August 5, 2020

Richard Franzi’s dynamic CEO Peer Group™ is transforming the lives of hundreds of business executives in an explosive, confidential and trusting environment.

By Rick Weinberg, Editor, California Business Journal. 

Email: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / Mobile: 949-648-3815

Richard Franzi CEO Peer Groups Critical Mass For BusinessWHEN RICHARD FRANZI WAS PROMOTED FROM VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING TO PRESIDENT OF DELPHI CONNECTION SYSTEMS IN 2005, he was ecstatic, to say the least — but he wasn’t quite sure he was prepared for the daunting task.

“Up to that point, all my experience was as a VP was in sales and marketing,” he says. “I didn’t exactly know what I needed to learn and experience, but I knew I needed something to do the best job possible.”

So he researched various educational programs.

Few companies possess the consultative approach and the overall talent of Cynthia Ferguson’s high-end sign and imaging firm.

By Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal.

Email: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / Mobile: 949-648-3815

Focal Point Lobby SignWHEN CYNTHIA FERGUSON LEFT HER HIGH-PROFILE POSITION AT A HIGHLY-SUCCESSFUL INTERNET COMPANY, she pondered her future.

Luckily, the decade she spent helping to build the largest automotive classified web site in the country had its perks — namely stock options, which afforded her the luxury of launching her own company.

She looked at buying a franchise, but deferred.

“When you look at entering into a franchise agreement, you’re handcuffed on what you can and can’t do because of compliance requirements,” she says. “I wanted to create a company that would not be so narrowly defined on what we did.

“I wanted to put my own stamp on it.”

The Jaguar Land Rover Anaheim Hills Parts Department staff epitomizes General Manager Sven Larson’s philosophy: Employing personnel who live, breath, eat and sleep the iconic British brands.

By California Business Journal

Jaguar Land Rover Anaheim Hills parts California Business Journal

Jay Allen (foreground), Darrin Simmons, Steve Hamm, Victor Sanchez and Robert Isham (back).

ONE OF THE UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS of Jaguar Land Rover Anaheim Hills is that everywhere you turn – sales, service, finance and parts – you encounter personnel who live, breath, eat and sleep the iconic British brands.

This is just the way Sven Larson envisioned the dealership to be when he was hired as General Manager of the first Rusnak Auto Group store in Orange County and the first one in the world-class automobile organization to feature Land Rover.

Larson imagined a staff of career-oriented Land Rover and Jaguar enthusiasts who are experienced with the brands and its product line. He did not want people “who are just passing through to their next job,” he says. Not at all. He wants personnel who plan to make Jaguar and Land Rover their career, their livelihood.

The dealership’s Parts Department epitomizes Larson’s philosophy.

Jay Allen is the architect of the department – and his life revolves around Land Rover.

Allen takes Land Rover devotion to a new state of Zen. Consider this:

Bicycle Brüstop not only sells, fixes and maintains bicycles — you can sip a beer as you shop, wait for your bike to be serviced, or debate the most scenic bike trails.

Edited by Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal. Email: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / Mobile: 949-648-3815

bicycle brustopVODKA AND CAVIER. WINE AND CHEESE. BEER AND … BICYCLES?

While one may not think that beer and bicycles necessarily go together, Carolyn and Aaron Thompson — and a handful of other bicycle/beer enthusiasts across the country — are of a different mindset.

That’s why the Thompson decided to open Bicycle Brüstop in downtown Novato, California.

The 2,400 square-foot shop is really much more focused on serious bicyclists than the beer, but Aaron likes to think of the beer — and the chocolate milk and other beverages they offer — as more of a perk, a value-added means to an end, something folks will remember them by.

Parents dread having to run around town to several stores several weeks in a row to pick up more than 40 different school items for their children. Now they don’t have to.

By California Business Journal staff.

Meir pad pens1The beginning of every school year starts with parents running and rushing around town trying to find, collect and purchase all the right items for each of their children’s school supply list.

The task is daunting – not to mention aggravating.

Dennis Backer has reinvented himself and his business model numerous times because of the economic landscape. And each time, he has flourished.

By Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal

Email: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / Mobile: 949-648-3815

Blitz Mogul Dennis Backer

WHEN IT COMES TO REINVENTING AND TRANSFORMING YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS MODEL, Dennis Backer is a master.

Backer’s first love is video and TV production; it defines who he is. It’s what he’s all about. It’s been his life … since he was a child.

After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Film, Backer launched his own TV and video production firm, shooting everything from interviews and commercials to corporate marketing and training videos. He was dealing some of the biggest and most well-respected companies and agencies in the world, including Compaq Computer and NASA.

Life was grand.

But then the 2008 economic crash hit. Then flip phones capable of shooting video became red hot, “putting video directly into the hands of consumers,” Backer says. Then smart phones – and their video capabilities – took over.

As a result, businesses, already suffering from the recession, slashed their budgets, and whatever videos they were doing, they were doing themselves.

“It wasn’t very good,” Backer says, “but it was cheap.”