Cascade Capital Corp.’s 20th Annual Business Growth Awards

How Sue Grabowski’s generosity and strategic mind helped Grabowski & Co. reach new heights

akr_bga_SueGrabowskiSue Grabowski
Grabowski & Co.
(330) 498-0753


Winner: Service, Sales Growth, Emerging Company

From humble beginnings 17 years ago in a spare room of her home, Sue Grabowski launched her business. Grabowski & Co. is a marketing communications firm serving a range of organizations, from Fortune 500 firms to small businesses and nonprofits. The firm focuses on honing client’s messages, and those messages conveyed through words, art and various online platforms. Grabowski, company president, gears up her team, creates a game plan for clients and builds strong relationships in the community.

The company has shown promising growth with its service offerings, business location and client base, significantly expanding its Web and design services and adding a social media director to help clients in the digital arena. Several creative positions such as art directors, Web director and Web programmer have been added to the team. Since April of 2014, three more members were added to the firm.

In 2014, a second building was purchased behind the existing headquarters to accommodate its expanding staff. The purpose of the new building is to house the art and Web teams.

Over the past five years, 30 new clients have been added to the firm’s already robust roster, which has helped the company double its revenue since 2009.

Grabowski & Co. has a family culture that has helped maintain relationships in the community. Employees of the company are encouraged to be actively involved as well.

Employees are not grounded to specific titles and duties. Grabowski wants her team to pursue their talents and passions in order to soar.

Innovative services have helped Eric Graf spur growth at Ritzman Pharmacies

akr_bga_EricGrafEric Graf
President & CEO
Ritzman Pharmacy Inc.
(330) 335-2318


Winner: Service, Sales Growth, Established Company

Ritzman Pharmacies Inc. has been a family-owned fixture in its community for over 60 years. Its mission is to provide comfort, security and care in filling the needs of its customers with quality products, professional excellence and service beyond the commonplace. The outcomes were a result of personal service to customers and the acquisition of small, family-owned pharmacy stores.

The mission has resulted in established sales and growth. Over the past five years the company has increased from 11 to 27 business units and 160 to 315 associates. Ritzman Pharmacy now has 25 retail pharmacy locations around Northeast Ohio. It has also seen revenues nearly double since 2009.

One successful business unit is Ritzman Med-Dose service, a compliance packaging service that dispenses patient’s medications in containers marked for the precise date and time when medicine should be taken. The dispensing method is helping keep hundreds of people compliant with their medications and able to stay in their own homes, as well as minimizing hospital events.

Another innovative business unit is a home infusion services company, which allows people to leave the hospital while still using an IV until therapy is complete. Customers can live productive lives at home or work while managing their treatments.

Ritzman Pharmacy’s achievements have been made possible because of its compassionate and loyal staff. Their commitment has been the foundation of the success the company has built. Ritzman pharmacists and employees continue to provide top-notch customer service, working to make each customer feel comfortable.

EnviroScience CEO Daniel Dunstan and President Martin Hilovsky put their faith in people

akr_bga_DanDunstanDaniel Dunstan




akr_bga_MartinHilovskyMartin Hilovsky
EnviroScience Inc.
(330) 688-0111


Winner: Service, Employee Growth, Emerging Company

Employees are the heart and soul of EnviroScience Inc. The environmental and ecological company that was founded in 1989 owes its longevity to hiring motivated people and assisting them in pursing their talents.

Company CEO Daniel Dunstan and President Martin Hilovsky have provided the necessary time, money and support that has allowed key employees to purse innovative business opportunities outside of EnviroScience’s core services. The support comes in the form of faith from upper management and encouraging calculated risks. The success of this philosophy has led to new divisions within the company. Additionally, ample opportunities have assisted employees to climb the corporate ladder to achieve management positions.

The team is the most important resource at EnviroScience and employees share in the accomplishments. The company has a long-standing policy that requires 35 percent of its net income each year go directly back to the employees by way of bonuses. Another motivational tool used is to foster taking ownership. When bonuses are apportioned, more emphasis is put on departments having the highest profitability. Employees are inspired to work their best with solid results.

Over the past five years the staff and profits have more than doubled, with 36 employees joining the company since 2009.

The company is looking forward to a very productive second half, and plans to branch out its marketing efforts to include other industries and governmental agencies. The expected result is a company that continues to succeed, one employee at a time.

How Sam Falleta keeps the business dialogue moving at Incept

akr_bga_SamFallettaSam Falleta
(330) 649-8000


Winner: Service, Employee Growth, Established Company

Relationships are essential to Incept’s CEO, Sam Falleta. The marketing firm specializes in the development and strengthening of relationships with current and prospective customers.

Founded in 1993, the company strives to push past the preconceived notions of working with a contact center. Stakeholders are not greeted with automated responses and monotone voices, Incept is a conversational business culture.

Incept is powered by the belief that one-on-one personal relationships are central to people’s lives, and that the building blocks of those relationships are conversations. A productive conversation involves active listening in order to grasp the underlying motivations and wants of a client. The goal is for any employee or customer to leave a discussion feeling valued and understood.

Incept’s philanthropic efforts are equally important to the company. A charitable organization, InceptGives, contributes to countless local charities and causes. InceptGives is responsible for the distribution of 10 percent of Incept’s annual earnings to worthwhile causes locally, nationally and internationally.

More than 100 jobs have been created through the efforts of Incept, with the company’s staff growing from 140 in 2009 to 259 in 2012.

The company has won many accolades, including being named Top Workplace in Northeast Ohio three of the last four years by The Plain Dealer and Workplace Dynamics. In 2013 it was named one of five psychologically healthy workplaces by Ohio Psychological Association, honors that reflect why Incept continues to be a place where employees enjoy working and thriving.

How Dave Michelson and National Interstate Insurance Co. have capitalized on 25 years of momentum

akr_bga_DaveMichelsonDave Michelson
President & CEO
National Interstate Insurance Co.
(330) 659-8900


Winner: Service, Best Story

January 2014 was a time to clink glasses and toast. National Interstate Insurance Co., a specialty property and casualty insurance holding company, reached a milestone — its 25th anniversary. Using knowledge the company has gained during that time, the company is looking to focus its efforts on core products that have made it successful, while exploring new opportunities in underserved niches to fuel growth.

The company has expanded into new markets, such as developing a new insurance program designed to serve the needs of the for-profit ambulance market. National Interstate has also started providing excess liability insurance.

Over the past two years the company has received four U.S. Captive Service awards.

National Interstate feels strongly that these milestones would not have been possible without the hard work of its employees. Retaining its most valuable asset — its people — requires finding ways to enhance employee benefits and make National Interstate a great place to work.

The company has contributed to the community through blood and food drives, as well as other charity activities. In 2013, the corporation partnered with Kent State to offer scholarships to students who are studying for an insurance or related business degree. The goal is to maintain a pipeline of the best candidates, while also keeping jobs, taxes and talent in Northeast Ohio.

The result has been an 83 percent growth in sales. Employee count increased from 300 in 2009 to some 600 nationwide today, giving twice as many employees a reason to celebrate success.