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Thursday, 30 June 2005 20:00

Thinking of getting out?

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There comes a time in the life of almost every successful business owner when thoughts turn to ending their involvement with the business. For some, that means succession planning; for others, it means crafting an exit strategy. In either case, it’s important to start with a sound business evaluation, according to Royce Stutzman, a business valuation expert and chairman of Vicenti, Lloyd & Stutzman LLP. “It’s important in terms of realizing the most value for a business when it comes time to sell.” Smart Business talked with Stutzman, a certified valuation analyst, about the role of valuations in planning a…
Friday, 01 July 2005 05:48

Destination: Growth

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Travel is a slippery industry. Companies selling airline tickets, hotel reservations and even travel insurance have to deal not only with the issues that plague all businesses, they’re also at the mercy of ever-changing trends and uncontrollable external forces, from politics to Mother Nature. Given all that, simply staying afloat in the travel industry is an accomplishment. But STA Travel Inc., the North American branch of an international network of niche travel planners serving students and young adults, has done more than just survive — it has thrived. Between 2001 and 2003, STA’s revenue increased 58 percent and the number…
Thursday, 30 June 2005 05:38

Managing a successful business

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Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and with that, business owners who operate their organizations using different methods of management. But regardless of the type of business you run, all business owners face similar challenges. Every business leader's goal is to produce a profit and provide a standard of living that is acceptable to the business owner. Whether you are an aluminum die casting manufacturer or a service provider, there are standard tenets of business that all companies must abide by in order to succeed, according to Gregg Steinberg, president of International Profit Associates, a leading North American consulting…
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 20:00

Keep it short

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Welcome to the premiere issue of Smart Business Los Angeles, a monthly management journal for C-level executives of middle-market and large companies. Before you say it, let me do it for you: "The last thing I need is something else to read." I know how you feel. Running a growing organization is enough to keep anyone busy. The demands on our time from employees, suppliers and clients seems to increase every day. That's why we designed a unique publication. After 17 years in the publishing business, we know to listen to our readers. The publication you hold in your hands…
Last year marked the historic passage of health care reform. As provisions of the act begin their multiyear phase-in, health care organizations are clamoring to identify new and better ways to deliver the highest quality of care and improved clinical outcomes in a cost-effective manner. Smart Business turned to MemorialCare Health System President and CEO Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., whose organization has gained national attention as a unique model for establishing outstanding clinical care through best practice medicine. What is best practice medicine? Approximately 15 years ago, a group of MemorialCare physicians decided to make a difference in the way health…
As the future of national health reform legislation remains in question and California employers manage the impacts of health benefit cost increases of 150 percent over the last decade, Smart Business turned to Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System, for answers. What changes are expected from mid-term election results? The 2010 health care reform legislation is far from perfect, yet its goals to insure 32 million more Americans, eliminate barriers to coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and extend coverage to age 26 for many young people are big steps forward. Expect vigorous Congressional debate to…
Monday, 29 November 2010 19:00

Impactful operations

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Renee White Fraser has a simple goal – she wants to utilize communications to make the world better.“We take this to heart in the work we do,” says Fraser, president and CEO of Fraser Communications.But what really makes Fraser Communications unique is that it’s an agency run by a consumer psychologist and Fraser has established a corporate culture that seeks to give back to society. Her company has become unique in that its client roster is comprised of a mix of private and public sector accounts, which Fraser says keeps her team in the know about behaviors, changing behaviors and…
For many Americans, cancer is the most feared diagnosis. The lifetime probability of an invasive cancer is 44 percent for men and 38 percent for women. Yet significant advances and preventive measures are contributing to declining rates of cancer diagnoses and deaths. To learn more, Smart Business spoke to Philip Di Saia, M.D., medical director, the Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and world renowned leader and researcher in gynecologic oncology; and Jerry Finklestein, M.D., highly regarded pediatric oncologist and founding medical director of Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. What causes…
Thursday, 26 August 2010 20:00

The Chemla File

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Born: I was born in Tunisia when Tunisia was a French colony, and then when Tunisia [gained independence] we moved back to France, so I was in France when I was 9 years old.Education: Cachan University, outside of Paris. Studied economics and business for two years.Career: I left [Cachan] to help my father. He was in a clothing business and I was doing beautiful dresses and skirts. I did that for many years, and then decided to move to the United States, where I really wanted to go.I got the opportunity when I sat down with my friend of Club…
As founder and president of DOMA Properties, Scott Hamilton usually saw about 100 people coming in each week, but in 2007, that number suddenly dropped to about 25. Sales went from 12 to 15 a month down to just two or three.“It was interesting,” he says. “It was almost like somebody had turned a faucet off. … It was a big drop off, so it became pretty clear that something needed to change.”Hamilton decided that the company needed to buckle down to weather the downturn.“It forced us to adjust very quickly,” he says. “… We didn’t have the luxury of…
Monday, 26 July 2010 20:00

The Congdon file

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Born: Los AngelesEducation: Graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a degree in political science with an emphasis in American constitutional law and international relations What was your first job, and what did you learn from it? My first job was at Procter & Gamble, and I learned that I’m not made for big corporations. I like a more entrepreneurial atmosphere. I respected them a lot; they are big believers in brand, and so am I.I also learned that good people will hang around if you compensate them well. Procter & Gamble was pretty generous with their…
A centerpiece in the national health care reform agenda is the adoption of the electronic medical record (EMR) that promises to lower cost and improve quality. This revolution is bringing an end to millions of manila folders holding countless pieces of patient information and scribbled notes. In their place are EMRs that can transport patient information in real time with the click of a button. Smart Business turned to Diana Hendel, the CEO of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, to learn more. What is an electronic medical record? Electronic medical records contain a patient’s…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 20:00

Effective messaging

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Kent Holtorf is a medical doctor. And like any good doctor, he wants to put the people around him at ease.That’s not just his patients. That includes the doctors and staff members who comprise Holtorf Medical Group Inc., a franchisor of medical care practices that generated $12 million in 2008 revenue.Holtorf, founder, medical director and CEO, says a good leader drives goals and promotes accountability while fostering a nurturing, empowering culture that encourages camaraderie among the staff and offers opportunities for achievement.“I’m very lighthearted,” Holtorf says. “I never raise my voice. I tend to be a practical joker. It’s all…
Sunday, 25 April 2010 20:00

Goal focused

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Matt Haddad’s company is disruptive.It’s part of his business plan at Medversant Technologies LLC, a provider of IT solutions to health care companies.“We are disrupting processes in order to make an industry more efficient,” says Haddad, founder president and CEO of Medversant, which generated $5 million in 2009 revenue and is projecting $20 million in revenue this year. “In order to do that, you need to motivate people to think out of the box, to face tremendous resistance to what we’re trying to accomplish within the client’s own organizational structure.”To make that happen, Haddad and his leadership team need to…
Friday, 26 March 2010 20:00

Rooting for the messenger

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A business is mobile. And like any vehicle that has to get from point A to point B, it needs good sight lines for the driver.Peter Ross, co-founder and CEO of Senior Helpers, maintains his good sight lines through communications with employees and franchisees of the in-home assistance provider for senior citizens, which generated $65 million in 2009 revenue.“Line of sight in any organization is very important,” Ross says. “You do that shared vision and line of sight by constantly communicating those messages throughout the organization.”Ross says the key to keeping your basic operating principles in front of your employees…
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19:00

Strike up the brand

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During the course of the last year, executives at a large company in one Midwestern city scheduled an event to thank their present clients for remaining with them through the recession and to reach out to potential clients in an effort to prepare for growth. They rented a hall in a beautiful building for the morning, hired a speaker with a prominent name and attracted a crowd of about 2,500 people. Nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps, you have even scheduled a similar event. But as the event neared, the executives realized that they had a large problem. They had…
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19:00

Practice made perfect

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Adam D. Singer, M.D., says the doctors whom he oversees are living Shakespearean plays. “There’s happiness and new birth, and then there’s tragedy and death and everything in between going on in these hospitals,” says Singer, the founder, chairman and CEO of IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. “They’re comrades-in-arms because they’re dealing with so much human emotion every day they’re at work. So it’s very important that they find the right people that are going to live that tragedy with them.” Singer puts a lot of effort into hiring employees who will mesh with the rest of their team, but…
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 19:00

Preventing the exodus

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Week after uncomfortable week, Donald Trump leaned across the edge of his famous boardroom table, his hands locked together, his lips curled in a sneer, and stared some poor sucker right out the door. During eight seasons of his reality television show, “The Apprentice,” Trump has mastered the ability to pound out the two words that no employee, not even a contestant eager for fame and fortune, wants to hear. You’re fired. As has been the case so many times during the last couple of decades, Trump proved to be far ahead of the curve. He mastered the fine art…
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 19:00

Internal networking

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Martha Corbett eschews the traditional perch above her employees, clients and community organizations. Instead, she focuses on creating lateral connections, with her networks stretching out like a web around her.The way the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP executive looks at it, she’s simply building relationships out in every direction to stay in the loop.“I want to make sure that I don’t just have my own view of what’s going on — that I have a wider and broader perspective on what’s happening, what’s on their minds,” says Corbett, managing partner for the accounting firm’s Southern California/Phoenix market. “I don’t want to be the…
Saturday, 26 December 2009 19:00

Attention to quality

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It’s been a decade since the Institute of Medicine sent out shock waves with its report of widespread medical errors in America’s hospitals. While hospitals clamored to start measuring and improving patient quality and safety, MemorialCare Health System had started its journey years earlier by bringing together physicians, nurses and other clinicians to develop best medical practices that have been implemented at each of its hospitals. To learn more, Smart Business turned to Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., president and CEO of MemorialCare Health System and past chair of California Hospital Association.What else triggered the attention to quality?Quality has never been more…
Saturday, 26 December 2009 19:00

The Pagano File

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Born: Lawton, Okla. My dad was in the Army; Fort Sill is the Army base there. I’ve also lived in Japan, Italy, Honduras, Connecticut, Virginia and Kansas. Education: B.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin. I don’t think I ever really had a good plan for that. I certainly enjoyed going on archaeological digs in the summertime, but that really wasn’t a career. What was your first job; what did you learn from it? My first real job was working in a grocery store. I learned that I didn’t like working at a grocery store. It was kind of…
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 19:00

3 Questions

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Rick Rayson has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, including 20 years as a partner, during which he has worked with companies in the realms of technology, energy, manufacturing, distributing and media. He is Deloitte’s regional managing partner of audit and enterprise risk services in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Q. How often should a company meet with its accountant? In this age, we’re all Twittering, but I think constant and consistent communication does get back to the personal relationship and trust — though the number of meetings does depend on the nature of the relationship and…
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 19:00

The Vadnais File

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Born: MinneapolisEducation: Bachelor’s degree, UCLA; MBA, Golden Gate University; graduate of The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Executive Program and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business SchoolAt ValueClick: Vadnais has been CEO at ValueClick since May 2007. Since joining the company in October 2001, he has also served as general manager of the company’s Mediaplex and Commission Junction subsidiaries and president of U.S. operations. What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?Summer intern with IBM. I learned the importance of learning a lot about your business and your fellow workers in order to…
Monday, 26 October 2009 20:00

Multisite organization

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No matter what business you’re in or where you’re located, every business needs to communicate. If your customers can’t reach you and/or your employees can’t reach your clients, your business is at a standstill — no matter how great your product may be. Every business knows it needs to communicate, but many don’t spend the time or the effort to put together a truly functional communications plan. Telecommunication technology is constantly changing, and the next generation of communications solutions and services are revolutionizing the way in which businesses are communicating. Because of this, businesses need to evaluate their systems and…
Monday, 26 October 2009 20:00

Annual Web site reviews

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Undoubtedly, a great deal of time, effort and expense went into the design and launch of the Web site for your business. Ideally, prior to launch, you had ensured that your site was fully operational and functional, the proper terms of service and privacy policies were adopted, and both the site and user information were properly secure. Additionally, you should have obtained all necessary consents and licenses from third parties for incorporated material as well as taken steps to adequately protect your intellectual property rights in the materials presented on your site. Once launched, it is important to make sure…
Monday, 26 October 2009 20:00

5. Create a vision but revise as needed

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When the economy fell apart in mid-2008 and state budget gaps left her organization with a $3 million shortfall, Lisa Rubino realized the vision and plan she had established as president of Molina Healthcare of California needed to change. “As a leader, you’ve got to be able to create clarity out of chaos because there are so many things that could cause people to get out of focus,” Rubino says. Instead of turning her back on the vision she created for the 370-employee, $417 million subsidiary of $3-plus billion Molina Healthcare Inc., Rubino used it as a road map that…
Monday, 26 October 2009 20:00

1. Simplify the details

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Whenever your company does something new or implements change, people are often fuzzy on the details of what tomorrow’s business tools and ideas mean to them. That’s why Jose Royo, CEO of Ascent Media Corp., breaks down the complicated. Ascent is the world’s largest provider of integrated services for the creation, management and distribution of media content. Its digital distribution handles, among other things, everything done by Sony Pictures, distributing about 50 terabytes a week. Such technological complexity often leads to questions like: What’s a terabyte, and what does it mean for customers? “Simplicity helps a lot,” Royo says. “……