Business 101 Transition Seminars are organized and taught by career business executives who are volunteering time and experiences to you in appreciation for your valuable service to our country.  We call ourselves 3V4F.

To contact us, email

James Gentile

Jim Gentile brings a clear understanding of strategic selling processes and their application into major blue chip OEMs. He is skilled at establishing technical customer relationships at an executive level through a deep understanding of customer & retailer needs and how they translate into technology requirements and technical selling.

Gentile served in multiple assignments as a US Navy Officer including as Commanding Officer on two NRF ships. Retired as a Captain (O-6) after final tour of Commanding Officer Pacific Logistics supporting operations in the Middle East.


Ed Johnson

Ed is a Global Human Resources Executive with 40 years business experience in a variety of industries, but with an emphasis in manufacturing and high tech. In his current role, Ed is VPHR and Chief Administrative Officer at two struggling start-ups, and prior to that served in corporate roles as VPHR with Smith Micro Software,, and Quest Software. Prior HR executive roles (corporate and business unit) were held with Solectron, Merisel, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Symbol Technologies, Sargent Controls, Rockwell Semiconductor Products, Getty Oil, and Western Gear.

Prior to entering HR, spent nine years in manufacturing operations and production and inventory control management with Hunt–Wesson, Avon, and Pacific ElectriCord.

Ed has a BA and MBA from CSULB, and has also been a part-time instructor in Human Resource Management in the degree program at CSULB. Ed received his SPHR certification from HRCI in 1997. Military service included six years as an infantry NCO. in the USMCR, 1966-1972.


Rick Lamprecht

Throughout Rick Lamprecht’s 40-year business career as President, COO, SVP and GM, Rick has grown small companies into big ones, and turned unprofitable companies into very profitable enterprises.

As a “Business Doctor”, Rick has revitalized troubled business units of Fortune 200 companies and turned around scores of under-performing privately held businesses. His successes have been acknowledged by The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, OC Register, LA Times, and over 30 industrial trade publications.

Most recently, as President of an electronics contract manufacturer he led year-over-year revenue growth of 24%, resulting in 340% increase in annual profits to twice the industry average rate, resulting in its sale at a premium.

Earlier, after rejoining Pacific Consolidated Industries, a defense prime contractor firm he co-founded many years prior, his efforts resuscitated the company from near bankruptcy with tripling of revenues and record profits in three years, resulting in its sale for $27 million.

Earlier in his career, Rick served in various sales, marketing and manufacturing leadership positions in divisions and at the corporate level of three Fortune 200 firms.


Rick VanUnen

Rick Van Unen is a successful serial entrepreneur and CEO of Van Unen-Miersma Propane, Inc, of Ripon, CA. He also founded Sierra Propane, Inc., Merced, CA, Windmill Propane, Inc. in Goshen, CA, and Windmill Transportation, Ripon, CA.  Rick is also a Partner in Windmill Portables and Septic Services with his son Rick, Jr. in Ripon, CA.

In his career Rick has been employed as an Investigator for the State of California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and has held several positions at Dick Cepek, Inc., including President.

Rick is a Marine having served a tour in Viet Nam in 1966-67. Two of his children served in the Marines: Sgt. Rick Van Unen and Captain Melissa Van Unen. His oldest daughter, Melanie, is a CPA and did not serve.

On the personal side Rick is an avid car collector. Also, he competed in the sport of Power Lifting in the 275# class and was inducted into the California Power Lifting Hall of fame in 2010 for his record squat.


John Engstrom

John Engstrom is currently serving as a Business Opportunity Specialist with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in San Diego.

Previously he was Sr. Military Talent Acquisition Specialist for Life Technologies. Life Technologies was virtually unknown throughout the military and veteran community. Upon his arrival in March 2012, he initiated an aggressive career fair schedule and maximized speaking and networking opportunities. He developed and implemented the Military Apprenticeship Program for Life Technologies, which provided 43 transitioning military personnel in 8 months with a one-day job shadowing experience in their occupational area of interest.

As Diversity Outreach Coordinator of the Navy’s Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE). he was instrumental in increasing awareness of naval aviation throughout the United States and in helping more than 200 minority high school graduates attain tuition free NROTC college scholarships leading to a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

John was the Administrative Officer for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in San Diego, and was instrumental in the roll out of TSA at the San Diego Airport. John had the most successful hiring program and new employee orientation program within TSA.

John made a successful transition from the Marine Corps into CarMax Auto Superstores as an Operations Manager, and subsequently as the Corporate Troubleshooter. He supervised a work force of 400 employees including 12 direct report managers. John implemented process improvement initiatives which resulted in a savings of more than $10 Million annually.

As a Mustang, John had a distinguished 25-year career with the U.S. Marine Corps. Heenlisted as a Private and advanced rapidly through the enlisted ranks into the SNCO ranks. He was appointed to Warrant Officer, was subsequently promoted into the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) ranks and retired as a Major.

John has an M.A. in Human Resources Management and a B.A. in Business Administration.

Hear Major John Engstrom (retired) who is one of the Business 101 Facilitators talk about the benefits of Business 101 and what he in particular brings to the class in terms of experience.

Listen to the Rise Up Radio radio interview from minute 5:35 through minute 12:50.  Click: