Letters to the editor Featured

9:39am EDT July 22, 2002

Great editorial! ["Displaced aggression," SBN, June 2000] Every judge and jury in this country should read your article.

Bob Bailey chairman State Auto Insurance Cos. ColumbusThe business of nonprofit

I read your article, "Getting on board," in the May issue of SBN.

As national chairman of American Mensa, I thought it might be interesting to you to know how much being the CEO of a nonprofit organization is similar to running a small business. American Mensa is a $2.5 million business. While our national headquarters is in Texas, I live in Hilliard and work as a project manager for Idea Integration in Dublin.

I'm responsible for all the management of our 47,000-member organization, and it has all the facets of a business. I manage both a professional staff of 18 through an executive director and a volunteer national board of 20.

Financially, we have all the same responsibilities of a business.

We have public relations to consider, and media relations to maintain. We have the same legal issues and requirements that other small businesses do.

With a staff, we have personnel policies to maintain, hiring and firing responsibilities and salary issues to consider.

Our products are our membership services, which must be maintained at high quality.

When persons are volunteering their time, they usually think of the good works they are doing for others. But when one is chairman of the organization, you definitely look it as a business as well, with goals and objectives to be achieved in many areas.

American Mensa (in this past year) has implemented several new membership programs and upgraded others, has its highest membership in five years and had a 5.7 percent increase in membership. So I think right now we are a pretty successful small business.

Bob Beatty chairman American Mensa

In memoriam

The small business community of Columbus recently suffered a great loss. Barry C. Heagren, president and CEO of Advanced Programming Resources Inc. and Courtney Staffing Services, passed away unexpectedly June 2.

Barry was extremely honored to be named the Small Business Person of the Year District Runner Up earlier this year [see SBN, May 2000].

Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Barry knew that once Barry was your friend, he was your friend for life. He was one of the most loyal people I have ever known, and he attracted loyalty. That is obvious to anyone who looks at the APR company roster. It includes the names of numerous people who have been linked to Barry through one of his many business ventures.

Barry was a visionary. He was always taking a 30,000-foot view of things and his view was always rosy. To him, setbacks meant better things were on the horizon ... and he had ways of making you believe him. He was truly a great salesman.

Barry felt personally responsible for each of his employees. He had a keen eye for talent and always surrounded himself with the right people. Barry provided everyone with the guidance and leadership needed to be successful. He was our mentor. He would see our strengths and try to build on them.

Barry will be deeply missed, but never forgotten, by all of us at APR and Courtney Staffing. He has touched so many of our lives. We have lost not only an employer and leader, but also a dear friend.

Larry Dado, president Advanced Programming Resources Inc. Cynthia Hengeli, president Courtney Staffing Services and their employees