Peninsula Small Business Talk

from the Peninsula Executives Association

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Posts Tagged ‘SST Insurance Brokers’

March Success Stories Round-up!


  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s Autoworks thanked Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage for the refinance.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio got a call from another attorney from the law firm that he mentioned in his classification for more visual information design.  His work will also be used by the Los Altos Rotary for their upcoming Fine Arts in the Park.
  • Randy Mills, Pioneer Services bought a new van through Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing and said it was much better than going through a dealership.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for coming to the rescue again.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving reported that they just finished looking at their quarterly results and were up 25% in January and 15% in February.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties for fulfilling her small order – buttons congratulating a friend who just won an award for being an exceptional woman in publishing.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler reported that they won Best Jewelry Store and Best Watch Repair.
  • Judy Ott, Judy Ott Organization and Design thanked Dan Ingerman, Wemorph for the postcards she handed out at a recent presentation. Lastly, she thanked Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions who has help her friend from out of state find a job at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga (Go Gaels!).
  • John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers had his hair cut by the President… of PEA, Susan Scott, Expressions Salon.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties thanked Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery for the amethyst he bought for his wife and Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for the help with getting his brand new Prius.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc said after throwing his back out on Monday he saw Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic who adjusted him and used a laser treatment on his back.  Only three hours later, Avi felt much better.
  • Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal thanked Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures for running an ad in the paper for her recent estate sale.  He was able to get the ad in past the normal deadline and was happy to hear the sale was a success.
  • Executive Director Neal Coogler, announced a success for PEA.  The PEA Facebook page now has more than 35 ‘Likes’!  Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA won the grand prize drawing for three pounds of Connoisseur Coffee.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist recently had her car in the shop at Larry’s Autoworks. She really appreciates the top notch service there, including the fact that they take time to thoroughly answer all her questions.
  • Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for his help weekend before last.  She was attending a housewarming party and needed a gift.  She went by Werner’s shop and he arranged a beautiful house plant for her.
  • Nichole Fox, Payroll City announced that they have just taken on a big new client.  The client, who has 135 employees, went from a big name payroll service to Payroll City and in the process is going from an annual cost of $13,000 to $8,000.
  • Dr. Linda Hur, Mountain View Optometry thanked Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody, for fixing her car for the second time.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage won a pound of Connoisseur Coffee in the PEA Facebook page contest a week or two ago.  She gave the coffee to her aunt, who is a dedicated coffee drinker.  Her aunt loved the coffee and ordered three more pounds through Julie.

Other Awards from the 2012 Anniversary Meeting

Besides the prestigious Craig Calkins Executive of the Year Award (presented this year to Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto), PEA hands out many other awards at the annual Anniversary meeting. Here are some highlights of this year’s awards!

Fun statistics:

Breakfasts consumed in 2011: …… 2,571.

Total leads given:…… 5,260 (Direct: 3,240. Referral: 1,580. Internet: 440)

New Members: President Mike Feller, Innovative Sales and Leasing recognized the new members of 2011, and presented the certificate award for Rookie of the Year to new member Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors!

Leads Given in the Triple Digits: The following people were recognized for giving leads in the triple digits last year-

Mike awarded the certificate for Most Direct Leads Given to Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… who gave the most direct leads(171)  after Hall of Famers Larry and Laurie Moore (268).

Referral Leads Given in the Triple Digits: The following two people gave referral leads in the triple digits-

He awarded the certificate for Most Referral Leads Given to Judy Ott, Judy Ott Organization and Design!  (She and runner-up Bette Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting have been in the triple digits four years running!)

Best Attendance: Tie for first place went to Larry and Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks and Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic

Honorable Mention Attendance: Only one meeting behind the best attendance members, honorable mention attendance was a tie between Mike Feller, Innovative Sales and Leasing, Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist, and Julie and Rick Stern, Stern Mortgage

Award Certificates: Mike presented Certificates of Award to the following members:

Mike also congratulated Paul Kraus, formerly of GoodCo Press, who was visiting and is our newest Emeritus Member.

We concluded by all making a toast to PEA’s 34th anniversary!

Why You Need Employment Practices Liability Insurance with John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers

John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers used his spotlight talk to tell PEA about the value of having employment practices insurance coverage.  John gave two cautionary scenarios to illustrate the potential need for this type of insurance.

He began by having PEA members imagine this situation: You get to your office and are presented with a summons that says you are being sued by a former employee you let go recently.  Now, the employee is suing you for wrongful termination.  You call your insurance broker, assuming it would be covered through your comprehensive general liability or workers compensation since it is an employee-related lawsuit.  He says, however, that this kind of lawsuit is excluded under those policies, so you will need to hire your own attorney.  If any judgment is made against you, you will need to reach into the company assets or your personal assets to pay it.

John presented a second situation; this time an actual case experienced by a client who did have employment practices insurance coverage.  This client had an employee who worked for them for three years and then decided to resign and move to across the bay with her boyfriend.  Two months later, John’s client received a letter from the California State Employment Bureau saying that a complaint had been filed.  The complaint stated that the employee left due to a hostile work environment.  They called John and SST Insurance Brokers, who turned the case over to the employment practices liability carrier.  They provided an attorney and defended the case.  The business did pay a deductible of $2,500, but that was much less than the lawyer fees.  John’s client did not have to worry about the business being closed down and the suit was successfully defended.

Employment practices insurance covers situations like wrongful termination, failure to promote, hostile work environment, and sexual harassment (including employees suing the company or clients claiming employees have harassed them).

Maureen Clark, Clark Associates commented that what John says is true and that the insurance is very reasonable in price.  In answer to a question, John said the cost of insurance is based on the number of employees.  These types of lawsuits have been on the rise the last ten years and John says are likely to continue to increase.  He highly recommends this coverage to PEA businesses and says he can handle it for you if needed.

December Success Stories Round-up!

PEA rings in the new year with our last Success Stories Round-up of 2011!

Marketing Without the Internet: Tips and Tricks from PEA

Besides sharing information on services, tips, advice, etc. from each business, PEA also spends one meeting a quarter focused on special programs, including discussions on marketing, panels of members sharing their expertise, and tips on how to become a green business.  Back in July, the Program Committee planned a special program designed to give everyone a few new marketing ideas the old-fashioned way rather than through Internet marketing.  This was an opportunity to hear ideas for getting new customers or keeping existing ones that work for other businesses.

Here are a few of the ideas mentioned at the meeting:

  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks said that they use license plate frames, recyclable bags, post it notes, a monthly newsletter and they ask their satisfied customers to give them referrals.  Larry MooreLarry’s Autoworks added that they pre-book service appointments and give both reminder and follow-up calls.  They use line ads in the yellow pages that focus on what they do, not their name.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… invites clients to a tasting at her warehouse once a year.  They are encouraged to bring a guest with them.
  • Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA makes completing your tax returns as easy as possible.  They are already stamped and only need to be signed and mailed with a check.
  • Rick Rosensweig, Morgan Stanley runs events where he invites outside speakers.  He also sends out a newsletter.
  • Rolf Kruger, Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada belongs to professional associations and works to make sure his clients have a positive experience.
  • Sam Harding, Retirement Administration supports local organizations like the Obon Festival, especially when there is a connection with one of his clients.
  • John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers has learned not to assume that his clients already know about all of his services.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee has signs for his clients to display reading “Proudly serving Connoisseur Coffee.”  They give open houses and donate coffee to community events.
  • Don Miller, Honorary Member said that when he was a practicing dentist, he called patients at night to check on them after a procedure.
  • Larry Hassett, Hardware Stores sponsors community events like the Rock the Block event in Half Moon Bay and belongs to service clubs.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs makes sure that every sense is addressed when you walk into Smilin Dogs:  it smells clean, the floor looks clean, the atmosphere is friendly, and there are photos of client dogs having fun to spark the human clients’ imaginations.
  • Cheri Jackson, Older Adult Care Management says they have a celebrity spokesperson, Willie Mays’ wife.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage has a by-invitation special networking event for professionals in related fields.  Each participant receives a roster with contact information for all participants for the day.
  • Randy Mills, Pioneer Services uses his van as a mobile billboard.
  • Fawni Hill, Larick Alan Hill uses job signs and sends postcards to clients with photos of recent projects.
  • John King, Keller-Williams Realty puts up signs at every property and gives out pens, key chains, and water bottles.  He uses a direct mail campaign and has been a Little League team sponsor.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons does speaking engagements, belongs to professional groups, and attends senior fairs.  She gives out personal information organizers with her business name.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving has the company name on trucks, uses direct mail, gives their business name to realtors, and sends out Christmas cards.
  • Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management says that Arborwell has a marketing manager and takes marketing very seriously.  They do it all: run ads, go to trade shows, golf tournaments, send thank you cards, and have a direct mail campaign.  Their white trucks with company logo are washed every week, and they have sponsorships and practice philanthropy.
  • Scott Foster, Cassidy Turley BT Commercial tells everyone what he does, including when he coaches water polo.

A full list summarizing all the tips mentioned was handed out to all of PEA’s members.

Interested in joining PEA?  Visit our website to learn more.

July Success Stories Round-up!


Another great month for PEA businesses!

  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures is having an estate sale in San Francisco at the home of the late Milton Marks, a former California senator.  She also thanked John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers, who is helping her with a case of a bad fall at a previous estate sale.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler recommended Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail on an Internet group and found he was also recommended by two other people.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs announced that he just signed a five-year lease on a nearby building.  Smilin Dogs will be expanding into the 5,500 square foot space soon.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… was away and thanked Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody for fixing her car bumper and Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for cleaning her carpet while she was gone.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving said that June was a record month for them and their busiest ever.
  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks attended an automotive group conference and was surprised (but pleased) to find that they made the cover of the group’s magazine.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving for helping her clients move to Sunrise.  She thanked Cheri Jackson, Older Adult Care Management for her help, too.
  • Rick Rosensweig, Morgan Stanley said that Jonathon Ong and his employee did a great job on the carpet while Albert Ong, Ambassador Services was gone.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery is excited about re-launching her web site.  The address is www.nature-gallery.com and she invites everyone at PEA to check it out and to visit her store at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for handling a long distance deal and Robin Azevedo, McRoskey Mattress Company for an endorsement.  She just returned from New York City as the new Chairperson of the Jewelers of America.  She also announced that Gleim was designated Best Jeweler in the County Almanac.