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Monthly Archives: August 2011

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California Business Leaders Join Forces to Plug the Hole caused by years of bad Legislations

Government Code Chapter 14. Infrastructure Financing SECTION 5956-5956.10 ( {see below}

A big resounding hello to community and business leaders in California. If you are a fan of tragedies/ comedies then this is a good read. It is written more like a sit com. If you view the state of California’s CSU system and procurement division as a Cable show it makes the following Linked-in string far more palatable. SO for Sake of this we can call the sit-com or reality series – How to take a million dollars and Flush it.

The winner is the China and the poor saps on the show can get laughed at. Oh, the poor saps seem to be California business owners.  The Ironic Hero is all of the Politico and University officials that are defending their paychecks.  The secondary characters are their bosses who insure that the money they spend goes to poor decision-making and the defense of CA legislations that says bid and defend bids even if you know that the money is going down the toilet. Where is the NRDC when you need them. is a new entity helping. But NEFLDA is a 501c6 in South Carolina and CA does not care.

Well at least when our CA dollars flush out to sea the underwater cam will follow it to the cargo container and empty voids going back to China.  I think the tertiary characters in this show are the Skimmers holding the nets in the ports of Beijing.  Good for them. I commend my entrepreneurial friends that I have their that are getting richer. As a capitalist I am rooting for them. As a tax pay like a country club member/ I am wondering why I pay fees to a group that is grooming some one else’s golf course.

As a guy not only watching this comedy, and participating in the reality TV show, I am fearful that the only way to win is Spawn a Revolution . SO thanks Marty Keller and the Brave Men and Women ready to Plug the holes and become the main characters in this long and drawn out performance.

Read the string below and stomach it if you can. The basis is our Public Private opportunity based on Government Code Chapter 14. Infrastructure Financing SECTION 5956-5956.10 brings a solution to the table and could stop a 40 million dollar annual bleed in the CSU system or other similar entities in CA.  But the employees of the state system told me there is plenty of money and our program does no good for them. (crap – I better put more money into my kid’s college fund just to insure the rate hikes and program drops don’t affect the kid’s education – or I’ll send my kid to a private school in another state, hmmm).

The characters in my show segment, my university (Cal Poly you are being Called out) and other CSU schools at the Chancellors level basically have said – they do not want the ADG Eco solution ( {By the way, rejection and polite debriefs are a part of growing solutions – but the public employees seem not to know how to play in the same and box. It is their rules, but we as business leaders make better ones} and beyond not wanting it found every way to defend their position of poor procurement rules. 

I know I ma jumping in the middle of a story – but like any Soap Opera, you can quick pick up on the character or relate to those suffering and those Infamous heroes like on General Hospital (oh and all the soaps are going away too).

This has Oprah dominating the written show all over it { If I had her push/ pull then at least form a roll over like most politicians I would listen ( and Oprah is a good example of grow it big business leadership)}, and my ramblings are that of a Boutique design manufacturing firm that came up with a granting style and funding program that would relieve  1 billion in debt to California in a 20 year period.

Unfortunately too many state employees that re not politicians and not businessmen are defending their paycheck, doing nothing so they do not collect unemployment and to top it off, continue to Parrot the ramblings of bad legislations.

SECTION 5956-5956.10 is to create and generate a public private solution to the crappy budget here in CA.  Governor Brown may get it, Obama says he gets it.  But come on folks. Where are the actions?  Business Gurus like Verne Harnish Mastering the Rockefeller Habits ) and Jim Collins (Good to Great) should give our state Employees a lesson in what we as business leaders are trying to accomplish.   Tribal leaders are not activating the good and positive sense of tribes people the employees of the state and some locals cities0

If we bring this issue down to major cities like L.A. Shame on Villaraigosa  too many of his staff have tried to bring our program into the inner works and again the typical employee and committee seem to block the actions and Parrott rules with a lot of misinterpretation of them as well. I guess they all fear what happened with the Bad seeds in the City of Bell.

So let’s all join together with, create a face book and linked in group, shout from the highest mountain top and help to heal the economy.. By the way our success in other sates with our Dealers  and cities and small business and Fortune 500, and military bases benefiting from our program that puts no capital risk to them and encumbers our equity team is simple.  Energy is the new real-estate or Dot com market.  As a member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) we saw a global solution.

WE are acting like an intermediary between utility users and the Utility. We are paying for the Capital Expense for all good things lighting and making a Great resolve by allowing the customer to pay the energy savings and credit.

This program is different from ESCO and solar like PPA programs.  WE as entrepreneurs and CA business Leaders reached deep into our pockets and our PE pockets to scale and sculpt a program that guarantees no capital expense to the user slides the margin in their General Expense column and creates a 20 year sustainability mark with offset in maintenance, Waste, carbon reduction and energy reduction 50-90%.

The reason State and local City employees fear programs and solutions of the small business revolution is because we have the answers to award winning programs, shows and interactive solutions that they do not want to swallow their pride.

Read, engage, blog and let’s all together kick some great legislations into action. Let’s all together for what Dell, Hewlett Packard, Steve Jobs, Frank Lloyd Wright,  Bill Gates and Tesla  all did. Let’s how them that small business when nurtured, cared for and exploited properly will flourish in to the great American Dream and get big, Give back and hopefully keep the Flywheel  going (thanks Jim Collins and Verne Harnish for inspirations words I borrowed from)

5956 . Local governmental agencies have experienced a significant decrease in available tax revenues to fund necessary infrastructure improvements. If local governmental agencies are going to maintain the quality of life that this infrastructure provides, they must find new funding sources. One source of new money is private sector investment capital utilized to design, construct, maintain, rebuild, repair, and operate infrastructure facilities. Unless private sector investment capital becomes available to study, plan, design, construct, develop, finance, maintain, rebuild, improve, repair, or operate, or any combination thereof, fee-producing infrastructure facilities, some local governmental agencies will be unable to replace deteriorating infrastructure. Further, some local governmental agencies will be unable to expand and build new infrastructure facilities to serve the increasing population. — Revolutionaries go look the rest of it up…


 Below is the stomach turning of state employees attempting to tell our business we are not a viable solution. – If they were my employees I would fire them – you too probably, the merits are they defend their position. The demerits are they jsut do not get how public/ private business transactions and solutions work to the benefit of the tax payer or their responisbilkyt to revew solution like Gov code 5956.

Matthew Stafford • Hi Gerald. I am the incoming Vice President for ASI at Cal Poly Pomona. I might be able to help. Do you have more details on the grant which you are speaking of? Feel free to message me. Thanks!

Uyen Mai • Hello, I’m so sad to hear about this missed opportunity, but am glad our ASI VP Matthew promptly responded to your message. I’ll also forward this to our manager of sustainability as well as the managers of the Annual Fund callers and her executive director.

Uyen Mai
Public Affairs
Cal Poly Pomona

Gerald Olesker • Cal Poly and the Cal State system fails again.

Do not be proud Uyen Mai – prompt response but no follow through from any one in a position to accept our dollars. 2 months since our offer.

What a sad state of university management. And all these threads talk about is how some one is upset a bout a $400k salary. Our company should offer the Million dollar Grant to his university and him directly. Perhaps a school that hires someone with that type of salary requirement should get our 10 million in energy offsets.
There should be a requirement for university officials to listen better and staff trained to respond when companies want to pair up and help out.

So Cal poly Alumni – the bottom line is our company offered a one million dollar grant in the energy arena and Cal Poly has not had any one even the VP of finance or any top official call learn more. SO why do you donate when they can even accept????

I think i’ll call Channel 5 news and tell them how bad our economy really is. it’s not from lack of funds. it’s from lack of ability of hitred public officials. Or do you have a solution?

Meaghan Smith • Thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like there may have been a communication misunderstanding. Our manager of energy services has spoken with someone from ADG Eco Lighting about this proposal over two months ago, and we are fully aware of the program that would require full repayment of the grant through energy savings for many years. Cal Poly Pomona (and the rest of the CSU) is required to comply with the public works competitive bidding requirements, and ADG Eco Lighting is welcome to participate in a competitive bid process. We appreciate your interest in our university and look forward to your participation in future lighting efficiency projects!

Meaghan Smith
Cal Poly Pomona

Gerald Olesker • Hi Matthew,
I am available. Our office number for ADG Eco Lighting is 818-597-9494.
RED USCP (Red Utility Savings Company Program) is offering up to one million dollars for individual universities and colleges for energy efficiency lighting equipment upgrades. We have complete package info I can email you. Best, Gerald Olesker CEO Architectural Detail Group
email to it will get forwarded to me by our office

CP alumni association missed a million dollar grant. they called last week
and asked for a donation. I did one better and said that our company has up to a million dollar grant for energy efficiency and we would streamline the process.
DO you think they called back, do you think the VP of finance or the Chancellor called.
This is where they miss the boat. OH and they are blowing up a building too. GRRR.
Can any one help or does some one want the grant for energy efficiency???

Gerald Olesker • WOW – you all just don’t get it. this has nothing to do with not using our program. it is the lack of follow thru from your management. There is no competitive bid. our Grant puts product at $0 cost. How come the VP of finance is not directly involved. . The program is based on savings and offsets. the NEFLDA offers this grant. The school never applied for the grant – and in all due respect the manager of energy services never went beyond few minute conversation.

I certainly think that the misunderstanding is CSU.

Did you bid you power company. or water services. There is no sale of lights. NEFLDA is providing energy efficiency savings. You all really need to check this program out and figure how to save the schools millions instead of your poor quality bid process that keep s placing inferior products into services.

Really stop think of the old ways and move forward with progress that what sustainability is about and I also leaned at CP in the environmental design/ architecture. This is about problem solving.

Again I think Channel 5 would be intrigued about the insanity of loss of savings or revenue equal to about 40 million in the CUS system when NEFLDA will just put the money up.

Michael J. Stephens, AIA • Gerald,

What are we, as public agencies, missing when reading this? For me it is the fine print that actually states what you do (I know, I know – it’s all about providing energy efficiency savings!), how you profit, and what it is going to cost AND save me. I like detail.

The implication you pose is that you have this great $0 program available that is somehow a large scale stop-gap to the general fund deficit, and we public servants are all idiots for not embracing it. How are you different than a product-based PPA or a Noresco/Esco entity? How is the program different than the outright appearance of paying for light fixture products/systems with “savings” over the next decade? How does your program legally circumvent public bidding procedures? And please don’t get caught up in the semantics of “grant” funding – everyone sees through it, including the state attorney general. If it is to be repaid, it’s not really a grant, is it? I think the term is called a loan for “energy efficiency services” (we won’t call them fixtures, lamps, ballasts, switches, or controls, ok?) that bypass the PCC, repaid in full with interest.

While I agree with the premise of installing more efficient fixtures/systems, why wouldn’t I pay for the upfront costs for this and reap the benefits of it, without a “broker entity”, directly? Why should I use NEFLDA? My ROI is much shorter, the relief to the GF is realized sooner, and none of the savings investment is “financed”. Frankly, this strategy is low-hanging fruit, and we have already identified it and have been implementing it for a few years.

Unfortunately, the fact is that we do work within the guidelines of the PCC, regardless of your opinion that it is counterproductive to sustainable policies. I happen to agree with you – go yell at our legislature for change.

Interestingly, I posted my e-mail address on another sidetracked thread, asking for this detail or explanation, and I never heard from you. Our district is always looking for ways to legally save money – if this is the real deal, and it is materially different than what I commented about above, follow-up won’t be wasted effort for you.

Gerald Olesker • HI Michael,
I appreciate the feedback and the irony is you as a PO from Riverside replied and the Cal Poly appropriate officials have not.

On the side thread let’s get NEFLDA involved to answer your questions and let’s set a conference call. better than email.

as far as funds and money 2010 California Code
Government Code Chapter 14. Infrastructure Financing SECTION 5956-5956.10 read this.
The answer is simple/ the grant actually is coming from NEFLDA, no one ever said what the terms of repayment were and or to whom it went. Other state we are setting it up with the utility as well..

CA legislature has made this easy if you read the attached code. The cost of money is simple. THE STATE HAS NO MORE MONEY FOR EDUCATION and if you think taking a loan out is good business, I would rather pay less on my utility bill than rack the bill back up to the sate. PUC and CEC only have 1.5million left for energy efficiency programs per my conversation 2 months ago with them. Our underwriters have 2mm per school to offer as a start x what 20 CSU’s..

AND I am not name calling anyone. I am however calling out everyone. Your cost of money and the ridicules bid process has placed mediocrity into service. And as far as the ESCO’s where they are excelling they have created large fault by just placing a lot of Chinese products into service. (that is because their business model is based on rebates and therefore lowest priced items) This does no one any good in the CA economy. The reason is our tax dollars are being placed into another county and low paying product. The ESCO wins.

I am not saying that as a GRANT or any other position it is good bad or anything but – Yet, if it is a loan you want then rather you should ask questions and thoroughly review. Business people negotiate. Politicos are, and should on behalf of the people, make decisions that are good business. Bid’s and money back to China is not.

Every Grant has its terms. However, if the property comes from one source and it enables a higher level of energy savings then if the repayment was from rebates or other programs everyone jumps on it – that technically as a transaction should benefit the tax payer not another country.

Your term on GF funds put the CA taxpayer at greater risk because it is money that is borrowed. This is program that lowers consumption at a rate with no out of pocket and negotiates an appropriate structured payment on energy costs. This is good business. In fact is great business.

(see next string for continued commentary}}}}

Gerald Olesker • (continued commentary from above string}}}}}}

But the large cost is to our local economies because – again the rebate and tax incentives are all off the table and floating on a boat back to China. The state Controller should look at the 2 billion lost in tax incentives and rebates and to brokers doing this rather than true CA or domestic manufactures and facilitators of jobs. I personally pay taxes to CA and the IRS and did not sign up to have money transferred to China through rebates and bids.. So as an entrepreneur I am seeking alternative solutions based on our governors and legislatures bill and am willing to work with entities like yours to find a solution and help stop the bleeding.

So to all reading this I encourage you to reach out and speak to NEFLDA. Californians seem to be resistant and the fact is Government Code Chapter 14. Infrastructure Financing SECTION 5956-5956.10

As an Entrepreneur in good standing with the state. I look to the best interest at hand of our economy. You seem to be trying to call me out. I am a capitalist and that is what keeps the economy running. I am glad to pay taxes and live in a privilege state like CA. Nevertheless, I am getting tired of bad legislation and poor decisions by others letting our money roll out of the state.

So call 855-463-3532 the national Eco Friendly Lighting Dealers Association a 501 c6 ask them the questions and let them go to bat. And by the way the CSU facilities division does not return the calls to NEFLDA. It is a real shame on them.

Michael – call me anytime and we can talk or call Dave Allen at the association – he is there to help.

Meaghan Smith • Actually, Cal Poly Pomona has responded, via a phone conversation with the company over two months ago, emails with various staff, and in a LinkedIn post this morning. Thank you, but as we’ve said before, the program is not appropriate for the institution.

Since you are an alum and working in the sustainability industry, I invite you to check out all of the sustainability projects we’ve got going at Cal Poly Pomona to reduce our carbon emissions.

Michael J. Stephens, AIA • Gerald,
Thanks for the response. First, I was not trying to “call you out” – that’s something I do at the race track with folks who are less than honest about what their cars run. However, I did ask some important questions which, in reading through the exercise of obfuscation, are still unanswered. You should interpret requests for information and clearly defined answers as simple fiduciary diligence, and not as antagonism. We appreciate the diligence you exhibit to improve efficiencies, but without details relative to your agenda or service, nobody can be expected to make good decisions (or recommendations) on behalf of the organizations/institutions they represent.

As you said, you’re a capitalist – that’s the part of the “grant” proposition and its undefined terms that concerns most of us. The irony here is that this organization you vigorously advertise is seeking to profit from tax dollars, through a manipulative exercise of semantics-selling, or xenophobic-like product scare tactics, among other things. As an entrepreneur, you appear to have goals that are inconsistent with mine. As stated, these are somewhat at variance with my obligations to my district as well.

I’ll discuss this internally and we’ll see where this goes, if anywhere, from our end.

Gerald Olesker • Megan – I am the CEO. and your statemnt in terms of consideration was based on a phone call and linked-in posting.. There were no reviews of the facilities needs, no questions asked or internal requests for the national non-profit to advocate and help the school. Neither was the VP of finance asked to engage in this discussion reviewing the overal application, opportunity or process. So how an institution can dismiss a program solely based on 1 conversation and a linked in email is totally beyond my understanding. Best of luck Cal Poly.

Gerald Olesker • Michael – for the last response, . This is why email and string posting are not the best forms of communication.
I did respond by saying to CALL NEFDLA and apply to be reviewed or ask questions. Not have a Linked –in string of banter..

Profit is a good thing even for non-profits with a higher form of fiduciary responsibility.
There are no tactics other than weighing in on the pros and calculations of what works best.

Quick Dismissals based on the surface info is typical from California institutions, because there are a lot of deceivers out there make our jobs even harder. – but a 100 year old factory must be doing something right… If this is not for you again and your institution may not even qualify – nor may Cal Poly, if you do not apply you will never now.

Clear definitions are not easy in string conversations because each institution is uniquely different. Again, as I said 2 months ago please feel free to contact NEFLDA.

Reading books for Architects

What a great grouping of architecturally related books. As someone who had practiced Architecture 20 years ago, and over the last 20 years been part of the design/ supply and manufacturing trade to some of the top architectural homes, hotels resorts and public projects – I have been blessed to learn from each architect.

So here is the scoop, books on architecture have been great influencers on my right brain activity. BUT there is a unique and commenting divide amongst those architects that have become business leaders and stood out from the rest.

These great architects and masters only rose to the top because of persistence, and sometimes just good publicists. However, the ones that I have respected the most are the ones that have developed great businesses, (ARCHITECTS AS ENTREPRENEURS, copy right 2010 Gerald Olesker). This – from the entrepreneurial side in my opinion comes from business books like “Good to Great”, Jim Collins and “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits”, Verne Harnish . This is a left brain shift.

The second part to my post is uniquely a business proposition to all architects – Left Brain Shift and business switch up.
What makes a great architect. I have had the good fortune to work and design over 900 projects world wide, from the decorative lighting design and manufacturing perspective.. I have met many of you.

With this, I have had the good fortune of learning how to work with architects and designees alike. So many of you are talented and several stand out as great business leaders. Marc Appleton, Grant Kirkpatrick/ KAA and Richard Landry on the west coast have had exponentially great practices. I mention these three in particular because they all have published books. From a selfish perspective, my work stands out in all three. Therefore, I refer back to these books to remember that Greatness, like Jim Collins and Verne Harnish reveal in their books, comes from persistence and planning.

The good will of architects published from a historical point in Sir Banister Fletcher’s “A History of Architecture” gives one of the broadest overviews of where we have been as architects. The buildings we all appreciate are relevant too each in the architects own unique way. The clients choose each one of you because of your unique and experiential method of working with the client.

So to make the great leap over the cerebral divide, Pick up a business book, any one from Jim Collins or go to and practice daily great business habits and your client base will improve.

Gerald Olesker is the chief executive officer of Architectural Detail Group, inc and ADG eco Lighting – where our motto is that we are collaborative group enhancing the built environment through positive relationships. SO thank for including me in you Linked-in group