Adiós Prohibition! It’s Time to Expand Your Distillery

The recently passed California Craft Distillers Act of 2015 signals a welcomed end to prohibition era laws and ushers in the same modern growth privileges that wineries and breweries have enjoyed for years. Effective January 1, 2016, the California law gives distilleries the ability to host private tastings and events, directly sell up to three bottles of spirits per consumer per day, and own up to three restaurants.

Similar law changes have sparked substantial distillery growth in states like Washington and North Carolina. This significant and historic shift in regulations will create tremendous expansion opportunities for the California craft distillery industry.

Live Oak Bank offers comprehensive financing to help distillery businesses nationwide expand and reach their full potential. Whether it’s acquiring another distillery, building a new facility, purchasing equipment, or simply attaining working capital, our expert lending team is positioned to meet each distillery’s unique lending needs.

With years of experience in the craft beverage world, we can make sure your growth aspirations are realized. To learn more, please contact a member of our Senior Lending Team located in Santa Rosa, CA, or visit our Wine and Craft Beverage page at

Big Splash in the Sonoma County Beer Industry

The guys at HenHouse Brewing in Petaluma, CA, recently finalized plans to move their brewery operations to Santa Rosa, expand their facility, and add a new taproom all thanks to unique financing obtained from Live Oak Bank. The Small Business Administration (SBA) loan of more than $1 million will allow HenHouse to adequately advance its aspirations as a local brewery business.

Senior Loan Officers Tracy Sheppard and Randall Behrens with the bank’s Wine and Craft Beverage division in Santa Rosa, CA, worked with HenHouse on this financing deal that will also increase its annual production by 3,000 barrels per year. Live Oak Bank’s lending model allows a brewery like HenHouse to capitalize on its cash flow equity while offering longer loan terms and low interest rates.

Read more here. You may also visit our Wine and Craft Beverage page at

Dr. Leary Achieves Her Dental Practice Dreams

Customer Spotlight: Dr.Leary

“My desire to become a dentist began in high school, and this desire grew while learning more about dentistry throughout college. I received my BS in Biology from Spelman College and my DDS from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating from UNC-CH, I completed a one-year general practice residency (GPR) at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Baltimore, MD.

As my career in dentistry began, I was fortunate to work in a pediatric dentistry, corporate dentistry, private practice and finally, to own a practice. In February 2011, I acquired the healthy practice of a retiring dentist who had been in the same location in the community for 41 years and had a great list of generational patients. I am proud to say that my practice remains a true family practice. After a year in my new practice, it was clear that my new acquisition offered immense opportunity. I knew we needed to transition from our three operatory, 1000 square foot practice to a larger and more modern facility to accommodate our growth.

With the knowledge and extraordinary team at Live Oak, my two-year journey ended with the purchase of a 7500 square foot pad and my own 4000 square foot building. A year later, I am happy to say we have continued to grow. Live Oak is still a wonderful support system for my practice, and I am fortunate to have them on my team, a team in which failure is not an option!” – Dr. Leary

Yoga for Dentists

Yoga for Dentists by Dr. David Hennington, DDS via

Dental professionals face unique physical, mental, and emotional challenges each day. These challenges can create discord and imbalance, especially when they’re combined. Contorting our bodies in order to gain better visibility, sitting for long periods, and even hunching over our computer keyboards can put enormous strain on our musculoskeletal systems. Dealing with fearful patients, uncooperative team members, and the frustrations of running a small business can sometimes become overwhelming and lead to powerful feelings of anxiety, anger, and even depression. Numerous coping strategies are available. One ancient remedy is my favorite and can help alleviate the detrimental effects of these varied stressors. That remedy is the practice of yoga.

Derived from a Sanskrit word meaning to “yoke together, unite, or integrate,” yoga is based on an Indian body of knowledge at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old. As yoga continues to evolve and become increasingly diverse, it has become difficult to find a single, common definition that can be agreed upon by all practitioners. For the purpose of this article, yoga can be defined as the process of harmonizing the body, mind, and breath through the coordination of various physical postures (asanas) with specific breathing and meditation techniques.

It is this synchronization of the breath with the movement of the body that is the basis for many of yoga’s benefits. Breathing in rhythm with the poses is what separates yoga from other physical disciplines. Without coordinated breathing, one is merely stretching. With the breath, one is doing yoga. While a variety of breathing techniques (pranayama) can be used to accomplish specific effects, the one most commonly used is a deep, smooth inhale with an exhale of equal length. For instance, take a deep breath for a count of four seconds. Now exhale for four seconds. Get into a rhythm with that. When you start to feel yourself relaxing, expand the inhale to five seconds, and the exhale to five seconds. Next, try six seconds.

Deep breathing has many physical and mental benefits. These include detoxifying the body, releasing muscle tension, improving focus and an awareness of the present moment, facilitating a feeling of calm, and strengthening the lungs, heart, and immune system. It’s very simple, and very effective.

Physical benefits
As a regular yoga practitioner for more than 15 years, I have experienced firsthand yoga’s many physical benefits. Yoga can be used therapeutically to alleviate existing ailments and can also be employed preventatively. Modern medical research continues to verify the validity of yoga as therapy to improve overall health. Given the wear and tear our bodies experience over time as we practice dentistry, yoga is especially beneficial for the dental professional.

One of the obvious benefits of yoga is improved flexibility, but the postures also build muscle strength. That additional muscle strength, particularly of the critical core musculature, is balanced by the increased flexibility to help improve posture, both when sitting and when moving through space. This, in turn, reduces strain on the back, neck, shoulders, and other muscles and joints, which decreases the practitioner’s chance of developing future degenerative musculoskeletal conditions.

Yoga improves blood flow by increasing your heart rate and delivering more oxygen to your cells, which then function better. While some styles of yoga can get you into an aerobic target range, studies have shown that even those that don’t can improve your cardiovascular conditioning.

Other studies have shown yoga’s positive impact on a wide variety of physiologic functions, including strengthening bones and reducing osteoporosis, lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics, decreasing blood pressure, boosting the functionality of the immune and adrenal systems, and improving sleep. In addition, because yoga is a low-impact practice, it’s gentle on joints that may be weak or compromised. In short, yoga offers a way to counteract or avoid many of the chronic physical conditions that are commonly seen in dental team members.

Continue reading here.

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.
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