A diamond dealer and owner of Mid South PM in Bellingham, Washington, Evan Rudnick gives Interviewology a peak at the lucrative business of diamond trading. Rudnick prides his business on buying and selling diamonds in retail and wholesale settings. The diamonds he handles are perfect for both new and experienced buyers. Often times young couples will seek out diamond buyers like Rudnick in order to craft a unique and perfect engagement ring.
When did you begin your career in diamonds?
I began my career at the early age of 17 and have been in the diamond business all my life.
What do you love most about the diamond business?
Being able to satisfy customers and keep them coming back.
Where do you travel to purchase diamonds?
Our customer base is nationwide and we have customers in all 50 states.
What are your favorite jewel heist movies?
Flawless with Demi Moore
What factors should buyers who are amateurs look for when buying diamonds?
Always look for synthetics such as Cz’s, moissanites and Lab grown diamonds like CVD’s
How has the diamond industry evolved over the years?
There are many more buyers now compared to 3 decades ago and the profit margin is smaller. As a whole, we all have to work as tight as possible to get the deals.
Vice President of Naegeli Deposition and Trial and husband of Naegeli’s current CEO and Founder, Masha Naegeli, Richard D. Teraci gives us the scoop on who he is as a full person, not just as one of Naegeli Reporting Services‘ elite team.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Rochester, New York. My family is a big Italian family of eight. I attended private Catholic high school where I played football.
Do you have any personal goals for 2016?
To improve my diet in a way that includes more organic and healthy foods. Also, I have a bodybuilding goal of competing for Mr. Oregon.
If we were sitting here a year from today celebrating the great year that your company has had, what did you accomplish?
I have a very entrepreneurial mind and really enjoy enhancing systems and processes. In 2016, my major goal is to develop programs that serve attorneys and the legal professional in a more efficient and technological manner.
If you could invite 3 people to your dinner party, who would you invite? (dead or alive)
First is, of course, Donald Trump. I am totally captivated how one individual could completely revamp the Republican Party and beat 16 fellow candidates in not even being a politician. Second and third are my wife’s mother and father whom I never did meet. Marsha speaks often about how wonderful they were and I would have loved to have met my second Mom and Dad.
Tell us about an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
When I owned a commercial development company with my best friend and partner. We had purchased a beautiful ski lodge in Utah.
Who was your childhood hero?
I would have to say it is my brother. He overcame many challenges in his life and became a very prominent and successful doctor even though odds were against him.
What was the first concert you attended? What was the last?
Oh my Gosh, you are taking me way back when I was sixteen and I went to the U2 concert in Rochester, New York. Can I say it was great? Not really, but it was my first one so I thought it was pretty cool. Truly the best concert I went to was with my son, Beau, and we went to the Garth Brooks concert where I heard some of my favorite songs played: “Against the Grain” and “Thunder Rolls”.
Who is your role model and why?
My Mom. She has always had my back and loved me unconditionally through all the ups and downs of life. For 82 years old, she truly is one of the greatest comedians ever!
Describe your ideal day in Portland.
Definitely going to dinner at Jakes, which is my favorite restaurant. Then visiting the Portland Art Museum with my wife and enjoying the latest exhibit. Finally, just plain people watching the multiple characters who grace the streets of Portland, Oregon.
If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
It would be 35. I finally felt like I got my act together and understood how life works and that it’s not all about me. I actually started focusing on bringing joy and encouragement to others.
What do you love about your job?
I love the challenge of making better methods and processes and focusing on increasing client development.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
I love to read current world events and different changes in our industry.
What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Definitely “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ top and the song I sent to my wife when we were dating, “All of Me” by John Legend.
The G-Star School of the Arts for Film, Animation, and the Performing Arts In West Palm Beach, FL has become a national leader in preparing students for careers in the entertainment industry. They school has launched the careers of students in film, theater, and behind the scenes making magic for the stage and screen.
Founder and CEO Greg Hauptner is the man behind this innovative Palm Beach County school where students are just beginning their journey in the business. Hauptner has found his home at G-Star, and his journey there is just as remarkable as the stories his students will someday tell about their own exciting careers.
The entertainment industry was not always the career bath for Hauptman. It actually began on the end of a telephone line— and not talking on it. He had traveled and ultimately was installing phone systems in buildings in Miami when a conversation with a neighbor represented the fork in the road.
“He wound up convincing me that if I went to beauty school I could make lots of money,” Hauptner says.
So after finishing beauty school and refining his craft, he opened his own salon in 1976, quickly making a name for himself inside the industry. He joined a professional organization where he met some of the luminaries of the industry like Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sassoon, enabling Hauptner to grow his own business and serve an elite clientele.
It was during this time that he also worked with his first famous client. Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford, who was the focus of a cover story for Family Circle magazine. It was only the beginning.
By 1980, Hauptner had positioned himself as one of the very best. He began working on what was at the time perhaps the most famous head of hair on the planet: Farrah Fawcett.
Fawcett was starring in a six-week run of “Butterflies are Free” at the Burt Reynolds Theater, a production directed by Dom Deluise.
“Dom and I became really good friends, Farah and I became really good friends,” Hauptner recalls. “Everybody was a close-knit group and it was a time of ‘Oh my God I can’t believe I’m here, this is really cool.”
The celebrity clients continued to come in through Hauptner’s association with the Burt Reynolds Theater. Loni Anderson and Kirstie Alley both sat in the chair to take advantage of Hauptner’s measurable talent. It also gave Hauptner a chance to learn something about his famous clients.
“Being a hairdresser is very unusual… when they’re sitting there they start talking to you and telling you their whole life story—all their secrets—who’s dating who, who’s cheating on who, so you become an intimate part very quickly”
Life is about opportunities, and Hauptner’s work as a hairdresser enabled him to branch out into other parts of the business. He eventually worked as a producer for a handful of lower budget films, which opened his eyes to even more possibilities that would pay dividends down the road.
Children alter priorities, and they did for Greg Hauptner as well. He began trying to think of a new direction, and that is where his next idea began.
He thought, “I’d like to do like a kid’s TV show—like a news magazine and my son could work his way into it.”
Combining the first initial of his son Gregory’s name and an acronym for ‘students in the arts,’ Hauptner came up with the name G-Star for the fledgling program. It eventually aired on both PAX-TV and West Palm Beach, FL educational television station WXEL, showcasing videos produced by regional high school media departments and hosted by two teenagers.
But it was someone else’s idea that would position Greg Hauptner to have such a positive influence on the lives of so many young people with aspirations to enter the entertainment industry.
“Somebody came to me at some point and said ‘you should start a charter school.”
In 2002, there was one more charter school spot available in Palm Beach County, and Hauptner won out in a competition among 14 different companies. While an important victory, it was also a sobering moment.
“I walked out the door and had a piece of paper that said I had a charter school. I had no students, no teachers, no location, no books. I had nothing.”
After finding a location at what was then the Palm Beach Water Department, the process began of assembling a team— and recruiting the students— for the 2003 school year.
“I went to someone and asked if they wanted to join me, and then the two of us sat there and then we interviewed for a position,” Hauptner says of the hiring process. “The one we liked we’d just call them on the phone and have them come right back again and they’d sit on the side of the table with us that same day and the three of us would interview the next person.”
The process led to a truly collaborative effort to build the team of teachers and administrators.
“The teachers hired the teachers and the then the teachers hired the principals and their assistant principals,” Hauptner says. “They were hard workers; money didn’t mean anything. They were all about kids and wanting to educate them. They were true educators.”
After getting the faculty and staff together, getting students presented its own challenges. Hauptner says just a month before opening the school only had 60 students, needing 132 just to break even and stave off shutting the doors just as they started. By the time the bell rang for school to begin, G-Star had 156 students thanks in part to the work of everyone to find the kids and convince them that G-Star was the place for them.
More than a dozen years later, the school is still helping students fulfill their dreams by providing them with the foundation they need to find their place in an industry that can be difficult to break into.
“You take the best and the brightest kids and you teach them to be good actors or filmmakers or whatever it may be and then you graduate them. You’ve developed this wonderful talent—you’re brilliant, it’s terrific—and sincerely they are—and then you say okay, now go get a job.”
Hauptner explains that for example in the film industry, getting on a set is the key to getting a start in the business, and that can be a challenge in itself. At G-Star, kids can get that opportunity right on campus.
“There is no other school in the world that does what we do,” he explains. “I built a motion picture studio and put the school on the back lot.”
“If people want to come in and use our studio I will either give it to them for free or a super-cut rate as long as they have our students on set.”
This gives students the chance to work in many capacities, working in all different departments of the shoot. Some of them even work with the stars themselves.
And while the school is helping its students get the background they need in a very specialized field, it is also helping students excel in the classroom. About 97 percent of G-Star graduates go on to college.
After all these years and a journey through the entertainment that introduced him to the very best of their time, Greg Hauptner is working on preparing the next generation of filmmakers, actors, producers, effects specialists, and other entertainment industry professionals. And G-Star graduates are finding their place across the industry.
“We’ve got kids at Warner Bros, we’ve got kids at Universal, one of our kids is a production manager at the Jim Henson creature shop,” Hauptner says.
It all begins with finding the student’s talent and cultivating it.
“What we have discovered is that children are smarter than any of us put together. They are wildly creative until it is pounded out of them by bad teachers or bad systems that say ‘you’re no good,” he says.
“Our number one mission is to find what they’re interested in and then develop the talent along those ways. The secret of it all is finding something that interests the kid.”
Back in 1952, Frank Keleher became the first freelance shorthand reporter in Kern County, CA. His success, attention to detail, and drive led him to open his own firm in 1970. Since then, two more generations of Kelehers have carried on the banner for this firm, providing lawyers with the tools they need to meet the challenges of today’s legal work.
We recently spoke with Jean Keleher, Frank’s daughter, to find out more about the firm and to find out what separates this family-run firm of Bakersfield court reporters from its competitors. Some responses have been edited for clarity and brevity:
How did you start in the business?
In 1970 my father, who was a reporter, left his 3-man firm & started his own firm, dragging my mother, who was a stay-at-home mom to be his receptionist, transcriber, bookkeeper – you name it. He then grabbed me, who at that time was still in high school, and had me work in the afternoons doing various jobs that were required.
I moved up to Fresno, CA where there was a small court reporting school, Fresno School of Court Reporting, (appropriate name, don’t you think?) I excelled in school and graduated in 1978. That same year I passed my state boards and became licensed as a Certified Shorthand Reporter. I immediately went into business with my father and we started growing the firm.
Since then, a lot has changed. What is your average day like?
I still report, so I take about 2 or 3 jobs per week, which then requires time to edit & proofread. I have a great staff, so the actual running of the business is done by all of us in the office. I try to visit our two other offices on a regular basis, which means I do quite a bit of driving. Many years ago I got started on books on tape, so I do quite a bit of reading (or maybe listening?) while I travel.
How has the industry changed since you started?
Oh, let me count the ways! When I started, we were still dictating from our paper notes into a transcribing machine, then having the transcriber type the transcript on paper, with carbons for the copies. After we proofread the transcript, the transcriber then had to make the changes on not only the original, but on all of the copies, too.
In 1981, we ventured into the computerized arena, starting with the Baron Mainframe, then moving up to the MegaCenter, to which you could add satellite systems utilizing 8” floppy disks. During the MegaCenter era the laptop started slowly making itself known. With the growth of computers, there also was a growth in what we, the reporter, could offer our clients, such as condensed (or 4-page) transcripts, word indexes and eventually pdf’s. Then with the growth of the laptop computer came the ability to offer our clients realtime – where the client could actually see the testimony on a screen as quickly as it was written.
Video has become increasingly important. How are you applying video to cases? How can it be used and what are the advantages?
Videotaping has gone from large, bulky equipment to now using small video cameras that record in high def. Once a transcript has been prepared, the video and the transcript can be linked together and burned to a disk for showing to a jury.
A lot of today’s court reporting services are built around connectivity. When did you really see that the internet and connectivity was going to impact the industry so profoundly?
In the mid to late ‘90s, when logging on to the internet through a dial-up modem started, I could feel that this was something big, but really didn’t know what to do with it. Speed was the biggest block. Once the higher speeds came about, sometime in the early 2000s, then things really took off. Now we have the ability to be in one room reporting the deposition and send the feed out over the internet to anywhere in the world – instantly.
Realtime reporting has been an important product of connectivity. How has it changed the industry?
To me, this has been the best career-saving opportunity that has ever happened to the reporting field. The ability to report the spoken word and to have it immediately available for the client to see, even if the client is half-way across the country, is what the reporter – and only the reporter – can provide.
You schedule services across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Where are you seeing a demand for this?
From everyone. Now clients have a choice of traveling to a location to conduct a deposition or conducting the deposition via videoconferencing. Either way, our firm, in connection with the many networking affiliates we have, can schedule a deposition anywhere in the world.
You mentioned videoconferencing. Can you explain how this technology can save money for attorneys?
As we all know, traveling is expensive. There’s the airline ticket to purchase, additional fees for baggage, additional fees for changing the date or time if it becomes necessary. Then you have cab fares or rental car fees. Then you have hotel fees. Then meal costs. We haven’t even touched on the client’s hourly cost to just get to the location where the deposition will be conducted. Now contrast that to arranging to have a witness appear at a court reporting office in the same city where the witness lives.
The attorneys can now be in their office or at the court reporter’s office that is in the attorney’s city. The connection is made and the attorney or attorneys and the witness can now converse with each other as if they were in the same room. Once the deposition has been concluded, it’s a quick drive back to work. No airfares, cab fares, hotel costs. The client is charged reasonable hourly fees for their attorney to attend the deposition, not paying for hours upon hours of travel time. It’s not hard at all to see how quickly costs can be saved by utilizing videoconferencing for many of the witnesses.
Here in Fresno and Bakersfield, which technology is used most often?
I see the electronic transcripts being used the most often. Having the transcript emailed to the client in a pdf format is by and large the most used piece of technology in our area. We now are also able to take the exhibits, along with the pdf transcript, and create hyperlinks from the exhibits to the transcript. Videoconferencing is also being used more and more as attorneys realize how convenient this technology is.
How often are you working with law firms from outside of the area? Are they working remotely? What sort of challenges does that present?
We do a large amount of business in our conference rooms with out-of-town attorneys. We have attorneys in one of our three offices daily. We try to make them feel comfortable by providing refreshments and a nice environment to work in. We have started to do more depositions where the witness is with the reporter in our office and the attorneys are out of town or out of state and appear via videoconference. I envision that this service will become more and more useful to the attorneys as they really grasp how convenient and cost-saving this service is.
What separates Keleher’s from other reporting services in Bakersfield?
Keleher’s is and always has been a family-owned business. Frank Keleher started the firm in 1970, after breaking away from his original partnership. I became part of the business in 1978. My brother, Robert, is involved in the business on the scanning/copying side. Robert goes to remote sites and scans documents, then produces the scanned files to the client. He also has a fantastic relationship with the local hospitals and doctors in Bakersfield. Recently my son, Daniel, has also joined the business. He is learning the business from the ground up, starting out initially with cleaning the office in Bakersfield after work hours while he was attending school. He is now running the production department of the office, preparing the paper transcripts, uploading the digital information & making sure that the client gets what was ordered.