This month, Intelligent Office of Alexandria is pleased to introduced our returning client, Amir Ali, who is an insurance consulting executive and owner of The Insurance Samurai. With decades of experience in insurance consulting, we are excited to share Amir’s story of how he got started in the insurance industry, what he enjoys most about what he does, our client relationship, and how he uses his expertise to serve the community.
As an insurance consultant, Amir specializes in corporate insurance, commercial property, and casualty insurance, and employee benefits. He got his start in the health insurance division of New Your Life in 1995. He then went on to work for an insurance brokerage firm; and January 2002, Amir started his own firm.
One of the things Amir enjoys most about insurance is the ability to help small business owners protect their businesses and their financial stability. Without insurance, many companies would not be able to provide their services, especially if they are doing business with municipalities. “Being able to provide that level of assistance is a great feeling,” says Amir.
At Intelligent Office of Alexandria, we also feel good when our clients are successful. According to Amir, the ease of doing business with us is what he enjoys most about being a client. As a former virtual address client, Amir left the area back in 2013. When he returned and started a new firm, Amir reached out to us; and we immediately got him set up again with our virtual address service. Amir chose to use our services again because he prefers talking to and knowing the people with whom he does business. “Having someone local to talk to and deal with is much easier!”
As a way of giving back to his local community, Amir speaks at financial seminars and sits on local panels for the DC Mayor’s Office of African American Affairs, conveying the power of life insurance and how detrimental it can be if you do not have it.
Corey Tisdale is the owner of Tisdale Law Firm, a boutique family law and criminal practice based here in our Intelligent Office Alexandria office space. We sat down with Corey to learn more about his law firm, his approach to the practice of the law, and how Intelligent Office Alexandria has supported the growth and operations of his business.
The Tisdale Law Firm focuses primarily on family law, including divorce, abuse, child custody, and support disputes; while also handling abuse and neglect and guardianship cases for the City of Alexandria. Additionally, Corey has a passion for adoption and surrogacy. He views it as a special area of law in which he can help create positive outcomes by building families and placing children in loving homes.
In his family law practice, Corey thinks of himself as the person to bring focus back to the reasons why his clients are going to court. His goal is to help his clients make sense of what is best for them in the long term, especially when children are involved. He provides guidance and perspective to the situation, relieving stress along the way. Ultimately, Corey is focused on a holistic and mindful practice of the law. Given the nature of family law, the Tisdale Law Firm seeks to provide comfort and help to clients during a very difficult time.
Formerly a Judge Advocacy General attorney for the U.S. Army, Corey decided he wanted to create his own business. Starting a business can be an overwhelming venture. However, working with Intelligent Office Alexandria has allowed him to grow his legal practice at his own pace. At first, all he needed was an address and hourly office space; but as his business grew, Corey realized that it would be more cost effective to have his own office. This allowed him to grow into his space because he did not have to take on any debt and his expenses were not higher than what he could afford. Most recently, Corey added on our phone services. He can be on a call with another client or in court and his calls will be answered. Hearing a human voice and having a receptionist to alleviate stress for his clients is invaluable. Plus, having his own office space and someone to answer his calls allows him to mimic that of a large firm.
During COVID and this time of social distancing, Corey has enjoyed coming to his office, seeing the smiling faces of our staff, and interacting with others on a daily basis. Being in the office has also allowed Corey to find new business opportunities, grow his personal wealth, and talk with other professionals whom he would not have met otherwise. On a personal note, Corey is addicted to Peloton and enjoys riding every morning before he starts his day.
For questions about our services and to learn how we can help support your business, call 703-224-8800 or email Chanel Lewis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the pandemic, Intelligent Office Alexandria has remained steadfast in our services and commitment to our clients. Now more than ever, we stand by our clients and their business needs. A good example of our commitment to providing stellar client-focused virtual services is our recent relationship with Next Move|Nation’s Capital. We met with Jared Lilly, a licensed Real Estate professional and a partner at Next Move|Nation’s Capital, to learn more about the company, how he got started with them, and what he enjoys most about working with Intelligent Office Alexandria. Here’s what we learned:
Licensed in 2011, Jared Lilly is a native to Northern Virginia who moved to Keller Williams Capital Properties as an independent agent. After three years with a small team, he decided to partner with Jordan Stuart, owner of The Next Move Network, a network of real estate professionals catering to the sports and entertainment industry, to create a local footprint for clients here in the Metro DC area. They formed Next Move|Nation’s Capital, which serves as a blueprint for several new franchises, including locations in Denver, CO – Next Move Mile High, and the beginnings of Next Move Peachtree in Atlanta, GA. Next Move|Nation’s Capital’s mission is to assist people in buying and selling real estate. Serving all clients across the board, they sold a listing for $5.6 Million and just this month, they closed on a piece of land in Stafford for $85,000.
Although these two listings were on opposite ends of the spectrum, Jared and the Next Move|Nation’s Capital team are always focused on taking care of people and their real estate needs. They have two agents who are licensed in VA, MD, and DC, and two agents licensed in VA and MD, respectively. They operate across the entire residential real estate spectrum, helping with all types of transactions. In 2019, the company did over $40 million in sales, which accounts for just under 100 properties and rentals. This year, Next Move|Nation’s Capital is expected to surpass $50 million in sales.
When Jared came to us, we knew we could help Next Move|Nation’s Capital build their identity and provide the type of customer care that they needed for their clients. As a former tenant in a different office space, Jared valued our phone system as the biggest catalyst in his decision to switch to Intelligent Office Alexandria. Next Move|Nation’s Capital operates at all hours of the day and it was important for clients to be able to reach them or to leave a message. Our receptionist services have become invaluable to the nature of their business.
As a team, Next Move|Nation’s Capital is focused on giving back to the community, hosting toy drives to benefit Children’s Hospital, and visits with Santa at Mount Vernon RECenter during the holidays! On a personal level, Jared and his family spend their free time attending NATS baseball games, sponsoring local Little League, and remaining active together. Intelligent Office Alexandria is happy to support Next Move Nation’s Capital’s commitment to their clients and to their local community. Who do you know that is thinking of selling this year? Give them a call!
For questions about our services and to learn how we can help support your business, call 703-224-8800 or email Chanel Lewis, email@example.com.
-For Immediate Release
Matt Whitaker to Kick Off Exit Planning BootCamp Series at Intelligent Office
Alexandria, Virginia - October 5, 2015 - On Tuesday this week, Intelligent Office of Alexandria will host the first session in an eight-part Exit Planning Boot Camp, targeted at business owners who are thinking about planning for their future.The series is being organized and sponsored by Quantive Valuations, an Intelligent Office client that provides valuation services for businesses of all types.
Matt Whitaker, the owner of Intelligent Office of Alexandria, will deliver the first session of the series, titled “An Overview of Exit Planning.”In addition to operating Intelligent Office, Matt is also a Mergers and Acquisitions advisor with Clear Rock M&A Advisory services, where he works with the owners of lower middle market companies who are seeking to sell their businesses or buy other companies.
“This first session is really the survey course,” said Matt.“We’re going to discuss why it’s important for all business owners to have an exit plan, and we’re going to review the different parts of the plan and define the set of advisors that can help an owner create and execute a successful exit.”
“Most small business owners have up to 80% of their wealth tied up in their business,” said Dan Doran, owner of Quantive Valuations.“But many of the owners we work with are so tied up in the day to day activities of running the business that they fail to plan ahead.In a best case, they leave a lot of money on the table in the sale of the business or in a lack of tax planning and estate management.In a worst case, they are never able to retire.”
A thorough Exit Plan starts with the personal goals of the business owner including a personal financial plan, and an assessment of the current value of the business.Once those are established, the owner can take concrete steps to grow the business and exit on his or her own terms.
“Many businesses get sold when a buyer happens to come along and knock on the door,” said Matt.“An owner with an exit plan that is well thought out will be in a better position to respond when he or she gets those calls.”
Of course, Intelligent Office has hosted many events over the years.If you have attended one, you’re used to seeing Matt welcome the guests and introduce the speaker.“I’m ready to step into the spotlight on this one,” said Matt.“Usually I can sit on the sidelines and toss out a few smart comments.But this issue is so important.I’ve worked with a number of business owners who wanted to sell their companies but had not taken the right steps to prepare the company to get the highest value.If we can help even a few of our audience members to take the first few steps, then it will be a great day.”
While last week we focused on one of the most efficient organizations in Alexandria – the Albert V. Bryan “Rocket Docket” Courthouse – today we turn to one that has caught a lot of criticism over the years for having a notoriously tedious process: the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Previously comparable to a horse and buggy, they’re hoping the PTO can become a freight train with John B. Owens II as the chief engineer. Not usually a bureaucracy that garners much attention, the USPTO has had its share of the limelight recently; first with their announcement of satellite offices, second their vast modernization of their DC office, and thirdly, the Washington Redskins patent being reviewed and cancelled.
Located one block from Intelligent Office of Alexandria, the Patent and Trademark Office announced it would have remote offices in every time zone in the US. Dallas, Detroit, Sacramento, and Denver are all looking forward to the new jobs that will be created, especially Denver’s which a USPTO press release estimated “will create an estimated 130 high-quality, good-paying jobs, eventually housing patent examiners, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges.” As an office that values creativity we couldn’t be more pleased to see the expansion provide better accessibility to those wanting to get involved with the progression of technology. Many of our clients – especially those like Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Sev1Tech – promote learning in the community, and their investments will pay off in academic and economic growth for years.
No matter the economic growth, the modernization of the patent office seems to have slowed production for at least the time being. One employee mentioned taking off days from work because the building was under repair. Often time progression comes at an expense, but this seems to be a long-term investment. Owens was recently reviewed in the Washington Post relatively favorably, and he focused primarily on rapid development and agility within their office. These goals, set to be the next up-and-coming modern bureaucracy, seem to be paying off. With the expansions across America and a thorough review process, the USPTO has done its best to make changes as seamlessly as possible. Innovation is essential to a successful company, and the Patent Office is doing what it can to increase creativity and to decrease any roadblocks in the creative process. Mr. Owens stated his belief firmly that he “believes our founding fathers were right in protecting someone’s intellectual property.” He goes on to mention the lengthy process is one that will cause more heartache as inventors see their projects drag on. This transition to agile development has a heavy, much-needed focus on functioning consistency.
One final thing that has drawn attention is the name change for the Washington Redskins football team. Although a decision was made by the review board to cancel the trademark, the appeal process will allow Dan Snyder to keep the name pending final verdict. As a wider-reaching effect, the lingering notion that a handful of board members could have such a wide influence on one of the most recognized brands in sports does seem to be weighing heavily on those wary of too much government involvement. The same situation happened before where the Redskins won the appeal, and they’ve stayed as such until now. We’ll be waiting to see if things stick this time around too. No matter what they’re in the news for, the US Patent and Trade Office seem to be making their mark, and we’re glad we’re close enough to see it.
Fondly referred to as the “Rocket Docket,” the Eastern District of Virginia Court has built a reputation as the surefire way to expedite a ruling, making it a popular initial step for plaintiffs. Plaintiffs have the advantage of knowing the litigation plans, the EDVA does not require a prefiling notice, and since decisions are usually made in less than a year, time is of the essence. Starting the tradition years ago was the judge this courthouse is named after: Albert Vickers Bryan. He set the trends that are still continued in many aspects of the courthouse today; the architecture focuses on pointed accuracy, there’s an understanding of no-nonsense manageability, and tight security is in place discouraging anything that might so much as set off a scanner. My favorite part of the courthouse though is their ability to balance the succinctness of efficiency with the cordialness of a truly effective system; it seems that when things are running smoothly people are more pleasant, and the employees at the courthouse are easy to work with.
For nearly the past forty years the Court has taken on some of the most important cases, many of which have to deal in international law and, because the Patent and Trademark Office is in its jurisdiction (located only one block away), intellectual property. Patent law cases are resolved in an average of less than eight months, placing them first out of all 94 District Courts in civil litigation time. Although patents may be one of their specialties, they don’t waste time in other case matters either. Besides the speed of proceedings, the Rocket Docket has also gained prestige through some of the cases it’s handled. Bryan Sr. was the one who paved the way for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision with his ruling for racial integration in schools, and his son, Albert V. Bryan Jr. (also a federal judge) was notorious for making rulings as soon as arguments had concluded. Zacarias Moussaoui, suspected of Al-Qaida involvement was tried and indicted on terrorist charges in correlation with the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. Recently of note eleven men were tried and sentenced in relation to the Somali Pirate hostage situation; the first sentences were served on August 22, 2011, a mere seven months after the events occurred. Through all of these difficult sentences, the justice system has remained intact and been embodied by the fairness of the Eastern District Court.
Needing to try a case in a court such as this can be intimidating, but there are ways around the stresses. One of the top ways to increase manageability, especially in this area, is by cutting down on your commute. Traveling from a firm to the courthouse, and then around the area without having a home base can be nerve-wracking and distract you from the litigation you need to attend to. Our office is a mere three minute walk from the courthouse, and the easy accessibility give you as much control over the litigation process as possible. With space ranging from small offices to large conference rooms available by the day, week or month, we can help with hectic schedules and the pressure of needing immediate action. Following the standards set by the courthouse, we also are able to keep your things secure, under lock and key for as long as you need. If you have a case coming up at the Rocket Docket give us a call, stop in for a visit, and get going!
Congratulations to the staff and board at our client the American School Counselor Association! Their yearly conference was a hit, and Michelle Obama's speech was poignant and touching - and the extra exposure for their organization was a great bonus too!
The collaboration needed to pull off this feat was no small undertaking, and it was great to be part of such an influential meeting. We were pleased to take the load off of their staffers by handling their phone calls, registering participants for the conference and workshops, and renewing memberships so staff members could focus on their work. With our help, Executive Director Richard Wong stated that their "staff of nine does the work of 100!" We are excitedly awaiting next year's conference, which will take place in Phoenix, Arizona.
You may have noticed a new voice – and maybe even a new language – on the Intelligent Office of Alexandria phone lines.We recently welcomed Maryland Rodriguez to our receptionist team.Maryland is Mexican-American, and she switches as easily between English and Spanish.
She hopes her daughter will one day do the same.Maryland is the mother of 2 year old Samantha.The family lives in Fredericksburg.“I spend all my time with Samantha.I have no hobbies except for her.I speak to her equally in English and Spanish so that she’ll learn both,” says Maryland.
Samantha might ultimately pick up another family trait as well.Maryland comes from a family of entrepreneurs.After emigrating from Mexico as a young man, Maryland’s father eventually started a drywall and painting business that currently employs 25 people.Back in a small village in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, Maryland’s grandfather runs a large farm and owns the only store in town.“When I was little, it was just a gas station,” Maryland recalls.“Now it’s like Walmart.”Maryland spent summers as a child on the farm, helping in the store, doing odd jobs and tending the chicken, pigs, sheep, and horses.
After experiencing work on the farm, Maryland finds life at Intelligent Office of Alexandria so far to be a breeze.“I really enjoy working with our clients,” she says.“My favorite is (a small law firm) because I like hearing the stories of the callers and figuring out which attorney should receive each call.”She also seems fond of a client with a shredding business, because they receive a lot of calls from Native Spanish speakers.
Please stop at the front and say hello to Maryland the next time you are in the office.Don’t worry about which language she happens to be speaking when you arrive. Her warm smile works in English and in Spanish.
Adam Bennett always had a passion for his work as an IT security specialist. But when he saw how much his employer was billing its government clients for his time, he found a new passion for entrepreneurship and launched his own company, Cloudburst Security. Two years later, when his wife Andrea left her position in resource management at NASA to join the company, Cloudburst gained the resources needed to support fast growth. The company began using virtual office services from Intelligent Office of Alexandria in April 2010, and over the next eight months they experienced 300% growth as they added contracts with Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security.
Andrea Bennett, now the CEO of the company, described how the couple have worked well together to grow the company. “It was a tough adjustment when I started working with my spouse. Our styles are very different. But over time we realized that our skills complement each other’s. Now he takes the lead on business development and I take the lead on delivering results to our clients and managing our company operations.”
Ms. Bennett takes great pride in the company’s flagship accomplishment, standing up the security operations center at a highly-targeted agency within 60 days of contract award. They continue to provide continuous monitoring for the agency. The firm’s service offerings include: Enterprise Risk Management, Vulnerability Assessment, Penetration Testing, 24x7 Security Operations/Continuous Monitoring, Cyber Threat & Intelligence Analysis, Malicious Code Analysis & Reverse Engineering, Software Assurance/Application Security, Application Development, Server Consolidation & Virtualization, and many others.
After using virtual office services for nearly a year, Cloudburst finally moved in to a large executive office at Intelligent Office of Alexandria last month, and now the couple spends most of their work week at Intelligent Office. “Intelligent Office has helped us meet the demands of a growing small business,” said Ms. Bennett. “I felt like it was a step further in strengthening our corporate infrastructure.”
She also mentioned how she enjoys the environment at Intelligent Office. “After working at home for a while, I really love being at Intelligent Office. I can close my door for some seclusion, or I can walk out into the hallway and meet someone new every day. The staff is so friendly, and the location is great for us. I also like the personalized services – the Intelligent Office receptionists take on the personality of a Cloudburst employee. “ The Bennetts have two daughters, Annika, 5, and Anastasia, 2, so work-life balance is always a challenge, and Intelligent Office helps them separate work and home life and work more effectively.
Cloudburst Security is poised for further growth in 2011. Ms. Bennett described that the company is investing in infrastructure to support business development in the government space. With an expanding list of successful contracts, a focus on business development, and the support provided by Intelligent Office of Alexandria, an additional 300% growth is a real possibility.