A fresh start

Goodbye, 2009, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

It is finally time for a fresh start.

We asked citizens of BizSense Nation for their 2009 reflections and their 2010 resolutions. If we didn’t hear from you, chime in by adding a comment at the end of the story.

Below are their responses:

Greg Wingfield, president and CEO, Greater Richmond Partnership :


What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009?
As an organization, I am most proud that the GRP acted very quickly and proactively to set up RichmondJobNet.com to help laid-off people in Richmond find job opportunities quickly and efficiently using new social media tools we developed over a 30-day period in early 2009.

Vernon McClure, owner, Main Street Homes:


What is your resolution for 2010?
To continue to improve our customers’ home-building experience while offering phenomenal new home locations and prices.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? Achieving our goal of Number 1 locally owned builder in Richmond.

Bernie Stanley, president, Shockoe Solar:

What is your resolution for 2010? As always, I want to be the best dad and husband I can be. As for my business, I want to establish Shockoe Solar as the prime solar reference point for contractors and architects in Central Virginia. We also must complete some of the larger projects on our schedule to show that we can perform.

What do you wish for your industry in 2010? Although I am a capitalist and hate government interference, I see that incentives are needed for this industry to thrive – if we could just have something that expires in 2020. The more we sell, the lower the prices get and the better the technology becomes.

Jeff Jefferson, president and CEO, Actum-Inc:

What is your resolution for 2010? To be mostly finished with the planning phase of our business and move full speed into the selling phase.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? To still be in business in 2010.

Matt Barber, associate and staff appraiser, Lester, Barber, and Associates, Inc:
What is your resolution for 2010? I resolve to spend the last few hours of every day working and exercising instead of drinking beer and watching TV.

What do you wish for your industry in 2010? I hope that commercial real estate lenders figure out a way to strike a balance between necessary foreclosures and renewing non-performing loans.

Alison Miller, owner, Taboo:

What is your resolution for 2010? I actually enjoy breaking my New Year’s resolutions, so if I make one it will probably be something outlandish and it’ll be done for within the first week.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? Being awarded best independent adult retailer in the country at the Store Erotica Awards!  It meant a lot to me as a small-business owner and as a Richmonder.

What do you wish for your industry in 2010? I wish for the adult industry to continue to grow and gain acceptance. Taboo and similar stores are healthy, fun and necessary.  Everyone’s better off with a little taboo in his life!

Mike Ogilvie, Pendulum Inc.:

What is your resolution for 2010? Be able to effectively communicate Pendulum’s service offerings. We have struggled with getting the right message out in the past. So we’re going to be launching a new campaign soon.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? Staying in the game. 2009 was probably our most difficult year because of losing a few key clients due to their internal struggles. Fortunately, we’ve been able to pull up from the dive and are about to enter what I expect to be our most prosperous year yet.

Susan Aprahamian, You’ve Got Supper:

What is your resolution for 2010? Shop locally.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? Growing YGS to over 20,000 members.

What do you wish for your industry in 2010? People will continue to simplify their lives and make time to have dinner with their families.

Bill Sroka, co-owner, FastSigns:

What is your resolution for 2010? To try to make big profits in 2010 before taxes go way up in future years.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? Staying financially sound as companies both big and small disappeared throughout the year due to poor financial management.

Deanna Lorianni, Zuula Consulting:

What is your resolution for 2010?
Ensure all decisions support achieving my ideal life.

What accomplishment were you proudest of in 2009? Growing a profitable business in a challenging economy.

What do you wish for your industry in 2010?
More business-savvy writers will help extinguish the stereotype of the “flaky creative.”

Happy the Artist, mural painter:

What is your resolution for 2010? To capture in paint and brushstroke the proud, unique and deeply engrained cultural and social spirit of the city of Richmond, as it was long embodied by its leading torchbearers, the Ukrop family. Happy’s commemorative Ukrop’s mural will be 12×60 and will include 109 years of Ukrop’s history and its impact on the community.

What do you wish for your industry in 2010? That through our art we can collectively remove the “-ion” from recession, so that all that is left is recess.

Al Harris is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected]

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Bill Sroka, co-owner of Fastsigns has done nothing more than run an established, profitable and once great sign shop into the ground. Bill Sroka has the ego the size of Dan Snyder of the Redskins and he has done the exact same thing to Fastsigns as Snyder did to the Skins. Destroyed it. He micro manages something he has no knowledge of and refuses to learn the industry. He thinks the same business model that made him the junk mail king applies to Fastsigns, a much more laid back type of company. Since his tenure, sales and moral have continued… Read more »