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Local Women Follow Their Dreams to Much Success By: THERESE AAKER

Who’s on First? California not ready to implement more regulation for commercial properties. By: JASON LAMOREAUX

This year ushers in the

implementation of additional environmental requirements for commercial property owners who are selling, leasing or obtaining financing in connection with their property. Though passed in November of 2007, California’s Assembly Bill 1103 (AB1103) mandating energy benchmarking and energy disclosure for non-residential buildings has been delayed to September, 2013 for actual compliance requirements. In what is a poorly thought-out effort to the measure energy efficiency of commercial property, owners can look forward to additional paperwork, regulation and liability with every California transaction, in a Who’s on First Abbot and Costello routine involving mismatched efforts between energy companies, EPA requirements, and Jean McSwain, Owner of Athena Jeans Salon and Day Spa in Victorville. Photo by Therese Aaker

Just as setbacks can, out of necessity,

propel us forward and lead to the creation of something new; for several women business owners in the High Desert, necessity did, indeed, become the mother of their invention. These women in this story were unfullfilled where they worked previously or saw a need in their community, and worked hard to fill that need. “Live, work, play,” Jean McSwain’s mantra, is proof that a solid work ethic is necessary to accomplish this. McSwain owns Athena Jean’s Salon and Spa, located on Bear Valley Road. McSwain’s success in small business

started in the Philippines, before she moved to the U.S. at 18 years old. By that time she already owned two hair salons and worked in photography and fashion design. “I’m a really hard worker. If you’re not a hard worker, it’s not going to work here,” McSwain said. Now 53 and a very successful businesswoman in the High Desert, McSwain plans to expand her salon and open a new spa and wellness center focusing on body wraps and antibiotic-free detoxes. When she married, she called the High Desert home but saw a lack of beauty salons and spas – so created Athena Jean’s. CON’T PAGE 2

When is AB 1103 effective and who does it effect? Effective Dates September 1, 2013* January 1, 2014 July 1, 2014

Gross Floor Square Footage Greater than 50,000 10,000 to 50,000 At least 5,000 to 10,000

*Original effective date of July 1, 2013

commercial property owners. The bill’s purpose is to promote energy efficiency in California, and does so by establishing a system allowing the comparison of the self-reported energy efficiency of commercial buildings against a yet-to-be determined benchmark. Besides the implementation issues which include utility companies that aren’t ready to report, forms that aren’t ready to fill out, and registration websites that are scheduled to be out of service when needed (the EPA’s Energy Star website is scheduled to be down from June 26th to July 9th), the biggest flaw in the bill is that it does not adequately differentiate between a building’s energy efficiency and the energy used to run the business within the building. Though the analysis of a building’s energy efficiency is “normalized” for factors such as type of use (18 categories including office, restaurant, warehouse etcetera), there is no differentiation for mixed use buildings, or for example, between


It’s nice to have a doctor who connects with you on every level. It doesn’t take an extraordinary experience to make health feel like an extraordinary blessing. To the physicians at St. Joseph Health, St. Mary, even the smallest, most ordinary moments are sacred. They work to help you enjoy a healthier life, for the everyday moments as well as the once-in-a-lifetime. It’s for all these reasons, the large and seemingly small, that we invite you to connect with the right doctor for you. (877) 242-4200

A Ministry in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and Brothers of St. John of God

SM-BusinessJournalJune13.indd 1

6/21/2013 8:00:24 AM

GIRL POWER - Con’t “I wanted to do something in the community,” McSwain said. “I like to help people, helping make them feel good. It’s an amazing journey since my first year I have really seen growth.” The salon, which was named for McSwain’s niece, is a testimony to her work ethic and business savvy. “I learned the numbers and figures, I’m still learning. Here we’re all computer savvy. We invest a lot in marketing, we have to be visible,” McSwain said. “You can’t make money unless you spend money.” McSwain also finds time to run Miss Greater Victor Valley, helping young girls achieve their dreams and win scholarships to go to school. Another motivated woman who just opened her new business is Lora Pederson, owner of Nostromo Hair Studio in Apple Valley. Her venture stemmed from not being happy in her previous profession as a teacher. “I was homeschooled the whole way and then I was teaching,” Pederson said. “It just wasn’t for me. I like painting, crafting, I like working with my hands, so I said, ‘Why not the whole package?’ And I fell in love.” Although she stresses professionalism and customer service with her employees, they each have their own unique funloving personalities. “I have a passion for it, so it’s easy, but it’s a 24/7 job. I don’t ever feel like I hate going to work.” Accomplished local business woman, Dianna Donofrio, owner of Apple Valley Physical Therapy, created her thriving business out of necessity stating she felt there was a lack of compassion in her field. “It’s nice to be able to have my own place, where people don’t treat us as a commodity. I like to treat people like they truly deserve,” Donofrio said. “I didn’t like the lack of compassion and love of money on the part of my previous employers. They forgot how to treat people as

people and I wanted to bring that compassion back into the workplace” Donofrio stresses that her business is family-focused and often has her grandchildren in the business with her. “A lot of our clients are seniors. They love seeing little ones — as long as they behave,” Donofrio laughed. Although Donofrio said that her beginnings were difficult, trying to get her name out, her business now sees about twenty patients a day. “I like treating them the way I like,” Donofrio said, who likes to spend time with and chat with her patients. Nina Hart also became a successful business owner when she realized her passion for pinup photography. Photography by Hart was started five years ago when she and her sister went for their own studio session. “I remember that throughout the day it was such a great experience, feeling so beautiful,” Hart said. Hart sees about ten clients per week at her studio in Helendale. Her customers come in all ages and sizes. Clients are given a professional makeup and wardrobe job and then shoot in studio and on location. “My dad got me into vintage and pin-up stuff. He liked Marilyn Monroe. They were curvy and not afraid of their bodies,” Hart said. These are but a handful of local women who have followed their dreams to create a better local business community. The one thread they all have in common is success through mingling their passions with a dedicated work ethic. Even in difficult economic times, these women have founded businesses that are based on there passions, rather than a desire for money, and perhaps, that is what makes them so successful. Therese Aaker is a journalism and art student in Atchison, Kansas. She has also been published in the National Catholic Register and has a blog of movie reviews.



Local Women Follow Their Dreams to Much Success

Who’s on First?

California not ready to implement more regulation for commercial properties. Page 4

Executive Q&A

Tim Anderson General Manager of El Dorado Broadcasting Page 5

Power of Influence

Vol. 4 No. 4 CON’T PAGE 3 WHO’S ON FIRST Con’t warehousing and manufacturing. If one building is used to warehouse dry goods, and an identical building is used to manufacture plastic molds, the higher energy use necessary to make plastic molds will be counted toward the building’s efficiency, translating to a lower energy efficiency score


• Be aware of the new disclosure dates, and when your building or buildings are required to comply. • Register with the EPA site early. • Know, train or hire someone who knows how to obtain and enter the necessary data. • Consider how purchase and sale agreements, leases and financing documents are prepared, to ensure compliance.

Part 3 in a 7 part series Page 7

Residential Realty By the Numbers Page 8

#HASHTAGS #Hype or #Help Page 9

12 People Profile

Alan Garrett President Ceo of St. Joseph Health, St. Mary Page 10

Local Netowrking 101 Page 11

Employment Practice Liability What to know!

Check us out online at www.HDBJ.Biz And stay connected with us on Facebook!

compared to the same building used for warehousing. An additional issue is the tight time framework that the building owner has to work within. During the sale, lease, or refinance, of a building an account must be opened on the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager website at least 30 days before the disclosure is required. The information must be current within 30 days of the lease, sale or refinance or it is invalid. And the documents must be delivered 24 hours before signing the sale, lease, or refinance. So any delays in closing a deal are further encumbered by the finicky regulatory timing for this requirement. These obligations create additional work for the property owner and others acting on their behalf. The goal was to have the utility companies enter the information, however only a handful of companies are able to do so at this time. Therefore the utility data must most often be manually entered by the building owner, in addition to other data including building age, gross square feet of floor area, if refrigerated or unrefrigerated, weekly operating hours, number of workers on the main shift, percentage of building that is heated

or cooled, number of refrigerators, if is used as a distribution center or data center, what type of parking is available and how many stalls. On top of that, the resultant ratings are not well-established. In addition to there being no benchmark to start with at the time of implementation, ratings will change over time as buildings become more efficient, ostensibly meaning a rating of 50, for instance, can mean something different from one year to the next. In addition, a building’s ratings will go down over time if improvements to energy efficiency are not made. And while there is no official penalty for non-compliance, failure to make such disclosures as a material fact could become a source of potential claims by buyers, tenants and lenders, possibly creating yet another source for fraudulent and annoying litigation for which California is already known.

A Quick Guide to AB1103 • AB1103 is an EPA energy benchmark consisting of the systematic approach collection of building and energy-use over a given time period (11 month minimum) to determine the energy use per square foot for a building. • Ratings are from 1 to 100, with 100 being most energy efficient. If a building reaches a score of 75 or higher, owners can apply for an ENERGY STAR plaque. A score of 50 is average compared to the yet-to-be determined median. Any building applying for the ENERGY STAR label must have their data certified by a licensed professional engineer. • California commercial building owners must input 12 months of energy consumption and other building data into the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager system to be benchmarked and scored. • Accounts must be opened with EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager a minimum of 30 days before the disclosure is required. • Utility Companies including gas and electric must be contacted to obtain the building’s utility data for the most recent twelve months.

Jason Lamoreaux is CEO and President of Coldwell Banker Commercial in Victorville., the number one selling commercial brokerage in the High Desert.

PUBLISHER Western Star Financial, Inc. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gretchen Losi MARKETING DIRECTOR Lisa Kiplinger Kennedy STAFF WRITERS Therese Aaker Jason Lamoreaux Mike Nutter Ryan Orr Alyssa Penman Steve Sipe Sam Thatte Caroll Yule CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sandy Harmsen Robert Isbill James Johnson Kevin Yang EDITORIAL BOARD Teri Ortega President Adelanto Chamber of Commerce Janice Moore President Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce Yvonne Woytovich President Hesperia Chamber of Commerce Eric Camarena President High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Michelle Spears President Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANT Phoenix Turoci OFFICE MANAGER Sherry Madan HDBJ is published monthly with an additional two Special Features, 40 Under 40 published in October and our Annual Book of Lists. You can also find us on the Web at HDBJ.Biz. All material is copyright by HDBJ with all rights reserved. To obtain permission to reprint or recreate content, contact us at Mail@HDBJ.Biz. For advertising inquiries call 760-244-8596. To subscribe send a $20 check to: Western Star Financial, 14895 Bear Valley Rd., Hesperia, Ca. 92345. Or to pay by credit card, Call 760-244-8596 For editorial inquiries, including story ideas, promoting a business event, or to be considered as part of our writing team, call Editor Gretchen Losi at 760-244-8596 or e-mail, Mail@HDBJ.Biz




WHAT ARE THE MAJOR DUTIES OF A GENERAL MANAGER FOR A BROADCAST COMPANY? Job responsibilities differ from market to market and are defined by the culture of the Broadcast Group. A General Managers prime responsibility is to represent the licenses of each radio station under their control. A GM oversees all aspects of the operation, including programming, sales, marketing, human resources, administration and engineering. They are usually responsible for the profit and loss of the facility. All department heads report directly to a GM. The GM typically reports directly to ownership. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE EL DORADO PLAYS IN THE HIGH DESERT COMMUNITY? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grants radio station licenses under the condition that the operator serves its community of license. El Dorado Broadcasters Victorville takes this responsibility seriously. Each of our four radio formats provides local information, news, traffic, weather and entertainment that reflect the needs of the High Desert. WHAT IS IT ABOUT EL DORADO BROADSCASTERS THAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER RADIO STATIONS THAT ARE PLAYED IN THE HIGH DESERT? It’s the employees, no doubt. All of our radio stations are programmed right here the High Desert by broadcast professional that live in the High Desert. We employ over 30 High Desert Residents. Many of our employees have lived in the community most of their broadcasting careers. Radio stations Y-102, KAT COUNTRY, FOX 106.5 and TALK 960 are local radio stations. There are a lot of options for music and entertainment, but only these four radio stations serve the unique lifestyle of Victor Valley residents. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIG CHANGES THAT YOU HAVE SEEN ON THE BUSINESS END OF RADIO OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS? A few years back I would have said the biggest change was the consolidation of the radio industry. Now, it’s the “DE-consolidation” of the radio industry. El Dorado Broadcasters is a good example of that. What was happening was that Corporations like Clear Channel Radio were buying every radio station across the country and homogenizing the product. Management decisions for a market like the Victor Valley were made out of the area. This was a threat to some of radios most unique qualities. The “DE- Consolidation” of radio started just around the time the economy started to tank. Now you see major broadcast corporations like Clear Channel and CBS leaving small and medium markets. This puts markets like the Victor Valley back in the hands of broadcasters like El Dorado Broadcasters. Smaller broadcasters have management on the ground in the market. This is the future of radio. Of course I am pleased to see this happen. The next biggest change would be the technology. I could spend hours on that subject alone. But technology still has not taken the place of your local announcer saying, “Good Morning High Desert”! HOW HAS RADIO MET THE CHALLENGES OF THE STRUGGLING ECONOMY? Radio is the most cost effective advertising medium available. Radio met the challenges of the struggling economy by proving our efficiency to advertisers. With radio you can target a specific message, to a specific demographic at a specific time. It’s about reaching out to an advertiser’s customer and telling them over and over again about their product. It’s an intrusive, accessible medium that continues to provide results for businesses that invest in it. For this radio group, getting back to the basics is our key to overcoming the bad economy. It’s a leaner operation. Every one works very hard. They stay focused on the mission at hand. If there is anything good that came out of this recession, it may be the desire of all employees to have a common goal. Everyone seems to get that this was a big hit. We are all grateful to be on the other side of it and working as a team.

NAME: Tim Anderson COMPANY: El Dorado Broadcaster Y-102, KAT COUNTRY, FOX 106.5 and TALK 960 POSITION: General Manager/Market Manager TIME IN POSITION: 1990-1992 and 2011-Present AGE: 53 Born and raised in Los Angeles, he moved to the High Desert in 1987-88 after starting a radio career in New Hampshire, first as an announcer a newsman and a program director. Tim is the CoChair of the Riverside San Bernardino Local Emergency Communications Committee, a position he has held for over 13 years. A former board member of the Barstow Chamber of Commerce, and a Member / Chair for several Cal Trans advisory and Office of Traffic Safety Corridor groups. He just recently he accepted a 3 year term as a director on the Victor Valley College Board.

The Power of Influence in Business


Editors Note: This is the third article in the series on Weapons Of Business Influence based on the book "Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini.

A friend of mine uses a great trick to make sure

he receives the best service when he eats at a restaurant. Because it’s a bit manipulative and I don't condone it, we will just call him John. "Hello gentlemen, how are you this morning? My name is Matt and I am going to take care of you today. Can I start you off with a cold ShockTop or do you prefer an Iced Tea?" We were being greeted by a professional young man. John immediately sprang into action. "Wait, did you say your name was Matt? I have heard so much about you! My friend Jason and his wife absolutely love your service. They can't stop talking about how great you are and how much they enjoy coming here because of you. I am so glad we got you as our server. Are we going to see some of that incredible service today?" "Of course you are! Or even better," Matt replied. He took our order and walked away smiling and blushing. Matt bent over backwards to give us great service that day, and it was thanks to the power of commitment and consistency. Because of the exchange John had with our server, commitment and consistency kicked in and made Matt feel obligated to provide great service for us. John had never actually heard of Matt, but he uses this technique repeatedly. This influential weapon, Commitment and Consistency, works in this way. Commitment: If I asked you to do something and you agreed to do it, verbally or in writing, the likelihood that you would actually do it would be high.

Consistency: After you had committed and done something for me the first time, if I were to now ask you to do something else that required you to put out even more effort, the likelihood that you would do it for me would be even higher. There are two things that psychology has taught us over the years. First, we naturally feel obligated to honor our word - most of the time – and second, the best predictor of how a person will behave in the future is how he behaved in the past. Being likeable is a powerful force, but the work of persuasion involves more than associating positive feelings toward you, your idea, or your product. People should not only like you, but feel committed to you so they do what you want them to do. Reciprocation, as we learned in last month's article, is one reliable way to make people feel obligated to you. Another is to win a public commitment from them. Once commitment is won, consistency in a situation is likely to remain in the future. Telephone solicitors calling for charity use this tactic on a regular basis. Have you noticed callers seem to begin by inquiring about your current health and well-being? "Hello, Mr. Thatte," the voice on the line said. "How are you doing this evening?" The theory behind this tactic is that people who have just asserted that they are doing fine—even as a routine part of a sociable exchange—will consequently find it awkward to appear stingy in the context of their own admittedly favored circumstances.

So how can you implement this tactic in your business? Start slow. Do not expect a big commitment from your customer’s right in the beginning. If you expect your customer to buy from you as soon as they hear about your product or service, you’ll be disappointed. You’ll get commitment from your customers on a gradual basis. Provide a call to action such as “Follow us on Twitter”, “Like us on Facebook” and “Sign up for our newsletter”. Give them a chance to win a free something by dropping their business card in a fish bowl on your front counter. Once you have engaged them and they have provided you with a small level of commitment, you can then build gradually. Next time, why not send a newsletter with an offer or discount? Or maybe you could offer them a free report? After that, you could then send them an email featuring products to use with their discount, or ask them to attend a free webinar. Whatever you do, make sure you build gradually and don’t hit them with a big request. You need to establish the commitment, build a relationship and grow it. What areas in your small business could use this approach? How do you plan to develop commitment and consistency in your customers? Take a look at your small business today and see how you can create opportunities using the beneficial weapon of influence. Sam Thatte is a consultant, blogger and trainer featured on popular websites and blogs like and He produces helpful content on presentations and marketing on his own website at



FLORES AUTOMOTIVE - Frank Flores has opened a new auto shop in Hesperia that offers full mechanical services, as well as auto-body, paint and frame. He originally started the business in 2010, but only recently opened it at a new location on Darwin Avenue in Hesperia. Flores said that the community of small businesses in the area support one another and refer customers to each other. “Helping each other out goes a long way,” Flores said. “I’ve been grateful for the shops, they’ve been good to me.” Flores focuses his business on providing customers with honest work. Altogether, Flores has been in the business for 17 years and employs three people at Flores Automotive. 17359 Darwin Suite G and H, Hesperia

NOSTROMO HAIR STUDIO - Lora Pedersen, has officially opened her new Apple Valley

Salon. With a business mantra of ‘focusing on her customers,’ she hopes to set a new bar in service. “We still have our fun and little quirks but we definitely focus on the customer’s needs first,” she said. The former teacher has been working as a hair stylist for five years and employs five stylists at her new salon. 18419 Highway 18, Apple Valley.

CHURCH’S CHICKEN - Owner Amandeet Kalsi has brought Church’s Chicken back to the High Desert near the Victor Valley Mall in the Chevron station. With dine-in or drive-thru, it’s a quick and easy alternative, close to the freeway. Church’s Chicken employs eighteen local residents. Started by George W. Church, Sr., in 1952, Church’s Chicken has global sales of 1,000,000,000 and is the fourth largest chicken restaurant chain. 14250 Bear Valley Road, Victorville.



Residential Housing By the Numbers


Signs of positive change continue to show in the High Desert’s housing market. The numbers are telling, as seen below in data from 2006 to present. The next wave of demand for the region’s housing market will be new homes. There is a need to supply a growing demand and to putting our construction industry to get back to work. Foreclosures played a large part in our local real estate economy, going from essentially zero foreclosed homes on the market in 2006 to 90 percent in just three years. Our market collapsed. But now, four years later, those numbers have dropped significantly to 49 percent. And while

May 2006 May 2009 May 2012 May 2013

Essentially Zero 90% of All Home Sales 49% of all Home Sales 17% of all Home Sales

median home prices have plummeted over those same years, they are once again showing signs of an upward trend. The lowest median home price for the Victor Valley was $102,000 in 2009. The highest and lowest points show a loss of value in the housing

May 2006 $325,000 May 2009 $105,000 May 2012 $111,500 May 2013 $139,700 market of 68 percent. The good news, however, is that year after year, we have gained 20 percent and economists are predicting continued price gains this year. Theses gains will likely be in the range of 5-7 percent. The current median asking price for homes offered for sale in the Victor Valley is $198,000. Today, the market is better for the seller than at any time over the past four years. The numbers show homes are selling in days with multiple offers on most sales. Below is the number of homes offered for sale in the Multiple Listing Services (Listings). Normally the number of closed home sales is an accurate indicator of the

May 2006 May 2007 May 2009 May 2012 May 2013

3304 Homes 4681 Homes (No One was buying homes in 2007) 2170 Homes (Close to a “Normal” market) 840 Homes 583 Homes

7 “demand.” But recent numbers simply don’t reflect the current demand, since there are multiple offer situations on the majority of sales. The May 2009 number is likely a more accurate reflection of actual demand, which is probably around 600 home sales per month. The shortage of inventory will continue to affect our market this year

Number of Home Sales per Month. May 2006 505 Homes May 2009 692 Homes May 2012 464 Homes May 2013 416 Homes and next, but will ease as prices increase. A welcome new supplier of homes will be new homebuilders. With increased price points, new construction will begin again. We are starting to see builders buy land – it’s been a while. This is the first step to putting the construction industry back to work. Caroll Yule is President/Broker/Owner of Shear Realty, the highest selling residential real estate company in the High Desert.



Hashtags: #Hype or #Help for Small Business?


Much has

been made in the news recently of Facebook’s hashtag rollout. As the last major social media platform to adopt the method of tagging and aggregating content, Facebook seems late to a game that major corporations and media outlets have been playing since the launch of Twitter. Nearly anyone who watches TV or surfs the web has seen hashtags in use. For the uninitiated, a hashtag is pound sign, #, followed by a word or words. These clickable tags allow users to discover what is being said about a particular topic. Unlike doing a general search on a term, a hashtag is intentional and connects threads of conversations together. While not all social media users favor hashtags, a slight majority do, and they are not just young techies or hipsters. In a recent survey released by RadiumOne, those who said they would use hashtags were predominantly middle-aged women. (Sound like a major purchasing block to anyone?) Hashtags on Facebook open up another interesting possibility for businesses: listening to people’s posts. Right now it is not very easy for the average business user to see what people are saying on Facebook. Using hashtags will allow a public conversation to happen and allow businesses to engage in it. Although personal privacy settings override hashtags, anyone who has their posts (or a particular post) set to “public” will show up in a search. Smart marketers will spend time listening to what people are saying about their own brands, their industries, and even their competitors. To take advantage of the same tool that major multinationals are trying to figure out is simple. - Find your niche. Do not attempt to piggyback on a simple word such as “#hamburgers” and expect to get much traction. - Love your locals. Try conducting a little research as to what hashtags people are using to communicate about your local area. Use them to insert yourself in the stream of conversation about the #HighDesert, #Victorville, #AppleValley, #Hesperia, etc. - Reward hashtaggers. Let your customers know that if they use a specific hashtag (#RelyLocal perhaps?) that they can earn rewards or discounts. - Leverage your other networks. If you use Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr or Vine, your hashtags will now work on Facebook. So add in a tag and allow it to autopost to your Facebook page as well. - Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you haven’t figured out that you should be using a business page instead of a friends profile on Facebook, don’t worry about hashtags. Make sure you are presenting a professional image for your business first, get up to speed on the basics of social media, and then add in hashtag marketing.

Join over 200 Victor Valley business members at the The Business Showcase Expo This tradeshow environment is a great way to connect and promote your business! Call (760) 245-6506 today for an advertising package, information or to reserve your booth.

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12 People You Need To Know July’s Featured Guest

ALAN GARRETT By HDBJ Editor In Chief, Gretchen Losi

An avid landscape photographer who enjoys backpacking and anything that involves the mountains: not your typical hospital CEO. But then, “typical” isn’t a word one would use to describe Alan Garrett, CEO of St. Joseph Health, St. Mary. His roots stem from Orange, California where he was raised. After graduating from California State University, Fullerton he launched a career as a CPA where he quickly learned the ropes of health care, turning a non-profit hospital on the brinks of bankruptcy into a fiscally healthy entity securing its place in the community. “I discovered there was meaning in this work,” said Garrett. Shortly thereafter, he began working for St. Joseph Hospital, which is a parent of our local St. Mary’s. In his years in the field, he has seen dramatic changes in the health care system. Garrett says these began in the 80’s and 90’s, when health care went from being a service to patients to a big business. This is one reason he is so proud of the Mission Statement of St. Joseph’s, as it has never changed its focus from meeting the needs of the community. “Acute health care is important when you need it. But it’s just as important

to make sure our community has pools, parks, and accessibility to healthy food choices,” said Garrett. Currently, his hospital is working towards opening the doors of its new $250 million hospital in Victorville by 2017. The first phase of the acute care campus will hold 130 beds, with room to grow with the community and eventually expand to 300 beds. It will provide our local economy with a slew of new jobs, from construction to health care – and that’s just the first phase. Garrett said there is much potential for the 100 acres, including a much needed trauma center. As of now, there is no such facility between Las Vegas and down the hill. Other opportunities for the land fit into the Mission Statement. “Maybe there will be some restaurants with healthy menu choices or a fitness center,” said Garrett. “Or other health related services.” Fitness, health and wellness are something he promotes not only through St. Mary, but in his personal life. The married man of nearly 26 years has two children, and together they have created a lifetime of memories in nature. He thrives on spending days in the great outdoors and capturing its beauty as a landscape photographer. When he puts the camera away,

it’s time to explore. He can be found scaling a mountain, backpacking or camping with friends and family when not in the office. Last year he conquered Mt. Rainier, the tallest mountain in Washington, calling it both gorgeous and grueling. “It’s not just about your skill, but also has a lot to do with the weather,” said Garrett. “We started early climbing the first leg in the dark. That might be part of the secret because if you were able to take a moment and look at the landscape around you, you’d quickly become intimidated.” His next adventure isn’t likely to be so epic. He’s thinking a few days in Zion National Park with his son. “It’s great to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day and feel at one with the Creator,” he said.

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As business professionals, we’re always looking for opportunities to expand our network and spread the word about our products or services. While we might utilize mass-marketing methods to shoulder the bulk of that task, there is nothing more effective than meeting face-to-face with potential customers and business contacts. Add these options to your list as a place to start: • Chambers of Commerce • Local Marketing Groups • Service Organizations • Industry Specific Associations One local marketing group is Victor Valley Marketing Group. VVMG President, Gayle Walker, states that their organization has been providing networking opportunities for over 20 years. Their 35-member group allows one business from each industry or business category. “It’s one-on-one, building relationships with a more intimate knowledge of each members’ business”, said Walker. One of the additional benefits of VVMG is that each member commits to promoting the other members to their circle of friends and acquaintances. Regardless of the networking group you choose to participate in, there are some basics you want to make sure you have covered before you make your grand entrance.

• Business cards: If you are a new business, create business cards that will stand out and help others to remember who you are. Incorporating your branded logo is always a good idea. • Elevator pitch: Sum up your business in a 15-second sound bite. When networking, you need to be able to describe your business quickly and concisely. Make it memorable. • Appearance: You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. Be sure to look professional and well-groomed. Now that you’ve made those important contacts, be sure to follow up. Send an email to those you met to say “Nice to meet you,” and “I hope we can catch up in the near future.” While organizations that provide networking opportunities are important, remember that you can make connections just about anywhere. So be proactive and strike up a conversation in the supermarket checkout line or at a soccer game. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to promote yourself and your business will succeed. Steve Sipe is a local business owner with decades of marketing and sales experience, including having served as a twoterm president and co-chair for High Desert Opportunity.


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Employment Practice Liability The threat of wrongful termination, sexual harassment and discrimination claims against employers By: MIKE NUTTER 1775, which increases the amount of wages that are and national economy, defending against exempt from garnishment; employment practice lawsuits are becoming or AB 2103, which amends the norm for employers across the state, section 515 of the Labor Code regarding the remaining steady into payment of fixed 2013. salaries and how “What we’re seeing is a better educated Used as a barometer of it applies to nonworkforce that understands their sorts, unemployment exempt employees, rights in the workplace. With greater statistics are one of all contribute to the exposure from all sources of media, the key indicators of increasingly difficult future employment employees are aware of their options, task of understanding practice liability making compliance that much more and adhering to the claims. According to important for employers.” letter of the law. a news release issued Ryan McEachron, CEO of ISU Additionally, by the Employment Insurance Service – ARMAC Agency. governmental Development enforcement and Department for the regulatory oversight State of California, the unemployment rate of workplace compliance spur employers to decreased to 9.6 percent in February. With the decrease came a total of 41,200 new, non-farm integrate litigation and risk management into the fold, adding yet another layer to an already payroll jobs for a total gain of 725,100 jobs exhaustive list of best practices. since the recovery began in February 2010. Although wage and hour claims are typically Historically, this would dictate a reduction settled for the largest dollar amounts, in employment practice litigation but for a myriad of reasons, this is simply not the case. harassment and discrimination claims occur at a much higher rate, due to the broad “What we’re seeing is a better educated application of existing and ever changing workforce that understands their rights in labor laws and statutes within the California the workplace. With greater exposure from landscape. In 2013 alone, 20 new labor laws all sources of media, employees are aware of were passed. Many of which are difficult, if their options, making compliance that much not impossible, for the layman and even some more important for employers,” said Ryan industry professionals to interpret. McEachron, CEO of ISU Insurance Service – Instances of discrimination and harassment ARMAC Agency. One aspect of employment run the gamut, ranging from age, disability, practice litigation that has begun to surface race and national origin, religion, gender and with a greater degree of frequency is claims of wage and hour violation. Misclassification sexual harassment claims. In a recent white paper prepared by the law firm of Kissel Pesce of employees as exempt; misclassification of Hirsh & Wilmer, various claim examples were workers as independent contractors; unpaid cited for a handful of industries, to include on-duty meal periods; improperly denied hospitality, law, pharmaceutical, and trucking, reimbursements, and miscalculation of commissions and bonuses are just a sample of to name a few. In food services, for example, the following claim scenario was provided as the facets of this often misunderstood aspect an example of age discrimination: Claimant, of employer compliance. a fifty-year-old woman, worked as a server This area of focus has become especially at a restaurant until she was terminated for important in California, whose complex Labor Code poses unique risks for employers. theft. Throughout her employment, Claimant was difficult, rude and insubordinate. For In 2012, over 100 wage & hour cases were instance, she refused to share tips with her cofiled nationally with settlements ranging workers, she was rude to new customers, she from $2,500 to $35,000,000, with a median complained about changes to her schedule, and settlement of $900,000, according to a study conducted by LawRoom, an independent legal every few months her cash drawer would be short $30 to $100. Approximately five months consultancy. later Claimant filed an agency discrimination The application of new laws, such as AB

Despite the slight uptick in both state

charge against the restaurant and its manager. Thereafter, Claimant filed a lawsuit alleging that she was subjected to harassment and discrimination on account of her age, including continuous insults and disparate treatment. Claimant further alleged that she complained to the restaurant’s owner and no corrective action was taken, but at some point her hours were reduced. Approximately seven months after the lawsuit was filed the parties settled this matter for $50,000. More than $65,000 of defense costs was incurred. (California, 8 employees) Employees are now more skilled than ever at acquiring a quick and dirty education of their rights in the workplace and how to sue once they believe those rights have been violated. By simply entering “filing a discrimination claim” into any major search engine, one will be provided with literally hundreds of links to attorneys and additional resources that provide a leg-up in the employment litigation arena. Add to the search the name of the world’s most prominent collector of independent video, and dozens of short, 3-5 minute clips are also available, offering step by step instructions for the individual that doesn’t particularly enjoy performing their own research. Needless to say, the flow of information is virtually limitless. Employers are encouraged to work with their human resource department or third party consultant in addition to their insurance broker or agent to establish protocol and strategy around this mounting problem. With dozens of powerful resources just a fingers length away, employers must develop a preemptive strategy to fortify their organizations for the betterment of all. Mike Nutter is the Senior Vice President of Sales with ISU ARMAC Insurance. Formerly the owner of a succesful visual communications company. His 13 years of experience affords him a wealth of knowledge in all facets of business

Thank you to these businesses who have donated prizes for our

Athena Jean Salon & Day Spa

La Casita at the Lake Mexican Restaurant

Desert Valley Medical Group

Mary Kay Cosmetics - Andrea Tober

El Dorado Broadcasters Greiner Buick GMC High Desert Therapeutic Massage

Massage Envy Outback Steakhouse Victorville

High Desert Skin & Laser Center

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Hilton Garden Inn

Signify Designs

ICR Staffing Services, Inc.

Spring Valley Lake Country Club

ISU Insurance Services – ARMAC Agency

Southwest Gas Corporation

JRZ Photography

The Brass Pickle Deli The Wine Seller

visit for your chance to win! To donate a prize and drive customers to your business contact DeAnna at the Chamber today! Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce has been serving businesses and the community since 1913! Join us in celebrating this historic 100-year milestone by entering our “100 Days of Giveaways” contest. Visit for your chance to win a new prize from a local business everyday May 10 through August 17. No purchase necessary.

14174 Green Tree Blvd., Victorville (760) 245-6506

FOR THE WATER COOLER Despite the new technology to increase productivity, the average number of annual hours worked per worker has dropped by just 200 hours in the U.S. since 1950, compared with drops of 991 hours in Germany, 684 hours in France and 540 hours in the U.K. -The Atlantic Sales of plus-size clothing are expected to jump 5.2 percent annually in the next five years, hitting $9.7 billion in retail sales by 2017, up from $6.6 billion in 2009. -The Wall Street Journal Fewer than one in 10 executives and employees achieves “complete relaxation” while on vacation, while 58 percent achieve no stress relief and 27 percent report feeling more stressed when vacations end than when they begin. President Barack Obama is only the fifth president to see the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index double on his watch. The others were Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. -New York Times Mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in four out of every 10 American households with children, according to a new survey. While 51 percent of Americans said they believe children are better off when a mother stays at home with children, 79 percent rejected the idea that women should return to “traditional roles.”

Good Health is Good Business


Why the High Desert Fitness Challenge Matters.

Desert Valley Hospital and Desert Valley Medical Group believe it is their responsibility as healthcare providers to promote preventative care, and in so doing, promote a healthy lifestyle in the communities they serve. Most hospitals sponsor health fairs, health education, screenings, weight management programs, and a variety of educational programs to encourage good habits but nothing is more valuable than getting people off their couches and into the action. The High Desert Fitness Challenge started eight years ago and was an enormous undertaking by several Desert Valley staff members and volunteers who saw the value in getting people to participate in a variety of activities. Attracting primarily seniors at first, the annual event grew each year and eventually introduced a corporate challenge several years ago. It opened the door to local businesses and their employees to get in on the action. Today, the event has taken on special significance in the High Desert and has the feel of a local Olympics.It not only promotes a healthy lifestyle for all ages but also engenders a camaraderie among local residents and local businesses. "There is a healthy competition between corporate teams who enjoy the bragging rights that a victory brings them. But more importantly, this community-wide event brings together people of all ages, from kids to seniors, who get the opportunity to showcase their skillsets whether it's pickle ball, Zumba or poker. Shuffling cards may not sound too challenging for some of our athletes but it opens the door to the entire community," according to Tina Howard, Desert Valley Hospital's Director of Marketing and the event organizer. "Obviously, the emphasis is on physical activity but we also want everyone to have fun and we don't want to exclude anyone from participating." The event is spread over several weeks

and is scheduled from September 7th through September 28th at various venues throughout the area. It will coincide with National Fitness and Healthy Aging Month. Local seniors are challenged to stay healthy and vital by competing with each other in events that include Table Tennis, Bocce Ball, Bowling, and Zumba. No event symbolizes the corporate competition like the tug of war but other events can also get very spirited including softball and flag football. Strength, Passion and Pride is this year's theme and truly reflects the real spirit of the event. With so much talk these days of preventive medicine the Fitness Challenge could not come at a better time. In recent years, the media has focused on obesity, calling it a health crisis of epidemic proportions. The obvious links to numerous chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and stroke make it incumbent upon community healthcare leaders to educate individuals and businesses about the risks associated with poor health habits. In the workplace there is now more automation and labor-saving devices cutting down on activity and more sedentary settings often provide easy access to energydense food and beverages. As a result, workplaces are contributing to the obesity epidemic and now the US has the highest per capita costs for health care in the world. An increasing number of companies and organizations are educating employees and their families regarding the benefits of regular exercise, empowering them with the ability to reach their personal fitness goals. The Fitness Challenge raises the awareness of the benefits of corporate wellness such as

reduced healthcare costs, increased employee production, reduced absenteeism and increased employee morale. "We have really taken a proactive role by promoting healthy programs at our hospital, particularly among seniors. The Mall Walkers Heart & Sole Club is just one example that has been met with a lot of enthusiasm by the senior community. Introducing local businesses as well as children to the Fitness Challenge offers some hope for the future. In the age of video games, computers, and DVR's, children are heavier and more inactive than ever and we encourage their participation," said Howard. The event has grown in popularity and attracts some marquee names like Walmart, Southwest Gas, Sherwin Williams, and Mitsubishi Cement. There are several levels of sponsorships available and they provide a great opportunity for a local business to gain some positive exposure. The events are well attended and receive plenty of local media coverage. The team events scheduled so far include 5K Relay, Bike Relay, Tug-o-War, Rock Climbing, Obstacle Course, Tennis, Disc Golf, Softball, Billiards, Flag Football, Bowling, Basketball, Volleyball, and Poker. The senior events slated so far include Tennis, Billiards, Table Tennis, Pickle Ball, Mall Walk, Bowling, Poker, Zumba, and Bocce Ball. Check out the High Desert Fitness Challenge on Facebook for regular updates and for more information on the event or for sponsorship opportunities contact the Desert Valley Charitable Foundation at 760-241-8000 extension 8568 or email



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High Desert Business Journal  

July 2013 Edition

High Desert Business Journal  

July 2013 Edition