PKL Services, Inc.
When LtCol Samuel Flores, Jr. retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 30 years of service, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. His goal was to continue working with the same people he knew, respected and admired and that instilled in him the sense of purpose and drive to succeed at work and in life.
For seven years Sam was the vice president at CACI, a company providing aviation logistics, maintenance, and logistics services to the U.S. government. It was here where Sam, not only was first inspired to launch out on his own, but learned the fundamentals of running a business and working with the U.S. government.
However, even with this on-the-job training, he still faced major challenges once he formed his own company. His distinguished career and extensive Marine Corps contacts helped him, but only to a certain point.
“I would have liked to have somebody in the business that could have helped me run the areas I needed help on, like how to market ourselves,” he said.
When he started the business larger contractors were reluctant to partner with him on contracts. Things are different now and those same companies now regularly partner with him on new Marine Corps aircraft maintenance contracts.
These missed opportunities to work with him early on also extended to financial institutions. As he grew his business he switched banks a number of times until he found the perfect match, which was based on the working partnership he found with his current banker.
“People don’t buy from businesses, they buy from people,” he said. “I will never leave California Bank & Trust because I trust them and I like what Odie brings to the table.”
Odie Goward, his banker, worked with him in establishing his line of credit, helping secure financing to purchase his building, and has basically been by his side throughout every step of his business growth process.
Understanding the value of relationships, Sam proudly credits his company’s growth and success to the number of former Marines he has employed. To him they are the foundation of the company, his cornerstone.
“The Marine Corps taught me about trust, confidence, and integrity,” he said. “And I have found these qualities in the people around me, including my employees and my banker.”