How’s Biz?

By Ilene Denton November 30, 2011

Lisa Arrigo HobanLisa Arrigo Hoban

LA Events

“I coordinate special events for companies, individuals and not-for-profits—a lot of grand openings, and I’ve been coordinating USF’s Brunch on the Bay, with 22 catering stations and a thousand attendees, for 12 years. This time of year, business is fantastic. Many companies are having customer and staff appreciation parties; many of them have been scaled back in extravagance, but the holiday festivities continue. I was completely booked by October for December weekend holiday parties. I work with my clients on their budgets; you can still have your parties, you just have to be more creative.”

Gary SimoneGary Simone

CEO, 1st Choice Industries

“We’ve added 22 full-time staff since January, and we’re extremely busy. We do a lot of general contracting work in the retail sector across 32 states; it’s a sign that the market is picking up for our clients. Locally we’ve expanded our cabinet and millwork shop and are installing everything from kitchen cabinets to furniture in homes all along the keys. We’re very diverse. People ask me, ‘You’re a general contractor, and you’ll do a $200 repair?’ Yes, I will, and I do a hundred of them a day. Because when [our clients] need something bigger, they’ll call the company they’re already working with.”

Bret WallinBret Wallin

Owner, Walt’s Fish Market Restaurant

“Incredible. We just reopened in October after an extensive remodel, the first time we’ve remodeled since we opened in this location in 1975. We increased seating by 22 seats and enlarged the bathrooms. We’re getting ready for our big expansion next year, when we’ll be adding 75 seats and a bar. I credit our increased business to the fact that we’ve been around a long time and we improve every day. We’re a local business; I do a lot of my own fishing.”

Art Lambert, owner, LexJet CorporationMy Worst Mistake

“Once we refocused back on the employee experience, everything started to pop again.”

“We kind of lost our way at Lexjet—we introduced top-down inflicted stress by focusing on the numbers and not the people. We had built the whole company on the principle of making our people happy, and we returned to that: Have fun, make money, and don’t get in anybody’s way of having fun and making money.”—Art Lambert, owner, LexJet Corporation

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