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Tuesday 24 October 2023

My Coffee Pot Book Club guest: David Fitz-Gerald - If It's The Last Thing I Do

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About the Book

Book Title: If It’s the Last Thing I Do

Author: David Fitz-Gerald

Publication Date: August 15, 2023

Publisher: Historium Press

Page Length: 329

Genre: Historical Thriller

It's 1975, and Misty Menard unexpectedly inherits her father's business in Lake Placid, New York. It never occurred to her that she could wind up as the CEO of a good old-fashioned manufacturing company.

After years of working for lawyers, Misty knows a few things about the law. Her favorite young attorney is making a name for himself, helping traditionally owned companies become employee owned, using a little-known, newly-passed law. When he offers to help Misty convert Adirondack Dowel into an ESOP, pro bono, Misty jumps at the chance.

The employees are stunned, the management team becomes hostile, and the Board of Directors is concerned. Misfortune quickly follows the business transformation. A big customer files for bankruptcy. A catastrophic ice jam floods the business. Stagflation freezes the economy. A mysterious shrouded foe plots revenge. Misty's family faces a crisis. The Trustee is convinced something fishy is going on, the appraiser keeps lowering the company's value, and the banker demands additional capital infusions. Misty thought she had left her smoking addiction and alcoholism in the past, but when a worker's finger is severed in an industrial accident, Misty relapses.

Disasters threaten to doom the troubled company. After surviving two world wars and the Great Depression, it breaks Misty's heart to think that she has destroyed her father's company. All she wants is to cement her father's legacy and take care of the people who built the iconic local business. Can a quirky CEO and her loyal band of dedicated employee owners save an heirloom company from foreclosure, repossession, and bankruptcy?

Get your copy of the thrilling If It's the Last Thing I Do now... if it's the last thing you do!

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About the author

David Fitz-Gerald writes historical fiction in his spare time, with the hope of transporting readers to another time and place.

If It's the Last Thing I Do is his 7th novel.

​Dave has worked for more than 30 years as an accountant, employee owner, and member of the management team at a "silver" ESOP (employee-owned) company. He has championed the cause in national, non-profit association leadership roles.

Dave’s family roots run deep in the Adirondacks, going back generations. He attended college and worked at a deli in Saranac Lake during the 1980s. He spent two summers as an elf at Santa’s Workshop on Whiteface Mountain in the 1970s and is an Adirondack 46-er, which means he has hiked all of New York’s highest peaks.

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Read An Excerpt

Excerpt From Chapter 4

I crossed my legs, cleared my throat, and said, "Actually, I do have a matter I'd like the Board to consider. But first, I should clarify that my guest, Ted Drake is a newly named partner in the law firm, Cracken, Humble, and Dobbs, where I worked as a receptionist before I retired. He specializes in a little-known, brand-new part of the law." I turned to face Ted and said, "What did you call it, Ted? It was something like Melissa, but that isn't right."

Ted's boyish laugh accompanied his mild correction. "Misty means ERISA." Ted went on to explain the new law which governed retirement plans. I watched Winslow's face sag as he turned ghostly white as Ted explained how ESOPs work. Mayor Peacock, on the other hand, looked intrigued and wanted to hear more.

The young lawyer said, "So, we hire a trustee. The trustee has the business appraised. The bank lends money to the trust. The company funds the trust to repay the loan, and participants' accounts grow as the loan is repaid. Employees don't have to pay one dime to become owners and the seller gets to defer the profit on the sale of the stock to the trust. So, everybody wins."

Winslow rubbed his face, releasing a wave of Aqua Velva scent into the room. "So, Misty sells the company for what you call market value. She can't use the proceeds from the sale if she wants to defer the taxes on it. The company goes deeper into debt. And all the benefit of it goes to the workers? AJ must be doing somersaults in his grave listening to this. What am I missing?"

Ted grimaced. "The company doesn't have to go deeper into debt. Misty can lend the company the money for the deal, but the bank's loan has to come first. If the bank makes the loan instead of Misty, it is likely they will require Misty to guarantee the loan."

The older attorney groaned and looked toward the heavens.

Mayor Peacock asked, "How is the market value calculated?"

Ted answered, "We'll help the company conduct a feasibility analysis and hire a valuation firm to appraise it. They'll make calculations based on projections, earnings, and comparable companies to determine how much the business is worth."

The mayor said, "Mr. Drake, the accountant's report for 1974 tells us that the business barely made a profit. How much is a business that doesn't make money worth?"

Ted looked at me in horror. "Nothing. If a business doesn't make a profit, it isn't worth anything. You didn't tell me that, Misty."

I stammered an apology. "I'm sorry, Ted. I didn't think to mention it. But the company isn't worthless. It provides great value to sixty-five people who support their families with the income that they make."

The mayor came to my defense. "And it provided Misty's father a very comfortable income throughout his long life."

Winslow leaned toward me and whispered at me through his teeth. "Misty, do you realize what's at stake?"

A juicy steak at the Woodshed Restaurant with my favorite attorney and the Board of Directors of the Adirondack Dowel and Spindle Company no longer sounded tantalizing. I just wanted the men to leave so I could have a cigarette. I pictured the pack of smokes in the drawer and yearned to be home. I wanted to go to bed early and pull the covers over my head.

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Twitter Handle: @AuthorDAVIDFG @cathiedunn

Instagram Handle@authordavefitzgerald @thecoffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalThriller #HistoricalFiction #1970s #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for featuring David Fitz-Gerald on your lovely blog today.

    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club


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