A funny thing happened on the way to Morocco. Actually, it happened at a palace resort on Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania.
Hugh McLaughlin, a physician at Cuyahoga Falls Family Practice, was having breakfast with his vacation travel companion, the director of an Akron-based international tire manufacturer.
"We were surprised when the president of Tanzania walked into the room, but when he walked up to our table and sat down, we were stunned," says McLaughlin.
Audaciously, the Tanzanian ruler told the tire manufacturer he wanted "a little Christmas present."
"He told my friend to give him $12,000 if he wanted to keep his factory running in that country," McLaughlin exclaims.
"It was amazing. President Clinton had just given this president $12 million two days before, but I guess that wasn't enough, because here he was, trying to squeeze every other American businessman he heard was in town," McLaughlin laughs.
Who wants to be a millionaire?
If your business provides computer training, what better way to conduct your job interview process than to have candidates demonstrate their teaching talents?
During its recent search for a qualified instructor, Fairlawn-based New Horizons Computer Learning Centers Inc. had 15 prospects make five-minute presentations to a class audience.
"The topic they chose didn't matter, because we were looking for classroom presence, voice projection, speaking skills and eye contact," says Mark Koenig, New Horizons' general manager.
Among the applicants -- including retired college professors, former teachers, sales reps and other professionals -- one presenter demonstrated how to make a pressman's hat.
"There we all were, making paper hats in class," Koenig laughs.
Another candidate with a sales, computer and musical background explained how to make a million dollars by uploading personally composed music onto MP3.com.
In the end, the choice was simple, says Koenig.
"What helped us decide was the applicant's strong presentation, audience rapport and, of course, computer strengths," he says.
After all, everyone wants to be a millionaire.
You must be so proud
Speaking of highly rated game shows, you might be proud because your son or daughter is a doctor, a lawyer, a biochemist -- whatever. But Doug Cowan has something bigger to boast about.
"My son is the creator and executive producer of 'Temptation Island,'" crows Cowan, chairman and CEO of The Dave Tree Expert Co. in Kent.
Cowan says his son, Chris Cowan, got his start after studying film production at Ohio University, and launching Rocket Science Laboratories, a film production company in Hollywood, Calif.
"Before this show, he and his partner already had an impressive resume, even winning an Emmy in 1998 for a TV special they did. But this is their first series, and the numbers are just incredible," says Cowan.
Asked how he feels about his son's creative role in such a highly rated production, Cowan chuckles, "Highly rated, or highly racy?"
Way cool business tool
Think cool. Think high-tech. Think again.
Many executives rely on cutting-edge tools, such as PDAs, PalmPilots and Handsprings. But Ray Gehani prefers something that seems archaic, considering his profession.
"For 20 years, I've been researching, practicing and teaching technology management, yet my favorite business tool is Post-It Pads made by 3M," says Gehani, assistant professor of management and international business at the University of Akron's College of Business Administration.
"Post-It Notes are perfect for capturing, storing, retrieving and developing my intuitive insights that pop up at odd times and places. They're my best knowledge management system for the 21st century, better than any electronic gadgetry on the market," Gehani coos. "And 3M didn't pay me to say all these wonderful things about their simple product, which is based on a sophisticated surface coating polymer technology."
Interestingly, as part of the university's Technology Management Group, Gehani specializes in polymer technology.