Diversity Employers

December 2015

Editorial objective:1- give diverse jobseekers sound information on job opportunities and how to successfully navigate the job search process,2- invite “employers of choice” to share success secrets and valuable information on where the jobs are.

Issue link: https://diversityemployers.epubxp.com/i/601905

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Page 28 of 31

Diversity Employers | DiversityEmployers.com | December 2015 27 a result of the Dot-com crash, I had a cash fow problem. Fortunately for us, he liked our company and he like what we were trying to do. I told him that if he agreed to reduce our rent, I would make it up to him when we recovered. He agreed, and reduced our rent from $24,000 a month to $5,000 a month. We started looking for other expenses to reduce and other areas to increase our revenue. We also started looking for companies to sub-lease some of our offce space. Sometime after that a gentleman approached the building's receptionist and asked if there was any space avail- able in the building for rent. She direct- ed him to our space on the 35th foor, and one of our employees directed him to me. He was a lawyer who had recent- ly acquired a big client, the government of Puerto Rico, and as such, needed a lot of space to accommodate a large team of lawyers. I showed him around our beautiful offces and he was very impressed. So much so that he had vi- sions of needing all of our space. I told him I would refer him to my landlord. The landlord called me the very next day and said the lawyer wanted all of my space, and he needed it as soon as pos- sible. The landlord told me that I had to move out right away. He offered me another space and a deal. I told him that we were in the midst of closing the First Semester Issue making a quick move impossible. The landlord informed me the next day that I had to be out of the building by the end of August. He said that if we agreed, he would forgive the back rent I owed, which had accrued to $250,000; he would pay moving expens- es for us to relocate to the 32nd foor; and he would waive the $5,000 rent for three months. My response was, "That's a good deal. I appreciate all you have done for us, and may God bless you." We stayed on the 32nd foor until the lease ended on December 31, 2004. We returned to our bank building at 140 Carondelet St. By then we had down- sized from 65 to 16 employees. The return to Carondelet Street and the reduction in workforce now meant that our cash fow was back in line. JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY WORSE… Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005 and right on her heels came Hurricane Rita on Sep- tember 18, 2005. What was left of our staff had evacuated and were spread to all parts of the country. Although I returned to the city by October 15, my entire staff was gone. Pres and Trina evacuated to Sugarland TX. and han- dled advertising. Stewart Ikeda who had always worked in Milwaukee, and kept things going and stayed in touch with everyone when we evacuated. We used several freelance writers and we man- aged to publish the First Semester Issue in December of 2005. It was late, but it was the biggest issue we had published in several years. We could never have done it without the support of many loyal advertisers. COULD THAT BE A LIGHT AT THE END OF THAT LONG, DARK TUNNEL? Although it started out ever so subtle, we began to notice something happen- ing in our marketplace. Employers were beginning to embrace diversity instead of Affrmation Action. I noticed fewer African-American men in ads. One advertiser told me very candidly that they were afraid of reverse discrimina- tion, and so they wanted to see more diversity in their ads. I also noticed another trend. More African-American men were retiring. More were being laid off, and there was more downsizing of African-American men. My market was changing fast! I also noticed an increase in women decision makers, and fewer men in that role. A SHIFT IN OUR "WAY OF WORK" 2008 brought the big recession, during which employers signifcantly reduced hiring, and print advertising dried up almost completely. It looked like despite all our earlier challenges, this one would prove to be "the big one." Also, it was during this time of print Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005 and back to 140 Carondele St. - 2005

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