At a recent Manufacturers’ Council meeting, Bob Kellen, its executive director, distributed a fact sheet regarding manufacturing in Charlotte. As a proud advocate for area manufacturers, he works to communicate the value of manufacturing and its importance to our local economy. Here are some of the facts he put forward.
Charlotte manufacturing is highly diversified!
Nineteen of the 20 U.S. manufacturing classifications can be found in Charlotte.
Leading industries, based on employment, are:
Printing and Publishing
Food and Beverage
Rubber and Plastics
Charlotte manufacturing employment is strong!
840,000 manufacturing employees make North Carolina 8th in the nation in manufacturing.
16 percent of the state’s manufacturing employment is within the Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
Six percent of the state’s manufacturing employment is within Charlotte.
Over 1,100 manufacturing firms employ over 50,000 people in Charlotte.
Charlotte manufacturing has global reach!
719 manufacturers are importing and/or exporting goods.
128 of 377 foreign firms located in Charlotte are manufacturers.
1996 exports from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport totaled $264 million.
1997 export sales from the Charlotte MSA exceeded $2.5 billion.
Charlotte manufacturing makes significant financial contributions!
Manufacturers’ Charlotte payroll is over $2.1 billion.
Manufacturers pay $1.1 billion in personal property taxes.
From 1992 to 1997, Charlotte manufacturers experienced impressive growth.
Value added grew by 21 percent from $3.6 billion to $4.4 billion. Shipment values grew 97 percent from $4.5 billion to $8.8 billion. Capital expenditures grew by 52 percent from $196.7 million to $298.5 million. All of this growth occurred while employment went down by 4.5 percent from 52,400 to 50,000 employees.
According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data, North Carolina became one of the nation’s economic powerhouses during that period (1992 to 1996) when its gross state product – or the value of all goods and services produced in the state – grew 95.13 percent, the 10th fastest-growth rate in the nation. And although ours has traditionally been a manufacturing state, the nature of the manufacturing has changed – shifting away from traditional goods such as furniture and apparel to more high tech fields such as computers and telephone communications. The jobs that are lost in textile mills and manufacturing operations are being recreated elsewhere, particularly in the transportation and service sectors. With a rapidly changing world, Charlotte’s manufacturers will need to continually improve their operations to remain competitive in the global economy.
Indeed, Mayor Pat McCrory says North Carolina — and particularly Charlotte — will always rely on the traditional sectors. “I’m a strong believer in keeping manufacturing in Charlotte and the region. Westinghouse Boulevard does not get a lot of publicity, but it is a major employment center. Manufacturing is the most important part of our economy, and everything else hinges on that.”
The vitality of Charlotte manufacturers is too significant to be overlooked and is often under recognized in this economic community. To that end, Greater Charlotte Biz will make every effort to report on Charlotte’s manufacturing sector as well as the services, wholesale, retail and technology to demonstrate the healthy diversity of business on an ongoing basis.
John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.
It can be a confusing and intimidating experience. As a result, voting is limited to those who are not to be intimidated by the process and to those who can be encouraged, manipulated or swayed to actually turn out.
Having had extensive experience with political campaigning, I have witnessed numerous examples of political manipulation of votes and vote counts. One of my more amusing recollections was as campaign manager for a congressional race in the First District of Indiana in the early ’70s. State Senator Adam Benjamin was running against Representative Ray Madden, the incumbent for 30 years. It was a primary race, both candidates Democrats. Madden’s seniority was especially important because, if re-elected, he would become chairman of the House Rules Committee, a very powerful position. As a northern Democrat, many special interest groups, especially labor unions, wanted him re-elected for a 17th term. Benjamin was well respected and well liked for his performance in Indiana’s General Assembly.
Campaign tricks were as rampant then as personal attacks and negative campaigning are today. In a fairly daring escapade, I had my staff dress up in white waiter aprons and caps and deliver specially ordered fortune cookies to a huge Madden dinner for several thousand party faithfuls at a local banquet hall. We put them at every place setting just before the dinner started. No one challenged us or suspected that the opposition was campaigning at their event. During the course of dinner, attendees were quite surprised when they opened their fortunes, “Adam Benjamin for Congress.” We created quite a buzz which was reported in the local papers the next day.
Despite these shenanigans, power won out. Madden won by 3,200 votes out of 157,000 ballots. Having anticipated vote fraud and suspected specific precincts where fraud might take place in Gary and East Chicago, we placed a limited supply of volunteers in the larger precincts of Gary as observers. What they reported were instances where wedges had been placed under our candidate’s lever so that one could not pull that lever, and pins in the counters on the backs of machines so that the drums would not rotate and tabulate the votes for our candidate. They even reported big red circles around the incumbent’s name on several voting booths to make it easy for those who had been paid to vote and could not always remember their candidate’s name. Despite our vigilance in Gary, the political power brokers withheld the tabulations and ballot boxes from East Chicago from the county’s vote tabulation office until late in the evening. When they were finally delivered, it seems that just a sufficient number of votes for the incumbent were delivered to provide for his margin of victory. We petitioned the Indiana State Police, the Attorney General, the FBI and others to investigate, but they would not intervene in a local election. Two years later, a more experienced Adam Benjamin defeated Ray Madden.
It has been frustrating to watch this Presidential election — with all of its counts, recounts and court interventions — especially with the incidences of confusing balloting and counting rules, and allegations of faulty machines and political persuasion bordering on fraud. There will always be avenues for vote fraud and voter manipulation, but so many of the problems highlighted are within our control to avoid. If we truly value our right to vote, it is incumbent upon us to do all that we can to improve our system of voting so that every vote does count and we are not throwing away 120,000 ballots in Cook County or 20,000 in Palm Beach or rejecting military absentee ballots without postmarks when postmarks may not be available. While new technology may help minimize tabulation problems, it is at our own county level that we need to make improvements in the basic voting process — better designed ballots, more thoughtful and fair voting procedures and uniform counting regulations — to assure ourselves our Constitutional right to vote. And to assure fair state and federal elections, we need to expect this of others as well. As “out of our hands” as the Presidential election results were this year, the integrity of the voting process is truly in our own hands.
John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.
Until about a year ago, I lived in the Washington, DC area and was chief staff executive for a national trade association advocating the interests of small business to Congress, federal agencies, the White House and the media. It was a grand experience, but it was exhausting. I was amazed by the abundance of diverse interests and the money that drove the political system.
The struggles between political interest groups were constant and the pressure between factions within my organization was nearly as intense as that from similar-interest groups outside my organization. During the years from 1987 to 1999, I witnessed the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations up close. From the budget battles and tax issues to regulatory reform and health care, I had the chance to engage issues at the highest levels of our federal government. Yet after all that time, to a large degree, the same issues came up over and over and over again. I grew tired of all the political logjams and the overwhelming influence of money on the national political agenda. It was time for me to exit and get back into the real world of communities, families, neighborhoods, businesses, entrepreneurship and economic opportunities.
Watching this year’s presidential race from Charlotte has been similarly frustrating. Other than the debate in Winston-Salem, the candidates virtually ignored North Carolina. It was decided early on that the Carolinas were not in contest.
Growing up in the Midwest, I watched candidates battle over the southern states. Now they battle over Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. As a result, it was hard to get excited about the presidential race.
The public’s indecision, lack of interest and the apathy this year were also readily apparent, even if easily understood. While the differences in the positions of the candidates were sometimes clear, the direct impact of their positions on our lives is not so clear. Rhetoric flows so easily, change is not so easy. Campaigns simply advocate. Numerous layers of elected officials govern in a system of “checks and balances” influenced by well-healed lobbyists and multinational moneyed interests. We cannot always be sure about which candidate will do a better job of improving our schools, preserving our environment, widening our highways and keeping the economy rolling along so we can keep our jobs and pay our mortgages and feed our families.
It seems to me, though, that ultimately the results of this year’s elections will be a reflection of the elections we make ourselves – to express our concerns to appropriate officials in a timely fashion, to participate in our own governance in whatever ways and to whatever extents possible (from involvement in local PTAs to becoming full-time government representatives), to perform our own roles in the system – i.e. our jobs – responsibly and to hold others to the same high standards, and to instill these same initiatives in our children. The best example we can set for our elected officials is that of our own. If we do not personally elect to make the world we live in better, we can hardly expect that of anyone else.
So…when I feel rather confused and powerless to change such a megasystem of substantially competing interests, I ask myself “Am I doing all that I can be doing to make known my dissatisfaction, personally participating in ameliorating those dissatisfactions, and doing my own job as well as I expect others to do theirs?”
Whenever an economy slows, businesses are more aggressive about pursuing avenues for reducing their costs. We all know that that Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve have been boosting interest rates to raise the costs of borrowing money in an attempt to slow down our surging economy. Evidence from labor statistics, purchasing managers and key economic indexes suggest that the economy is beginning to slow. Bank of America, First Union, Wachovia, Centura and other area banks have announced layoffs of thousands of workers throughout their operating footprints.
Recent stories from the The Charlotte Observer and The Business Journal report that Celanese Acetate and United Stationers, Inc. are considering moving a global headquarters and a major distribution center from Mecklenburg County, NC to York County, SC. These moves of approximately 400 people and investments totaling $40 million across the state line are substantial reminders that different state tax structures and incentives are important factors in the location and relocation of corporate entities.
While Microsoft decided to keep its regional support center in Charlotte, York County has in the last few years attracted headquarters for United American Video near Fort Mill, Willamette Industries in Kingsley Park and Muzak at Lakemont Park. Ironically, Celanese Corp.’s first location in Charlotte was the original SouthPark structure, built across from a dairy farm in what was then rural Mecklenburg County. It helped launch the development boom in southeast Charlotte in the 1950s that continues even today.
In the past year, I have heard increasingly irritated comments about North Carolina (NC) taxes and more active interest in relocating to South Carolina (SC). Adding insult to injury, paying higher taxes in NC doesn’t seem to deliver new and improved highways and railways quickly enough to keep up with the expanding population.
Having lived in Indiana and Michigan for many years, I watched those two states bicker over business costs including income, property and sales taxes, as well as unemployment and worker’s compensation costs. Michigan had generally higher taxes and so lost businesses relocating to save money across the Indiana border. I have flown along the border and the visual impact of development along the state line confirms that people and businesses chose to live and operate in Indiana with firms and homes built right up to the state line. There was a noticeable absence of homes and firms on the Michigan side of the state line. In response to Indiana advertisements attracting Michigan businesses, Michigan touted its schools and higher quality of life as a result of its “investment” in Michigan citizens and businesses.
I suspect that some of the same comparisons could be made between NC and SC. Per capita tax rate in SC was $1482 versus $1837 in NC, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the US Department of Commerce for 1996. It is quite apparent that SC is making a substantial investment to attract businesses to its side of the state line. All you need to do is drive south on I-77 and see the widened road surfaces to accommodate increased traffic toward SC and away from Charlotte. Convenient access to the Charlotte Douglas airport and quick access to I-85 make York County an attractive location with lower business costs. Government officials and residents of NC will have to work harder to promote the quality of life and the benefits of living in NC and
to make these more evident.
While it is unfortunate for NC that businesses will selectively move across the state line for lower taxes and incentives, it is also quite smart of SC to pursue NC businesses at this time. The good news is that while SC will grow and expand its tax base, there is greater motivation for NC to expand its commitment to infrastructure and provide a higher return to NC taxpayers for their “investments” in quality of life. Businesses are making the adjustments that they must make to operate successfully for their investors and stockholders. It is important that NC work to meet the needs of its taxpayers just as aggressively.
A significant downturn in the financial sector or a buyout of a local bank could quickly slow the growth we currently enjoy. That’s why it’s important to continue diversifying Charlotte’s economic base. Developing the right industries is the crucial part, because regions are becoming increasingly specialized. One reason so many financial service companies are moving to Charlotte is simply because we already are an important financial center. Companies like to move and expand to areas that already have the infrastructure and the resources to sustain their industry. So we must carefully decide which business sectors are best suited for Charlotte in the long term.
Developing a world-class high tech industry – from dot-com startups to high-level research facilities makes the most sense, but it won’t be easy. Charlotte’s burgeoning dot-com community is vibrant and innovative, but competition between cities for investment dollars and programming talent is fierce. Cities like Austin, Texas and even our I-85 neighbors, Atlanta and the Research Triangle, have a huge lead in establishing themselves as high tech centers. As such, they also have an easier time raising investment capital. Despite our lofty position in the world financial market, local high tech companies have struggled in getting the dollars to flow from Tryon Street. For Charlotte to catch up and and surpass rival cities, two things must take place. We must develop the infrastructure that supports dot-com startups and helps them become successful, established enterprises. And we must improve our high tech educational opportunities.
Fortunately, both ingredients are starting to fall into place. A group of local businesspeople has formed Charlotte Angel Partners, an angel investment concern that is focused on the local market. A drive through Charlotte’s South End reveals a growing number of Internet startups, including internetsoccer.com, which is profiled on page 48. And local dot-com entrepreneurs are networking regularly, whether at Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council meetings, through the Charlotte Chamber’s Technology Council or by serving on each other’s boards. The key now is to build on those relationships and expand the circle of entrepreneurs who can contribute to the local dot-com scene.
The other crucial missing ingredient is now also in the works. Thirty-five years after becoming a branch of the state university system, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has finally been designated a doctoral university. While this step may not seem like a big deal to those who discount academia’s role in the real world, try to picture the Research Triangle without UNC, Duke and N.C. State. Not only will the doctoral programs help attract better students and faculty, they will bring millions of dollars to UNC Charlotte.
Doctoral programs will play a key role in developing high tech research facilities and attracting high tech companies to Charlotte. And they will bring something to Charlotte that even successful businesses can’t deliver on their own: prestige. As one of the largest metro areas in the country without a medical school, a law school or – until now – a doctoral university, Charlotte has lacked the gravitas that such institutions accord. Not anymore. Congratulations to the folks at UNC Charlotte and the community leaders who helped push this initiative through. It’s only the first step in a long journey, but the community is already the better for it.
Tim Parolini is the editor of Greater Charlotte Biz magazine.
Greater Charlotte Biz is now the singular premier monthly magazine with the most complete business circulation in the ten-county Charlotte region. As a result, we have grown and expect continued expansion for several months, providing more quality content for readers than ever before.
At the same time that we are growing internally, we are coalescing externally with other independently owned and operated business-to-business regional publications to expand our marketing reach throughout the Carolinas and Southeast region. Charlotte and Greater Charlotte Biz sit at the center of the Piedmont crescent of business activity. This location affords Charlotte the opportunity to serve as a central headquarters and distribution point for many area firms seeking to serve the Carolinas and Southeast USA.
Now, in cooperation with other business publications in the Triangle, the Triad, Greenville-Spartanburg and Columbia, Greater Charlotte Biz can offer advertising opportunities to more than 75,000 businesses throughout this rapidly expanding and vibrant economic corridor. Greater Charlotte Biz can now serve the marketing interests of businesses seeking to promote and advertise their products and services in Business Leader magazine in the Triangle and Business Life magazine in the Triad of North Carolina, and Business Monthly in Columbia and other areas of South Carolina. Collectively, these publications reach more businesses than any other network in the Carolinas.
In addition to the acquisition of expanded advertising in Greater Charlotte Biz and the expanded marketing opportunities resulting from this coalition with other Carolina publications, we are also pleased to announce that we have recently formed a business network group support organization, BIZ NETWORK.org. This not-for-profit organization has been created for several reasons:
- to support local business networking groups throughout the ten-county region under a common umbrella, providing expanded opportunities for the groups collectively while respecting their autonomy individually;
- to provide a continual source of referrals to individual groups to maintain their size and capacity for interaction and marketing effectiveness;
- to serve as a centralized communications and administrative center to disseminate information about activities and for communication among member groups;
- to provide an internet identity and maintain communications at the Web site, hosting information on the various BIZ NETWORK.org groups with the capacity to include individual photos and presentations; and
- to provide monthly coverage of group activities in affiliation with Greater Charlotte Biz and provide a direct link to the BIZ NETWORK.org web site from greatercharlottebiz.com.
We recently had the privilege of listening to Ty Boyd at the kickoff of the BIZ NETWORK.org program. An eloquent speaker, he quickly identified seven key elements in effective communication – confidence, passion, grace, trustworthiness, energy, listening and eye contact. We intend to pursue those same elements in the conduct and content of Greater Charlotte Biz and BIZ NETWORK.org.
While I may be a relative newcomer to Charlotte, I am certainly not a newcomer to the rhetoric involved with the proposed sports arena. And, it can’t be new to anybody who’s lived here for the last fifteen years either, when the Coliseum was subjected to similar scrutiny. We were prompted by the public debate over the proposed new Hornet arena to investigate the benefits that pro sports bring to Charlotte for an article in this issue. As it happens, Tim and I had some personal observations on the situation that were surprisingly similar, so we’ve combined them as follows.
Unlike what you might think, listening to some the rhetoric surrounding the arena debate, the issue before the city council is not about subsidizing the wealth of George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge. It’s not about supporting the lifestyles of overpaid pro athletes who spend as much time in court as they do on the court. Nor is it about corporate bankers getting luxury boxes at the expense of Joe Six-Pack. Those who ask why we should give public money to such “scoundrels” are asking the wrong questions.
The issue of a new publicly funded arena should be, “Are the revenues generated from all sources because of a new arena at least likely to offset the costs incurred, both public and private?” We may choose to once again pay what is necessary for the time being (i.e., making further lease concessions) to keep a professional basketball team here. This, however, merely postpones further debate over the real issue, which is ultimately an argument between hard economic evidence against public funding and unquantifiable, but significant, benefits in favor of it.
First, the economics. The proposed funding via hotel tax, the purpose of which is to promote tourism, isn’t very convincing — tourists aren’t real big on luxury boxes. Moving the arena from Tyvola Road to Mint Street won’t attract any more tourists to Charlotte than would moving Sears from one end of SouthPark Mall to the other. The only way an arena downtown will provide an economic boost is as the catalyst for a dynamic center city district that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
Economic impact arguments are nonsensical. An overwhelming number of independent studies consistently show that the direct economic impact of a professional sports team on a community is minimal. And since the Hornets are already here, what benefits there are will simply move a few miles northeast of where they currently accrue. Proponents who argue that the land where the current Coliseum is (which the city is still paying for) could be reverted back to the tax rolls with new office development ignore the fact that such a boon would be offset by the loss of potential tax revenue from the land under a city-owned arena downtown. It’s a wash.
On the other hand, when you examine the big picture, the idea of building a downtown arena and keeping the Hornets in Charlotte makes some sense. The problem is that most of the benefits can’t be quantified. The biggest benefit of professional sports — and the hardest to pin down — is the energy created simply by being a “big league” city. Professional sports help separate Charlotte from other mid-size cities, as well as the “C” cities, Charleston and Charlottesville, with which Charlotte is often confused. The distinction helps attract and keep quality businesses and their employees here, and the teams are an important identifier for a city that lacks significant geographic or historical qualities.
Pro sports are an amenity that people like to have at their disposal. The teams extend Charlotte’s reach into the rest of the world. You can’t put an accurate value on that, but it should not be underestimated. And, at the same time, no other industry has been able to create the same sense of civic pride and garner the same emotional support as professional sports.
Surely this same “energy” could be magnified if such an arena hosted a variety of sports teams and competitions, whether hockey, tennis, NCAA activities, Olympic competitive events, or whatever. A newly built arena could accommodate the Charlotte Checkers, albeit a minor league team, for example. The Checkers currently play at Independence Arena. Considering that there is only one year remaining on their lease,that it is was built in 1955 and last renovated in 1992, and that it accommodates only 9,570, it is perplexing that Ray Wooldridge — having recently become owner of the Checkers as well — should comment that it is “not necessary” and would provide no “economic advantage” for the Checkers to play at the Hornets’ new arena…particularly since the proposed plans would accommodate a hockey team.
A new arena could also host a rich cultural agenda of concerts and events as a more centrally located alternative to Blockbuster Pavilion and Independence Arena. Such uses would make the arena more profitable because it could not only be used throughout the year, but would also attract a variety of new and different users.
Because economic benefits from arenas are primarily a result of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, arenas work best when situated centrally in a pedestrian-friendly environment near restaurants, bars, hotels, parks, museums, shops and other interesting places. A center city arena, particularly if planned in coordination with a new convention facility, would truly be a catalyst for much-needed urban development projects, such as department stores and movie theaters in the center city area. (Where can you see a movie, get underwear or a pair of shoes now — or even an aspirin after 7:00 p.m.?)
Additionally, with the city and surrounding region moving inexorably towards a mass transit system that centers on downtown, it makes sense to create that “critical mass” of interests that increases the potential for ridership. (If you could hop on a train to a Panthers game this fall, wouldn’t you? Particularly if you could comfortably shop, eat, see a movie, or whatever?)
In the end, it’s going to cost us something. Too many other cities are interested in hosting a professional basketball team, and the costs of starting up a new franchise or buying another existing one greatly exceed maintaining a current one. At a minimum, it will cost further lease concessions at the Coliseum. The question really is — do we want to build something for ourselves in the process?
The city should contribute to the new arena because in the long run the city is better off with the Hornets than without them. The Hornets are good for business. But Charlotte can’t afford to build just a sports arena — the plans approved should contemplate other uses as well. Additionally, the plans approved should be flexible and forward-looking enough to be modified over time in response to changing needs, unlike the existing Coliseum. The city needs to have a cohesive, coordinated plan for the area surrounding the proposed site to be developed in a manner that will generate significant advantages for all of us, including tax revenues for the city. And finally, WE need to demand it.
Seeking to expand the use and purpose of the arena, making sure it is designed for the future, and planning for it as a center city mecca will certainly further serve to substantially offset the cost of a new arena. We can leave the particulars of the financing to those who know better.
John Paul Galles is the publisher of Greater Charlotte Biz.
Tim Parolini is the editor of Greater Charlotte Biz magazine.
Anticipating instantaneous success as though a Regis Philbin “Who wants to be an ‘entrepreneur?” winner, we have come to expect and almost identify entrepreneurism with instantaneous wealth. Unfortunately, that is a very limited picture of entrepreneurs and antithetical to the word’s very origin as an undertaking.
The lives of seemingly “ordinary” people are replete with examples of entrepreneurism. For example, I know this gentleman who began his entrepreneurism as a boy, 17 years of age, selling magazine subscriptions, traveling from town to town in Wisconsin to earn enough money to eat. After high school, having no money for college, this young man played bass fiddle and sousaphone in an orchestra, and ran a router in a chair factory, until he was able to attend a state teacher’s college on a work scholarship.
After only two years there, his education was interrupted by World War II. Upon his return from service, the state college said he was no longer a resident of the state, and so the cost of further schooling became prohibitive. Having married a few days before going to war and wanting to start a family, he found a job as a payroll auditor for an insurance company. A few years later, he moved on to a business opportunity that particularly interested him ‘ raising chinchillas and selling them for their fur.
Before he began this venture, he researched the experience of others and gathered reports from experts at several universities. He put his plan together, purchased several mating pairs of animals and began his chinchilla farm. Quite tragically, however, the animals contracted a disease which rapidly destroyed the entire farm. The man went bankrupt.
Gathering himself up he once again looked for employment, finding it in a series of jobs; first as an insurance underwriter, next as a safety engineer, subsequently as a safety engineer for the same company in a different state ; before becoming a personnel assistant at Bendix Missile plant. When he was laid off from Bendix because of defense spending cutbacks, he concluded that it was time to go back to college, finish his undergraduate studies and get the college degree that employers were requiring for better-paying jobs. At age 43, with the love and support of his working wife, he left home and renewed his college studies, finishing his bachelor’s two years later. Living away from home for so long with a family of three school-age children was not easy.
For a year after graduation, he taught mathematics at a local high school. Deciding teaching was not for him, he changed jobs to become a personnel representative in a local small business. When the company folded, Bethlehem Steel was fortunately building a new plant nearby, so he applied for employment and was hired as an industrial engineer. It was a good job with good benefits. He had attained the status of Chief Industrial Engineer over a decade later at the time of his retirement.
This man is my father. He was not born into affluence and had no superlative moments of incredible good fortune. But he persevered through many hardships and periods of self-doubt, improving life for himself and for our family over the course of many years. Despite his many undertakings, he was able to garner a modest pension sufficient to retire in relative comfort. Much to his surprise, he was finally, by his own self-effacing acknowledgement, a success and quite happy as well.
For the last nearly twenty years, up until last week, he and my mother, without whom it would not have been possible, celebrated that success each day in a wonderful retirement community in Florida.
Now, he must again determine how to move forward and what to do. It is an even greater challenge that he faces alone. He is truly an entrepreneur. He has worked hard and overcome many challenges with absolute doggedness. Ultimately, he has built a family and a life that has been incredibly fulfilling, and has already had success beyond his dreams. We are all entrepreneurs throughout our entire lives.
Dedicated to the Memory of Ruth Ann Galles, June 7, 2000.