This Episode was brought to you by
Marie Davis, Launch Manager at GACEO
In her role as the Launch Manager for the Georgia Center for Employee Ownership (GACEO), Marie Davis is responsible for establishing the network of partners and delivery of programming necessary for the GACEO to carry out its mission of the creation of new employee-owned companies throughout all of Georgia by providing unbiased education, outreach, and technical assistance on all forms of employee ownership. In addition to her passion for employee ownership, Marie is also passionate about providing opportunities for all children through mentoring programs.
Using her degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia, Marie has spent many years in different roles in the mentoring filed including the Director of Mentoring for Center Point, a non-profit in Hall County Georgia and a Technical Assistant for MENTOR, the National MENTOR program. Marie is a lifelong Georgia native – Go Dawgs!
Connect with Marie on LinkedIn.
Sheila Eads, CEO at ERB Industries
Sheila Eads is ERB Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. Sheila joined ERB in 1995 to oversee all financial aspects of the company and in 2002 was promoted to her current position. She has led the company to continued growth while also moving the company in new market and product directions.
Prior to joining ERB, Sheila was a senior manager at Deloitte, a global accounting and management consulting firm.
Sheila has served on multiple industry boards and was the first woman to hold the Chair position for the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) which was formed in the 1930’s. She is a CPA, licensed in the state of Georgia.
Ms. Eads graduated with honors from the University of Georgia in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration and has one son, David, who is married and resides in Atlanta.
ERB Industries, founded in 1956, is comprised of two divisions: ERB Safety and Fame Fabrics.
ERB Safety is a leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect the health and safety of workers in the construction, manufacturing and industrial sectors. Manufacturer of personal protective equipment such as head protection, eye/face protection and high visibility apparel. ERB is the Logo Leader of product customization such as pad print and screen print.
Fame Fabrics manufactures and distributes top-quality uniform apparel worn in the hospitality industry. The vast product line features aprons, smocks, chef apparel and work aprons. Fame also offers custom sewn and styled products including embroidery and screen print.
Follow ERB Industries on LinkedIn.
Rhett Farris, Vice President at Censeo Advisors
Rhett Farris is a Vice President of Censeo Advisors, LLC. His experience includes valuation and advisory services across a variety of engagement types, including employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) valuations, fairness opinions, intangible asset and intellectual property valuations, financial reporting, estate tax and gift planning valuations, lost profits and economic damages calculations, stock option valuations, warrants valuations, and complex capital structure allocations. He has completed assignments spanning a wide array of industries, from manufacturing and distribution to healthcare and construction.
Prior to joining Censeo Advisors in 2014, Rhett was a managing consultant and head of the valuation group of a regional litigation consulting firm. There he focused on forensic accounting and commercial damages calculations stemming from fraud, contract breaches, and trademark and patent infringements.
Rhett received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Financial Risk from the University of Alabama.
Censeo Advisors is a professional services firm delivering proven business valuation, financial advisory, real estate and tangible asset appraisal, and forensic analysis services.
Follow Censeo Advisors on LinkedIn.
Cedric Allen, Senior Pastor/Shepherd in ministry
Cedric is a Senior Pastor/Shepherd in ministry, an Emmy Award Winning CNN journalist, a certified LinkedIn expert/trainer, ZOOM Live Event Specialist, Career Coach, U.S. Army/DOD/CASCOM Videographer, and a small business owner/idea birther.
His call is to reach the lost, to equip the saints, to reach, help, comfort, and counsel the community while setting the captives free by spreading the word of God by being a Senior Pastor/Shepherd in ministry, LinkedIn trainer, Career Coach, ZOOM Live Events, Social Networking Resume Writing, and Multimedia managing, glorifying God.
“I was once a world champion, but now I am a champion for Christ to the world!” – Cedric Allen
Connect with Cedric on LinkedIn and Twitter.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Woodstock, Georgia. It’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:23] Well, welcome to Cherokee Business RadioX Stone Payton here with you this morning, and today’s episode is brought to you, in part by Alma Coffey, sustainably grown, veteran owned and direct trade, which of course means from seed to cup, there are no middlemen. Please go check them out at my alma coffee and go visit their Roastery Cafe at thirty four point forty eight Holly Springs Parkway in Canton. As for Harry or the brains of the outfit Leticia? And please tell them that st. since you are, you guys are in for such a treat this morning, a little bit later in the program, we’re going to get a chance to visit with Cedric Allen. But first up on the Cherokee Business Radio show this morning, please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with Georgia Center for Employee Ownership. Launch Manager Miss Marie Davis. Good morning.
Marie Davis: [00:01:17] Hi Stone. Thanks for having us here today.
Stone Payton: [00:01:19] Oh, delighted to have you join us! So tell us a little bit about Oh, and we don’t have to say all of that. We’ve got an acronym or whatever a CEO tells us, mission purpose. What are you out there trying to do for folks?
Marie Davis: [00:01:33] Well, that stands for the Georgia Center for Employee Ownership, and what we do is provide education and spark interest for this long ago idea that Congress passed in 1974, that employees can actually own their own business. And it’s a really exciting and sort of hidden gem. And I brought some wonderful people here. Rhett and Sheila to help me there, the technical people, the excitement person. So we’re here to talk about that today.
Stone Payton: [00:02:03] Fantastic. Well, I knew when they walked in, I thought, now these two, they got it going on.
Marie Davis: [00:02:08] Don’t say they look smarter than me.
Stone Payton: [00:02:10] Oh no, I got I got more social skills than that. So employee ownership, what are the the the virtues of employee ownership? Why? What are the the positive aspects of if you have an employee owned company, why is that good?
Marie Davis: [00:02:25] Oh, well, there’s a long list, but I will tell you that most employee owners see a higher rate of employee retention, which is very important. They see loyalty to the company, they see increased wages. They’re just happier people. Why? You know, because they have a stake in the company. And if you’ve ever walked in a Publix, that’s what everybody knows. If you’ve ever walked in a public so you’ve ever eaten a cliff bar, you’ve been in an employee business.
Stone Payton: [00:02:56] I did not know that. I didn’t know Publix was employing 100 percent.
Marie Davis: [00:03:00] And that’s another thing that they’re going to tell you about is that some some companies are not 100 percent employee owned. The owner can sell part of their company and still retain ownership until they get ready to retire. Oh yeah, so that’s one of the major benefits. Another one is legacy. And you know, there are so many small businesses. There are actually seventy eight thousand three hundred and twenty six businesses in Georgia that are owned by people 55 and over.
Stone Payton: [00:03:30] Well, that makes me feel better.
Marie Davis: [00:03:32] And so we’re in danger of losing those if people don’t have a succession plan, which most people do not. And so employee ownership is one of the great tools to plan for that. And they’re going to talk about it, not me, because they’ve got the they actually do the work and have been in an employee owned company. But it’s a very exciting concept, and that’s what attracted me to say, Hey, I’d like to be your cheerleader for this, this launch. So here I
Stone Payton: [00:03:59] Am. So tell us more about the back story. How in the world does one find themselves in the role of the launch manager or for an outfit like this? I mean, this is not something you go to school for specifically.
Marie Davis: [00:04:11] Absolutely not. I have a financial background, but I also have a social work degree. But I saw it advertised on LinkedIn and I called them, and then I just happened to tell the story of my family and my family. My father, my parents moved here in 1955 five. They both had master’s degrees and start a business on Buford Highway. And 40 years later, my father got critically ill and his three daughters did not want to work in the landscape business. He was a horticulturist and landscape business. And so he just let it go. Now, if he had known about employee ownership at one time he had 40 employees, those people could have had a piece of that pie. And this was a long time before there was landscaping companies or, you know, Lowe’s and Home Depot that have, you know, people there weren’t there weren’t those sort of options back then. And so I think about what it would have meant to my father to see that legacy. And that’s really important in rural communities when there’s a family owned business that goes away and so do the jobs, or if they just sell it, the people that buy it are going to bring in their own team of management. And there goes those jobs, there goes the name. There goes the business, so I I got the job because they were like, you understand
Sheila Eads: [00:05:29] That you get it.
Stone Payton: [00:05:31] So yeah, but that leads to there is a real impact on the community and apparently it’s a very positive one for this, this whole idea of employee ownership I’m thinking about. For those of you who may trip over this six years from now. We’re broadcasting live from a little studio and in Woodstock, Georgia, and it’s a great, thriving community. We have a lot of small businesses here and I can think of the impact on this community, if you know, God forbid, the daily draft goes away or any of my bars read. There you go. You know, I would like to think that that’s a team, you know, could somehow have a piece of it and keep it going. If the if the dailies are, that’s their day were to say, you know, we’re out, you know, we’re going fishing or whatever. Yeah.
Marie Davis: [00:06:17] Think about the breweries. They don’t want those people that know their secrets going somewhere else, you know, that’s, you know, just an example. But to tell you that, owners, you asked me about benefits. Yeah, owners can sell all or part of the business. The employees pay nothing. Nothing. Zero.
Stone Payton: [00:06:35] Ok, yeah. You got to extrapolate whatever you say, more of the subject matter experts in here in a minute, but
Marie Davis: [00:06:42] There are no taxes on the portion owned by employees, and the tax savings can help pay off that loan.
Stone Payton: [00:06:48] Wow. All right. So it’s information like that that most of us don’t have a clue about. So is that a big part of of your job or your team’s job is just to to educate and get out there and let business owners know this is an option to let community leaders know this is something that they should endorse or be having conversations with some people about that. A big part
Marie Davis: [00:07:11] Of it, it is. And the more people we get in front of, we’ve been to the Small Business Development Center in Athens. We’re hoping to do a conference with them. We’ve been to the Georgia Chamber Executive Conference and spoke to them because they, you know, they know businesses in their community all over Georgia. We’ve been to the Georgia Economic Development Association, but we need to get really in front of more people and remind them of this excellent possibility. So any time you need a speaker, oh, I think the Jaycees would just be fabulous for this because, you know, they think they’re too young to think about retiring. But well, you know, there are plenty of young employees that that go the employee ownership or the co-op route. Yeah. And so anybody really could say, Oh, well, it’s not me, but my dad’s family needs to hear this story.
Stone Payton: [00:08:00] So is that a good vehicle for you to to kind of do the rotary J.C. kind of circuit and go and have like a brief presentation and share with them what you’re doing and what the benefits are?
Marie Davis: [00:08:11] That’s absolutely. We’ve got lots of PowerPoints and lots of wonderful people that actually have been through the process and can speak to what it’s like. And some of the benefits I, one of our board members, is works for essential ingredients in Lawrenceville, and I got the opportunity to tour that facility. And it was fascinating. And the CFO came over and he said, my father worked for United Airlines and they were employee owned and he tried to talk me out of this and I said, Well, how does he feel now? And he said, Oh, he’s our greatest cheerleader because he’s seen what this company has just blown up and how happy the employees are now to be a part of an employee owned company.
Stone Payton: [00:08:53] Fun. All right. Let’s don’t make them wait any longer. Let’s let’s bring in. Let’s bring in the subject matter experts who have you brought with you?
Marie Davis: [00:09:01] I brought Miss Sheila EADS and Mr. Brett Ferris.
Stone Payton: [00:09:07] All right. Well, Sheila, let’s start with you. Tell us about your organization and your in your connection with all this.
Sheila Eads: [00:09:13] Well, I am the president and CEO of ErbB Industries and we’ve been well. We just recently sold the company. But before that we were an ESOP company starting in nineteen ninety seven. So I was the CFO at that time, and so I really helped the owners transition over to an ESOP and have just gone through the whole gamut from the time of inception to the time of the sale.
Stone Payton: [00:09:39] Ok, so ESOP, another acronym, let’s get me particularly, but also our listeners. Is this what you are when you’ve done what she’s advocating?
Sheila Eads: [00:09:49] Yes. Okay. Once you transition over to employee stock ownership plan, you become a different entity. Not necessarily. We still are Erb Industries, but the ownership is under the guise of an ESOP, which is, which is, you know, sanctioned under the deal. Well, so there are certain regulations, a lot of activity.
Stone Payton: [00:10:08] Sorry, the Department of Labor,
Sheila Eads: [00:10:11] You go, OK, yes. And so, you know, there’s a whole thing that’s set out that you need to work through with your attorneys and everything. But we, we we are a good example of. A success of any sort.
Marie Davis: [00:10:23] Yeah, so one where you’re located, I’m sorry.
Sheila Eads: [00:10:26] No, yeah. And we’re just located straight up the street like a mile away from here in Woodstock. Oh, maybe so that’s fantastic.
Stone Payton: [00:10:32] I did not know that that is cool. So what was the catalyst? We didn’t have Marie back then. So what was the catalyst? What prompted you guys to do this?
Sheila Eads: [00:10:41] Well, the founder of the company, the company was started in nineteen fifty six and the founder was looking for an exit strategy. And so and some of these are, you know, just things that he was thinking through is like his he was first he tried to get a CEO that could run the company. That didn’t necessarily work out, you know, because he wanted to take a step back. And that didn’t work out at that time. And then he started talking to estate planners and you know, how to transition the business. There wasn’t a family link that was going to be able to take it over. And so he started talking about with some of the attorneys in Atlanta about an ESOP and the beauty of an ESOP is if you do a certain kind of tech transaction that’s sanctioned by the IRS, it’s called a ten point forty two transaction, the founder of the business. When they sell it, they do not have capital gain tax.
Stone Payton: [00:11:37] Okay, so that’s huge, right? That’s a big deal, right? Right. Yes. All right. So read your organization and the catalyst for what got you or where are you in this situation?
Rhett Farris: [00:11:49] Ok, so so I’m vice president at Canso Advisors. We’re located in northwest Atlanta, but we have clients all over the country. We’re a financial advisory services firm and we primarily provide valuation services for closely held businesses. Okay. In the realm of ESOPs, they are. Most of them are not publicly traded, so it requires someone like us to come in and do a valuation. In terms of the in these transaction, you would do an initial valuation to to advise the ESOP trustee on what to pay for the company. The terms of the transaction, so forth. So yeah, so we’re we’re basically advisors to companies like Sheila’s.
Stone Payton: [00:12:35] Ok, so you’re a strategic resource to facilitate this whole process and help and help everybody navigate the what I suspect is some pretty interesting, challenging terrain that you’ve got to. You’ve got to know what you’re doing.
Rhett Farris: [00:12:47] Yes, yes. So an ESOP transaction and I may be jumping ahead a little bit here, but there’s it’s really an arm’s length transaction. So you have the trustee of the ESOP, which usually hire someone like us to come in and do do a valuation of the company, the subject company, and advise them on what to pay and the terms. And then on the other side, the sellers are the business owners have their own advisors and they’re doing the same thing that we’re doing so with. With their advisors in hand, they are able to negotiate the transaction in and sell the shares of the company to the ESOP. And then from there, the ESOP, the shares held within the ESOP are generally allocated to the employees over time. And that really it really gives them the financial reward that that everyone’s talking about here in terms of loyalty to the to the company and and that sort of thing. So it’s really just a great vehicle to to provide additional motivation and reward to the employees that have helped these companies become what they are today.
Stone Payton: [00:14:06] All right. So let’s walk this through, guys. If you ever want free consulting advice, get yourself a radio show because that’s how I use. So I own 40 percent of a company called Business RadioX. Yes, and I was telling you before we went on air, my day job is not really doing this. We’re growing the company and I’m finding people to do what we’re doing here in other markets across the country and maybe one day internationally. Me and another guy own it. He owns 60 percent. I own 40 percent. We would love for all of those people who are running these studios at some point to own this right? Yes. So I got I got 100 questions. But let me start with you, how early should we be reaching out to a Marie or a read or saying, Hey, can we talk to somebody that’s done it and you know, and take Sheila to lunch? When should we start having conversations about this kind of thing you think? And I’m really asking all three of you, but I’ll start with read Yeah.
Rhett Farris: [00:15:05] So the companies that we deal with, we’ve dealt with fairly new companies that are that are ESOP companies, you know, that have been around for just a handful of years. And then we’ve dealt with companies that have been around for 100 years plus so. It’s really it’s really a wide array of of, you know, the the age of the companies that we deal with, so
Stone Payton: [00:15:31] We don’t have to be at the point of exit.
Rhett Farris: [00:15:34] No, no, not necessarily.
Stone Payton: [00:15:36] You said publicly, they’re not getting nobody’s getting right. Ok.
Rhett Farris: [00:15:39] That’s right. And and in terms of, you know, the non 100 percent employee owned companies, you can sell 30 percent of the business to an ESOP and still retain, you know, the 70 percent. So you don’t have to actually sell the entire company and give up complete control of the company right away. You can kind of test the water, so to speak. And we have that happen quite a bit with the companies we deal with.
Stone Payton: [00:16:04] So did you guys consider that?
Sheila Eads: [00:16:06] Sheila? Yeah, that’s exactly what we did. We kind of tiptoed into it as a 30 percent owned company. Once we worked on that for about four or five years, then we moved over into one hundred percent ESOP. And I want to say the beauty of that 100 percent ESOP is at that point. Not not only did the employees have a tax advantage, but the company no longer pays federal or state income taxes.
Stone Payton: [00:16:30] And you’re just dripping honey in my ear. It’s really, really good. Yes. Mm hmm.
Sheila Eads: [00:16:37] Wow. So that’s really important because when you start paying employees as they terminate, so this is another thing that happens when an employee has been in the east up for a while and they’ve vested some of their shares and they have, you know, decided to move on. You do need to pay them, you know, so you’re having to come up with cash flow and that savings from not paying taxes is essential.
Stone Payton: [00:17:01] Ok, so I’m an employee of the company and I’m I’m slowly or on some rhythm. I’m getting a little ownership of this company I’m working for. And then I want to go somewhere else. Then I’ve got a little bit of money here in the company will pay that out. That’s part of the deal.
Sheila Eads: [00:17:17] That’s right. And that’s exactly why we use a company like rats because they have to value the company every year. So that employee, when they leave, they know what their new value is.
Rhett Farris: [00:17:28] I see. Yeah, and I’ll add to that. The shares held with the ethos within the ESOP, they have a put right attached to those shares. So basically what that means is the the employee that either retires or otherwise leaves. The company has a right to sell that share back to the company, and the company has the obligation to buy that share back. So it creates a market for those shares that otherwise would not exist because it’s not a publicly traded company.
Stone Payton: [00:17:57] So I got to ask you, what do you enjoy the most? Man, what’s the what’s the most rewarding part of this work? Because I can tell. I mean, I can see in your eyes, I know our listeners can hear in your voice, this is something this is not you drudging off to work. You really enjoy that.
Rhett Farris: [00:18:12] I really do. I’ve been doing it for quite a while, so I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see in terms of ESOP world. But, you know, I really enjoy seeing the motivation that that ESOPs instill in the employees, no matter what the position at the company. You know, you can be from the senior leadership all the way down to a brand new employee of the company. And and once the employees buy into to the notion that they’re they’re an owner, it really motivates them and it really drives them to do what’s best for that business.
Marie Davis: [00:18:51] They start turning the lights off, don’t they? They do.
Stone Payton: [00:18:55] I’ll bet. Just yeah. All right. So the money to to to buy in is that coming out of my paycheck and just scraping it off the top so I don’t see. Talk a little bit about nuts, OK? Sheila houses the houses piece. I mean,
Sheila Eads: [00:19:08] The employee doesn’t pay anything, right? They get allocated shares every year. They don’t have to pay anything for them at all. Wow. That’s pretty good. Well, yeah, yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:19:18] So I don’t get it right because it’s I don’t know. I guess I’ll just
Sheila Eads: [00:19:25] Like, let me explain it this way. Once you become 100 hundred percent ESOP owned, you can look at that company like you can look go, look at our building and you can say that is a retirement plan. It’s like a 401k. We have a complete retirement plan. And so everything that we do in the business is for that retirement plan. It does shift your when you’re running a company, it shifts your thought process. You know, there is growing the company and investing in the company. But you’re also and I say it like this, you’re still also the fiduciary over your employees retirement plan. So not only do you have to worry about paying their paycheck every other week, you have to worry about being the fiduciary over this long term goal of retirement.
Stone Payton: [00:20:10] What a recruiting tool this must be, right? If you have any. I mean, you’re if you’re interviewing, you’re trying to go after someone. That’s. Is that
Sheila Eads: [00:20:18] True? We tell that to everybody, but not everybody under. Stands it because it depends on the sophistication of the person that you’re trying to hire or the employees eventually grasp that, Oh, I actually am an owner and I actually do make a difference to the day to day work. A lot of that happens after they start seeing their investment in that usopp grow. It doesn’t always click on with everybody right away. Your leadership, however, has to get it. They have to get it because they’re the ones that are working to continue the effort to build the business.
Stone Payton: [00:20:52] All right. So what implications, if any, does this have for becoming internationally and on purpose? Because you want to be attractive for a larger outfit to come by you? Or are you pretty much given that up if you’re going to do this? Or is there actually a path for that?
Rhett Farris: [00:21:10] No, I can answer that. So it’s it’s sort of unusual for an ESOP to be purchased like like Erb was.
Stone Payton: [00:21:19] Hey, time out. Yes. Yes. It’s like what? I’m doing an interview in people just like squeeze in there. And yeah, and that’s when mom was dating Elvis. Like, OK, put your paper away. We’re going to talk about that for a little while. Ok, so already did that. We did this. Ok, yes. Talk to that. Please, both of you. Go ahead. Read.
Rhett Farris: [00:21:34] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, Sheila,
Sheila Eads: [00:21:37] No, you go. No, you
Rhett Farris: [00:21:38] Go, OK, yeah. So it’s sort of unusual for any company to then sell to to a third party. All right. And the reason that is is because when you become an ESOP and you have that motivation behind those employees, the company generally starts performing much better than a non ESOP company. All right. And so it really sort of turns off potential buyers in terms of purchase price because they don’t want to pay what the company is really worth, especially a company that’s growing so much. But on the other hand, you do have strategic reasons why why a buyer may come in and want to buy an Aesop company. And in that case, they generally want to pay a lot more than what we call fair market value for the company. And that really creates a big windfall for the employees that own the business through the ESOP. And Sheila, do you want to talk a little bit about your experience with that?
Sheila Eads: [00:22:36] Yeah, I can just say that we made a decision to sell the company because we knew that the multiples were really good. So we hired an investment banker and decided to start seeing what kind of offers we would get. A lot of the employees had been. We were an ESOP since nineteen ninety seven, so a lot of those employees had been around for a long time. And if the multiples were going to be high on the sale of the business, then yes, it would have been what we needed to do to maximize the value of the shares to the employees that were working there. And so that’s exactly what happened. The multiples were very good and it just made sense to go ahead and sell the business
Stone Payton: [00:23:20] And the the people who have ownership, which now includes everybody. How do they have to kind of vote on it, decide on it? How does all that work?
Rhett Farris: [00:23:32] Yeah. So if it’s 100 percent ESOP owned, then the trustee of the ESOP plan actually is the one that makes that decision. The ultimately makes the decision. And in the ESOP world, a ESOP cannot sell below fair market value, and that’s a that’s a Department of Labor standard. And on the flip side, the ESOP cannot pay more than fair market value. So. Gotcha. That’s really the trustees role the trustee decides, Hey, is this offer above fair market value? Is it to the to the benefit of the employees that are participants in the East plan? Or is it more beneficial to just remain an ESOP and an IRBs case the trustee deemed it appropriate to to actually sell because it was more appropriate and more beneficial to the employees?
Stone Payton: [00:24:23] And so when somebody with Cedric’s pockets walks in and buys up in the R.B. and then OK, and then everybody says, Yeah, this is great, you know, and you know that that good, dependable middle class worker guy goes home and tells his wife, Yeah, we’re going to sell the company. We’re going to sell my company. Yeah, I can see me saying that, Holly, we’re going to sell. Yeah. And then once that happens, is it not an ESOP anymore or OK? So it’s not an ESOP at that point.
Rhett Farris: [00:24:52] Yeah, it just becomes just like any other privately held company. You know, it may be a competitor to a competitor that’s buying the business, or it may be just a, you know, a private equity
Stone Payton: [00:25:01] Firm or but that’s a decision everybody goes into eyes wide open and the people that bought it obviously see value and you they may turn around, turn it into one. I guess. I doubt that they could.
Rhett Farris: [00:25:11] They could turn it into a partial ESOP. Yeah, for
Stone Payton: [00:25:13] Sure. Right. So Sheila has read about this, and we didn’t talk much about the actual work at Urbi, but I’d like to hear a little bit about. What do you guys do and what do you enjoy about the work of running the company?
Sheila Eads: [00:25:28] Well, I work down. I was just telling my short story, but I worked downtown, had a small son said, and there is no way I can continue to like drive downtown and do all. That’s all I’ve lived in. Woodstock found this place to work was a small business, and little did I know that the founder and I would become fast friends. And you know, we worked. We had similar thought processes or whatever. But we are a manufacturing company, but we supply safety equipment like PPE, which is kind of become famous since COVID. But we supply PPE to mostly the construction and industrial market. So it’s like hard hats and safety eyewear and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. And then we have another division that sells into the hospitality markets, which are uniform apparel, so mostly to restaurants. And so, you know, just been working on that business. And once we became 100 percent ESOP owned, I got promoted to be the CEO, and that’s kind of when the owner started exiting. Now I just want to say this as far as the owner exiting we did when we did the deal. No bank is going to give you enough money to buy the company, so the bank would finance us for a particular amount of money based on our cash flow or whatever.
Sheila Eads: [00:26:43] But the founder had to self-fund, so he had subordinated debt. He at that time became the trustee of the company to kind of watch how I was paying the debt off for him, right? Because he had to get he had to get funded. So there’s many things where it’s happening at that point when you first become an ESOP, you’re paying the bank debt, you’re paying potentially subordinated debt. You are also paying off some terminated employees now. At that point, their account values are low because they haven’t really accumulated many shares. There’s a lot of things going on as far as the cash flow and running the business to, you know, grow it, which also takes cash. So there is a lot of years right there at the beginning that, you know, debt was the main thing that we had to get rid of. You know, so but obviously, I’ve loved operating the company. I stayed there forever. I think it’s the best job that anybody could have ever had, and it was totally suited for me. And so, you know, it was a great run. It was a great run.
Marie Davis: [00:27:46] So it’s good. I want to put in a plug for the state centers, which, you know, there are numerous state centers across the country now. That’s the our parent company of Xerox. And that’s their plan is to have one in every state so that people like Sheila don’t have to try this at home alone. You know, they they they we send them to professionals like Rhett and and so they don’t flounder if they want to do this and they don’t make a huge mistake that they know what they’re doing and rattle flat, tell them you can’t do this, you’re not right to go employee owned. And that’s why the state senators are so important is that people have a vehicle to get them to the rets.
Sheila Eads: [00:28:27] I want to like just emphasize what Maria is talking about because I started so early. Aesop’s were not really very prominent and we did have an attorney in Chicago and we had, you know, evaluation person, which he was very good, but he wasn’t really in the ESOP world. And so I was like, after a few years, I’m like running around like, I need a group of people that really know ESOPs. And I wanted to say that like when the founder was talking to attorneys in Atlanta about doing an ESOP, every law firm in Atlanta is going to say, Yes, we have an Arista practice. Yes, we know how to do ESOPs. But the reality is is that you need to find your ESOP people. And I’m talking about the people that go to the ESOP conferences that go and do ESOP valuations. And they are third party administrators for ESOPs, not just for 401Ks or anything else, because those people are instrumental attorneys that know ESOPs. Those people were instrumental to me to be able to, like properly grow the company within the boundaries of an ESOP. So I think it’s like super important and I didn’t know anything about this association, but it took me a while to get that I needed the right people in place.
Stone Payton: [00:29:40] I was in the woods over the weekend. My listeners, they know I like to hunt and fish, and I was driving my brother’s truck and I went one way down this dirt road and he’s like, No, no, no, no, no, no, don’t go. You will never get back out, right? You know, you know where the holes are that the truck can’t get through? Right, right? Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. And you know some of them too now, right? Totally.
Sheila Eads: [00:30:01] Yeah, absolutely. I just know who’s right to go to, you know, after I’ve gone through that whole process and what? This is great what Marie is doing right now. I think it’s going to really help new ESOP potentials.
Stone Payton: [00:30:13] Well, it certainly sounds like so. There obviously are a ton of benefits, but there are some red flags and you need a rest. In my case, in the woods or a rat and these words to kind of help you think through all that and it sounds like you need and would be be well-served to have the backing of Marie and her outfit with the education. Yeah, mm hmm.
Marie Davis: [00:30:37] We’ve got an advisory committee of over 30 service providers, some very big names who do work in the employee ownership world. And so what we do is we refer to them. And so if anybody has an interest, I’m not going to come to your business and evaluate, you will have a professional. That’s what they’re doing. But I know them and I can get them to you. And it would be delightful just to hear for some people who would like to hear about it.
Stone Payton: [00:31:06] So between you and your advocacy and educational efforts, and between more and more people kind of doing this thing, are you seeing a trend of, you know, people with hair like mine now trying to reevaluate, you know, like we’re Lee and I, or we’re not just heads down trying to grow the thing, we’re also kind of looking at, Boy, wouldn’t it be cool if all of our studio partners own the company? Is there a trend in?
Marie Davis: [00:31:31] Well, there should be, because as I said, you know, there’s just, we call it, the silver tsunami. And what that like that? Yeah. Well, there are so many business owners. Fifty five and over, and I can tell you just back to my dad. He was very well-educated man. But he he he did not. He was running his business. He forgot that there was an end plan somewhere down the road and before he knew it, he had silver hair. So we’d like for people to know about it and get some ideas before they get to that point. But then again, like Rick can tell you, there are some young companies and young people. I mean, you all can’t see Sheila’s, but she’s she’s not silver haired either. There are people who are young who need to to think this through and look at it and say, This is what I want to do or what I don’t want to do or want to think about it later.
Stone Payton: [00:32:20] So I’m thinking about my brother in law with a dental practice it. Can it be something that small? I mean, I think, uncle, how he makes good money and he’s got four or five employees, is that too small, typically? Is there kind of a line?
Rhett Farris: [00:32:34] Yeah, I would say that that’s probably a little bit too small. I think, you know, in terms of sort of the key things to look at and assessing whether or not you should consider Aesop is the size of the company. So just to give you an idea, the companies that we deal with in terms of the number of employees anywhere from, you know, 40 to 50
Stone Payton: [00:32:55] All the way up, they’re not huge. Yeah, 40, 50.
Rhett Farris: [00:32:58] Right, right. And you know, we deal with other companies that have 4000 employees. So right? There’s a wide range there. I think I looked at some statistics statistics. And for those ESOPs that have less than hundred participants, the average is about forty three employees. And that’s about that makes up about half of the ESOPs in the United States. So yeah, that’s that’s probably about the sweet spot in that 40 to 50 employee range. But obviously, you even have publicly traded companies that are partly ease up known as well. So you can have huge companies
Marie Davis: [00:33:35] And we probably don’t have time to get into this today. But there’s another concept called cooperatives. Yeah. And so for smaller companies, that makes more sense. And I, you know, I’m I’m the launch manager. I’m not going to try to get into that, but that could probably fill you in more than me. But it’s it’s another discussion for smaller, like a like a dental or or smaller company that might not be qualified for.
Stone Payton: [00:34:01] You got to come back. I’ll buy you another cup of coffee.
Rhett Farris: [00:34:03] I got to be honest with you. We don’t really deal with cooperatives all that much. So. But you do have some resources. Yes. Yes we do. We do on your website and
Stone Payton: [00:34:12] I’ve withdrawn the invitation. Sorry, sorry. So now you got to come back anyway, because I know there’s so much death. And I mean, and you do. Sheila, let’s do this, though, before we wrap a couple of things. Let’s give our listeners for those that were, this is like, you know, they’re listening to this and thinking, OK, I want to at least start to learn about this. Well, what are some kind of initial steps someone should should take? And let’s make sure that we share a way for them to start that process. And so if it’s appropriate, maybe leave them with some kind of point of contact. If it’s not appropriate, that’s OK, too. But I don’t know LinkedIn, whatever email or maybe it all goes to Marie and Marie is the, you know, the expediter. But but yeah, let’s let’s do both of those things.
Marie Davis: [00:34:58] Ok, well, let me just start with we have a brand new website and I’m on there, so I’m definitely on the hook for if you if you email me or or go on the website, I will find your answers for you and refer you to the appropriate person and that that website is GHC Code.org. All right. Since we’re Georgia Center for Employee Ownership. Org.
Stone Payton: [00:35:21] All right, Sheila, you want nobody to bother you? Well, I was
Sheila Eads: [00:35:25] Just going to say, if you want to reach me, I think the best way to do it would be through Marie because I mean, I’m still running a business. I’m still got, you know, that responsibility. And so, you know, that would be the best way for me.
Stone Payton: [00:35:37] But there may very well be a point at which the person’s got questions or something that I hear from hear from somebody that, you know, has been there and done that right?
Sheila Eads: [00:35:45] I have street cred. Yes.
Stone Payton: [00:35:47] Yes, I do. Do you get a lot? And then for you read, I mean, you guys are doing valuation services only on the Aesop stuff or just purely.
Rhett Farris: [00:35:56] We also do valuations for lots of other reasons. One one being tax reasons. So gift and estate tax purposes, we do some litigation work. Mm hmm. We do financial reporting warrants, options, you know, complex capital structure. We do a lot of stuff. So. But Aesop is a very big part of our our overall practice. So if you do have questions about the valuation process or or anything related to that, you can reach me via our website. It’s just can say, Oh, advisors dot com and my bio is on there and you can click on the link for for email.
Stone Payton: [00:36:37] Fantastic. All right. And then one more time, let’s give them coordinates for you and Marie, you know, website, email, whatever.
Marie Davis: [00:36:46] Ceo Dawg. My email is M Davis, a CEO at Gmail.com. Love to talk to you. There’s plenty of buttons on that website, so you cannot go wrong. You’ll get in touch with somebody. Please, please look us up. And if you need a speaker, this is what we like to do. Let me throw this in there, stone, because it’s important this is what we like to do. We always like to have a professional one of our service providers, and we like to have a business person who understands what it means to be in an employee company. So that’s what we would do if we want to speak in front of you. That’s what we would have with us, a team like today.
Stone Payton: [00:37:26] I got to tell you, it’s been an informative and inspiring. Go ahead.
Sheila Eads: [00:37:29] Well, I just wanted to have a closing comment. I would say in my life, I think that the fact that I walked into a company that became an ESOP was life changing, and I know it was life changing for our employees. I highly recommend it and it’s been a wonderful thing for me to see employees. Life’s changed because of the easel.
Stone Payton: [00:37:50] Well, well, thank you. Yeah, this been a fantastic conversation, informative for me and inspiring to from the standpoint of I think that in my world, I think we’re building something here that maybe one day I do pick up the phone and call Marie and say, OK, let’s get this lined up and start thinking this through. Thank you all so much for joining us this morning. You bet.
Sheila Eads: [00:38:10] Thank you for having us.
Stone Payton: [00:38:11] Yeah. Hey, how about thank you? You’re hey, it’s my pleasure. You are welcome. How about hanging out with us while we visit with our next guest? Sounds good. All right, y’all ready for the headliner he’s been? He’s been nodding his head and he’s been taking a few notes. I think he’s been very polite, but it is now my distinct pleasure to introduce to you, Pastor Shepherd, for a group of folks. I think a LinkedIn expert, former Emmy winner, journalist guy and all around good person. Please join me in welcoming to the show, Mr. Cedric Allen. Good morning, sir.
Cedric Allen: [00:38:47] Good morning. And as I quote from the Bible, there’s only one good one like me. So I don’t don’t, you know, throw me into that one because I get in trouble already. The people in there, my Bible, I will study with God, like, what are you talking about? But thank you, Stone. And I was when I first heard about this, I thought it was Stone Phillips from Dateline and said, No, the other stone,
Stone Payton: [00:39:06] Not too many of
Cedric Allen: [00:39:07] Us. I was like, the other guy. It’s like, Oh, oh, that guy, OK, I know him. He’s a great guy.
Stone Payton: [00:39:12] Yeah, well, we’re delighted to have you, man. So you wear a lot of hats, obviously, the one that comes to mind that for me the most because I see you around town in various community organizations and business groups. Apparently you have a real track record and a background in helping people fully capitalize on leverage their LinkedIn presence. Can you speak to that a little
Cedric Allen: [00:39:35] Bit, right? And the first my first thing is always as a pastor, so I’m here to help people and be a lightning community. But I’m also your light on LinkedIn, and I like that. You know, that’s one of those things. And you know, Marie just talked about it. You know where she is now because she went on LinkedIn. So I called LinkedIn your professional Facebook, not your disgraced book.
Stone Payton: [00:39:54] But that’s
Marie Davis: [00:39:56] Great
Cedric Allen: [00:39:56] Because there’s some things on Facebook that’s just pretty descriptive. We just go like, did you see that or did you see that kind? No, no, I’m making, you know, I’m making a sandwich. I did not see none of that. I don’t want, I don’t want to get involved. So it’s one of the things I try to express, especially to businesses. And as you know, people will go on Facebook and they have Facebook ads and everything else. But LinkedIn is really for. Professional business, and sometimes when you know, some people will now think of LinkedIn more so in the past 15 years or more. That’s been around to say, Oh, that’s great for my if I’m going between career transition or something of that nature, well, it’s not really about you all the time. It’s the only place that allows you to talk and promote you. So it’s one of those things of putting your, you know who you are out there. It’s your resume and your personality put together. So you can show like in the back cover the banner they give you. That’s your personality. That’s where it shows you working or one of those things, your professional photo. I already looked at yours. Yours is pretty good.
Stone Payton: [00:41:00] You could only got so much to work with here said.
Cedric Allen: [00:41:05] All right. Well, yeah, but it’s a great thing, and people forget that they have these great stories during the time they’ve worked at a place, even if it did not really go well and helping people with career transition like I do a Zoom group every Friday, 10 a.m. on Zoom, I work with Apex Christian single professionals who allow us to use their line and everything else. You don’t have to be Christian or single to be on this career club helps everybody. But these are one of the choices I give to, you know, help people with, especially with their LinkedIn of OK. Maybe you want to be your own business owner. We’re starting to see that now because at the time away, Kovac showed us also that we need to work hard, but also we need to take time where our families are friends and be part of the community and help out the community. That’s why when you see me stone, I’m usually around to be a light in community to say, Hey, we’re here for you, whatever the problem of whatever is needed. But in the thing of LinkedIn, it’s the same thing. You want to have that great picture. So people know if you read a LinkedIn profile and you just go through it and you, you just go through it and don’t remember anything.
Cedric Allen: [00:42:10] It’s not a good profile, but I do profiles that make people want to go. I want to meet this person. I want to sit down. I want to talk to this person. They have something, you know, not just for the job, but I want to get to know this person you do. I started by having a cup of coffee. Or maybe you’re at the bar and you get what you get. You know, I tell people, Get me a Mexican. Coca-cola will be OK, or maybe a hot chocolate if it’s a very cold day. Those are the kind of beginning conversations and talking to people and say, Hey, I want to get to know you. I just read this thing about you. I see this vision. I see this passion. I see this heart. How can I know you? So those are some of the things I’m looking at, you know, when I’m talking to it and I don’t do it in a general speak, it is your voice. I just clear it up for you. So when you’re talking to people, it’s you.
Stone Payton: [00:43:01] So people actually engage you to say, Hey, Cedric, my LinkedIn, here’s my LinkedIn profile, and I know it’s not quite what it should or could be. You’ll actually consult with them and help them redesign that to be appropriate for what they’re trying to accomplish.
Cedric Allen: [00:43:15] Definitely. One of the people that we, you know, Barbara Sobel, for those that don’t know are, I think it’s she just recently changed her company, but she tells with order, you know, waterproofing and everything else. I helped her daughter recently with her LinkedIn profile, and just in about an hour and 30 minutes, I got up to all star. She had no connections after I was done with it, but then started. We started connecting with people, but it’s sitting down with her and just having a conversation, right? And I think we’ve missed those those kind of things, having conversations and saying, OK, what are you looking at? What are you looking to do as I talk to people in transition? What do you do, what you love to do? That’s the thing you’ll do it for. You know, I’ve been doing for free, but you want to get paid for it, right? So I helped those structure their LinkedIn. If you’re already doing things like Walter with AMP Floor and we just did his company page and his profile, and we started to talk to him just about getting into what do you do, what do you love to do? And just starting to feature the things Walter’s been everywhere. He’s done flooring, he’s done, you know, painting and all these other things. But you know, the pictures are out there. It’s all in the Facebook, but it’s not covering over to the LinkedIn. And if it doesn’t come over to the LinkedIn, you’re missing a great yield, especially to business owners. You know, you have each month with LinkedIn. Here’s a little trip for you. You have these invitations that you can have somebody follow your page.
Cedric Allen: [00:44:37] And depending on how many connections you hard, you can have at least one hundred invites for people just to follow your page. That’s free press. If you want to boost it, then you could go and get some of the paid ads and some and they’ll let you do a couple of free ones. But this is just free connection said. Hey, follow my page. Why? Well, you know, I have an interesting too. You know, something like, you know, if you’re on LinkedIn, I call my LinkedIn and look up, why is this thing? They call people also viewed there. Here’s a little hint, folks. You want to take that off and go to the settings and turn it off. The reason is that’s your competition. You have some friends, but that’s your competition. So if you’re in career transition or you have a business and you see this thing on the side, you may want to turn that off. But LinkedIn also has this little thing talking about people you may know which they tried. Their job is to keep connections. I look at them and go. Your job is to drive me nuts every week because you keep changing things. There’s little ways to just connect with people on LinkedIn and just also promote things. If you had an event, say you were on Business X radio, you know you could share that on LinkedIn. Copy paste link, boom, or if you have to actually verify, uploaded all these things pictures, things that you know, depending on legality, of course, but just all these things to promote. I’ve worked with people like Ian Johnson with her. You know what she does with insurance, depending on social.
Stone Payton: [00:45:56] Sounds like you’ve worked with everybody I know in town.
Cedric Allen: [00:45:58] Well, there’s a lot of people that, you know, you see these things and people go, right, you know, you’re just sending that through another bigger funnel. If they see video, it’s 80 percent yield on LinkedIn, they’re going to look at it. If you have a profile picture that’s 40 percent more that you’re going to be found. There’s little things of just, you know, having a showcase in a company page. You have a company in a business. Well, if I scroll down and I see great thing around your, you know, profile and I know I’m just starting to get this week, it’s my off week. So even though I have some meetings this week, I’m able to start to catch up because I do other things I help that accomplish Prep Academy with their newsletter being chaplain and things of that nature and teaching there. So hello to those guys and gals. Just a great place for hybrid learning and everything else from different careers. We have people, young people there. They’re already starting their story. People that have a landscaping business there. Wow.
Marie Davis: [00:46:53] When do you sleep?
Cedric Allen: [00:46:56] What time is sleep? I don’t know. So what day is it?
Stone Payton: [00:46:59] So those are some, some things that you can do to make it better. What are some just absolute no no’s? Or there’s some red flags like whatever you do stone on your LinkedIn? Don’t do this
Cedric Allen: [00:47:07] Well. The people also viewed, it’s just already in there, so you’ve got to turn that thing OK. All right. You got to show your picture. Have a good picture. I used to call them the Kardashian shot. Do not do the Kardashians.
Stone Payton: [00:47:19] They’ll go, Hey, look at
Cedric Allen: [00:47:21] Me or you’re in a party. It’s like, Hey, it’s all of us. You’re a person that’s look at you. That’s either about to do business with you or if you’re in transition, goes like, what kind of party was that?
Stone Payton: [00:47:32] And I don’t. So the inappropriate picture for your
Cedric Allen: [00:47:35] Situation picture, right?
Stone Payton: [00:47:37] And you want to
Cedric Allen: [00:47:39] You want to give don’t leave it with just resume speak. Well, I did this and this and this. Ok, I want you to have metrics. I want you to have those percentages. I want you to have all these things. But tell me a story if you go to say we were talking about eating somewhere. If you go to your favorite burger place, say a canyon’s down the street, great guys and everything else down the street say hello to. And you go to Canyon now.
Stone Payton: [00:48:03] Do you send them an invoice? You know
Cedric Allen: [00:48:04] That right? Right. Well, they’re worth it. So in the sense of burgers or something? But if you walk down there and you’re going for a burger, you know, if your LinkedIn profile looks just like the bun and a little bit of sauce. But no meat, no vegetables. No nothing. Well, you know, what kind of will you know? What kind of thing is going to be, you know? You know, these are the things that we’re looking at and everything else. And if you have a business, the one day that will give you great legitimacy is showing that symbol on the side. So they scroll down, they click to it, they go to your company page
Stone Payton: [00:48:38] Because you want to make it real easy to go back and forth between company page and
Cedric Allen: [00:48:42] Right. And if you’re just a solo entrepreneur or a small business, it’s a great thing because I could go click Boom, I’m over on your page and they’re like, they’re reading more about your out. And they just said, Wait a minute, I want to go to your website, click there. One of the things that happens in a lot of business owners don’t know that sometimes LinkedIn, because they want to help you, will sometimes make you a company page and you have no clue it’s out there.
Stone Payton: [00:49:05] Oh, my did not know that.
Cedric Allen: [00:49:07] Or yeah, if there’s a similar name as somebody, I’ve dealt with a client and this happened. I said, Yeah, I see you have a company page. Yeah, but it’s not going to your company page. It’s like, what? Yeah, it’s going to something else, and we clicked on it with something else, it’s like, wait a minute, I have a tore up the page. I know. Let’s change that around. Make sure that your emails, your phone numbers, those things, your location you can even put on LinkedIn, your location. I was looking for a certain place that we’re where I am right now. There is three locations the location where I’m at right now. It’s not on the LinkedIn page, it just says location or here, and you’re going. We need to promote that. That’s a little things that we forget because we’re too busy meeting people in networking, doing the things. But those are also important because after you make that connection, after you make the phone call, after you meet with them, everything else, they go back and going to look it up and see if you’re worth doing business. They go back and go like. That’s not there’s nothing there, right? I don’t know about that. They taught me in, but I don’t know I might have to walk out. So you have to have everything uniform, everything else. I understand being busy. Trust me, I am probably one of the kings of just being busy. But it’s one of those things you wanted your light and LinkedIn to shine so much that they can go, Wow, I want to talk to this person, that individual and everything else.
Stone Payton: [00:50:32] So but someone can engage you, and we’re not talking about weeks and weeks of work. We’re talking about a few hours of some Cedric Magic. Right, right. We’ll call it magic faster.
Cedric Allen: [00:50:43] Can’t say the word magic.
Stone Payton: [00:50:44] Okay. Wisdom, wisdom, right? Discernment there. But yeah, it’s not like you’re engaging you for like weeks and months. It’s a it’s a few hours. You can really tune this thing up, maybe occasionally get some counsel on updating. And that kind of thing gets some because because you’re a pro now, you’re also investing quite a bit of time energy resources in helping. Is it young people through navigating careers or is it young and old? Or are you everybody for
Cedric Allen: [00:51:12] Everybody that’s going through a career transition? That’s just basically Shepard. That’s the shepherd and part of the ministry, really. You’re taking that person where they are at that moment. Ironically, when I was with the DOD in the U.S. Army at Cars.com with Tim Vantaa, they came up this thing with lifelong learning sustainment knowledge network. This is back in 2006, so this is early, first, early e-learning, and they started to know that as people were retiring or leaving the service, you know, the next group because they were rushing people out to Afghanistan and Iraq to real time at theater, what they call in war, real time theater out to the war zones. They were not training enough. We’re not getting the training they need, so they start to do these forms depositories of information, people giving their experiences or the group that would come back from a mission and say, Well, we went through this one, this thing did this thing. And yeah, we had the situation. So how did you fix it? Well, this is how we fixed it. You know, those kind of things. You were starting
Stone Payton: [00:52:11] To capture that
Cedric Allen: [00:52:13] Information and the stories and redistribute. So it was easier. So how do you write this report instead of just yelling at the guy, just go fix, write the report and the guy who thought of this, he thought of this just from reading scripture. He just said, This is this is how I’ve got my idea on this. So he started to do that. This is the same thing here. So you’re working with people wherever they are at that same that point in their situation, they could be divorced, single whatever they’re going through. Believe it, nonbeliever, whatever it is, and just say, how can I get you from this point to the point you need to get to? I tell people all the time, Don’t tell me for 20 30 minutes what you don’t want to do or what you tell me. Or better yet, don’t tell me this, this this and then say, I don’t want to do that. Why? Because I want to get you to where you want to go. We already got enough people. You’ve already gone through that. Let’s where do you want to go? And if you don’t know, that’s fine, that’s part of the process we talk. We were listing everything else. I don’t put people in a box. I help you think outside the box.
Stone Payton: [00:53:14] So is it largely one on one work or do you do classes or a little bit of both for these days?
Cedric Allen: [00:53:20] Is more on Zoom or just whenever I talk to a person, it could be even while I’m doing my LinkedIn with them and said, OK, so what is that title? That’s you. I had that about two weeks ago when they were in the session. I said, What is that you? And it was a former colleague that was in the same business where I was working in the media business. And we talked, I said, Well, you have all this, but what you’re telling me is not reflected on your that part under there that says your title. Yeah, so who are you? And we thought she thought about it. I said, From what you’re telling me, you want to do this, this this. Put it in there because they’ll find you. Because when we do searches and Google search LinkedIn searches, but that’s where I’m looking for your name comes up to at the top of the list and I talk to her about go back to that sandwich. She had so many different positions, such great experience, but it was basically bred, a little bit of sauce, bread. I said, I need more meat, I need some veggies, I need to have the sandwich because, you know, if I’m going to, they want to take a bite of it. But when they show up, it’s like, Where’s the beef? Where’s the veg? If you’re vegan, you’re going.
Cedric Allen: [00:54:33] There’s nothing I can’t. You can’t consume it. You can’t. You want to make a connection. Everybody wants to make a connection with the person they’re trying to reach. And if that connection is not that good, it’s not going to happen. And it’s just, you know, and a lot of people think this is a hard process. It’s not. It’s just you’re working out and you’ll be surprised. The funniest story I’ve ever had one of the funniest former colleague of mine back in a little network downtown that was run by a guy I called Uncle Ted. At that time, we were talking back and forth. He was in. Transition, he’s working, thank God now a great job and everything else, I talked to him, I said, you know, we both had this Emmy Award thing for nine eleven, right? Yeah, I said, there’s got to be some other ones. He’s like, Oh yeah, he starts raffling off this stuff and I go, Let’s stop after a minute, I go, like, why is that not on your profile? I just didn’t want to show off. You need all your profile, how they’re going to know that you’re this great guy. This is a guy that was working satellite trucks, Ingwe trucks and he was doing Katrina and I believe the elections at the same time.
Stone Payton: [00:55:42] So it’s OK to show off a little bit, right? It’s it’s well, it’s not really showing off if it’s framed
Cedric Allen: [00:55:47] Properly, if it’s framed properly, but also this is your experience. Yeah. So if I’m looking for somebody in the business, I want, usually you want the best or the best within your price range. Mm hmm. Ok, I’m looking for the best. If he doesn’t put that out there, I’m looking for that guy. If I see him and that goes back to the story, I’m reading this and everything else. Steve Austin could walk out to the, you know, to the LinkedIn profile. Like star Reza,
Stone Payton: [00:56:12] This guy is boring.
Cedric Allen: [00:56:13] I’m going to get a pillow, I’m going to start going to sleep instead of him going, dang brother. We got to get him on the ring. Get him on the phone right now, now. You know, there’s the difference between. Those two and those and you’ve read profiles that you went like, yeah, and then you read profiles like, I got to subscribe to their email, I got to follow them on LinkedIn. I got follow them on Facebook. I got. Where is their website? I got to go start subscribing to what they’re talking about. Those are the
Stone Payton: [00:56:45] Things. So we will have you back in and maybe do a whole LinkedIn special episode. Maybe get some other folks. But I’m not going to let you out of here without telling us about the Emmy. You want an Emmy, right?
Cedric Allen: [00:56:56] The Emmy was for news gathering coverage for CNN, covering 911 out of CNN Atlanta. It was one of the one of the few that can actually say when the world was book, I was able to get two to three news feeds in a video where everybody else was either. The whole thing was locked down or in one. Some cases some people were kind of barring CNN signal because everybody was like, Oh, we got to show this, we got to show this. We don’t know what’s going on. So it’s an interesting time. If you were a news, you got this Emmy, but it was doing that and everything else. I think the thing you probably will know me more for would be the first live first. Video Pictures of the shuttle breakup in 2003 into Dallas, Texas. Yeah. Or, as I call it, yes, I made the president leave his Camp David on vacation to come and address the world about what’s going on. Yeah. So just that kind of story and just breaking news and things of that nature. But yeah, that was the me and some other parts.
Stone Payton: [00:57:55] You know what is interesting background? All right. If people who are listening would like to have a conversation with you or someone in your circle, what’s the best way for them to reach out and connect with you? Well, I’m thinking LinkedIn may be a place.
Cedric Allen: [00:58:08] Linkedin LinkedIn is the place I usually sit, everybody. There it is. Cedric Allen on LinkedIn. You’ll see me with the microphone and everything else. And that would be the easiest place. I also have a couple of showcase pages. I’ve done some upgrades on the bridge with God Ministries just trying to be very selective because a lot of things I do kind of mix with each other. So but the LinkedIn profile page is the better page for me. I also have a little bit of YouTube, a couple of videos, but it’s just a little bit of everything else. But go to the LinkedIn and everything else that’s I’m killing out all these, but
Stone Payton: [00:58:43] My own subjects phone. You guys are hearing,
Cedric Allen: [00:58:46] Yeah, the other alarm, because usually during this time I’m usually either up or I’m already at somewhere and I have this back in the brain thing of, OK, where’s my time?
Stone Payton: [00:58:55] Were you already admitted that you’re one of those busy guys? All right, so one more time just link the LinkedIn thing. Let’s make sure we get
Cedric Allen: [00:59:01] Them to that. Yeah. Linkedin.com, I believe slash Cedric s Allen looked me up there. You’ll find me a senior pastor, shepherd and everything else with LinkedIn and all these other things. Easiest thing I always check with people, especially when I’m doing all these things. Remind me where I met you because if I don’t remember and it’s good for everybody, it should be like, Remind me where I met you because there are weeks where I could. I used to joke and I could still do it by the time Friday come, so I could be in Hawaii on a Zoom meeting at five by five p.m., right? Because it’s just that many things because in person versus in different places, depending where I’m going.
Stone Payton: [00:59:40] Well, thanks so much for coming in today, man. Don’t be a stranger. I’m quite sincere about that. I think it might be fun. It might be fun to have. I think you’ve got a group of kids that our buddy John Cloonan was talking
Cedric Allen: [00:59:52] To right at Cooper’s Prep Academy, where there’s pre-K to 12. It’s hybrid learning is Christian, but it’s not. We don’t go so far in certain things, but it’s about how would people find a compass is really about them. Find out what they want to do, how they want to do it, and they and what. John Cloonan with audacity marketing. He came by two weeks ago and was talking to our middle school class that was just starting to do their own business and do entrepreneurs business entrepreneurial class. And now they have the the new they’re going to kill me because I’m trying to remember this as early for the new snack shop there. I think they called it, I got they’re going to kill me for this one,
Stone Payton: [01:00:37] But we’ll get them in here to talk about it. Maybe, or we’ll take something out there and put them on a Business RadioX anyway. Yeah, yeah. We have a great affinity for young entrepreneurs, right? Right. And we don’t we want to invest in that. So you and I have lots of reasons to connect on on different things.
Cedric Allen: [01:00:52] And one more thing I’m going to say hello for sure. Connections 12:00 noon Every first and third of the month on Wednesday at 12 o’clock. It’s for a Christian business, people connecting to everything else. That’s how Marie and I kind of met a little bit over online. But we haven’t first time face to face as I knock over the microphone because I’m crazy and having too much caffeine here. But it’s one of those things that I do producer and camera work for them, and I’m right across the hall from, of course, you as you know. But yeah, we never we see each other, but we’re never doing shows at the same time because.
Stone Payton: [01:01:27] Well, we’ll have to do some more, we’ll have
Cedric Allen: [01:01:29] Definitely,
Stone Payton: [01:01:29] Definitely. Thanks for coming in and hanging with us and thanks everybody. It’s been a great way to spend a Tuesday morning. Thank you. All right, John, you are more than welcome. This is Stone Payton for Cedric Allen, Marie Davis. Sheila, I don’t remember your last name,
Sheila Eads: [01:01:46] Sheila Eades
Stone Payton: [01:01:49] And Rhett Farris and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying, we’ll see you next time on Cherokee Business Radio.