EO Member in the News: Benjamin Goldberg

EO Member Benjamin Goldberg is featured in this month’s NFocus as one of
5 Nashvillians inducted into the 2011 Class of “Renaissance Men.”

The other four inductees are: Steve Turner, Sam Felker, Will Cheek and
Benjamin’s brother, Max. Two notable Nashvillians were also named to the
Renaissance Man Hall of Fame: the late Guilford Dudley Jr., former president
of Life & Casualty Co. and US Ambassador to Denmark, and John Seigenthaler,
former editor and publisher of The Tennessean and founder of the First
Amendment Center

To be an NFocus Renassiance Man one must be “a gentleman who is interested
in, and knows a lot about many things, but with a certain Southern style.”
Benjamin’s broad knowledge of the restaurant business is obvious by the
success of the restaurants he and his brother own: Merchants, The
Patterson House
, Paradise Park and Aerial. And, of course, all four venues
are paragons of Southern style.

Congratulations to EO’s first Renaissance Man. The below excerpt is from the June 2011 Nfocus article.

Max and Benjamin Goldberg

You may describe either of them or their creations as “happening,” “hip” or “cool.” Employ whichever adjective you personally favor to describe any one of the entertainment venues that are the brainchildren of brothers Max and Benjamin Goldberg.

In earlier times, Nashville had restaurateurs and saloon keepers and a few people who were both. But these brothers have, in a relatively short time, built Strategic Hospitality, LLC. into a company with memorable venues that locals and tourists are clamoring to visit. Current holdings include: Paradise Park Trailer Park Resort, a tongue-in-cheek rendition of a southern trailer park, Aerial, an upscale private event space on the rooftop above Paradise Park, with iconic views; The Patterson House, a restaurant and bar with high-end cocktails that has received national press from The New York Times, The Post’s Page Six, GQ magazine, The Tennessean, and Spirit by Southwest Airlines and historic Broadway’s beloved cornerstone of upscale renewal, The Merchants.

Big brother Benjamin is the founder and empire co-owner. He attended The University of Miami and pursued a business degree in entrepreneurship during the peak of South Beach’s boom. It was during this time that he became engaged in the hospitality business, working at various bars and restaurants. He blazed a trail back to his hometown in 2003.

Not too many years later, younger brother Max graduated from the University of Denver, where he was student body president and recipient of the university’s highest honor, The Pioneer Award. He began his career in strategic consulting at top firms in Manhattan. Though New York City was appealing, (Hampton’s magazine named him one of the most eligible bachelors in NYC) he leapt at the chance to own his own business with his brother. Their bond is noticeably tight and strong. In a 2010 interview with Carrington Fox in The Nashville Scene, Max said, “When we opened up The Patterson House, I gave Benjamin an antique pocket watch. I had it engraved to say, ‘You are my best friend, my brother and my business partner. Let us never forget that order.’”

The fast-paced, seemingly all-encompassing business doesn’t keep them from contributing to our community in numerous ways. Max has coached basketball at KIPP Academy, and Ben serves on the alumni board of University School of Nashville. Aerial was the host site for “Gatsby for Grace,” a 1920s-themed fundraiser for the Grace M. Eaton Childcare Center, which provides childcare and educational development to children of working parents or parents enrolled in educational or job-training programs.


Congratulations to Nashville’s own John Rich — Winner of Celebrity Apprentice

John Rich

After John Rich showed us such a great time at his home back in March, we wanted to make sure that we sent John our hearty congratulations for winning The Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night. The country music artist and entrepreneur raised more than $1.25 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by participating on the NBC show.

Congratulations John from all of EO Nashville. We are certain that your hard work, creativity and risk-taking will mean so much to the children at St. Jude.

To get more details about John’s win, check out The Tennessean article here.

John Rich and Debbie Gordon

John Rich and current EO president Debbie Gordon at the March 30 EO/John Rich event

Mike Hall, John Rich, Michelle Hall

Mike Hall, John Rich and Michelle Hall at the John Rich/EO event

Nashville CEO Forums — An Overview

In this month’s Nashville Post Magazine, EO Nashville is prominently featured in a story about CEO forums.

The story begins with a quote from member Tom Turner of DSi, and includes photos of past president Clint Smith of Emma and current president Debbie Gordon of S3 Consulting and Snappy Auctions.

The story makes a great case for joining a CEO forum. What the story does not make clear is what a good value EO is compared to other CEO forums in town. For example, annual dues for The Alternative Board are $7,200, they are $11,700 for C12 and range from $9,000 to $13,200 for Vistage.

Click on the images below to read the full story.

Article, page 2

Article, page 3

EO Members In The News

EO members Sonny Clark (Advanced Network Solutions) and Arnie Malham (Malham Leverage Group) were featured in yesterday’s City Paper for the role they are playing in creating a new downtown district —  The “Cummins Station District.”  Sonny and Arnie both recently bought or leased buildings in the area and rehabbed them, and Arnie created a new “environmentally sensitive” parking lot. Check out the text of the article, here. The photo that accompanied the article is below.

City Paper, Jan 8-10 2011

(That’s MLG’s new headquarters on the right)

Meet Our Newest Members

Nashville EO experienced an extremely successful recruitment year in 2010. Check out the recent Nashville Post blog entry about our newest recruitment class.

Or read the full release below:

Nashville’s Entrepreneurs’ Organization Recruitment Class Is Largest in Chapter’s History

Thanks to a record-breaking fall recruitment, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Nashville has become one of the fastest growing EO chapters in the nation.

Fourteen new members joined last fall. When combined with the five new members who joined in the spring, for a total of 19 new members last year, 2010 has been the most successful in the chapter’s history.

“Our recruitment success is due to several factors: excellent recruitment chairs in Joe Freedman and Dan Hogan, great publicity, and the economy to name a few,” said Clint Smith, president of EO Nashville and co-founder and CEO of Emma. “The economy is making entrepreneurs really take a step back and understand the necessity of working on their business, instead of just in their business.”

Entrepreneurs’ Organization has a global membership that provides information and support to entrepreneurs. Including the new members, the Nashville chapter has 71 members. To join, an entrepreneur must be younger than 50 years old and be a founder, co-founder or controlling shareholder of a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million.

The fourteen new members of EO Nashville are:

John Arndt

John Arndt Jr. is president and chief executive officer of DWC Construction Company, Inc. He began his engineering career 33 years ago as a field engineer for Turner Construction Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Penn State University.

Jerry Baker

Jerry Baker started Conexess Group, LLC, a Fortune 500 software organization, in 2009 with his partner, Austin Meibers – who also recently joined EO (See Austin’s information below.) Baker has been in the IT consulting business for over 15 years.

Michael Burcham

Michael Burcham is president and chief executive officer of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, which provides resources to help Middle Tennessee’s entrepreneur community. A serial entrepreneur, Burcham is on the board of four start-up firms.

Justin Crosslin

Justin Crosslin is the chief operating officer of Crosslin & Associates, PC, an accounting and consulting firm. Justin received his bachelor’s degree from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a master’s from the Owen School of Vanderbilt University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jolene Dressel

Jolene Dressel launched Trojan Labor of Nashville, LLC in 2004. She is president and founder of Women in Networking & Construction, and an active member in the Association of General Contractors of Middle Tennessee. Dressel is on the board of trustees for the Nashville State Community College Foundation as well as a recent graduate of Turner School of Construction Management.

Vicki Hill

Vicki Hill co-founded J&H Consulting, a provider of systems implementation resources, in 2007. She earned her associate’s degree at Champlain College in Vermont and bachelor’s degree in accounting at Lipscomb University.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones co-founded J&H Consulting, a provider of systems implementation resources, in 2007.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Lipscomb University, before spending 11 years with Accenture.

Bob Levy

Bob Levy founded Paradigm Group, an employee benefits, retirement services and HR consulting firm, in 1996 after a successful career with Prudential Healthcare. He graduated from the University of Virginia and holds a master’s degree in health administration from Duke University. He is a certified employee benefits specialist and past president of the Middle Tennessee Employee Benefits Council.

Austin Meibers

Austin Meibers of software company Conexess Group, LLC.  Meibers graduated from Michigan State University where he studied engineering. The Detroit native moved to Nashville to open an IT staffing company. His partner, Conexess co-founder Jerry Baker, formerly competed against Meibers in the Nashville IT staffing industry.

Bryan Merville

Bryan Merville is president and director of sales of Beacon Technologies, a premier low voltage and technology integration company. He has more than 10 years of experience in sales and management. He attended the University of Tennessee where he received a master’s degree in family counseling, and a bachelor’s in psychology.

Jason Moore

Jason Moore founded HealthDataSource, a software-as-a-service company that gathers and delivers healthcare data. He is a founding director of Nashville Startup Weekend; founding member and advisory board member of the Catholic Business League; and co-founder of Friends4Cures, a non-profit raising funds for testicular cancer research.

Tim Page

Tim Page is a founding and managing member of OptiMech, LLC, which provides design-build construction services to industrial and institutional customers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee’s School of Engineering in Knoxville.

Sam Sanchez

Sam Sanchez opened Sam’s Sports Bar in 2000, Sperry’s Restaurant of Cool Springs in 2006 and a second Sam’s location in Hendersonville in 2009. Sanchez received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University.

Lee Williams

Dawson “Lee” Williams is chairman and chief executive officer of Digital Connections, Inc. He holds an associate’s degree from Dalton State College, a bachelor’s from Jacksonville State University and a master’s from Emory University. He also attended California State University at Long Beach, studying filmmaking, screenwriting, and the electronic visual arts.

EO Economic Forecast Survey — Q3 2010 Results

Thanks for participating in our 2010 Q3 economic survey, which was conducted in September. Question-by-question results are below, but before you wade through those, let us take you through the highlights:

The availability of equity funding and credit top Nashville entrepreneurs’ concerns heading into the end of the year. Despite these concerns, a majority plan to increase spending on staffing, compensation and technology.

When compared to the same survey from the first quarter of 2010, 60% remain concerned or very concerned about the economic climate, that percentage is down from 82% six months ago.

Full results and observations below. If you have any questions or comments about the results, or want to weigh in with your insights, please leave a comment on the post. Drum roll please…

1. Please rate your level of concern about the effect of the U.S. financial climate on your business.

  • 39% Very concerned
  • 23% Concerned
  • 29% Neutral
  • 10% Unconcerned
  • 0% Very unconcerned

(Compared to our Q1 2010 survey, the ‘Very concerned’ group of responders rose 10%, from 29%)

2. Please rate your level of concern about securing funding for your business.

  • 10% Very concerned
  • 23% Concerned
  • 32% Neutral
  • 29% Unconcerned
  • 7% Very unconcerned

(‘Very concerned’ group down 15%, from 25%, from the Q1 survey)

3. Please rate your level of concern about the impact of rising health care costs on your business.

  • 32% Very concerned
  • 39% Concerned
  • 19% Neutral
  • 10% Unconcerned
  • 0% Very unconcerned

(‘Very concerned’ responders rose 11%, from 21%)

4. How do you believe your business will be affected by the new health reform act?

  • 19% Very negative effect
  • 42% Somewhat negative effect
  • 29% No effect
  • 7% Somewhat positive effect
  • 3% Very positive effect

(61% of responders believe that the health care reform act will have a negative effect, compared to 10% who believe that the reform will have a positive effect)

Further insights from those anticipating a negative effect (these are anonymous of course!): “hiring freeze until understand costs;” “the cost of an employee will increase, which reduces ROI;” “It will cause private health insurance premiums to rise, as has already happened.”

Further insights from those anticipating no effect, or a positive effect: “This will add what the insurance industry really, really needs: Competition;” “Based on what I have reviewed from health care experts, it shouldn’t have an effect on a business our size.”

5. What factors do you see being of the most concern to entrepreneurs starting a business today?

  • 42% Availability of equity funding
  • 61% Availability of credit
  • 16% Availability of customers
  • 29% Availability of skilled workers
  • 3% Availability of materials
  • 23% Rapidly changing materials
  • 32% Government regulations/interference

(Availability of credit is up from 39% in the first quarter, availability of funding is also up from 32%)

6. How do you expect your spending to change on staffing?

  • 7% Increase substantially
  • 52% Increase slightly
  • 32% Stay the same
  • 10% Decrease slightly
  • 0% Decrease substantially

(60% will increase on staffing, down from 75% at the beginning of the year)

7. How do you expect your spending to change on employee compensation?

  • 7% Increase substantially
  • 45% Increase slightly
  • 42% Stay the same
  • 3% Decrease slightly
  • 3% Decrease substantially

(Spending on compensation will increase for 54%, down from 63%)

8. How do you expect your spending to change on employee benefits?

  • 3% Increase substantially
  • 7% Increase slightly
  • 84% Stay the same
  • 7% Decrease slightly
  • 0% Decrease substantially

9. How do you expect your spending to change on business travel?

  • 3% Increase substantially
  • 32% Increase slightly
  • 58% Stay the same
  • 3% Decrease slightly
  • 3% Decrease substantially

10. How do you expect your spending to change on technology?

  • 16% Increase substantially
  • 42% Increase slightly
  • 36% Stay the same
  • 7% Decrease slightly
  • 0% Decrease substantially

(60% will increase spending, down from 68% during the first quarter)

11. How do you expect your spending to change on marketing/advertising/PR?

  • 13% Increase substantially
  • 42% Increase slightly
  • 45% Stay the same
  • 0% Decrease slightly
  • 0% Decrease substantially

(No respondent plans to decrease spending in these categories)

12. How do you expect your spending to change on outsourced business services?

  • 3% Increase substantially
  • 36% Increase slightly
  • 61% Stay the same
  • 0% Decrease slightly
  • 0% Decrease substantially

(No decreases in this category either)

13. How much of a priority will “green” initiatives be for your business between now and the end of the year?

  • 10% Much greater priority
  • 3% Somewhat greater priority
  • 48% About the same
  • 19% Somewhat less priority
  • 0% Much less priority
  • 19% We don’t participate in any green initiatives

14. How do you expect your revenues to change in 2010 vs. 2009?

  • 45% Increase substantially
  • 42% Increase slightly
  • 7% Stay the same
  • 7% Decrease slightly
  • 0% Decrease substantially

(The category of responders who believe that there revenues will increase substantially increased 9% from 36% in Q1)

15. Considering the current economic climate, how likely would your be to start a new business in 2010 compared to 2009?

  • 23% Very likely
  • 36% Somewhat likely
  • 26% Equally as likely
  • 13& Somewhat unlikely
  • 3% Very unlikely