Business & Economy
5 Tips for Setting Up Shop in Paradise PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:14
Entrepreneur Shares How He Traded Suit & Tie
for Flip-Flops & Cut-Off Jeans

Dreams come true, but not through wishful thinking, says John Berglund, a corporate executive turned “flip-flop perfumer.”

After successful careers as an attorney, lobbyist, trade-association executive and bowling industry magnate, Berglund tired of the corporate rat race.  He was also tired of winters bundled in layers of long johns, shoveling snow.

“Everybody has their own version of paradise,” says the author of A Beach Less Traveled: From Corporate Chaos to Flip-Flop Perfumer, ( “Whether it’s New York City, the Great Smokey Mountains or my personal favorite, the French-Caribbean island of St. Martin, paradise is within reach – with a little planning.”

An essential part of that was deciding what to do for a living once he got there. Berglund would embark on his new career path as a perfumer with his wife of more than 30 years, Cyndi. How did he do it? He shares the strategies that worked – and some that didn’t.

• Dream big … and do it: Berglund remembers sunning on a pristine beach with his wife, listening to the gentle sounds of wind and turquoise seawater lapping on the shore. When Cyndi heard him order an adult beverage in French, she shook his arm to wake him for the morning commute to work … in the dead of winter in Wisconsin. He was dreaming – literally. “I’d always had a high standard of living, which I’ve enjoyed, but it was time for me to risk a completely foreign scenario – in terms of business and lifestyle – and follow this dream.”

• Business trends: Boutique perfumeries are where boutique wineries were three decades ago – they’re personal, fun and interactive, Berglund says. They’re not just about walking into a store and choosing a bottle from a shelf. He offers his customers a hands-on experience customizing their scents, and by using local ingredients, he offers visitors a meaningful souvenir of their stay. Berglund envisions his new business as a model at several vacation destinations.

• Fortitude amid real-world challenges: A dream is the spark to the journey, but moving to St. Martin, where the natives speak French and Dutch, and starting a business takes work. The hurdles for Berglund included the search for property, anxiety on closing the property deal, remodeling, acclimating to life there, obtaining a business license, moving and the language barrier. “These problems may be deal-breakers for many people, but part of the excitement of doing anything worthwhile is the fact that it’s not easy,” he says.

• A history of business sense: Creating an unprecedented cottage industry may seem like a long shot layered in wishful thinking. “But this isn’t my first rodeo,” Berglund says. “I’ve made several career moves throughout my life, and no matter how unlikely, I always came out okay.” He acknowledges, however, that he was in the right phase of his life to pull off such a change. Plan and prepare so you’re ready for change, he says. Risk is involved.

• Loved ones: Even though Berglund’s children were grown and he was capable of achieving his dream, he needed to make sure Cyndi was on board. “You can do all the planning and troubleshooting that is necessary for a dream to work, but the one thing that can change the minds of the most passionate is the opposition of a loved one,” he says. “It’s worth a discussion with your family early in the planning process.”

About John Berglund

John Berglund began his career as the chief county prosecutor at age 24 and then transitioned into a lobbyist and trade-association executive. Another career shift led him to being voted the bowling industry’s most influential person for a decade. He followed his passion for chemistry, which he studied in college, and left the “rat race” for his Caribbean perfumery in St. Martin. Berglund lives with his wife of more than 30 years, Cyndi, who has significantly contributed to his dream job in paradise. The couple has two grown children.

Local Retailer Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home Explains How Cooperatives Make a Difference PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Douglas Patch   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:06

Thursday, August 30, 2012 (Davenport, IA) As a local Davenport area business and a member of a cooperative, Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home helps explain how cooperatives can be beneficial to business owners and consumers alike. 2012 has been named the International Year of the Cooperative by the United Nations to draw attention and raise awareness around cooperative enterprises.

Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home is a part of the largest cooperative of flooring retailers in North America. As a member of the Carpet One Floor & Home cooperative, they are able to benefit from economies of scale when making purchases, advertising, merchandising their  stores and even training their employees — all while maintaining their autonomy as a local business.

Because Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home benefits from their membership in a cooperative, they are able to provide their customers the value they’re looking for without losing the personal touch of a local business.

“Our membership in the Carpet One Floor & Home cooperative has helped us remain competitive with big-box stores and survive through a rough economy,” said Douglas Patch, of Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home. “We don’t have to give up our independence, but we still have someone to lean on when we need advice or support.”

There are several types of cooperatives. Carpet One Floor & Home is a Purchasing & Shared Services cooperative, but another familiar type of cooperative is a consumer cooperative. Many people are familiar with local food co-ops. There are also producer co-ops like those formed by growers and worker co-ops where the workers actually own the business.

Participating in or purchasing from cooperative businesses helps to keep more money in the local community. Local business owners are more likely to reinvest in the community and donate time to local causes.

Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home would like to help spread the word about the International Year of the Cooperative and help educate consumers on the benefits of participating in and purchasing from cooperatives. “Customers aren’t surprised to find that we offer better service than big-boxes, but they are often surprised that we can give them the same value,” says Douglas Patch.

To learn more about the International Year of the Cooperative visit their website at and join Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home in spreading the word about cooperatives at

About Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home
Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home is a locally owned flooring retailer serving the Davenport area. They are part of North America’s leading floor covering co-op. Their showroom is known for carrying a broad selection of beautiful carpet, wood, laminate, ceramic, vinyl, and area rugs including exclusive brands like Bigelow and Lees. They offer a unique customer experience with the exclusive SelectAFloor merchandising system that simplifies the shopping experience and The Beautiful GuaranteeTM, which guarantees that the customer will be 100% happy with their floor. Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home is also the home of the exclusive Healthier Living Installation system. For more information visit NORTHWESTCARPETONEDAVENPORT.COM.

Braley to Attend Harkin Retirement Security Event PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 15:54

Braley will be the special guest and panelist 

Dubuque, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will join Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on Thursday for a discussion with Iowans on the retirement crisis. Following the event, the pair will travel to Independence where they will enjoy coffee at Em’s Coffee Company, a local business whose owner, Emilea Hillman, testified at a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions subcommittee hearing on disabilities.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


2:00 PM CDT      Retirement Security Event with Sen. Harkin 

Hawkeye Community College

Tama Hall, Room 107A

1501 E Orange Road



4:00 PM CDT             Em’s Coffee Company

324 First Street East



Braley Discusses Small Business Advancements with Iowa Entrepreneurs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:24

Congressman Braley toured Dubuque and Cedar Falls businesses

Dubuque, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) this week toured two small businesses that were assisted by Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) in Eastern Iowa. Braley introduced the Main Street Stabilization Act in Congress that helps fifteen Iowa SBDC’s provide customized, free and confidential business advice to any small business. Braley also introduced the Support our Startups Act that increases tax deductions available for new startup companies.

“These thriving small businesses are a great way to see important funding at the SBDC and local level making a difference,” said Braley. “I have worked hard to ensure that small businesses in Iowa get the assistance they need to succeed. Far Reach and Dubuque Power Equipment, which both received advice from the SBDC, are two great examples of people getting the right information from good resources. I will do everything I can so that the Small Business Administration and SBDC are properly funded and can assist more Iowans to create successful businesses in the future.”

Yesterday, Braley toured Dubuque Power Equipment, a shop owned by Karen Ohnesorge. Ohnesorge took a class from Terry Sullivan, director of the SBDC in Eastern Iowa, where she learned a great deal about starting a business, the risks involved, and ways the Small Business Administration could help her achieve her goals. Braley spoke with her about the course, and improvements she would like to see in the program.

Today, Braley toured Far Reach, a local web start-up whose employees were assisted by the UNI Innovation Incubator and the SBDC. After touring the facility, Braley spoke with employees Kate Washut and Chris Rous to discuss how the SBDC helped their company, and how it, and other state and government programs could help small businesses in the future.


# # #

The ‘Moneyball’ Approach to Business Hiring PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:01
Expert Offers Tips for Creating Championship Teams

Great coaches take into consideration an athlete’s talent and heart when they’re building a team, but they consider group dynamics, too, says entrepreneur J. Allan McCarthy.

“It’s not just a matter of getting the fastest, strongest and smartest players on your side,” says McCarthy, an international scaling expert and author of Beyond Genius, Innovation & Luck: The ‘Rocket Science’ of Building High-Performance Corporations (

“If you’re building a championship team, you’re gauging how the individual athletes fit together; how their personalities, talents, drive and abilities will mesh to meet the team’s goals. It’s exactly what you need to do to build a winning corporate team. As Michael Jordan, put it, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’ ”

In the 2011 film Moneyball, Coach Billy Beane picks his players based on analysis and evidence, says McCarthy, who has worked with hundreds of companies. He doesn’t ever just “go with his gut.”

McCarthy provides key points for building a successful, effective team:

• Lead with a team, not a group: A team of leaders behaves very differently than a group of leaders. Many companies don’t know the difference. “It comes down to clear goals, interdependencies and rules of engagement,” McCarthy says, Every corporation claims to hire only the best and the brightest but it is evident that getting the best and brightest to function as a team can be a challenge.

• Know your goals: McCarthy cites Bill Gates – “Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well-motivated individual.” Many big-name CEOs like to say their talent runs free with innovative ideas. “It makes for compelling literature,” McCarthy says. But would that work on the football field? Corporations need their personnel to think out-of-the-box but also act in a prescriptive culture – to work within a system in order to achieve common objectives.

• Not everyone can be the coach – or the quarterback: The problem with executives is that they all want to lead and none want to follow, McCarthy says. A team made up of executives is like a group of thoroughbred stallions confined to a small space called an organization -- plenty of kicking, biting and discord. Thoroughbreds don’t naturally work well as a team. Better to define responsibilities that build a “foxhole mentality,” wherein one person has the gun, the other the bullets, McCarthy says. It’s in the best interests of both for each to succeed.

• The strongest teams are adept at resolving conflict: Hiring the best and the brightest should create a diverse, competent group — but inevitably these stallions generate friction that can sabotage company progress. So, sensitize team members to the early warning signs: know-it-all attitudes, multi-tasking during team meetings, exhibiting dominant behavior, not responding in a timely fashion or engaging in avoidance. Agree, as a team, on how to mutually manage and minimize counterproductive behaviors as they surface.

• Create individual and team agreements: Here is where the “rubber meets the road” – it’s the final stage of planning who will do what for team objectives, as well as a collective agreement on team rules and interdependencies. Ask individuals to openly commit to what they will do, and how the team is to function. The public declaration stresses employee obligation and collaborative management.

“We live in a 21st-century economy where speed and efficiency is a top priority, and that often means a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality,” McCarthy says. “But you get the team that you plan for, not necessarily what you pay for. If time is money, then I’d invest it in creating and building a championship team.”

About J. Allan McCarthy

J. Allan McCarthy, principal of J.A. McCarthy & Affiliates, has more than 20 years of experience across 15 industries and more than 200 companies. He is a scaling expert who helps organizations determine how to best align strategy, structure and workforce capabilities. He earned his master’s of management from Golden Gate University, a Stanford University AEA MBA refresher, and has worked with many international companies, including Cisco Systems, Raychem Corporation, SAP Inc., Redback Networks, BEA Systems and Ericsson.

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