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Business Experience

For those who want details, there's plenty below, for those who don't just check out the photos and the bold print and you'll have a general idea of the gist of this page.



USF

This web site is not about me being better or worse than anyone else, or a member of the clergy, I’m not. I fight the same moral impulses and weaknesses we all do. The affirmations I have experienced are available to everyone. They entail applying, with absolute sincerity and altruism, the mental disciplines of Love, Truth and Life, the Prime Principle, and resisting negative moral inclinations, defined as  prayer to those who believe in God. One's success is directly proportionate to the earnestness of one's deepest desires, in biblical language your "heart;" in this context certainly not the organ beating in your chest. 

The more control one has to resist negative moral influence, whether external or internal, the less resistance one has to success in manifesting the Prime Principle in temporal existence. If you cannot or will not admit or acknowledge selfish negative influences or rationalizations, within yourself, and/or their cause, you cannot correct them. Trusting in compassion and integrity over fear or harmful addictions, regarding self interests, is not an easy thing to do.  

The below is simply my “real time” hands on history in business to give credibility to the goals I have laid out in this website, and my practical knowledge base to recognize and carry out those goals based on my life experience. This page is meant to be articulate not technical. 

My first job was as a dishwasher at Gerard’s French Restaurant, in Costa Mesa, CA, at the age of 13.

I started my first full time job while going to high school at age 14, working as a presser in the family dry cleaners. Our market was primarily the Costa Mesa and Newport Beach communities on the Gold Coast of Orange County California. My work was specifically requested by many of our clients because I did  "...unto others as I would have them do unto me," even though I was young and experimenting with all of the “pleasures” available to teens with resources to do so.



At 18 I started working in real estate maintenance and construction for my father and some of his clients. My father was in Real Estate sales and also owned, at the time, approximately two million dollars in rental properties in Orange County CA., I would guess, worth at least ten times that currently. I became experienced in all of the skills associated with maintenance and construction of residential and some commercial buildings
.

The client I did the most work for and learned the most from in the field, Ernest Sullivan, was a former associate and Vice President for H.F. Ahmanson, the founder of Home Savings and Loan in Los Angeles. When Ernie retired he left owning a multimillion dollar portfolio in rental properties, in Orange County California, as part of his retirement package, courtesy of Mr. Ahmanson.

At age 20 I started my first company, picking up and reinstalling window coverings to be cleaned at my family’s business. My largest client was Disneyland. I expanded into sales, installation and repair of new window coverings for homes and businesses. This is where I learned and kept my method of doing business; to learn all of the aspects of the industry and to be proficient in them from entry to proprietorship or senior management.

Real time experience teaches the true levers as well as some of the fallacies of the hyperbole associated with the actual market versus the academic model taught in the educational system and industry marketing.                                                                                       

By age 23 my father and I incorporated a window coverings and manufacturing company with commercial, and commercial residential property management companies and developers as well as independent property owners. I designed the first computer program, with contract programmers, for the drapery manufacturing industry in Orange County. Laws at the time were behind in protection of intellectual property, regarding custom programming, and my program was sold by the programmers, and used by many of the rest of the local industry including my largest competitors.

re-engineered my manufacturing process to adapt my own generic assembly line processes to the efficiency level of systems being used by my competitors at less than 10% of their costs.

I also initiated a bonus program, based on production quantity with requisite quality. Although my employee’s wages were competitive with the local market, with bonus their gross earnings were 50% to 100% more on their actual earnings. The increased productivity more than covered the increased labor cost as well as adding appreciably to before tax profits. It took one day of me supervising the production lines’ entire shift and stopping them from talking while working to convince the line of the amount of time lost when one is thinking about what they are saying rather than what they are doing. At the end of that day, due to the increased production, each had almost doubled their earnings for the day. They were convinced, by example not fiat, that not talking was definitely in their interest.

I turned the company from negative earnings to 20% of net sales, after taxes, by lowering costs and prices, which increased market share while raising the income considerably for those who worked for the company.

I was able to successfully bid and win contracts against much larger competitors for some of the largest clients in the Orange County area, including;

Shea Homes

Lucas Development

The Irvine Company

Arnel Management

Air California owned by William Lyon, of William Lyon Development and George Argyros of Arnel Management

Segerstrom Development, owner of South Coast Plaza.

I created The Cleaning Detail, a service business started after the commercial window covering industry spiked, and then contracted, with the replacement of short life soft textile products with long life hard PVC blinds. The window coverings market converted to become divisions of large existing floor covering companies or franchises of large scale specialty retailers.    

The Cleaning Detail cleaned and detailed luxury and estate homes on Balboa Peninsula and celebrity owned, and other investors’, rentals in Newport Beach. The company also cleaned and detailed large apartment communities in Southern California for Transamerica Insurance Company owned properties and other comparable investment entities.

I started with the rentals. Because of the quality I provided in the commercial vacation units, due to the principles advocated; I built a reputation for which I was referred to and acquired, as clients, the owners of the estate homes.  

I became a Screen Actors Guild eligible actor in Unsolved Mysteries, Batman Forever, My Left Hook and Apollo 13. I was an extra on set for the first time and the Director chose me during shooting, on set, gave me lines and shot 2 to 3 takes until he was satisfied. The on sight makeup artist saw me and asked to be my Manager; she had several other clients as well, some on such productions as Hook with Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams.

With four children at home the acting profession was too sporadic, so I moved on.

Closet Factory

I Designed, sold and oversaw installation of custom built in-home offices, closet organizers, entertainment centers, garage organizers and other custom cabinetry along the Gold Coast in Orange County, California, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula and Island, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and Coto de Caza.

DS MAX, Cydcor CBSJ 1997- 2000

I started in the field in Orange County CA in one of the independent offices of the Advertising Division of DS Max, a worldwide organization and the largest direct sales company in the world at the time. On my first field trip to Bakersfield CA, for one of the best known restaurants in the city, I broke some records on my daily sales and sustained high aggregate sales throughout the campaign.   Soon I was sent to open an office in Las Vegas NV.  However the revenue was insufficient in Las Vegas for my sales team to sustain themselves, though my personal sales were more than feasible, so I pulled the plug and left the division.  The venture did not benefit all involved, so I shut it down. 

Within a couple of days I received a phone call from one of my former team members regarding a new division out of a subsidiary of DS MAX, Cydcor, which became the Communications and Utilities Division.  My former team member told me he was working out of the Irvine, CA West Coast US HQ of DS Max for the founder of the company, Murray Reinhardt. Murray had come out of retirement and was actually running a field office out of the Irvine headquarters.

Murray’s office included all of Southern CA and became one of the largest in the country soon after I contracted with him. He had come back after seven years, of retirement, and wanted to earn the respect of the rest of the company, so he became President of one of the umbrella entities under the DS MAX group of companies. 

The CEO of the parent company, DS Max, Executive VP, Larry Tanenbaum, was just down the hall, and the other Executive VP, Avie Roth, who along with Larry on the west coast, ran the company out of Ontario and New York in the east, as well as Cydcor, both still addressed Murray as the President of DS Max.

Some of the clients of DS Max Advertising Division and Cydcor’s Communications, Utilities, Finance and Travel Divisions were; Major League Baseball, major nationwide restaurant chains such as TGIF, AT&T, and some of its’ subsidiaries, Sprint, and various natural gas utilities across the country, as well as VISA, Direct TV and Stamps.com. I test marketed Direct TV, door to door in Irvine, CA, which I also brought to the Chicago office, as well as placing our DTV Reps in Costco. I also tested VISA, and the start up of Stamps.com out of the Irvine office, in the field, after joining Murray Reinhardt’s team, and later out of my own office in Northern California.

I set up an interview and Murray Reinhardt personally interviewed me, he told me later he knew who I was from my performance in the Advertising Division. The owner I worked for in the Advertising Division was one of their “Golden Managers” and Murray knew him personally.

The Advertising manager was not happy, but because I went with the Prime Principle and lost my position in the advertising office, I ended up working directly for the Founder of the company who “coincidently” was coming back into the day to day operations at just that time.

I built one of the top 10 offices in the US for DTV and AT&T’s Emerging Markets Division and test marketed Data Processing in Northern California. The company was having a hard time with production in AT&T’s northern California territories which included AT&T’s western US HQ in San Francisco, and for AT&T that was not acceptable. I came up from Irvine with 10 agents to Sacramento CA and recruited 150 agents, between three offices I opened within one year; Sacramento, San Francisco and Visalia, and took over CA from Bakersfield north. Again trusting in the “Principle” over personal doubt or fear of lack of supply resulted in bountiful supply.

As Murray’s Assistant Manager in the Southern California office for the Communications Division of Cydcor I ran motivation meetings in the mornings for from 30 up to 100 AT&T Authorized Agents.  Later after incorporating in Northern California I spoke as one of the speakers in regional meetings in San Francisco and the East Bay. I ran meetings in my own primary office, in Sacramento, daily and once or twice a week in my other two offices in San Francisco and Visalia.

Life Insurance 2001

One of the top agents in the health insurance marketing company I started with, I later changed markets to become an Independent Agent. I sold annuities helping save many retirees from losing any more investment equity by transferring funds to indexed annuities. Indexed annuities, which are an insurance product, unlike variable annuities which are a security, earn with the market indices as they increase, but do not lose equity, when the indices drop.

When selling Health and Life Insurance I went into the field and cold called many businesses throughout Northern California writing many policies from my prospecting. The two main reasons I left the health care insurance brokerage; I found out another agent with my same first name was misrepresenting himself as me on calls coming in from my prospecting, and the company pushed policies that were not sufficient in their coverage caps, in my opinion, to bring the premiums down to increase gross sales volume. I spoke to management they chose to take no meaningful action on either.

Granite Bay Solar 2005

I was introduced to Granite Bay Solar (GBS) by one of the pioneers of the current solar market, Albert Rich; he managed the Sears solar water heating program in the 1970’s after President Jimmy Carter started the Million Solar Roofs program. President Carter started the program as part of his response to the OPEC oil embargoes of that time, as well as dire, but unrealized, predictions of “peak oil” hitting world energy markets by the mid 1980s.

Granite Bay Solar LLC (GBS) was owned by Holli Tamas a former Olympic Alternate in Mixed-Martial Arts, and a former Sacramento PD Sergeant and Don Farmer, a former NBA player and coach for the University of San Francisco (USF), both alumni of the University of San Francisco.

I was originally contracted as an outside Sales Agent. Most of the jobs at that time were residential solar pool heating.

Due in part to their history and relationship with USF the owners were invited to bid and won the contract for the Library building on the USF campus, to engineer, procure, contract, and install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof. This project was finishing up as I began working with GBS.

When I began at GBS we were being underbid on our proposals on most of the leads I was estimating. GBS was purchasing packages from their vendor at prohibitive costs to be market competitive. I suggested volume buying, and constructing our own packages, from my experience in window covering fabrication, and the company accepted my proposal. We became competitive and as I had always done, I was very hands on and fought for each of my jobs to be done to the best of our ability to do so as a company. I became de-facto quality control. I made many suggestions from my experiences and the company made me an offer to contract as General Manager, I accepted.

As GM I became involved in operations and started stream lining operations and became involved in each of the procedures necessary to complete an executed contract.

We were receiving more PV leads and the company had a small commercial PV system in its’ portfolio from the USF Library building, so the company became more involved in the PV market. GBS was using the same procedure of outsourcing engineering and procuring packages from their PV vendors.  I built a relationship with our primary vendor’s lead engineer, learned basic design and engineering for PV, and a CAD program and started designing our systems in-house. We soon expanded our staff with engineering students and upgraded our CAD program. All projects were reviewed and signed off by licensed engineers before execution.

I also set up more controls on costs by auditing, in which I recovered $28,000.00 in uncollected revenues due and 
over payments to vendors within a week’s time. Next was an enlarged vendor base with competitive bidding and greatly enhanced availability of product as our sourcing list expanded. 

I was able to oversee, onsite, each project from inception to completion, saving the company literally millions of dollars by uncovering and correcting potential errors before they occurred, and other potential benefits in costs and quality that can only be found during real time application. The new operating procedures saved us time and costs allowing for expedited turnover from contract to completion. This resulted in accelerated cash flow and more revenue stream per fixed costs cycle generating better gross margins and positive cash flows.

Production efficiency results not only in enhanced gross margins but greater opportunity for secure short term investment income from allocated reserves or discounts from vendors for early payment.

GBS became static as we incorporated Granite Bay Energy Group Inc. in 2007. I suggested Energy Group as part of the new entities’ name for marketing and branding leverage if we diversified into other energy fields, which we did. Holli Tamas was elected as President and CEO with 80% of distributed stock and I was elected Secretary Treasurer and COO/CFO, with 20% of the distributed stock of the new Nevada S Corporation based in California.  

Upon being contracted as General Manager of Granite Bay Solar (GBS), prior to the incorporation of GBEG Inc., the Director of Granite Bay Solar handed me a hand drawn sketch of what was a preliminary design for a photo-voltaic (PV) installation project. The project was to install just under a half million watt PV system spread over seven additional buildings on the campus of the University of San Francisco, the oldest university in the city and one of the most expensive private universities in the world to attend. The seven additional buildings were to be installed without any penetration through the roofs on the buildings to anchor the solar panel arrays. I edited and designed the entire system for all seven systems, had them redrawn in CAD in house, and forwarded the plans to our licensed engineers for specifics and sign off on the final engineering.  

Within the first year of becoming involved with GBS, the owner of one of the systems I had contracted was an engineer. We had installed a solar pool system as well as a PV system, which he requested because of the effectiveness of the pool system. The client and I were both originally from Minnesota and had become friends and he and his wife were both licensed Structural Engineers. He was a Senior Engineer as well as a Forensic Engineer; his wife had worked for the Division of The State Architect so both were very aware of current code and application to public as well as private development.                

I received a call from our electrical subcontractor, for the AC side of the new USF project, regarding installation placement of our inverters on the roofs of the buildings we were building the arrays on. Because of my practice of following the Prime Principle I called my client, the engineer, to be absolutely clear on the structural ramifications of the inverter placements, especially on the roofs, as four of them were very large commercial systems. Because of the call and the expertise of the engineer we did not install any of the large systems on the roofs, which would have mandated our company retrofitting the roofing structures on two of the buildings, due to the university being in a high risk seismic zone and our company as last contractor on the roof at the time of the project. Our engineer placed them in accordance with the best location legally, structurally and practically for optimum efficiency. We also were able to adapt, with the same engineer, a specific system to hold the system on the roof, in case of a seismic event, without penetrating the roof and adapting to the non penetrating racking system we were using.                      

The USF project was completed on time, in budget, and was the largest solar project in the city at that time. In a later conference I met Gavin Newsome, the former Mayor of San Francisco, who mentioned the current largest solar system, in the city, which was just over the size of the USF project and a full two years after our USF project. Constellation Energy bought the array from the university and sold back the energy at a contracted discount below the rates of the local utility in the city, PG&E.


Another example of all things working together for good; on a one megawatt (1 million watts) project for one of the largest dairy families in the US; our CEO had negotiated a contract, for approximately eight million dollars, it was signed, but not yet executed or funded. She had left the country with her family and was not able to be contacted for some time due to travel.

I received a phone call from our client about 6:00 to 6:30PM PST, I happened to be in the office at the time, the rest of the staff was gone.  The client had second thoughts and would not sign the contract until some engineering changes were made on the project, he wanted to increase production size and to be sure he had what he was convinced he needed for his offset on the project funding.  I spoke with our client and told him we would have to conference, by phone, with our racking vendor’s engineering to confirm if reconfiguration were possible in the limited space we legally had available for his requested expansion.



Our vendor was in New Mexico, so he was an hour ahead of us. I had our client hold while attempting to contact our vendor at least two hours past their business hours. I did have a direct line to the engineer we were working with. I was able to contact him, he happened to be there late at that time. After an hour or so of conferencing by phone between the three of us and going over the current drawings we were able to expand the project enough to meet our client’s expansion by 
reconfiguring the entire project that night. Due to the availability of all parties, at the time our client made the random call after business hours, our local representative in the area had the contract signed.

Within days our Loan Broker made the nine hour drive to the project for final signatures on the financing documentation. I received a call late, again for some reason I cannot remember I just happened to be at the office at that time. The client had found some minor details in the construction contract that had to be changed and initialed by an Officer of GBEG, Inc. before he would sign the financing contract.  

 Because I was there  we  mutually initialed, by fax, the changes, our client did sign and we received our initial funding the following business day.

We were also able to design a custom grounding system to block stray electrical ground current from being absorbed by the dairy cattle and reducing their natural milk production. 


Another 1MW contract, a large rice cooperative, entailed pier piles for dual axis sun tracking tripod racking. We were in the middle of the project, with a very tight schedule, when our pier vendor told us they had to charge a large increase in the piers they were supplying and we had to pay before delivery because their credit ceiling had been reached with their manufacturer, who would not ship without prepayment.

One year earlier in the initial stages of planning, and our clients’ Board of Directors gathering of proposals for feasibility studies, we had a vendor meet us onsite to show us a new pier different from the one we later chose.  Because of that previous meeting I was able to contact the vendor of the alternative pier.

The problem with the alternate pier was local inventory for the number and the size of the piers we needed. They had them but we needed to procure within a few days or wait for a new shipment from the factory in 2 to 4 weeks or more. However, engineering calculations had already been approved on the original piers we chose at the start of the project; we had no approved calculations for the alternate piers.

I was able to find an available local licensed structural engineer SE,  in the area, who, though busy, was able to give us two onsite meetings within his already scheduled itinerary. First meeting he said we had one test option that would overcome waiting for the manufacturer to provide a study and then wait for new calculations. The optional test was an onsite pull test, administered and documented in the field by a licensed structural engineer. We had one chance to meet the engineer, our job Superintendent and the local pier contractor with a crew to dig and plant the pier and the SE to administer the test on site.  If we missed we would have to wait maybe a month or more to procure all of the necessary documentation and correct inventory.

The day of the test I felt I should make the two and a half hour drive to be onsite for the test, so I rescheduled and made the drive. The parties involved had already been on site for some time setting up the equipment and waiting for all parties to arrive. As I pulled in and went up to the test site my Superintendent and the local contractor, who would install the piers, were working on the third or fourth hole, they kept hitting hardpan and could not get through with the regular hand held power augur normally used for drilling sample pier holes. The engineer would have to leave soon and he would not be available for weeks once he left.

I had subcontracted by phone a fence contractor previously, and as I drove up there was a small crew along the fence line. They had a small tractor mounted with an augur drilling fence holes. I walked over and asked if they were my subcontractor’s crew, they were and one of them was the subcontractor. I told him of our problem and asked him if he was hitting the hardpan, and if so, was he getting through with the tractor mounted augur. He was getting through and agreed to stop his crew and bring the tractor over to break through for our test. We completed the test on time and we cut our pier costs by over one hundred thousand dollars, as well as our labor costs, and our footing attachment brackets were a superior product that was less time consuming to install or attach our tripod footings to.

The three examples above are only three of thousands, throughout my life, some minuscule and some very dramatic, of the material manifestations of the Prime Principle. Regarding USF we had available, prior to our awareness of our need of such specific expertise, one of the best engineers in the field we required, before we had need of him. Regarding the dairy farm, again we had the right parties available at precisely the right time to fund the project. Regarding the rice cooperative, we had resources, again, long before we had knowledge of our need for them, as well the correct parties at the right place at exactly the right time.  



There were many other demonstrations of needs being filled before we could have been aware we had need of them. It isn't about me; everyone is capable of the same or much greater demonstrations. It is about following the Prime Principle with your deepest and most hidden desires by substituting selfishness and or fear or doubt with altruism and pure innocent impersonal Love or compassion, which results in integrity and positive results for all involved. Those who would label the preceding; luck, fate, chance or random occurrence, are simply putting a different label on causality, one much less mathematically probable than; for every action there is a reaction or put in other terms one reaps what one sows. The labels are irrelevant to the Principle just as the principle of math is absolute by whatever name or label it may be referred to as.

In 2009 Granite Bay Energy Group Inc. was listed in the Sacramento Business Journal as the third largest solar EPC; Engineering Procurement and Construction Contractor in the Greater Sacramento area in megawatts under contract.       

In 2010 and 2011 we expanded into Thermal Conversion of Organic Materials, TCOM, as well as biodigesters and we had a solid reputation for large scale megawatt solar PV projects. We had under contract by the end of 2011 approximately $178 million in signed contracts. Due to the land necessary, and the requisite investment capital for such large scale projects, our large contracts were financed by developers using land, they controlled or owned, leveraged as collateral. The projects never executed because of the devaluation of the land due to the economic downturn of the US economy.                                                                                   

The company could no longer afford to pay me and I could no longer afford to work without pay. I made an offer to buy out the majority stockholder, it was rejected. I left in early 2012. 







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