Sisterson & Co. achieved the level of Unqualified Opinion, the highest level of report from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, in its most recent review.
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES
Commercial National Bank has agreed to acquire the North Huntingdon branch office of Great American Federal.
Prudential Preferred Realty has acquired the residential and commercial divisions of Equity Real Estate in Squirrel Hill.
Massaro Co. will provide general construction services for the construction of an 8,500-square-foot UPMC Cancer Center at St. Clair Hospital.
PWCampbell secured a design/builder contract from Indiana First Bank in Indiana, Pa. The construction company has also received a design/builder contract from CALL Federal Credit Union for a branch office in Chesterfield, Va.
Repal Construction Co. Inc. completed projects for Westmoreland County Community College, including a 3,200-square-foot classroom building, a 1,200-square-foot exercise and fitness center and a 2,200-square-foot classroom renovation.
Cuddy Roofing Co. received the roofing contract for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Hanlon Electric Co., a union electrical contractor, formed a subsidiary, Hanlon Network Services, to specialize in installation, diagnostics and service of data communications networks.
Pittsburgh Housing Development Corp. is working with EDGE studio and no wall productions to renovate the building at 905 Liberty Ave. into the Liberty Lofts.
The Pittsburgh Foundation has awarded grants totaling $548,000 to The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pittsburgh Film Office, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Economy League and Community Design Center of Pittsburgh Inc.
Ohio Valley General Hospital has begun a Colon-Rectal Health Program, focusing on education and prevention.
Cohen & Grigsby has formed an independent workplace consultancy, cg 2.
Vangura Surfacing Products Inc. has introduced a new product line, Prosolid, a solid surface countertop product for baths and kitchens.
PUBLIC RELATIONS & ADVERTISING
Communitech has added 3 Rivers Connect to its client roster.
LarsonO'BrienAcumen was selected agency of record for Turner Dairy Farms.
Jack Horner Communications has acquired clients Tri-Arc Manufacturing Co., University of Phoenix, Pittsburgh Campus, Laurel Awning Co. and Desmone & Associates. The firm will provide various public relations and marketing services.
Fitting Creative changed its name to Fitting Group, a move the agency says better reflects its strategic direction and capabilities.
EV Products selected Krakoff Communications Inc. as its marketing communications agency.
Sewickley Graphics & Design was recognized by the American Corporate Identity 18 for entries in the corporate identity trademark/logo and corporate image brochure categories.
Arbuckle's Gourmet Coffee Co. purchased an 11,000-square-foot building in Verona for office and warehouse operations.
Filene's Basement, the Boston-based retailer, opened a 40,000-square-foot store at The Waterfront.
Blue Archer Consulting signed an agreement to provide Alcoa Inc. with financial management software for the Alcoa intranet.
XiTech has expanded its operations with new offices in Cincinnati and Ravenswood, W.Va. It has also secured a license to provide job retraining for individuals interested in the fields of systems or network administration.
Taylor Systems Engineering Corp. of Plymouth, Mich., was named a provider and distributor for Pittsburgh-based Vocollect Inc.
Penn Telecom landed the contract to provide local dial tone and other broadband services to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
This site tells you the steps you need to follow for building on undeveloped land, who to contact and background on the Corps of Engineers.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
The Ohio EPA's site has its Wetland Permit Application available online in PDF format. It also includes useful information about what not to do during your project -- for example, removing trees and shrubs around wetlands, since that promotes erosion.
The Ohio Wetlands Foundation
This nonprofit group offers wetlands mitigation bank credits with which you can buy wetlands in protected areas to replace land disturbed during construction. There is a database of available lands and how many wetlands credits are left in each area.
If you want to learn everything possible about wetlands, the environmental education Web site Eco-Pros.com has assembled a list of resources that will make you an expert.
HzW Environmental Consultants Inc.
This Mentor-based environmental firm touts its wetlands assessment experts. The site also includes environmental legislation updates.
Ohio Association of Realtors, Wetlands White Paper
This site has an interesting but dated (1990) white paper on wetlands by the Ohio Association of Realtors. While it may not be up-to-date, the study includes a great, simply written overview about how to develop in areas with wetlands.
Compiled by Morgan Lewis Jr.
Since Joe Taggart sold the business in 1958, the restaurant has changed hands four times. As ownership changed, so did much of the devotion to the quality, until the Schotts stepped in with a mission to restore the Taggarts name.
So far, the Schotts have increased sales 110 percent since assuming ownership, and grown the employee base from 14 to 38 full-time and part-time workers.
Patti Schott, a nurse for 32 years, attributes the couple's success to their involvement with the community.
"It really has turned the place around, because the people prior to us were not really involved with the community and we have been, and we donate to any of the community organizations. It has come back to us one-hundred-fold," she says.
Along with reconnecting to the community, the Schotts invested $30,000 in restorations to the 76-year-old building, including general cleaning and painting, landscape improvements and repairs to the stucco exterior. They also replaced outdated kitchen equipment, restored much of the dining room furniture and replaced a player piano in the parlor with a more user-friendly model.
Their most noticeable improvement, however, may have been to the menu. Homemade favorites have returned, including 15 regular and 11 seasonal ice cream flavors, all made on the premises twice a week. The Schotts also use many of Taggarts' original recipes for hot fudge and the flavored syrups used in fountain drinks, homemade soups, salads and sandwiches.
Last year, revenue topped $500,000 at the 72-seat establishment, and the Schotts gave about $300 a month to local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations. How to reach: Taggarts Ice Cream, (330) 452-6844
Fishers Foods, founded in 1933 by Jeffrey's grandfather, Joseph, has survived the Depression, recessions and influxes of national big-box retailers.
"There's been so many changes within the last five to six years that I think it's even strengthened our position to be an independent," Fisher says.
"As we become the lone ranger, we're the alternative to the big boxes, who really don't do what the customer wants."
Fisher, who has worked for his family's company for 20 years and as its president for the last 15, says quality and value have kept the chain in business.
Fishers doesn't strive to appeal to a particularly low-end or high-end customer, he says. In fact, he admits, "We don't have a target audience. We're not looking for low end or high end, but everybody in the middle. Then we get a lot of high-end customers and we get a lot of low-end customers."
He says a loose market definition works for the company because it has figured out how to truly deliver value to the customer. Fishers does this by offering everyday low prices that are often lower than the national chains.
"We have adopted an everyday low price strategy," he says. "No gimmicky card is needed. Even though we're a small independent, we buy directly from the manufacturers -- we don't buy through a wholesaler. We ship directly into our warehouse from the manufacturer."
He says the quality of Fishers food is exceptional, adding to the whole value concept.
"We're food people," he says. "The food should look good, the food should taste good, and the food is more important than the décor.
"You don't have to pay $25 a pound for great filet," he adds. "We have certain purveyors that work with us, and our meat cutters are trained to look for the quality, to cut it the right way."
The last key to providing value, he says, is always offering good customer service, no matter how low your prices are. That is accomplished by training employees at every level how to communicate. At the store level, he says, Fishers 1,000 employees are trained to treat the customer the same way they would want to be treated when they are grocery shopping.
At the corporate level, the company maintains a separate a separate customer service phone number, listed in the local phone book. It also is lucky enough to employ many long-term employees, who, as Fisher puts it, "carry the banner every day."
"The thing with this industry is that there's always another competitive force that's going to open up. It could be another independent, it could be a regional chain ... but there's never been a time where we felt that we couldn't deliver value." How to reach: Fishers Foods, (330) 497-3000
ACCOUNTING & CONSULTING
Gary Shamis, managing director of SS&G Financial Services, was awarded the "On the Edge Innovation Award" by the Leading Edge Alliance at its annual meeting in Naples, Fla.
Joanna Eggett has been promoted to associate director of the Cleveland outsourcing department at SS&G Financial Services. Jeffrey Muencz was promoted to associate director of the Cleveland accounting and auditing department and Christopher Szuch was promoted to associate director of the Akron accounting and auditing department.
Maple Alley Market Research LLC moved from Chesterland to the Fowler's Mill area of Chardon.
Christina Callos, president of Callos Consulting Group, has been certified to instruct "The Seven Laws for Engaging Spirit in the Workplace."
Marinko Milos was elected president of the Cleveland chapter of the Ohio Society of Certified Public accountants for Howard, Wershbale & Co.
Rob Johnson has been promoted to senior manager of Meaden & Moore. John J. Nicklas has been promoted to senior manager.
Lauren B. Wolf has joined Barnes Wendling CPAs Inc. as director of the nonprofit and public sector resource center. David R. Menning has joined as principal and manager of corporate finance group.
ADVERTISING & PR
Stephen F. Lee has been named senior vice president of Marcus Thomas LLC. Phil Johnston has been named senior vice president of the planning group and Jennifer Hirt-Marchand has been named vice president of the research group.
Ron Oberstar has been named national accounts manager-graphic arts at Eckart America.
Michelle Lee has joined Dix & Eaton's eVentures practice.
Arnold & Co. was honored by the Printing Industries Association of Northern Kentucky and Ohio for printing excellence.
Stephen Phillips, Beth Mehlberth and Martha West have been promoted to vice president of Edward Howard & Co.
The Culbertson Group added the Sandusky/Erie County Visitors & Convention Bureau to its portfolio of clients.
Dorsky Hodgson + Partners has named Sandy Silverman, Victor Yue and Regis Korba as partners.
BANKING & FINANCE
Eric M. Earvin has been promoted to vice president, credit policy/credit risk management, at FirstMerit Bank. Michael E. Miller has been promoted to vice president.
Timothy S. Brimus has been promoted to vice president and controller of First Federal, Lakewood. Steve Nogle was promoted to vice president and MIS director and David T. Shaw was promoted to vice president and chief savings officer .
Michael J. Gorman joined Northeastern Ohio's Fifth Third Bank as vice president of the private banking department.
Michael A. Fixler was named firm director of Candlewood Partners LLC.
Edward R. Turza has been appointed branch manager of Lakewood First Federal.
Rade Marich has joined FirstMerit Bank Cleveland as a business banker.
Polaris Career Center's Business Resource Center received certification as an ISO 9000 registered facility and can offer ISO standard educational services.
Alan Valek was appointed director of buildings and grounds at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
James Kozel has been named development office of individual and planned giving at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mary Schiller has joined the voice faculty and Barrick Stees joined the bassoon faculty.
John Polk has been appointed director of the entrepreneurs association at John Carroll University.
The Krill Co. Inc. completed renovation of the Agnar Pytte Center for Science Education and Research at Case Western Reserve University.
Dr. Tarvez Tucker and Dr. Jennifer S. Kriegler have joined the American Migraine Center.
Susan Tyler has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Medical Mutual.
Jack Pompei was promoted to Northeast Ohio branch manager for CorVel Corp.
Elizabeth Mullins has been named general manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland.
A-1 Mr. Limo added A Bridal Boutique to its limousine service offerings.
The Reserves Network received the NEO Success Award. The work force solution company also acquired the Barclay Staffing Group of Westlake.
Cefaratti Group relocated its corporate offices to 4608 St. Clair Ave.
Jason Walters is the new agency chief information officer of Gale Financial Group.
Thomas W. Hess has become chairperson of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP Health Law Practice Group.
Gregory J. Blasiman was promoted to senior manager of Bruner-Cox LLP, Canton office.
Douglas V. Bartman has become a principal in Kahn, Kleinman, Yanowitz & Arnson.
Sergio Carano and Connie Carr have joined Kohrman Jackson & Krantz PLL.
Pam VanHoose has been promoted to controller at Greer Steel Co. Robert Ulbrich has been promoted to general manager.
Kevin E. Trainor joined the M.F Cachat Co. as eastern region sales manager.
3-D Services Ltd. purchased the 85,000-square-foot Massillon Industrial Equipment Service Center from Grand Eagle Inc.
David Bell was named Cleveland regional sales representative for Ely Enterprises Inc.
Darlene Constant was hired as school-based mentoring coordinator of Big Brothers Big Sister of Greater Cleveland.
PuppyPaws Inc. received the 2001 Pinnacle Award from Pet Age Magazine for its pet-themed jewelry.
Paragon Data Systems was recertified as a full-service Zebra authorized service provider for 2002.
Jason Schultz and Mike Miller have joined Great Lakes Cos. as account executives.
The Tasty Pure Food Co.
Akron-based wholesale food distributor The Tasty Pure Food Co. has acquired J.B. McCoy Co. of Canton. The acquisition will allow Tasty Pure to provide a wider variety of food products to institutions and restaurants. The company will remain at its newly expanded Akron headquarters.
Marketing and Creative Solutions
The agency is remodeling its Akron headquarters and building an addition onto its printing shop. The company has also hired Mark Schweitzer as vice president. The Akron-based agency, founded in 1992, provides creative advertising and marketing services.
Jones & Wenner Insurance Agency
The Fairlawn accounting firm has opened a Columbus branch. It will be managed by Larry Price, who will focus primarily on trucking industry related markets.
The Akron-based bank has launched an online investing service through its Web site, www.firstmerit.com.
The Davey Tree Expert Co.
Davey Resource Group, a division of The Davey Tree Expert Co. of Kent, recently received an "Innovation and Commitment to Change" award from The Pulte Land Group, the country's largest home builder. The award was given the Davey Resource Group for helping the homebuilder become a better environmental steward, according to Karen Wise, a manager for the Kent company.
Fax announcements of company mergers, awards and expansions to: Editor, SBN Magazine, (330) 668-6224.
On March 7, the SBN Magazine eVolution in Manafacturing Conference presented by CAMP honored nine Northeast Ohio companies for their achievements in integrating e-business solutions into traditional manfacturing processes. The companies displayed their e-business solutions at a conference at the CAMP Manufacturing and Technology Center on East 25th Street in Cleveland. The event was sponsored by Ameritech SBC, Crowe Chizek and Ulmer & Berne LLP.
Left photo: Dr. Stephen Gage of CAMP (center) presents the award to Don Sebiant and Paul Harty of ArgoTech.
Right photo: Dr. Gage with Sarp Uzkan and Stewart Armstrong of Danley IEM.
Left photo: Dr. Gage congratulates Jim Appledorn and Beckie Jacobs of Lincoln Electric as Smart Business Network CEO Fred Koury looks on.
Right photo: Linda Bowman and Sandy Richard of Little Tikes enjoy their honor.
Left photo: Cindy Skelton-Becker and Holly Mihok of Nordson.
Right photo: Tom Gubanc and Dave O'Connor of Swagelok.
Dr. Stephen Gage of CAMP with Wes Howard and Chad Shron of Tooling University.
Michael A. Lachman and E. Fred Leffler of USB.
W.S. Rudner CPA & Associates, Inc., a local Canton accounting firm focused on closely held businesses, has joined Cohen & Co., a regional full-service CPA and consulting firm. W.S. Rudner & Associates will change its name to Cohen & Co. and will continue to operate out of its Belden Village office.
Wern Rausch Locke
The Canton advertising agency has formed a strategic alliance with Worrell Wingfield Baer, an Akron advertising agency. The firms will jointly market their services.
Graphic Enterprises Inc.
North Canton-based Graphics Enterprises Inc. has finalized the acquisition of CalGraph Inc., forming GEI-CalGraph. The new entity will focus on servicing the wide-format printing industry in North America, with a focus on newspaper, engineering and commercial markets. GEI-CalGraph's headquarters will stay in North Canton.
Angelo Parente, owner of the Sbarro restaurant in Fifth Avenue Place, has opened a second Sbarro on Smithfield Street, Downtown.
KEYGroup Partners, an international consulting, training and development company with headquarters in Pittsburgh, is partnering with Shared Vision Alliance to provide the Equine Business Experience for Teams nationally.
Eureka Bank has launched a Web-based banking site, Eureka by Web, and a telephone banking service, Eureka by Phone.
CommuniTech is providing marketing support to the West Pittsburgh Partnership for Regional Development, a nonprofit development group.
Ten/United has been named agency of record for the Comet cleaning agents, a line of products acquired by Prestige Brands International Inc. It has also acquired the entire account for consumer products company's Prell line.
The ARC Allegheny family of corporations has adopted a new name, Achieva. Four corporations now operate under Achieva: The Arc of Pittsburgh; COMPRO, which provides support to individuals in the areas of infant/toddler therapies, supported employment through Parc-Way Industries, and other services; RAMS, a mailing service; and The Family Trust, offering estate planning, guardianship and representative payee services.
Marmion Advertising has been selected by Joy Mining Machinery to assist the company in developing and deploying its marketing and public relations programs.
Quest Fore has been named the communications agency of record by Cornerstone Development Group to promote Keystone Opportunity Zones across a nine-county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Information Systems Services Inc. has opened an office to serve the Cincinnati and Columbus areas.
Burt Hill Kosar Rittlemann Associates has been awarded the contract to design the $7 million Chicopee Public Library in Chicopee, Mass.
Burns & Scalo Roofing Co. has received the roofing contract for the St. Vincent College freshman dormitory.
Cuddy Roofing Co. has received the roofing contract for the $3.6 million Ross Township Municipal Building.
Turner Construction Co. has been selected for pre-constructions services for a 775-room dormitory project at the main campus of Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
Manheim Corp., a specialist in designing and building parking structures, has selected LarsonO'BrienAcumen as agency of record.
Power Drives Inc. of Buffalo, N.Y., has opened a branch in Allison Park. The company is a supplier of automation, power transmission and fluid power solutions.
Ditto Document Services Inc. has partnered with CaseCentral Inc. to offer law firms and corporations imaging, storage and management of all case documents and information online.
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, Toledo and Cleveland top the list of U.S. cities with the highest percentage of adult smokers. Another study, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that Ohio has the fifth highest percentage of smokers among the 50 states; more than one-fourth of the population smokes.
Jennifer Franklin M.Ed., wellness and prevention specialist at the Arthur C. James and Richard J. Solove Cancer Institute at The Ohio State University, says employers need to offer more than just smoking cessation programs.
"Employers should offer support along with programs," says Franklin. "Programs should be accredited, and if the employer can pick up part of the tab, it really helps."
But he says employees should also pay part of the tab, as a way to buy into the program.
A program needs to address both the physical and mental sides of addiction.
"Smoking becomes part of a person's routine," says Franklin. "The smoker needs to have a plan for what he or she will do in place of smoking when smoke break time comes around."
Franklin says the combined success rate for all types of smoking cessation programs or aids is 30 percent. How to reach: The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, 293-3737