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entertainment for the commercial bank, finance and leasing industry


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Archive--April 30, 2001
 Leasing Salesmen Pay Survey
  Classified Ads---Legal
ELFA 26th Annual National Funding Conference
 By Bruce Kropschot, The Alta Group
  Funding Conference Photographs
   Classified Ads---Help Wanted
Wells Fargo: Still the Most Profitable Bank
 Banks Continue to Trim Branch Counts in Q1
  First American Equipment Finance 7 New CLP’s
Letters???—We get eMAIL!!!
 Chart: Trend--More Renting than Buying Houses
  Fountain Partners Provides $13 Million
   In Lease Lines of Credit to DigitalOcean
    Border Collie Mix Puppy
     Fremont, California Adopt-a-Dog
      Classified ads—Back Office
News Briefs---
CIT Group Management Discusses Q1 2014 Results
 U.S. Bank to close 13 branches
  National Restaurant May 17-20 Chicago Show Guide
   eBay’s Tax Bill $3 billion for Bringing Cash Back to the U.S.
    Big Texas Utility Files for Bankruptcy, One of Largest Ever
     7 Surprising Findings: State of the Internet Report
      Internet Explorer bug lets hacker control your PC

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)

  You May have Missed---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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Archive--April 30, 2001
Leasing Salesmen Pay Survey

We pay 2% of equipment volume in compensation.   Generally there is a base of $48K and the 2% commish is paid for volume over $200K.  They also earn 25% of the fee of any brokered deal they bring in. The 25% split of broker income is independent of our funded equipment volume.  We pay monthly though will probably shift to quarterly.

As a sales rep, with 4 years’ experience, I make a base salary of $48k with a chance to make commission once I make more money for the company than it takes to keep my seat, i.e. $4000 per month. It seemed to be in line with the Advanta commission plan, but unless you really generate volume, you cannot realize commission.

Our plan is pretty simple.  Our sales reps working with vendors and lessees are paid a commission of 3% of the equipment cost.

Around here, be it small ticket or big ticket, I believe all the lease origination personnel have had a base salary and then a bonus once a certain minimum volume was done on a monthly (for the small ticket group) or annual (for the large ticket group) basis.  Our most experienced and senior large ticket salesperson makes well into the 6 figure range, I've heard, but they consistently book volume in the tens of millions each year. I think all our large ticket groups that have been here two or more years each make over $100,000 per year between base and bonus.

Our small ticket people have had the potential to make six figures but it has always been heavily volume dependent.

There are several different bases, based on whether or not they hit their bogey for the year or month.  Bonus is only paid once minimum target volume is reached. If someone is not hitting their target within a year around here, they usually let them go.



I pay my in-house sales people as follows:  Base Salary of 30K per year. This covers the first $5,000 in GP.  I allocate 50% of any deal the generate themselves and 10% of the GP on any house deal that I assign to them to help them cover the first $5,000 in GP.  On the second 5,000 in GP, the sales rep earns 25% and 40 % on any GP generated after that.  A rep working for me can justify their existence at about $800K per year in volume.  They will make $45-50K at $100K per month in volume and about $75K at $150K per month in volume.

We get 35% of the first $10,000 per month in gross that we bring into the company.  We get 45% above $10,000 and 50% above $18,000 per month.

We split document fees over the amount required in the approval.  It is all commission, no guarantee.

We pay a reconciling draw against commissions, ranging from $10,000.00 per month to $2,000.00 per month.  The rep makes commission of 25% of the gross revenues generated.  Once they become three months behind on their draw, the draw is discontinued.

You may quote me.

Several years ago, I became aware of a survey done by The Manifest Group where they found that the average equipment leasing salesperson, with two years’ experience, earned an average of $25,000 per year.  This was, I was told, a national average, which by definition means that half the salespeople nationally earned less than $25,000 per year, and half earned more than $25,000 per year.

At my former company, we compensated salespeople with a 50% split of the gross commission due on the leasing transaction.  The salespeople generally had use of our office space, and we paid for special promotions.  In addition, we provided an auto allowance of $300 per month, and a telephone allowance of $150 per month.  We found it necessary, in virtually all cases, to provide the salespeople with a draw against future earned commissions. We found that even our most experienced salespeople did not break-even on this arrangement until they were employed with us at least three years.

The most generous compensation program I have first-hand knowledge of provides the leasing salespeople with 65% of the gross transaction commission.  This company, a longtime, successful leasing broker, also provides office space, use of telephone, and the payment of advertising promotions. 

In fairness to all leasing salespeople, their compensation potential depends as much on their company's access to capital, and flexible financing plans, as it does on their individual sales ability and work ethic.  In our case, at just the time our salespeople began to realize their individual potential, their ability to grow their earnings was drastically curtailed by our loss of bank funding.

My only advice to your inquirer is: carefully evaluate the company you represent or will represent.  Your ability to cultivate vendor and lessee relationships depends to a great degree on your company's ability to deliver on its credit program and funding promises.  Unfortunately, in today's economic and leasing environment, the only thing you can count on is uncertainty. 

Steve Chriest



Classified Ads---Legal

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or looking
to improve their position)

San Diego , CA 
Experienced in-house corporate, equipment leasing and financial services attorney seeks position as managing or transactional counsel. Willing to relocate.
Cell Phone: 760-533-4058; | Resume

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:


Report on the ELFA
26th Annual National Funding Conference
By Bruce Kropschot, The Alta Group

2014 is shaping up to be a good year for
the equipment leasing and finance industry.

The 26th Annual National Funding Conference sponsored by Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) was held April 23-25, 2014 at the Swissotel in Chicago. This represented a location change, as for many years the conference has been held at the nearby Fairmont Hotel. Attendees were generally pleased by the guest rooms, meeting facilities and service at the Swissotel, although ELFA has already committed to having the conference return to the Fairmont in 2015.

The attendance of 551 at this year’s Funding Conference was the highest it has been since the 2008 financial crisis. Lesley Sterling, ELFA VP, Business & Professional Development, reported that the association was “very, very pleased” with the turn-out. Ms. Sterling, the ELFA staff, ELFA Funding Committee Chairman Scott Kiley and the other Funding Committee members are to be commended for arranging a conference that was well-organized and met the needs of the attendees.

The conference attracted 44 funding source exhibitors and 6 service provider exhibitors. As has been the normal practice, attendees could pre-schedule 20 minute appointments with funding sources on Thursday and in the morning on Friday. Some attendees with a heavy schedule of meetings likened the process to “speed dating.” Attendees seeking new funding alternatives had a wide variety of funding sources to meet with, and, by most accounts, funding sources were eager to develop new relationships. A number of funding sources used the occasion to schedule off-site parties for their existing customers on Wednesday or Thursday night.

The conference commenced with an opening reception on Wednesday night, and another reception was held Thursday night. Thousands of business cards were exchanged as attendees talked informally about a variety of topics pertinent to their business interests. At the Funding Conference, some attendees find that their most valuable take-aways are the relationships developed during the cocktail receptions.

The only formal program at the Funding Conference was the Thursday lunch which featured brief comments by ELFA President William G. (“Woody”) Sutton and a presentation by ELFA Chairman Adam Warner, President of Key Equipment Finance. Mr. Warner reviewed the second quarter update to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s 2014 Economic Outlook report. The U.S. economy is expected to grow 2.8% in 2014, the fastest pace since the 2008-09 recession. Furthermore, the Foundation has increased its 2014 equipment and software forecast to a 4.2% growth rate, up from its original 3.1% growth forecast. Mr. Warner noted that lessors have experienced growth in their loan and lease portfolios and those banks have been rewarded by the stock market for their performance. He indicated that the equipment sector confidence level has shown an inverse relationship to Federal policy uncertainty, and he observed that there would probably be no relief in this uncertainty until after the November election. Mr. Warner also advised attendees to be aware of the implications that proposed tax reforms may have on their businesses.

Although the number of meetings at the funding exhibitors’ booths declined on Friday, there were still many attendees having business meetings outside the meeting room and in the hotel lobby. Scheduled 6 months prior to the ELFA Annual Convention, the Annual Funding Conference, in addition to its funding purpose, provides members with an opportunity to gather together to share ideas and explore business relationships with each other. Judging by the optimistic mood of most attendees, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for the equipment leasing and finance industry.

Bruce Kropschot
The Alta Group, LLC
2352 Clearwater Run
The Villages, FL 32162
(352) 750-3588

The Alta Group is the leading provider of consulting services to equipment leasing and financing companies worldwide.  Kropschot Financial Services, the leading M&A advisory firm for equipment leasing and financing companies, became part of  The Alta Group in 2008.  Our combined organization has arranged over 200 mergers and acquisitions of specialty finance businesses, and we also sell equipment lease portfolios, perform business valuations and arrange debt and equity financing for our clients.  We utilize The Alta Group's worldwide resources of more than 80 equipment leasing and financing experts to better serve our Merger & Acquisition Advisory Practice clients.


Funding Conference Photographs
Courtesy Equipment Leasing and Finance Association


Leasing Industry Help Wanted

We are looking to grow our sales team!
Sales Managers and Sr. Account Executives

CalFirst is seeking seasoned sales professionals to join our sales team in Irvine, CA. Our sales professionals are responsible for originating equipment leasing and
secured loan opportunities with middle to
large size companies located nationwide.
Transactions range from $1,000,000 to $30,000,000.
For more information, please contact
recruiting at: (949) 255-0500 ext. 392


National Sales Representatives
Experienced, with existing business to bring, all industries. Salary plus commission, good benefit package. AXIS - A, B, C lender for small and mid-ticket markets. Call Jean Harlow– 800.994.0016
email or forward resumes to:
   Growing with fast approvals and quick fundings


For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees. 


Wells Fargo: 16 Quarters; Still the Most Profitable Bank
by Salman Alleem Khan

SNL Financial Feature Story

Wells Fargo & Co. continued to be the most profitable of the largest six U.S. bank holding companies through the first quarter of 2014.

The most consistent performer of the group in terms of profitability since the financial crisis, Wells has managed to beat its largest peers in terms of return on average assets for 16 straight quarters. The record $6.08 billion, including noncontrolling interest, it earned in the first quarter translated to an annualized return on average assets of 1.59%, according to SNL data. The bank also marked its 17th consecutive quarter of EPS growth.

"Our solid first quarter results again demonstrated the ability of our diversified business model to perform for shareholders," Chairman, President and CEO John Stumpf said in the company's April 11 earnings release.

The rest of the cohort's return on average assets ranged from 76 basis points to 89 basis points in the first quarter, with the exception of Bank of America Corp.

Bank of America was the only institution among the largest six bank holding companies to report a first-quarter loss. The bank was hit by $5.6 billion in litigation expense related to a Federal Housing Finance Agency settlement and legacy mortgage-related matters. As a result, the bank's return on average assets fell below zero for the first time since the second quarter of 2011.

Despite the legal headwinds, Bank of America has been trying to boost profits by cutting costs. While this may help in the near term, "the significance of the cuts could come at the cost of future revenue generation capabilities," FBR analyst Paul Miller noted in an April 17 report.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation's biggest bank by total assets, reported lower-than-expected profits of $5.27 billion in the first quarter. Although profits were in-line with what the bank reported in the fourth quarter of 2013, the figure represented a 19.22% slide from the first quarter of 2013. The institution recorded $17.92 billion in total profits in 2013, while wading through legal settlements. The bank's ROAA figure was flat at 88 basis points as of March 31, 2014, compared to the previous quarter.

Citigroup Inc., which had its capital plan rejected under the latest Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, started 2014 with a substantial increase in profits. The bank reported a quarter-over-quarter increase in net income of 59.14%. ROAA for the institution jumped by 31 basis points to 84 basis points at the end of the first quarter.

The two investment bank-focused bank holding companies — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley — also reported profitable first quarters. After a below-par fourth quarter of 2013, Morgan Stanley saw an increase of 28.68% in net income fueled by investment banking revenues. CFO Ruth Porat mentioned on the company's April 17 earnings call that the investment banking pipeline is strong across all products, while the flow for both equity and fixed-income underwriting seems healthy going into the second quarter.



Banks Continue to Trim Branch Counts in Q1
SNL Financial

1500 Branches Scaled Back Past Four Quarters

U.S. banking companies shuttered more branches than they opened during the first quarter of 2014, continuing a trend that spanned all of 2013 as bank customers increasingly do more business online.

An SNL Financial analysis found that banks collectively reduced the nation's branch count by 281 locations during the first quarter, roughly on par with the reduction of 276 branches during the final quarter of 2013. Over the course of the past four quarters, banks scaled back by more than 1,500 branches.

Bankers and analysts say that more customers every quarter get more of their banking needs met online or via mobile devices and, as a result, fewer walk into physical branches. That provides banks reason to downsize or close underperforming branches. The steady pace of closures also has been fueled by an almost industrywide desire to reduce expenses in an era of modest loan growth and interest income.

Mark Fitzgibbon, head of research at Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP, told SNL that the trend spans banks of all sizes. "It's across the spectrum," he said.

By state, Illinois, Arkansas and Pennsylvania were home to the greatest reductions of branch counts in the first quarter. Florida, Nebraska and Massachusetts were the only states to finish the first quarter with net openings of more than one.

By metropolitan area, Greater Chicago; Little Rock, Ark.; and Philadelphia saw the highest levels of net closures.

In addition to the shift toward online banking, mergers and acquisitions have played a role in branch consolidation. Following acquisitions, buyers typically push hard for cost savings by selling or closing targets' branches that are near their own. Chicago, for one, has been home to several bank deals in the current cycle — both open-bank and FDIC-assisted deals — helping to explain the decline in branches there.

With heavy regulatory burdens and fierce competition for loans continuing into this year, analysts say more banks will be motivated to sell and, as such, consolidation is likely to continue in markets such as Chicago and across much of the country.

That noted, the consensus seems to be that customers' ongoing desire to bank online and via new technology will prove the ultimate drivers of a long-term trend of fewer and smaller branches.

As Brett Rabatin, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., put it to SNL: "Banks are realizing everything is going online."

Keep reading the full report and analysis here:



First American Equipment Finance 8 New CLP’s

Congratulations to First American Equipment Finance's new Certified Lease Professionals (CLPs): Jonah Michael, Lisa Collins, Nick Borkowski, Karen Leastman, Cory Laske, Heather Ayers, Nathan Gibbons and Todd Buzard. The CLP designation is achieved by demonstrating mastery of leasing knowledge by passing an 8-hour written test. It is maintained through a commitment to exemplary ethics, continuing education, and dedication to the industry.

Note: Nick Borkowski passed the test and is about to hit the new two year requirement of being in leasing. He will officially become the first CLP Associate. When he reaches three years in the leasing business, he will become a full CLP.

One of the group who passed the test, Nathan Gibbons, explained why he studied and passed the eight hour test:

I wanted to take my career and my understanding of leasing to another level. Given my desire to add value to my organization and to our clients, I knew that the knowledge gained would afford me certain advantages and truly allow me to set myself apart from the average leasing professional.”

Congratulations also to First American for their recognition that appeared on LinkedIn and many other social media; as well as excellent photo's---and catch the logo "Proud Employer of a CLP."

Companies with more than one CLP:

1. Financial Pacific Leasing – 22
2. First American Equipment Finance – 21
3. Orion First Financial – 9
4. Allegiant Partners- 8 (includes Clearview and First Star)
4. Arvest Equipment Finance – 6
5. Great American Insurance – 5
6. Ascentium Capital LLC – 5
7. Bank of the West – 3
8. ECS Financial Services – 4
9. Innovative Lease Services, Inc. – 4
11. Maxim Commercial Capital – 4
13. FSG Leasing - 3
14. LeaseTeam-3
15. Pacifica Capital - 3
16. Banc of California - 3
17. FSG Leasing Inc.- 3
18. Canon Financial Services-2
19. Clearview Financial-2
20. GO Capital- 2
21. Padco Financial Services- 2
22. Pinnacle Business Finance- 2
23. Portfolio Financial Servicing- 2
24. TEQ Lease - 2

Why I Became a CLP---

((Please Click on Bulletin Board to learn more information))
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)


Letters???—We get eMAIL!!!
(In Chronological Order received)


Confirmed: Sheldon Player Passed Away Nov. 13, 2013
via LinkedIn

“To the ones who truly knew him outside of all the horrible business scams, he was a wonderful man. There will never be someone ever like him. He truly will be missed. I know somewhere beyond this world, he is riding his white horse in the Teton Mountains of the Wyoming skies, watching over the ones he truly loved and cared for. Rest in peace Sheldon until we meet again.”

Jenifer ********

(This appeared in “Leasing News.” In follow-up emails, the lady said she was Sheldon's girlfriend, had been reading stories in Leasing News since the articles first started to appear, and contacted us now as she was considering writing a book about her relationship with Sheldon: "What He Was Really Like.” Editor)


Small Business Lending Dips in 2013
as Big Banks Continue to Grow

“Very true about the big banks who continue to ignore small biz by lending less than 1% of their assets to job producing. Small biz.

“Some politicians like Wisconsin's Paul Ryan are supporting my cause that we should have and should in the future let the big zombie banks fail.

“Attached is an article I wrote a few summers ago about it which was published by the Dallas Fed Reserve President, Richard Fisher, who also agrees.

“My position on this issue is finally getting some minor traction only now, years after the whole zombie bank crisis began. “

Dale Kluga
Cobra Capital



Loan/Lease Regulations --- Update

“Liked your article about the loan/lease regulations. Interesting fact: Utah does not have usury laws. Could that be the reason we have so many of the questionable leasing companies located here?”

Brandon J. Mark | Shareholder | Admitted in Utah and Oregon
A Professional Law Corporation


Marlin Leasing Getting Back into Broker Business

“I thought this picture was a perfect choice!”


“I thought you might know this through your network, but is there an outlet for buying copies of the classic CDs from Bill Granieri called Lease Master/Top Gun Sales? I have used my old tapes for years and they are still great, but I may be in need of another set.”

Brian Donahoe
Union Equipment Finance

(This is from a story in 2004:


Melinda Graneri
You make contact her at: or
Telephone # 732-828-5844
Address: 315 Brook Drive
Milltown, NJ 08850


Ascentium Capital and Element Financial Merge!


Andrew R. Feldstein
Senior Vice President
and Assistant General Counsel
Macquarie Equipment Finance


“Ok I believed that for about 5 seconds. That was a good one.”

Brian Ofria
Antares Leasing Corporation

(Actually there were emails, and telephone calls, who believed the story was true. I had to explain that if they read the press release disclosure at the end, plus the credit that it was sent by long time reader David Rabinovitz, they would have realized it was an April Fool’s joke. Editor)


Chart: Trend--More People Renting than Buying Houses


##### Press Release ############################

Fountain Partners Provides $13 Million
In Lease Lines of Credit to DigitalOcean

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., -- Fountain Partners announced it has provided a total of $13 million in equipment lease lines of credit to DigitalOcean, the world’s fastest growing cloud provider. The lease lines are helping DigitalOcean grow its customer base by expanding data centers worldwide, including new centers in Amsterdam and Singapore, as well as their first center in London opening this summer.

Karl Alomar, COO of DigitalOcean, said his company began using an initial $3 million lease line of credit in 2013 -- its first independent line for direct leases -- to increase servers at its U.S. data centers, which were straining to handle 30%-35% month-on-month customer growth. DigitalOcean can add more than 4,000 customer accounts for every $1 million worth of servers.

“More recently, Fountain Partners came in ahead of the pack again and offered another $10 million, becoming our first eight-figure line,” he said. Fountain recognized DigitalOcean’s need for international capacity with this lease line of credit that included $5 million for overseas expansion.

“We had some international capacity before, but this was the first significant chunk of financing dedicated to international infrastructure. This helped us expand in Amsterdam and launch the Singapore data center this year with confidence,” Alomar said.

“Fountain Partners understood the business model and got into the weeds of the business model more so than other financing providers. They had good foresight, business understanding, and they knew the market well. They were able to see the opportunity,” Alomar noted. “Fountain Partners was more entrepreneurial in thinking… interested in the direction the company was going rather than just where it was.”

DigitalOcean currently has more than 200,000 users, six data centers, and plans for additional centers in cities including London. The company has raised equity capital from IA Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

Fountain Partners has become a trusted funding source by specializing in equipment leasing for venture, growth, and expansion-stage businesses.  By focusing only on financing fixed assets, the firm can complement any existing debt or equity capital structure and do so without requiring equity rights or blanket liens. For information, call 415-287-9674, email or visit

### Press Release ############################

Bookmark us



Border Collie Mix Puppy
Fremont, California Adopt-a-Dog

Name: Jake D5017
Type: Dog
Gender: Male
Breed: Border Collie Mix
Age: 1 month 2 weeks
Color: Black with White
Size: 3 lbs.
House trained: No
Shots Current: Yes
Spayed/Neutered: Pending
Special Needs: No
Good with Dogs: Yes
Good with Cats: Unknown
Host: Furry Friends Rescue
Organization: Furry Friends Rescue
Date Added: 4/17/14

"Super cutie Jake was rescued as an under-age puppy, only 6 weeks old, from a Santa Clara county shelter on 4/15/14. He is friendly, sweet, and happy little baby. He is now relaxing at his foster home. He is very smart, active, playful and confident little boy. More Info. to come. Jake will not be ready for adoption until after 8 weeks old."

**Note: Adoption in Northern California - SF Bay Area Only**

How to Adopt:

Furry Friends Rescue
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 7270,
Fremont, CA 94537-7270
Phone: 510.794.4703


Adopt a Pet



Classified ads—Back Office

Leasing Industry Outsourcing
(Providing Services and Products)

Back Office: Atlanta, GA
Let Tax Partners handle your sales and use tax compliance duties w/less risk and cost than in-house. Largest tax compliance firm
in US
Back Office: 58 Calif. counties
Property tax, assessment appear representation and
consulting, including hearing appearances.  
Ken Sullivan 800-540-3900
Backoffice: Dallas, TX 
Property Tax and sales and use tax administration services performance is guaranteed and we will save you time and money or our service is free.
Back Office: Gig Harbor, WA
Orion First Financial provides comprehensive lease/loan account servicing, collection/workout solutions and strategic advisory services. Contact David T. Schaefer
Back Office: Laughlin, NV
20 years experience on funder/broker sides. Looking for a relationship where I act as credit shop for smaller brokers when financial statements are involved.
Back Office: National Property Tax Compliance Services to the leasing industry. Over 60-years experience and fifty Lessors as clients. References and free quotes available,
(216) 658-5618,
Back Office – National
Spending too much time on processing credit applications, preparing lease documents and other administrative tasks and not enough time marketing and growing your business? Call us! 407.964.1232
Backoffice: New Rochelle, NY
Proactive management/administration of commercial/consumer vehicle lease/finance portfolios covering insurance, titles,
registrations, sales/property taxes, tickets, collections, accounting, vehicle disposition. Since 1975
Back Office: Northbrook, IL
Our staff of CPA's and lease professionals can handle any or all portfolio responsibilities incl. portfolio mgmt, invoicing, sales/property/income tax, accounting, etc. 
Back Office: San Rafael, CA
We can run your back office from origination to final payoff. 30 years experience in commercial equipment lease and loan portfolio management.
Back Office - Portland, OR 
Keep more of your hard-earned commissions! Middle-Market, Small-Ticket for brokers, nationwide, 20+years experience, negotiable splits. Contact us for more information at (888)745-9481 or
Back Office -Portland 
Portfolio Financial Servicing Company is a leading provider of private label primary and backup servicing for lease and loan contracts. 800-547-4905

Portfolio Servicing: Portsmouth, NH
Servicing without all the subcontracting. Payments, billing, collection, legal, recovery, accounting, tax. Leading systems; highly recognized professionals. Call 855.EENGINE

All "Outsourcing" Classified ads (advertisers are both requested and responsible to keep their free ads up to date:

How to Post a free "Outsourcing" classified ad:



News Briefs----

CIT Group Management Discusses Q1 2014 Results

U.S. Bank to close 13 branches,0,2725945.story

National Restaurant May 17-20 Chicago Show Guide

eBay’s Tax Bill for Bringing Cash Back to the U.S.: $3 Billion

Big Texas Utility Files for Bankruptcy, One of Largest Ever

7 Surprising Findings: State of the Internet Report

Internet Explorer bug lets hacker control your PC


National Sales Representatives
Experienced, with existing business to bring, all industries. Salary plus commission, good benefit package. AXIS - A, B, C lender for small and mid-ticket markets. Call Jean Harlow– 800.994.0016
email or forward resumes to:
   Growing with fast approvals and quick fundings




--You May Have Missed It

Americans Surveyed Do Not Have at Least $500 in Savings


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Do You Need a Personal Trainer?


Basketball Poem

Basketball Practice 
Justin G.

Basketball Practice

I sprint to the end of the court
my legs cutting through the oppressive air,
desperately trying to reach the endline.

I take off, this time not as fast
wondering why I bother to give up
two hours each night to be commanded
like a remote control car.

I walk slowly to the line
happy for the time to catch my breath.
I pick up the ball and begin.

Again I sprint to the end of the court
mouth wide open
sweat dripping from my face.

As I run up the court
for what I hope will be the last time tonight,
I glance over my shoulder
to see my coach, red-faced and grinning,
remote control
gleaming in his hand.

by J. G., Houlton, ME




Sports Briefs----

N.B.A. Bars Clippers Owner Donald Sterling for Life

Kevin Johnson applauds NBA ban of Sterling

NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Rips BOTH SIDES in Donald Sterling ‘Scandal’

Kings’ chairman Ranadive supports Sterling ban, will seek Clippers sale

After 33 Years of Sterling, a Boiling Point

Earl Thomas’ four-year, $40 million extension with the Seahawks


California Nuts Briefs---

Toyota’s Texas shift reignites debate over California business climate

Mayor Mike Rawlings: Toyota didn’t move to Dallas because of DISD

California High School Graduation Rate Climbs to 80.2%; Santa Clara County at 82.9%

Dozens of extra state firefighters already busy in northern California counties


“Gimme that Wine”

Gallo Buys Solano County Winery

Supervisor promoting new water pipeline

Rack & Riddle sets Healdsburg winery opening Production grew 42% to 1 million cases

Californian wines grab 64% of US market

Seattle, Land of the Serious Sommeliers

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in History

    1494 - Christopher Columbus arrived in Guantanamo Bay on his 2nd voyage to the Americas.    
    1778- A blockade of enemy ships was completed, stretching from West Point, NY, to Constitution Island, NY. A huge chain was forged at the Sterling Iron Works in Orange County, NY, from ore mined in the same county and was carried in sections to West Point, where it was joined and stretched across the Hudson River to prevent British ships from passing. The chain weighed 180 tons and was 1,700 feet loan: each link was 2.5 inches wide and 30 inches long. It was placed in position on April 16 and on April 30, secured at both ends. Earlier in the war, in the summer of 1776, a chain of chevaux-de-frise and sunken ships had been extended between Fort Washington, NY, and Fort Lee, NJ, to serve as a blockage, but the British passed on October 9, 1776, without firing a gun. The chain reportedly stopped the ships, and made them easy target from the ground.
    1789- George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the US under the new Constitution at New York, NY. Robert R. Livingston administered the oath of office to Washington on the balcony of Federal Hall, at the corner of Wall and Broad streets.
    1798- The US Navy was established. On June 12, the department purchased the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH, from William Dennet and his wife for $5,500. It embraced 58.18 acres and had previously been used for building man-of-war ships.
    1803-One of the real-estate deals in history was completed when more than 820,000 square miles of the Louisiana Territory were turned over to the US by France, for $15 million (four cents an acre.) This almost doubled the size of the US, extending its western border to the Rocky Mountains. 
    1812-Louisiana became the 18th state. Known as the Pelican State: the state bird is the eastern brown pelican. Named in honor of Louis XIV of France, Louisiana has several other nicknames: Sportsman’s Paradise, Sugar State (that’s beet sugar), and Creole State. The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge and the beautiful magnolia is its adopted flower while the state tree is the bald cypress. "You are My Sunshine", Louisiana’s state song. "Give Me Louisiana" is also considered a state song, and the state motto is: Union, justice and confidence. 
    1820- The first antislavery magazine was the “The Emancipator,” issued monthly from this date to October 31, 1820. It was edited and published by Elihu Embree and cost a $1.00 a year.
    1852 - A tornado, following the same track as the famous "Tri-state Tornado" of 1925, struck the town of New Harmony IND. Just sixteen persons were killed by the twister, due to the sparse settlement. The "Tri-state Tornado" killed 695 persons.
    1859 – “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens was first published in serial form in a literary magazine.
    1861-Robert Selden Garnett, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, resigned from the army. Aide-de-camp to General Zachary Taylor from 1846 to 1849. He was appointed a brigadier general of the Confederate States on June 6, 1861, and history records him as the first Confederate General killed in the civil war. Garnett was appointed adjutant general of the state troops of Virginia, and allotted the task of organizing this heterogeneous force into an army. Early in June, he was commissioned brigadier-general and given command of the Confederate troops operating in northwestern Virginia. He died on July 13, 1861, at the battle of Carrick’s Ford, VA (now near Parson, WV). When the Federal attack dislodged the Confederates from Rich Mountain, Garnett was compelled to abandon Laurel Hill. He saved his army, outnumbered more than six to one by McClellan's men, by a most masterly retreat. In the heat of the retreat, Garnett shouted: "They need a little lesson. They may get away if they like". These were to be his last words. On July 13, 1861, General Robert Selden Garnett was killed instantly while directing the conduct of his rear guard after the sharp engagement at Carrick's Ford, on Cheat River. In deference to Garnett's heroism during the Mexican War, a Union honor guard conveyed the body to his family under a truce flag. He was the West Point classmate and cousin of Confederate General Richard B. Garnett who was killed in action at Gettysburg. He was greatly respected by soldiers and officers on both sides of the war. Garnett had the distinction of being the first general officer to be killed in the Civil War. He was a brave and skilful officer, of whom the South expected much, but who did not have opportunity to fulfill the promise of his military training, according to
    1870- the first medal of honor to a Jewish solider was conferred upon Sergeant Leopold Karpeles of Springfield, MA, who, while serving as flag bearer, rallied the retreating troops at the Battle of the Wilderness, near Fredericksburg, VA.
    1871 - Apaches in Arizona surrendered to white and Mexican adventurers; 144 died. 
    1879-Massachusetts was the first state to pass a factory inspection law. It provided that the governor appoint two or more of the district police to act as inspectors of factories and public buildings.
    1877- Writer Alice B. Toklas birthday; best known as the life partner of U.S. author Gertrude Stein. She published Stein's letters and wrote her memoirs.
    1889 - Washington's inauguration became the first U.S. national holiday. 
    1899-Birthday of Ellis Wilson, African American artist, born at Mayfield, KY, and died at New York, NY, January 1, 1977. Wilson painted realistic portrayals of African Americans at work and at play. In 1944, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. He visited South Carolina, painting city scenes and fishing towns. In the 1950’s, Wilson took a revelatory trip to Haiti which changed the way he painted. Unable to note any facial features on the Haitians, he painted from a distance. Wilson began painting flat, stylized silhouettes. “Haitian Funeral Procession” remains Wilson’s most popular and accessible painting.

    1900 - Train engineer Casey Jones was killed when trying to save the "Cannonball Express" as it highballed its way through Vaughn, MS. His real name was John Luther Jones.
    1900 - Hawaii was organized as a U.S. territory. 
    1912-Birthday of Eve Arden - U.S. actor. EA is perhaps best remembered as Miss Brooks in the television series, “Our Miss Brooks”, which netted her Emmy awards. She was also nominated for a supporting role Academy Award in the movie, “Mildred Pierce” (1945), one of her many "best friends" roles. She was featured in more than 100 motion pictures, including the motion picture adaption of “Grease”, as the principal of Rydell High in 1978. Because of her impeccable comic timing, she was often cast as the heroine's sarcastic, wisecracking best friend. She also was a regular draw on Broadway.
    1923--Jazz bass player Percy Heath birthday
    1926 – Actress Cloris Leachman, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “Phyllis” was born.
    1929-Country singer Johnny Horton was born in Tyler, Texas. His "Battle of New Orleans" sold a million copies in 1959 as did his 1960 recording of "North to Alaska," the title song from a John Wayne movie. Horton was killed in a car crash in Milano, Texas on November 5th, 1960.

    1931—birthday of guitarist Jimmy Lee “Lonesome” Robinson, Chicago, IL
    1933-Country superstar Willie Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas. He first gained fame as a songwriter. Among his compositions are two that have become standards in country music - "Family Bible" and "Night Life." After recording 18 albums for RCA, he fled Nashville in the early 1970s' for Austin, Texas, where, with Waylon Jennings, he became the leader of the "Outlaw" country movement. Nelson later turned his attention to updating such pop standards as "Stardust" and "Over the Rainbow," which were played heavily on both pop and country radio stations.
    1939 - The first railroad car equipped with fluorescent lights was put into service. The train car was known as the "General Pershing Zephyr".
    1939 - Baseball’s ‘Iron Horse’, Lou Gehrig, played his last game with the New York Yankees, after playing in 2130 consecutive games. Dying from the disease, ALS, that has since borne his name, he was honored on July 4, 1939 at the first Old Timers’ Game, at Yankee Stadium, where the city, his teammates and fans honored him. At this ceremony, his number 4 was retired, the first number to be retired in all of Major League Baseball.
    1939-Birthday of Ellen Taaffee Zwilich - U.S. classical composer. She was the first woman to obtain a doctorate at the Julliard School of Music. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
    1939—Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to appear on television when he was televised at the opening of the New York World’s Fair. However, the appearance was only beamed to 200 TV sets in a 40 mile radius.
   1940 - Jimmy Dorsey and his band record the song that was to become their theme: “So Rare.” It went on to become one of the most familiar big band themes of the era, especially the alto sax solo performed by Jimmy Dorsey. It was one of the first I could play soloand performed on stage in nine grade at Mamaroneck High School, New York.
    1940 - Belle Martell was licensed in California by state boxing officials to be the first American woman prize-fight referee!
    1941--Jazz alto saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker makes his first record, playing Jay McShann's song "Swingmatism." 
    1943- Bobby Vee (Robert Velline) is born in Fargo, N.D. His biggest hit is the No. 1 song ``Take Good Care of My Baby'' in 1961. A local rock ‘n’ roller, he came into national prominence on Feb 4, 1959, the day after “the day the music died”. He along with Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan), from Hibbing MN, substituted for Buddy Holly, JP “Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens, all of whom perished the night before in a Clear Lake, IA snowstorm that took their small plane down in a cornfield.
    1944 - The New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 26-8 in baseball. The game set a major-league record for runs driven in by a team in a single game. 
    1945 - “How would you like to be queen for a day?” That opening line, delivered by host, Jack Bailey, was first heard on Mutual radio on this day. The first "Queen for a Day" was Mrs. Evelyn Lane. Years later Bailey would take the show to TV for a long, popular run. 
    1945 - Arthur Godfrey began his CBS Radio morning show. His theme was "Seems Like Old Times". "Arthur Godfrey Time" ran until this very same day in 1972. Godfrey’s show was different in that he used live talent and not records. His popularity with listeners was the major reason that several sponsors gave Godfrey the freedom to ad-lib their commercials and, from time to time, joke about the products as well. He was the first to broadcast live from Hawaii, where he was given credit by United Airlines for greatly increasing tourism to the area.
    1947 - Maps had to be changed as Boulder Dam was changed back to its original name, Hoover Dam. Some people, mostly those who live in the community of Boulder, Nevada, still refer to the dam as Boulder Dam. It is a local joke there, where residents were recorded saying on CBS radio, “It was a dam shame,” which was edited out by many local stations as being “blue material.”
    1948-The Organization of American States founded. This regional alliance was founded by 21 nations of the Americas at Bogotá, Columbia. Its purpose is to further economic development and integration among nations of the Western hemisphere, to promote representative democracy, and to help overcome poverty. The Pan-American Union, with offices at Washington, DC, serves as the General Secretariat for the OAS.
    1952—Top Hits
Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr
Anytime - Eddie Fisher
Blacksmith Blues - Ella Mae Morse
(When You Feel like You’re in Love) Don’t Just Stand There - Carl Smith
    1952 -In his final at-bat before leaving to fight in the Korean War, Ted Williams hits a game winning two-run home run to beat the Dizzy Trout and the Tigers. Fittingly, the Fenway faithful was there to celebrate Ted Williams' Day.
    1953 - Frank Sinatra cut his first session with Nelson Riddle at Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra’s new musical style, under Riddle’s direction, brought him back into the limelight, and a chance for Hollywood fame.
    1955 - Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" hits #1
    1955 - University of Iowa men students conducted panty raids at women’s dorms. Some say the Hawkeyes were still celebrating their February 28th basketball win (72-70) over the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota. Others think the men were celebrating the fact that enough snow had melted after the long winter to make it possible to find the women’s dorms again. In any case, panty raids became the in thing to do at colleges everywhere.
    1957-Elvis Presley releases his hit single "Jailhouse Rock." 
    1958 – AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, was founded in Washington, DC.
    1960—Top Hits
Stuck on You - Elvis Presley
Sink the Bismarck - Johnny Horton
Sixteen Reasons - Connie Stevens
He’ll Have to Go - Jim Reeves
    1960 --Fats Domino releases his classic "Walking to New Orleans" 
    1961-Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants became the eight player in major league history to hit four home runs in a single game. Mays performed the feat at Milwaukee County Stadium as the Giants beat the Braves, 14-4.

    1962-- The Orlons release "Wah Watusi" 
    1964 - TV sets would be drastically different after a ruling by the FCC stating that all TV receivers should be equipped to receive both VHF (channels 2-13) and the new UHF (channels 14-83). As a result, TV dealers scrambled to unload their VHF-only models as fast as possible. Antenna manufacturers were kept busy, as the new UHF receivers required new antennas, too. A new set of channels were available, primarily for local community broadcasting, as the Federal Communication Commission foresaw local television broadcasting and perhaps news, food reviews, and special interest viewing. It was not until Cable broadcasting made the costs of transmission so low that the channels became popular and today competes with the “four” major networks.
    1966- The Young Rascals' "Good Lovin'" hits #1
    1966- Folk singer and songwriter Richard Farina died in a motorcycle crash in Carmel, California following a party to launch his book, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me." He was 30. Farina recorded several albums with his wife Mimi, who is Joan Baez's sister. 
    1967-Muhammand Ali was stripped of his world heavyweight boxing championship when he refused to be inducted into military service. Said Ali,” I have searched my conscience, and I find I cannot be true to my beliefs in my religion by accepting such a call.’ He had claimed exemption as a minister of the Black Muslim religion. He was convicted of violating the Selective Service act but the Supreme Court reversed this decision in 1971.
    1968—Top Hits
Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
Cry like a Baby - The Box Tops
Young Girl - The Union Gap
The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde - Merle Haggard
    1968--VARGAS, M. SANDO, JR. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Major (then Capt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Place and date: Dai Do, Republic of Vietnam, 30 April to 2 May 1968. Entered service at: Winslow, Ariz. Born: 29 July 1940, Winslow, Ariz. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer, Company G, in action against enemy forces from 30 April to 2 May 1968. On 1 May 1968, though suffering from wounds he had incurred while relocating his unit under heavy enemy fire the preceding day, Maj. Vargas combined Company G with two other companies and led his men in an attack on the fortified village of Dai Do. Exercising expert leadership, he maneuvered his marines across 700 meters of open rice paddy while under intense enemy mortar, rocket and artillery fire and obtained a foothold in 2 hedgerows on the enemy perimeter, only to have elements of his company become pinned down by the intense enemy fire. Leading his reserve platoon to the aid of his beleaguered men, Maj. Vargas inspired his men to renew their relentless advance, while destroying a number of enemy bunkers. Again wounded by grenade fragments, he refused aid as he moved about the hazardous area reorganizing his unit into a strong defense perimeter at the edge of the village. Shortly after the objective was secured the enemy commenced a series of counterattacks and probes which lasted throughout the night but were unsuccessful as the gallant defenders of Company G stood firm in their hard-won enclave. Reinforced the following morning, the marines launched a renewed assault through Dai Do on the village of Dinh To, to which the enemy retaliated with a massive counterattack resulting in hand-to-hand combat. Maj. Vargas remained in the open, encouraging and rendering assistance to his marines when he was hit for the third time in the 3-day battle. Observing his battalion commander sustain a serious wound, he disregarded his excruciating pain, crossed the fire-swept area and carried his commander to a covered position, then resumed supervising and encouraging his men while simultaneously assisting in organizing the battalion's perimeter defense. His gallant actions uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.
    1969-The Beatles release "Let It Be," "You Know My Name (Look up the Number)"
    1969- The Fifth Dimension are awarded a gold single for "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," a medley from the hit rock musical "Hair.
    1970-President Nixon announced the US was sending troops into Cambodia in an attempt to destroy the "sanctuaries" from which men and materiel were infiltrated into South Vietnam. This sparked widespread protests on the home front, including a march on Washington and the closure of many American colleges and universities. Protests immediately began across the United States. Five days later, National Guards shoot at students, killing four of them at Kent State University, Ohio: Allison Krause, 19; Sandra Lee Scheur, 20; Jeffrey Glenn Miller, 20, and William K. Schroeder, 19.
    1970- Billy Williams of the Cubs becomes first National League player to play 1000 consecutive games.
    1970-- Bob Dylan releases "Trouble in Mind" 
    1973-In a televised address on Watergate, President Richard Nixon announced he had accepted the resignations of his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, domestic policy assistant John Ehrlichman, counsel John Dean, and Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst. He denied any involvement in the Watergate break-in or any subsequent cover-up.
    1975- Communist troops moved into Saigon and 1,000 Americans in the city were hastily evacuated. Thousands of South Vietnamese also tried to flee. The surrender announcement came 21 years after the1954 Geneva agreements divided Vietnam into North and South. The last American troops had left South Vietnam in March, 1973. Today it is a “National Holiday” commemorating the fall of Saigon to the Communists in 1975, ending the Vietnam War.
    1976- Bruce Springsteen, fresh from a Memphis concert, attempts to vault a fence at Graceland to see his idol, Elvis Presley, but is quickly escorted away by security. 
    1976—Top Hits
Disco Lady - Johnnie Taylor
Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale
Together Again - Emmylou Harris
    1976-- The Betsy Ross Bridge is the first major bridge named for a woman in the U.S. It spans the Delaware between Philadelphia and Pennsauken, N.J.
    1977-Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner" is released. It will become his fourth US Top Ten hit.
    1977- Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights" hits #1 
    1979 - No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: ``Reunited,'' Peaches & Herb.
    1984—Top Hits
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) - Phil Collins
Hello - Lionel Richie
Hold Me Now - The Thompson Twins
Right or Wrong - George Strait
    1985 - The National Basketball Association set an all-time season attendance record as 19,506,355 fans attended games in arenas around the league. Seven NBA cities -- Boston, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and Philadelphia -- drew over a million fans each in the 1984-85 basketball season. 
    1987 - Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first time. The discs were "Help!", "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver". Again, the Beatles made the top ten. 
    1987 - Thunderstorms developing along a cold front produced severe weather in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 100 mph in Lincoln, Mineral, and Sanders counties. Twenty-three cities in the central and southeastern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Memphis, TN was the hot spot in the nation with a record high of 94 degrees
    1988- Montreal native Celine Dion won the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland with her performance of the ballad "Don't Leave Without Me (Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi)." Dublin was host of the contest, watched by an estimated 600-million TV viewers.
    1988-During a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets, Reds manager Pete Rose, objecting to a delayed call by umpire Dave Pallone, shoved Pallone twice after the ump accidentally poked Rose in the cheek. Rose was fined $10,000 and suspended for 30 days.
    1988—Top Hits
Wishing Well- Terence Trent D Arby
Anything For You- Gloria Estefan
Angel- Aerosmith
Where Do Broken Hearts Go- Whitney Houston
Pink Cadillac- Natalie Cole
    1990 - Late afternoon and evening thunderstorms produced severe weather in southern Virginia and the Carolinas, with tennis ball size hail reported southeast of Chesnee, SC. Thunderstorms moving over the Chesapeake Bay flooded U.S. Highway 50 on Kent Island MD with several inches of water resulting in a seventeen-mile long traffic jam.
    1992 -The heat was definitely on in the central US. The following cities set record high temperatures not only for the date but for the month of April as well: Valentine, Nebraska 100 degrees, North Platte, Nebraska 98 degrees, Colorado Springs, Colorado 87 degrees, Denver, Colorado 90 degrees, Casper, Wyoming 84 degrees, and Cheyenne, Wyoming 83 degrees. The past month was .3 degrees below normal at Raleigh, North Carolina. This ended an amazingly long streak of 27 consecutive months, begun in January, 1990, of normal or above normal temperatures. The previous record streak of 11 months extended from July 1912 to May 1913.
    1993 – Top-ranked women’s tennis player, Monica Seles, was stabbed in the back by a man who ran onto the court during a match in Hamburg, Germany.
    1997- Ellen DeGeneres, on her several season show “Ellen,” declared on television she was a lesbian. The first regularly appearing homosexual character in a television situation comedy was Jodie Dallas, played by comedian Billy Crystal, beginning in 1977 on the series “Soap.”
    2001--The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a measure 9-2 to allow city employees medical benefits for a sex change.
    2002 – Chandra Levy, a federal government intern, went missing in Washington, DC. Her remains were found more than a year later in Rock Creek Park, DC.
    2004- Ray Charles appears at his Los Angeles recording studio to attend a ceremony marking it as a national historic landmark. It will be the last public appearance he ever makes.
    2009 – Chrysler exited bankruptcy protection. Shortly thereafter, it was acquired by Fiat of Italy.

NBA Finals Champions This Date  1971 Milwaukee Bucks



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