Guest Blog Post by Carol Obando-Derstine, regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities
It might be a cold washcloth, or an ice cube against the wrist, or a tall glass of iced tea to drink in front of a floor fan.
Whatever it is, I hope you’re putting it to good use. Another hot summer is here, and it’s important for everyone to take care of themselves to avoid heat-related illness.
At PPL, we take heat-related illness very seriously. Our linemen and other employees work in the heat every day to keep your service strong. We share safety tips with them, tell them to look out for each other, and urge them to be careful.
We care about you, our customers, too. And we hope you’ll be safe and know the risks, just like our linemen do.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people at greatest risk for heat-related illness include:
But even the young and healthy can be hit by heat illness if they work or play too hard in hot weather. Drinking alcohol and taking certain types of medication can increase the risk, too, according to the CDC.
Here are some basic tips to help you avoid heatstroke, heat exhaustion and other seasonal illnesses:
Drink water frequently. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
Take frequent breaks of several minutes each during physical activity. Don’t wait until you feel ill or out-of-sorts to take a break.
Get help with physical tasks. Watch your partner or co-worker for signs of heat illness.
How can you identify and respond to heat-related illnesses?
Heat cramps: Painful muscle spasms should be treated with rest in a cool place and with cool water, stretching and massaging.
Heat exhaustion: Symptoms that include cool, moist and pale skin, headache, dizziness, and nausea should be treated by moving to a cooler location, drinking cool fluids, loosening clothing and applying wet towels.
Heat stroke: Serious medical emergency involving sweating, mental confusion, delirium and possibly loss of consciousness. Seek medical attention immediately by calling 911. Until help arrives, apply cold towels to the body and expose the victim to a fan or air conditioning.
So, work safely. Take breaks. Know your limits. And we’ll make this summer a cool one in all senses of the word.
Guest Blog Post by Lynn Olanoff, Concannan, Miller, & Co.
The odds are pretty staggering – only 30% of family-owned businesses succeed in transitioning their business to the second generation.
For those transitioning to a third generation, the odds are even worse – only 10% succeed.
There’s a way to beat the odds – prepare. The best business transition plans happen over many years, both to allow the next generation to learn the family business and move up the leadership ranks and also to best prepare the business financially.
“A business needs a team of advisors to help them get through the transition,” says Tony Deutsch, CPA, MT, CGMA, a shareholder at Concannon Miller. “When developing a client exit plan, we partner with a business owner’s existing advisors, and/or bring in experienced advisors, such as Compass Point, a strategic partner of Concannon Miller that focuses on family business."
“How the business is transitioned will affect the livelihood of both the current and future owner, as well as the future success of the business as a whole, so it’s important that we start early and get it right.”
Leadership training and developing financial skills are the top two skills you need to succeed in taking over your family business.
A rising family business owner needs two types of financial training to be successful – skills that will help in the transition and sale of the business and skills you will need to run the financial part of your business.
Financial Skills for Business Transition: Purchasing your parents’ business may seem daunting unless you’re particularly cash flush. The good news is that transferring ownership of a business over time provides a lot more options. Also, selling or gifting an entire business too short of a timeframe can result in unnecessary tax implications. A good first step is obtaining a high quality valuation performed by a Certified Valuation Analyst and then working with a CPA on the most tax advantageous options for your particular situation.
Financial Skills as the New Owner: Financial responsibilities are among the most crucial to the strategic success of your company. Will you make your budget? How will you find new revenue opportunities to expand your company? What are your most profitable products or services? How do you manage cash flow cycles? How do you time strategic purchases?
Whether you’ll have a daily role in the finances once you take over as CEO or whether there’s a CFO, controller or a whole financial team to handle those duties, there’s high value in you having business financial knowledge. These skills include how to understand financial statements and weighing tax planning strategies.
Leadership can be demonstrated in many ways and no two leaders are alike nor will they drive the same results. We see time and again in professional sports, a new coach can often have vastly different results with the same team.
There are great benefits to taking an in-depth personality test such as a Myers–Briggs Type Indicator or a DISC assessment. In addition to discovering your own personality and leadership traits, these tests can tell you how you best work with others. A major part of managing a business is managing its people, and the better you are at that, the more successful your company will be.
Transition Talks with Your Family
Well before you start working with your new executive team and employees, you’ll have to learn how to successfully navigate a possibly more challenging relationship – the one with your family.
“Love, power, and money. As Dean Fowler, a leading family business advisor and president of Dean Flower Associates, points out, these three forces shape the essence of the family business journey,” notes Tom Garrity, Compass Point’s managing partner. “Only with eyes wide open, will a family business legacy pass to the next generation. If I could point to one single factor that leads to a successful family business succession it would be the ability to discuss the undiscussables – love, power, and money.”
It’s a hefty conversation to have. The most effective family business transition conversations involve a lot of pre-planning before they’re undertaken. Some planning strategies to consider include:
Gaining Experience in the Company
The most successful family businesses don’t give out CEO titles based on last name alone – they make their successors earn them.
Your position in the company should match your skillset – if you’re a recent college graduate, there is likely value in you starting in an entry-level position. If you’ve already worked in the family business for several years, moving up the ranks – especially serving in a COO or other second-in-command position – is the best on-the-job training you can get.
Some incoming family business owners find a lot of value in pursuing leadership training or even higher degrees, such as a MBA. It also can be valuable to connect with other rising family business owners, possibly through your local Chamber of Commerce or other business networking organizations.
Concannon Miller’s Next Gen Academy for Finance and Leadership for Private Businesses is another training option for upcoming business owners. During the six session academy, participants will develop the leadership and finance skills critical to their business’s ongoing success, as well as develop a network of peers in the business community. Find out more at nextgen-lv.eventbrite.com
By Dorota Gasienica-Kozak, Esq.
King, Spry, Herman, Freund, & Faul, LLC
Chair, Board of Governors, The Chamber
There is only one week remaining to register for the highly anticipated 2018 Lehigh Valley Women’s Summit. If you have not registered yet, or are on the fence about attending, I highly encourage you to join us! It is an exceptional opportunity for all Lehigh Valley women of diverse professional backgrounds and experiences to gather, network, and learn from shared experiences. The 2018 Summit partnership includes the work of The Chamber’s Women’s Business Council, the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and Cedar Crest College. We can honestly say that it is THE collaboration of the year!
There are also breakout sessions with topics such as business synergy, education, healthcare, arts empowerment, government involvement, and much more!
The event also features two key note speakers: Dr. Michelle Rozen, nationwide thought leader on human behavior, motivation and leadership, will open the day as our keynote speaker followed by our afternoon keynote Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement and social justice activist. Dr. Rozen’s expertise in the field of human behavior and human interaction brings her audience unique viewpoints on motivation, leadership and personal empowerment. Tarana has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice and to laying the groundwork for a movement that was initially created to help young women of color who survived sexual abuse and assault.
Please, join us to celebrate one of the most exciting times to be a professional woman in the Lehigh Valley. I look forward to seeing you there!
Guest Blog Post from Don Adriaansen, TITAN Mobile Shredding
The pace of defective products being recalled is climbing, according to a recent study by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. A review of more than 100,000 corporate liability insurance claims from over 100 countries between 2011 and 2016, found that defective products or work is the number one cause of liability loss by total value of claims. In fact, defective products account for nearly a quarter of all claims.
Today risk managers must be readily prepared for such a crisis with recall response plans that are nimble and effective. Discontinued products, manufacturing overruns, obsolete inventory, off-spec items, promotional merchandise, counterfeit products, and unused or outdated product packaging should have a destruction plan behind it. "Our clients consistently search for and adopt best practices to reduce potential liability, however challenges can persist," admits Don Adriaansen, co owner of TITAN Mobile Shredding, LLC. Adriaansen alludes to an industrial shoe manufacturer needing to destroy 5500 pairs of shoes in a matter of days. "The shoes were defective and our client's recall plan included immediate destruction with our company."
For companies seeking destruction partners, Adriaansen urges risk managers to be vigilant in seeking a reputable, NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) AAA Certified company that fully recognizes their needs. "Improperly discarded products are a source of liability if misused, and, where trade information is put at risk, it can undermine important intellectual property protections," NAID CEO Bob Johnson said. “Properly destroying outdated, defective, damaged or returned products is just as important as destroying discarded sensitive information." A uniform manufacturer for utility and oil companies had to destroy over 15,000 uniforms and jackets because their company logo had changed. "As a utility company serving homeowners, our client followed their product recall plan to ensure the outdated garments could not enter the public domain," Adriaansen said.
In an effort to better align with product destruction procedures, NAID launched a new certification endorsement in late 2017. TITAN was named the first company to receive the global Product Destruction Endorsement from NAID. Adriaansen added, "This endorsement gives our clients another layer of confidence that their branded, obsolete, defective or overstocked material is securely destroyed and disposed of properly,"
TITAN Mobile Shredding, LLC founded in 2005 and provides secure destruction of documents, records, media, hard drives and products, both with mobile destruction trucks and in their plant. TITAN provides service in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information: www.titanshredding.com, www.naidonline.org
Guest blog post submitted by Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, PA
Over the last veral months, hardly a day has gone by where workplace harassment has not been in the news. High-profile harassment scandals involving individuals in the entertainment and political arenas have led to more and more employees coming forward to share their stories. The number of harassment claims reported to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has risen sharply; we do not expect this trend to change any time soon.
Given recent developments, many employers have contacted us to see what steps are needed to ensure a harassment-free workplace and protect against potential liability. The answer is simple: educating and training employees. According to a recent EEOC task force report, an employer seeking to defend against a workplace harassment claim will need to show that it regularly trained its employees on this issue. The EEOC report emphasizes that effective training is live and interactive (rather than video or Internet-based) and tailored to the realities of the workplace. It further emphasizes the need to train supervisors, who are in the best position to address unacceptable conduct before it becomes unlawful harassment. As we discussed at our “Harassment in the Workplace” seminar last week, training supervisors is also important for the employer to avoid strict liability and for the supervisor to avoid personal liability.
In light of increased demand from employers in the Lehigh Valley and beyond, we will be offering a special training event for supervisors. On March 21, 2018, we will be conducting two, half-day sessions of supervisor harassment training at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center in Bethlehem. We are offering these sessions as an alternative to the on-site training we are hired to do for many employers. Like all of our trainings, these sessions will be classroom-style presentations with significant attendee interaction through questions, working through hypothetical situations, and role playing. These sessions will be particularly useful for a variety of employers: those with a small workforce, those with newly-hired or newly-promoted supervisors, and those whose Human Resources or management professionals want to see what is covered in our interactive training sessions.
It is critical now more than ever for employers to engage and educate their supervisors so that they understand their critical role in preventing, combating, and eliminating harassment. It is our goal to do just that in our supervisor harassment training. We encourage you to register your supervisors for one of the training sessions on March 21, and we look forward to seeing you there. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this or other labor and employment training session.