Akey position in your company needs to be filled. Is your first impulse to call a newspaper and place a classified ad? Post an opening on an online job board? If you’re looking for top quality talent, you may want to rethink your strategy, according to Christine Belliveau, account manager and staffing consultant for Principal Technical Services.
“The fact is, 80 percent of all positions are filled without ever being advertised,” says Belliveau. “The most talented individuals are well-known in the industry and therefore get calls all the time. They don’t need to answer ads, and chances are they will never see yours.”
Smart Business spoke with Belliveau about hiring strategies that can be used to locate the most qualified individuals, discern which ones are a good fit for your company and entice them to join your organization.
How do you find job candidates without running ads?
Network, network, network. If you’ve already done your homework, you’ve built an extensive network of people in your industry. You’ve been involved in organizations and societies whose members include leaders in your field. You’ve gone out of your way to make new contacts; collecting business cards at meetings and networking events.
Now that you’ve built your network, use it. Make a list of any contacts who might know someone with the qualifications you’re looking for. They could be business associates, recruiters, even current or past employees. Contact these individuals, ask about potential candidates and ask if any of their associates might be able to help locate candidates as well.
If you haven’t yet built such a network, get started today.
What are some strategies for building a network?
The goal is to meet as many people in your industry as possible. If you make an average of one new contact each day, you’re on the right track. Make an effort to attend events that will allow you to socialize with others in your field. Events may be sponsored by professional organizations, trade associations and business councils. The important thing to remember when attending these events is not to spend time talking with friends and co-workers. Time spent with them is time taken away from your primary purpose making new contacts to build your network.
It may seem obvious, but each individual added to your network is a potential source of other new contacts, and so on, and so on.
Another resource to tap into would be your local university. Offering to mentor students or give guest lectures provides an opportunity to meet talented individuals entering your field in the future, as well as the professors who can be on the lookout for talent for you.
How can companies make sure they’re hiring the best candidate for a job?
That’s a very important question. Too often in today’s fast-paced business world, personnel decisions are made quickly with minimal information about the candidate. Managers tend to spend more time investigating the merits of new software than new employees.
In light of today’s labor shortage and the war for talent, now is the time to carefully consider each hiring decision. If a candidate has an impressive resume and interviews well, ask yourself whether he or she fits in with your company’s culture. Will this person get along well with your current employees? Is this the type of person who inspires those around him/her to perform at their best? These qualities can’t usually be assessed in an interview. The best way to tease out this information is to invite the candidate to a social function dinner or a ball-game with future co-workers. Yes, this involves added investment of both time and money, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the form of increased productivity and decreased turnover.
How can the most talented individuals be convinced to accept a job offer?
We’re talking about individuals who are in high demand. In fact, most of them are currently employed, which means you’re going to have to steal them away from another company (hence, the expression ‘war for talent’). Many of them are satisfied with their current situation, and you’ll have to actively recruit them and entice them to change jobs.
Obviously, compensation will be a huge factor, but candidates will also be interested in other benefits, both tangible and intangible, that you can offer. Health insurance, 401(k) and paid time off are traditional benefits. More progressive ideas include flexible schedules, job sharing and telecommuting.
CHRISTINE BELLIVEAU is an account manager and staffing consultant for Principal Technical Services. Reach her at (888) 787-3711, ext. 31 or cbelliveau@PTSstaffing.com.
Your offices in Huntington Beach have a leaky roof. Who is responsible? You need to lease a warehouse in Houston. What are your options? You need to finance a new plant in Georgia. How can you leverage your assets and company credit to save millions of dollars?
“A national commercial real estate portfolio can be a complex organism,” says RJ Jesenski, senior vice president at Cresa Partners Orange County. “Strategic planning and the effective administration and management of a real estate portfolio spread across the country or across the globe requires a high level of real estate expertise.”
Smart Business spoke with Jesenski about how outsourcing real estate services can make managing a national real estate portfolio a stress-free experience.
Why is it helpful to have an outsourced real estate acquisition and management service?
Using an outsourced real estate team allows companies to focus on their core competencies. Specialized real estate management service providers maximize the effectiveness and bottom line impact of a company’s national real estate holdings. These real estate advisers have a high level of expertise and have established systems for efficiently managing acquisitions, holdings and dispositions. Also, using an outside service for real estate needs allows businesses to have a team of senior professionals that can expand or contract to meet their varying level of real estate needs without an impact on overhead.
How can a centralized real estate service help develop a strategic plan?
Partnering with a centralized real estate service provider allows clients to formulate a strategic plan that effectively integrates changing business needs with the company’s real estate assets. By carefully evaluating a client’s business outlook, skilled real estate advisers can work to fit and tailor their client’s real estate needs. This can include formulating a plan for how to best increase square footage in certain target markets. It can also mean formulating a disposition strategy for down-sizing real estate holdings through subleases, buy-outs and the sale of excess buildings in other markets.
The highly competitive nature of today’s business marketplace often requires simultaneous execution of seemingly opposing plans such as the acquisition of space in growing markets and the disposition of space in contracting markets. An experienced single-source service provider with a global reach typically provides the most effective solution.
How can a real estate service provider assist with maintenance of existing properties?
Specialized real estate advisers have the technical expertise and information systems that include databases that can track hundreds of leases simultaneously, including the detailed summaries of the terms and conditions governing the landlord-tenant relationship in each lease.
These systems ensure that routine tasks are completed accurately, including paying rent, renewing leases, and reviewing landlord requests for additional operating expense payments. Not only does this reduce strain on companies’ administrative staff, but also saves them money by avoiding late fees, the payment of inaccurate or inappropriate charges and eliminating administration inefficiency.
When maintenance issues arise, centralized real estate service providers can provide all of a company’s facilities with a single source to call.
Depending on the size of the client, real estate advisers can also help negotiate and implement national-level contracts.
How can a team of real estate advisers facilitate the purchase of new property?
Each company has a unique set of real estate requirements based on its preferences and needs. A dedicated group of real estate professionals that thoroughly understands a company’s real estate picture and the industry’s facility needs can accurately represent its clients and effectively negotiate contracts. Over time, a real estate team has an intrinsic understanding of specific clients’ requirements and standards. This creates ever-increasing efficiency and profitability in real estate deals.
How can a centralized real estate service provider assist with financing?
A centralized real estate service provider will help a company create and follow a comprehensive real estate acquisition strategy that can save millions of dollars through creative financing and sophisticated real estate transactions.
At the simplest level, if a business plans to undertake multiple projects in different states simultaneously, skilled advisers can leverage a favorable transaction with a single national landlord for most, if not all, of those projects.
At a more complex level, disciplined real estate planning and implementation can help companies leverage their credit and real estate portfolio to acquire facilities using creative capital markets financing structures that literally save millions of dollars in facility costs.
RJ JESENSKI is a senior vice president with Cresa Partners Orange County and has more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate. Reach him at email@example.com or (949) 706-6614.
Technological advances have allowed procedures that were formerly conducted exclusively at teaching hospitals to be performed at local community hospitals, providing many benefits to patients, their families and employers.
The endovascular stent graft procedure, used primarily to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms and thoracic aortic aneurysms, is an example of a minimally invasive procedure that extends life and replaces the maximally invasive surgery that was formerly used to treat these fairly common occurrences.
Not only does “localization of the procedure” make it more readily available to those who need it, there’s reduced recovery time and a lower risk of side effects associated with the surgery. All of that translates to lower costs in the form of reduced hospital stays, shorter disability periods and lower medical bills, says Dr. John Eugene, chair of cardiac surgery at Western Medical Center Anaheim.
“Because a patient often needs this surgery later in life, many were too ill to undergo the procedure when it was conventional surgery,” says Eugene. “Now we are able to treat more patients and extend their lives.”
Smart Business spoke with Eugene about the endovascular stent procedure and how it benefits patients.
Who is at risk for an aneurysm?
An aneurysm is a sac formed by the dilation of the wall of an artery, a vein, or the heart. Aneurysms can occur in the aorta either in the abdomen (abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA) or in the thorax (thoracic aortic aneurysm).
Those at greatest risk are males older than 60 years, people with an immediate relative who has had AAA, people with high blood pressure and smokers.
What is an endovascular stent graph?
An endovascular stent graft is a tube composed of fabric supported by a metal mesh called a stent. It can be used for a variety of conditions involving the blood vessels, but most commonly to reinforce a weak spot in an artery called an aneurysm. Over time, blood pressure and other factors can cause this weak area to bulge like a balloon and eventually enlarge and rupture. The stent graft seals tightly with your artery above and below the aneurysm. The graft, which is stronger than the weakened artery, allows blood to pass through it without pushing on the bulge.
What does the procedure involve and why is it less invasive?
Aortic aneurysms are potentially serious health problems since a burst aorta results in massive internal bleeding that can be fatal unless treated rapidly by an experienced emergency medical team. Endovascular stent graft repair is designed to help prevent an aneurysm from bursting. The term ‘endovascular’ means ‘inside blood vessels.’ To perform endovascular procedures, vascular surgeons use special technologies and instruments.
These procedures require only a small incision or puncture in an artery or vein. Through these punctures, a vascular surgeon inserts long thin tubes, called catheters, which carry the devices through your blood vessels to the location of the aneurysm. Generally, endovascular treatments allow you to leave the hospital sooner and recover more quickly, with less pain and a lower risk of complications (including death) than traditional surgery, because the incisions are smaller.
Sometimes traditional surgery is required if the shape or the location of the aneurysm is not favorable for an endovascular treatment.
How should I select a surgeon?
It is important to select a cardiovascular surgeon who has a great deal of experience with the procedure. With greater experience, competency increases and complication rates decrease. All medical centers benchmark their outcomes, so be certain to ask about the center’s and the cardiovascular surgeon’s performance. Also, write down all of your questions, so you remember to ask them when you visit the surgeon for your consultation.
The cardiovascular surgeon should be willing to discuss every detail of the surgery with you. There are great sources of information available to help patients understand their options, the procedures and any risks.
How does having the availability of this procedure here in Orange County benefit the community?
Prior to this procedure becoming available locally, many patients had to travel to find hospitals that could accommodate them. The waiting lists were long. Also, the cardiovascular surgeons were located by the facilities, so travel was required for follow-up visits, and in the event of an emergency no local physician was available who was trained to provide treatment.
DR. JOHN EUGENE is chair of cardiac surgery at Western Medical Center Anaheim. For more information about cardiothoracic surgery at Western Medical Center Anaheim, phone (714) 502-2668, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site www.westernmedanaheim.com.
Each client in private banking has a relationship with his or her own private banker. Beyond credit needs, private-banking clients have available and may draw upon other specialists like securities/investments, trust services, insurance and financial planning.
Smart Business spoke with Mark Nakamaru, a senior vice president and group manager of private banking at Comerica Bank, about what types of services private bankers provide, how individuals and businesses alike can benefit and what factors to consider when looking for a private banking partner.
What are some of the services that private bankers provide?
Their primary focus is to address the financing needs of their clients, although in some cases, this extends to the businesses that they are associated with. Service-related companies such as law firms, CPA firms and medical practices are some examples of private banking businesses. Private bankers provide one-stop banking including customized credit facilities, a full array of deposit products, securities investments, asset management, insurance and financial planning. One private banking relationship manager can help deliver all the financial needs for both an individual and his or her business.
How can a company benefit from private banking lending options?
With any business, there is a need for a multitude of services and products. We provide a wide array of services such as traditional depository products, treasury management, merchant services and foreign exchange, to name a few.
Also, a company benefits from a private banker’s ability to customize service needs, as well as banking the principals of the company. Private bankers have the ability to underwrite, structure and approve loan requests in-house, providing quick decisions and customized loans for clients.
How do stock option loans work?
Let’s say a senior executive of a company has stock options that are coming due in six months. He has a tremendous opportunity today on an investment he wants to take advantage of. We can structure a loan for him today with repayment to come from the stock options he will eventually exercise. There is some risk to this. He may not want to exercise his stock options if the stock price drops below the strike price. But we will look for ways to mitigate this risk and structure this loan for him.
How can a company use a mortgage as collateral for a loan?
We can establish a line of credit for a business using the equity in the owner’s personal residence or commercial building as collateral. This may provide a lower interest rate and extended terms on the line of credit. A start-up company, for example, could benefit from this type of loan as it provides additional collateral.
The process to establish this type of loan mirrors the steps one would take to borrow individually for an equity line of credit.
What types of questions should one ask when looking for a private banking partner?
I would inquire about the approval process for loan requests. Does the prospective partner use loan centers for approval or does it have the ability to underwrite and approve loans in-house? There could be advantages or disadvantages with either, depending on your needs.
Another key issue is the lending limit of the bank. If it is a small community bank, there are restrictions as to how much money it can lend. A client who is looking for a large credit facility would not be well served by a bank with a house limit that cannot match his credit needs.
The lending experience of your private banker should also match your credit needs. A real estate investor, for example, should ask if the bank actively participates in this market. If so, your private banker should have the real estate experience to help facilitate the real estate loans you require.
Remember, all banks will tell you that they provide great service. Before choosing a bank and/or private banker, have a face-to-face meeting. The candidate should be quite convincing in its commitment to back up its claims.
MARK NAKAMARU is senior vice president and group manager for private banking at Comerica Bank. Reach him at (714) 435-3963 or email@example.com.
Place of birth: Southampton, England
Education: Two bachelor’s degrees, California State University, San Bernardino; master’s degree, business administration, University of California, Riverside
First job: Salesman with IBM
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Ted Smith, founder of FileNet. He’s an innovator, an entrepreneur, and because of the view he has of giving back to the community. Tom Watson Sr. and Tom Watson Jr., both CEOs of IBM who basically invented a new industry. Steve Jobs, because of his innovation and his ability to come back to Apple and reinvent the company.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Never give up. You’ve got to have the courage of your convictions.
What is your favorite business book?
“The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu
What three characteristics are most valuable for a CEO?
Strategic thinking, the ability to build a great team and communications skills. You can be really smart, but if you can’t articulate it, you’re in trouble, and if you can’t build the right team, you won’t succeed.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’d like to think that I’m somewhat consensus-driven, but also a little autocratic. In the world we live in, the ability to make a rapid decision and execute those decisions maniacally is very important, but it’s also important to do those things to get people to buy in and join you.
Even the most altruistic employees want to be a part of their employers’ success when the profits begin to roll in, says Mingo Lee.
“It’s easier said than done when you’re the owner to say, ‘Don’t worry, we’re debt-free. We’re putting everything back into the company so we can keep growing healthy,’” says Lee, co-founder and CEO of Wahoo’s Fish Taco. “You need to realize the difference between your sweat equity and the things you are gaining from this as an owner, and the guy who doesn’t have any shares in the company. You’ve got to gain an appreciation for where they are.”
So Lee began to look at debt financing as another option for expansion. At the same time, he enhanced compensation packages, offered more health insurance and began to offer profit-sharing plans.
Now, with more than 600 employees at more than 40 locations, the chain of restaurants which offers a mix of Mexican/Brazilian/Asian cuisine has grown from $34.6 million in 2004 to more than $40 million in 2006.
Smart Business spoke with Lee about the importance of relying on instinct in successfully growing a business.
Q: What skills must a good CEO have?
Be compassionate and an understanding leader, somebody who has grown up in the business who has touched every part of the business and really understands and values each one of the employees.
Be decisive. Once you start waffling at the top, I think that really confuses not only your management team, but it just trickles down.
From week to week or month to month, if the direction of the company is changing or even simple operational things are changing, I think that sends a gray message to your crew. All that our good employees want to do is to know what the expectations are and then execute. If you can’t set those expectations and you’re always changing them, it leaves everybody in a state of confusion.
Our management style is very hands-on. It’s to show, demonstrate, teach and re-teach. From top to bottom, there is no wearing a suit and tie at Wahoo’s. You’re getting in the fire right alongside your teammates and employees.
Q: How can a lack of direction hinder growth?
It is the quickest way to have everybody wandering about aimlessly. If you’re not able to follow up on the projects that you delegate, you might as well not even delegate them to begin with. Nobody will have a measuring stick to see that they have arrived and achieved what the expectations were.
Ultimately, they will get to the end of the project and move on to the next, and conceivably, they’ve not even done that right. But they’ve kept on going because nobody has done the follow-up.
We’re always here and we do care about our company and we want to be available to everyone. It’s probably not the most crucial aspect of our management style, but I do believe that keeps our staff engaged.
Q: How do you deal with mistakes?
It’s like seeing your child gain greater and greater independence and feeling that yes, you’ve given them all the tools to succeed, and now you’ve got to step back and let them make some mistakes.
You can’t be there for every decision, nor do you want to be there for every decision. I try to communicate that to my staff.
Before, you might have asked me for the answer; now, I want you to come to me with a couple of different solutions in mind and let’s work through how you came up with those. If you make a mistake and it’s serious enough, we’ll figure a way out of it.
Ultimately, if we make a couple of mistakes along the way, we’re going to learn from them, and next time, you’ll be making decisions. I’m not saying I always make the right decisions, but you’ll be making decisions in the future in the same style or direction that I would have made them, and we’ll all feel better.
Q: How do you earn loyalty from your employees?
You can create an equity program, but shy of creating some type of ownership program for your people, you need to appreciate that they need to take care of their families and their needs.
There is a cap that you will be able to pay everybody. But you should realize that some of the things you feel good about in being debt-free and plowing everything into the company are not necessarily satisfying the emotional needs of your management team in making them feel that they’ve got some future security here.
You can sit and go for a longer-term view and build equity, hoping maybe for some sort of exit strategy somewhere down the road. That same situation does not exist for your management team unless you go the way of creating some type of ownership.
HOW TO REACH: Wahoo’s Fish Taco, (949) 222-0670 or www.wahoos.com
The best decision a company can make is to pursue activities that generate income, and then delegate auxiliary responsibilities to specialists with learned efficiencies in those areas.
“Today, many companies are finding that partnerships with staffing providers keep the bottom line moving in the right direction,” says Jenny McCambridge, staffing consultant for Principal Technical Services. “There are many features to consider when selecting a firm that will be used to help provide supplemental staffing.”
Smart Business spoke with McCambridge about how companies can be competitive in today’s marketplace for human capital and what to consider when looking for a firm that can give your company an advantage.
What should a company look for in a staffing provider?
Staffing is not a commodity. There is a wide range of service offerings and specific industry experience among staffing providers.
Look for an agency that has experience and a proven track record within your industry. Agency personnel should have an extensive network, including contact with organizations and societies whose membership consists of qualified potential employees. These types of connections enable the staffing provider to efficiently access the most sought-after talent with the specific skill sets needed to augment your current workforce.
It’s also helpful to choose a staffing provider with a high employee-retention rate. The last thing you want is to have a worker assigned to your company and then have him lured away a month later by a more attractive job offer.
What encourages workers to stay with a particular staffing provider?
There is a direct correlation between the level of employee benefits offered and the staffing provider’s ability to attract and retain highly qualified workers. It is important to make sure that the staffing provider offers its worksite employees a comprehensive benefits package comparable to one that your core staff members might receive. Employee benefits most desired by workers include health and dental insurance with employer contribution, 401(k) investment program, direct deposit and paid time off (PTO) for vacations and holidays.
While some staffing providers offer immediate eligibility (i.e., no waiting periods), others withhold benefits for up to a year. An agency that offers immediate benefits is more likely to attract and retain high quality talent.
Staffing providers also differ widely in the types of benefits, such as health plans they choose to offer their employees. Like immediate eligibility, a more comprehensive health plan attracts higher-caliber individuals and reduces turnover.
The worksite employees are also more likely to stay with a staffing provider that consistently pays a market-rate wage.
Who determines the supplemental staff employee’s wage rate?
Traditionally, it’s been the staffing provider but it really should be the customer. The supplemental staff employee’s skill sets and experiences will be comparable to those of a company’s in-house staff only if he receives a comparable wage rate. The client should determine what the wage rate should be and then look for a staffing provider that will offer a competitive bill rate corresponding to that wage rate. Keep in mind that the lowest bill rate is not always the best choice. A quality benefits package will increase the bill rate, but will pay for itself by attracting talented employees and decreasing turnover.
What is the relationship between the wage rate and the bill rate?
The relationship between the wage rate paid to a supplemental staff employee and the bill rate charged to a company is referred to as the multiplier. The multiplier is affected by the wage rate, employer tax requirements, costs of employee benefits and markup for the staffing firm. The lower the multiplier, the greater percentage of the bill rate goes directly to the worksite employees of the staffing company and the lower the profit margin to the staffing provider.
Historically, staffing providers has been reluctant to disclose multiplier information, but in order to know what the wage rate paid to the worker is and how it relates to the bill rate, ask to see a copy of the staffing provider’s published rate schedule. This should outline the cost of each component of the multiplier.
JENNY MCCAMBRIDGE is an account manager and staffing consultant for Principal Technical Services. Reach her at (888) 787-3711, ext. 32, or jmccambridge@PTSstaffing.com.
As businesses grow and seek additional space to house their expanding operations, a question they must frequently consider is whether to buy a building and enjoy the benefits of a rising real estate market or lease a structure and leave the chore of maintenance to someone else.
Business owners often make a default assumption that leasing is the best alternative, says Kenneth Dill, vice president at Cresa Partners Orange County, a corporate real estate advisory firm. But purchasing a building could be a wiser choice, and only a thorough financial analysis can reveal the risks and benefits of ownership.
“Most executives know the ins and outs of their business line extremely well, but are less skilled at making conclusions about the real estate market and developing strategies that help them get the best deal on a property,” Dill says.
Smart Business spoke to Dill about how companies should approach the decision of owning versus leasing commercial property.Why would someone want to lease a property instead of purchasing it?
Basically, leasing seems attractive because you can execute a lease with no money down, you have no responsibility for the management of the building, and you often have the right to find a sub-tenant to absorb unused space. Also, there are some tax benefits to leasing, and the monthly payment even with escalation clauses is predictable.
However, more and more leases are created with increases of 3 percent to 4 percent a year, regardless of where inflation stands. Even under such a scenario, for someone who needs a new building right away, the whole approach just appears less cumbersome. In fact, a business owner who would never consider renting an apartment for his personal use will often consider leasing a building.
What are the benefits of ownership?
In some ways, it’s no different from you or me deciding to buy a house. But often the value is not readily apparent to a business. Among the most obvious benefits are that you can make renovations to the structure; the operating hours are flexible; the problem of complaining neighbors is eliminated; and the costs are better defined and static because your payments stay the same while the mortgage interest is tax deductible. Additionally, you can enjoy the benefits of depreciation, even if it is spread out over decades. And you never have to worry about the landlord not renewing your lease, an especially common problem in markets with strong demand. Remember that there might be someone who will be willing to pay more for your space.
If you believe that the market for real estate will increase, and you can project your company’s space needs for the next five to 10 years, it’s to your benefit to buy.
What are some of the barriers to buying?
The biggest hurdle is securing a down payment while the next-biggest challenge is managing the building. The first issue could be overcome with Small Business Administration loans and other financing mechanisms. However, the key determinant in the decision to buy or lease is the ability of a business to keep generating a good cash flow. What we do is make projections over a 10-year horizon based on market conditions and a firm’s cash flow to determine which option is the best.
How do you do that?
We look at a number of factors such as maintenance costs, the cost of servicing a loan versus a lease, and the net present value of future cash flows. In other words, by understanding all the risk parameters that we can, we’re able to break out in a spreadsheet the costs associated with each option.
Then, there’s the matter of ‘kicking the tires.’ After we personally identify a series of properties, we preview these alternatives to arrive at a short list. The next step is to send out an RFP to select building owners that asks a series of questions about the possible uses and condition of their building. This is valuable because we always want to have something in writing from them in which they assess the quality of their structure. Based on their answers to our questions, we narrow down the facilities to consider. We will tour the building jointly with our client, allowing him to ask the owner questions such as how to re-configure the building to house his operations while we then pinpoint the various real estate issues that could arise from the deal. We also get experts to evaluate the integrity of the buildings under consideration. In the process, we hope to identify areas of concern to a buyer, such as the state of the HVAC units or the electrical wiring.
KENNETH DILL is vice president at the Newport Beach offices of Cresa Partners Orange County. Reach him at (949) 706-6630 or KDill@cresapartners.com.
At any time, CEOs and corporate employees may find themselves in need of a trauma center. On an annual basis, the three trauma centers in Orange County treat between 4,000 to 5,000 patients, mostly as a result of blunt traumas such as car accidents or falls.
The difference between life and death following a trauma is time. Survival often rests on how quickly the patient can be seen by a physician and receives the necessary specialized help. Enter the role of the trauma center, which differs greatly from the standard emergency room.
“You can’t go to just any hospital following an accident,” says Frank Nastanski, M.D., associate director of trauma at Western Medical Center Santa Ana. “Its general surgeon might need to be summoned from home, and an hour may be too long to wait for a patient with a bleeding spleen.”
“We are part of a community safety net, and we save lives,” says Humberto Sauri, M.D., medical director of trauma at Western Medical Center Santa Ana.
Smart Business spoke with Nastanski and Sauri about why access to a trauma center is vital and how it saves lives.
What makes a trauma center different from a standard emergency room?
Trauma centers have operating rooms that are set-up for immediate use. They are staffed with operating room teams, including an anesthesiologist and a trauma surgeon who are on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week. We also have specialists on call who can handle any type of emergency situation. These include plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, replant specialists, pediatricians, urologists and pulmonary cardiologists. Our nursing staff is also certified for trauma, and we have the equipment and the necessary supplies available to treat for trauma, such as blood for transfusions.
In addition to trauma certification, as the professional staff treats more patients, they gain experience and the outcomes are better. Trauma centers have that experience because they are fully dedicated to trauma; they don’t dabble in it. In addition, they are required to take extra educational units every year in trauma treatment.
How are trauma centers certified?
Orange County was one of the first places in the country to have an organized trauma system. The accrediting body, the American College of Surgeons, which conducts an annual two-day site review, has certified Western Medical Center in Santa Ana as a Level II trauma center.
How can CEOs benefit from the trauma center?
The presence of a trauma center is great security for employees. Because we are centrally located in Santa Ana, we rarely need to airlift anyone to the trauma center, which saves time, money and lives.
Most paramedics treat patients and triage them at the scene, but they need to have somewhere to take them. We have a better than accepted survival rate, and prospective employees will take the presence of a trauma center into consideration when deciding to relocate to Orange County.
Recently, we treated a construction worker who had fallen 40 feet while working on a new supermarket. We were able to save his life. If that same accident had happened somewhere else in the country where the resources of a trauma center were not available, the outcome might not have been as positive. Workers who are injured on the job are also brought into the trauma center, and that contributes to great piece of mind for CEOs.
Even though trauma centers see critically injured people, we are able to save lives because we are trained and staffed to handle any type of injury. You never know when it could be you, a family member or an employee that requires the services of a trauma center.
FRANK NASTANSKI, M.D., is associate medical director of trauma at Western Medical Center Santa Ana.
HUMBERTO SAURI, M.D., is medical director of trauma at Western Medical Center Santa Ana. For more information visit www.westernmedicalcenter.com/HospitalServices/DesignatedTraumaCenter.
As executives plan for their retirements and ways to secure their families’ futures, they have traditionally set up wills and trusts to pass along wealth to their children and to mitigate tax consequences.
These types of estate-planning documents can provide peace of mind for executives, along with financial security.
A relatively new way to pass along a sense of ethics and values that helped to create the family wealth is the Family Incentive Trust (FIT). The FIT provides more than just a vehicle to distribute assets; it establishes a framework that correlates to the beliefs of the grantor and helps reduce the worry that heirs will make errors or life choices that are not reversible.
Executives and CEOs who have worked hard and put a great deal of effort into building their wealth don’t want a child to become a less-than-productive member of society because of a significant inheritance, says Kerry-Michael Finn, vice president of financial planning for the Western Market of Comerica Bank.
Smart Business spoke with Finn about how FITs can help high-net-worth individuals assure the future for their families.
What is an FIT?
An FIT is a trust that passes along assets to the next generation, while trying to minimize potential negative effects. For example, the trust may specify that the inheritance be passed along through income matching or it can be distributed based upon clauses that require the heirs to achieve specific education levels or contribute community service time.
Income matching can be very valuable, because it may allow an heir to pursue a career in teaching or philanthropy that might not otherwise be an affordable option. It is also possible to tie monetary rewards to other achievements, such as refraining from drug or alcohol abuse or raising a family. Monetary awards can also provide the capital to make a down payment on a home or start a business.
How can CEOs benefit from having an FIT?
If the family business is privately held, it may be possible to pass along the ownership through the trust and preserve the same values that built the business. Even if the wealth has been built through a career in public companies, the concept of transferring values as well as cash can still be achieved.
How can I make certain that an FIT is a positive motivation for my heirs?
This can be accomplished by making certain that the document is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of circumstances while allowing each heir to become successful in his or her own way. For example, placing a requirement of obtaining a four-year university degree might not be achievable for everyone, but receiving a certificate through a trade or technical college as a substitute might be the type of incentive that will transfer the value without placing an unreasonable restriction on the heir.
If I currently have an existing trust, can it be amended to include an FIT?
In some cases, yes. Incentive language can be added or incorporated into an existing trust document. It may be best to review the existing trust as some tax laws may have changed since it was originally drafted, so it might be more efficient to draft a new document.
What measures can I take to make certain the FIT is flexible enough to handle unforeseen circumstances?
When an FIT is created as an irrevocable trust, it has a safety net built in, because the assets in the trust are not considered as assets of the beneficiary and generally cannot be attached by creditors or subject to division through a divorce decree.
The standard provisions of an FIT allow for additional distributions based upon the need for health, education or maintenance and support by the heirs. In addition, the FIT allows for additional distributions at the discretion of the trustee.
I normally recommend that the trustee be a family friend, attorney or accountant along with an institution. In these cases, having a family friend and an institution serving as co-trustees can be beneficial, because the institution will outlive the individual trustee. It is always good to start the process well in advance, so that the staff at the institution can get to know you and your values and thus make decisions and interpretations that they believe are in line with your core beliefs. I also recommend that grantors draft a letter or statement that very specifically states their beliefs and wishes for this trust.
KERRY-MICHAEL FINN is vice president of financial planning for Comerica Bank. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 424-3823.