Archive for News

Wellfleet’s Intern Kyle Lieberbaum, Summer 2015, Grandson of Former beloved partners, Shelly Lieberbaum

June 16, 2015

Lieberbaum & Grandson

Bobby Blair, Multimedia Platform, Chris Lahiji, LD Micro Conference 2015 President and Our Chairman

June 3, 2015

Bobby Blair

Carlos Falchi Passes Away

March 30, 2015
We want to acknowledge the passing of an old Friend, Carlos Falchi. His company was the First Private Placement that  Axel Mehrle & I closed in my career, April 1986 at Emanuel & Co.-Mark I. Lev, esq, Chairman & CEO of Wellfleet Partners, Inc.

Carlos Flachi

IMAGE: GETTY

Legendary handbag designer Carlos Falchi passed away on Friday at the age of 70. During his career, starting in the late 60s and stretching over several decades, the Brazilian-born bag maker’s unique patchwork method garnered attention from some of the industry’s most influential tastemakers, launching him from obscurity to the creator of some of the most coveted bags in fashion. His work has been seen on the arms of such iconic clientele as Jackie O, Tina Turner, Blake Lively, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna.

Falchi’s bags have been sold at retailers like Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue, and his work has won him accolades from the Independent Handbag Designer Awards (2007), the Accessories Council of America (2004) and more.

The designer has had his share of ups and downs in his career. After enjoying overwhelming popularity in the 80s, Falchi expanded his business too quickly and began to lose money, causing him to shut down his company in the 90s in order to get back on his feet. His label was purchased in 2009 by Windsong Brands LLC and Marvin Traub Associates, who resurrected his line as Falchi Holdings LLC, taking the designer on to once again serve at the helm of his own label.

Falchi will always remain one of the most iconic handbag and accessory makers of his generation and will be forever remembered and sorely missed.

Congratulations to the Management of General Employment Enterprises, the stock is up 900% since our investment in early 2014

January 5, 2015

General Employment Enterprises Acquisition of Scribe Solutions Provides Entry into Healthcare Market, Strengthened Balance Sheet, Improved Profitability Plus Visionary and Proven CEO

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Jan. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — General Employment Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE MKT: JOB) (“the Company” or “General Employment”) a provider of specialty staffing services provided an update and additional information regarding its outlook for the remainder of its fiscal year ending 2015 and the acquisition of Scribe Solutions, Inc. (“Scribe”).

Andrew Norstrud, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “As we enter the new year, we wanted to take the time to review the positive changes our Company has initiated and to further outline our objectives as we move into 2015. The recently announced acquisition of Scribe is a milestone and transformational event which provides General Employment entry into a fast growing market sector, significantly enhances our management team, and bolsters our balance sheet. The Company will now have a strong platform upon which to execute an organic and acquisition growth strategy going forward.”

Scribe Acquisition Provides Entry into the Fast Growing Healthcare Staffing Market

Scribe provides General Employment access to the growing healthcare staffing market. The healthcare solutions provider serves the needs of emergency departments (ED) of hospitals, urgent care centers and physician practices and specialty medical clinics.

By way of background, emergency departments are fast paced environments in which ED physicians take multi-tasking to the extreme, and they often find themselves performing data entry and clerical duties. As the emergency room physician takes more and more time to document in the electronic medical record (EMR) he or she spends less time caring for patients. In fact, ED physicians now spend 45 minutes of every hour documenting or performing clerical duties. This results in decreased productivity, decreased patient satisfaction, decreased relative value units (RVUs), decreased turnaround times (TAT) and poor patient care.

Scribe offers emergency department medical scribes to allow the ER physician to spend less time on clerical duties and more time caring for patients. Scribe’s clinical information managers (scribes) provide specific emergency department services to aid doctors in documentation and minimize their clerical duties. Not only does Scribe offer physician assistant (medical scribe) services to emergency departments, but also to busy specialty physician groups and medical clinics. Physicians in these specialty practices and clinics benefit from scribe services by spending less time on charting and more time on providing quality patient care.

In addition, Scribe provides an online and live didactic series designed to develop quality scribes. Scribe’s personnel have an excellent knowledge base and can adapt to any documentation system.  The scribes also perform other services such as tracking labs, transcribing radiology reports and helping physicians organize data.

Acquisition Brings Visionary and Proven CEO

In conjunction with the closing of the Scribe acquisition, anticipated to occur during the Company’s second quarter ending March 31, 2015, Derek Dewan will become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Andrew Norstrud will resume his duties as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Derek is an industry visionary and former Chairman and CEO of MPS Group, Inc. (MPS). After taking MPS Group’s predecessor AccuStaff Incorporated public in 1994 and subsequent successful follow on stock offerings of $110 million and $370 million, Mr. Dewan led the organization to a prestigious ranking in the Fortune 1000 and inclusion in the Standard and Poors (S&P) Mid-Cap 400. Through significant organic growth and strategic acquisitions, MPS became a world-class, global and multi-billion dollar staffing services provider. MPS Group grew to include a vast network of offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, including providing services to customers in Asia and Australia. MPS Group experienced many years of continued success during Mr. Dewan’s tenure. The company or its predecessor was on the Wall Street Journal’s “top performing stock list” for three consecutive years.  In 2009, Mr. Dewan was instrumental in the sale of MPS Group to the largest staffing company in the world, Adecco Group, for $1.3 billion. General Employment’s current CEO, Andrew Norstrud, commented, “I am looking forward to working with Derek as we enter 2015. His staffing industry expertise and business acumen will assist our Company to significantly accelerate the implementation of our internal and acquisition growth strategy and help us in the execution of our plan to achieve improved profitability.”

Enhanced Revenue, Profitability and Significantly Strengthened Balance Sheet

With the anticipated closing of General Employment’s previously announced preferred stock financing and the pending closing of the Scribe acquisition, the Company, on a pro-forma basis, will have more than $1.7 million in positive working capital and shareholder’s equity of more than $10 million. After consummation of these transactions, on a pro-forma basis, General Employment will have a debt to equity ratio of approximately .3 and a quick ratio of approximately 1. After completion of the aforementioned transactions, the Company will have a very strong balance sheet which can be used to execute its business plan. On a pro forma consolidated basis, revenue for the year ended September 30, 2014 would have been $43.5 million and the combined company would have reported income from operations of approximately $57,000 versus an actual loss from operations of $641,000 for General Employment. Andrew Norstrud added, “With strong gross margins and the expectation of general and administrative expenses continuing to decrease, the 2015 fiscal year has great potential to be a breakout year for the Company.”

Positioned for Future Growth

With an enhanced set of service offerings, an improved management team and fortified balance sheet, the Company is well positioned to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.

The staffing industry has more than $100 billion in annual sales and is expected to grow at a rate greater than 10% per year.  This outlook is only expected to improve with anticipated additional governmental regulation, such as the new health care requirements and as companies increase their use of staffing companies to augment their human resource requirements.

General Employment is focused on select attractive market verticals. Targeted for growth by the Company are the professional services staffing segments in information technology, engineering, legal, accounting and healthcare. The Scribe acquisition accelerates our entry into the growing healthcare staffing space.  Furthermore, there is a severe shortage of IT workers in the U.S., and the maturing engineering workforce means new engineers will be aggressively sought.

In the field of light industrial staffing, the Company is focused on manufacturing, construction and logistics.  Manufacturing staffing is a core vertical for General Employment and the U.S. is benefiting from the sustained “Made in America” renaissance.  An additional opportunity exists in the logistics vertical driven by just-in-time production and the need for flexible work forces as well as warehouse expansion due to ecommerce growth; this will lead to further growth in the light industrial division.

Acquisitions will play an important role in General Employment’s growth strategy. The Company is well positioned to leverage its cost structure and grow by acquiring other staffing companies.

General Employment will seek to acquire companies that (i) are cash flow positive and are accretive to the Company’s net income, (ii) provide additional services to sell through our current infrastructure, (iii) strategically align with our culture, and (iv) provide or align with core technology, infrastructure and management.   Additionally, the Company will seek to expand its geographic footprint.

About General Employment Enterprises, Inc.

General Employment Enterprises, Inc. (the “Company”) was incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1962 and is the successor to employment offices doing business since 1893.  The Company provides staffing services through a network of offices located in the United States. The Company operates in two industry segments, providing professional staffing services and solutions and light industrial staffing services through the names of General Employment, Ashley Ellis, Triad and Omni-One.

About Scribe Solutions, Inc.

Scribe Solutions was formed in 2008 to meet the demands that physicians face with overcrowded waiting rooms, and to overcome the challenges presented by electronic medical records (EMR), and the rising cost of quality patient care. By providing physicians with personal assistants (medical scribes), Scribe offers turnkey programs where it recruits, qualifies, hires, and trains resources to serve as scribes at sites across the United States, and alleviates the burden of documentation and clerical duties. Scribe Solutions has developed a low cost staffing solution that improves productivity by providing scribe programs to emergency departments, physician practices, and outpatient and inpatient facilities.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements.  Such forward-looking statements often contain or are prefaced by words such as “will” and “expect”.  As a result of a number of factors, the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.  Certain factors that might cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those factors set forth under the heading “Forward-Looking Statements” in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013, and in the Company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The Company is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) and does not intend to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE General Employment Enterprises, Inc.

General Employment Enterprises to Acquire Scribe Solutions, Inc.; Former CEO of MPS Group to be Appointed Chairman and CEO

December 12, 2014

General Employment Enterprises to Acquire Scribe Solutions, Inc.; Former CEO of MPS Group to be Appointed Chairman and CEO

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Dec. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ­General Employment Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE MKT: JOB) (“the Company” or “General Employment”) a provider of specialty staffing services today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Scribe Solutions, Inc. (“Scribe”), whereby General Employment will issue Series A Convertible Preferred Stock of the Company in exchange for one hundred percent of Scribe Solutions’ common stock. Under terms of the agreement, the exchange ratio is based on Scribe having a value between $6.4 and $7.9 million as determined by an independent appraisal firm. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each Company and a majority of their respective shareholders. Upon completion of this transaction, Scribe Solutions, Inc. will become a wholly owned subsidiary of General Employment Enterprises, Inc. The stock exchange agreement is subject to certain regulatory and other approvals. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur during the first quarter of 2015.
After consummation of the transaction, Andrew Norstrud, current Chief Executive Officer of the Company, will continue as Chief Financial Officer of General Employment. Derek Dewan, current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Scribe Solutions, Inc. will become Chairman and CEO of General Employment. Mr. Dewan was previously Chairman and CEO of MPS Group, Inc. In January 1994, Mr. Dewan joined AccuStaff Incorporated, MPS Group’s predecessor, as President and Chief Executive Officer, and took that company public in August 1994. Under Mr. Dewan’s leadership the company became a Fortune 1000 world-class, global multi-billion dollar staffing services provider, through significant organic growth and strategic acquisitions. MPS Group grew to include a vast network of offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia and Australia. MPS Group experienced many years of continued success during Mr. Dewan’s tenure and he led successful secondary stock offerings of $110 million and $370 million. The company was on the Wall Street Journal’s “top performing stock list” for three consecutive years. In 2009, Mr. Dewan was instrumental in the sale of MPS Group to the largest staffing company in the world, Adecco Group, for $1.3 billion.

Andrew Norstrud commented, “The acquisition of Scribe brings to General Employment sustained profitability, one of the best CEOs in the industry and entry into the growing healthcare staffing market. With the addition of Derek’s expertise, we will accelerate our efforts to build out the Company’s service offerings in the professional and other staffing segments. In particular, I am excited about the Company’s entry into the higher margin and fast growing healthcare staffing market. Additionally, I am looking forward to working with Derek; his extensive experience in the staffing industry will be key in propelling our organic growth and leading a strategic acquisition strategy. We welcome the entire Scribe team to the General Employment family.”

Derek Dewan added, “I am thrilled to become a part of General Employment, a pioneer in the staffing industry. Having been in operation since 1893, the Company has a reputation for outstanding customer service and I look forward to continuing that legacy.” Dewan continued, “Andrew and the hardworking employees have achieved much success in building a great staffing company which will serve as the foundation and platform for General Employment to execute its strategy. The Company is well positioned to increase its breadth and depth of service offerings, fuel internal growth, and acquire the best operating companies in the staffing industry. I look forward to assisting General Employment in achieving its strategic goals and increasing shareholder value.”

Mary Claire Menze founded Scribe Solutions in 2008, and she will assume her previous role as President of Scribe, following the completion of the acquisition.

About General Employment Enterprises, Inc.
General Employment Enterprises, Inc. (the “Company”) was incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1962 and is the successor to employment offices doing business since 1893. The Company provides staffing services through a network of offices located in the United States. The Company operates in two industry segments, providing professional staffing services and solutions and light industrial staffing services through the names of General Employment, Ashley Ellis, Triad and Omni-One.

About Scribe Solutions, Inc.
Scribe Solutions was formed in 2008 to meet the demands that physicians face with overcrowded waiting rooms, and to overcome the challenges presented by electronic medical records (EMR), and the rising cost of quality patient care. By providing physicians with personal assistants (medical scribes), Scribe offers turnkey programs where it recruits, qualifies, hires, and trains resources to serve as scribes at sites across the United States, and alleviates the burden of documentation and clerical duties. Scribe Solutions has developed a low cost staffing solution that improves productivity by providing scribe programs to emergency departments, physician practices, and outpatient and inpatient facilities.

Forward-Looking Statements
The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements often contain or are prefaced by words such as “will” and “expect”. As a result of a number of factors, the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Certain factors that might cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those factors set forth under the heading “Forward-Looking Statements” in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013, and in the Company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) and does not intend to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/general-employment-enterprises-to-acquire-scribe-solutions-inc-former-ceo-of-mps-group-to-be-appointed-chairman-and-ceo-300008947.html

Update on Arava Power Portfolio Company

April 8, 2014

Arava Power Company, responsible for Israel’s first medium-sized solar field, will be launching six such new projects.

Israel’s power grid will receive a boost this week, as 11 new solar power plants go online in the Negev and Arava.

On Monday evening, Arava Power Company – the firm responsible for Israel’s first medium-sized solar field at Kibbutz Ketura – will be launching six such new projects, throughout the Negev and Arava. The following day, EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDFEN), a subsidiary of Electricite de France, will be launching its first five solar fields.

Arava Power’s new fields will generate a total of approximately 36 megawatts worth of electricity, while those of EDF-EN will produce 32 megawatts.

“It’s a wonderful accomplishment for Arava Power Company and the State of Israel that multiple medium-sized fields are being launched simultaneously,” Arava Power co-founder and executive vice-chairman David Rosenblatt told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “It shows that Israel is at the start of beginning to bring scale to its solar program.”

While Arava’s launch ceremony will be held in the northern Negev’s Kibbutz Shoval, its six new projects are spread throughout the region. One of the six, however, is the 6.4-megawatt Shoval Sun.

At a cost of NIS 88.9m., the field will offset the production of approximately 162,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years, with emission reductions equivalent to the planting of 233,000 trees, according to the company.

Maslul Sun, located at Moshav Maslul in the northwestern Negev, is the largest of the new Arava Power fields at 8.9 megawatts and costs NIS 123.6m. Three of the other projects include a NIS 96.5m., 6.8-megawatt site at Kibbutz Yotvata; a NIS 88.5, 6.4-megawatt facility at Kibbutz Grofit and a NIS 105m., 7-megawatt site at Kibbutz Elifaz – all in the Arava.

The five aforementioned fields included equity investments from Arava Power, the NOY fund, and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund. Arava Power was responsible for development of these sites, while Siemens Israel oversaw engineering procurement construction. Maslul Sun received 80% of its funding in loans from Bank Hapoalim, Migdal insurance, and Amitim pension company.

A sixth, smaller project developed by Arava Power is the 0.45-megawatt Erez Rooftops venture, which is already producing electricity for the grid. All engineering procurement construction for Erez occurred through the firm NEXTCOM.

Arava Power Company launched the country’s first medium-sized solar field, the 4.95-megawatt Ketura Sun, in June 2011, after being founded in 2006 by Rosenblatt, Kibbutz Ketura resident Ed Hofland, and American-Israeli solar entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz.

“It’s really a compliment to the talent in Israel and mission-based business that Arava Power is, that we were able to gather so many talented people to reimagine israel’s solar energy policy,” Rosenblatt said.

For its part, EDF-EN will be launching its five new fields on Tuesday, all in the Negev Desert, and amounting to an approximately NIS 330m. investment in total. The largest of the facilities is an 8.5-megawatt field in Kibbutz Gvulot, located in the northwestern Negev in Eshkol Regional Council.

The other four fields include a 7.8-megawatt site at Kibbutz Mishmar HaNegev, a 6.4-megawatt site at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, a 6-megawatt site at Kibbutz Nahal Oz and a 3.2-megawatt site at Kibbutz Lahav.

In addition to these five fields, which are being connected to the grid this week, EDF-EN also has four other completely constructed facilities that will soon be connected as well, the company said.

These include an 8.8-megawatt site at Kibbutz Bror Hayil, a 10.8-megawatt site at Kibbutz Samar, a 10-megawatt site at Moshav Talmei Eliyahu and a 7-megawatt site at Mitzpe Ramon.

“We believe there is real intrinsic potential for solar energy in Israel,” Ayalon Alain Vaniche, CEO of EDF-EN Israel, told the Post on Monday.

In addition to its solar activities, EDF-EN will over the next year also be focusing its on developing wind energy fort northern Israel. EDF-EN, 85% owned by the French government, first entered Israel in 2009.

While Arava Power and EDF-EN are launching their many solar fields one day after the other, the two companies actually have a long history of working together.

Arava Power remains an investor in three of the EDF-EN fields, including two that will be launched on Tuesday and one of the future sites: Mishmar HaNegev, Kerem Shalom, and Bror Hayil. While Arava now only has a 5% stake in these projects, the company was the initial developer of these projects prior to EDF-EN purchase.

EDF-EN is also a partner in the engineering work and financing of Arava Power’s future 40-megawatt solar field at Kibbutz Ketura, which is in the race to become the country’s first large-scale solar field. The partners have received NIS 250m., or 80% of the project’s total cost, from Bank HaPoalim.

The large field will be ready for grid connection by the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, Rosenblatt said.

While Rosenblatt stressed that Monday will be “a day of celebration” for Arava Power, there is still much work that needs to be done in Israel’s solar industry, particularly in terms of establishing additional quotas and regulations.

“We would like that scale to grow rapidly for the benefit of Israel and the economic development of the country that it represents,” he said. “We would hope that Israel makes it easier and faster to do the next five, six fields.”

Arava Power, he explained, has a pipeline of projects that extend into double- digits, but these projects are stuck due to lack of government regulation.

Vaniche expressed similar sentiments, adding that EDF-EN too has a series of projects that are simply “waiting for a decision from the regulator.”

“We are all in the same situation, where we have projects in the waiting list for which we have invested hundreds of thousands of shekels,” Vaniche said.

While the Interministerial Committee for Renewable Energy in February approved the transfer of around 300 megawatts worth of renewable energy quotas from other sources to the photovoltaic industry, Rosenblatt said that it is still unclear as to when a decision will occur as to how these new megawatts will be allocated.

“For an industry that has been waiting more than two years at this point for the right to build new fields, it’s a very long time,” he said.

Emphasizing how Israel’s strong sunlight “perfectly matches” the country’s additional energy needs, Vaniche added, “I am just sorry as a citizen that the existing potential and the existing projects are not used as quickly as possible.”

 

Congratulations to Plures Technologies (“MANY”) on it’s recent announcement

May 10, 2013

Plures Technologies Completes $5 Million Financing

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y., May 9, 2013 — Plures Technologies, Inc (MANY) a leading foundry-based MEMS sensor and spintronics company, today announced the completion of a capital raise with total gross proceeds of approximately $5 million.  A sophisticated specialty finance lender that focuses on growing technology based companies led the financing with a total commitment of approximately $2 million in the form of a secured term loan.  Current Plures shareholders, including RENN Capital and Cedarview Capital, along with each member of the management team invested approximately $3 million in the form of convertible notes.  The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including working capital and marketing of the company’s revolutionary magnetometer products.

“I am pleased to announce this new financing into Plures,” commented Glenn Fricano, President of Plures Technologies, Inc.  “In addition, I’d like to express my appreciation to our current and new investors, including RENN Capital and Cedarview Capital, for their continued vote of confidence in our business model.  Plures is well-positioned to grow significantly in 2013, and with the completion of this financing the company now has a clear path to be able to introduce our transformative magnetometer and MEMS based products.”

The transaction closed and has been approved by Plures’ board of directors.  The company will provide a more detailed description of the terms and conditions of the transaction in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed with the SEC.

About Plures Technologies, Inc. 
Plures Technologies Inc., based in Canandaigua, NY, and its subsidiary Advanced Microsensors, based in Shrewsbury, MA, is a leading MEMS sensor and switch company focused on foundry products as well as high-sensitivity magnetoresistive proprietary products.