Monthly Archives: April 2014

Toyota Moving Headquarters from California to Texas

Jim Lentz

Jim Lentz

In a move that could affect as many as 5,300 employees, Toyota will be moving its US headquarters from Torrance, outside Los Angeles, to a suburb of Dallas, Texas. The move will strategically locate the car manufacturer’s head office close to where the majority of its US product is built.

Jim Lentz, chief executive of Toyota’s North American division will most likely address the public early this week on the planned move. It is not known at this time how many of the 5,300 workers at the Torrance complex will be requested to make the move, which will most likely happen in stages over several years.

Toyota opened its first office in Southern California in 1957. The following year they made their first sales, 288 vehicles. In 2013 Toyota topped 2.2 million cars sold in the US.

Los Angeles was picked as a convenient place for its first headquarters because of the nearness to the port where the cars were delivered from Japan and the proximity to the airport to take its execs back and forth from Tokyo. As the company expanded its US business they opened theirs national sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance in 1982.

A lot has changed for Toyota since 1982. Today close to three-quarters of the Toyota branded cars sold in the US are manufactured in America, with many plants in Texas, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Convenience, however, is not the only reason Toyota has decided to make the move to Texas. Toyota will join about 60 other companies that have made the move from Southern California to Texas since July 2012, said Texas Governor Rick Perry. The Governor visited California just a month ago recruiting companies to make the move. A group called “Americans for Economic Freedom” recently spent $300,000 on an advertising campaign which included Governor Perry saying that there are 50 companies in California considering either relocating or expanding into Texas due to its superior business climate.

The mayor of Torrance, Frank Scotto, explained his powerlessness to prevent companies from moving away:

“When any major corporation is courted by another state, it’s very difficult to combat that,” Scotto said. “We don’t have the tools we need to keep major corporations here. A company can easily see where it would benefit by relocating someplace else.”

One owner of several Toyota dealerships in Southern California commented that local sales will not be affected by the move, but he did say Toyota’s decision to move out of California is an “indictment of California’s business climate.”

Focus on Companies: Steven P. Rosenthal and Northland Investment Corporation

Steven P. Rosenthal, Northland Investment Corporation, President and CEO manages the strategic direction and the investments of the firm. In addition he is also in charge of all the aspects of the company’s portfolios; commercial, development and multifamily.

Northland is a real estate investment firm which is privately owned. They focus on purchasing, developing and operating a large variety of real estate types, including commercial, retail, industrial, multifamily and mixed-use properties. The bulk of Northland’s properties are found in the southern tier and along the East Coast of the United States. Northland’s portfolio is valued at about $2.5 billion, is highly diversified within the real estate sector, and is made up of some 18.5 million square feet of space.

Under the Rosenthal’s guidance, Northland has developed a mission which consists of joining an expertise in discovering great opportunities with a distinct contrarian perspective. Maintaining a serious work ethic Northland has been able to create value in a variety of ways:

  • Industry experts are sought out and hired
  • Looking in places for value that others overlooked
  • Complex transactions are never a stumbling block to furthering a deal
  • Public as well as private partnerships are undertaken
  • Stumbling blocks are seen as challenges and often overcome
  • Through diversification trends and opportunities are uncovered

Doral Bank Introduces the “Naricitas de Amor” Program for Cancer Awareness

Earlier this year Puerto Rican-based Doral Bank launched its “Naricitas de Amor” program designed to further the bank’s ongoing efforts to promote awareness about cancer and its treatment. The program was organized in partnership with the Pro Oncological Pediatric Department of the Hospital Pediátrico Universitario.

Local celebrities will participate in the program, whose name translates into English as “Love Noses.” All Doral Bank branches will have red clown noses available as a way to say thank you for as little as a $1 donation. The money collected will go directly, and entirely, to the creation of a new imaging center at the Hospital Pediátrico at Centro Médico de Puerto Rico through the CAP Foundation.

The program does not stop at an exchange of a nose for a dollar, however. Doral Bank is also encouraging participants in the program to take a picture of themselves wearing the red clown nose, and then uploading the picture to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook as a way to spread the word and show support.

Several artists and performers will be joining the cause, including Melina León, Grupo Manía, and Vivanativa. They will be encouraging the public to get involved in this worthy effort by uploading their photos to their social media profiles using the hashtag #naricitasdeamor.

“We have been creating community programs for cancer patients for more than six years. This includes the Ruta Pink for Women and the “Da Vida Caminando con Raymond” walk with Raymond Arrieta. We are proud to continue expanding our efforts, now to better the lives of these children with the Fundación CAP,” said Lucienne Gigante, SVP of Marketing, Public Relations and Community at Doral Bank.

Ed Sayres: Non-Profit Specialist and Consultant

Ed Sayres

Ed Sayres with a furry friend

After working in the non-profit sector for over 35 years, Ed Sayres launched his own firm, Sayres Consulting, in Millbrook, New York. Sayres’ firm offers advice to non-profit directors and senior management on crucial activities such as fundraising, board development, strategy, financial and crisis management.

From 2003 until 2013 Sayres was the president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a huge non-profit group whose mandate is to protect and promote the welfare of animals. Although the ASPCA was already one of the country’s largest animal rights organizations, this did not prevent Ed Sayres from furthering the non-profits growth and prominence. During Sayres’ tenure at the ASPCA he was able to increase private growth by 280 percent. According to “The Chronicle of Philanthropy” made the ASPCA the ‘top public charity’ during that time period. Membership increased three-fold, reaching an impressive 1.3 million. Grant making went up from half a million dollars to 17 million during that time.
Sayres also sought, and acquired, corporate support from some of America’s leading companies. Walmart, Subaru, Target, CVS and Pottery Barn all became supporters of the ASPCA due to Sayres efforts.

Another important transformation Sayres was able to implement successfully was his promotion of a ‘collaborative no-kill’ shelter model. He led an initiative with New York City’s Mayor’s Alliance for Animals which reduced the overall number of euthanized animals in city animal shelters and increased the number of adoptions from only 25 percent to 75 percent. He was able to repeat this success in ten additional nationwide cities, working closely with municipal and other non-profit animal welfare groups which, together, were able to find funding to rescue at-risk animals from being euthanized.

Previous to his work with the ASPCA Sayres was the president of the San Francisco SPCA, the director of the Phoenix-based PetSmart Charities, and director of the Colorado-based American Humane Association. Sayres is also the author of “Cinderella Dogs: Real-life, Fairy-tail Adoptations from the San Francisco SPCA.”

Toyota Recalls 1.8 Million Defective Cars

Toyota Recalls the Yaris

As part of a wider, international recall the giant Japanese automobile manufacturer, Toyota, is recalling 1.8 million vehicles for a variety of safety reasons. By the time the global recall is over at least6.39 million vehicles will have been sent back to the factory for repairs.

In the United States the recall involves 1.3 million cars with bad electrical connections that have the potential of deactivating air bags. If an air bag is deactivated it could  fail to inflate during an accident, leading to serious injury of even death.

An additional 472,500 small cars, including the 2006-2010 Yaris hatchbacks and 2007-2010 Yaris sedans, and the 2008-2010 Scion XDs are being recalled due to defective springs in the front seat rails, which could inhibit the seats from locking into place.

Toyota is also recalling 40,500 Pontiac Vibes even though it is made by General Motors because Toyota designed and engineered the car on behalf of GM when the two companies shared a factory in California. GM dealers said they will make the repairs as soon as Toyota sends them the necessary parts.

Toyota said that the cars are being recalled as a precaution; no known injuries have resulted from these defects. They added that Toyota has “made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and are committed to continued improvements.”

8 Online Safety Tips for Small Businesses: eSafely

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec recently launched a survey of US small businesses which revealed that although most believe they are safe from hackers and malware, their online security policies are extremely weak. As a result, small businesses are especially vulnerable.

The survey offers eight tips for improving online safety and ensuring safe internet use for small businesses:

  • Know what you need to protect.

  • Enforce strong password policies.

  • Map out a disaster preparedness plan today.

  • Encrypt confidential information.

  • Use a reliable security solution.

  • Protect information completely.

  • Stay up to date.

  • Educate employees.

Internet security is an issue wherever a network is open, whether at an office, a home computer or a public network such as those as libraries and coffee shops. Households with children are another easy target for hackers, and keeping personal information private and secure should be a priority. Educate your employees or household members to ensure that they practice safe internet use. Parents with young children may want to install parental controls like eSafely to keep their information safe and secure as well as to protect their children from inappropriate content or bullying.