The co-founders of Gold River’s Redtail Technology initially lured only 25 financial planners to store their data in a cloud back in 2003. Now they serve 25,000 clients. They grossed $5.9 million last year.
Andy Hernandez, one of two self-proclaimed geeks who co-founded the firm with financial planner Gary Curry and operations guru Kathi Bacon, let the impact of these numbers sink in before he concluded with: “We were literally the only cloud-based vendor out there. Competitors were looking at it and saying, ‘Nobody’s going to want this.’ ”
Fortunately, Hernandez and fellow geek Brian McLaughlin had a trusting director on their board who supported them unwaveringly: Tucker McLaughlin. The McLaughlins are close relations – sort of. Tucker is McLaughlin’s 121/2-year-old red-tailed golden retriever, and the company is named for him. Tucker’s legacy to Redtail is an all-canine board of directors – a couple of Newfies, some poodles, a boxer, a dachshund, a Chihuahua, a terrier and a few mutts – who visit the headquarters regularly.
McLaughlin said their presence reminds him to remain true to how Redtail began: He and Hernandez built a system that could go out and fetch information from Excel, Outlook, custodians such as Fidelity and TD Ameritrade and lots of small, third parties known only within the industry. They buried it all in cloud storage, meaning that planners no longer had to worry about computers being lost or stolen, and they could work anywhere.
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Finally, Redtail focused on delivering value: “Most advisers are actually pretty small shops,” McLaughlin said. “They’re usually the 2-10 range of employees, something like that. … What we did is price it at $65 for blocks of 15, and so you could have a one-man solo shop paying $65. He doesn’t have to call us for licensing upgrades when he adds a staff member.”
The strategies have paid off. Hernandez and McLaughlin were the sole employees when they started, but now Redtail has 60 workers in Gold River; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Rome, Ga. Last year, the firm landed at No. 2,425 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing small businesses in the United States with a three-year growth rate of 149 percent. McLaughlin and Hernandez say they will make the list again this year, but they don’t yet know the rank.
Doctor’s Center will close
After a mishap with a knife in his kitchen, Bee reader Ross Johnson drove right over to The Doctor’s Center, the urgent-care facility based at 4948 San Juan Ave. in Fair Oaks since 1981. The doctors there patched up slashed Johnson’s fingers, but they gave him some bad news.
The Doctor’s Center will be closing on Sept. 30. Johnson doesn’t understand why Dr. Donald S. Blythe and his partner, Dr. Kimette Marta, are closing the practice.
Marta explained that there was a time when most doctors in private practice had to be on call on nights or weekends to attend patients in the hospital. In that era, urgent-care practices appealed to some physicians who wanted set night and weekend shifts. Slowly, however, technology evolved and a new breed of doctor emerged. Now, so-called hospitalists confer with family practitioners by email, text or videoconference. The need for on-call duty dissipated, and so did the appeal of urgent care.
“The two of us cannot run a seven-day-a-week, 12-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year practice solo,” Marta said.
Marta and Blythe will move their practices to Mercy Medical Group’s urgent care at 3000 Q St. They gave their staff three months’ notice, though a few companies have expressed interest in opening an urgent-care center at the site.
PDC’s growth market
PDC Capital will soon welcome the first residents of its assisted-living facility in Rancho Cordova, but already it’s breaking ground on another one in Lincoln on July 23.
Sean Kevin Krondak, PDC’s director of financing, has studied the market, and he says competing facilities in the Lincoln area are averaging above 95 percent occupancy.
“If they’re at that sort of capacity level or occupancy level, obviously there’s demand for another facility to accommodate additional people,” he said.
PDC’s newest facility, Summerplace Lincoln Assisted Living, will have 72 memory care rooms and 115 assisted-living units. PDC has chosen to locate it right near the Sun City Lincoln Hills retirement community. The $26 million development is expected to have its grand opening in fall 2016, and Krondak expects that 136 staffers will be hired to run it.
Over at Northstar Rancho Cordova Assisted Living & Memory Care, PDC has leased about 30 percent of its 128 beds, Krondak said, and it should receive a certificate of occupancy by the end of the month. PDC also plans facilities in West Sacramento and Citrus Heights.