Feedback: December 2018

by Clarence McAllister, P.E.; Dr. Ken Muhich; Sarah Richardson

Question: As a small or minority-owned business, what was one of your top challenges over this past year and how did you address it?

Clarence McAllister, P.E. 

Chief Executive Officer
Fortis Networks, Inc.
Sector: Construction

I have lived in Arizona for the last 30 years and established Fortis in 2000. For the last 10 years, we have been a federal government construction contractor serving primarily the armed forces worldwide. We have completed projects in South America and Africa. I recently returned from Spain where I visited a prospective project. 

With our vast experience working for very demanding customers in austere environments, and with the growth in Arizona, two years ago we decided to transfer those skills into the local commercial construction sector. Because of our lack of local relationships in the industry, it has taken us longer than expected to make the transition. To address this issue, we have hired marketing staff and have joined networking groups in the Valley to get our name out. Unfortunately, Minority Business Enterprise programs were eliminated in Arizona more than 10 years ago, which makes it difficult for MBEs to compete unless we are well established, have a track record and there are customers willing to give us an opportunity to perform.

Clarence McAllister is a native of Panama. He graduated from Arizona State University as an engineer and established Fortis in 2000. Fortis is a Design Build Construction company specialized in government and commercial projects worldwide. McAllister is on the board of Accion, a nonprofit micro lender, and mentors other small minority-owned businesses. 

Dr. Ken Muhich

Chief Executive Officer
Stetson Chiropractic Clinic/Fibromyalgia Wellness Center
Sector: Healthcare

We’ve worked with Fibromyalgia patients since 1990. Fibromyalgia is a cyclic illness that affects millions of people regardless of race. It is a frustrating debilitating condition that is often misunderstood. Patients are considered hypochondriacs and are usually over-medicated. The history of Fibromyalgia can be traced to Biblical times, and the present-day term has had numerous names along with definitions.

Our challenge this year has been to educate physicians and the general public about Fibromyalgia through weekly Facebook live videos, monthly website blogs, on-line physician seminar training of our treatment program, and lectures to health providers and patient groups. Through these activities, we have given a clearer view to all those interested in understanding Fibromyalgia. We also continue to work closely with the Fibromyalgia Research and Treatment Center in California in order to stay up-to-date with their most recent research through the UCLA Medical Center.

Fibromyalgia patients now know that their problem “isn’t in their head.” It’s real and treatable. 

Stetson Chiropractic Clinic/Fibromyalgia Wellness Center    

Dr. Muhich is the CEO/Physician of Stetson Chiropractic Clinic Ltd. and Fibromyalgia Wellness Center in Scottsdale, treating patients since 1986. Dr. Muhich has a bachelors degree from Western Illinois University, masters degree from Indiana University, and doctorate from Palmer College San Francisco. He’s the author of the book Fibromyalgia, Falsehoods, Fakers and Facts and educational video Believe it! You can Find Relief from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Sarah Richardson

Founder and Designated Broker
Tru Realty
Sector: Real Estate

One of the top challenges we’ve been facing in the real estate industry is the commoditization of the services we offer with the rise of the countless online platforms disrupting our industry. On top of it, we operate in a highly saturated market, which means we continually have to differentiate ourselves. At Tru Realty, that meant turning to innovation, which led us to blockchain technology. 

We saw blockchain as a tremendous opportunity for us to streamline cross-border transactions, and make the buying and selling process easier and more secure. We launched our blockchain platform last year, becoming the first real estate company in Arizona, and second in the U.S., to utilize the Propy blockchain registry. Within a few months, we became the first brokerage in the state, and third in the U.S., to complete a real estate transaction through blockchain. 

As business owners, we constantly have to be looking at how to adapt and innovate to provide a better experience for customers. 

Sarah Richardson is designated broker and founder of Tru Realty, responsible for daily operations and growth strategies. Richardson launched Tru Realty in 2010 to serve a marketplace that was shifting from auction-centric fix/flips to an MLS flow. She built a team of capital lenders, general contractors, investors and other specialists unique to each deal, and reached more than 450 deals in just six years. 

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