its own natural force and is consistently 42 degrees year-round. Nirvana Spring Water is never mechanically extracted and it’s never tankered to or from different facilities, two claims that very few—if any—North American bottled-water manufacturers can boast. “Even though we’re considerably new to the market, even well-established companies with a lot of money to throw around don’t have the means to obtain the kind of water that we have access to,” Mo says. “What our competitors do is filter tap water and purchased spring water that’s been tankered in from somewhere else. The purity of our water can’t be matched by anyone else in the country.” In 2011, Nirvana decided to make a major change. Despite experiencing great success in the private-label market, the company decided to shift its focus to building its own brand. According to Mo, seemingly overnight the company changed from 90 percent private label/10 percent Nirvana to 90 percent Nirvana/10 percent private label— and it’s paid off. Last year, the family
110 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
company did $30 million in business. That’s not to say that making the shift hasn’t been without its challenges, however. When working in the privatelabel sector, the company was competing with companies of the same size, but pushing their own brand forward meant they were now competing with long-established, multibillion-dollar companies armed with an unlimited cash flow. “We obviously don’t have Fortune 500 money, but we’re succeeding by offering a quality product at a cheaper market price,” Darya says. “Plus, our water speaks for itself. Larger companies may have huge budgets for marketing, but we have amazing water that no one else does.” Nirvana is also proving to be a progressive company, making sustainability a major business tenet. Darya contends that the company is inherently sustainable because it preserves the 2,000 acres it currently operates on and takes special care to protect the surrounding land. There’s also the company’s use of recyclable pallets and Mo cites Nirvana’s water bottles as a major source of sustainability. When the company started, their averagesized water bottle weighted 26 grams. Nirvana water bottles are now blown in-house, reducing the carbon footprint of their product and resulting in a drastically lighter bottle. Weighing in at just 10.4 grams, the company was able to shave off more than 50 percent of plastic from each bottle. Moving forward, Nirvana’s goal is seemingly simplistic: growth. “Our goal is to be the next Poland Spring,” Mo says. “We’re only starting out, so right now it’s like we’re a fly on an elephant’s back, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?” [P]
The Line Up When Nirvana began to push its personal brand forward, retailers didn’t respond the way the water manufacturer hoped they would. Darya and Mo Rafizadeh realized that the look of their product needed an image overhaul because the packaging didn’t match what it contained: stellar mountain spring water. In 2009, the “new” Nirvana line launched with streamlined bottles and more modern packaging, featuring refreshing shades of blue and green.
A WORD FROM iGps
iGPS provides the world’s leading companies with the most advanced and cost-efficient pallet-based solutions available today. The company’s lightweight, 100% recyclable plastic pallets and associated technologies yield dramatic savings in transport and production costs and provide new levels of operating efficiency, product security, platform hygiene
and customer satisfaction. Ideally suited for automated environments, iGPS’s platform puts an end to broken boards and protruding nails that can damage equipment, endanger workers, jam production lines and litter workplaces. Switching to iGPS is fast and easy, and the benefits begin on day one. For more information please contact us or visit www.igps.net.
Now business meets culture in more ways than one hispanic executive April/May/June 2012 Vol. 5, No. 19
Global players reveal why being bicultural pays off
where business meets culture
Corporate Counsel Meet the secret weapons behind some of today’s most powerful companies.
April/May/June 2012 -Vol. 5, N0. 19
SETTER Traveling the world is all in a day’s work for Whirlpool’s top Latino executive, Alejandro Quiroz p.148
PRINT + TABLET EDITIONS FIND US IN THE APP STORE OR AT HISPANICEXECUTIVE.COM july/aug/sept 2012 I
This is no ordinary group of corporate counsel. Yes, first and foremost they guard the legal interests of companies ranked
among the top 150 largest
corporations in the country. But they are also full of surprises.
they fly planes, adopt children, and tend to 25-acre farmS. While their high-powered roles require them
to constantly be on their toes, we got 11 of todayâ€™s
top in-house counsel to do the unexpected:
sit back and let loose. Hereâ€™s a rare, personal look at the characters behind the giant corporations. 112 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
IN GOOD COMPANY
Motorola Solutions, INC.
Emerson Electric CO.
Marathon Oil Corporation
Motorola Mobility, INC.
Berkshire Hathaway GROUP
Ford Motor CoMPANY
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
EYES ON THE FINISH LINE Before hitting his growth spurt, Lewis Steverson recalls working twice as hard to be a runner on his school’s cross-country and trackand-field teams. “I’m a disciplined person because I had to be,” says Steverson, who was 5'1" at the time. “I had to develop endurance and strength that made up for the natural abilities I didn’t have.”
114 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
General Counsel Section Motorola Solutions, Inc.
With stamina to spare, former track runner Lewis Steverson goes the distance in his current role
photo: samantha simmons
t’s obvious in the way he speaks, confident and controlled, yet entirely approachable: When he sets a goal, Lewis Steverson achieves it. His can-do approach started when he was in high school. Although he was a runner on his school’s cross-country and track-and-field teams, he was just 5’1”. He therefore had to work twice as hard as the taller boys to run half as fast. “I’m a disciplined person because I had to be,” says Steverson, now 48, who is senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary to the board at Motorola Solutions, Inc. “I had to develop endurance and strength that made up for the natural abilities I didn’t have.” To make up for his stature, Steverson spent his summers running 100 miles every week, including five miles every morning and eight every afternoon. When he finally hit a growth spurt—he was 5’9” by his freshman year in college—his times dropped remarkably and he was therefore fast enough to eventually earn a full athletic scholarship in track and field at Siena College in Loudonville, New York. “When you get up at 5 o’clock every morning and force yourself to hammer miles, your personality develops in a certain way,” says Steverson, who still runs four to five miles a day a few times a week. “Most athletes, I think, take the discipline, strength, and rigor that they’ve
by Matt Alderton
learned from their sport and continue it in their lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do that. The discipline and strength of character you need to be a runner have helped me be an effective lawyer.”
Indeed, Steverson recently finished one of the most difficult runs of his legal life: In January 2011, he helped Motorola complete a remarkably complicated three-year effort to spin off its mobile-devices business, Motorola Mobility, followed in April 2011 by the sale of the company’s wireless-networks business to Nokia Siemens. “We’ve had a heck of a three-year run here,” Steverson says. “It was like running 100 miles a week again every week for three years as we prepared to separate the company, spin off the mobile-devices business, and sell our wireless-networks business.” Although the process of spinning off Motorola Mobility began in 2008, Steverson’s path to the position of general counsel
began much earlier. The son of New York’s first black state trooper, he originally wanted to be a police officer like his father, with whom he was extremely close. When his dad objected, however—wanting a less dangerous profession for his son—he set his sights instead on a career as a lawyer. “I thought I wanted to be a criminal lawyer,” says Steverson, who graduated in 1991 from Harvard Law School where he was classmates all three years with President Barack Obama. “Law school is very expensive, however, and I came out with an ungodly sum of studentloan debt. So, ultimately I decided to be a commercial litigator instead.” Steverson did clerkships at several big firms, and joined Arnold & Porter in 1991. In 1995, he was asked to spend six months working with Motorola, one of the firm’s biggest clients, in its Atlanta office. “As an outside commercial litigator, you don’t really get to see the internal workings of a corporation,” he says. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to get to know more about corporate America.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
SERVICES • Corporate • Energy • Financial Services • Health Care • Intellectual Property • Labor & Employment • Litigation • Real Estate • Regulatory & Government • Tax INDUSTRIES • Coal • Construction • Emerging Technology
We applaud the accomplishments of
• Entertainment, Media & Sports • Finance & Banking • Franchise • Gaming
Motorola Solutions' Senior Vice President,
• Health Care • Insurance & Reinsurance • International Services • Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals
Lewis A. Steverson, and we congratulate
• Long Term Care • Metals • Oil & Gas • Renewable Energy • Retail
Motorola on its continued success.
CALIFORNIA NEW YORK
• Security Alarm • Transportation
NEW JERSEY WASHINGTON, D.C.
116 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
General Counsel Section
“If you're standing still, you're moving back.”
Lewis Steverson Senior Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary to the Board
A six-month residency eventually turned into a full-time position. “When I went to Motorola, my dad [was thrilled],” Steverson chuckles. “He told me, ‘The two pieces of equipment [police officers] rely on the most are our gun and our Motorola.’ He didn’t even call it a radio. He called it a Motorola. The only place better I could have worked in his mind was [with handgun-manufacturer] Smith & Wesson.”
An Uphill Climb
Never content to sit still, his inner runner immediately set off on a 20-year uphill climb to general counsel, which he completed in 16. “My strategy was to move around as much as I could among the various Motorola businesses,” says Steverson, who worked at various points for the legal departments in Motorola’s mobile-devices, broadband, wireless-networks, enterprise, and government-business units. “In my opinion, the best general counsel are the people who come up within the company. I believe you’ve got to grow up in the business to be the best in-business lawyer.” His strategy worked. When Steverson met Motorola Solutions’ current CEO, Greg Brown, in an elevator at company headquarters in 2005, his reputation had preceded him. “Greg said, ‘You’re Lewis Steverson, aren’t you?’” Steverson recalls. “I said ‘yes,’ and he said, ‘Why aren’t you working for me?’” A week later, he was. And when Brown became CEO in 2008, he made Steverson head lawyer for all but the company’s mobile-devices division, positioning him to become general counsel of Motorola Solutions when that division was spun off in January 2011. Steverson was in the home stretch of his 20-year plan: Between 2008 and 2011, he helped mediate the legal decisions involved in the spin-off of Motorola Mobility, including what intellectual property it would own, what material litigations would stay and which would go, how much cash the new entity would get, how much debt it would carry, and which entity would own the Motorola brand. “Along with finance and the M&A organiza-
tion, it was my and my team’s job to determine what should be given to the new entity, and then make recommendations to the CEO,” Steverson says. Actually, there were two CEOs, as Motorola Mobility had already been given its own leader, Sanjay Jha, prior to its spin-off. “Because we had two CEOs with very different styles, but only one board, legal often got caught in the middle,” Steverson says. “It was dicey, but at the end of the day both CEOs and our board were focused on unlocking value for our shareholders. They made decisions with that goal in mind and we got it done. It was a fantastic—although painful—learning experience.” Steverson’s first six months as general counsel of Motorola Solutions were equally tumultuous, spent selling Motorola’s wireless-networks business and resolving a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit that threatened the deal. Today, however, life in the C-suite is more “steady run” than “all-out sprint.” “What I’m concentrating on now is helping the business run effectively and making sure we’ve got all the appropriate governance in place, doing all the normal things a general counsel would do,” says Steverson, who now leads a legal team of 200 lawyers around the world. “We’ve had a little bit of a breather, but I’m sure things will heat up again soon.” When they do, expect to find him running. “If you’re standing still,” Steverson says, “you’re moving back.” [P]
Going off-the-cuff with Lewis Steverson Leader > Colin Powell Success > Balance Passion > You’ve got to be passionate. Otherwise, what’s the point? Teamwork > Critically important Progress > You’ve always got to be moving
A WORD from winston & strawn LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with nearly 1,000 attorneys among 15 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Over the past five years, our 200-lawyer intellectual property group has been among the most active in the country. Our individual attorneys are routinely singled out as leaders in the field, having been regularly honored regionally and nationally by Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, SuperLawyers, Lawdragon, and Legal 500, among others.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
The world is a network, you need a studio. ideasorlando.com 407-601-7878
We congratulate our friend and colleague, Lewis A. Steverson on his many Entertainment, Learning & Marketing for Healthcare, Corporate, Government, Education, Destination, Television & Film clients
accomplishments and wish him continued success at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Washington, DC | Northern Virginia
General Counsel like Larry Boyd of Ingram Micro look to Crowell & Moring to assist when the stakes are high and finding the truth is the number one goal. When companies or individuals face high stakes legal risk or complex compliance issues, they need counsel who understand their priorities and who can work effectively with company resources and, where appropriate, advocate vigorously on their behalf. We bring to bear on our clientâ€™s representations the rare blend of common sense grounded in global business experience, insight, judgment, and understanding of the laws and enforcement expectations that can only be delivered by a team that includes defense lawyers, as well as former prosecutors and enforcement attorneys. We understand the business imperatives of our clients and regularly provide them with pragmatic counseling that solves business problems while managing risk, maximizing opportunity and relentlessly seeking the truth.
experience. creativity. results. crowell.com Donald E. Sovie firstname.lastname@example.org Washington, DC
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Larry Boyd leverages his business mindset in the high-stakes field of international regulatory law
MAKING HIS CASE The allure of fast-paced business is what drew Larry Boyd to Ingram Micro more than a decade ago. “I picked the phone up and called Jim Anderson, who was then general counsel … I said, ‘I’m interested. I’m a litigator, but I have lots of experience making deals. They’re called settlements,’” recalls Boyd, now executive vice president, secretary, general counsel for the tech titan.
120 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
hen he was five years old, Larry Boyd, executive vice president, secretary, and general counsel of Ingram Micro, would repeat back to his parents the cross examinations on Perry Mason episodes. Today, Boyd, 60, isn’t playing out his childhood dream in the courtroom—he’s entrenched in international regulatory law at the world’s largest technology distributor. That’s not to say that he didn’t spend a fair share of time litigating. Boyd served 22 years at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in various areas of corporate law, from real estate to trade secrets. He rose to become a partner before moving in-house, and he has found the corporate track just as adrenaline-packed as his trial days. “The GC [general counsel] role is changing,” says Boyd, who leads a team of 35 attorneys and 12 professional staff. “The people in that role are changing. It isn’t so much the paradigm of the senior corporate partner who handled the client’s work for so long who becomes GC for the client as a semiretirement.” Working in a public company today brings several challenges, he adds. “A background in litigation helps you train to be a faster learner, a quick study. You get new subject matter and problems all the time. You have to make decisions quickly. That’s something that has aided me in this job.” Case in point: In 2004, an opportunity arose for Santa Ana, California-based Ingram Micro to acquire Tech Pacific, its largest competitor in Asia, which represents its largest acquisition in the last 10 years. The result would greatly expand market shares in Singapore, India, New Zealand, and Australia. The pressure was high, and Boyd was caught in the middle. “We had a team of investment bankers one floor above us working on preparing Tech Pacific’s IPO [initial public offering], and another team negotiating a deal for us to purchase the
General Counsel Section by Ruth E. Dávila
company,” Boyd recalls. “Tech Pacific wouldn’t accept making the closing of our deal conditional on competition authority approval—often a months-long process.” Quickly formulating a strategy, Boyd consulted with antitrust legal advisors in the four countries. In a matter of a week, he told Ingram’s board to take the deal. “It’s been one of the best acquisitions we’ve ever made. We didn’t have a problem with the competition authorities. It was a real shot in the arm we needed in Asia.”
The Bottom Line
Buying and integrating businesses is where Boyd feels most energized. “That’s where you can make risk-based decisions and try to add some real value to the company,” he explains. It was precisely the allure of fast-paced business that led Boyd to Ingram Micro in 2000. Prior to leaving his law firm, he had made a short list of a handful of nearby companies in Orange County that were publicly traded and sizable enough to boast sophisticated legal practices. Then one day Boyd got an e-mail from a colleague saying that Ingram Micro was looking for a leader for its North American legal team. “I picked the phone up and called Jim Anderson, who was then general counsel … I said, ‘I’m interested. I’m a litigator, but I have lots of experience making deals. They’re called settlements.’” Since joining Ingram Micro, Boyd has established a reputation for his business mindset. “He is able to navigate the needs of the business in parallel with the appropriate legal course,” says Bill Humes, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer. “He is focused on solving problems rather than creating roadblocks.” Boyd strives to keep both ethics and profitability at the forefront of his decisionmaking: “You never want Legal to be the de-
partment of ‘No.’ We need to be the department of ‘Yes, but …” He also makes it clear that Ingram Micro’s success is his ultimate interest. “I certainly don’t condemn it when companies devote a large amount of resources to charities. But, the business of business is business. We’re in business to make money for our shareholders and to make profits. I worry sometimes that various interest groups want American businesses to be something other than profit-making enterprises,” Boyd says.
PENCHANT FOR PolitICS
An avid follower of politics—he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Stanford University before completing a law degree there—Boyd is known as the “office politico,” according to Lynn Jolliffe, executive vice president of human resources for Ingram Micro. “He enjoys the political process and
has insightful opinions on candidates and officials,” Jolliffe says. “Larry spent part of his vacation time visiting members of Congress in Washington, sharing his views on important issues facing the nation.” As outspoken as Boyd is regarding political affairs (his wife, Anita, is a prominent figure in California’s Tea Party movement, and he accompanies her to related events), he is largely introverted. “I’ve always felt more at ease talking to 100 people than talking to one, because I’m essentially shy, so it’s hard for me to get to know people,” Boyd admits. “But, if I’m told I’m supposed to walk into a courtroom and talk to a bunch of strangers or go to a business meeting and address something that’s important to the company, I just do it.” Since Ingram Micro lacks a lobbying budget, when the company is affected by a local or federal regulatory issue, it’s an in-
“We’re in business to make money for our shareholders and to make profits. I worry sometimes that various interest groups want American businesses to be something other than profit-making enterprises.” Larry Boyd Executive Vice President, Secretary, & General Counsel
july/aug/sept 2012 I
S L AT E R | H E R S E Y S LAANT LELRP| H E We R Scongratulate EY our & LIEBERM & L I E B E R M A Nfriend L L and P client,
Larry C. Boyd, Proud partner of for his ofcontinued success Ingram Proud Micro partner at Ingram Micro. Ingram Micro His strong leadership, commitment and innovative legal thinking distinguishes him from his peers.
With lawyers in Silicon Valley and around the world, leading technology companies such as Ingram Micro rely on Davis Polk to help them innovate, compete and succeed.
client focused | business savvy client focused | business savvy
With over fifty years’ experience,
we’ve honed a talent for helping our With over fifty years’ experience, clients resolve complex and novel we’ve honed a talent for helping our business disputes. clients resolve complex and novel disputes. Clients want morebusiness from their legal counsel, and we deliver on that every Clients want more from their legal day. We’re proud that clients from the counsel, and we deliver on that every Fortune 50 to family-run businesses day. We’re proud that clients from the choose us… again and again. Fortune 50 to family-run businesses choose us… again and again. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 18301 Von Karman Ave., Suite 1060 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Irvine, California 92612 18301 Von Karman Ave., Suite 1060 Tel (949) 398-7500 Irvine, California 92612 Fax (949) 398-7501 Tel (949) 398-7500
New York Menlo Park Washington DC São Paulo London
Paris Madrid Tokyo Beijing Hong Kong
Fax (949) 398-7501 www.gibsondunn.com NORTHERN CALIFORNIA 3950 Civic Center Drive, Suite 300 Brussels Century City Dallas Denver NORTHERN CALIFORNIA San Rafael, CA 94903 Dubai 300 Hong Kong London Los Angeles 3950 Civic Center Drive, Suite Tel (415) 945-7900 Munich New York Orange County San Rafael, CA 94903 Fax (415) 927-5210 Palo Alto Paris San Francisco São Paulo Tel (415) 945-7900 Singapore Washington, D.C.
Fax (415) 927-5210
© 2011 Davis Polk & Wardwell llp
RIDDELL WILLIAMS vestment of his “sweat equity,” Boyd says. Regulatory matters keep Boyd perspiring on a full-time basis, navigating complex domestic and international-compliance laws. In late 2010, Ethisphere magazine recognized Boyd for his work in that realm. Since then, he has advanced his efforts, co-coordinating over the past year (with legal officers from Ingram’s chief competitors who are members of the Global Technology Distribution Council) an industry-wide compliance initiative. The program aims to standardize the information that large vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco solicit from tech distributors such as Ingram Micro—and to collect the same data downstream, from resellers around the world, housing it all in a central database. “It will add real benefits and transparency, and it will make the channel a safer place to do business,” Boyd says. Many of the high-growth areas for Ingram Micro—Mexico, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia—have rapidly expanding economies, but also boast a reputation for corruption. Through this compliance initiative, Boyd is fighting to deter corruption which, he says, can impact an entire company even if perpetrated only by a lower-level inattentive employee. “These days my greatest fear is picking up the phone or getting an e-mail and finding out that some associate or business partner somewhere has made a stupid mistake and blundered into a regulatory problem with the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act]. I fear that more than anything,” he says. “And a lot of my peers, if they’re being honest, would say that as well.” [P] A WORD Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
We cherish our decades of friendship with our former partner Larry C. Boyd, who practiced as a litigator in our Orange County office from 1985 to 1999. We maintained our close relationship with Larry after he joined Ingram Micro in 2000 as senior vice president, US Legal Services, and we cheered when he was named Ingram Micro’s executive vice president, secretary and general counsel in 2004. Over the past 11 years, we have had the pleasure of working with Larry and Ingram Micro on numerous legal matters. We look forward to many more years together.
Going off-the-cuff with Larry Boyd Leader > Someone who inspires, who can teach by example as well as by words Success > Satisfaction with who you are and what you’ve accomplished Passion > Something too many citizens leave to the “professionals.” How well is that working out? corruption > Ironically something the public sector is much better at than the private sector Profits > When did “profit” become a dirty word? When did success become something you should be ashamed of?
Tenacious advocates for your business.
For more than three decades, the trial attorneys at Riddell Williams have been honored to defend Emerson Electric Co., its people and its products. We wish continued great success to Frank Steeves and his outstanding legal team. Learn more about our trial attorneys and Riddell Williams by visiting our website: www.riddellwilliams.com july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section emerson Electric Co.
lifelong student and avid pilot Frank Steeves brings his zest for life to everything he does
ust out of law school, Frank Steeves—today executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Emerson Electric Co.—worked for the Juvenile Division of the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office. He’s done a lot since then: He was a successful trial lawyer. He led the charge to build a monumental children’s science museum. He spent a day with a US Supreme Court justice and also watched President Obama’s inauguration while abroad, alongside the chief justice of Mexico (just some of the perks of being a “GC” for a major corporation). But he still considers his time working in the juvenile court system the most eyeopening year of his life. “It was ground zero,” Steeves says. “I was shocked at how much bad stuff went on that wasn’t in the newspaper.” Having lived a “somewhat sheltered” life up until then, growing up in Vermont, Steeves says his work with high-risk children in “impossible circumstances” left him shell-shocked. “I realized that parenting varies wildly between households, and that’s a generous statement. Some parents didn’t care or didn’t have the knowledge to provide the kind of support that was needed for those young people.” Flash-forward three decades later, just before joining Emerson. Steeves was walking down Wisconsin Avenue late one evening when a well-dressed African-American man stopped him. “He told me that when he was 11 years old and in trouble for neighborhood burglaries, I went to his home and worked with his grandmother to get him back in school and keep him out of juvenile detention,” Steeves recalls. “He told me that he had stayed in school and had become a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers. That moment was the best moment of my entire career.”
124 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
AN INNATE MENTOR The ability to get through to youth is a skill avid sailor and pilot Frank Steeves prides himself on. “I try to treat everyone regardless of age as an important, separate individual—a human being—and kids pick up on that pretty fast. They’re being treated with respect,” Steeves says.
by Ruth E. Dávila
The son of a university professor of education and an elementary-school teacher, Steeves was raised in a household where learning was the common currency. “I love the ability to experience and understand new subject matters and the opportunity to give others the same experiences,” he says. One imagines his upbringing conditioned his desire to cultivate young people, yet his ability to get through to youth seems almost innate. “I try to treat everyone regardless of age as an important, separate individual— a human being—and kids pick up on that
pretty fast. They’re being treated with respect,” Steeves says. Combining his childlike zeal with a love for sailing, one of Steeves’s top achievements was building a 137-foot-long semester at sea sailing vessel and serving as chairman during the founding of a children’s technology and maritime museum in Milwaukee. He did so while working as partner for von Briesen & Roper. “What began as an idea in my office changed over 15 years into a $135 million museum project,” he says. Steeves remained chairman or cochairman until resigning to join Emerson in 2007.
SUCCESS Cassels Brock is proud to be a strategic partner of
Frank L. Steeves Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of
Emerson Electric Co. and salutes Frank for his leadership and innovative legal thinking. We value our relationship as Canadian providers of legal services to Emerson and its afďŹ liates and are delighted to be an ongoing part of their success. ÂŠ 2011 Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. All rights reserved.
YOUR LAWYERS IN CANADA
www.casselsbrock.com july/aug/sept 2012 I
Grind virtually any kind of food wastE into an unEndinG sourcE of ElEctrical powEr for a city.
To Frank L. Steeves, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Emerson Electric Co., for a career centered on excellence.
For more than 60 years, we have been working with companies like Emerson Electric Co. to help them manage risks and seize opportunities.
it’s nEvEr BEEn donE BEforE The Emerson logo is a trademark and a service mark of Emerson Electric Co. © 2011 Emerson Electric Co.
Who knows where where Whoknows knows where Who Who knows where your next idea will Who knows where your next idea will youridea nextwill idea will our next take you? your next idea will you? take you? ake take you? takeWeyou? do. Whether you are an entrepreneur
WeWe do.do. Whether you areare an an entrepreneur Whether you e do. Whether you are entrepreneur or an executive atentrepreneur a Fortune 500 company, or an executive at intellectual aat Fortune 500 company, We Whether are an entrepreneur or an a you Fortune 500 company, an executive at executive ado. Fortune 500 company, your property is critical to your your intellectual property critical to your orproperty an executive atWe ais Fortune 500 your intellectual property is critical tocompany, your We have ur intellectual is critical to your success. understand that. understand have yourWe intellectual property isWe critical to your success. We understand that. We ccess.success. We understand that. We that. have been a trusted advisor forhave thousands of been a trusted advisor for for thousands ofprotecting success. Wethousands understand that. We have been a trusted advisor thousands of en a trusted advisor for of individuals and companies, the individuals and companies, protecting thethe of ideas been amost trusted advisor for thousands individuals and companies, protecting ividuals and companies, protecting the innovative and groundbreaking most innovative groundbreaking ideas individuals and companies, most innovative and groundbreaking ideasthe ost innovative and groundbreaking ideas protecting for and nearly 100 years. nearly 100 years. most innovative for nearly 100 years.and groundbreaking ideas nearlyfor 100 years. for nearly 100 years.
Detroit MI, Washington DC MI, MI, Washington Portland DC OR,DC St. Louis MO Detroit Washington troit MI,Detroit Washington DC Portland OR,OR, St. Louis MOMO DC Portland Louis rtland OR, St. Detroit Louis MO MI,St. Washington Portland OR, St. Louis MO
www.hdp.com www.hdp.com www.hdp.com ww.hdp.com www.hdp.com
Get the full story at Emerson.com/Milwaukee
General Counsel Section
A NEW VENTURE Steeves renewed his flying license after moving to St. Louis where Emerson is headquartered. “You have to create a new circle,” Steeves says. “That’s hard in your early 50s to do that. But, what you gain is a magnificent set of new experiences and meeting a new set of extremely high-quality people."
To this day, Steeves teaches university classes occasionally. He has lectured at Washington University’s law school on career development and taught a course in the MBA program, Intersections: Where Law Meets Business. Steeves’s proclivity for mentoring led him to implement Emerson’s law-clerk program, a rarity for a corporate-law department. The program leverages the research acumen of young lawyers (“Students make us work better,” he says) and serves as a training ground; most clerks earn a job at Emerson or at one of the company’s law firms at the culmination of their service.
For an aerial view of Steeves, look no further than his seaplane, which he flies as often as he can to places as close as Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and as far as Key West, Florida. He renewed his flying license after moving to St. Louis where Emerson is headquartered. It helped him adjust to life in a new town. “I gave up friends in Milwaukee. You have to create a new circle. That’s hard in your early 50s to do that. But what you gain is a magnificent set of new experiences and meeting a new set of extremely highquality people.” Steeves touts Emerson Electric as “one of the greatest organizations on the planet,” and with good reason. The 115-year-old, 140,000-employee global engineering and technology company is known as one of
Going off-the-cuff with Frank Steeves Leader > If nothing else, leading takes muscle, whether intellectual or physical Success > It never just happens on its own—ever. You have to make it happen. flying > My mom said that the only good thing about flying is that it keeps you mentally sharp. That’s not the only good thing about flying, but it does keep me sharp. learning > This should be a part of every moment of every day in everything we do facts > Fiction pales next to what is really going on out there
the best-managed corporate conglomerates, with books written on its approach. Its main products involve control systems for oil and gas producers, manufacturers, and networkpower delivery. It also works in the telecom and data-centers industries, and has an appliance and tools group. In Steeves’s capacity as chief legal counsel, he leads a team of 250—lawyers, engineers, patent specialists, security officers, and more. He oversees attorneys in 15 countries. The breadth of responsibility and geography means he jet sets from India to China to Istanbul to Dubai, a pace that keeps him engaged and on the ball. Of late, Steeves has modernized the company’s international trade programs, in addition to ensuring it has strong programs protecting its intellectual property.
Randall D. Crocker, president of von Briesen & Roper, S.C., has known Steeves since 1976, when they met as law students at Marquette University. “[Steeves] has the curiosity of a teacher and the drive of a lawyer,” Crocker says, noting that those two factors combine to form a character that “gets things done.” Perhaps more than anything, Frank Steeves is known for his direct, inquisitive approach—and his frankness: “He knows what the essence of the thing is. He knows the thing that needs to be handled. He can cut to the chase; he does not beat around the bush,” Crocker says.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“I love the ability to experience and understand new subject matters and the opportunity to give others the same experiences.” Frank Steeves Executive Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary
Case in point: When leaders at Emerson Electric were stuck determining whether to continue an investment in the Russian market, Steeves was impelled to seek out answers in person. “He got on an airplane and went to Siberia and met with the people on the ground to get a firsthand understanding of who the people were, what the situation was, what the risks involved were,” says Ed Monser, president and chief operating officer of Emerson. “He came back with a willingness to try something he wouldn’t have been able to if he hadn’t gotten personally involved.” Ultimately, Steeves is driven by a quest for facts. It’s one of the habits he picked up while working for law firms. “There is always a solution there; it’s just not always obvious. At the darkest moments, when things really seem like they are against you, the key is to keep studying the problem and looking at different angles,” he says. “Persistence is good. Shedding preconceived notions is good. And those rules apply to a lot of things besides cases.” [P]
A WORD FROM snell & wilmer
Snell & Wilmer is one of the largest full-service law firms with more than 400 attorneys in nine locations throughout the Southwest. Representing Fortune 500 companies, publicly held and privately owned businesses and individuals, Snell & Wilmer has earned a reputation for distinguished service by offering clients exceptional legal skills and practical solutions. We congratulate Emerson and its general counsel, Frank Steeves, on this appropriate and well-deserved recognition. A WORD FROM riddell williams
Exceptional legal representation requires a seamless combination of talent, experience, and understanding of client objectives. For over a century, Riddell Williams has fused these key elements to serve our clients. Our integration of strategic thinking, expertise, and service has enabled us to be an indispensable advocate for businesses like Emerson Electric Co. We are proud to have been selected by Emerson as a “Go To” litigation firm. A WORD FROM baker & mckenzie
Baker & McKenzie would like to congratulate Frank L. Steeves and his colleagues at Emerson Electric Co. Like you, we are known for having a deep understanding of the language and culture of business and an uncompromising commitment to excellence. We look forward to continuing to work with you. A WORD FROM cassells brock
Cassels Brock is a leading provider of legal services to Canadian and international clients. With more than 200 lawyers, the firm offers a full range of sophisticated business transaction and advisory services. Many of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized by leading international publications including Chambers Global, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, and Best Lawyers in Canada. Cassels Brock has also been ranked amongst the top Canadian firms in the league table results for mergers and acquisitions activity and equity offerings published by Bloomberg and Thomson Financial.
“Pinsent Masons is proud to support Emerson in Asia”
Pinsent Masons is a full service international law firm with experienced lawyers advising on corporate matters, commercial transactions, technology issues, construction projects and disputes. We have been helping international and local companies grow their businesses in Asia for over 30 years. Corporate and Commercial
Projects and Construction
www.pinsentmasons.com/asiapacific © Pinsent Masons LLP 2011
july/aug/sept 2012 I
The law is constantly being reinterpreted. At von Briesen, we’re going a step further and reinterpreting the law firm. Our goal is to change the way people think about law firms and to serve clients in a new way, a way that meets the challenges of today’s business. To show our dedication, we’re making a simple pledge. We will: responsive.
Representing companies across the country and around the world for more than three decades.
Be cost effective and
Use technology to provide 24/7 service allowing our
teams to access files, dockets and our law library from any location, at
THE RULE OF LAW. It’s pretty much the only rule we adhere to. any time, and from anywhere in the world.
Look beyond the billable
hour, as we readily adopt alternative, client-friendly fee structures. Respond quickly to clients’ needs.
Conform to your business, and
not expect your business to conform to ours.
Move beyond the
stereotypes of law firms, static in their traditions, by adopting policies that create a collaborative atmosphere making our firm a great place to
We partner with our clients to add value in the management of their global immigration programs.
work, challenging our people to go beyond the expected and furthering a client-dedicated, value-driven organization.
❃ Call it forward thinking, progressive and up-to-date. We like to think of it as a new paradigm for today’s law firm. We call it Contemporary Counsel. For more information, contact Randall D. Crocker, President,
11 Dupont Circle, NW Suite 775 Washington DC 20036 202-483-0053 (phone) 202-483-6801 (fax)
at 414.287.1238 or email@example.com.
www.maggio-kattar.com 130 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Tested by time. Our Insight. Your Advantage. Business moves fast, so itâ€™s important to stay focused. You need clarity to move on ideas and overcome obstacles to keep ahead of the competition. At Husch Blackwell, we have 600 attorneys dedicated to guiding companies of all types and sizes through the myriad of business issues. From general corporate advice, to complex transactions and bet-the-company litigation, we provide clients with the insight they need so they can stay focused on the big picture.
If you need focus, contact us.
Sound counsel. Practical solutions.
www. swlaw.co m
Husch Blackwell LLP
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
*By appointment only
d e n v e r | l a s v e ga s lo s a n g e l e s | lo s c a b o s orange county | phoenix s a lt l a k e c i t y | t u c s o n july/aug/sept 2012 I
Debevoise is honored to work with Marschall I. Smith and 3M
132 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
New York Washington, D.C. London Paris Frankfurt Moscow Hong Kong Shanghai
General Counsel Section 3M
Ex-military man Marschall Smith Heads the legal charge for a firm dedicated to reinvention by Ruth E. DĂĄvila
LEADING BY EXAMPLE During his first couple of years with 3M, Marschall Smith learned a lesson in humilityâ€”and the importance of listening. "I genuinely tried to understand and recognize that serving someone was serving their views of the world. If I wanted to lead them someplace, I first needed to gain
Photo: Howard Berg Photography
their confidence," he says.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
hen Marschall Smith arrived at 3M Company in 2007, he faced a culture shock. Relocating to St. Paul, Minnesota from Chicago, he assumed the role of senior vice president and general counsel for 3M. The four attorneys reporting to him directly had worked at the corporation—which is most known for Scotch tape and Post-its— for 30 years. Smith immediately appreciated St. Paul for its people, charm, and peaceful lifestyle. Yet he found it difficult to integrate into a team of lifelong staffers. “The Upper Midwest—Minnesota in particular—is a very unique part of the country, very inward and self-satisfied,” says Smith, 66. “Early on, I made the mistake of not showing the proper deference and respect to the traditions of 3M and Minnesota. My first surveys of performance from my team came back not very good.” Smith spent a lot of time soul-searching, asking himself how he could be a better leader in an atmosphere so distinct from Chicago and New York (where he had also worked for 25 years). “It was a hard year or two, and we’re beyond it now, but the transition was a tough one,” Smith says. “I learned some humility.” Smith began to listen—hard. “I genuinely tried to understand and recognize that serving someone was serving their views of the world. If I wanted to lead them someplace, I first needed to gain their confidence, understand where they came from, and appreciate what they had done.” Not only did he establish real rapport with his colleagues, Smith also repaired the legal department’s lagging reputation, according to Kimberly Foster Price, associate general counsel for 3M. During his tenure, Legal Affairs has received national awards for diversity efforts, been honored for community service, established a “top-flight” compliance department, and increased the number of acquisitions contributing to the bottom line, she says. But beyond the numbers and accolades, Smith and his wife, Debra, have become known locally for their generosity. The couple, who have five grown children and seven grandchildren in a blended family, support causes ranging from animal rights to education to the arts. “They personify the principle, ‘To whom much is given, much is required,’” Price says. “In Minnesota-speak, the Smiths are ‘keepers.’”
134 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Although a century-old company rooted in tradition, 3M is dedicated to innovation, “reinventing itself every few years,” Smith says. Grossing $30 billion in annual sales, the company aims for one-third of the products it sells to be developed within the last five years. Spanning beyond the consumer sphere, products include several categories: industrial lines, such as abrasives; health care, including heating units that save lives, offering warmth to patients when their temperatures drop; protection systems, such as driver’s license holograms; display and graphics found in cell phones, TVs, etc.; and many more. “We put out only the best products. Unless a product is superior to what’s on the market, it doesn’t go anywhere,” Smith says. Like 3M, Smith has mastered the art of reinvention. With a father in the Army, he moved about as a child, from California to Alabama to Washington, DC to Ohio. San Antonio—Smith’s maternal family base, where he returned each summer—was his home away from home. With two uncles who served in World War II, in addition to his father, the principles of service, honor, and battle shaped his reality. “We didn’t play cowboys and Indians growing up; we played Germans and Americans. And I always liked being a German, because I thought noble defeat was more fun,” Smith says. [P]
Going off-the-cuff with Marschall Smith Leader > Necessary but not sufficient; he or she needs a team Success > Meeting your obligations to God, your family, country, and employer Family > The foundation of society and path to happiness Military > Servant and guardian of a free people Farm > My place of joy and fulfillment, a refuge when things get tough
DOWN TIME When he wants to unwind from the pressures of his job, Smith tends to his 25-acre farm in Scandia, Minnesota, alongside his wife, Debra.
“If your actIons InspIre others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. ” ~ John Quincy Adams
ickel & Brewer is proud to salute Marschall Smith and his recognition
in Profile Magazine. Marschall’s passion for the law is equaled only by his commitment to leadership and public service. He is the quintessential lawyer, advocate and role model – evidenced by what he gives back to the legal profession and to those with whom he works and volunteers. Congratulations, Marschall. We are proud to have you as a partner and friend in not only the profession, but also in the community. We are honored to celebrate your wonderful career in this special issue.
Dallas 4800 Comerica Bank Tower 1717 Main Street Dallas, TX 75201 214-653-4000
New York 767 Fifth Avenue 50th Floor New York, NY 10153 212-489-1400
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Marschall Smith Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel
For His Thoughtful and Compassionate Leadership of an Exceptional Company and a Superb Legal Department
136 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Innovative legal services for Innovative companies
The Larson â€˘ King, LLP law firm serves 3M and clients from coast to coast in the areas of business litigation, employment litigation and insurance disputes. More information at www.larsonking.com. profilemagazine.com
“In the Marines, one learns comradeship and loyalty to one’s friends and colleagues—a sense of loyalty to something bigger than yourself.” Marschall Smith Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Following in his elders’ footsteps, Smith joined the Marine Corps in 1966, after graduating with a history degree from Princeton on a full scholarship. He was immediately shipped to Vietnam, where he served two years. “My time in Vietnam was a chance to help and work with people and build a nation and a love of freedom and independence,” Smith recalls. Having moved every three years in his youth, Smith admits he was prone to restlessness in his career. He says this drove him to switch jobs periodically. After earning his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973, he worked in the New York law firms Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP , and then in various corporate positions. He landed at Brunswick Corporation, a company specializing in recreational boating, for six years, before being hired by 3M.
“In the Marines, one learns comradeship and loyalty to one’s friends and colleagues— a sense of loyalty to something bigger than yourself,” Smith says. He feels an equal obligation to 3M’s 80,000 employees, whose livelihoods depend on the company’s sound and ethical leadership. At a global company such as 3M, with 165 lawyers under Smith’s general charge, there’s never a dull moment. Much of Smith’s work involves high-stakes mergers and acquisitions, which are critical to the company’s growth. His principal role, however, remains that of counselor to the CEO and senior management team “to help guide them
through the increasingly complex and messy and dangerous world of regulations and legal enforcement.” In a rapidly changing environment, Smith is sought out continually for his guidance, says Bill Brewer, of the national law firm Bickel & Brewer LLP. “Marschall is at once brilliant and pragmatic, decisive yet deliberate, a valued advisor to his clients, a wonderful father to his children, and a devoted friend,” says Brewer, who has worked with Smith as outside litigator for more than 20 years.
Neil Hamilton, professor of law at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, got wind of Smith’s style of “servant leadership” at 3M, and recruited him as a guest lecturer for the Catholic university. “Marschall is a ‘go-to’ person for me for strong reflection and good judgment about how to live out faith principles in the real world,” Hamilton says. “He is both authentic and inspiring.” To alleviate the pressure of his day job, Smith is happiest doing farm chores. He and his wife spend a good deal of time at their 25-acre farm in Scandia, Minnesota. Corn, soybeans, vegetable gardens, a 14-pound ornamental Japanese goldfish, six ducks, 12 hens, and a rooster named Henri live on their farm. The Smiths nurse sick ducks back to health. With a neighbor running a woodshop out of one of their barns, Smith muses that one day, perhaps in his next chapter, he’ll become a woodworker apprentice. “I think my retirement job, if not a farmer, will be a cabinet maker,” he says. [P]
Awe inspired. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication. Like 3M, we value that model and believe in their efforts. We are proud to work side by side with them.
AT L ANTA
C HI C AGO
I NDI ANA M I C HI GAN
L O s ANGELEs
M I NNEAp OLIs
W As HI NGTO N, D.C.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Humble family man Joey LoudermilK is perfectly at home as the legal helm of one of the country’s most ethical companies HEEDING THE CALL As general counsel for Aflac, Inc., Joey Loudermilk’s work reflects his approach to life: a humble response to a call of duty. “Joey sees himself as a servant leader, as opposed to someone who holds a great title or is known for accomplishments,” says Laura Kane, vice president of corporate communications for the company.
y all accounts, Joey Loudermilk practices what he preaches. And as general counsel of Aflac, Inc., the country’s most recognized supplemental-insurance provider, he sets the bar high for himself. “A lawyer is an officer of the court,” says Loudermilk, who has worked for the company since 1983, more than half of its existence. “We need to lead the way in following not only the letter, but the spirit of statutes and regulations. A natural extension of being a lawyer is that we need to make sure we are always doing the right thing.” Raised in Columbus, Georgia, where Aflac is headquartered, Loudermilk, has
138 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
written a weekly column for his local newspaper, the Harris County Journal, since 2003. “They let me write about whatever I want— history, politics,” he says. “I see it very much as a vent. That’s when I write my best, when I feel strongly about the topic.” Well-timed and easy, Loudermilk’s prose often centers on personal events with wider social connotations. He recollects sweltering summers without air-conditioned cars, catching catfish, and watching pilots training for Vietnam. All his columns read with the melodic lilt of his Southern accent. Loudermilk, 58, seems to have remained true to his small-town roots and values over the years. Inspired by his pro-life convictions,
by Ruth E. Dávila
he decided to expand his family in 1990. “I was in a hotel room in Washington, DC, where I felt the Lord spoke to me to adopt a child that would have been aborted,” he recalls. “And within two weeks, we had our little girl.” The Christian adoption agency Loudermilk used specializes, in part, in placing multiracial children. He and his wife, Ramona (his high school sweetheart), formed a bond with a representative of the agency. As the years went by, she notified them of certain babies’ circumstances. On each occasion, the
General Counsel Section
FAMILY MAN Joey Loudermilk and his wife Ramona have six children: the eldest three are biological, and the youngest three are adopted and racially mixed. “My oldest adopted child is 22. We didn’t know it at the time, but she was the first racially mixed child adopted by a white family in the history of Columbus, Georgia,” he says.
couple felt compelled to adopt. The Loudermilks now have a total of six children: the eldest three are biological, and the youngest three, adopted and racially mixed. “My oldest adopted child is 22. We didn’t know it at the time, but she was the first racially mixed child adopted by a white family in the history of Columbus, Georgia,” he says. One might wonder if such a “first” would cause tensions in the Deep South, but Loudermilk never noticed any. “My thought was, if anyone disapproved, that was their problem, not ours. We were doing what we were called to do … We were being obedient (to God).” Loudermilk cites “faith and family” as his priorities. It bears mention that Aflac operates like a family business. It’s not uncommon for employees to be related and serve lifetime careers there. Loudermilk’s son, brother, sister, and brother-in-law work for the insurance giant.
A Servant Leader
Having known Loudermilk for eight years, Laura Kane, vice president of corporate communications at Aflac, says his approach to work reflects his approach to life: a humble response to a call of duty. “Joey sees himself as a servant leader, as opposed to someone who holds a great title or is known for accomplishments,” Kane says.
Going off-the-cuff with Joey Loudermilk Leader > A servant; someone who leads by example; someone who doesn’t care who gets the credit Success > Making a positive difference and leaving a legacy of integrity Family > Number-one priority. If you can’t manage your own family, how can you manage anyone or anything else? faith > Integral to all aspects of life insurance > Absolutely necessary for financial security
Loudermilk’s titles, in addition to general counsel, include executive vice president, director of government relations, and corporate secretary. “All of those make me sound much more important than I am,” he says. Despite his quips, however, Loudermilk is among the top-five highest executives at the company, which is 125th on Fortune’s 150 list. His departments, with roughly 150 staff, cover legal, regulatory (compliance), and political matters. He reports directly to Dan Amos, CEO and chairman of the board, and has done so for the last 28 years. Loudermilk considers Amos “the best CEO in the entire country” and a personal inspiration. Amos made Af lac the first public corporation to allow shareholders input on executive compensation—that is, a “say on pay”—in 2008. Furthermore, Amos turned down a $2 million bonus in 2009, when the company’s stock was down, even though he was entitled to it based on the company’s financial performance. Perhaps Amos’s most widely noted account of integrity was when he fired Gilbert Gottfried—the infamous “duck voice” in Aflac’s commercials—roughly an hour after the comedian tweeted several jokes about the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011. “Whatever I have learned about being an executive, I have learned from Dan Amos and his example. I can’t imagine a better mentor than he has been,” Loudermilk says, adding, “Hopefully I have helped him along the way as well.” Loudermilk describes the relationship with his boss as a yin yang; Amos is the Type A of the equation. “He speeds me up, and I help slow him down a little bit,” Loudermilk explains.
Amos hired Loudermilk in 1983, just after becoming president of Aflac. Amos had been a personal client of Loudermilk’s in the private practice he ran for five years after graduating from the University of Georgia’s law school. “I was approaching 30,” Loudermilk says of his private-firm days, “and looking at other lawyers in Columbus who were 10, 15, or 20 years my senior—and they were doing exactly the same thing I was doing. I knew that was not what I wanted to do the rest of my career.” Being an executive wasn’t on Loudermilk’s to-do list, either, but resulted from fulfilling his vocation. “My career goal was to be a successful lawyer,” he says frankly. Loudermilk’s biggest win, in his profession, was having assembled a litigation team for
july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
“A natural extension of being a lawyer is that we need to make sure we are always doing the right thing.”
CARLOCK, COPELAND & STAIR, LLP
THOMAS S. CARLOCK
Joey Loudermilk General counsel, Executive Vice President, Director of Government Relations, & Corporate secretary
Congratulations to Aflac and our friend, Joey Loudermilk,
an influential case in the early 1990s. (Putting together teams of distinct experts and personalities is one of his most rewarding pursuits to this day, he admits. Kane adds: “He believes in teamwork and supports the efforts of the team.”) The dispute involved an Aflac lawyer on retainer who was terminated. It went to the Georgia Supreme Court, setting a legal precedent regarding the contractual relationship between a lawyer and a client. Loudermilk’s son, Matt, 36, who is now a lawyer at Aflac, earned star-pupil status by recounting the “behind-the-scenes” of the case during an ethics class at his father’s alma mater, where he also studied. In the end, Loudermilk hopes ethics will be his legacy. Every year since 2007, Aflac has ranked among the most ethical businesses in the world, according to Ethisphere magazine. It is the only insurance company that has made the list every year since its creation. Despite Loudermilk’s inclination to share credit, Aflac’s exemplary behavior in business is one area where, as its preeminent attorney, he must simply bow his head and accept the applause. [P]
140 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
We extend our congratulations to
recognition as a
for his many achievements on behalf of Aflac n n n
Both Aflac and Alston and Bird have been on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for over 12 consecutive years!
partner to families across the United States and around the world.
marathon oil corporation
energy-law trailblazer Sylvia J. Kerrigan goes where few female general counsel have gone before
Photo: Michael Hart
CONQUERING NEW GROUND As Marathon Oil Corporation's first female general counsel and the youngest person in the company's history to assume this role, Sylvia J. Kerrigan is used to pushing boundaries—literally and figuratively. Her energy-law career has taken her to geographic hotbeds including the Middle East, Switzerland, Gulf of Mexico, and Texas.
ylvia J. Kerrigan was always destined to work in the energy industry. From the time she set foot in college, you could almost map her future directly to Marathon Oil Corporation’s front door. Now as vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Marathon Oil, Kerrigan oversees approximately 70 employees—about half of which are lawyers—in her groundbreaking role as the first and youngest female general counsel at the billion-dollar oil-exploration company. Kerrigan was born in Brazil, but spent her early years in the British West Indies. Although she was settled in Texas by the time she was old enough to start kindergarten, the cultural variety she was exposed to in those few years fueled her passion for diversity and traveling. This natural desire to explore probably had a lot to do with the fact that she didn’t follow a direct route to her chosen career. Kerrigan received a bachelor of arts in philosophy, political economy, and English at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, before getting her JD from the University of Texas.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
by Lynn Russo Whylly
FINDING HER NICHE
While studying for her law degree, she took classes in admiralty and “loved it.” That focus on maritime law, which took her away from general practitioner work, perfectly groomed her for a career in energy law, and that quickly led her to Houston and the Gulf of Mexico, a hotbed area for energy companies. “Nothing demonstrates the intersection of politics, economics, and law more than the energy industry,” Kerrigan says. “You can look at what’s going on in the world today with the price of oil and our interdependency on that in the political world, and see why it’s a fascination of mine.” After law school, Kerrigan spent five years at a local law firm where she honed her skills by counseling energy, construction, manufacturing, and transportation clients on complex commercial, international, and insurance matters. When her brother-in-law told her about a position available at Marathon Oil, an oil-exploration company that was listed as number 29 on the 2011 Fortune 500 with $73 billion in revenues, she instantly knew it was a good fit. She applied for and got a job as the attorney responsible for Gulf of Mexico operations.
Going off-the-cuff with Sylvia J. Kerrigan Leader > Supporter and developer Success > A satisfied client Family > My husband and dog passion > Travel and culture diversity > Balanced and open teams
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council’s Commission d'Indemnisation in Geneva, Switzerland, was looking for a lawyer with experience in energy law to arbitrate the losses sustained by international energy companies following Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Kerrigan had the appropriate experience and jumped at the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the unfolding international drama. For the next two years, she served as senior legal officer and team leader. “They set the wells on fire, damaged the reservoirs and refineries. Just the idea of being able to investigate, assess, and administer claims of that magnitude had tremendous appeal,” she says. “I got to spend a lot of time in the Middle East, an opportunity that not many women lawyers at that time had. And I got to spend time in Iran, which as a US citizen, wouldn’t happen today. That was a unique experience.
142 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
The team I got to lead was so diverse. Not only did it have geographic diversity, but it also had diverse expertise, ranging from forensic accountants to asset valuation experts to reservoir engineers, the whole gamut.”
Upon completing her task in Switzerland, she returned to Texas ready for a new challenge. Marathon welcomed her back, making her assistant general counsel for litigation, human resources, and environmental law. In September 2009, she was named vice president and general counsel. The title of secretary was added in November of that year. Soon after her appointment as GC, she was instructed to help prepare the company to be split into two different firms: Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum. “There were
people from every department involved in the spin-off,” she recalls. “We were the parent company, so in addition to the agency filings and legal agreements, we provided a lot of the support for the subsidiary and helped them set up new stand-alone departments. My primary role was to distill a huge volume of information and make sure that, to the greatest extent possible, senior management and the board would be kept up-to-date.” Simultaneous with the spin-off, the legal department helped with more than $5 billion in exploration and production purchases, then in November, orchestrated $4 billion in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. The split was finalized July 2011. “The company put a great deal of trust in me despite the fact that I didn’t come from one of the traditional roles that generally lead to being a general counsel. Usually, GCs have more corporate, finance, or M&A experience. I was the first female GC and the youngest GC in the history of the company. I was grateful they trusted me enough to give me the chance to prove myself.” Throughout her career, Kerrigan has been a supporter of pro bono work, and Marathon’s in-house pro-bono program has been ranked “best” by the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program every year since its inception three years ago. Kerrigan is a past chairman of the State Bar of Texas International Law Section and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. She has served on the board of directors for numerous organizations, including the American Leadership Forum, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, the Houston Bar Association, and The National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms. Kerrigan’s feet are firmly planted at Marathon Oil. “I do love everything about my job,” she affirms. “I love having a deeper understanding of the business and a closer relationship with the clients and I think that’s what drew me to the company. I love representing the legal team and trying to highlight and increase their talents both inside and outside the company. And I’m learning a lot, as well.” [P]
Mototola Ad - Scott Offer_Layout 1 2/24/2012 9:53 AM
BEIRNE, MAYNARD & PARSONS, L.L.P.
Kirkland & Ellis congratulates
Scott Offer on his 20 years of service with Motorola
Strategic Litigation for the Energy Industry Types of Energy-Related Litigation
• Interest owner disputes • Operational disputes • Production disputes • Contract and commercial litigation • Pipeline-related disputes • Environmental matters • Marine construction disputes • Title and land disputes, including surface damage disputes • Extraordinary remedies • Personal injury and wrongful death • Intellectual property disputes • Condemnation & eminent domain the first twenty-five years HOUSTON 713-623-0887
NEW ORLEANS 504-799-2223
SAN ANTONIO 210-582-0220
www.bmpllp.com july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
motorola MOBILITY, Inc.
Helping the spin-off hold its own against Apple and Microsoft, D. Scott Offer negotiates a groundbreaking merger with Google by Lynn Russo Whylly
144 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
FAST TRACK Not one for dull moments, D. Scott Offer enjoys the intense pace and complexity of Motorola Mobility and the mobile-device industry.
Photo: Todd Winters
he past 18 months have been remarkable for senior vice president and general counsel D. Scott Offer and the entire Motorola Mobility, Inc. (MMI) team. He was a leader in the separation of the more than 75-year-old Motorola Inc. into two stand-alone public companies. MMI was launched as a new Fortune 500 public company on the NYSE in January 2011. Offer has been a key partner in the turnaround that completely transformed the business, culture, and performance at MMI. In August 2011, alongside his CEO and CFO, Offer negotiated a groundbreaking $12.5 billion allcash merger agreement with Google, which at press time was expected to close soon. With the Google merger imminent [at press time], the future for MMI—and Scott Offer—looks brighter than ever. Offer graduated with a law degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science, afterwards joining the prestigious London law firm Boodle Hatfield. After clerking there for two years, he accepted an in-house position at Royal Dutch Shell plc and thereafter moved over to Motorola’s European law department in 1990. He moved to the Libertyville, Illinois, headquarters of Motorola’s mobile-devices business in 2002, became general counsel for the Motorola Mobile Devices business in 2004, and passed the Illinois bar exam in 2005.
David vs. Goliath
Offer enjoys the frenetic pace, intensity, and complexity of Motorola Mobility in particular and the mobile- device industry as a whole. There is never a run-of-the-mill day at work for Offer. While leading the usual commercial and litigation work at Motorola, every day provides a new set of challenges and opportunities as he engages and leads high-profile intellectual property litigation, acquisitions, investments, board governance, and broad global regulatory matters. “I like the deep ownership created with having one business client to represent and counsel rather than many,” he says. “If you can understand the business intimately, you understand where you can add the most value as a lawyer and this makes for a much more rewarding job—a good general counsel must also remain somewhat independent of the daily business pressures and execute good governance, aligned very closely with the board’s priorities.” On the intellectual-property front, since 2010, Offer has been managing the strategically important and high-profile Apple and Microsoft litigations ongoing in numerous jurisdictions. “We became a target for Apple and Microsoft because of our commitment to the Android operating system and, as a result, we were sued by two of the biggest companies in the world (Apple and Microsoft) and we’re more than holding our own. We’re David in the fight with several Goliaths.” We believe our patent portfolio is second to none in our technology area and I am very proud of what our intellectual-property teams have achieved.”
In addition, over the years, the Motorola Mobility legal team has secured thousands of patents on a broad range of products and technologies and has a very successful patent-licensing business. When asked about why he enjoys the in-house environment at Motorola Mobility, Offer explains: “I enjoy working for a company where I can associate my legal work with a physical end-product like the Droid Razr smartphone. As lawyers, we have many uniquely relevant and exciting roles to perform supporting the creation of innovative products.” As general counsel overseeing a legal team of approximately 200 people, Offer has a role in just about everything the company does. His team sets overall legal strategy, partners
Going off-the-cuff with D. scott offer Leader > Nelson Mandela Success > Jesse Owens law > Abraham Lincoln innovation > Motorola Razr Maxx future > Arthur C. Clark
with business leads, negotiates strategic deals with customers, suppliers and partners, manages the global trademark and litigation portfolio, and maintains legal compliance. Between 2008 and 2011, Motorola’s handset division was struggling. The Motorola, Inc. Board made the strategic decision to separate the government and enterprise businesses from the consumer businesses of Motorola. The Board hired Sanjay Jha (former COO of Qualcomm) to be co-CEO of Motorola, Inc. and later chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility. “We have been part of an incredible turnaround,” Offer relates. “When we listed on the NYSE in 2011, we were told it was the first time that two companies had sprung from the same parent with both named on the Fortune 500 and listed on the NYSE on the same day. That was an incredible achievement for all of our teams.” In early 2011, “the buzz about MMI’s business following separation, along with our commitment to Android and our strong patent portfolio, put us on Google’s radar,” he says. “The Google transaction was able to happen because of our great assets and because we were a standalone entity.” In August 2011, MMI accepted a purchase offer by Google for $12.5 billion. Offer is a member of the General Counsel Roundtable, “one of the best benchmarking, training and networking groups,” and occasionally speaks at industry conferences. He is also heavily involved with the Motorola Foundation. “We donate to technology-based
educational causes, and work with disaster relief and underprivileged groups,” Offer says. The legal department helps the foundation find good causes for which their contributions would generate the most benefit. Staying on top of everything, he says, is all about the details. “We have a great team, but we don’t have legal managers managing people, we have practitioners who work in a matrixed organization and who must practice law and retain great legal skills.” Offer attributes his own success partly to building a strong team, developing deep relationships of trust, being resilient— and not needing much sleep. One thing is for sure, Offer says, his job is never boring. “Our industry and our company is constantly moving. And it sounds like a cliché, but I can guarantee you I’ve never had two days the same and I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We are, however, very excited by the potential created by the planned merger with Google.” [P] A WORD from winston & strawn LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP is an international law firm with nearly 1,000 attorneys among 15 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Over the past five years, our 200-lawyer intellectual property group has been among the most active in the country. Our individual attorneys are routinely singled out as leaders in the field, having been regularly honored regionally and nationally by Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, SuperLawyers, Lawdragon, and Legal 500, among others. A WORD from ropes & gray
“Scott Offer and his legal team have set an impressive legal strategy to support Motorola Mobility’s dynamic business,” says Jesse Jenner, a senior IP partner in the New York office of Ropes & Gray. “Scott’s leadership and legal acumen have guided the company through many business challenges, and we are honored to have worked alongside Scott and his team on their critical patent cases.” The 1,000-lawyer firm of Ropes & Gray, with offices in the United States, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, has been recognized as one of the world’s leading firms for IP law. The firm’s lawyers have represented Motorola Mobility for more than 20 years.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
BUSINESS & FINANCE CONSTRUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNMENT & REGULATORY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION
Kilpatrick Townsend is proud to be associated with Motorola Mobility and fortunate to call them a client!
ATLANTA AUGUSTA CHARLOTTE DENVER DUBAI NEW YORK OAKLAND RALEIGH SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO SEATTLE SILICON VALLEY STOCKHOLM TAIPEI TOKYO WALNUT CREEK WASHINGTON W I N STON-SALE M 146 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Ropes & Gray is proud and honored
INNOVATIVE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCED Katten recognizes the importance of partnering with its clients. This requires a thorough understanding of their business and goals in order to collaborate on a plan to achieve protection of intellectual propertyâ€”be it maximizing goodwill in a brand, protecting patents, or effectively defending against or prosecuting claims. Katten is proud to be a business partner with its client, Motorola Mobility Inc., and congratulates Scott Offer on his achievements and leadership.
that clients like Motorola Mobility trust us with their most critical legal and business issues. We salute Motorola Mobility General Counsel Scott Offer and his team for their innovative legal work and leadership.
For more information, please contact: Kristin J. Achterhof Partner, Intellectual Property Practice 312.902.5296 / firstname.lastname@example.org
www.ropesgray.com charlotte chicago irving london los angeles new york oakland shanghai washington, dc london affiliate: katten muchin rosenman uk llp ÂŠ 2012, Ropes & Gray llp
july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
A WORD from kirkland & ellis
Kirkland & Ellis is one of the world’s leading law firms, with more than 1,500 lawyers practicing from offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Founded 100 years ago, Kirkland & Ellis has been called upon to handle complicated corporate, litigation, intellectual property, restructuring, tax and counseling matters for global clients. Today, Kirkland continues to work with a long-standing base of clients engaged in a variety of industries. In every year since 1995, Kirkland has ranked as one of the most frequently used firms by Fortune 100 companies in The National Law Journal survey, “Who Represents Corporate America.” A WORD from kilpatrick townsend & stockton llp
Founded more than 150 years ago, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP is a full-service international law firm with more than 630 attorneys in 18 offices across the globe. Our corporate, litigation, and intellectual property attorneys deliver knowledgeable and proactive guidance for companies at every stage of the business life cycle. A WORD from katten muchin rosenman llp
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP congratulates Scott Offer on his outstanding career with Motorola Mobility Inc. Under Scott's leadership, Motorola Mobility's Law Department has flourished. The Motorola in-house legal team not only has a remarkable level of expertise in a variety of legal areas, but the attorneys who work with Scott also are creative and business-savvy. Katten is truly delighted to work closely with such talented individuals in representing Motorola and protecting its famous brand around the world.
Winston & Strawn would like to congratulate
SCOTT OFFER on his 20-year anniversary with Motorola. His recognition in Profile Magazine is well-deserved. Scott, we wish you continued success!
148 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
berkshire hathaway GROUP
Fascinated by science but never one to follow formulas, Forrest Krutter views every day of his legal career as an education law school because his peers at MIT went. Clearly, they hadn’t. He went because he was interested in law. “When I studied civil engineering, I focused on railroad transportation,” says Krutter, who grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, and still carries an unmistakable Boston accent. “In the 1970s, when I attended MIT, the railroads in the Northeast had gone into bankruptcy and were going through some significant restructuring. The legal implications for civil engineering were [so] sufficiently great that I wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. Sometimes, a series of great cards are dealt to you, and you just feel like you need to play them.”
LEARNING FROM THE BEST Though he serves as a teacher, mentor, and adviser, Forrest Krutter considers himself a student of his peers, which include Warren Buffett, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, and former Yahoo president Susan Decker, to name a few.
orrest Krutter remembers perfectly his second day at Harvard Law School. It was 1975 and professor Henry Steiner asked his section of 120 first-year law students how many of them had an English degree. “A third of the class raised their hands,” recalls Krutter, 57, who is secretary for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Berkshire Hathaway Group, its subsidiary. “‘How many in history?’ A quarter raised their hands.
‘How many in political science?’ It was down to an eighth. By the time he got to math and science, only three of us raised our hands.” Like the company he works for—which is famous for its principled approach to business, laid out in its legendary annual reports—it seems Krutter was immune to the persuasive powers of popular opinion. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he got his bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s degree in civil engineering, he didn’t go to
Krutter has always been fascinated by science. In fact, his uncle was a physicist who worked at MIT during World War II, where he helped develop microwave radar, and later at NASA, where he contributed to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects. “Besides my parents, he was the person I most admired, so I very much thought that [science] might be the best course of study and profession,” says Krutter, who discovered that science and law are actually quite compatible. “Being forced to express your views in differential equations, being able to understand probabilistic structures, understanding how outliers work, and knowing how to think about events with a mathematical discipline is a real benefit to the practice of law,” he says. Upon graduating from law school in 1978, Krutter moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to become anti-trust counsel for Union Pacific Railroad, where he simultaneously fed his appetite for engineering and law while the company attempted to “revive the American railroads.” “I found that opportunity to be exceedingly exciting,” says Krutter, whose voice creaks ever so slightly when he speaks, like the hinges of a squeaky door. “It was rather extreme to move from Boston, where I had lived all my life, to Omaha, Nebraska. Nevertheless, I was young at the time, and when
july/aug/sept 2012 I
by Matt Alderton
you’re young you take those types of risks.” Krutter spent eight years at Union Pacific, helping the company adapt to new federal regulations impacting railroads in the early 1980s. He left in 1986 when a trio of acquaintances offered him a job at Berkshire Hathaway Group, which at the time consisted principally of National Indemnity Company—owned by billionaire Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. In the 1990s, Berkshire Hathaway acquired other insurance and reinsurance companies, including General Reinsurance Company and GEICO. “It is impossible to know why I was given the privilege of doing this job,” says Krutter, whose genuine humility—anomalous for someone in his position—is an obvious asset. “But I’m glad I was. I love what I do and I enjoy working with the people around me. They’re fascinating. Every day is an education.” Some days are a surprise, too. Like the day he found out he’d been named secretary to the board for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. “In 1992, Warren Buffett’s CFO and corporate secretary retired,” Krutter recalls. “Warren sent out a memo announcing that Marc Hamburg was the new CFO, and I was the new secretary. That’s how I became the secretary of Berkshire Hathaway.”
A Lifelong Student
Although he considers himself a student of his peers—including not only Buffett, but also the members of Berkshire Hathaway’s board of directors, which include the likes of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, former Yahoo president Susan Decker, and NBCUniversal president and CEO Stephen Burke—Krutter serves as a teacher, mentor, and adviser. Krutter leads a group of approximately 1,000 attorneys, paralegals, and support staff in his role as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary for the Berkshire Hathaway Group. And yet, the man who manages hundreds of attorneys at Berkshire Hathaway Group manages zero at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. There, he’s the lone lawyer on a staff of just 21 employees. “My principal role as corporate secretary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is
150 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Going off-the-cuff with forrest krutter Leader > Vision Success > Accomplishments progress > Societal advancement justice > How we make sure the rewards and opportunities of society are allocated in a manner that is fair and in accordance with a set of rules we agree upon as a society future > Opportunity
to maintain our system of corporate governance,” Krutter continues. “I provide the platform on which the board can run effectively and do its work.” Although Krutter’s two roles are extremely different, they’re also extremely complementary. “Not because of function, but because of principles,” he says. “The Berkshire corporate organization and the insurance group run on the same principles: focusing on what’s economically important and avoiding bureaucracy. So it’s actually very easy to go from one operation to the other.” Another guiding principle at Berkshire Hathaway is reminiscent of Krutter’s second day at Harvard Law School. “One of Berkshire’s great strengths is that we don’t go with trends,” Krutter says. “It’s tempting to do whatever’s popular at a given time, but we try to operate instead with a very longterm perspective.” And a very long-term staff: In December 2011, Krutter celebrated his 25th anniversary with Berkshire Hathaway—a milestone that no doubt qualifies him to advise the next generation of general counsel. “What I always tell young men and women is: One shouldn’t ask, ‘What will be the next great opportunity in my lifetime?’ What one should start with is, ‘What do I enjoy doing, and what am I good at?’” he says. “You can’t predict when you’re 20 years old what the next 40 years will bring, but you can at least understand what you like and what you’re good at.” [P]
“Sometimes, a series of great cards are dealt to you, and you just feel like you need to play them.” Forrest Krutter Senior Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary, Berkshire HaTHAWAY group, and secretary, berkshire hathaway inc.
One Team. One Plan. One Goal. WilmerHale is proud to be part of the Ford Motor Company legal team, ably led by Vice President and General Counsel David Leitch.
Attorney Advertising. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr llp is a Delaware limited liability partnership. WilmerHale principal law offices: 60 State Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, +1 617 526 6000; 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, +1 202 663 6000. Our United Kingdom offices are operated under a separate Delaware limited liability partnership of solicitors and registered foreign lawyers authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 287488). Our professional rules can be found at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/code-of-conduct.page. A list of partners and their professional qualifications is available for inspection at our UK offices. In Beijing, we are registered to operate as a Foreign Law Firm Representative Office. This material is for general informational purposes only and does not represent our advice as to any particular set of facts; nor does it represent any undertaking to keep recipients advised of all legal developments. © 2012 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr llp
ford motor company
Always cool under fire, David Leitch advises the world’s second-largest automaker with nerves of steel
BUILT STRONG Just like Ford Motor Company, David Leitch was built to weather most storms. “This company went through a pretty dramatic crisis in 2008, going into 2009—a crisis of survival, really—and I was able to once again experience people pulling together in a significant way,” says David Leitch, group vice president and general counsel for the automaker, which is once again back on top.
by Matt Alderton
avid Leitch is one smooth operator. You can tell by listening to his voice, which is flat and matter of fact; by reading his writing, which is perfectly punctuated; and by studying his face in photographs, which reveals a signature half-smile that’s kind yet controlled. Mostly, though, you can note his calm composition by looking at his résumé, which reads like an American history book, marked by significant people and events that have trained his temperament and tested his resolve. “I feel very blessed to have worked directly with two chief justices, one US president, and a transformative business leader,” says Leitch, 51, who currently serves as group vice president and general counsel for Ford Motor Company, working alongside president and CEO Alan Mulally. “I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved in significant events in our nation’s history, such as the confirmation of supreme court justices, the response to the attacks of 9/11, and helping to restructure a Fortune 10 company during the financial crisis.” Leitch inherited his levelheaded disposition from his father. “I think the fact that my father was an engineer had a great effect on the way I think and reason,” he says. “My father was very analytical and logical. Interacting with him over the years—observing and absorbing the way he thought and approached problems—had a great impact on me and I think serves me well in my profession.” His profession—law—was a natural fit. “Every little kid wants to be a Major League Baseball player,” Leitch says. “But once I realized my athletic limitations and got serious about choosing a profession I focused on the law. My mother planted this seed in my head because, she says, I was good at arguing.”
In fact, Leitch began his career as a litigator: After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985, he spent two years clerking, first for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III at the US Court of Appeals for
General Counsel Section the Fourth Circuit, then for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist at the US Supreme Court. In 1987, he was hired as an associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP, where he worked in the firm’s appellate and supreme court practice—led by current Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts—arguing cases on subjects such as bankruptcy, energy, copyrights, and patents. After a brief hiatus—during which time he worked as deputy assistant attorney general at the US Department of Justice under President George H.W. Bush—he returned to Hogan & Hartson as counsel in 1993, and partner from 1994 to 2001. That’s when things really got interesting. In June 2001, Leitch became chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Three months later, Sept. 11, 2001 occurred. “Crisis management in an environment where everyone was pulling together to achieve some really meaningful things summarizes my experience in the aftermath of 9/11,” Leitch says. “One of the things I was privileged to work on was trying to get the air-traffic system back up and running after all the planes had been grounded. There were a lot of security concerns and not enough air marshals, and I was able to play a small role [in resolving those issues] and getting the country going again.” Leitch left the FAA in December 2002 to work in the White House as deputy counsel and deputy assistant to President George W. Bush. A fixture in the West Wing until 2005, he helped the president navigate legal issues associated with the war on terror while also consulting on legislative proposals, advising on ethics matters, and participating in the judicial selection process. “I’ve had some amazing relationships in my career and seen some really talented leaders close up,” Leitch says. “What I learned was: At the end of the day, even people who have a legendary image are still individuals with whom you can have relationships and conversations. I think that—seeing people in leadership positions close up—has given me a sense of comfort in playing the role of general counsel.”
The latest iteration of that role is at Ford Motor, where Leitch has worked since April 2005, first as senior vice president and general counsel and then as group vice president and general counsel, which has been his title since January 2008—less than a year before the economic downturn forced a massive restructuring of the American auto industry. Lucky for Ford, Leitch was up to the challenge. “This industry and this company went through a pretty dramatic crisis in 2008, going
“What's special about practicing law at Ford is the opportunity to contribute to an enterprise that is woven into the fabric of so many communities.” David Leitch Group Vice President & General Counsel
into 2009—a crisis of survival, really—and I was able to once again experience people pulling together in a significant way toward a common goal and a shared enterprise,” says Leitch, who oversees a global legal team of 200 attorneys that contributed to Ford’s revival by advising the company on matters of liquidity, risk, and government affairs. Thanks in part to these contributions, Ford was the only one of the “Big Three” automakers to avoid bankruptcy, and the only one to survive the downturn without a government bailout. “I feel a real sense of privilege to have been involved in some of the things I’ve been involved in: to have clerked in the Supreme Court, to have worked in the West Wing, and to have been general counsel at Ford during this critical time. I feel very blessed to have been put in situations that were historical and fascinating and to which I could contribute.” Now that Ford’s back on top—the company celebrated its third-straight annual profit in 2011, not to mention the second-highest earnings in its 108-year history—Leitch is focused on helping the company continue to prosper. And in so doing, helping the country do the same. “What’s special about practicing law at Ford is the opportunity to contribute to an enterprise that is woven into the fabric of so many communities,” Leitch says. “We touch so many people around the world every day, whether they’re getting into one of our cars, working in one of our assembly plants, or otherwise connected to the enterprise in some way. Our mantra is, ‘Great products, a strong business, and a better world.’ We try to contribute to that every day.” [P] A WORD FROM wilmerhale
WilmerHale provides sophisticated legal representation to companies in a wide variety of industry sectors, including manufacturing, financial,
Going off-the-cuff with David Leitch Leader > Alan Mulally, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill Success > Contentment family > Knows me best automobile > Mustang risk > Reward
technology, defense, and energy. With 1,000 lawyers and offices in 12 cities in the United States, Europe and Asia, we possess a cutting-edge blend of capabilities that enables us to handle the most complex and challenging matters, including those requiring special regulatory expertise and advanced understanding of technologies and intellectual property. WilmerHale has been Ford Motor Company’s counsel for more than 30 years and is especially proud of the partnerships we’ve forged with David Leitch and Ford’s IP litigation and regulatory inquiries lawyers.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Hogan Lovells is proud to be a trusted advisor to Ford Motor Company. In his role as Group Vice President and General Counsel, David Leitch has led an outstanding team of lawyers through a series of transformative legal actions that enabled Ford Motor Company to survive one of the most challenging times in the automotive industryâ€™s history. We are proud to be part of his team and a longtime advisor to Ford.
2,300 lawyers. 40+ offices. 21 countries. www.hoganlovells.com
Hogan Lovells is an international legal practice, including Hogan Lovells US LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP. ÂŠ Hogan Lovells 2012. All rights reserved. 154 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Debevoise is honored to work with Brackett B. Denniston III and General Electric
New York Washington, D.C. London Paris Frankfurt Moscow Hong Kong Shanghai
july/aug/sept 2012 I
156 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Counsel of Choice to Industry Leaders.
wilmerhale.com Attorney Advertising. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr llp is a Delaware limited liability partnership. Our United Kingdom offices are operated under a separate Delaware limited liability partnership of solicitors and registered foreign lawyers authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 287488). Our professional rules can be found at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/code-of-conduct.page. A list of partners and their professional qualifications is available for inspection at our UK offices. In Beijing, we are registered to operate as a Foreign Law Firm Representative Office. WilmerHale principal law offices: 60 State Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, +1 617 526 6000; 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, +1 202 663 6000. This material is for general informational purposes only and does not represent our legal advice as to any particular set of facts; nor does it represent any undertaking 2012Hale I profile to keep recipients advised of all relevant legal developments. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ÂŠ 2011july/aug/sept Wilmer Cutler Pickering and Dorr157 llp
General Counsel Section
Sitcom references aside, Brackett B. Denniston III leads the conglomerate's legal BRANCH with integrity—and WIT
hen Brackett B. Denniston III was first embarking on his law career, he never would have foreseen ending up as senior vice president and general counsel for General Electric (GE). “It would have been around 65th on my list when I graduated from law school,” Denniston says. “It was almost the last thing I was thinking about.” The reasons for this are cultural (corporate legal departments used to be seen as second-class destinations compared to firms, something that Dennison credits GE with changing), as well as personal: upon graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law, Denniston was keen to throw himself into public service. He’s also never been one to map out a 30-year career plan. “Those people are fooling themselves,” he says. “You have to do a job well and see when the door opens and take that door.” Denniston began his career as a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit. He later served in the US Attorney's Office as chief of the major frauds unit, where he was responsible for white-collar-crime prosecutions—he was awarded the Director's Award for Superior Performance by the Department of Justice for his role in more than 100 successful prosecutions. Denniston worked after his clerkship and later continued his success in white-collar-crime cases at Boston firm, Goodwin, Procter & Hoar LLP, where he also specialized in complex civil litigation and securities matters. Finally, he served as chief legal counsel to William F. Weld, governor of Massachusetts, before joining GE as vice president and senior counsel of litigation and legal policy in 1996.
Chasing CompLEX CASES
“When I was a young associate, I liked complex matters, particularly financial matters,
158 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
PUBLIC SERVICE Although his role as general counsel of GE is far from the public service career he envisioned early on, Denniston performs his duties with a greater social conscience. "Ultimately, the job is about producing an outcome that serves a good interest," he says.
because they were intricate, could move fast, were interesting,” explains Denniston, reviewing his career. “Also, people seemed to think I could do them pretty well. I did tender offers, takeovers, proxy contests, security class actions, and all those involved some element of financial and securities. I did pharmaceutical white-collar defence, and I also did some complex cases that weren’t financial. I did a child sexual-abuse case. I like the complicated and the challenging— it’s just more interesting.” He became general counsel in 2004, something that he describes as a career highlight, along with his role as chief legal counsel to the state—“a wonderful job that
I enjoyed.” But, beyond the complex and the complicated that he’s always had an affinity for, Denniston has found great satisfaction in doing the job well and, through doing so, protected somebody. For Denniston, the highlights of a career also blur into the low lights to become a series of vital learning experiences: his first trial was a hung jury, something he describes as “not a happy day.” “Ultimately the guy was convicted when I retrialed,” he adds. “I’ve lost a few cases, with outcomes that I didn’t like, but you just have to learn from those. If you don’t lose a case every once in a while then you aren’t taking chances and you aren’t doing it right. You have to take some risk.”
by Chris Allsop
Parallels to 30 Rock
Today, Denniston is responsible for the GE legal organization worldwide and for all GE legal operations. While it isn’t part of his job to closely monitor 30 Rock, the comedy that frequently pokes fun at NBC’s parent company, Denniston says that he enjoys the show, and describes Tina Fey as, “one of the great talents in entertainment.” He also jokingly confirms that, “there are a few Jack Donaghys walking around here, from time to time.” But, while businesses are frequently portrayed negatively on the show and in the media in general, Denniston views companies as, for the vast majority of the time, a very positive force in society. “Their cultures of compliance and integrity, their job creating, their innovation, they are forces of immense good,” he says. “That’s all satisfying to be a part of.” Outside of the office, Denniston is a family man. He reports having hiked many of the major New Hampshire mountains with his three children, enjoys biking the back roads of Maine in summer, and also likes to ski, bike, and swim for exercise. “I like to try for a good work/life balance,” he adds. “Although my family probably wouldn’t say I’m balanced enough. It’s always good to get away and see some interesting places, go ski a mountain.” For Denniston, the future is not to be planned, but approached with the same tenets that he’s employed from day one: do the best job possible, do it with high integrity, but also with a sense of humor—have fun. “Ultimately, the job is about producing an outcome that serves a good interest,” he says. “I believe very strongly that all the things I have done as a lawyer have been serving a positive interest.” [P]
any size and complexity. WilmerHale has provided legal guidance to General Electric for more than 40 years and is proud of the relationship we’ve built with Brackett Denniston.
A WORD FROM wilmerHale
A WORD FROM paul hastings
WilmerHale provides sophisticated legal representation to public and private companies, start-up enterprises, partnerships, entrepreneurships and finance participants in a wide variety of industry sectors. With 1,000 lawyers and offices in 12 cities in the United States, Europe and Asia, we practice at the very top of the legal profession and possess a cutting-edge blend of capabilities that enables us to handle deals and cases of
GE and Paul Hastings Value Strategic Partnership. For more than 30 years, Paul Hastings has collaborated with GE on landmark matters, pro bono partnerships, and thought leadership initiatives. “We are very proud of our long relationship with GE, and we are honored to work closely with Brackett Denniston and his great team,” said Kurt Hansson, the GE relationship partner for Paul Hastings.
Going off-the-cuff with Brackett B. Denniston III Leader > [Winston] Churchill Success > Character and balance donaghy > Funny justice > Department (where I used to work) positive > Optimism
30 YEARS AND COUNTING
For the past three decades, Paul Hastings and GE have been collaborating on innovative business and legal matters.
18 Offices Worldwide Paul Hastings LLP I www.paulhastings.com
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“ We view it as our responsibility to, however possible, promote a commitment to the rule of law and ensure that its roots are powerful enough to survive well into the next generation of leaders.”
— B R ACKET T B. DENNISTON Senior Vice President and General Counsel, GE
Congratulations to Brackett Denniston, a true leader in the global legal community.
sullcrom.com NEW YORK • WASHINGTON, D.C. • LOS ANGELES • PALO ALTO LONDON • PARIS • FRANKFURT TOKYO • HONG KONG • BEIJING • MELBOURNE • SYDNEY
160 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
proud logistics partner of
Better business. Hands down. SCA can help you save money, improve hygiene, and lighten your environmental footprint with . . . â€˘ Innovative, one-at-a-time Tork dispensing systems
EMPLOYMENT & LABOR LAW SOLUTIONS WORLDWIDE
â€˘ 100% recycled, thirdparty certified Tork towels, tissue, and napkins
Littler Mendelson is the largest U.S. based law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in employment and labor law matters. As the only U.S. member of the Ius Laboris global alliance, Littler has extensive resources to address the needs of multi-national clients, from navigating international employment laws and labor relations issues to applying corporate policies worldwide. Established in 1942, the firm has litigated, mediated and negotiated some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record. Key to our outstanding client service is our Knowledge Management group through which we harness the collective knowledge of the firm, providing employers a full range of tools, products and solutions for addressing their individual labor and employment needs.
fulfillment www.sji-inc.com (314) 336-1331
SCA values its relationship with distributor partner Inlander Brothers
FINALIST G O LD WINNER
july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
FLIES ON THE WALL This is how partners Ken Zenger (left) and Steve Graef describe MRP's role in the survey-research arena. "We monitor what is really happening in what is a massive virtual conversation," Zenger says.
A BALANCED VIEWPOINT As general counsel for the tire giant, David Bialosky describes himself as a team player. â€œWhen things go right, I make sure my team gets credit for their accomplishments,â€? he says.
162 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
The goodyear tire & Rubber co.
Never afraid to “roll up his sleeves,” former-engineer David Bialosky steers the company through complex terrains
avid Bialosky, senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, is more interested in the nuts and bolts of business than most corporate attorneys— and for good reason. An engineer in lawyer’s clothing, Bialosky began his professional life, after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1980, as a mechanical engineer for The Standard Oil Company designing piping and tanks for refineries and chemical plants. However, he didn’t love it enough for a longterm commitment—or the colder climates he encountered while working on the Alaskan pipeline—and he eventually returned to school at Northwestern University to pursue a law degree.
by Chris Allsop
“I’ve got an engineer’s problem-solving mindset, so I tend to be extremely fact and data driven.” David Bialosky Senior Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary
A Nuts & Bolts Approach
While he’s been practicing law since 1985 when he joined Thompson Hine in Cleveland, his engineering background still plays a role in his current day-to-day oversight of the legal function, compliance and ethics, and government relations at Goodyear. “I’ve got an engineer’s problem-solving mindset, so I tend to be extremely fact and data driven,” says Bialosky. He also retains an engineer’s interest in products. While working in commercial law at Thompson Hine, Bialosky wanted more details than the brief snippets of clients’ underlying businesses available to expensive outside counsel. “In depth knowledge of the underlying business improves the quality of legal counsel,” he added. Bialosky’s interest in products drove
him to his next career move in 1989, when he became in-house counsel at TRW Inc. Initially based in Cleveland, TRW had a credit-reporting business in Orange, California, and Bialosky was only too happy to relocate to sunny Southern California. However, by 2002, Bialosky—then vice president and assistant general counsel of TRW’s automotive business—was in Detroit, where he became engulfed in the vast amount of legal work created by the breaking up of TRW after the sudden departure of its CEO at the time, Dave Cote. “That period of time, from 2002 to 2004, going through Northrop Grumman’s takeover of TRW, Blackstone’s LBO [leveraged buyout] of TRW’s automo-
tive business, and the IPO [initial public offering] of TRW Automotive, was incredibly exciting,” Bialosky recalls. “I learned a lot.” After being appointed general counsel of TRW Automotive in 2003, Bialosky was charged with establishing the corporate law department and governance processes for the newly created entity. He stayed with TRW Automotive until 2009, when he moved to the role he now holds at Goodyear. Today, Bialosky particularly enjoys the business side of his role. “When business people ask for legal advice, I roll up my sleeves and work with them to determine the best way to proceed,” he says. “I think most good GCs are like that.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
General Counsel Section
Hearsay GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE
Bialosky considers himself a very supportive leader of what he describes as the best legal team in the business. He doesn’t micromanage—unless there’s a reason to. “When things go right, I make sure my team gets credit for their accomplishments,” he adds. “I’ve seen people over the years take credit for what’s done by their team, and I think it’s so demotivating for the team, and I also think it is so transparent, that people know when it’s being done—I shudder every time I see it.” Besides the management of his own team, Bialosky is also on point when it comes to managing the barrage of information directed at his board, handling the legal minutiae so the directors can focus on their own priorities, such as oversight of strategy, risk, and succession planning.
Going off-the-cuff with David Bialosky Leader > Captain Success > Achievement art > Music tires > Mobility car > Porsche
To decompress after a day of sorting through the tangle of business regulation, Bialosky runs, cycles, and hikes in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park with his two dogs, a Labrador retriever and an Australian shepherd. He also enjoys active vacations with his wife and four children, ages ranging from 15 to 21, citing their recent hike to Machu Picchu in Peru, or a biking trip he and his wife went on through France’s Dordogne river valley.
However, only two activities help him shut out work completely: skiing (“which I think has something to do with the survival instinct; if you are thinking about a proxy statement while negotiating a double-black run you risk hitting a tree”) and playing the piano, which he took up last year when his wife, Carolyn, bought him piano lessons for his 53rd birthday. “I only want to play classical pieces. I’m not willing to be work on scales,” he says, “So, I just muddle my way through pieces, while my teacher reminds me how much easier it would be if I just worked on those scales.” For Bialosky’s professional future, he plans to stay in Akron, Ohio. He enjoys his current position with Goodyear, working to increase the value of Goodyear’s iconic brand. But maybe one day, in retirement, he foresees a return to the sun and warmth of Southern California. [P] A WORD FROM littler mendelson
Littler congratulates David Bialosky on his continued success with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. We greatly value the partnership we’ve developed over 20 years of providing labor & employment counsel. Littler looks forward to our continued relationship and our efforts to help Goodyear’s customers “Get There” on Goodyear tires.
“I’ve seen people over the years take credit for what’s done by their team, and I think it’s so demotivating for the team, and I also think it is so transparent, that people know when it’s being done —I shudder every time I see it.” David Bialosky Senior Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary
164 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Ignite your game development with Unity
Just Hit Save
Distribute your projects on to the most popular platforms like Windows, Linux, IOS, Android, Web + many more
Unity picks up changes to art assets across your entire project instantly!
Press play to instantly run your game directly in the editor
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Chris Satchell credits his successful career to an upbringing full of design and coding for fun. â€œThis ... led to a degree in computer science, post-graduate research into distributed artificial intelligence, and then a career in video games, culminating in being the CTO [chief technology officer] for Xbox 360 at Microsoft,â€? says Satchell, now CTO of International Game Technology.
166 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
“I would rush home and through my homework to do more design and coding in the evenings … Basically, I am a lifelong geek.”
photo: Peter Walker
hen Chris Satchell was seven years old, he received his first Atari 800 and taught himself how to program it. From there, he knew he liked writing games as much as playing them. Now, Satchell is the chief technology officer and executive vice president of research and development for Reno, Nevadabased International Game Technology (IGT). Here, the self-appointed “geek” shares with Profile how he came to work for IGT and what it takes to be successful in the casino-gaming industry.
Throughout high school I used to get up early to get several hours of programming in before school started. Then I would rush home and through my homework to do more design and coding in the evenings. This eventually led to a degree in computer science, postgraduate research into distributed artificial intelligence, and then a career in video games, culminating in being the CTO for Xbox 360 at Microsoft. Basically, I am a lifelong geek.
as told to Kaleena Thompson
Then in 2009, I left Microsoft to fill a newly created position as CTO for IGT. Now, as the worldwide leader in providing products for wager-based gaming and entertainment, IGT is the largest supplier of slot machines and slot content to the global-casino industry, a leader in online-casino
content, and the leader in casino systems. We are considered by our customers to have the best portfolio of game titles in every category, which is reflected in our industry-leading floor share, which is the percentage of the casino floor that comprise our products. At IGT we tend to be in the vanguard of technology innovation in hardware, software, and services. We will often partner with other technology companies to create patented technical advances. We use technology as a tool to provide better experiences for our customers, which means we innovate often at the edge of vendor road maps. Our company has seen an accelerating shift from being a manufacturing company at its core to being a technology-driven entertainment provider.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
IGT has the largest floor share and ship share of any gaming industry manufacturer. It is a proven innovator having created major industry transformational technologies such as industry-standard protocols like SAS and G2S, Ticket In / Ticket Out (TITO) technology that revolutionized cash handling in the industry and experience technologies such as multilayered displays (MLD)–providing a 3-D experience without glasses.
billion average annual sales As CTO, one of the changes I made at IGT is to utilize third-party technologies more in our solutions, so we can save our internal developer for higher-value differentiated work. This shift is becoming more evident in the increased quality and performance of our products. For instance, some of the key trends in gaming technology include: Rapid increases in the quality, complexity, and depth of games; Transforming the
168 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
connection of games and systems in a casino into a unified-systems platform, allowing new functionality and productivity to be derived from the operators’ historical investments; New types of interactivity and experiential elements added to games—everything from multitouch displays, to light guns, to articulated sound chairs, to multilayer or curved displays; Connection and integration of online and mobile devices, both for the player experience and for casino management—this allows operators to touch their customer outside of the core on-property experience and engage with the patron across all media; And utilizing cloud-based services to deploy casino systems and deliver value-rich content to the player. In addition to our ability to innovate, our scale, our
global ubiquity and scope, the quality of our offerings allows us to stand out among other companies in the industry. We are the only gaming vendor that has a full suite of products to address all types of electronic gaming, such as slots and tables. In terms of scale we are bigger than our two nearest competitors combined in annual revenue and almost double their combined market cap. Unlike our competitors we operate on a truly global basis and have active business in every legalized gaming jurisdiction around the world. In order to be a successful leader in this industry, I think the core qualities are honesty, integrity, passion, intelligence, courage, and willingness to put the company and its customers first. The whole executive team shares those same
goals, including a will to provide unrivaled growth and value for shareholders. At our recent analyst event in New York City, we committed to growing the company to $2.5 billion in annual revenue. To achieve this, we intend to continue leading and transforming the gaming world by creating the most innovative, ubiquitous, and disruptive gaming experiences and solutions anywhere and everywhere. [P]
5,000+ total employees
“The glitziest ad in the world won’t matter if you don’t get the fundamentals right.”
trailblazer In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of marketing, Michael J. Weidman keeps General Motors moving forward.
lthough Michael J. Weidman grew up in upstate New York, his first job pulled him 400 miles west to Detroit. He’s been hooked on the automotive industry ever since. To find out what keeps him married to the Motor City, Profile recently spoke with Weidman about his 23-year career at General Motors, where he spent seven years in the marketing department at Saturn before transitioning in 1996 to Chevrolet, and his current role as marketing manager for the Chevrolet Cruze. as told to Matt Alderton
As a kid I was an automotive enthusiast. I had a subscription to Hot Rod magazine. And then, to be quite honest, my interest waned for a little while. But, once you end up moving to Detroit you can’t help but get immersed in the automotive culture. It’s a part of our everyday life around here. Everything we do, see, feel, and touch involves in one way, shape, or form the automotive industry. While I was at Saturn, I took a job in the field. Every marketing person in the automotive industry needs to spend time in the field because that’s where the rubber meets the road. You need to fully understand and comprehend how dealers think. You need to know what the conversation is like not only on the salesroom floor, but also on the service floor. Until you have a great feel for
july/aug/sept 2012 I
making inroads General Motors leading compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze (pictured below), overtook the Toyota Camry as the best-selling car in the United States for the first time in June 2011.
million cars and trucks sold in 2011
that piece of the business, you’ll never truly be a good marketer. What I learned is: The person who’s out on the showroom floor has to sell the entire gamut of Chevrolet brands. And they need to know how our brands compare to competitors’ brands. It’s overwhelming. As a marketer, therefore, I don’t want to overload them with facts and figures when I’m telling them how to sell a vehicle. Instead, I need to give them only the three or four most pertinent things that are going to make them more effective on the showroom floor. When you’re marketing a vehicle, the most important thing is the fundamentals. The glitziest ad in the world won’t matter if you don’t get the fundamentals right. What I mean
170 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
by that is: Do you have the right content on the vehicle at the right trim levels? Do you have the vehicle priced properly versus the competition? Is the sales associate properly trained to sell the vehicle? Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can transition to the fun side of a launch, which is the advertising and promotions side. When we initially went to launch Cruze, I think we tried to do a little too much. When they think about compact cars, people initially think about young buyers, but that’s only about a quarter of the market. The bulk of the buyers in the compact-car segment are 45 to 65 years old. In our launch ads we tried to reach both ends of the buyer base, which may have been a mis-
In 2009, the global economic downturn forced General Motors into bankruptcy. Today, however, the reorganized company—led by its top brand, Chevrolet—is back on top. In January 2012, General Motors reclaimed its title as the world’s top-selling automaker when it announced it had sold 9.03 million cars and trucks across the globe in 2011, up 7.6% from 2010 and more than 1 million more vehicles than Japan’s Toyota, which took the title from GM in 2008.
take. In December 2010 we reevaluated and decided to focus on the older millennial buyer. We started doing a lot more in the digital and social spaces. Fortunately, we hit the perfect storm, to the point where last June  Cruze was the number-one selling automobile in the United States.
average annual sales in 2010
42 Epa Est
2012 CHEVY CRUZE ECO
What’s made me effective is striving to maintain a work/life balance. When we’re researching consumers, we travel around the country and go into individuals’ homes. I’ll sit down and talk to them for two or three hours to find out what makes them tick. When we were doing research for the Malibu, we asked a customer about what’s important in a vehicle. They said it has to be quiet inside. I thought, “A quiet vehicle translates into perceived high quality.” But that wasn’t why it was important. It was important because people no longer have traditional family dinners. The only chance they have to communicate with their kids is when they’re in the vehicle with them, transporting them to and from all their various sporting events and activities. The more you understand what consumers are going through, the better the marketer you’ll be. [P]
800-722-2542 www.HarborGraphics.com july/aug/sept 2012 I
PARTNERS Congratulations on your success. ABC Companies and Van Hool are proud to be partners with Coach USA.
172 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
“We created new motor-coach customers. They had $35,000 cars, but wanted to take the bus instead.”
here’s nothing old-school about traveling by bus—at least for Megabus. By eliminating the need for sketchy bus terminals and providing Europeanstyle double-deckers complete with Wi-Fi, the company is finding its business model is a mega hit across the pond. Just six years after launching in North America, Megabus operates 7 hubs, serves 74 cities, and has transported more than 15 million customers—all using a method that was previously deemed part of a bygone era. Dale Moser, president and CEO, shares his company’s road to success.
as told to Julie Schaeffer
At the time we launched, people had stopped riding buses. Research out of DePaul University's Chaddick Institute [for Metropolitan Development] showed there had been a significant decline in bus ridership, particularly, inner-city ridership. From research we had done with potential customers, we knew the cause. People didn’t like to go to bus stations, which
74 cities served were perceived as being unsafe and too far from tourist attractions. The conditions of the buses weren’t appealing. The trips took too long. And considering all that, it was too expensive. Dale Moser knew he had to overcome the perceived stigma of buses when launching Megabus. “We needed to reinvent the travel experience,” says Moser, president and CEO.
The Megabus concept launched overseas first. We started in Scotland in 2004.
We grew rapidly, expanding in 2005 into England. Less than a year later we decided we’d bring the business model to North America, and we launched in the United States in April 2006. It was an easy launch because we already had infrastructure in place. Megabus is a subsidiary of Coach USA, one of largest transportation companies in North America, which in turn is a subsidiary of Stagecoach Group, a large UK company. So we weren’t operating a start-up business; we had the facilities, technology, and staff in place. All we had to do was secure some new buses and hire people to operate them. It was an incremental business expense. That said, we had to overcome a perceived stigma. Buses were considered oldschool, so to market ourselves we had to be inventive. We needed to reinvent the travel experience and we did so by marketing via the Internet. It reaches more
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Mega Success By appealing to businesspeople's desire to be productive while they travel and save money, Megabus has emerged as the smart transportation alternative for young professionals and other key demographics, says Moser.
Ultimately, I think we were successful because we knew our end user. My philosophy is that you have to be good at knowing, meeting, and exceeding customer requirements. We did the research up front. We knew what our customers wanted. And we delivered it to them.[P] A WORD from motor coach industries
people than old-fashioned marketing approaches, such as newspapers and billboards. It also reaches our three target markets easily: young professionals ages 18 to 35; women ages 35 to 55, who want to travel, but prefer not drive; and “silver surfers,” who are retirees with flexibility, but budget constraints. Today, we sell 99 percent of our tickets online.
We’re also very environmentally friendly. We carry 80 people on a bus. That decongests the highways and city streets. It also reduces the demand on fossil fuels, because a motor coach achieves a kind of fuel economy per passenger
We also did things other bus lines weren’t doing. We tried to implement a European model for transport. We have intermodal access, with central locations for pickup and drop-off. In Chicago, for example, we’re at Union Station, where you can pick up the Metra, Amtrak, subways and elevated trains, and cabs. We offer express service, meaning we go from city to city without stopping. We have European-style doubledecker business with Wi-Fi access, so people can utilize their time efficiently while riding on our bus.
total employees (Coach USA)
174 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
mile you can’t obtain in a car that gets 25 or 30 miles to the gallon. We also don’t pollute: Environmental standards today for emissions mean our buses give off 10 times less CO2 than a standard car. Success was immediate. We got people out of their cars, and these were people who could afford to drive—we
created new motor-coach customers. They had $35,000 cars, but wanted to take the bus instead. Businesspeople ride our bus. People tell us our appeal comes down to two things: When riding Megabus, they get to be productive and they save money. People felt like they were wasting time traveling by car and air, and they were paying a lot to do it. As Americans are attempting to stretch their weekly incomes, Megabus has quickly become the smart alternative to the other transportation options available.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI), based in Schaumburg, Illinois, is the leading manufacturer of intercity coaches in North America. Reliability driven, MCI builds expertly engineered, best-selling models for the tour, charter, line-haul, commuter and transit markets. MCI’s production facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Pembina, North Dakota, are ISO 9001-certified, holding to internationally recognized standards for quality management. MCI also operates seven sales centers and eight service centers in the United States and Canada; and offers a network of aftermarket services including parts supply for most makes and models, stocking more than 100,000 parts at its 365,000-squarefoot distribution facility in Louisville, Ky. Visit mcicoach.com.
Making $75 million in 2011 annual sales alone, Megabus has proven successful in getting people out of their cars and into its double-deckers complete with Wi-Fi.
MCI is proud to be driven by Coach USA, recipient of 2012 Green Highway Award
s the leading builder of intercity coaches in the U.S. and Canada, Motor Coach Industries (MCI) makes models that deliver the highest level of quality,
luxury and service to Coach USA along with lower emissions. Honored with the 2012 United Motorcoach Associationâ€™s Green Highway Award, created and sponsored by MCI, Coach USA, parent of Megabus.com, continues to raise the bar on environmental stewardship within our industry through fuel conservation, idling reduction policies, maintenance procedures, recycling and facilities management. Your leadership is inspiring, and we look forward to sharing many more milestones together.
Congratulations Coach USA.
“I was determined to be the first high-fidelity fashion company that, from day one, had a focus on sound performance and quality.”
s a DJ and producer, heading a headphone company just sounded like a natural career path for Val Kolton. “Because I travel around the world with world-renowned musicians and sound engineers, I’m able to draw on this experience to build a better headphone,” Kolton says. “I know what is needed for modernday road warriors as well as the requirements to produce a song on the road and play it live on stage.” Now as founder of V-Moda, Kolton sees his headphones worn by everyone from Kobe Bryant to Tom Cruise. Here, the audiophile shares his vision and steps to success. as told to Jennifer Hogeland
I came to the realization while listening to great dance music in Ibiza, Spain, that I needed to bring uplifting dance and remixed music to the rest of the world. So, when I came back to Los Angeles, I bought the best speakers I could find and started DJing and producing music. My roommate threatened I either needed to get headphones or move out. When I went to buy headphones, I searched for varieties that were colored or cool materials, but the only headphones available at the time were white or black plastic that looked like lab or medical equipment.
176 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
So, I quit my job and went into debt, borrowing money from my brother and many others, to develop a line of DJ and fashion headphones that were colorful and made out of metal and exotic materials. V-Moda’s original name was Kolton Technology for the first two years, as I focused on the innovations and patents that would later become features of the product lines that are launching in only the past few months. I was determined to be the first high-fidelity fashion company that, from day one, had a focus on sound performance and quality as I knew this concept would
be quickly knocked-off by cheaper brands. I searched for every factory I could find around the world, asking for samples of their headphones. Only two out of hundreds stood out for having amazing sound. I launched V-Moda’s first headphone line in 2006 with 33,000 units in 11 colors. Convinced I was holding the next “must-have” fashion accessory, I began going door-to-door, hitting every single boutique in LA. I didn’t sell a single unit and they all told me “headphones aren’t fashion, they are electronics.” My first sale
was six units of Remix Metal to Mac Hollywood. Today, if you go into these fashion stores, they all sell headphones or have their own headphone line. I learned two valuable lessons right away. My first was in supply-chain and cashflow planning—spending all my money on the first purchase of so many units and colors meant my money
2004 year founded was frozen until they were sold. Second, I found headphones that aren’t closely quality controlled do not sound the same from unit to unit. As an avid audiophile and engineer, I listened to 60 of the same Bass Freq headphones, I was astonished they didn’t all sound the same, so I sent back all 24,000 units and demanded them to be reworked.
Because I’m a perfectionist, I made it my mission to create a headphone that was crafted with quality and that could sound identical from unit to unit. I quickly invested in both an internaland external-quality team to focus solely on sound performance and durability in both Asia and in the United States. Soon, with amazing reviews and editor’s choice recognitions, sales started to take off.
20 number of employees The headphone industry is the hottest-growing market in the electronics space. Manufacturers and all the rappers and DJs are attempting to launch their
own headphones. With so many fashion headphones on the market, we no longer promote our fashion elements, as it is quite evident by photos, but instead concentrate on the headphone’s audiophile sound, materials, and custom options. Our use of steel, brushed aluminum, leather, and other materials make them a very exotic product. Instead of paying an artist off with millions of dollars, our Crossfade Customs program allows you to “endorse yourself.” You can choose a graphic or upload your own logo, pick the colors of the headphone parts, and it is built in Hollywood and ships within three days. You can feel the materials, hear the difference, and be your own celebrity. Many of the world’s top DJs and stars have worn V-Moda from the studio to the stage, including Paul Oakenfold, Kobe Bryant, and even Tom
PHOTO: Ali StraighSound
SELF-PROCLAIMED PERFECTIONIST Val Kolton has made it his mission to create the highest-quality headphones that could sound identical from unit to unit. Oh, and he made sure they were easy on the eyes too.
Cruise in Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol. Yet, we never “pay to play” as every other headphone brand is doing today with what we feel is “polluted” and fake product placement. Over time, many will leave the market, but I’m building something timeless. We’ve heavily invested in our own laboratories and in research, concentrating on quality, ergonomics, and technology. V-Moda has revolutionized every part of the headphone, making it ultra durable and stylish. We try to be the first to develop technology. At V-Moda, we are tirelessly innovating and adding new features. Our next generation of headphones unleashes the modern audiophile that used to need big headphones, speakers, and amplifiers to achieve their perfect sound. Once again, we are one of the first companies offering these solutions. [P]
3 million+ number of high-fidelity headphones sold in the past six years
The day the Apple iPhone launched, VModa had a headset available in Apple’s stores and remained the only third-party manufacturer with a compatible product for nearly six months. Last year, the company also entered into their first licensing agreement with HBO to create a headphone line for the premium-cable network’s True Blood series. The product’s performance and style received rave reviews by DJs and musicians who, like vampires, are known to own the night.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Excellence in I.P. Matters™ Intellectual Property is important to any business. In today’s economy value resides in the knowledge, creativity and information in products and services. PATENTS Inhibit the ability of your competitors to knockoﬀ your innovative products, and maintain your price points in the marketplace. TRADEMARKS Be ﬁrst to market and develop good will in a new trademark and use brand recognition to expand your market share. COPYRIGHTS Set up protections to prevent others from copying your works, and if it happens have the ability to go after them. LITIGATION Position yourself to succeed when disputes arise, and ensure you have the leverage to garner positive settlements. LICENSING Make yourself attractive to established companies to promote your innovative ideas.
LAUSON & TARVER, LLP 880 Apollo St., Suite 301 • El Segundo, CA 90245 Tel. (310) 726-0892 • Fax (310) 726-0893
www.lauson.com 178 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Women execs in baseball Texas Rangers p. 179 St. Louis Cardinals p. 1 82 Pittsburgh Pirates p. 185
“In sales you’re in charge of your own destiny and what you put into it is what you get out of it.”
photo: Jim Cowsert
Going the distance Though she works in the male-dominated sports industry, Texas Rangers’ Paige Farragut learned early on “you can’t get intimidated by the competition because once you do, it’s over,” she says.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
ometimes a personality is so special it can’t help but get noticed. Seventeen years ago, when Paige Farragut was fresh out of college, she was attending a social gathering with her friends. Out of the blue a woman from a radio station approached Farragut, insisting she go into sales and inviting her to tour her radio station. Farragut took the tour, but was uneasy with the idea of living hand-to-mouth as a commission-based salesperson. The next day, Farragut ran into another woman she met at the station who, after a conversation, told her she shouldn’t give up on the idea of sales. The woman asked Farragut if she was interested in selling hockey, a question that resulted in Farragut working for the Dallas Stars, the NHL affiliate in Dallas. Now, 13 seasons into a career with Major League baseball’s Texas Rangers, Farragut is running her own sales team, and they’re shattering sales records despite past hardships. as told to Tina Vasquez
I’ve been able to work my way up the ranks of the same metroplex, while others often have to move around to get promoted. This is a male-dominated industry, but early on I learned that you can’t get intimidated by the competition because once you do, it’s over. When I started in sales, I decided I would end my career in sales, so giving up never felt like an option.
Though they’re not in the field, Farragut’s sales team continuously hits it out of the park. “We have one of the best sales teams in the industry, and a big part of my job is knowing when to step away,” says Farragut (pictured above with Nolan Ryan).
180 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
photo: brad newton
total number of employees
The Texas Rangers won American League Championships in 2010 and 2011. The team hit an all-time attendance record in 2011 with 2,946,949 visitors.
27% sales growth in past year
photo: Jim Cowsert
The unpredictability of the marketplace is my biggest hurdle. You always want to achieve the organization’s goals, but you have to adapt your sales plan and initiatives. When the team is performing well, the sales expectations change. It’s great that Nolan Ryan is our president and CEO; he has an excellent understanding of how the industry works. Goal setting has been my personal road to success in sports. In September 2010,
we set a goal for 10,000 Full Season Equivalents (FSE). We had been building toward it all season, and in September we really pushed and were able to accomplish this large achievement. We’re now approaching 20,000 FSE in just 18 months. It’s an unbelievable feeling. In the last decade, when the team wasn’t making post-season play, our base dropped drastically. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. I love coming to work every morning and looking at the sales report. Hiring is key in this industry. We have one of the best sales teams in the industry, and a big part of my job is knowing when to step away. When we have a new hire we train them and give them the guidance
they need, but afterwards I’m going to get out of their way and let them do their thing. I don’t micromanage because I understand that people achieve success in different ways. There are churn-and-burn-type sellers, who make 100 calls a day, and there are people who work at a slower pace, building relationship with their clients. I let them use their God-given talents. In sales, you’re in charge of your own destiny. What you put into it is what you get out of it.
a sponge, learn as much as you can from people in all different departments, and find out what makes them successful and able to do what they do best. I still consider myself a sponge, I don’t ever want to stop learning because once you stop, you also stop improving. [P]
If you’re thinking about entering this industry, you need to focus on the particular role you’ve been hired for. It’s okay to know in advance that you want to grow, but become the best at what you’re doing now. Pay attention and be
average annual sales
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Women execs in baseball
“When I was a little girl, my mom couldn’t afford a babysitter, so she took me to the ballpark with her … I was probably the only eight-year-old that knew how to keep official score.”
fter accompanying her mother to the baseball stadium as a child and falling in love with the sport, Vicki Bryant got her first job with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981 at the age of 16. First serving as a part-time tour guide and gift-shop clerk, Bryant was later promoted to numerous positions throughout the Major League Baseball (MLB) organization, eventually settling into her current role as vice president, event services, and merchandising. Here, Bryant shares her journey, including what drew her to baseball in the beginning, how she worked her way up the organizational ladder, and why she thinks St. Louis Cardinals fans are the best in the league.
as told to Kelly Hayes
182 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
My mother was the head nurse for the Cardinals for 30 years. When I was a little girl my parents divorced. Mom couldn’t afford a babysitter, so she took me to ballpark with her. I would sit out in the seats and watch the games. I was probably the only eight-year-old that knew how to keep official score. The ushers kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t get into any trouble. After every game, I would stand at the elevator where many of the players would come out. Night after night, I would ask greats like Lou Brock and Bob Gibson for their autograph. It was there that I developed a love for the game of baseball. When I was 16, I applied for a part-time tour guide and sales clerk position at the St. Louis sports Hall
of Fame museum and gift shop. By the end of the baseball season, I was the assistant manager. In 1982, when I was 18, I was asked to manage the gift shop during the World Series. The following year, I began to work for Civic Center Corp., a sister organization of the Cardinals, which owned and operated Busch Stadium. I worked in a variety of departments all through college. When I graduated St. Louis University in 1986, the president of Civic Center, Mark Sauer, asked me to promise him that I would not accept another position without giving him the opportunity to make me an offer. Within a couple of weeks, he offered me a full-time position as “analyst,” managing the outside vending retail operation, and soon after, the gift
1,600+ total number of employees (full-time and event staff) shop and museum. Mark Sauer also told me to take one semester off and then to start working on my MBA. Mark was a wonderful mentor and leader.
photo: Scott Rovak
I have held a number of positions throughout my career with the Cardinals, including analyst; manager, special projects; and director, special projects. Over the years, I have demonstrated the ability to take on additional responsibilities and deliver results, often exceeding expectations. My philosophy is to “under-promise and over-deliver.”
Currently, I am the vice president, event services, and merchandising. I am responsible for the management of the Sportservice contract, overseeing all food, beverage, and retail operations in Busch Stadium. I approve all food and beverage products and pricing in addition to daily interaction with Sportservice management on financial performance and service issues. Additionally, I manage the Hall of Fame museum and stadium tour operations and the Cardinals Authentics retail operation. I also oversee the Busch Stadium Special Events department. Our fans are what set us apart from the rest of MLB. They are extremely knowledgeable about the game of baseball. They cheer when an opposing player makes a great play and even give a warm welcoming round of applause when a former Cardinal
Since joining the National League in 1892, the St. Louis Cardinals have won more than 9,300 games, 11 World Series championships, 18 National League pennants, three National League Eastern Division titles, and eight National League Central Division titles. The Cardinals are second only to the Yankees in the number of World championships.
returns to Busch Stadium playing for another team. There is no better place to be [than Busch Stadium] on opening day—considered a St. Louis holiday—or during a series with a rival team like the Cubs. The atmosphere is absolutely electric.
Living the dream As vice president of event services and merchandising for the St. Louis Cardinals, Vicki Bryant (pictured above with baseball hall-of-famer Red Schoendienst) gets to share her love of baseball with the team that ignited the flame growing up.
540,000 hot dogs sold in a year at Busch Stadium As an organization, our goal is to provide a safe, fan-friendly environment to enjoy a quality entertainment experiences and to continue to field a competitive team, winning as many championships as possible. Only the Yankees have won more World Championships than the St. Louis Cardinals. I love being part of the Cardinals organization. I love knowing that my staff and I make a significant contribution to the club by generating revenue to support the team on the field. Most of all, I love that I help create memories and experiences that our fans will cherish for the rest of their lives. [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
S P O R T S E R V I C E
Delaware North Companies Sportservice would like to congratulate Vicki Bryant of the St. Louis Cardinals on her successes. We wish you continued success in the years to come. DELEWARE NORTH IS A GLOBAL LEADER IN HOSPITALITY AND FOOD SERVICE
DNC Sportservice 405 S. Broadway St. Louis, Mo. 63102 p (314) 345-9100
Pirates Charities is committed to strengthening the community by supporting organizations and programs aimed at improving the lives of children and adults in the greater Pittsburgh region. Pirates Charities places a special emphasis on supporting youth programs focused on health, fitness, and education by developing partnerships with those who share in our mission.
Women execs in baseball
“When we have an opening day at a new field, there's not a dry eye in the house.”
photo: David Arrigo
Giving back to the community just made sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates. “We’re a baseball team. This is what we do,” says Patty Paytas, the teams’s vice president of community and public affairs.
rowing up with a brother with a disability, Patty Paytas knows all too well the challenges faced by families of children with special needs. Now as executive director of Pirates Charities, she brings her empathy to work with her, helping the charity support philanthropic endeavors such as the notable Miracle League program, which allows children with special needs to play the game of baseball. “My brother is 50 years old and he would have loved to be able to participate in a baseball league when he was growing up, but he couldn’t,” says Paytas, who is also vice president of community and public affairs for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here, Paytas shares with Profile how she aims to hit it out the park for both the community and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
as told to Erin Sauder
july/aug/sept 2012 I
I got my start with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an intern in college in 1981. I had a sports journalism class at Slippery Rock University and my professor was also one of my advisers. He had a great relationship with the ball club and supplied the media department with interns. I thought it would be a fun way to spend the summer. I knew (after college) I was either going to do something in the journalism area or teach or do something in the communications field. I wasn't thinking about sports, but I took that as a summer class and really liked it.
5 times the Pirates have won the World Series Two years later, I was hired full-time, and in 1986 I became the club's first community-relations director, a position I held until 1994. I think it was an industry trend at that point. Prior to that time, most ball clubs did not have somebody in a community-relations position. But, most major league teams began to create them because they started to realize it was important how they interacted with the community at large. In 1994, I left the ball club for six years and worked for a public-relations firm before coming back in 2001 as assistant vice president for new ballpark development. In 2002, I was promoted to vice president of communications until 2007 when that
186 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Inclined to serve Growing up with a brother with special needs, Paytas says she was naturally drawn to philanthropy.
department was split and I became vice president of community and public affairs and executive director of Pirates Charities. Pirates Charities began in 2007. The idea was we wanted to focus on our philanthropic efforts so we could make a greater impact in the community. It’s very meaningful for [the Pittsburgh Pirates] because we consider ourselves a part of the community and we take very seriously the responsibility to give back. And it just makes so much sense. We’re a baseball team. This is what we do. While we don’t have the expertise to build a Miracle League field, we do know how to generate awareness and financial support, and how to get other partners involved. I know from personal experience that having a child with special needs is very challenging—it really is. But, to find outlets like this or places where everybody is welcome also creates camaraderie with other families going through the same thing. There's a bonding that happens. Often times, kids with disabilities have been told “no” a lot in their lives. They’re not able to play with their siblings who are participating in Little League or T-ball. These fields provide baseball op-
24,255 average number of attendees at a home game
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, and 1979. Patty Paytas became the ball club’s first community-relations director in 1986. portunities for kids with special needs. Once they’re built and leagues are formed, kids with special needs play just like the other kids. They’re just really remarkable projects. In the summer of 2009, the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field opened in Dick’s Sportsplex. They now have more than 300 kids participating in this
league every year. I really do believe the Miracle League Fields are wonderful community amenities. It's something that makes us feel good about what we do. When we have an opening day at a new field, there's not a dry eye in the house. It's really a wonderful thing to see the kids get so excited that they're going to get to play baseball just like their brothers and sisters. [P]
photo: David Arrigo
Angela Yeh has made Yeh IDeology the eHarmony of recruiting. “We incorporate human-resource retention methods into our methodology and take the time to build solid creative families,” she says.
“I have always had the unique ability to perceive potential in people.”
ndustrial design is as diverse as the medical field, with multiple specializations, says Angela Yeh, founder and owner of design recruitment firm Yeh IDeology. Her team finds the quintessential fit, matching the top five percent of design professionals to like-minded companies around the world, from Whirlpool to Microsoft. Beyond products and packaging, Yeh tells Profile how today’s designers inform everything from organizational structure to strategy.
as told to Ruth E. Dávila
I learned how to surf later in my life, just six years ago. It's something I never thought I could do and now I am obsessed with it. I love how it exhilarates, consumes, and transports me. Surfing here on the East Coast is so unpredictable and uncertain. You have to be dedicated to the craft, letting go to enjoying the fruits of your labor. Like the future, surfing has taught me that you can nev-
july/aug/sept 2012 I
er know for certain what to expect. What you can do is keep an eye out for the best situation, prepare as much as possible for any condition, and learn to master your responses to any potential outcome. It is so gratifying when you do catch a wave standing on your board. Even wiping out is fun when you know how to do it right. Failing is learning, right? And the more you fail mindfully, the more you learn the right way to approach and manage future situations. In between “catching rides on waves,” you can sit on your board surrounded by nature, look to the horizon, and study the waves. These are moments when you have full awareness of your passion, your courage, and the work and skill it took to bring you to this point in time. Surfing has definitely taught me to be vigilant and excited about the future. At Yeh IDeology, we’re excited to help others
2006 year founded
MATCHING talent with design firms worldwide is Yeh IDeology’s specialty.
188 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
visualize and realize their future as well. I have always had the ability to perceive potential in people and situations. Even all through school—completing an undergrad degree in psychology, with a minor in sculpture, and later pursuing graduate work at the Pratt Institute of Industrial Design—I had an affinity for group dynamics and character studies. When working with people in group settings, I would help them interact more effectively by promoting team building and mutual respect. I knew how to inspire people toward a common goal. Bringing the right group of people together can make all the difference in what they can accomplish. Over time, this became a passion—how to bring synergistic design leadership and business culture together to create a holistic solution? And Yeh IDeology became the vehicle for integrating brilliant ideas, smart strategies, and creative people to drive business success in the marketplace. In the marriage of talent and culture, we have learned the impor-
40% sales growth in past year tance of working with creatives and getting to know them multidimensionally in order to guide their exploration of career opportunities. We simultaneously help our clients understand how to identify the best matching talent and understand how to build into their organization growth potential for candidates. This ensures long-term success. Yeh IDeology has been called the eHarmony of recruiting by our clients. We incorporate humanresource retention methods into our methodology and take the time to build solid creative families. A key validation of our success is seeing teams we built years ago continue to thrive. We had a client come to us a while back who is a worldclass manufacturer in household industries. They were looking for a manager who understood the China market and could provide “hands-on” management of the design team. In our research, we discovered that the company brand had not been developed fully in China, or in Asia as a whole. We identified needs beyond our client’s immediate awareness and helped find a strategic design leader who would relaunch and reposition their brand in China. This candidate is such a winning fit, he is now in charge of rebranding the company throughout Asia—and he is
not Asian by heritage, which the client initially thought was a critical component to success. Every person has something different to contribute, which affects how they “solution” the challenges set before them. It’s a term our firm has coined to describe one’s work style. “Solutioning,” as we see it, is different from simply solving; it encompasses the tangible innovations, the larger understanding, and ultimately the mentality and attitude that a designer brings to the table. A team’s performance doesn’t just depend on individual talent; it relies on an overall rhythm. Have you ever listened to a band or orchestra with one musician out of sync with the others? [P]
With 10 years of successful design recruiting under her belt for major companies across the globe, Yeh IDeology’s president and founder Angela Yeh became a wellknown figure in the New York design community. She chaired the NYC chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) from 2004 to 2005, and sat on the IDSA board of directors as the Northeast District vice president.
â€œWe're very bullish on growth.â€?
With $4.1 billion in revenue in 2011 alone, cofounder and CEO Jim Kavanaugh has grown World Wide Technology into a profitable company while maintaining an emphasis on company culture.
n just 20 years, Jim Kavanaugh, cofounder and CEO of World Wide Technology (WWT), has transformed a small start-up into a leading supplier of advanced technology solutions and one of the largest privately held companies in St. Louis. With $4.1 billion in revenue in 2011 and 25 percent growth over the last three years, WWT offers products from more than 3,000 manufacturers around the world coupled with end-to-end supply-chain services. As one of the driving forces behind WWT's growth, leadership, and core value system, Kavanaugh explains how the company was established, key strategies behind its growth, and what he thinks is the most important factor in managing a business. as told to Kelly Hayes
After college, I played professional soccer and worked in electronic components for a company based in Montreal. I wanted to be in the IT systems business. I felt that was a growing market with expanding opportunities. So, I went from working with componentlevel electronic chips into the systems side, and that was the genesis of World Wide Technology. My business partner, Dave Steward, and I started the company when we were both fairly inexperienced in IT by reselling computer systems and printers back in 1990. Today, WWT is an information-technology systems integrator. Our goal is to provide discrete components of technology and build them into integrated business solutions for our customers. We provide our commercial and federal customers with an array of security technologies, cloud infrastructure, data center and networking capabilities, as well as mobility, voice, video, and collaboration solutions.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Billion in revenue in 2011 We have six major partners. Our top partner is Cisco, with almost $2 billion in sales. Other strategic partners include EMC, HP, NetApp, Citrix, and VMware. We build our solutions around our partners’ technology and integrate products from multiple vendors together to meet the individualized needs of our clients. We serve the commercial market, the federal government and public sector, along with service providers like AT&T and Verizon. Different challenges arise as you build and develop a company. For about the first five years, we focused day in and day out on how to financially manage the cash flow of the business. At that early stage, we knew if we didn’t close enough business and manage the numbers correctly, we could go out of business very quickly. You have to capture business, gain enough traction with customers and weather the storm with your cash flow to eventually grow and build a more sustainable business. In this fast-paced IT world, a never-ending challenge and opportunity is that
190 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
the market changes based on how new technology is introduced into the global environment. If you’re unable to anticipate some of the changes and inflection points in the market, or if you focus on the wrong trends, you’re out of business. Our winning strategy has involved aligning with the right partners, being as insightful as possible, and picking the right technology solutions. The number-one thing that makes us stand out from
25% sales growth in past year competitors is our culture. If your internal teams speak very positively about what’s going on, how they’re treated, their opportunities to grow, and they feel part of a winning team, that culture is such a powerful and positive thing. As our partners interact with our employees, they see and feel that we have a culture where people like to work and where employees like to support our customers and partners. We have always focused on taking care of our employees, and in turn, they take care of our customers and partners. We're very bullish on growth. If you look at World Wide in 2011, we hired approximately 335 employees.
In 2012, we plan to hire about 450 people. We’ve seen a lot of continued growth domestically and globally. Of course, many challenges remain: Political uncertainty, financial issues with different countries, and a lot of uncertainty in the overall general economy and marketplace, but we have grown significantly. Over the last three years, we have seen 25 percent growth and our head count is still growing. Core values are absolutely critical to World Wide. Twelve years ago, I handwrote our core values and it took me six months. I wanted to make them simple, but also as meaningful. Ever since putting those in place, employees have been measured not only on job performance, such as sales executives hitting their sales numbers and targeted net contribution numbers, but also, on how they are performing relative to our core values. Is the employee embracing change? Are they team players? These contributions are just as important as quantitative measures. We hold everyone in the company responsible for performing on the behavioral side and on [the] specific job-performance side. [P]
Ranked as one of the leading Cisco partners in North America, World Wide Technology made $4.1 billion in revenue in 2011 alone. The company also nabbed the 50th spot this year on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work For list.
1990 year founded
TAKE THE VIRTUALIZATION
EXPRESS Accelerate with EMCÂŽ storage and backup optimized for VMware.
EMC2, EMC, and the EMC logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other jurisdictions. ÂŠ Copyright 2011 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. july/aug/sept 2012 I
“Numismatics, the science and study or collecting of coins and currency, is frequently called the king of hobbies and the hobby of kings.”
on Kagin recently sold the second-most valuable coin in the world—the 1787 gold Brasher Doubloon, minted by George Washington’s neighbor. It was priced at $7.4 million (just under the $7.6 million for the 1933 $20 dollar gold Double Eagle). Kagin’s eponymous firm, based in Tiburon, California, specializes in rarities from the Gold Rush, early US coins and paper currency ancient money, and an auction division sourcing Western Americana collectibles. Kagin shares with Profile how he’s cashing in on a childhood hobby. as told to Ruth E. Dávila
I am often asked, “Why coins?” By far, they are the most important artifact of any civilization. Money will tell you more about a society than any other item. It fuels the economy of the world. Without it, it’s impossible to trade with international neighbors or local merchants. Take a simple penny, the Lincoln cent. Not only does economics come into play, by way of the value of the currency, but also mathematics, the decimal system, and metallurgy. “Liberty” is emblazoned on it as well as
192 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
a president’s likeness, both of which make a political statement. (Sometimes we only know who was a leader in a particular era because of a coin.) Social aspects of the time, such as fashion, are evident in the president’s attire. Numismatics, the science and study or collecting of coins and currency, is frequently called the king of hobbies and the hobby of kings. Throughout history, collections have been formed by some of the most famous people in our nation’s history, including
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. But, the vast majority of collectors today are people from all walks of life, with disposable income, who have an interest in collecting money for the history and art that it represents.
$15 million average annual sales
I was so intrigued by numismatics that I became the first student at Northwestern University to create a degree in the field, as an undergrad. And I am currently the only person to have a doctorate in it, which I earned through the Union Institute and University, also as an independent study track. Because of my expertise, I am often recruited as an expert witness in legal cases regarding fraud in the coin trade. Coins are an excellent means of education. Through the American Numismatics Association, I helped develop a program called “Coins in the Classroom.” In it, we train teachers of all levels to use coins as didactic tools for their students, in a variety of subjects—from history to economics to anthropology. I also develop coin curriculums for various other trade organizations. For me, collecting rare coins is more than a hobby; it’s my life’s work. My firm, Kagin’s, was passed down
Valuing Currency Coin collecting may be a hobby to some, but to Don Kagin, it’s his life’s work. “Some of my earliest memories reflect my affinity for coins,” he says. “… I still get a thrill when new interesting coins come in.”
Don Kagin became the first student at Northwestern University to create a degree in the field of numismatics and remains the only person to hold a doctorate on the subject. Due to his expertise, he says he is often recruited to be an expert witness in legal cases concerning fraud in coin trade. from my father, Art Kagin, who founded it in 1933. What started as a coin shop in Des Moines, Iowa, eventually put him on the map through national auctions. By the end of his life, he had catalogued more than 300 auctions, more than anyone in the history of the industry. Some of my earliest memories reflect my affinity for coins. When I was five years old, I remember my dad bringing home bags of pennies. I would order them by date in various piles—until the housekeeper would dismantle the piles one week, and I would have to start over. But, in spite of
40% sales growth in past year that frustration, I liked the challenge of organizing all the coins and eventually registering them in the old “blue books.” I still get a thrill when new interesting coins come in. In general, a majority of today’s collectors are from
the United States, followed by Western Europe. Therefore, some of the most valuable coins originate in the United States or in ancient civilizations. As other countries begin to develop a middle class, they will start to collect more. That has certainly been the case in China, where interest has risen notably in the last few years. Regardless of national origin, though, collectors are motivated commonly by the challenge of completing a set—either all pieces of a certain denomination, or all values within a series. Once
july/aug/sept 2012 I
11 number of employees they complete it, they might sell or trade it to form a new collection. That’s what keeps them in the game. Today, the confluence of a number of economic and market developments have resulted in the beginning of a new rare-coin boom, a remarkable opportunity for investors to diversify their portfolio with tangible assets in the form of bullion and high-performing, investment-quality coins and currency. This is a prudent, profitable and longterm, low-risk alternative investment program, which
consists of tangible investments in the form of gold bullion and very rare numismatic gold coins. Serious investors are looking for alternatives to not just preserve their assets, but for asset appreciation. And many recognize that there is probably no better place to diversify one’s investments than right here. We have helped thousands of investors. We customize each portfolio based on the individual’s goals, and we also provide prudent selling advice—a rarity in the tangible asset investment world. I can confidently claim that in the last decade, virtually every one of my personal clients has made a profit in this endeavor. [P]
The Nation’s Oldest Family Owned Numismatic Firm. Premier Gold & Rare Coin Advisors
for Sophisticated Investors For over three quarters of a century, Kagin’s has maintained its position as one of the nation’s most highly regarded and diversified full service numismatic investment firms.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE INVESTMENT SERVICES EXPERTISE & EDUCATION | INVENTORY
888-8KAGINS (888-852-4467) email@example.com • www.kagins.com
194 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
"Everyone’s running at 100 miles per hour and we have to step back and figure out the best ways to execute from a pure marketing perspective on clients’ behalf.”
2C Outdoor, which ranked number three on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in 2011, will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year as a full-service out-of-home (OOH) advertising agency. With a who’s who list of clients, including Tiffany & Co., UGG, Oakley, Comedy Central, and Equinox, president and CEO Michael Palatnek attributes the firm’s success to nontraditional ideas that get noticed, a proprietary software system that tracks every move they make, and a customer-centric culture that empowers staff to be creative and wear many hats.
Instead of owning inventory, we have the ability to work with every vendor. It was always a challenge whenever I worked on the vendor side that no single company could satisfy all the outdoor media needs of a client. So I asked clients, “If we could provide a single point of contact for you across 30 or 40 OOH vendors to simplify the process, would you work with us?” The overall feedback was very positive. We have this integrated software we custom built called OUTS, the Outdoor Universal Tracking System, that allows us to track all inventory history—rates, markets, vendors, products, accounts
as told to Lynn Russo Whylly
payables/receivables—going back to our first executed campaign. It has allowed us to grow much faster than we expected because it put critical data at our fingertips. We were up about 20 percent in 2011 from the previous year. Last year, we focused on getting great people on the team and cultivating account managers, planners, and buyers. When we hire people, we make sure they can think on their feet. Devoting 2011 to building a solid team, C2C Outdoor has a new game plan this year. “In 2012, we will put a stronger focus on growing our client roster, because we have the right team in place and we’re ready to take on more clients,” says Michael Palatnek, president and CEO.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
and best wishes for your continued success!
cbsoutdoor.com 196 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
We empower and inspire them to make decisions and recommendations both internally and to clients. We encourage them to be creative. We want them to feel like they are the company. That they can think freely. In 2012, we will put a stronger focus on growing our client roster, because we have the right team in place and we’re ready to take on more clients. For Comedy Central’s roast of Charlie Sheen, we worked with Vector Media to wrap double-decker buses in New York and Los Angeles. The bus creative ran throughout
17,744% five-year sales growth the market for four weeks. Then the day the show premiered, we put goddesses (i.e. models) on top of the busses and drove them through high-traffic areas such as in front of the offices of leading ad agencies. When the buses stopped, the goddesses stood up and waved and “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne was playing. People were screaming, “We love Charlie!” We have a service-oriented culture that is all about getting back to our clients immediately. I want our clients to feel that any question they have about out-of-home media, they can call us, that our people are smart, buttoned up, they know their markets, know their information, and are going to get back to them immediately.
The big challenge in our business today is to help clients think about media and campaign execution further in advance. Due to the economy, companies are holding on to budget dollars longer, while technology is creating the ability to print more quickly, so there are shorter turnaround times on specific execution elements. Everyone’s running at 100 miles per hour and we have to step back and figure out the best ways to execute from a pure marketing perspective on clients’ behalf. We want to continue growing organically. We don’t want to experience explosive growth and lose that feeling of who we are and the brands we represent and being a niche, boutique shop. Our goal is to double in size, but we’re not looking to become a $500 million agency in two to three years. The potential that augmented-reality media offers is fascinating. If you’re standing in front of a mall poster or a bus shelter, you can see how you will look in sunglasses from Oakley or jewelry from Tiffany’s by interacting with the display. I think interactive media like this will play a big part in the future of where OOH is going. [P]
C2C Outdoor was ranked third on the Inc. 500’s fastest-growing companies list in 2011.
“This new thing I was pursuing felt exciting; it felt right and I knew I could build a career and not just have a job.”
Photo: A.E Fletcher Photography
oel Isaacson’s career was stable and starting down the right path. After earning an accounting degree at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University, he obtained a promising position as a certified public accountant (CPA) at Touche Ross & Co. However, his decision to take a daylong self-study course in financial planning altered his career path—and life—forever. It was the 1980s and there was no financial-planning industry to speak of. Yet, the native New Yorker knew innately that it was worth pursuing, no matter how uncertain its future. Once again, Isaacson found himself in school, pursuing an MBA at San Francisco’s Golden Gate University. Needless to say, it was time well spent. Joel (pictured above) is now the founder and CEO of Joel Isaacson & Co., a New York-based wealthmanagement firm that has about $4 billion in assets under advisement. Here, the CEO discusses entering a burgeoning industry and what it takes to stay relevant in one of the most competitive industries and cutthroat cities in the world.
as told to Tina Vasquez
july/aug/sept 2012 I
“Eventually I took an introspective look at what I was doing and started wondering why I wasn’t developing my own stand-alone management firm.” Joel Isaacson founder & CEO
33 total number of employees When I first started out in the industry I was around 25-year-olds working with seasoned tax experts who were relying on me to establish the planning practice within the firm. Taking that first course was the catalyst for everything and at that time in my life, I was able to enter a profession during its infancy because I didn’t have any real obligations. It was cool to get in at the early stage and it worked out well, but it also meant I didn’t have anything in the way of a mentor. There weren’t a lot of people in financial planning at the time and it goes without saying that it was a steep learning curve. Meanwhile, I had been receiving solid job offers from firms and I could have easily settled into a position as a CPA somewhere. Going
198 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
that route simply lost its appeal to me—those were just jobs. This new thing I was pursing felt exciting; it felt right and I knew I could build a career and not just have a job. Initially, I didn’t want to be a CEO. My first 10 years back in New York were spent starting the financialplanning practices at other firms and relying on others to take care of the business side of it. Eventually I took an introspective look at what I was doing and started wondering why I wasn’t developing my own stand-alone management firm. Becoming a CEO was a process for me. I had to develop and mature before I took the role on. To this day, I still see my role as CEO as sort of a part-time position. I really consider myself a wealth manager; that is my passion. People generally do not have a holistic view of their long-term needs. Truth be told, not that many wealthmanagement firms do the heavy lifting of financial planning, but I’ve been doing this since 1984. That’s 27 years at the top and there’s a reason why
we are one of the largest firms in New York. We roll up our sleeves and do the work necessary to get a full understanding of a client’s present financial condition and future needs. We’re a wealth-management firm that does financial and tax planning and we do it well. What keeps us relevant and successful is the easiest thing to overlook in this industry: putting our clients first. We’re very much a family firm; we’re going to be here through difficult times, through these incredibly tumultuous financial environments. Ethics is the cornerstone of our approach—we live it every day in what we do and how we operate. We want to be a part of a family forever, that’s the relationship we’re trying to develop with each client. [P]
12-15% growth in the past year
After beginning with just four employees, Joel Isaacson & Co. now influences an excess of $4 billion in assets. The company has been featured on many lists of top advisers since it was founded in 1993.
1993 year founded
IV Y FUNDS Knowledge is golden. It’s what allows you to make connections that others can’t and see opportunities that others don’t. To succeed in today’s ever-changing global marketplace, collecting the best data is not enough. True success comes only with disciplined analysis and rigorous debate. That’s why each day at Ivy Funds begins with the Morning Meeting — a roundtable where portfolio managers and analysts review news from every corner of the global economy. Insights are shared. Ideas are considered. And investment strategies are born. As a part of an organization whose roots date to 1937, Ivy Funds provides investment professionals with disciplined and globally minded insight across asset classes to deliver on their clients’ needs. We place a high premium on accountability, keeping an unrelenting watch on the assets we manage. It is a commitment to our approach and the trust of our clients that drives us to deliver highly competitive long-term results, day after day.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a fund carefully before investing. For a prospectus containing this and other information for the Ivy Funds, call your financial advisor or visit us online at www.ivyfunds.com. Please read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing. As with any mutual fund, investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate, and shares, when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost. It is possible to lose money by investing. These and other risks are more fully discussed in the Fund’s prospectus. I V Y FU N D S D I S t R I b U tO R , I N c . 14 3 9 7 11/11
No Other Accounting Firm Offers More Intellectual Capital Under One Roof. What does it mean to be the largest single-office accounting firm in the United States? Approvals, decisions, and solutions to your issues are all made right here. It means there are never approvals required from distant offices or management. Answers to your questions are never more than a few steps away. The intellectual capital we have under one roof is unsurpassed. Discover the Anchin difference. Let us be Your Expert Partner.
Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP SM
FIND US ON FacEbOOk — FacEbOOk.cOM /IV YFUNDS.cOM
S c a N I t. Wat c h I t.
Accountants and Advisors 212.840.3456 •www.anchin.com Follow us @anchincpa Michael Belfer, CPA firstname.lastname@example.org
W W W.I V Y FU N D S .c O M / t h E WO R L D c OV ER ED
july/aug/sept 2012 I
11/18/11 3:21 PM
the goods The Line Up Bling on platform pumps: Platform shoes, which have thick soles, often made of cork, plastic, or rubber, became popular in the 1960s (think disco boots). They’ve made a comeback in the past few years, particularly when decorated ostentatiously, and Fortune sold more than 500,000 pairs last year. Color-blocking on wedges: On most shoes, the heel sits under the heel of the foot; on a wedge heel, it runs under the foot, from the back of the shoe to the front. Wedges have long been popular for their comfort, and in 2011, Fortune combined them with one of the year’s most popular fashion rends: color blocking, which pairs two or more strategically placed bold colors. Fortune sold more than 500,000 pairs last year.
Right foot forward Taking care of all its design, production, operations, and distributions needs in-house, Fortune Footwear remains nimble and responsive to the needs of its customers in today’s changing marketplace.
Metal heels: The pump is the classic women’s dress show, and in 2011, it got an edge. Fortune sold more than 250,000 pairs of pumps with metal or metal-plated heels—a striking look that combines sexiness with ruggedness.
When the Shoe Fits Fortune Footwear, which manufacturers millions of shoes and handbags to order every year, has found firm footing thanks to its diverse, fashion-savvy merchandise and penchant for customer service
reating a footwear company was the natural next step for John Auersperg Sr., who spent three decades working in the business. But as he approached 55, working for the man was no longer appealing, so Auersperg decided to leave a legacy for his sons, Paul and John Jr., and together they opened their own business. “John Sr. was a man of the orient, and had been for years. So, in 1985, Fortune Footwear began importing flip-flops, slippers, and other casual footwear from Taiwan and opened its first showroom in the SoHo
200 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
by Julie Schaeffer
building in New York City,” says Tom Paccione, chief financial officer of Auersperg’s company. “When the city started to move away from manufacturing in the 1980s, however, John Sr. got caught up in numbers game, and decided to begin making shoes of his own that would be branded for private label.” In 1987, John Auersperg Sr.’s sons John, Jr. and Paul took the company in a new direction: women’s fashion footwear. Today, Fortune Footwear offers private-label women’s footwear and handbags to retail chains, catalog companies, and shopping networks in numbers that seem stunning. More
Meet the Makers
“We’re not just a pump house or a boot house; we do both and everything in between.” Tom Paccione
Chief Financial Officer
ATTN: IMPORTERS & EXPORTERS
Inter Orient Services CUSTOMS HOUSE BROKER SINCE 1981 LICENSE 6662, 7212, 7583, FMC# 2811 NATIONAL CUSTOMS BROKER PERMIT #99-00360
For footwear-industry veteran John Auersperg, Sr. and his sons, John Jr. and Paul, putting their best foot forward translated into a hugely successful company lauded as much for its product diversity and style as it is for its customer service. Now a privatelabel women’s footwear and handbag manufacturer, Fortune Footwear continues to thrive with Paul Auersperg (pictured above) as CEO and Tom Paccione (below), a childhood friend of Paul’s, serving as chief financial officer. “Paul is very passionate, and the product means so much to him,” says Paccione. “He has a great eye, and is able to spot trends and lead the design team to develop products based on what’s going on in markets. He just knows footwear so well, and is thus able to add value tremendously.”
JUDY AWANA 1455 MONTEREY PASS RD. STE. 205 MONTEREY PARK, CA 91754 TEL: (323) 263-1820 than 10 million pairs of shoes and 3 million handbags are manufactured in China every year and distributed to customers around the globe. In addition to managing all aspects of design, production, and distribution in-house, so it can provide the best possible service to its customers, Fortune Footwear is somewhat unique in that it manufacturers to order. “We have to be trend conscious, and that’s a big strength of ours, so we have several lines, from the middle-market comfort line to a fashionable, but inexpensive line, which we present to customers,” Paccione says. “But we only manufacture to order.” This business model has helped the company and its 40 employees weather tough times. “No company is recessionproof, but we have been somewhat less affected by recessions, particularly the recent one, than other footwear companies because we manufacture what the customer wants,” he says. “We’re not just a pump house or a boot house; we do both and everything in between.” Despite the tough economic environment, Paccione is confident about the future. “We feel good about 2012,” he says. “Our design staff is positioned really well with updated materials, components, and the necessary ornamentation to make 2012 a banner year.” [P]
-Footwear Specialist -On Time Handling of your cargo -Great Customer Service -English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese spoken here
Our Services: - National Customs Broker (Ocean/Air) - Int’l/Domestic Freight Forwarder (Ocean/Air) - SIL/Drawbacks - Customs/ISF Bonds - Arrange Trucking and Warehousing - Marine Insurance
Call us today! (323) 263-1820
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
Sweet Philanthropy With her sister, Kathryn, in remission, Laura Pekarik helps the fight against cancer one cupcake at a time
202 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
by Ovetta Sampson
PHOTOS: Samantha Simmons
ith her bright blonde hair waving in the downtown Chicago wind, Laura Pekarik embodies joy and sunshine as she hands customers individually packaged cupcakes from her lime-green food truck. The 26-year-old owner of Cupcakes for Courage exudes the enthusiasm of youth with her winning smile and conversations peppered with exclamation points. Yet, behind ever-jubilant bagging of a French silk pie cupcake or the winsome sale of the lime in the coconut pastry is the stark reality that Laura’s new business venture is triumph over tragedy. Each cupcake helps to support cancer research. “I didn’t start this business to make money,” she explains. “I started it because of the cancer in my sister and I wanted to help others who were stricken by the disease. That came first—the idea of giving back to the community.” It all started in 2010 when Laura’s older sister Kathryn Pekarik—a fit, svelte, 20-something—began having horrible back pains. Visits to the doctor and chiropractor didn’t help. Laura watched her older sister go from a bubbly, happy, bright woman to a shell of her former self. On Memorial Day 2010, Kathryn’s face swelled to the size of a basketball and she was rushed to the hospital. “You couldn’t recognize her, her head was engorged,” Laura recalls. “They found a large mass next to her heart. They did emergency radiation to shrink it. They did a biopsy and they found it was cancerous.” Kathryn was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma. Aggressive treatment began right away.
Though her mobile cupcake business is going places, Laura Pekarik doesn’t forget the catalyst behind Cupcakes for Courage. “I didn’t start this business to make money,” she explains. “I started it because of the cancer in my sister and I wanted to help others who were stricken by the disease.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
204 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
On the move For those who want to know when and where they can satisfy their sweet tooth with Cupcakes for Courage, Laura's Tweets and Facebook posts update customers on the whereabouts of the mobile green machine.
Pekarik’s entire family would visit with Kathryn, often staying overnight. They’d also do the one thing that made them all feel joyous: cooking for each other. “When we were younger, my mom was a baker,” Laura says. “Kathy and I would make cookies, we would make cupcakes, and pies and just like everything … Feeding people, it brings us joy.” During Kathryn’s stay, there was a steady stream of food—lasagna, enchiladas, stuffed peppers, chicken, and, of course, cupcakes. “I just wanted to make it feel like home,” Laura says. “I wanted her to look forward to food. Whatever she asked for, I’d make it to relieve her mind.” So, in the midst of tubes, hospital sheets and in the shadow of the C-word, the sisters talked about recipes, flavors, cakes, and other foods. After Kathryn was diagnosed and treatment began, friends threw a benefit to raise money for her. Laura baked 250 cupcakes to sell. The bake sale was a hit and at the urging of her grandmother, who sold goods at craft sales, Laura began selling her
originally flavored cupcakes at craft fairs. Around this time, Laura tried to return to her job as a marketing manager, but her heart wasn’t in it. She’d seen too much of loss, despair, and hope. She decided to do more by starting a cupcake business to raise money for cancer charities. “I wasn’t scared,” she says. “I thought, ‘What’s the worse could happen?’ I had money saved and I thought I could invest it in myself and do well or I could stink at it and still have 25 years to recover the money I lost.” Laura took her savings and bought an oven, leased a kitchen, learned all about packaging food products and bought a lime-green truck, turning it into a mobile cupcake-selling machine. Now, Laura has no time to cook. She’s up at 3 a.m. every day baking at her kitchen in the suburbs and then she loads up the little miracles to disperse in multiple locations throughout downtown Chicago. She’s built quite a following on Twitter and Facebook from customers eager to track her mobile green machine. And a stint on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network didn’t hurt either. Laura donates 10 percent of every cupcake sale—not profits—to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Ride Janie Ride Foundation, an organization that helps raise money for people with high medical bills. So far, Cupcakes for Courage has donated $6,000 and has a goal of donating $40,000 annually. Kathryn is in remission and helps out Laura when she can. The two are still baking together and trying out recipes. “[But,] I miss cooking for sheer pleasure,” she confesses, laughing. “I don’t get to do that anymore.” [P]
BY THE NUMBERS
2010 year founded
$6,000 money raised this year at press time
$40,000 annual goal
10% of cupcake sales go to charity
2 charities supported
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
With a “People Helping People” philosophy, Loyola University Employees Federal Credit Union’s CEO Harry Tram (right) and board president Howard Hayes (left) annually donate a toy-filled Christmas stocking to charity.
Taking Care of Its Own
by Caitlin Cunningham
Loyola University Employees Federal Credit Union expands its financial-services suite to serve growing membership
embers own. Members control. Members benefit. Loyola University Employees Federal Credit Union (LUEFCU) operates based on this simple “M3” formula and its “People Helping People” philosophy to provide customers with fairly priced, customer-service-centric financial services. The nonprofit cooperative manages approximately $45 million in assets for more than 5,000 members on Loyola University Chicago campuses and affiliated primary care sites—up from the roughly $179,000 in assets and 1,000 members it saw in its first year of operation.
206 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
The credit union provides the same products and services as a traditional bank. The difference lies in its extramile effort to improve the financial health of all clients, regardless of their income level and credit score. About half of LUEFCU’s members fall into the lower economic bracket; it caters to these individuals with specialized products and services such as credit revival loans (no credit score required) and budgeting education sessions. Additionally, all of the financial institution’s fees are always under market. “We’re not so focused on that ‘making money part’—a little more on the service and helping folks,” says CEO Harry Tram. “Most of these folks would
be paying double somewhere else. If there is an ability to help someone and it will work for us and for whoever that other group might be, I am sure we can at least make an attempt to do it.” Founded in 1979, the financial institution offers a comprehensive financial services suite that includes credit cards, loans, insurance, home banking and bill pay, direct deposit, and free education resources and seminars. For $25, a Loyola employee—as well as individuals supervised or paid by Loyola, eligible family members and, most recently, Loyola students—can open a lifetime member account. Headquartered at Loyola’s Medical Center Campus in Maywood, Illinois,
STORM DAMAGE FLOODING TORNADOES FIRES BOMBINGS
BY THE NUMBERS
1979 year founded
5,000 member owners and growing
8 full-time staffers
9 board of directors volunteers
million approximate dollar amount currently managed
the credit union employs eight fulltime staff members (Tram, a marketing coordinator, and six customer-service workers) dedicated to delivering friendly, personalized service. Nine enthusiastic volunteers specializing in diverse financial topics comprise the board of directors. A general credit-union rule of thumb is to have one full-time staff member for every $3 million in assets managed; by that rule, LUEFCU would need to almost double its staff size. The group’s limited manpower, however, does not keep it from improving existing products and services and introducing new ones to best serve its growing membership.
Ongoing technological development, for example, is a major emphasis at LUEFCU. Rather than expand its physical presence to accommodate growth, the financial institution is taking a more cost- and resource-efficient approach at this time: enhancing its online reach. “Before, members would come in— we could talk with them and learn,” Tram says. “As we get more sophisticated, we’re going to have to establish the same kind of relationships on electronic and digital levels. [LUEFCU] would like someday to be championing this kind of thing.” The credit union is planning on revamping its website to provide expanded resources and to host a more user-friendly experience. It plans to incorporate, for example, video tutorials and a car-buying section that walks users through the processes of buying, maintaining, valuing, and selling a vehicle. Establishing a social-media presence is an objective as well. Another distinguishing business characteristic is LUEFCU’s commitment to not only its members but also the environment. The first focus of the credit union’s green initiative is to reduce paper use. Staff, most notably in marketing, is reaching out to members and potential members using multimedia—not only print—communications. Similarly, clients are encouraged to use home banking tools and sign up for electronic statements in order to reduce physical mailings. LUEFCU’s growth does not stop here. The organization is issuing surveys and hosting focus groups to learn more about member needs and preferences, and its findings will help it continue fine-tuning and developing financial-services offerings. “It’s important to know our members,” Tram says, “so we can take care of them.” [P]
As newspaper headlines continue to report disasters, responsible organizations everywhere are realizing the importance of pre-disaster planning. Just when you think it will not happen to you…IT DOES. Contingency Planning Solutions assists companies preparing and auditing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans tailored to each individual organizations needs. We also support Backup/Recovery and Hot Site for iSeries (AS/400), pSeries (RS/6000), Compaq & HP Servers
CAN YOU AFFORD TO WAIT ANOTHER DAY BEFORE STARTING YOUR BUSINESS CONTINUATION PLAN?
Phone: 888-772-2526 Email: email@example.com www.contingencyplans.com
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
media personalities On their free time, The Financial Network Group, Ltd.'s Nathan Bachrach, CEO (left) and Ed Finke, president, write a weekly financial column for the Cincinnati Enquirer and host their own moneymanagement show, Simply Money, on local and national radio and television news programs.
by Cristina Adams
Giving Back Made Simple Through its Simply Money Foundation, The Financial Network Group, Ltd. directs thousands of dollars into community programs and initiatives
208 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
hen Ed Fi n ke and Nathan Bachrach first sat down over coffee to d iscuss the possibility of merging their two businesses, their talk stretched for an entire year. It was the early 1990s, and they wanted to be sure that joining forces was the right thing to do. Spousal approval was a priority, so they introduced their wives and went on double dates. It was, according to Finke, like a trial marriage. At the end of the year, it became clear to both men that their respective businesses, teams, and efforts were heading in the same direction, so in 1994 they formed The Financial Network Group, Ltd. (FNG). “We realized that our core values were the same and that we were taking the same approach to business,” says Finke, who spent much of his earlier career working with variable annuities as a wholesaler. “It seemed like a natural progression to combine our efforts.” The Cincinnati-based company is first and foremost a financial-planning and investment advisory firm, managing money for individuals, retirees,
and those planning to retire. In addition, FNG advises nearly $1 billion in assets, and offers financial-education programs through the continuingeducation division at the University of Cincinnati. Now in its 17th year, FNG has about 40 employees, including affiliates, and boasts a nationwide clientele, although most are in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana tri-state region. And the vast majority of those clients are individuals who have accumulated and saved their money. “Most of the people who come to us for financial planning have lived much of their lives below their means,” Bachrach says. In addition to financial planning and investment advising, Finke and Bachrach are also media personalities. Not only do they write a weekly financial column for the Cincinnati Inquirer, but they also host their own proprietary program, Simply Money, on local and national radio and television news programs, including Fox Business Network. Their march toward celebrity started in the mid-1990s, when the two proposed an idea for a program on investor education to the local National Public Radio affiliate. The mutual-fund industry was on the verge of booming, and it seemed that everyone was suddenly in the business of investing and managing money, whether they knew how to or not. And Finke was convinced that many who did know what they were doing were making the business more complicated in order to make more money. “Our approach has always been that anybody can make money boring and complicated, but it’s tough to make it fun and simple.” Bachrach says. “So we adopted the phrase, ‘We’re your on-air financial adviser dedicated to the belief that there’s nothing complicated about the money business, except the people in it.’ It was catchy, and it stuck.” And what started as the Simply Investing program became Simply Money.
1994 BY THE NUMBERS
The Financial Network Group is founded
Despite their occasionally irreverent approach, Finke and Bachrach take their business—and the business of educating people about financial planning— very seriously, which accounts for much of the company’s success. But, they are equally serious about their commitment to community-service programs. To that end, the Simply Money Foundation was launched in 2010 with the goal of contributing to the initiatives and ef-
charities, they can also benefit with a financial plan tailored to their own goals. As Bachrach notes, the point isn’t to build an endowment, but to provide financial support now. “The need for money is immediate,” he says. “And that need isn’t going away.” Among the numerous initiatives the foundation supports are the Cancer Care Network, the Yellow Ribbon Fund, the Springer School and Center
Among the organizations Simply Money Foundation supports is Honor Flight Tri-State, a group that provides World War II veterans with all-expenses-paid day trips to visit the WWII memorials in Washington, DC. In picture above, Finke greets a program beneficiary.
forts of other nonprofits. Interestingly, FNG has partnered with the foundation to offer donors additional incentive to support the community: a free financial plan. Whereas many companies market their philanthropic efforts by donating a portion of sales to charity, FNG has created a mechanism for contributions to be directed to charities, independent of sales. While individual donors can contribute to the foundation’s designated
$100,000+ amount distributed annually through Simply Money to charitable organizations
cumulative value of Simply Money Foundation’s community impact
for children with learning disabilities, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. But, the beneficiary that has felt the greatest impact is Honor Flight Tri-State, an organization that provides World War II veterans with all-expenses-paid day trips to visit the WWII memorials in Washington, DC. “This is our way of thanking and praising these men and women for basically saving the world,” Finke says. “It’s a great organization that performs a great service.” [P]
number of hours the company donates annually to community service
nonprofit organizations that are beneficiaries of Simply Money Foundation
july/aug/sept 2012 I
IV Y FUNDS Knowledge is golden. It’s what allows you to make connections that others can’t and see opportunities that others don’t.
WE’RE PR OUD TO BE REPRESENTED BY
T RI S URE CORPORATION
To succeed in today’s ever-changing global marketplace, collecting the best data is not enough. True success comes only with disciplined analysis and rigorous debate. That’s why each day at Ivy Funds begins with the Morning Meeting — a roundtable where portfolio managers and analysts review news from every corner of the global economy. Insights are shared. Ideas are considered. And investment strategies are born. As a part of an organization whose roots date to 1937, Ivy Funds provides investment professionals with disciplined and globally minded insight across asset classes to deliver on their clients’ needs. We place a high premium on accountability, keeping an unrelenting watch on the assets we manage. It is a commitment to our approach and the trust of our clients that drives us to deliver highly competitive long-term results, day after day.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a fund carefully before investing. For a prospectus containing this and other information for the Ivy Funds, call your financial advisor or visit us online at www.ivyfunds.com. Please read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing. As with any mutual fund, investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate, and shares, when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost. It is possible to lose money by investing. These and other risks are more fully discussed in the Fund’s prospectus. I V Y FU N D S D I S t R I b U tO R , I N c . 14 3 9 7 11/11
FIND US ON FacEbOOk — FacEbOOk.cOM /IV YFUNDS.cOM
S c a N I t. Wat c h I t.
210 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
W W W.I V Y FU N D S .c O M / t h E WO R L D c OV ER ED
11/18/11 3:21 PM
i m pac t
Though the Raleigh, North Carolina, region has earned its claim to fame for being an up-and-coming city, John Cramer (second from right) and his fellow counterparts at TriSure Corp. are focused on serving its people."Because of all this growth ... the cost of living here has gone up dramatically, and a lot of people have gotten left behind," says Cramer.
by Matt Alderton
Brokering a Better Community For TriSure Corp., weaving philanthropy, volunteerism, and community service is only part of the agenda
he city of Raleigh, North Carolina, is a statistical superstar. Thanks to its high-qua lit y schools, abu nda nce of g reen space, wealth of amenities, and rapidly expanding economy, it was named the nation’s top city for business by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011, the number-one city for business and careers by Forbes magazine, also in 2011, and the best city for quality of life by Portfolio.com in 2010. And that’s just the beginning. Unfortunately, every growth spurt comes with growing pains, and Raleigh is certainly feeling its share, according to John Cramer, one of six partners at TriSure Corp., a Raleigh-based commercial-insurance brokerage. “This has been a very fast-growing, dynamic area for many, many years,” Cramer says. “Because of all this growth, however, the cost of living here has gone up dramatically, and a lot of people have gotten left behind.” Founded in 1999 when two competing insurance firms merged, TriSure is doing its part to make Raleigh a happy, healthy place for everyone who lives there—not just those who read glossy business magazines—by weaving phi-
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
TriSure employees are rarely shut down when they want to enlist the companyâ€™s help in a philanthropic endeavor. Staff take part in projects like wrapping gifts for Friends of Wake County Guardian ad Litem Program.
BY THE NUMBERS
1999 year founded
million population served locally
36 number of employees
212 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
photos: Ray Barbour
employee hours contributed between January and November 2011
“Although we’re in a very educated, affluent, fast-growing area, if you look behind the curtain, you’ll see a lot of people struggling.” John Cramer Partner
lanthropy, volunteerism, and community service into the fabric of its company culture. “Although we’re in a very educated, affluent, fast-growing area, if you look behind the curtain, you’ll see a lot of people struggling,” Cramer explains. “That’s been a major focus for us.” With 36 employees and clients in 46 states, TriSure is the Triangle region’s largest privately owned commercial brokerage. When its founders decided to merge, however, their goal wasn’t becoming the biggest. It was becoming the best. As such, their merger conversation quickly transcended legalese. “There were three of us who sat down in 1998 and 1999 to talk about a merger,” Cramer recalls. “One day, we sat down and said, ‘We ought to write down what our culture, vision, and philosophy is, then compare notes.’” Each of them wrote down the three most important values for their merged company’s culture; when they shared them, they found they’d written identical comments in the same order: Honesty and integrity; Superior customer service; and Is it the right financial decision? “We never discussed how big we would get or how much money we would make,” Cramer says. “Our goal was to be the best we could be, with the best reputation. It made sense that if we did that, the rest would follow. And almost 13 years later, that’s proven to be true.” Because employees sha re t he founders’ values, TriSure eventually began looking for ways to empower and activate its staff. The result was the TriSure community service program, which was launched in March 2010. “We wanted to do more than talk about being a company that’s active in the community,” Cramer says. “We wanted to put our money where our mouth
was. So, every full-time employee here has 40 hours a year, discretionary, that they’re paid in addition to sick days and vacation time to go out and be active in the community. We logged roughly 228 hours in the first nine months we did it, and so far, year-to-date, we’ve done 436 hours.” Employees can donate their time to virtually any cause, charity, or nonprofit they care about. They simply submit out a half-sheet of paper stating what they want to do and when they want to do it. What the employees donate in time, TriSure often matches with money. “We encourage our employees to come to us if there’s something they want us to support,” Cramer says. “They’ll ask us to sponsor this or that—to give a little here or give a little there—and we seldom if ever say no.” To date, TriSure has supported more than 35 different charities and nonprofits that provide programs, food, shelter, education, special needs, and healing in the Triangle region. Among them: the Arthritis Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The First Tee, Fostering Bright Futures, the Friends of Wa ke Count y Guardian ad Litem Program, Habitat for Humanity, Horse and Buddy, The Miracle League, StepUP Ministry, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “If our employees are involved in it and feel passionate about it, we’re going to support it,” Cramer says. Although companies that give often receive, TriSure isn’t motivated by gain. It’s motivated by gratitude. “We all feel very fortunate to do what we do and to have a successful business,” Cramer says. “We do this because it’s the right thing to do.” [P]
A WORD from westfield
For more than 165 years, Westfield has been a customer-focused insurance, banking and related financial services group of businesses. Our winning vision embraces innovation and opportunities in a changing world. We’re proud to be represented by independent agencies like TriSure Corporation. For more information visit westfieldinsurance.com.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
by Julie Schaeffer
Value in Loyalty Red River Federal Credit Union has grown from its initial $276 in assets to $585 million thanks to its dedication to community and education
ed River Federal Credit Union had an inauspicious beginning, with just $276 in assets among 27 members, but you’d never know that today. It currently serves 64,000 members located in every state of the union and virtually every country in the world. “Our members are extremely loyal,” says John Stephens, senior vice president.
214 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
“They join when they live in our community, but stay long after they’ve moved away.” Such loyalty, in part, is due to the nature of a credit union, which is a financial cooperative owned by its members. Service is highly personalized, and any money made after operating expenses is returned to members in the form of lower loan rates and higher investment returns. “Credit unions were established to give the community served the best possible deal,” Stephens says.
That was certainly the case with Red River Federal Credit Union, which was founded in 1943 to serve the employees of the Red River Arsenal, now Red River Army Depot, which is a defense installation that initially supplied armed forces with ammunition in the 1940s and now serves as a maintenance repair facility. “We started with 27 people who were dissatisfied with the interest rates available at banks and decided to apply for a federal charter, pool their life savings of $276, and opened
a credit union in a small office on the depot grounds,” Stephens says. “They put their money in a cigar box and would loan each other money out of that box.” What a difference a few decades make. Today, Red River Federal Credit Union is chartered to serve new members who live, work, worship, or attend school in 12 counties near the Texas and Arkansas boarder. Although 85 percent live within a 100-mile radius of the union’s headquarters in Texarkana, Texas, 15 percent are long-distance customers. “We’re totally electronic, so you can do business with us via computer or telephone,” Stephens says. “The only reason you’d ever need to step into a branch is if you want a real-estate loan.” Clearly, the community likes what Red River Federal Credit Union is doing. Its $276 in starting assets have growth to $585 million today— making its cumulative growth an astounding 16,300,121 percent. In keeping with its emphasis on community service, Red River Federal Credit Union is dedicated to charitable endeavors, many related to financial literacy. “We have five high-school branches with kiosks in their cafeterias, and we train and
“We have five highschool branches with kiosks in their cafeterias, and we train and hire two students from each high school to run those branches before and after school and during lunch. In exchange, the high schools let us come into classrooms and teach financial literacy.” John Stephens
Senior Vice President
Making some change Red River Federal Credit Union is involved in a number of charities including Susan G. Komen for the Cure (opposite page), The American Red Cross, Junior Achievement, and Special Olympics. “This is a rural area of eastern Texas, with probably 250,000 people in the area, and we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to help them,” says senior vice president John Stephens (left).
BY THE NUMBERS
assets at founding
hire two students from each high school to run those branches before and after school and during lunch,” Stephens says. “In exchange, the high schools let us come into classrooms and teach financial literacy. What’s a checking account? Why is a budget important? How do you keep your credit report clean? Most parents don’t have time to do that, and we feel that it’s important.” The credit union is also involved in a number of other charities spanning virtually every sector: The American Red Cross, Junior Achievement, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, Literary Council, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to name just a few. “This is a rural area of eastern Texas, with probably 250,000 people in the area, and we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to help them,” Stephens says. According to Stephens, the secret to the credit union’s success is all about community—its employee community as well as its memberowners. Many employees have been with the union for decades, including CEO Robert Buck, who started as a teller 39 years ago, and Stephens himself, who has been with the union for 29 years. It’s not surprising that in 2011 the Principal Group selected the bank as one of the 10 best companies for employees’ financial security in the country. Red River Federal Credit Union’s service mentality, however, also extends outward. “Our philosophy is to do what’s right by our member-owners, serving their every financial need,” he explains. “We want to be their primary financial institution; we want their checking accounts, savings accounts, home loans, car loans, business loans, IRAs, credit cards. It’s very simple, but it’s important.” [P]
15 partner charities
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Bringing Packaging Solutions To Our Clients Worldwide Offering ideal bag and packaging solutions.
Serving our members since 1943
We are world renown for producing bags, packaging and corrugated products in a wide variety of consumer and retail industries.
The global printer with local knowledge. With US offices in Seattle and New York, we provide the market invaluable local knowledge coupled with internationally recognized systems, practices and expertise.
The greenest solutions.
Leo Paper is focused on the core value of conserving our environment. We hold a wide variety of certifications and environmental awards.
We are able to provide value-added creativity based on imaginative and resourceful design solutions.
Our goal is simple - to be the best, providing unprecedented customer value with innovative and comprehensive solutions.
On the web at www.leo.com.hk Or scan the QR code and get connected.
216 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
Call us today for a consultation.
USA Head Office: 425.646.8801
CONFIDENCE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Elan currently partners with over 400 credit unions and is the leading agent credit card issuer in the market today. For over 30 years our time tested partnership approach, best-in-class products, and unwavering commitment to service has led to successful long-term relationships and satisﬁed cardmembers. No other Agent issuer can match Elan’s combination of proven results, expertise, and ﬁnancial strength. For more information, please call or visit us online today
EXPERTISE | RESULTS | CONFIDENCE
i m pac t
Lending a Hand
Realizing people may not have many options to establish and maintain financial security, “we want to do our part to make things a little bit easier by promoting value and economic empowerment,” says Patrick Adams, president and CEO.
St. Louis Community Credit Union provides affordable financial products and education to empower its low-tomoderate income members to take control of their finances
by Kelly Hayes
ocial responsibility isn’t just a buzz word for us, it’s a strategy,” says Patrick Adams, president and CEO of St. Louis Community Credit Union (SLCCU), a full-service nonprofit financial institution serving the St. Louis region’s low-to-moderate income (LMI) community. “There are people who don’t have a lot of options available when it comes to building and maintaining financial security, and we want to do our part to make things a little bit easier by promoting value and economic empowerment.” Founded in 1942 as the St. Louis Teachers Credit Union, SLCCU has evolved over the years. Despite changes, it has stayed committed to its original mission of helping people in need obtain financial relief. Today, the credit union offers second-chance checking products, reloadable debit cards, credit-building services, and payday loan alternatives, in an effort to help break the predatory lending cycle for consumers. “We provide affordable financial services to people who currently find themselves on the ‘fringe’ of the mainstream banking
218 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
world,” explains Dorothy Bell, vice president of public relations and community affairs. “Our long-term expectation is that ROI will accompany these consumer-friendly initiatives.” Often deceived by lenders and creditors pushing loans and credit cards with nothing but sky-high interest, St. Louis residents with low income and poor credit are happy to find real financial solutions with SLCCU. “We have chosen to maintain branches in areas that are rife with predatory lenders and check cashers,” Bell says. “Our Dellwood Branch is located in a strip mall between two such vendors. Additionally, our Southtown Branch is just up the street from several payday lenders. Our products and locations are providing low-income populations with true savings and the
convenience of mainstream banking.” Although SLCCU doesn’t seek recognition for helping those in need, the organization’s efforts are not going unnoticed: In 2009, the credit union received the Community Development Financial Institution designation from the US Department of Treasury, and also earned a national Excellence In Lending Award sponsored by the Credit Union National Association. In 2010, SLCCU was named one of the top Community Credit Unions of the Year by the Credit Union National Association. In 2011, the Olin Business School at Washington University conducted a study that determined SLCCU has an annual economic impact of nearly $20 million on the St. Louis area when compared to banks, payday lenders,
“Our members are extremely loyal because they appreciate the fact that we were there for them when they needed us most.” Michael O’Brien
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
and/or check-cashing institutions. “This figure focuses on the overall long-term sustainability of the organization, which includes the absolute value of having a banking relationship with the credit union, as well as its social influence,” says Michael O’Brien, senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Affordable banking is just one way SLCCU helps its members. The credit union has also been offering free financial-education classes and seminars to the public since 2008. “In working with our social-service and community partners, we saw a need for financial education as a means for individuals to make better-informed decisions when managing money,” Bell says. “We have a full-time financial educator/community-outreach specialist on staff who teaches a variety of courses to promote financial empowerment, from effective budgeting to managing credit wisely.” After creating a track record of improving financial literacy throughout St. Louis for several years, the credit union’s board of directors established the SLCCU Foundation in 2010 to further fund the credit union’s financialeducation offerings and community initiatives, in addition to a scholarship for nontraditional students. Throughout its education and outreach efforts, SLCCU reminds people that having a low income or being less experienced with financial management is nothing to be ashamed of, and is not always a disadvantage.
Change Agent (top) More than 100 people attended and received complimentary credit reports and counseling at St. Louis Community Credit Union’s free credit seminar called, New Year, New You. (above) The bank has offered financial education to underserved areas since 2008.
“People may feel that they can’t get ahead financially because they may not have learned the necessary skills at a young age,” Bell says. “The truth is, with proper planning, they may be in a better position to manage their finances.” As SLCCU enhances its products and services and creates new goals for the future, its main priority remains helping people to get out of debt and to successfully manage their finances. “Our members are extremely loyal because they appreciate the fact that we were there for them when they needed us most,” O’Brien says. “They trust us, and we’ve built our brand on providing value to the LMI community.” [P]
A WORD from elan financial services
St. Louis Community Credit Union and Elan have built a successful and collaborative partnership that utilizes all aspects of Elan’s marketing strategy. St. Louis Community Credit Union employees find great value in Elan’s branch support team, online resources, expansive product set and ability to support their cardmembers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Elan couldn’t be more pleased with the overall success of this program and looks forward to a continued partnership.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
i m pac t
by Lynn Russo Whylly
Head of the Class The assignment was tough: form a health-care cooperative for privateeducation employers to pool resources and offer better benefits to employees. Here’s how ICUBA passed with flying colors.
little more than a decade ago, eight Florida-based private colleges and universities got together and decided that, when it came to the price of the health-care insurance benefits they were providing staff, they could do better. They realized that, if they pooled their resources, as a larger community, they would be able get more competitive rates and offerings. Later that year, they formed ICUBA [the Independent Colleges and Universities Benefits Association] a nonprofit Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(9) voluntary employees’ beneficiary association
220 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The health-care cooperative is comprised of private-education employers that pool together their resources to self-fund health-insurance benefits for their employees. Today, the association has 21 members—11 higher-education institutions, including Nova Southeastern University, The University of Tampa, and Rollins College; seven K-12 schools, which ICUBA began opening its doors to in 2006; two area health-education centers; and The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalism, which owns the Tampa Bay Times. More than half of the employer members have less than 100 employees. “We’re run like a mutual insurance company,” explains Mark Weinstein,
president and CEO, who came on board in 2003. “We have 14 board members—all appointed by presidents or headmasters of member employers— who are responsible for approving the annual budget, including determination of the next year’s health-insurance premiums, which are split between the institution and the employee.” In the beginning, ICUBA stuck to the basics, offering medical, behavioral health, and prescription-drug insurance benefits on a self-funded basis. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BC/ BS) administers the medical program, MHNet the behavioral health/substance abuse and Employee Assistance Program benefits, and Catalyst Rx handles the prescription-drug benefits.
They aren’t optional—all members must offer the entire program. ICUBA offers a choice of two BC/ BS medical plans—a copay model and a coinsurance model. “The latter plan allows a person to negotiate or be more aware of what the true cost of services are. In many instances, the out-of-pocket cost to the insured member could be less than a copay, so we’re seeing a greater migration to that consumer-directed health plan,” Weinstein says. “Then in 2005, we said, let’s take advantage of our purchasing power, and we added fully insured dental, vision, life, and disability benefits.” For these products, ICUBA offers an endorsed product that members can choose to participate in or not. The advantages of the cooperative were immediate in the first year—reduced premium taxes, administrative fees, broker commissions, and other insurance fees for participating members. In addition, members began receiving better insurance benefits because they were part of a larger group. But, Weinstein recalls, figuring out the right product/pricing mix has been an interesting learning experience, some would say from the school of hard knocks.
“In 2005, we said, let’s take advantage of our purchasing power, and we added fully insured dental, vision, life, and disability benefits.” Mark Weinstein President & CEO
ensuring members' well-being ICUBA member employees participate in wellness screening at Florida Memorial University Health Fair. In 2008, ICUBA received an Empower Award from Walgreens Health Initiatives for its free wellness benefits and low out-of-pocket plan design for ambulatory services. (left) Mark Weinstein, president and CEO of ICUBA, plans to grow the number of member employees to more than 10,000.
BY THE NUMBERS
8,500 13,000 $6 million employees served
amount in reserves at 2011 year end
The first year, “We had a $5.6 million loss, and I had to go out and raise $10 million capital from the employer members, who had all signed up for five years and really didn’t have a choice but to help recover the organization,” Weinstein says. ICUBA has since lowered the membership agreement from five to three years and restructured the pricing. “It was poorly set up by the consultants and actuaries that initiated the program and they didn’t price the plan accordingly,” he says. To turn that around, ICUBA reworked the plan design, increasing deductibles, and out-of-pocket responsibilities, “but we were very strategic about it,” he says. At the same time, ICUBA set up health-reimbursement accounts (HRAs) to allow employees to pay for medical expenses with before tax dollars, and asked the member organizations to contribute to fund them, thereby making employees owners in the ICUBA program rather than merely annual insurance policyholders. ICUBA also allows its HRA to roll over to a new year and accumulate, something practically unheard of in the corporate world. Over the next two to three years, one of ICUBA’s chief goals is to grow the number of participating employees beyond 10,000 (they’re at 8,500 now) to capitalize on better economies of scale and risk-diversification strategies. They’ll continue utilizing their insurance partner relationships to foster improved population health, keeping annual insurance premium increases to low single digits, and to deliver targeted communications and incentives to insured members. ICUBA will also continue to build on the spirit of collaboration with each of its member schools to develop new business by exceeding the expectations of current members. [P]
average member age
premium value at 2011 year end
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Lizanne falsetto cooked up the idea for what would become Think Thin while traveling the globe for her modeling career.
Nutritious Indulgence Catering to health-conscience consumers on the go, Think Thin is turning the nutritional category on its ear, one tasty treat at a time
by Cristina Adams
izanne Fa lsetto does more than promote and sell her company’s line of nutrition bars, she walks the talk. In 2000, Falsetto began creating a product line of protein-rich nutrition bars in her kitchen, for herself and for others who seek delicious nutrition on the go, that would later evolve into the billion-dollar Think Thin brand. “Nutrition is a very personal choice. You can eat very good food and very rich, wonderful tasting food in moderation and get the nutrition you need,” Falsetto says. “Think Thin’s formula is based off of the demands of today’s marketplace and speaks to a product stripped of any junk; something that is highly nutritious without the punishing side effects of sugar or gluten.” When Think Thin stepped into the market with the concept of tasty, portable nutrition, consumers—women ages 24-52 are overwhelmingly the company’s target demographic—pounced on it. The success that followed has been nothing short of meteoric. Its first national account was Trader Joe’s; that was followed by Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic region. In 2004, Think Thin grew a staggering 333 percent; last year, the company enjoyed 33 percent growth at a time when others are breaking even or in the red. Hauling in more than $1 billion annually, Think Thin now ranks among the four most popular energy-bar brands in the country. In addition to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market, Think Thin products are now available at Kroger, Ralphs, and Safeway. According to Falsetto, the four most popular products currently are the chunky peanut butter and brownie crunch protein bars, the chocolate dipped mixed nuts crunch bar, and the crunch fruit and nut, and blueberry and mixed nuts, which is winning best tasting bar awards around the country. Ultimately, however, it really is about educating consumers on nutrition and living an active healthy and
Meet the Maker Raised in Seattle in a large Italian family, Lizanne Falsetto fell into the nutrition business by accident. At age 17, she moved to Japan and began a modeling career on the catwalks of Europe and Asia. Every two months she was on a plane to Paris, New York, or Tokyo, and always looking for something to eat on the run. Portable, healthy food was scarce in the 1980s and 1990s—not an apple or banana in sight in most airports—but junk food was everywhere. So, when Falsetto moved back to the United States, she decided to try her hand at cooking. She started with her grandmother’s old-world recipes, pulling out the sugar and gluten and adding protein, reworking them to suit her own tastes. Falsetto started baking bars in her own kitchen, which she would pass out at fashion shows in Los Angeles. A few years later, Think Thin was born. “Because I had been looking for food that I liked and was also portable, I found a need in the marketplace, a white space that nobody had filled,” she says.
The Line Up Think Thin Protein bars: These gluten-free bars are packed with 20 grams of protein and zero grams of sugar making them a great option at breakfast or before a workout. Think Thin Bites: At 100 calories, these make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon low-calorie snack. Think Thin Crunch: With 60 percent less sugar, these bars have two times the amount of protein than other leading fruit and nut bars. Think Thin Crunch Fruit & Nut: These Vegan friendly bars are a healthy option with six grams of sugar and eight grams of protein.
happy lifestyle, she explains. “Weight wellness is not defined by aesthetic, shape, weight, or tape measurement—it is the physical and emotional outcome of feeling good and energized,” she says. “… We’re trying to create a paradigm shift in the nutrition-bar category re-
garding how people feel about themselves. If you have energy, a positive attitude, and your body is healthy, you will feel good about who and how you are. Once we focus on being healthy and happy, our bodies will follow and align.” [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Kerstin Emhoff of PrettyBird on … Generating buzz by doing the unexpected
hen Kerstin Emhoff and Paul Hunter founded PrettyBird in 2007, they envisioned running their company unlike any other. Known for their creativity and production talents, the two wanted to take their company beyond the traditional commercial-production company model. “We wanted to create a hub that would be a creative think tank and bring all types of people in,” says Emhoff, cofounder and executive producer. As the f ledging company quickly branched out into different kinds of work, it quickly gained a reputation for breaking new ground and refusing to follow any formulas. “It was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but now we’ve been able to do a lot of interesting projects using that model, so it’s paid off,” says Emhoff. With a high-profile roster of clients including Nike, Burger King, and Old Spice backing its unique approach, PrettyBird’s fearless leader unlocks the keys to its success.
by Jennifer Hogeland
PrettyBird’s cofounder Paul Hunter (right) is highly praised in the industry for his unique vision, working with celebrities such as Blake Griffin (left) of the LA Clippers for a Kia “Time To Shine” commercial.
From the beginning, and to this day, PrettyBird finds success in diversification. The company strives to reach beyond the traditional, triedand-true projects, expand their offerings, and take on new roles. The team has dabbled in television, short films, live shows, and music programs. Emhoff adds, “We are trying to maximize the potential and outreach with all of our experience.” One of the important areas both founders wanted to create a new model for was in the music world. The entire industry was changing and music videos were not as relevant as they once were. Bringing artists and brands together could allow for creative ideas that went beyond traditional music videos, she says.
Consolidation is a key business strategy. They run a lean and mean ship. “People in the business think we’ve been around a lot longer and that we are bigger than we are, because of the amount of work we do,” Emhoff says. The firm has created a collaborative spirit within the office.
“It was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but now we’ve been able to do a lot of interesting projects using that model, so it’s paid off.” Kerstin Emhoff Cofounder & Executive Producer
When hired, employees were told they’d have to wear 10 hats and to forget the clearly defined roles that exist in other production companies. All 15 employees are encouraged to get involved with the projects. Without restrictions, Emhoff saw her employees blossom. “One of the rewarding things has been watching people grow. Paul’s former assistant is now our head of development,” she says.
PrettyBird utilizes all of its talent resources. The traditional commercial production model has been the
same for decades—directors direct and producers produce. They’re determined to break free from the restraining guidelines and they look at everyone and every situation in a different way. “We look at each project and try to see what else we can do," Emhoff says. "We’ll bring in TV producers, game developers, or teens to get an idea of what’s cool. That has been an amazing influence on our company.” Developing young talent has been an asset to the company. PrettyBird’s young 20-something directing team, the Daniels, recently completed their first traditional commercial for Weetabix, a British cereal.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
to PRETTYBIRD for being an industry leader with cutting-edge innovations.
PRETTYBIRD WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR YEARS OF BUSINESS.
THE CAMERA HOUSE
prettybird's brandnew US headquarters are based in Culver City, CA.
DIGITAL AND FILM CAMERAS AND LENSES
They captured a girl doing urban street dancing to a popular style of teen music. While it was broadcast in the United Kingdom, it got huge attention and went viral, making it into the United States and hitting its target audience within a week of airing. “Not only is it a small world, but when something hits that super savvy audience, it goes very quickly,” Emhoff says.
7351 Fulton Ave. North Hollywood, CA 91605 www.thecamerahouse.com 818.997.3802 226
Despite its stellar sales staff, PrettyBird doesn’t rely on a high volume of sales to build brand awareness. Instead, “we get the most attention with the work we produce. That brings in new business and new opportunities,” she says. Getting the chance to pitch a concept, develop a project, and introduce something unexpected is the quickest way for the company to get noticed. One of PrettyBird's recent campaigns creating a buzz was for Nike Jordan—a 360-degree media experience with no broadcast component. “When the agency sent me the board, I said ‘I don’t know how to do this but I’m going to figure it out because it is going to be very interesting if it works,’” Emhoff says. Technical people were brought in and they developed a camera that shot a 360-degree story on the basketball court. [P]
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
In private aviation, you get what you pay for. Only NetJets® delivers the highest safety standards, most experienced pilots, world’s largest fleet and global operational capability. NetJets is also the only private aviation company backed by the unmatched resources of Berkshire Hathaway. So will it be the best deal or the best value? The choice is yours.
1.866.JET.0898 | NETJETS.COM A Berkshire Hathaway company
All fractional aircraft offered by NetJets ® in the United States are managed and operated by NetJets Aviation, Inc. Executive Jet ® Management, Inc. provides management services for customers with aircraft that are not fractionally owned, and provides charter air transportation services using select aircraft from its managed fleet. Marquis Jet ® Partners, Inc. sells the Marquis Jet Card ®. Marquis Jet Card flights are operated by NetJets Aviation under its 14 CFR Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate. Each of these companies is a wholly owned subsidiary of NetJets Inc. © 2012 NetJets Inc. All rights reserved. NetJets, Executive Jet, Marquis Jet, and Marquis Jet Card are registered service marks.
Dick Barton of Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth on … Continually expanding the company’s abilities and clientele
t’s a financial status that we all aspire to, but few ever reach. Those who enter the ultra-high-net-worth category not only achieve the American dream, but surpass it. Yet, understanding this particular client base takes a financial firm who can look far deeper than dollar figures listed on a net-worth statement. Indeed, since being founded in 1991, the team at Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth has served the ultra-high-net-worth client with an impressive breadth of services and the ability to simplify the complexities of wealth. Managing more than 550 client families with $21.3 billion of assets under management and $33.3 billion of trust assets under administration [as of December 31, 2011], Hawthorn’s senior vice president and managing director, Dick Barton, sat down with Profile to discuss some of the different business strategies that Hawthorn has utilized to not only grow, but flourish. by TRICIA DESPRES
“We often say it is our job to find the best solution for our clients, whether that solution is under our roof or someone else’s.” dick barton senior vice president & managing director
Recommit to Clients
The volatile economy has placed fear in the hearts of many, including the ultra-high-net-worth client. “It has caused everyone to reassess how they are invested, how much risk they are willing to accept, and how comfortable they are following their current road map,” Barton says. “We believe investing is a marathon, not a sprint. We seek to design strategies for the long haul, while making tactical decisions as circumstances change. In essence, the volatility of the economy has provided us with an opportunity to recommit to our clients in terms of where their road map is leading them and to reconfirm their strategies.”
We believe the ability to “coach” clients through tough economic times has placed Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth ahead of its competition in many ways. As a member of one of the largest and most trusted financial institutions, The PNC Financial Services Group, we have over 150-year history of helping clients. Our experience, along with the collective knowledge of our 500-plus clients, contributes in creating a
dynamic business relationship. “It’s truly a cooperative of ideas,” Barton explains. “We are utilizing the knowledge, the insight, and the experiences we have had with our client families to strengthen the solutions for current and prospective clients, whether that has to do with tax planning, fiduciary services, or investments. It’s our responsibility.”
expand company footprint
PNC Bank is currently the nation’s fifth-largest bank based on more than 2,900 locations across 19 states and Washington, DC. Much of this growth can be attributed to the seven successful acquisitions in the past eight years, including the recent conversion of more than 400 RBC Bank (USA) branches across six southeastern states.
Provide Financial Solutions
Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth believes deeply in the value of objectivity. “We often say it is our job to find the best solution for our clients, whether that solution is under our roof or someone else’s. We believe this open-architecture investment strategy goes far in helping to eliminate potential conflicts, making us
agnostic to where we find, for example, the best large-cap manager for our clients.”
Get in the Game
Being part of PNC Bank has undoubtedly served as a key driver to Hawthorn’s growth throughout the years. “PNC Bank has allowed us to meet and tell our story to countless ultra high-net worth families,” Barton adds. “I often explain it best by referring to the baseball analogy; we have to get our name in the lineup card so we get an at bat. They need to hear our story. We certainly can’t score from the bench.” [P]
A WORD FROM netjets
Flying privately is the most convenient and comfortable way to travel. You remain in complete control of your schedule and your time in the air is more productive, relaxing, and enjoyable than ever before. With NetJets, you spend only a fraction of what it would cost to purchase your own aircraft while gaining access to 13 aircraft types and approximately 750 aircraft worldwide. Backed by Berkshire Hathaway, a NetJets Share® or Marquis Jet Card® is a sound financial decision you can trust. netjets.com
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Richard Wainio of Tampa Port Authority on … Keeping afloat during turbulent economic times by Tina Vasquez
ichard Wainio has had an illustrious career. In his nearly 35 years in the maritime industry, he has held high-level positions in the United States and Panama, including heading the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, and a short stint directing Manzanillo International Terminal, the largest container transshipment port in Latin America. Just as impressive as Wainio’s credentials is his family’s hundred-year history in the maritime industry. In the early 1900s, Wainio’s engineer grandfather immigrated to Panama from Finland to help the Americans build the Panama Canal and Wainio’s father ran customs and immigration in the former Canal Zone, while his uncle served as director of the ports and railroad. As current port director and chief executive of the Tampa Port Authority, Wainio continues to make a name for himself, maintaining the largest, most diversified, and financially sound port in the State of Florida. Here, the CEO shares business strategies that have contributed to the Port of Tampa’s success.
230 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
& & &
& & &
INVESTMENT PORT OF TAMPA AT THE
Port of Tampa Fertilizer Storage and Shipping Complex MINING PHOSPHATE. PRODUCING PHOSPHATE. SHIPPING FERTILIZER. DISTRIBUTING FERTILIZER.
Phosphate, a key ingredient in quality fertilizer, is the backbone of Tampa’s port economy. Every year, CF Industries ships more than a million tons of fertilizer to North American farmers and customers around the world. Overall, the phosphate fertilizer industry in the Port of Tampa generates about $5.8 billion annually, and 12 million tons of cargo (35% of the entire Port tonnage). The phosphate fertilizer industry has been the cornerstone of the port since the late 1800’s, and today provides over 67,000 direct and indirect jobs. Phosphate severance taxes help to fund the real time navigational system, PORTS, that helps all cargo ships safely navigate Tampa Bay. www.CFIndustries.com
2520 Verger Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33605
The Port of Tampa has grown to be one of the nation's premier home ports to cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Holland America Line. “You have to run a port as a business in a financially successful manner,” says Richard Wainio, port director and chief executive of the Tampa Port Authority.
Position Company for Changes
In many ways, running a port is no different from running a large international corporation and just like large corporations, the port took a major hit when the economy began to backslide. As Wainio pointed out, it was also the first time since World War II that there was a back-to-back decline in world trade. For the CEO, it became a matter of figuring out how to operate successfully in the short term while also generating the revenue necessary to continue investing and preparing for long-term growth. Needless to say, this required some positioning. “Ports need to have a 10-20 year horizon and preparing for the future of a port is very expensive,” Wainio says. “Everybody’s crystal ball is a little unclear and the world of trade changes constantly. We can’t always anticipate those changes, so we’ve positioned the port for a wide range of possible market developments by investing in projects that will enable us to respond to opportunities as they arise.”
Maintain Financial Stability
Positioning is the perfect segue way to financial stability because according to Wainio, making sure the port is financially solid and healthy
is what makes investing in maritime projects a possibility. “You have to make sure the house is in order financially in order to support capital investments,” Wainio says. “You have to run a port as a business in a financially successful manner.”
Diversify Lines of Business
“Something that has been fundamentally critical to our success has been diversifying our lines of business. Very few ports have so many people walking through their doors wanting to start projects because most of those ports simply do not have the land or the diversity of maritime facilities we have at the Port of Tampa,” Wainio says. The port director contends that the state of Florida has been slower to recover from the recession than the rest of the country, but a continually growing line of commerce has helped to insulate the port from downturns in certain cargoes. In 2011, the port’s cruise business experienced its second-highest year on record with Norwegian Cruise Line joining Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, and Holland America in Tampa, positioning the port to rank number six in the nation among cruise home ports in 2012.
The Tampa Port can only be described as massive. Take this factoid into account: The Miami Port is 500 acres; the Tampa Port is 5,000 acres. One key reason the port has been so successful at diversifying is that it has the resources (i.e. space) to accommodate its business growth. Under the careful and strategic eye of Wainio, not only is the Port of Tampa actively acquiring new land, but it is also creating more land by filling areas of its bay for new cargo terminals. “We’re in an enviable position and we’re only going to continue to grow,” Wainio says. [P]
A WORD from cf industries
CF Industries is a global leader in fertilizer manufacturing and distribution. CF’s Port of Tampa storage and shipping facilities have capacity for approximately 100,000 tons of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) fertilizers, and provides CF and Florida’s $5.8 billion phosphate fertilizer industry with access to Gulf Coast, Corn Belt, and export markets.
and the Jessicas. And the Victors, Michelles and Davids. We believe a bank is only as successful as the people it serves, so we make sure to put our customers first. If your current bank isnâ€™t as considerate, consider a new bank.
frostbank.com/switch Austin (512) 473-4343 Corpus Christi (361) 844-1010 Dallas (214) 515-4900 Fort Worth (817) 420-5200 Houston (713) 388-7600 Rio Grande Valley (956) 668-3100 San Antonio (210) 220-4011
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Kelly Saxton of The Saxton Group on … Creating and maintaining a successful franchise
’ve been in the franchise business a long time,” says Kelly Saxton, founder of Dallas-based The Saxton Group, who started his career in 1982 by opening two Mazzio's Pizza restaurants. After growing the franchise to more than 50 Mazzio’s restaurants, Saxton sold his pizza operation in 2004 to launch McAlister’s Deli, a more progressive fast-food brand that, unlike the very competitive pizza market, Saxton knew he could rapidly grow. In 2009, he added the trendy Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt to his portfolio, becoming the first Pinkberry franchisee outside of California and New York. Thirty years later, The Saxton Group has evolved into the one of the largest McAlister's Deli franchisees in the country with 27 McAlister's throughout Texas, and four Pinkberry locations in the Dallas area. With continued expansion and plans to open over 20 stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas in the near future, Saxton shares his recipe for a smart, successful food franchise.
by Kelly Hayes
Keep Tabs on the Gross Margin
Most business owners know to keep a pulse on profit, but Saxton has learned that in the franchise business it’s especially important to focus on the company’s gross margin. “You need to have a gross strategy,” Saxton explains. “I’ve never found in franchise business that our numbers of units were the same year over year. You’re either growing or you’ve reached a plateau.”
Be Open to Change
In addition to keeping close tabs on the business, Saxton realizes when it’s time to make changes. “In 1999, I was living in Jackson, Mississippi, operating the Mazzio’s restaurants,” Saxton says. “At that time, the pizza business was saturated. Mazzio's was similar to Pizza Hut, but a regional brand. [Pizza joints] had become commodity business, not so much driven by the service or product, but through advertising. We wanted something more focused on a fast-casual niche, a daytime/lunchtime restaurant that was appealing to females. McAlister’s, being a fast-casual concept, was a good fit for us.”
Focus on What You Can Control
Each time he launched a new franchise, Saxton made a point to spend his energy on what he knew he could control. “The brand is
established, the systems are already in place,” Saxton says. “As franchisees, we develop and we operate. We don’t control brand strategy.”
Choose Franchisor Carefully
Because franchisees only have so much control, choosing the right franchisor is critical. “When you're searching for a franchisor, look at the
quality of people, the management, the capital they’re bringing, the overall strength of the franchisor,” Saxton explains. “Someone could go to a restaurant and say, ‘Man, I love that restaurant. I want to be in the restaurant business.’ Then all the sudden, they start franchising. The franchisor is thinking, ‘I want to get these guys to sign a contract and [start mak-
ing money].’ But this is a recipe for disaster [and] a strategic miss for a lot of people. They overestimate the support that the franchisor is going to give them. Research your franchisor and look at their success with other franchisees.”
Know Your Market
Like the old adage, ‘stick with what you know,’ Saxton also attributes some of his success to sticking with a market he’s familiar with. When The Saxton Group launched Pinkberry in 2009, Saxton knew he wanted a franchise that would be successful in the Dallas area. “We were looking for a brand we could do specifically in the Dallas metroplex,” Saxton explains. “We [always look] for brands we can do within markets we already understand. There may be some great brands in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Chicago, but they might not necessarily be good for the markets we operate in. We know Texas and want to work with brands that we believe will thrive here.”
Service is Everything
Part of staying committed means consistently providing good service. “We have to do it right every single day,” Saxton says. “ We might do it right 10 days in a row, but when one thing goes wrong, the customer may not forget. Bad day? No break. As consumers today, you’re going to go somewhere you have total confidence in. You have 30 minutes, or an hour, or whatever you have, and you don’t want any surprises, do you? You have to be willing to start over every single day. Execute, execute, execute.”
The Saxton Group has evolved into one of the largest McAlister's Deli franchisees in the country with 27 locations throughout Texas. Company president Kirk Lanier (pictured above) stops by at one such location.
In addition to focusing on the customers, Saxton goes out of his way to create opportunities for his employees. “Our goals are not based on numbers,” Saxton says. “Sometimes people can be too pragmatic. If you create opportunities for the people working for you, then you’ll create opportunities for the company.” [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Steve Mungall of Santa Maria Suites on … Modern hotel marketing and management for a four-diamond hotel
ince Jimmy Buffett first strummed his guitar on the palm-dotted island of Key West, Florida, it has become every vacationer's fantasy. And for more than 50 years, Santa Maria Suites has brought this fantasy to life, providing unrivaled customer service in a 35-suite resort just blocks away from Key West's shores, shopping, and nightlife. General manager and director of operations Steve Mungall says Santa Maria can credit its growth—20 percent in revenue growth each year over the past four years—to an exceptional guest experience. But, the resort has also evolved over the years. As the market has changed, says Mungall, Santa Maria Suites has remained on the cutting edge of both business strategy and customer service. by Annie Monjar
When trying to keep guests satisfied, employees happy, and 35 luxury suites equipped with top-of-the-line amenities, making the most of your resources is crucial. Over the years, Santa Maria Suites has prioritized efficiency, investing in the right ways, at the right time. Keeping a close eye on the upkeep of the facilities and the daily customer experience is the top priority, Mungall says. “Both customer service and an inviting atmosphere are essential to the guest experience,” he explains. “Things like updating soft goods, installing digital cable, and adding sleeper sofas cost money, but have paid off in the end.” Santa Maria Suites has found ways to run a lean operation, too. In slower seasons, the resort converts its twobedroom suites to one bedrooms. They also perform daily evaluations on the rates of competitors so that they can price their services properly. And, with an eye toward energy efficiency, Santa Maria has invested in LED signage, a linen and towel conservation program, and water-saving showerheads.
Maintain an Online Presence
A crucial part of Santa Maria Suites’ success over the last few years, Mungall says, has been its online presence. The resort’s easy-tonavigate website that features highquality photos of the resort’s suites and pool courtyard area, has been the perfect go-to for visitors reading the wealth of positive guest reviews from sites like Facebook and TripAdvisor, which named Santa Maria Suites “Traveler’s Choice” among its top 25 US Hotels list. “In the current marketing environment, it’s great to
Santa Maria Suites doesn’t skimp on customer service and amenities. Included in the resort fees are little extras like nightly wine receptions and complimentary fruit smoothies by the pool.
have advertising, but you also need to have a website to direct your audience to the next step,” Mungall says. “Our website has performed very well for us as a ‘closer’ to the sale.” Other tactics aimed at increasing the website's presence include a monthly investment in SEO maintenance for the Santa Maria website and pay-perclick campaigns, assuring that when travelers are surfing the web for the best Key West resorts, Santa Maria Suites’ name is an easy find.
Use Strategic Advertising
While online user reviews have played a large role in Santa Maria Suites’ marketing, print and electronic advertising have also been crucial to exposing the Santa Maria name to target audiences. The company has focused on reaching the top-feeder markets within Florida, as well as the East Coast and Midwest, where many of its clients hail from. When the resort was first established, it participated in Key West co-op advertising in newspapers, as well as high-end publications. These placements allowed the company to reach a larger audience by highlighting its greatest
asset: its proximity to the island's endless sun and sand, and the excitement of the famous Duval Street.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
What it really comes down to is making sure that each minute of a guest’s stay is comfortable and punctuated by unexpected treats, Mungall says. Santa Maria Suites has spared no cost when it comes to making sure that its clients have access to modern amenities like in-room washers and driers, flat-screen TVs, and DVD players. Included in the resort fees are extras like turndown service with Dove chocolates each day, complimentary fruit smoothies by the pool, and nightly wine receptions. For Santa Maria Suites, the difference is in the details. The resort has no plans to slow down any time soon. Mungall says they’ll keep looking for ways to maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction. “We plan on continuing our uncompromising service, adding even more services and amenities, and taking our guest experience to the next level,” he says. [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Jeff Dubofsky of Staff Up America on â€Ś Cultivating a community spirit
fter eight years of working in the music industry, Jeff Dubofsky needed a change of tune. He decided to switch gears, follow his entrepreneurial inklings, and start his own staffing business. Early in 2004, Dubofsky launched Staff Up America in Milwaukee. Armed with the basics of building brand awareness and the careful choreography needed to penetrate a new market, he did some industry research and dived right in. Staff Up America employees recruit, deliver, and manage qualified light industrial workforces to local light industrial and hospitality markets. As a businesses literally focused on people, the company cultivates a sense of community both within its offices and throughout the community it serves. Dubofsky shares with Profile how he differentiates his business from the competition, and offers tips for weathering the ups and down of entrepreneurship.
by Jennifer Hogeland
Create a Market Specialty
Client success, as well as Staff Up Americaâ€™s success, relies on creating value above and beyond simply filling positions. The long-term relationships it cultivates have benefited clients through an ongoing mutual commitment to flexibility, and helping to increase productivity while reducing certain direct and soft employment costs. While Dubofsky remains committed to the light industrial workforce, he has allowed Staff Up America to evolve over the last seven years by broadening his business model. The company began in the entry level, high-volume,
industrial labor market although it recognized other opportunities to make a positive impact within the industry to include the placement of semi-skilled employees, preemployment screening, and skill testing. “That has been a driving force over the last several years—to create new sources of revenues and new sources of employment opportunities for our employees,” Dubofsky says.
“We try to create a sense of community within the four walls of our office and a sense of home to our very large workforce.” Jeff Dubofsky president
Staff Up America is strategically headquartered at the heart of where its labor force resides. The bulk of its employees walk through the door; others are found through work readiness agencies or at job fairs. “Once we meet with an employee, our work really begins,” Dubofsky says. “We start whittling down the options to find the right fit for the applicant and the organization that is relying on us.” As the demand for skilled workers increases, Staff Up America strives to fill the gap with the high volume of individuals they send into the workplace. Employees are able to get in on the ground floor and are encouraged to be super stars. Dubofsky adds, “Our message to the workforce is ‘we are here to give you an opportunity to get in the ground floor and present yourself through your work, directly with the decision makers within the organization.’ It increases their opportunity to come back and create a positive work history as well as develop new skills.”
Maintain a Personal Touch
Staff Up America doesn’t serve a nine-to-five industry. Many of its client companies are open seven days a week, operating up to three shifts a day. Dubofsky responded by making members of Staff Up America
staff accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to fill orders and solve problems day or night. “Always being available is a driving force within our business,” Dubofsky says. “I am proud of the company and to be associated with such a wonderful, long-term staff that care deeply about the work they perform. Staff Up America employees are equally as committed to the business as I am,” he says. Employees and clients can feel the organization’s devotion through the way Staff Up America employees communicate with them. Recruiters and sales staff pick up the phone or stop in to see prospective and current clients. This face-to-face conversation allows Staff Up America to understand any challenges in the workplace and to create and tailor programs to overcome these obstacles.
Give Back to The Community
“We try to create a sense of community within the four walls of our office and a sense of home to our very large workforce,” Dubofsky says. On an annual basis, Staff Up America employs more than 1,000 temporary workers. However, Dubofsky believes they make an even bigger impact by giving back to the community. Staff Up America supports area nonprofits that personally touch the lives of their employees. Dubofsky created donation scenarios tying all billable Staff Up America employee work hours to a monetary value. He says, “The message to our employees, as well as our clients, within that scenario is the more we all work, the more we all give. Come to work for Staff Up America and the more hours you put in through us the more money we are able to donate back into the community from which you reside.” [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
A NEW SPIN ON TIS SUE
Quality Container Company A Spiral Wound Composite Can Manufacturer
CE NTE R PULL
Quality Container Company is a composite can manufacturer based in Madera, California. We are a
HYGIENIC Touch Only the Tissue
division of Weatherill Sales, Inc. which has been in business since 1972. Quality Container Company has been manufacturing composite cans since 1997. We service the entire West Coast of the United States.
ELIMINATES WASTE Reduce Consumption
MEETS ADA REQUIREMENTS Multi-directional Dispensing
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY 100% Recycled “I take great pride knowing our workforce makes a positive impact on the production of National Tissue’s world class products. On behalf of my company and the people you help to employ, thank you for the many years of partnership”. Jeff Dubofsky President, Staff Up America
Use spiral wound composite cans for: • Snack Food Packaging
• Frozen Juice Packaging
• Raisin and Prune Packaging • Dry Products Packaging
Why Use Spiral Wound Composite Cans for Product Packaging? Composite cans are attractive, functional and economical. Spiral wound composite cans have the following features and benefits: • Durability - Protects fragile snacks
• Extended shelf life - preserves freshness • Portable and Stackable
• Plastic overcaps - lock in freshness and protect against moisture
Quality Container Company
www.compositecanmaker.com | 209.478.7931 STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA - CORPORATE OFFICE
Alma Dacanay of Pik-Nik Foods, USA on … Creating a global brand on a shoestring 1
ince taking the helm of Burlingame, California–based Pik-Nik Foods, USA, in 2003, CEO Alma Dacanay has developed her company into an emerging force in the snack-food industry. Now, Dacanay is setting her sights on securing an even greater share of this highly competitive market. Pik-Nik started more than seven decades ago and has long been recognized as a leading producer of shoestring potato snacks. In particular, it is a best-selling product in the Philippines. As a Filipino immigrant, Dacanay was already aware of the product when she joined the company. “While my background is in teaching, I changed careers to take a job with an export company,” she recalls. “In 2000, I accepted the position of operations manager with Pik-Nik. Later, I was promoted to chief executive officer.” by Mark Pechenik
Identify Company Strengths
In becoming Pik-Nik’s CEO, Dacanay’s first move was to do a professional assessment of her own abilities. “I think corporate success is based, in part, on the CEO’s understanding of his or her organization, as well as utilizing all of her personal skills to move the company forward,” she says. She next examined Pik-Nik’s own market strengths and positioning. “In 2000, Pik-Nik’s only product was shoestring potatoes. After examining our options, I realized that true success in the snack-food industry comes from diversification,” she says.
Dacanay first focused on expanding her company’s own market share—solidifying its standing—for shoestring potatoes. “We did this by making our product available in supermarkets in all 50 states,” she says. “Our first opportunity came three years ago when French’s, a chief competitor, dropped out of the shoestring-potato market. We quickly moved into the retailers and wholesalers that they had been servicing. This secured our marketplace share in the East Coast and built consumer familiarity with our product all over the United States.”
Plan and Implement Growth
Aware that shoestring potatoes are traditionally a small part of the salty-snack items on store shelves, Dacanay next determined that in order for Pik-Nik foods to grow it had to introduce new items to complement
july/aug/sept 2012 I
After the popularity of the company’s French fried onions, cheese balls, and cheese curls, Pik-Nik Foods has expanded their product lines with new offerings.
its main product. The first opportunity came with the introduction of Pik-Nik Foods’ French fried onions in 2010, a trans-fat free item that can be a snack or used as an ingredient. In 2011, the company introduced its cheese balls and cheese curls, which has a special high-quality cheddar seasoning. “Based on the positive reception for these products—they are consistently selling well in stores— we have expanded our product lines while also building the company,” Dacanay says.
Such expansion would not be successful, however, were it not for Pik-Nik Foods’ emphasis on quality. “For instance, we use nothing but fresh, raw materials that are sourced within the United States,” Dacanay says. “Our potatoes come from American farms. Similarly, the soy oil we use comes from United States suppliers. This means that customers are assured that our snacks meet strict federal standards for quality and safety from start to finish.” The focus on quality also extends into packaging. “Because many competitors use bags to pack their snacks, their products have an average shelf life of six to nine months,” Dacanay says. “However, using our signature canisters for packaging means that our snacks stay fresh for up to two years. Our canisters also protect the quality of our products in diverse environments—they can easily be shipped to hot desert climates as well as cold northern latitudes.”
Capture the Export Market
Increasingly, exports are figuring prominently in Pik-Nik Foods
Baley Trotman Farms30 years of excellence in growing and producing high quality potatoes and other agricultural commodities.
corporate planning. “Our growth is increasingly fueled by our expansion into overseas markets,” says Dacanay. “We’ve used our strong presence in the Philippines as a foundation for global outreach … Since 2000, we’ve increased overseas sales from five to 30 countries.”
In many ways, success in the snack-food industry is all about shelf space. The more space that products are given on store shelves; the more sales can be generated. “Our goal is to keep pressing our supermarket distributors to give us more room for our products,” Dacanay says. “We’ll also seek to expand our presence in other outlets. This means making our snack foods available in convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, and club stores, such as Sam’s Club … We’ve proven that we have delicious, quality products that consumers want. Now, we just need to convince retail-food providers that if they put Pik-Nik on their shelves, it’ll sell.” [P]
• Potatoes • Wheat & Barley • Alfalfa The family-owned partnership of Lon Baley and Mark Trotman cultivates the highest quality products in the rich soils of the Klamath and Tulelake Basin on the Oregon California border. Baley Trotman Farms specializes in chipper potatoes, and is also a premium producer of seed potatoes, alfalfa, wheat and barley. This innovative company has now launched a revolutionary new product—TaterPiks pickled Klamath Basin Pearl™ potatoes, here to liven up snacks, burgers, salads and drinks. Seasoned in two flavors, Classic Dill and Zesty, this tasty surprise will dress up your picnics, barbecues, parties and martinis. Organically grown and packed with no artificial preservatives. http://taterpiks.com/
A WORD from quality container company
It has been a pleasure working with Pik-Nik Foods. Quality Container Company has been supplying Pik-Nik Foods with its composite cans since its inception. It’s a great company with friendly knowledgeable employees. Quality Container Company looks forward to a continued long-lasting relationship as their business continues to grow.
Baley Trotman Farms PO Box 417 • 1459 Depot Rd. Malin, OR 97632 P (541) 723-3200 • F (541) 723-3224 www.btfspuds.com profilemagazine.com
Dave Fister and Steve Foerster of Richards Agency, Inc. on … Treating employees like entrepreneurs
by Jennifer Hogeland
ichards Agency, Inc. represents leading insurance companies, offering a complete line of personal, commercial, life- and health-insurance products, although this Wisconsinbased independent insurance agency is quite unique. Don Richards founded the agency (also known as Richards Insurance) in the mid ’60s. Over the years, he established partnerships with his primary sales producers in each of his six offices known now as managing members. “The success of the agency has been a function of the fact that an entrepreneur started the business and then treated his employees like entrepreneurs,” adds Steve Foerster (top left), vice president of Richards Agency, Inc., and managing member of Richards Benefits & Financial Services, LLC. In 1997, Richards sold Richards Agency, Inc., to the employees. Today, the offices and the employee benefit company stock are owned 50 percent by the managing entity and 50 percent by the ESOP. Here, company president Dave Fister (bottom left) and Foerster chat with Profile to break down this unique business route. july/aug/sept 2012 I
“The success of the agency has been a function of the fact that an entrepreneur started the business and then treated his employees like entrepreneurs.” Steve Foerster Vice President
Richards Agency strives to carry its founder’s entrepreneurial spirit forward. Each office has a managing member and employees that act as entrepreneurs. They bring in and service the business. These individuals set their own goals and work as hard as they please. The split between business and individual insurance sold varies by office. “Because each person knows their market and what they are doing better than I do, they identify whatever market is stronger, and decide the split,” says Fister, president of Richards Agency, Inc. and managing member of Richards Insurance of Beaver Dam. Individuals are encouraged to do what they do best. “We let people gravitate to their level of excellence, what they like doing and where they thrive, which hopefully is the same thing,” Foerster adds.
Build Strong Relationships
They may not always see eye-toeye, but insurance companies trust them, Fister says. “We may not always agree, but they know they are getting something square from us. That isn’t the case with others they deal with.” He adds, “We don’t, and won’t, mislead them in any way. We certainly help our customers as much as we can, but we will never mislead the companies we work with.” This philosophy has allowed Richards Insurance to build strong relationships with insurance companies.
Focus on Service and Efficiency
While its relationships with insurance companies are important, the company commits to customers by investing in service. “When Don Richards hired me, he reminded me
244 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
it is much more important to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. So, our loss rate is nil,” Foerster says. They keep one eye on service, and the other one on frugality. “We’ve been able to automate and get our systems where they need to be moving forward,” Fister adds. This has made a notable impact on efficiency.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Customer-service representatives have dual monitors, allowing them to flip back and forth, simultaneously pulling information from insurance company databases and Richards Agency's system to effectively serve clients. “Although it is standard in the industry to ask customers to have direct contact with insurance companies, we prefer to service our business and personally handle our customers' needs and concerns,” Foerster says. When outsiders realize Richards Agency employs its own customer-service representatives, they questioned the decision to invest in a separate, in-house service team. “Sure, the insurance company can service our customers, but our clients feel more comfortable with us doing it,” Foerster adds. As insurance companies change, Richards Agency explains it is able to stay consistent.
Grow Organically First
Richards Agency strives to grow organically. “It is easier to build relationships from the first point of contact,” Fister adds. “Our model is also built in such a way we need an owner partner.” While Richards Agency willingly explores opportunities to buy available agencies, they thoughtfully approach each growth possibility. [P]
William Watson of Coordinated Resources, Inc. on … How honoring industry relationships and keeping ahead of trends is a winning combination
hen it comes to making furniture selections for a new office space, Coordinated Resources, Inc. (CRI) has increasingly become the vendor of choice for corporate relocations in the San Francisco area. As a top contract furniture business in the San Francisco area, CRI works with leading corporations to furnish new office locations. Through its focus on premier customer service and expertise, CRI is well on its way to achieving the impossible: taking the stress out of furniture outfitting for business moves. “Our goal is to make the furniture-placement process as easy and convenient as possible for our clients,” explains William Watson, president and owner of CRI. Profile chats with Watson about the corporate tactics that have enabled his firm to win high acclaim. by Mark Pechenik
Focus on the Basics
“It is so easy for a corporate move to become complicated,” Watson says. “However, we help prevent such issues by sticking to the basics.” This means that CRI follows a proven operational process that begins with a thorough review of the office floor plan, which is typically provided by the client’s interior designers, as well as the client’s furniture needs. Watson’s firm then develops a strict timeline that includes a walk through the physical location followed by product selection, ordering, placement, and billing. In the event of unforeseen concerns, “we also have the built-in flexibility to problem solve,” Watson says. In this way, CRI has established a strong track record that has consistently enabled it to have furniture ready and waiting for clients the moment they open the doors to their new location.
Understand and Meet Project Goals
With each move, CRI strives to match interior architecture with furniture that is best adapted to the environment. “For instance, when it comes to interior spaces, choosing lighting that is most suited to workflow is vitally important,” Watson says. “The same holds true for electrical, technological, and other realities—selecting furniture that is in harmony with office surroundings is essential.”
Focus on Product Quality
“We regularly strive to offer the best in quality furniture selections for clients,” Wat-
july/aug/sept 2012 I
OF FI C E I N S TA L L AT I O N S
SingleSource, Inc was created to provide a single resource for corporate and institutional users, providing any and all furniture related services. Our mission is simple: to provide exceptional service everyday. Grow with SingleSource and embrace the success that we enjoy through our partnerships with clients, vendors and employees.
Despite the digital age we live in, CRI salespeople still keep old-fashioned fabric swatches in the office of all the different product lines the company carries to show clients.
son says. For instance, as a certified Herman Miller dealer, CRI features top-of-the-line products—from workstations to desks, tables, and storage units. The use of Herman Miller ergonomically designed chairs further exemplifies CRI’s commitment to the highest standards in the business when it comes to furniture placement and design.
Recruit and Retain the Best
“We’re known for hiring—and keeping—good people,” says Watson. “We strive to create a positive team environment where all of us are dedicated to working and helping each other.” It’s one of the reasons why CRI was named one of the best places to work in 2011 by the San Francisco Business Times. Most of CRI’s staff has been with the firm for 18 or 20 years, with each having a demonstrated ability to work effectively and efficiently. “Just as important, they are very good at listening to clients,” Watson says. “They can quickly key in on what needs to
be done to facilitate the best possible project results.”
“San Francisco is known as the birthplace of interior design,” Watson says. “So, the fact that we have strong ties to the architectural and design community within this city is a huge plus—both for us and our clients.” Consequently, if a client seeks a certain fabric, wood grain, or texture, chances are very good that CRI has the resources readily available to obtain what they want and when they want it.
Always Strive for Perfection
“We remind ourselves not to take our favorable press too much to heart,” Watson says. “Instead, by recognizing that there is always room for improvement, we remain focused on the most important aspects of our business operations such as customer service and quality. For this reason, we make it a point to constantly reach even further for that elusive standard of excellence.” [P]
Project Management Asset Management and Storage New Furniture Delivery and Installation Reconﬁgure Existing Furniture Relocation Services
2457 Verna Court San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 483-4800
Richard Miletic of ZK Celltest on … Making sure the company doesn’t drop the ball—or a call
nyone who has ever experienced a dropped cellular connection understands what Sunnyvale, Californiabased ZK Celltest does. “You know that Verizon Wireless commercial in which a guy on a cell phone keeps repeating, ‘Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?’ We help prevent that from happening,” says Richard Miletic, president of ZK Celltest. Although ZK Celltest’s product lineup may sound complicated, its work is fairly simple: It makes the wireless testing equipment that it sells to all major US wireless providers, including Verizon and AT&T. “Engineers install our equipment in their vehicles, then drive around using it to simulate phone calls, testing the network,” Miletic says. “We capture that information, tagging it with a GPS location, so the engineers can conduct troubleshooting in real time or bring data back to the office, download it into a mapping program, and determine why problems occurred where they did.” Miletic says his company’s success can be attributed to four key strategies shared here. by Julie Schaeffer
Have a Dedicated Product
According to Miletic, small companies with large competitors must use a “guerilla-like” strategy as discussed in the book, Marketing Warfare. “If you’re the small kid on the block, you can’t dominate the market, so you have to differentiate yourself,” he says. To do so, ZK Celltest develops products that do only one thing: wireless testing. “Our competitors use general-purpose devices, like laptop computers, as front-end interfaces,” Miletic says. “We use a dedicated device. It’s a light, durable product with a small display. There are advantages to that: It’s a lot easier to walk or drive around with our device than it is to do so with a laptop.”
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Risk Management And Insurance Services
Insuring the needs for businesses and homeowners. Our approach is to insure our clients by managing the risks that face us in today’s environment. Founded in 1993, we are licensed in most states and welcome the opportunity to review the coverage requirements and options for your business and personal lines of insurance. …Experience the NorthStar Difference
some of ZK Celltest's customers use motorcycles for drive tests because they can weave in and out of traffic. The company sells wireless-testing equipment to wireless providers such as Verizon and AT&T.
Use Independent Sales Reps
Most of its competitors have a direct sales force, but ZK Celltest uses independent sales reps. The benefit: “We can get more feet on the street, and we only pay sales reps when they sell something,” Miletic says. “As a result, they’re motivated to sell, and because we only pay them when we get paid, our cash flow works well.”
www.northstar-ins.com Call: 925-975-5900 Fax: 925-975-5909
Make Technical Support a Priority
When it comes to technical support, it’s easy to compete with large companies, which generally offer myriad menu items and little access to an actual person, but ZK Celltest goes the extra mile. “People call us and we answer the phone; sometimes I even answer the phone,” Miletic says. “Likewise, e-mail goes not just to the support staff, but to our chief engineer, our product manager, and me. We make technical support a priority, and we get a lot of kudos for that.”
According to Miletic, ZK Celltest is more innovative than its competitors. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some basic products; there are certain things any company in
the industry must do, such as offer 4G testing capability. Beyond that, however, ZK Celltest carves out ways to do things differently—and that’s a direct result of Miletic’s philosophy. “Our main bottleneck is engineering development,” he says. “If I had the money to hire 20 more engineers, I would because I’d have more than enough projects to fill their plates—but, I don’t. So, we pay attention to where we put our engineering resources and we apply them to innovation. I’ve never looked at the competition to create development projects; my philosophy is, why develop something someone else has already developed? Once it gets to the marketplace, you can’t capture a high margin if the other guy has it too. So, we spend our resources finding something no one has developed. Then we can generate interest, create a buzz, and command the price [we] want.” Though the company’s future outlook is very promising, Miletic says he’s happy where ZK Celltest is at the moment. “We have a great team of people and a nice atmosphere, so we like what we do,” he says. “We don’t need to grow leaps and bounds.” [P]
Risk Management And Insurance Services 248
Founded in 1932
Americo Chemical Products Incorporated
Is this the year your business doubles in size? Or maybe triples?
The Pinnacle of Quality Finishing
24 years Years in Business SPECIALTIES:
• Pre-Treatment Chemicals prior to Plating and Painting on Metal and Plastic Surfaces • Wastewater Treatment Chemicals including Inorganic/Organic Coagulants, Flocculant Polymers, Odor Control, Defoamers and Acids. • Cutting & Grinding Fluids, Rust Inhibitors, and Drawing Compounds B U SINES S :
Agriculture, Aircraft, Appliance, Automotive, Construction, Electronics, and Government Industries
Acme Finishing Company, Inc. is the only licensed Halo Retro-Reflective Coater in the central United States. Halo is leading the retro-reflective industry with its patented, innovative powder coating solutions that are unmatched in luminosity and brightness. The coating protects people and objects by providing over 1,000 feet of bright, incandescent, life-saving visibility. Some of Halo’s many product benefits include:
As a business owner, you need to be prepared for anything. That’s why FirstMerit offers a full range of business products and services to help you grow and change as situations arise. From international banking to merchant services to business succession planning, FirstMerit can help you be ready
This the year. How can we help?
• Increased visibility of coated objects at night • High durability with enhanced corrosion protection • Available in virtually any color for great daytime appearance • Retro-reflects 98% of all solar UV • Adhesive properties and resistance to abrasion exceed retro-reflectivity standards of the engineered grade tapes at a diminished cost • 100% Green technology
Americo Chemical Products, Inc. 551 Kimberly Drive Carol Stream, IL USA 60188 Phone: 630.588.0830 Fax: 630.588.0930
• Graffiti resistant
P E R S ON A L
C OM M E RC I A L
W E A LT H
• Available in thermoset and thermoplastic powder chemistries
Acme Finishing Company, Inc. 1595 Oakton Street Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 Phone: (847) 640-7890 Fax: (847) 640-0298
to learn more, stop by your local Firstmerit branch or call Pete Gillespie, Chicago President & CEO, at (312)429-3600.
www.acmefinishing.com Job# 10377 File Name: 10377_Gillespie_
Last Saved: 1/27/12 - 9:18 AM NOTES: Initial layout -a bit text
A Dennis and Jack Walters of Acme Finishing Company, Inc. on … Doing things competitors won’t do
by Ovetta Sampson
250 profile I july/aug/sept 2012
robotic arm f lips sharply to attention, thrusting its pointy tip at the seven rows of square metal pieces hanging in front of it. Snaking up and down like something out of The Terminator, the machine arm moves smoothly, precisely spraying a nearly invisible mist, coating the metal pieces black in less than a minute. Despite the efficiency, Ed DeWitt, the man controlling the arm for Acme Finishing Company, Inc., frowns. The tablet-sized remote control in his hand tells him what he already knows: The robotic arm is off. DeWitt presses the big, red stop button and the arm dies. Watching the scene unfold is Acme’s Dennis Walters (pictured on top left), who co-owns the powder-coating company with his brother Jack Walters. “The arm is a huge investment,” Dennis explains. “Once we get it fully integrated into our system, it’ll do the work of four employees, which is great because right now we don’t even have four guys who are willing to do this type of repetitive work.” The brothers share how their flair for ingenuity and risk taking led to a prosperous business.
Take Calculated Risks
A few years after William Walters opened a paint shop in Chicago in 1932, his investors didn’t see much future in painting adding machines and electrical wall boxes. William took a risk and bought them out. The move set a precedent. Walk around Acme’s 110,000-squarefoot facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, today and examples of calculated risks are displayed everywhere. There’s the $100,000 risk robotic arm. The first-of its-kind clean room for the automatic powder-coating machine installed in 2012. The $100,000 risk in reflexive coating—no one else in the state does reflexive coating, which coats highway markings and other emergency equipment with specially patented paint. “We took a leap of faith with the reflex-
ive coating,” says Jack, co-owner of Acme. “Another company turned [it] down because the investment to get licensed to do this type of coating was $100,000. We took a leap of faith. Not many people are willing to invest in something that is iffy so to speak. But we did.”
engineer, said yes, creating a masking device that made sure the coating went just where the customer wanted. “We do a lot of things that others just won’t do,” Dennis says. “Ninety percent of our customers come from referrals. Our team is amazing when it comes to customer service.”
Give Extreme Customer Service
Acme’s risk taking is directly related to its devotion to its customers. The company, which has about 80 full-time employees, moved to its current headquarters to be next to its customer Halo Lighting. Another customer, NTN Bearing Manufacturing Corporation, wanted someone to custom coat the inside of wheel bearings without spilling any paint on the outside. Others turned them down, saying the custom-coat job was too costly. But, Dennis, an industrial
Innovation and superb craftsmanship collide harmoniously at Acme Finishing Company, Inc., where electrostatic powder coating of automotive wheel-bearing hubs can be executed automatically on a specially designed coating line.
Commit to Diversification
Though Acme’s close relationship with Halo Lighting spurred its growth, when the company moved its headquarters down south and took $3 million in sales with it, Acme was at a crossroads. So they diversified, expanding to seven lines that could powder coat, offer basic assembly, or even manufacture metal parts. Now the company is delving into decorative powder coating designs, something that’s foreign to most of their competitors, but popular in Europe. The $400,000 Decoral machines offers companies the ability to take any images and seal it forever with powder coating including wood grain powder. Think leopard print floors! “It’s a lot of investment that hasn’t paid off yet,” Dennis says. “But, somehow we still keep going. We just have to keep going.”
Branch Out to Stay Ahead
Though Acme provides services to some of the country’s biggest names like Harley Davidson, John Deere, and Juno Lighting, the company is well aware of the large competition in its industry. However, the company’s willingness to take risks, such as being the only powdercoating company using a robotic arm as well as it’s extreme commitment to customer service and dedication to diversification allows this company to thrive. “Most of our competition keeps doing the same thing,” Jack says. “We decided to branch out.” [P]
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Jeff Bush and Laurel Eriksen of Alaska Public Entity Insurance on … Following an unconventional business plan
ike most industries in today’s economic climate, the insurance industry is facing a challenging time, but in Juneau, Alaska, a unique set of circumstances makes doing business all the more difficult. As executive director of Alaska Public Entity Insurance (APEI), Jeff Bush must navigate around the extreme distance and isolation that makes normal loss control in the state quite unique. “We insure people from all over Alaska. There are municipalities of 5 or 10 employees, villages of 200 people, school districts with 20 schools that all have to be reached by plane, and 200 communities in a pool, where maybe 15 are reachable by car,” Bush (top left) explains. “These conditions make risk very hard to underwrite.” Despite these challenges and the fact that APEI was on the verge of bankruptcy when Bush took over in 2003, APEI is thriving. Bush and deputy director Laurel Eriksen (bottom left) share the business strategies that have made the company so successful.
by Tina Vasquez
“We’re here for our members; we’re not here to make money off of them.” Jeff Bush Executive director
and when he joined APEI he had no experience in the insurance industry, so he understands that the person who makes the best fit may not be the person with the most industry experience. “You can train a bright, capable, dedicated individual, but a person who has experience isn’t necessarily bright, capable, or dedicated—and those aren’t the type of things you can teach a person,” Bush says.
In many ways, APEI is unconventional. It operates as a nonprofit set up solely to benefit its members, and one of the pool’s main strategies is ensuring that price matches cost, with individual loss experience acting as the main factor for each member’s rates. Obviously, this isn’t a traditional point of view in the insurance industry, but it’s in line with Bush’s vision for the pool. “I’m not in business to make a profit,” Bush says. “We allow our members to maximize their funds for other projects.”
APEI actually encourages competition, telling its members to investigate what else is available to them. According to Eriksen, this strategy builds credibility and ensures that clients are getting the best product for the best price. “If we fail, it means members are meeting their needs for less with someone else,” Bush said. “We’re here for our members; we’re not here to make money off of them. We’ve grown every year since I’ve been here because of this strategy, and we’re gaining more than we’re losing as a result of it.”
Operate as a Nonprofit
According to Bush, fear of competition leads to price wars, financial instability, and budget issues, which is why APEI never adjusts its prices based on competition because that would be unfair to customers and is, essentially, a zero-sum game.
invest in staff
Keeping with the trend of being unconventional, Bush believes that it’s better to pay more to hire and retain a qualified staff, which sometimes means he’s not always going to hire the person with the most experience. Bush’s background was in law
weigh risks wisely
According to Eriksen, public entities invest almost exclusively in fixed income and insurance firms aren’t much different. APEI, however, takes its cue from corporate America, finding the equities side more lucrative. “As a result, we’ve done very well,” Eriksen says. “We’d rather take small risks for a large investment return than a large risk for a small investment return, but some risk is good. Our portfolio is a conservative mix, but it works for us.” [P]
A WORD FROM rising medical solutions
Rising Medical Solutions enjoys working with Alaska Public Entity Insurance (APEI) as its medical bill review service provider. Rising fosters successful partnerships with insurers who share our commitment to developing new innovations, technologies, and efficiencies for controlling medical costs. APEI is such a partner and we congratulate them on their continued industry leadership.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Innovative Solutions. Accurate Valuations.
HELPING INSURERS GET THE MOST OUT OF EACH HEALTHCARE DOLLAR
For over two decades AssetWorks has been a trusted partner and a premier provider of asset valuation services. With proven expertise and experience, AssetWorks is uniquely qualified to provide appraisals to achieve accurate insurance placement. Our combination of valuation consultants and state-of-the-art technology offers innovative, customized, and cost effective services for initial and long-term solutions associated
with insurance and risk management.
More Than Just Insurance Alaska Public Entity Insurance is committed to providing our mem-
• Valuation of buildings and structures • Personal property and contents appraisals • Customized risk pool appraisal programs • Insurable values perpetuation • COPE data collection • On-Site Capital Asset Inventories • GASB Statements 34/35 Valuation Studies • Long-Term Accounting Values Compliancy • Infrastructure Valuations • AssetMAXX Asset Management Web Application
Our goal is to provide the highest quality services while delivering professional, independent, accurate, and supportable
bers with stable, affordable insur-
Medical Bill Review Hospital Bill Review Provider Networks Provider Negotiations Utilization Review & Cost Containment Services Auto Liability Group Health & Workers’ Compensation
ance, broad coverage, and effective risk management services so that APEI municipal and school district members have maximum funds available for their local government and educational programs. 2233 Jordan Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801 907-523-9400 Toll Free: 1-877-586-2734 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.akpei.com
proud logistics partner of
ELECTRIC CO, INC.
65 YEARS POWERING INNOVATION
ZWICKER ELECTRIC is one of New York’s leading fullservice electrical contractors specializing in complex electrical installations for commercial, residential, institutional, industrial, educational, hospitality, healthcare and retail facilities. For more information, contact us at 212.477.8400 or email us at email@example.com
fulfillment www.sji-inc.com (314) 336-1331
Zwicker Electric Co, Inc. 360 Park Avenue South, 4th Floor ■ New York, NY 10010 FINALIST
G O LD WINNER
dr aw i ng boa r d
A Sustainable Foundation Net-zero expert Rob Diemer leads two-year-old green spin-off In Posse with a focus on the triple bottom line
by tina vasquez
n Posse may be one of the most unique engineering and sustainability-consulting firms in the country and at its helm is partner Rob Diemer, now considered an expert in his field. However, Diemer can still remember the time in 1999 when he first began hearing about green building and LEED certification. He’d been working as an engineer at the AKF Group LLC for five years when he developed a serious interest in fuel cells, resulting in a visit to the University of California, Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center. “After that visit my interest was really sparked,” Diemer says. “I could feel that things were
changing and I wanted to be a part of it.” As partner of the AKF Group, Diemer continued his work for the company, while also focusing his attentions elsewhere, attending Green Council meetings, conferences, and educating himself on green design. He was able to incorporate his newfound passion into his work for AKF, even developing a team that worked on sustainable projects. The work was exciting, but Diemer wanted something more. “I wanted to be a specialist strictly focused on green building. I wanted to have a business that was sustainable, a business that was environment and issue-focused,” Diemer says. “Starting my own business was obviously much easier than trying to change AKF from the ground up, so that’s what I did and AKF was very supportive, seeing this as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and provide added value to clients.” In 2010, Diemer started In Posse, a subsidiary of the AKF Group that operates as a triple-bottom-line company offering services in sustainable engineering, building analysis and modeling, commissioning, energy audits, and sustainability consulting.
(left) Rob Diemer is considered a pioneer in net-zero construction. (above)This 100,000-square-foot LEED Gold-certified core and shell office building utilizes daylight harvesting, energy recovery, high-efficiency lighting, HVAC, and plumbing systems to achieve significant energy savings. The building is projected to perform 20 percent better than the ASHRAE 90.1 energy baseline.
Photos: Barry Halkin
Neumann University’s Mirenda Center for Sports, Spirituality and Character Development in Aston, PA, makes use of extensive daylight harvesting and low-flow plumbing fixtures, coupled with flexible and adaptive mechanical systems, to provide energy-efficient operation. The 70,000-square-foot has achieved LEED Silver certification.
The buzz surrounding net zero is simi- A WORD from Gibson zwicker electric lar to the excitement that surrounded Zwicker Electric is one of New York’s LEED building 10 years ago. In other leading electrical contractors. We are words, net zero has been lauded as the highly trained, experienced, knowlnext big thing in sustainable design and edgeable, reliable and cutting edge. In Posse has managed to quietly posi- Our services are comprehensive and tion itself as one of the few net-zero ex- include new construction and interiperts in the country. ors, complemented by Moving forward, a host of diverse serIN POSSE'S Diemer wants to fovices to support new REVENUE cus on what are beand existing facilities. coming k now n as For over 65 years, regenerative buildZwicker Electric coni ngs, wh ich a re tinues to provide the buildings that have highest quality eleca net-positive impact trical installations in and actually improve many of the world’s most prestigious adthe surrounding endresses. Our portvironment by capfolio speaks for itself turing and treating a nd includes comwater and producing all of their own plex, well-engineered energy. These buildi n s t a l l a t ion s t h a t prov ide continuous ings can be designed 2009 2010 2011 to improve damaged and reliable electrical surrounding environservices to millions of ments and they’re capable of repairing our region’s residents. surrounding ecosystems. “The future Zwicker is a progressive firm. Our of sustainable design is all about build- new sister firm, Zwicker Technoloings that give back more than they take. gies, is bringing new solutions to our Owners who are forward thinking will clients. For more information, visit recognize the importance of investing zwicker-electric.com in buildings that have a positive, rather We would also like to congratulate than a negative, impact and that’s the our friends at AKF! work I’m excited to do as In Posse grows and develops,” Diemer says. [P]
Shortly after starting, In Posse, in collaboration with AKF Group, was awarded a significant contract for a net-zero energy school through New York City’s Department of Education, providing Diemer and his team with the opportunity to build a school of the future with zero net- energy consumption and zero carbon emissions. Work on the school began in early 2012 and the challenges were apparent early on. “This is an entirely different type of project,” Diemer says. “As architects and engineers, we know how to build a sustainable building, but net zero requires that you go beyond that. We have to factor in the teachers and administrators and food-service people that run the school. We have to figure out how their decisions and behaviors affect energy use in the building and then we have to teach them how to change those behaviors for the better.” While net-zero projects may not result in big returns for building owners, Diemer’s work is actually proving to be invaluable to them in the long run. By understanding and removing the energy drains in one facility, owners can take their newfound knowledge of improved systems and implement those same changes in other buildings, resulting in energy savings and massively reduced carbon footprints.
july/aug/sept 2012 I
Globetrotting Entrepreneurs and CEOs doing business around the world
who: Richard X. Zawitz, founder and owner of Tangle, Inc. where: Tangle, Inc., a toys and art manufacturer, is headquartered in San Francisco with a
regional office/gallery/showroom in Hong Kong and an affiliate design office and partnership in Milan, Italy. The company does business in the United States as well as over 50 countries including Canada, Chile, China, Russia, and India. Its production facilities are based in China, and distribution bases include China, United States, and Europe. Products: Tangle Toys, Tangle Therapy, Matrix Airless Ball System, Learning with
Tangle Brain tools (books and manipulative devices), pet products, Tangle promotional products for corporations and fast-food programs, and more. job in a nut-shell: “I travel around the world ... meeting a Tangle distributor in Spain, creating a shoe line in Guatemala, signing a book deal in Holland, or setting up a monumental sculpture in China in a mall,” says Zawitz. “The globe is my gene pool to create useful objects for everyday life for kids, adults, people of different cultures, and the disabled.” business philosophy: “Create timeless products and art, and work in harmony with nature. I discovered that playthings and art are universal and [appeal] to any market in the world,” Zawitz says. global perspective: “The challenges are many [but] ... broadening your global reach can more than double your revenue and the growth potential is exponential.”
Strategies for business leaders, now on page and screen 3 :1 3
Profi le J U LY/AUG/SEP T 2012
S T R AT E G I E S F O R I N D U S T R Y L E A D E R S
J U LY/A U G / S E P T 2 0 1 2
Bennigan’s Makes a Comeback P. 86
General Motors’ Marketing Guru P. 169
S T R AT E G I E S F O R I N D U S T R Y L E A D E R S
Women Executives in Baseball P. 179
After a 20-year uphill climb to Motorola Solutions’ general counsel seat, Lewis Steverson shows no signs of slowing down P.114
+ PROF I L EM AG A ZI N E .COM
WE GET PERSONAL with general counsel from: General Electric, 3M, Ford Motor Co., Emerson Electric, & more P.112
4/13/12 4:57 PM
PRINT + TABLET EDITIONS FIND US IN THE APP STORE OR AT PROFILEMAGAZINE.COM july/aug/sept 2012 I
Saving MONEY never felt SO HEALTHY.
Save money with online deals from Blue365. Taking care of yourself is an “everyday” kind of thing. That’s why we created Blue365, an online destination for healthy deals and discounts. With savings on fitness, healthy eating, personal care and more, you can make good choices while saving money. Because health is a big deal. Sign up at blue365deals.com today.
260 profile I july/aug/sept 2012