Sunday Mar 29 2009
Power Breakfast to illuminate strategies for business success
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
Innovation in a weak economy will be the focus of a Business Power Breakfast April 10 in Auburn. Speakers Michael Lyon, president of Lyon Real Estate; Gary Moffat, owner of Carpe Vino in Old Town Auburn; and Titan Gilroy, owner of Titan Engineering and Titan’s Dungeon at the Airport Industrial Park, will share their success stories. “All three of these presenters will be talking about the changing economy and what they’ve done to make their companies more competitive and able to adapt to the current economic environment,” Auburn Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bruce Cosgrove said. Lyon’s presentation impressed City Manager Bob Richardson and former city councilman Bob Snyder when they heard it several weeks ago, Cosgrove said. “They found his facts, figures and projections that cover a four-county area including Place County very informative,” he said. “He’ll be talking about the real estate market, factors that have impacted the real estate market over the past three years leading up to this year, and a little bit of a crystal ball as to what he sees occurring next and when he sees the market turning around. He has charts, graphs and real numbers to support his findings.” Moffat and Gilroy’s approach to their businesses also made them ideal candidates to speak at the breakfast. “Both of them have been innovative and we are right now finding ourselves in an economic climate that really demands and requires innovation,” Cosgrove said. “We believe that both Gary Moffat’s and Titan Gilroy’s stories can help other business people kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel. They’re going to help us reinforce the fact that it is definitely not business as usual.” Moffat will discuss what he’s done to keep his restaurant and wine shop viable. “It’s titled ‘Not business as usual — case studies and survival,’ Moffat said earlier this month. “(My talk is) going to be on changes at Carpe Vino that have been totally responsive to the downturn in the economy — what we’ve done to position our business for change and successes we’ve had so far.” Moffat will pass on some insights into his business model. “You can’t continue doing business as you have in the past or you have to have an exit strategy,” Moffat said. “The sensible thing to do is look at the market, look at the customer base and what you can do to change your business and make it more competitive.” Gilroy will talk about how the economy has impacted his business and what he’s done to make it work in these tough times. “I’m going to give an inside look at my industry and, looking at the economy, being able to adapt into different areas and being able to diversify,” he said. “(I’ll also talk about) my approach to manufacturing, which is doing the difficult part of aerospace parts that other people can’t do. Part of business is just being able move into different areas quickly and be versatile.” The breakfast will be well attended because so many people are concerned about how the economy is going and the downturn in sales, Moffat said. “I think it will be instructional for everybody and it will be uplifting,” he said. “It is just the kind of program we need right now. It also demonstrates the viability of our chamber and their ability to bring projects like this to the community.” Chamber president Ann Rivero agrees with the importance of businesses guiding the way for one another. “There are a few businesses that are a bit down,” she said. “But most of them are optimistic that they will come back. Some businesses have been here a long time and they feel they can weather (these times). I see a lot of camaraderie. I see businesses working together and talking to each other more. They see a real need to help each other. Businesses are using each other’s services. So it is about shopping local, too, and it all ties together.” After the speakers, there will be a panel question-and-answer session, Rivero said. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment at Auburnjournal.com.