August 17, 2018

Paul Kadri Offers Tips on Good Vendor Relationships

Paul-Kadri-HandshakeFor more than 19 years Paul Kadri has been a manager in both government and education. Trying to get the most resources out of the money available has been a goal each and every year. In this interview, Paul Kadri offers some thoughts on what has brought him success in working with vendors to develop win-win opportunities.

Interviewing Experts: You have been a manager for many years. In what areas have you worked with vendors?

Paul Kadri: There are probably too many areas to even remember. Obviously one thinks of computers, custodial supplies, and office supplies. But that can also include mowing grass, consulting services, etc.

Interviewing Experts: Is there something that they all have in common?

Paul Kadri: Two things they have in common: one of them is identical in every organization and the other could be different but it still exists. The identical component is the reality that vendors need to make money. If they lose money working with you, you’re unlikely to get the best service. The other commonality is that every company has their “nature.” This means that they have a way of doing business that may be slightly different from how others do business.

Interviewing Experts: Why is understanding these two components important for vendor relations?

Paul Kadri: A business is nothing more than a collection of people. If you have a worker that reports to you, they will be more motivated the more they believe that you understand them as an individual and are looking out for them. In the same way, a vendor will be more motivated to help you if they feel that you are looking out for them.

Interviewing Experts: Let’s start with the first component you mentioned. Isn’t it a given that all vendors want to make money?

Paul Kadri: Of course vendors want to make money. Opposite of that, we want to spend less and get more. The trick in the relationship is to find the place where the vendor is happy with the money they make, and we are happy with the services we receive. By understanding how the vendor makes money, I was able to find opportunities to get the best value from them.

Interviewing Experts: Can you give an example of how you did that?

Paul Kadri: Sure. Most organizations have a sales force. A salesperson has a sales plan. It would not be uncommon for me to sit down with the salesperson and talk about their sales plan. There may be certain products that the company is trying to sell more than others. If that is a product that I would like to have, then not only will I get a better price for that product, but I help the salesperson reach their goals, which makes them more responsive to my needs.

Interviewing Experts: It sounds obvious, but at the same time, it almost sounds underhanded?

Paul Kadri: I can assure you that finding a win-win solution with your vendor is celebrated on both sides.

Interviewing Experts: Let’s talk about your second point. What did you mean about the nature that exists within an organization?

Paul Kadri: It is impossible to specify what the different nature will look like, except to say that each organization will have its unique characteristics that influence how to create the best relationship. Let me offer a simple example. There’s a computer manufacturer whose fiscal year ends in February rather than December. Companies are more likely to give deeper discounts at their fiscal year end. By changing when we purchased, we were able to get significantly more for our dollar, and the company was actually happier.

Interviewing Experts: That seems so obvious. Were you taught that or did you come up with the strategy?

Paul Kadri: No one taught it to me, and I do believe I’m one of the few people who operates this way. It originates from two things: First, I was a salesman for a brief period of time and know the stress that they are under; and second, I believe that direct communication is the best way to find a win-win scenario.

Interviewing Experts: Your concept sounds great, but I was always under the impression that competition was the best way to get value?

Paul Kadri: Some people do firmly believe that you get the best value by playing one vendor off of another vendor to get the lowest price. I strongly disagree with that. While one may get the lowest upfront price by having that competition, I believe I get much greater value by having a relationship with a vendor like I describe above. There are always times when you need a vendor to fix a problem or to address a crisis. By having a relationship, managing those circumstances becomes easy and cheap.

Interviewing Experts: Have you ever gotten any feedback from vendors?

Paul Kadri: Absolutely. As a matter fact, Dell Computer valued this approach so much, that they let me speak to their sales force and asked me to sit on their national advisory committee.

Interviewing Experts: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Paul Kadri: Someone could be reading this and wondering how I got around state purchasing laws, given that I worked in the public sector. One always has to make sure to remain within the laws. With the states in which I worked, one could always negotiate with a vendor as long as the price of the item was below the state contract price. Please check your state’s rules and understand them thoroughly.

Interviewing Experts: Have you ever thought about having a workshop on vendor relationships?

Paul Kadri: I think I will do that after I retire. For right now, I would like to continue getting the best deals for the organizations in which I work.

Paul Kadri has been a highly successful public school administrator for 16 years. In addition to exceeding expectations, Paul Kadri is known for creative vision and the ability to solve complex problems.

Learning a Musical Instrument at Any Age

learning-a-musical-instrument-at-any-ageLearning to play an instrument at any age comes with set of challenges.  Whether it’s the piano, banjo, or autoharp, mastering a musical instrument is like learning a new language.  To adults who have never played before, learning to play can feel like learning to speak Chinese and program computers – at the same time.  But, it’s not impossible for adults, just a little more difficult.

When children begin learning to play instruments, their brains are still growing new brain cells and some of those new cells become devoted to playing.  In the adult brain, learning an instrument requires that new connections are created, as cell growth in the brain is done.  This leads to challenges for adults who are picking up an instrument for the first time, but it isn’t insurmountable.

In order for adults to be successful, they must accept that (1) they will not become virtuosos, (2) it will be difficult, and (3) it is a little scary at first.  Getting over those psychological barriers goes a long way to learning to play.  Finding a great teacher is also key.  Rather than looking for the best musician in town, consider a teacher who understands how adults learn.  Teachers who understand adults will offer constructive criticism that will aid in getting the most out of practice sessions and future lessons.

When deciding whether or not to pick up that guitar that’s been sitting in attic, untouched until “someday,” think about the benefits that can result from learning.  The practice and concentration that go into learning to play are good for the brain.  Playing requires the use of so many parts of the brain, often at the same time, the brain will experience a tremendous workout.  Playing an instrument can also help ward off depression, boredom, and loneliness in old age.  And, there is no better feeling than that of accomplishment, even if it comes in the form of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”



David Contarino Sheds Light on Historic Congressional Win

David ContarinoPolitical strategist David Contarino speaks with the staff at Interviewing Experts regarding the astonishing win by underdog Michelle Lujan Grisham in the 2012 Democratic primary for Congress. Grisham went on to defeat Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the general election.

Interviewing Experts: Thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us exactly what role you played in this campaign?

David Contarino: I served now Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as a consultant and senior advisor.

Interviewing Experts: You have been noted as saying that your work was easy once people understood who Michelle Grisham was.

David Contarino: Absolutely, yes. Congresswoman Grisham was an outstanding candidate. She was disciplined and courageous and demonstrated a commitment to the voters of the district that could not be matched by her opponents.

Interviewing Experts: And the congresswoman had some great supporters…

David Contarino: She had many key allies. Notably Emily’s list – a political group dedicated to helping pro-choice Democratic women win House and Senate seats. The organization also works for Democratic women entering gubernatorial races.

Interviewing Experts: Congresswoman Grisham relied on a lot of newspaper articles in the final leg of the campaign – why?

David Contarino: We used specific documents and public news articles to outline specific deficiencies in the opposition.

Interviewing Experts: And this this worked?

David Contarino: Voters responded so, yes. Virtually all undecided voters broke heavily toward Lujan Grisham in the final days and she went resounding victory by five percentage points.

Interviewing Experts: Toward the end of the campaign, one of the opponents launched a pretty tough attack against Congresswoman Grisham. Can you tell us why she never publicly responded?

David Contarino: She was tempted to respond, certainly. However, the Lujan Grisham campaign stuck with the strategy of believing that its own positive advertising and endorsements would blunt the dubious charges.

Interviewing Experts: That seems like a dangerous strategy as much as the media likes controversy.

David Contarino: The congresswoman had enough well respected third-party endorsements that it should have been obvious that any negative attacks were just feeble attempts to discredit the former State Health Department secretary.

Interviewing Experts: What are some of Grisham’s key priorities?

David Contarino: Lujan Grisham has always been a strong advocate for the people. She is additionally passionate in her defense of women’s health choices.

Interviewing Experts: Going back to those final weeks of the campaign – it seems that Grisham was more visible than her previously higher-profile rivals…

David Contarino: We chose to conserve funds early in the campaign, which meant we would have reserves for later.

Interviewing Experts: Grisham entered the contest late, correct?

David Contarino: I like to think that her opponents just got a head start.

Interviewing Experts: You were her senior advisor – who else was prolific throughout the campaign?

David Contarino: First and foremost, the volunteers; without them, their support, and unrivaled dedication to the cause we could have never done it. I worked closely with Dominic Gabello (campaign manager) and key staffers Debbie Armstrong and Gilbert Gallagos.

Interviewing Experts:  It’s pretty amazing that Grisham went on to win the general election after finishing third in the state convention.

David Contarino: It is definitely a rags to riches story, so to speak. We elected to spend very little early on, including at the convention. We decided that television advertising in the final weeks would be more effective.

Interviewing Experts: It seems you were correct…

David Contarino: Thank you.

Interviewing Experts: Before we close, we’d like to talk a bit about yourself and Congresswoman Grisham.

David Contarino: I’ve been in politics for as long as I can remember – more than 25 years, actually. I have served as a media consultant, campaign manager, and advisor. I have held responsibility in numerous successful campaigns.

Interviewing Experts: And you worked for a while under a very well known governor?

David Contarino: I was Chief of Staff for Bill Richardson – the former governor of New Mexico.

Interviewing Experts: This is assumably how you met Grisham – can you give us a quick background on her?

David Contarino: Grisham has a long family history and politics with an uncle, a cousin, and her grandfather all having been involved in New Mexico government.

Interviewing Experts: Thank you for your time today – we look forward to seeing you in the future.

David Contarino: I certainly appreciate the opportunity.

About David Contarino: David Contarino is an experience political strategist who has served under Bill Richardson and Jeff Bingaman, notably. His work with Democratic groups across the country have helped place candidates like Michelle Grisham. David Contarino is the president of Louisville, Kentucky’s Contarino & Associates.

Personal Protection from ID Theft

In a society where sharing mundane details of your personal life is the norm, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. Here are a few tips to help keep your personal information safe from ID thieves.

Criminals can acquire personal identification through a number of different privacy breaches. Typically, the perpetrators get the information directly from victims by fraudulently gathering information via trash piles, theft of personal documents from homes and vehicles, or—more brazenly—by pickpocketing or purse snatching.

While no one can guarantee they won’t become a victim of identity theft at some point, there are a few ways to help thwart would-be title takers.

Omit. The risk of ID theft can be mitigated partially by not offering too much personal information online or over the telephone. Many companies have a standard contact form that asks for a plethora of personal information. Often, many of these fields are not required but get completed anyway. A good rule here is offer only the information needed to complete a specific task at hand. Social Security cards should not be kept on one’s person and the number should not be filled out on medical or other forms not related to employment.

Destroy. Simply enough, destroying personal information keeps it out of the hands of criminals. A shredder is invaluable for getting rid of all documents. A word of warning: don’t throw the shredder’s wastebasket away without dividing it among a few different outgoing trash bags. A desperate criminal can—and will—piece together bits of information if they must.

Secure. When filling out a form online make sure that it’s on a secure and encrypted page. Double-check the web addresses and if it doesn’t begin with https (note the “s” on the end), it’s not a secure site. Also, PCs should be set at the highest possible security setting to guard against malware or invisible phishing schemes.

In recent years, many commercially available ID theft protection services have become available. These may offer some level of protection but cannot guard 100 percent against all forms of identity theft.



Rick Dover Addresses the Building Structure Needs of Senior Adults

Rick Dover

Rick Dover

Rick Dover is the general manager of Family Pride Corporation, a family owned and operated company that designs, builds, renovates and manages assisted living facilities for senior adults at affordable rates.

Interviewing Experts: Thank you, Rick Dover, for taking the time to speak with us today.

Rick Dover: It’s my pleasure. I’m always eager to talk about Family Pride Corporation and the services we provide.

Interviewing Experts: How did you first become interested in providing senior adult housing?

Rick Dover: My grandfather, Richard Emerson, needed more care than we could provide at home. We researched assisted living facilities, but couldn’t find the perfect fit for him.

Interviewing Experts: Why is that?

Rick Dover: Large chains usually don’t focus on residents’ individual preferences, so our loved ones’ desires are often sacrificed to a daily regimen for the sake of expediency. We didn’t want that style of care for my grandfather.

Interviewing Experts: So you decided to build it yourself?

Rick Dover: Yes. He’s my grandfather. We wanted the best for him and that was the only way we could get everything on our wish list.

Interviewing Experts: What spurred you to expand the operation?

Rick Dover: When we saw how happy my grandfather was in his new home, we realized that was what everyone wanted for their loved ones. We decided to offer others that choice.

Interviewing Experts: What exactly do your facilities offer that you can’t find elsewhere?

Rick Dover: Maybe it’s the difference between a house and a home. A house is shelter, a place where people live, but a home is a place they love to be. We like to think of our residents as family and our centers as home.

Interviewing Experts: Can you elaborate on that?

Rick Dover: We create personalized care plans that take into account the different personalities and desires of our residents. We offer comfort and support and leave our residents’ dignity intact.

Interviewing Experts: What are seniors and their families looking for in senior living housing?

Rick Dover: Studies show that seniors want homes that are easy to manage, less expensive to operate, constructed with safety in mind, and affordable. We design our facilities with all of that in mind and then add the little extras that make it special.

Interviewing Experts: What do you do about seniors who need help but don’t want to admit it?

Rick Dover: A family can’t force a loved one to accept help or move into an assisted living facility; however, they can provide them with information and reassurance. We suggest families ask others for help. Often a senior adult will listen to his or her doctor or another impartial party in these situations.

Interviewing Experts: You offer other options for seniors besides assisted living, correct?

Rick Dover: Our centers offer different communities for independent living, assisted living and dementia care.

Interviewing Experts: What is the difference between independent and assisted living?

Rick Dover: Residents can choose the level of care they want. Each program is designed around the individual resident’s wants and needs. As those needs change, the level of care is adjusted accordingly.

Interviewing Experts: It sounds like Family Pride Corporation covers a wide range of options.

Rick Dover: We think those choices are what make us unique. Senior adults have different needs, and we help them and their families with the transition through the various stages of aging.

Interviewing Experts: What do you mean by “various stages” of aging?

Rick Dover: Aging is just another phase of a person’s life. Senior living and assisted living isn’t a bad thing. More often than not it’s an exciting adventure of meeting new friends and building more memories.

Interviewing Experts: It almost sounds like a holiday.

Rick Dover: Some of our residents say they feel like it’s like a vacation when they move into our independent living homes.

Interviewing Experts: Why is that?

Rick Dover: Many are downsizing from large homes that require a lot of work and expense.

Interviewing Experts: So it’s a vacation from worry?

Rick Dover: That and more.

Interviewing Experts: Are there ever regrets?

Rick Dover: This isn’t a rash decision. It is a well thought-out life plan. The only regret I’ve ever heard was that they didn’t reach the decision earlier.

Interviewing Experts: What about cost?

Rick Dover: Our residents pay one monthly payment. There are no hidden costs and no deposits or buy-in fees.

Rick Dover and Family Pride Corporation renovate, design, build, manage and maintain award-winning residential environments. Their senior living centers provide the very best service to residents at affordable rates.

Matt Schilit on Incorporating iPads into the Life of a School Administrator

Matt Schilit

Matt Schilit

Matt Schilit is a longtime school administrator, having served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.  In his current position with the Allendale County School District in South Carolina, Matt Schilit supervises all data, evaluation and testing. Since testing is an integral part of a school’s funding, it is important for school systems to find leaders such at Matt Schilit with extensive experience in the classroom environment.

Recently, Matt Schilit sat down for a conversation about the exciting new opportunities that technology, such as the Apple iPad, can bring to the school administrator’s job performance.

Interviewing Experts: Matt Schilit, you have voiced a great deal of enthusiasm about the Apple iPad. How is it so different from a laptop computer?

Matt Schilit:  It is the portability and wide variety of applications that set the iPad apart.  It used to seem so easy to bring a laptop into a meeting but now even that seems clunky and old-school!  The iPad is so small I can take it with me wherever I go and access all its amazing applications.

Interviewing Experts: Matt Schilit, what kind of applications do you refer to?

Matt Schilit:  With communication apps such as Skype and Google Talk, I can go anywhere in the school or off campus and still stay in touch with my staff, including every teacher in every classroom! And I am totally connected to the outside world as well.

Interviewing Experts: Matt Schilit, how about the increased ability to be away from your office; is there a downside to that?

Matt Schilit:  Not really.  With applications like Dropbox, Google Docs, and Docs to Go, I have access to all my documents stored in the Cloud. I can type a letter to a parent, save it to my Google Docs or Dropbox and have immediate access to that document using my Docs to Go app.  Back in the office I can then edit, print and send it.

Interviewing Experts: Matt Schilit, are you also able to access shared documents?

Matt Schilit:  Yes, of course.  With those same applications I have access to my entire professional document library, also stored in the Cloud.   I have immediate access to all official school documents such as the Student Handbook.

Interviewing Experts: Matt Schilit, is there any other plus to using this new technology?

Matt Schilit:  Well, besides the general boost to organizational efficiency, there is an image element as well.  Carrying and using an iPad as an administrator shows how much you as the leader embrace technology as it makes your job easier while you lead the school.  It’s inspiring to the teachers and students.

Matt Schilit holds a BA in Physical Education and a Master’s in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.



Kelley D. Hamilton Discusses the Growing Number of Centenarians

Kelley D. Hamilton

Kelley D. Hamilton

Kelley D. Hamilton is co-owner and Chief Executive Officer of Bonaventure Senior Living. The mission of Bonaventure is to provide an exceptional Senior lifestyle through a dedicated and compassionate team, innovative communities and enriched services that promote dignity, choice and independence. Recently, the staff of Interviewing Experts sat down for a brief conversation with Kelley D. Hamilton.

Interviewing Experts: What does it take to join the exclusive club of centenarians?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  First of all, you must live to be 100! That is something Americans are doing in increasing numbers.

Interviewing Experts: Do you happen to know any statistics about how many adults are living to the century mark?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  The last census data put the number of U.S. centenarians at 53,364. That’s up 65.8% over the 1980 numbers.

Interviewing Experts: What are we doing differently than we were three decades ago?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Diet, exercise, and less stress have been shown to be quite effective in living a longer, healthier life. Perhaps people finally realized that and changed their habits accordingly.

Interviewing Experts: Does attitude factor in living longer?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  I believe so. I once heard a man who was forced into retirement say that now he was just sitting around waiting to die.

Interviewing Experts: That’s terrible!

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Yes it is, and unhealthy in so many ways. We at Bonaventure encourage our residents to find a new focus after retirement and live life to its fullest potential.

Interviewing Experts: And you think that makes a difference…

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Most definitely. Age is just a number. Think younger! Try something new.

Interviewing Experts: Like what, for instance?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Well for starters, we encourage Bonaventure residents to challenge their minds. Get that college degree or start a new career around a well-loved hobby. Become a techie.

Interviewing Experts: A techie?

Kelley D. Hamilton:   Yes. A poll of U.S. centenarians showed that many get online to stay connected to friends, family, and current events. It makes them feel relevant in today’s world.

Interviewing Experts: So are you saying that seniors now use e-mail instead of snail mail?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  The number of senior adults who keep up with the latest technology is growing. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype help seniors stay involved socially and keep their minds agile.

Interviewing Experts: But doesn’t that mean seniors will withdraw from daily life?

Kelley D. Hamilton:   Not at all. When they discover they can google lost friends and make new ones, it opens up a whole new world. It gives them something relevant to bring to their social interactions.

Interviewing Experts: So to recap, what are some characteristics that would make a person more likely to live longer?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Healthy, happy ones! So, eat healthy, exercise, and be happy. Strive to be optimistic and don’t stress over the small things.

Interviewing Experts: Switching gears a bit, can you tell us who is the longest living person ever documented?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  A French woman named Jeanne Calment holds that honor. She was 122 years (and her age was verified) when she died in 1997.

Interviewing Experts: She must have been very healthy. Did she remain active throughout her life?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  She did. Ms. Calment took up fencing at age 85 and was still riding a bicycle at 100. She lived on her own until she was 101.

Interviewing Experts: Do centenarians have certain things in common that help them live longer?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  They are rarely overweight, exercise regularly, eat very little meat, and spend a lot of time with their family and friends.

Interviewing Experts: What about genetics? How much do good genes play in achieving the age of 100?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Genetics play a significant role in longevity, but it isn’t the major factor. One study showed that attaining centenarian status was 20% to 30% genes and 70% to 80% environment.

Interviewing Experts: What country has the highest population of centenarians, and why?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa’s citizens eat very little meat and dairy. Their diet is filled with fish, vegetables, and whole grain foods.

Interviewing Experts: What is the biggest obstacle in reaching centenarian status in the U.S?

Kelley D. Hamilton:  Well, if I had to pick just one, it would be obesity. Obesity contributes to a number of deadly diseases. Life expectancy has seen a dramatic increase in the last century and half because of advances in medicine and better nutrition, but some experts predict that those rates will decrease if the U.S. population continues to become more obese.
Kelley D. Hamilton is passionate about offering senior adults the best in assisted living and retirement accommodations. Bonaventure communities can be found in the Western United States. For more information, visit

Casa Sandoval Discusses Care and Prevention of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Casa Sandoval

Casa Sandoval

Casa Sandoval serves hundreds of seniors each year through assisted and independent living facilities and enrichment programming. Voted the “Best of the Bay” for Assisted and Independent Living by KRON Channel 4 in 2009, Casa Sandoval knows what seniors need to stay as healthy and active as possible. Casa Sandoval serves seniors across a spectrum of needs from healthy, active retirees to those needing assisted care. Here, Casa Sandoval offers some advice for caregivers who have the opportunity to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

Casa Sandoval acknowledges that dementia can change many facets of a loved one’s personality. While he or she may once have been calm and easygoing, he or she now may be combative, aggressive, and prone to outbursts. Casa Sandoval says it’s important to remember to be patient, as it’s often the disease’s effects on the brain causing these changes in behavior.

Casa Sandoval states that the best way to care for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia is to make a plan and stick to it. This includes things like establishing a strict daily schedule to follow and limiting choices. People with dementia are often fearful of new things and following a familiar routine day in and day out is often comforting. It’s also important to reduce the loved one’s daily decisions. Choosing between two food options or two outfits is far less distressing than ordering from a menu or picking an outfit from a closet full of clothing, explains Casa Sandoval.

It’s also important to take it one step at a time and to give simple instructions when asking the loved one to do something. Asking too much at once or giving complex directions that require a great attention to detail may backfire and cause frustration. Casa Sandoval also recommends limiting distractions when speaking with the loved one, as dementia can affect a patient’s attention span and ability to concentrate and focus.

Finally, Casa Sandoval notes that it pays to simply be flexible and learn to adapt with the challenges of the disease — and to always be there for the loved one with support and love. As Casa Sandoval advises, preventing and slowing the onset of cognitive impairment is a major concern of the aging population. One of the many ways researchers have identified for slowing or preventing conditions such as Alzheimer’s is eating foods with high-impact on brain health and avoiding foods high in “bad”, or saturated, fats. Casa Sandoval affirms that eating right is not the only way to reduce the risk of these conditions, but is an easy place to start.

Eating Right to Reduce Risk of Dementia

Just as mother always said, eating fruits and vegetables is good for you and great for your brain, confirms Casa Sandoval. For vegetables, think green and eat a lot of spinach, kale, and other leafy greens. When picking the right fruit, start with any kind of berry, then throw in some apples and a grapefruit here and there. According to Casa Sandoval, the idea is to take in antioxidants that will clean out free radicals that destroy cells, reduce inflammation, and allow the brain to operate better.

Similarly, researchers advise eating nuts high in Omega-3 fat, like walnuts, which also contain flavonoids that help protect the brain. Eating fatty fish, like salmon, can lower the blood levels of a protein named beta-amyloid that is thought to play a role in causing Alzheimer’s.

While the list of brain-healthy foods includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, have a glass of red wine, a square of dark chocolate, and a few cups of coffee—all of which have been found to boost memory and support brain health, recommends Casa Sandoval.

For more information about Casa Sandoval, or to contact the staff at Casa Sandoval, go online to

Before You Move: Important Questions to Ask Before You Relocate

Relocating to a new city, state or country is a big decision that should be approached with caution and therefore deserves some serious consideration. Whatever your reasons to relocate may be, ask yourself some questions and then give them realistic answers. Here are a few that may help you decide whether relocating is a good idea.

1. Will I Find A Job?

Employment trends vary from city to city. Make sure the new city offers plenty of job opportunities in your field. Check online and local job openings or contact the companies directly.

2. Is the Region Affordable?

The cost of living is different from place to place. Consider the cost of real estate, food, gas, utilities and rent. Find out what salary you can expect to earn and then do your calculations.

3. What Environment Can I Expect?

If you decide to move from a small town to a metropolitan city, the environment at work and in traffic can be very different. Big cities move at a faster pace than small towns which may be more laid back.

4. What About the Climate?

If you are used to living in a place where warm temperatures and sunshine are your constant companions, you may have a hard time getting used to freezing climates. Also consider natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Figure out what type of environment makes you feel good and happy.

5. What Will My Daily Commute Be Like?

In some cities a long commute to work is part of life. Sitting on freeways for long periods of time is completely normal. People accept it and get used to it. In other cities people rely mainly on public transportation to get them to and from work. Think about what you prefer and what you are most comfortable with.

6. Can My Partner Find A Job?

It is probable that your spouse or partner will need to find a job too. Check the opportunities for your significant other or this move may not be right for you.

7. What Work Environment Can I Expect?

Your work environment will dictate everything from your work attire to how you greet and communicate with clients. Usually, bigger cities tend to have a more formal work environment than smaller towns. If you don’t like wearing a suit and tie to work every day, you should give this some thought.


Gregory Fake Discusses His Business-Rich Career Path

Gregory Fake

Gregory Fake

Gregory Fake is an assistant television producer for Lifetime Television’s show, The Balancing Act.  Prior to television, Gregory Fake spent much of his career in business.  In the following interview, Gregory Fake describes his career path thus far.

Q:  How did you get interested in business?

Gregory Fake:  My grandfather was a worker on high steel and passionately interested in the stock market.  I grew up with stocks in that sense and was very aware of the markets from an early age.

Q:  It sounds like your grandfather deserves a lot of credit for where you are today.

Gregory Fake:  Yes, not only did I have a great desire to be like him, but he also put me through college.  So, yes, I owe him a great deal.

Q:  What type of business training have you received?

Gregory Fake:  I received my degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to get a law degree from Georgetown soon after.

Q:  What types of positions have you held in the business world?

Gregory Fake:  I have had tremendous opportunities in my career.  Fresh out of college, I worked for Andersen Consulting, one of the most prominent consulting firms in the world.  Then, I went on to work with several Fortune 500 companies developing and implementing manufacturing resource planning systems, customer service databases, and internal computer systems.

Q:  These sound like complex projects; what was your most complicated or memorable project?

Gregory Fake:  I helped the Federal Government design and develop their overall general ledger system for use in the General Accounting Office.  I also worked on programs for AMP Incorporated and The Campbell Soup Company that were relatively complex.

Q:  And what did you do with your law degree?

Gregory Fake:  I worked in banking law and was an enforcement attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Q:  What is so appealing to you about business?

Gregory Fake:  Business is what makes our world run; without it, we’d get nowhere.  Businesses provide the critical services and products that keep our communities functioning and thriving.

Q:  How did your business experience prepare you for television production?

Gregory Fake:  Over the years, while involved in the business sector, I helped produce a number of programs for businesses.

Q:  And has your past experience in business helped you succeed in producing television specifically for women?

Gregory Fake:  Absolutely. The Balancing Act is all about empowering women.  I have become adept at identifying issues that are important and helpful for women, just like one would with a client in the business sector.

Q:  Yes, but business isn’t always fun, is it?

Gregory Fake:  It is to me!  But, yes, The Balancing Act certainly has to be entertaining; it is television after all.

Gregory Fake lives with his wife and children in Pompano Beach, Florida.  In addition to his many professional endeavors, Gregory Fake is a deacon in his church, a prison minister, and an avid outdoorsman.