Forum stresses retraining baby boomers, sustainabilityWritten by Caitlin McGlade | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Madasz opened his second cellular retail store immediately after the first. Then he opened a third later in the year, followed by a fourth a couple of years later.
“A lot of people in business today, they are lured into a place where they think they have to grow very, very quickly,” he said. “A lot of businesses will incur tremendous amounts of debt to grow.”
He knows firsthand. The mounting overhead costs, the slimming profit margins, the lengthening lines of credit for equipment, the long-term leases and the cost of upkeep all rolled into an amorphous debt that threatened to ruin him and his family.
“100,000 of debt took my soul away overnight — it will no matter what you do,” he said.
Madasz recovered enough to open a new business. But this time he’s debt-free. That’s because his business, DebtTech Financial Solutions, centers on lifting families out of debt. He wants to set a good example and has done so for hundreds of clients over the past few years, he said.
Madasz will present his techniques, focusing on sustainability and planning, at the Innovation with Entrepreneurs Forum on June 9, along with about 25 other entrepreneurs, finance experts and health and wellness professionals.
The forum, hosted at Davis College, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be broken into four sessions: new paradigms in health and wellness, educational links to entrepreneurship, investing opportunities and a networking hour. All themes are tied to sustainability, said Loren Frendt, the principal consultant of the Sustainable Resources Institute LLC. The institute is one of the organizers, along with Boomers RN and Five Wellnesses.
The forum will also focus on helping baby boomers in a world of waning job opportunities.
“There’s a job war going on,” Frendt said. “You’d better regroup yourself, retrain the troops and re-educate yourself to meet the demand.”
During the past four years, about 200 unemployed or change-seeking people have taken the institute’s skill training classes to become more marketable. They have all landed jobs, Frendt said.
Jim Matzinger, program coordinator of the Green Product Center with the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), helps businesspeople make their products more marketable to the government. Matzinger will present about how the CIFT program aids companies that are going green by using bio-based products.
Federal, state and local governments contract with companies that produce bio-based products. Matzinger has 10 Toledo-area companies as clients, up from two when he started years ago. He has 50 clients statewide.
He will demonstrate a few bio-preferred products at the forum, including a polymer made from wood flour sawdust.
“Anything that is made with petroleum can be made with bio-based substitutes,” he said. “The idea is to become less dependent on foreign oil and help with the environment.”
So where does health and wellness fit into environmental and financial sustainability?
“We cannot maximize our potential when we’re not taking care of ourselves,” said Deitra Hickey, who owns the Serenity Health & Wellness Center in Maumee. “When my body needs a break, I won’t be efficient as a business owner.”
Hickey will present about the holistic approach to health, which encourages people to treat their ailments and stresses with natural methods rather than prescription drugs. Her business substitutes massage therapy for painkillers, colon hydrotherapy for laxatives and yoga for fatigue.
Depression? Often 30 minutes in the infrared sauna during the winter does the trick, she said.
“We just don’t give our bodies enough credit sometimes,” Hickey said. “There’s things we can do naturally — I am not by any means saying that no one needs medication — but there are things we can do to supplement traditional medicine instead of packing on more and more.”
Registration for the forum runs from 8:30-9 a.m. and costs $10, with $5 going toward a micro-grant that will be awarded to an attendee and $5 to Heroes in Action, a military outreach group.
Inventor James Findlay, who has run a series of businesses since the 1970s, said it is important to be honest if you want a sustainable business.
Teamwork, hard work, competence, involvement and payback follow in that order, he said.
“I couldn’t outspend everybody and I couldn’t outsmart them, but I could outwork them.”
Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor of this event.