Sections Supplements
Training for ‘Green-collar’ Jobs Moves to the Forefront on Campuses and in Communities

As new opportunities present themselves in so-called ‘green industries,’ the need for a new workforce to fill these positions is building. The region could have a new economic stimulus in environment- and energy-based fields, and while these sectors are still a small part of the business landscape, they’re also a bright spot on the horizon in terms of the jobs of tomorrow.

Nancy Bair is currently focused on the opportunities she sees in the creation of what are called ‘green-collar jobs.’

“I did some research, and that phrase is being thrown around like crazy,” said Bair, director of the Office of Workforce Development at Greenfield Community College. “We’re at the very beginning of a new field, and it’s only going to grow and change, so that’s part of our job — to grow and change with it.”

GCC ramped up its sustainable- and renewable-energy curriculum last year to provide more training for these jobs, which range from the manufacture of wind turbines to installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to energy auditing, not to mention a growing number of more-traditional jobs being expanded with environmentally friendly components. The college has been helped along in part by a workforce-sustainability grant, which helped partner the college with dozens of other businesses and organizations across Western Mass., slowly making ‘green-collar’ a more recognized (and welcomed) term in the region.

In turn, jobs in environmentally based or sustainable-energy fields of service are under the watch of many as they emerge. Alexandra Risely Shroeder’s title alone speaks volumes about her work, for instance. She’s the ‘green jobs coach’ for the Franklin Hampshire Career Center and Regional Employment Board.

“We are looking at how to support the growth of renewable and sustainable practices, such as energy efficiency and green construction,” she said. “Sometimes, the economy grows, and a trained workforce doesn’t grow at the same time. We’re trying to synchronize this, and we also want to avoid training for a job that isn’t here.”

Meanwhile, Mike Kocsmiersky, vice president of research and development with SolarWrights Inc., a renewable-energy company that designs, sells, installs, and services renewable-energy systems across the Northeast, is paying close attention to the needs of his industry as it continues to evolve as an economic engine locally and across the nation.

“The industry is small, so right now there are only a handful of jobs compared to those in more-traditional fields like HVAC or plumbing,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we will prevail. It’s viable technology, it’s cost-effective, and energy conservation has an outstanding return on investment.”

The New Recruits

Despite their different views of the vast ‘green’ industry, all three of these professionals see the importance of finding, training, and employing the people who will populate the emerging green-collar workforce. It’s being culled from many different places; some are making a career change to green industries, while others are adding new skills to existing jobs. Construction outfits, for example, are looking to expand their services by recruiting employees with a background in green design and materials, while electricians and HVAC workers are learning how to properly wire solar-powered water heaters.

Still others still are choosing ‘green majors’ or certificate programs at community colleges, or learning about job opportunities as early as elementary school.

Schroeder said that, essentially, her job is to help residents in Western Mass. — and particularly in Franklin and Hampshire counties — identify career opportunities locally, thus stimulating the economy as well as creating important career ladders. She works with various literacy programs for adults, including those learning English as a second language; develops curricula for high-school and college courses to spread awareness of green economies; and also partners with the Franklin County House of Correction promoting new job opportunities.

However, much of her work as a ‘green’ careers coach is focused on younger populations, and developing a pipeline of trained workers to staff these emerging industries.

“I work with students from literacy programs, career centers, those who aren’t in school and perhaps are vulnerable,” said Schroeder. “I conduct youth workshops and have conversations with them about green careers, so they can explore their interests and skills to see if there’s a career match.”

She added that it’s an important part of the Franklin County REB’s overall economic development plan to create jobs that are available to high-school graduates, those who have earned a GED, and those holding associate degrees.

“One of the commitments of the REB is that, as we grow, the economy can create career pathways that are accessible at the entry level,” she explained. “That creates opportunities for advancement over time, and our vision is that the economy will be large enough to accommodate these over time, as well.”

The jobs Schroeder often explains to potential green-collar workers are wide-ranging, suggesting an industry that’s not relegated to any one type of training or work. They include solar-energy equipment installers, energy auditors, insulation installers, green construction workers, and a wide array of more-traditional jobs, such as in the fields of plumbing and home building, which can be augmented with an understanding of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly systems.

Looking ahead, Schroeder said she’s working with instructors at both the high-school and collegiate levels (including at GCC) to create a curriculum for teachers looking at some of the issues that are driving green-collar jobs forward, such as peak oil usage, fossil-fuel conservation, and the benefits of a green economy.

“The idea is to create an introductory awareness that relates to both the economy and the planet,” she said.

Sustainable Education

Bair said GCC is also in the midst of developing a comprehensive career-preparation program focused on sustainable and renewable energy and energy policy. The endeavor has been helped by a three-year, $373,000 grant from the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF), an arm of the Commonwealth Corp., a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts focused on workforce development.

“We applied for the grant to develop a workforce around renewable energy — but we already had a sustainable-energy course in place when the grant opportunity came along,” said Bair, adding that the grant gave GCC a chance to build on an existing strength, as well as a jumping-off point to create new inroads to a greener economy in Franklin County. “We said, ‘let’s get local partners and start offering courses.’ That started a year ago, and people have been coming out of the woodwork to take these classes.”

In fact, the demand has been so great that Bair said GCC has already accounted for and exceeded the amount of the WCTF grant, but plans to move forward with green programming and make it a permanent part of the curriculum.

“We will figure out the last two years in a modified kind of way because we’re a little over, but we added courses due to demand,” she said. “GCC is expecting this to be an active program forever; the three-year grant should be just the beginning.”

GCC created a one-year certificate program in renewable energy and energy policy that is up and running now, and in two years, the college expects to launch a two-year degree program. Students now enrolled include those earning college credit as well as professionals looking to boost their skills through non-credit, professional-development classes, sometimes sponsored by employers.

Both groups attend classes together, creating an exchange of ideas and networking opportunities that are positive byproducts, Bair noted.

And partners have also come in abundance.

Bair said that because Franklin County is still a relatively rural area, there is no single, large company involved with the new green programming at GCC, but rather several smaller outfits ranging from nonprofits to community organizations to privately-owned businesses, and even a union: the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 108.

“We partner with contractors, plumbers, HVAC professionals, housing authorities, and they’re all from the local area,” she said. “We have several small partners, and they’re all the right people.”

These partnerships allow for assistance in teaching and planning courses, a pool of employees from which to draw, and a snapshot of what the needs of the region are in these industries, Bair added, especially in the area of energy conservation.

They’ve also been integral in illustrating just how broad the reach of green-collar jobs can be in the future, and that has been a learning experience for GCC as it unveils its new suite of courses catering to this employee set.

“We started figuring out what energy efficiency is, and what the demand is,” said Bair. “Photovoltaics, solar hot water, and energy audits are the biggest areas for us right now, but the job opportunities are seemingly endless.”

She explained that GCC has identified three categories of green-collar jobs that could all benefit from additional training at a collegiate level, for a degree or otherwise.

The first is a group of traditional jobs in new fields: store managers, sales and marketing professionals, Web designers, and even franchisees are all a burgeoning aspect of the green industry as new businesses are created in this arena. The second is trade jobs to which additional skills can be added, and the third is new jobs created as a part of the green movement. Policy leaders, biofuel chemists, certificate coordinators for green-building councils, and an increasing number of agricultural jobs are among these, in addition to those sustainable-energy jobs GCC has already recognized as an area of growth.

“We may need to continue to research these fields in the future to stay current, but our long-term goals are to create new jobs and necessitate new hires for those jobs,” said Bair, noting that, while GCC is only at the beginning of this process, some positive signs are already being seen, and recorded carefully.

“We’re at the beginning in terms of filling jobs, and it’s more complicated than just putting a person into an open spot,” she said. “Some of our students are unemployed, some are in different occupations, and some are taking on new responsibilities at existing jobs.

“We’re focused on creating pay increases as one byproduct we want to see across the board, and fostering more successful businesses is another,” she continued. “We’re hoping this training will start bringing in more money that is related to renewable energy, and we’re tracking business outcomes, and so far they’re looking good.”

It’s Not Easy Being Green

That said, the planning and design of courses to prepare a new green-collar workforce are ongoing tasks on many college campuses, which are navigating a fast-changing set of industries as they simultaneously devise the best academic approach to teaching green skills.

Kocsmiersky, who is the former owner of Kosmo Solar, bought by Rhode Island-based SolarWrights Inc. this past January, has been immersed in the solar trade (most specifically in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems, which serve as a conduit for solar power, and solar-heating systems) for more than a decade. He has maintained offices in Springfield, now serving as SolarWright’s Massachusetts branch, and has also been tapped by Springfield Technical Community College to assist in the development of its own green-collar curriculum.

When planning these courses, the needs of his industry are never far from Kocsmiersky’s mind. The paperwork alone, he said, is onerous for green businesses, which depend largely on state and federal tax credits and rebates to stem the costs associated with many of the products they sell and install, including PV systems.

He added that the skills necessary to thrive in this still-small yet growing sector are much more broad than learning how to install a solar panel on a roof. Rather, green-collar jobs like those in the photovoltaic industry draw from a number of disciplines, ranging from an understanding of building trades to legislative literacy.

“Presently, there seems to be a strong undercurrent at community colleges in the region trying to develop training programs,” said Kocsmiersky. “That’s where they’re running into difficulty, because very few have funding to develop classes. Curriculum developers are trying to consult people like me regarding what to teach.

“Another aspect of this ongoing conversation is asking ourselves what we should teach,” added Kocsmiersky, noting that he thinks courses should be broken into four categories.

These would include ‘solar principles’ — everything from looking at the effects the sun’s rays have on a property at different times of the day to solar thermal and electrical design; a designer’s class, examining the planning components necessary to install a wide array of green structures such as solar panels and wind generators; a practicum, offering experience in the hands-on aspects of green jobs, such as the proper way to mount solar panels to structures and wire systems, or how to prevent leaks; and, finally, an administrative track, designed to explain how complicated rebate programs work, how to process paperwork, and what legislation is driving the industry.

This last matter is a big, fundamental issue affecting green jobs, said Kocsmiersky — and employees at all levels in green industries must be charged with understanding the role politics plays now and will play later in the health of their sector.

“All things come back to political willpower,” he said. “The whole industry will continue to grow at the same numbers we’re seeing now, but if we start seeing a real commitment and less political football, there are huge opportunities for growth.”

Kocsmiersky also noted that tax credits are a big piece of this political puzzle.

“These are expensive systems, and that creates a need for green businesses to carry a certain amount of credit until rebates kick in,” he said. “People can’t a run business when they can’t get their cash flow under control or secure bank loans without certainty.”

He added that, on the other side of the coin, when rebates for homeowners and businesses installing energy-efficient electrical, cooling, or heating systems are reduced, they’ll be less likely to take the plunge.

“If you’re a business considering alternative energy, you might not get them installed until the following year, and that makes the lag in green industries, particularly the photovoltaic industry, even worse,” he said.

Time for Change

Still, Kocsmiersky said that main driver behind the green industry is the technology by which it’s defined, and the increasing acceptance of it, especially as electricity, oil, and gas prices soar.

“The industry is moving fast, and it’s sometimes hard to stay on top of it,” he said. “Six years ago, I knew everyone. Now, there are a lot of new players. The growth rate in my industry last year was about 60% in terms of gross sales — PV gets the lion’s share of the press, and is one of the more financially feasible, proven technologies for consumers. But at the end of the day, things like wind farms and geothermal technology will be even bigger industries — they’re just not talked about as much.

“We may be small,” Kocsmiersky concluded, “but the potential for big, a
nual growth is huge.”

And when that day comes, it’s hoped that a line of green-collar workers will be ready to punch their time cards.

Jaclyn Stevenson can be reached at[email protected]

Opinion
Averting an Energy Crisis

Gas prices are skyrocketing; the average price of a gallon of regular hit $4 last week. Venezuela has threatened to cut off oil exports to the United States. The dollar has fallen by 30% against the euro over the past two years. Could things possibly get worse?

Yes. Real-world events underscore our nation’s acute energy-security vulnerabilities. Over the past year, oil prices have surged in a short period of time without any single precipitating event. The effects are stark. Every $10 increase in the annual price of a barrel of oil costs the economy $75 billion.

The average American household spends $5,750 a year on energy, up more than $2,000 from just four years ago. The increase in the cost of gasoline alone amounts to a more than $1,500 tax on the typical American family. Over much of the past decade, Americans have been able to compensate for rising energy costs by drawing on the also-rising equity of their homes. But that did not solve the problem; it camouflaged it. And now that the mortgage crisis and the resulting collapse in property values have taken that crutch away, Americans are more conscious of the impact of the rising cost of oil on their livelihoods.

The United States consumes 25% of the world’s oil: 21 million barrels every single day. The transportation sector — not just cars, but the trucks and airplanes that are crucial to delivering goods and services — use petroleum products for 97% of its energy needs. And the picture is not getting any better: demand in the United States is expected to grow by 30% — to 27 million barrels per day by 2030.

Add to this continued instability — and in some cases, hostility — in some of the world’s most prolific oil-producing nations, and the conclusion is clear: America’s dependence on oil, particularly oil from unstable and undemocratic parts of the world, threatens national security and economic stability.

Recently, in the Forum of the Harvard Kennedy School, a group of former high-level government officials gathered to take part in Oil ShockWave, a high-tech, realistic simulation exercise based on an all-too-possible scenario: a series of geopolitical events leading to a sudden and sustained jump in the price of oil.

The simulation illustrates how one small event in one corner of the world can cascade through the entire global supply system. Courses of action, at that point, would be limited. Would Americans accept an emergency restriction on driving, rationing, or forced carpools? Would we have to deplete our strategic stores, which are held in reserve largely for extreme contingencies, including military shortages? Would we be willing to send troops to secure oil facilities abroad? Would we have to bow to the demands of nations like Iran and Venezuela?

This is not just the stuff of Tom Clancy; these are scenarios we may have to one day face if we continue down our current path. None of them is palatable, and none is even guaranteed to work. Once the crisis occurs, it is already too late.

The objective is to keep the crisis from occurring. Since we cannot control the entire global oil market, we need to do the next best thing: reduce our dependence on oil and increase our resilience and capacity to cope with interruptions. There are meaningful steps we can take, from reducing demand through fuel economy and other standards to increasing the production and deployment of alternatives, to looking at other methods of powering our transportation sector (like electricity), to expanding domestic production of energy in an environmentally responsible way, to working in concert with other major consumers to increase strategic reserves.

The alternative — waiting until the real crisis occurs — is unacceptable.-

Graham Allison is director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Robbie Diamond is founder and president of Securing America’s Future Energy.

Sections Supplements
A ‘Snapshot’ That’s in Focus and a Solid Business Plan Are Some of the Keys

What, if anything, can a business owner do to position his or her company to obtain the credit availability that it needs to both operate and, in many instances, survive in today’s ever-changing and volatile economy?

There are several critical factors that providers of business credit view as vital when considering a company’s request for credit, which may involve many different types of credit facilities, such as a working capital line of credit, a fixed asset/equipment non-revolving line of credit, a term loan, or a mortgage loan. Paying close attention to these factors can enhance and, in many cases, provide the key to your company’s obtaining the necessary credit availability that you are looking to gain.

The first factor is what many lenders call the ‘snapshot’ of the company at a specific point in time. This is usually comprised of a company’s most recent financial statements and consist, at a minimum, of a balance sheet and a profit-and-loss statement. These financial reports provide a prospective lender with a detailed and comprehensive picture of your company’s current business operations and profitability, as well as a reasonable indicator of future growth. It is an effective tool in your company’s pursuit of credit. Depending on the lender, an in-depth interview may be conducted with the owner(s) or senior management to allow the lender to become more intimately familiar with both the company’s operations and its decision makers.

Another factor to consider is a well-defined business plan. Having such a plan in place demonstrates that you have already wisely considered your company’s future strategic growth and related financial projections, which address both the anticipated income and financial needs of the company. Supplying a copy of this plan to your prospective lender will provide a solid indication to the lender that your company possesses smart management, which is generally given substantial weight in any credit decision. It is important to remember that you are asking a prospective lender to effectively become a partner with your company, and knowing that your company has had the foresight to require such a business plan will go a long way toward creating a level of comfort on the part of the lender.

It is also important to consider self-promotion. Clearly demonstrating to a prospective credit provider that your company has established a proven track record is paramount, and providing a prospective lender with insight into what is transpiring in your particular industry can add credibility to your request for an extension of credit.

Furthermore, something that is often times given a substantial amount of weight in the quest to obtain a favorable credit decision is collateral security. While no provider of credit will approve requested financing solely on the basis of the value of the underlying collateral to be pledged as security for an extension of credit, offering your prospective lender strong, easily valued, and easily accessed loan collateral is a critical component that cannot be overlooked. Such collateral security may consist of a grant of a security interest in ‘hard’ assets such as furniture, fixtures, equipment, and real estate; more ‘fluid’ assets such as inventory and accounts receivable; or truly ‘liquid’ collateral in the form of cash, certificates of deposit, or brokerage accounts. The actual value of, straightforward access to, and ease of liquidation, if required, are all considered in not only whether a particular request for credit will be approved, but also whether the terms of the credit facility are more or less favorable to your company.

One final suggestion: ask for it. Many times business owners are reluctant to initiate a request for credit based on what they perceive are insurmountable obstacles to obtaining a favorable response, when in fact many such perceived obstacles may be able to be satisfactorily addressed and overcome by working in concert with a sophisticated lender who can bring both creative and fiscally responsible alternatives to the table.

Consequently, when your company is seeking business credit, it only makes sense for you to review and consider your company’s strengths and weaknesses in the context of each of the foregoing areas. Doing so will provide your company with a solid basis for obtaining the necessary credit facilities you need to operate and grow your company.

Gary G. Breton, Esq. is a partner with Bacon Wilson, P.C., and a member of its Banking and Finance Department. His major emphasis of practice includes representation of financial lending institutions, as well as both individual and business borrowers. He also represents numerous business clients in the startup, purchase, and sale of businesses; (413) 781-0560;[email protected]

Sections Supplements
Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Announces Inductees
Harry Samble

Harry Samble, founder of Belmont Laundry, making some deliveries.

When asked about his grandfather, Robert Samble Jr. started by pointing.

“That’s him,” he said, gesturing toward a framed photograph sitting on a shelf in his crowded office. Somewhat faded by time, the image is of a man sitting behind the wheel of a delivery truck bearing the name Belmont Laundry, circa 1915. “That’s Harry Samble … he started all this with grandma.

“That’s her there,” he continued, pointing to another picture, this one on a higher shelf. “She ran it for years with my father after grandpa died.

“And that’s my father there,” he went on, pointing to a picture of a man in uniform standing next to a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane. “That’s from his days in the Army Air Corps during World War II.”

When businesses stay in the same family for several generations, there are usually lots of old photographs on walls, atop credenzas, or in desk drawers, and so it is with the Western Mass. Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008. And as the saying goes, they speak a thousand words.

Barbara Meunier has a favorite picture of her father, Rupprecht Scherff, who ran the Fort restaurant in downtown Springfield for more than 40 years until his death in 1996. The picture in question shows him in one of the dining rooms, where one would usually find him, shaking up some cherries jubilee tableside.

“He was always working … always,” said Meunier, who now manages the Fort, known to some as the Student Prince, along with her brothers, Rudi and Peter Scherff. And there is now a third generation at work, she noted, adding that her son, Michael, is kitchen manager, and Rudi’s son (also named Rudi) recently took home his first paycheck for work in the deli.

There is a fourth generation now working at Belmont Laundry — Samble’s sons, Matt and Derek, have lead roles — and a fifth generation continues to market Absorbine liniment and other products at W.F. Young, which was started by Wilbur Fenton Young in 1892. The company, and the Young family, have several pictures of the founder, including one with his signature followed by the letters P, D, and F. Apparently, Wilbur’s father, Charles, didn’t think much of his son’s decision to start a company making liniment for horses and, later, humans. As a condition for granting a $500 loan to help finance an expansion of the venture, the elder Young stipulated that his son pronounce himself in all advertising as “Pa’s Darn Fool.”

Long-surviving family businesses, old photos, and the stories behind them may be the dominant theme for the Class of 2008, but there are other intriguing stories in this roster of inductees, the ninth to be enshrined.

Baystate Health is being inducted to recognize an entrepreneurial spirit that has manifested itself in many ways, said Tom Goodrow, vice president of Economic and Business Development at Springfield Technical Community College, which created the Hall of Fame. These include many new ventures in recent years, including the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care, one of many new developments on the north end of Main Street, and a $239 million expansion, dubbed the ‘Hospital of Tomorrow,’ due to be started this fall.

There are also the entrepreneurial exploits of Art Jacobson — who founded Olympic Manufacturing Group in Agawam, now called OMG Inc., and later founded Mr. Shower Door — and the individuals now at the helm at OMG.

The Class of 2008 was introduced at a reception staged May 22 at the Colony Club, and the new inductees will be honored at the annual Hall of Fame dinner on Oct. 2 at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House.

Proceeds from that event will benefit the many entrepreneurship programs at STCC’s Andrew M. Scibelli Enterprise Center (SEC), said Goodrow. These include the YES (Young Entrepreneurial Scholars) program, which serves more than 1,000 young men and women in two dozen area high schools, as well as the Community Foundation of Western Mass. student business incubator in the SEC, which hosts up to nine fledgling businesses.

Here’s a look at the Class of 2008.

Belmont Laundry (the Samble Family)

Before moving on to that truck, Harry Samble picked up and dropped off laundry on his bicycle and, later, a horse and buggy.

In those days, his service was called ‘wet wash,’ said Robert Samble, noting that his grandparents would pick up laundry, wash it, and bring it back to the customer wet, to be dried on a line outside. This line of work has evolved considerably over the years, he continued, adding that Belmont now has a fleet of trucks and more than 50 employees, and handles more than 1,000 commercial accounts in a service area stretching from Newport, R.I. to Pittsfield.

How it arrived at this state is a story of perseverance, vision, and dedication to customer service, he explained. To emphasize this point, he stopped at a pair of recently cleaned uniform pants soon to be returned to a commercial client. Turning the waist back, he revealed a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag implanted within. Each item has one, said Samble, to ensure that every shirt, pair of pants, physician’s coat, or commercial floor mat goes where it’s supposed to go.

“The big outfits don’t do this, because it’s expensive and they don’t want to spend that kind of money on customer service,” he said, adding that Belmont has been taking such steps since Harry and Corrine Samble set up shop in 1907 in a barn on the location where the headquarters building still stands today.

Harry Samble died when his son, Robert, was only 14, pressing the second generation of the family into a large role within the business at an early age. For many years, Robert Samble and his mother ran the business, along with one of Harry Samble’s brothers, who was later bought out.

Robert Samble Jr. is a little sketchy on some of the history, because he never met his grandfather and his father died in 1967, when Robert was just 14. It was then that Robert’s mother, Dorothy, who had not been involved in the business at all while her husband was alive, essentially took over and kept the doors open.

“If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be here today,” said Robert, adding that, in 1973, his mother was able to convince him to change careers (he had been a refractory mason) and join the family business.

Since then, he has orchestrated significant growth — the company has added locations in Agawam, West Springfield, Longmeadow, and a second store in Springfield — and diversification. He’s been joined in the business by sons Matthew, now project manager, and Derek, the dry-cleaning division manager, and stepdaughter April Caruso, who is supervisor of counter staff.

Commercial work, which now accounts for roughly 75% of Belmont’s business, remains strong, said Samble, but the retail side of the ledger has been soft in recent years, a trend he attributes to more-casual dress in the workplace, among other factors.

“People aren’t dressing up like they used to,” he explained, adding quickly that the company will persevere, whether that trend changes or not. It has endured for 101 years because it’s been able to add new wrinkles — or iron them out, as the case may be.

The Fort Restaurant

There are a few pictures of Rupprecht Scherff on the walls of the Fort, providing a continuing presence for the individual credited with making the restaurant a Springfield institution and popular stop for the business community.

But it is the work of two generations, and now a third, that has enabled the venue to persevere for 73 years, a very rare feat in the challenging restaurant business.

The Fort is known for many things, including its two names — ‘Student Prince,’ taken from a Sigmund Romberg operetta about student life in Heidelberg, and ‘the Fort,’ the name given the main dining room, in recognition of the fort John Pynchon built on the site in 1660 — and also an extensive collection of beer steins, its veal shank, scrod, and Roquefort salad dressing.

It all started back in 1935 with Paul Schroeder, a native of Germany and cigar maker by trade. After working at several area cigar factories, he took a job as the housemaster of the Springfield Turnverein, a German club that continued to serve its members libations during Prohibition. After repeal of the Eighteeth Amendment in 1933, Schroeder saw an opportunity to start his own business, and did so, partnering with Erna Sievers in the Student Prince restaurant on Fort Street.

Rupprecht Sherff would eventually take a job there in 1949. He came to the U.S. from Germany years earlier, at the behest of Robert Jarhling, owner of the Highland Hotel in Springfield, whom Scherff had impressed while he waited on Jarhling and his wife when they were visiting Bremen. Scherff worked at the Highland for many years and later fought in World War II before coming to the Student Prince. He started in the kitchen and was eventually asked to manage the restaurant. When Sievers died in 1961, she left the establishment to Scherff and another employee, Tante Grete, whom Scherff bought out in 1971 to assume sole ownership.

Barbara Meunier said she and her brothers practically grew up in the restaurant, eventually handling every job in it. Rudi started when he was 8, and was officially on the payroll at age 12. Barbara, meanwhile, started at 14. Neither thought they would make the Fort their career, but after trying other pursuits — Rudi practiced law in Springfield for several years — they gravitated back to Fort Street.

Today, they split the various responsibilities involved with day-to-day operations — Meunier handles most office duties; Peter, who has an MBA, handles most financial aspects of the business; and Rudi takes care of the kitchen and the menu — and continue many traditions started by their father, such as Octoberfest, Mayfest, a wild game festival, and elaborate decorations for the holidays.

They’ve also brought the third generation into the business, which, says Meunier, has the same work ethic as the man in all the pictures.

Baystate Health

Andrew Scibelli, president emeritus of STCC and chair of the steering committee for this year’s induction ceremonies, acknowledged that Baystate Health is a different kind of selection for the Hall of Fame.

Rather than acknowledging one individual or several members or generations of one family, the selection of Baystate constitutes recognition of an entrepreneurial philosophy that pervades the system and its more than 10,000 employees, said Scibelli.

“They’re not just running a hospital there,” he continued. “They’re being entrepreneurial in every aspect of that word; they’re looking for opportunities, they’re taking risks in some cases, and they’re taking steps that will benefit themselves and the community they serve.”

Elaborating, he said there have been many examples of this over the years, and especially the past decade or so. Endeavors include a number of ventures on Main Street, several blocks from Baystate Medical Center, with most of them involving former mill complexes that were either rehabbed or replaced with new construction.

These include the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care, the region’s only free-standing, multi-disciplinary cancer treatment facility, opened in 2002, and the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, a joint venture between Baystate Health and UMass Amherst that was created in 2004 to develop new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Other examples include the expansion of the health system to include Baystate Franklin Medical Center and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, and the system’s involvement in the creation of the for-profit health maintenance organization Health New England, in which it still owns a majority interest.

The most recent, and soon to be most visible, example of Baystate’s entrepreneurial drive is a $239 million expansion project, the ‘Hospital of the Future,’ a nearly 600,000-square-foot complex that will replace some of the hospital’s older facilities with new, state-of-the-art patient-care areas that administrators say will directly address the needs of an aging population.

The expansion is perhaps the largest in the history of the system, which can trace its roots back to 1883 and the opening of Springfield Hospital. In 1974, what was then known as Springfield Hospital Medical Center merged with its neighbor, Wesson Women’s Hospital, to create the 672-bed Medical Center of Western Mass. In 1976, this entity merged with Wesson Memorial Hospital, located about two miles away. The merger established Baystate Medical Center, then the second-largest hospital in New England, with 1,036 beds.

In 1983, Baystate Medical Center was reorganized into three separate corporations: Baystate Health Systems, the parent corporation now renamed Baystate Health; Baystate Medical Center; and a for-profit corporation known as Baystate Diversified Health Services.

The Baystate Health family has grown significantly since its inception. In 1986, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield joined Baystate Health; in 1991, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware joined the health system. In 1996, the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Pioneer Valley, now renamed the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, also became a member of Baystate Health.

Through all the additions and name changes, the system has been consistently entrepreneurial in its approach to doing business and serving the community, said Baystate President and CEO Mark Tolosky.

“In the fast and ever-changing health care environment, we must be nimble and responsive to the needs of our patients and our communities, and assure them that we are stewards of all of our resources, and with that comes the need to be visionaries and risk takers,” he said. “One example of our entrepreneurial spirit at Baystate Health aligned with vision and risk relates to North Main Street in Springfield.

“Just over 10 years ago, the land sat silent, with vast, empty buildings — once home to robust manufacturers of hand tools and much more,” he continued. “The leadership of Baystate Health saw opportunity, and we invested $125 million to develop this Northern Edge Medical campus. Our lead role has led to significant private investment in the area. Now, we see a vibrant complex — with health care at its core — and with other businesses benefiting from the spin-off effects of this development.

“The vision we had became a reality and there’s more to come.”

W.F. Young

Wilbur Young was selling pianos in the early 1890s, and doing rather well at it, when he started looking for a different, more entrepreneurial career opportunity.

He found one through his love of horses — and some encouragement from his new bride, Mary Ida. The product that Wilbur developed, and that the couple made in a tub in their farmhouse kitchen, would come to be called Absorbine Veterinary Liniment. A blend of herbs and essential oils, the liniment would keep a horse from going lame while gently reducing swelling and stiffness.

More than 116 years later, the liniment remains the flagship brand marketed by W. F. Young Inc., a company credited with coining the phrase ‘athlete’s foot’ and, over the years, developing a wide array of health care products. Today, the company, which, after spending most of its existence in downtown Springfield, moved to East Longmeadow in 2000, is a global marketer of products for humans and animals.

The company, which started small, really began to grow when farmers discovered that Absorbine Liniment worked on humans, as well, said Tyler Young, its CEO, president, and fourth-generation manager. Using the original formula as a basis with some changes and
efinements, Wilbur created a liquid for human use, called it Absorbine Jr. Antiseptic Liniment, and brought it to the marketplace in 1903.

As demand increased, the original manufacturing operation in Meriden, Conn. proved insufficient, said Tyler Young, adding that his great-grandfather went to his great-great-grandfather and secured a loan — and its unusual condition. The company grew steadily over the years, adding some celebrity spokespeople — Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson and Triple Crown champion Secretariat’s trainer, Lucien Lauren — while also adding ‘athlete’s foot’ to the lexicon in the 1930s.

The company typically introduces between five to 10 new products a year, said Tyler Young, adding that recent additions include DuraGuard® and Bug Block® insect repellents for horses, the innovative Stall Safe® brand disinfectant and sanitizer for stables and stalls, and Myoplast®, an amino-acid supplement which helps provide strength and stamina in horses while supporting lean muscles.

More than a decade ago, the company transitioned out of manufacturing and now bills itself as a virtual marketing company, Young continued. Production of the entire network of brands is outsourced throughout the U.S.; the operations department manages production from the company’s East Longmeadow headquarters. After 80-plus years in Springfield, the company moved to its new offices in the East Longmeadow Industrial Park in 2000.

Art Jacobson and OMG Inc.

He called it the “roofle.”

That’s the name Art Jacobson came up with for a new product he contrived back in 1981 to suit the needs of one of his clients.

At the time, Jacobson was a manufacturer’s representative for companies that made bolts, rivets, and screw-machine parts, among other things, and selling to companies like Hamilton Standard, Pratt & Whitney, and Electric Boat. He was calling on a client that made commercial roofing systems when a discussion ensued that would eventually lead to what Jacobson called a “fluke of a business,” and what has become one of the region’s most intriguing entrepreneurial success stories.

“I was selling him long screws to fasten his roofing down to concrete decks,” Jacobson recalled. “He said that if I came up with a different kind of fastener, like a long toggle bolt, he could use it to fasten roofing down to lightweight concrete decks where a screw wouldn’t work.”

One of the companies Jacobson represented made long bolts that he sold to a wooden-rail manufacturer. He borrowed some, took them to a hardware store in Springfield, and put toggle wings and large washers on them. He then took them back to his roofing-industry client, who pronounced them exactly what he was looking for.

Thus, the Olympic Manufacturing Group was born, only it would be several more years before it would be called that — and before it did any manufacturing.

After securing a patent for his roof toggle, or ‘roofle,’ Jacobson took out an ad in a national roofing trade publication which touted the product and its potential. And calls started coming in. Still at his sales job and with no inventory on hand, Jacobson started having the roofle made for him to fill those orders, and, in so doing, moving more quickly than most entrepreneurs would in taking a venture off the ground.

“I found myself getting into a business I really knew nothing about,” he explained. “Most entrepreneurs will investigate to the hilt or work on a product for six months or a year before deciding whether to take it to the market. Not me; I sort of fell into it.”

Fast-forwarding somewhat, Jacobson said he would have long bolts shipped to him, add the toggles and other features that converted them into roofles, and run back and forth to Bradley International Airport to ship them out. Eventually, he and his wife, Esther, rented out 250 square feet of space to operate the venture, and by late 1982, they had decided to go into business together.

Within a few more years, Olympic would become a manufacturer of roofing fasteners, and by 1985 it would be No. 1 in the industry.

Jacobson said the key to the company’s steady growth within the Agawam Industrial Park was hiring the right people, individuals such as Hugh McGovern, who would later become president of Olympic (later to be called OMG), after Jacobson sold it; Dan Murphy, who eventually would become president of a succession of larger owners of OMG; and Tom Wagner, OMG’s senior vice president.

“We succeeded because I surrounded myself with people better than me,” he explained. “They took the company to places I couldn’t.”

Jacobson described his sale of Olympic in 1994 as the “quintessential win-win,” and both parties would go on to write more success stories.

After “chasing the grandkids around for several years,” as he put it, Jacobson started Mr. Shower Door in 2005. He’s tripled sales since them, and now has three locations.

Meanwhile, OMG continues to grow, organically and through acquisition. The most recent example was the purchase and assimilation of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Buildex’s roofing business segment, which is now known as OMG West.

Today, total sales are approaching $150 million. Not bad for a “fluke of a business.”

George O’Brien can be reached at[email protected]

Opinion

Some of the casualties have been chalked up as ‘coincidences.’ That’s the term that many people used when three restaurants on or near Main Street closed within a few days of each other recently.

Meanwhile, others have been called ‘inevitable signs of the times,’ or something to that effect, and the recent closing of Edwards Book Store fits nicely into that category — the small independent book store is certainly a dying breed in these days of Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

But while some of the business closings in downtown Springfield can be neatly explained away, to one degree or another, the sum of these failures is certainly cause for concern and food for deep thought about just what the future can and should hold for the central business district.

The latest blow came several days ago, when the owners of Hannoush Jewelers, long a mainstay in Tower Square, announced that they would be shuttering their storefront amid declining sales. “We tried to hang on,” company Vice President Nabil Hannoush told the local press. “With the traffic flow, it was getting a little tough.”

This was a reference to the foot traffic in Tower Square, which in recent years has been confined mostly to people who work in that tower or within a few blocks of it. It is becoming increasingly clear that this constituency is simply not enough to support many businesses downtown, and that something must be done to bring more people into the downtown — somehow.

Before elaborating, we must note that there are some positive things happening downtown. There is a FedEx Kinko’s opening in the Johnson’s Bookstore building downtown. Meanwhile, a new financial institution, Nuvo Bank, is drawing closer to its planned opening in long-vacant space within Tower Square.

And while some businesses are choosing to leave downtown Springfield for the suburbs (the Novak Agency among them), there are some who are choosing to stay, like Court Square Group, which recently moved into the half-vacant One Financial Plaza (see story, page 48).

But most everyone who doesn’t work for the Chamber of Commerce would likely admit to being concerned about downtown and the general state of vibrancy, or lack thereof. The retail component of Tower Square is fast becoming a ghost town, save for Dunkin Donuts (there are always long lines there) and the banks — and we’re not really sure how well they’re doing with those branches.

It’s clear that the old argument that people will do business where they work holds only so much water, as Hannoush Jewelers and some of those banks would attest. The key, again, is to get people from outside the downtown, outside the city, even outside the region, to want to come downtown.

Anyone old enough to remember the ’70s knows that this is doable. Long-time area residents remember when downtown Springfield was the place to be. Of course, that’s when Johnson’s, Forbes & Wallace, Steiger’s, Herman’s World of Sporting Goods, and other retail establishments were open — and the Holyoke Mall wasn’t. In those days, people had a reason to come to Main Street — actually, many of them.

There are still some reasons, like the MassMutual Center and some surviving restaurants and clubs, but simply not enough of them.

Creating more reasons is clearly the top priority for city planning officials and the administrators of Tower Square. Perhaps the tower can re-invent itself by moving away from traditional retail and into something different, such as outlet stores (not like the one that was there!) or offerings that cater to the creative community.

Meanwhile, there are opportunities with the soon-to-be vacant federal building to create opportunities to stimulate some vibrancy, perhaps even through market-rate housing.

Beyond the coincidences and those signs of the times, evidence is mounting that the downtown needs a battle plan — and a spark. And above all else, it needs to create more of those reasons for people to come.

Sections Supplements
There are Many Ways to Finance a Startup Business

It is one of the often-harsh realties of the business world: While new ventures begin with an idea, they can only truly get started with money.

Indeed, entrepreneurs and new-business owners alike are challenged by finding sources of funding during the startup phase. And unlike existing businesses with a proven track record relative to cash flow, customer base, and revenue stream, new businesses are often not profitable for at least the initial six to 12 months of operations.

That said, a new business nonetheless faces the same economic realties of an existing business, such as the need to purchase inventory, pay employees (including a salary to the business owner until profitability is maintained), and pay rent and other ongoing expenses. In addition, new businesses often have initial expenses such as equipment purchases, capital improvement, and initial inventory expenses, which can be significant.

What follows is a primer on determining what it will take to get a business venture off the ground, and also how to secure that financing.

Startup Cost Estimates

A sound business plan for a startup company should consider any and all costs that will be incurred during the startup phase of the business, and then on an ongoing basis. Initial substantial costs will likely be incurred for such things as inventory, equipment and machinery purchases, leasing and/or other real estate expenses, marketing expenses, insurance premiums, specific costs, such as franchise fees or license costs, and initial payroll costs.

If you’re considering starting a new business, it is wise to avoid understating and underestimating your initial capital needs during the startup period. The rule of thumb should be to overestimate initial capital needs and underestimate initial business operating revenues to avoid running into budgetary deficit. Whether or not you have contemplated seeking financing through an institutional lender, commercial lenders are often an invaluable resource for you relative to evaluating your business plan. In fact, since commercial lenders often are presented with numerous business plans by potential and current borrowers, they are often uniquely positioned to understand and challenge your estimated initial capital needs. Even an informal conversation with a commercial lender would likely be highly productive.

Once the associated needs and costs have been identified, your challenge is to identify a source to finance the startup of your business. There are a number of different forms of startup financing, including self-financing, equity financing, and debt financing.

Self-financing

Self-financing simply means that you fund the startup costs, drawing upon initial cash options such as savings accounts, home equity loans, retirement accounts, and other sources of liquidity. Often called ‘bootstrap’ financing, self-financing a business is the least complex and most popular form of financing new small businesses. You simply draw funds off the available liquidity on an as-needed basis, both during the inception of your business operations and during the course of your business startup period.

You should bear in mind, however, that frequently the same funds utilized for your business will also be needed in lieu of income during the startup period. Since it takes a potentially significant period of time for most new businesses to see profitability, you will likely need to draw upon existing cash surpluses to substitute income. So, if you’re contemplating utilizing bootstrap financing, you should consider covering not only business expenses that will be incurred during the startup period, but also living and personal expenses that will arise as well.

An alternative to bootstrap financing is seeking funding from family and friends. Not without a whole host of issues unto itself, family financing can be a cost-effective way to manage your business’s startup needs. Young entrepreneurs often seek initial loans from parents and other close relatives, with terms, conditions, and formality all determined by the circumstances. That said, even in the informal circumstance of a loan from a parent or close family relative, such a transaction nonetheless constitutes an obligation that could have other legal and/or account implications. Even loans between family members should be reflected by minimal documentation including at least a promissory note by and between the parties, and, as with all financing transactions, it should follow legal and tax consultation.

An advantage to startup self-financing or funding by family and friends is the ability to receive funding without relinquishing equity or control. In addition, the informality of loans from relatives and family members could lend itself to flexibility otherwise unavailable with other sources of financing.

Debt and Equity Financing

In the case where substantial capital needs are required by your business during the startup phase, more traditional debt financing or equity financing would most likely be needed. Debt financing is essentially funds borrowed to run your business, including loans from traditional lending institutions, commercial finance companies, and government organizations, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Equity financing is a financing mechanism by which, unlike debt financing, you relinquish some portion of equity ownership in your business in return for a capital contribution. This often takes the form of an initial investor seeking stock (in the case of a corporation) or membership interests (in the case of a limited liability company), to reflect the contributor’s investment. While certainly an attractive and available option for many new-business owners, seeking equity investors should be undertaken with thorough evaluation.

In most circumstances, you have spent quite a bit of time developing your business plan with the intent of growing a successful and prosperous business. By incurring a new equity owner, you are relinquishing control and ownership, two factors that should be thoroughly considered at the onset. Indeed, private investors in a new business venture want to understand such things as how much control he or she will have over their new investment, and will want to know how long it will take for them to recoup their investment, as well as the nature of the potential returns that they can hope to achieve.

Angel Investors and Venture Capital

An additional method of financing is through angel investors and venture capitalists. They are available, albeit limited, funding vehicles. Angel investors are wealthy individuals or groups of individuals who provide capital financing in return for an ownership stake and control in a new business. Venture-capital firms similarly seek to provide capital investments, often-sizable ones, in return for ownership and control, including rights such as positions on the company’s board of directors.

In most circumstances, funding from angel investors and venture capital firms is unlikely to be available to a new business owner. Given the risky nature of these investments, most angel investors and venture capital firms look for the proven track record of an existing business seeking financing to provide some level of comfort relative to the profitability and success of the operation’s business plan. That said, while angel and venture-capital financing may not be available at the onset of the business operations, funds may be available after a period of demonstrated success.

Traditional Debt Financing

Unlike equity financing, traditional debt financing allows you to seek a loan without the need to relinquish ownership or control. Once a traditional business loan is paid back, there are no further obligations to the lender. This means that you will maintain ownership of 100% of your company and will benefit exclusively from its profitability on an ongoing basis. If you’re not looking to relinquish control and ownership, or incur a new business partner, traditional debt financing may be an attractive option.

Such debt financing generally involves some type of loan facility, including a traditional lending institution and/or a government agency such as the Small Business Administration. SBA loans administered through traditional lending institutions may have the ability to offer financing with slightly fewer qualification requirements than may be required through the institutional lender without involvement of the government agency. This is possible because agencies such as the SBA may guarantee repayment of some portion of your loan.

Institutional loans, whether or not government agency-guaranteed, will most likely be secured by some form of collateral. Often, collateral will include your personal guaranty, mortgages on your real estate, including your personal residence, and liens on business assets such as inventory and equipment. It should be noted that nearly one-half of all startup businesses seek initial financing through traditional bank loans.

As discussed above, commercial lending officers are often an excellent resource for evaluating the strength of your initial business plan. Additionally, as your business grows, an existing track record and relationship with a bank may assist you in receiving further financing such as credit lines and large term loans.

Even within the current economic climate, it is possible to launch a new venture. But it helps to know — and fully understand — all your options.

Jeffrey Fialky is an associate with the law firm Bacon Wilson, P.C., specializing in business, corporate, municipal, and real estate law;[email protected]; (413) 781-0560.

Sections Supplements
Sometimes, It’s a Matter of Simply Applying Some Science to the Equation

You’re just not making the money you should. Your revenue is plateauing, that raise you were expecting hasn’t come through, and your multi-level/real-estate/Web-site/cash-flow marketing scheme is in the red. You’ve been looking hard for the levers that will take you to greater financial success, but so far — despite buying lots of books and CDs from the gurus — they’ve eluded you. How can you access and ‘turn on’ the financial possibilities available to you?

While the concepts are unfamiliar to most, the universe has so much to teach us about amplifying our financial possibilities into real, tangible wealth. On a constant basis, the universe is amplifying quantum possibility into this three-dimensional reality that we call home. The chair you’re sitting in and the walls around you are merely collections of energy that have been encouraged to hold their formations until such time as a more powerful suggestion comes along. Your financial situation is a collection of energy, possibilities, and probabilities that are manifesting as tangible results in your life. How can you gain control of this energy and create additional abundance for yourself?

Science indicates that you have the power to choose and amplify your financial possibilities into reality using the same methodologies the universe uses; the only thing holding you back is a misalignment with your dreams and goals. Here are some tips from science to focus your efforts and turn on your amplification powers full-force.

Observe and Choose. When scientists watch subatomic particles in quantum-physics experiments, they behave differently than when no one is watching. Our conscious observation causes an unexplainable reaction, but one that definitely exists. In our everyday world, observation alone modifies outcome. It has been demonstrated to improve patient care, training outcomes, customer service, and even the cleanliness of hotel rooms. So, the first step to amplifying your wealth is to observe the available possibilities and survey the possible wealth landscape.

What will your life look like when your financial dreams have come true? Spend time exploring your options, and then select those possibilities that you will amplify into reality. It’s important to be specific because, if you don’t know what you want, the universe won’t be able to provide support to your creative process.

For example, if you would like to generate more revenue in your business, determine how much more, and by when. If you’d like to get that raise, determine the amount that you’ll take home in your paycheck every pay period, and the date of the first check showing the difference. Record your selections in writing. You might want to make a photocopy of your paycheck, modify the numbers, and pin it up on your desk as a reminder that this is what you are in the process of creating. The simple process of observing that symbolic check every day will create focus and attention.

Create a belief-management system. The science of epigenetics is the study of environmental forces that can modify the way your genes express themselves. These forces include your diet, your surroundings, your relationships, and your beliefs. It’s your beliefs that determine whether you feel safe or threatened, and that determination sets up one of two conditions in your body: growth mode or protection mode. In growth mode, the body participates in creative processes required for life, such as building new cells and proteins. In protection mode, nothing new is built, and all energy is funneled to the emergency systems. If you’re feeling stressed most of the time, you are primarily in protection mode. And if you’re stressed over creating wealth, you’re setting yourself up to be unable to support your wealth-creation process. By aligning your beliefs with your goals, you can not only reduce stress, but reduce self-sabotaging behaviors as well.

So, what are your beliefs about money? You may believe, for example, that you don’t deserve it. You may believe that managing more money will be burdensome and will require a lot of work. You may believe that having more money will cause you to lose friendships, or will take time from your kids. If you are struggling to create more wealth, it’s likely that you have some unexamined beliefs sabotaging your efforts. Regularly reviewing your beliefs, discarding those that don’t serve you, and choosing new beliefs that support your vision will reduce friction in your efforts.

Leverage the environment. The universe’s method for selecting which quantum possibilities will be amplified into reality is called decoherence. The most robust and stable options available will be amplified. Robust possibilities are those that have lots of information about them in the environment, whereas stable possibilities are those that are consistent over time. You can make your financial possibilities robust and stable, too. To create information in the environment about your vision of abundance, you can tell people about it, write about it, visualize it happening, and take actions that are in alignment with it.

If your vision is to grow your company’s revenues 20% by year’s end, for example, hold a staff meeting and tell your employees. Plan for the tax implications. Break the annual goal down into monthly goals, and chart your progress against those goals daily or weekly. Tell associates about your intention, and ask for their support via referrals or leads. Tell customers that you’re growing, and that you want them to be a part of that growth. Write a sales plan. Modify sales compensation to line up with your vision. To bring stability to your vision, do these sorts of things consistently over time. Live every day as if your vision has already come true, and the universe will know you’re serious.

Measure yourself correctly. Quantum physicists have discovered that they can slow down or speed up subatomic processes just by measuring them. The way they measure and what they measure will determine whether they impede or accelerate the process. You measure yourself every day, and you’re probably much better at catching yourself when you mess up, fail, or fall short than when you’ve done something wonderful. Do you think those negative measurements slow down your progress toward your dreams, or speed it up? If you said ‘slow down,’ you’d be right.

By constantly recording, mentally or otherwise, that you are not yet where you intend to be creates a drag on your wealth amplification process that will slow you down. Instead, take the time each day to recognize and record the positive steps you’ve taken toward to creating the abundant life of your dreams. Even the smallest steps count, such as five minutes visualizing, one phone call to an inactive client, or putting even $1 into your savings account. Take these positive measurements regularly, and you will accelerate the creation of wealth in your life.

Throughout history, humans have amplified their possibilities into reality. We are so good at it, in fact, that we can make even the impossible come true. Your dreams for abundance are valuable and uniquely yours, and you are worthy of experiencing them in reality. Stay true to your vision, apply this science, and watch your financial situation blossom.