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Daseke: New Year, New CEO. Pending Board Changes

Daseke: New Year, New CEO. Pending Board Changes

Daseke, the flatbed truckload company, has announced many changes on Tuesday. This includes its CEO’s resignation, changes to the board and an in-line financial update.

Daseke CEO Retires

According to the press release, CEO Chris Easter retired on December 31st to attend to family obligations. Current board member Jonathan Shepko was put into the company. He is a managing partner at a private equity firm Stonehollow Capital. He is there to fill the role on an interim basis while a national search is done.

Short Tenure as CEO

In January 2019, Easter joined the company as a newly created chief operating officer role. This occurred as the company embarked on a restructuring plan. In fact, to improve operations after a decade of acquisitions. When founder, chairman, and former CEO Don Daseke stepped down quickly in August 2019, Easter then took the helm on an interim basis. In February, he became permanent CEO in February.

In-Depth Reasons why Easter has Left Daseke and the Impact he had During his Brief Tenure There

I have a number of family-related obligations that need my full attention, Easter explained. This is a very challenging decision for me personally. I made the decision to retire from Daseke at the end of the year because of that. Easter stated in the company press release.

We have prosperously accomplished a measurable turnaround in our performance while traversing through a global COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s strategy is solid, the business is performing admirably well. The team will continue forward with this drive.

The Addison, Texas-based company’s turnaround started with the addition of Easter. This is in addition to the board changes that included operationally steadfast leadership.

Therefore, the group has set its sights on integrating the roughly 20 acquisitions the company made since its 2009 beginnings. The consolidation of a separately operated network of carriers, divesting its oil rig transportation unit, disposing of underutilized equipment, and reducing headcount.

Daseke Turnaround Gets ‘Positive Outlook’ in 2020

Daseke Turnaround Gets ‘Positive Outlook’ in 2020

Daseke, a flatbed carrier, following a huge third-quarter earnings beat, has received ‘positive outlook’ designation from S&P Global Ratings.

Daseke is Rise is Very Impressive

The rating agency raised its outlook on Daseke from negative to positive. This is because of a recent improvement in the company’s operating performance and credit profile. Daseke has a positive outlook which reflects its better-than-expected operating performance. As well as from its credit metrics in 2020. They have an expectation for continued improvement in 2021, the report states. The credit ratings were affirming for Daseke’s “B-” as well.

The Company’s Rating Ascent Upward

In early 2019, the Addison, Texas-based company turnaround took place with the addition of a much more focused leadership with improved integration of the approximately 20 acquisitions the flatbed carrier had made in the decade following its 2009 founding. Its plan consists of the roll-up of its separately operated network of carriers. It divested its oil rig transportation unit. The company disposed of underutilized equipment and reducing headcount.

The third-quarter report reflects a 22-cents-per-share earnings performance that reportedly beat analysts’ calls for a slight loss. It was based on the work done to revamp the company. This result is set ahead of the prior-year loss of $4.25 per share. It would include more than $300 million in impairment charges. Asset valuations from past acquisitions were reduced to reflect the current market.

There was a 16% year-over-year decline in revenue through the first nine months of 2020, this was according to an S&P report. There is a noted improvement from the internal integration and cost-savings initiatives. They drove the adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation. In addition to an amortization margin 590 basis points that higher year-over-year in the recent period.

Management was fast to caution analysts that the recent performance was not probable. It was not likely the new base off of which to build a linear progression. This took place on a third-quarter conference call.

On the third-quarter conference call, management was quick to caution analysts that the recent performance was not likely the new base off of which to build a linear progression.

   

Adam Miller has Just Been Named President of Swift Transportation

Adam Miller has Just Been Named President of Swift Transportation

Adam Miller Succeeds Kevin Knight as President of Swift Transportation

Adam Miller is the president of Swift Transportation. The nation’s largest truckload (TL) carrier, Knight-Swift Transportation made this announcement on Wednesday, November 18th. The appointment was effective last Friday, November 13th. Miller will succeed Kevin Knight. He was acting president at Swift following the 2017 merger between the two companies.

Kevin Knight’s Goal is Strategic Growth

Knight will remain as Knight-Swift’s executive chairman of the board “with the primary focus of strategic growth.”

Miller will continue to serve as Knight-Swift’s chief financial officer.

Kevin Quast is chief administrative officer of Knight-Swift. Most recently, he was COO at Swift, a role he took following the merger. Prior to the merger, he held a similar operations role at Knight Transportation.

Miller and Quast are Talented and Proven Leaders

Commenting on the changes, Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said, “Adam Miller and Kevin Quast are talented and proven leaders. They have earned the respect of our organization over their 18- and 24-year careers, at Knight and recent involvement with Swift. They have been influential, along with several other key leaders, in the unprecedented merger success at Swift with dramatic profitability improvements for America’s largest full truckload carrier.”

Swift Transportation’s Earnings well Ahead of Expectations

During the third quarter of 2020, the Phoenix-based company reported earnings results well ahead of expectations, increased full-year 2020 guidance and provided initial 2021 earnings guidance, a move normally reserved for the fourth-quarter release. The 2021 guidance outpaced consensus expectations by 14% at the time.

Most notable during the third quarter was the report that Swift’s adjusting operating ratio (OR) was 77.9%. Knight’s 80.1% adjusted OR. Many in the industry questioned if Swift would be able to reach operational parity with Knight following the merger. The two companies have operated within 30 basis points of each over the last 12 months.

Miller succeeds Kevin Knight, who was the acting president at Swift following the 2017 merger between the two companies.

Miller will continue to serve as Knight-Swift’s chief financial officer.

Kevin Quast is chief administrative officer of Knight-Swift. Most recently he was COO at Swift, a role he took following the merger. Prior to the merger, he held a similar operations role at Knight Transportation.

Miller and Quast Have Talent and are Proven Leaders

Commenting on the changes, Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said, “Adam Miller and Kevin Quast have talent and are proven leaders. They have earned the respect of our organization over their 18- and 24-year careers, respectively, at Knight and recent involvement with Swift. They have been influential, along with several other key leaders, in the unprecedented merger success at Swift with dramatic profitability improvements for America’s largest full truckload carrier.”

During the third quarter of 2020, the Phoenix-based company reported earnings results well ahead of expectations, increased full-year 2020 guidance and provided initial 2021 earnings guidance, a move normally reserved for the fourth-quarter release. The 2021 guidance outpaced consensus expectations by 14% at the time.

Most notable during the third quarter was the report that Swift’s adjusting operating ratio (OR) was 77.9%. It was compared to Knight’s 80.1% adjusted OR. Many in the industry questioned if Swift would be able to reach operational parity with Knight following the merger. The two companies have operated within 30 basis points of each over the last 12 months.

Bank of America Freezes EDD Accounts for Suspected Fraud

Bank of America Freezes EDD Accounts for Suspected Fraud

Bank of America has froze nearly 350,000 accounts of thousands of Californians who get their EDD benefits through B of A debit cards. The account holders are struggling to get answers after the bank froze the accounts due to alleged fraud.

Bank of America is Dealing with Fraudsters

Channel CBS San Francisco first reported about the fraudsters draining the accounts of unemployed Californians.

Tatiana Solorzano’s Account was Before Hacked

“My heart dropped. I was scared, you know,” said Tatiana Solorzano, as she was hacked last month. “I thought they were going to do it again!”

A single mother, Solorzano, said a few weeks ago she noticed an unusual transaction on her account from another bank showing just zeros.

“It happened the second day, then again the third day. Once it was the third day they were finally able to hit my account for $1,003,” said Solorzano. “Rent was due October 2nd, you know, I was like, ‘Oh my God, that money went out right when my rent is due!’”

Bank of America has had 350,000 Debit Cars Frozen due to Suspected Fraud

350,000 debit card accounts had been frozen due to suspected fraud, the EDD office said. Since the attacks seem to have targeted ATMs all across the state, experts say this could be a large criminal enterprise.

“This is a massive operation. These are physical cards that have to be printed. Then somebody has to go to those ATMs everywhere,” said Steve Morang, a certified fraud examiner.

Criminals can buy PIN numbers on the secret web, Morang said. Regular debit cars, don’t have a chip. Therefore, EDD cards can make stealing personal information easier.

Hackers Have not Broken Into Their Systems or Stolen Their Data, Says Bank of America

Hackers have not broken into their systems or stolen their data, Bank of America said.

How could all of this money been stolen? The bank did not respond to the request for comment on this.

Anyone who has had their account frozen and hasn’t heard from EDD, should directly contact Bank of America to solve the issue.

Police Officers Underreport Excessive Force by Peers

Police Officers Underreport Excessive Force by Peers

Police officers now have to report excessive force by their peers, this is according to the new California state law. A Los Angeles police commissioner this past summer was asked by department commanders how many times this took place in the last five years.


The Answer was Five


Dale Bonner said the answer he got back, in an email obtained by The Times through a public records request, was five. With further digging, the LAPD officials said the number was actually 2. That was when The Times asked for a synopsis of the five incidents.


Unappalling Low Documented Instances


There were only two instances in which an officer filed an unauthorized force complaint against another officer. This was amid thousands of force complaints in fillings by the public since 2015. Both were in 2016.


In one instance, an officer reported seeing another yank a handcuffed detainee backward off a bench to the floor. This, in turn, leading to the offending officer receiving a 10-day suspension and demotion. In the other situation, an officer was in a vehicle with two supervisors. Then one activated a personal stun gun. The other pulled out a handgun. The first supervisor received a 12-day suspension. The second supervisor received a 22-day suspension.


2,200 Unauthorized Force Complaints Against
Police Officers


The Los Angeles Police Department got more than 2,200 unauthorized force complaints against officers. This occurred from 2017 to 2019. According to department records, not a single one sent in by a fellow officer.


In 2020, So Far no Recorded Cases of Police Officers Filing Excessive Complaints Against Their Peers


There has been a public filing of more than 50 excessive force complaints about their treatment by officers at massive protests in the city this past summer. Yet there has also not been any recordings of cases of officers filing excessive complaints so far this year.

Ghost Kitchens Spook Up Some Killer Business In Her City Of Angels

Ghost Kitchens Spook Up Some Killer Business In Her City Of Angels

When I used to work in a kitchen, my boss would insist on long hours. Of course, it was all fun and games until the third course. Mainly because we had physical expectations to uphold. There were customers on the other side of the restaurant. And so, because of that, there has been a very strenuous amount of high stakes and higher quality to uphold. That said, Ghost Kitchens have taken the strain out of such nerve-wracking situations.

For those of you who are not in the know, one of those Ghost Kitchens, ByteToBite has been making waves with it’s varied menu across several restaurant brands. They all are owned by ByteToBite. From the sea-faring fish food of the Codfather to the multi-layered sandwiches of Welders Grilled Cheese.

All these entities are takeout-and-delivery-only. Accessible through any of the partnering apps, such Doordash, Postmates, UberEats and Caviar.

These ghost kitchens are made possible through consumers like you as well as start-ups, like Virtual Restaurant Consulting, focused on launching “profitable [ghost kitchens] in their existing kitchens in as little as 30 days.”

Primarily, they would purchase a license of $249 for the first six months, from its kitchen. From there, menu training programs would commence as well as social media outreach and realized web pages.

As VRC’s senior partner Alan Moore puts it, they take care of the fine print and “we allow restauranteurs to focus on cooking.”

This type of format has been reshaping the food industry, especially in metropolises like Los Angeles, for a couple years now. It tends to be cost-efficient in the long run. Expenses to run a dining area for customers don’t matter.

For example, City Storage Systems were able to make this model work as early as 2015. Ever since then, Diego Berdakin’s company knows how to prosper.

Beverly Soon Tofu Throws In The Towel

Beverly Soon Tofu Throws In The Towel

Los Angeles, CA – Thirty-four years in and Beverly Soon Tofu announces their retirement as the pandemic ruptures business for LA.

Something to love about living in LA are all the experiences you walk into. It’s by the very act of walking that made me hungry enough to spend shamelessly on local eateries.

On one occasion, my girlfriend (at the time) introduced me to tofu stew.

This was after hours of aimlessly exploring the rich architecture of downtown. So sitting in a warmly-lit room was satisfying enough. But I really felt snug in the hot seat when they brought our meal. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Onions, mushrooms, curdled tofu and even eggs, lounging in a boiling pool of red-orange broth. Amazement came over me, followed by shock by how hot it was. And though the burnt taste buds stayed for another three days, I had fallen in love with Korean meals.

(Don’t even get me started on Korean barbecue. I’m an absolute spaz on the character of kimchi, the bravery of brisket, the challenge of chicken feet!)

Therefore it’s because of love I am despondent to deliver such depressing news. The first restaurant of it’s kind to introduce sundubu-jjigae or soft tofu stew to Angelenos has announced it’s closure.

Since COVID-19 took the nation by storm, many businesses have had to shutter, in spite of improving public health awareness.

Monica Lee first made her mark opening Beverly Soon Tofu in 1986. Among the cost-efficient crossovers cooked were baby clam, squid, shrimp, rib-eye beef and even bibimbap. Move over, Marvel. These bites were the original blockbusters; if not belly-stuffers.

Thanks to Beverly Soon Tofu, SoCal is infamous as the go-to for good stew. Even Anthony Bourdain and Korean American Chef Roy Choi enjoyed the steamy meals! (Too Beverly Soon, Tofu?)

CNN | April 16th, 2013

BCD Tofu House and Seoul Tofu among others reap the benefits of Lee’s initial innovations. However, the game is big enough to let Lee and her daughters, JJ and CJ make their exit their own way. When asked about a possible reopening, JJ had this to say: “It’s still on the table,” JJ Lee said regarding a potential reopening. “We’ll see what happens but for now, this is the right decision.”

Takeout will be available until Beverly Soon Tofu goes out of business on Sunday, September 20th.

Truckers To Be Celebrated In Spite Of COVID-19: Truck On

Truckers To Be Celebrated In Spite Of COVID-19: Truck On

September is National Truck Driver Appreciation through-and-through. From the countless giveaways to the official week, September 13th to the 19th is the time to celebrate truckers.

Truckers push themselves. You can count on truckers to carry the load, across vast distances, inch on without even a lick of sleep. Without pause, they arrive at each destination on-time, with delivery of food, goods or cattle to unload.

Should truckers drive during the COVID-19 pandemic? Absolutely. All the more reason for observing National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, from September 13th to the 19th.

3.5 million truck driving men and women serve professionally, according to American Trucking Associations (ATA), as purveyors of pavement. Angels of the asphalt. Heroes to the highway. It’s only right to celebrate their commitment to servitude that helps the right product ship at the right time. As United States Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao efficiently drives the point home, “Thank God for truckers.”

To show their trucker pride, major companies in the industry are making September a month of steals, deals and giveaways. Details on the next exit.

PILOT FLYING J

For all of September, Pilot Flying J is showcasing offers unparalleled in the industry. Free drinks daily, shower passes after any fill-up past 75 gallons and even a JPRO diagnostics test on-the-house. Access these offers through the app or pulling over at any of their company-run stores – 750 in the U.S. alone. If that isn’t the truck’s nuts, Americana Artist Ray Wylie Hubbard thanks the trucking community in a tearjerker.

LOVE’S TRAVEL STOPS & COUNTRY STORES

Love’s is already coming off strong with their fandom. They always give fresh food deals if the road hungers for something besides a soul. 18-wheeler dealers can grab a free hat after wearing some gloves. Furthermore, if truckers still feel dirty, free shower credits are a fix. Additionally, Love’s gives a one-million point prize weekly! Love’s lives up to it’s name, yet again!

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA

TA wears their “I Heart Truckers” Trucker Hat by having a month-long sweepstakes for all UltraONE loyalty program members. Whenever they make a purchase or swipe away their loyalty, eligible truckers can win several prizes. Truckers can take their wheels off the ground for a continental holiday. Or, if a CAT is feeling fancy, why not a motorcycle or watch? There’s also the grand prize of 1,500,000 UltraONE loyalty points available to active drivers who push themselves to the limit.

Point is, whatever cargo you’re looking to grab, America is here for you guys. Just keep trucking and we won’t stop hugging.

Rapid Reopening Held Off While COVID-19 Declines

Rapid Reopening Held Off While COVID-19 Declines

Los Angeles, CA – The reopening process for the city is a slow and arduous one. The city has been one of the hardest-hit locations for COVID-19. As the death rates start to slow down, shops and small businesses are looking to open their doors to the public. Unfortunately, many will have to continue to wait.

The numbers still do not look good for Californians. As one of the most populated areas in the country, the infection rate is higher than even New York.

Governor Newson released a statement on the matter:

“We can quickly find ourselves back to where we were just a few weeks ago, a month ago, with significant increases if we do not maintain our vigilance, if we do not maintain our focus,” Newsom said. “This virus is not going away. It’s not just going to take Labor Day weekend off. It’s not going to take Halloween off, the holidays off.”

Reopening Too Quickly Has Its Problems

As other states have proven, reopening too soon can be costly. In states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida, the numbers are looking worse by the day. These states are well into their reopening process. With limited restrictions and unsafe procedures by both businesses and customers, the numbers are skyrocketing.

For states that have not been drastically affected, they are opening their doors to the public. In New Hampshire – where cases remain low – most places are back in business. For California, the appropriate measures must be taken in order for the state to return to normal.

“The key indicators that we closely monitor at Public Health are looking positive, and I want to give credit to a large number of our county residents who heeded our orders and took the personal, basic actions needed to slow this virus,” Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County’s Department of Public Health, said in a statement. But for our long-term success, we need to continue limiting the spread of COVID-19. We can’t simply go back to life as we knew it before March.”

Cannabis Businesses Drop Lawsuit For “Flawed” Licensing

Cannabis Businesses Drop Lawsuit For “Flawed” Licensing

Los Angeles, CA – Cannabis businesses are dropping charges that are stunting the growth of the cannabis industry in LA. The dropping of these charges comes amid the state allowance of more businesses.

During the establishment of cannabis, a flooding of applicants made the process slow. When October hit, the issue had created a “glug” in the flow of applicants.

Throughout that time, many owners were stuck in limbo as they were not able to open, although they had their stores ready to start taking in customers.

The flawed aspect of the licensing process comes from the start time. Many businesses were ready to apply directly at 10 am – the start time. The problem was that many had applied either ahead of time or had plans in place to get around it.

“It is fundamental to any fair race that the competitors must start at the same time or, at the very least, be given accurate information about when the race will begin.” says The Social Equity Owners and Workers Assn.

The group is currently spear-heading the charges. The lawsuit is going to drop due to the city awarding more licenses to businesses.

One of the largest issues facing cannabis legalization is the prospect of black store owners. Many white business owners are the first to receive licenses. Unfortunately, many black owners are consistently waiting.

Cannabis Businesses Remain In Limbo

The legal side of the cannabis industry is feeling a massive blow from COVID-19. While the underground businesses are flourishing, many legal operations are closing their doors.

The Federal Government continues to work against those looking to grow an industry. While maintaining its schedule 1 on the narcotics scale, many business owners are missing out on potential stimulus packages. On the flip side, black market businesses are continuing to grow.

For many who were hopeful for their industry, things may take longer than expected.