Preparing for the Cycle Shift: 2015 Hotel Business Roundtable

By Matthew Marin via

BALTIMORE—A panel of industry experts discussed the industry’s five-year horizon during the 2015 Hotel Business Owners & Developers Executive Roundtable, “Hot Tactics for Cooler Times: Prepping for the Cycle Shift.”

The executive series was held Aug. 20 at RLHC’s newly opened Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor. Situated at 207 East Redwood St. in downtown Baltimore, the hotel is an adaptive reuse of the former Keyser Building, a 10-story historic property with a cut-stone facade.

The event was sponsored and hosted by RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation). Other sponsors included Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Real Estate and Hospitality Services and Bissell Big Green Commercial. Stefani C. O’Connor, executive news editor, Hotel Business & managing editor, roundtables, moderated the panel discussion.

The panelists included: Roger Clark, EVP/hotel acquisitions, The LCP Group; Sunny Desai, president/CEO, Desai Hotel Group; Elliott Estes, principal, Woodmont Lodging; Stephen Field, president/chief culture officer, Synergy Hospitality, Inc.; Ron Franklin, president/principal, Pinnacle Hotel Management; Norman K. Jenkins, president/CEO, Capstone Development, LLC; Greg Mount, president/CEO, RLHC; Michael Muir, EVP/hotel lending, Live Oak Bank; Brian Quinn, SVP, RLHC; and Mark Woodworth, senior managing director, CBRE Research – PKF Hospitality Research, a CBRE Co.

Click here for the extensive roundtable coverage featured in the Sept. 7 issue of Hotel Business

Live Oak Bank Wins 2015 Industry Award

Live Oak Bank’s Investment Advisory team was named a 2015 Industry Awards winner in the industry disruptor category by The Industry Awards honor outstanding achievements by companies and organizations that support financial advisor success.

Live Oak’s Investment Advisory team was initiated in 2012. Made up of industry experts with more than 50 years of experience, the Investment Advisory team lends to independent advisors seeking funding for mergers and acquisitions, breakaway and tuck-ins (bringing in advisors from brokerage houses), succession, commercial real estate, refinance and working capital. With over $200 Million investment advisor closed loans to date, Live Oak Bank has quickly surpassed every other lender in the industry due to their dedicated team, accessible capital, technology and speed.

“A little over two years ago investment advisory was still an emerging industry focus for Live Oak Bank,” said Jason Carroll, managing director of Live Oak’s Investment Advisory team. “While there have been many milestones in the progression of our business, certainly being the recipient of the industry disruptor award from amidst so many distinguished firms is a watershed day. We are indeed honored to be included with this group,” Carroll continues.

The independent financial advice industry is in the midst of rapid consolidation and generational turnover. Today, the average age of a principal in an independent financial practice is 57.1 Advisors are thinking about retirement and seeking buyers internally or externally. Others are looking to scale their practices to create self-sustaining business structures such as partnerships, and using acquisitions and tuck-ins to build their firms. All of these activities require capital, and until now advisors had few places to turn. Live Oak has disrupted banking practices that were preventing the industry’s ability to sustain itself and grow by creating a consultative team that can help its clients with both capital and ongoing business advice.

“Live Oak understands the advisory business and that is a big part of its value to the advisory community. There have been many fits and starts over the past couple of decades when it comes to advisory firms obtaining capital for buyouts and buy-ins—Live Oak has changed the game by becoming a reliable source of credit for a community of business owners who had a need to fill but no source to fill it,” said Mark Tibergien, Chief Executive Officer of Pershing Advisor Solutions.

The Industry Awards program has been designed to recognize the companies and organizations that support financial advisor success. More than 300 nominations were submitted for the 2015 Awards, and a panel of judges made up of top names in the industry determined the winners. The bank was nominated because of its focus on financial advisors, an industry whose members have suffered from a lack of access to capital. The winners were announced at a gala reception on September 24, 2015 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City.




Funeral Acquisition Webinar: Your Opportunity for Growth

Free Webinar Alert

For independent funeral home owners looking to expand, acquiring an additional funeral home is an achievable way to grow. In the past, seller financing was the primary funding option, making the transition of independently owned firms difficult.

In this webinar, we will look at the current landscape of the industry and what it takes to acquire a funeral home. Early planning is a must. Learn the steps to take and the financing options available.


Tim Bridgers joined Live Oak Bank in 2014 with over ten years of valuable business and entrepreneurial experience. Tim studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Business at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and completed his Finance degree at Liberty University. This diverse education prepared Bridgers for success in sales, marketing, and management. Tim is a former business owner and developer of two successful companies, and understands the challenges business owners face. He is dedicated to assisting small business owners in the Funeral industry become and remain successful with Live Oak Bank’s products and services.

Jim Breaux joins the Live Oak Bank Funeral Home Lending Team with extensive financial experience in the Death Care industry. Most recently, Breaux served as Senior Vice President for Regions Wealth Management and Director of Administrative Services within the Funeral and Cemetery Trust Services Division. Prior to that, Breaux was the Vice President and Trust Manager at Regions Trust. Through his relationships in the Funeral Service industry and financial knowledge, Breaux is committed to helping funeral home owners grow their businesses.

Date: Oct. 8, 2015
Time: 2 p.m. (EST)
Price: FREE

Register here!


The Ninja Dentist Reveals Her Training Ground

Customer Spotlight: Dr. Walker
By: Kyle Patton, Dentaltown Magazine June 2015

As a dentist, you spend most of your time at your practice. It’s understandable that you might not get many opportunities to see what it’s like in another doctor’s office. That’s why we bring you an “office visit” six times a year. It’s a chance for you to meet your peers, see their practices and hear their stories. This month we caught up with Dr. Desirée Walker, a North Carolina native who balances being a full-time dentist with competing on the hit television show, “American Ninja Warrior.” You won’t want to miss how this doc has transformed her office into a ninja training ground.

What was the path you took to becoming a dentist?
Dr. Walker: I grew up in a small rural town in North Carolina. I thought going to the dentist was cool and viewed it like a mini field trip to an amusement park. I was just fascinated by the experience: the chairs that went up and down with all the gadgets, the bowl I got to spit in, the nice lady who cleaned my teeth and then gave me a toy and toothbrush.

Growing up, I never realized that so many people were scared of—or dreaded—going to see the dentist. I was always happy to see mine. He was a nice older man—like a granddad—who wore plaid bell-bottoms and told me I had a nice smile. My positive experiences at the dentist as a patient made me curious about dentistry as a career.

I actually invented a piece of dental equipment when I was 8 years old. My friend had a loose baby tooth that would not come out. We were both gymnasts and I had an indoor pull-up bar, on which we spent hours practicing. I came up with an ingenious plan that she willingly agreed to—I have no clue why. I had her stand on a chair placed right under the pull-up bar. I tied a short piece of string around the tooth, and then the other end around the bar. I had her grab the bar and I took away the chair. She was hanging in chin-up position with her tooth tied to the bar.

Soon into the plan she changed her mind, but before she could sputter out the words, “Get the chair,” her arms gave way, she dropped down, and the tooth came out. It was dangling from the string, still attached to the chin-up bar.

I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I had helped my friend with my pull-up-bar tooth extractor. She was a tad stunned and so glad her tooth was out. We went right back to playing on the bar, with the tooth still dangling.

What’s the story behind you going from dentist to gymnast to … ninja dentist?
Dr. Walker: My official transformation to a “ninja dentist” occurred on a Saturday afternoon while bonding ortho brackets on my husband.We were in the office alone and I received a call with a Hollywood area code. I do not normally take calls during patient care, but since the call was from Hollywood and the patient was my husband, I quickly de-gloved to see who was on the other end.It happened to be the producers from the hit NBC television show, “American Ninja Warrior.” They wanted me to compete. I had submitted an application and video months earlier but had forgotten all about it, especially with the demands of a ground-up, start-up practice in its four-month infancy.

My jaw dropped. I had three weeks before I had to travel to Miami to compete on the show. It was the athletic thrill of a lifetime.

Six years earlier, back in dental school, I would never have dreamed about this opportunity. I was not in athletic shape and was suffering from severe chronic back pain. The pain was so severe that I had to wear a specialized back brace daily to get through the rigors of clinic and class. I even had to wear it to get a good night’s sleep.

The pain was debilitating and I had thoughts of dropping out of dental school altogether, but instead I decided to change. Instead of trying not to move my body to avoid pain, I began to move again, but differently.

I went back to one of my childhood passions. I returned to gymnastics and joined the club gymnastics team on campus. Most important, I added movement breaks in my day, which included stretching and mobility exercises in between clinic and classes. There was no eureka moment when I became pain-free. It was gradual healing process. Dedication and consistency to my new movement and mobility routine were critical to my becoming pain-free.

At the end of the day I was going home with no pain, and getting stronger. The pain relief not only improved my clinic and school performance, but also made me want to challenge myself even more, athletically.

I began entering fitness competitions. Within two years, I was a national champion and professional fitness competitor.

I installed gymnastics training equipment in my home—I had rings and rope mounted from the ceiling in my living room, and wall bars and a balance beam in my training room. I competed as a 33-year-old for one season alongside some of the girls I coached. It was a thrill to relive those gymnastics competition days.

I made a huge professional decision to build and open my own dental practice. It was having my own practice that allowed me to integrate movement into my day. I installed rings, stall bars and yoga mats in my private office. I surrounded myself with a constant flow of movement and inspiration that made me feel good. Feeling good allowed to me to progress into more complex “ninja” workouts.

Click here to read the full article on Dentaltown Magazine.
Click here for PDF.

Financing Options for Your Next Rink Expansion or Upgrade

By: Sara Hodon

Whether you’re upgrading your rink’s lighting or sound system, or planning a major expansion and adding a number of new offerings to attract new customers, business enhancements need capital. If you’ve never pursued a business loan before, the process can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Lenders who understand the needs of small businesses offer a number of financing options that can help operators take their rinks to new levels.


Click here for the full article.

Live Oak Bank Offers FEC Loans Between $25K and $350K

Live Oak Bank now offers loans between $25,000 and $350,000 that can be used for renovations, remodels, acquisitions, games and attractions, merchandise and equipment purchases. This eLending program offers approvals within 48 hours of receiving documents, little to no equity requirements, fast closings (generally within 30 days), no prepayment penalties, 10-year terms (fully amortizing, no balloons), capped closing costs and low rates.  Live Oak’s innovative technology has made the loan process transparent and efficient so they can get the funds to you fast – and you can get back to business. Standard loan programs up to $5,000,000 are also available.

“If you are interested in modernizing, adding new attractions to your center or making game and equipment purchases this eLending program is a quick and simple solution to traditional lending. Live Oak invites you to call and discover what it’s like to work with a team that is dedicated to the Amusement industry.” Says Ben Jones, FEC Domain Specialist at Live Oak Bank.

About Live Oak Bank 
Live Oak Bank was founded in 2008 to provide small business loans to professionals across the country looking to start or expand their businesses. Aside from acquisitions and refinancing, Live Oak’s lenders specialize in real estate loans and ground up construction projects. The bank originally began lending to veterinarians and has since expanded not only into other healthcare-related industries, but into specialty areas as well. Having such a keen industry focus and trade specialists on board enables the bank to offer an exceptional level of service to the client. To learn more about the Live Oak Bank difference, please contact one of our FEC team members.

Ben Jones, Domain Specialist, (910) 798-1210
Kay Anderson, Director of Emerging Markets (910) 796-1678
Mike Cairns, Senior Loan Officer (910) 550-2915

Click here to learn more about FEC equipment financing. 


Webinar: Trends Call for Change

Trends Call for Change: What You Can Do to Stay Ahead
Presented by: Tim Bridgers and Walker Posey

There has been much discussion over recent years about the changes in the funeral industry. From families’ preferences to transitions in ownership, funeral home owners have more than ever to consider when planning and running their businesses. During this webinar, Tim Bridgers, with Live Oak Bank, and Walker Posey, with the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association, take a comprehensive approach to the changes in the industry and what’s required to stay ahead of the trends.

Download the presentation here.

Questions about financing? Contact Tim Bridgers ( at 910.685.7446