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Al Mishkoff, Jo Ann Tuttle, Jeff Sheehan and Brittni Ping Guests

Our show today covers topics from garage floor coatings to increase your home’s appeal and utility, construction consulting services for companies and governments to take the pain out of accounting and reporting, using sophisticated psychometric testing to help your college student make the right choices, to expert advice on how to use social media to promote your business so you don’t do more damage than good.

Al Mishkoff is president of Granite Garage Floors, a residential services company that upgrades garage floors with a durable, functional and decorative epoxy coating system that will give your garage a look worthy of Jay Leno’s garage. With businesses opened in four cities besides Atlanta and expansion plans afoot, other areas will soon be able to turn their dirty, stained old garages into showcases.

Using diamond grinders and a lot of preparation of the floor makes sure the foundation of the home comes up before Al’s durable coating ever comes up. Well almost anyway, he says that his floor is guaranteed to stay down and not peel like acid prepped surfaces with epoxy paint usually do.  With an infinite range of looks you can turn an old dusty garage into a stain proof and easy to clean one.

You can contact Al Mishkoff and find out more at email him at or call 770-329-1751.

Jo Ann Tuttle started her consulting firm JAT Consulting Services, Inc., 19 years ago and it now helps governmental agencies such as Hartsfield Jackson Airport manage the financial complexities of its $6.2 billion capital improvement program working for International Aviation Consultants LLC. Taking the complex payments, compliance reporting and contracting details for cities and municipalities are another service her firm provides.

The city of Dunwoody is an example where her company handles all finance, budget and purchasing activities for the newly incorporated city. This model of outsourcing services to private parties to keep government overhead low and results responsive to the citizens is a popular trend here and other governments could well improve services and cut costs with JAT.

A person who gives back, Ms. Tuttle is a member of the Airport Minority Advisory Council, Consulting engineering of Georgia and the Women’s Transportation Seminar. She coaches and helps contractors working in places like Hartsfied-Jackson (there are over 700 contractors, many small) learn business skills and gain the knowledge that simply can’t be learned anywhere else through seminars and mentoring.

Saying she believes that giving back to help these companies not just gives you sense of personal satisfaction that’s hard to duplicate, it also builds a stronger Atlanta.

You can contact Ms. Tuttle at 770-975-7359 email her at or on the web at

Brittini Ping is President of Students & College, an information services company for parents and their children who are in the process of selecting a college and thinking of how to cut the costs of a higher education given today’s massive costs for college.

We’re all different and understanding those differences can help you and your college bound children pick the right major and school the first time and save frustration and money later on. That’s what Brittini and her team do for families grappling with college choices and costs.

A division of BestWork DATA, a psychometric testing firm used by companies to help understand how to best place employees in positions and the best strategies for helping their employees maximize their potential, Students & College uses the same powerful testing tools to help you and your son or daughter understand the areas where they will do their best and be happy in their major. By picking the right major up front, you avoid the high cost of having to swap majors later and spend an added year to get a degree, an obvious benefit to the cost conscious.

As important, you and your son or daughter will gain valuable insights as to the college that is likely to be the best fit be that a small liberal arts school or a school with tens of thousands of students. We’re all different and understanding those differences can help you and your college bound children pick the right major and school the first time and save frustration and money later on.

You can reach Brittni Ping at 770-274-0518 x 8300, via email at or on the web at

Jeff Sheehan is President of Sheehan Marketing Strategies, a firm that helps companies use the right mix of social media to drive business and avoid the many pitfalls of “do it yourself” social media approaches can harbor.  Explaining it is not something that will work for every company nor will the same social media channels work with every situation, Jeff says that you really must understand the problems and characteristics of your marketing goals and match that to the right media for the job. That media might be social media or not and if it is, then it might be LinkedIn but not twitter.

Knowing takes a professional and Jeff brings his major ad agency background with him when discussing and advising companies on how best to use this “new media.”

An active speaker in the Atlanta community, Jeff is well known for his volunteer work with career ministries helping others to learn how to think about and use social media in their job search and to develop a personal brand.

You can put his years of experience marketing products to and for major companies like Cisco, Apple, HP, Dow Chemical, and IBM to work in your firm helping you makes sense of and get real business out of today’s new media.

Jeff Sheehan can be reached at 770-366-1047 by email at or on the web at

Steve Cohen – Online Reputation Management, Lorene Schaefer – Handling Harassment and Pam Sligar – Realtor

Steve Cohen, “Head Renegade” leads Internet Marketing Renegades, an online reputation management firm. He and his team help companies proactively avoid bad reviews on social sites and review portals. Stressing that even one negative review can kill someone buying from you online or coming into your store, he explained that the power of Social Media today and your reputation can’t be an afterthought.

Most people are not aware of all the sites where reviews of your company can occur much less have the tools and strategies that are needed to head of a bad review and turn the reviewer into a raving fan.

That’s what Steve and his company does using custom software that heads of those bad reviews before they get posted. It’s unique and you’ll want to learn about that if you sell online, serve the public or own a store or restaurant.

Beyond reputation management, Steve offers local search engine optimization, Social Media marketing, and can help you deal with the exploding number of people using iPhones, iPads, tablets etc. so your content and web site show up well on any device.

You can reach Steve, the “Head Renegade” at 770-847-0510 and on the web at

Lorene Schaefer, President of Workplace Investigations Group, is an attorney specializing in the investigation of sexual harassment and workplace bullying claims. Her staff of experienced attorney investigators handle these explosive situations and get to the bottom of the issue. Working with you and your own attorney, they complement your own counsel by taking on the highly specialized task of investigations that HR and investigators generally lack the expertise, skill and knowledge to handle properly.

Explaining that jury awards can be quite stratospheric if harassment claims are not handled properly, and that a company, by not responding can waive any defense, it is clear this area of workplace management requires education for you and managers but also someone who is already in place who can nip these toxic situation in the bud.

It’s an area large firms understand well but in general, smaller firms simply are not aware of what a harassment claim can even sound like, much less have any idea of the pitfalls of handing a claim improperly. For example, claims can sound like not a big deal, “Jack walked me out to my car after the company party and tried to kiss me.” Yep, that’s a real complaint and you better be ready to respond appropriately.

That is where Lorene and her team help. They can educate your managers of what constitutes harassment, what they must do and what legal consequences could be so they can be avoided. If worse comes to worse, you and your regular corporate legal team will have the experts who are impartial and can properly execute your obligations and help head off costly litigation.

You can contact Lorene at 800-830-1561 email: and on the web Her blog is

Pam Sligar is a third generation Realtor and literally grew up with Atlanta real estate. Her 30 years in the market is reflected on her grasp of the market nuances, trends and inventory. Explaining that there is a real shortage of good properties in almost all price ranges, she can advise new people on what to do to get a good home in a market that is becoming increasingly tight.

For sellers, she can help be sure you get the very top price by marketing your home properly, pricing it right and making a difficult process where anything can hold up a sale, go smoothly.  After years of a home glut were prices were badly depressed it’s a different story today. Pam says most homes sell in 100 days and some sell at substantial premiums over the asking price.

You can reach Pam at the Keller Williams Mansell Road office at 678-521-5571 (cell) 678-287-4800 (office) email and on the web at

Jim Lynch with Lynchpin Associates, LLC ; Carson Cowan with The Carson Cowan State Farm Agency; and Tim Koenning with Transamerica Financial Advisors

Guests today were Jim Lynch with Lynchpin Associates, LLC ; Carson Cowan with The Carson Cowan State Farm Agency; and Tim Koenning with Transamerica Financial Advisors.

Jim Lynch with Lynchpin Associates applies his many years experience of working with The Coca-Cola Company and UPS where he tackled introducing or repositioning these iconic brands into some 63 countries to large and small firms.

It doesn’t take long to recognize Jim is an expert in strategic planning, performance and program management, marketing and change management and  dealing with different cultures and ways of doing business.

Jim brings his amazing depth of experience and skill to leaders of companies large and small, helping them clarify their vision and turn those into actionable plans for taking their firms into new markets or countries or improve their operations and processes.

An Executive MBS from Emory’s Goizuetta Business School while with Coca-Coal, he improved his skills and refreshed his knowledge as he move over to UPS. We’d say it paid off handsomely. You will also find Jim payoff off handsomely when you retain him to help your company with strategic and tactical issues.

You can reach Jim at 678-916-3938 email: on the web

Carson Cowan recently opened The Carson Cowan State Farm Agency in Alpharetta. An eight year veteran with State Farm, Carson and his team are delivering primarily thought of as an auto and homeowner insurance company, in fact they have a huge array of very cost effective policies for businesses he legendary personal service State Farm is know for to families and businesses in Atlanta.  Tim says that while State Farm is and non-profits. Errors and Omission, Directors and Officer Liability, Health, general liability, workman’s comp… the list is long and impressive.

You’ll be surprised to learn they have excellent financial planning products and services too.

If you are a business who is seeking an almost total one stop high service insurance carrier, give Carson a call. Likewise, if you are an individual, be proactive and talk with Carson about how State Farm can save you money on insurance, make sure you have adequate insurance to meet the risks that life brings our -way and discuss your wealth-building options as well.

You can reach Carson at 770-864-5840 email on the web

Tim Koenning represents Transamerica Financial Advisors specializingin helping individuals and families make the most of their retirement. With a broad array of products and services , Tim helps young families plan for a secure future in an uncertain world and helps those baby boomers  who are retiring maximize their returns and help the rest of the “Silver Tsunami” make their nest eggs work harder for them now.  Many families are faced with investing large sums accumulated by their parents which have been passed to them. Tim can offer advice and options that take the confusion out of handling complex investment decisions as well.

You can reach Tim at 770-418-0300  X 118 email on the web

Julie Grace of Grace Design on Marketing Strategy and Tactics; Reid Trego of Huntington Learning Center on Improving a Childs Academic Skills

Julie Grace, owner of Grace Design, a marketing strategies and implementation firm, comes from a career working with non-profit firms, helping them define and promote themselves. Working with some of the household name non-profits, she’s helped craft a sound strategy for them then translated that into specific marketing tactics that accomplish specific goals.

A talented designer and excellent copywriter in her own right, she is also grounded in the business side and emphasizes the need for continuous measurement of results and tuning and tweaking to maximize the ROI on every marketing dollar invested.

For several years now, she’s worked with for both profit and non-profit firms in Atlanta helping them understand and articulate a marketing and brand strategy then managing the execution, delivering the copywriting, collateral and promotional materials, direct mail, email, websites, trade shows and social media services required to execute marketing projects.

When you need a well thought out strategy that builds your image, brand, achieves defined results and catches and holds onto your customers, you’ll definitely want to talk with Julie and her team.

You can reach Julie and Grace Design at: 770-922-1200 email:; on the web:

Reid Trego, owner of Huntington Learning Center in Woodstock, has owned the center since 2004. Always interested in influencing and working with young people, he has put his major in psychology and economics to work in a business focused on helping students struggling with academic skills.

Parents most often notice there is a problem when homework time leads to frustration or when grades begin to fall. Reid says these go back most often to problems with basic skills and motivation. Basic skills get missed for many reasons and even with many programs in school to help remediate these issues, not all students are helped.

That’s where Reid and Huntington Learning Centers come in. They work one on one with each student, identify the specific gaps that are the underlying cause of the symptoms the parents see then creating  a carefully designed program that helps get each child back on track.

The difference is individual one on one attention says Reid. Not all children learn the same way, at the same speed or “get it” the way something is presented. Using certified educators, they invest the time to first assess the problem and its causes then provide the ongoing one-on-one specialized help needed to close gaps and ameliorate problems.

For children with leaning disabilities, having the one-on-one help is very critical, many children just need a high level of attention to be their best and that’s what Reid and his center can deliver.

And, coping with the alphabet soup of tests that are so important to a child’s future may mean giving a youngster practice and insights into strategies for taking these tests and answering questions. Even practice applying the right skills may be lacking without training. All the way from basic tests to ACT and SAT, Huntington has a program that will improve results.

Huntington Learning Center is a trusted solution to help ensure your child succeeds; the husband and wife understand the root causes that causing the problems; and then have a clear view of the gaps that make school problematic. From that understanding, the see that Reid’s course of action will help bring their child up to speed.

You can reach Reid and Huntington Learning Center at 678-445-4746 or email:; on the web:

Diane Prindle – Hiring employees with disabilities; Howard Flint – Marketing effectively in a web-centric world

Diane Prindle of Briggs & Associates helps employers hire those with disabilities; Howard Flint, President of Ghost Partner helps companies market effectively using the new media and a changed web centric world. Briggs & Associates Diane Prindle helps those with mental disabilities find employment which gives an immense sense of satisfaction to those hired while helping companies discover a new pool of dedicated, grateful and highly effective employees to do many tasks in their companies.  Taxpayers win too as those hired no longer require support from State and Local programs freeing up funds badly needed in other areas. Dispelling the myth that hiring people with mild mental disabilities is fraught with problems, she cites study after study showing they make excellent highly-skilled employees in the right position. Working with the employer, Briggs & Associates analyze the job skills needed in various positions and identify those suited to their pool of individuals. After careful matching, the results surprise the employer because they find their new employee is loyal, on time, dedicated and turn out better results than the people they hired previously. There are many other positive outcomes from stepping forward to see how your company can make a difference for challenged individuals and in the process, improve many aspects of their own company. Contact Diane at 404-290-6860 email: Web: to learn more. Their services are free for the employer and the individuals they help so there is no reason not to reach out and discover a new talent pool. Ghost Partner Howard Flint sold his last company, BUZZ Publishing in 200 but saw that content on the web would soon become vital to being noticed. With a proven network of professional writers, he formed Ghost Partner to help firms navigate the uncharted waters of internet marketing. Working with some very high profile clients like Intuit/Quickbooks and many smaller ones, Howard and his team have rounded out a complete solution for internet marketing using unique, quality content, social media, SEO and website content optimization. His team have the edge over many others offering similar services having done newsletters for years and with a network of proven writers to tackle projects. The result is copy and marketing optimized to get the results you have set for your online marketing and return the highest ROI on your investment. If you struggle with finding or executing an internet/social media marketing strategy that works, you’ll want to be sure and reach out to Howard. Call him at 404-537-2166 X 4 or email: Web:

Women Entrepreneurs and Their Businesses: Simply Saying Hi, Thanks and Hello; and Professional Real Estate Sales and Investment Advice

Our first guest was Larissa Nichols, a Russian immigrant 13 years ago leveraged her education as an English teacher in Russia and as a translator to move here. She has found a niche building her business teaching sales people, Realtors, attorneys, small businesses – virtually anyone how to make a positive impression and stay in contact with their customers by sending a thank you, birthday or gift card.

An independent dealer for SendOutCards, Larissa introduces people to the power of using the internet to make sending a real in-the-mail gift, birthday, Christmas, get well or thank you card as easy as sending an email.  Instead of buying expensive custom cards that never get sent because they take forever to address, stamp and mail, her service lets you send your cards out one at a time, a thousand at a time or create a series of cards that automatically go out.

She says using these to reach out to new customers makes positive impression and increases the likelihood of your getting a referral and repeat business. Now there is no excuse for your sales force not to send new customers and prospects a professionally designed card rivaling ones costing several dollars or even use your own designed one. . . and send it for a fraction of the cost of what it would cost locally. Get in touch. You’ll get a card at a minimum! Concta Larissa at 678-332-6607 or email:

Lorraine Beato is a Realtor with Palmer House Properties and brings 20 years experience in real estate and appraising to the field of real estate. Starting in real estate in Westchester County, NY and moving here she’s worked in high value properties with discerning families as well as in more modest prices homes all across the real estate spectrum. Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, she has a unique ability to work with clients and bridge the gap beteween cultures, language and business methods.

Beyond being a great resource for listing and pricing a home so it sells at the top price in any market, she goes the extra mile to make a deal come together. She knows what repairs need to be made and what those will cost, having a lot of experience in rehab work. That’s great for sellers or, if you’ve hired Lorraine to act as a buyer’s agent, you’ll not have any nasty surprises in the inspection process that delay or kill a sale.

If you are interested in investing in real estate – it can pay off handsomely if you get the right place, in the right market and the stage of the market is favorable. Knowing how to determine all those factors separates Lorraine from many others in the field. Investing on her own account and helping other investors acquire and rehab profitable properties means she has the current knowledge to help you make a wise investment.

Conscientious, going the extra two miles for her clients and doing a superb job following up with every party to a transaction means smooth sales and purchases, no surprises and an altogether terrific experience. Keep your eye on Lorraine, she’s a powerhouse and you’ll be hearing more from her.  You can reach Lorraine at and by phone 404-429-7354,

Help for Retailers Facing a Tight Market; Make Your Website Work Harder and Sell More

Stu Kent with SW Kent & Associates, LLC, a consulting expert in the retail industry shares some hard truths about retailing today but provides answers that you can put to work in your company. Meredith Kahan, a principal in Vesist Media, LLC, a web and graphics design company provides insights about the different impact on your success of a poorly executed site and one done by professionals who bring graphic design, technology, and business acumen to the process.

Stu Kent SW Kent & Associates

Stu Kent, a 30 plus year veteran of big box and medium size retail management knows what works and what doesn’t. A global thinker, he’s tuned in to demographic and cultural shifts that are already impacting retailers and that all retailers will need to understand to survive and grow an a tight market era. You’ll really want to learn what he sees for retailers coming out of the great recession and how to take advantage of the trends.

A consultant to some very large franchise organizations today and counting dozens of retailers across the nation as clients, Stu brings insights and solutions to declining sales, flat growth and tight margins. You’ll want to engage Stu if you are a franchisor with struggling franchisees. He’ll get them on track for success.

If you are a retail store owner wondering how to get on the growth track, give Stu a call, he’ll spend the time with you to understand your situation and offer sound advice on the way forward. You can reach him at: 866-235-1240 or email

Meredith Kahan, Versist Media

Meredith Kahan has an MS in Digital Imaging and Design and is marketing professional by trade. Her partner, located in Denver and their technical team , bring 30 years of technology experience and deep expertise to developing a website that meets any requirement. Counting large and small firms from New York to the west coast and even abroad as customers, they have a solid reputation and many years in business backing them up.

Just as a good magazine layout or well done display catches your eye and gets you to consider their content or features, a professionally done website does the same thing. But that won’t help if no one sees your site. That’s where social media marketing and SEO come in. If you are not an expert in these, you need to contact Versist Media, they are experts and can make these tools bring more prospects to you.

Unfortunately, many business owners have amateurish site, built with tools on inexpensive systems. And their visitors notice it. With less than 10 seconds to convince a web visitor not to click away, many of these home built sites actually drive away business.

It’s why you need professionals to do your website. You wouldn’t let your kid do surgery on you or use garden shears to remove your appendix just because they were handy or cheap. If you wouldn’t let untrained amateurs do surgery or use a cheap solution on you, why use the same approach to create your most customer-facing business presence, your website?

Get in touch with Meredith at 973-495-3510 or email her at


The Secrets to Business Success from Marketing to Mindset and Taxes to Technology

Purple Snowflakes Get Noticed, white ones don’t. Our guest, Dagmar Sands, is a true success story with a list of successes in live, business and real estate that won’t fit on five or six closely spaced pages. President of Dagmar Sands – Real Estate International, Inc., an international real estate group and luxury property marketing firm, networking wonder, mentor to many and the brains and drive behind Johns Creek City Guide, an online community resource that has helped draw many to Johns Creek. She and the Guide have likely facilitated more business connections that have made people money than AT&T. She is originally from Czechoslovakia although you’d never pick up on it in her speech and is fluent in about five languages…  Which helps explain why she’s such a powerhouse international property broker.

What a great person to talk about the power of helping others and making your business stand out from the crowd.  She explains more than just what a city guide can do to help connect people and companies with services and opportunities and why that is so critical to your success today. Dagmar also delivers wonderful insights into the business and personal secrets that made her a well known, well respected and sought after speaker, mentor and partner.

Her upcoming book is all about getting noticed and you’ll want to stay in touch and get a copy as soon as it’s available, especially if you are one of the 1.3 million Realtors out there aspiring to stand out and get the best deals.

You can reach Dagmar at:, email her at or call 404-313-3456.

HCREW Technologies President and Co-Owner Tommy Higginbotham and his team work with you like business partners, not technocrats. Why? Because Tommy literally grew up an entrepreneur along side his dad who ran his own business. He and his partner understand their job is to help their clients save money and make smart decisions on technology to improve business infrastructure reliability, decrease operating costs and increase productivity.

Offering consultative advice on a company’s technology, data and network setups, Tommy’s company tackles the soft underbelly of so many firms dependent on IT infrastructure to operate. They start by making sure the equipment and software are maintained, monitored for problems and proactively upgraded so small glitches are caught before they become catastrophes.

Helping be sure if “the asteroid hits your building” you can carry on today what with today’s firm so dependent on IT, is essential to survival. After all, how long can you operate with no way to get to your Accounts Receivable records? It’s why they offer monitored backups of your systems and data so ifthe worst happens,  your critical customer records, accounting data, sales information, etc., can all be back up and running almost instantly.

If you are small business, even if it’s just one PC and you can’t see living without it… up to a medium size firm, you’ll want to invite Tommy in for a review of your situation. After all, the business you save might be your own!

You can contact Tommy at or email and call 855-427-3986.

CPA, CFA and Business Adviser Steve Rothschild, with RRB Financial Services, has been helping businesses small and large avoid not just the tax traps but dodge the tiger pits that kill so many start-ups and growing firms. Steve’s company sets itself apart by helping you interpret the numbers and take action on what they are telling you.

Blending a combination of common sense and sound business advice in with the numbers you need to run your business along with sound tax advice, he helps you avoiding getting one of those “Dear Felon” letters from the IRS. Since 1987, Steve has helped firms avoid thinking about gaming the tax code but instead of putting the code to work for them in a positive way that returns big bucks to the company to help it grow.

If you are starting a company, have a new growing one , or own an established successful one, Steve can help you look to the future so you create an exit strategy and retirement program that will maximize your wealth and secure a comfortable and worry-free retirement.

You can contact Steve at email or call 404-974-3066.