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(Not) Shaken Not Stirred

Red Rocks’ Best Businessmen Paired with Echo & Rig Drinks, Discover Their Recipe to Being Business Savvy

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Our annual “(Not) Shaken Not Stirred” feature is back. After the couple of years we’ve had, we may all feel like we were shaken and stirred. But there are some businessmen who led their companies through COVID-19 and have thrived. We asked them what their recipe for success is and, as ingredient experts, we wanted to see what their drink of choice is, whether it is shaken or stirred.

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Robert Freymuller


Summerlin Hospital Medical Center / Children’s Medical Center

Kettle One Martini, slightly dirty, blue cheese stuffed olives

For me, the keys to success start with achieving a solid work life balance and family always comes first. Always act from a strong foundation of integrity – you own your reputation. Be passionate about what you do and maintain a positive attitude even in the face of adversity. You need to do the hard work and persistence and determination are key. Set goals and have a plan. Have confidence in your decision making. Surround yourself with smart people, share success, and recognize the people that have helped you become successful. And help those you work with be successful – it will pay big dividends back. Maintain a network of successful, individuals that have a positive outlook and inspire you. Practice humility and laugh often. A sense of humor makes every day better.

Running a hospital during the pandemic demonstrated to me the importance of trust, teamwork, and respect at levels I’ve never experienced before. Early on, COVID was a very unknown, at times worrying, event that affected all staff and physicians. Having to be right here, on the front lines, caring for people fighting for their lives and dealing with concern for your own family, friends, and neighbors was an overwhelming emotion. The principles mentioned above along with faith and friendship brought everyone together. The intense dedication and focus on our patients and the value we brought to our community during this time allowed us to be successful for a two-year odyssey no one could have imagined.

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Dr. Kent Wagner


Wagner Dental

Dr. Pepper

Wagner Dental has been serving Las Vegas as a family owned and operated business for more than 40 years. Our success is found in serving our patients and employees as an extension of the Wagner family. We have created a business model focused on comprehensive dental care. Continually investing in the latest dental technology and providing consistent professional development opportunities for our staff has resulted in a comfortable and comprehensive dental experience for our patients.

Our team has the ability and technology to diagnose and treat cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including the placement of dental implants, Invisalign, periodontal therapy, sleep apnea, and a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry. As the needs and circumstances of our patients has changed, so has our approach to reach our patients. We offer virtual cosmetic dentistry consultations from the convenience of your home. Our mission is to create happy smiling patients, who share their experiences and recommend our practice to their friends and family. At Wagner Dental our patients are more than a smile.

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Kenneth M. Lamberson


EFA Capital

Mezcal Old Fashioned

As a successful businessman, what is your recipe for being business savvy?

My Formula for Success: The Ability to Pivot + Flexibility x Grace = Success

Prior to the pandemic I served and led a team of insurance professionals as a broker with one of the country's top financial marketing organizations. When the world moved into the pandemic, like millions of other professionals, I was forced to adjust my practice. I quickly pivoted from the world of face-to-face meetings to Google Meets, Zooms, and Teams meetings which saved my business while many others failed. Millions of people who were laid off or furloughed began looking for other ways to create income—thousands of which began to open their own businesses and become entrepreneurs. One of the many lessons I learned from the company I spent almost a decade working with is that no business can succeed without a plan, a team, and an ability to be bamboo, or flexible. Armed with this knowledge, I expanded my service offerings to help these new business owners create the plan, the team, the foundations, and the backbones of their organizations through the establishment of our business development program. Simply put, we were able to connect our clients with subject matter experts (i.e., HR, legal, tax and accounting, marketing, funding, and personal finance) needed to be successful and beat the odds. With so many new business owners not waiting for a seat of the table to open but rather building their own dining areas, my gut told me they would need capital. After consulting with my funding expert, LeRoy Greene, CEO of Greenland’s Payment Services, we created EFA Capital. Capital, specifically the lack thereof, is one of the reasons many businesses fail. Therefore, we provide a white-glove service approach through grace that educates business owners, visionaries, and idealists about the mindsets and acumen of investors.

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Joe DiRaffaele


DiRaffaele Group at eXp Realty

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

As a successful businessman, what is your recipe for being business savvy?

My recipe for being business savvy is all about listening to people. Underneath every situation is a person with an ideal desired outcome. All of the successes I’ve had throughout my career are directly related to my ability to listen to the real needs of each person and then delivering on those needs.

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Chef Sam Marvin


Echo & Rig

Bacon Old Fashioned

The first thing I do to be successful is to make sure any project fits under my umbrella of four absolutes. That is, the project, must be a big win for:

1)      Stakeholders

2)      The Community

3)      Employees

4)      Guests

If it only fits three of those absolutes, then it’s a no go for me. I believe this gives me the greatest chance of long-term success.

Now it is up to me to execute the game plan and we do that by looking at our business from the top looking down, whereas the majority of businesses look at their business from the bottom looking up. The more tools we can provide to our business will again increase our chances of long-term success. I never lose focus on what the business is trying to achieve. And as part of the service industry our only goal is to service the needs of our guests. It is that simple. It is definitely not easy to do but the core philosophy is simple.

Businesses featured in this article