Issue 3

Cigar Review: Winter 2016

Ave Maria Divinia Toro Tubo Nicaragua     6.0” x 54     Medium-Full 94-Rated Justifiably, it was tough clipping the cap of this flawless Habano Sun Grown-wrapped Toro. Ecuador-born, this leaf offers ample notes of black pepper and a luxurious sweetness that lingers long on the finish. Feisty long-fillers grown throughout Nicaragua reside within, adding deep hints of […]

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Ave Maria Divinia Toro Tubo

Nicaragua     6.0” x 54     Medium-Full

94-Rated

Justifiably, it was tough clipping the cap of this flawless Habano Sun Grown-wrapped Toro. Ecuador-born, this leaf offers ample notes of black pepper and a luxurious sweetness that lingers long on the finish. Feisty long-fillers grown throughout Nicaragua reside within, adding deep hints of cocoa, coffee, earth, and nuts. From start to finish, a savory Cuban-esque twang teases the taste buds as thick smoke swirls about the palate. Bold and complex yet refined.

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Davidoff Escurio Gran Toro

Dominican Republic     5.5” x 58     Medium

92-Rated

Rich and flavorful, that’s Escurio in a tasty, tasty nutshell. Outside, you’ll notice a lovely Ecuador Habano wrapper that’s dark and glistening with oils. Waiting beneath, an eventful marriage of Brazilian and Dominican long-fillers. Notes of cream complement spicy-sweet nuances, awakening the palate for subtleties of leather, sweet oak, and a dash of nutmeg. Instant satisfaction from first light and medium in body.

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Gurkha Cellar Reserve Solara

Dominican Republic     7.0” x 52     Medium-Full

95-Rated

Silky to the touch, the Cellar Reserve combines extensively aged Dominican long-fillers with a Dominican Olor binder and a beautiful Criollo ’98 wrapper. As expected, each puff is elegant and smooth. Noble flavors gradually gain intensity during the burn, including sweet cedar, leather, and cocoa bean. A nutty influence joins the fray midway through, adding yet another tasty sensation towards the full-flavored finale. Sophisticated throughout.

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La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black No. 64

Dominican Republic     6.25” x 64     Full

92-Rated

Solid from head to toe, this girthy vitola is heavy in the hand and oily to the touch. Cloaked by a dark ligero wrapper, Serie R Black is a Nicaraguan puro chock full of aged long-fillers from Jalapa and Esteli. Layered with complexity, expect competing notes of black pepper, earth, and coffee backed by underlying hints of cedar, cream, and sweet spices. Outlandish in size, but no doubt enjoyable.

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Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne Epicure

Nicaragua      6.0” x 54     Mild-Medium

93-Rated

Where mild-bodied meets full-flavored. Nicaraguan long-fillers and Connecticut wrappers meet to produce an exceedingly creamy bouquet and aromatic clouds of white smoke. Rich tobacco, coffee, toasted wood, and a unique sweetness all dominate with each puff, just before the slightest touch of pepper lingers on the finish. Mellow, but Nicaraguan to the core and suitable for everyone.

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What is Private Aviation?

Upon meeting new people, I usually answer the inevitable question “What do you do?” with “I’m in Private Aviation”.  Frequently the questioner either looks confused or their eyes light up with visions of movie stars and famous people.  The reality of Private Aviation is neither mysterious nor exclusively for the rich and famous.  I generally […]

Upon meeting new people, I usually answer the inevitable question “What do you do?” with “I’m in Private Aviation”.  Frequently the questioner either looks confused or their eyes light up with visions of movie stars and famous people.  The reality of Private Aviation is neither mysterious nor exclusively for the rich and famous.  I generally tell people who ask that it’s like a limo in the sky, but that’s really only one very small part of it.

Most people haven’t given too much thought to Private Aviation, other than what they see and read in the news about how the ‘rich and famous’ travel.  They do not understand that it is an important industry in the United States.  Private Aviation is a major contributor to the U.S GDP.  It contributes $150 Billion (that’s with a B!) to the U.S. economy and employs over 1.2 million people.  The majority of aircraft are manufactured, maintained, & serviced right here in the U.S.  Some of the jobs included in the 1.2 million are manufacturers, pilots, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, schedulers, airport support personnel, training personnel, caterers, ground transportation providers, etc.  Not to mention Government oversight jobs!
You have heard that saying, “you can’t get there from here!.”  With Private Aviation you can get much closer!  Private Aviation services roughly 5,000 more airports than scheduled airlines.  This is important to note when considering the value of time.  Instead of flying on a scheduled airline to one of the airline hubs and driving an hour or so to the destination and back, Private Aviation can get you much closer. For example, consider an aircraft owner who has business locations scattered throughout the Midwest.  He is able to visit his plants, sometimes several in a day, and get back home to dinner with his family.  That’s just not possible with scheduled airlines.

Another service not readily recognized that Private Aviation provides is transportation for organ transplants.  Timing is critical and private aircraft carry medical teams and also organs on life saving missions.  Air Care Alliance, Angel Flight, and Corporate Angel Network are just a few of the humanitarian organizations which utilize Private Aviation.
Private Aviation has also responded to natural disasters by delivering recovery teams and supplies.  In 2010, more than 1,400,000 pounds of critical supplies were flown to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.  The local supplies donated and delivered to Hurricane Sandy relief is well documented.  LR Services was the first company based at ABE to send an aircraft loaded with relief supplies to the collection point in New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy. These are just two examples of the humanitarian contributions that are made via the use of Private Aviation.

So you see, there is more to Private Aviation than flying famous people!  The Private Aviation Industry is critical to the infrastructure of the United States.  In terms of economics, employment, and the success of business, Private Aviation plays a vital part.  For more information, contact NBAA.org.

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How to Choose the Perfect Vacation Villa in Any Country

Back in the 80’s renting a vacation house meant booking a week at the Jersey shore. Today 50% of Americans are choosing villa rentals worldwide instead of the traditional hotels. The reason this trend is growing is the same regardless if you are vacationing in Venice Florida or Venice Italy.  A villa rental offers more […]

Back in the 80’s renting a vacation house meant booking a week at the Jersey shore. Today 50% of Americans are choosing villa rentals worldwide instead of the traditional hotels. The reason this trend is growing is the same regardless if you are vacationing in Venice Florida or Venice Italy.  A villa rental offers more space, providing families and friends to spend more time together.  It also offers privacy, flexibility and the opportunity to experience life like a local.

The most difficult part of planning a villa vacation is choosing the right villa to meet everyone’s needs. It requires advance research or a consultation with a villa rental professional.  You will also need to understand each person’s expectations of the perfect villa.  Realize it will be nearly impossible to get everyone to agree on all points, but with a little compromise you can have an amazing villa experience.

To prevent the stress caused by multiple opinions, choose one or two persons to narrow down the choices to three.  Ask the group to list one or two things that are on their must see list and send the compilation back to the group for a vote.  The most votes will be placed on the itinerary.  From this information, you can determine the best villa location that will be central to a majority of the day trips you are planning.  This is important to minimize your travel time.

Understand each person’s expectations. Some are happy to stay close to home enjoying the villa and surrounding areas.  Others are more on the go.  Does the villa need to be within walking distance to a town in case some want to stay behind while the others take a day trip?

Separate the essential versus the desired.  You may not be able to live without air conditioning and Wi-Fi, but can you give up walking distance to a village for an extraordinary villa that meets all other criteria?

Calculate the needs of your group.  How many couples, singles, kids, and teenagers? This will determine the configuration of the bedrooms.  Must everyone have their own bathroom, or are they willing to share? Must there be an en suite or a hall bathroom is sufficient?  Do you need everyone to be under one roof, or are the teenagers or grandparents willing to stay in the adjacent cottage?  Do you desire activities such as croquet, bocce, or bat mitten for home entertainment?

Now it seems everything is classified as a villa.  You need to know there are multiple types of rental homes:  farmhouses and cottages; independent or part of a resort, rustic or elegant.  They also can be fully staffed, self-catering or staffed on request.

As the industry grows, there are more and more villas available with many more booking options in the past.  If you cannot visit the property yourself, it’s wise to use a professional villa agent who has inspected the villa, knows the area and suggest the right villa to meet your standards.  If you do rent on line, make sure to speak to someone directly to avoid fraud and disappointment.

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Amarone: One of the World’s Great Red Wines

Sometime in the early part of the 20th century, a dry style of Recioto began to emerge, most likely by accident. It is entirely possible that a few barrels of Recioto destined to become sweet wine simply slipped by an inattentive wine maker and finished fermenting to dryness. Or it could be that the popular […]

Sometime in the early part of the 20th century, a dry style of Recioto began to emerge, most likely by accident. It is entirely possible that a few barrels of Recioto destined to become sweet wine simply slipped by an inattentive wine maker and finished fermenting to dryness. Or it could be that the popular tale of winemakers away during the World Wars couldn’t be home to watch and tend to the wines, with the same effect. In any case, Amarone as we know it in its full-bodied dry style only appeared in the 1930’s, and it was even later in the 1950’s that it began to first be sold commercially. When the winemakers discovered that their formerly sweet Recioto wine had gone totally dry, they pronounced the resulting wine “Amaro”, Italian for dry/bitter, and thus the name was born. Once fermented to dryness, Amarone is then matured in wood – sometimes French oak barrels, sometimes in large Slavonian casks, for several years or more.

There are numerous stories (and a bit of dissention) about who actually made the first Amarone, but there is no doubt that in the short time since then it has become an Italian classic known all over the world. Today it is far more popular than sweet Recioto (which is still made but not easy to find), with most modern day wine drinkers preferring dry red wines to sweet. The unique process used in making Amarone produces a solid, dark and full bodied red, typically with alcohol in excess of 15%, that is perfect with hearty rich foods and an ability to age for several decades. The very best are sought after by collectors and connoisseurs alike for their superb quality, and Amarone from the very top produces such as the legendary Giuseppe Quintarelli (who recently passed away), and Romano Dal Forno fetch prices more akin to top Classified Bordeaux than the simple but delicious Valpolicella of the region.

With its popularity there is a downside as well, as demand for the wines has increased the amount of wineries making Amarone. Less scrupulous producers are making wines that barely meet the letter of the law in order to get cheaper versions on the shelves. While Amarone made using short cuts can be passable dry red wines, they often have little in common with their hand crafted, quality oriented (and yes, more expensive) brethren, as making great Amarone is costly in both time and labor. In order to combat this problem and potential threat to Amarone’s image, a group of the top producers calling themselves “The Amarone Families” and consisting of some of the top properties in the region, have created an organization to maintain and improve the quality and image of Amarone. They do this by requiring voluntary regulation and using wine making and grape growing practices that are above and beyond those required by law to create the very best examples of Amarone’s richness and power, as well as protect and maintain its prestige and image as a world-class red. Amarone received its recognition of being a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) in 1968, which served to increase it popularity, and was upgraded to its own DOCG in 2009, in recognition of the highest level of quality by the Italian Government.

Amarone’s intense flavors and higher alcohols make it a wine that can be a bit tricky to pair with food. Traditional dishes from the Veneto work great, risotto all’amarone or Pastissada de Caval (yes, you guessed it), as well as beef, lamb and game such as rabbit, wild boar and venison are all great options, especially slow cooked or braised in hearty stews. It is also great after dinner with Cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino vecchio, old Gouda, and blue cheese such as Gorgonzola (dolce works too), Stilton, or Roquefort. Serve it just at about 65F in a large, good quality wine red wine glass to allow it to open, decanting will also help the wine top open and show its best.

Some of my favorite producers include Tommaso Bussola ($55), Romano Dal Forno ($350), Giuseppe Quintarelli ($350 and more), Bertani – ($80 and up more depending on the vintage/age) and Allegrini ($75-80).

Cheers

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Dear George

June 7, 1937 Dear George: “I am profoundly sorry that we could not attend the exercises today, for such are the fortunes of those that chose the Profession to which you aspire.  Your life shall be never entirely your own, but there will be many things that will make you forget the hardships, and your […]

June 7, 1937
Dear George:

“I am profoundly sorry that we could not attend the exercises today, for such are the fortunes of those that chose the Profession to which you aspire.  Your life shall be never entirely your own, but there will be many things that will make you forget the hardships, and your heart happy for the good that you will do for humanity…”
That was 1937, a letter given to my grandfather, George Legg M.D., who was graduating from Muhlenberg College.  He had been accepted to Hahnemann University Medical School.  It was written by J. Harris Brown, M.D., a close family friend.
Fast forward 78 years.  What Dr. Brown said in his letter is still similar for most doctors.  The hardships have stayed the same and changed.  The exhaustive training, long hours, incredible stress, as we are morphed into caregivers for human beings, has remained constant through the decades; but now there are more hardships beyond just caring for this precious thing called life.  I wonder what Dr. Brown and Dr. Legg would think of the state of affairs now as we continue to work to do “good for humanity” despite it all.
I am a Primary Care Physician.  I take care of the Primary part, the Family part.  We are the cheapest care out there.  If given time with the patient, we can keep them out of the ER/hospital as best as we can.   Oh, but wait, I have to meet my billing goals if I am an employed doctor (thank God I am not but I still have overhead).  I have to see 25 patients today…. no time to keep them out of the ER.  Can you say RVU (Relative Value Unit-the basis of employed physicians’ pay)???  I am willing to have my life not be my own, but only for my patients and no one else.
None of us can see a patient in 7 minutes, and do a really thorough job, I don’t care how smart we are.  Unless it is a mosquito bite, of course.  For one copay, patients want all of their five issues addressed in one visit, and rightly so for what they are paying for healthcare in 2015.  Hmmmm…that allows 1.4 minutes per issue.
“I know you will make good George; It’s Hard; It’s Tough; It’s Dull; It’s Bright; but in the end success will crown your efforts, for you have the stuff in you…”
Success—now that’s interesting.  In 1937 the success of a physician was defined by their ability to help their patients and earn a living.  Although Dr. Legg passed away before I was born, I was told by his colleagues whom I met, that graduating doctors in that time were told to expect to do 20% of their work on a charity basis.  What?? Not charge the patient who cannot afford it?  Or better yet, trade services?  No way!!!  I was told Dr. Legg had a patient paint his house who could not afford to pay for his gallbladder removal.  Wow, would love to do that!  Now success is defined by insurance companies and hospitals measuring productivity and quality through programs that track diagnosis codes, generic prescribing, ER visits, hospitalizations, referrals to specialists and the costs of one specialist over another.  Forget being able to tell a patient to not worry about today’s visit because they lost their job.  Never happen.  None of us are permitted to give “professional courtesy” to our fellow health care workers anymore, it violates the insurance contracts.  Do plumbers fix each others’ toilets for free?  If I don’t want to charge a patient for a service I am trained to provide, that should be my prerogative. Family doctors will get thrown a few extra bucks ($3-$9/visit) for playing the “game” by the insurers’ rules.  That extra will DEFINITELY help pay down those student loans faster!  I lost “points” with a carrier for referring to a group for a screening procedure that “cost more than the other group.”  Aren’t the insurers setting the fee schedules?  I’m seriously being held responsible for that? We are rated against our peers by one carrier.  Who are these “peers?”  I have asked many times, no answer.  It’s like going into battle and not knowing your opponent.  Then the rating measures by another carrier change mid rating period and we are not notified until the rating period is over.  Who wants to play that game by those rules?  No rules, no game.  This is human life we are dealing with.  It follows no rules, no measures.  It is not a commodity nor black or white.  How dare they?  That could be my mother, my husband, my son, my 3rd grade teacher.  And all in the name of profits, stock dividends.  Non-profit, really??????  I feel like some of my patients who work for Amazon and get paid on how many orders they fill in their shift…..can’t stop to eat or go to the bathroom.  Is that the “stuff in you” to which Doc Brown refers?  I don’t think so.  Doctors Brown and Legg would probably not believe their eyes were they here today.  Is this the “success that crowns our efforts?”  I want to lay my head on my pillow at night and know I did the best job I could that day for my patients, not for the insurance companies.  That is my success.
I played, and played well.  Rated on top by constantly re-writing office policies, updating them to stay on top of the “quality programs.”  The only quality I saw was the quality of my paper shredder hanging on for dear life, the quality of my ability to maneuver around an unseen opponent improve, and the quality of my office staff meetings improve in creative thinking techniques.  We rated #1 for 4 years over many other primary care offices with one insurance program in The Lehigh Valley.  Yes, the “quality” of our efforts was crowned by “success.”  What the hell was I doing?  In 7-10 minutes per patient?  Really?  I was not resting too well on that pillow at night.
D…..P….C…..Direct Primary Care.  I watched it and digested it for a year.  Sounded too good to be true.  Simplistic in design and returned decision making to being between the doctor and the patient.  Ridiculously affordable monthly fees based on age.  A smaller number of patients in the practice.  All medical information is PRIVATE—no data mining of diagnosis codes for risk pooling by “you know who.” No insurance, no co-pays, no deductibles, no DENIALS of care!!  A 30-60 minute same day/next day appointment to address all of a patient’s concerns in one sitting?  Unlimited visits with no co-pay? Ahhhh…did I die and go to heaven?  An EMR (Electronic Medical Record) with a blank progress note for me to write an old fashioned progress note, no clicking boxes to prove to insurance I am not over billing for the extra 3 bucks they held back because I prescribed one extra brand medication last quarter even though it was medically necessary (the insurance company could have cared less that this particular med was to help reverse a pre-cancerous condition-REAL STORY).   I’d rather look and talk to the patient than click on the computer.  The medical students don’t know how to hand write a full progress note.  Ho hum.  I am teaching them.  Now I will teach them on a completely blank progress note; they will learn to rely on themselves not a template.
DPC is spreading like the swine flu did in 2009, but it is not deadly.  Some are saying it is going to save health care.  It is like the Billy Joel song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” we didn’t.  Who did, and how did it get to this point?  Rising premiums, ridiculous out of pocket expenses through deductibles, co-pays, exponentially inflated charges for services.  DPC is less than a gym membership, your cell phone bill, or trip to Target.   People spend more money on their pets (including myself, love my furry friends)!  The patient will get TIME, ACCESS and COMPREHENSIVE CARE.  Everything in the office is covered with the monthly membership fee, ie., EKG’s, spirometry, mininebs, lesion removal, sutures, and more. It will be between us, it will be efficient and relaxed.  They can reach me directly after hours on my phone, email, text, Skype.  No answering service.  Stay the heck out of that ER, call me instead!!
Wait, DPC patients can get wholesale prices for what? This is what: radiology (MRI, CT, U/S, x-ray) and laboratory (around $2.00 for a CBC-normally over $60.00).  Wholesale medications will be dispensed from the office.  Remember when we left our doctor’s office with a little white envelope with our antibiotic in it?  $2.00 for 10 days of Amoxicillin?  Really?  Pinch me, I am dreaming?? Just like Dr. Brown and Dr. Legg used to do.  And the most amazing part is that all of the above and the monthly membership fee can be applied to an HSA, HRA, FSA with PRE-TAX dollars.   What?  I may not hit my deductible with AFTER TAX dollars this year?  But Dr. Corba, my medical care is “free” after that… oh no it’s not.  Think of what happens when you get in a car accident.  You pay your deductible and your premium goes up because insurance companies are in the business of keeping their money.  Paradigm shift.
Small employers are joining the movement around the country that is saving thousands for the little guy who employs less than 50.  This new model can help larger companies too.  DPC provides a huge value to these companies if they provide the employees with a HDHP.  By saving money to employers, it may allow the employees to get a raise, may permit the hiring of another worker, or the employer may offer to pay for the monthly DPC membership fee or match an HSA contribution.  It is a beautiful world when your workers can get to their PCP anytime and stay as healthy as possible, miss less work and have it cost less.
I am converting my practice as of January 2016 to DPC and can’t wait to take even better care of my patients than I do now, make it more of a value at a far lower cost and never again let insurance dictate how I do my job.  I am actually going to save the insurers money, they just don’t know it yet!
“…may you hear much that will make others happy for your knowledge, and your heart proud that you were able to know.”
Thank you Dr. Brown for the epiphany, light bulb moment, clarity.  Thank you Dr. Legg for being my inspiration and guiding light.  It shouldn’t be as hard as it’s become for any of us, patients or physicians.  After all, the care of one human life is an art that can’t be timed, quantified, or restricted.
Signed,
George E. Legg’s granddaughter
Kimberly Legg Corba, D.O.

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5 Reasons Men Get Cosmetic Surgery

For thousands of years, we humans have been fascinated by our own reflection.  Humans are the only species that pays attention to our image in the mirror. What we hope to see, when we catch ourselves doing this, is to get an idea of how we might look to others. Today, men and women spend […]

For thousands of years, we humans have been fascinated by our own reflection.  Humans are the only species that pays attention to our image in the mirror. What we hope to see, when we catch ourselves doing this, is to get an idea of how we might look to others.

Today, men and women spend billions of dollars a year to attempt to achieve their ideal image, whether it’s with workouts, diet, hair style, clothes, makeup, or cosmetic surgery. All aimed at enhancing that image in the mirror.

Typically, a woman might be hypercritical of her appearance, while a man will seem to be OK with his image.  No matter how he looks. If there is anything he notices in a mirror, it’s usually full of admiration for how well he’s holding up.  Males can look at whatever they see and find the best in themselves.

So, why are more men getting cosmetic surgery?  It boils down to five basic motivations.

1  To Stay Competitive

Many of the men coming in for job related issues are mid-to-upper level executives who want to continue looking young in order to compete with the younger, less expensive upcoming “talent.” Common procedures men request to stay competitive include:

  • Liposuction to reduce excess abdominal or breast fat
  • Blepharoplasty to remove bags under the eyes
  • Laser skin resurfacing to improve the skin tone and texture
  • Hair restoration to restore volume or a receding hairline

The challenge in treating male professionals is that most can’t afford a great deal of downtime. Nor can they look too different, because there is a social stigma associated with men who get cosmetic surgery. In my opinion, it is better to “under-do” the correction in these instances, so the changes are subtle.

2  To Attract a Younger Partner

Men who are returning to the dating scene want a change to help them move forward and start over. This desire to attract or keep a younger partner compels many men to have aesthetic procedures that make them look younger.  They are also more apt to tolerate more downtime. These procedures include:

  • Procedures that lift and tighten the face and neck
  • Liposuction or fat transfer
  • Procedures that make the eyes look younger, such as:
  • Browlift
  • Blepharoplasty
  • Midface lift
  • Ablative laser treatment for reducing wrinkles

3  Because they were ‘Born with It’

For men who were genetically blessed with handsome and rugged good looks, there will be a day when they, too, will feel self-conscious of aging. For these individuals, they may be more inclined to opt for cosmetic enhancements, especially if they stop receiving positive feedback. They may even feel pressured to do so if they make a living as an actor or model. In these situations, very little intervention is required to restore the face. Perhaps just minimally invasive services such as:

  • Skin care
  • Fillers
  • Botox

4 Beauty à la carte

The desire to be beautiful—with more hair, a square jaw, a bolder chin, a more sculpted nose, smoother skin—motivates many.  For the modern man, procedures to achieve ‘beauty’ include:

  • Hair replacement surgery
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Facial shaping with fat, fillers, bone surgery, or implants

Interestingly enough, this comprises the smallest group of patients and they have very definite ideas about what they want.  It takes the most time preoperatively to define their aesthetic desires regarding an outcome and to educate them as to what is realistic and possible.

5 Family Bonding

If one member of a couple has been happy with surgery, it is likely that the other member comes in after having watched the recovery process and is ready for any procedures we recommend after determining what bothers him.  These patients are “prepped” as they have also been our partners in the pre and post-surgical process and are ready to also watch themselves be transformed.  The procedures available run the gamut.

No matter what motivates men to undergo cosmetic surgery, it’s clear the increase in men’s procedures is not slowing down any time soon. In 2014, men had more than 1 million cosmetic procedures, an increase of over 273% from 1997.

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Women and Leadership!

Are you a manager or a leader? Women in business, have you ever asked yourself that question?  Do you demand or do you ask? Do you micro manage or do you focus on the big picture? Do you have a clear, unwavering vision for your business?  Or do you plan one day at a time? […]

Are you a manager or a leader? Women in business, have you ever asked yourself that question?  Do you demand or do you ask? Do you micro manage or do you focus on the big picture? Do you have a clear, unwavering vision for your business?  Or do you plan one day at a time?

The most successful businesses have a great leader. A great leader is one that coaches and encourages her team. A leader that has a strong vision and knows how to execute it. She is a leader that is confident enough in herself that she wants to share her knowledge to create other leaders.  Strong women have no problem stepping back and allowing their team to step into the spotlight. Leaders use their gut instinct. They empathize with others, they make decisions based on what’s best for their business, and most importantly leaders take risks.

When it comes to growth and expanding your business, think about all the time you spend on social media, marketing, and advertising. Don’t get me wrong, these things are all very important but nothing helps grow your business more than your own team. They are the people that stand by you every day. The people that already believe in you and your brand. They have already bought into the culture of your business so why not utilize them to help you build your business.

How often do you have one-on-one meetings? I encourage you to meet at least once a month. Utilize these meetings to set goals, strategize and plan out their future career, and development. Beyond one-on-one meetings, I encourage you to ask your team members for feedback. We regularly ask for feedback from our clients so why wouldn’t we ask for internal feedback as well. Ask your employees what you, as a leader, can do to help them succeed. Inquire as to what you can do as a leader to help them reach their goals in a timely manner. Ask them what they would change if they were in your shoes for one week. It’s very important to keep the lines of communication open between you and your team. Leaders use phrases like “We can do this, let’s do it together”. What can we do to get you to where you want to be?” Once you understand the value of your team, and your team members feel valued, your business will grow organically. I practice what I preach and because of this I have seen incredible growth within my own business.  When I hire a new employee I make it my mission to really get to know them on a personal level. I figure out what motivates them, what inspires them, and what makes them tick. I invest time, money, and energy into each team member. It really helps me understand them as individuals so I can strategize properly to help them achieve their goals. Personally investing in your employees plays a huge role in growing your business. Another important piece is finding people that want to invest in themselves. It’s very important your employees meet you half way. Their level of commitment is key.  At the end of the day your employees are a reflection of who you are. They represent your business and your brand.   I encourage you to try some of these strategies with your team. Have a one on one with them once a month, ask them for feedback, and take time to strategize with them. Do this for 3 months and watch the change in your business unfold. Your reward?  Being a part of something bigger than yourself, watching your team reach their goals, become successful, and one day having the necessary tools to also become a great leader.

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Three Business Practices that Lead to Growth and Success

As the originator and world’s leading producer of mechanical pipe joining solutions, Victaulic is now twenty-five times the size it was fifty years ago and several times the size it was a little over a decade ago. Headquartered right here in the Lehigh Valley, this global company knows how to grow! Here are three business […]

As the originator and world’s leading producer of mechanical pipe joining solutions, Victaulic is now twenty-five times the size it was fifty years ago and several times the size it was a little over a decade ago. Headquartered right here in the Lehigh Valley, this global company knows how to grow!

Here are three business practices that have contributed to Victaulic’s success and can help your business flourish:

1 Purposeful innovation

When the Victaulic coupling was patented in 1919, its inventors never dreamed of the global footprint it would one day have. With two metal housings bolted over a leak-proof ring, this grooved mechanical coupling provided an alternative to the long-standing practices of welding, threading and flanging pipes together. This initial design fundamentally changed how piping systems were connected, expanded and maintained, and has withstood the test of time. Throughout the company’s history, Victaulic has continued to invent and apply technologies that meet and exceed customer needs and expectations, constantly evolving its innovative offering. Direct customer input solicited through customer visits and customer council events in conjunction with Victaulic Sales and Engineering departments contribute to the new product development process. Consistent focus on customers continues to set Victaulic apart as an industry leader. Engaging your customers and incorporating their voice into company processes as well as product and service development will guide your company’s growth and ensure purpose-driven results.

2 Benchmarking against industry and non-industry peers

Being an industry leader includes being a thought leader. Victaulic is active in being part of industry associations to help set product standards that improve the industry and advance Victaulic products. In addition to a focus on product innovation, Victaulic has chosen to focus on safety innovation through the recent development of a new foundry safety coat to offer better splash protection, breathability, comfort and wearability for its foundry employees. The previous industry standard coat was effective yet in warmer seasons, heat rashes and illnesses were pitfalls. Victaulic sought out industry partners to test fabric and manufacture the coat, and then shared this advancement with others in the molten metal industry in hopes of advancing foundry safety worldwide, and more importantly, protecting its employees. Make sure your company has a pulse on industry competition as well as important industry challenges. Garner attention and success when you share best-in-class ideas and solutions.

3 People

Key to Victaulic’s success in the Lehigh Valley has been its dedicated, hardworking employees – the company’s most valuable resource. The Lehigh Valley region offers a variety of skilled and professional employees who have helped dramatically grow Victaulic’s business. As the company continues to invest in its workforce, it has added several hundred employees over the past few years and will need to attract and maintain an enthusiastic, productive workforce. When you focus on your people, you build a strong workforce that positively contributes to the growth of your business.

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Community Leaders in the Lehigh Valley Help Find Cancer Cures

Each year, in the Lehigh Valley, passionate candidates engage in an exciting competition to earn The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Man & Woman of the Year” titles by raising funds for LLS blood cancer research. The candidates compete in honor of children who are local blood cancer survivors, the Boy & Girl of the […]

Each year, in the Lehigh Valley, passionate candidates engage in an exciting competition to earn The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Man & Woman of the Year” titles by raising funds for LLS blood cancer research.

The candidates compete in honor of children who are local blood cancer survivors, the Boy & Girl of the Year. This year’s Boy & Girl of the Year are 2-years old Griffin King, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in September of 2014, and 4-years old Lexie Cable, who was also diagnosed ALL just last winter.

Every dollar counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of ten weeks. The top local fundraisers in the country win the national titles. To date, these dedicated leaders have helped LLS invest more than $1 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies that are saving lives today and helping us all achieve the LLS goal of a world without blood cancers.

The 2015 Man & Woman of the Year candidates raised a record-breaking $318,000 for LLS’s mission. Man of the Year was Peter Bruno and the Anne Giglio earned the title of Woman of the Year.

The 2016 Lehigh Valley’s Man & Woman of the Year fundraising competition kicks off March 24, 2016 and concludes at the Grand Finale Celebration on June 2, 2016 at the Renaissance Allentown Hotel.

If you know someone who would be an ideal candidate, you may nominate them or you may want to become a candidate yourself. In any case, you should contact LLS staff member, Pamela Formica, at (484) 245-3190 or email Pamela.Formica@lls.org to discuss the nomination further. Visit www.MWOY.org/epa to learn more about Man & Woman of the Year.

LLS Announces All-Star Candidate

It takes star quality to be nominated for the Man & Woman competition. Now 2012 Man of the Year, Dan Dortic, will show his star power by competing again as an All Star!
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year All Star campaign is a fundraising competition among a select group of MWOY alumni. One former Man and one former Woman of the Year candidate may be chosen to represent their local market as the

All Star Alum for that fiscal year.

All Stars will then conduct their own campaign with their personal fundraising team.
As All Star alumni for the Lehigh Valley market, Dortic will have 10-weeks, beginning the day of his local campaign’s Kickoff, to accumulate the most “votes”. Every dollar raised counts as one vote.

The male and female All Star alumni who raise the most votes during the campaign are named the National Man & Woman of the Year All Stars via a celebratory national webcast in July.

Dortic was named the 2012 Man & of the Year candidate after raising $82,000 for innovative, life-saving cancer research and patient access funded by LLS. His company, Major Hyundai of Stroudsburg, has been the Presenting Sponsor for the Lehigh Valley campaign for the past four years and is just one example of his commitment to LLS’s mission to have a world without blood cancer.

To learn more about LLS and how you can become involved, contact the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter at (610) 266-8513 or visit www.lls.org/epa.

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It’s Time Your Business Gets Social

It’s a new year – make a resolution to get serious about social media. If your small business is still not paying attention to this important medium, now is the time to get involved. You may ask yourself, “does my business need to use it?” The answer is yes. You need social media in order […]

It’s a new year – make a resolution to get serious about social media. If your small business is still not paying attention to this important medium, now is the time to get involved. You may ask yourself, “does my business need to use it?” The answer is yes. You need social media in order to stay competitive and connect with new and existing customers.
Individuals in the United States spend almost 25% of their time online on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The people you are looking to do business with (your target market) are already using social media. If you are interested in reaching them, it’s necessary for your business to be where they are. Being active on social media increases the probability of your brand and messaging reaching a larger percentage of your target customer.

It’s vital you don’t get caught in the mindset that because you aren’t using social media, your competitors probably aren’t either. Do some research and you will most likely find your main competition is indeed utilizing these important online channels. In an ever-changing business landscape, you don’t want to find yourself lagging behind. When investigating your competitors, if you find your competition hasn’t yet embraced a social strategy, view this as an opportunity to leapfrog them before they realize they too need to start taking social seriously.

The majority of marketing approaches are very one-sided. A business broadcasts its message, and a person receives and analyzes it. This is a stark contrast to social media, which gives you the ability to communicate back with the customer and have real engagement. Building a fan base and following on social media lets your customers view you as more than just a business. Your clientele will feel as if they have a relationship with you, which will instill a feeling of trust and assurance. No matter what your business is, it’s a fact customers do business with those they trust and feel connected to.

Don’t get caught in the mindset that social media is only for the Fortune 500 companies or large national brands. As a business owner, you have the power to interact and listen to what your customers are saying about you online. When managed properly, social media can be a vital marketing channel. Social media isn’t a fad, and certainly isn’t going anywhere. Make 2016 the year you take control of your business’s online presence and visibility.

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