40 years in financial services industry: John Hancock Life Agent(1972-1982); Family-owned P&C Agency (1982-1999);
Owner of regional financial planning practice, Cornerstone Financial Strategies LLC, in UP & Tacoma. Life, health, P&C, Series 7, 66 licensed; RIA. Residential real estate landlord. Co-founded WA state Make-A-Wish(r)chapter (1986-1996); National Make-A-Wish(r) Board (1988-1994). Franciscan Hospice volunteer (2013-present). Volunteer, U S Open @ Chambers Bay, June 2015.
BA, English, Ohio Wesleyan University. Professional designations CLU, ChFC.
This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.
I have practiced law, in various practice settings since first becoming licensed in 2002 (Texas) and 2003 (Missouri), respectively. In that time, I have handled a variety of legal matters, and have served as general counsel for a number of companies.
I am a former educator. As such, I consider myself a "teaching attorney" for my clients.
Randy Ozden originally came to San Diego to study computer science at San Diego State University. After a career working for large companies overseeing systems integration contracts, he decided to start a business. He had met some people who had started their own companies and felt that he had all their qualifications. In addition, "I was technical, I had done some programming, and I was a good storyteller who could speak about creating effective solutions at the executive level".
Randy and two other individuals provided initial funding of under $100,000. The company was fortunate to get customers quickly and no other outside capital has been needed. Today, the initial investors and the employees own VivanTech.
2020 Camino del Rio North, Suite 700
Year Company Formed
One of VivanTech's clients was in higher education, and they asked them to look at Kuali to replace their ERP (enterprise, resource, planning) system starting with their payroll. VivanTech decided to analyze Kuali, and liked what they saw, so decided to focus on developing custom solutions for universities who wanted to use Kuali.” Customers now include Stanford University, the University of Southern California and the University of Hawaii.
VivanTech is a tremendous small business success story because it demonstrates that companies can successfully make dramatic changes in direction by listening to customers. This openness along with developing thought out strategies and thorough due diligence resulted in dramatic revenue growth and a strong, trusted presence among the higher education IT community.
At each step along the way, VivanTech asked for SCORE’s assistance in researching options and the associated advantages and risks. This attention to careful and thorough planning, combined with the willingness to execute and take necessary risks epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit that makes VivanTech an inspiring success story.
What's Great About My Mentor?
From the early days of VivanTech, Dick Leslie mentored VivanTech and made himself available according to their timing. When needed, he involved other mentors from SCORE to make sure VivanTech's needs were addressed.
How SCORE Helped
SCORE's mentoring has been significant because of continued availability to advise on many of topics and attendance at some of VivanTech's key management meetings, quarterly updates and yearly reviews.
SCORE provided mentoring in the following areas:
* Recommended the company narrow its focus to emphasize its depth of expertise in order to ensure success. Once the company executed on this, their successes increased and it became an important pivot point for growth.
* Supported entering the market of open-source enterprise software for the higher education market. This became the cornerstone for the company's change of direction and subsequently impressive revenue and profit growth.
* Advised VivanTech to develop families of products and services, plus product positioning and promotion as well as pricing. * Business planning - Both in moving to new markets, while also successfully supporting existing clients.
* Emphasized complete commitment to customer relations.
Seasoned expertise in Organization Development, Financial Management and appropriate use of Technology. 48 years of experience in the US and Europe in management, engineering, organization development, teaching, training, and computer systems / network implementation, installation, customization, applications and use.. MCSE, MCT, MA, MS, BSEE. Also taught secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels. Current Level II teaching license, previous department chair & director level positions. Implemented campus wide computer networks and customized software solutions. Experience in the electronics industry, schools, medical hardware, electronic health records, military contract and computer manufacturing. Past steering committee member of the Greater Boston Organization Development Network and co-founder of the Vermont OD Professional Group.
Jim has extensive international experience in serial entrepreneurship and leadership with more than 30 years in senior management developing strategies, planning and tactical execution. Jim also provides start-up to turn-around and management consulting that provides strategic and creative direction on projects and executive oversight to clients ranging from consumer products and government agencies, to real estate/construction to retail, manufacturing and distribution as well as nonprofit organizations and has benefited hundreds of private and public sector clients.
I recommend SCORE to everyone I come in contact with who is looking to start their own business. I literally would not have been able to open my business without SCORE. It just would not have occurred.
-- Retired Air Force civilian with experience in government contracting as a buyer, Contracting Officer and procurement analyst (policy, government protests, small business protests, government purchase card, career development). -- Last eight years spent as Deputy Director for Air Force Office of Small Business Programs (Pentagon). Met with hundreds of small businesses on many issues regarding how to obtain Air Force contracts, how to be more competitive in the federal marketplace and who to talk to to "open the door" to Air Force procurement opportunities. Established and negotiated small business goals with the Small Business Administration and worked closely with Major Command acquisition officials to make goals. Dollars spent on small business in the AF increased by 100% during my tenure from $5 billion to $10 billion.