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Estate Planning for the “Bottom 99%”

April 30, 2015–Based on some great reviews I’ve read, I recently purchased a copy of the new book Get What’s Yours – The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security written by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller, and Paul Solman.  The main premise of the book is to demystify Social Security and provide useful tips to help individuals maximize their lifetime Social Security benefits.  Social Security is a critical part of retirement planning for just about all of us, so the better one understands the ins and outs of this massive government program, the more money one can expect to extract from it over the course of a lifetime.

Did you know that Perkins Law offers a flat fee package for basic estate planning documents (a will, financial power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney/advance directive)?  The package is available for the vast group of families and individuals I describe as the “bottom 99%” (i.e., people who do not have taxable estates of tens of millions of dollars and are not looking for complicated estate tax planning or multi-generational wealth management).  New for 2015 is the “Perkins Law Guide to Drafting Your Final Press Release” – a one-page questionnaire that walks you through key questions and issues, the responses to which can comprise your obituary.  Call or email for details.

History Made Today in the RVA Social Entrepreneurship Community

April 21, 2015 – Today marks an historic occasion in the world of conscious capitalism and social entrepreneurship as the owners of local consulting firm Impact Makers, one of the area’s first companies to adopt the benefit corporation structure, are gifting their equity ownership in the company to local nonprofits for the sake of philanthropy and to promote a higher level of social entrepreneurship.  Specifically, the gift to The Community Foundation and Virginia Community Capital will facilitate the creation of funding opportunities to support local charities and invest in other benefit corporations.  To learn more about the Virginia benefit corporation and see a recent list of  Virginia benefit corporations doing business throughout Virginia, check out the “Articles” page at www.ericperkinslaw.com.

Highlights from Tom Tom Founders Summit

April 17, 2015 – A sold-out crowd at The Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville, VA enjoyed a full day of presentations and panel discussions on a variety of entrepreneurship topics from an all-star cast of entrepreneurs, investors, and  university professors.  Event organizers did a fabulous job crafting and implementing an educational and attention-grabbing agenda from start to finish.  Here is a list of 10 of the most memorable tips and observations that sttod out to me:

1.  From Doug Muir, serial entrepreneur and currently an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the UVA Darden School–The secrets of being a successful entrepreneur are (i) be persistent, (ii) have an unwavering passion for what you are doing, (iii) be open minded and flexible, (iv) have a desire to be an expert in your industry, (v) be forward-looking, and (vi) promote a culture where ideas are constantly flowing in the workplace

2.  From Alexis Ohanion, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Reddit–There’s nothing glamorous about te start-up process.  Do not wait until your product or service is perfect–get to market as quickly as possible and respond to feedback/fix problems as you go.

3.  From Kip Tendell, founder of The Container Store–Having one great employee is better than having three good ones, so surround yourself with great people and then train them well and treat them well.  By doing this, cutomer satisfaction and profitability will fllow.

4.  From Raj Sisodia with Babson College–Millennials are the most purpose-driven generation in history and are the driving force behind conscious capitalism/social entrepreneurship.

5.  From Peter Rojas, founder of Gizmodo and Engadget–Entrepreneurs should be less secretive and get lots of feedback on their product or service.  Don’t be paranoid about confidentiality.  Don’t feel compelled to compromise with your business partner all the time, sometimes being less agreeable (along with a sensical division of decision-making authority) yields better outcomes.  Also, remember that raising capital is not a sign of success; it often just raises the bar of how success gets defined for that particular business

6. Entrepreneurs must be flexible and ready for change on a frequent basis.

7.  Failure is inevitable as an entrepreneur, the keys are to hedge your downside risk and minimize the expense of failures and use them as learning experiences or as catalysts for future success.

8.  An entrepreneur’s focus should stay on customer development (i.e., producing something that people want); fall in love with a problem (and its solution), NOT a product.

9.  While certain skills and technical expertise useful to entrepreneurs can be taught in school, generally speaking, the essence of entrepreneurship is not something you can learn in school, but rather through the ongoing trial-and-error process of actually starting and growing new businesses.

10.  As far as educating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, one key is to stop discouraging people from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams and following their passion.

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2015 USTA Annual Meeting and Conference (Boca Raton, FL) Highlights

A new two-year term and the administration of new USTA President Katrina Adams formally got underway at the Boca Raton Resort and Club April 9-13, 2015 as USTA again outdid itself with a remarkably well-organized and productive Annual Meeting and Conference.  Arguably the world’s leading national governing body of any sport, the USTA continues to raise the bar with its emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and forward-thinking to grow tennis throughout the U.S.  From major capital improvements at the BJK National Tennis Center (site of the U.S. Open) to the recent groundbreaking of the next home of American tennis (and USTA headquarters) in Lake Nona, Florida, there were too many highlights to mention here.  Special congratulations to the Learning and Leadership Development Committee and staff who provide amazing resources and educational opportunities that make the USTA volunteer experience incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.

As chair of the Tennis Rules and Regulations Committee, one area of emphasis is promoting greater awareness and understanding of tennis rules, regulations, and etiquette.  If you’d like a quick introduction to the ITF Rules of Tennis or the Code (the Players’ Guide to Fair Play and the Unwritten Rules of Tennis), please check out our webinars (each one is less than 10 minutes):

ITF Rules of Tennis

The Code

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Local Nonprofits Unveil New Branding

April 17, 2015 – Congratulations to local nonprofit organizations Diversity Richmond (formerly the Gay Richmond Community Center and the Richmond Gay Community Foundation) and The Doorways (formerly Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond) for their recent rebranding efforts as reported in today Richmond Times Dispatch.  Strategic planning and brand development are just as important in the nonprofit community as they are in the for-profit sector, and the leaders of these organizations should be applauded for taking bold steps to expand their outreach efforts, energize their supporters, and stay relevant in any increasingly competitive market for donors, volunteers, and supporters.  I suspect these efforts were the product of many months (if not years) of careful planning and creative thinking, not to mention a significant investment of resources.  Job well done!

Perkins Law Welcomes Duck Donuts to RVA Franchise Community!

First debuted in the Outer Banks of NC, Duck Donuts recently opened shop in the Willow Lawn Shopping Center with new locations coming soon to Herndon, VA, Fairfax, VA, and Bristow, VA. Their donuts were recently a big hit at Perkins Law Donut Day at the Regus’ Innsbrook Office location!

Perkins Law Welcomes Zaxby’s to the RVA Franchising Community

The newest franchise to debut in the Richmond area, Zaxby’s recently announced plans to open a location at the Staples Mill Market Place in 2015. Zaxby’s has over 650 locations across the U.S.

Perkins Law Takes on the Classroom!

This past Monday, Perkins Law had the privilege of volunteering with Junior Achievement at GH Reid Elementary School in Richmond City. We were welcomed into Mr. Randolph’s fifth grade classroom to interactively share the benefits of having ambitious career goals. We had a lot of fun and covered a lot of material, which would not have been possible without the student’s great attitudes and willingness to listen. The class thoroughly impressed us with their creativity, eagerness and entrepreneurial goals for the future. We had a great time and look forward to working with Junior Achievement again soon!

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Cesar Grobel Wins Perkins Law $500 Winner-Take-All Challenge Match

Winner Take All Match Picture (Feb 2015)

February 27, 2015–Salisbury Country Club tennis pro Cesar Grobel defeated Michal Ciszek 10-6 to win the Perkins Law $500 Winner-Take-All Challenge at the 7th annual Friday Night Lights tennis event hosted by Salisbury Country Club. Over 300 tennis fans enjoyed an evening of great tennis, buffet dinner, and a silent auction. Over $4,000 was raised for the Richmond Tennis Association and Virginia Tennis Association.

The Virginia LLC

Learn more about the key issues business partners should to discuss during the start up phase of a Virginia LLC!