tv Look Before Leaping CSPAN September 10, 2016 4:30pm-5:31pm EDT
your business we do it every day we also offer workshops and seminars similar to what we are having here today. today we can we talk about how you can make sure you limit the risk when you're doing business abroad and this is a very special topic because we have several clients who had contractual relationships that are overseas we need to make sure they're putting their best stuff forward. the session will be facilitated by miss ellie thornton as well as dr. gregory and i will take a moment to introduce ms. ellie thorton. she is the president and ceo. she is a founding principle of visionary. it is a woman on veteran town and small disadvantaged business headquartered right here in the mason enterprise center.
she is an active member of numerous organizations and associations including the american public health association the health information management system where they serve as cochair of the small business roundtable. she is a volunteer member of the national syrup. it is for underserved education outreach policy and privacy and consent workgroups. in the society for public health education. she holds a bs in respiratory therapy from georgia state university and an ms in health promotion managementfrom marymount university. without further ado i will welcome her to the podium. thank you carter and thank you for all of you guys he took the time to really listen to
this topic that's really important. i hope you walk away with information today that you consider important and will help you billy reduce your risk and liability not just during work abroad some of these could be relevant to here in the u.s. let me tell you about the visionary consulting partners. that is a very broad domain but within that domain we have a very diverse range of services. so you see what we do imac in a take a lot of time to talk about what we do other than we always apply the industry's best practices as well as using evidence-based
management models when we are doing anything and really think sticking to the very strict program management and methodologies. i think it gives you a better indication of some of the type of work in the chronic disease management staff argumentation are just a few of our areas and we do that in a federal domain as will is as in a civilian population also. we do that in state as well as recently almost. it's almost to the exact date
these are some of the areas that we have now broadened into and this is why i thought this was a very good topic. i wish we knew back in september of last year what we know now i wish we have that. as we journeyed into this world. that they want to contract with. and now we head about 13 individuals in these areas that we call the map of influence. as we actually brought in and started that work there was a number of areas where we didn't know what we did didn't know at that time. sometimes you jump with both feet and that's exactly what we did. there was a lot of discovery along the way.
it's really important that we take this opportunity to share some information with you for those of you that are doing contract work now or are considering at in the future. he is a professor in montgomery college. the international education director. over a decade and a half. he has transverse. south america in europe. the passion to be a global citizen led him to pursue overseas studies. chair the english and u.s. business apartment in thailand and serve as a study abroad a
specialist. he is dedicated to cultivating lice long service learning and overseas opportunities for all. i like to take this time to join in and welcome dr. gregory. >> thank you so much for having me and giving me this opportunity to lead the lunch and learn it is my pleasure i still want to think ellie thorton. thank you all who are here. c-span for being here as well. we should start here in terms
of our presentation as i go into the presentation i just want to reiterate the fact that were just scratching the surface here in terms of mitigating risk and overseas concern and as we take this journey together i definitely want you to consider what questions may have at the end at the session. there certainly a good deal in terms of what we discussed today and much more. i encourage you to consider also at the end of the session and more discussions. with our presentation we will look at a number of different issues that we have your case studies from recent lawsuits
the risk that has surfaced from the case studies we will look to a the top five best practices as well. first thing i would like to go into and look at is king versus the king versus the board of eastern michigan university. and with this particular case the federal district court have ruled that with the hostile environment in south africa to a program that had eastern michigan university. during this program sexual harassment a business manager
our group who or group who faces such a situation. it would be a title vii violation. we will talk about that and so forth. for six african-american women on this program was a five-week program. they were leading it. they stayed back in the states went with the group overseas to south africa. the first week of the program it has entered without knocking an invitation. while the female student was in her room sleeping. the number of male students
with the gender specific name. when they ask to be called by name they became more disrespectful of the slurs worth sinned. they did nothing to correct the situation. students solicited south african women for mac we have women students who are part of the program who were being offered for sale to south africans. we have the groups to her best stopping in front of the liquor store for a liquor run. so when they approached him to a mend the situation nothing was done.
so clearly a suit could occur and it did. and they claimed it hostile environment ensued and it affected their ability to take a minute of this program. they felt that the institution of title ix and supported the program was always under the control of the university in every respect and every moment of inaction who represented the university to stop that sexual harassment or showed negligence for the university. this could also be again the environment and they can ensued for many groups or types of employees as well. universities as you know
oftentimes see themselves as a business. so i ask that we also consider taking similar approaches. the best practices to minimize such a thing as this case would be as suchwe want to think about extraterritoriality title vii eeoc compliance and use of your authority i will discuss what is meant by that. with further slides. along with what are the best practice and how to use your authority. so continuing you want to apply although the lawsuit involves faculty leaders it is
instructed for business managers and employees who need to embark on overseas ventures and seminars and conferences and training sessions and activities. overseas conduct and regulation must be near those near those who are at home and that's what it is in a nutshell to further define exactly it is u.s. regulations and laws which are federally funded programs that must also extend overseas. more and more the courts are expecting and affirming that it must exist such cases occurred with the university and college. st. louis university all of the judges expected the same duty of care overseas as at home. and in fact with them.
the judge maintained and it was the extraterritoriality that students and overseas programs would become the floating sanctuaries from authority. continuing we also want to make sure the best practice title ix is what i brought forth however, title ix mystical little bit further with more so for educational programs we deal with title vii is a federal law that prohibits employers title ix
is more of an educational division the law prohibits discrimination. whether that is public or private school. in any case whether it is a title vii title vii policy you head in place in the u.s. written or verbal that prohibits them from discriminating against employees another best practice eeoc states that it
is unlawful to harass a person an applicant or employee because of that person's. requests for sexual favors and other verbal harassment. we want to keep that in mind as well. to use your authority as a best practice. how you use your authority employs first off they are in respect for the environment those things can diminish you need to use her authority to give the environment in place
it can suffer. out of office venues fieldwork and so forth other employees may become infuriated the agenda assignments might not be met in a timely fashion. for people's time the personal funds spent and this might be in the form of litigation. you really want to keep this and things on track when you have an overseas program. here is what business managers should do to avert these issues be willing again to wield your authority to maintain integrity of meetings, workshops activities when an unhealthy environment ensues and set yourself up so that your program code of conduct forms your risk of
running documents allow you the that authority. it should spell out what you expect and what you can do if others don't meet those expectations. my book look before leaping and i have a number of experts who give testimonials they have a program where first she has a literature program throughout this and students attend that. he has a policy for that. he has dismissed students from his campus course. he takes that same policy overseas and it connects study abroad in london with his class. and they pay to go back home on their own dime. you have that authority if you put it in writing and they sign it. the same goes for the business world. employees expect oversee training sessions in events that should be well-managed. but it applies for anyone who
goes overseas. i would like to go into this those with another case. here are the events that happened with this case duke university participant he lost his life in an organization of tropical studies in 2012 and his family filed a formal suit. here are some of the events that occurred during that program. towards the end of the semester they took their students on a surprise trip to a beach on the south central pacific coast the beach was not on the program schedule or
have not been publicized that they would go there in advance there was no prior notice. they were told at the beach that it was safe to swim in the waters but there were some rip currents and if they got caught in one to swim parallel to the shore. they were caught in a rip current and he was told out over 300 yards away from the shore he treaded water for over 30 minutes and waited for help and then drowned one day, this occurred one day prior to his departure to go back home after a semester in costa rica. the complaint also notes that almost every website that they discussed mentions the dangerous rip currents and swimming is not advisable and it's also dangerous in that there are no lifeguards on the beach. when they arrive in costa rica
and to the beach where their son was lost they joined the red crs in search of him as well as the coast guard and according to the suit they had agreed to give them supplies, waters flashlights and such it never arrived. they used the headlights of their cars to try to locate them. they were not successful. the local fisherman found the body. the poor care of his body was also a concern he was transported back in an open pickup truck in 90 degrees weather for approximately four and half hours for an autopsy. the parents were in the front seat of the truck. so clearly some concerns and some best practices that could
be provided to assist with such a tragedy. the best practices such as knowing your institution partner and having a strong partnership and knowing former laws and the emergency response plan that is strong and in place. those are all necessary. so in terms of the partnership know the policies when it comes to higher education we expect that they should give challenging academics and learning outcomes and experiences in the business from you should have similar goals and objectives that are made known for your partnering institution to fulfill. we expect that each student should have an assigned campus
calculus -- counselors consider also that there are organized or plant interactions with employees with the party institutions. you should have a close and highly interactive relationship with your partnering group you should have quick access to them you should have the ability to talk to officials on a dime. it in addition to all of that make sure that you visit that foreign institution facility in accommodations in advance. another best practice and what is assisted in terms of the case of that. it's knowing the foreign laws and cultural awareness make sure that you have cultural awareness about the location to reduce risk and liabilities remain aware of these things.
you must know that for that region. you must know the powerful laws in the area. perhaps it wasn't even a lawful place to swim. standards of acceptable conduct may conflict with u.s. practices when you are overseas another case there. in this case a student had gone overseas for a semester and it was for short-term and she was encouraged to interact and speak with those as much as possible. in an effort to do so she accepted a local bus drivers invite in his apartment for tea. sadly enough that
understanding is she was raped while in this gentleman's apartment. and when came to discover that accepting an invite to an apartment for tea is giving consent for or at least in that culture that is how it is often viewed. she didn't know that. so while she was in the hospital in paris being treated the program leaders collected all of the other participants and informed them never to accept invites to men's apartments to tea at that point. some of the culture. the areas history religion and government with those things you also learn the culture.
with this particular best practice you need to be doing a lot of research to accomplish this best practice. before you go to that location. you need to have risk assessment in emergency response plan in place as part of the response plan for everyone who is involved with going overseas they need to have an emergency evacuation measure it may arise over natural disaster a breakout or a serious injury to someone who is part of the group you must require your participant to obtain evacuation insurance. it reminds me of the situation at the university of florida. i also addressed this in the
book. it was developing countries in environments and she was sitting there doing the studies. she was sitting by a lamp. it exploded and she was severely burned. there was no medevac in place or no even waivers at all. but thankfully the university of florida took it upon themselves to pay the $50,000 to medevac that sued student for the possible surgery. it's said that there was any pause for that. and let me not skip ahead too much here. in addition in terms of the
risk assessment in emergency it should be evident to a committee. they need to be on the ready to carry out emergency plans. that communication is lost and cut off with those at home. essential background information and contacts must be collected and accessible to those at home and abroad so for example a student may have a pre-existing condition and has nothing to do with the program are the conditions overseas but if you don't know why this person is suffering you really need to be able to contact a relative of parent or a spouse spouse or whatever to figure out what's going on. you don't want to be out there and have guesswork. you really don't. and make sure to inform
participants about what often overlooked issues that can occur kidnapping, human trafficking identity theft these are dominant risks carefully that as i said so you can quickly act if an emergency arises if i give you another example i have a student who went to new zealand in about five years ago there was a horrible earthquake in new zealand and my student was there in his campus was destroyed fortunately he was not hurt. his campus was ruined. what was great was that the partnering agents which i
worked with they have a backup plan they said you know what the student is willing we can send them out about a hundred miles away to another school or college if they are ready and came to do it. so i talked to the students and he was overseas. he was ready to do it. he was excited. he was not too shaken when he comes back home after a semester in new zealand he liked to brag about the fact that not just one but two overseas educational programs he was able to conquer disasters can occur. a couple of quick points in terms of this. be aware of overseas u.s. military bases and work for the state department provide emergency evacuations that they will provide to the state department we have a law enforcement and it's located
get in touch with you with a emergency, so a person has quick and easy access and notification through step because step allows you to upload an apt to your smart phone and will you-- give you notification to your smart phone or cell phone and they can also give you notifications through social media so they have it set up through facebook and twitter. i have provided for you the link here for step for your convenience as well. very important. so, i would like to transition to another area of the presentation and to look at medical issues that we want to consider and mitigating such risk. so, a little food for thought in terms of medical issues. you should feel far more threatened by a mosquito then you should of a terrorists. billions of people die every year from mosquito borne illnesses as noted by the world
health organization. yet, in comparison the national consortium for study on terrorism through 2001 and 2014, discovered that a mere 105 americans a died from terrorists attack overseas. not to minimize the risk of terrorism, but there is a major difference in terms of lies lost to. the good news is that the massive risk that comes with mosquito borne diseases is very preventable. added risk, so we come with more exotic regions of the world with regards to greater risk that come with more exotic regions, here are some facts and statistics from my book, "look before leaping", much of which comes from the institute of international education.
so, study abroad participants are pursuing more exotic regions , the same as holding true for business groups that are desired to expand their market and go overseas as well. in fact, again, some numbers for you. there were 4% fewer american students who studied abroad in europe took europe used to be the place that was typical for study abroad. through 2008 through 2009, while the number of students to asia increased 2%, those who desired and studied abroad in south america increased by 13% of those who went to africa to study abroad increased a whopping 16%. note that these are dominant visionary consulting partners regions of expiration as shown on their map of influence here.
business managers and employees do need to be aware of native risks and take distinct caution with overseas ventures in these regions naturally obtaining property-- proper immunization should be emphasized with any oversea venture, but with more warm climates additional emphasis it really should be stressed. so, the threats come from old and new. just because we have a certain disease that has been around for a long time does not mean it is gone, even if we think it has been eradicated it comes back and shows it ugly head in some other form or fashion, often. starting from the old, malaria is estimated that in the us-- it was eliminated, i'm sorry in the us in 1951. malaria was eliminated. however, 1500 to 2000 americans
in america have come forth with malaria. so, these are usually people that have traveled and returned, but we have near 2000 cases a year with malaria in america. malaria infections are characterized by fever, headache, muscle ache, chills, fatigue, vomiting and can even be more severe with seth-- behavioral changes, confusion, respiratory though your, coma and shock. clearly, malaria can lead to death if not treated. malaria in adamic areas such as africa, south america, and asia are high risk and although partial immunity is developed during years of exposure to care sites no one becomes fully immune to malaria. again, concerning the old and the new let's go to the new. the zika virus.
we keep hearing about the zika virus. so, the zika virus does threaten now all the way from argentina up to the southern states of america here. now, scores of zika virus cases have cropped up in florida and professionals are trying to figure out, are these people contracted the zika virus in florida now, not just overseas. hundreds of thousands of people will be infected by this threat. in fact, by the time it's over they expect millions. no vaccine exists to prevent the zika virus and the complications with its spread. however, into this area, this is an area that do visionary consoling partners is interested in pursuing and to further investigate. how zika is preventable is to avoid mosquito bites and also to give you background, a mail with
the zika virus can pass it on through a sexual partner. friend that women can pass the zika virus on as well to the fetus during pregnancy and it causes severe fetal brain defects. in addition, an interesting fact is that to date there is no report of an infant getting the zika virus through breast-feeding and because of the benefits of breast-feeding's mothers are encouraged to breast-feed even in areas where zika is found. okay, so continuing on here. a best practice is to follow the lead of the centers for disease control and prevention. so, it's a good idea to couple with this, to consult your doctor, your physician for to six weeks in advance of going overseas to know what sort of vaccines and medications you
would need and the cdc is a great resource to consult as well. in fact, the next slide i will provide is a sample cdc posting of vaccinations and medication that one should acquire before going to ethiopia. i chose that country in part because this is, again, an example that shows the location of which visionary consulting partners will visit. and to attempt to set up shop. so, here is your sample of cdc, their guidelines. usually they have something provided for all travelers and certainly with ethiopia, they given number of vaccines and they name the different diseases that one can contract and they also go into-- aside from what most travelers should receive including something like a
potato say. also, beyond the cdc, the passport health group is a great resource. passport health. if a participant is unable to obtain the necessary inoculations through personal position that comedy passport help relies preventative healthcare services including immunizations. this company is located and has 230 clinics are at the us, so there is a good chance you will find a clinic close to where you live and keep in mind that individuals reactions to the neck and nations vary, so you really want to get those immunizations and all of those medications in the system prior to departure well before. i give you a link also to passport health as well for your convenience. let's keep proper perspective in
term of risk overseas. we don't want to go too far with this. not every region of a country has the same disease threats and we certainly cannot discount an entire country or continent as unsafe to travel due to an issue in a separate region. i will give you an example through my own work experience that with the outbreak of the evil of virus many college and university officials deemed africa unsuitable for travel because it was on one part of the continent. the whole continent they felt was an issue and this was an alarmist sort of attitude or proper research was not done. if we consider from a different angle with the outbreak of the zika virus in the southern states of america should african nations deem the continent of north america unsuitable for travel?
similarly business managers need to do the necessary research to know what areas to avoid due to risk. yet, still to keep the proper perspective and research. all rights. so, the best practice in terms of again, medical. you want to specify your disease threat and risk of documents in your forms. be very up front with it. documents and examples are in the book, "look before leaping", as well, but you want to name it straight out, disease risk and named diseases as well. that might mean if you have a second or third waiver, not just your basic general one, but one specific to that region of the world. so, let's me close with what i think are final top five the best practices.
we really want to delve in to and consider. number one, no 911 in that country. know their version of 911 or the emergency number to dial in that country you visit. the us state department has put up-- put out a pdf for your perusal. in fact, i think the link that is provided for you that you make a copy of that and you bring that with you. here's an example of some of the a listings in terms of their numbers-- their emergency numbers. clearly, american some zero has 911 connected with us, but others have different numbers. another best practice to consider or actually implement: i just consider art noncombatant evacuation operations. be aware of neo- locations and how to receive notifications if i emergency evacuation is made available to you as american
citizen by our us department of defense. if you need a quick exit us military will evacuate americans for free and this is particularly helpful when the countries airport shuts down. know where your neo are the joint chiefs of staff at november 2015, put out a full report on neo's and their function. again, the link is provided here. best practice, the third one, social media is our friend. in america we get tired, exhausted and feel bombarded by social media. it may come from family and friends and acquaintances. however, this is a true asset when you're overseas, so twitter, facebook facebook, snapshot whatever, you want to be able to have that communication with those back home. you should have a risk assessment team in place and emergency response plan at home
so that you have people who are willing to remain connected to you and knowing about your day to day activities and occurrences. again, social media will help with this. plus, even back home we make it new is that they don't get overseas right away, so they can contact you and say don't go to this region. i know you plan to go there in two days, but this are the reports in the america-- in america because sometime be different in parts of the world and not be as transparent. us state department agrees with this approach of using social media. remember the use that steady-- strategy with facebook and twitter and give you information is the. best practice as well, triple up don't just double up anymore, triple up. this applies for males as well, especially when you are going out to explore the evening or 12 local social scene. we think about university of wisconsin student both solomon who lost his life and he was in italy and he had separated from
his roommate and he had died that evening and it did not make the orientation session the next day. do not leave your partners to depart with local citizens no matter how kind and they may seem. we think about natalee holloway. she went to aruba. she was with girlfriends or friends at a nightclub. she was last seen at 1:00 a.m. leaving in a vehicle, three locals. she did not make her plane the next day and she has not been seen since. always triple up. stay together. then, step has to put that back in their come i won't go into step again because we have discussed it, but i want to reiterate that step is very important for a best practice and that you really should register. in summary, once again, know your best practices. you need to have this sort of
reliable delivery and a selection of partners as you do this. i have given you five best practices here. there's another 23 in trying to as well if you get the opportunity to look at that, please do. potential agencies and partners to consider. we talked about that a good deal as well. but come i would like to at least discuss at the bottom of the fly here that these are potential partners or groups, experts including those from "look before leaping" have put forth, groups such as the american institute for foreign studies, culture express abroad, council on international education exchange and international studies abroad are just some of the groups to name a few. more groups are listed again in "look before leaping". as you do this, you want to
think about choosing a strong team. we know the best practices, but we need to have a good team in place who is going to follow those practices. so, those who tended to assess more so overseas are open-minded to cultural and so forth and so we call it cultural competence. you want people, if you can come to have cultural confidence. this is an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures. comprised of four components, awareness of one's own cultural view, second and attitude towards cultural differences. third, knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews. fourth, to understand cross-cultural skills. so, in my field of study abroad, the best travelers, to be honest, our students, not my colleagues.
my colleagues often times are not as open to try new food and experiences and will complain about conditions, expecting a four star hotel. [laughter] >> or better. i have to explain that four-star in guatemala is not quite four-star in new york city and such. so, you wanted to kind of at orientation orient your vetting process to make sure people are fully aware of the accommodations and what to expect and be open to that. so, thank you for this time, this opportunity to speak with you and again, i went to especially thank ellie here for having me. appreciate that, eleanor 13. her husband, michael, as well who is also with the business
and very supportive with this, with visionary consulting partners. certainly carter and your insight here to those from c-span as well, thank you for being here and joining us and all of you here, of course, thank you for your time and lending me your year. if you, again, desire more details and understanding of it mitigating overseas risk i encourage you to get a copy of "look before leaping". would not quite right. i will have copies. i have learned in the best. so, i will have copies at the end of the program, signed copies for you if you desire to have a copy as well as you can find me online at my website. again, thank you for having me. [applause].
>> we will take questions. if there are any questions, please, this is the time to ask them now. >> you brought up the cases, white or the actual fines levied or what happened to the universities that were found negligent and how they since rectified? >> the courts are complicated and so sometimes you don't even know who the winner is. in the end, a lot of lawsuits and with think tanks settled out of court for an amount that is not disclosed. >> on fire, was not talking about did someone get monetary--
to the program change? did they close the gaps that you mentioned? >> typically they do, yes. they do learn because it's publicized in the last thing they want is for that to be publicized and once it becomes public they have no choice but to make changes, so for example with the case with duke university, they altered their risk assessment documents online and may different changes and so forth and we hope that their emergency response will be a better one in the future. but, once it becomes public they will make changes and from what i understand duke has addressed at bats and others as well. we talked about king in eastern michigan university, that also was addressed and they certainly do not have just one faculty leader for a program anymore and they certainly that those leaders more from what i understand, absolutely.
>> one thing i see missing in terms of best practices when companies go abroad is not engaging, so, you know, a company especially have their culture, their own way of thinking and write to implement it, which necessarily doesn't work. so, is that practice now kind of getting attention, not so much? can you talk about that? >> i think so. i will use an example i think with very work in particular for the split-- particular scenario. it is absolutely essential that you understand and prove reasonable confidence-- competence to go forward and
they have a section devoted to. i will say they will test you wanted, but they are asking you thanks to a session or competence, your and we even had a discussion about the use of the term, which i haven't heard in the number of years. we see it with the recognition given what they do on a global level. for others not sure. >> when you bring your own preconceived, notions, cultural beliefs and being able to step back away from that if you can. >> if i may, the other thing that they were doing with usaid, they are having their first acquisition conference in
victoria, africa, in november. the first time they have ever gotten the mission directors from africa together in one place specifically to introduce and explain how business is done overseas to the american businesses that are coming. so, it's limited to only us small businesses and they are cutting the number down to 200 total companies, but that is the focus of their-- and typically it's because americans don't necessarily know how to deal with a different culture, a different agency and they are just as right in their setting as we are in hours. >> selected to go to south africa and there was some prep-- i think two or three of our employees will be traveling to south africa and i am never been to south africa and we will be
tapping into some of this information that you have provided to us to prepare-- paris or south africa, so yeah and what we will also do is again based on this information that i have received we are tearing that contract apart. we are really doing a thorough review and filling in any holes that we may have to make sure we have as much as we can reduce our liability. it comes back to money. we want to hold onto that, you know. >> sometimes it only takes one mistake. >> one mistake, so again we started in september of last year and we do not know a lot of these things at all. it only took me one glance at his book as i was leafing through and i said my gosh and it was a little frightening for me to say, okay, we have been really fortunate as far. now, let's take some of these
practices and really implement them and that is what we are doing now and that's why we say let's bring the people here. we did not even stop to think you get your word we want to do, you got an award, but contract in europe execute and sometimes you don't take that moment to take a step back and look at the risks and liabilities. i hope this have been helpful for folks even if you have not stepped out there, but maybe you are considering stepping out there and this is what we want to bring to you. thank you. [applause]. >> any other questions, guys? >> i have one. you indicated that you had some additional best practices in your book. do you advocate drafting and then executing and then updating as you go along risk management
plan? >> you have to. i have a close tightknit relationship with legal counsel in my college and so we go back to that form of a time because the risks are currently changing and altering. you never know when something will increase and we have had a difficult of summer with terrorism and so certain regions where i have me set students prior i can't or might approach a different manner, so i am constantly seeing legal counsel and consulting them and we do have a push-pull relationship because i want to have as much opportunity presented to students and as much of the world open to them, but legal counsel can say we really need to have these legalities covered as well and this is the language we had to use, so i use my language, they use their own and we really try to find a great marriage in terms of this sort of documents in the end, but you have to visit it. also, different groups. it's not just necessarily
international ed and it applies to businesses, any committees or groups that have knowledge of overseas risks or ideas in terms of what they want for their future can provide input with that, those documents. absolutely. any other questions that we may address? in the back, yes. >> a few years ago when i was doing work in asia i learned about the financial risks for a small business. certainly, i came out of that learning that you need to get as much money as you can upfront and you need to protect yourself and go over the contract very closely. ..