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Cle clm 0314 chuck fowler “Resource-ful”   @FM_sand


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Sustainable development pays



At Fairmount Minerals, one of North America’s largest producers of industrial sand and resin-coated products, we believe that an investment in sustainable development — our people, our environment and the communities where we operate — is an investment in our organization. Daily the Fairmount Family brings to life our motto of “Do Good. Do Well.” by embracing sustainability.

In 2010, we began calculating the impact of our Sustainable Development program as a result of cost savings or cost avoidance and termed it, “SD Pays.” This program encompasses both tangible and intangible value as determined by each of our 13 sustainable development teams. Tangible value is calculated on a monthly basis with the goal of an annual dollar summary. For projects that span multiple years for implementation and where the scope remains the same, savings are credited and applied to each year.


Savings outpace expenses

In our first year, we spent less than $5.8 million on the program, but recorded more than $11 million in savings. This included one of our most successful ongoing projects for the Sustainable Value Chain team. The project entails switching from cardboard box packaging to a reusable and recyclable bulk bag. It saves us more than $650,000 annually and hundreds of thousands of pounds of packaging avoid the landfill.

Some areas we consider include material cost reduction, reduction of resources and increased operations efficiency. Intangible value is also important to meeting our people, planet and prosperity goals. Documentation takes the form of qualitative stories and anecdotal evidence. Examples include such things as social license to operate, talent attraction and retention, improved community relations and improved employee work/life balance.

Annually, we measure and manage how much the program “pays” as well as how much the program costs. The costs include items such as sustainable development team expenses, department expenses and community investment spending.

Another successful project resulting in SD Pays comes from the Sustainable Mobility team. Its goal is to maximize tonnage loaded in railcars, utilize barging when applicable and capitalize on Fairmount’s logistical and distribution network by shipping via unit train when applicable. In 2013, savings for this team totaled more than $8.6 million from a reduction in fuel consumption, which also results in a reduction in carbon emissions.


Carbon footprint improvements

Finally, the last project we would like to highlight comes from the Quest for Eco-Efficiency team. Fairmount Minerals is focused on ways in which we can improve our carbon footprint, and one of the ways we have identified is through increasing our use of renewable energy.

Building upon our successful solar array project at our Best Sand facility in Chardon, we again partnered with Bold Alternatives, an alternative energy firm, to install a solar array at our Menomonie, Wisc., facility in 2011. The array currently supplies 1 percent of the facility’s total energy draw, as well as completely offsets the energy usage for the office building.

While this may not seem like a significant contribution to our energy needs or SD Pays, we anticipate a three- to four-year payback on the project, which will allow us to continue to invest in alternative energy opportunities. In addition, the solar array represents an important intangible SD Pays. As part of the installation, we hosted students and the community as an educational tool so they could observe and participate in the process. This project illustrated our “Do Good. Do Well.” motto in action.

While we calculate the ways in which “sustainable development pays” to help quantify the value of our efforts for the Fairmount Family, our investors and other stakeholders, we also do so with the hope of inspiring other companies — helping them to see that sustainability supports economic value creation. We can definitely say, without any question, that SD Pays. ●


Chuck Fowler is the retired CEO of Fairmount Minerals. He is a longtime proponent of sustainable business practices and actively encourages environmental, social and economic responsibility. For more information, visit


It was 11 years ago this month that Thomas F. Zenty III took over as CEO of University Hospitals. Since then, he’s stemmed the bleeding from a row of financial losses and turned the operation around. While he’s quite proud of that achievement — for his team and himself — it’s not the only accomplishment that makes him beam with pride.

It has to do with people.

“From a leadership standpoint, one of the things I am proudest of is that many of the people who preceded me are still here today,” he says. “So many times you come into an organization, and there has to be wholesale, massive management changes. We didn’t do that here. In fact, virtually everyone who was here prior to my arrival is still here today.

“I didn’t think we really needed to focus on that, and I think history proves us right.”

But that’s not to say the health care industry hasn’t — and isn’t — going through major changes.

“We are going through some major transformational changes, but the work that we do hasn’t really changed: our focus on the patients, our mission, all the things that we need to do to make certain that people receive world-class care in our industry and in our organization.”

Just as the assembly line changed the automotive industry forever, the health care industry is at a crossroads. Change, in fact, may well be the health care industry’s middle name.

Zenty doesn’t fear change. He racked up experience prior to arriving at UH with leadership roles at health systems in California, Arizona, New Jersey and Connecticut.

While some CEOs can’t deal with the pain change brings, the reluctance to “get with the program” is often fueled by fear of the unknown. It’s the product of well-established habits and it’s a conviction that things will get back to old familiar ways — that the CEO will be seen as a sagacious knight in shining armor.

Ready to break those concepts, Zenty felt confident that the health care being delivered at University Hospitals was not the problem. Coming in the door he knew there were four things that he needed to identify as major areas to concentrate on. Not surprisingly, change had to occur in each area — quality, efficiency, transparency and focus.

“There were a lot of business elements that had to be addressed, but the mission, the vision and the clinical capabilities that we had were second to none,” Zenty says.

Here’s a look at how Zenty leads his team to be unthreatened by change at the $2.3 billion health system with more than 24,000 employees and physicians.


Assess who is delivering the quality

Getting a clear picture of any problem is the first step in finding out what changes need to be made.

The analysis doesn’t need a lengthy study, and while all CEOs obviously don’t have the same executive microscope to examine personnel, there are some universal techniques to use.

“I think there is a fair amount of instinct that goes along with leadership style, and whether or not there is a fit, both with the organization and with how leaders really should comport themselves,” Zenty says. “I look for content; I want to make sure people are content rich. I found a lot of very, very intellectually gifted people with a strong understanding of the industry — people very committed to the organization, and that was abundantly clear all along.”

The workforce assessment took Zenty 30 days, during which he had in-depth meetings with all the senior staff. He adopted the concept that UH needed to make certain its business acumen matched its clinical acumen and could deliver the quality for which it was known.

“We have an extraordinary team of people; we have an extraordinary organization in terms of our commitment to the communities that we serve.

“I knew we had the right people,” he says. “But it wasn’t so certain that we were properly cast in our roles.

“There will always be fabulous physicians, and outstanding nurses and other clinicians and caregivers. What we are really going to have to reorder is the way that we think about how we take care of patients.”

Zenty and his team began to draw up a comprehensive plan to address these and other issues.


Take quality and efficiency measures

The words quality and efficiency often appear in the same sentence when describing how to align people and systems to deliver a continuous stream of value to the customer and eliminate waste and inefficiencies at the same time. Sometimes that means transformational change.

The health care industry in general is undergoing such a change, away from a volume to a value equation, Zenty says. That viewpoint has been growing in acceptance, and UH in 2005 decided to launch a five-year plan called Vision 2010, made up of multiple components to affect the necessary changes.

“It’s no longer being paid for each thing that we do, but rather being rewarded for outcomes — not just for inputs,” Zenty says.

“Vision 2010 included a focus on quality; it included some new buildings, service-offering sites,” he says. “We now have about 21 ambulatory sites and a number of hospitals, depending upon how you count them. We have a broad distributed network now of physicians in an eight-county region. We have great relationships with about 2,000 private practice doctors, and on the main campus, we have about 900 faculty members.”

What it all translates to is that UH started with one concept of Vision 2010 as a major institutional construction project, but it resulted in having a whole new way of doing business.

“We thought, ‘What are the components that go along with making Vision 2010 a true, community-based project?’” Zenty says. “How are we going to engage community members as part of our overall decision-making process and engage them in meaningful ways that they have not been engaged before?”

To accomplish its Vision 2010 goals to make the local region economically better while growing the UH footprint, the organization turned to its commitment to community responsibility.

“Not only did we create Vision 2010 for the needs of the communities that we serve, but during the course of it, we focused on things like the quality of care that we provide,” Zenty says. “Quality was our No. 1 priority, like investing in the communities by doing a project labor agreement, evidenced by our commitment to local spend, female business spend, minority business spend — we set these goals out early in the process of Vision 2010, and we set them without the need to do so.

“At the time, they were sort of ceiling goals but now they are foundation goals. In addition, if you look at what we did with our project labor agreement, that has now become the foundation for other major projects that have taken place in Northeast Ohio.”

As a result, the community as a whole has become the most important stakeholder.

“Vision 2010 was a point-in-time issue, meaning that we knew we had to position our organization with a broader footprint, bigger geography, with several areas of focus. And we created our strategy. You stay with the four themes — quality, efficiency, transparency and focus — and we were rather relentless on how we approached what we needed to do in those regards,” Zenty says.

“Vision 2010 was the product of so many people that nothing pleases me more than when everyone took credit for making it happen. And that to me is what leadership is all about. It’s about shared ownership, shared responsibility, shared accomplishment — and shared recognition.”


Ensure transparency

No matter what kind of entity you manage, an integral component of your brand is trust. One of the most effective ways to build that trust is often through transparency. This is especially the case when your organization is facing a crossroads.

For UH, it realized some time ago that the hospital industry, in terms of the laws of supply and demand, was moving from an environment of supply-induced demand to demand-induced supply.

“These are the same words, rejiggered, but fundamentally changing the way we as an industry need to think about this,” Zenty says. “We have 5,500 hospitals in the United States all having to rethink how we are going to be delivering the best quality care we can in the future.”

This creates a priority in matters such as pricing. It is more important than ever for patients to be able to compare the cost of medical treatments.

“Transparency — transparency around co-pays, transparencies around deductibles, transparency around expected outcomes — things that we have all been focused upon here for the past seven or eight years will be expected and frankly demanded by the consumers,” he says.

Among those demands is the rate of “product recalls” — or in the health care industry, rates of readmission.

“At University Hospitals, we don’t have a problem with readmission rates because we do well in this particular category,” Zenty says.

“For example, we had a fairly large population of sickle cell anemia patients with high rates of readmission. We found ways to focus on activities that ameliorate that need to be readmitted; instead, being taken care of either in an ambulatory environment or better, at home.

“It’s like the old management dictum: What gets measured gets managed.”

Hospitals are all examining readmission rates as an industry in far more detail than before.

“We are finding many solutions to problems that have a relatively straightforward solution that we didn’t think about before because we automatically got paid for readmissions. But that is no longer the case.

“So when we think about the financial benefits where detriments that go along with health care today, things like wrong site surgeries, high readmission rates — we need to be focused on what we are doing with patients and their families as an industry, not what we are doing to patients and their families,” Zenty says. “We need to make sure that we are taking care of the entire needs of patients.”


Getting — and staying in — focus

If your goal is to deliver quality efficiently and transparently, many businesses find the fundamental solution is to become a values-driven organization.

“Values-driven leadership teams have enormous leverage opportunities that we need to make certain we continue to focus on in the future,” Zenty says. “For example, when we put Vision 2010 together, that wasn’t one person’s thought process. The idea of having a single individual who has all the right answers is an outmoded paradigm.”

UH espouses the values of excellence, diversity, integrity, compassion and teamwork.

“In each of those, we have shown extraordinary progress,” he says, noting the many awards the health system has achieved for excellence, a diverse workforce, ethical operation, compassionate care and teamwork at every level.

“When you are a values-driven organization, and you measure your performance in the values of quality, efficiency, transparency and focus, it makes an enormous difference in your success,” he says.

Strategic planning meetings on a regular basis can keep the organization on track.

“We have quarterly strategic planning meetings where we talk through what we think is going to be happening in health care in whatever defined period of time that we select,” Zenty says. “So for example, our strategic plan is a three-to-five year view. Then we create annual operating plans in which each of our entities has annual operating performance goals required.

“We involve a lot of people in our strategic planning process. It is very iterative. We do it internally; we don’t have outside experts who are preparing our strategic plan for us. We do it all through our strategic planning office.

“What matters is having an engaged group of people who are all pulling in the same direction. These are mission-driven people who believe in the organization that they work for — people who believe in what we are and what we do.”

How to reach: University Hospitals, (216) 844-8447 or



Find out who can deliver quality.
Make transparency a priority.
Teams with a sharp focus will contribute to the success of the entire organization.


The Zenty File

Name: Thomas F. Zenty III
Title: CEO
Organization: University Hospitals 

Birthplace: Jermyn, Pa., “The Birthplace of First Aid in America.” I mean you’ve got to be known for something. 

Education: Bachelor of science in health planning and administration from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in public administration from New York University, master’s degree in health administration from Xavier University and an honorary doctorate of laws degree. 

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

I was a farmhand at the age of 14 on a dairy farm. You milked the cows twice a day whether you wanted to or not. But you learn a lot when you work in an environment like that. You learn about responsibility, you learn about commitment, you learn to be self-sufficient. You learn that you have to work your way out of problems because there aren't many people around to ask for help. And you learn that you have to be very thoughtful about everything that you do in an environment like that because it is hazardous — it's hard work. You also learn to figure out how to fix things, do things that you might not otherwise do. You grow up quickly. I was driving a truck when I was 14 years old, a tractor, and all those things. It forces you to become self-sufficient and to be your own mechanic. There was always something breaking on the farm, whether it was a baling machine, conveyor belts, milking machines, whatever it was. It was a good education. 

Who do you admire in business?

Two books that I read rather consistently transcend business, and they are focused more on leadership. One is called “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, and it was written around 500 B.C. The other is “The Prince” by Machiavelli. I read each of those books from time to time to transcend the issue of business, but really, I read for the great discussions about leadership. So for example, one of Sun Tzu’s famous quotes is, “Imagine what I could do if I could do all that I can.” That's very impressive when you think about it. He talks about the importance of taking care of people. He talks about when to advance and when not to advance, about the circumstance under which you make decisions and about the importance of business intelligence. “The Prince,” of course, was written in a different time and place, but nonetheless there are always some interesting lessons to be learned from reading it. In terms of business, Peter Drucker probably would be the singular person I would note because he is the father of modern American business, but I have admiration for so many other people as well who are successful in the business world.

 What is the best business advice you ever received?

My first mentor was someone in whom I had great admiration. This was right after I came out of graduate school. Her point was basically something that Sun Tzu said: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. And tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” In effect, that is what she said to me. She said focus on the strategy, but don't lose sight of the tactics. Be strategic in everything you do, but don't overlook the details. That to me was terrific business advice. She also said to surround yourself with the best people that you can find, it’s the only way you are going to leverage yourself to success. 

What is your definition of business success?

Success in business to me arises when you are able to accomplish your mission and accomplish your vision in a values-driven environment in which people matter most. That's my simplest definition. The good news is that our mission statement is very easy to remember and repeat: “To heal, to teach and to discover.” We work on this every day, and that's why our values are so important to us. 

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Twitter @UHhospitals | @UHRainbowBabies


University Hospitals – A decade of accomplishments


Beginning in 2003, under the leadership of new CEO Thomas F. Zenty III, University Hospitals dramatically improved its financial health and set upon a journey to expand its heath care offerings.

2004: UH experiences its first operational profit in more than a decade, due to a solid strategic plan, cost management initiatives and the closure or divestiture of unprofitable business lines and facilities — an important milestone that UH is now building upon as the system continues to strengthen its financial position. 

2005: UH launches Vision 2010, a five-year $1.2 billion strategic plan, which includes building a freestanding 120-bed cancer hospital, UH Seidman Cancer Center; Center for Emergency Medicine and Marcy R. Horvitz Pediatric Emergency Center at UH Case Medical Center; and Quentin & Elisabeth Alexander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. The strategic plan also includes building UH Ahuja Medical Center, a 144-bed hospital and outpatient medical building in Beachwood, and several outpatient health centers throughout Northeast Ohio.

2006: The University Hospitals Health System name is shortened to University Hospitals as part of a broad strategy to build a strong UH brand. As part of this process, University Hospitals of Cleveland becomes University Hospitals Case Medical Center, reflecting the primary affiliation with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The new UH name and bold red logo were designed to clearly and consistently communicate the system’s identity to patients, families and the communities UH serves. The logo reflects the UH brand promise of patient-centered care. 

December 2006: UH announces a $30 million gift from Monte and Usha Ahuja and family; in honor of the gift, UH names the proposed UH Ahuja Medical Center in their honor.

January 2008: The City of Cleveland, UH and the Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council announces the signing of an historic project labor agreement for UH’s Vision 2010 construction projects. UH is awarded the Economic Impact Award from the Cleveland Commission on Economic Inclusion in recognition of the groundbreaking project labor agreement. 

Summer 2008: UH receives one of the largest financial gifts in its history — $22.6 million — to establish the UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. The donation, believed to be among the largest in the country given to a cardiovascular institute, is unique in that it is earmarked for development of innovative technologies and clinical advancements for the early diagnosis and prevention of heart disease. 

Spring 2009: The Quentin & Elisabeth Alexander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opens. 

June 2010: Case Western Reserve University and UH Case Medical Center establish the Philips Healthcare Global Advanced Imaging Innovation Center in partnership with Philips Healthcare. Through the nearly $40 million center, which has established Cleveland as a worldwide hub for imaging equipment, the latest Philips Healthcare imaging equipment is brought to UH Case Medical Center for development, validation of clinical efficacy and product release. 

2010: UH launches its first Accountable Care Organization. The UH ACO service line continues to grow and now includes three ACOs with more than 170,000 self-insured, commercially insured, Medicare and Medicaid members and beneficiaries in addition to UH employees and their dependents. UH’s ACO is among the nation’s largest, and one of the few providing coordinated care, disease management and case-management services to all populations, from infants to senior citizens. 

November 2010: UH announces the launch of Discover the Difference: The Campaign for University Hospitals, with a goal of $1 billion. The campaign’s public phase is launched with the announcement of a $42 million gift from Jane and Lee Seidman. In honor of the gift, UH renamed the Ireland Cancer Center to UH Seidman Cancer Center. 

2011: UH completes Vision 2010, which had more than $750 million in construction projects. Openings that year include UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH Seidman Cancer Center and Center for Emergency Medicine.

February 2012: The Harrington Discovery Institute at UH Case Medical Center is launched as part of a $250 million national model to accelerate the development of medical breakthroughs by physician-scientists into medicines that benefit patients. Included in the model is the independent Cleveland-based development company BioMotiv. The Harrington Discovery Institute is supported by a $50 million gift to UH — the largest donation in the health system’s history — from the Harrington family, recognized entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Cleveland. 

July 2012: UH Case Medical Center receives the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize as the nation’s top hospital for leadership and innovation in quality improvement and patient safety. 

December 2012: UH achieves its ambitious Discover the Difference campaign goal of $1 billion. This extraordinary result was made possible through the generosity of esteemed benefactor Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation, which committed $32.5 million in support of the campaign. As a result, the health system expands the fundraising campaign to $1.5 billion — the largest campaign in the history of Northeast Ohio and one of two major health systems in the nation engaged in a campaign of this magnitude. The campaign has drawn gifts from more than 65,000 donors. 

March 2013: UH opens the UH Rehabilitation Hospital, a joint venture with Centerre Healthcare. The UH Rehabilitation Hospital is a state-of-the-art freestanding acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Beachwood. 

April 2013: UH was ranked No. 1 on the Hospital Systems Specialty List of the 2013 DiversityInc “Top 50 Companies for Diversity.” 

July 2013: UH Case Medical Center is named one of only 18 hospitals on the U.S. News & World Report prestigious Honor Roll of America’s finest hospitals, and ranks among the nation’s 50 best in all 12 methodology-ranked specialties. 

Fall 2013: UH announces record investment in Community Benefit programs totaling $273 million in 2012, up more than $100 million since 2007. This significant contribution represents 12.41 percent of the health system’s total operating expenses in 2012, which is above the national average of 8.4 percent, according to the most recent data (2009) published by the American Hospital Association. 

December 2013 -- Parma Community General Hospital and EMH Healthcare of Elyria join the UH health system. 

January 2014: UH announces letter of intent with Robinson Memorial Hospital of Ravenna. 

Vision 2010 projects 

Quentin & Elisabeth Alexander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
11100 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
$27 million
Opened spring 2009 

Center for Emergency Medicine

UH Case Medical Center
11100 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
$41 million
Opened July 2011
Landscaping (includes Schneider Healing Garden and 1.5 acre urban park along Euclid Avenue) $7 million — opened July 2011 

UH Seidman Cancer Center

UH Case Medical Center
11100 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
$260 million
Opened June 2011 

Breen Breast Health Pavilion

UH Case Medical Center
11100 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
$6.5 million
Opened June 2011

UH Ahuja Medical Center

University Hospitals
3999 Richmond Road, Beachwood
$298 million
Opened March 2011 

Visitor parking garage

UH Case Medical Center
11100 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
$30 million
Opened fall 2010  

UH Medina Health Center

University Hospitals
Medina, Ohio
$10 million
Opened spring 2010 

UH Sharon Health Center

University Hospitals
5133 Ridge Road, Wadsworth
$3 million
Opened spring 2010

 UH Concord Health Center

University Hospitals
7500 Auburn Road, Concord Township
$29 million

Opened July 2009 

UH Geneva Health Center

University Hospitals
870 West Main St., Geneva
$3.6 million
Opened November 2008

UH Twinsburg Health Center

University Hospitals
8819 Commons Blvd., Twinsburg
$18 million (plus $2.4 million new ED opened spring 2011)
Opened fall 2007

Bashar Nejdawi doesn’t even pause when asked for an example of talent in action at North American Mobility, a division of Ingram Micro Inc., formerly known as BrightPoint Inc., a global leader in life cycle services for mobile devices — smartphones, tablets and accessories.

To him, a key differentiator for an organization is not how it operates when everything is running smoothly, but how it performs when things aren’t.

“That’s the true test of an organization,” Nejdawi says. “How you deal with it tells a lot about you as a team and also as individuals. That is where you see the key differentiator in terms of people where you have the talent, the way you handle crisis and the way you handle challenges.”

Take for example a recent power outage that interrupted operations at a facility in Central America.

“We lost power down in our facility in Costa Rica, and the power went down for the whole industrial area,” says Nejdawi, president of the firm that tallied $5.5 billion in annual revenue as BrightPoint in 2012. “The backup generators that we had were not enough to run the whole facility to continue production.”

Ingram Micro acquired BrightPoint in 2012 to build and develop its capability in the mobility business.

The pressure was on because Ingram Micro had a Tier II customer that was growing fast, was on a very tight schedule and needed the units “yesterday.”

“The team really pulled together both in terms of figuring out what we had that hasn’t been processed, figuring out the solution for the backup generator, but more important was getting the production back online quickly enough and then making up for it,” he says.

“Instead of everybody waiting for the process to take care of it itself, we really jumped in to figure out how to adjust the process to address the situation even faster. Then we managed it with the customer and caught up on the volume.

“Those are the kinds of things that will happen, and when they do happen, it’s also a learning exercise. That’s when you see how the team reacts, and you see the individuals in the team step up to those challenges.”

While challenges like that involve handling a crisis, Nejdawi says the biggest challenge facing a business is to have strong executive leadership and a talented team. “Talent is tough to come by,” he says. “As you grow a business, you obviously grow the team. You need to load up your organization, your team, to do more and more. The search for talent is always a big challenge for any company that’s really looking to grow.”

Here’s how Nejdawi puts together 2,500 talented team members, trains them and focuses them to deliver the goods.


Take stock of your location

While “location, location, location” may be the phrase often used in describing the most important factor in buying real estate, it plays an even more critical role in the high tech industry when it comes to talent.

“I put talent as No. 1 because if you have the right people in the right places and you have a talented team, then you will have lots of opportunities to grow,” he says.

“Focusing on talent and getting the right executive team in place is the first path to addressing challenges and figuring out the market dynamics and the opportunities and coming up with the right level of solutions, and the right solutions for the market.”

Nejdawi joined Ingram Micro Mobility in 2008 and served in several senior roles before becoming president of North America Mobility a year ago, which gave him a good grasp of the employment situation in Indianapolis — and he liked what he saw.

“That’s really been one of the great attractions for us being in the area,” he says. “We see a lot of good talent from a supply and services perspective. From a distribution perspective, Indianapolis really has a lot to offer, which is why we draw on that talent consistently and constantly.”

But even in an area that may be a talent gold mine, there is a task at hand.

“I have no special recipe for recruiting,” Nejdawi says. “I think like in a lot of other things, there are no shortcuts to hard work on that one. You have to be personally involved as an executive in searching out talent through connections, through local contacts, through universities.”

The presence of universities and educational programs is a big plus to consider, he says.

“We’ve done a pretty good job at Ingram Micro Mobility partnering over the years on a local level with universities, and we have taken on individuals through a fellowship program. That has been a tremendous source of talent for us.

“And having grown up in the Indianapolis area with so many distribution, logistics and supply chain service business — this has really given us very, very good talent to draw on.”

Within that talent pool, examining how its network operates may offer some opportunities. Nejdawi observes that the mobile device industry is actually a very small business in general and you are often bumping into fellow associates and former colleagues in the normal operation of business, creating opportunities.

The relationships that have been developed are valuable in generating everything from referrals for job candidates to those for potential customers.

“You could be a customer one day, you could be working for a manufacturer the next day,” he says. “I have been in the business now for over 30 years, and I continue to bump into people that I either have worked with during my time at Motorola or that I worked with during their time at a carrier.”


Invest in training employees

Recruiting the best talent available is one thing, but once you have your talent in place, you have to invest time and effort on training.

“There is a certain amount of training that you can put people through, but at the end of the day, the best training is on-the-job,” Nejdawi says.
He finds that a well-structured approach with a strong team that focuses on training and talent development is critical.

When new employees or new talent at various levels is hired — all the way down into the warehousing level — the company has a specific program for them.

“But the most important thing when you bring in new talent is making sure that you have a proper orientation. The worst thing that you can do is bring people in and then within the first couple of weeks they are trying to find their way around, to the restrooms or to try to figure out what they are expected to do.”

On the subject of job expectations, Nejdawi finds a mentorship program invaluable for employees and especially managerial candidates.

“I always have one person on my staff who is probably the most junior compared to other senior vice presidents and that individual is usually a couple of years out of the university and works with me as a business analyst in my talent development approach,” he says. “We take one person off their assignment, develop them and then put the person back into the rest of the organization over a certain period of time.”


Lead your mission so others can focus

Once the talent is in place, the task is to ensure a focus on your mission. Whether you choose to lead or delegate responsibilities is the next question. Delegation is often seen as an essential skill for any leader, but Nejdawi cautions against its ineffective use.

“My expectation is that delegation comes with a responsibility,” he says. “That has to be propagated throughout so people understand that you get a responsibility when something is delegated to you as well.

“Delegation also gives people an opportunity which I think is critical for them to take on the next role. People ask me, ‘How do I get promoted? How can I get to the next level?’ I say to them, ‘All you have to do is start operating at the next level.’

“So if you are a senior manager, and you want to become a director, start acting as a director, start working as a director, start behaving as a director. The ability to delegate to individuals who obviously are the right individuals allows them the opportunity to start operating at the next level, and therefore become at ease when the time comes, and others realize, ‘That individual is already operating as a director, as a senior director.’ It becomes a no-brainer.”

The other aspect is that there are times when you have to take the lead.

“I do that in front of my team, and my expectation of them is to do that in front of their teams,” Nejdawi says. “There are certain initiatives, certain activities especially when it comes to customers because if the customers see the senior individuals within the company personally and actively lead a particular activity that is important to them, that sends the message that nobody is too high up within an organization to not roll up his or her sleeves and get involved and engaged.

“That, I think, also brings a higher level of accountability to making sure that those customer specific initiatives and activities are really done with a high level of focus.”



  • Take stock in your location and its benefits.
  • Invest in training your workforce.
  • Lead your mission so others can focus.

The Nejdawi File:

Name: Bashar Nejdawi
Title: President
Company: North America Mobility division, Ingram Micro Inc.

Born: I was actually born in London. I grew up in Jordan, and I studied in the United Kingdom.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from the University of Greenwich in London. I worked in Europe for a number of years before I came to the U.S. Then I went on to earn a master’s of business administration in international management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. After that I got a master’s degree in telecommunications engineering from Southern Methodist University in Texas while I was at Motorola. I got my doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
My first job coming out of Greenwich University in London was with a company called SyCon, which at the time was a consulting telecommunications arm of British Petroleum, believe it or not. I was a software engineer at the time, and one thing I learned which I really enjoyed was the art of being persistent when it comes to software bugs and software fixing. If you persist at following the breadcrumbs of a problem, eventually you’ll get there. Maybe it will take you a week, it may take you two weeks and most people give up after a couple of days. But if you persist, you will get there.

Who do you admire in business?
Warren Buffett. I like his style. I like his approach. He is a simplifier in my mind. I also like his humility and the way he is a big philanthropist. I think his goals and objectives are admirable.

What is the best business advice you ever received?
Keep it simple. I have that on a piece of paper that I have in the book I carry around with me. That is the first one on the top of my list. Keep it simple. I look at it every once in a while when I’m in a meeting.

What is your definition of business success?
I think it’s two things. The first one at the end of the day is delivering the right returns from a financial perspective to the shareholders. Those are the folks who have entrusted us with their investment. The way I look at it is as a partnership with the employees. If we do well, then they will also do very well through our bonus schemes, our profit sharing plans that we have in place. We are all tied into delivering better financial returns that will benefit everybody including the employee base as well as the shareholders. To me that is business success.

The second one, which I think is also just as important, is measuring business success through customers who bring us repeat business and customers and have new ideas or respond to new ideas that we have about how we can do more business. People who go from one organization to the next will come back and say, ‘You guys are performing so well, and now I want to work with you again.’ And existing customers will give us more business, who will talk to us about how we can do more business — that to me is business success.

Learn more about Ingram Micro Inc. at:

How to reach: North America Mobility division, Ingram Micro Inc., (317) 707-2355 or

Bill Hamm was facing some difficult news a year ago for Independent Financial Partners, the company of which he was CEO and had launched in 2000. It was not on how to deal with the explosive 1,000 percent growth the company had experienced the year before, but an internal issue.

He had to terminate his chief operating and chief compliance officers.

“We had one employee who took some liberties with some forms that they created, and it created a compliance issue,” Hamm says. “It had nothing to do with client money or anything like that. As a result — to a certain degree — the CCO and the COO were terminated because of that oversight.”

The situation gave Hamm a golden opportunity to take a step back and review if there needed to be other changes within the company.

“We had independent auditors come in,” Hamm says. “We checked everything from start to finish just to make sure that there were no systemic problems, which there weren’t. It was just a one-off situation that created this challenge, but we decided to take it and turn it into something that we could really work with.

“We took it as an opportunity to relook at everything. We revamped our staff, we revamped our technology, and we revamped our value proposition. Between the three of us executives, we have put together some additional team members who enable us to raise the level of service and items that we provide to our advisers to include additional value-added programs.”

Hamm follows the approach in his company of treating others as he would like to be treated himself.

“When we built this thing, it was built with the idea of me as an adviser — what kind of organization would I like to affiliate with, for me to service my clients?” he says. “That is how we’ve gone about creating the vision or the concept, and I think that is one of the reasons why we have had such good growth over the last three or four years, especially just because of that one philosophy. We are pretty proud of that.”

Here’s how Hamm seized the opportunity to set things right in the wealth management company from Tampa and bring improvements while driving 2013 revenue of $110 million, up from $82.79 million in 2012 for both commission-based business through LPL Financial and fees through IFP.

Look at your end goals

One of the first steps you may want to undertake when considering if you should revamp your business is to look at your end goals and determine if your business model has the ability to reach those objectives.

“Because we had some rapid growth in the last three or four years, it was probably a good time to re-evaluate, relook and focus on if where we were going was where we wanted to go,” Hamm says.

Once he realized it was a good time to assemble the ideas he had been forming into self-examination, he started to see where alignment could be improved.

“Make sure you are going into the direction that you want to go,” Hamm says. “Make sure that the things that you have done to date were what you wanted to do, and identify any changes that you want to make and decide if you are confident in what you want to do.”

Confidence and belief in the direction you are about to go is critical. Belief in your ability and capacity to undertake and complete a mission will help ensure a successful performance more than any other factor.

“The worst thing somebody can do is start down a road where he or she is not confident going down,” he says. “If the people who are following you, and the people you hired to help you get there — if they don’t see that confidence in you, then it’s going to be a long road to go.

“Make sure you know where you’re going.”

Crystallize your dream team

Revitalization is often not complete without a shake-up in personnel. For some organizations, it offers the chance to reassess your team before any changes are made. For Hamm, it was a case of having to replace executives who left rather suddenly. However, in a way, it gave him a jump on how to decide what qualifications were needed for his new executive team members.

“I knew pretty much where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to do, but there was still some technical things, some different technologies that we needed that obviously I’m not an expert at,” Hamm says. “There were some compliance requirements that we would now need to make because of a larger size and other things. That’s why I hired them, I will be the first to tell you I don’t know everything.

“I needed someone who had more experience supervising a larger number of employees,” he says. “A number of years ago, we had only six or seven employees. And at that point everybody wore a number of different hats and performed different functions. So it was a little bit easier from a corporate structure perspective.”

But in the last three years, the company has gone from six employees to 34, and almost 500 advisers.

“While we’re still not a big firm, growth brings additional challenges of dealing with those employees and their needs and putting more structure in place,” Hamm says.

He needed someone who had experience managing larger numbers of people before and someone else who had experience in both the compliance and the operations field.

His approach was to conduct a search not through a recruiter but via referral.

“This is a large industry but yet it is small to the extent that a lot of people know each other, especially if you have been in the business for 30 years like I have,” he says. “You develop a network of people who from time to time become very beneficial to you in filling these types of positions.”

A local securities attorney that Hamm had worked with had a network of prospects. He knew two well-qualified candidates that he told Hamm about.

“When I reached out to him for thought, he actually recommended these two gentlemen,” he says. “They came in, we interviewed them, we talked and we went back and forth. And we finally put it together.

“We’ve used other programs like LinkedIn and some of the more common lists for other employees in different departments. But for this I wanted to go with somebody who knew somebody, who had somebody in the know.”

Launch your plan and watch it

If you’ve done your due diligence on your candidates, and thought out every scenario possible about how your future executive might fit in, it’s time to decide and get your revitalization underway and realize your achievements.

The first matter at hand is to observe how well the new executive’s personality fits in with your company culture. The better the chemistry, the better the fit, Hamm says.

The second point is to discern how well an experienced and qualified candidate will be accepted — and whether the skill set and background make an impression on fellow workers.

“With our internal employees, just the resumes, credentials and their background gave them instant credibility,” Hamm says. “For our advisers, when I published their resumes and they had a chance to speak with them, it was instant credibility because, again, if you reviewed the resumes, you would understand that it was kind of a ‘wow’ factor, which was what we were looking for and what we needed.”

For Hamm, accepting the challenge of a leadership shake-up and addressing what needed to be improved was like hitting a home run.

“Well, we did, and I think we are blessed to have them here, and as part of that process, my son Chris also came back from New York to work with us in a number of different capacities that we needed,” he says. “Since then, we added five or six new people in different positions to improve our value proposition to our advisers and our clients as well as strengthen some of the internal mechanisms that we put in place to surveil all this business.

“Our new COO has a resume that is probably as long as your arm, and we were quite blessed to get him,” Hamm says. “Actually, he commutes from New York every week. He comes in on Monday morning and flies home every Friday night. He had expertise in a number of areas that I thought we needed to help set the foundation and take us to the next level.”
In 2011, IFP had $25.1 million in revenue, as compared to $1.2 million in 2009.

“I can safely say a year later on the anniversary of the change and also after investing a fair amount of money, I think we have probably one of the strongest compliance platforms out there as well as one of the strongest value propositions that anybody in our business would find,” Hamm says.


  • Review your end goals.
  • Decide on your dream team members.
  • Launch your plan and observe how it goes.

The Hamm File:

Name: Bill Hamm
Title: CEO
Company: Independent Financial Partners

Birthplace: Orlando, Fla. But I was raised in North Florida/South Georgia so that’s where my accent comes from.

Education: I got my bachelor’s degree in agriculture and economics from the University of Florida. I’ve got a master’s degree from the American College in Pennsylvania. I went back to school to the University of South Florida and got a co-degree in accounting and finance in the late 1980s after I was out in the workforce for a while. I have all the C’s: CFA, CFP, CLU and CHFC. But I’m done with school. I’m not done learning, but I’m done with school.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it? Besides cutting a lawn or two, the first job I had was, every summer from the time I was 8 on, I would go work on our family farm in South Georgia. My grandparents and aunts and uncles grew corn, raised hogs, cattle, hay, everything. About the middle of June when school was out, I would go up there for about a month or month and a half. It was physical labor, throwing hay bales, cropping tobacco, working in the hog pens. It was very, very, very hard physical labor in the middle of the summer in South Georgia.
But what that made me feel was it made me appreciate the type of job I have now. That being said, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. A lot of the values that I espouse now come from my parents and my grandparents.

Who do you admire in business? I don’t know if there is any specific individual; obviously there are the giants like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. I just admire most anybody who is self-made, who created something from nothing, who has created jobs — some of those people make a difference for other people. Having gone through that process myself I know how hard that is for anybody to do that on whatever scale. I think is pretty amazing.

What is the best business advice you ever received? Probably from my granddad, Frank Morgan. He told me, “Bill, you damn well better do what you say you are going to do because when everything is said and done, your reputation is the only thing you’ve got left.” And we try to adhere to that, and I think that has served us well.

What is your definition of business success? Success is measured by if you have been able to do what you wanted to do. I don’t think it necessarily is measured as much by money, although I think money is important because it enables you to continue doing the vision that you have. But I think if you are in a business, and you are truly making a difference and you are able to take part of that and contribute back, then to me that is a success. You are providing jobs for other people, or you are providing services for other people that again make a difference ... to me, that is successful.
I could probably point to a number of individuals I won’t name who somebody outwardly may think are successful but when you look underneath the hood, they paid for what they are doing, their family life is a mess, what they are doing is not really making a contribution. But they make a lot of money. I don’t necessarily think that makes you a success.

Learn more about Independent Financial Partners at:


How to reach: Independent Financial Partners, (813) 341-0960 or

While “Drink Local Drink Tap” may sound like an environmentalist’s cry against water bottlers, it’s a gateway Erin Huber hopes will open people’s minds to the water situation not only in Northeast Ohio but the world.

She founded Drink Local Drink Tap Inc. nearly four years ago to educate people, businesses and communities to care for the water we put into our bodies and the water that surrounds us.


Involve and engage

Volunteers are recruited to help clean the beaches of Lake Erie and students are informed about water issues through the Wavemaker program with schools.

“We do the beach cleanups to help people become more aware of pollution in Northeast Ohio. We try to do different things to make people more aware of the water that is around them and more aware of water in the world so they can begin to understand how they can care for it,” Huber says.

For World Water Day on March 22, DLDT will be partnering with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to bring 300 Wavemaker students from area schools to the aquarium for a day of water education, celebration and awards. Another project, 4 miles 4 water, is a May 10 event to see, for instance, how many people at once can balance a water bottle on their heads to set a Guinness World Record.

DLDT efforts are receiving broad support from the community — from engaging 40 to 50 people at Edgewater Beach to corporate donations from companies such as Kinetico, Moen and Parker Hannifin. The latter two each gave $10,000 to fund a mission in central Uganda to drill a well. Huber is currently supervising projects there in the Masindi and Luweero districts.


Facing survival

Huber says nothing replaces first-hand experience when it comes to promoting a cause.

“I’ve seen it. I have walked with the kids. It pains me inside to see this happening because they have so many other issues to face just to survive.

“The saying goes, ‘Water is life,’ and it is posted everywhere in Africa. It is so true. Water connects every single thing in the world. We need it, and we need it to be clean. These kids need it.”

DLDT conducts so many activities because everyone gets the message in a different way.

“Once you start making it more personal, I think that is when people really begin to get engaged,” Huber says.

“But it is not about the metrics for me. It’s not about the number of kids that we help. It is about how sustainable those numbers are. A lot of people can go into a school and talk about something and leave and never think about it again.

“But when you actually take the time to stop and get to know people, get to really engage them and dig a little deeper, that’s what I’m looking for. That’s what DLDT wants.” ● 

How to reach: Drink Local Drink Tap Inc., (440) 381-6430 or


Tanny Crane
President and CEO
Crane Group

Raising the bar 

The Crane Group continues to find ways to be a good neighbor 

Tanny Crane puts her heart and soul into her business, and she does the same with her efforts to make Columbus and the surrounding region a better place to live and work. Her recent pledge of 
$1 million to Mayor Michael Coleman’s South Side Initiative is just another instance of that dedication.

The revitalization and redevelopment of the Southern Gateway neighborhood involved the renovation of the closed Reeb Avenue Elementary School into a neighborhood center, which will offer social programming and house the South Side Learning & Development Center.

It’s a continuation of the philanthropy that has been demonstrated by the Crane Group since Robert S. Crane Sr. founded the company in 1947.

The company, now led by Tanny, who serves as president and CEO, continues to be involved in a wide array of programs across the region. This includes local arts and education, health and human services, civic organizations, and neighborhood and community groups.

Crane Group has always believed that businesses have a responsibility to support nonprofit efforts that enhance the quality of life in their communities. The company has been the top per capita giver for the United Way in Central Ohio for the past 10 years.

One of the unique programs at Crane Group is called Crane on Board. More than 50 company leaders serve and lend their time and talents to more than 75 distinct nonprofit organizations.

The company’s ability to make a difference energizes everyone, and Tanny helps that flame burn bright by staying so involved. ●

Ric Dillon
Diamond Hill Investments

Generosity prevails 

Diamond Hill Investments’ associates typify involvement across the community

The associates at Diamond Hill Investments, under the leadership of CEO Ric Dillon, are not only generous with their time volunteering at organizations such as LifeCare Alliance, Faith Mission and Habitat for Humanity, they work to review the Diamond Hill Charitable Foundation’s charter.

The Diamond Hill Charitable Foundation is a charitable gift match program with a maximum match for employee donations being $2,000 per calendar year with a matching policy minimum donation of $100.

A group of four associates each serve a two-year term to review the charter and ways to participate.

The foundation’s objective is to support charitable organizations that are important to Diamond Hill’s clients, shareholders and associates. Donations and matching through the foundation are vetted by The Columbus Foundation.

In addition to the organizations above, Diamond Hill has relationships with: Franklin County Children Services, donations; American Heart Association, 2013 Heart Walk attendees and monetary contributions; All For the Troops, donations sent to the troops; Rock for Hunger, corporate sponsorship with employees attending event; Children’s Hunger Alliance, monetary contributions; Neighborhood Services Inc., donations sent to the organization for the back-to-school program; Night of Chocolate, corporate sponsorship with employees attending event; American Red Cross, employee blood drive; Boys & Girls Club, corporate sponsorship with employees attending event; City Life, employee volunteers; and I Know I Can, employee volunteers. ●

Jordan A. Miller Jr.
president and CEO
Fifth Third Bank, Central Ohio

Helping where it’s needed 

Fifth Third Bank supports financial literacy, hunger programs in the community

With one of its goals aimed at increasing the financial literacy of people living in the community it serves, Fifth Third Bank, Central Ohio, under President and CEO Jordan A. Miller Jr., has developed financial empowerment programs that provide access to information and tools that contribute to good financial decisions.

The Young Bankers Club teaches fifth grade students the basics about money, including what it is and how people get it, the importance of saving, and how education and career choices affect their future.

More than 7,000 students have graduated from the program since its inception. The program, which was re-launched in 2012, features an updated, revised and expanded curriculum, incorporating more real-world activities and an interactive video game challenge for the students.

The commitment to financial literacy doesn’t stop there. Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance allows high school teachers to teach students how important it is to plan their financial future. Through a DVD lecture course, accompanying workbooks and online content, students study the value of saving, spending and giving to guide them down the path of financial peace.

The total year-to-date volunteer hours by Fifth Third Bank employees reached 1,880 hours for the Central Ohio region. That includes 981 employee volunteer hours with the Young Bankers Club; 426 employee volunteer hours with the Financial Empowerment Mobile; and 473 employee volunteer hours associated with traditional volunteer work for Community Reinvestment Act qualified organizations. ●

Evan Williams
President and COO
Franklin International

Matching up 

Franklin International believes in supporting employee contributions

Franklin International’s commitment to well-being starts at the core. While some might expect the corporate culture of a manufacturing business to center on producing good products, the culture at Franklin is “to appropriately enhance the economic, physical, relational, emotional and spiritual health of ourselves, our customers, our suppliers and our community.”

Franklin, led by Evan Williams, president and COO, is proud to be among the 16 percent of midsized businesses that permit employees to volunteer on paid company time.

Franklin is also among the 25 percent of midsized companies that match employee charitable donations, demonstrating its belief in giving back to the community and supporting employees in their charitable acts.

In addition, Franklin conducts an annual giving campaign for United Way and three other charitable organizations. During this campaign, the company will match between $1 and $1.50 in contributions made by employees.

Charitable activities in which Franklin has participated include Operation Feed, United Way, Urban Concern, National Night Out, Children’s Hospital, PDHC, Salvation Army and Youth for Christ.

The company also demonstrates a concern for its employees and their families’ financial well-being beyond just a paycheck. Franklin participated in a Financial Fitness program, which at a cost to Franklin, allowed employees to complete online modules relating to financial efficiency. And, starting in 2008 as the only company-paid matching program in Ohio, Franklin provided a payroll deduction option for 529 plans. ●

Amy Schultz Clubbs

Dr. Martin Portillo
Chief medical officer
Molina Healthcare of Ohio Inc.

Supporting employees, supporting communities

Molina Healthcare of Ohio gives workers time to give back

Since Molina Healthcare of Ohio Inc. was introduced to After-School All-Stars Ohio, a program focused on helping at-risk youth succeed in school and life, a partnership has grown that benefits the children and families in 10 Ohio schools. The company has been a part of ASAS Ohio through volunteerism, funding, board membership, resources and educational support, demonstrating its commitment to low-income families and youth that goes beyond its core services.

Molina staff members frequently attend community events to inform families and children of their health care options while promoting a healthy lifestyle. The company also supports programming through a grant that has allowed ASAS Ohio to extend cooking classes to its 1,000 after-school participants in Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

Outside of ASAS Ohio, Molina collaborates with public schools and community-based organizations to deliver health education opportunities and expand health, wellness and education programs offered in schools, community centers and other gathering spaces.

To support their employees’ interests in giving back to the community, Molina established a volunteer time-off program, which gives employees time off annually to volunteer with charitable organizations. In 2012, Molina employees gave more than 2,100 volunteer hours to the community and $200,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations.

Molina also honors organizations and individuals doing exceptional community service work with its annual Community Champions Awards. Recently, Molina honored five people with a $1,000 grant to donate to the charity of their choice and a tree was planted in his or her honor. ●

David P. Blom
President and CEO

Actively engaged 

OhioHealth supports its community at every turn 

As a leading not-for-profit healthcare provider, OhioHealth’s mission is “to improve the health of those we serve.” That philosophy is a big part of the company’s philanthropic efforts, which are focused on investing in the community and making a difference in the lives of those facing tough challenges.

In fiscal year 2013, more than 85 organizations benefitted from the support of OhioHealth under the leadership of David P. Blom, the company’s president and CEO. One thing that makes OhioHealth such a strong supporter of the community is Team OhioHealth. The group is comprised of company associates who volunteer their time with partner organizations at OhioHealth-sponsored events. More than 4,000 individuals participated in 33 Team OhioHealth activities throughout the past fiscal year, an increase over the previous year.

Project Mentor is another component of OhioHealth’s commitment to the Columbus region. Coordinated through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, the program provides mentors from OhioHealth and other local companies to students in the Columbus City Schools. Volunteers also donate their time for other programs that benefit students in local schools.

Overall, 1,256 hours of volunteer time were logged by OhioHealth associates in support of educational initiatives in fiscal year 2013.

The company’s community relations department proactively supports the mission of OhioHealth through partnerships that align with the health needs of the community. The department also works hard to increase visibility for OhioHealth leadership, programs and services, providing opportunities for meaningful associate engagement. ● 

William Hutter

Jim Caldwell

A principled approach 

For Sequent, giving support to the community is only natural 

Contributing to the community where one lives, no matter the size of the contribution, is simply the right thing to do. Following this motto, Sequent chooses projects and donations that primarily focus on community service and philanthropy in the areas of children’s needs, cancer research and the local arts community. It also makes in-kind donations, such as staff hours dedicated to offering pro-bono consultation services and the use of the company’s corporate meeting and training rooms.

Among the organizations that have benefitted from Sequent’s donations are Children’s Hunger Alliance, Pelotonia, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, The Gathering, Kairos, The Columbus International Program, TiE Ohio, The Furniture Bank and Select Association Management.

The company has first-hand experience with cancer, having lost two associates in four years to the disease, and having several employees who are cancer survivors. In five years, Sequent’s bike-riding volunteers have raised some $61,000 for Pelotonia. Sequent employees also contribute $2,500 to Pelotonia annually.

Sequent CFO Jim Caldwell and other employee volunteers contribute many hours annually at Kairos, a prison ministry. Employees bake some 120 dozen cookies for each Kairos weekend. Caldwell says that the inmates this program serves are very moved by the fact that total strangers bake dozens of cookies for them.

Sequent also backs the Jazz Arts Group by supporting the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. CEO William Hutter, a former member of its board, offered the group his expertise in human resources through consultations. Sequent also sponsors the Inside Track series of contemporary jazz concerts at the Lincoln Theatre. ●

E.W. Ingram III
Chairman and CEO
Lisa Ingram
White Castle

Well done 

How White Castle restaurants help those who need it most

LifeCare Alliance and White Castle have forged a strong partnership over the years, which enriches the lives of many in the Central Ohio region. It began in 1988 when White Castle offered its support to the Columbus Cancer Clinic, an agency of LifeCare Alliance.

The Ingram family, who has managed White Castle since its founding in 1921, supported the first capital campaign for the nonprofit health organization, which seeks to identify and deliver health and nutrition services to meet the changing needs of its communities.

From that moment on, White Castle has remained a dedicated partner for the clients served each day by the staff and volunteers of LifeCare.

Today, E.W. Ingram III, the company’s chairman and CEO, and Lisa Ingram, his daughter, who serves as president, lead White Castle. Philanthropy continues to be a big part of what they do in leading the business recognized to be the first fast-food hamburger chain.

The company gets involved in the delivery of pantry items to the homebound and HIV/AIDS clients, transportation to dining centers and leadership to develop strategic planning initiatives. White Castle is also active with Autism Speaks, Wigs 4 Kids, Adopt-A-Child and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

But it is the work with LifeCare Alliance that has made a particularly strong impact. Through funding from the Ingram-White Castle Foundation, those in need under the age of 60, a group that is often underserved when it comes to home-based services, can receive meals through Meals-on-Wheels. ●



When the new $160 million global headquarters of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. was designed, the themes that would be followed were a far cry from those of the first Goodyear office building. The new headquarters was built based on five themes:

  • Team — One campus optimized for collaboration.
  • Innovation — Market and technology are unified with the tools to innovate.
  • Learning — Pervasive support for formal and informal learning.
  • Openness — Transparency, light and views to each other and the world.
  • Environment — Smart solutions, active and passive, for sustainability.

As a result, gone are the antiquated buildings that made it difficult to collaborate, let alone taking into account the logistics of having to take moving sidewalks to get from one building to another.

The new headquarters, which officially opened in May 2013, has 639,000 square feet of space over seven floors and is full of collaborative workspaces: 173 conference rooms, accommodating six to 35 people; eight to 10 huddle rooms per floor, accommodating two or three people each; and the Goodyear Learning Center, accommodating 30 to 100 people, offering flexibility for many training class sizes and configurations.


Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer says the collaboration-friendly offerings were a hit from the beginning.

“We can see it; we have people who are saying everything from, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen that person ... I saw that person three times in two years and now I’ve seen him three times in a week going up and down an elevator or in the cafeteria now that we are together,’” Kramer says.

“I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, this is a new building, this is a great work place. I need to step up my game now to really make sure I am contributing to Goodyear.’”

The company cafeteria is 18,677 square feet and has seating for 665, with an outdoor patio that can seat 95.

“You see people collaborating even in the lunchroom,” Kramer says. “You see them sitting outside. We have a walking track around the back. We see people getting together and having discussions and ideation about things they never had the opportunity to do before. So it’s working.

“With its advanced technology and collaborative work environment, the new headquarters is providing our associates with great opportunities to come together as one team. There’s genuine excitement about our new home, and more importantly, greater excitement about our future,” Kramer says.

High-tech equipped

All the latest technology amenities are in use at the headquarters, including Wi-Fi throughout the building; digital signage for associate communications; all-in-one print/copy/fax machines with virtual queue and badge-tap access; softphones with VoIP to allow associates to make and receive calls from personal computers; video conferencing technology; SMART interactive white boards and live broadcast viewing.

Environmentally, the headquarters was designed to obtain a Silver rating from Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. The design reduces heating and cooling costs, water use and waste while optimizing energy use — wingfoot frits on the lobby glass reduce heat and glare.

A healthy air environment (no “new building” smell) has been created through the use of construction and surface materials with little or no volatile compounds.

The headquarters workspace enables natural light to pass through the work area in support of green efforts.

Building materials include wood from old growth logs reclaimed from Ohio rivers and tributaries. No volatile compounds were permitted in hard or soft surfaces.

Nearly 2,000 corporate and North American Tire associates are located in the new building, which is connected to Goodyear’s previously existing Innovation Center and serves as a central campus for the company. Almost 1,000 associates work at the Innovation Center.

 “Our plan is to leverage what we have brought together here,” Kramer says. “We have our research building here, our North American building here, we have a way for us to collaborate physically as opposed to having to get into the car and driving somewhere.

“This building is an opportunity to leverage Goodyear as one team. Our job now is to make sure that we do that and that we take advantage of this — and we are well positioned to do that.

“It represents our commitment to Akron and Northeast Ohio,” he says. “Not just to the Akron of old, but to a revitalized and progressive Akron that continues to evolve and prosper in groundbreaking ways.”

Public-private partnership

Another unique use of collaboration involves the building’s public-private cooperative construction. Industrial Realty Group of Torrance, Calif., which oversaw the headquarters construction and is leasing it to Goodyear, purchased Goodyear’s previous headquarters. Stuart Lichter, founder and chairman of IRG, collaborated with the city to turn it into Canal Place, a $30 million office and retail complex that houses almost 100 businesses and where more than 1,000 people are employed.

Private spending of $378 million was used to develop the new headquarters, parking deck improvements and part of the mixed-use East End project. City, state and federal funds of $227.6 million are going for infrastructure development, according to city figures.

Lichter plans to redevelop

Goodyear’s former campus and headquarters into new office, retail, residential and recreational space.

“What the new building does for us is it really starts a next phase in our chapter as a company,” Kramer says. “As a 115-year-old company, we continually have to rejuvenate ourselves, and part of that rejuvenation is the new headquarters. As we do that as a company, it is going to flow what we do into our brand.

“Our brand is really a representation of the values that we have as a company, the products we make, how we go about doing that, and this building is what’s going to facilitate continued progress and continued leadership in the industry — and that’s what this is going to do for us.

“As we go out to recruit and bring the best people and the best minds into Goodyear, this building has already served as a tremendous catalyst, I think. It makes a big difference.” ●

How to reach: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. (330) 796-2121 or



1898 — Goodyear incorporated with small factory on Akron’s east side along Little Cuyahoga River.

1900 — Goodyear begins construction on two-story office building “up the hill” on East Market Street.

1915 — Goodyear begins construction on the East Market Street factory and clock tower, formerly known as the company’s Global and North American Tire Headquarters.

1916 — Goodyear begins construction on “Plant 2,” on the former Martha Avenue (now Innovation Way), currently known as the company’s Akron Innovation Center.

1917 — Construction begins on Goodyear Hall, designed to be an employee’s recreation facility with largest gymnasium in Ohio, theater, community rooms, training facility, housing for trainees, etc.

1973 — Goodyear renovates East Market Street headquarters to coincide with the company’s 75th anniversary.

1978 — Goodyear begins a $250 million renovation of the former “Plant 2” factory to become its global technical center.

2011 — Goodyear breaks ground on a new Global Headquarters building.

2013 — Akron associates make the final transition to one campus optimized for collaboration.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:42

Smart Business salutes future philanthropists

Topher Joe Promotions LLC 

Sweet success
Christopher Carmon donates half the proceeds from his custom mint business to the Lorain County Blue Foundation

At the age of 12, Christopher Carmon is well on his way to being a leading philanthropist.

Christopher’s business Topher Joe Promotions LLC, which sells mints with company logos printed on the wrapper, donates 50 percent of its proceeds to the Lorain County Blue Foundation, a support organization for law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty. In his first three weeks of business, Christopher raised more than $600 for the foundation.

Christopher is a hands-on business owner, making it his trademark to personally deliver each order. He even gets the business owners to pose for a photo with him for his Topher Joe Facebook page. Christopher’s proud to showcase his clients’ support of not only his business, but the Lorain County Blue Foundation.

The mints are reasonably priced and made in the U.S. Christopher already has some big name clients, which include The Fedeli Group, Pease & Associates, Zito Insurance Agency, Ogletree Deakins, Landscape Management (published by North Coast Media), Firment Chevrolet, AT&F and even some area political candidates.

Christopher is so pleased by the response he’s received so far, that he hopes his efforts will inspire others to give back as well. ●

Jasmyne Johnson

Philanthropist at heart
Jasmyne Johnson has endless ideas on how to help those less fortunate around the world

You might say Jasmyne Johnson has spent nearly half her life in philanthropy — and it would be true. A senior at John Hay School of Science & Medicine in Cleveland, she has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland since the age of 9.

In fact, this summer, Johnson worked as a junior staff member for the organization. She spent the summer being a role model and mentor as part of SPARK, a reading and literacy program for children ages 6 to 9.

Her participation in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland only scratches the surface of Johnson’s involvement in community philanthropy. When relief efforts were needed for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Johnson was in charge of the promotion, advertising and collections for her church’s fundraiser — helping to raise $12,000.

Another project that Johnson is spearheading involves providing Bibles to schools in Africa where students are less fortunate and don’t have access to one. She has also proposed a pen pal program with high school students in Africa to encourage them in their education.

A member of the National Honor Society, Johnson has maintained perfect attendance throughout high school while serving as an intern with the Cleveland Division of Water. Johnson hopes to be nominated to the United States Air Force Academy. ●

Middleburg Heights
Young Ambassadors 

Helping hands
Young Ambassadors of Middleburg Heights lend support to various community organizations

Every summer, the Young Ambassadors of Middleburg Heights, a group of 10 to 14 year olds, meet on Fridays at the community center to engage in outreach programs in and around the city — and receive first-hand experience in philanthropy.

This year, the Young Ambassadors were involved in several activities that benefitted the community, including the following:

•           Making and delivering homemade cards to seniors at an assisted living facility, sharing doughnuts, playing games and visiting with residents.
•           Delivering handmade dog toys to an animal rescue facility.
•           Collecting litter in city parks.
•           Organizing a senior dance at the community center.
•           Collecting donations to purchase and deliver school supplies to the Positive Education program.
•           Baking cookies and delivering them to safety forces in the city.

“Overall, the program has been successful, and we have received wonderful feedback from the various organizations that we have reached out to,” says Joanna Mocho, Kidzone activities director. “More importantly, the Young Ambassadors along with their parents have been delighted with the positive experiences.” ●




When Scott Moorehead became the CEO of The Cellular Connection in 2008, he thought culture was just what people knew about art.

“If you had culture, then you drank your coffee with your pinkie in the air,” he says. “I didn't know anything about culture. I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know if it was important or not.”

But after being in the driver’s seat for a short time, and networking with some other companies, he realized that a company culture was a crucial matter.

“Now I believe that no matter what your company sells, what it does, no matter how many inventions you have or patents you have, your only secret sauce that nobody can steal is your culture,” he says.

While you might say Moorehead’s mind-set makeover sounds like a dramatic enlightenment, it was more of a shift in what he knew about the company already but hadn’t quite put together all the pieces.

While growing up, the ebullient Moorehead knew that one day he was expected to take the reins of the company that was founded by his parents. So over time, he worked 32 positions in the organization — nearly every one — to earn his spot at the top so everyone would know it was not just given to him.

“Because of having worked my way up through the company, I could see there was a cultural difference between the people who worked in the stores, and the people who were in the corporate office, and the people who were in executive positions,” he says. “It didn't match, and it didn't feel like we were all on the same page. That was the feeling I got before I knew what culture was.”

The Cellular Connection is the largest Verizon premium retailer in the nation with more than 800 locations across 28 states. Annual revenue went from $191 million in 2009 to $606 million last year under Moorehead’s leadership. Here’s how the culture Moorehead drives plays a big part in the company’s success.


Make order out of chaos 

Starting a company and building a culture from the ground up is one thing; merging two cultures is another matter; and the hardest job of all may be sorting out a disorganized culture. That’s what was facing Moorehead. The de facto culture created a lot of barriers walls that one had to hop over constantly to get things accomplished, and Moorehead realized it was a tall order.

“We didn't even talk the same language, man,” Moorehead says. “It was a constant battle because the stores were speaking a different language than the executives because the executives didn't have a lot of transparency at the time. They had the right intentions, but the transparency wasn’t there.”

Once Moorehead found the weaknesses in the primitive culture that was in effect, he took time to consider the journey ahead.

“You have to take a step back and look at what your values are,” he says. “Then you can build your culture around that. Trying to force a culture that doesn't exist, from a value perspective, is impossible.

“It's a constant battle to make sure that your culture is right and you have to do research, and you have to have opinions from all levels of the company, and you have to figure out how to get people to speak up on their own behalf. It's tough. Otherwise it's just one person's point of view. That's not really a culture; that's more of a directive.”

Moorehead’s major goal was to build one team out of several disconnected ones. That meant getting the big picture to be accepted by 1,400 employees.

“Somebody's got to raise the sail, and somebody's got to paddle, and somebody's got to steer, and somebody's got to make sure we are cooking the food to feed everybody who's hungry, to keep them healthy; it takes a crew to run this ship,” Moorehead says. “Everybody has a job — but everybody realizes everybody else's job is just as important.”

When you explain the big picture, it likely will be easy to get employees to buy in. Moorehead found that his good fortune was to follow the excellent vision his father, who co-founded the company with his mother, had laid down: he wanted a company where people wanted to come to work each day, he was not going to manage by intimidation, and there would be a family aspect of the company.

“When you put all that together — customers matter, employees matter, no management by intimidation, and family feel, and let's just make a company where people want to come to work,  — and you say that out loud, it sounds like buzzword bingo!” Moorehead says. “So getting people to believe in it wasn't hard. It wasn't hard at all. Now, getting it actually executed is a whole different story. And that is hard.”


Let your culture be your filter

What makes it difficult to get everyone on the same company culture page is how each employee views his or her personal role in the process. So a key feature is to keep the explanation simple.

Moorehead conveys the message this way: the culture serves as a filter through which every decision must flow.

“You have to build the culture around what you believe in, making it the first thing that you filter all your decisions through,” he says. “It’s hard, because you have to try to get every person to do that. And without a doubt, it is not perfect here. You can’t have several thousand employees and make it perfect every time, but we are getting a heck of a lot closer.”

While you make the essence of culture real, make it regular as well. Repetition leads to mastering the process.

“You have to really make it habit,” Moorehead says. “If you can make it habit, then you've got a chance. But if you just talk about it just once a year, when the annual sales rally comes around, and you don't live it, then you've got no chance.”

Part of making the culture real is transparency when it comes to the company goals and how the team is going to reach those goals.

“I don't keep anything from anybody,” he says. “They know the corporate goals and they know where we are trying to get to and then ultimately, they need to know what every department is doing to help everybody to get to the same place, so we are all headed in the same direction, talking the same language. That makes everything pretty easy.”

One other cultural feature that can be effective is to appeal to employees on a family level.

“We do ultimately feel like we are a non-blood family, and when you feel like that, you feel like you want to help your family out,” Moorhead says. “I think they are absolutely bought into being part of bigger than just themselves.”


Nurture the entrepreneurial spirit

While it is not necessary for all employees to have it, an entrepreneurial spirit is sought for all high-level execs at The Cellular Connection.

“If you don't have an entrepreneurial spirit, then you probably should not come work here because you may not be completely fulfilled with your job,” Moorehead says. “We are not going to hand you a piece of paper with a bunch of boxes to check. And that's empowerment.”

With empowerment there is a lot of trust involved, so you have to hire the right people.

“Then every now and then, you have to check up on everybody and make sure things are smooth, but there is a ton of empowerment, and that is a thin line to walk on. Things can go awry pretty quickly and if you're not engaged, as a boss, you can have things fall apart on you very quickly.”

If you are not good at it, empowerment can become a reactionary style of management.

“But if you're taught how to be a great leader, and you're taught how to stay out front, and be that person who motivates the team and sets reachable goals and who works together with a plan that's built by everybody instead of just from the top down on how to achieve these things, then you can do it,” Moorehead says.

“It just takes the right person. Not every person is right to come work at our company. Not everybody likes it. But we have found that the people who we have brought on board have been yearning throughout their entire career to have their thoughts and their personality to be heard. It's like they've been set free.”

Moorehead cites the example of a TCC employee who was a new hire into a management position, but wasn’t feeling fulfilled.

“It took him a while to really jump into the fact that his opinion mattered now,” he says. “As soon as he figured that out, he developed a program called the Rock Star Sales Process. Customers have to feel like rock stars, that's the point.”

In short, his suggestion became the standard sale process for the company — and he got to be in charge of it.

“He was just beside himself with the fact that one good idea rolled into something that thousands of people across the country now use has their technique to do sales in our stores,” Moorehead says. 



  • Make order out of chaos
  • Let your culture be your filter
  • Nurture the entrepreneurial spirit


The Morehead File:

Name: Scott Moorehead
Title: CEO
Company: The Cellular Connection

Birthplace: I was born and raised in Marion, Ind.

Education: I'm a Boilermaker. I went to Purdue University, and I graduated from the school of business, majoring in business management.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My first job ever was bagging groceries at a grocery store. No tips. This was beyond the days of tips. I learned that I didn't want to do that kind of job forever. My first, I would say, job was for my dad on the wire line side, when we were pulling in local area networks. I didn't know any better at that point in time, so when I got to work, I worked hard. And not everybody liked the fact that I worked my butt off. It was like maybe you should slow down and have a cigarette, or something, man. But I don't smoke! One of the jobs that I worked the whole summer was when we were wiring the state hospital in Richmond. There are several buildings that are 100 years old and I had to work through difficult spaces. I told my dad, this wasn't all that great, and he said, “If you don't graduate from business school at Purdue, this is what you're going to do the rest of your life!”

What was the best business advice you ever received? A lot of the guiding principles that I use as a manager, and I feel like I'm a pretty good manager, a pretty good leader, have been from my dad. My mom and dad, Phyllis and Steve Moorehead, shared a lot of the same practices. My dad told me you always take care of the company and the company will take care of you — essentially, don't make selfish decisions. That's the fastest way to lose your staff. This is business advice that you can't just send to everybody; this is from an ownership perspective. But I have given the same advice to my leaders, and I think it's worked for them.

Who do you admire in business? There have been several people who made an impact on me, in a lot of different ways. My dad, first and foremost; both my mom and dad actually. In my early years at Verizon, I had a lot of people who had a positive effect on me. Nick Pyros had a huge impact on me, and a woman who is actually the COO of Verizon Wireless now, Marni Walden. Every time I am around her I seem to take way something from her that makes me better. Then from an ownership standpoint, and building your business from small to big, I've latched on to a guy who I have partnered with recently, and his name is Marcelo Claure, founder of Brightstar Corp. He is an amazing business person. If there is one person on the planet who was in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent of business people, it's him. Being in the same room with him and watching how he conducts himself is like getting a master’s degree.

What is your definition of business success? A lot of people ask me what my goals are, and when I want to quit or move on, or do something different or whatever, and I say, man, I wake up every single morning, and I want to come to work and have fun, and I do. And the day that I wake up and am absolutely sick of this whole thing, then I know it's time to quit. But I've never felt like that. Ever. I mean every single day since I have started this, I've never dreaded going to work. Ever. Not once. It didn't matter what's going on. It's fun around here. I don't have a financial resolution or any particular saying other than I want to stick to my morals, and I want to come to work. Those other two things that I feel like if I can stick to that, then I have success.


The Cellular Connection Social Media Links:

Twitter: @tcctalk


How to reach: The Cellular Connection, (765) 651-2001 or

Most employees are far removed from the design and analysis of their compensation plans. Behind the scenes, the employer is investing time and resources in designing the plans that attract, retain and motivate top talent.

While every company plans compensation packages differently, there are some core strategies that can be applied to attain success in recruitment and retention.

You can plan big with these five strategies to building a successful employee compensation plan:

1. Communication is key.

Good intentions behind the design of a compensation plan do not necessarily deliver the intended results. Communication is the driver. Management is responsible for communicating the “why’s” and “how’s” of the plans it has designed. In addition, keeping people abreast of performance — both corporate and individual — is paramount when a company has a pay-for-performance culture.

2. Good corporate strategy equals successful compensation plans.

All too often, compensation plans are in place because “it has been done in the past.” For a compensation plan to be truly successful, it must be tied directly to corporate strategy.

One of the biggest failures of pay plans is they do not take into account all the key drivers that will make the company successful. Without this “linkage,” pay plans can actually promote unwanted behavior that offsets the overall strategy of the company.

3. A sound employee performance evaluation process is essential.

The employee evaluation process may be tedious, but it is the catalyst that drives most, if not all, pay decisions. The employee evaluations and the process utilized should have direct ties with the compensation plans used. It gives the company the ability to show definitively that results impact rewards.

4. Pay is not perceived the same by all.

Abraham Maslow’s theory of the “hierarchy of needs” directly pertains to this strategy. Base salary and benefits are typically essential to all employees in the corporate workplace. These are key “building blocks” of pay.

Beyond these basic building blocks, the “hierarchy of compensation needs” changes as much as the demographics of the organization. Giving appropriate consideration to these unique needs and tailoring portions of total compensation allows an organization to reinforce its culture while maximizing the utility of the total compensation dollars.

5. Recognition, recognition, recognition.

Acknowledgement is a fundamental human need. Compensation is a great way to express appreciation and acknowledgement of a job well done; however, compensation plans are typically based upon milestones in the calendar year.

Remember, everyone wants a “pat on the back” or some form of recognition when they, as an individual or as a team, have achieved something worthwhile. Recognizing and reinforcing top performers through compensation will promote the corporate culture, promote desired work ethic and achieve results.

Well-designed compensation plans have the ability to propel an organization forward. These strategies, among others, should be considered by those responsible for compensation design — the CEO, CFO or vice president of HR — in order to achieve success. Leading organizations are built on talented, committed professionals — competitive, well-planned compensation packages are vital to recruiting and retaining these top performers. ●

Brent Longnecker is chairman and CEO and Chris Crawford is president of Longnecker & Associates, and are experienced in the field of compensation and corporate governance consulting. They have authored 15 books on compensation, including “The Power of Restricted Stock.” For more information, visit