In a tight job market, he who hesitates is lost

By Jim Annis, CEO

 

Oops … lost one. Oh, and there’s another. Wait for it … and … gone. What’s happening? Companies are losing key employees left and right. In the talent acquisition game, this market is hot, hot, hot. Companies cannot delay hiring people. Our headhunting and recruiting side of the business is so busy that we’ve had a handful of situations where companies who were interested in candidates lost out because they did not move quickly enough – literally within minutes. How many times can we say it? You snooze, you lose. The early bird gets the worm. Postponement is the father of failure. Has it sunk in yet?

Today’s job market operates on two assumptions related to procrastination. First, your A and B players – yes, the ones you employ right now – are being recruited constantly. Unless you create a culture worth staying for, then prepare to lose your shining stars. In the 2014 EPIC Report by EDAWN, the study created a forecast with the number of jobs and the number of residents that will potentially be located in the study areas by 2020. Based on current and anticipated growth trends, the study area was segmented in 18 “EPIC zones.” The where and how growth will occur is largely based on expected changes in land-use patterns and economic activity over time. The Regional Economics Models, Inc. (“REMI”) model projects the demographic, economic and associated public revenue changes the Study Area expected between 2015 and 2019. In 2014, the report suggested that the market would demand hiring 50,000 people in the next five years. Fifteen months later, hiring is above that curve. Population growth is above that curve. Are you willing to play ostrich and hide your head in the sand?

 The second assumption is that if you are recruiting, you are not the only one they are talking to, so you better give candidates the pay they want as well as paid time off. Finders keepers, losers weepers. It is a seller’s market. Caution – this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is another tough love article, just like our recent “$14 is the new $10.” Typically when there are plenty of candidates, as HR experts we counsel that you should do your due diligence and spend sufficient time to look for Mr. and Mrs. Perfect. During normal times, just the right experience, personality and fit are important. In this market, knowledge, skills and ability (or KSAs) are more important than fit because you have to act now and think later. It’s like we are in an opposite world.

The Applied Companies have been privileged to win many Best Places to Work Awards over the past several years. We are proud of our company culture. And yet we are still not immune to these market conditions. We lost a member of our C suite three years ago and it took a bit of time to recover. How will you act now to shape your company’s future?

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

4 business email etiquette tips

By Jim Annis

 

“As I said before, I’m sorry if this touches a nerve because I just know you people never read this column all the way to the end.” – The Annoying One

How did you react? The sentence encapsulates everything that can go wrong in workplace email communication. It floors us how much energy we spend (as HR experts) daily on adjudicating the damage that poorly written or poorly thought out emails cause. Are your emails driving business to your company, or sending people running to a competitor? How do you ensure a positive outcome? Set the bar high. Establish an expectation that open, honest and appropriate communication is mandatory. We are so email-heavy that we have to nitpick down to the detail. Our employees need to be good at email, because largely that is our product. What is the percentage of job function that email captures at your company? Here are some high level points to share with your employees at your next office meeting or training:

Bullets: Bullet points and numbered lists are easier to read, creating structure and white space. Recipients appreciate the option to comment on individual issues. Arranging bullets carefully prevents endless email chains if you ask for a specific action, versus leaving open-ended thoughts.

Language: Words like “just,” “you” (accusatory), “but” and “I said” create trouble fast. Absolutes like “never” and “always” tend to polarize. Calling out someone by name or throwing them under the bus will be counterproductive; instead, use broad language to focus on action-oriented quality improvement process. Say sorry when you mean it to ensure the genuine nature of the apology remains intact.

Edit and proofread: Check the overall structure and flow to ensure easy understanding and appropriate response. Spell- and grammar-check are essential, even for short messages.

Tone: Emotionally provoking language alters perceived meaning even if your words are “perfect.” To set the appropriate tone, ask yourself this question: Who are you in this email? Adult, parent or child? A great frame of reference is a structure created by Eric Berne called transactional analysis. This method for studying interactions between individuals asserts that a single individual can display three “states of being.” I bet you’ve been all three in one email at some point:

  • Adult: Reasonable, logical, rational, non-threatening, non-threatened
  • Parent: (Positive) Keeping safe, nurturing, calming and supportive. (Negative) Controlling, patronizing, critical and finger-pointing.
  • Child: (Positive) Curious, playful, spontaneous and creative. (Negative) Rebellious, tantrums, difficult and insecure.

If you can get to your “email adult,” smooth communication results. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Test that. Go to your sent files and analyze them. Are you wagging a parental finger? Giving marching orders? Whining that it was not your fault?

The goal is to mirror what we would like to see from others. The more polished we can be, the hope is that we will receive that level of professionalism back.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

The Power of Paid Time Off

by Jim Annis

Unlimited paid time off, or PTO, has almost reached superhero status in the media, showcased by startups and giants like GE and Adobe. This permissive approach to time off has burst forth from the phone booth with a super cape, promising that if employees are getting their work done and have received approval, they can take time off when they want and need to.

Is unlimited PTO realistic?

It is if your work culture allows it, which means looking at the staff holistically. Some employers will never allow employees to take PTO. They believe in the concept itself, and use it for recruiting purposes, yet when an employee uses the time, it is irritating or miserable for the employee to come back to the job. Still yet, some employers reward employees that never take PTO, enforcing a culture of no time off … even if it is available.

One-size-fits all, use-it-or-lose-it two-bucket policies are dead. Companies that make people wait a year before they take PTO are outdated and not competitive. Candidates are negotiating their time off as part of their employment package. Millennial job seekers in particular look favorably on unlimited days versus the 15 days most U.S. companies provide. After recruitment, employers with time off benefits see greater loyalty and retention. Pros of unlimited PTO include no accrued expense (and related balance sheet liability) for banked time, no end-of-year rush to take unused vacation days that do not carry over and employee ownership over their own time.

How to manage unlimited PTO

Change your time card mentality. Shift your focus to productivity per hours worked. Call “unlimited PTO” by a different name, then relate it specifically to your culture. Pay attention to how managers and employees use it. Create policies and procedures that easily allow everyone to communicate time off and approval. Define the minimum time off required. Internal communication about accrued time banks and how or if those will be paid out upon implementation of the new policy is critical to trust and success of the new program. And if you are really worried about time-off abuse, remember, in almost all cases there are also performance issues. Rarely is time off abused by a stellar employee.

What are our current levels of PTO?

Well, we don’t offer unlimited … yet. We switched from two weeks’ vacation after the first year and six days of sick to a total of four weeks of PTO in the first year, plus 40 hours of paid volunteer time in the second year and no restriction on reasons for taking PTO. We always talk about the blending of work and non-work, yet they are still partially separate. Whatever people go and do during that time makes them a more interesting employee, even if they have a “stay-cation.” We have noted a bump up in creativity and innovation that benefits us all.

Here’s the rub. Research shows offering unlimited PTO didn’t result in more time off taken (either the same time was taken or less). So why do employee surveys show that it is valued so highly? Perhaps the answer lies not in what unlimited vacation actually does, but for what it “says” to our minds.

Think of the coolest superhero powers – leaping buildings in a single bound, millisecond healing powers and unbelievable memory. Superheroes capture the blithe spirit of young and old alike. Their “existence” allow us to imagine how different life would be if we developed superpowers of our own. Unlimited PTO allows our minds that same freedom of thought, giving us permission to envision the possibilities and some hope for stress relief from the day to day.

What would you do with unlimited PTO? Go there. If it is something that you value, find a company who offers it – then use it.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article. 

Investing in yourself and your skill set

by Jim Annis

 

From the breakroom to the boardroom, you have admired them from afar. They are magnetic personalities who truly take care of themselves physically. They are committed mentally to lifelong learning — including developing their career through certifications or college degrees. At a cocktail party they may be fascinating with a ring of people hanging on their every word. In the HR department, we can spot them before they come into the interview. It may not be fair to judge them based on that fact; however, it is an observation proven repeatedly. On the flip side, during our company’s official casual days, we have observed that employees who consistently wear jeans, t-shirts and ponytails seem to be the same ones that have no real interest in personal or professional growth. We desire to see everyone strive to be the former.

What’s certification worth?

Explore the options and show some initiative with due diligence. Hire a career coach, ask a mentor or a mastermind group — someone you trust to give you guidance and share experiences. Research your company’s tuition reimbursement program. Make sure the degree you seek fits the company and/or career path. There are many industries in which people simply “collect letters” behind their name without any purpose behind them. Don’t be “that” guy. If you are new to the industry, get some experience under your belt first and then get the certification to be sure you are committed to the long term.

Increasing your knowledge, credibility and marketability

People who truly pursue life wear it on the outside. They ask more questions. They invest deeply in their relationships. They strive to become more marketable. They dig deep, discover their strengths and demonstrate a higher level of ability. By investing in yourself, you feel more confident and give yourself a personal boost. This puts you in control of your future and makes you more flexible if something happens and you need to find something else.

When should you or your company pay?

This is one of those gut response questions. Are you in it for the long run at the company? Then research the tuition reimbursement policy. If leaving is the ultimate goal, then please pay for the education yourself. At The Applied Companies, we will pay even if the degree or certification is not related. We want people to be more educated, regardless as to if they stay with us or not. Does it mean that someone can take advantage of us? Sure! We still hold ability to manage it.

Great, so where do I start?

If you have been putting off investing in yourself until you can immediately achieve your big lofty goal, rethink your strategy. Habits start with one little change. Invest sooner than later with baby steps. It’s easier than you think. You are absolutely worth it.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

 

Read article in the RGJ here.

How to manage project managers

By Jim Annis

 

This is a cautionary tale of The Project Manager (external) and The Sponsor (internal). Imagine for a moment both taking the Shakespearean stage, then bowing, encouraging audience members who are cheering, while holding their noses at those who relentlessly “boo.” Neither role is an easy one. Each requires a range of management skills and talents not often possessed at once in a single person. Alas, we need them both. Here is some guidance to prevent a comedic tragedy at your workplace.

The project manager

This protagonist has a job to do: 1) manage the project, 2) manage their time, 3) manage the budget, 4) manage you – his client, and 5) manage the team. Outside vendor partners may be better at selling their abilities than implementing your purchase effectively, so you need an accountability partner.

The sponsor

This dashing and daring internal champion should be allowed to set aside the time and to invest in the learning capacity of the technology that you are implementing. They essentially need to become a “mini expert,” at least in concept. Adding a project to an employee’s plate and not giving away something else that was already there is dangerous. Result – the project never gets enough energy and focus.

Managing projects you don’t understand

Example: IT-related software. You purchased something and you were also “sold” something … it all starts at that point, correct? We hope not. Research deliverables up front. Seek out industry associations and peer groups, including who’s posting about the process, recommended best practices and pitfalls to avoid. These are also great reference sources for the specific company trying to “sell you.” Make no assumptions about anything, including what is included in the scope of work and what you have to pay extra for. Your questions might provoke a response like, “You’re making much ado about nothing.” Beg to differ and have the courage to slow technical or other experts down with, “Please do not go to page four until we know everything on page three.”

Avoid the freeze

Screeeeeeeech! That’s the sound of your project coming to a sudden halt. Over $50,000 invested and now it is languishing in the management meeting “parking lot.” Start from square one, clearly convey the value of the project and how it will consistently affect stakeholders. Pay attention to it systematically. Whatever your timelines and deliverables turn out to be, working in the “wins” is a must. Recognizing that milestones are met, budgets are at or under estimates, reporting is like clockwork and communications are going smoothly will keep everyone motivated to press on.

When to pull the plug

Projects fail. Project managers fail. Ask yourself, “If I took over this job for the first time today and found this project going on, would I support it or get rid of it?” Ask the team, “If money was not an issue, what would you do and how would you do it?” That should remove any over commitment, inertia, and fear.

The end

There will always be new “acts” in your project management drama, from bright shiny object syndrome, to complete shifts in business practices like the cloud, leadership should constantly be selling and reselling the importance of the change in the workplace. A happy ending to your serious project is possible.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

Investing in yourself and your skill set

By Jim Annis, CEO

 

From the breakroom to the boardroom, you have admired them from afar. They are magnetic personalities who truly take care of themselves physically. They are committed mentally to lifelong learning — including developing their career through certifications or college degrees. At a cocktail party they may be fascinating with a ring of people hanging on their every word. In the HR department, we can spot them before they come into the interview. It may not be fair to judge them based on that fact; however, it is an observation proven repeatedly. On the flip side, during our company’s official casual days, we have observed that employees who consistently wear jeans, t-shirts and ponytails seem to be the same ones that have no real interest in personal or professional growth. We desire to see everyone strive to be the former.

What’s certification worth?

Explore the options and show some initiative with due diligence. Hire a career coach, ask a mentor or a mastermind group — someone you trust to give you guidance and share experiences. Research your company’s tuition reimbursement program. Make sure the degree you seek fits the company and/or career path. There are many industries in which people simply “collect letters” behind their name without any purpose behind them. Don’t be “that” guy. If you are new to the industry, get some experience under your belt first and then get the certification to be sure you are committed to the long term.

People who truly pursue life wear it on the outside. They ask more questions. They invest deeply in their relationships. They strive to become more marketable. They dig deep, discover their strengths and demonstrate a higher level of ability. By investing in yourself, you feel more confident and give yourself a personal boost. This puts you in control of your future and makes you more flexible if something happens and you need to find something else.

When should you or your company pay?

This is one of those gut response questions. Are you in it for the long run at the company? Then research the tuition reimbursement policy. If leaving is the ultimate goal, then please pay for the education yourself. At The Applied Companies, we will pay even if the degree or certification is not related. We want people to be more educated, regardless as to if they stay with us or not. Does it mean that someone can take advantage of us? Sure! We still hold ability to manage it.

Great, so where do I start?

If you have been putting off investing in yourself until you can immediately achieve your big lofty goal, rethink your strategy. Habits start with one little change. Invest sooner than later with baby steps. It’s easier than you think. You are absolutely worth it.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

 

Read article in the Reno Gazette-Journal here.

A better method for employee performance reviews

By Jim Annis, CEO

 

Traditional performance reviews can be a source of conflict. A slightly negative review can break an employee’s morale and be a precursor for their exit. If they are a “keeper,” taking a risk is not an option, especially in this competitive market for talent.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article entitled, “Is It Time to Put the Performance Review on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan)?”, the number of employers that are either ditching the numerical ranking of employees or tossing out the entire performance review process has grown from 4 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2014, as referenced in a CEB survey of Fortune 1000 companies. Does ditching the traditional 1-5 performance ranking and “expected” raises work for your company or against it? We believe it encourages avoidance and is uncomfortable for everyone, and most people don’t leave feeling empowered or positive.

HR executives need to be adaptable and flexible to match the rapidly changing work environment. Communication – not one-way but true dialogue – in real time via technology, less formality in our work and home life, and increased mobility have made the traditional performance reviews into dinosaurs. Innovative companies are flattening operations, including giving line employees the power to change floor production in real time using APIs. HR can learn from that kind of forward thinking.

One alternative to explore is the “coaching” conversation, or a naturally occurring dialogue that happens at a “natural” break in workflow. For example, managers can initiate it with employees on completion of a project and seek feedback. This method removes “human error” because – I don’t know about you – but remembering what I had for lunch can be challenging, let alone detailing last year with perfect recall. Coaching conversations are more authentic, consistent and accurate. They also bolster on “great place to work” characteristics, fundamentally build and reinforce trust and move from a one-way info dump to a more actionable and collaborative effort. To be fair, the employee should have an option to imitate a formal review if they prefer.

Coaching conversations ditch the old ranking system for open-ended questions (Think this sounds like a good salesperson’s technique? You’re correct, but only when paired with great listening skills). We suggest a quarterly conversation, yet there is no hard and fast requirement. Create a section in your employee handbook so that you have 1) clear expectations; 2) frequent check-ins; and 3) clear feedback mechanisms. Now of course not everything is “kumbayah.” You still need to manage the employee. Disciplinary issue? Document it. If you are engaged as a manager, you know who deserves a raise and who doesn’t so be sure to link your HR strategic compensation strategy to the new review format in order to remain competitive.

Implementing the coaching philosophy appeals to millennials, the largest generation represented in the workforce. They want to feel valued and taken seriously and classic reviews are too paternalistic and top down. If you casually say, “Let’s chat now that the project is done about how things went,” versus “Your performance review is scheduled for x date and y time,” I would choose the first option any day. They would too. Will they be able to choose that option at your company?

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

Read article in the Reno Gazette-Journal here.

Breaking up with vendors is hard to do

by Jim Annis

 

Ah, Valentine’s Day is in the air. Romance, proposals, new flirtations and sometimes … the inevitable big breakup. Well, nothing lasts forever, so that’s why it’s good to have some guidance on how to manage situations when they go south. Aside from a longtime personal love, breaking up with a long-term business vendor is often of the most painful and uncomfortable breakups you can experience. There are many “types” of vendor relationships: love at first sight, those you trust enough to “marry,” and the ones you divorce; and then there are the ones who are “married” to your business family so you would feel horribly guilty about letting them go. So why is breaking up so hard to do?

You’re comfortable

The “how do we work with each other?” phase is over, things are easy … maybe too easy. Perhaps you have been lax about keeping track of your vendor performance and accountability. Remember, any long-term relationship takes work. Comfortable is OK, but there is a slippery slope that occurs when complacency takes the guise of comfort. Each year my wife makes me meatloaf with ketchup and mashed potatoes for Valentine’s Day. She has done this for each year together for 35 years. It is her way of saying “I love you,” and I simply adore it and her for the effort. How has your vendor pool said “I love you” lately? Do they provide great operational performance? Do they anticipate your needs? Do they listen to your concerns? Do they approach your relationship as a true partnership? If they have not, it might be time to look for someone new with stars in their eyes and common values.

Starting over

Just like any new relationship, you might be feeling a combination of being hopeful, nervous, scared and vulnerable. Remember, as the customer you are in control. Set expectations and ensure that they are in your contractual, formal documents. Watch for the “ick factor” (you know, that feeling that you have when you meet with someone for the first time who has selfish intentions). Look instead for the “X-factor” where the vendor’s main goal is to provide you with true value.

Breaking the vicious cycle

If being too close was a weakness contributing to the unhealthy nature of your last vendor, then choose avoiding getting close with the next one. There is no better sucker for a sales person than another sales person. Remain neutral and then keep your eyes open for signs of trouble from the start. If you think this objectivity is not in your nature, then you may consider hiring an intermediary to manage the relationship and perform annual vendor reviews. Vendors who know they are underperforming may sense a breakup coming and may send chocolates so you feel bad. They may also ask you to go out to dinner. These are all signs that you are repeating the same toxic relationships and need to learn from your past errors in judgment.

It’s time

How do you know when it is time to break up? The annual vendor review process can be a lifesaver. It’s the perfect time to change it up. Perhaps your current vendor does not initiate service reviews and then you should be scheduling them proactively.

Bottom line: People do business with people they like AND trust. Your vendors should have that winning combination in order to have the privilege of retaining your business. Give yourself permission to pull the trigger on any vendor relationship that is not helping achieve your overall goals.

 

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

 

Read article in the Reno Gazette-Journal here.

$14 is the new $10

Caution: This is a tough love article.

We live this every day. What does it mean? There is a lot of lip service out there about how local companies are paying good, competitive wages but we do not see it in action. We challenge every business owner in Northern Nevada to read this, share it with their colleagues and then immediately create a revised human resources strategy for 2016 that reflects the importance of this fact: $10 per hour as a wage will not keep your business alive much longer. Keeping cash versus investing in the workforce trades short-term security for long-term certain death. A real HR strategy should encompass two proactive components: 1) Know the marketplace to begin with; and 2) Anticipate and stay head of the curve. At minimum, the wage should be $14 per hour for your least-skilled jobs. If you have not reached this level of pay, you’re already behind the curve.

COLA is irrelevant: Gone are the days of no pay raises or minimal cost-of-living adjustments. In 2016 you should plan for a 3 to 6 percent pay increase across the board – maybe even higher for key employees. You do not want to lose your employees to the new companies moving to town … and a lot are coming, and your employees are being recruited.

Ignoring the herald: EDAWN (I am on the board) has been talking about this for years, recommending that the companies should pay at minimum $12 per hour (too late for that! It’s now $14!). When companies pay employees $10.50 per hour they will get marginal employees who will not stay long-term. In the past, paying 50 cents less per hour than a competitor may have worked, but at a $3 difference, people will leave in droves because even Amazon pays between $14 to start and construction is paying $16 per hour to hammer nails. That adds up to $6,000 to $8,000 in more pay annually – too much money to leave on the table.

At The Applied Companies, we made a non-budgetary wage adjustment earlier this year to make sure we are paying certain percentiles, beginning at the 75th percentile, no matter what the position or level. This is a proactive strategy to prevent migration for the “grass is greener over there” employees who would move for a $3-per-hour difference. We have been ahead of the curve all along.

As CEO, I can truly say that we have not lost anyone over a money issue. How can you guarantee that you’ve planned well enough to say the same at the end of next year? Will you decide not to be a dinosaur that paid $10 per hour in 2016 and then became extinct in 2017? Only the fossil record will show the truth.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, and Kerri O’Neill, staffing manager, contributed to this article.

 

Read article in the Reno Gazette-Journal here.

X Factor or ‘Ick’ Factor: What’s your sales personality?

By Jim Annis

 

It’s January and every business salesperson is champing at the bit to get over the holiday slowdown (unless you’re retail) and get new customers. Make way! Here they come!

As a CEO, it is important to give some coaching reminders to your sales team before you release them. To increase your company’s productivity, get training started early in January. David Sandler, John Maxwell, Zig Zigler, and Dale Carnegie are all successful sales coaches and have their own methods of teaching. Originally, I wanted to give you their overarching philosophies in this article so that you could share them. I changed my mind.

The one thing that I want you to coach is how to be authentic and to listen. Back in 1975, I trained as a salesperson with Mutual of Omaha. The basis of that training was sincere interest. Anyone can learn other sales skills, like product knowledge and client education. The goal is to get behind the person’s forehead, and to do that you must listen.

The Ick Factor: If you posses this, most likely you are selling to someone for your benefit, versus determining if you can — together — solve their problem. Remove the “Ick” Factor. When you help by listening, then responding appropriately, it means the difference between “selling” (“Ick, I’ve been slimed by that salesperson”) versus a mutually beneficial relationship resulting in “I can’t wait to start working with you!” The Ick might be coming from within you and your attitude towards sales. Flip it. People are used to commerce. It happens every day, globally: a buyer; a seller; and a sale. You don’t have to be “salesy” to sell. Sell in a way that’s just as heart-centered and morally responsible as you are personally, while representing the values of your company. If your ick comes from poor business ethics (e.g., promising something during the sales negotiation that you cannot fulfill) there is no long-term place for you in sales. The best coaching I can give to you is find another profession.

The X Factor – If you have this, sales comes easy and it makes sense. Dollars flow naturally to you, resulting from the relationships you have now and will develop over time. Willie Mays was never a manager or a coach for a reason. He would just go and hit the ball. How can you teach someone to do that? How do you teach someone to be genuinely interested in people? That is just who you are. X Factor people, rejoice in your good fortune and use the talent responsibly.

My biggest sales coaching gripe is that people make selling so difficult. If you are the right person, it is easy. If you find sales hard, then choose to do something else. The bottom line is that people buy from people they like and trust. You can have everything you want in life with sales as a career if you fit that profile.

Jim Annis is president and CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied’s COO, contributed to this article.

Read article in the Reno Gazette-Journal here.