Peninsula Small Business Talk

from the Peninsula Executives Association

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Posts Tagged ‘VTF Services’

Fall Gardening Checklist with Susan Hamilton, VTF Services

Susan Hamilton, VTF Services recently shared with PEA a list of things you should do to get your garden ready for winter.

  • Now is the time to clean up “crud” that has accumulated over the summer, while it is still dry.  This is the stuff that collects in corners and at the base of plants like leaves and other plant materials.
  • Re-pot any potted plants that need it.  After re-potting, some plants may need to be fed.  This is a good time to check for “critters and crud” that may have collected in the pot.
  • Dethatch and aerate your lawn.  Lawn builds up a network of fallen grass blades that can form a waterproof barrier.  Dethatching breaks up the barrier.  Lawn aerators pull plugs of dirt out of the lawn.  Leave them to dissolve and top dress the soil.  This is good time to use a weed and feed product.
  • If you have lantana growing in your yard, now is the time to prune it.  Don’t touch it later on – if you do it will take years to come back.
  • Keep your irrigation running.

Money Saving Tips from PEA

Recently, PEA’s program committee had members discuss and share ideas for how to save money in their businesses.  Here are a few tips from them to you!

Interested in this kind of information and getting to know PEA? Learn how to join HERE and ‘Like’ us on Facebook!

January 2012 Success Stories Round-up!

PEA businesses are starting 2012 off well!  Congratulations on everyone’s successes this month.

  • Bette Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting thanked Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving and Terry Pebbles, Optimum Floors.  Terry put in a beautiful hardwood floor for a client and All Reasons not only moved the furniture out for the installation, when they moved it back in they put on anti-scratch pads.
  • Dan Ingerman, Wemorph said that they just worked on designing a set for a TV show.  The TV show is based in Palo Alto and Dan will be talking about sustainability.
  • Larry Hassett, Hardware Stores took a car that needed body work to Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody. He wrote a positive review for Scott’s web site, which entered him into a drawing.  Larry won a Flip Video camera, which he likes a lot.
  • Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management had a great year last year.  Arborwell had great growth last year especially in Southern California.  Jon had a great year personally and thanked PEA for contributing to that.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler was in New York last week and wanted to report that the Christmas holiday season was good for them.  She thanked everyone at PEA who helped make that possible.
  • Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions, says that this has been a good year so far for his clients.  One just signed off on a job as an IT Director with a pay raise.  Another was hired with a sign-on bonus at PayPal.
  • Albert Ong, Ambassador Services signed a big contract with Stanford.  He immediately had to go in with one day’s notice to clean carpets before a Saturday event.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc., said that December was a record month for them, especially in the Palo Alto and Los Altos stores.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Robin Azevedo, McRoskey Mattress Company for sending the most interesting new client in several years.  She also thanked Darnel Rogan, Saber Roofing for a lead on a job in Atherton.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee thanked everyone for the orders over the last week.  It has been 13 months since the fire and he is now hoping to re-open in a few more months.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage says that in doing her business tracking at the end of the year, she saw that 25% of her business came through Yelp.  Anyone who doesn’t have a Yelp profile should be working to correct that.
  • Darnel Rogan, Saber Roofing thanked Bob Rosenberg, GR8WORK Builders, Inc. for a lead on job in Portola Valley.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail for the beautiful detailing on her car.  She also thanked Laurie and Larry Moore, Larry’s Autoworks for going over her car (one of the things she bought at the Holiday Auction).
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery said there is a good reason why you haven’t seen her at the meetings lately – she is moving the Nature Gallery to a new location in Los Altos.  The new address is 296 State Street, Los Altos.  She plans a Grand Opening on February 10.  She also reported that January was her best January in 25 years of business.  She thanked Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler for sponsoring her in PEA and suggesting the Los Altos location.  She thanked Dave Dove, Cassidy Turley BT Commercial, for helping her negotiate the lease in her new location. Finally, she thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services for the help with the plants.
  • Larry Moore, Larry’s Autoworks thanked Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management for the beautiful job they did on their trees.   The neighbors came over and complimented the job.  Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services, for coming over and taking piles of redwood chips from their tree trimming project.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked Dan Ingerman, Wemorph for the new Seniors Seasons sign-on-a-stand.  This solves an upcoming problem of needing to be in two places at once, thus needing a second banner.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist announced that last Wednesday was her last in San Mateo.  She is now only going to her San Mateo office on Mondays.  While she feared that her patients would be unhappy about this change, she got positive responses from them.
  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors thanked Angelo Izzo, California Business Opportunities for his help investigating a business opportunity.

October/November Double Feature- Success Stories Round-up!

  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors said his open house went well.  He turned his workroom into a showroom for the event.  He thanked Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for getting a seemingly impossible-to-remove stain out.  He thanked Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal for handling the ad and was glad to see a few PEA members there.  He had flooring covering by Terry Pebbles, Optimum Floors also included in their presentation.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc said that the Footwear, Etc. owner just had a big event at the Sheraton Palo Alto.
  • Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic had a success story for Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail.  Jeff was voted best auto detailer in the Bay Area by 95% of his customers.
  • Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for the smooth installation of a new heater while he was gone.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties is celebrating his 30th year as a PEA member this month.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for the great job cleaning her carpets.  She also thanked Roger Bolgard, Jackson & Miller for the referral.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Curtis Lane, Lane Cleaning Services for help with a recent client.  This was a fast turnaround job with 24 hours notice and the team did a great job.  She also thanked Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing for yet another computer rescue.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for the flowers for her mom.  She also was modeling a new line of Italian gold jewelry.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist thanked Albert Ong, saying that Jonathan Ong, Ambassador Services cleaned her 20-year-old couch and it looks like new.
  • Susan Scott, Expressions Salon thanked Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage for all the work on the new loan.  She was thrilled to get 4.12%.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for the great job his plumber did.  She also thanked Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic, saying that the laser treatment has really been helping her knee.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist reported that the current issue of Gentry magazine has a beautiful picture of Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio has started a Facebook page called Startling Statistics in which he features some of his previewed graphics.  Go by and check it out on Facebook (and don’t forget to like his page).
  • Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto thanked Larry and Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks for their recent help.  Her car was just past warranty and she took it to them.  Larry felt that the dealership ought to fix the problem and gave them a call.  In the end, the dealer did fix it at a savings of $750 to Karen.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery celebrated her 24th year in business last week.  She is also showing some of the work of a local artist in her gallery who works with organic, natural stones and silver.  This artist has become very well known during the years that Carol has worked with her and now has pieces in 62 galleries.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services for fixing her garden.  She also used the crew at Arborwell (thanks to Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management) to remove a tree and did some shopping at Mollie Stone’s Market.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage thanked Susan Scott, Expressions Salon for her long-overdue (as she described it) haircut.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee says that they began construction on rebuilding the Connoisseur Coffee building.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties for the receipt of a shipment of Smilin Dogs jackets.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler says that the Stanford Mall gets tour buses from time to time.  She recently had a visit from some Asian gentlemen who purchased four Rolex watches with cash and flew back home the next day.
  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors will be demonstrating some of his techniques to students from Cañada College.

Dave Nishimoto of Mollie Stone’s Market Presides over the Annual Bag Off Competition

Dave Nishimoto, Mollie Stone’s Market brought the always-fun Bag Off Competition to PEA again on November 10th.  This year, he brought Linda Bueno, the deli manager, and his assistant manager Larry Bristow with him to help run the competition.

Mollie Stone’s Market was started by two men, Mike Stone and Dave Bennett, in 1979.  The original concept was to create a store that carried both organic food and regular groceries in one store.  This was an innovative concept at the time and proved successful.   There are now nine stores in the Bay Area employing around 700 people.  Dave introduced Linda Bueno to talk about the Thanksgiving menu available if you are not planning to cook for the holiday.

Linda went over the deli Thanksgiving dinner menu, which features free range turkey, bread stuffing, pan gravy, sweet potatoes and yams, green beans with sweet red peppers, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie.  You can order extra helpings of these items plus other side dishes like mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, Brussels sprouts, or butternut squash with cranberries.  Or you can order appetizers to go with your meal.

Next, Larry Bristow described the types of turkeys that you can buy at Mollie Stone’s.  In contrast to the simple days of fresh versus frozen, today’s turkey choices abound.  They include the Mollies Stone’s turkey (free range, no hormones, grown in California, $2.70 lb), the fresh Mollie bird (10 to 20 pounds, free range, $2.49 lb), the fresh Willie Bird (free range, broad breast turkey, $3.29 lb), the Kosher turkey (fresh, ranging from 10 to 16 pounds at $4.99 lb), plus three other varieties including a frozen bird.  Larry suggests that you calculate the size of your turkey at one pound per person.

For the competition, four contestants were chosen randomly from the audience.  This year, the four contestants were Susan Hamilton, VTF Services, Darnel Rogan, Saber Roofing, Judy Ott, Judy Ott Organization and Design and new member Nichole Fox, Payroll City (on her first day!).  Dave reminded everyone that the grocery bagger has an important job.  If your eggs are smashed or you get home and find something missing, you will be unhappy and may not return to that grocery store.  The bagging competition is not purely a race – even weight distribution and packing delicate items carefully also counts.

Winners were announced after the break.  In second place and going home with her groceries and a gift certificate was Susan Hamilton, VTF Services. In first place also going home with groceries and a gift certificate: Nichole Fox, Payroll City Congratulations and thank you Dave Nishimoto, Mollie Stone’s Market for another fun competition!

Pruning 101 with Susan Hamilton of VTF Services

Susan Hamilton of VTF Services gave PEA a pruning demonstration for her spotlight talk last week.  Here are Susan’s tips for pruning your trees and shrubs that act like trees:

  • Use bypass pruners.  These clippers cut like scissors and will not crush the plant.
  • Begin by finding the collar of the branch (it looks like a wrinkle at the base of the branch).  Make your cuts at the top edge of this collar.
  • Cutting at the collar insures the plant will continue to grow.  If you cut too far up or down from this point, the wound made on the plant will never heal.
  • Place the cutting side of the blade next to the trunk for more accurate cuts.
  • If you are using a saw, make an undercut first at the collar and then do the top cut to prevent ripping.
  • Every cut is a wound to the plant, so you should try to keep cuts small.  If you need to make large cuts, make them in the winter when it is cold and the tree is not actively producing sap.
  • To sharpen your pruners, use a flat file and only sharper the cutting side, not the flat side.  You only want to make the blade shiny, you don’t want to remove material.

Susan said if you’re still scared call her at VTF Services for help with smaller trees and shrubs and call Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management for bigger trees.

September Success Stories Round-up!

PEA had another great month!  Stay tuned for next month’s Success Stories Round-up!
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management and the crew for the great clean up job at her house.  She also thanked everyone who came to her estate sale in Woodside.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for the new (to her) car for her niece.  She needed a good mileage commute car and is very happy with what Mike found for her.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio said that his neighbors liked the paint job that Duane Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting did at his house so much that they are hiring them to paint theirs.
  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks thanked Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing for his help getting them back online after a server change.
  • Kim Tucker, All Reasons Moving announced that they are now certified California movers.  This is a new program and they are one of the first to become certified.
  • Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management says that the day before Labor Day he turned his car over to Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing to sell.  By the day after Labor Day, he already had a buyer.  Mike has lists of buyers looking for specific kinds of vehicles and may be able to easily match you up.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… says that she is seeing some more corporate events.  She did an event for 3,000 people for Tesla last weekend.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery was back last week from a buying trip.  She has returned with a large dinosaur bone from the Badlands and a butterfly-shaped table made from geodes.
  • Sue Ballew, Skytrekker Aviation took her car to Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody for some body work.  She was very happy about the body work but even happier that he polished her headlights.  She didn’t know what she was missing.
  • Albert Ong, Ambassador Services got a new contract to maintain some awnings at Stanford University.
  • John King, Keller-Williams Realty has been handling a rental property belonging to Dr. Al Butner, Honorary Member. Preparing the property for new renters involved PEA members Duane Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting, Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors, Curtis Lane, Lane Cleaning Services, and Susan Hamilton, VTF Services and it is already leased.

Susan Hamilton of VTF Services gives PEA Advice for Landscape Maintenance

On August 11th, President Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing introduced speaker Susan Hamilton, VTF Services, saying that they have known each other for around 20 years.  Susan works for Mike and he says she is very good at what she does.  Susan says she is often faced with working on yards that are a disaster and the owners have a low budget for the fix, but she enjoys the challenge.  Susan planned an interactive session for the day and hit highlights on several key topics.

Air, Water, Soil, Light: Air, water, soil, and light are the most critical elements of keeping plants healthy.  Susan notes that while air quality is a factor, it is actually air circulation that is most critical.  Some plants, like camellias, can become too dense for air to circulate properly.  They should be thinned for better air circulation.  What’s good for the plant is bad for us – plants take in carbon monoxide, so it makes a lot of sense to plant near freeways.

Most of us around the valley have high clay content soil.  This type of soil holds water and tends to not let it pass through.  And on many properties, there is not a big soil layer before encountering bedrock.  When you combine these conditions with a tendency to over water, you can easily kill your plants.

As plantings mature, what once worked may no longer work.  Many smaller properties have redwood trees planted on them that now tower over everything else in the yard, cutting off their light.  Susan noted that problems on the ground are often caused by something above ground, and vice versa.  She warned that you be cautious when making big changes like removing a tree that has shaded your yard.  Going from a shady to a sunny environment may result in having to replace everything, including the grass.

Annuals versus Perennials: The short story on this is annuals last one year and perennials last many years.  Ok, so some annuals may actually last for two or three years.  But much of the time, people will replace them yearly.  This is something to consider when you are planning your garden.

Watering Style: Quick – what’s better, a drip system or overhead watering?  The answer is that it depends on the type of plant.  Some plants, like grass, are designed to collect water from overhead.  Grass has a slippery surface and an indentation that channels water down towards its roots.  Roses, on the other hand, will mildew with overhead watering and prefer a drip system.  Susan advises to stick with the type of watering your plants prefer.

Talk to Susan Hamilton of VTF Services for your landscape maintenance needs!

August Success Stories Round-up!

It’s that time again… time to celebrate successes in August!

June Success Stories Round-up!

Better late than never!  Look out for our July edition coming soon.

  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail for the car detail and says it looks great.  She also found the perfect warehouse location thanks to PEA.
  • Sue Ballew, Skytrekker Aviation just ran a deal on Living Social and sold 110 introductory flights.  Living Social allowed her to schedule the flights at her less-busy times (during the week).  Between this and Groupon, she has sold around 400 introductory flights.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler announced that their 80th Anniversary sale is now complete.  It was very successful at 50% more in sales than in May of 2010.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Paul Kraus, Goodco Press for another beautiful printing job.  She also thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties and Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto for the leads.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs bought his 10th van from Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing last week.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures has an estate sale coming up in the home of a late state senator Bill Clark.
  • Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing likes to give Connoisseur Coffee as a gift to clients.
  • Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic shared that June 10th marked the 35th year he has been in practice.
  • Dan Harding, Retirement Administration has been working with his father, Sam, for one year now.  Their sales are up 262% in the past year.
  • John King, Keller-Williams Realty helped Jay Saber, Saber Roofing’s son and daughter-in-law find a new home.  Stern Mortgage will be handling the mortgage.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio said that his neighbor’s admired his newly painted house so much that they asked for contact information for Duane Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services and the team for getting her lawn nice and green.
  • Terry Pebbles, Optimum Floors announced that he has re-formed his business as Optimum FloorsOptimum Floors does flooring coverings, so the classification Window Coverings is open for a new member.
  • Peggy Calhoun, Garden ANew thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing, saying that the team came by while she was gone and everything went very smoothly.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… said she is working on an event for Green Gables for July 4th.  It used to be an annual event and this year’s will be the last.