Newsclips Featured

9:45am EDT July 22, 2002
The proof is in the cookie

Talk about soothsaying. Ralph Della Ratta, senior managing director of McDonald & Co. Securities in Cleveland and manager of its corporate finance, recently accepted an honor on behalf of McDonald & Co. for 40 years of continuous support of the Achievement Centers for Children (McDonald’s founder was one of the ACC founders). The afternoon of the event, Della Ratta and his wife had tea and fortune cookies. Della Ratta’s fortune read: “If a true sense of value is to come forth, it must be through service.”

Later, at the evening event, Della Ratta relayed those prophetic words. “We’re all in business and competitive,” he says. “But you can come together and work on something you believe in. At the end of the day, that’s what community service is all about.”

Priority shift

As the calendar rolled over from 1999 to 2000, executive priorities made a subtle shift. More than 31 percent of the nation’s entrepreneurs say they plan to devote the most time this year to family matters, according to an American Express poll. Growing their businesses ranked second at 21 percent.

Other priorities include getting organized (13 percent), brushing up on technology skills (13 percent) and getting and staying in shape (11 percent). Meanwhile, the poll revealed that 35 percent of those execs plan to keep better records this year. Apparently, with all the time they plan to spend with their families, they expect to put their company books in better order ... just in case.

Lick the loopholes

Frustrated by undue legal loopholes, unnecessary government regulation and bureaucratic roadblocks that hamper your endeavors to succeed as an emerging growth company? Then voice your opinion at, and ally with American Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth, a nationwide network of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs who serve as a united voice for growth.

Profiles in currency

Working on your first million? Every wonder how being a millionaire might affect your lifestyle? According to William D. Danko and Thomas J. Stanley, authors of “The Millionaire Next Door,” a typical millionaire with a net worth of $1 million or more:

  • Is 57 years old;

  • Is self-employed in an ordinary business;

  • Works 45-55 hours each week;

  • Buys (not leases) an older model car;

  • Owns a home with an average value of $320,000;

  • Has a median household income of $131,000;

  • Invests about 20 percent of annual income.

Netrepreneurial research

Ready to cash in on that next great dot-com IPO? The future may not bring as many as you might expect. According to the first “netrepreneurs” survey by Ernst & Young LLP, 50 percent of Internet company owners say they have no plans to go public.

Here’s what else the survey found out about this emerging breed of business person:

  • 69 percent run profitable companies;

  • Independence and fun are preferred over stock options as ways to attract talented employees;

  • Respondents say they plan to start, on average, five online businesses in their lifetimes;

  • 27 percent would have gone into corporate life if the Internet didn’t exist.

As for the other 50 percent, who plan to take their companies public, keep your eyes peeled and your portfolio managers on notice.

Kids’ play

Cleveland-based Creativity for Kids (featured in the February 1998 SBN) was recently acquired by Faber-Castell USA Inc. Creativity for Kids, one of the city’s hidden treasures, manufactures children’s arts and activity kits. Faber-Castell markets art and graphic products worldwide.

“This joining represents an entrée for Faber-Castell USA into the specialty toy retailer market,” says Christopher Wiedenmayer, Faber-Castell CEO. Creativity for Kids co-founders Phyllis Brody and Evelyn Greenwald remain as co-COOs, and the company’s headquarters will remain in Cleveland.