WHEN 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.”
WHEN 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.
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
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
VODKA 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.
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.”