Best of Business 2019Oct 01, 2019 ● By Frisco STYLE
Join us in celebrating these people and businesses in the community that make our renowned business culture everything it is today.
Rich Allenis on a mission to energize leaders to transform their business by creating radically-engaged teams. It all started with his father’s family-owned business. Rich worked with and watched his dad struggle, trying to make his business work. Since then, Rich has been a student of business and has learned many lessons while having a successful career in both large and small companies including running and growing a manufacturing business to more than $100 million in annual revenues. Today, Rich works with and speaks to small business owners to help them engage their team in their business strategies so they can virtually failure-proof their business. Then, with their team fully-engaged, they transform their business into one that is profitable, sustainable and provides them the freedom they have been searching for. In addition to being an inspirational business speaker and author, Rich is a coach and advisor to business owners, a strategic facilitator and successful entrepreneur.
Peter Burnshas more than 30 years of leadership and management experience. His professional background includes 20 years of service in the United States Army with progressive experience in diverse management, administration and technical positions within the telecommunications industry. Peter is a proven leader and innovator who possess an in-depth knowledge of information technologies. He currently works for Nokia as a Commercial Tendering Manager responsible for direct interface with account teams to drive revenue generation on complex technical solutions and deals in North America.
Tony Felkerserves as president and CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. A 15-year veteran of the chamber of commerce industry, Tony received his IOM designation from West Institute in 2009 and completed and received his CCE designation in 2014. In addition, he also served on the Frisco City Council from 2003 through 2008. Tony earned a bachelor’s of business in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Tony is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.
Ashley Milleris an avid sports fan and enjoys rooting on her LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints. She currently serves on the Women Enhancing Business Council, is a member of the Frisco Young Professionals and serves on the board of directors for Melody of Hope, the North Texas Community Giving Foundation and for the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. Ashley is a graduate of Leadership Frisco and was recently awarded the 2018 Frisco Number Ones Award. Ashley served as Mayor Jeff Cheney’s campaign manager for his first term as mayor and has recently been appointed for his second term campaign. On the weekends, you will find Ashley and her family at Hope Fellowship church and Summer Moon Coffee. Ashley’s proudest moment to date? Donating bone marrow to save a life in 2012. Join her by registering to save a life at dkms.org
Design Remodeling Pros
Success in business is not truly achieved until professionals seek to truly understand the industries they are in, as well as understand the customers they serve on a level that allows them to thrive. Market understanding is a wildly-important aspect of owning a business, and Design Remodel Pros, the company that has earned the Best of Business award in Market Understanding, has it down to an art.
Design Model Pros’ owners Sara and Bryan Belmonte were high school sweethearts with big dreams of owning a successful business. They began their business venture flipping houses, and as time passed, their crew grew, the market changed and they evolved to become Design Remodel Pros. Years later, they are a thriving husband and wife team that has honed their craft in remodeling homes and transforming spaces for clients. They specialize in bathrooms, kitchens, cabinetry and paint and strive to be each client’s life-long remodeler. The Belmontes never looked back after they first began flipping houses and turned their passion into a lucrative business.
Ms. Belmonte explains, “Every day at Design Remodel Pros, we get to do what we love with people we love. Our craftsmen, product specialists and entire team truly care and always look to create the best space and experience for clients. Being able to see a client’s ideas come to life in their home fulfills us daily. We understand that lasting memories are made in the space we remodel and being a part of their home is special to us.”
The Belmontes believe that without a true understanding of their target market, their small business would not have lasted. Today, much of Design Remodel Pros market is new or experienced homeowners looking to add value and comfort to their space. “Our clientele can choose any remodeling company. Design Remodel Pros differentiates itself through quality craftsmanship, relationships and above-industry standard practices. Market understanding helps us serve clients by knowing what they expect and exceeding those expectations. Our clients are detailed-oriented, knowledgeable and want to be informed. By understanding goals for their space, we get to know quite a bit about the families and their needs. This helps our team familiarize ourselves with our clients, their family and even their pets,” Ms. Belmonte explains.
As part of their market understanding, the team ensures that success starts from the moment they speak to a potential client and lasts until the end of the project. This only continues when the team follows up with a personalized gift and hand-written letter. “We strive to serve with old-fashioned customer service. We look to continue to impact our community through improving property values and creating spaces to make memories."
As Frisco has transformed, so has the couple’s business. “Design Remodel Pros has enjoyed remodeling in Frisco neighborhoods and seeing the huge growth that has happened over the years,” Ms. Belmonte says.
The Design Remodel Pros marketing team looks to reach clients wherever they are through branding and visibility and maintains posts, tips and resources and games on Instagram, Facebook, Google, Nextdoor and Houzz.
Without leadership, there is no vision. Artistic Organics’ leadership and vision created the foundation that made the company the best at what they do, earning them the title of this year’s Best of Business award for Leadership and Vision.
Artistic Organics’ Kellie Kauten was personally given a hopeless health diagnosis and went in search for an answer, which has made her healthier now than 10 years ago. This led her to open Artistic Organics and share the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) with others. Ms. Kauten says, “We were the first CBD store in Frisco and our goal is to educate every one of our customers on different strains of the plant and how important it is to find the right plant to fit you. Our core goal is to educate. There is so much misinformation in the industry, and our goal is to teach every customer what we know so they can make an educated decision on their health. Leadership, to us, is shown through our efforts to constantly research and cut through hype surrounding the industry.”
Artistic Organics publishes and offers customers vetted information on various topics and free education and serves as a resource for other CBD stores in the industry. The business plans to continue researching and offering products based on client need in what can be a murky industry. Their leadership lies in the open approach to business, the industry and customers. Ms. Kauten explains, “As owners, we do not hide from our staff or customers. We are out interacting, teaching and training with everyone daily. We travel to our farmers and manufacturers often and seek out new craft products. Quality is our moto, and we are looking to the future of the industry through partnering directly with growers and manufacturers.”
Leadership and vision are only as good as those who support the notions, and Artistic Organics’ staff is held to the highest expectations that include rigorous training and continual education. “Not only does the staff need to understand the body and how it works with the plan, but they need to understand the current legislation and changes in the cannabis industry,” Ms. Kauten explains. “We treat our staff with the same respect as our customers and they have input on the development of new products and services,” she adds.
Ms. Kauten and her staff host free classes monthly where they discuss specific symptomology and how the plant may play a part in helping the body heal itself. “We want to be at the forefront of sifting through information and new studies, client testimonials and giving information back out to our clients,” Ms. Kauten explains. “We offer our services to medical practices to teach their staff and clients on the plant and dispel myths and arm medical specialists with the information they need to possibly help their clients. We are very transparent and open on what we do and why we do it.”
Frisco Family Vision
One of the best ways to know a business is doing well is hearing positive reviews from customers. Frisco Family Vision makes customer feedback a priority, which is why they were chosen for the Best of Business award in Performance Feedback.
Frisco Family Vision opened in September 2014 and cares for patients’ eyes, from start to finish, performing comprehensive eye exams and finding the perfect pair of glasses for a patient. Dr. Dana Biederman explains, “Our top priority is our patients. We will do what is necessary to exceed their expectations. We want our patients to feel comfortable in our office and enjoy themselves, so we have made an inviting atmosphere with an open and comfortable waiting area, in addition to our friendly staff. Patients are the ones who continue to drive our business with their family and friend referrals, and referrals from previous patients are our best source, along with advertisements and insurance panels, to gain patients. In addition to having a great location, excellent care, service, staff and doctors, frame selection, trust and knowledge are all parts of why we have been successful.”
Feedback from Frisco Family Vision customers is paramount to business. “When a patient leaves our office, we want them to be ‘wowed” … that it was the best experience, not only in a doctor’s office, but also in any place of business. We demand the best of ourselves and staff. If you do not, then you will not achieve your goal. You can only reach your potential from what you demand. The most important person at that moment is the patient and the attention that needs to be given to them. I personally ask our patients about their experience when they are in the office so we can continue to improve. Without our patients, we would not have a successful practice,” Dr. Biederman says.
Frisco Family Vision continually measures improvement against the previous day, previous patient encounters and the demands placed upon their business. The team believes they have to improve from each patient to be the very best. “We try to improve by listening more to our patients and explaining benefits, treatment, knowledge of frames, styles and contacts prior to being seen. Receiving outstanding reviews and feedback helps us know what we are doing right. Anytime we hear negative remarks, we have team meetings to address those issues. We also have an internal review system that allows patients to leave reviews anonymously,” Dr. Biederman shares.
Frisco Family Vision streamlines their processes by getting all pertinent information at the time of scheduling to ensure they have insurance pulled and ready to go for each patient. When patients arrive, the front desk staff has a file for them ready to fill out or sign with remaining paperwork, and staff goes over all charges during the first visit to ensure there is no miscommunication.
“Patients want to trust their doctor and patients trust referrals, which is why we dedicate so much of our time to maintaining a positive reputation in the optometric community. It really is a combination because of the necessary name recognition from multiple sources and locations,” Dr. Biederman says.
It has always been said that a team is only as good as its weakest player, and while most of a company’s focus is on the customer, it is just as important for businesses to focus on the team working behind the scenes to build an outstanding company culture that gives employees a reason to be proud to go to work every day. SandsRx Pharmacy has done just that, earning itself the Best of Business award in Company Culture.
What started out as a distributorship for brothers Mike and Steve Sands turned into a living dream as they built their own specialty pharmacy. The brothers saw that people were not able to get their regular retail medications, custom compounded medications and specialty medications from the same pharmacy and wanted to fill a need. “They had to go to multiple pharmacies for different types of medications, which creates a disconnect because pharmacists at one pharmacy cannot see what medications a patient is getting from other their pharmacies. We wanted to help solve that problem,” Mike explains. “So, we created SandsRx Pharmacy to be a one stop-prescription shop for patients.”
Mr. Sands says they love what they do because they are building a successful company with their best friends. They get the opportunity to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way every day. “Whether it is empowering our patients by showing them how to self-infuse their life-saving medication so they can take control of their own lives or taking critical medication to one of our fertility patients in the middle of the night, we love it all. It has become a way of life for us and it gives us immense satisfaction,” Mike says.
SandsRx Pharmacy started in 2013 at one small location with just Mike and Steve, Mahdi (their partner and first pharmacist) and one pharmacy technician, Mike Nguyen. The company now has four locations and close to 100 employees. It was just recognized by Inc. 5000 as the 471st fastest-growing privately-held company in the U.S. for 2019. “We have grown because we love our team and we love taking care of our patients,” Mike admits.
For the Sands brothers, company culture is paramount. “For us, our culture of trust and respect is everything because our patients trust us with their livelihoods. We have to treat our customers and each other the way we would want to be treated. In order to fill a prescription for a patient, a team of people needs to correctly execute a series of steps so that prescription can be dispensed accurately and safely. If our team members are happy and put their hearts in the service, our customers will see and feel that. If people feel a sense of pride about their work, they will give their whole self to getting the job done and will go above and beyond to make sure customers are taken care of,” Mike adds.
Internally, the company seeks to treat everyone with respect while lifting others up. Company leadership stresses that they are serving human beings who are suffering or in a lot of pain. Sometimes, the SandsRx team is the last step in the medical community that patients see. Mike says, “People want to feel validated, appreciated and respected. It is our job, as leaders, to make team members understand how much we care about them as people and how important their jobs are to our patients and our company.”
Serving customers is the cornerstone to the success of any business. Putting customers’ needs at the forefront of the business and how it operates generates satisfaction, growth and an overall appreciation for the customers and employees the business serves. Dr. Greg Greenberg, the award-winning Frisco orthodontist at RxSmile Frisco Orthodontics is the recipient of the Best of Business award for Serving Customers.
RxSmile Frisco Orthodontics for adults and children was founded upon Dr. Greenberg’s same personal experience as an orthodontic patient at 13 years of age. “My outcome with my own treatment and relationship with my orthodontist inspired me to become an orthodontist. I am passionate about orthodontics because I see how my patients change with increased self-confidence and self-esteem. They just love to smile, which makes this world a better place. Giving someone a boost in their self-confidence is one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” he explains.
Working with patients ages 8 to 68 gives Dr. Greenberg the opportunity to stay connected with younger generations’ interests while also meeting needs of adult patients. Dr. Greenberg admits the field of orthodontics in the past 30 plus years has changed rapidly, mostly due to new technologies. “With the advent of new technology, more adults have sought treatment in larger numbers than ever before. Utilizing computers, digital imaging, 3D printing, cone beam computed tomography (3D x-rays) and improved bracket technology have allowed and forced me to stay updated and state-of-the-art. All these changes allow RxSmile Frisco Orthodontics to achieve better outcomes for patients in less time and in a more comfortable setting,” Dr. Greenberg says.
Serving patients has always been a facet of business in which Dr. Greenberg takes much pride. He says, “Anything that is available to make the experience easier and better for our patient is my goal. My staff is highly-trained to provide the best customer service from the first phone call to the last visit in a timely, fun, professional setting. I place importance in putting myself in my patient’s shoes. We work together with our patients so they are highly-motivated to be compliant and an active participate in their treatment. Everyone with the RxSmile team is friendly, helpful and efficient, and we are always available to our patients. We understand that without them, we would not exist.”
Dr. Greenberg’s ability to communicate effectively with patients allows the team to offer texting, 24-hour emergency availability, email and web access to information and contact with staff. “When you call the office, you always speak with a person, not a phone tree,” he adds. Dr. Greenberg takes the time to connect and communicate with your general dentist and any other specialist involved in your treatment. This allows him to maximize results while explaining the treatment plan and outcomes so everyone’s expectations are exceeded.
James, Hardy & Haley, CPAs
Organization structure is incremental for business owners and employees to operate at high levels and run efficient daily operations, while maintaining customer satisfaction and overall success. James, Hardy, & Haley, CPAs has done just that, earning them the Best of Business award in Organization Structure.
James, Hardy was organized in 1988 by Roy James and Lonnie Hardy, who worked for a big CPA firm, but did not care for the pressure of the everyday environment. Ultimately, they vowed to start their own firm. They placed emphasis on treating staff with respect and providing opportunities based on merit as opposed to politics. After starting his career and having some of the same experiences of working for a Big 4 firm, Phil Haley took the job with James, Hardy, and Haley, CPAs in 1994 and was admitted to the partnership in 2002. “I have been a CPA in public accounting for more than 30 years, and with James, Hardy, and Haley, CPAs for the last 25 years. I can honestly say I love what I do,” he shares. “I love the challenges the industry presents. I love the ability to solve our client’s problems, and I love our team and the work we have done together to continuously improve our firm. I am often asked if I really like being an accountant, and the honest answer is that I would never work in any other industry or capacity … that is how much I enjoy it,” he adds.
In effort to maintain immaculate structure and organization within the company, the team knows its employees need to be supported, trained, educated, valued, empowered, heard and appreciated in order to feel fulfilled in their careers … and, in turn, provide paramount service to the firm’s clients.
Mr. Haley and his colleagues strive to create an environment their employees are proud to be a part of. During their long tax season, company leadership mitigates long hours by providing adequate vacation and paid overtime. “We take a great deal of care in our hiring process to ensure that those we hire will be a part of our firm forever and become part of our great family,” he explains.
Mr. Haley says that organization and structure have almost guaranteed the firm’s success. “We do not do any type of advertising. All our referrals are from satisfied clients and employees,” he says. “We believe the core of this firm is its people. We strive to treat everyone with respect and dignity. Often, our interns stay with us long-term after short-term employment. We endeavor to minimize staff turnover to ensure the training and education that we receive will continue to serve us and our clients. During our less busy times, we provide in-house Continued Professional Education, where each employee (including me) has the opportunity to present on a topic they are passionate about and want to educate the rest of the group on.”
Because of the client-focused structure of the organization, clients love that they have talked to the same employee for 10 years and can trust them with intimate financial and personal information.
Admittedly, without sound financial management, businesses are unable to operate successfully or achieve longevity. Attention to detail, financial knowledge and a tried and true understanding of one’s business are key in running a business with exceptional financial management, and SandsRx Pharmacy has got it down to a science, which is why they have been given the Best of Business award in Financial Management.
Brothers Mike and Steve Sands have built their specialty pharmacy business around serving customers, giving back to the community, building a trusting and capable staff and ensuring communication is at the very core of what they do. Mike explains, “We made a commitment from day one to give back to our community no matter what. Every month, we give a percentage of the profit from every prescription we fill to the Union Gospel Mission’s Women’s and Children’s Center of Hope. The more successful our business becomes, the more we continue to give back. We treat customers and team members like family, and we look out for one another. We believe our success stems from the fact that we believe in our people and talking things out as a team. We address challenges with each other openly and work through our differences. We always try to be transparent with each other and our customers.”
Giving back, trust and communication are cornerstones within the daily operations at SandsRx Pharmacy. The most important financial indicators for the business include net income/earnings, total income/revenue, net income margin and gross profit margin, while their key performance indicators are centered around inventory levels, cost of goods sold and accounts receivables. Mike says, “The relationship between those two metrics has a significant effect on our net income figure every month, so if we start seeing abnormalities in our profitability numbers, we can usually identify the issues by analyzing our cost of goods sold and/or inventory levels for outlier data.” If the company’s performance indicators suggest a problem, the SandsRx team begins their own internal analysis with their financial team, which entails drilling down into subcategories of performance indicators. Every six months, the team has an independent third party come onsite to conduct a full inventory audit in each of their pharmacies. They review payroll reports and sales commissions to search for errors. “If there ever is an issue, we formulate a plan on how we are going to make adjustments to get finances back in order. This often requires making difficult reductions or cutting back in various areas, but we have become pretty astute at understanding what adjustments we need to make in order to see positive results quickly. We make sure we communicate the plan very clearly to our executive and finance teams so we can each do our part to execute the plan and pass the message on to each of our departments,” Mike explains.
SandsRx Pharmacy has multiple income streams or business lines that are independent from each other, and precisely managing inventory levels and cost of goods sold is paramount. “There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to understanding the timing and methodology behind our overall inventory purchasing and how it all affects our ability to remain profitable and stay competitive in the market. With the exception of a few of our business lines, we mostly operate on thin profit margins. We have had to develop sophisticated buying systems in order to maximize every ounce of available profit we can squeeze out because there is not much available to begin with. We want to be able to make a profit, but we also have to be hyper aware of what competitors are charging or we will lose business,” Mike says.
The SandsRx Pharmacy team’s goal is to be licensed in every state and have a brick and mortar store located in cities around the U.S., which they have already begun doing through a hybrid-type of franchise model.
Von Anthony Salon
Hiring and maintaining an exceptional staff that cares for customers and shares company values is not an easy task. It must be approached and handled with expertise, care and an unmatched passion for hiring only the best. Kerry and Amy Hovland at Von Anthony Salon have mastered creating winning teams within their full-service luxury salon and have earned the Best of Business award in Hiring and On-Boarding.
The Hovlands have created a beautiful canvas to achieve customers’ dream hairstyles. Mr. Hovland wanted a “destination” salon different from all others – one that met their level of customer service. He also wanted a beautiful place for his wife to work, so he designed the salon to be the place of choice for both the client and the stylist. “When Von Anthony Salon opened in 2009, we had a very specific mission and purpose: to raise the level of professionalism in our industry. Our first staff members were hand-selected and invited to join our team based on qualities and values we felt matched our mission statement. We have held our staff to a high level of accountability and have been focused on serving guests. Our motto has always been, ‘If it is not about the guest, it does not belong.’ We found the motto alone has done more for our culture than any other ‘rule’ we have implemented because it takes away from our own self-centeredness and ego, which allows us to focus on the guest and doing what is best for them,” Mr. Hovland shares.
In working to sustain the company culture, the Hovlands invest in their team and provide them with all of the resources and support they need to be successful. The company’s zero compromise to hiring like-minded professionals ensures that their commitment to guests will always be their first priority and that service levels will be consistently very high. “We do not lose people, so we do not have to replace people. We hire for growth,” Mr. Hovland explains. “Simply put, when we add to our team, we seek out extraordinary people. Our ideal candidate has a passion and love for our industry with a natural desire to serve and please others. We seek candidates who are servants at heart … people who want to be part of a team. The ideal candidate must be driven to grow, learn and change.”
The Von Anthony hiring process includes a rigorous interview process where candidates first meet with a salon manager. An initial first impression is gathered and it is determined if the candidate would be a good fit. From there, they are invited back to meet with the management team and move on to a working interview. Mr. Hovland adds, “If they are applying to become a stylist, they would bring in a model and work on our salon floor. A support staff candidate would shadow behind the front desk. We closely observe how they interact with the team and our guests.”
As part of the on-boarding process, new team members go through an orientation process that covers the employee handbook, dress code, employment agreements and expectations. All new team members are assigned a mentor to ensure a quick and easy transition into the company culture, and team members who end up service providers rotate between professional mentors and technical educators on a frequent basis so they can gather knowledge as quickly as possible. “Education is the key. Within the first few weeks, all new hires will receive a comprehensive product knowledge class on all our products directly from the product manufacturers,” Mr. Hovland explains. “Our apprentice program is 50 weeks and monitored on a weekly basis with testing on service and products in effort to move to the next level.”
Frisco Pediatric Dentistry
Compensation and rewards allow business owners to operate at the top of their game with teams that are happy to work toward company goals while supporting each other. Along with satisfied customers, happy, driven and well-taken-care-of employees are why Frisco Pediatric Dentistry has earned the Best of Business award for Compensation and Rewards.
Dr. Diane Lide of Frisco Pediatric Dentistry grew up surrounded by the dental profession, as her dad was a pediatric dentist. “One of my favorite things growing up was seeing my dad interact with patients and parents outside of the office. We would run into patients while out to eat, at church or just running errands around town. Kids would run up to him smiling and giggling with outstretched arms ready to give him a big hug. Kids at my school would tell me he was their dentist with such pride in their voice,” Dr. Lide remembers. “Flash forward many years, and I am happy to say I get to experience all these wonderful interactions with patients too! It warms my heart!”
Dr. Lide has long had a passion for kids and has grown to understand that she can make a difference in their lives. “So many times I hear about adults who are afraid to go to the dentist because of their childhood experiences. I have made it my goal to raise ‘happy dental adults.’ I strive to make every experience a good one for children in our community, so they will grow up healthy and learn to take care of their dental health. I love what I do because I meet children who might be afraid, work with them on their level and own pace and create a happiness which gives them confidence they need to know this is a good and safe place to be. I do not look at my job as treating teeth. I am taking care of people,” Dr. Lide shares.
Dr. Lide ensures her business’ compensation and rewards are competitive by gathering information about market pay rates nationally and locally. Internet searches provide a range of salaries for dental office jobs, and Dr. Lide places her pay rates between the 80-90th percentile, depending on the employee’s level of experience and prior knowledge of the job. “I stay competitive with my rewards programs by making sure my team is rewarded in several ways, multiple times throughout the year. I work hard to routinely provide rewards for my employees that include lunch at one or two of our monthly meetings, team lunch and cake on every birthday, cards of appreciation for employees, and I just implemented a bonus system based on a collection of numbers. I take the team to continuing education each year and occasionally allow them to leave early with pay if all necessary work is done. Each August and December, the team enjoys a paid fun day which has included manicures and pedicures, movies, pottery classes, shopping sprees, etc. I know I cannot do my job without my team, and I try to reward them in any way I can,” Dr. Lide shares.
The team takes care of other people, and in order to do that well, the team must feel taken care of. “I have found, if the team feels happy, safe and appreciated, their ability to make patients feel the same way is multiplied tenfold. The team’s happiness becomes contagious, and the patients can sense the fun and joy through all the people in the office,” Dr. Lide says.