March 18-31, 2014 Section B

Page 1

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Women In Business Financial Stability Improving For Women-Owned Businesses

Small Business Loan Applications Increasing numbers of women-owned businesses are applying for credit. 610 2013 2012 592 40 Months

27 Months

Average Age Of Business Women-owned companies are applying for credit at an earlier stage in their life cycle. These figures reflect confidence in the ability to pay back loans.

Approval Rates Approval rates of women-owned businesses are 8% lower than approval rates for men-owned businesses. On average, the approval rate for male-owned businesses across all categories of lenders was 39% in 2013; for women-owned businesses, across all categories of lenders, the approval rate was 31%. 39%


Gross Operating Margin 40%







INSIDE • Women-Owned Businesses Grew And Strengthened In 2013 • Profiles Of 8 Women Business Co-owners • Six Local Waitresses On Loving Their Work • Who’s Who Women In Business ALSO: • Encore – People In The News • Perspective

Average Credit Score The average credit score for women-owned businesses climbed from 592 in 2012 to 610 in 2013. The quality of companies applying for funding has improved. Having a credit score below 600 is a major hurdle for any business seeking capital.

29% 2012

59% 2013

Charts and information provided courtesy of Biz2Credit

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Debora Van Duren, Artist/Designer Baubles Jewelry (formerly Mood Swings Jewelry)

Paige Fingerhut, Realtor Beach Equities

Debora has found the knack of finding outrageous fashion forward Jewelry at affordable prices! After 9 years of designing jewelry for upscale clients like Grace Slick, Tommy Tune and Carmen Electra, she now has focused her talent on finding other designers to stock her shop, Baubles Jewelry. “If you are not afraid of being noticed, this is the shop for you - Definitely not for the Faint of Heart.” Baubles Jewelry is located directly across from the Famous 555 restaurant. Call first, hours vary. Like us on Facebook for special discounts,

A Long Beach native, Paige maintains expertise in probate, trust, & conservatorship sales, working with attorneys, CPA's, trustees, administrators, & conservators. She is asked regularly to speak at professional trust & estate organizations on a range of topics from the particulars of the probate purchase contract to the real estate temperature in local markets. “We serve our clients through unparalleled levels of service, expertise, & experience. They know every detail of their transaction(s) will be handled smoothly and with utmost integrity.” Paige is involved in many local charities and is currently planning a wedding to the love of her life in May 2014. 4531 E. Anaheim St. • Long Beach, CA 90804 (562) 597-8413 •

455 E. Ocean Blvd., Ste. 21 • Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 437-6250 •

Mary Whirledge, Realtor Coldwell Banker Star Realty

Deborah Golian Castro, President/CEO Creative Productions

A Real Estate professional for 19 years, Mary Whirledge is a member of Pacific West Board of Realtors, California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors. She holds a RECS and an e-Pro designation defining her dedication to continuing education. Mary shows versatility with a foreclosure/ short sale designation as well as being a Corp. Relocation and Coldwell Banker Specialist for high end properties. As well as being a listing agent Mary holds a designation as an Accredited Buyers Representative. UC Davis prepared Mary with strong public relations and economic skills to negotiate in today’s challenging market. Call Mary today for all of your Real Estate needs. 460 Pacific Coast Hwy. • Seal Beach, CA 90740 (562) 500-2700 •

Deborah Golian Castro celebrates Creative Productions’ 21st anniversary as a marketing agency in Long Beach. Built from the ground up, Deborah has bootstrapped the company with stellar results and solid client relationships. A lifelong Long Beach resident, Deborah has built her business here, citing Long Beach as a “hotbed” of creativity. Deborah credits the desire to help clients achieve their goals, and a relentless passion for getting it right, as hallmarks of the company’s success. Recognized with more than 225 industry awards, she is grateful for the countless hours of dedication and creative inspiration contributed by her team. 4510 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 500 • Long Beach, CA 90804 (562) 985-1363 •

Gail Desilets, LMFT

Brigitte Dutil, ATR, LPCC, MFT

Gail is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She owns her own private practice in Long Beach, CA. She works with adult individuals and couples to help make life better. She specializes in working with couples who are currently separated put their relationship back together in a healthier way. Her approach is solution focused to find the fastest and most lasting path to positive change. She is a member of both the Long BeachSouth Bay and Orange County chapters of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Learn more about how Gail can be of service to you at

I am a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT), a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and a Registered Clinical Art Therapist (ATR). I am also the Clinical Director at Abbeyfield Psychotherapy, Inc. I have specialized training in Family Mediation, Collaborative Divorce Coach/Child Specialist, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. I provide individual, family, adult, and child/adolescent psychotherapy from a family systems perspective through the use of art, play, and talk therapy. I treat a verity of clinical disorders and presenting problems. My passion is working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families.

3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Ste. 200 • Long Beach, CA 90806 (562) 477-2530 •

4443 E. Village Rd., Ste. L • Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 507-1974 •

Monika Zuzanska, Founder EcoCleaning Solutions, Inc.

Dr. Alyson Emery, Owner Emery & Emery

Monika Zuzanska is the owner and founder of EcoCleaning Solutions, Inc. She has been actively involved in the cleaning service industry since 2003. Monika’s house cleaning service grew over the years. Her commitment to each and every homeowner is to provide the highest quality service in every home and business on every single visit. Monika has dedicated this business to helping homeowners and businesses protect their investments while maintaining clean and healthy living and working environments. She is also participating in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Monika welcomes your inquiries and looks forward to talking with you. (562) 225-1672 •

Dr. Alyson received her B.S. from UCLA and her D.D.S. from the University of Pacific School of Dentistry. She has practiced dentistry with Dr. Doug Emery in Long Beach for over 25 years. She prides herself in providing high quality dentistry while making patients feel very comfortable. Dr. Alyson believes in being part of the community and has volunteered for numerous organizations. She is a past President of The Harbor Dental Society, LB Chamber Women’s Council, and National Charity League. “The most meaningful volunteer work I do is providing dentistry to the young ladies in the Pathways to Independence program.” 3840 Woodruff Ave., Ste. 208 • Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 421-9361 •

Celinda Frey, Owner En Pointe Dance & Fitness

Melissa Glatman, Owner/Operator Family Floors, Inc.

Celinda Frey is the owner of En Pointe Dance & Fitness and is so excited to offer a dance and fitness studio to the Belmont Heights Community. Celinda began dancing at the age of 3 and followed her love of dance to C.S.U.L.B. where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She has been teaching all ages for the past 20 years. The studio offers dance classes for children and adults in ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz & tap. They also offer fitness classes for adults with a childcare option for most classes: Barre Fusion, Burn at the Barre, Pilates Mat, Yoga & Zumba. Please visit their website for more information. 713 Termino Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90804 (562) 438-3262 •

Melissa Glatman is the owner and operator of Family Floors Inc. We are a 3rd Generation Flooring Store. Family Floors is based upon good old honest handshake tradition. Straightforward open and honest pricing is the core value behind Family Floors. At Family Floors our pricing is clearly marked with no hidden extras. We don't run specials, we don’t need to. Our everyday pricing is usually better than the other guys special price. We specialize in carpet, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, tile, area rugs, and window coverings. Come in and talk to any of our Family members about your new flooring purchase. 5865 E. Spring St. • Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 506-0505 •

MFC42451, LPC462, ATR05-022

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS March 18-31, 2014

Long Beach Business Journal 3-B

Women-Owned Businesses Grew And Strengthened In 2013 ■By SAMANTHA MEHLINGER Staff Writer omen are becoming increasingly present in the U.S. business landscape, and their positions as business owners are becoming ever more solid, according to 2013 research by several organizations. Businesses owned by women are growing at a faster rate than other businesses, the 2013 American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report indicated. From 1997 to 2013 the total number of businesses in the U.S. increased 41 percent, while women-owned businesses grew at about one-and-a-half times the national average, increasing by 59 percent. American Express OPEN also reported that large publicly held corporations and women-owned firms were the only businesses with a net increase in employment during the Great Recession. Women are altering the business landscape in part because they are entering the workforce more educated than their male counterparts, according to 2013 data from the Pew Research Center. Since around 1996, more women begin their careers with higher levels of education than men, according to a chart from Pew. Currently, about 38 percent of U.S. women enter the workforce with at least a four-year college degree, compared with 31 percent of men, Pew’s data showed. According to the American Express OPEN report, California has the greatest number of women-owned firms in the country, with 1,107,000 businesses employing 983,000 people. The number of women-owned firms has grown 58 percent in California and 59 percent nationally since 1997, the report stated. The aggregate revenue of those businesses increased 63.1 percent over the same time period, according to American Express OPEN. Locally, in Los Angeles the number of women-owned businesses grew from 345,436 in 2002 to about 432,300 in 2013, according to the American Express OPEN report, which estimated that these businesses currently employ about 394,600 people. The Region IX administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA), Donna J. Davis, told the Business Journal that the SBA is seeing more loan requests from small businesses in her region, including those owned by women. Davis oversees capital, contracting and counseling services for small businesses in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas. “We’re also seeing an uptick in the size of loans being requested,� Davis said. “What I am hearing, because I am out in the field talking to these folks every week, is that they’re feeling more comfortable and financially stable,� she said of business owners in her region. Biz2Credit, a small business credit


source providing loans, lines of credit, working capital and other services, recently conducted an analysis of more than 10,000 applications from womenowned businesses and found that their financial stability is improving. Average earnings for women-owned firms increased 54 percent from 2012 to 2013, Biz2Credit’s report indicated. The lending company also reported that the average credit score for women-owned companies increased from 592 to 610 from 2012 to 2013, that twice as many women business owners applied for credit in 2013 than in the previous year, and that womenowned businesses are now applying for credit at 27 months into their business life cycle, rather than 40 months. Biz2Credit’s CEO Rohit Arora, told the Business Journal from his office in New York that these changing factors indicated that women-owned businesses are developing a stronger presence in the U.S. He said that his company is committed to lending to small businesses owned by minorities and women because those are the groups that have a harder time accessing credit. “We are trying to understand the nuances and the credit attributes of these businesses better,� Arora said of the report on women-owned businesses, available on the company’s website. He said that because Biz2Credit analyzes the state of women-owned businesses “based on numbers and not surveys,� that it is “able to present a better picture not just to the consumers but also to the lenders, policy makers and regulators to see where the gaps are and what could be done to address these gaps.� The gaps Arora referred to are the gaps in factors such as average revenue, operating expenses and credit scores between businesses owned by women and those owned by men. “Still, women-owned business lag behind men-owned businesses in terms of revenue,� Arora pointed out. Biz2Credit reported that the average revenue of women-owned businesses was $24,617 less than the annual revenue of male-owned companies in 2013. Female business owners who apply for loans through Biz2Credit also tend to have higher operating expenses, Arora said. His company’s analysis showed that expenses were 41 percent of earnings for womenowned businesses in 2013, while expenses were 38 percent of earnings for businesses owned by men. Women-owned businesses have lower credit scores, on average, than men-owned firms, Arora said. His company’s report showed that the average credit score of female-owned businesses was 20 points lower than male-owned firms. However, the gap is closing – the difference was 40 points in 2012, the company reported. “Obviously there are exceptions, but we find more and more that when you lend money to a woman-owned business there is less chance of default and there is less

chance of it not fulfilling its promises compared to men-owned businesses,� he said of his company’s experience in dealing with women-owned businesses. A variety of resources are available to help women-owned businesses, including those offered by the SBA, which has centers offering mentoring and services to help

women optimize their businesses, Davis said. The SBA has also teamed up with American Express OPEN and the nonprofit group Women Impacting Public Policy on a program called ChallengeHER, which aims to provide women with resources to successfully compete for government contracts. â–

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 4-B Long Beach Business Journal

As Women-Owned Firms Grow, Long Beach Women Team Up In Business ■ By SAMANTHA MEHLINGER Staff Writer

March 18-31, 2014 ting the word out there and getting a wide enough audience,” Villanueva said. “Grasping all of the computer skills and the social media skills is quite a learning curve and we are gradually getting a lot of that experience under our belts,” Loe said. Chef Tech’s co-owners took advantage of local organizations that assist businesses, including the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and Long Beach City College’s Small Business Development Center, Loe explained. Villanueva said that a goal for the future is to continue to develop Chef Tech’s professional programs, each of which consist of 24 classes with one four-hour class per week. The pro series runs from about $2,400 to $3,000. “We have had people that have finished that program that are now working at restaurants,” Loe noted. ■

In 2013, women-owned businesses continued to grow both nationally and locally in number and average revenue. Employment among these firms has been increasing since the start of the Great Recession as well. Los Angeles was home to 25.1 percent more women-owned businesses in 2013 than in 2002. Since the Great Recession, the L.A. area has added 22,470 women-owned businesses. Employment has increased at female-owned firms by 6.3 percent in L.A. since 2002 and revenues have increased by 45.4 percent. Long Beach is also seeing growth among women-owned businesses – half of the owners interviewed for this section founded their businesses within the past year. In this edition of the Business Journal, the featured businesses are co-owned by women who found inspiration in one other through similar passions, complementary talents and the desire to forge their own futures. (Photographs by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)

Ana Belén Salatino (left) And Shelby Sanchez Dream Inspired Design • 562/506-6214


Amy Loe (left) And Teri Appleton Villanueva Chef Tech Cooking School 3842 Atlantic Ave. • 562/989-CHOP •


ongtime friends Amy Loe and Teri Appleton Villanueva teamed up in 2012 to combine Loe’s dream of starting a business with Villanueva’s dream of owning a cooking school. Together they opened Chef Tech Cooking School in Bixby Knolls. The two women met years ago when Villanueva was sous chef and Loe was pastry chef at Ocean Avenue Seafood in Santa Monica. Both possess extensive culinary experience, having graduated from culinary programs and having worked as head chefs and cooking teachers at various establishments including King’s Fish House in Long Beach, where Loe was formerly an executive chef. After they left Ocean Avenue Seafood, Villanueva taught for 20 years at the Epicurean School of Culinary Arts in West Hollywood, while Loe focused on family and volunteered at local schools. When Villanueva stopped teaching at Epicurean a few years ago, Loe began enticing her to move to Long Beach to start a business together. Once Loe got her friend to Bixby Knolls, it didn’t take much to convince Villanueva that it was the right place to put down roots and start a business, although Villanueva joked, “If there wasn't a Trader Joe’s down the street she never would have gotten me down here.” Loe and Villanueva set up shop on Atlantic Avenue in October 2012 and began offering cooking classes for young children and their parents, with Loe handling the business end of things and Villanueva focusing on most of the teaching. Since opening a year and a half ago, Chef Tech Long Beach has expanded to offer professional-level cooking and baking classes as well as classes for beginners and kids of all ages. “We’ve had continuous growth since we’ve opened,” Loe said. The biggest challenge Chef Tech faces moving forward “has to do with marketing, get-

riends Ana Belén Salatino and Shelby Sanchez came together as business partners thanks to similar values, a passion for working with visionaries and complimentary talents. The two knew one another through mutual friends, and after Sanchez reached out to Belén Salatino for her graphic design skills to help create a website logo, they got to talking about their careers. “I was mostly working as an independent contractor for other mid-sized businesses to help them with their social media,” Sanchez said of her background. She also had experience helping clients optimize websites. Prior to starting Dream Inspired Design with Sanchez, Belén Salatino was putting her fine arts degree to use by designing calendars and greeting cards. “We had worked for others in the past and we both wanted to make our own way and make a business that was completely in line with our values and lifestyles,” Belén Salatino told the Business Journal. Out of that vision came Dream Inspired Design, an eco-friendly design and marketing business. Belén Salatino and Sanchez are committed to an earth-friendly lifestyle, and their business follows suit. For example, they use paper made from recycled waste and print with vegetable ink. Their backgrounds form the core services provided by Dream Inspired Design, which include website design, branding and marketing for like-minded businesses. “My role has been more in the social media and marketing realm,” Sanchez explained. Belén Salatino said that she uses her artistic background to design websites and printed materials for their clients. Together, the pair pools these resources to help their clients “get to the bottom of their values” and the significance of those values, Belén Salatino said. The two started off working with local clients like Steamed, a Long Beach restaurant serving organic vegetarian cuisine, Sanchez said. Although Sanchez and Belén Salatino have only been in business for about a year, their business has already “changed and evolved at a good pace, she said. Dream Inspired Design has received global interest for its services from as far as Kenya, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, Belén Salatino noted. “We’re happy to be of service to anyone anywhere,” Belén Salatino said. “We’re just putting ourselves out there because our biggest intention is working with people who are inspired and are doing something that they feel is their calling,” she explained. As they continue to grow their business, Sanchez said both partners agree that their biggest challenge is making more people aware of Dream Inspired Design. Their goals for the future include getting their finances in order as well as continuing to be earthconscious and working with businesses that inspire them, she emphasized. ■

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS March 18-31, 2014

Long Beach Business Journal 5-B

Elizabeth Borsting (left) And Terri Henry Eat LBC, Long Beach Restaurant Week 65 Pine Ave. #200 • •


ith long careers providing marketing and public relations services for restaurants, Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry teamed up to promote their hometown eateries by starting Eat LBC, Long Beach’s own restaurant week. Henry and Borsting met two years ago at a National Restaurant Association conference in Chicago and, upon learning they were both from Long Beach, teamed up to work together on various projects. “Our skills just complemented each other,” Henry said of developing a working relationship with Borsting, who runs her own public relations firm that focuses on restaurants and hotels. Henry runs a marketing firm that works with the same industries. After considering starting a restaurant week in Long Beach for a year or so, Henry approached Borsting last summer to begin work on the project, which they now operate as an LLC. “I thought it was long overdue,” Henry said of organizing a Long Beach restaurant week. “It seems like every city across the country has its restaurant week and I kept thinking, ‘Why doesn’t Long Beach have one?’ I think we have such great restaurants and chefs and a culinary community that is overlooked, by Los Angeles especially,” she reflected. Starting up the city’s only restaurant week from scratch was “a huge undertaking,” Borsting told the Business Journal. Because the event is totally new, Borsting said (Please Continue To Next Page)

Jeanne Murphy, Designated Luxury Specialist First Team Real Estate

Joen Garnica, President/Principal Designer Garnica Interiors Inc

When honesty, integrity and follow-through really count, you can count on Jeanne Murphy. Over 28 years of real estate sales in Long Beach have given Jeanne a great reputation and a priceless network of other top quality professionals. Originally a nurse from the Midwest, Jeanne brings with her a long history of caring service. A keen negotiator who is creative and tenacious, Jeanne also has a warmth and sincerity that shines through on every deal. Jeanne’s long history here as a “Beach Specialist” serves all of her clients well – as witnessed by her many referrals and repeat business. It can be a tough market out there, wouldn’t you like to have someone in your corner who you can trust? BRE 0094211 5305 E. 2nd St., Ste. 206 • Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 201-0693 •

Joen Garnica is a forward thinking interior designer and founder of Garnica Interiors Inc., a full service interior design firm providing comprehensive solutions for residential and commercial clients. Garnica Interiors creates beautiful, innovative and functional interiors for its highly satisfied clients. Projects include residences, professional offices, healthcare facilities and restaurants. Celebrating 11 years in business, Joen was selected by Crate & Barrel to have her furniture design featured in stores fall of 2013; her design was a hit. Her firm was voted Best Designer in Long Beach. Travel inspires Joen. Her travels have taken her throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia and North and Central America. 216 The Promenade North, Ste. 206 • Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 242-9122 •

Lourdes Valles, Co-Owner Gems & Jewels

Annette Kephart, Executive Vice President/Co-Owner GeoAssurance

I’ve always been a businesswoman: at age twelve I organized yard sales in our neighborhood, sold stickers to kids in grade school and of course had a lemonade stand! Now, I own and operate Gems & Jewels in Bixby Knolls, a fine jewelry store, and full service jewelry and watch repair workshop. We focus on quality jewelry repairs, watch restoration and jewelry customizations. I have the support of my partner, Jeffrey Winnick. He manages and oversees day-to-day operations of the jewelry store. Combined with my staff we have over 80 years of experience in the jewelry business.

GeoAssurance is a natural hazard and environmental hazard disclosure company located in Long Beach. The reports are used in real estate transactions, which map earthquake faults, abandoned or active oil wells, and many other issues of concern so that buyers can make informed decisions on their home purchase. Annette’s background includes real estate sales, title insurance sales, and mortgage lending. Annette has a strong connection in Long Beach with many Brokers and Real Estate agents. “When you need to know what’s below”® you can contact Annette.

4130 Atlantic Ave., Ste. 102 • Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 426-8601 •

4404 Pacific Coast Hwy. • Long Beach, CA 90804 (562) 435-5100 •

Sophia Nguyen, Founder Hudavi Wellness Spa

Janis Krantz, Owner J & L Jewelry

Sophia Nguyen, the founder of Hudavi Wellness, is a holistic health provider who believes that wellness is a lifestyle. She is a certified practitioner in Nutritional Counseling, Colon Hydrotherapy, Body Work and Esthetics. Sophia’s lifework has led to the creation of Hudavi which delivers her vision of an affectionate, affordable, quality wellness facility that incorporates preventive care, Naturopathy, Chiropractic, traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture and herbology), body and energy work, Ayruveda, and skin care. Sophia and her specialized team will help you take control of your health and maximize the benefits of both eastern and western health and healing.

Long Beach native Janis Krantz, owner of J&L Jewelry, has been in the jewelry business since 1967 and opened her business in 1991. Janis attended all Long Beach schools – Our Lady of Refuge, Saint Anthony High School and Long Beach City College. You can find quality jewelry items at J&L ranging from $10 to whatever your heart may desire. We carry platinum, white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver, gold or silverplated items and estate jewelry. J&L Jewelry is very involved in our community helping local charities and schools. Our slogan is: “Welcome to J&L Jewelry where women get into trouble and men get out of it!” We are diamond specialists. 1823 Ximeno Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90815 (562) 986-4380 •

5550 E. 7th St. • Long Beach, CA 90804 (562) 433-2177 •

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 6-B Long Beach Business Journal restaurant owners had to “take a leap of faith” by buying into the event for $475. “Being on the corporate side and understanding operations, I know $475 to a restaurant is not a drop in the bucket. Restaurants work hard for their money and their margins are very slim,” Henry acknowledged. Fifty-one restaurants across Long Beach have signed up for Eat LBC, which takes place from March 30 to April 5. During the weeklong event, participating restaurants are offering fixed price menus of $26 per person at casual establishments or $38 per person at fine dining establishments. Borsting said that Eat LBC’s biggest challenge moving forward is increasing the number of participating restaurants. “I would love to see 100 restaurants on board next year,” she said. While the event currently boasts several well-known corporate and nonprofit sponsors such as the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, PBS SoCal and JetBlue Airways, Borsting hopes to see the City of Long Beach get involved in Eat LBC next year. “The Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau is one of our sponsors, but I would personally like to see the city get behind it the way L.A. gets behind its restaurant week and the way Orange County gets behind its [event],” she said. ■

March 18-31, 2014 The biggest challenge Hanley and Samartan face is making time to grow their business, Samartan said. “You’re not moving forward if you’re stuck every single day running your business. You have to give yourself some space . . . to be able to step away and look at the big picture,” she elaborated. When the two do find time to contemplate the future of Frosted, Samartan said they hope to perhaps partner with other stores, such as sweet shops, to market their products. ■

Tamara Leiting (left) And Elizabeth Kobliha Long Beach Vintage Etc. 737 Pine Ave. • 562/436-9495 •


Nancy Hanley (left) And Stacia Samartan Frosted Cupcakery 4817 E. 2nd St. • 562/987-1080 •


hen Nancy Hanley and her daughter, Stacia Samartan, were both at crossroads in their careers, they decided to turn a family pastime – baking – into a business. In 2005, both Samartan and Hanley were looking for a change, Samartan recalled. She had spent six and a half years working in the fashion industry, while Hanley had spent about eight years running her own dancewear retail store. Both were ready to move on. On a trip to the East Coast, Samartan noticed that cupcake shops were becoming popular, and she was inspired to pursue the trend in California. Her mother recalled, “Stacia said, ‘I know this is something coming to the West Coast and I think this would be a perfect fit for us.’ It was perfect timing.” That year, the mother-daughter duo opened Frosted Cupcakery in Belmont Shore, specializing in homemade cupcakes. “My generation was [full of] bakers who baked from scratch,” Hanley said. “I realized that my daughter’s generation thought cupcakes and frosting came out of a box,” she continued, explaining that she knew making products from scratch would be a draw for the business. “We knew from the beginning that this wasn’t going to be iffy – that this would be a success because for a lot of people this tasted like home,” Hanley emphasized. Most of the cupcake varieties found in the store are adapted from family recipes and the women “pick flavors that are recognizable; we don’t do anything too crazy,” Samartan explained. Building on the success of the Belmont Shore store, Samartan and Hanley opened locations in Hollywood and Hermosa Beach, although they have since closed the Hollywood location. “Our business has morphed and changed a lot over the years,” Samartan reflected. “Our volume has been constantly growing,” Samartan said, noting that Frosted now offers a variety of cupcake-inspired desserts such as mini cupcakes and cupcake sandwiches. Higher volume of product led to the need for more staff, Hanley said, so now it is not just the two of them running daily business operations, but other employees occupy managerial roles as well.

fter years of collecting vintage pieces and working for other antique dealers, Elizabeth Kobliha and Tamara Leiting combined their mutual passion for all things vintage to open Long Beach Vintage Etc. The two met a few years ago when Leiting walked into a shop Kobliha worked at. They bonded over their love of collecting vintage items. “This is something we have both been doing on our own our whole lives,” Kobliha said. “We shared the same passion and vision . . . and then our paths kind of crossed,” she added. Eventually, Kobliha was ready to move on from the store, which coincided with Leiting’s desire to open a shop. “She used to come in like clockwork and buy up all my merchandise every week that I had in that store,” Kobliha recalled. “Eventually it turned into a friendship and we hatched this plan to open our own store,” she said. Last month, the two opened Long Beach Vintage Etc. on Pine Avenue, filling onethird of the 5,000-square-foot space with their own items and renting the rest of the space to other vintage merchants. Instead of approaching established dealers, Kobliha and Leiting asked other collectors and former customers to consider renting stalls at the store. “We have about five people that have done this before and everybody else is pretty much new to this game,” Kobliha said. Because Leiting is also a plumbing contractor, she spends less time in the shop during the day than Kobliha. Leiting often works early mornings or evenings to set up and to “do a lot of the moving and decorating,” Leiting said. Kobliha focuses on office work and manages the store and its dealers. “You might see me more than you see Tammy, but whatever you see [in the store] is a result of Tammy’s hand,” she said, explaining that most of the merchandising is Leiting’s work. The biggest challenge of running a new business is unforeseen issues and costs, Kobliha said. For example, she explained, “We just got popped for a huge Edison deposit for our electricity for like $500 and . . . I did not budget for that.” Still, things seem to be going well so far, Kobliha said. “Our grand opening was March 8th and we had a phenomenal turnout,” she said. The pair’s biggest goal, Leiting said, is “to increase sales.” She added that even though they have only been in business a short time, she is ready to expand the shop. Kobliha said she hopes in the future to have a space in the store dedicated to large, unusual finds. ■

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS March 18-31, 2014

Long Beach Business Journal 7-B

Amy Eriksen (left) And Griselda Suarez Peppered Up Foods, Inc. 3201 E. Anaheim St. Peppered Up Foods: 562/246-6181 • Sliced & Diced Eatery: 562/343-7001 •


fter years of serving up homemade foods to friends and family, Amy Eriksen and Griselda Suarez decided to turn their talents for cuisine into a business, launching Peppered Up Foods in 2011. “The inspiration came out of our love for food and for sharing with our community,” Eriksen told the Business Journal. About four years ago the couple, who have been married for 10 years, began selling their sauces, dips and spreads at local farmers markets. “We slowly grew out of our farmers market booth and started doing big special events and catering and selling and jarring all our sauces,” Suarez said. After about two years, Eriksen and Suarez began focusing on catering local events and found themselves in need of a permanent space for preparing food. “There came a point where renting a kitchen to get ready for those events became tiresome,” Suarez recalled. When they found a “little shack” on the corner of Anaheim Street and Obispo Avenue, they knew it was the perfect place. Once the couple had a location, opening a restaurant organically happened. “We bought the business with the intention of just using it for our catering, special events and production of our artisan sauces, but as we were in here it just seemed like it was a great corner (Please Continue To Next Page)

Machelle Thompson, PT, CSA, CMC President and Geriatric Care Manager, Keen Home Care

Barbara Irvine-Parker, Realtor Associate Keller Williams Pacific Estates

Machelle has built a sterling reputation working with seniors for over 20 years as a physical therapist and licensed nursing home administrator in the Long Beach and Los Angeles area. Her company, Keen Home Care, provides insight into the challenges that aging presents to the senior and their entire family. Machelle, a Long Beach native for over 30 years, plays an active role in the community, serving on the Community Hospital Long Beach Foundation and Long Beach Business Executives Association boards, along with her National Association of Geriatric Care Managers, Estate Planning and Trust Council of Long Beach, ProVisors and Women Presidents’ Organization memberships. 260 Redondo Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 438-5336 • Fax (562) 438-5337

Barbara obtained her California Real Estate License in 1977. As a seasoned agent, she continues to receive ongoing training and has developed tried and true marketing strategies. Her accomplishments have hinged on two points: providing the highest degree of professionalism and expertise, and providing quality service and communication. Barbara has called Long Beach/Signal Hill her home for more than 25 years. “My professional networking through National Association of REALTORS®, California Association of REALTORS®, and the Women’s Council of REALTORS® has proven to be invaluable in maintaining a powerful connection between my business and community.” 2883 E. Spring St., Ste. 100 • Long Beach, CA 90806 (562) 208-9726

Dipali Patel, Certified Instructor Kumon of Long Beach – North/Heartwell Park

Linda L. Wallace, MBA, CLU, ChFC Linda L. Wallace Financial & Insurance Solutions

Dipali is an extensively trained and certified professional instructor. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Davis and is fully certified through Kumon. She serves as a mentor who guides your children through their work while also providing direction, support and encouragement. She creates an at-home study plan in addition to monitoring classroom assignments, and emphasizes the importance of accurately completing each assignment within a designated time frame. This has helped many of her students increase self-confidence, thus becoming more selfreliant. Dipali has a true passion for education and an earnest desire to help children succeed in all their endeavors. 4103 N. Viking Way, Ste. B • Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 425-3430 •

I serve business owners and individuals as a Financial and Insurance Advisor. I am here for the 80 year old YOU! My mission is to help you secure your future and protect your business and the ones you love so you can focus on growth and prosperity. My previous experience as a U.S. Navy Nurse and an Intensive Care Nurse at MHMC actually helps me do this in surprising ways. I am also on several nonprofit Boards in Long Beach and enjoy serving the Community. “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle….” 6621 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 220 • Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 596-6559 •

Whitney Leathers, Executive Director Long Beach Day Nursery

Marta L. Callotta DC, CCSP Long Beach Spine & Rehabilitation

Whitney Leathers comes to the Long Beach Day Nursery (LBDN) with extensive leadership experience and a breadth of knowledge in both nonprofit management and early childhood education (ECE). Previously, as Executive Director for the Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children (NevAEYC), she served a dual role managing both the organization’s programs and the nonprofit agency as a whole. Currently, in her new role as Executive Director for LBDN, Whitney hopes to grow leaders from within the organization while collaborating with outside supporters to build on the Nursery’s solid history to strengthen the LDBN programs and their reach.

Dr. Marta Callotta has been serving Long Beach communities for 17 years. When treating a patient she considers the whole person. She is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner and is currently working on her Diplomat in Sports Medicine. Honored with the CA Chiropractic Association’s 2007-08 “Doctor of the Year” award, she is a team doctor for USA Volleyball and was the Official Chiropractor for the Orange County Roller Girls from 2009-2011. Emphasizing biomechanical health and fitness, customized nutritional requirements and exercise programs, focusing on individual needs and goals, helping you to be the best you can be, naturally. 3434 Los Coyotes Diagonal • Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 938-8770

1548 Chestnut Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 591-0509 •

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 8-B Long Beach Business Journal to actually sell out of,” Suarez said. In 2013, they opened Sliced & Diced Eatery, serving up Mexican and American dishes out of a walk-up window. Although neither are strangers to the concept of owning a business – both women come from families of business owners – they still faced some challenges. For instance, Suarez explained, “It’s hard for restaurateurs to network because we are always busy cooking.” To help manage some of these challenges, they used the Small Business Development Center at Long Beach City College. “They have helped us with marketing, a website and business development,” Eriksen said. “They have been a great help with just keeping us on track as a small business,” Suarez chimed in. The women come from different backgrounds, which they use to focus on different aspects of the business. Suarez is a poet and instructor at California State University, Long Beach and focuses on creative issues like marketing and branding. Eriksen has a master’s degree in organizational management, so she does “all the numbers, ordering and inventory,” Eriksen said. In the future, the two hope to grow their business either by expanding to another similarly sized location or by opening one larger location, Eriksen said. “I would say our goal right now,” Eriksen added, “is to bring our customer base up to maximum capacity here at the shack.”

March 18-31, 2014 “These rooms have allowed us to blossom and branch out,” Blanchard said. “Now we’ve included all kinds of other classes that we couldn’t before because of space limitations.” She estimated that when she first became owner of the company, the business had about 80 students enrolled. Now there are about 350 students. Some of the challenges the company faces moving forward are the still slow-growing economy and the increasingly competitive dance studio market, Lightholder said. “Studios are popping up all over, so there is a lot more competition close by,” she explained. Both hope to continue expanding their business. “We want to keep growing and teaching until we’re 80 or 90,” Blanchard declared. ■

Shana (left) And Joy Starr The Rubber Tree 5018 E. 2nd St. • 562/434-0027 •

Morgan Lightholder (left) And Donna Blanchard The Dance Company 4205 Montair Ave. • 562/425-7231 •


onna Blanchard seized the opportunity to become co-owner of The Dance Company in Lakewood Village in 1983, realizing her dream of owning a studio. Her partner, Morgan Lightholder, joined her as co-owner in 1999. “I acquired The Dance Company in 1983 and Morgan began teaching here very soon after that in 1984 or 1985,” Blanchard recalled. At that time, Blanchard co-owned the company with an actress who spent a lot of time working in Los Angeles. Eventually, that partner left the business and Lightholder became co-owner. Both women began dancing before they were five years old. “I had wanted to be a dance teacher and have my own studio since I was a little girl,” Blanchard recalled. Lightholder said that becoming co-owner of a studio was something she simply fell into. “When Donna’s partner left I was already teaching there and we were best friends, so the natural progression was that she and I become partners,” Lightholder explained. Both have taught dance for many years, having instructed at various local schools in addition to The Dance Company. Lightholder has also worked for insurance companies, which she still does for a few hours every day. “Morgan is great with numbers,” Blanchard boasted, explaining that her partner’s background is useful for some of the business’s office work. Blanchard focuses on teaching younger children and Lightholder mostly teaches adults. To help, the company employs “a small army of women” who teach other dance and fitness classes. Several of these instructors are former students of The Dance Company. “A lot of our teachers have grown up here . . . Now they are teachers here and they also have children here,” Lightholder said. The Dance Company started out in an 800-square-foot room and has expanded to additional spaces in Parkview Village since then, Blanchard said. A year or two ago, she and Lightholder acquired about 5,000 square feet of additional space in the former Bank of America building down the street on Village Road.


ounded in 1992 with the intention of promoting safe sex, The Rubber Tree has been a solely family owned business since 1999, run by Joy Starr and her daughter, Shana. Originally, the shop in Belmont Shore only sold condoms, hence the word “rubber” in the name, Shana Starr told the Business Journal. “That was the whole point – to promote safe sex through the use of condoms,” she explained. Safe sex is an issue she is passionate about. “I lost many friends to the AIDS virus, so I have always been about safe sex,” Starr explained. The other goal in opening The Rubber Tree was to have an adult store “that was clean and welcoming in a nice neighborhood that women would feel comfortable coming into,” Joy Starr said. At the time the store opened, most shops selling sex-related items were geared towards men and pornography, often with rooms where customers could watch videos, Shana Starr explained. The Starrs wanted to provide an alternative to that environment. Joy Starr had previously worked part time for a company that sold adult products, while her daughter used to work at Nordstrom where she gained the high-end sales experience she currently brings to The Rubber Tree. The Starrs were met with resistance when they first opened on Belmont Shore’s 2nd Street, a busy shopping area with many restaurants and retailers. “It was challenging and difficult at first,” Joy Starr said, remembering how the store was picketed when it opened. After assuring the community that the store was high-end and that they did not allow children to shop there, local residents ended up accepting the store’s presence, she recalled. Since opening, the Starrs have become very involved in the local community, regularly guest lecturing at California State University, Long Beach and regional city colleges for the past 12 years or so, Shanna Starr said. “We really helped a lot of kids and college students with safe sex and understanding their bodies and feeling comfortable,” she added. The shop evolved into selling a lot more than condoms and now offers a whole array of adult products. Still, a challenge the owners face is the ever-growing market of adult products online. Because of this, “staying on the cutting edge” is their biggest challenge, Joy Starr noted. The Starrs hope to continue to embrace social media and learn about new industry trends while still providing education and consistent customer service to their loyal client base, Shanna Starr said. ■

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Michelle Jouvence, Owner Lucy’s Boudoir With 20 years of experience designing swimwear and lingerie, Michelle Jouvence, a resident of Long Beach, opened Lucy’s Boudoir – a lingerie boutique specializing in BRAS! The store specializes in hard to find sizes from 28AA to 56N. A bra fit specialist will help find your perfect fit. Lucy’s Boudoir also stocks nursing and maternity bras, sports bras, post-mastectomy bras, pin-up swimwear, and bridal lingerie. “Yes, we have your size!” Open Tuesday-Friday 11AM-6PM and Saturdays 11AM5PM. Also open any time by appointment (except Sundays).

Connie Chick, Realtor Main Street Realtors “Professional Service with a Personal Touch”. Representing both buyers and sellers in the Long Beach and surrounding vacinities since 1976. Helping folks decide where they are going to be happy is such a rewarding profession. When a seller is ready to put their house on the market, they need to know what is the easiest, fastest and least expensive way to market the property to achieve their highest price. A Realtor must stay in touch with our constantly changing world of technology!

3925 Long Beach Blvd. • Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 997-8786 •

244 Redondo Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 787-5518 •

Natalie Hale, Co-Founder/CEO Media Partners Worldwide

Connie Wildasinn, President MetroCal Brokers

Natalie Hale is founder and owner of Media Partners Worldwide (MPW), a full service Media Buying Agency in Long Beach. MPW has specialized in direct response advertising, with an emphasis on Radio. MPW has relationships and buying power that allows them to secure lower rates than most other agencies. Since 1997, MPW has grown from a “one-woman” shop to a visible, competitive force on the direct response landscape. With more than 100 years of combined experience, MPW's seasoned staff is recruited from top agencies worldwide. While Media Partners specializes in lead generation for radio, they also offer TV, print, outdoor, online marketing, and now social media marketing solutions. 296 Redondo Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 439-3900 •

MetroCal Brokers is the brain child of Connie Wildasinn. “I have seen so many agents stumble about and never reach their full potential.” The real estate industry continues to evolve, and one must evolve along with it. For over two decades I have been mentoring agents to see the full spectrum of the industry. Understand how to retain clients and be the best agent they can be. I am proud of all the agents who work with me and their dedication to the company. Stop in and see us, we are an independent boutique brokerage who takes pride in handling transactions with strong ethics and honesty. 3703 Long Beach Blvd., Ste. 402 • Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 824-4846 •

Zulma Alejo, Customer Service Representative Minuteman Press

Pamela Kelly, Owner Pamela Kelly Communications

Zulma Alejo is Customer Service Rep Extraordinaire at Minuteman Press of Long Beach. Minuteman Press is a one stop shop for all of an organization’s printing needs. The company prints flyers, brochures, postcards, forms, letterhead, envelopes, and so much more. Minuteman Press can help with direct mail and promotional products as well. The company has received numerous awards in recognition of their quality, customer service, graphic design and community involvement. And Zulma was a major factor in qualifying for the Customer Service Award. Her focus on the customer’s needs, wants, deadlines, and budgets elicits regular compliments from her happy customers. 137 W. 5th St. • Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 436-8500 •

Known for her enthusiasm, accessibility and results, Pamela Kelly consults with businesses to have their employees communicate effectively and with confidence in English, through her courses and coaching in accent reduction, public speaking, presentations, conversation skills. Pamela taught at CSULB, LBCC and is a popular “Master Teacher” at UCLA Extension. She has worked with corporations and government agencies worldwide, including The California Association of Realtors and Raytheon. Pamela is the author of “Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!” – a step-by-step guide to transform the fear of public speaking into energy, know-how and results.

Charlene Ferry, Owner

(562) 599-1462 • •

Salon Indah

Imelda Lorena R.H., Owner Stephanie’s Linens and More

Salon Indah is a full-service salon with a unique style that accompanies its friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere. Operating out of the same location for the past 25 years, they’ve built a committed clientele of all ages that include both men and women. Recently certified in organic natural hair color, owner Charlene Ferry is committed to providing natural products and treatments such as permanents, colors, keratin straightening and a full-line of hair care products. Stop by Salon Indah for a free consultation, a glass of herbal tea or cold Sangria, and check out their promotions on Facebook, Yelp and on their Website.

Backed by 15 years of experience as a Marriott party professional, our owner took over her mother's small party supply business in 2004 and added a wider selection of services to her repertoire. Named in honor of our owner's own daughter, Stephanie's Linens and More provides beautiful events for each and every client. Impress your guests with gorgeous party and linen rentals from their special event experts in Signal Hill, California. Stephanie's Linens and More is the only name you need to know for the best party supplies in the area. Amazing selection and even more amazing prices available.

189 Argonne Ave. • Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 498-1557 •

1416 E. Burnett St., Ste. D • Signal Hill, CA 90755 (562) 618-8980 •

Carolina Marin-Henriquez, Esq., Founder The Law Concierge, A Professional Corporation

Kawani Brown, Owner Zen Baby Shop

After graduating with honors from Bentley University, Carolina graduated Magna Cum Laude from Whittier Law School and shortly thereafter became licensed to practice law. For a decade, she has focused on Corporate, Aviation, and Estate Planning Law. As a business owner and investor, Carolina offers a wealth of diverse business and legal expertise. Her Practice is dedicated to working with entrepreneurs to help them start, operate and grow. Carolina is also an FAA licensed pilot and passionate about aviation, which results in the successful execution of complex aviation transactions. Lastly, Carolina also specializes in the smooth resolution of delicate family estate/probate matters. 3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Ste. 200 PMB 401 • Long Beach, CA 90806 (562) 304-2805 •

Kawani Brown is the owner of Long Beach’s first natural baby and maternity store, Zen Baby Shop. She’s a doula and natural birth advocate with a military background in meteorology. Kawani lives here and runs her business with her husband, Edward and children, Miakoda and Supernova. She continues to bring natural family and birthing options to the Long Beach community through advocacy and holding events and classes. Kawani is also the founder of NAHBE, a Natural and Holistic Baby Expo that was held for the first time in 2013 and will be held this year in the summer of 2014. 406 E. 3rd St., Ste. A • Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 436-9993 •

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 10-B Long Beach Business Journal

March 18-31, 2014

Six Long Beach Waitresses On Loving Their Work And Bonding With The Community ■ By SAMANTHA MEHLINGER Staff Writer

Fadia Ruiz, waitress at the Promenade Café onboard the Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy.

Talk to a long-time waitress at a Long Beach restaurant and she will likely tell you two things: that she loves her job and she loves to talk to customers. These waitresses will paint a different picture of their work than the waitresses populating modern day television, who often unhappily sling plates because they can’t get into the line of work they really want. One need look no further than modern shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “2 Broke Girls” and “Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23” as examples. Unlike those shows might have you believe, however, there are plenty of women in Long Beach who go into waitressing and stick with it because they love what they do – regardless of whether or not they get the occasional bad tip or have other plans for their futures.

Why They Waitress

Rosanna Peralta, waitress at Kafe Neo, 2800 E. 4th St.

“I love it. I love talking to people,” Sharyn McFadden, manager and waitress at Long Beach Cafe, told the Business Journal about her job. She has been working at the café for 21 years. “We make our customers like our family. We get right in their problems,” she said. For many Long Beach waitresses, talking to people and getting to know customers is their favorite part of their jobs. “I like to talk to customers,” Maribel Lopez, waitress and shift leader at Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria, told the Business Journal. “I like to make my customers happy. I want them to have a good experience and have them come back,” she added. For Savannah Moore, who has worked at Naples Rib Company since 2003, “building friendships with customers” is the best aspect of her job. Jessica Smith, waitress and corporate trainer with George’s Greek Café, said that her regular customers are her favorite part of coming to work, too. “There are people who come in to our restaurant every single day,” she said, adding that she considers many of her regular customers to be her friends. All of these waitresses, including Rosanna Peralta, who has worked at Kafe Neo for six years, said that they have regular customers and they know them by name and even by the food they typically order. The customers know the waitresses as well. “It makes me feel special when they come in and ask for me,” Peralta reflected. Fadia Ruiz has been working at the Queen Mary’s Promenade Cafe for nine years, and she loves getting to know her customers. “I love talking to people, especially here at the Queen Mary because it’s international,” she said. “I’m a really friendly person and I like to serve people and make them happy. I enjoy my job,” she emphasized.

Like Family

Maribel Lopez, shift leader and waitress at Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria, 401 W. Willow St.

For these waitresses, their jobs aren’t just places they clock into and out of every day – all of them said their coworkers, customers and employers are like family to them. This is literally true for Ruiz, whose father and uncle

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WOMEN IN BUSINESS March 18-31, 2014 also work on the Queen Mary. And, she said, “I actually met my husband here at the Queen Mary.” He continues to work on the ship as well. Even her coworkers who aren’t related to her are like family, she said, recalling how they threw her a surprise baby shower on the ship. “My customers, my other coworkers – they’re literally like family,” Smith echoed. “I left [George’s] for six months once because I thought I wanted something different, but I missed it too much and had to come back.” McFadden said the waitresses she manages are also like family to her, noting that all of them have been with Long Beach Cafe for at least nine years. Moore made a similar observation, explaining, “What’s nice about Naples [Rib Company] is we have all been there a really long time.” Customers, too, are like family to many of these waitresses. McFadden said that she and the other waitresses at Long Beach Cafe get close to those they serve. One such customer, a 94-year old woman who regularly dined at the café, recently passed away. “She had been coming in here all the time, so I am going to her funeral,” she said. Peralta fondly spoke of watching customers’ children grow up. Smith shared a story about one couple that has been bringing their four-year old son to the restaurant since he was a baby. Now when they visit, the boy insists that Smith pick him up and carry him with her from table to table. “Some of my best friends start off as my customers,” she said. Still, not all customers are a complete joy to have around. “I believe every business has the kind of customer that for some reason isn’t happy at that moment,” Buono’s Lopez noted. She doesn’t let it get to her, though. “When I see a customer that is upset, I try to make their day, make them happy, make them smile,” she said. Ruiz shared a similar sentiment. “Of course you’re always going to get the good people, the bad people, the cheaper tippers and all that, but at the end of the day as long as I made someone happy, that puts a smile on my face,” she said. Customers express their appreciation for their favorite waitresses with meaningful gestures – cards, gifts and stories about their lives, the women told the Business Journal. Peralta shared a memory of one such customer, a member of the local police bomb squad named Mike who regularly came in to Kafe Neo. One day she told him she was going home to Mexico to visit her father, a former policeman. Mike returned before she left for the trip with hats, pins and paraphernalia from the FBI and his bomb squad to take to her father. “When my dad saw it he let out a couple tears . . . he was really touched because that’s what he loved to do,” she recalled.

Long Beach Business Journal 11-B

Jessica Smith, corporate trainer and waitress at George’s Greek Cafe, 135 Pine Ave.

Savannah Moore, waitress at Naples Rib Company, 5800 E. 2nd St.

What The Future Holds While some waitresses, such as Peralta and Moore, have plans to further their education and eventually change careers, McFadden, Smith, Ruiz and Lopez intend to stick with waitressing as long as possible. Smith, who has a degree in political science and once toured the country as a student with Hillary Clinton, said that working at George’s helped her realize she wanted to be in the restaurant industry. “I thought for a long time that it was a stepping stone, but it is genuinely what makes me happy,” she said, adding that she hopes to own her own restaurant one day. Even though Peralta has plans to eventually move on and work with people struggling with mental illness and drug addiction, she said that she wants to remain involved at Kafe Neo. “This place has rewarded me on a personal level,” she said, explaining that waitressing at Kafe Neo helped her overcome her shyness and improve her English skills. “[Kafe Neo] has defined me and made me grow so much that I want to stay involved as long as possible.” ■

Sharyn McFadden, manager and waitress at Long Beach Cafe, 615 E. Ocean Blvd.

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ENCORE – PEOPLE IN THE NEWS 12-B Long Beach Business Journal New CEO For AltaSea Facility In San Pedro – Rachel Etherington, an environmental social entrepreneur and businesswoman from the United Kingdom, is the first CEO for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. AltaSea is a new urban marine research, business incubator and educational facility that, according to an announcement from the company, “will enable Los Angeles to become a more sustainable coastal city.” A 100year-old site at the port will be transformed into AltaSea’s new marine campus. “AltaSea is a vision that must be built from the ground up, so we were searching for someone with strong leadership and development experience, business expertise, a global perspective, and most importantly, a passion for the environment and ocean,” said Brad Jones, founding partner of Redpoint Ventures and a member of the AltaSea Advisory Committee, in announcing the choice of Etherington as the organization’s first CEO. Etherington, who joins AltaSea on April 1, is currently serving as managing director of the Blue Marine Foundation in the United Kingdom, a group dedicated to ocean protection and preservation. Patrick Joins Gold Star Manor – Glen Patrick is the new chief operating officer for the American Gold Star Manor located in West Long Beach. Patrick, who most recently managed a branch of the Greater Long Beach YMCA, is responsible for facilities maintenance, financial management, HUD administration and resident relations. American Gold Star Manor is situated on 23 acres that include 348

March 18-31, 2014

Signal Hill Mayor’s Reception Scheduled For Tonight, March 18 The annual City of Signal Hill Mayor’s Reception takes place tonight, March 18, at approximately 8 p.m., or at the conclusion of the city council meeting. During the meeting, the five-member council is expected to elect Ed Wilson – pictured at right in front of the Signal Hill City Hall – to serve as mayor during the coming 12-month period. The mayor’s position usually rotates among the five councilmembers; Wilson has held the post on three previous occasions. Four of the five councilmembers pictured above have served together since 1998. From left are: Larry Forester, elected in 1998; Wilson, elected in 1997; Michael Noll, in his fifth fouryear term; Tina Hansen, elected in 1994; and Lori Woods, elected last year. The city council meeting is held at city hall, 2175 Cherry Ave., and the reception is scheduled for the adjacent Signal Hill Park Community Center. RSVP required: 562/989-7330. (Photographs by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)

apartment units. The facility is planning a multimillion dollar renovation. Executive Chef Named For Soon To Open Bo Beau – The soon-to-open BObeau kitchen + rooftop on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach has named Katherine Humphus as its executive chef. A spring opening is

scheduled for the 13,722-square-foot restaurant that includes a 2,800-squarefoot open-air roof deck with a beer garden. The facility is owned by San Diegobased Cohn Restaurant Group. Humphus, who is currently leading the original BObeau restaurant in Ocean Beach, is responsible for overall menu development for the BO-beau brand. In announcing the appointment, the Cohn group said the menu will feature “a modern twist on Cal-French classics, signature dishes from the original BO-beau concept, as

Ethics In Leadership Award Presented To Mohamed El-Erian During the recent “Living Ethics Every Day” business ethics seminar presented by the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Mohamed El-Erian, the then-CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO, was presented with the 2014 Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award. At the time of the presentation, El-Erian had already announced his resignation from PIMCO, a global investment management firm, and was scheduled to leave by mid March. “Mohamed El-Erian epitomizes the spirit of the award,” said Louise Ukleja, chair of the center’s advisory board who, along with Greg Wooden, grandson of Nell and John Wooden, presented the award. “My grandfather used to talk to me about the difference between reputation and character,” Greg Wooden said. “Reputation is what people think of you. Character is who you really are. Clearly, Mohamed El-Erian is a person of outstanding character.” Pictured, left to right, are: Greg Wooden, El-Erian, Ukleja, Michael Solt, dean of the College of Business Administration at CSULB, at Blake Christian, event chair and a partner with Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt. (CSULB photograph by Carlos Delgado)

wall as composed plates and shared-style offerings.” Humphus, who has received several accolades from San Diego publications, including “Best Local Chef ” and “Top Female Chef,” developed her skills at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with Le Grand Diplome in Cuisine & Pastry. Infrastructure firm HNTB Names Gonzales Area Leader – Tony Gonzales, AIA, LEED AP, recently rejoined HNTB Corporation as its vice president, Los Angeles-area office leader and architectural practice leader for the West Division. The division stretches from San Diego up into the Long Beach-Los Angeles area. Among its many highly visible projects, HNTB is a design engineer for the Gerald Desmond Bridge project at the Port of Long Beach. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, HNTB is an employeeowned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and contractors. New CFO For CSU System – Steve Relyea, a 30-plus year business and finance veteran from the University of California, has been named as executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer for the 23-campus California State University system. Relyea, who is currently serving as vice chancellor of business affairs at UC San Diego, begins his new job on May 1. “I am delighted that Steve is joining the CSU. He is a visionary and innovative leader, with decades of skills and experiences that will strategically strengthen the CSU to meet the needs of California going forward,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White in a statement. In his new post, Relyea will oversee the division of business and finance. He will

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ENCORE – PEOPLE IN THE NEWS March 18-31, 2014

Long Beach Business Journal 13-B

Courthouse Jury Assembly Room Named For Judge Bradford L. Andrews The Jury Assembly Room at the George Deukmejian Courthouse has been named in honor of retired Judge Bradford L. Andrews. The facility was dedicated March 14, with former Governor Deukmejian (far left) on hand to congratulate Judge Andrews. During Judge Andrews 20-year judicial career, he served as both Presiding Judge of the Long Beach Municipal Court and Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court for the South District. According to an announcement, Judge Andrews, who retired in 2008, “campaigned tirelessly for a new and safe Long Beach Courthouse for jurors and court users.” Prior to his legal career, Judge Andrews attained the rank of lieutenant on the Long Beach Police Department. Part of the Jury Assembly Room is pictured at right. (Photographs by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)

provide executive leadership of fiscal and fiduciary activities, lead the financial and business operations of the CSU and help develop and support long-term systemwide strategic goals. Relyea earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from UCI and holds an MBA from UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business. The Schulten Group Earns Another Top Ranking From Barron’s – The Schulten Group of the Long Beach branch of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, continues to earn accolades from Barron’s financial magazine. For the sixth consecutive year, The Schulten Group has been ranked among Barron’s top financial advisors. For 2014, the firm is ranked 25th among Barron’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors. “We are incredibly honored to be recognized alongside other top advisors,” Mark Schulten said. “Our focus is now and always has been to put the needs of our clients first and to work hard to help our clients succeed financially. We are proud to be recognized and we look forward to continuing to build even stronger client relationships.”

Boeing Satellite Pioneer Honored – Harold A. Rosen, whose work, according to an announcement by The Boeing Company “helped make possible the global broadband communications that shapes modern society,” received a lifetime achievement award from Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine earlier this month. Rosen is known as the “father of the geostationary satellite.” According to Boeing, he led a team that developed the groundbreaking Snycom satellite that launched in July 1963 that “conclusively demonstrated the practicality of geosyncronous orbit. That resulted in the adoption of the geostationary orbit and led to satellites for Communication System (Comsat) and Intelsat, which advanced international and transoceanic telephone, television and data transmissions via satellite.” ■

Joshua And Pamela Beadel Open Breakfast Bar Joshua and Pamela Beadel acheived their dream of opening their own restaruant when on March 6 the Breakfast Bar welcomed its first customers. Located at 70 Atlantic Ave. in the East Village of Downtown Long Beach, the Breakfast Bar is open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both Beadels have worked at downtown dining or drinking establishments during the past decade, which they say helped shape their concept for the Breakfast Bar. According to Pamela Beadle, they’ve always wanted “to create a restaurant where we could share our family recipes with our community . . . for us it really is all about family. Many of our recipes have been passed down from our moms, great aunts and grandmother’s that have been compiled into our family cookbook.” For more information, visit: (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)

Julie Vandervert Opens Store In The Shore According to Julie Vandervert, the idea for her store, Bayshore Boutique, has been “on her mind and heart” since she worked in her parent’s store years ago in Northern California. Vandervert opened her retail store at 5345 E. 2nd St. on March 1. The store, she said in a statement, “will offer something for every woman from size small to 3x, and the best jewelry selection, bags and scarfs in town. Vandervert owns a wholesale business, JV Associates, which, she said, “has been going strong for 20 years in the California Mart in Downtown Los Angeles. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)

70th Assembly District’s ‘Woman Of The Year’ Elinor Otto, who began working at aircraft assembly plants in 1942 and is one of the last working “Rosie the Riveters,” was honored last week by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal as the 70th Assembly District’s “Woman of the Year.” “Elinor Otto was a trailblazer during World War II and she hasn’t stopped since,” Lowenthal said. “She’s still a force to be reckoned with at the age of 94, and a role model for all of us.” The recognition came during the California State Assembly’s annual celebration of Women’s History Month. Pictured on the Assembly floor are, from left, Republican Leader Connie Conway, Lowenthal, Otto and Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez. (Photograph provided by the Office of Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal)

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PERSPECTIVE 14-B Long Beach Business Journal

March 18-31, 2014

Who Is Your COO? (Chief Caring Officer)?

■ EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP By Mick Ukleja re you as smart as a 5th grader? More on that in a moment! New York’s Conference Board, a centuryold research firm, began studying employee satisfaction and engagement 25 years ago. Their work shows that worker happiness has fallen every year since – in both good economic times and bad. Today, over half of American workers effectively hate their jobs. What has become clear is that many leaders have lost sight of what matters most to people at work. What were the report’s findings? What matters most is Appreciation. Support. Recognition. Respect. A recent survey asked, “What is the most important question a follower asks of his or her leader?” Think of vision, success, strategic consensus, innovation, performance, culture, empowerment. These are important to say the least, but the most important question was, “Does the leader care for me?” They wanted to know more about the leader’s caring than the leader’s competency. The fact that the leader could take them to a higher level was important. Yet they got in line because the leader had their best interests in mind. In other words, the leader cared for them; “I care for you. I care about you. I care with you.” The “care package” coupled with


the “competency package” makes a great leader. Caring goes beyond a feeling of empathy or thought of concern. What do they need from you to succeed in the roll they play? Caring is doing more than feeling. Caring is a verb acted out toward family, friends, and those who work with us and for us. We under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring. These can turn a life around. Most great things derive from small gestures and actions. On a broader scale I’ve seen a listening ear turn tragedy into a path to recovery. A split second to you can mean a lifetime to someone else. It’s been said, “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.” Caring is a great quality of leadership. A leader cares for their teams, their followers, their customers, and their clients. It’s an act to be cultivated, and it’s what brings energy to the soul – and paradoxically – especially to the one giving it. It’s the way to survive and thrive, both personally and professionally. What are the side effects and kickbacks? It’s the never-ending support and loyalty of the people in your organization. It is difficult for someone who is selfcentered to care. And just mouthing the words falls short. Self-reflection and selfexamination are the beginning of the transformation. Self-awareness is the first stop to overcoming self-centeredness. As Maya Angelou put it, “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” This is good advice for managers and leaders. We demonstrate

care when we . . . Communicate, Appreciate, Respect and Encourage. One more thing. It has a personal side effect. It eliminates stress and increases your longevity. In other words, your biography impacts your biology. Are you as smart as a fifth grader? To develop a real team, an environment of mutual care and concern must be promoted. This is what happened in Mr. Alter’s 5th grade class at Lake Elementary School in Florida. All the 10- and 11-year-old boys in the class shaved their heads. They did so without embarrassment. Why? Because one of their own, Ian O’Gorman, had cancer. He had to go through chemo. As a side effect his hair fell out. All agreed to have their heads shaved so that upon his return Ian wouldn’t stand out from the class. No one would know who the cancer kid was. Mr. Alter was so moved by their caring that he shaved his head too. With that act the young students and their teacher leaped the chasm of acquaintance and became the caring environment of a family. A side effect was that the personal academic productivity of the students in the class grew exponentially. I’m sure it made Mr. Alter a better teacher as well. Does your organization have a Chief Caring Officer (CCO)? Do you Dare to Care? People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. (Mick Ukleja is the author of several books, a coach, keynote speaker and president of LeadershipTraq, a leadership consulting firm. Check his weekly blog at

Creating A Border Environment That Welcomes Trade

■ TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION Tom O’Brien espite the high profile nature of U.S trade relations with China, Canada and Mexico are also vitally important to the health of the trade sector and, as a result, the nation’s economic well being. Canada is the U.S.’s largest trading partner, responsible for 16.4% of all of this nation’s trade in goods according to U.S. government figures. Mexico is responsible for 13.2% of our trade, just behind China. The North American Free Trade Agreement and other institutional and regulatory reforms are designed to improve cross-border freight flows. Reduced trade barriers have allowed the U.S., Canada and Mexico better access to each other’s markets and facilitated intra-industry (as in the auto industry) and intra-corporate trade as well. A recent agreement between Washington and Ottawa has further harmonized regulations and will allow the U.S. and Canada to test customs clearance in Canada at locations other than crossing stations as a way to relieve congestion. The countries already do joint intransit targeting, which begins the cargo screening process electronically before a ship leaves its port of origin for North America. The pilot project builds upon this cooperation by looking at the role technology can play in the safe and efficient movement of goods


across the border. The concept is “once cleared, twice accepted.” Once cargo clears a Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS) on one side of the border, it would not need to be cleared a second time. If fully implemented, it should improve the flow of goods by reducing the number of containers inspected on both sides of the border. The U.S.-Mexican border on the other hand is not as open. The U.S. has historically limited the number of Mexican trucks that can access this country apart from a narrow border region. But the lack of a more fluid border results in further delays at crossings as goods are often unloaded and reloaded on different vehicles on opposite sides of the crossing. This calls for a variety of technological, operational and institutional solutions that are made more complex by a set of multi-jurisdictional arrangements and funding agreements that govern the border crossing. Funding for port of entry projects comes primarily from Congressional appropriations. The federal General Services Administration coordinates border improvements working closely with other agencies including Customs and Border Protection (CBP). However, the federal government’s role is largely defined by security, not improved mobility. Unlike seaports or airports which are organized to serve their customers, international ports of entry are viewed as protective enforcement sites. While airports and seaports often have innovative and far-reaching commitments to their adjacent communities, ports of entry are traditionally much more insular. This translates into a focus on planning at the port of entry itself and not on the border community arterials and connecting roadways that lead into and out of the border

crossing. Higher traffic demands at the border will result in bottlenecks as well as congestion that spills over onto local infrastructure that is ill-equipped for high traffic volumes and commercial vehicles. The California-Mexico border region in particular lacks a mechanism to address common border problems and to promote inter-agency solutions. Siloed funding streams and legislative and regulatory restrictions on project eligibility have significantly limited the ability of federal, state and local agencies to take an innovative approach to funding and financing improvements. In response, a new CBP Resource Optimization Strategy was authorized in the 2013-14 federal budget. It allows CBP to enter into public-private partnerships, accept asset donations, and enter into alternate financing agreements for modernized, new or expanded port of entry services. Agreements have been negotiated in places like Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Miami and New York State. Because of this new strategy, it may be possible to encourage the CBP to work with partner agencies and the private sector to pursue federal, state and local funding that improves border operations. This benefits not only freight flows; it also facilitates improvements in the communities adjacent to the ports of entry in California. Here in the L.A. region, which is the destination for some of that cargo, a smoother supply chain benefits us as well. (Dr. Thomas O’Brien is the interim executive director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation at CSULB and an associate director for the METRANS Transportation Center, a partnership of USC and CSULB.

Electronic Medical Records – Take Control Of Your Health our health care is important to you around the clock – not just during office hours. Thanks to electronic medical records (EMR), members of your health care team can better coordinate your care through immediate access to your secure patient data. Patient information including health history, medications, laboratory results and more are eas■ HEALTHWISE ily accessible by physicians and By Susan Melvin, D.O. health care providers whether in the ER, at the hospital bedside, or in the physician’s office. Electronic medical and health records promise improved quality and lower cost by bringing an end to millions of manila folders holding countless pieces of patient information and scribbled notes. In their place are EMRs that can transport patient information in real-time with the click of a button. This minimizes waste and inefficiency of manual and paper-based processes, maximizes clinical quality at points of decision-making and eliminates most paper used in patient documentation. While paper can slow down care, the EMRs’ efficiency of delivery helps prevent unnecessary orders and diagnostic tests, reduces medical errors and improves quality of care. And a million fewer sheets of paper copied each month makes us a greener planet. Not only do electronic records make health information more accessible to providers of health care, it also makes health information more accessible to the patients themselves, offering individuals a more organized history of their health. Today patients can have the same access to their own records, thus avoiding the wait for test results while learning new ways to interact with their health care providers. Through electronic medical records, like myChart from MemorialCare, and the secure Internet connection to your medical records, you too can review test results, medications, immunizations and allergies in your health record – online, anytime and anywhere. Patients who sign up also may be able to schedule appointments, request prescription refills, review their personal health history and much more. No more waiting for a call or snail mail. You can update your health information, communicate with your physician, view your most recent visits to your health care provider, easily schedule your next medical appointment and link to your family’s health accounts for access to their appointments, immunization records, growth charts and so much more. The ability to gain instant access to personal health information is more important than ever as we try to juggle our careers, families and whatever life brings us. Health care organizations understand how your busy schedule can affect your health and the health of those you love. That’s why health care organizations across the nation are increasingly offering consumers this important opportunity to turn to their own electronic health records where one click from your computer connects you to your health information and medical records and that of your dependents. With new applications, like the free downloadable myChart Smartphone App, managing your health care has never been easier. Plus increasing numbers of consumers adopting their own personal health records through patient portals translates into more people actively participating in their health care. Think of it as your chart on your time. Ask your physician if they offer access to electronic medical records, or online tools and tips to help you lead a healthy life. EMRs should be password protected and delivered via an encrypted connection to ensure maximum privacy and security. While an EMR has many uses, it is not intended to send any messages requiring urgent attention. For urgent medical matter, you should contact your doctor’s office. For medical emergencies, it’s always important to call 9-1-1. With electronic health records like myMemorialCaremyChart, now you can take control of your health and your peace of mind. (Susan Melvin, D.O., is chief medical officer at Long Beach Memorial.)


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PERSPECTIVE March 18-31, 2014

Long Beach Business Journal 15-B

Second Mortgages Making A Comeback – For Now

■ REALTY VIEWS By Terry Ross ne of the by-products of last year’s run-up in home prices was a comeback for the second loans and equity line of credit mortgage products that had been pretty much squashed during the darkest days of the recession. In 2011, as home prices finally bottomed, an estimated 11.1 million American homeowners were underwater. At least 40 percent, or 4.4 million, of those underwater homeowners had both first and second lien home loans, according to a Furman Center study. It is understandable why lenders pretty much got out of that business because of the risk and the fact that the number of borrowers with verifiable equity had greatly diminished. We were also in a time of negative equity with prices falling and the bottom was anyone’s guess.


During the heyday of the early 2000s real estate boom, taking out second mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) became hot banking products during these equityflush years. For banks, the risk was minimal. These mortgage products were the easiest and most used by consumers and small business owners who needed cash. This practice helped fuel a robust economy and consumer spending that was steadily increasing – that is until housing prices tanked and the equity disappeared in many instances. Diminished home equity reduces a homeowner’s incentive to continue making payments on their mortgage. As a result, default-shy lenders all but completely ceased making second mortgages in the wake of the housing crisis. Spurred in large part by the speculator-driven price bump of a year ago, home equity has risen – and lenders are making second mortgages once again. In Southern California, 47,542 HELOCs were made last year – a 48 percent increase over 2012, according to DataQuick. Lenders approved nearly $7 billion in HELOCs in 2013, 51 percent more than in 2012.

The economic dynamic of second mortgages is double-edged. On one hand, otherwise trapped home equity is unleashed in the form of consumer spending and investment, igniting economic growth. On the other, real estate is often the only valuable asset a middle-income American holds. Borrowing against it means, in many cases, shifting wealth that appreciates at 2 to 3 percent per annum into cash used to purchase depreciating assets such as cars or consumer goods. But an increasing number of analysts and forecasters say that the 20 percent equity gains of 2013 are simply unsustainable and that the new found thirst for equity loans are going to come back and bite both borrowers and lenders. Many homeowners who competed with speculators in 2013 and put less than 20 percent down are set to join the negative equity ranks once appreciation adjusts to the historical levels. This was going to happen anyway, but the rising trend in seconds and HELOCs will only compound the problem, according to one expert. Along with a buyer’s income, mortgage lenders base the amount they are willing to lend on the cur-

rently appraised value of the security for the loan – the real estate. As prices rise, the security is perceived to be worth more, which in turn leads to lenders making larger first mortgages, and loosening the purse strings on second mortgages. As lenders make ever larger mortgages, asset values inflate to match the amount of funds available, and the increase continues until the bubble pops. This is what happened in 2007 and 2008. The real question is will lenders take their foot off the gas soon enough and recognize that prices have stalled in time before going overboard with loans that will soon be under water? If there is another price dip because of the reduced number of real buyers (not investors or speculators), how long will it take for another up-tick in appreciation? Five, seven, 10 years? These are unknowns but are real factors to consider in the equity loan equation. (Terry Ross, the broker-owner of TR Properties, will answer any questions about today’s real estate market. E-mail questions to Realty Views at or call 949/457-4922.)

Vol. XXVII No. 5 March 18-31, 2014 PUBLISHER George Economides VICE PRESIDENT SALES & MARKETING Martha Rangel SALES & MARKETING ASSISTANT Heather Dann GRAPHICS/PRE-PRESS Luke DuBois DISTRIBUTION Conrad Riley EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT EDITOR Tiffany Rider STAFF WRITER Samantha Mehlinger PHOTOJOURNALIST Thomas McConville COPY EDITOR Lindsay Christopher The Long Beach Business Journal is a publication

■ THIRD SECTOR REPORT By Jeffrey Wilcox here are few skippers who knowingly steer their ships into choppy waters if it can be avoided. Most drivers will change their course to miss a mud puddle, at the very least, to avoid advertising their splatters of recklessness for others to readily see. Why, then, would a nonprofit organization or any of its skippers ever think of actually steering their ship into choppy waters? The answer: Because it’s in the best interest of advancing the organization’s mission statement to do so. There are few waters that could be considered more “muddy” in the nonprofit world than the roles of organizations – their leaders, supporters, and volunteers – in speaking out about decisions or needed decisions that will ultimately advance or erode the organization’s work in serving its mission and the community. What dirties the water is separating the particles of lobbying from those of advocating. To the trained eye, it’s an easy separation. For the uniformed eye, it all turns to mud. Sadly, for those leaders who are at the helm of great organizations that have chosen to avoid navigating these mud puddles, they have robbed their organizations of significant opportunities to forge their missions in very public, profitable and persuasive ways. The IRS has said that social benefit nonprofits risk their tax-exempt status, depending how each chooses to act, in direct or grassroots activities aimed at influencing bills, resolutions, repeal pro-


posals, referendums or similar items at the federal, state and local levels. The code is clear. It would take a tremendous amount of misinformation and misinterpretation, however, for anyone to conclude that our government would decree that nonprofits should, therefore, have no voice or recourse to influence resources that are at the core of their existence. Sadly, all the hoopla and hysteria over lobbying and the “can’t do’s” associated with it has significantly damaged the sector and shortchanged way too many organizations. The most significant fatality is that it has taken one of the most important tools of effective nonprofit leadership off the table out of fear and misinformation: Advocacy. For most of the sector’s history, the goal was to build a corps of advocates, not lobbyists. The idea of advocacy is to speak out on behalf of others. Advocates are masters of their art because they speak in terms of people, their needs and their conditions; and, not about institutions and their selfinterests. That job is best left to the lobbyists. The confusion between lobbying and advocacy became so great and so distorted that, in 2009, the American Bar Association (ABA) published an article cautioning attorneys to not overly restrict or misinterpret federal tax law to the detriment of their nonprofit clients. The ABA reiterated the need for nonprofits to advocate through educating policymakers to make informed decisions about communities and constituents, encouraging and registering voters, educating voters about candidate positions, conducting community organizing activities, and raising awareness of the complexity of social issues challenging the nation. Advocates put the people they serve as more important than the service they provide. They are hell-bent on educating the public and all opinion leaders about the facts behind social issues, the hidden truths about social ills, realities of vulnerable populations living in their communities, and the needs of neighborhoods. They issue a rallying cry to get involved.



Publishing, Inc., incorporated in the State of California in July 1985. It is published

Lobbying Vs. Advocating: It’s Time To Wrestle With The Truth





(except between Christmas and midJanuary) – 25 copies annually. The Business Journal premiered March 1987 as the Long Beach Airport

The result of their work: Their respective nonprofit organizations become the catalyst for the action they are calling for and their work demonstrates the results being advocated. It’s the formula that founded the nonprofit movement. The unfounded fears of advocacy as lobbying has tempered once powerful marketing campaigns about needed community action into institutional brochures. Avoiding the choppy waters has eroded special events that were once rallies into mere parties. The fear of acting as an advocate as a prerequisite for nonprofit leadership has turned the leadership focus in the board room from social advancement to institutional administration. The role of advocacy and the responsibility to advocate was a centerpiece of virtually every successful nonprofit’s past. It must be a conspicuous part of its future. Today, if the advocating obligation to a mission statement is making any nonprofit leader nervous because it borders on lobbying, perhaps abdicating might be the wiser option. (Jeffrey R. Wilcox, CFRE, is president and chief executive officer of The Third Sector Company, Inc. Join in on the conversation about this article at the Long Beach Business Journal website

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