Jon Hersey - Spy Fishing by Leo N. Ardo - HTML preview
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Each year 18M people fly fish - only 5M swing a fly rod at least a second time -
these "echoes" are considered an enthusiast. In the enthusiast group, 75% are men, 53% of group are over age 35, and 52% are unmarried.
Annual retail sales for fly fishing products, from the cheapest fly tying materials to the most expensive 6 piece pack rod, approach $2.48B - an average of $500 per
enthusiast. Additionally, $1.1B is spent on vacation packages, associated
lodging, and clothing.
It is believed the first use of artificial fishing flies was in the second century by a Roman, Claudious Aelianus.
The winner of the national fly tying contest in Bozeman, Montana, took home
$25,000. The Madison Tie One On derby, where fly fishermen can use only one
fly per day, has a $125,000 first place purse.
5,000+ fly shops, and a shrinking number of big box stores, provide goods and
services to 5M fly fishing enthusiasts.
Jon Hersey (being careful to word the Biz Planner report so his boss, Paul Tyler,
will not discover his clandestine involvement with Injector One) is completing his
final report on the Grindell Injectors purchase of Injector One:
- management has been blended together
- the remodel of Grindell's former facility is in progress
- contracts with Injector One and Grindell customers are finalized
- Ian Breck decided to retire to farm property he purchased near Marlow
from four sisters scattered throughout the west
- only employee lost was Charles Johnson, a childhood friend who quit
out of loyalty to Ian
- Grindell is on track to begin payments to Biz Planners in three months.
It's been three weeks since Ian "decided" to sell Injector One to Grindell. It has been three weeks of intense, time-consuming concentration closing the Grindell
deal. Luckily there were no concurrent Zeta assignments. It's Tuesday, and no
jobs or assignments on the schedule for at least six days.
Jon is three steps down the hallway going for coffee, when the beep from the
Scrambler goes off on the computer. [Jon wishes he had put a bar sink in his
home office. Alissa would not have objected to an office coffee maker. Then,
cleaning the carafe and dumping the grounds would not require hauling them
through the house to the kitchen. Oh well, coffee will have to wait].
One login code, one password, and one "Spot" entry to the childhood pet's name inquiry followed by a ten second delay. The next Zeta disruption assignment
"details" are displayed on his laptop.
Zeta Consulting Group
Alston Medical Supplies
1285 Oak Tree Road
Lebanon, Ohio 42690
Mark Dayton (suspect)
Office location - downtown Cincinnati at 3427 Bengal Way
Suite 525 and 527
Instructions / Details:
- arrange soonest possible meeting with Daryl for details.
Jon (to himself), [The previous three Zeta assignments came with full details. ...
"meet with Daryl for details" ... unusual departure from the Zeta model ... why?!!]
Jon's next disruption assignment for Zeta Consulting Group is in Cincinnati.
Concurrently, the next Biz Planner job will likely be in Park City, Utah, if he read
Paul's hints correctly. The travel distance for this combination of private
assignment and public job locations is the farthest so far. The first combination
was Miami Flower Imports for Biz Planners and for ZCG was Publishers Printer
making counterfeit $20 bills in Atlanta. The second concurrent combination was
Charlotte for Biz Planners long time client Great Foods Prepared Meals (the
Vegetable Wrap guys) and for ZCG it was the American Tire Company, in
Scranton, selling tires to Columbian and Venezuelan drug cartels. The third
combination was luckily in the same city of Tulsa.
Jon calls Daryl. The call goes direct to voice mail ... Very unusual! ... after the
beep, Jon leaves his message, "calling to set meeting to discuss new
assignment. I am at home for next ten minutes then will be "in a tunnel" for about two hours" - (Jon's banter to Daryl that he would be running without his cell)."
Dressed for the cool mountain air, Jon starts his run. His mind begins thinking
about the two unsettling events of the past 20 minutes; - incomplete assignment
file from Zeta, - and Daryl not answering the "bat phone". After three minutes of getting nowhere with so little data, one of "Alissa's axioms" enters his mind ...
things are not always as they appear to be. His thoughts shift: - how can I get
some fly fishing lessons?, - should receive Biz Planners' job in next few days, -
hope Daryl can meet without airfare being required, - next BP job will be different,
- a start-up, not an established organization, - could be fun, - travel between
Cincinnati and Park City could be problematic, ...
Too many flies ... So little time
Paul Tyler is a workaholic Monday 8:00 AM through Friday 5:00 PM; and, the
world's greatest dad on weekends. The modern day saying - work hard, play
hard - fits Paul perfectly. Between work and family activities Paul can be found
tying flies, planning a fly fishing excursion, or maintaining his fishing equipment.
His favorite saying is "the correct fly attracts the right kind of fish" and he uses it as the answer to nearly all difficult business problems. (Jon thought of an old TV
series every time he heard this. If Paul was a toga clad, blind, Chinese Kung Fu
master who started every sentence with "Grasshopper" - the image would be
Paul's office has been redecorated by Susan "Suzie" Anne Carpenter - Tyler.
(Suzie was related to the 70's singing duo, The Carpenters, and wanted
everyone to know ... [when you are young] ...). For a "company man", Paul has a lot of non-work decor: - two sets of crossed fly rods, - three basket creels (one
used as a candy dish), - two mounted fish (taxidermy done by a young master
craftsmen in Billings, Montana), - four artisan framed fish prints purchased
through an exclusive mail-order company, - and two fly fishing magazine
subscriptions for employees to peruse while waiting for Paul to get off the phone.
Calling Paul a fly fishing enthusiast was like calling Louis & Clark a couple
Jon was surprised by the hints that he would be the project manager on the
upcoming Utah fishing company job.
Returning from his run "in the tunnel", Jon found another surprise on his cell phone. The message expected from Daryl was missing. Instead, a message from
Paul to call about the fishing job. It was early enough with the time difference to
have an hour discussion with Paul. Paul answered on the first ring: - "hello Jon.
Thanks for getting back to me."
- "what is up on the fishing job?"
- "we have so much work that, as much as I would like to, I can not work the Fly Fishing Wholesale Group job. They have plans to meet in Park City starting on
Monday morning. It's a start-up, not an established business. It's an old concept
applied to a different industry. Basically, they want to sign up local fly shops to
become members of a buying group. Members then get fly fishing items at
wholesale. More members means more buying power means better pricing to
- "how do the big box stores effect this?"
- "their claim, which appears to be sound, is the "destination" shops still have healthy sales; and, the big box stores are shrinking the floor space committed to
fly fishing. Additionally, the big box stores are carrying only the high movers."
- "did you have a modified "presentation" model you we're going to use?"
- "I will send you their business plan. I had planned to validate their assumptions, do some potential member surveys, and investigate product offerings. Some
vendors will sell to brick and mortar stores only. This type of restriction may
impact their plan."
- "I will need to do some cramming. The local fly shop has been around for at
least 10 years. They have fly fishing lessons, tying materials, and accessories ...
Tell me about the partners?"
- "five businessmen that own other small businesses. They have varied
backgrounds: - marketing, sales, operations, accounting / finance, warehousing.
Some of the other companies they own sell medical supplies, elementary school
books, imported housewares, thermal clothing, imported rugs, and construction
rentals. They are all avid fly fishermen ... Their biz plan is in route. You should
receive the email in the next few minutes ... Call if you have any questions? We
don't have the usual three week prep time."
The phone call ends with the usual pressing of the "end" key just as the
computer beep acknowledges the receipt of the Biz Planner email.
Biz Planners, LLC
6932 Orchard Plaza
Boca Raton, FL 23758
Client: Fly Fishing Wholesale Group
No address - start-up analysis
Principles / Owners:
1. Carl Walden, CW Manufacturer Imports, Oakland CA, imports
2. Gary Holstein, Great Ed Books, Boise ID, elementary school books
3. Mark Dayton, Alston Medical Supplies + Dayton Thermal Wear +
Rug Imports, Cincinnati and Lebanon OH, self explanatory
4. Janice Anderson, Home Testing Labs (7 Locations in MT, WY,
NV, CA, UT), Spokane WA, home testing for mold, radon, drug
manufacturing saturation, etc
5. Howard Jones, Howie Rentals, Corvallis OR, construction
1. 18M people try fly fishing each year
2. 5M classified as enthusiast (go fly fishing 2+ times per year)
3. Market size is $2.48B annually for fly fishing tackle and gear
4. Additional $1.1B annually for related vacation, lodging, and clothing
5. Average enthusiast spends $750 per year for fly fishing
6. 5,000+ fly shops. 4,200 destination shops (remote locations with little
7. Shop locations are distributed 55% west of Mississippi River : 45% east
1. All partners initial start-up amount is $2.0M per each
2. If additional funding is needed, all partners have opportunity to contribute.
Shares of company's stock are shifted according to each members total
3. 1700 fly shops in western states with minimum sales of $470,000 is $800M
annually. Signing 10% of shops is $80M per year.
1. Create "family" of fly shops where 51% ownership is held by Fly Fishing Wholesale Group (FFWG)
2. FFWG provides marketing, inventory management, warehousing, and
3. Purchase existing shops where possible.
4. Open new shops in prime locations.
5. Membership drive starts in Montana; then adjacent states; and so on
6. Fly shop provides guide service, lessons, lodging, etc through agreements
with local guides and lodges for a fee
7. Shop selection based on: - location too small for big box store, - locations
with "dense" recreational property, - owner / partner has passion for fly
fishing, - at least four years ownership, - growth potential of 10% per year
1. Branding through fly fishing and tying magazines
2. Flyers / coupons mailed to subscribers of fly fishing magazines
3. Consumer shows. Give away lodging, fly fishing gear, or guided trip
4. Advertising in fishing proclamations
5. Gifts for fishing clubs fund raising efforts
6. 3% of all sales go to fishing habitat rehabilitation. Press releases to national
Jon immediately recognized that Mark Dayton was on both the Zeta and Biz
Planner reports. The complications began to form in his mind: - could he keep
the two projects separate?, - could he be congenial to Mark on the job and
disrupt him on assignment?, - WOW, he can not run into Mark in Cincinnati, it
could destroy his Biz Planners "cover" job, potentially alert Mark which would ruin the planned disruption, and void his value with Zeta.
Daryl's call came while Jon was making his favorite pasta sauce, which had been
passed down to Alissa, through four generations. Alissa had enjoyed teasing Jon
that her family's secret sauce had more people attempting to "steal" the recipe than there were Italian restaurants ... in Italy. She kept it from Jon until they
learned of her failing chemo treatments. Their one let-your-hair-down food-fight
took place during the cooking demonstration where Alissa revealed her great-
Jon picked up the phone, looked at the caller ID, and chuckled when he read
"Bat Phone" ... [if Daryl only knew] ....
- "Daryl, where are you traveling to this week?"
- "I am going on a little vacation to do some fly fishing in Jackson Hole ... Right after I get you the Cincinnati file."
- "Fly fishing!?!"
- "meeting a couple old friends for our annual big fish contest."
- "this is a little awkward, but my "real" job is a group of small biz owners investigating the start-up of a new fly fishing distribution company. When they
ask, I would like to say I've been fly fishing."
- "You would fit in with my old friends and add a little spark to the conversations; but, there can be no Zeta discussions once we land in Jackson Hole. We can
review the Zeta file in an Air Travelers Lounge rental conference room at the
Denver Airport; And, I will book your ticket on the Rocky Mountain Airways 3:25
flight to Jackson. See you at 10:00 tomorrow morning."
- "why was the Zeta file missing the details?"
- "It's Peter's request, I'll explain at 10 tomorrow ... By-the-way, do you have fishing gear?"
- "no, what do I need?"
- "I have an extra rod and reel. We can get you some flies, waders, and stuff
when we arrive in Jackson Hole."
Next morning ... Jon, excited about: - learning to fly fish, - a different type of Biz Planner's presentation, - the mystery of the Zeta assignment, - and his first visit
to Jackson Hole, nearly misses the entrance to Rocky Mountain Rental Car. He
backs his Jeep Grand Cherokee into his reserved spot, removes his bags, and
puts his keys in the computer bag. After two minutes, Terri stops the courtesy
van in front of the Jeep ....
- "missed you on Monday. Thought you were sick."
- "no. Worked a couple days at home so I could go fishing the rest of this week ...
I might have to go right to work from my vacation. Any problem if the Jeep is here
for 10 to 12 days?"
- "no problem. Which airline?"
- "Rocky Mountain"
- "leaving early - must be going to Sun Valley, Idaho."
- [can't tell her about my four hour session with Daryl before going to Jackson
Hole.] (to Terri) "four days in Sun Valley - maybe I can get a tan there."
Jon finds the members-only Air Travelers Lounge and wonders if they will let him
- "Mr. Hersey, you're expected in conference room three."
- "how did you know who I am?"
- "Mr. Alexander said you would be carrying a Biz Planners computer bag with an
Angel pin. There is coffee, tea, and water in the conference room. Anything else
we will be happy to get for you from the bar."
- "thank you. Tea is all I need."
Daryl has the logo'd Zeta Consulting Group folder setting on the table when Jon
enters the room. Jon sets down his carry-on then reaches for the folder.
- "before we start, Peter wanted me to tell you the Tulsa assignment was well
done - clever solution, quick completion, no jobs lost, HumVee's are back on
schedule - Peter says, thank you! He sent your $20,000 bonus to the cancer
treatment center in Tulsa."
- "tell Peter thanks. I appreciate the donation and the compliments."
- "let me tell you what Peter's worried about. Peter's friend, Carl Walden, is very concerned about Mark Dayton - the target of this disruption assignment. Carl
asked if Peter still had contacts who might be able to help Mark. Carl says Mark
is the kind of guy who puts his family first, is an active PTA member, on the
board of the Cincinnati zoo, sponsors local little league teams, and helps clean
his church. Lately, he has been keeping to himself and avoiding anything public.
Peter wants you to handle this like any other disruption, but keep in mind there
might be something more. Carl does not know about Zeta and thinks Peter is
checking with some old buddies. Which means you may have to report directly to
Peter on occasion."
- "I have a bit of an issue with this assignment. Mark Dayton is one of the five owners involved in my next Biz Planners project. If I run into Mark while in
Cincinnati, the assignment is blown. I have no reason to be in Cincinnati for Biz
Planners. This could get me fired from Biz Planners; and, mess-up the disruption.
My value to Zeta could be gone. Additionally, the spread between these two
locations may take me longer to conclude this assignment. Increasing the chance
of running into Mark. And, Paul's plans to partner with Fly Fishing Wholesale
Group would be in jeopardy."
- "let me think on that while you read the file."
Jon opens the folder to find the usual single sheet of paper summarizing the
Zeta Consulting Group
Alston Medical Supplies
1285 Oak Tree Road
Lebanon, Ohio 42690
Mark Dayton (suspect)
Office location - downtown Cincinnati at 3427 Bengal Way
Suite 525 and 527
File number: 21-7404MD JH. Access code: Sbx286!Lw
Instructions / Details:
1. Investigate Alston Medical Supplies and Mark Dayton for illegal sales of
medical supplies to terrorist organizations. These supplies are being sold to
Pakistan company suspected of being a terrorist front.
2. Uncertain how medical supplies are being transported to Pakistan.
3. Uncertain how supplies are being funded
4. Mark Dayton takes three to four trips annually for his Persian rug business.
5. Mark Dayton owns two other companies. Neither is suspected of illegal
activities. Dayton Thermal Wear located in Cincinnati private labels thermal
clothing for several major brand names. Persian Rug Imports also located in
Cincinnati sells area rug made in Pakistan to the public.
6. All companies are private. Mark Dayton has owned companies for more than
five years. Alston Medical Supplies is the latest acquisition.
7. Military contracts require all post-shelf-life, and packages broken for samples,
to be destroyed.
8. Marine and Army medical corps are experiencing shortages of common battle
9. Army conducting internal investigation - they believe supplies are stolen after
10. Scuttlebutt indicates more injured, captured enemy combatants have wounds
covered with packaged bandages - not the tied rag bandages of before.
11. Solders not receiving best battle field medical treatment - enemy receiving
Jon closed the folder - laid it on the conference table - looked at Daryl and said
"outside of Mark Dayton begin a part of the job and assignment, this appears to
be straight forward." Daryl said he would see if Peter had some input on the Mark Dayton surprise.
Daryl ordered lunch from the Air Travelers food service ... Fish sandwiches ...
"getting you ready for the rest of this week ... Now about your first fly fishing trip
Can Shopping be Fun?
The plane lands in Jackson Hole - the rented SUV is ready - and on the seven
mile drive between the airport and town they pass by three elk, twelve deer, two
buffalo, one road biker, seven mountain bikers, four hitch-hikers, and ... The
Tetons. Daryl pulls into the town square and parks in the only empty stall, which
is across from the famous Bill Johnston Outdoors Emporium - the destination for
fly fishing stuff (and other outdoor gear) in Wyoming.
"Gearing up" takes two hours and $1127.54. Jon leaves with: -waders, boots, leaders, six dozen assorted flies, hat, fishing shirts, polarized sunglasses, vest,
accessories, ... and a big smile.
Jon also left with valuable knowledge about shop ownership. Daryl arranged for
his friend, Bill Johnston, to help Jon select his fishing equipment and supplies.
Bill talked about the gear Jon bought, - fishing in the area, - the difficulty of
starting a shop, - impact of seasonal sales, - the huge number of vendors for a
small business this size, - inventory control struggles, - problems with unusual
weather, - seasonal labor, - etc.
Two men carrying four ... full ... large ... Bill Johnston Outdoor Emporium logo
bags, walking down the wood sidewalks, attracts attention in Jackson Hole,
Wyoming. After the bags are loaded in the SUV, Daryl drives to the home of
Scott Hunter. A silhouette of a sail boat sits atop the log entry arch to the 300
acre site. Daryl tells the reader's digest version of Scott's custom design-and-
build sailboat factory. His company is the number one custom sailboat builder in
America. It's five minutes down a tree-lined gravel road to the clearing where the
house sits above the Snake River [no!, more like a big cabin, - No!, it's a lodge].
A similar rental is parked on the gravel area across from the "lodge". Daryl pulls up next to the other rental and says "David Sontag is here. David is retired at 42.
He started Junk-It trash hauling service in Minnesota, expanded to ten states,
then sold for twice it's asset value ... somewhere north of 80 million dollars. ....
Don't let their wealth fool you. These guys worked hard for their money, and if
you met them on the street, you would never know they are wealthy."
The mini-vacation is wonderful: - Jon picks-up fly fishing quickly thanks to David's
teaching technique, - Scott spent an hour teaching Jon how to select the right fly
(Paul's favorite saying goes through Jon's mind - the correct fly catches the right
kind of fish), - Daryl spent an hour showing how to use the accessories, - and the
first "fishing hole" produced two five-pound Rainbow Trout and one two-pound Brown Trout ... The fish ... and Jon were hooked.
On Saturday night, Daryl cooks his special Trout-ala-orange-Daryl-sauce. The
food, company, and conversation are great.
Sunday morning everyone packs-up their SUV ... signaling the end of the fishing.
Jon and Daryl are the first to leave - Daryl has an early flight - they pull onto state road #2174 and Daryl says, "Talked with Peter. He has assured me that Mark
Dayton will not be in Cincinnati next weekend. Apparently, Carl Walden has
invited Mark and family to San Francisco for a long weekend."
5:00 AM on a Monday is an odd time for his phone to ring, "hello, this is Jon."
- "Jon, it's Peter, sorry to call so early. I've got an international conference call in about 30 minutes and it could last two, two and a half, hours. Daryl called
Sunday afternoon about Mark Dayton being part of your "regular" job and our disruption assignment. This is a first for Zeta. My advise is to get as much on this
disruption as possible while Mark is in San Francisco this weekend."
- "are we sure Mark will be in San Francisco?"
- "Carl said Mark had agreed to spend the weekend. Just Mark, his family is
visiting family in Indiana."
- "anymore info from Carl?"
- "Carl told me he might be the cause of Mark's down mood. Carl convinced Mark
to be part of the fishing group you are working on with Biz Planners. He thinks
Mark might be having money problems at one or more of his companies,
because Mark is worried about something he won't talk about, and he has
stopped all his community involvement and donations. This info goes counter to
our thoughts about Mark's illegally selling medical supplies for money ... You
might consider a carefully worded conversation with Carl and, or, Mark. Do not
risk exposing Zeta, or this disruption! I'll call if something new comes up. Call me
if anything, anything, changes. Continue to handle this as any other disruption."
On the downside, Peter's call was disturbing, and on the upside, Jon now has an
extra hour to review his "winging it" plan for the Fly Fishing Wholesale Group meeting.
Gathering five entrepreneurs, with cell phones, to start a meeting is like herding
cats. After about twenty minutes of various members coming and going, Jon
started the meeting when three of the five members were ready to go. Jon
passed out his agenda:
- review of the original plan
- assignments to validate assumptions
- review the financial statements
- discuss enhancements to original plan
- review changes to financial statements
- discuss funding needs
- schedule individual meetings for tomorrow
- review key organizational needs
- Tuesday 3PM is Go / No Go decision.
With the meeting started, the other two members ended their calls and joined the
meeting. Jon passed out the original plan which had been prepared by Gary
Holstein, the designated accounting guy. Quickly, participation blossomed to
almost out-of-control ... more cat herding ... the variety of opinion was
surprisingly different from the "Gary Holstein" plan ... the members were having sidebar conversations, interrupting each other, not listening, and trying to hog the
floor. Jon tapped a spoon on his tea cup until all the members were quiet, "we
will not get anything done unless we exercise some control. Write your questions
and comments down as they come to mind - at the end of each section we will
review your input - tweak the plan accordingly - then vote on going to the next
step." ... [cats corralled!!!]. The rest of the first section goes well and the members are impressed with Jon's quick action and command of the meeting.
The meeting is progressing as planned, the participation is good, the members
are starting to have a common vision, the financial review goes better than
expected ... Jon's only concerns are the lack of focus and participation by Mark
Dayton; and, Carl Walden's weird attention directed at Mark.
After lunch, each member leads the discussion on their ideas and improvements.
When all had participated, Jon asked the group if they thought a website service
would be a good addition. This new service can provide each fly shop with
internet shopping, reservations for guides, fishing license information, fishing
conditions, links to articles on fly fishing, cross marketing with local stores and
services, mailing lists for marketing, and so on. The members turned into cats
again, but Jon let the energy feed the discussion.
Before ending the meeting, Jon took twenty minutes to talk about his experience
with Bill Johnston; then, scheduled meetings with each member. Mark took the
last meeting time, and from Mark's lack of participation Jon was worried he might
not stick around.
Jon is picking up the papers left in the meeting room that might have confidential
information when his phone rings ... It's Paul.
- "how is the meeting going?"
- "it got off to a rough start. I had to stop the unproductive behavior. The meeting is going well now."
- "is there an opportunity for us to participate?"
- "before I answer that. Do you think it's a good idea to buy a biz that is also your favorite hobby, past-time ...?"
- "good point! But, let's not pass up a good business opportunity."
- "one of the members, Mark Dayton, seems to be pre-occupied - his interest and
participation is low, - might be leaving the group."
- "keep me updated. And, thanks."
It's the end of the first day of what is expected to be a two week job / assignment
combo, and Jon is weary from the level of attention he has to focus at the fishing
group ... And the additional pressure of direct reporting to Peter ... And Paul's
heightened interest in partnering with the five cats ... And the unusual
"presentation" requirements ... And the Mark Dayton complication ... ... It's time for a run!!
Eighty eight minutes later Jon returns to the Park City hotel, just as Mark and
Carl enter the restaurant across the street. Jon walked up to the hotel check-in
desk to ask how long the wait and dinner would take across the street. She
replied that on Monday's it took a little longer, but usually about two hours.
Jon ordered room service and requested delivery in two hours. Jon quickly
cleans up and puts on some casual clothes. Mark's room is just seven doors
down the hall.
Jon uses the master "key" (one of those digital cards) he "borrowed" off the maintenance cart sitting in a closet two floors below ... [State-of-the-art electronic security system easily defeated by an unlocked door] ... Mark's computer is still on, but it's requesting the password. Jon inserts the thumb drive he received from
Peter's forensics guy - it automatically boots the computer - Jon puts on his
gloves and starts surfing the saved email, spreadsheet files, documents,
pictures, favorites, search history, etc - presses the crtl-alt-shift keys to launch
the file download to the thumb drive - "6 minutes to download files". He begins going through the luggage looking for secret compartments containing secret
stuff ... No luck. The notebook is photographed ... Nothing interesting at first look.
Nothing interesting in Mark's shaving kit. Nothing under the bed or between the
mattresses. The thumb drive is done collecting data and has returned the
computer to the same password screen. Jon removes his gloves and exits the
The key is returned to its "storage" cart. Jon feels relaxed after a quick shower -
12 minutes to spare before dinner arrives - inserts the thumb drive into his
computer, presses crtl-alt-f9, and the program loads the files onto his computer.
While eating, Jon goes through the computer files again and finds five that are
encrypted. All the encrypted file names have 0p3raT!0n_$un$3T with a suffix of
1, 2, 3, 3A, and 4B. Jon opens the Zeta Scrambler, then emails the five
encrypted files to the forensics guy ... Then presses the ESC key. An
examination of the email files resulted in some curious references to Operation
Sunset and some vague reference to a zookeeper and two exotic goats. Jon
fires-up the Scrambler again, sends the email to forensics, then sends under a
new email title the remaining files ... Then presses the ESC key (still amused that
someone wrote the Scrambler program so that getting out is done by
"escaping"). A few seconds later his phone dings announcing a text message -
500,000 Flies + 500,000 Flies = lot of Fish
Day two, like day one, starts before the alarm goes off. But, this time Jon is up to
see the spectacular sunrise. Plenty of time to relax before the individual meetings
start ... [Could be a long day!]
The first meeting starts on-time. Gary Holstein, Great Ed Books owner, unlike
some accounting types, he is looking for something "fresh, new, exciting,
different, and interesting." Great Ed Books has grown 4% a year for past 10
years. Gary is the author of the original plan that received a beating yesterday
morning, but Gary does not care about the beating - "it was a plan that started
the discussion." He is "ready to go" : - his $2M startup cash is "set aside", -
Internet addition "sealed the deal" for him, - getting the right assembly /
distribution company is important, - wants to be the "accounting and finance guy"
because he can "watch out for his money", - not interested in CEO / President position, - worked with Janice at American Sports Equipment, a fortune 500
company, where she was VP of Operations and he was VP of Finance, - thinks
Janice is the CEO type because of the "growth she has orchestrated" with her company. His grandpa taught him fly fishing.
Janice Anderson, Home Testing Labs owner, is "in this deal for the payout when
we sell the company." If this deal "falls apart" then she will "start a fly fishing school for women in the Jackson Hole area." Her experience is: - working at the
family appliance store, - manufacturing and distribution at American Sports
Equipment, - a custom wood mantle shop that was a start-up with a boy friend, -
then purchased Home Testing Labs from her father's retiring army buddy. She
wants to oversee the operations and distribution so she can "manage the costs /
waste" through some manufacturing system. Jon asked how she would manage
costs ... She pulled two sheets of paper out of her backpack titled "Operations
Plan for FFWG" ... 20 minutes later Jon asked if she would be interested in the
CEO position; Janice's response - "under the right conditions." Her $2M is in investments and would take a few weeks to "gather it all together." "I love the Internet addition!" Janice knows Howie, who was a "fishing buddy of the mantle boy friend." Her dad taught her to fly fish at age nine.
Carl Walden, owner and founder of CW Manufacturers Imports, is the oldest
member of FFWG. He enjoys the teasing when called "Dad" or "the old guy".
Despite his age Carl is the most active, has the highest energy, and probably in
the best physical condition of the group. Carl is an ex-Marine and had asked if
Jon was a veteran. His love for cooking inspired him to import kitchen utensils,
then kitchen ware, and later added housewares. Carl likes to "solve the
impossible". He will need to sell some property and investments to "anty up" his portion of the start-up money. Thinks his contribution to FFWG is "watching
inventory to make sure we buy the right stuff at the right time." Carl learned of FFWG from his banker, whose brother was the banker for Gary. He was the first
kid in his scout troop to earn a fly fishing merit badge.
Carl met Mark "about 15 years ago at a power services convention" - Mark
worked for Indiana Power Resources - Carl worked for Ohio Energy and Water -
met at the American Power Grid conference in Chicago. They were in the
QuickWedge booth signing up for a fly rod drawing. Mark started joking with Carl
about bribing the exhibitor to rig the drawing. After a couple minutes of trying to
out-joke the other, they sat down at a hospitality booth for some coffee. An
instant friendship sparked their annual fly fishing trips, Christmas cards, birthday
cards, and an occasional conference. Carl had drifted off subject to discuss his
concern about Mark - Jon let him continue for a while then said they needed to
get back to FFWG. [ Jon now understood why "Dad" was looking after Mark].
Howard Jones, "Howie, to his friends", is the group's comedian and owner of Howie Rentals. Howie has a knack for saying the right punch-line at the most
stressful moment. He thinks of himself as a "people person", and has "no problem being the first cowboy through the pass to sign up new shops". He and
Janice's mantel boyfriend, Allen, bought the rental company together. Allen had
died in a boating accident in Alaska about three years after they bought the
company. The life insurance payment paid-off their business loan and bought the
first Track-hoe. Howie always enjoyed talking to Janice about politics,
technology, and business. Her perspective was always a unique spin that
challenged one's thoughts. Howie has his money ready and is ready to start -
tomorrow. He enjoys computer projects and would like to be involved in the
Internet portion. Janice taught him to fly fish.
Mark Dayton, the odd duck that will soon have a big disruption in his life, owns three very different companies. By all information available, Mark is a solid
businessman - makes good decisions, manages by instinct and data, and a
clever thinker when needed. He arrives nearly 15 minutes late with corners of
paper sheets sticking out his portfolio. He is rambling yet his message is clear: -
"have to borrow", "wish Carl would mind his own business", "I want to expand Alston Medical", "FFWG is good deal with bad timing for me", "I need to tell the others". [ Jon needs Mark to be involved to minimize the chances of meeting in Cincinnati. Paul Tyler's favorite saying pops into Jon's mind - the correct fly
attracts the right kind of fish]. Jon decides to show his financial statement for the Internet portion to Mark ... hoping Mark will find his share more valuable than
expanding Alston Medical. Mark spends several minutes analyzing Jon's
numbers - he pulls an exposed corner out of the closed portfolio - holds a report
in each hand - hmmm ... hmmm - "what's the error margin, less than 15%?" -
"good margins, reasonable overhead, very good upside, conservative
assumptions, reasonable assumptions, Internet addition makes this a strong
deal. I want to stay involved for now." [ Jon is quite impressed with the quick analysis and the depth of his understanding the entire package. This disruption
might be harder than expected]. Mark taught himself fly fishing after he received his grandfather's rod, reel, and tying equipment.
Mark's late start and the extra time spent to keep him involved chews-up most of
the summary report preparation time. The main conclusions are: - one of the
owners needs to be the CEO / President to maintain continuity, watch the cash,
and push the vision, - the Internet portion improves success by a factor of 2x, -
priorities are find and purchase distributor, get startup money in bank, determine
fly shop purchase versus annual volume fees, begin fly shop solicitations, and
launch the Internet packages.
[Jon makes a mental note to develop back-up plans for Mark's replacement].
The final meeting starts a few minutes early because everyone is excited about
their new adventure. Jon had thought the group might need more team building,
but as Alissa liked to remind him - "things are not always as they appear to be."
The summary list is reviewed, - some discussion about characteristics,
personality, and experience of CEO / President, - and task assignments for each
member. Jon passes out biz cards if issues or questions arise. The Go / No go
decisions was delayed to evaluate the information from everyone's assignments.
Next meeting set for next Monday 8 AM. The meeting ends and the FFWG
future owners continue discussing and analyzing ideas while Jon picks-up all the
loose papers. ["this was fun!!!"].
Unable to get a seat on the 6:24 PM flight, Jon purchased a ticket on tomorrow's
5:48 AM non-stop flight to Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Scintillating Sinammon
In the third of what has become "two-a-day" reports, Peter agreed to verify that Mark went to San Francisco. After an unusually lengthy talk with Peter, Jon
hoped for good running weather in Cincinnati.
The half full plane had WiFi service. Jon needing to take every opportunity to
stay on top of his two "jobs", opened the laptop - verified the sound was turned off - then launched the Scrambler. A message from the forensics guy popped up:
Jon, encrypted files are still being decoded. Their
encoding is unique and might need a code key. The
reference to "zookeeper and exotic goats" appears to
be related to Mr Dayton pulling his pledged $150,000
from an expansion project at Cincinnati zoo. End. Zeta
[One day, I have got to meet this mysterious Forensics Guy.] Jon uncertain about the security of the plane's WiFi, decides to use the Blotter portion of the
Scrambler program, for the first time:
- need more info on Dayton's past - college, high school, employment,
- determine why he has lately withdrawn from community support activities
- Cincinnati plan: - drive by three businesses, Dayton's home, office, and
- determine if Dayton has a secondary office location - might need to hire
private investigator to avoid accidental meeting
- verify Dayton in San Francisco before entering office, home, or factories
- see if forensics guy can help with collection of phone and email
- talk with Carl on Monday about weekend - hopefully he will ramble-on
- review disruption with Daryl on Sunday evening
Jon clicks the "Save" button and a dialog box opens up with text from someone named Anna.
Anna: Kind of a big list for me to work on. I don't do field work, you are on
your own there. Blotter is for sending requests for me to gather
information for your disruptions. Nice to see you using the
encrypted Blotter and not "public access" email. By-the-way, I am
the forensics GAL.
Jon: Good to finally meet you, so-to-speak. Any help you can provide on
back-ground of Mark Dayton would be appreciated. Also, can you
get phone and email records to and from Mark Dayton's home,
work, and cell?
Anna: Can help with all requested data. I will check for internet cafe use
also. Give me 24 hours.
Jon: Thanks for your help - Forensics Gal.
Anna: No problem! Bye.
The uneventful flight ended at Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky airport gate 24. The
white mid-sized Ford rental car was ready for him - no paperwork - just load and
go. Jon got out his GPS unit and programmed the first address of Mark Dayton's
three companies - Dayton Thermal Wear, which is technically in Kentucky.
Taking the last exit before crossing the river, The GPS "voice" directs him to the river front where the blue unmarked metal building sits on about seven acres.
The only identification on the building was the sign on the entrance door that said
- Dayton Thermal Wear Employees ONLY. Several layers of security were
evident from the drive by: - 360 degree cameras on each corner, - standard uni-
point camera at the employee entrance, - security badge reader, - and a keypad.
Next stop, Persian Rug Imports, across the bridge, then west for six miles ...
In a large strip mall, nine doors from the west end is Persian Rug Imports. Unlike
the thermal wear facility, there is no video security. Jon parks the car and
wanders into the store. He is greeted as he walks in the door - the store clerk is
pleasant, but there is a slight hint of sarcasm in the middle-eastern accent ...
"Good morning how can I help you?" ( - You Pig!!!).
- "yes, I am looking for an oval Persian rug about 6 feet by 4 feet that will go with light forest green walls and cherrywood furniture."
- "we can help with that." ( - You Pig!!!).
- "tell me about the rug quality. I have been warned that some rugs are poorly
packed and assembled by children."
- "come, I show you that we carry only highest quality rugs. Also, you will see that our large inventory provide you with color and pattern you desire."
- "good, I have found the right store."
- [of course, you find right store, where else you go ... Pig!]. - "yes, yes, I show you. You will see."
- [there it is again, something has angered this guy today.]
They walk to the far corner of the store where an estimated 120 large oval rugs
are laid flat on a really short table. Next to the stack is a bare short table. The
clerk grabs the top five oval rugs and impressively flips them onto the bare table
in one easy maneuver. He looks at Jon and says, "you like?" Jon decides to
press-this-guy's-buttons - "is that all you have? I want something with more
color." Jon could tell he had touched-a-nerve.
- "no, no - we have many to choose." - The clerk grabs what appears to be eight rugs and flips them onto the first short stack of rugs - "you like!"
- "do you have anything with more color?"
- "YES, I SHOW YOU!"
- "never mind. I think I will have a custom sculptured rug made. Thanks."
Jon turns around and walks out slowly. He begins "recording": - five clerks, - all middle-eastern decent, - low quality security system with magnetic slide
switches, - show room floor area is only two thirds of building space, - delivery
van (outside) has a new cab-over box, - the delivery truck frame is at least 20
years old, - store hours are 10 to 6 Monday through Saturday, - a reflection off
the side glass door shows another clerk in the back room eating by a huge box, -
as the door closes behind him, the clerks huddle and all begin talking and
gesturing at the same time, - and the clerk from the back room comes out and he
quickly joins in the talking and gesturing.
Jon thought it was odd for a Mark Dayton company to have such irritating
employees. Jon tells himself to not read too much into his "rug shopping" trip. He drives three blocks away from the store before stopping to enter the address of
Mark Dayton's downtown Cincinnati office.
Jon has to look through the glass outer walls twice, no three times, to be sure he
is at the right building. 3427 Bengal Way. Yes, the address matches. Fate, the
gods, the powers that be, or just bad luck has Jon wondering why there is a
police sub-station located on the east side of the first floor; and, there is armed
building security in front of the elevators. Not all his present luck is bad ... the
building at least has public parking. Two parking elevators open on the first floor
opposite the Police Sub-station and in full view of the building security counter.
Needing a little time to assess the situation, Jon wanders over to the Cincinnati
Scintillating Sinnamon cart - the tag line "Everything Sinnamon" accurately describes the food offerings: - cinnamon rolls, - cinnamon tea, - hot cinnamon
spiced apple juice, - cinnamon granola bars, - a variety of cinnamon spiced
coffees, - cinnamon candies, - etc, etc, etc ... "One large Italian Sinnamon Mocha coffee, please." Jon was talking to the back of a head of thick blonde hair.
- "that will be $6.75. Do you work in the building?"
- "no. I am looking for a location to expand my tutoring service here in
Ms Sinnamon turns around, the name tag said "Michelle" ... the face said Alissa.
Jon was stunned - "Alissa" was talking ... but Jon was not listening ... question about being OK - "sir, that will be $6.75" - Jon snapped back into the real world and handed her a "ten". As she handed Jon the change, Jon said "sorry about that, but you look just like a very close friend of mine." Jon deposited all the change into the empty cinnamon ice cream container labeled with a hand written
note - Please generously give to a poor college student that needs to buy
books, pay tuition, and eat. Tutoring i$ extra
Jon sat down at a bistro style table to start analyzing his disrupted disruption. He
had a difficult time focusing on Mark Dayton's security dilemma, and kept turning
to take another look at Michelle / Alissa. When she finished serving the six
customers she walked over to Jon's table.
- "hi, my name is Michelle. I notice that you keep glancing at me. How close is
- "very close. She died recently."
- "sorry to hear that. I apologize if I caused you to remember something
uncomfortable or painful."
- "have a seat if you like. I see that you also tutor."
- "it helps supplement the income from my cart. I can make enough to pay for my
apartment, food, tuition, and books for two night classes each semester."