Tag Archives: University Club of Pasadena

Deborah Petito Outlines The Challenges Of Hiring And Firing Employees At The Business Growth Workshop

At the July Business Growth Workshop at the University Club of Pasadena, attorney Deborah Petito outlined the incredible challenges that employers face when it comes to hiring and firing employees. As a shareholder in the labor & employment and litigation groups at Clark & Trevithick, Deborah has handled complex labor and employment matters for many years. As the labor laws and regulations at both the federal and state level become increasingly complex, Deborah Petito find herself helping more and more client companies both in and out of court.

James Harwood Introduces Deborah Petito

deborah petito

James Harwood & Deborah Petito

James Harwood of Total HR Management introduced Deborah Petito to the packed University Club downstairs lounge. With two years of dedication and leadership, James Harwood has been shepherding the Business Growth workshops to the point of ongoing success. In his introduction, he detailed Deborah Petito’s extensive experience, showing once again why local Pasadena business owners continue to participate in the monthly morning sessions.

As an attorney, Deborah Petito represents public and private sector employment clients in all types of labor and employment matters. Her impressive expertise ranges from representation in federal and state courts to representation before state and federal agencies regulating wage and hour laws. Deborah Petito also provides general advice and counsel to employers on employee discipline and termination as well as wage and hour issues.

The Legal Challenges of Hiring & Firing

Deborah Petito

Deborah Petito at the Business Growth Workshop

In relation to the work of James Harwood as the president of Total HR Management, a human resources outsourcing firm and professional employer organization, Deborah Petito was very supportive of such services. When asked whether it makes sense for a company to outsource its human resources function including lower level staffing and higher level recruitment & selection, Deborah Petito commented:

“Given the modern challenges for employers when it comes to employees, it makes a lot of sense to consider the services of a professional employer organization. By working with an experienced firm like Total HR Management, a company is able to avoid the common sense problems, relying on their expertise in both staffing and recruitment & selection.”

Addressing Employee Challenges

When Deborah Petito refers to the common sense problems, she means that common sense is not to be trusted when it comes to modern employment issues, particularly in regard to hiring, disciplining, and firing employees. The specifics of the labors laws and regulations have become so complex that it is easy for a non-professional to make a mistake. In a labor lawsuit happy environment, such a mistake can prove costly in terms of both time and money, wasting a company’s valuable resources.

Once again, the Business Growth Workshop at the University Club of Pasadena has demonstrated it’s value to the city of Pasadena and beyond. For Total HR Management, Deborah Petito’s presentation on hiring, disciplining and firing was particularly powerful because it reflected so many of the concerns of the firm’s ongoing business model. From providing EPLI coverage to making sure client companies are in the most secure position so they never have to use such coverage, Total HR understands and respects the challenges that Deborah Petito highlighted in her powerful presentation.

Triumvirate Of Pasadena Leaders Reveal Multi-Dimensional Asset Protection At The Business Growth Workshop

At the latest Business Growth Workshop on June 23rd at the University Club of Pasadena, a rare triumvirate of business leaders revealed a multi-dimensional asset protection approach. Focusing on people, product and finances, Diana Peterson-More, Blake Longo and Alan Harrison each disclosed their expert perspectives on a bevy of challenges facing companies in the 21st century. While attempting to cover a tremendous amount of ground, they did manage to uncover several choice pieces of valuable information for the local entrepreneurs gathered that morning.

3 Approaches To Asset Protection

asset protection

Blake Longo, James Harwood, Diana Peterson-More, Alan Harrison

After being introduced by James Harwood of Total HR Management, the three business leaders provided a dynamic presentation where they each offered varying perspectives on a variety of challenging issues. From employee management and retirement plans to government compliance and document retention, the presentation revealed the numerous pitfalls facing companies in the modern world. Beyond federal regulations, all three presenters pointed out the difficulty of doing business in California where the state regulations and regulatory bodies offer complex difficulties as well.

As Alan Harrison pointed out from his experience working with numerous businesses, “Trying to comply with government regulation and regulatory compliance for many companies is often like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn’t fit.” Given such challenges, the support of a professional employer organization can be a positive step in the right direction. From regulatory compliance to benefits administration, a local PEO can provide a company with the expertise that they lack.

EPLI Coverage Is Essential

asset protection

The Triumvirate at the Business Growth Workshop

Given the new challenges of both the Affordable Care Act and employee lawsuits, Blake Longo continuously pointed out the importance of EPLI coverage for a company. Employment practices liability insurance is not a choice in the 21st century, but a real necessity. As a successful insurance broker, Blake Longo commented after the session, “The insight into and access to EPLI coverage that a human resources outsourcing firm offers their clients is invaluable.”

Moreover, as an expert in skill-based hiring, Diana Peterson-More highlighted the importance of effective recruitment and selection for a company doing business in today’s marketplace. By relying on the skill of experts like the staffing specialists at Total HR Management, a company can not only hone their recruitment and selection, but also improve in the key area of employee retention as well.

Business Growth Workshop

Once again, the Business Growth Workshop at the University Club in Pasadena proved to be a truly valuable resource. By bringing in such respected business leaders, James Harwood of Total HR Management has helped to enhance the value of the monthly gatherings. In June, halfway through the year, the ground covered and the insight gained provided excitement for the next six months to follow in the ongoing series.

Business Growth Workshop: Protect and Improve your Organization’s Assets 6-23-15


Protect and Improve your Organization’s Assets: People, Product and Finance

A Business Growth Workshop Presentation by Diana Peterson-More, Alan Harrison and Blake Longo

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 7:30am – 9:30 am 

Continental breakfast will be provided This is FREE to members of the University Club, Non-Members $25

After this dynamic business presentation you will:

  • Discover how to reduce insurance premiums with financial and employee strategies. 
  • Understand the important coverage components that need to be included in your policy/ies. 
  • Acquire “how to” tips to improve your financial management and systems.
  • Learn proven people policies that net motivated /productive employees and reduce liability.

Who should attend?

  • Organizations of any size seeking best practices information in three vital disciplines: finance, people management and insurance coverages.
  • Those looking to enhance employee motivation and productivity while reducing organizational and personal liability. 
  • Anyone interested in a financial best practices tune-up and preventing fraud. Everyone who wants to reduce insurance premiums. 
  • Anyone who wants to acquire a deeper knowledge of how to run a successful organization!

About the speaker panel:

For the past 18 years, Diana Peterson-More, JD, a former practicing employment lawyer, corporate manager and officer, has been assisting organizations with all manner of people issues, from employee relations to human resources to training and development to executive coaching. Her business is focused on aligning individuals with organizational goals for maximum ROI.

Alan Harrison, CPA, has over 35 years of experience serving individuals, businesses and nonprofits. He provides assurance, accounting and tax services with a unique consultative approach that focuses on the big picture as well as the details. Alan helps his clients understand their business, operate efficiently and avoid unacceptable levels of enterprise risk.

Blake Longo, CIC is President of A.J. Longo & Associates insurance brokerage since 2005. The firm has been located in Pasadena since 1990 and specializes in insuring middle market commercial businesses of all kinds. Blake will discuss how to transfer risk using insurance.

For reservations, please contact the University Club by calling 626-793-5157 or by emailing 

*New sessions will occur on the fourth Tuesday of every month*

University Club of Pasadena  

175 North Oakland Avenue

Pasadena, CA 91101

John Thompson & Kal Balian Antoun Illuminate The Implementation Of Banner Goals At The Business Growth Workshop

At the latest Business Growth Workshop at the University Club of Pasadena, John Thompson and Kal Balian Antoun emphasized the importance of banner goals. They let the attendees know that business plans usually are a waste of time. Rather than leading to action, business plans outline big, impossibly long-term end games that simply do not apply to everyday reality. Rather than focus on a business, the leaders of the TG Loans mortgage team wanted the attendees to develop 60 to 90 day banner goals that could be realized and bring about both success and happiness.

Realization of Your Company’s Banner Goals

banner goals

Kal Balian Antoun & John Thompson on Banner Goals

From the outset, John Thompson warned that if the attendees thought they were going to sit and listen to a presentation, they had showed up to the wrong business growth workshop. Instead, the attendees would do the majority of the work with business goals in a holistic manner. When James Harwood of Total HR had introduced John Thompson and Kal Balian Antoun, he thought that would be the end of the work of the morning. Little did he realize on April 28th that he would be taking as much of an interactive part in the presentation as everyone else in the room.

Banner Goals over Business Plans

When asked why the “Business Plans Are A Waste Of Time” presentation was valuable to business owners, John Thompson smiled and provided a detailed explanation:

banner goals

James Harwood with Kal Balian Antoun & John Thompson

“The application of the concepts covered are key to any successful business, in particular firms focused on improving workplace productivity. Modern businesses need to improve the workplace environment, thus optimizing the quality of life for their employees. Firms like Total HR Management use the concepts internally with their team but also share them with their valued clients. Firms that embrace the ideas taught in the workshop are able to achieve lower turnover and higher workplace satisfaction. Such happiness leads to success by fostering increased sales, profit and growth through a more focused and productive sales force.”

After answering many questions and filling out page after page to illuminate their individual lives, the attendees were ready for the grand design. Looking at the areas of their lives, ranging from business and financial to family and spiritual, goals were outlined in each area with handy sectional guides. In the end, the point was to develop realizable banner SMART goals for the next 60 to 90 days. SMART goals stand for Specific-Measureable-Attainable-Realistic-Time Bound objectives. The question is once such goals are created will there be true follow through into action.

Business Growth Workshop Success

The Business Growth Workshop interactive presentation by John Thompson and Kal Balian Antoun proved engaging. As an ongoing offering of the University Club of Pasadena, the workshops open many windows into information and resources that prove valuable. By focusing on SMART banner goals, the latest workshop offered a realistic approach to actually achieving happiness and success.


Nat Read Emphasizes Earthquake Preparedness To Ensure Business Continuity At The University Club

At the University Club in Pasadena, Nat B. Read began his Business Growth Workshop presentation on March 24th with an incredible historical fact. On the very first night that Europeans came to what is now Los Angeles County, they were woken in the middle of the night while camping on the Los Angeles River by three severe earthquakes. Every 150 years, a major earthquake hits the San Andreas Fault, and it’s been 159 years since the last big one. In his presentation to Pasadena business owners, Nat Read underlined the importance of earthquake preparedness to ensure business continuity.

Earthquake Preparedness A Necessity

earthquake preparedness

Nat Read & James Harwood at Business Growth Workshop

As Nat B. Read explained, when the big one hits, the last question a business owner wants to be asking is, “What should I have done to get my employees ready?” By taking simple steps and safety proofing your office, employers can make sure that such a question never needs to be asked. Does your office have an added supply of water? Are their safety gloves and flashlights readily available for every employee? Have employees undergone free CERT training with the local government providers? If the answer is no to any of these questions, you are not ready for what is certain to be coming down the proverbial fault line.

CERT training is a particularly valuable and easily accessible resource. With over 2200 registered programs across the country, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes CERT as follows:

“The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.”

Human Resources & Earthquake Preparedness

earthquake preparedness

Nat B. Read on Earthquake Preparedness at the University Club

When asked by James Harwood of Total HR Management after the session about the relationship between human resources in a company and earthquake preparedness, Nat B. Read explained,

“Disaster preparedness hinges on two people in most organizations: the CEO and the senior HR official. When 9-1-1 is swamped after an earthquake these two executives will be the emergency room, police and fire department, whether they’re ready or not. The HR official must ensure that employees trained in disaster response and first aid will be on hand when the earthquake or other disaster hits. At a minimum there should be one person trained in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) readiness for every 20 employees and one person trained in first aid and CPR for every 10.”

Psychologists say the worst thing that happens in an earthquake is the experience of powerlessness. Is your business powerless? The presentation by Nat Read entitled, “Earthquake Preparedness – Is your Business Ready?”, pointed out the importance of helping to ensure business continuity in Southern California through earthquake preparedness. After all, when the big one hits, effective business continuity will be a major factor in the positive continuity of Southern California communities, families and lives.

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