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But nickel's role in sustaining our planet is also well worth looking at. Most importantly, nickel in all its forms is recyclable. Beyond that, nickel improves the corrosion resistance of alloys like stainless steels. This means less maintenance and less expensive rehabilitation. And nickel's strength and ductility make it ideal for creating super alloys for turbines that burn biogases-from landfills, for example-to generate electricity. Nickel also helps to reduce green house gas emissions in many ways hybrid cars use nickel metal hydride batteries; waste-to-energy plants use corrosion-resistant nickel alloys for a long, maintenance-free operating life; and wind turbines use nickel alloy casting because they perform so well under cold operating conditions. Nickel. Take a closer look. You'll see so much more.
For many, April is a time of year that brings to mind our responsibility to protect the beauty of earth’s natural environment. We have some catching up to do. There have been some recent interesting developments in green technology, which have great potential to change our lives. One key strategy to reduce our carbon footprint is making our urban areas more sustainable. We take a look at a remarkable experiment in city-building just outside of Abu Dhabi, which will result in the world’s most eco-friendly metropolis. And as that venture continues in the Middle East, the United States Green Building Council is at the forefront of the sustainable building projects here in North America. Other experiments, like vertical farming and the interesting concept of earthships, shed new light on smarter, more creative ways we can make use of our resources. Our talks with Ford about the design and engineering behind their new all-electric car led to a look at the overall electric car market. We also learned about Ford’s exciting new concept car, the Vertrek, a more eco-friendly micro-hybrid version of the SUV, futuristic in style. As always, we also feel compelled to report on unsettling news of importance. The recent murder of two journalists in Libya is just a further example of the campaign of intimidation being carried out against journalists by autocratic government regimes. On the lighter side is Jammin’ Java, a coffee company that lives up to the legacy of music legend Bob Marley. His son Rohan Marley has turned coffee beans into fresh opportunities for the citizens of Jamaica. He is one of the many entrepreneurs we are highlighting. This issue has a particular focus on exciting new trends in information technology–the storage, retrieval and transmission of data. Cloud computing is the next wave in server technology, and GlobalDMS is a venture which has used its own cloud computing services to better serve the mortgage industry, facilitating a more efficient and secure appraisal process. It’s an exciting issue. Sit back, read and enjoy.
THE SUIT STAFF
Erwin E. Kantor
David Stein Felix Badea
Eric Daniels Chris Debellis
Suit Staff Writers
Becky Woolverton Christopher Faille Rachel Cerrone Robert Kornblum Zina Kumok Debra Hildebrand Daniel Horowitz Alaina McConnell Mitch Ligon Michael Barbella L.A. Rivera Jacey Fortin Wendy Connick Andrea Lehner
Erwin Kantor Publisher in Chief
Doryan De Angel David Cohen
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THE SUIT mAgAzInE
Masdar City 8
R2 Meets Astronaut
Middle East Unrest Is the Window for Extremism Opening as Regimes Falter
Recovering Tomorrow’s Energy
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Intellicheck Mobilisa Tim Richardson
Leading The Way In Identity and Wireless Solutions Fighting for the Environment
Consensus Technology QC Laboratories, Inc.
Electric Cars Finally Roll off the Lines Jammin’ Java
Exploring the Possibilities Non-destructive Testing & Consulting Services
Bob Marley’s Son Rohan Creates his Own legacy
Business Intelligent Resources Scott Appleman Applied Engineering Science, Inc.
IT Storage Solutions for any Industry
Practicing Law and Serving the Community
Attorney Paul Nidich
Foreign Journalists The Year Of Living Dangerously
Advanced Medical Isotope Corp.
Cloud Computing For the Mortgage Industry
Red Jacket Systems
Native Solutions for Information Technology
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"Kodiak bear and salmon habitat received significant protection from Exxon Valdez settlement funds."
Fighting for the Environment
Photo by Steve Neal
46 45 47 48 49 50 52 54 55 56
Meade Willis e2Value
Exchanging Data Over The Web Securely Valuation Tools for Main Street
57 57 58 59 59 60 61 61 62 63
Marketing Your Brand
Krevolin & Horst LLC
An Environmental Lawyer with an Entrepreneurial Spirit
Cititrust International Inc. KH Chimes
A Visionary Woman in the Financial Sector
The Nichols Group
Revitalizing the Manufacturing Sector
Sound and Style
Mary Kay Gallagher Real Estate
Victorian Homes in the Heart of Brooklyn
Olson Consulting Sara Olson Blakes Law Firm SBS
Good Business by Blakes
Hill Sokalski Walsh Trippier LLP
McGauley Consultants Terry McGauley
Making Dreams Possible
Advisory Partner to Small Businesses
Hannan & Associates
ProTech LP, Inc. Dolan Law Firm
Printing Services d’Imprimerie
Nowell Klein Amoroso Bierman
The Influential Attorneys
Complex Dispute Arbitration & Litigation
Legal Placements, Inc. Staffing the Legal Community IntegraMed
Speciality Healthcare Services
Forging a Strong Industrial Consultancy
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Translation Services with a Personal Touch
The Rack Express
Cooking Up Business
Sylvan Learning Kari SandersRevitalizing the Manufacturing Sector ENS Youth Mentoring Partnership
Building the Future Today
The Fruit Basket of Albuquerque Lee Romero
Pg 7 (Bald Eagle) Pg 10 (Bottom Image) Pg 21 (Top Right) Head Pg 23 Lybia Illustration Pg 24 Top Left Pg 30 (Image) Pg 34 Bear Pg 39 Bottom right Pg 47 Right Pg 48 Family Pg 55 California Pg 63 (Top Right) Pg 66 Pg 68 Female Pg 70 Tree Pg 72 By Braxton Barden iStockphoto©/Andresr By Doryan De Angel By David Cohen iStockphoto©/JoelCarillet Dreamstime©Arcady31 Photo by Tim Richardson Dreamstime©AlanCrosthwaite Dreamstime©WavebreakmediaLtd Dreamstime©Ralfweber Dreamstime©AlitaBobrov Dreamstime©Nyul Dreamstime©KonstantinSutyagin Dreamstime©Ariwasabi Dreamstime©Jiawangkun Dreamstime©Judieostling
Human Development - Policy and Practice
Providing Healthcare Solutions
Educating our Children
Convert More Prospects, Keep More Customers
Dr, Gabriel Cousens Victoria Strands
Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center
Going to Great Lengths
The Browning Newsletter Created in Oregon
Sounding the Climate Change Alarm E-commerce with a Social Conscience
Boscarino, Grasso & Twachtman LLP Walter Twachtman Housing & Land Use Expert RDH & Associates, Inc.
Design with Humility
L’Interieur Le Nair Sandra Jackoboice
A Window of Opportunity
An Artist in Bloom
The VOLODIN Gallery Victor Volodin
Photo by Braxton Barden
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The SuiT magazine - 9
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Last October, readers were intrigued by our feature story on R2, a prototype humanoid robot. This month, reporter Andrea Lehner does a follow-up with the engineers at General Motors to learn about the experiment's implications for future technologies here on earth.
In November of last year, humanoid robots took a step from science fiction and into reality. The Robonaut 2 prototype—dubbed R2 in a nod to the Star Wars droid—took a ride to the International Space Station in the Discovery STS133 shuttle, where it is currently undergoing experimentation and testing. R2 is the result of collaborative efforts between General Motors and NASA as part of a Space Act agreement that will last through 2013. Seven GM engineers lived onsite at the Johnson Space Center during the initial design, assembly, and development period. For GM, this exciting prototype is advancing sensor safety systems. NASA, however, is turning the efforts into an operational experiment to determine the potential of humanoid technology in the space program. Engineer Sam Abuelsamid of GM’s News Bureau asserts that the prototype humanoid— which bears a strong resemblance to a human torso—is not intended to replace people. “We didn’t design the robot to replace humans. We designed it to try to do things similar to the things a human can do. Consider the capabilities that you have in your own hand. Now add your sensory systems: your eyes, your ears, your brain. It is very, very difficult to take the capabilities of a human and put those in a machine. “NASA wants to see how it acts and how people react to working alongside a robot. It was designed to be an astronaut helper in space,” Abuelsamid explains. R2 boasts the dexterity to grasp and manipulate the same tools as humans and can lift up to twenty pounds, but it can do so in dangerous or difficult spaces while a human operator controls it remotely from a safer location. “The environment itself—due to microgravity, convection-type cooling, gamma radiation and
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By ANDREA LEHNER
all the other elements—presents dangerous conditions,” added Abuelsamid. “These are challenges we’re hoping to find out about by actually operating the robot in space.” While some components have been subjected to radiation tests on Earth, this experiment marks R2’s first exposure to microgravity and gamma radiation as a complete unit. General Motors is keeping its vision for the Robonaut technology closer to home. “This is like a technology show car for us,” Abuelsamid says. “This platform has all kinds of different technologies in it. It allows us try out different control systems, sensors, and safety systems and see how they work on the robot. From that, we see the technologies themselves being useful [in both manufacturing and vehicle design], and we’re able test it in ways we weren’t able to experiment with previously.” Modern vehicles rely increasingly on computer technology. According to Abuelsamid, “Future cars are really more robotic-like than combustion engine-like. Much different than anything Henry Ford could’ve envisioned way back when.” Visual sensing, radar, and ultrasonic sensing technologies are essential for the advancement of safety systems such as blindspot detection, lane-departure warning, and collision mitigation. In addition to space and automotive uses, Abuelsamid also sees derivatives of their work on R2 helping with advancements in prosthetics technology and automation applications. “The future of engineering is very bright. Over the next 15 to 20 years, I foresee a lot of work being done in these fields and with all the technology systems that support them.”
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By GARy STEVENS
Electric Cars Finally Roll off Assembly Lines
2010 FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC
million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (BEVs) on American roads by 2015. New electric options such as the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the hybrid plug-in Chevy Volt have hit the market. Others, including the Ford Focus Electric, are on the way. BEVs and PHEVs This new wave of electric vehicles is powered by lithium-ion battery packs. Trekkies may be reminded of the fictional di-lithium crystals that powered the starship Enterprise. The real-life version can be charged via a standard 120-volt outlet, which can take more than 20 hours for a full charge. It can also be charged in just several hours using a 240-volt home-installed charging station. “Range anxiety” and price have been factors concerning consumers.
President Obama has set a goal of one
The Ford Focus Electric, with an MSRP of $34,500, is an all-electric vehicle coming to the market at the end of 2011. With a top speed of 84 mph, the range is forecast to be 100 miles on a fully charged battery. Focus Electric brand manager Dave Finnegan told the Suit Magazine, “The real point of differentiation for the Focus Electric was the engineering done to take an existing gas-powered vehicle and turn it into an all-electric vehicle. As a result, Focus Electric can be built on the same line as the gas-powered version.” So the production line can be amped up or down according to demand. Finnegan continued, “The charging time is also a key advantage for the Focus Electric. It can recharge in half the time of the Nissan Leaf.” The Nissan Leaf, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $32,780, is an all-electric (BEV) model. It’s built to go 100 miles on a single charge, but
actual range will be 62 to138 miles depending on speed, cargo and driving style. It has a top speed of 90 mph. With 20,000 orders nationwide in 2010, it has been so popular that Nissan stopped taking reservations for new Leafs late last year, and will begin accepting new reservations on May 1. For those with a more expensive taste for sports cars, there is the allelectric Tesla Roadster, with an MSRP of $109,000. It’s a two-seater with a 248 horsepower electric motor that has a top speed of 125, can go from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and has a range of 244 miles on a single charge. Imagine stepping on the accelerator of a bumper car and shooting up to 60 miles an hour. It is manufactured by Tesla Motors in California. The Chevrolet Volt, with an MSRP of $40,280 is a plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV). Only the electric motor powers the wheels. The very small 1.4 Liter
THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
FORD VERTREK CUV
gasoline engine takes over, usually around 40 mph. When maximum power is required, for example to pass another car, the electric motor is used to assist the gas engine. Despite their increasing presence, hybrids only accounted for about two percent of total car sales in the United States in Feb. 2011. Of the 989,808 vehicles sold only 23,263 were hybrids. And 15,639 of those were the Toyota Prius. The Vertrek, a Cross-Over Utility Vehicle (CUV) A CUV is a vehicle built on a car platform, while retaining the features of an SUV, such as tall interior packaging, high seating and high ground clearance. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the auto market. An exciting entrant into this field of auto design is Ford’s concept car, the Vertrek, which won an award at the Detroit auto show in January. Stefan Lamn, Director of Exterior Design at Ford Europe, told the Suit Magazine, “People are looking for something more sleek and fuel-efficient. They’re also looking for a combination of style and spaciousness; the Vertrek is a one-concept car.” Ford uses its kinetic design in the Vertrek, with converging Z-shaped accents between the front quarter-panel, the doors, and the rear quarter-panel. Asked about the intimidating, king-of-the-road aspect which Americans seem to love in their SUVs, Lamn laughed, “We disguised it with some clever lines and surfacing,
gasoline engine, with 80 hp, simply recharges the batteries. Despite a limited range of 35 miles on a single charge of the battery pack, the gas-powered generator allows it to continue for another 375 miles. It soothes “range anxiety.” And it has a top speed of 100 mph. In a report issued by Pike Research, it was forecast that 3.2 million BEVs and PHEVs will be sold over the five-year period from 2010 to 2015. The report estimated that 841,000 will be sold in the U.S., falling short of Obama’s goal, and 880,000 will be sold in China. According to the report, “PHEVs and BEVs will complement, rather than displace, the market for conventional hybrid electric vehicles.” Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) In the previous generation of hybrids, including the Toyota Prius, the electric motor powers the car at low speeds. On the open road, unlike PHEVs, the
but the Vertrek still has a bold aspect. I’m proud of the architecture of the car.” Fuel efficiency has been increased in the Vertrek with the use of Ford’s Eco-Boost system. “The Eco-Boost technology is really important in the Vertrek, because as a car manufacturer we have a responsibility to address sustainability,” Lamb said. The system combines direct injection technology with twin-turbocharged performance, providing a V6 engine with the power of a V8. The Vertrek is considered a nonelectric micro-hybrid because it utilizes two hybrid technologies – start/stop technology along with brake energy regeneration. Start/stop technology, which reduces emissions by about five to 10 percent, involves shutting down the gasoline combustion engine when the car is stationary. Brake energy regeneration is a technology which captures the energy lost during a car’s deceleration, turns it into electricity and recharges the battery, allowing for the repeated use of the battery each time the vehicle comes to a rest.
These are welcome developments. With the rising cost of gas making life miserable for car owners around the world, and the exhausts from combustion-powered vehicles choking the life out of our planet’s ecosystems, the implementation of electrification and fuel efficiency strategies is crucial.
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Built for the road ahead.
Introducing the new Vertrek Crossover w/ Ford’s Kinetic Design
Designed for living.
Eco-Boost Engine Hybrid Regenerative Braking w/ Auto-Stop-Start Technology
Engineered to last.
By L.A. RIVERA
The Year of LivIng
They were like the legendary members of the ‘Bang-Bang Club’—hotshot photographers armed with zoom-lens cameras, earning their living as combat photojournalists in troubled war-zones. Chris Hondros, a correspondent for Getty Images, and Tim Hetherington, who co-directed “Restrepo,” the Oscar-nominated documentary about Afghanistan, were tragically killed by mortar fire in the small town of Misrata, Libya in late April. “That’s awful news. If there’s any good news, they were not deliberately targeted because they were journalists,” explained Rodney Pinder, director of International News Safety Institute. “This is what happens in war; you get too close to the frontlines, and you become a causality of war.” In Washington, D.C., the White House expressed sadness over the attack and called on Libya and other governments to take steps to protect journalists. Many journalists risk their lives at the battlefield front, under fire. But in other cases, journalists assigned to cover uprisings in North Africa or the Middle East have been the target of government intimidation. Detentions, beatings and murder are part of that arsenal. Over the past four months, there have been at least 500 attacks on reporters in the region. And nine journalists have been murdered. The motivation behind the governments’ crackdown is twofold. Censorship of news coming out of the region is one factor. But the journalists are also serving as pawns in the struggle between entrenched regimes and anti-government forces. “In previous cases, the government has used journalists as a bargaining chip in negotiations because they have very little to bargain with,” explains Mohamed Abdel Dayem, a program coordinator for The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) who oversees the Middle East and North African region. “In both regions, the patterns are the same,” he added. “The journalists are detained by foot soldiers. Then they are held by armed elements, and eventually handed off to Surt or
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Tripoli. The point is that the government has created this atmosphere of playing good cop and bad cop.” So far, 18 journalists critical of governmental policies have been arrested and detained. Many have been listed as ‘missing’. Clare Morgana Gillis, a freelancer working for The Atlantic and USA Today, James Foley of GlobalPost, and Spanish photographer Manuel Varela de Seijas Brabo, who had all been reported missing, were seen on Thursday, April 8 at a detention center in Tripoli, where they were reportedly being treated well. Atlantic Editor-in-Chief James Bennet said: “We’re relieved to hear that at least three of the missing journalists have been seen in official detention in Tripoli. We’re asking the Libyan government to release all four as quickly as possible, and in the meantime, to let foreign diplomats or journalists visit them.” The Obama administration has also made a statement. "We call for the release of any journalists detained, any human rights activists, anyone detained unlawfully or inappropriately,"
said Press Secretary Jay Carney. "We take this very, very seriously. Journalists across the globe risk their lives each day to keep us informed, demand accountability from world leaders and give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard." Libya has been an especially brutal scene for journalists. Four New York Times reporters were detained and beaten by forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi in March. They were held for six days before being released. Their driver is still missing and believed to be dead, according to CPJ. Two journalists, along with their drivers, from the Saudi-owned television station Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), and one journalist from the Iranian-owned television station al-Alam, are also being held. Dayem said he has never seen this level of violence aimed at journalists in the Middle East and North Africa. “We have documented 500 cases of journalists being abused or brutalized,” he said. “This region is now the worst it has ever been.” Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at the Human Rights Watch, noted that in years past the logistics of the battlefield were different. “Both the rebels and Qaddafi can move quickly. Today a reporter can jump in a taxi from Cairo and be on the front lines the next day,” he said. “And when they get caught on the wrong side of the front lines, they find themselves in deep trouble.” Bouckaert also believes that more and more journalists are taking the extreme measure of arming themselves with a gun. This is not a new phenomenon. In 2007 CPJ interviewed dozens of reporters and editors for a handbook on working in a war zone, “On Assignment: A Guide to Reporting in Dangerous Situations.” In that publication, the authors voiced their opposition to journalists packing a piece while traveling abroad in a foreign country. But in the current climate where international journalists are being targeted as enemies of the state and extremist organizations are increasingly brazen, the rules have changed; no-one is questioning a journalist’s decision to carry a gun. In fact, to hide their identities, female journalists sport an abaya, a lengthy robe worn by Muslim women, and a scarf. Many of the male reporters grow beards and wear Muslim garb. “It’s been getting more and more dangerous,” Bouckaert said. "When we worked in the Balkans, a journalist could go anywhere. Now when you enter Somalia, Afghanistan or Iraq there are groups out there that want to kill journalists. A press pass doesn’t make a whole lot of difference anymore when you run into these groups like the Taliban.” Today’s journalists are also a different breed from the press corps of yesterday. “Many of the war correspondents today don't have experience. And a lot of them are freelancers who don't have the background to work in a war zone,” Bouckaert said. “They don’t have flak jackets. They don’t know the terrain. And they often take extra risks that experienced journalists don’t want to take.” Although inexperience may cause journalists to take undue risks, it does not explain the brutal and repressive campaign of violence being used by autocratic regimes to silence their voices.
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By RACHEL CERRONE & ROB KORNBLUM
Middle East Unrest
Is the Window for extremism opening as regimes Falter?
As the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East continues, one of the troubling issues is whether or not the unrest provides an opening for extremist groups within the region. In Egypt, The Muslim Brotherhood, a religious organization banned from operating as its own political party under Mubarak’s government, has now emerged as a political player. Because of the Brotherhood’s controversial history and support of jihadists, some are concerned that they may once again advocate for violence. “When the Brotherhood has had the opportunity to become the rulers of a government, we’ve seen drastic changes in policy,” said Jonathan Schanzer, former U.S. Treasury intelligence analyst and current Vice President of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The Brotherhood took control of the Sudanese government in 1989,” he continued. “That government then went on to effectively engage in genocide, support terrorism, and host Al Qaeda, so obviously that is extremely dangerous. “ The Muslim Brotherhood, however, is a complex group. According to Rafael Reuveny, a professor from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, “The Brotherhood itself is not monolithic, and has several factions inside it. Some factions are extreme, like the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, but many factions are much more benign.” As an example Schanzer cited Turkey, where “...the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is now in power and is aligned with the Brotherhood, but does not overtly support terrorism.” Currently in Egypt, the Brotherhood is part of a council redrafting the Egyptian constitution, and anti-government groups are allowing that process to go forward. While unrest has abated in Egypt, Libya’s volatile situation may push the embattled Qaddafi to employ extremist
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reports that there is jockeying,” Schanzer added. “Al Qaeda has a strong presence in Saudi and Iran supports al Qaeda, so to me it seems that the unrest may involve forces that are called terrorist.” Bahrain, a strategic ally of the United States, also faces the specter of a meddlesome Iran. “The U.S. and Saudi are afraid of the Bahrain situation being exploited by Iran. Saudi forces went in to Bahrain; Saudi is serving as a proxy of the United States, in my opinion. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. view the protests in Bahrain as Iranian attempts to get a foothold.” Syria also must balance the duel concerns of a revolting populace and intensifying external pressures. The swelling grassroots unrest there has put the focus on Hamas’ influence, with state security forces killing at least 15 protesters at a recent funeral rally. According to Reuveny, “[Syrian President] Assad may not have enough loyal forces, so he is asking for help from Palestinian terrorist organizations. Hamas Damascus is calling the shots. It’s been reported that Assad is asking for their help, and if they support him there will be a quid pro quo. The U.S. has been trying to wean Assad from its Iranian alliance, pushing Israel to give back the Golan Heights, but now Assad’s position is weaker and he needs allies.” And, as Schanzer points out, “Syria has been a state supporter of terrorism since 1979.” All of the powers with interests in the region have been closely monitoring Yemen, which according to Schanzer, “looks like it’s next to topple, while President Ali Abdullah Saleh seems to be trying to negotiate an exit. That represents a more dangerous situation, because of the strength of Al Qaeda in Yemen.” Towards the end of his interview, Reuveny connected the potential for increased extremism to roots that reach back several decades. Recognizing that the involvement of the West has been a factor in the political developments, he pointed to past American policies that have supported dictatorships and extremist organizations, including Mubarak and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. “Had we not supported those regimes, then maybe we would not be in this position today, where we are facing this global movement of terrorist networks that no doubt will attack again,” Reuveny said. “What the president is now doing had to be done many years ago.” And Schanzer believes that the Obama administration must prioritize its efforts. “We need to determine which countries have the best chance at building a democracy, and try to support those protest movements as much as possible.”
groups as part of his strategy to retain power. Unlike Mubarak, “Qaddafi has been supporting terrorism with reckless abandon for most of his 42 years in power,” Schanzer said. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Qaddafi supported Yasser Arafat in the creation of Black September, a terror apparatus responsible for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, the 1972 Munich Massacre, and the killing of a U.S. ambassador in Sudan. In his own country, however, Qadaffi has had to deal with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an al Qaeda affiliate, which has threatened his regime. “The LIFG has been the basis for cooperation between the US and Libya for the last decade, because it simultaneously supported the Al Qaeda network and also threatened Qaddafi’s regime,” Schanzer said. “However, I think there are questions now as to whether the LIFG could be bought off or used by Qaddafi.” Unlike Egypt and Libya, in Saudi Arabia the noise of unrest has been kept to a low volume. “There were protests and arrests,” Schanzer noted, “but in the end the Saudi administration said they received clerical approval to clamp down on protesters. They televised it, and a potential protest movement virtually evaporated.” The outside influence of Iran also weighs heavily on Saudi Arabia’s stability. “Iran has aspirations for regional leadership. There have been
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Bob Marley’s Son Rohan Creates His Own Legacy
by Mitch Ligon
In the majestic Blue Mountains on the eastern side of the island of Jamaica, the legacy of music icon Bob Marley takes on new life. The coffee grown here is among the best you’ll find anywhere on earth, and its cultivation drives the economy of small farming villages all over the island. Bob’s son Rohan Marley has made a commitment to the people who live and work in these hills. His company, Marley Coffee, relies on organic farming methods and generous wage policies to bring prosperity to the region— and to bring great coffee to consumers around the world. To aid in that effort, a public company called Jammin’ Java was founded in 2009. Sharing a co-branding license with Marley Coffee, its focus is to bring Blue Mountain coffee to the service, hospitality, and big-box store industries. The more they can expand the market, the more they can give back to Jamaican communities and to charities around the world. Jammin’ Java CEO Ahn Tran told The Suit Magazine that he became a part of the movement by chance. “I met the chairman of Marley’s coffee back in 2009 at a charity event in Los Angeles, where I was drawn into Marley’s philosophy,” he said. A lifelong fan of Bob Marley’s music, Tran was star struck at first. “But quite frankly, Rohan is really a down-to-earth type of guy. And he does his father’s legacy quite a bit of justice by the way he looks at the world, the way he looks at business, and the way he looks at the environment. He’s extremely passionate about the things he places his father’s name behind,” said Tran. Just two years in, the company has perfected an original business plan based on the teachings of Bob Marley. “His legacy influences our company: how we treat people, how we treat the environment, how we go about doing business. We are businessmen first and foremost; we have shareholders that we have to look out for. But we believe that you can be a socially conscious business and an eco-conscious business while being a profitable business.” Jammin’ Java gives back to the community in creative
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ways—their Kicks for Cause Foundation is just one example. “Kicks for Cause was a passion project started by Rohan. Soccer tends to be popular in these coffee-growing regions around the world, and one way he wanted to give back was to give kids a chance to play instead of work. He wanted to create an economic model where we would double the wages of farm workers so that the parents could work on the farms without needing their own children to work with them, so the children could actually go home, go to school, play soccer and do things that kids do.” “Now the second area in which we really are giving back to the community is that all the coffees that we purchase are fair trade and organic. And 22 cents from every pound of coffee that we sell goes back to the Fair Trade Organization, whose sole purpose as a regulatory body is to ensure that farmers around the world are getting paid a wage on which they can live,” Tran explained. The rough economy took its toll on businesses around the world, but Jammin’ Java didn’t feel the pinch. “Coffee is a product that does well in good or bad economic times. It is the second most-consumed liquid in the world behind water, and it’s the second highest-traded commodity in the world behind oil,” said Tran. In addition, their commitment to organic methods actually bolsters the company’s financial strength. “I think going green means long-term economic stability. If you go conventional, you don’t create a world in which you can provide new crops of coffee for future generations. Being sustainable and green allows you to keep coffee growing for generations to come.” Looking forward, Tran knows that Jammin’ Java will continue to thrive with its unique synchronicity of business plans and social goals. “From a business side, our goal right now is focused on southern California and the Pacific Northwest in rolling out our service coffees for the big-box industries. It’s about going out and capturing a market share. Once we generate more revenues, it means more revenues for the charity and our ability to really get the message out.” Jammin’ Java is a fully reporting company quoted on the OTCBB under the symbol JAMN.
One cup of coffee, then I’ll go; Though I just dropped by to let you know That I’m leaving tomorrow; I’ll cause you no more sorrow. One cup of coffee, then I’ll go. -Bob Marley, “One Cup of Coffee”
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The year 2015 marks an impending crisis in American health care.
ADVANCED MEDICAL ISOTOPE CORPORATION
by Michael Gordon
If the National Research Universal Reactor at AECL, Ltd., located in Chalk River, Ontario, closes permanently in 2015 as it is currently scheduled to do, it will exacerbate an already severe shortage of a radioisotope critical to medical imaging known as Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Medical imaging technologies, including brain scans, rely on a natural decay product of Mo-99, which the United States imports from nuclear reactors abroad; none of it is produced domestically. The National Research Universal Reactor currently generates almost half the world’s supply of Mo-99. The science is complex, but the consequences are plain: without a new source for Mo-99, medical institutions across the United States may be unable to provide nuclear medicine diagnostic imaging services for hospital patients. But researchers are on the verge of finding a solution. At Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation in Kennewick, Wash., CEO James Katzaroff and his team are close to debuting a new accelerator technology—one that can create MO-99 without a nuclear reactor. According to Katzaroff, domestic production is long overdue. “It is unfortunate that the U.S. federal government has not prepared a reliable domestic resource, instead relying on imports from countries such as South Africa, Belgium, Poland and The Netherlands,” he said in an interview with The Suit Magazine. Our supply of Mo99 and other radioisotopes—which comes primarily from Canada, but also from reactors in Europe, Africa, Australia and South America—is already beginning to run dry, and patients are suffering the consequences. “Many patients have not been able to receive the diagnostic imaging scans that they need to correctly diagnose cancer and other diseases,” Katzaroff said. Katzaroff founded AMIC in 2006. Today, he and his 14 employees bring a combined 300 years of experience to
the table, and their location in Kennewick is home to one of the largest concentrations of nuclear engineers and scientists in the United States. Drawing on that base of knowledge, Katzaroff is confident that the solution is close at hand. “We’ve got a new technology that’s patented; it came out of the University of Missouri and we’ve added to it. We believe it’s going to be the next generation of Mo-99 production— and on U.S. soil. It’s using compact systems, without a nuclear reactor. And it’s a fraction of the cost to build.” After years of research and development, the project is nearing completion. “We’re close. We have one more confirmation that we’re working with Pacific Northwest National Labs on, and when that confirmation is done we’ll be applying for our licenses and ready to roll,” Katzaroff explained. “I’m talking this year.” In an encouraging development, the U.S. Senate passed a bill in February that could support the efforts of AMIC. The American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2011, headed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark., and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., will allocate funding and resources to support domestic production of Mo-99. The bill is awaiting consideration by the House of Representatives. Whether the bill passes or not, the team at AMIC will continue to promote their groundbreaking technology, which has the potential to cut down on health care costs nationwide and provide necessary medical imaging services promptly and efficiently.
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Recovering Tomorrow’s Energy
By Andrea Lehner
Ben Cowart, founder and president of Vertex Energy, used his entrepreneurial vision to go from driving an oil collection truck to developing an industry-leading, environmentally safe refining technology that has changed the oil industry. Thermal Chemical Extraction Process (TCEP) was developed by the Vertex team in Houston, and is now pending an international patent. Conceived from biodiesel manufacturing, TCEP takes used black oil and extracts contaminants, including heavy metals, without any of the air pollutants associated with burning. In his interview with The Suit, Cowart explained that TCEP yields more than 95 percent hydrocarbons, which is better than any other process available. "The finished product is clean and can replace No. 2 diesel," Cowart says. "It is safe for marine use and works well in marine port facilities with high volumes of ship traffic." Cowart’s unusual path to success began during his teenage years, when he worked for his brother’s one-truck oil collecting business. "We went around to small shops and garages collecting oil. By the time I graduated high school, we had several drivers that worked for us. It was an evolving industry back in the 1980s—very much a rogue business with small, backyard operators. Today the industry is much different." Cowart spent 15 years building a regional business with his brother before branching off on his own. "There was a saturation of market share," he says, "So I decided to start my own business. I was very much an entrepreneur and was probably more comfortable taking those steps than most people." Cowart recalls his ambitious spirit. "I had a vision to go to the next level of our industry as I started to see that emerge. My first contract was with Texaco. They had a refinery in New Orleans that processed used motor oil from the automotive market. The rest, including what my brother was doing, was sold to industrial manufacturing facilities. Oil was burned as raw fuel, but Texaco refined it to a higher value product." In order to supply Texaco's facility, Cowart networked with independent collectors around the country and developed aggregation and transportation logistics necessary to secure the oil. This became the niche that defines Vertex’s Black Oil Division today. "There was a big gap between refining organizations like Texaco and the rogue, fragmented supply channel," Cowart recalls. "I
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mended that with what I call a middle market aggregation model." Today, Vertex supplies multiple refining facilities with oil aggregated in 13 states by using a sophisticated operating system that moves product from market to market. "We are very close to the supply-demand balances for this material," Cowart says. The Black Oil Division started in 2001, but Cowart didn't wait long before identifying other distressed petroleum streams that needed the same type of care and innovation. "We started aggregating these other streams and taking them to third-party refiners. We have a contract manufacturing agreement with a refiner. They process the stream for us and give us finished product on the backside of the process. This was our introduction to the refining margin that led to our Refining and Marketing Division, founded in 2004." Four years later, Vertex began developing its own oilrefining technology that led to TCEP. "At that time, we were very entrepreneurial to step out and spend our own cash on a technology concept," Cowart said. "We built a plant on a development basis and ran it for 10 months to produce 50,000 barrels of finished product. We proved the concept and end-product specifications that were sold to major international trading firms." That success led to Vertex's public merger in 2009. By allowing a large portion of company to go public, they secured investment cash, enabling commercialization of their technology. "Last year was a year of refining our technology," Cowart says. "Our fourth quarter shows that the plant is online and doing very well." He adds that the black oil division continues to grow. "Our overall output increased in volume by 17 percent. We moved over one million barrels of finished goods." The advancement of natural gas may have deterred some, but not Cowart. "Natural gas had become the fuel of choice for the industry," he says, explaining that it is cleaner, more available and cheaper to access. "This has had a profound impact on the market for used oil or recycled fuel. Companies like ours are pursuing other options to make a market for raw materials; otherwise, it would be stranded and potentially have a negative impact on the environment. We see a lot opportunity to pursue not only TCEP, but also technology we plan to develop for other markets," he adds. Having built Vertex with only a high school diploma and firsthand knowledge of the industry at the ground level, Cowart decided to attend Harvard Business School for AMP credentials in 2009. "That really helped put some tools in my toolbox. Other than that, it's all been hands-on at the school of hard knocks," he laughs. "I received a lot of advice along the way," Cowart adds. "My brother was obviously a major influence in my life and my career in many ways. I also got involved with a CEO peer group and have been meeting with them monthly for almost ten years. I've received lot of good feedback and candid counsel about the decisions I was making."
Cowart knows the value of expert advice and ensures that the Vertex board of directors fits the mentoring model. "These are very high level, highly talented business people who have far exceeded anything I've ever done," he says. "They've really held me up and walked with me as we've built this business." With his bold initiative and relentless drive, it is no wonder that Cowart believes entrepreneurship is critical to America's future. "We're the guys that come up with the ideas, the innovations that will create the next industry and the next economic surge," he says. "We've got to keep our spirit high and our creativity at the forefront. America is the greatest innovative country in the world. If you think about every major product or service that touches the common person, America is usually the leader in every category. It's in the DNA of our American economy and culture. I put a lot of faith in the entrepreneurship of the United States to push forward." And "pushing forward" is precisely what Cowart continues to do. His vision for Vertex is to continue creating new technology and capturing the value of used oil as a resource here and around the world.
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By JACEy FORTIN
Leading The Way I Wireless Solutions
In the Netherlands on Christmas Day 2009, a 23-year-old man with explosives sewn into his underwear paid cash for a last-minute airline ticket to Detroit. During the plane’s final descent, Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab attempted to spark a fatal explosion. The detonation failed, sparing the lives of 290 passengers. With a smarter security system in place, the man we know today as the Underwear Bomber could have been prevented from ever boarding the aircraft. That’s why technology company Intellicheck Mobilisa has created Defense ID, a product that allows security guards to check IDs with a single scan. “What we’re advocating is a more balanced approach,” explained Intellicheck CEO Nelson Ludlow. “You need some machines to try to find the bomb, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to also have some technology to find the bomber? Our scanners check your ID to see if you’re on any lists. If you are, then you do the additional screening.” According to Ludlow, “The Underwear Bomber wasn’t on the no-fly list, but he was on the Terrorist Identity Datamark Extract (TIDE), which is a large list of about half a million names. In that case, they should have said, ‘Wait a minute, you came up on a list. We’re not saying you’re a no-fly guy, but you’re the guy that gets extra security scans.’” At most airports today, security guards shine a light on each passenger’s ID—but this only checks for authenticity. According to Ludlow, that system is grossly inadequate. “Think about when you go to the airport. After you’ve bought your ticket, where do they ask to see your ID card? Only one place: at the security checkpoint. We have these lists of people to look out for, but how could one guard memorize thousands and thousands of names? To have a computer check those lists right on the spot would be the way to go.” Defense ID has already proven itself at military bases around the country. In fact, one of its first catches was purely accidental. As Ludlow told The Suit, “When the scanner was first introduced, one of the guards at a submarine base was messing around with another guard, and he scanned the guy’s ID. It turned out that this guy had been caught several years earlier selling drugs, and was kicked off that base forever.” Wary of a false positive, authorities looked into the case and found that the scan results were accurate. The technology has been indispensable ever since. “To their surprise, there were a lot of bad guys—a couple cases of people in the Top Ten Most Wanted for a certain state— actually coming onto the bases. They made several stops in the very first week.” Intellicheck’s patented technology is the first of its kind. “The Naval Criminal Investigative Service gave us a contract to build a system to read ID cards. Not just the ones that people have at a military base—we could already read those—but the ones that everybody has, like drivers’ licenses and passports. If you flip over your driver’s license, there’s either a magnetic stripe or a bar code. And we decode the encrypted information that’s on there; we parse out your name, your address, your date of birth—all the basic stuff that you see on the front.” The technology has other applications as well, most significantly in retail. “That’s our fastest growing sector,” Ludlow said. Their clients already include Target, LL Bean, Payless and AT&T. ID scans can make certain transactions faster and safer. “Right now if you walk into many retail stores, they’ll ask if you want one of their credit cards. If you say yes they’ll hand you a piece of paper, and you have to provide some rather sensitive information,” Ludlow said. “It takes about 9 to 12 minutes for them to type all that stuff in, making everyone in line behind you unhappy. And as a customer, I feel uncomfortable giving them that piece of paper, because they keep that paper.” With ID checking technology, customers can opt to scan the information instead. “Information is not stored anywhere on the device; it’s sent directly to the credit card company. Then you go to the signature capture pad and enter your social, answer a few questions, and you can get your credit card approved right on the spot.” Whether at retail stores, airports or military bases, it’s become clear Intellicheck Mobilisa’s technology is filling an important niche in the market. They’ve seen growth for five years straight, and they’ve been recognized as the fastest growing public company in the entire state of Washington. Ludlow and his team are looking forward to continued progress, making our national security measures faster, smarter and more efficient. Intellicheck Mobilisa is traded publicly under the symbol IDN. Readers can learn more about their technology at www.icmobil.com.
THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
In Identity and
By DANIEL HOROWITz
Fighting For the Environm
Tim Richardson has a passion for environmental conservation. Through his position as Political Affairs Director for American Land Conservancy, Richardson has been a key player in environmental restoration following catastrophes such as the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the 1993 Mississippi River flood. Today, his focus is on protecting waterways and wildlife habitats. When he’s not leading field trips in the Alaskan wilds or knee-deep in the waters of the Mississippi, he’s fighting on the front lines of government legislation to protect American ecosystems. When asked what environmental issue he hopes the Obama administration will prioritize, Richardson answers, “Water quality. Water connects to all the land issues. You’ve got to have clean water for life. Water is the touchstone to a whole range of issues. “We need to do a better job of getting nutrientloading fertilizers out of our water to avoid hypoxia zones—big dead zones without oxygen—at the mouth of the Mississippi, in the Chesapeake Bay, and in the San Francisco Bay,” Richardson says. Agricultural buffer zones are a simple yet effective way to prevent environmental damage. “By growing wider buffer strips along creeks, streams, tributaries, and rivers,” Richardson explains, “nutrient runoffs from farm fields grow natural vegetation on those strips instead of going into waterways creating dead zones.” Advocating on behalf of Wildlife Forever, Richardson is involved in ongoing discussions about the Farm Bill currently before Congress. “Some people are going to say we need to produce more food, and that we don’t need these buffers. They’ll advocate ‘fencerow-to-fencerow agriculture.’ I’m going to fight that.” The Farm Bill also covers subsidies, which is a hotbutton issue on both sides of the aisle. Richardson notes that commodity subsidies, such as those for cotton, often turn into vicious cycles. U.S. farmers are subsidized to grow crops that undercut poorer nations like Mali on the world commodity market, and the U.S. in turn provides foreign assistance to those same nations. “Our current policy is to assist Mali because they’re poor, while also subsidizing large cotton farmers who are keeping them poor!”
At the heart of the matter is increased competition for funding. “When cotton farmers claim that they need more subsidies and the wildlife portion of the Farm Bill needs to be cut, I’m not going to compromise on that,” he says. “My job is to not give an inch on the proportion of dollars that are going to wildlife. Dollars may decrease as the federal budget tightens, but the proportion for wildlife can’t be cut.” Richardson describes this as a defining debate of the decade. Prior to becoming a political and media consultant, Richardson worked as a Congressional special assistant and chief of staff, which led him to tour the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. “A year later, I left Capitol Hill to work for Native Alaskan landowners on Kodiak Island as they grappled with the spill, and eventually achieved the spill settlement which was also a win for bears and salmon.” Richardson has earned a reputation for honesty and competency in his work with environmental organizations over the past twenty years. His main goal is to portray his clients’ messages in compelling, succinct, and accessible ways, and to create balanced solutions amenable to the all parties involved. “Getting the biggest win-win is the art of what I do.”
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Exploring the Possibilities
By Wendy Connick The Internet and social media have become so important and yet so specialized that few businesses can afford to go without a guide. That’s where Pamela Gleeson comes in. Her company, Consensus Technology, provides Internet consulting for small businesses. “I enjoy being on the bleeding edge of emerging technologies! Like any pioneer, my goal is to keep my clients informed,” Gleeson said. “[As an entrepreneur] you become passionate about bringing something into existence. And for me, the passion is to take my talents and skills and use them to help companies create Internet strategies and solutions to improve brand awareness and competitive position.” Her services cover everything from web design and development to social media and search engine optimization. Like many entrepreneurs, Gleeson started out in the corporate world. “The Internet start-up company I had left had a business model that did not suit the market,” she said. “So I chose to quit, and rather than going to another corporate job, I made a lifestyle choice to found my own company. This gave me flexibility for my personal life, and the freedom to go the extra mile when needed, without having to get permission.” Starting over isn’t easy, but Consensus Technology has thrived due to Gleeson’s drive and know-how. She credits that success to the lessons she learned from her biggest mentor: her father. “He was an avid reader who was always on top of breaking developments in technology and the medical field, and he gave me that foundation. And I followed in his footsteps; he was an entrepreneur, too,” she explained. “He was also a lieutenant in the Army. So I’ve always had that strength, that rigor, that my father developed in me.”
"Kodiak bear and salmon habitats received significant protection from Exxon Valdez settlement funds."
Photo by Tim Richardson
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QC Laboratoris, Inc
Non-Destructive Testing & Consulting Services
By Wendy Connick
About once a month, a new space shuttle blasts through the atmosphere over Cape Canaveral. And behind every launch are complex engineering and manufacturing efforts, making each propulsion possible. Every last detail is essential. Small problems like faulty construction or inadequate materials are not only dangerous—they could derail entire missions, rendering years of careful research useless. But testing each piece for functionality is not easy, especially since some features cannot be dismantled after their creation. The same can be said for smaller machines across a range of industries, from airplanes to automobiles to factory equipment—in fact, any man-made object. When it comes to solving this problem, QC Laboratories, Incorporated (QC Labs) is a pioneer. They specialize in nondestructive testing, or NDT, which enables engineers and manufacturers to safely test their products before implementation, as well as to check their physical condition during working life. NDT involves testing an object or material using methods that retain its future usefulness. It takes examination a step beyond the purely visual, allowing laboratories to check for problems at a deeper level without damaging the object. Based in Fla., QC Labs performs such tests for the aircraft, aerospace, marine and construction industries. “The company started in 1965. We have locations in two states: Florida and Ohio,” said John “Jinx” Ahow, General Manager at QC Labs. “The company employs a staff of 20, with locations spread over Cincinnati, Orlando and Hollywood, Fla. We have worked all over the world, as far as Tokyo and the Middle East. Most of our work is in America, the Caribbean and Central America.” Nondestructive testing is generally used to test for equipment reliability, help with product design, test prototypes, and determine the best material for the job. Besides flaw detection, QC Labs inspects welds and does welder certifications, in addition to performing thickness measurements on pipes and storage tanks. Companies like QC Labs help prevent accidents and save lives by providing a means to thoroughly test components, such as aircraft engines, without damaging them. They use X-ray machines, ultrasound, eddy current, infrared, magnetic particle, and even radar to perform their tests. “I joined the company in 1995, and we are considered one of the highest qualified in the inspection arena,” Ahow said. The company relies on creative technological innovations
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The Leader in NDI QUALITY and SERVICE for over Forty Years
A privately held company - Established in 1905
to carry out its work. Applications are diverse; past projects have included X-ray inspection for the Civil War Submarine “The Hunley,” and verification procedures for paintings to determine their authenticity. “We provide services to every industry,” Ahow said. Clients include large companies like Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce and Honeywell. For the recreation sector, they’ve inspected carnival rides and Walt Disney amusement park attractions. And in the aerospace sector, they have done work for NASA on launch pads, the Space Station, and engine parts for shuttles, rockets and jets. Ahow first entered the aerospace industry with dreams of flight. “My first passion was to be a pilot,” he said, “but because I wore glasses I had to go into engineering and aircraft flight testing.” In the end, it all turned out for the best; originally from Trinidad, Ahow worked his way to England, eventually landing in the United States. “I worked in the medical industry during a time when they had problems with pacemakers and the wiring. I first qualified in electronics in England, and then switched to aircraft maintenance, and obtained my British Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s Licence.
There were no aircraft NDT schools in the States at the time, and England is where I had gotten my training with the Royal Air Force,” he said. “I worked in Trinidad for an airline called BWIA for 25 years, and I obtained my Level 3 Certifications in 1992 from the American Society for Nondestructive Testing.” In April 1995, opportunity knocked. “There was a vacancy at QC Labs, and I was willing to join, having taken early retirement from BWIA.” Like many businesses, QC Labs was hit hard by the economic downturn. Ahow said, “The economy has tightened spending, and we cut back where we could. The total revenue base was cut, and 50 percent of contracts were lost. I call it 'slimming and trimming,' basically. My company is on a path for growth, especially overseas jobs, inspection, and more pipeline and drilling work across the islands.” On his nickname of “Jinx,” Ahow explained, “I was born on Black Friday (Friday 13th), and my mother gave me that name. Ever since then, I have been lucky." Whether you call it luck or just plain hard work, he’s helped to make QC Labs an indispensable ally to engineers and machinery manufacturers around the world.
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By Staff Writer
Business Intelligent Resources
Entrepreneur Scott Appleman is making his mark in the Business Intelligence technology industry with his newly-founded company, Business Intelligent Resources LLC. Scott has been designing Business Intelligence Solutions for the past fifteen years and enjoys being able to contribute to this fast-changing field. “By establishing my own company, I’ve been able to share my Business Intelligence expertise with many large Fortune 500 companies,” he says. Business Intelligent Resources specializes in designing and building business intelligence and data warehouse solutions, which includes special expertise implementing IBM’s Cognos Business Intelligence software for the past 10 years. “I have established strong business relationships with many large IT consulting companies,” Scott explains. “As Business Intelligence technology continues to grow, consulting companies are struggling to staff up fast enough. I’ve been happy to jump in and service many IT organizations to provide this special expertise.” Business Intelligent Resources has serviced clients as far away as Chicago, along with servicing the New York and Philadelphia metro areas. Scott has been proactive about meeting new clients and forging his own niche. “Growing up in New York City gives me the unique perspective of knowing how to drill down quickly into solving core business issues ,” Scott says, “but in the end, establishing your own identity and your own brand is what makes you different and successful.” Graduating from Pace University with a Computer Science degree, Scott’s career has flourished over the past 25 years. He spent the first decade working in IT, and then spent more than 15 years building and designing business intelligence and data warehousing systems. Scott knows being an independent provider requires determination and hard work. “As an entrepreneur, you have to know how to use your time wisely,” he says. “In order to be successful, you need to know which tasks you should outsource to others and which you need to perform yourself.” Readers can learn more about Business Intelligence Resources at www.biresources.com.
Your Customers Are Talking. Know What They’re Saying?
Applied Engineering Science, Inc
IT Storage Solutions for Engineering and Science
By Andrea Lehner Joe Jurneke remembers a time when data storage required me,” he says. “I offered my expertise either as a consultant or refrigerator-sized machines. Now, as president of Applied as a contract engineer.” Today, AES utilizes a range of expert Engineering Science Incorporated, he’s been instrumental in consultants. “We have doctorates of chemistry, physics, electrical developing flexible, custom-integrated storage solutions for the engineering, software development, mechanical engineering, most complex of software systems. and digital design. I can put a team together and go anywhere.” “Whether it’s chemistry, physics, electronics or software, we can Agility and responsiveness has helped AES weather the recent transport it into any electro-mechanical medium,” Jurneke says. economic storm. “Responding to an economic downturn is what After four decades of experience, Jurneke knows key industry entrepreneurs are good at,” Jurneke explains. “We create value leaders, giving AES a competitive edge to stay at the forefront where none existed before. Small businesses tend to be closer to their customers and their needs.” of peripherals. Jurneke took the leap into entrepreneurism in 1999 when his Engineering runs in Jurneke’s blood; both his father and former employer of 24 years offered voluntary separation grandfather were engineers, and he fondly recalls getting packages. “I jumped at the chance to leave the large corporate hooked on electronics as a child, after receiving a project kit for Christmas. Ever since, Jurneke has thrived on the challenge of world,” he recalls. Within three years AES boasted a large number of clients, from finding new solutions. “The problem sets are variable,” he says. small firms to Fortune 500 companies. “Originally it was just “I never get bored. I’m never doing the same thing twice.”
Paul Nidich Practicing Law and Serving the Community
Cincinnati attorney Paul Nidich is committed to being an active member of his community, and that’s what motivated him to open up his own practice in 2002. “I wanted the freedom to continue my community activities and earn a living practicing law,” he said in his interview with The Suit Magazine. “Little did I know that working for yourself meant working all the time, instead of just the hours that your boss expected!” It’s demanding work, but Nidich has the experience to get the job done. He has handled taxation, elder law, and estate issues for 36 years. He has also worked extensively with special needs trusts. For Nidich, this area is especially important; his son was diagnosed with autism, and he made it his personal mission to research the areas of guardianship and mental health. To that end, he spent five years as faculty in the
By Michael Barbella
psychiatry department at the University of Cincinnati, as well as working as in-house counsel at a state mental health hospital for three years before that. Whether he’s working with special needs issues or IRS problems, Nidich’s main goal is to use his expertise to help the people in his community. “Law is very complicated,” he said. To keep up with frequent changes and maintain his certifications in Ohio and Kentucky, he takes tax courses every year. “I also get daily emails from the IRS, and I read a number of blogs that deal with taxation.” Clients certainly appreciate Nidich’s guidance through the intricacies of tax and estate law. “I enjoy working with clients, and they seem to like me, too,” he said. “I get letters from clients thanking me for what I’ve done for them, and that makes it all worthwhile.”
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Collateral Management Technology
Cloud Computing For the Mortgage Industry
The mortgage industry has suffered through crisis after crisis over the past few years. But Matt McHale and his company, GlobalDMS, make life a little easier for mortgage lenders and appraisers by providing them with a better set of tools. “We work in the mortgage industry, specifically in evaluation – we have everyone from solo appraisers on up to large, billion-dollar lenders, who use our web-based platform to help manage the entire process: placing an order to an appraiser, making sure it gets done so it gets back to the company who ordered it so they can move forward with the whole mortgage process, and getting the loan out to the borrower eventually. We're part of that whole process,” McHale told The Suit Magazine. “We have automated tools that can actually take a PDF and extract information to review against the information that's in there, to make sure it's accurate. So there's a variety of different tools and resources that we have specifically for [the mortgage] industry.” GlobalDMS was one of the first companies to use what's now called cloud computing. “We started the company years ago, and we were actually a web-based system then. We were coming out of dot-com boom, so it wasn't uncommon for banks to be web-based, but within the mortgage industry it was definitely a new trend. They told us, 'You guys aren't gonna last; it's not going to work in this industry; people don't like that, the appraisers won't like that, and the banks won't like that,'” McHale said. But GlobalDMS is still attracting clients more than 10 years later. McHale was inspired to start GlobalDMS by the dot-com frenzy of the late 1990s, but his entrepreneurial impulses came from his father. “My father owned his own business when I was growing up, so for me, owning your own business made a lot of sense. It wasn't fooling around to think that I would own my own business at some point,” he said. “My partner and I worked at a software company that was in the evaluation industry for real estate appraisal, and then we left and went into consulting, so we both did that—working for ourselves.” The basic idea for GlobalDMS came from some of their consulting clients, who asked for a better system to manage the appraisal process. GlobalDMS has been affected by the changes in the mortgage industry, but some of those effects have been unexpectedly positive. “There was something back in 2008 called the HVCC, it's the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. It was basically saying you have to have a separation between the appraiser and the person who's ordering the appraisal. Most of the loans will end up with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac at some point, so basically they were saying, 'Hey, if you want us to buy that loan from you at some point, you're going to have to follow this set of guidelines.' Our system was already set up to help businesses have best practices and have these appliances in place, so when that came out, it just helped our business. Basically it was to encourage best practices, and to make sure what we had with the mortgage meltdown didn't happen again,” McHale explained. As the rules for the mortgage industry have changed, GlobalDMS has had to change with it. “Even with the downturn in the industry and within the economy, even when you have a foreclosure, you still have to have an appraisal on it, so a lot of our clients are as busy as they've
THE SUIT MAGAZINE - AprIl 2011
Matt McHale, GlobalDMS The mortgage industry has suffered through crisis after crisis over the past few years. But Matt McHale and his company, GlobalDMS, make life a little easier for mortgage lenders and appraisers by providing them with a better set of
ever been because of that, because – even more so now – they still have to have accurate information on what's going on and what the banks own, as opposed to past years where they were just doing these no-doc loans,” McHale said. “No one really took a look at the value of the home at that point, or the homes that they had on their books, so they're being a lot more stringent in looking into that, and our software helps with that process.” The main challenge for GlobalDMS in the new mortgage industry has been helping their clients stay in compliance with changing regulations. McHale believes their success is based in part on their efforts to look ahead and be aware of changes before they come into effect. “This industry is really going through a lot of change right now… it's more based on the evaluation and the value of the property. Evaluation is king again. But just making sure we stay on top of those things and where the industry is headed has been our biggest challenge,” he said. “2011 is going to continue to be a tough year within our industry, because there's going to be a lot of foreclosures. We're not done with the foreclosures in the market yet,” McHale said. “You'll see a lot of people pointing to when we had the depression, and where the home values were, and how we had a so much more severe of a drop in some cases back then. But you have to understand that we had a huge, huge upswing before that and it got way out of control, and people were paying these home values that really should have never been in place. You can almost trace back all the way to the dot-com boom, where the economy never really adjusted; people went from there and jumped into the real estate market, and saw that as the next way to make money. And then eventually you had to have this balance in the economy, and that's what we're seeing now. And it's a lot rougher than it would have been because we didn't have the balance earlier, and because the home values got so out of control.” McHale believes that entrepreneurs like himself and his partner are vital to a healthy capitalist economy. “I think part of the problem is that capitalism and corporatism are kind of being put in the same light, so, you have corporate America taking capitalism and structuring it in a way that's more corporate, and it's really not capitalism at all. It’s what I like to refer to as corporatism,” he said. “It's amazing where we've come in just the last few years, with all the technology that's available to people and the opportunities for the entrepreneur, more so now than ever. The whole ‘work for one company and retire in thirty years’ idea has been out the window for a little while now. I think that there's a lot of opportunity for small businesses and people to leverage the opportunities from technology – that's really going to help the economy grow tremendously.”
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Provides solutions for Software Engineering, Process Architecture and Implementation that creates software applications faster, smarter, better!
By Wendy Connick As technology advances, the systems we use every day become more and more complex. Businesses can rarely manage to have a technology expert or full support team on staff. Instead, they hire companies like Rex Lallmang's to provide the necessary expertise. “My company, Red Jacket Systems, offers services covering the full spectrum of a system, the hardware and software involved in complex systems, from design through implementation and maintenance,” Lallmang said. “We manage code, documentation and all phases of the life cycle of a system. We are unique in our combination of theory and practical application.” Red Jacket Systems offers the usual suite of web development services, but its professional service offerings are what make the company stand out. “We’re about solutions,” Lallmang explained. “We’re not the hardware or software manufacturer, so we can recommend the best tool and then customize the solution and handle the maintenance.” As an 8(a) Certified Native American and Veteran Owned Small Business, Red Jacket Systems is able to do a great deal of work for government agencies. “We have worked with the U.S. Customs and boarder protection. The development of the company has been towards data operations and automating manual systems,” Lallmang said. “We do a lot of work with the government sector, which is helpful during an economic downturn. The dot-com bust in 2000 became an opportunity for us to work more with government clients.” As a young man who studied music as an undergraduate, Lallmang never guessed that he’d end up as a business owner in the field of technology, working with NASA projects before becoming a successful entrepreneur. He first got involved with telecommunications in the military. “After school I went into the army as a paratrooper, in the signal corps. Then after the army I worked for a local cable company as a hardware technician, first on design and logistics hardware, and then on software. Then I worked for Grumman on the space station project. I worked with Fred Hayes, from the Apollo 13 mission.” In 2001, after his work with Grumman, Lallmang decided to strike out on his own as a consultant. He quickly
THE SUIT MAGAZINE - AprIl 2011
found that his skills had applications across several markets. “My specialty is telecommunications,” he said. “I knew tools which had a lot of applications. I worked a lot with Unix systems and Windows systems. Then I started Red Jacket Systems in April of 2002.” Lallmang has made a practice of continuing to educate himself, which is particularly important in the technology sector. “I now have a bachelor’s degree in business, and I have become familiar with the tools that I specialize in through classes, usually given by vendors such as Oracle and Serena,” he said. “An early boss of mine told me, 'I know what I don’t know.' I think that an entrepreneur has to know the market, get as much information as possible, identify obstacles and risks, and also have knowledge of business law and accounting.” His company’s combination of a unique selling proposition, hard work, and careful planning have helped it to weather the economic crisis better than many other businesses in the field. “We’ve been in the black every year. We have a low overhead, low capital investment, and we each wear a bunch of hats,” Lallmang said. “We can streamline the intel office operations and provide real-time processing capabilities, which is a growing area.” Lallmang considers honesty to be the most important characteristic for an
“We’re not the hardware or software manufacturer, so we can recommend the best tool and then customize the solution and handle the maintenance.”
entrepreneur. “I have worked on a handshake, based on trust and respect,” he said. “Also, you can’t rest on your laurels. Unnecessary taxes and unnecessary regulation make it hard for the entrepreneur to compete with large corporations. [Satisfaction comes from] the ability to create something and watch it grow, keeping and adding employees. We have created a culture where employees feel part of something good.”
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THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
By Daniel Horowitz
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Economical, Effective, Efficient solutions and Services
By Wendy Connick
Exchanging Data Over the Web Securely
Michael Barski knows exactly how his small business customers think. His own company, Meade Willis, once consisted of three people working around his dining room table. “My wife was our secretary, who walked around the house with a cordless phone,” Barski said. “She had her own line, and whenever somebody would ring, she would answer ‘Meade Willis,’ and to the outside world, we were a company. [Gordon Willis] was our programmer, if you will, and I was handling the business end, trying to rustle up some accounts.” Founded in 1995, Meade Willis now helps small businesses become suppliers for the giants of their industries. “The large companies—Walmart, General Motors, Sears—send out their POs via EDI, using their private networks. We, on behalf of their supplier, our customer, intercept those POs in the EDI format. We then translate these POs into human-readable language, such as English, but it could be any business transaction type in any language. Then our customer logs into our site. We know who they are by their password and ID. And then they can see their PO from General Motors. They then fulfill the PO and they can send an invoice to that customer,” Barski explains. EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the preferred method for e-business communication because it’s relatively secure. “It’s a file structure, and it’s very efficient. It might be considered being encrypted, because if you look at a printout of an EDI file, nobody can make heads or tails of it. You need software to ‘decrypt’ it or translate it. And typically a small enterprise can’t afford that type of investment,” Barski said. Meade Willis’ EDI software was originally designed to work on AT&T’s private network. But soon, Barski recognized the potential of the Internet. “We had an opportunity to get certified by a major firm out of Detroit for what’s called WebEDI. In other words, it’s EDI over the Web,” Barski said. Meade Willis now provides its EDI software on its website, allowing small companies to compete for orders that would otherwise be unattainable. “Because we’re a small enterprise ourselves, we believe we have an understanding of the mindsets of other small and medium enterprises,” Barski said. “I mean, if you’re making brakes for General Motors or Toyota or Hyundai or you’re making T-shirts for Walmart, that’s all you want to do. You don’t understand this other stuff because that’s not your business. Very often, entrepreneurs work by the philosophy of ‘ready, fire, aim.’ They just go blindly ahead. Many won’t make it, but of those that do, some are fabulously successful. Really, we are the engine of the economy.” Barski understands large companies as well, thanks to his years working for Fortune 100 company Honeywell. “I had some really wise sales managers when I went into the sales and management field at Honeywell. And I went from systems to sales, so there was not a lot of sales background in my life. My manager – this is like right at the beginning – he says, ‘You’re going into sales now; you’re going to be a rookie. But there are two things I’d like you to know. Number one: be empathetic to your customers. And number two: listen more than you speak. You’ve really got to understand your customers.’” Barski applied that knowledge, and now uses both his software savvy and his sales experience to make his business a success. He looks forward to even more growth as he helps small businesses to achieve their maximum potential.
THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
By ANDREA LEHNER
A Visionary Woman in the Financial Sector
Early in her career, Joy Godfrey can remember sitting in a boardroom and being largely ignored by her male coworkers. "I was a young woman sitting at a table dominated by men,” she told The Suit Magazine. “Since my home country was not well known, they'd say, 'Where is Belize?' and then talk around me." But she was determined to surmount those challenges, and she has since founded a financial service organization with offices in five international countries and professional affiliations in some 15 additional. Godfrey opened Cititrust International Incorporated in her homeland of Belize in 1994. "Since then, the company has really grown," she says. "We have a staff of thirty. And we now have offices in Barbados, Hong Kong, Belize and Panama, all of which provide full service." Cititrust offers a range of financial services, including international company formation, advisory services, compliance, insurance, foundations and trusts. "We’re a one-stop shop," Godfrey explains. "We offer services anywhere in the world. We are able to provide high-level services with a wide base of [financial products]. We only affiliate ourselves with professionals, and we network. We also publish Cititrust Edge, a financial magazine." The business is also successful because of Godfrey's ability to recognize opportunities and devise a strong growth strategy. "There are several advantages to operating in our current areas, such as the low cost of producing and low taxation. [The cost of doing business] is a lot cheaper." Godfrey always knew she wanted to use her education—a master’s in international taxation from Regent University, Virginia. But the road home wasn't easy. "I started at Providence Bank, serving as a chairperson for five years," Godfrey recalls. "It was very challenging, but I decided to push on anyway,” she explained. “I wanted to eventually use my skills in Belize. I knew I would have to be bold in order to venture into the man's world of finance." Godfrey succeeded in taking Provident Bank through a merger with Alliance Bank to make it one of the only Belize-based international banks. Her motto was simple, but effective: “Stopping or failing is not an option.” Reflecting on her uphill battle, Godfrey can now advise other women that the key is to "work harder and be more
knowledgeable. Don't be afraid." Starting an independent venture was important to Godfrey for several reasons. "Doing your own thing is very hard, but fulfilling. Being able to bravely step forward when you believe in your decisions and others are too cowardly to do so is important," she says. The economic downturn has not gone unnoticed at Cititrust. Godfrey explains, "We've faced issues in each country, so I had to sit back and regroup." But the difficulties came with an upside. "I was able to attract affiliations and professionals from abroad who can provide a high level of expertise." Ultimately, Godfrey’s goals go beyond personal success. "In these economic times, helping those less fortunate is satisfying. I hire people who need help. Of course, I have to worry about the survival of my business, but it's also important to do the right thing. Being my own boss has allowed me to do more." Rather than resting on her laurels, Godfrey is proactive about Cititrust's future. “I need to do a lot more internationally with a focus on doing something new in North America," she says. "Right now, have a small percentage of affiliations with professionals there. I am looking at new ideas, including how to bundle new services. I'm working on expanding, adding new services and new offices all over the world." Godfrey continues to build on her role as a true visionary in the international financial services industry.
Financial Leadership: Guiding our Clients to Long-Term Financial Success THE SUIT MAGAzINE -- 35 THE SUIT MAGAzINE 15 THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
the women. and as they passed he pulled his ak-47 and blasted
Sound and Style
Wind Chimes Soothing to the Soul and Pleasing to the Eye
by Mitch ligon
As an artist and crafter of musical magic, Kathy Herranen has been pursuing her passion for over fifteen years. Herranen opened KH Chimes in 1995, and has been motivated by a simple philosophy. “I want KH Chimes to be the first business people think of when they want glass wind chimes. I have had loyal customers here in Arizona where I do the majority of my shows, and now I’m adding customers through internet orders and from my Pennsylvania shows. I believe the success of my business is that I offer an excellent product for a fair price.” Herranan has some background in art, but she stumbled onto the idea of creating wind chimes almost by accident. “Previously, I went to art school for portrait painting. I worked as a pastel artist and a graphic designer,” she said. Then a visit from her mother changed the course of Herranen’s career. “My mother loved the old Chinese glass wind chimes that were so popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but they were not available anymore,” she explained. So she did some research and figured out her own way to produce the chimes. “They turned out so well. I took them to show the store owner who had sold me the material. He liked the chimes so much that he asked if I would make them for him. So we entered into a wholesale partnership.” So began an enterprise that has been growing ever since. “I plan to continue making wind chimes as long as I have the use of my eyes and hands,” she said. “And many of my customers make it a point of telling me how much they appreciate my work. It’s gratifying to know that others consider my product to be a quality product.”
4114 E. Union Hills Dr., #1011, Phoenix, AZ 85050 602-569-6209 firstname.lastname@example.org www.khchimes.com
THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
24-Hour ConCierge serviCe
By Wendy Connick Sara Olson is familiar with both sides of the healthcare industry. As a nurse, she’s had over 30 years of experience in the trenches. And as the owner of Olson Consulting, she tackles the management side. “I specialize in patient safety and quality, and I spent over twenty years at a hospital in Eugene doing a lot of different kinds of management administration. I started my own business in 2000, and the hospital was one of my first clients,” Olson said. “One of the physicians that I worked with was on the board of a physician-owned [medical malpractice] company, and he wanted to know if I was interested in doing some risk management work for them… and I did.” A large part of Olson’s work is helping doctors find ways to minimize avoidable errors, and she finds that the best method is to communicate without being confrontational. “When we talk about patient safety and we have that first meeting, sometimes doctors feel like they’ve been beaten up: ‘You’d better have a tracking system! If your patient doesn’t get their results, then you’re going to be held responsible!’ It’s a lawsuit, lawyer-ish mentality,” Olson said. “The truth of the matter is, physicians do want to know that everything they ordered happened. They want the opportunity to decide whether they need to contact that patient. No doctor wants to tell a patient that their test results got chewed up in a fax machine that nobody knew about.” When implementing patient safety plans, Olson believes in working directly with the doctors. She explained, “The research is clear; if you want to make an improvement in a medical group, you’d better have the doctors in there leading the way. They’re the ones who’ll practice the safety plans every day.”
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Canadian-based attorney Anne Stewart is a game-changer. As a partner at Blakes, a Canadian law firm, she has not only broken ground as a successful female attorney, she has been at the leading edge of developing a new model of infrastructure contracts in British Columbia. The infrastructure practice, or public-private partnership, is a unique concept that centers around a public access project, such as a road, hospital, school, jail, or public transit system that is either needed as a new asset or is in need of repair. "The public sector doesn't want to do it because they realize that in many cases the private sector is better equipped," Stewart explains. "So," she continues, "they enter into a public-private partnership. The government entity continues to own the asset, but the private sector designs, finances, builds, and operates it for 25 to 30 years. The private sector designs and builds at their own expense, but during the operating period they get paid back annually by the authority." The concept originated in the United Kingdom, was practiced in Australia, and then came to Canada in 2003. "I was involved in the very first infrastructure transaction that closed in British Columbia. It's become the biggest focus of my practice ever since. They're fascinating deals," Stewart adds. These are multi-faceted transactions that involve a coordination of the interests, including the government entity, special purpose entities, and the private entities that will build and operate the projects. Additionally, lenders need to be secured and equity needs to be developed. Stewart explains how each party has a vested interest in the success of what ultimately becomes a multi-decade contract. "Anytime you are doing an agreement that involves a relationship that will last that long, it can be very challenging. It's been very exciting to be on the forefront of that kind of work in Canada." According to Stewart, the advantage of this model is managed risk. "The risk of the project is borne of the parties that are most able to control them," she says. "Some risks remain with the government, but they're risks that the government can manage." This provides an incentive for private sector to complete the work on time and on budget. The government does not bear the burden of construction overruns, and can induce penalties if the asset is not managed and maintained according to the original agreement. "I've been practicing for a long time," Stewart says. "This is the most intellectually challenging work I've ever done. I love it. It's always fun to be on the forefront of something." Being in on the ground floor is something Stewart clearly does well. Stewart joined Blakes in 1989 when the concept of national, interprovincial law was just beginning in Canada. "I saw it as big change in the whole practice of law going from a one-city or oneprovince law firm to a national firm, and I wanted to be a part of that," she says. At the time she joined the firm, Blakes was a 150-year-old, well-established firm. They had just opened their Vancouver office through a merger with an accomplished labor and litigation firm. "They had all the expertise they needed in labor and litigation," Stewart says. "They needed someone to head the solicitor side, and I was asked to come and do that." Stewart explains that the solicitor side handles everything except litigation. She specializes in commercial advice for individuals and corporations, corporate
governance, business mergers, acquisitions, and contractual transactions. The opportunity to join Blakes appealed to Stewart for several reasons. Along with being part of the new move toward nationalized firms, Blakes also offered an attractive partnership model that other firms didn't. "Blakes was all one partnership, as opposed to each office being a separate partnership with some sort of affiliation," Stewart says. "Since each partner has the same interest in the success of one partnership, I had no reason to stay local. If another office was the best place to get the work done, I was highly incentivized to send it there. This model really enhances the team concept." Building strong relationships resonates with her core principals. The nature of her work brings all parties together to a common goal. "Successful transaction people realize that the deal needs to work for everyone," Stewart adds. Named one of the top 25 female lawyers in Canada, Stewart speaks highly of Blakes’ commitment to gender equality. "We have 15 female partners and 28 female associates in just this office, which is very high. It's high for Vancouver. It's high nationally. It's high anywhere you look," she says. Stewart got her start in 1975, graduating law school at 23, younger than her peers and alone in Vancouver. Coming from a small interior town, she had no family and no contacts in the city, but she knew she wanted to practice business law. "One of the greatest challenges," she says, "was being female in what was a man's world. I remember standing in law school on my first day, thinking, 'I don't want to be a good female lawyer; I want to be a good lawyer.' I didn't want my gender to be relevant." Stewart remains grateful to senior partners and clients for giving her the chance to prove her worth. "I don't feel gender has disadvantaged or advantaged me. Largely it hasn't been an issue, but one thing I learned right from the beginning was to not be afraid to make suggestions." Stewart recalls finding the courage to speak up during her first year as an articling student. She quickly learned that by voicing her thoughts, she either learned something or brought a new perspective to the table. "I'm proud that I, and others like me, opened doors for women to do this kind of work," Stewart says. "There used to be an attitude that women shouldn't go into hard law. That's gone now, and I hope I had a little part in changing that." Stewart has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her notable career. She is active in several charities and is beginning to groom students to take on her clients when she decides to retire. "Some of my relationships go back to 1975. It's hard to think about passing those on, but that's what you've got to do," she says. Until then, Stewart plans to expand the infrastructure practice model by sharing her expertise with international colleagues.
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Advisory Partner to Small Business
Company Profile Founded in 1990 in Atlanta, Georgia, Small Business Services has emerged as a reputable local firm, focused on the owner managed, closely held business and individuals for whom professional advice can make a difference. Our consultants are a consortium of specialists who focus in the areas of Tax Planning and preparation, Small Business Management and Business and Financial Planning. Additional services include Payroll (Payroll Plus and payroll support) and Entrepreneurial start-up packages. Every SBS solution serves the purpose of positioning our clients for effective financial and business decisions. To meet the professional needs and standards of our clients, Small Business Services is associated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation, National Society of Accountants, Intuit ProAdvisor Certification Program, National and State Association of Enrolled Agents.
By Wendy Connick Dolly Evans created Atlanta-based Small Business Services (SBS) as a way to advise and assist small business owners. “I think my strongest areas are being able to see the big picture for the client, as well as the pieces,” she said. “Most entrepreneurs, in my opinion, have the big picture ability and they have the talent, but it’s hard for them to see all the pieces that are going to have to go together to make that happen, and so my company and I are that member of the team for them.” Small business owners often struggle with the financial side of their business, particularly when their business is new. “There are a lot of companies that have become very successful on intuition alone, but when you back that up with numbers, and you see the revisions in that intuition that you need to make because the numbers pointed in that direction, then you’ve got a really good formula for success,” Evans said. Her goal is to be an advisory partner for her clients. “We spend anywhere from one to two hours with a prospective client. We go over what their issues and concerns are, and why they sought us out. And then we put together a proposal for them addressing that, and any recommendations that we have, so we learn a lot about the company up front before we move forward,” Evans said. “We shop for healthcare, we untangle claims and we’re working between the insurance company and the employee if we need to. We shop workers’ comp for them, we provide a traditional 401(K) plan and we encourage them to be matching it if the cash flow is there.”
Evans has been building her business expertise ever since college. “I have a degree in applied behavioral sciences, which is a management degree with a specialty in accounting, so I had an interest in data early on. I have that sort of brain,” she said. But she also enjoys helping entrepreneurs get their dreams off the ground. “I’ve been in business for twenty years,” she explained. “I’ve seen a lot of ideas about what can make money and what can’t, and I’m very honest. If I don’t think it will work, I just say, ‘Maybe you need to look at this or this.’ But if it’s a good idea, and they’ve got some pretty good research on it and some experience, they’re as good as anybody to get out there and do it.” The economic downturn of the past few years has created a large number of what Evans calls ‘back-door entrepreneurs.’ She said, “People who are laid off and can’t find another job either say, ‘I’ve been wanting all my life to do X, and I never have because I wanted to stay with my job and have the benefits. And now I’m gonna go do X.’ So I see a lot more of that when we’re going through a tough economy.” Regarding entrepreneurs, Evans said, “You can use the word ‘tough economy.’ But entrepreneurs are tough themselves; they tighten their belts. I haven’t had a single client give up. So you’re talking about very resilient people, and if they have to tighten up for a while, they will. Because they’re not going back and working for anybody. That’s what they find out once they get into business for themselves. They do not want to go back to the life of working for another company or a large corporation.”
Small Business Services 112 Krog Street, Suite 17 Atlanta, GA 30307 tel: 404.873.0470 (toll free) 877.203.0488 THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
ONE Of THE MOST ACTIvE M&A COMPANIES IN SPAIN fUll SERvICE IN CORPORATE DEvElOPMENT AND STRATEGy CONSUlTANCy EUROHOlD
MERGERS & ACqUISITIONS
THE ART Of THE DEAl.
Avenida Diagonal 361, 2 2ª 08037 Barcelona Tel: 34.93.457.89.80 Fax: 34.93.208.03.30 email@example.com
The Perfect Mother’s Day Card.
Printing Services d'imprimerie
By Michael Barbella Louis Pilon has become adept at solving problems since starting his own business 12 years ago. “An entrepreneur finds solutions, because it’s your own company,” he said. Pilon’s firm, Protech L.P. Inc. of Montreal, Canada, has done printing work for dozens of companies and organizations since its inception. Its list of clients includes Azerty, Prosys Tec Inc., State Street Global Advisors, Canadian Pacific Railway and the Scouts of Metropolitan Montreal.
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The company creates printed documents ranging from corporate brochures and pocket folders to personalized show tickets. The firm not only designs and manufactures products for customers, but ships as well. With all of those capabilities at a single source, the applications are diverse; Pilon also owns a water bottle personalization company, Aquapub. Pilon has been in the printing business for more than three decades, starting out as a printing press operator in 1980. As companies began outsourcing contract printing jobs, Pilon became a buyer for the Hospital Association of Quebec. In 1998, Pilon’s boss asked him to manage a healthcare courier company. He spent one year in this position, eventually returning to the printing industry after encountering a myriad of legal troubles with the government. Though it was frustrating, his brief stint outside the printing world served a purpose: it inspired him to become independent. “When my boss Charles Beaudoin asked me to [manage] a courier [company], my taste for business started,” Pilon said in his interview with The Suit Magazine. “He taught me how to work when it’s for yourself.” Pilon prides himself on the relationships his company establishes with customers. “Services and quality are the best way to keep clients for the long term,” he said. “When the client is satisfied, he comes back.”
THE DOLAN LAW FIRM
Complex Dispute Arbitration & Litigation
By Wendy Connick As a long-time defense attorney in the heart Dolan has spent more than forty years of Los Angeles, Peter Brown Dolan has seen representing stockbrokers. “Primarily, his share of interesting cases. “I don’t do when I joined Macdonald Halsted family law, I don’t do personal injury, and Laybourne, which is a local law firm I don’t do criminal work. But I do contract I went to for accounting, there was an disputes, real estate disputes, anything of elderly partner there who had represented that sort. And I also do regulatory things for stockbrokers. We were in the same building members of the securities industry,” Dolan as the downtown L.A. office was, where said. there was a guy by the name of Bob Feldman who ran the investment banking. He later In 1987 he successfully argued a case became the chairman of the firm. So, I just before the U.S. Supreme Court. “That case, started handling work for him, and that’s which was called Perry vs. Thomas, started how I got introduced into the stockbroker’s out as a dispute between a guy by the name business.” of Thomas who was a stockbroker in the downtown Los Angeles office with Kidder He started law school right after leaving Peabody,” Dolan explained. “And he had a the Navy. “I went to Naval Academy, and joint production number with another guy when I graduated I went to sea, I was on by the name of Johnston; this is where two three different ships over the four years... brokers will share a book of customers, and the last one was a missile destroyer,” Dolan they’ll share commissions. They got into said. “I was a chief engineer when I was some dispute over the division of their total released – called an engineer officer. Then commissions, and so the manager of the I was released from active duty in July of office—by the name of Barclay Perry—got 1964 and joined immediately into the Naval drawn into it, and Mr. Thomas didn’t like Reserve, and I went to USC Law School. the resolution that Perry sort of imposed on Graduated in ‘67, and the rest is history.” them.” Dolan noted that there are far more young Representing Kidder Peabody and Barclay lawyers today than there are positions Perry, Dolan requested the trial court to available, in part because of state and federal compel Mr. Thomas to accept arbitration, budget woes. “Judge Manuel Real—he’s and when the court refused, he appealed eighty-seven years old and still active on all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal branch—he told me two weeks won the case. “For five consecutive years, ago that he had two thousand applications the Supreme Court of the United States for courtship. Well that’s because you’ve got issued an opinion based on the Federal a lot of kids coming out of law school, and Arbitration Act, in each instance upholding nobody’s hiring! I told both of my children the arbitration. The justice whose name was that I would underwrite their graduate on the opinion was Thurgood Marshall... education in any field, in any school in the we’ve been arbitrating ever since. So we’re world they wanted to go to, as long as it batting a thousand in the U.S. Supreme wasn’t law school,” he said. Court,” Dolan said.
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Forging a Strong Industrial Consultancy
Whether working from Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Moscow, London or any other of their several locations around the globe, Forrestal Consultants International offers a wide set of resources and functional skill to clients in the industrial field. Based in Princeton, N.J., the firm has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 1999. On an otherwise typical Friday in Princeton 12 years ago, president and founder Alfred Sagarese suddenly became an entrepreneur. “I worked for a Chicago-based firm. I was the partner running the domestic practice on the East Coast. We were acquired by a mega-company, and when that acquisition happened, all the satellite offices were closed in short order— with the Princeton office being the first to go,” he recalls. With only a five-minute warning, they told him his office was shutting down. His first concern was for his clients and all the projects that he still had open. The company told him to “keep the computer, the fax machine, the office, the reports and whatever money you collect.” His first step was to register the company in N.J. as Forrestal Consultants LLC. “Originally, on day one, it was just me,” Sagarese said. “I was in the same By Deborah S. Hildebrand office working as a solo practitioner, and all of a sudden I wound up with several major projects that had to be done. But they were in Europe, so I called a former colleague in Geneva who spoke German and French. And that started it.” Eventually, several former colleagues from the closed international satellite office joined Forrestal. Thus, the firm grew to a team of seasoned pros, many of whom have worked together since 1981. Today, the company’s global services include what Sagarese describes as “traditional assignments that cover market research, competitive analysis, market entry and market expansion,” along with projects involving mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and competitive intelligence. The clients are firms in “light manufacturing, like automotive components, advanced materials and building products, as well as the processes industries, such as fine and specialty chemicals, polymers, food ingredients and nutraceuticals. Our active clients include divisions within Fortune-ranked firms” Sagarese is a licensed professional engineer in N.J., as well as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). And the rest of the Forrestal staff is equally well-qualified. “Virtually all of us have two degrees: an undergraduate degree, usually in engineering, along with an advanced degree, like an MBA,” says Sagarese. “And most of us have worked in industry for the Fortune 200.” That expertise and education, combined with language skills and an understanding of cultural business nuances abroad, are critical factors in the firm’s success. In addition, many of the senior consultants at the firm have worked together since 1981. These longterm relationships give the company stability, and each member’s 20-plus years of experience with clients gives Forrestal its competitive edge. Though the recent economy has been tough for many firms, since late 2008 Forrestal has worked extensively for strategic buyers in their acquisitions quests. “Today, our traditional services are coming back – big time. We have focused on long-term clients. This allows the company to enjoy relationships that were non-competitively bid; that is, we had no real competition,” he said. So far, this business plan has proven to be successful; forging long-term relationships and hands-on approach to assignments is what Forrestal Consultants is all about.
Assessing competitive positions . Corporate development . Strategic analysis . Management counsel Acquisitions (due diligence) . Market entry and planning studies . Industry and competitor profiles
By Sara Solano Barbara Gallo, a partner at Krevolin & Horst LLC in Atlanta Georgia, is a leading environmental attorney recognized as one of the top 50 female lawyers in the state. She knows what it takes to succeed as a woman in a competitive industry. “I would strongly encourage a woman who’s thinking about going into law to get some sort of public service experience before she tries to move into public practice,” Gallo said. She served 12 years with the Georgia Attorney General’s environmental division before moving to private practice. Every step of the way, she’s been motivated by her passion for justice. "I have a weak spot in my heart for the downtrodden," she said. "People whose rights are trampled by those who suspect that the small guy can't afford to battle the large guy." Today, Gallo specializes in civil and administrative litigation, legislative advising, and
An Environmental Lawyer with an Entrepreneurial Spirit
the development and enforcement of sustainable business practices. Her clientele ranges from alternative energy companies to local governments. Looking ahead, Gallo and her four partners plan to expand the practice into more areas, distinguishing themselves from other firms. Gallo enjoys working with a small firm, as it allows her the flexibility to choose those cases she cares about. She has come a long way since her pre-law days, when she decided to get a law degree simply to "speak the same language" as her husband. But that competitive spirit has served her well ever since. During the recent economic slow-down Gallo's firm has maintained an even keel, which Gallo attributes to the entrepreneurial spirit at Krevolin & Horst. "What I think is important about entrepreneurship to a lawyer is being able to take those concepts and apply them to your client's business, and to help your clients grow their business."
by Michael Barbella Toni Moceri-Knopf received and the University of Miami. Moceri-Knopf was working some of her best career advice as a business developer when she decided to start her own during her early days as an company in 1999. Her inspiration came from the challenges entrepreneur: Stay focused, she faced balancing work and family. “I started my own believe in yourself and dream company because I was traveling a lot for my previous job big. Following such sage during the dot-com craze, and I was a single mom,” Mocericounsel has enabled Moceri- Knopf said in her interview with The Suit Magazine. “It was Knopf to successfully run difficult for me to be a mom and also be on the road all the an event management and time.” It wasn’t much easier being independent—at least not at first. marketing company for more than 11 years. Moceri Moceri-Knopf had to put in long hours and leverage her credit Management provides a full cards in order to turn a profit. Though it has not always been range of marketing services easy, Moceri-Knopf said she is most proud of her ability to to its clients, including public survive the setbacks that she has encountered. The recession relations, media planning, event presented the biggest challenge, but thanks to Moceri-Knopf’s management, production and fund-raising. The Atlanta firm determination, business is still going strong. boasts a list of clients, which ranges from corporate clients, “The recession definitely affected my business,” Mocerisuch as Abbott Vascular and Johnson & Johnson, to medical Knopf recalls. “But the most rewarding part of my career is institutions, including Mayo Clinic, Piedmont Heart Institute knowing that I’ve been able to persevere. I’m still here.”
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The Nichols Group
Revitalizing the Manufacturing Sector
By Jacey Fortin Faced with a shaky economy and heavy outsourcing, the American manufacturing industry has faltered in recent years. “Overall, it’s been drastically reduced. Businesses we’ve done business with for years have closed,” explains Scott Nichols, owner of The Nichols Group. As a manufacturers’ representative, it’s his mission to work on the industry’s behalf, bringing American-made products into the market. The Nichols Group has established itself as one of the most adaptable manufacturers’ reps agencies in the Midwest, despite the recession. “You have to figure out how to operate at a bottom line,” he explained. “We survived because we diversified. We looked at the markets we were strong in, and we also chased other markets.” Before becoming a manufacturer’s rep, Nichols worked with health care and worker’s comp for a large hospital corporation. “In that position, one of my college buddies named Dan Greene, who owned a manufacturing facility specializing in clothing, asked me if I would be interested in being rep, producing back supports,” he recalls. “So I became an agent, and that’s what the Nichols group is; it grew from there.” Today, the business is about more than just sales; they also contribute to product development. “A lot of what we do is feedback for American manufacturing, and for the military. I do the development and write projects to help them achieve custom products.” Nichols is confident that American manufacturing is on the rebound. “I see our industry coming back,” he said. In the meantime, he’ll seize new opportunities wherever he finds them. “As [business coach] Mark Victor Hansen once said, if you’re green, you’re growing; if you’re ripe, you’re rotten. You have to keep your nose to the wind.”
in the heart of
Gallagher took the initiative and got her real estate license in 1972. Today, she runs a thriving family business with an extensive buyer list, helping each client connect with the neighborhood on a personal level. After all these years, Gallagher has gotten to know her neighborhood inside and out. "Brooklyn is very democratic. We have all types of people living here: all races, all nationalities, all religions. We even have Republicans!" she laughs. "My clients love that one...but we have to be diplomatic." Although the real estate market spiraled downward nationally, people are still attracted to Victorian housing in Brooklyn. "There's always a waiting list to get here," she said. "This neighborhood took off by word of mouth. People would come here to visit, and say, 'I didn't know this existed in Brooklyn!’ We’re near the subway and the expressway, and yet we're like ‘the country in the city.’ That's what we call our neighborhood. It's a beautiful place to live."
By Mitch Ligon Mary Kay Gallagher started her own business as a way to contribute to her community. As the owner of Mary Kay Gallagher Real Estate, she works to preserve the history and Victorian elegance of Prospect Park South in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she has lived for 52 years. "The president of the Prospect South Associates came to me one day and told me that somebody had to do something that the real estate brokers weren't doing," said Ms. Gallagher, who had her hands full as a stay-at-home mother with six children. "These brokers didn't know the neighborhood. They didn't know how to sell it; they were recommending it as boarding houses. We didn't want unscrupulous brokers who didn't know what they were doing." So
When he decided to start his own law firm in 1988, Dave Hill hardly had time to hang his sign on the door before the clients started pouring in. Business was booming almost immediately, and he garnered success in virtually all aspects of civil litigation. “Things really took off the first year,” Hill said. “The biggest problem we had was losing sleep over how we were going to get the work done!” Dave Hill, founder of the firm known today as Hill Sokalski Walsh Trippier LLP, earned his LL.B from the University of Manitoba. He worked in litigation for eighteen years, and also taught at the law faculty at the University of Manitoba for a decade. Then Hill decided to start out on his own, founding a firm with recent law school graduate Sherri Walsh under the name Hill & Walsh. “The time was right, and it was an opportunity to expand the scope of what I was doing in litigation,” Hill said.
Dave Hill; Civil Litigator
By Daniel Horowitz
The firm’s steady growth since then has not gone unnoticed. It’s been recognized as the leading litigation firm in Winnipeg, and one of the top ten litigation boutiques in all of Canada. Currently, Hill Sokalski Walsh Trippier LLP consists of 11 lawyers and a retired judge as counsel. They focus on corporate and commercial law, personal injury and professional liability litigation. Hill’s own expertise lies in trial and appellate advocacy, as reflected in his participation in recent cases involving economic torts, environmental claims, and contractual disputes. And Hill is always adding to his wide base of expertise—he knows the importance of adapting to changing times. For young entrepreneurs who might want to follow in his footsteps he recommends thinking ahead, and that also applies to people looking to start business outside the field of law. “There’s going to be lots of opportunities entrepreneurially in environmental and energy alternatives for someone to get out on their own and start something.” In the past 3 years, two of his partners have been appointed Judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Manitoba.
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by Daniel Horowitz Terrance C. McGauley, President and Senior CivilEnvironmental Engineer of McGauley Consultants Limited, has over thirty-five years of experience as a leader and an innovator. He undertakes projects that range from industrial and municipal waste treatment to the creation of infrastructure investment programs and resource management strategies. His firm has worked in a variety of countries, including Canada, the United States, China, Vietnam, Ecuador, and the Caribbean. Wherever business takes them, the McGauley Consultants’ team is committed to the principles of environmental, economic and social sustainability. Although his environmental engineering firm is highly successful, McGauley was not instantly attracted to this narrow sub-field. “Like many people, I was not sure what I wanted to do,” said McGauley, who earned a degree in biology and went on for further schooling to obtain a degree in civil engineering. Deciding that he wanted to combine these two skill sets, McGauley pursued post-graduate work in Environmental Engineering. He provided services to the government for a few years before moving to a large consulting firm, and this background gave him the practical experience and technical expertise to set out on his own. One of McGauley’s most notable projects to date is a strategic plan for waste and environmental management for Ecuador. “We looked at the existing institutions, laws and regulations, infrastructure and management capacity,” McGauley explained. “We recommended the formation of a new ministry and regulatory agency as well as new laws and regulations, in order to lay the groundwork for environmentally sustainable practices in Ecuador and to curb the high levels of genetic deformity and environmental degradation throughout the country.” Despite the economic recession, McGauley Consultants Limited continues to tackle high-profile projects that promote and develop sustainable environmental practices. For more information, visit McGauley Consultants Limited’s website at http://www.mcgauleyconsultants.com.
McGauley Consultants Limited is a consulting firm providing services to government, industry and international organizations. Services are provided in: Air, Water, Waste and Environment Management Resource and Industrial Development Infrastructure Development Institutional Development; Environmental assessments and permitting Municipal and industrial liquid waste, collection, treatment and effluent management Municipal and industrial solid waste handling, treatment and disposal Resource recovery Air emission evaluation and control Climate change and greenhouse gas management Hazardous materials management Contaminated site assessment and remediation Water supply, treatment and distribution Storm water treatment and disposal
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By Daniel Horowitz Kimm C. Hannan, President of Hannan and Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., has an unorthodox view on the importance of good financial planning. “I help clients ensure a quality retirement and allow them to accomplish things close to their heart,” he said. Hannan attributes his success in the financial industry to his unique collaborative approach: Dream. Plan. Track. “Most people don’t take time to know what their dreams are. We are concerned with clients taking a look at themselves, their families, what they care about, and giving excess money to charitable causes,” Hannan explained. “Most clients want to help local causes, but aren’t sure they can or how much. I show them how.” Hannan knows from experience that the entrepreneurial life is never without risk. Over 25 years ago he began a start-up company that failed, and he became a corporate broker in the aftermath. In 1994, Hannan signed on as a financial advisor at Ameriprise. “At the time, my son was starting college,” said Hannan, “So I didn’t have any choice but to succeed.” Today, Hannan and Associates is one of the top 350 Ameriprise franchises. In 2008 Hannan joined the prestigious Diamond Ring Club, which is awarded to Ameriprise advisors who provide superior client service, high quality advice and superior production. Regardless of his financial success, Hannan knows that maintaining a loyal and satisfied client base is the most important thing. “Our priorities are the growth of assets and the hearts of our clients,” said Hannan. He learned this lesson after his own experiences with tragedy. “We have to understand what’s important in life. So I help clients through the tough times by praying with them.”
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The Influential Attorneys
During his long career in law and politics, Herbert C. Klein has pursued every opportunity to make a lasting difference. As a partner in the N.J.-based law office Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman, he has served as lead counsel in some of the most important cases in the state. He’s also worked as a trustee for First Real Estate Trust of New Jersey, a member of the state assembly, and an elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Both the Democratic and Republicans got along better than they do now,” said Klein, who served as a representative from 1993 to 1995. “It was a great time to be there.” Klein was a leader on the House Banking Committee, where he instituted key provisions that helped to resolve the savings and loans crisis that shook the nation and astounded taxpayers, depositors, and policy makers. “It was a fantastic experience and an opportunity to really shape what was happening in the
state and country,” he said. Today, his work at Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman allows him to continue his influential work with law and state policy. “I joined in 1999, and the firm has grown significantly since then,” he said. “It’s five to six times larger than before. Now I only deal with large cases, and that’s the extent of it.” His areas of expertise are many, including antitrust, liability, zoning and securities. Outside of work, Klein is involved in his community as a board member for several organizations, as well as a public speaker for the banking industry. He’s dedicated to using his expertise to solve problems wherever he can, but he’s realistic about the problems inherent in any political system. “As Winston Churchill once said, democracy is the worst form of government… except all the others that have been tried,” he said.
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By Andrea Lehner Building a successful start-up requires vision, courage, and a unique market niche. Weathering a corporate-crushing recession takes determination and business savvy. Award-winning entrepreneur Lori DiCesare, president and CEO of Legal Placements Incorporated (LPI), proves she has what it takes to do both while still giving back to her community. DiCesare started LPI, specializing in legal staffing, with a shoestring $5,000 investment in 1996 after working as a paralegal for eight years. “I knew I’d never go to law school, but I wanted to stay within the legal community,” she says. Paralegal staffing was a relatively new field, and DiCesare soon recognized it as the right opportunity. Today, LPI has 300 contractors serving Washington D.C., Richmond and Northern Va., and Boston. And DiCesare has her sights set on expanding to the West Coast. She attributes LPI’s success to her knowledge of the legal profession and to her staff. “I have an excellent sales staff. They’re trustworthy and treat their jobs as if this is their own company. As a result of that, clients trust us. In addition, I have very low turnover,” she says, noting that many team members have been with her
Staffing the Legal Community
since the beginning. “I have a lot of loyalty in the company. That clearly is an asset to both the client and to my business.” To set LPI apart from the competition, DiCesare screens providers thoroughly. “We take the interview process a step further, and we have for the last ten years. We conduct background checks, social security verification, and criminal checks at our expense.” “We don’t have layers and layers of people to go through in the company. If there is an issue, one of my sales consultants literally walks next door to my office and says, ‘Here’s the issue. How do we resolve it?’ We provide one-on-one attention to our clients.” DiCesare takes pride in receiving client referrals, saying they’re “the best compliment anyone can receive.” Hailing from a modest upbringing, DiCesare was never a stranger to hard work. She held her first job at sixteen and worked her way through college and graduate school before setting her entrepreneurial sights on LPI. She credits her father, now deceased, as being her inspiration. “When I first started the company, my father gave me two pieces of advice. If you are honest with people, they will always recognize that. And always remember where you came from. In other words,” she explains, “if you become successful, don’t forget how hard you worked to get there. That always stuck with me.” It is this value system that eventually earned her a feature in Conscience of America for her commitment to philanthropy. “I was never in a position to give back; I just could never afford it. So when things went well, I decided I was going to adopt a number of charities so I could give back.” DiCesare is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association, is active in the Association of Legal Administrators, and provides ongoing support to several local and national charities. Although LPI showed a six-million dollar revenue growth last year, she has not forgotten the lessons learned during the recession. “I’ve learned to run lean and mean. Big isn’t always better. You have a better profit margin if you’re smaller.” DiCesare’s business model has not only proven successful, her leadership abilities garnered the attention of the Washington Business Journal where she was recently named “Most Powerful Female Executive.”
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The desire to begin a family is one of the most powerful emotions a couple can experience. Unfortunately, timing, health, and other biological factors are not always predictable or cooperative. That is when Dr. Melissa Esposito, a partner physician with IntegraMed, steps in to provide fertility solutions to her patients. IntregraMed focuses on superb patient care and highlyspecialized niche technology. Would-be parents seek the quality that only an outpatient facility, such a Dr. Esposito's practice, can dedicate to the need for safe, effective fertility care. "At Integra we have a strong commitment to patient care, and we measure patient satisfaction," Dr. Esposito says. Testifying to their success is an upcoming milestone: IntegraMed is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and over the course of these decades the team has facilitated the births of over 27,000 babies. Integra goes to great lengths to ensure that patients have healthy babies. "We tests embryos in order to prevent disease. We do a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. But we don’t do sex selection for family balancing, disturbing the natural balance of nature," she cautions. "We don’t believe in baby choosing. We do not work with people who are choosing a designer baby, for things like eye and hair color." Upholding the highest of ethical standards is a priority among Integra physicians. "There is an ethical slippery slope when it comes to working with embryos, so we have an ethics committee [to help make these decisions]," Dr. Esposito explains. Since insurance doesn't typically cover fertility care, Integra offers patients financing options so money does not become another hurdle standing in the way of parenthood. “We offer our patients a program called 'shared help,' which gives discounts of up to 30 percent for those in need," Dr. Esposito explains. "We also have a 'shared risk' program regarding eggs and donor eggs. This is virtually a money-back guarantee." Esposito works with patients ranging from couples who've been struggling to conceive, to those who know they'll want a baby at a distant point in the future. "We partner with Fertile Hope to help cancer patients with fertility preservation by freezing eggs or embryos,” she says. Then she adds with a smile, “We also freeze eggs for women who are older and still looking for Mr. Right.” Esposito always knew she wanted to be a doctor and loves her chosen field. During medical school she completed a rotation in the fertility clinic, and that’s when she decided to pursue an OB/GYN residency. Prior to joining Integra, Esposito worked at Shade Grove Fertility in partnership with IntegraMed for over a decade. "There was something calling me to the profession," she says. "It’s an honor and a privilege to take care of patients.” Staying at the forefront of fertility care has required many long hours and continual recertification for new procedures and surgical techniques. However, Esposito says the challenges are worth it every time her patients achieve pregnancy. “You become your patients’ hero," she says. "Every positive pregnancy test is a natural high. But there are lots of ups and downs.” The economic downturn has had an effect on her practice because couples may opt to delay, or to choose less costly procedures to help them to begin families. "The American health care system is broken," she laments. "Every person in a country as great as this should have health care.” Esposito believes in the quality of care Integra offers patients and is happy to be a part of it. “I wake up every day looking forward to work.”
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DON’T THINk TWICE.
You’ve Got One Shot
Translation Services with a Personal Touch
By Deborah S. Hildebrand Everyone is not meant to be an entrepreneur. Many don’t have Translation skills have long been a part of Pirchmoser’s what it takes. Motivation. Skills. Creative spark. But that’s repertoire. She studied both English and French as a young child exactly what Beate Pirchmoser had when she decided to strike in Germany, gaining a deep understanding of the language and out on her own. Today, she owns and operates Bi-Lingual fluency through regular use. “You have to speak it, think it, so Secretary, a professional translation and interpretation agency it flows like your native language,” she notes. After graduating that provides services to major corporations, local businesses from Business College she developed her skills further by working as an in-house translator. and community residents. The German-born Pirchmoser moved to South Carolina 36 Pirchmoser’s path to entrepreneurship began as a hobby, when years ago. Several years later she conducted a market study her husband suggested she do something with her technical to see if there was a need for technical translation services in knowledge and not waste her years of experience as a translator. her local community. “The result was positive,” she says. “So I “Had he not planted the idea in my head, I would have never just went ahead. I sent about 1000 letters to German subsidiaries opened my own business,” she says in her unique German and southern American accent. Her persistence and drive, however, along the East Coast.” “Word got around,” notes Pirchmoser. “Clients prefer the ease turned her hobby into a flourishing business. of one vendor. I provide accurate and confidential services to “Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the community,” she clients.” She began the business by offering only German-to- says. ”Entrepreneurs are the backbone for any industry, any English and English-to-German translation services for vendors community, any corporation. It is the entrepreneur who actually such as BMW, Siemens and Bosch. Eventually, clients began to comes up with ideas, creates jobs, invests in equipment and request other languages. She now handles additional languages people. And entrepreneurs can be more flexible in the market than large corporations.” through the use of freelance translators. Pirchmoser has had an extensive professional relationship with While other companies have experienced difficult times, she BMW. “I was on the BMW site talking to subcontractors before says, “I have been working seven days a week and most nights the first building had ever gone up. And since BMW required until midnight for at least the last three years.” Pirchmoser’s all of their vendors to be located close to their plant and most of clients get to know her personally; they feel comfortable with their initial suppliers at that time came from Germany, they had her and appreciate her abilities. This personal touch is a big part to have all of their documentation – specs, quotes, everything – of her success. translated to English.”
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The Dedicated Educator
By Daniel Horowitz There’s a problem facing the American school system today, especially as budgets are cut and class sizes grow. Every child has a different learning style, and for teachers across the United States it’s difficult to tailor lessons to large groups of students at varying levels of ability. Sometimes, the classroom just isn’t enough. That’s why Sylvan Learning Center has over 900 facilities across the country: to give students the individualized attention they need to excel. Kari Sanders of Colorado Springs works hard as one of Sylvan’s dedicated franchise owners. She began working as a tutor 8 years ago at her father-in-law’s franchise, which he had opened in 1984. Shortly after his death in 2005, Sanders decided to purchase the business. “My husband asked if I was interested in doing this. I told him I was, and we jumped at the chance,” Sanders explained. “We’ve kept it family owned and operated for the past 27 years.” Although Sanders’ primary skillset lies in teaching—she has earned a B.A. in education—she now takes care of many of the administrative duties of running the center. “I’ve made some mistakes and I’ve learned from them,” she says, “I now have a really firm grasp of what’s going on.” Since acquiring the Sylvan Learning Center in 2005, Sanders has enacted numerous operational changes. “I expanded the marketing and got much more involved with the community through the local schools and newspapers and magazines, earning the highest revenue and enrolling the most students in the center’s history,” she said. Although Sanders has since experienced losses due to the economic recession, her commitment to education remains strong. “It’s been a pretty scary two years, and although we have not made a profit, we refuse to shut our doors. “Our nation is in an educational crisis, and Sylvan is the solution. We guarantee it.”
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By ANDREA LEHNER
ENS Youth Mentoring Partnership
Ezra Nehemiah Solomon, Inc.
Building the Future Today
Virginia-based church leader Leonard Daniels is on a mission: help at-risk youth. Ten years after founding his non-profit mentoring program, Ezra Nehemiah Solomon (ENS), that is exactly what he does with an astounding 90 percent success rate. "When we started in 1998," Daniels told The Suit, "there were a lot of problems in the community. I was interested in working on them to help both women and men. After running our [first] program, we felt we needed to make some changes. We opened a community wisdom- based program." The revamped ENS program launched in 2002 and has been helping teens ever since. Daniels looked to the Biblical prophets— the namesakes of the foundation—for inspiration in developing the program. According to ENS, the three prophets "embody life principles we endear." For Daniels, the objective is more than simply trying to keep kids out of trouble; it is about instilling core values like personal responsibility, a sense of integrity, and an ability to make decisions and live according to "value-based principles and a pursuit of excellence." "We looked closely at statistics in the African American community," Daniels explains, "and we noticed that kids had improper values. They needed mentoring. In the time since [we implemented the programs], the results have been very good. Kids are now finishing college and other educational programs." Daniels is proud of ENS's success and of the kids they've mentored. ENS has taken an innovative approach toward achieving success. "We have a Big Brother and Sisters model in place," Daniels says, "but nowadays that's not good enough. Our children need more mentoring programs." Daniels knew the only answer was to develop new strategies and to take new approaches in their efforts to reach families with at-risk youth, primarily young males without father figures in the home. Following the Biblical example of Ezra, who is credited with bringing scholars and prophets together in the Great Assembly, 'wisdom' became the ENS mantra. Concerned about the deterioration of family and the "loss of human potential" as kids turn away from education, ENS now offers a variety of programs to educate and assist both kids and parents. Some of the programs include: educational activities, summer programs, afterschool remediation, teaching life skills, family therapy and advocacy, and youth mentorship. "We are extremely proud of the 90 percent success rate our children have shown," Daniels adds. "We are happy with the model we have put in place." Daniels admits that while the mission is clear, being able to complete it is not always easy. Funding, especially in times of economic hardship, is an ongoing challenge. "The organization is lacking in funding and is short on money," he says. "I have personally invested thousands of dollars just to keep things moving." Still, ENS continues on with the help of their team of trained volunteer staff members. However, Daniels worries they are still short-staffed after adding more services to their already comprehensive program. He hopes more people will continue to volunteer, and he values the importance of what these charitable individuals are providing to the community in terms of helping teens build self-esteem, teaching them to value themselves as responsible individuals, and creating stronger familial relationships. The compassion that volunteers bring into their service is something ENS knows cannot be bought— it comes from the heart.
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Human Development – Policy and Practice
Lynn Gray has been pushing to improve the world for decades by fostering an innovative mindset. “I lived in NYC and was leading a lot of work focused on public school reform, through a savvy organization called the NY Urban Coalition. My attention was on marginalized kids across the city – young people, many with major skills but from economically poor communities. They were not aware of opportunities emerging on the horizon,” he said. Now, as the owner of Peer Influence, he's gone global with human development innovation, spending most of the past decade working with UN program agencies focusing on food, health, education, and community development. “My work addresses leadership development for key UN staff, and the spread of innovations within the global development community.” “Very few people in the United States are aware of ‘development’ as a career option,” Gray said. ‘When I report on what I do, most people are surprised and say something like, ‘I’ve never heard of that kind of work!’ For me, that means we need to market the idea of development work, pointing to its intense engagement, power and personal fulfillment.” Peer Influence is a company built to channel the impact of the ‘peer effect,’ which simply means that for any of us, it is our peers—their hopes, attitudes, beliefs, and actions—that most influence the ways we live our lives. Being part of peer networks that pull us toward our best thinking and acting is essential. Finding them… or building them… should be our highest priority.” As an example, Gray launched and incubated the Posse program in the early ‘90s. It’s an idea built specifically on the peer effect: creating peer teams of young people, who go to a university together as a posse, so they have a personal support system. “This ‘posse-ness’ enables them to help each
BY Wendy Connick
other survive the pressures, demands and cultural adaptations necessary to become strong, successful university students.” The Posse Foundation is now on the cutting edge of smart educational development. Gray came out of a theological graduate program in Princeton that helped him think about community development and social innovation strategies. He started his career by creating a ‘street academy,’ an innovative alternative school for drop-outs in the middle of Harlem. “The big insight was that we, as a society, have to find ways to engage our young people. We need to build institutional structures and outreach that they connect to, and that give them hope.” He’s now coming full circle: inventing a bold leadership development initiative for young people, aimed at creating new kinds of adolescent peer networks that stimulate smart decision-making, imaginative thinking, and academic engagement. ‘In our society it’s imperative that our young people make smart decisions about their futures when they are 12 to 15 years old. Brain development research says that’s tough, because key brain structures are still immature and growing – they’re simply not yet there to use.” The pivotal idea is to use adolescent peer networks to sustain the decision-making necessary to survive and prosper – to augment the strictly individual decision-making model with a collective, peer-mediated process. The venture is called the Popshift Strategy. It’s a wild combination of face-to-face work with young people, supported by a whole range of new, emerging social media tools. Gray encourages anyone interested in his mission to send a message of approval by “liking” PeerInfluence on Facebook. With the power of social media technology now behind him, Peer Influence has even greater potential to change the world, one young person at a time.
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BY Andrea Lehner
Joan Chypyha has decades of experience in pharmaceuticals, but she always saw herself as an entrepreneur. In 2008, she launched Canadian based Alto Pharmaceuticals, determined to bring unique healthcare solutions to Canadians. She started by acquiring the rights for DermSafePC®, a novel alcohol-free hand sanitizing lotion. DermSafePC® is the first lotion-based hand sanitizer containing chlorhexidine gluconate to be launched in Canada, and is intended for commercial use in places such as schools, dental offices, hospitals, the military and private businesses. Alto Pharma acquired exclusive rights to manufacture and sell DermSafePC® in Canada and is proud to be launching the product in April of 2011. Alto will focus on the areas of dermatology, infectious disease and wound care, and has plans to launch several other products in the spring of 2011, including Amana™, a unique product for hair loss proven effective in both men and women. Prior to founding Alto Pharma, Chypyha was responsible for setting up the Canadian subsidiary of Barrier Therapeutics in Canada. She also held various senior management positions during her fifteen years with Hoffmann la Roche. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Biology and an M.B.A. from Queens University. “My biggest challenge has been financing,” Ms. Chypyha says of building a business during a recession. “But entrepreneurs make their own opportunities. They create new jobs and innovations.” Proving that timing works both ways, Ms. Chypyha says she’s also experienced positive benefits from the recession. “Good employees have become available, as well as great opportunities for new products. We are excited about the next year and the growth that it will bring, and look forward to taking the business to the next level.”
Educating our Children
By Daniel Horowitz Lisa Haverty, owner and director of the Haverty Hollow School and Frog Hollow Camp, knew from an early age that she wanted to devote her career to the educational and developmental needs of children. “I always used to say that I was going to run a school,” she said. “It was something I had always dreamed about doing.” In her first entrepreneurial venture, Haverty created a program while teaching at the Trinity School to address the needs of working parents by providing educationally enriching afterschool programs. She found success, but still had more to offer. After a ten-year tenure at the Trinity School, she set out to focus on fulfilling her dream. Haverty began in 1986 by renting out a facility, and then purchasing her current location in Atlanta, Ga., four years later. “It was pretty scary to start it,” she admitted. But her success speaks for itself; she has since expanded into running both the Frog Hollow Camp, for children between five and 10, and the Haverty Hollow Preschool Camp. Haverty runs what she describes as a “choice-based” program, meaning that children are given a large degree of creative and intellectual flexibility within a definite structure. “They’re choosing things that they like to do and have choices within each subject. They’re responsible for making the choice,” she said of the various programs. In addition to this style of learning, Haverty also emphasizes environmental education. “We do a lot of projects using recycled products, and we explain to the children why we’re using this and what it means. This is largely facilitated by the wonderful staff here, who are experienced and dedicated to providing children with a fun and challenging learning environment. ”
Convert More Prospects. Keep More Customers.
By Sara Solano Jane Fershko, President of Cygnet Consulting Group, Inc. in Alpharetta Georgia, lives by the words of her mentor: “Soft on the people, hard on the issues.” While working for the Royal Bank of Canada for 16 years and becoming a senior vice president, Fershko was transferred to Atlanta during the dot-com bubble. There, she established the marketing and sales teams for RBC’s newly acquired Security First Network Bank, the first of its kind and the #1-rated Internet bank. Today, Fershko uses her understanding of market trends to help small local businesses expand and accommodate the needs of consumers. The processes she uses are based upon her experiences in manufacturing, banking and credit cards, and the theoretical constructs from her Wharton MBA. Cygnet’s goal is to support small businesses to grow into strong, efficient companies, just as the young cygnet grows into the sleek swan of its logo. Local businesses often succumb to knee-jerk demands based solely on observation without solid data to validate it, Fershko explained. This inspired her to develop ways to help them operate based on quantified facts instead of assumption. “If the road isn’t paved, I can help you determine where it needs to go,” she said. Fershko uses casual language when speaking with clients to maintain a friendly environment, and she has been commended for her people skills. “There’s an expression they used to use in the bank, which was ‘The truth with compassion,’” she said. “Nobody can improve if they don’t know what they’re doing wrong, but you don’t have to do it in a way that diminishes them.” For Fershko, her gender has never hindered her career, but rather forced her to excel. “I think that working harder and bringing substance to any situation are the table stakes,” she said. “And women just need to bring all these goods to the table.”
Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center
by Wendy Connick Diabetes is a global pandemic. 300 million people around the world suffer from diabetes, and one person dies from it every 10 seconds. Dr. Gabriel Cousens founded the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center to help people suffering from diabetes and other ailments. “In this country, 25 percent of people above the age of 60 have diabetes. In New York City, the rate of diabetes is about five times higher,” he told The Suit Magazine. “We see people for what I call whole-person healing, which takes three days. But we have our flagship series of programs around a 21-day sequence. And in three weeks, 70 percent of the non-insulin-dependent and type 2 diabetics are healed—normal blood sugar, off all medications. And 45 percent of the insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetics come off all their insulin.” “The Center has begun, more so than it was before, moving from whole-person healing to what I’m going to call whole-person enlightenment. It is about lightness and building of spirit on all levels,” Cousens explained. “I’ve designed a variety of courses, and we’ve specialized in diabetes and metabolic [conditions]... now we’re serving people in over 100 countries. Our focus has been on wholeperson enlightenment because we’re in a transition from the culture of death, which is seeing yourself as a separate competitor or dominator, and into the culture of life.” Dr. Cousens uses a combination of nutrition, herbs, meditation, and emotional training to treat patients at the Center. He said, “If you look at people who live the longest, they use herbs. Herbs are high-potency foods. So I’ve studied American herbs, Ayurvedic herbs and also Chinese herbs. They all have particular gifts that help your deep life force energy, your daily life force energy and also your spiritual energy. And of course that’s going to build your immune system, and every aspect of your being. For example, with diabetes I use certain herbs, particularly from foods from India, because they have two thousand years of experience in treating diabetes. India leads the world in amount of diabetics—they have 100 million.” He believes that herbs work best in combination. “Probably the most famous herb is gymnema sylvestre. Basically, it actually stimulates the beta cells of the pancreas, which make insulin, to work better and to regenerate. And it also helps block absorption of sugar
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biophysics. So I’m coming from a pretty strong science background,” he said. “I saw that a symptom-oriented medicine, which is what we were taught in medical school, really wasn’t getting results. And so in 1973 when I finished my psychiatry residency, I began really to study about herbs and about nutrition because I said, ‘There’s a bigger picture here that we’re not really getting.’ The scientist in me said ‘I’m not getting the results that I should be getting.’” Cousens first learned how to lead as captain of an undefeated Amherst College football team. “The leaders lead. They’re not standing in the back. If you’re gonna be captain of the football team, you lead,” he said. As an athlete, he’s also aware of how his programs have affected his own health. “When I was a National Football Hall of Fame football player, I could do 70 pushups, which was more than most people could do. But I could barely get my hands below my knees, my back was so stiff. At the age of 60 I did 601 pushups, and I’m flexible enough now to put my hands flat on the floor,” he said. His long-term goal is to extend his work worldwide. “My work is now going out to different countries. I’ve spoken in many countries and many medical schools around the world,” Cousens said. “My work is world service. Ultimately it builds the Tree of Life Center and our nonprofit foundation – there’s a circle of energy, and that’s the key to the business in a way too. Our interest now is, ‘Let’s heal the world.’” The Tree of Life Center also offers programs to help older patients. “What do the baby boomers want? They’ve got money, they’ve got success, and they’re trying to get their health. But what do they get behind health? What’s longevity for? Longevity so you can sit around and watch television, or longevity so you can elevate yourself spiritually and serve the world? There are baby boomers who really want something more in life than just sitting back and watching television. They want meaning, and they want to put love and consciousness back into the center of their lives. That’s who we’re serving, and that’s where we’ve morphed as to identifying what we’re really doing,” Cousens said. “You know that the longevity research finds that the better the family and village community and networks, the longer people live. I’m helping people make the inner transition away from a culture of competition—being a predator and feeling separate from your soul—to one where you’re at one with your soul and you feel the unity. And that is just very motivating. That’s what keeps people young.”
into the system,” Cousens said. “I think the gymnema is best if you actually have diabetes. For men, the American ginseng is also very powerful.” Cousens focuses on treating diabetes because it affects so many people, and because standard medical doctrine teaches that diabetes is incurable. “We are taught in medical school that diabetes is not only [impossible to heal], but a steady retreat into disability and death,” he said. “As bad as people want to think about allopathic doctors, many of them really care about their patients. I speak at many medical schools about diabetes, and the doctors love it because they don’t have a way to deal with it. And here’s this simple way with nutrition and some herbs getting very, very powerful results. Doctors want to heal their patients. They want to get success.” Trained at Amherst College and with an M.D. from Columbia Medical School, Cousens has a strong technical background. “At Amherst College, I actually had my own laboratory, and I had very fine training and actually published papers in college in biochemistry and
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V IC TORIA S T R A N DS
by Andrea Lehner As the creator of a revolutionary hair extension technique, Victoria Williams draws clients from across the country and overseas to her New York salon for her patented, These systems damage the hair, non-damaging Victoria Strands hair inhibit scalp circulation, and can enhancement services. feel heavy, hang unnaturally, leave ridges, and make it impossible to "Victoria Strands is a trade secret wash the scalp. that has been used for over ten years in the New York Metropolitan area Williams has built a loyal clientele on many professional and well- because her method stands above known clients," Williams says. "It’s a the competition. "I have a lot of hair system that completely changes people who come to me after having the definition of hair enhancement." a bad experience with a different technique," she says. "I've corrected "Not only is this method safe," she their hair, and now I have many continues, "it looks and feels very long-term clients, even older clients natural. We don't use any chemicals, whose hair is typically more fragile, adhesives, adhesive removers, heavy and their hair is very, very healthy track hair, tight abrasive braids, nets, while using my method." or wax. Victoria Strands promotes hair growth and completely "Innovative and time-tested" is how eliminates the problems with other Williams describes her product. "It traditional methods on the market is the only method that can be used today." on both men and women of all races. My method protects the natural hair Conventional hair extension and causes absolutely no damage to methods rely on glues and chemicals, hair follicles. Hair is applied a few or they are attached to existing strands at a time, and the result is an hair using pre-stranded wefts or extension that is lightweight. Hair cornrow-style braiding techniques. looks and feels completely natural,
and can be worn however the client chooses." Victoria Strands uses a special ultrathin-thread sewing technique that allows clients to grow out their natural hair and wash their hair completely clean without causing damage. Some clients are able to grow their hair to the point they no longer needs extensions. "The process is easy to care for and lasts a very long time," Williams says. Because technicians are able to place strands according to the shape of the client's head and the strength of the existing hair, extensions blend naturally with the client's hair and are undetectable. Williams believes being female has been an asset to her success. She knows the importance of being able to give them that freedom back again. "Imagine being a woman with damaged or thinning hair, and then
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discovering a product that allows your scalp to get better and breathe, and being able to completely wash clean after every shampoo without causing any damage." Despite the downturn in the economy, Williams says her product is in even greater demand because of the value and quality she offers. "A lot of hair extension systems are very expensive, especially in the New York Metropolitan area, and they're not giving the client what they need. Many clients come to me with complaints from the damage they experienced by my competitors."
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Sounding the Climate ChangeAlarm
by Wendy Connick For over 35 years, the Browning Newsletter has been providing long-term weather forecasts and climate change updates for readers all over the world. Its author, Evelyn Browning-Garriss, took over management of the newsletter in 1991 when her father passed away. “He had a series of strokes,” Browning-Garriss said. “As my father’s health declined, I found myself doing more and more of the business. When he died unexpectedly, all of a sudden I found myself having to make sure that everybody that he had hired got their pensions. Here were these good people, who were depending on an ex-schoolteacher.” Browning-Garriss has bachelor’s degrees in history and anthropology from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico, but she credits her skills as a public speaker to the time she spent teaching high school. Those experiences gave her the confidence to run the business that fell into her lap. “When you’re in front of a room full of business people, they at least aren’t throwing spit wads! But if you learn to talk to the toughest audiences, then when you go to people who are paying for the privilege, they’re an easy group and they’re so grateful if you make them laugh,” she said. For Browning-Garriss, the toughest part of her job is seeing climatological disasters coming without being able to change them. “You warn as much as you can, and then the bad thing comes,” she said. “You know, I have one client who we warned that there was going to be a freeze on Christmas Eve, and these were tomato farmers in Florida. And so the families—I mean the grandparents, kids, everybody—went out there lighting pots. At the end of the night, the freeze came. They had saved some, but they lost half a million dollars in one night. And my father and I were just in tears.” Nevertheless, her newsletters have helped countless people prepare for the worst, and this is important to Browning-Garriss on a personal level. “We talk with a lot of farmers,” she said. “About a third of our clientele are farmers. It’s about just chatting with them a little and about what they’re doing. It’s a real satisfaction when the farm does so well that the kids want to do it, and the farm’s in good enough shape to keep it going, and to keep it in the family.” The Browning Newsletter is also useful to scientists and climatologists, and that presents extra challenges. “If you’re working for science, you have to be more certain about content before you publish. An audience of business people would like to know the probabilities, and they’d understand it’s not a certainty. But for a scientist with a reputation, the information they get has to be closer to a certainty,” she said. “Think about the National Hurricane Center. When they say a hurricane’s going to come, there’s going to be a lot of expensive decisions made based on [their report] so they have to be very certain.” Browning-Garriss has more than lived up to those expectations. Her readers, which ranges from ranchers to vendors to financial institutions, have recognized the Browning Newsletter as an indispensible source for accurate weather information, and she’ll continue to bring her unique expertise to dedicated subscribers for years to come. THE SUIT MAGAZINE 5
THE SUIT MAGAzINE - ApRIL 2011
Created in Oregon
E-Commerce with a Social Conscience
By Wendy Connick Dedicated to helping Oregon-based vendors shine, Terrie also puts time each week into volunteer work. “I do some Quijarro has made a career promoting the unique goods political work. I also volunteer for an organic gardening and services created by the state’s artists and entrepreneurs. program and some other different things; there aren’t just a Her company, Created in Oregon, provides an e-commerce few, so I kind of pick and choose,” she said. destination where customers can browse a varied collection Local politics are also a priority. “I’m not so concerned of items including music, art, beauty products and literature, about being politically correct as being politically accurate,” including her own new book, “The Personal Fertility Guide: she said. “Some years ago on our ballot here in Oregon, How to Achieve or Avoid Pregnancy Naturally,” which is we wanted genetically modified food to be listed as such. nearing publication. Well, it didn’t pass. But I’m very much interested in being Aware of the importance of technology, Quijarro is proactive and trying to get things passed. We as consumers enthusiastic about the potential of her newly re-vamped have a right to know if we’re eating genetically modified website. “We’re going to feature different products: gift food.” Whether through politics, commerce or volunteerism, baskets, jewelry, music, services and authors,” she told The Suit. “We have positive quotes that we’re going to rotate. Quijarro will continue her quest to do what’s best for her And it’s much more interactive, using Twitter and places community. After six years of success with Created in Oregon, she’s proven that a local-minded entrepreneur can where customers can post comments.” Her devotion to local businesses doesn’t end there; Quijarro make a difference in a big way.
Boscarino, Grasso & Twachtman LLP
Walter Twachtman - Housing and Land Use Expert
by Wendy Connick At the general practice law firm of Boscarino, Grasso & Twachtman, partner Walter Twachtman gives the team a solid grounding in the areas housing and land use. But his goals aren’t limited to any one area of focus. “I was just always interested in helping people who were having problems,” he told The Suit. “I’ve been involved in firms with slightly different practice areas. Now I do a lot of land use and development. Environmental law has always been my specialty.” “In the early 1970s, inland wetlands were designated as natural resources,” Twachtman said. “I was involved with inland wetlands regulations and the new hoops developers had to jump through. It interfered with their work, so developers viewed government regulations from a negative perspective. But that perspective started to change in the 1990s.” Now that environmental issues are more important than ever before, Twachtman’s expertise is in high demand. Twachtman remains grateful to those who helped him find success. His first mentor was Michael Schatz, the partner he worked with at his first job. “He was a senior partner, very instrumental in guiding me,” he said. “I also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Howard Alcorn. He taught me to be prepared, to do my research and to be attentive to new developments.” As a real estate expert, Twachtman’s practice suffered during the housing market crash. “My real estate clients stopped building,” he said. But he has adapted and expanded his work in another direction. “I enrolled in a master’s program for Elder Law and Estate Planning. It was natural; most of my friends were aging, and elder law expanded my practice. I can see that part of my practice developing more in the future.”
RDH & Associates INC
“DESIGN with HUMILITY.”
By Wendy Connick
The architecture and design business has been heavily affected by the recent recession, and design companies like RDH & Associates have had to think on their feet to stay viable. “With the problems that the banks got into, they basically stopped loaning money for development,” said Randall Huggins, president of RDH & Associates. “With this turn in the economy, we’ve started specializing in renovation and restoration type work. Our portfolio has only helped us to continue to go forward in the economy.” Huggins has spent over 20 years creating architectural designs, specializing in hotels and other hospitality properties. “Near 2000, I decided to go out and start my own company—really without any clients—and MGM Mirage actually followed me over. After I started my company they approached me to do some work at the Beau Rivage, on the model work that I had originally done with Wilson and Associates,” he said. “So that’s how I started a company.” And the clients never stopped calling. Huggins went on to work on the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, New York New York, Mirage, Treasure Island, and other major properties. “I knew I wanted to be an architect when I was about seven years old,” Huggins said. “We moved to Amarillo, Texas, between my first and second grades, and my dad had bought a house in that area that had about six houses in one square mile, and the rest were yet to be built. I just sat out in front of the houses and watched them build houses. The builder kind of felt sorry for me, because there were no kids in the neighborhood. So he took me around the whole construction process; he showed me what was going on because I showed a real interest.” Today, Huggins has designed about 1,500 homes over the course of 8 years of residential design. Huggins’s biggest project to date has been the Las Vegas City Center. “That was a challenge; it was the largest building ever built on a LEED project... an 18 million square-foot building that was certified green,” he said. Many of Huggins’s clients are located in Las Vegas, but unlike most of his competitors, he hasn’t relocated there. He explained, “One of the advantages that we have in Dallas is that our costs for overhead and employees are a lot less than the costs in Las Vegas.” Keeping an eye on costs and overhead is one way Huggins, like many entrepreneurs, has weathered the economic downturn. “[The economy] has made us look at our competitors and look at ourselves, and to ask: How can we
streamline our operations? How can we streamline our ability to be cost-effective? Because so many firms are cutting costs and doing things that are lowering the overall overhead,” he said. “We’ve been able to keep several of our employees busy full-time as the result of becoming more aware of employee costs and eliminating employee down time. Paying for billable hours only has helped us control costs a lot”. Huggins believes the main key to staying competitive is providing exceptional quality to his clients. “It’s the quality of work, the attention to detail, and the attention to the client that we really strive for: to be unsurpassed by anybody else in the industry,” he said.
Architecture * Interior Design * Construction * Management & Administration
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A Window of Opportunity
L’ INTERIEUR LE NAIR
By Zina Kumok During a round of layoffs, most people panic about their future. Tammi Le Nair took her severance package and turned it into a small business that she has run for almost 20 years. She runs L’Intérieur Le Nair, a design company specializing in window treatments. She was working for an agricultural equipment company when she was laid off. Instead of finding a job in a similar field, she took a chance. Pursuing her love of fabrics and sewing, she turned her passion into a profitable and growing business. “My first client was actually a coworker,” she said. “I was doing clothing and alterations. That’s when I discovered I would rather be designing for windows than for bodies.” Starting anew as an entrepreneur was a huge risk, but Le Nair says she was always willing to try. “A lot of people are really afraid to fail. But if you don’t try, you’re failing,” she said. L’Intérieur Le Nair caters mainly to residential clients. In addition to draperies, she also offers trims, bedding and accessories. Le Nair tailors her work to each client’s needs, so every creation is one-of-a-kind. She even uses technology to keep her inventory up-to-date. Some of her latest designs incorporate motorization, and she attends expositions every year to stay ahead of the trends. Most importantly, Le Nair makes it a priority to remain highly involved in the business. “I design, fabricate and install my window treatments,” she said. Since opening her doors in 1991, Le Nair has learned how to stay on top of projects, work with other people, delegate to employees and overcome some of her initial fears. “Normally I’m a shy person,” she said. “I’ve worked really hard on that. I forced myself to get out to the trade shows and get involved with the organizations in my industry. It’s helped me get my exposure in the business.” Today, Le Nair is an active member of the Window Coverings Association of America; she sits on the industry guidelines panel. “I’m pretty proud of that, because 20 years in the business has enabled me to gain the experience I needed to be able to help set the standards for those in my industry,” she said. Her business suffered the effects of the economic recession in late 2007, but Le Nair used it as a learning experience. “You’re forced to discover who you are, and how you’re going to make a living,” Le Nair said. In the end, the worst challenges only lasted for about three months. After that, work was once again steady—even growing. “Actually, 2009 and 2010 were my busiest years to date,” she said. She credits her confidence and can-do attitude to her parents. “I learned that you can do anything you want to if you set your mind to it. When you’re raised in an environment like that, you realize there’s nothing you can’t do,’” she said. Le Nair also thanks her parents for fueling her passion; they gave her a sewing machine when she was in the eighth grade. “I still have that same sewing machine,” she said. “And I use it from time to time for small projects.” As a businesswoman with a passion for her job, Le Nair has tried-and-true advice for people trying to figure out what they want to do. “Do not close doors to opportunities,” she said. “Keep yourself open to learning and exploring. When you love what you do, the sky’s the limit.”
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OPEN FOR VIEWING
CALL SANDRA 239.594.9342
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Flowers are a conventional subject for painting, but Sandra Jackoboice takes an unconventional approach. Her floral paintings are conceived like portraits, finding and highlighting the individual characteristics of her subjects. “I choose flowers because they are complex – strong yet subtle, and possessing a quiet drama,” Jackoboice said. And floral work is only the beginning, “I work in pastel and acrylic. I do commissions and still lifes too, working from my own photographs. And I do a lot of figurative landscapes.” Sandra Jackoboice has drawn and painted all of her life, but did not begin painting professionally until1990 after completing a long awaited college degree in Art and Communication. At this time, she was invited to develop and direct an art program for an educational center in Lowell, Michigan, where she stayed until 2000. She is co-founder and past President of the Great Lakes Pastel Society which was formed in May, 1997, where she remains as Advisor of the Board. She was Membership Chair of the International Association of Pastel Societies from 2000-2007. In 2001, Sandra organized a Pastel Artist Group in Naples, Fla., which later became the Southwest Florida Pastel Society, where she has been awarded a Lifetime Membership. Sandra is a Signature Member of The Pastel Society of America. Her work is included in Gary Greene’s book, “Artist’s Photo Reference: Flowers,” a guide to painting from photographs, published by North Light Books. In addition, feature articles have been included in The Pastel Journal, the Artist Magazine, the Pastel Artist International Magazine and various newspaper articles. In the year 2000 she was honored with a commemorative “Woman of the Year” award by the American Biographical Institute. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of American Women, 2000 Artists and Designers, Who’s Who in American Art, and America’s Registry of Professional Women. Sandra works primarily in pastel and acrylic. Florals are her specialty, but wildlife, figurative and landscape subjects are also a part of her portfolio. Her work is included in private, religious, and corporate collections. Commissions are always welcome, and Sandra’s work delights her clients by bringing back their favorite memories, places, flowers and more. This is an important part of her art. The Von Liebig Art Center, The Art League of Marco Island, The Art League of Bonita Springs, and the Art League of Fort Myers in Florida have all offered Sandra’s workshops in pastel, as well as the Aquinas College Emeritus Program, the Frederik Meijer Gardens and the Franciscan Life Center in Michigan. In 2008 and 2009 Sandra conducted workshops at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida. The Florida State Capital Building in Tallahassee, Fla. hosted a solo exhibit of her work for three months in 2009, in the Governor’s Office Gallery.
An Artist in Bloom
By Michael Gordon
As a young boy growing up in the wide open expanse of Vyatka, Russia, Victor Ivanovich Volodin was inspired by the grandeur of nature. He began to draw and paint at an early age, and today his work is celebrated in New York City and internationally. Volodin was born on March 11, 1943 in Vyatka and has since traveled extensively in Russia, Europe and the Americas. He went to Ural at the age of 16, where he worked at an electrical factory during the day and attended an art studio in the evenings. After three years, Victor left Ural and headed to Sverdlovdk, where he was accepted into an art college. But he never had the chance to attend. He was called into the Russian army, and served as a driver for three years. Upon his return, he could have attended the art college of Sverdlovsk. But Volodin decided to shoot higher, and he applied to the University of Muchin in St. Petersburg. It was to his great surprise that Volodin, without any prior formal education, was accepted. He spent 11 years in the city, combining his own experiences with his education. Upon completion of his studies, Volodin became an independent artist with a devoted following. Victor decided to emigrate to the United States in 1979. At the time, Russian immigrants had to spend a few months in Italy—and it was here that luck intervened. Volodin was accepted into a group called the 100 Artists, which exhibited his work and won him more exposure internationally. When he finally arrived in New York City, Volodin held exhibitions in several Manhattan locations. In his paintings, Victor uses earth tones to convey his trademark subdued moodiness. He gives his work a realistic feel, but by shifting perspectives he achieves grand results and highlights the dramatic compositions found in nature. Over decades of paintings and exhibitions, Volodin has proven himself as a master of landscapes, theatrical and operatic arts, and iconographic religious imagery. His work offers a rare glimpse into the authentic views and emotions of the Russian soul.
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e Fruit Basket Th
Summer is near—the season for backyard barbecues. And for anyone who’s gearing up to pull out the grill and light up the charcoal, Evelyn and Calvin Harrison have engineered a way to take the hassle out of outdoor grilling. The “ultimate rib rack,” as Mrs. Harrison describes it, is called the Barbecue Buddy. Their company, The Rack Express, is the exclusive maker of the Buddy, a cooking rack that holds up to seven slabs of ribs. It fits any grill with at least 22.5 inches of cooking space. More i m p o r t a n t l y, “it eliminates the need to watch or turn the food, and reduces the chance of grease flareups through the use of a water pan,” says Evelyn. “And you can just as easily cook chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers or anything else. It’s all indirect, so you don’t have to turn it. You get the grilling taste without the grilling hassle.” Mr. Harrison spent a year designing the Barbecue Buddy, motivated by his love for good barbecue and his appreciation of how much time his wife spent grillside. By the 2000 National Chicago Hardware Show, they were ready to find a manufacturer to meet their needs. From there they made connections with Home Shopping Network and QVC, and then developed their website at and began advertising in a barbecue magazine. Today, most of their sales come from website visitors and word-of-mouth. And while it is strictly a family-run operation, Mrs. Harrison knows that growth isn’t out of the question. “A lot of entrepreneurs start the way we did. You just need to be willing to work hard and believe in yourself.” Evelyn and Calvin welcome any questions at 901 353 1980.
A lot of entrepreneurs start the way we did,. You just need to be willing to work hard and believe in yourself.
Customers can also visit their website at www.barbecuebuddy.com.
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