PACCAR Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend

PACCAR Inc’s (Nasdaq: PCAR) Board of Directors declared on September 11, 2018, a quarterly cash dividend of twenty-eight cents ($.28) per share, payable on December 4, 2018, to stockholders of record at the close of business on November 13, 2018.
PACCAR is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. The company also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business. The company’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select market, symbol PCAR.

Sexism Battling Strategies For Millennials

Over the last several decades, women have made strides in the corporate world, in many cases launching their own enterprises and some taking the helm at Fortune 500 companies.

Sexism Battling Strategies For Millennials


Despite such progress, sexism remains a significant hurdle in business, says Phuong Uyen Tran, a Vietnamese business executive and author of Competing with Giants: How One Family-Owned Company Took on the Multinationals and Won (
“Sexist attitudes are certainly well entrenched in Asia,” says Tran, who is deputy CEO of THP Beverage Group, the leading Vietnamese beverage company founded by her father.

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Ericsson and T-Mobile $3.5B 5G Agreement

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) recently announced a multi-year, $3.5 billion contract to support T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network deployment. Under the deal, Ericsson will provide T-Mobile with the latest 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software compliant with 3GPP standards.

Ericsson and T-Mobile $3.5B 5G Agreement Ericsson

Bridging from a nationwide LTE Advanced network to 5G, T-Mobile will leverage Ericsson’s market-leading 5G portfolio to expand existing LTE capacity needs while future-proofing the network.
The contract also encompasses Ericsson’s digital services solutions, including dynamic orchestration, business support systems (BSS) and Ericsson Cloud Core, enabling T-Mobile to rapidly launch innovative and groundbreaking 5G experiences to customers.
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T-Mobile LTE 5G Expanding in More Cities

Talk about fast… T-Mobile recently announced it has now lit up 600 MHz (Band 71) Extended Range LTE in 1,254 cities and towns in 36 states, including the island of Puerto Rico. The Un-carrier’s furiously paced deployment of 600 MHz LTE is expanding network coverage and capacity, particularly in rural areas, and lays the foundation for nationwide 5G in 2020 with 5G-ready equipment.

T-Mobile LTE 5G Expanding in More CitiesLTE 5G

“Our swift deployment of 600 MHz spectrum is a game changer. While paving the way for the next generation of wireless tech, we’re bringing choice to consumers, mainly in rural areas, who’ve been forced to rely on the other guys in the past”
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Talking Rain CEO Appointment and Sparkling Ice Sales

Talking Rain Beverage Company, the makers of zero sugar Sparkling Ice®, formally announces on September 6, 2018, the appointment of Chris Hall to CEO following a record sales period for the company. With this transition, Talking Rain is also pleased to announce Sarah Gustat as Vice President of Marketing, and Ken Sylvia as Vice President of Sales.

Talking Rain Announces CEO Appointment and Sparkling Ice SalesTalking Rain

Chris Hall, CEO
Having most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer, Chris Hall is a trusted voice at Talking Rain, and was identified by ownership as the individual that would continue to enthusiastically drive the company forward. Through his decade long tenure at Talking Rain Beverage Company, Hall has risen through the ranks by using his sharp analytical skills, approachability, clear vision and passion for collaboration.
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Andrew Wilhelmy In Business Growth Funding

First Business Growth Funding, a division of First Business Capital Corp. and a member of First Business Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: FBIZ) is pleased to announce that Andrew Wilhelmy was hired as Vice President – Business Development Officer.

Andrew Wilhelmy In Business Growth Funding

Andrew Wilhelmy

Andrew brings a wealth of experience to his role, previously serving as Vice President of the Intermountain West at a nationwide asset-based lending firm. Andrew also owned his own factoring firm, Titan Business Capital, and his prior experience also includes senior-level positions in commercial banking and lending, as well as a financial advisor.

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Investment Opportunities for Small Businesses

The Q3 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (Index) released today indicates that the majority (69.7 percent) of small business owners have a positive outlook about their company and the small business environment in the United States. Their optimism continues to increase and overall business health is up one point from last quarter. The optimistic outlook, the current economic climate, and recent legislative reforms are creating a stronger environment for small business owners to grow their businesses.

Investment Opportunities for Small Businesses


“Small business owners continue to tell us that they are confident in the national small business environment, and, just as encouraging, most have confidence in their local environments as well,” said Jessica Moser, senior vice president for Small Business Solutions at MetLife. “This bodes well for the U.S. economy, as small businesses are consistently an engine for growth all across the country: purchasing equipment and inventory, paying taxes, and employing ever-increasing numbers of individuals.”
This is the sixth consecutive quarter the Index has risen and year over year the Index score has increased by 7.4 points. The rise in optimism reflects a rebound in national economic outlook and denotes the highest levels in the history of the survey.
Amid the general optimism, access to capital is strong. However, that access differs across all small businesses. Less than one-quarter (23 percent) of small businesses report that it is hard to obtain financing, but opinions vary based on recent experience with the financing process. Those having sought financing in the last year are twice as likely (41 percent) to report that getting access to credit is difficult than those that have not tried (20 percent). Businesses that have applied for credit at some point in the past, rather than in just the past year, were more likely to say it is easy to obtain financing (70 percent) rather than difficult (24 percent).
“After the 2008 financial crisis there was a decline in small businesses’ access to capital. Recently, Congress took steps to make it easier for small businesses to get capital,” said Tom Sullivan, U.S. Chamber vice president of small business policy. “We are moving in the right direction, but more policies that ease small businesses’ access to financing need to occur to ensure this vital sector of our economy continues to grow, create jobs, and positively impact communities across the country.” 
Small businesses that report to be in good health and those that stated they were not in good health were equally likely to have sought financing in the past year. The 71 percent of small business owners who say their operation is in good health indicate it was easy to obtain financing or credit, while only 40 percent of those in not good health indicate the same. Businesses in not good health are more likely to receive only a partial amount (41 percent) or be rejected altogether (25 percent), than those in good health (10 percent and 8 percent, respectively).
The longer a small business has been in operation, the more likely it is to receive the full amount of financing. Three-quarters (75 percent) of businesses in operation for more than 20 years received the full asking amount versus two-thirds (66 percent) of companies with 11 to 20 years in operation, and just half (51 percent) of those in operation for less than 10 years.
The overall optimistic outlook and current economic conditions have influenced small businesses’ reasons to secure financing. Nearly half (44 percent) of small businesses that applied for financing in the last 12 months are more likely to say they plan to increase investment in their business in the next year than those who have not applied for financing (21 percent). Additional motivators were to buy new equipment (27 percent), keep up with increased local competition (22 percent), expand/upgrade facilities, (20 percent), or buy inventory (9 percent). Only 11 percent of business owners said the financing was necessary to keep the business afloat.

Training Your Sales Team Like A Sports Team

Sales people face lots of competition and rejection. Quotas are a monthly scoreboard and the pressure to produce is part of the territory.

Training Your Sales Team Like A Sports Team


It’s not surprising, given those challenging aspects of selling, that industry pros see parallels with sports. And those similarities include the need for good coaching to help a sales team learn how to be more successful. An article in Forbes reported that many frustrated sales people who quit listed a lack of coaches and mentors as one of the top reasons they bolted.

“As a sales leader, you will often find your people looking to you for wisdom, direction, and reassurance,” says Lance Tyson, President and CEO of Tyson Group (, and author of Selling is an Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World. “Therefore, you need a coaching process that takes time to build up the people who make up your talent pool. You need to look beyond what they can do today and help them realize what’s possible tomorrow.”

Tyson, whose clients include the sales departments of numerous professional sports and entertainment franchises, says that improvement in sales teams starts with how effectively sales managers coach their teams while emphasizing a competitive mindset.

Tyson can discuss ways sales leaders can do a better job of coaching their sales people individually and collectively, and as a result lead their teams toward reaching sales goals on a regular basis.

Discussion topics

 – In your experiences of training sales leaders and sales staffs, what is the biggest obstacle you usually see between them and success?
– Are people born with most of the essential sales qualities, or can they be acquired through training and coaching?
 -How does a sales manager best help a sales person stay engaged and positive during a down period?
– Do you see too many sales managers neglecting their teams, doing little coaching due to time constraints, or generally adopting a sink-or-swim mentality toward their sales people?
– If a sales leader really wants to help his team improve, what are the first couple of things he or she should do in coming up with a coaching process and overall strategy?
– Do salespeople focus too much on the product and not enough on the customer – i.e., being too worried about knowing the product inside-out and not listening to the customers’ needs?

Andrew Simon: How Beautiful If You Could Do A Business Turnaround

By Andrew Simon, Business turnarounds are never easy, especially if it is your business and you must do something drastic to turn it around.

Andrew Simon: How Beautiful If You Could Do A  Turnaround

Andrew Simon

We have had experience at Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) helping clients turn around their businesses. We have also had hands-on experience turning around one of our own entrepreneurial ventures. But whether we are supporting someone or dealing with a turnaround ourselves, broken businesses are never pretty. Wouldn’t it be beautiful, though, if you could do a business turnaround for your business?

Where Do You Begin?

At SAMC, we often get engaged to help a company that is going in the wrong direction. Often, there is a crisis. How do you know if you are facing a critical moment in your company’s development? We have found there is a recurring pattern often marked by one or more of the following crisis moments:

For a period of time many of our turnaround clients were experiencing limited or even zero growth. Sometimes it was for as long as three to five years. They had typically hired a new sales manager, developed new products, launched a new marketing campaign, and still saw sales flatten or stall.
Some situations come from the realization that their customers are changing. One client saw his largest customer leave for a competitor because that competitor had a larger scope of services that were more relevant for the customer’s needs.
In some cases, more competition is emerging or different types of competitors are disrupting the old style of business.
Demographic trends have an impact. We have found this to be true with many higher-education clients where enrollments are being affected by changing demographics. With fewer high school students, and hence fewer traditional college freshmen, colleges have been facing major crises impacting everything from who they are to what they do and who they do it for.
It doesn’t matter if you have a heavy industrial company or a B to C business, something is changing and you are stuck in the past. Your own efforts to change have led to dissent among your staff and little growth among your customers. Sales are flat and it is time to start a turnaround.

You see yourself facing a crisis. What to do?

If you are facing any of these conditions, or ones unique to your own company or industry, you are ready for some turnaround training. You have always known how to run the business. You learned it in your MBA program or on the job. Now you have to become an expert in an entirely new leadership role – designing and driving a turnaround.

Here are some things to think about:

  1. First, take stock of where you are and assess your current condition. Review all of your core assumptions. Are they still good; still valid? Rethink such issues as: Who are your customers of the future and how should you serve them? Where are customers located and how do they purchase your services? How good are your marketing and sales efforts? How do you use technology? What types of collaborations do you have inside and outside your business? What is your company’s culture today and is it set up properly for the future? What types of people do you have and will you need, and are they the same? We could go on, but you have the idea. Everything is open for review and rethinking.
  2. Next, reverse everything. You are going to need some tools to rethink those assumptions. We like to use Innovation Games® because they help you and your team to rethink everything in a safe, creative environment. One game that works particularly well is called “Reverse Everything.” It enables you to take everything apart and put it back together in new ways. When I was in the consumer packaged-goods business my boss always told me that “good marketing people pull things apart and rebuild in different ways.” Try it sometime. You can learn more about it here.
  3. Don’t narrowly define yourself. Sometimes we fall in love with categories. But these categories are too narrow and even if you own everyone in the category there isn’t enough volume to make a business. Think across categories. As Franz Johansson wrote in his groundbreaking book “The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures,” the more ideas you have the more likely you will have big ones. They come at the intersections
  4. Blue Ocean Strategy®, nonusers, and unmet needs. As Blue Ocean Strategists, we approach turnaround situations as if they are in need of a new strategy, a blue ocean one. To continue to do more of the same, even cheaper, is a very difficult strategy to embrace when a business needs an overhaul. Instead, we would urge you to think about nonusers and unmet needs, the central core of blue ocean strategic thinking. 
    This is critical to your success; to that turnaround. Spend time asking people what keeps them awake at night; what problems do they have that seem to be unsolvable.
  5. Be brave. Turnarounds require emotional courage. Eighty percent of businesses aren’t around five years after launch date. There are startling statistics about companies that 50 years ago were in the Fortune 500, but now are no longer around. However, there is also research that suggests that if those companies had been brave they might still be here. Kodak is one of those types of frightened companies that could not see the trends that were all around them, building digital cameras to replace their film. Blockbuster denied that NetFlix was relevant. They thought Apple and Walmart were their competitors. Blackberry never saw the iPhone coming.
  6. Build a team. You might be the greatest, the best. But you can’t turn everything around by yourself. If you are the chief strategist, you need people who not only believe in you but can execute for you. Think about how you are going to convert your team to lead the transformation rather than undermine it. As John Kenneth Galbraith said, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to change, most everybody gets busy on the proof.”
  7. Believe in yourself. Turnarounds are never easy. But if not you, who else? If you think you are right, you need to lead so that people follow and trust that there will be rewards that come from the changes.

Don’t find yourself struggling or stalled. Remember “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If you believe that you can turnaround your company, it will be a beautiful transformation for you and your team.

RenCon opens store in Southcenter Mall

Renton Comicon (RenCon) has opened their store in the Southcenter Mall to promote the upcoming convention. Enabling fans, friends and the public to get a taste of what will be at RenCon with amazing costume displays as well as being able to purchase event tickets. It is located near Sears on the 2nd floor at the Northwest side of the mall and will remain open on the weekends until the end of the convention.

RenCon opens store in Southcenter Mall


RenCon, now in its third year, is a celebration of all things nerdery. Comics, science fiction, technophiles, cosplay, fantasy, art, costuming, gaming and beyond. Rencon gives con goers a fresh and different experience from other conventions. It is leading the way in developing, creating and curating digital media content for nerds and con goers of all ages. Rencon is growing rapidly and attracting big names to the convention.

Despite moving to Tukwila, Rencon has was involved all year in the Renton community. They’ve nicknamed themselves the “Community Con”. From filming the Renton police lip sync to community cleanups. Rencon has been there. Samples of their fun videos are below.

Renton Police Lip Sync
Renton Police pull over star wars speeder bike
Renton River Days Dance
Movie Trailer
Storm Trooper Clean Ups

This year’s lineup includes: Larry Hama of “G.I. Joe” fame, Michelle Harrison of the CW TV series, “Flash,” YouTube star Arris Quinones “Variant Comics,” Super Artist Randy Emberlin (“Amazing Spider-Man,” “Web of Spider-Man,” “GI Joe,” and “Doctor Strange,” among others. Local artist Justin Hunt will also be joining the convention, as well as well-known cosplay world players: Scott Pope (WildKarde), Steven K. Smith (SKS Props) and Jackie Craft. Steven Smith from NASA and Kenneth Calhoun will also be returning for their 3rd year.

RenCon is a place where you can buy your favorite comic book, find that collectable you have been looking for, attend a panel or two on your favorite geek subject, and visit with your favorite artist! It is a place to listen to the latest from leading science gurus, attend a panel on robots, listen to the making of your favorite podcast, & hang out with the stars! It is a place to come dressed as you are or as your favorite comic book hero. It’s a place to learn about the craft of cosplay, enter a contest, & take a selfie with your favorite cosplayers! Mostly it is a place where anyone & everyone can come enjoy a weekend of family fun and let your inner child come out to play!


Partners: Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, City of Tukwila, Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, Renton Chamber of Commerce, Living Computer Museum, Taco Time, Evergreen Market, Zacuto, Hotel Interurban, Westfield Mall, The Renton Printery, Virtual Sports, Arts Unlimited, Renton Civic Theatre, Zak Labs, The Brewmaster’s Taproom, 501st, 8Bit Arcade, The Local 907, Red House, CosBond, Vino at The Landing, Slager Fuj Creative Media, Smoking Monkey Pizza, Whistlestop Alehouse, The Yankee Grill, Bloqs, Razor Planet.