Mulchan CPA

November is the perfect time to review your company’s vision for 2020 and look over your accounting needs! Perhaps it involves switching CPA or service providers and updating processes. Just in time for the November Newsletter, we had the pleasure to interview Felizia Mulchan – founder of the accounting firm Mulchan CPA.

Felizia Mulchan is a Florida licensed CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and has worked in the accounting field since 2005. After receiving a master’s degree in accounting from FAU, she began her public accounting career at Ernst &Young. After years of experience within the big firms, Felizia wanted to work more closely with entrepreneurs and business owners. She also saw the void within the Swedish American community – a need for quality accounting services with expertise in entity structuring and international tax. In 2017, Felizia opened her firm, Mulchan CPA.

Today, the firm provides tax, accounting and consulting services in both Swedish and English to a predominantly Scandinavian clientele. Many clients are local entrepreneurs with Scandinavian backgrounds, others are Scandinavian companies with subsidiaries in the US. Mulchan CPA offers monthly accountings services, employee payroll and tax filings, and also work closely with clients on legal, banking and HR solutions. Often clients are active in multiple states and the firm manages contacts with vendors and local tax authorities in different states.

“The biggest advantage to run an operation like this in South Florida is the friendly business climate and low tax compared to other states” Felizia says. Another advantage is the close connection to Europe, with a time difference of only six hours. Mulchan CPA’s future goals are to continue to work closely with their clients and grow their businesses and to continue to help Scandinavian companies make business connections in South Florida.

So Felizia, how to become a client of yours? “Send me an email! And don’t forget to visit my new website, launching November 1st”.

We would like to thank Felizia for giving us an interesting and valuable insight into Mulchan CPA and its operations.

Eten Catering

We had the pleasure to do an interview with Eten Catering – a renowned catering company in Fort Lauderdale that specializes in European food. The owners, Allison from England and Dirk from Belgium, started off their career working in the private yachting industry. After many years of catering high level food on world class yachts, they created their own catering company which is now having its 10-year anniversary.

Eten Catering specializes in corporate and special event catering. They provide a range of services from drop-off catering to full-service event planning in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach. With a great reputation, good connections with many local businesses, as well as their specialty of European food, it is not a surprise that Eten Catering  is expanding. Owner and Executive Chef, Dirk is a classically trained European chef who has over 20 years experience in Michelin star restaurants, private estates and yachts.

When asked why they chose to establish a business in Fort Lauderdale, Allison says that they had been coming in and out of the city since they worked in the yachting industry. This helped them to create many good connections and become familiar with the area and the people in Fort Lauderdale.   Since they both started to come to Fort Lauderdale over 20 years ago, the city has become busier and busier with lots of international people and companies which increases the opportunity to create valuable contacts. They support many non-profit organizations and really enjoy catering charity events. The downside according to Allison is the traffic which they are always having to take into consideration in order to ensure all their deliveries are on time.

Regarding sustainability and future goals, Eten Catering is introducing eco-friendly packaging and often use real glassware and plates during many of their events rather than using so much plastic. “As companies notice that Eten Catering is considering eco-friendly options, they contact us and want to work with us because of that”.

Their goal for the future is to continue to grow and expand their catering business in and around Fort Lauderdale and the South Florida Area.

We would like to thank Allison and Dirk at Eten Foods for giving us the opportunity to learn more about their catering company. Are you interested in being the next member standing in the spotlight? Please email info@sacc-sfl.org for more information.

Polatsek – Counsellors at Law

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting with Harry D. Polatsek- the founder of Polatsek, Counsellors at Law. Harry started his career in 1977 as a lawyer in New York and in 1983; he opened Polatsek Counsellors at Law, a firm specializing in immigration law. From the early 1980’s, he began representing Swedish clients that were involved in the horse business who were looking to move to the United States in order to start their careers. Today, the firm concentrates in the area of business and family immigration with clients from all over the world.

Mr. Polatsek describes the immigration process as having evolved tremendously over the years. The circumstances surrounding immigration today is different than it has ever been before. Historically, the visa process has been a manageable experience but in recent years, the procedure has become significantly stricter. According to Mr. Polatsek, you cannot take anything for granted and what was once a simple process has now become increasingly more challenging.

Polatsek Counsellors at Law is located in Fort Lauderdale, a city recognized as a melting pot of immigrants, making it a remarkable location for the firm. “Since there are so many people from all over the world coming to South Florida, it is an excellent place for this type of practice”, explains Mr. Polatsek. The firm works with many nationalities and their most common type of clients are investors or individuals seeking employment in professional, technical or specialty occupations.

The attorneys at Polatsek Counsellors at Law value personal relationships with their clients and encourage them to communicate any concerns or questions regarding their case. Additionally, the firm provides professional legal analysis and are cautious in selecting the cases that have the greatest opportunity for success. They aim for the highest level of efficiency and know how to provide their clients with the best results at the end of the day.

Vikand

Last week we had the opportunity to meet with Len Quist – Vice President and General 
Manager at VIKAND Solutions. It was a pleasure to meet Len, who is also one of the five 
founders and the former President of our Chamber.

The name VIKAND stands for “We can” or “Vi kan” in Swedish. The D stands for on demand 
and emphasizes the company’s flexibility and goal to meet their clients’ needs. VIKAND is an 
American based company, with global operations and with a dash of Swedish culture. 
VIKAND was founded in 2010. Len describes the organization as culturally diverse with a 
flat organizational structure. Working with almost 200 cruise vessels, their goal is to make life 
better at sea by providing excellent maritime medical services and improving health and 
hygiene on board. 

VIKAND offers a tailor-made medical service solution to fit each clients’ individual needs. This 
means running the onboard medical operations and providing biomedical services to over 
170 cruise ships. Besides the above services, VIKAND also offers various technical solutions, 
such as air purification systems that break down tobacco smoke, reduce and eliminate 
bacteria and viruses and even kill mold. Some other technical solutions include a bedbug 
solution, a wearable anti-sea and motion sickness, and equipment monitoring the 
effectiveness of employees’ hand washing routines.   

Working at sea is very different from working in a land-based environment. Running the 
medical operation onboard requires firsthand onboard experience, a good understanding of 
and an appreciation for the multi-cultural environment on board. The majority of VIKAND’s 
medical personnel have worked at sea and have extensive medical experience both at sea 
and ashore.  

So, what is the advantage of working in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? First of all, we are in close 
proximity to many of our clients that are based here in South Florida, Len explains. Fort 
Lauderdale and Miami are the world’s biggest home ports for cruise lines. The cost of doing 
business in Florida is less than in many other places in the US. Excellent international air 
travel options both to Europe and Latin America. Compared to the West coast, the lesser time 
difference allows us to communicate with our colleagues in Europe during business hours, as 
well as interacting with many of our clients that are also based out of Europe. Fort 
Lauderdale is very international with many European, Canadian and Latin Americans expats 
calling this home. “I lived in New York for many years and for its size Fort Lauderdale is truly 
a global melting pot”. Several Scandinavian companies have established themselves in this 
area and not to forget – Fort Lauderdale is also the yachting capital of the world.  

 With sustainability in mind, VIKAND sells equipment and products with long life-expectancy. 
VIKAND’s future goal is to expand into commercial shipping and also to become a remote 
location medical service provider. “Our company and our staff work hard trying to make a 
real difference to our clients on land and at sea”.  

Unitec Marine

Unitec Marine is an engineering company that provides mechanical and electrical services to the oil and marine industry worldwide, both on- and offshore. The three owners started the company in October four years ago, while they were employed on a ship. They came up with an idea to build a company that could do the same job as their current employer, just better! 

Today, Unitec Marine has about 50 employees, whereof six are based at the office and three are based out on the ships. Jonas and Nils claim that being Swedish is an advantage in the sense that they were raised with good work ethics. They have taught in their employees the same quality, and have therefore managed to implement large projects for their contractors. 

Nils and Jonas classify their company as medium/large. They don’t want to become a large company because it wouldn’t be beneficial for them. They would rather grow geographically. Today, Unitec Marine do projects in France and Finland where the drydocks are located. Recently, they expanded to Norway where they have sex to eight people working. 

It’s a fast growing business, and Nils and Jonas know the importance of having the right resources. For that reason, they work on maintaining good contact with old and new contractors.

Membership Spotlight with Frederick Burman from Skanska

Frederick Burman is the Senior Vice President of the Skanska Group Asset Management function, based in the US  in Miami, FL. Skanska is one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups.

Skanska US was founded in the 1970:ies and has grown to include two nationwide construction units, Skanska USA Building and Skanska USA Civil, as well Commercial Development in five US urban markets; LA, Houston, Seattle, Washington D.C. and Boston. Frederick’s main role is to represent Skanska on the boards of its three US Public-Private Partnership concession companies – the Midtown/Downtown Tunnel in Norfolk/Portsmouth, Virginia, LaGuardia Terminal B in New York and the I-4 Ultimate highway in Orlando. The projects typically involve construction periods of 4-6 years, and thereafter operations and maintenance responsibilities for up to 30-50+ years. Frederick’s main work duties entail visiting Skanska’s customers and the projects on site, traveling to Virginia, New York and Orlando on a frequent basis. He has been working for Skanska and living in Florida since 2006, and is currently the single employee at the Miami location. Skanska Asset Management’s headquarters in the US is located in Arlington, Virginia. Frederick also works closely with Skanska in Sweden as he reports back onproject progress.

Skanska’s presence in the US started in the 1970’s, when it bought several construction companies in select markets, in order to diversify its business. At first, the companies bought did not change their company names, given their strong local reputations and know-how. Today, all companies have been fully integrated into the Skanska fold, in an effort of streamlining overhead, promoting Skanska as single brand under one set of values. As a consequence thereof, Skanska has a strong company culture across all its international markets today, including its strong focus on safety, living up to customer commitments, global leadership in sustainability and green construction, as well as in diversity and ethics. Skanska also is committed to being a leading employer of choice for talent within our industry.

Frederick finishes off the interview by stating that in the US, Skanska as a whole is here to stay!

Susanna Grubb – a future’s broker

We had the opportunity to meet with Susanna Grubb from the Ultimate Florida Real Estate in Jupiter. Susanna has many years of experience working as a real estate agent. Last year, she decided to make a major change in her life. She decided to do what many people dream of doing – start her own company. One year later, the company has expanded to three employees. 

Ultimate Florida Real Estate is not a regular brokers agency. The company sells more than houses – they sell a lifestyle. If it’s the boat life, the golf life, or simply the beach life you want – then Ultimate Florida Real Estate can assist. 

Since Susanna holds a master’s degree in Technical Communication, she can successfully combine the best of both worlds to expand her company. In addition to selling a lifestyle, the Ultimate Florida Real Estate differentiates in the way they hold an open house. When buying through the Ultimate Florida Real Estate, you don’t necessarily need to physically be in the house in order to see it. Through Matterport 3D (a new technology), you can virtually ”walk” around in the house in front of your computer screen. Especially foreigners appreciate this technology. The Ultimate Florida Real Estate offer all their customers selling their properties a Matterport 3D Tour, regardless of the price range. Susanna believes voice search is the next big thing. Voice search is talking to your digital devices instead of writing. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your company comes as an alternative up when someone asks for companies in the industry. Because of her use of new technology, Susanna Grubb is truly a broker of the future. 

Susanna has been through quite the journey in the past year! However, she says that building a brand and website is difficult and time-consuming. You must be willing to give those extra hours. 

We would like to thank Susanna Grubb for giving us the insights of a broker in South Florida. Are you interested in being the next member standing in the spotlight? Please email info@sacc-sfl.org for more information.

This week’s Membership Spotlight is with Wine+Garden. We did a short Q&A with Greger Nilzen.

Why did you decide to become a member of SACC F.L & Palm Beach?

I have been a member in Dallas SACC for the last 5 years I lived there and made a lot of great connections that way. When moving to Ft Lauderdale it was a natural step. I have made both friends and business connections this way as well as be able to have some fun with fellow Swedes. 

What are the perks of running a restaurant in South Florida?

Being so close to the beach gives the opportunity to meet people from all over the world who is here visiting. Since I intentionally didn’t focus on creating another “tourist-trap”, but a great restaurant I been able to stay above the competition. Having the location in a place I consider paradise does is a nice perk. 

Describe your restaurant in three words 
Romantic, Mystic and Friendly

Meet Urban Bülow – Group Director North America, Bufab Group

Bufab is a trading company working world-wide, founded in 1977 in Småland, Sweden. Today they have operations in 27 countries. They are since 2014 listed as a mid-cap company on Nasdaq Stockholm. 

Bufab offers their customers a full-service solution as Supply Chain Partner for sourcing, quality control and logistics for C-Parts. A majority of the business is trading but for some high end stainless steel fasteners as well as turned or machined parts Bufab has its’ own production companies in Sweden and UK. The high-quality stainless steel fasteners are traded under the name Bumax. It is known as the strongest stainless steel bolt in the World and is made to endure the most demanding of applications. Their Swedish reputation is beneficial for them, and they are proud to be a Swedish company. 

Bufab is active in seven regions, and have a high presence in Europe and Asia, and the goal is to expand the U.S market. They want to serve the customer where the customers are located, which can explain the fact that Bufab has 38 subsidiaries. They plan to grow both organically and to find potential acquisitions partners, to expand its business and find new customers is in the pipeline for the future. They see a lot of potential in the marine industry here in South Florida, for which the Bumax products would suit perfectly.

Welcome Urban Bülow & Bufab to Florida!

The Coffee Company

The Coffee Company has come a long way since it was founded 1988 in Gothenburg. Over the years, the owners Raul and Elisabeth Tolly grew a successful business. At its peak, the company employed around 65 people. 2013, Raul and Elisabeth decided to sell their business in Sweden to Miko Puro Coffee in Belgium, and move to South Florida together with their two children. 

When the family first arrived in Florida, they started a fast-food restaurant with healthy items on the menu. However, since the market was tough at the time, they decided to close down the restaurant after three years. Even though they had new insights as to how difficult running a business can be, they decided to start over by opening The Coffee Company. 

The goal of The Coffee Company is to spread an ecological coffee culture. The Tolly’s call their vision ”Coffee for a Cause”. Their business idea is to install coffee machines for free when the client purchases the coffee from The Coffee Company. As a client, you do not pay for the machines, but simply for the coffee. All The Puro coffee is organic and fair trade. The Coffee Company also have a ” new” premium brand, named Bristot Espresso Italiano. You can help yourself by drinking healthy coffee and also help the planet earth!

If your company would like to offer tasty ecological coffee to employees and customers, please email info@thecoffecompanyfl.com for more info and a free trial for 2-7 days.