Platinum Group
January 2011
The Platinum Group Newsletter
Case Study
Teeing Up ProCard Direct's eCommerce Gift Card Concept

ProCard Direct provides golf professionals at private clubs and courses with an opportunity to enhance their product selection and member relationships through "endless aisles" of online inventory. The start-up eCommerce company had problems getting the concept teed up. It turned to Irish Titan, the eCommerce and website design and development company owned by Platinum Group, to build a business-focused web platform that could benefit pro shops, golf manufacturers and golfers. Click here to read how Irish Titan customized a business-focused web platform for multiple users and applications.

Platinum in the News
Learn the Keys to a Well-Handled Crisis

John Hehre, Platinum Member, recently wrote a review of the book: 7 Lessons for Leading in a Crisis by Bill George. Click here to read the review. John writes: "Each of the seven lessons is supported by relevant examples from past crises in a variety of business, economic, and political arenas. Suggestions for approaching your particular situation and applying the lessons are also included. The book is not an end-all solution for dealing with crisis, but the suggestions provide a solid set of guidelines applicable to any institutional sector. This book is not just for the leaders; those in supporting roles will benefit from reading it as well."

Platinum in the Community

Mission Brings Hope, Builds Relationships in Guatemala

One of Platinum's long-time business partners, Susan Blakely, co-leads an annual short-term mission trip for her church to Guatemala. The upcoming trip in February will include a team of 45 people who will build houses, install water filter systems and computer labs, and several other ways to help the indigenous Mayan communities in the volcanic mountain region of Lake Atitlán.

"In an area of the world that lives on $2 a day or less, we work side-by-side with the pastors and people of 10 churches to bring hope, build relationships and raise the visibility of the churches in their communities," says Susan. "This is our 17th year of working in this same area, focusing on the needs expressed by these churches. This coming year, we will be collecting gently used shoes and backpacks for distribution to Guatemalan children."

If interested in supporting this collection, contact Susan at or click here for more information about the Bridge Builders' mission to Guatemala.


Lesson Learned
Love What You Do! Do What You Love!
By Farley S. Kaufmann

I often think back to something my earlier mentors taught me upon entering the firm 33 years ago. They said, "If you do the things you enjoy in your business and personal life, you will be more successful and have a more meaningful life." I often thought about that advice but didn't always have the courage to follow it.

Nine years ago I survived cancer. During my treatments, I made a renewed commitment to follow that advice more closely. At that time, I became more involved in giving back to the community, took up riding my Harley and eventually made a significant career change.

I volunteered with a number of charities and eventually found two that are very near and dear to me. I serve on the Board of Directors and have leadership positions with The Angel Foundation ( and The Children's Cancer Research Fund (

At about the same time, I started riding my Harley. People are always surprised when they hear I ride. It's not typically how they picture an accountant/consultant. I can't tell you how many times I have heard "Farley and his Harley." It's relaxing, fun, social and provides an incredible feeling of intense freedom.

Riding helped me create a new environment for thinking, goal setting and planning for the future. After riding for a few years, I put my mentor's advice to work again, and decided to make some career changes. It was time to make some tough choices about how to appreciate life going forward. After 12 years as our accounting firm's managing partner, I believed the firm could benefit from new leadership (with new and different skills than my own) - and I was ready for a change. I transitioned into a senior partner position doing what I love most: attracting new clients, taking care of clients, working with young people in the firm, and giving back to the community. That took courage because most managing partners leave when they step down, yet my loyalty ran deep, and I have continued to devote myself to the success of our firm.

All of the above, along with enjoying time with family (especially Liam, Ella and Rafi, my grandchildren), helps me to be the "Advisor" that my clients depend on.

Farley Kaufmann is a senior partner at Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP. He specializes in guiding his clients through strategic planning, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and selling of closely-held businesses. Contact Farley at .
Platinum Group
9855 W 78th Street
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

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