When my team of corrections officers were called into the supervisor’s office to discuss the recent influx in contraband in the inmates hands, we had no idea things had gotten so bad so fast. In the last year, the amount of incidents involving drugs being used and sold in the jail by inmates tripled from the prior year, and we were about to be read the riot act about making a huge dent in the problem immediately. Although we had many resources at our disposal, we were about to discover they were not enough.
Checking visitors and surprise cell inspections were not getting the desired results, so we turned to Securus Technologies for help. This trusted company has over two thousand systems in jails around the country, and the entire Dallas-based company all share the one objective of making this world safe for everyone.
Once me at the rest of the officers on my shift were trained to use the new LBS software, it became apparent to us all that we had a new tool that would significantly cut down on the amount of contraband getting into the jail. On one of the calls an inmate was making, he discussed in his own unique way a system for his brother to hand him prescription drugs at the visitor center. We were able to stop the next transfer and punish both parties. There was a call where an inmate was talking opening about how he hid drugs in his cell and when he used them. Our team intercepted his next score and put a stop to that activity.
In only a few short weeks, we took more contraband out of the jail than we did all last year thanks in part to the huge effort of the team at Securus Technologies.
Sweetgreen is not a typical fast food restaurant. The chain, founded by Georgetown University graduate Nathaniel Ru, focuses on simplicity and making positive impacts on local communities. Their model has worked, growing them from a single restaurant in Washington D.C. to over 40 locations nationwide. In a recent interview with Fortune, Ru said they are “creating a brand that stands for something.” Learn more: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ekeg45fe/nicolas-jammet-nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-co-founders-sweetgreen-262627/
The idea started at Georgetown, when Ru and his classmates Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet wanted a healthy dining option that would also be convenient. The first Sweetgreen opened in August 2007 and has been growing strong ever since. Ru, who graduated with a degree in Finance, believes in staying grounded. In an interview with the University of Pennsylvania, he describes how they got their first location with only three pages of a business plan. He also says it was the only time he wore a suit to a meeting. Learn more: http://www.businessinsider.com/sweetgreen-founder-interview-nathaniel-ru-2016-3
“Keeping it real,” is one of the company’s five core values. They operate without a head office, and shut down the ones they do have several times a year. According to Theresa Dold, their Director of Digital Marketing, “People do not buy what you do. They buy the way that you do it.” They call this their Sweettouch. The strategy promotes employees opening the door for customers, giving them umbrellas in the rain and walking them through the ordering process. Each Sweetgreen restaurant also sources produce locally, varying their menu depending on what farmers are already growing. They also use a different architectural design for every store, blending them seamlessly into communities. Learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetgreen
Sweetgreen also integrates modern technology and trends into their business model. Their app gives customers the ability to personalize orders with clear photographs of the available ingredients. Once ready, they can pick up their meal from a separate line in the store. The app accounts for over 30% of their business. The company also hosts what they call Sweetlife, a music and food festival with over 20,000 visitors each year. Sweetlife connects communities with local farmers, chefs and emerging musicians to promote healthier lifestyles.
Nathaniel Ru believes Sweetgreen succeeds because it not only connects with communities, but also because it provides an excellent experience to customers. As he describes it, “Yes, you always want to market to your tribe. We serve wraps and yogurt, but really we leave people better off in several ways.”
Metrik Holdings is a real estate investment firm that was founded by Samuel Strauch back in 2002. Over the following 15 years Strauch would slowly but steadily grow his company into a real workhorse in both Florida and international markets thanks to key business relationships with agencies in Latin America.
Strauch is an avid investor and an entrepreneur but above it all he is a leader in his industry. Strauch worked his way up through a high end education before committing himself entirely to the real estate world. Let’s take a look at Strauch’s view on life, his views on business, and how he seamlessly seems to blend the two.
Samuel Strauch has as great of a pedigree as anyone else in the business. Strauch graduated with his undergrad degree from Hofstra University before going on to study at both Erasmus University and Harvard University. There he would hone in on the sharp mind that he has become known for and the key business practices that would embolden his success later on in life.
To find success in real estate, and particularly with your own company as Metrik Real Estate has done, you need to be able to build a relationship. Samuel Strauch knows more than anything else that success in real estate is all about being able to reach another person and connect with them on a personal level. Strauch’s typical day is filled with such connections and he calls these meetings as the ‘key to my business’. Strauch knows that finding the next big property or locating the next great business idea is all about the team you surround yourself with.
Samuel Strauch also knows that the key to success is to not burden yourself with negative energy or self doubt. That is why Strauch spends parts of every single day deeply focused in his own private meditation practices. From this meditation Strauch is able to re-focus himself and shed negative energy. When probed about ‘doing over’ things in life here merely comments, “Looking at the balance, the positive outweighs the negative so I wouldn’t change a thing.” Samuel Strauch and Metrik Holdings are currently highly active in South Miami and Latin America.
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