Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

Safety in the Workplace Q and A with Michael Courouleau

In Professionals on December 24, 2012 at 8:36 am
Michael Courouleau

Michael Courouleau

Michael Courouleau is an environmental and safety professional with extensive experience in industrial safety.

Q: We’ve come a long way as far as workplace safety. What are some areas that people might still neglect?

Michael Courouleau: Accidents during disaster recovery are still very common.

Q: What special hazards does a disaster recovery situation present?

Michael Courouleau: Electrical dangers, collapse or partial collapse of compromised buildings, stress and overwork from trying to get a facility reopened as quickly as possible.

Q: Do floodwaters present a special set of dangers?

Michael Courouleau: Absolutely. Floodwaters are contaminated to start with, making the threat of infection pretty extreme.

Q: What precautions should workers and crews take in post-hurricane situations?

Michael Courouleau: Supervisors should be mindful of not taking shortcuts or getting in too big a hurry. That’s how injuries happen. Crews should be very wary of flooded buildings in terms of structural safety and electrical hazards.

Q: Are floodwaters breeding grounds for insects?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, crews should be careful of not only mosquito bites, but also snakebites and even leeches in flooding situations.

Q: What’s another seldom-thought-of danger in the workplace?

Michael Courouleau: Combustible dust is a huge danger in places like grain elevators.

Q: What can be done about it?

Michael Courouleau: Ventilation, water mist setups, sprinklers, airborne dust density monitoring and fire suppression setups are all very important.

Q: What kinds of materials can become combustible dust, in the right concentrations?

Michael Courouleau: Flour, grain dust, sawdust, sugar, sugar byproducts, tobacco, metal shavings, even dried blood can be potentially hazardous combustible dust.

Q: What are the points in the process where combustible dust can be found in greater concentrations?

Michael Courouleau: Places like loading and unloading points or transfer points will typically stir up more airborne particles.

Q: What sorts of systems should be in place at those points?

Michael Courouleau: Air monitors are typically used there, keeping tabs on airborne dust and sending readings back to a control console.

Q: How do those work?

Michael Courouleau: When densities reach a certain point, water mist systems will kick on to reduce the concentration. Some systems will even automatically shut down machinery to give dust time to settle.

Q: Aren’t there ignition sources as well?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, there’s a special set of precautions to be taken with things like motors and switches.

Q: Can static electricity be an ignition source?

Michael Courouleau: Yes, natural fibers should be worn in these settings.

Q: What is a general piece of advice you can give?

Michael Courouleau: Remember that knowledge is power when it comes to safety in the workplace. Educate your workforce on safety protocols, keep MSDS sheets available, and offer incentives for workplace safety.

Jeffrey Nimer Founds Social Culinaire Network for Foodies

In Lifestyle, Professionals on December 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Jeffrey Nimer

Jeffrey Nimer

Founded in 2009 by Jeffrey Nimer, Haute Chefs LA Executive Chef, Social Culinaire is an outlet for sharing and recommending culinary creations. It explores all aspects of food and wine culture, with members ranging from novice chefs to industry professionals, according to Jeffrey Nimer.

From herb roasted pumpkin to devil dogs, Jeffrey Nimer says that all culinary creations are celebrated on the Social Culinaire networking website. As a place where gourmands, sommeliers, and connoisseurs can chat and share recipes, photos, and links, Social Culinaire was founded by Jeffrey Nimer to be a networking site catering to food lovers. Los Angeles Chef Jeffrey Nimer welcomes all foodies, from tenderfoots to industry professionals, to partake in the fun of searching, discussing, and sharing all things that can be consumed.

Jeffrey Nimer had a vision for creating Social Culinaire because he wanted to offer a social networking site where food lovers could unite. As a celebrity chef with A-list clientele, Jeffrey Nimer has an extensive background and over 15 years of experience as a personal chef, caterer, restaurant consultant, and cooking teacher. Jeffrey Nimer ’s business, Haute Chefs LA, offers a number of culinary services across Los Angeles, from event production to personal chef catering.

Social Culinaire hosts more than 800 members who share a passion for cooking, food, and wine, says Jeffrey Nimer. Pictures of caprese salad, carved fruits, and puffed fried bread with mutton gravy are among the dishes featured on the front page of Social Culinaire. Jeffrey Nimer has posted hundreds of photos of his own recipes, and members add their own photos daily. A Twitter tracker follows California wine tweets with by-the-minute updates, and blog posts allow members to post jobs, share a recipe, recommend a wine, or discuss events.

“Socially, you can network through others and discuss anything and everything food-wise,” reports Jeffrey Nimer. “If you like wine and got a bottle of Opus 197, you take a pic and post it. You can update what are you eating and drinking right now, like a status update.”

Jeffrey Nimer has posted videos of his own experiences with food on Social Culinaire, from the shopping and cooking process to tasting the completed dish. The goal is to share his own experiences and teach others how to prepare the best dish. Jeffrey Nimer recommends buying the freshest produce possible at the peak of ripeness, preferably from farmers markets. For meats, Jeffrey Nimer says the best way to ensure the highest quality is to have a relationship with a local butcher to learn about the best cuts of meat, and to always choose organic.

“Cooking is all about technique, so you have to have the right technique and foundation,” according to Jeffrey Nimer. “If you try to cut corners, it’s not going to work, so I’m a stickler for doing things right and showing people the right way. Before you can go forward you have to know your path.”

Jeffrey Nimer invites culinary industry fans to join Social Culinarian for free to discuss all things food-related at

An Interview with Peter F. Spittler on Sustainability

In Real Estate on December 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Peter F. Spittler

Peter F. Spittler

Today, Presentation Solutions was privileged to have a conversation with architect Peter F. Spittler, regarding sustainability and green-building initiatives in building design. Peter F. Spittler has been key to many green-building projects both in the United States and abroad. Here is a brief excerpt from the interview.

Presentation Solutions: Thanks for taking a little time with us today!

Peter F. Spittler: Absolutely, glad I could join you.

Presentation Solutions: Explain to us a little about what sustainability means…

Peter F. Spittler: Well, that’s a pretty broad subject. First, sustainability looks at the big picture. It’s more than just architects involved–we generally pull together a team of people like planners, architects, engineers, ecologists, financial experts. The industry calls this the “Triple Bottom Line” and that’s a term corporate America understands.

Presentation Solutions: Does it take into account existing neighborhoods?

Peter F. Spittler: Oh, no question. Nobody likes seeing a big-box store or office park move in and stick out like a sore thumb. Sustainability incorporates a respect for what’s already there from a contextual perspective and sensitive planning and design approach. Sustainability balances the ecology, economy and cultural aspects of a project.

Presentation Solutions: What is driving the move toward sustainability?

Peter F. Spittler: A lot of city planners are taking a hard look at the space that’s available within urban boundaries. Smart land use like walkable neighborhoods, bike trails, mixed retail/residential and moving away from sprawling subdivisions or office parks.

Presentation Solutions: I understand that sustainability makes sense financially…

Peter F. Spittler: Yes, investors and builders have to look beyond the construction costs at the front end and think about the savings that can be realized with energy efficiency and good design.

Presentation Solutions: That’s where LEED comes in, right?
Peter F. Spittler: Yes, LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a market-driven movement that supplies benchmarks for sustainable building methods and certifications for good designs.

Presentation Solutions: You’ve been involved with several LEED focused projects…

Peter F. Spittler: Yes, Yankeetown in Florida, Flats East Bank in Cleveland, the Chronicle-Telegram building in Elyria, Ohio…those were all LEED focused projects.

Presentation Solutions: Tell us about the Free Lance-Star building in Fredericksburg, VA.

Peter F. Spittler: The Free Lance-Star building was laid out as an LEED-compliant newspaper plant, with room to grow into the future and add more buildings or elements that would be in keeping with the original design. The focus was on design solutions that minimize energy consumption through intelligent design and engineering of materials and building systems.

Presentation Solutions: That’s some very forward-thinking stuff. Peter F. Spittler, thanks for talking to us today!

Peter F. Spittler: My pleasure.

Peter F. Spittler is an accredited member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Boards. Peter F. Spittler graduated from the architectural program at Kent State University.

Rich Von Alvensleben – Corporate America: Built on Uneven Ground

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm
Rich Von Alvensleben

Rich Von Alvensleben

Rich Von Alvensleben, CEO of One Up Construction, a California Licensed General Contractor and Operations Manager of Von Vesting, Inc., a real estate investment firm focused on distressed property, says corporate America isn’t built on a straight and narrow path. Instead, it’s fraught with high peaks and deep valleys – and both are vital to its continued operation.

Imagine, says Rich Von Alvensleben, the great Pyramids of Egypt, Mount Fuji, and the Eiffel Tower–three very different sights with one undeniable common trait. All three of these structures, both man-made and naturally occurring, are pyramidal, with an expansive base and a definite point. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, businesses – successful businesses – are built with this same schematic in mind.

There Has to Be a Valley in Order to Have a Mountain

Rich Von Alvensleben says that a pyramid structure in the workplace allows each individual to harness his or her natural talents most effectively. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, having fewer people at the top opens up the opportunity for more business leaders to start their own dynasties instead of living in someone else’s shadow when they know they are top tier material. So then, asks Rich Von Alvensleben, why are there so many people who start at the bottom and stagnate in the middle?

Growing up, most people are instilled the values of hard work and loyalty to “the hand that feeds” them. Rich Von Alvensleben notes that 97% of Americans work for someone else. The remaining 3% are the ones who start off on the pedestal and build their businesses from the sky down. These few with the entrepreneurial spirit understand what they bring to the table and know a good support team only makes them stand a little higher, explains Rich Von Alvensleben. These are the founders of businesses like Microsoft and General Motors. These are the ones who turned their backs on conformity and took a chance. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, these are the people who became the hand that feeds the populace.

Ride the Wave

Businesses are built by leaders. They are created by those with the ideas and the inner strength and courage to face adversity against all odds to make their dreams a reality, says Rich Von Alvensleben. The most successful leaders are the ones who can find the perfect “right hand man” to extend their reach. Rich Von Alvensleben says that successful companies are built because these leaders also know how to build a support system that strengthens the foundation for those at the top. According to Rich Von Alvensleben, the ability to recruit talented individuals is a gift all executives must have.

As a business grows, so must its base. The leaders of today must have many generals who can each recruit their own wave of talent layers. Take the military as an example. Rich Von Alvensleben points out that if the Commander in Chief was the only one calling the shots, the nation would be in a sad state. The President of the United States has a layered system of command, with each area lead by a trusted official. Each of these units of the military, from the Army to the Coast Guard to the Air Force, all have Generals, Lieutenants, Sergeants and so on and so on until the ranks exhaust at Private. Rich Von Alvensleben notes that each of these positions is vital to the nation’s safety but not each is rewarded the same way. The higher-ranking officers are the ones calling the shots and therefore earning a higher wage – just like on Main Street and Wall Street America.

Rich Von Alvensleben believes that only by filling each wave of new recruits does the military function as a whole. So it is with business. Each “commander” must possess a talent for knowing which men and women will fit best in their organization and at what level. Each position is important; just as each piece to a clock is necessary to its continued accuracy.

From atop his or her “mountain,” a leader must be able to see beyond the horizon and anticipate what comes next. Corporations are the same, says Rich Von Alvensleben. He asks his new employees/partners/workers, “where do you want to start?” The 97% start at the bottom and stop in the middle because it’s just too hard, too frustrating, to fraught with politics to get to the top without being a visionary, without being the one that begins there, concludes Von.

Rich Von Alvensleben is a respected real estate investment professional. As Operations Manager of Von Vesting, Inc. and CEO of LKT Inc (d.b.a. OneUP Construction), Rich Von Alvensleben specializes in acquiring, rehabbing and re-selling distressed properties. Over the past 12 years, he has profitably managed a $48 million real estate redevelopment (or flip) fund. In 2008 alone, Rich Von Alvensleben bought and sold (“flipped”) a record 450 homes.

Rich Von Alvensleben began his career as a commercial diver for the United States Antarctic Research Program; at USARP, Von Alvensleben was stationed abroad for four months. Rich Von Alvensleben was also founder/co-owner of the Associated Drilling Company, and helmed World Concepts LLC as co-founder and sales manager.

Rich Von Alvensleben also contributes to Del Oro High School and other volunteer activities in his Northern California community. Currently residing in the Sacramento area, Rich Von Alvensleben enjoys outdoor activities with his family. Rich Von Alvensleben’s hobbies include hiking, bicycling and camping.

Dr. James D. Sterling Discusses his Work with Dr. Louis Ormont

In Health and Beauty on December 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm
Dr. James D. Sterling

Dr. James D. Sterling

New York-based Dr. James D. Sterling has worked with some of the foremost experts in the field of psychotherapy. For more than twenty years, Dr. James D. Sterling studied with one of history’s greatest group psychotherapists. Dr. Louis Ormont, who died in 2008, was a luminary in group therapy, and Dr. James D. Sterling uses many of the techniques he learned from Dr. Ormont in his practice today. Dr. James D. Sterling, Director of the New York Center for Psychotherapy, recently spoke with Presentation Solutions about his work with Dr. Ormont.

Presentation Solutions: You specialize in couples’ therapy. How did working with Dr. Louis Ormont help shape your theory of therapy today?

Dr. James D. Sterling: Dr. Ormont was a celebrated mind in group psychotherapy. One of his most inspiring virtues was his kindness, warmth, great understanding of people. He was always supportive and encouraging. He recommended what has become the great maxim of my therapy practice with both individuals and couples: Before you say anything to a person of significance, the first thing you must ask yourself is, “How will what I’m going to say going to affect the relationship?”

Presentation Solutions: He actually used the group as part of the therapy experience, from what I understand.

Dr. James D. Sterling: Yes. Dr. Ormont believed that the group was the agent of change. His theory is that the therapist acts as a catalyst to promote and facilitate group members to interact with each other in a very specific manner.

Presentation Solutions: How does the therapist do this?

Dr. James D. Sterling: First, it’s important to understand Dr. Ormont’s five theoretical pillars. These are the observing ego, the insulation barrier, generative communication, immediacy, and the group as a maturational agent. Most of the theoretical pillars are useful in individual and couples therapy and that’s where I usually employ them.

Presentation Solutions: Could you describe these in more detail?

Dr. James D. Sterling: Absolutely. The observing ego is an individual’s ability to sit back and watch group interactions. The insulation barrier is a person’s personal boundaries that, when healthy, protect the ego, even when surrounded by extreme negative stimuli. Generative communication is the ability to communicate with great psychological maturity, and immediacy is the belief that interpersonal communication can create positive change. Finally, Dr. Ormond described a belief that a group could be used as a maturation agent to promote positive change in each of its members.

Presentation Solutions: And the therapist works with all of these?

Dr. James D. Sterling: The therapist, understanding each of the five pillars, uses the pillars to build techniques that strengthen a group.

Presentation Solutions: I have read that Dr. Ormont also talked about a “group contract.” Can you explain what that is?

Dr. James D. Sterling: Dr. Ormont always developed a contract with a group. Each member agrees to follow the terms of that contract at all times.

Presentation Solutions: When group therapists speak of Dr. Ormont’s bridging techniques, what does that refer to?

Dr. James D. Sterling: Bridging is an intervention used by a group therapist to “bridge” interactions between group members to better facilitate a session, like asking another group member to comment on the expressed concern of a different group member. This strengthens the emotional ties between members, helping them to “identify and resolve one another’s resistances to making personal discoveries and establishing new relations,” rather than attacking group members and tearing them down.

Presentation Solutions: There are several different techniques for doing this…

Dr. James D. Sterling: Yes. The techniques a therapist may use when bridging are individual member support, energizing the group, increasing participation by individual members, building cohesion of the group, and ensuring each member feels safe throughout the session.

Presentation Solutions: What do you mean when you say “safe?”

Dr. James D. Sterling: Safety in this context means making sure interactions are constructive and positive, nurturing growth in group members, rather than tearing group members down. It can be a tricky balance; the job of the therapist is to help facilitate this for each member of the group.

Dr. James D. Sterling regularly puts his years of training to use at New York Center for Psychotherapy. Additionally, Dr. James D. Sterling passes on his knowledge by supervising young psychologists and psychiatrists in their practice through his work as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York.

Jay P. Clark Talks About His Family’s Legacy

In Professionals on December 22, 2012 at 10:47 am
Jay P. Clark

Jay P. Clark

Jay P. Clark achieved two degrees from Northwest Nazarene University before taking over Clark’s Crystal Springs Ranch, LLC in the Boise-area town of Mountain City, Idaho. This makes Jay P. Clark the second generation of Clarks to helm the ranch. Recently, Jay P. Clark spoke with Presentation Solutions about his love for his family and the importance of carrying on his father’s legacy.

Presentation Solutions: You took over the ranch in early 2008. Why then?

Jay P. Clark: My father retired in late 2007, so it was time for me to take over the head role in our family.

Presentation Solutions: Could you tell us a little about Clark’s Crystal Springs Ranch?

Jay P. Clark: Sure! We’re located in beautiful Mountain Springs. We serve as a private agricultural center, growing a wide variety of crops, including wheat and corn, and we plan to add some new types of crops in the coming months, including camelina.

Presentation Solutions: You grew up in the area, didn’t you?

Jay P. Clark: I did. My family ranch is still part of the larger ranch today. We continue to add new land to our existing ranch, spanning from the Boise area all the way to Hagerman.

Presentation Solutions: You also maintain your own transportation?

Jay P. Clark: Clark’s Crystal Springs Ranch owns a fleet of trucks that enable us to quickly and easily move crops from our farm to other areas of this section of the country.

Presentation Solutions: Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve found while running the ranch.

Jay P. Clark: Water is a huge issue in this area of the U.S., which tends to be more than a little dry. We’ve had to work hard to get water rights throughout our ranch.

Presentation Solutions: Once you get water rights, you also have to install a water system…

Jay P. Clark: Yes, so we’re hoping to get rights in time to get the system in place in time for the summer harvesting system.

Presentation Solutions: If you cannot get water rights in time, does this mean you won’t be able to harvest crop this year?

Jay P. Clark: Actually, we have thousands of acres of hay, which will result in about a ton of hay per acre, assuming this spring is a good one for hay.

Presentation Solutions: Have you found the expense of caring for equipment is high?

Jay P. Clark: Since we take care of the upkeep and repair of all of our equipment, that does help us to save money. We even rebuild tractors and semis.

Presentation Solutions: We appreciate your taking time out of your busy work schedule to speak with us today.

Jay P. Clark: My pleasure.


A Little Prevention Will Go a Long Way in Protecting Your Pets

In Pets on December 20, 2012 at 1:27 am

The lights. The tree. A table groaning under the weight of food. The toys. The candy. All of these can be a potential threat to Fido. But, it doesn’t have to be. With some simple steps, the holidays can be safely celebrated without harming a person’s best 4-legged friend. The key is just a little forethought.

Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia can be dangerous for dogs. Make sure that festive plants are kept well outside of a dog’s reach, to ensure that they don’t grab a bite.

When decorating the tree, make sure that there aren’t any lights on the lower branches. They can get hot and burn a dog. Also, be careful of the extra electrical cords. A dog may try to chew them, and can get badly shocked or electrocuted. It’s not a bad idea to tape cords down with duct tape against a wall.

If at all possible, avoid putting glass ornaments on the tree. They are fragile and can cut a dog’s feet or mouth. However if it’s important that glass ornaments are on the tree, place them high out of a dog’s reach to avoid temptation. It’s also not a bad idea to keep all ornaments from the very bottom of a tree. Even non-breakable ornaments can contain paint that may make a dog ill.

Don’t use homemade cranberry or popcorn string as garland. A dog may knock over the tree to get to a “treat.” Also, they could ingest the string, which can get stuck in their intestines. The same thing applies to tinsel: it’s dangerous for dogs because they could eat it.

Don’t leave lit candles unattended near dogs. And make sure they are well out of reach, because a dog can be curious and accidentally burn their whiskers. Also a dog’s wagging tail and a lit candle are a potentially hazardous combination.

Holiday dinners are a huge temptation to dogs. But rich food and canines don’t mix, so make sure that guests don’t feed dogs. Feed pets their kibble or wet food at their regular time to avoid any undue temptation. And remember to keep dishes with onions away from dogs. Onions contain thiosulphate that can cause a dog to become anemic.

Finally, just keep a general eye on your pets when hosting holiday parties. Remember that pets can become over-stimulated and upset. And then, relax! With a little planning the holidays can be the “happiest time of the year” for both humans and pets.

How to Host a Successful New Year’s Eve Party

In Lifestyle, Recreation on December 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hosting a New Year’s Eve party can be a nerve-wracking endeavor. Not only do the parties tend to last longer (for 4-6 hours), but most people have a lot of expectations on the last evening of the year. However, the staff at Presentation Solutions has some ideas to help hosts exceed any expectations from their guests.

Foods and beverages are key, but so is ambiance and decor. When in doubt on New Year’s Eve, go big on the look of the party with glamorous fabrics for the tablecloth and glitter letters spelling out a greeting to party goers. It’s also a fun idea to have an oversized, decorated sheet of paper where people can write down their resolutions.

For the food table it’s good to go bold, but that doesn’t need to translate into hours in the kitchen. Getting Chinese take-out with a wide variety of meat and vegetarian offerings is a great way to impress – without the stress. Another idea is to go vintage with food, serving things like Pigs in a Blanket, cheese fondue, or a Jello mold with gold flakes. Partygoers love to be wowed by the past, and the food can set a festive tone to the evening.

Props are always a good idea for New Year’s Eve parties. Festive hats and blowers are traditional, but sunglasses and sparkly bow ties are other options to help guests loosen up and get ready for the evening.

Retro music is a fun way to get people moving while counting down the hours until midnight. And picking a decade to feature is a great way to organize a play list. Also, that can add more to the choices for decor ideas. A disco ball for a 1970’s themed evening or a milk shake station for the 1950’s are just a couple of examples. The only limit is the party budget and the possibilities are endless.

J. Kale Flagg on Von Vesting’s Investment Strategy

In Real Estate on December 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm
J. Kale Flagg

J. Kale Flagg

Von Vesting continues to wow investors. Kale Flagg explains how and why.

Presentation Solutions: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. Let’s cut to the chase; Von Vesting has a reputation for earning more than favorable yields for investors. How do you do it?

J. Kale Flagg: Our investment strategy is simple—“steal ’em, so we can give ’em away.”  In other words, buy ultra-wholesale so we can rehab to 2012-2013 standards and amenities (so the properties will move quickly) and offer for sale at sub-market rates (again, so they’ll move quickly) while making a minimum 10-15% cash-on-cash return.

Presentation Solutions: Moving properties quickly–that explains why you are so diligent with ensuring the paper trail is clean with the title, liens, etc.

J. Kale Flagg: Exactly. Also, we have an entire department dedicated to knowing what to improve and what to leave alone.

Presentation Solutions: You tend to market aggressively, does that help the property move?

J. Kale Flagg: Yes it does. More importantly, accurately forecasting the sales price that the improved property will sell at quickly once we’ve completed the improvements is the most important decision we make on a property. We don’t market before we know these numbers.

Presentation Solutions: How do you determine profit on a sale?

J. Kale Flagg: Profit equals sales price minus disposition, carry, improvement and acquisition costs—everything works backwards from sales price so we measure our improvement budget and sales price projection accuracy on a daily basis

Presentation Solutions: It sounds tough to compute…

J. Kale Flagg: Our business model is simple—we won’t pull the trigger on a property unless we know we can earn a minimum a minimum of 10-15% cash on cash in 90 days.   People often think that high returns connote high risk—but the reality is that we’re only averaging approximately 10-15% cash on cash per house flip.

Presentation Solutions: If you are “only” averaging 15%, why are your annual returns so hefty?

J. Kale Flagg: The reason for the Fund’s high annual returns is that we’ve been completing the transactions quickly (98 day average for 2011 and a little quicker then that, to date, in 2012)— which means we can use the same money 3 times in one year to buy, sell; buy, sell & buy, sell again.  If the Fund can make a minimum of 10-15% on a property, and use the same money to do so three times in one year—the total return comes out to 30-45% or more annualized profit for those who can source and secure product.

Presentation Solutions: Tell us a little about the structure of Von Vesting…

J. Kale Flagg: Von Vesting Inc., under its management contract with the Fund (the American Redevelopment Fund, LP), sources, acquires, improves and re-sells single family residences on the Fund’s behalf.   Von Vesting contracts LKT Construction (d.b.a., OneUP Construction), a California Licensed General Contracting Company (owned, directed and operated by Rich Von) to facilitate the property improvements; and one of several third party brokers to sell the properties via MLS.

Presentation Solutions: What exactly is the Fund?

J. Kale Flagg: The Fund is a California limited partnership, formed August 3rd, 2011 for the purpose of investing in real estate assets acquired directly or indirectly by the Partnership.  Investors in the Fund become Limited Partners and hold 100% of the Fund’s equity.

Presentation Solutions: So, who controls the Fund?

J. Kale Flagg: Per the Fund’s Partnership Agreement, the Fund is managed by a General Partner—myself and Tiff Von Alvensleben are the Managers of the Fund’s General Partner.

Presentation Solutions: How do the Fund and Von Vesting coordinate financial transactions?

J. Kale Flagg: The Fund pays Von Vesting, via their management contract, a flat 3%-per-property acquisition fee to purchase, rehab and sell Fund properties.  As an example, if Von Vesting sources 100 properties and does not purchase any of them; then the Fund doesn’t pay Von Vesting any money.  The Fund only compensates Von Vesting for successful purchases that meet the Funds pre set criterias.

Presentation Solutions: What is the general area that Von Vesting tends to focus on?

J. Kale Flagg: The 1,700+ properties that have been flipped over the last 12 years by the Operators of Von Vesting have all primarily been located in the San Francisco South Bay area (where Rich and Tiff both grew up and have family in the business) or the Greater Sacramento area (where the Vons currently reside).  And there have been more then a few in Nevada and Arizona as well.

Presentation Solutions: But how do you choose since there are so many properties for sale at any given time?

J. Kale Flagg: Since flipping is about velocity, picking the neighborhoods with low average days-on-market, the right schools and minimal competitive product is key.  Our advantage is that nothing replaces local experience when it comes to residential real estate, but it is our due diligence and knowing how to comp intelligently on the front end (so the product moves quickly on the back end) that makes the difference between profit and loss.  After 12 years and over 1700 properties, streets in our target market are recognizable and most new product is in close proximity to past projects.

Presentation Solutions: This is all very interesting but we are out of time for today. Thank you, Mr. Flagg, for your time this evening. We look forward to speaking with you as Von Vesting Inc continues to grow.

J. Kale Flagg: The pleasure was mine. Thank you.

J. Kale Flagg is the COO of Von Vesting Inc. His sales and marketing experience lends Von Vesting a unique perspective to property rehabilitation and sales. For more information about Von Vesting, contact the firm directly at 916.625.0235