Parham Nabatian last year read Keith Ferrazzi’s book “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time.” He was struck by a story in the book about a business support group created by Henry Ford, Roy Firestone and Thomas Edison.

Nabatian, the 27-year-old founder of marketing firm Infinite Communications Inc., thought he should start his own support group via a book club for entrepreneurs that would focus on reading books about how to grow a successful company. So he did.

Now, more than a year later, Nabatian and his business partner Kayvan Mott run a book club once a month out of the company’s Sherman Oaks office. The club has nine members, including a jam-making entrepreneur and a communications director for the U.S. Geological Survey. They’ve read books such as “Delivering Happiness” by Inc. Chief Executive Tony Hsieh and “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins.

The lessons have even influenced how Nabatian hires employees. He recently hired an inexperienced but enthusiastic college graduate over a more experienced businessman on the advice of Hsieh’s book.

“He’s now an integral part of the team,” Nabatian said. “The biggest thing is using the tools we learned in the book and we learned from these great books about how businesses that are successful are run.”

Motor Mania

Vinnie Mandzak is known as the “Car Man,” and his new job at RM Motors – an auction house that recently opened an office in Culver City – is finding classic cars that collectors will bid up.

But Mandzak doesn’t let fine two-wheeled rides slip by. The 59-year-old has amassed a personal collection of 22 motorcycles, many of them vintage dirt bikes that he races at off-road courses on the weekends. Last month, he rode his 1979 Maico 450cc in a race in 29 Palms and finished at the head of the pack. He liked the course.

“You can go as fast as you can hold on,” he said.

He started racing dirt bikes in the late 1970s and said it keeps him feeling young.

But the father of three said not everybody is as thrilled with his daredevil antics. Last year, he injured his hamstring when he flew over his handlebars; he’s previously broken his collarbone.

“I put this gear on and I think I’m 25,” he said. “Much to my wife’s dismay.”

Staff reporters Jacquelyn Ryan and Jonathan Polakoff contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at

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