Looking for reliable information on the Net regarding that strange skin rash youve developed? Try the Mayo Clinics Health O@sis at www.mayohealth.org. The library has information on everything from arthritis to urinary tract infections. Theres information on alternative medicine and sections on mens health, womens health and childrens health. The site features a handy glossary for getting definitions of medical terms without spending six years in medical school.
When will I be cured?
Medscape is a site where doctors, students and consumers can search among more than 7,000 full-text articles on the latest medical research. If you want more than just basic information, this is the place to go. This site also offers free access to MEDLINE, a service featuring more than 8 million abstracts from 3,800 medical journals. Try it at www.medscape.com.
Ever find a mysterious pill in your medicine cabinet and wonder what it is? Or did the information sheet on your latest prescription get thrown away? Take a trip to www.RxList.com, which has data on hundreds of pharmaceuticals, including warnings, interactions, dosages and overdose treatments. You can search by name (brand or generic) or imprint codethe numbers and letters stamped on pills and capsules.
Shake the disease
Want to know the facts on vaccinations or symptoms of a particular disease? Find what you need at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov. Get straight answers with statistics and scientific data to back it up.
Avoid fad and diet pills. Some are initially effective, but most will not keep the weight off on a long-term basis and some can cause side effects, according to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The American Heart Association says studies show soy protein is as nutritious as meat proteins and can serve as the sole source of protein in a vegetarian diet.
As an incentive to quit smoking, the National Cancer Institute recommends you start saving the money you used to spend on cigarettes. Keep it in a jar where you can see how much youre saving and spend on yourself as a reward.
Cold or flu?
The flu kills 20,000 Americans every year and hospitalizes thousands more. It may come on quickly, starting with headache, chills, achiness and a fever of about 100 to 104 degrees. There may be a dry hacking cough and a sore or hoarse throat. If there is nasal congestion, it usually occurs later.
Except for the headaches and fever symptoms, this may sound like a bad cold. But a cold rarely has the overwhelming sense of fatigue that may accompany the flu. You feel absolutely wiped out, which is why you may curl up on the couch for a week or more after the main flu symptoms have passed.
Being tired, under stress and run down probably makes you more susceptible. Influenza is caused by a virus, so antibiotics wont affect it. They best way to treat it is to rest, drink lots of fluids, and take drug store remedies to relieve the symptoms.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman at www.drkoop.com.
More protein power
Adequate protein is essential to keep your body functioning properly. About half of our dry weightincluding muscles, hair, nails and skinis composed of protein. Our cells and immune systems rely on protein for maintenance and rebuilding. Our bodies dont have the ability to store protein or synthesize all the amino acidsthe building blocks of proteinwe need. Thats why eating some protein every day is important.
As wonderful as carbohydrates are for providing energy quickly, too many carbs can send us into a tailspin of low blood sugar from an insulin dump. Its the job of insulin to lower our blood sugar levels when they get too high; insulin does this by taking the excess sugar in our blood and storing it as fat.
The easiest way to avoid extra fat storage and dipping energy levels is to eat the right amount of high-fiber carbohydrates so the sugar in these foods enters the blood slowly, keeping the pancreas from releasing high quantities of insulin into the blood stream.
The key to making fat part of a healthy, sensible diet is to eat the right kind. Any fat that is solid at room temperature is not our friendits saturated and brings with it risks for all kinds of health problems. The best fat comes from vegetable sources and is mono- or polyunsaturated: peanut, canola, olive and walnut. This doesnt mean you should drown your salad in olive oilmoderation is key.
The next time you feel inexplicably crabby, think back to the last time you drank a glass of water. Dehydration can lead to crankiness and a whole host of other, more serious conditions. As a rule of thumb, try to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day, more if youre working out.
Drinking enough water is especially important for aiding fat loss. The liver is responsible metabolizing fat. When our kidneys dont get enough water to perform their functions, they recruit the liver to help them out. If the liver is busy helping the kidneys, it cant do its own job of using up that stored fat for fuel.
How many calories?
Use this simple formula to estimate your calorie requirements:
- Change your weight in pounds to kilograms: your weight divided by 2.2.
- Your basic metabolic rate is approximately one calorie per kilogram per hour, so multiply your weight in kilograms by the 24 hours in a day. This is the number of calories you burn just being alive each day.
- Now factor in activity: Multiply your calories needed per day by the following percentages, depending on your activity level:
Light activity: 50 to 70 percent.
Moderate: 65 to 80 percent.
Heavy: 90 to 120 percent.
If you sit at a desk for your job and work out 30 minutes per day, this would be light activity. If your job involves more motion and you are active in addition to your workout (you take stairs, walk to work, etc.), this would be moderate. Heavy activity would be for construction workers, athletes etc. Most Americans are in the light activity level.
- Multiply the percentages from the previous step and youll get a range of calories needed for your daily activity. Add this to the number of calories needed to be alive each day.
To lose those extra pounds, youll need to burn more calories than you are eating, either by exercising more, or eating less.
Chris Perrow, owner of Perrow Organizational Systems, likes to quote the statistic that the average professional faces 36 hours worth of work every day. And loses 45 minutes each day searching for stuff lost in piles. The solution: Create a system for expediting all those tasks. In fact, its a priority weve had on the calendar for months. How to reach: Perrow Organizational Systems, (330) 686-0282
How do you achieve a consistent level of excellence in management? You need to focus on the internal aspects of your operations just as you do on client or customer service, says Dan Stanowick, senior VP at the Akron office of Edward Howard & Co., which Inside PR magazine recently named the nations best-managed mid-sized PR firm. In its ranking of 150 agencies, the magazine spotlighted the firmwith offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton as wellfor its processes in strategic planning, investor relations, staff training and development and overall management.
Its that doohicky thing with the little lines
Now that Europes new currency is a reality, businesses seeking global domination have yet another problem, the euro symbol. Where is it in those pesky PC fonts, anyway? The answer is as simple as it is frightening: its not.
Solutions are becoming available; for example, for $39.95, CenturionSofts new Eurofonter utility adds the euro symbol to all TrueType fonts. For more information, or to see what the symbol looks like, check out the companys Web site at www.centurionsoft.com.
The spoken word
Utopian visions earlier in this century prophesied that technology would free us from the toils of work. Fact is, computers have increased our workloads in many cases. CEOs and clerical workers alike are now online and under greater pressure than before. But heres a new PC program for use with your sound card that will relieve the pressure of all those e-mails.
Its Talking E-mail, a Windows program by 4Developers LLC that audibly notifies you when youve got mail. An animated cartoon character pops up on your screen and begins reading the mail to you, whether in plain text, HTML or RTF format. While youre busy with some other task, you can listen and decide if an incoming e-mail is important enough for you to stop what youre doing and respond immediately, or put your reply lower on your priority list.
Using nothing more than your e-mail account and sound card, Talking E-mail allows you to specify if you want to hear who sent the message, its subject and how many lines should be read. You can stop the readout at any time, or launch your default e-mail program to reply immediately. To make receiving e-mail entertaining versus ordinary, you can customize the programs cartoon character attributes to make it fun, choosing from a variety of animations, sounds and other settings to specify behavior and message delivery.
Talking E-mail costs $14.95, but before you buy it , you can download a trial version from www.4developers.com/talkmail. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can be sure theyll hear your request.
With online business booming and estimated to hit $37.5 million by 2002, it is becoming more important to be wary of fraudulent Internet practices. The National Fraud Center is an international provider of risk solutions, fraud prevention and interdiction programs to all in need, from small to mid-sized businesses and government agencies to Fortune 100 companies. The centers Web site, www.nationalfraud.com, contains these tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of cyberfraud.
- Study disclosure statements carefully.
- Check with regulatory authorities for license information.
- Make sure online investment companies are registered with state securities agencies.
- Do not provide credit card or social security numbers unless you are positive the company is legitimate and the information is absolutely necessary.
- Do not provide credit card numbers unless protocols are in place on a secure site.
- Be wary of free bargain packages.
- Do not be pressured into buying NOW. Understand the offer.
There is a new product on the market to help the armchair investor avoid getting sacked. Indigo was designed by 20-year veteran at the Board of Trade, Frank Alfonso, who developed similar programs for future traders while at the board. The software, based on statistical research, has all testing and analysis built in. Indigo identifies actual trading patterns and has 100 percent objective buy/sell hold signals and signals the investor like an alarm clock when it is time to buy or sell.
Avoiding the hospital
Mobile Business Aid offers an alternative to the hospital for nonlife-threatening emergencies that happen on the job. CorpCare, of Akron General Hospital, has teamed up with national ambulance operator American Medical Response to bring paramedics and emergency medical techs to the workplace to treat minor injuries. The new service saves the time and money of the traditional emergency room visit. Mobile Service Aid expects to charge about one-third the cost of such a hospital visit. To sign up or receive more information, call (888) 267-4457.
Traveling at high speed
Business travelers have unique demands when staying in hotels. For example, most of us like to have a big desk and readily available sources of nutrition. Now, with increasing use of the Internet, were also looking for a place to plug in our laptop and the faster the connection, the better. Viator Networks has responded to these demands with HoteLink, which provides high-speed Internet access to hotels and their guests.
Five years ago, if you asked a hotel if they had high speed Internet access, theyd laugh at you, says Todd Landfried, founder and president of Viator Networks. In the next five years, its going to be as common as swimming pools.
The company is currently in negotiations with every major hotel chain to provide this service.
Mail worth opening
Effective direct mail is not rocket science, professes Martin Baird, president of Robinson & Associates and author of a new report entitled, Proven Secrets of Direct Mail: Seven Common Costly Mistakes.
Here are a few of those mistakes:
- Writing a direct-mail piece as if youre writing a letter. Direct mail letters are written to get the readers attention, to educate, to encourage the reader to take action, advises Baird.
- Designing a direct mail piece that looks corporate. You dont work with corporations, you work with people, he says. A corporation doesnt read your letter, a person does.
- Using a No. 10 business envelope with a bulk-rate stamp on the front. These are simple signs that tell the person receiving the mailer that the sender doesnt care, he says.
To order the full report, call (602) 990-1775, ext. 4.
More important than money
It may be time to re-think your family-friendly policies. What you offered two years ago may not be enough anymore.
A nationwide survey conducted by Officeteam, an administrative staffing company, shows 26 percent of employees rate the ability to balance work and family as their top concern for the future. The concern beat out salary, which was ranked first by 23 percent, and job security, which was given top priority by only 17 percent of respondents.
Karen Brown, founder, president and CEO of Data Now Corp., knew she was ahead of the curve when she set up a virtual workplace seven years ago. Now shes receiving national recognition for her role in the emergence and acceptance of family-friendly workplaces.
Brown was featured in Aprils Ladies Home Journal as part of a special report entitled How Women Have Changed the Workplace. Brown, who runs Data Now Corp. out of her Akron home, has 20 employees most of whom are mothers who all telecommute via the phone or computer.
While shes received several phone calls and e-mails as a result of the article, the national exposure hasnt brought her any tangible sales, yet. But for Brown, who started as a secretary, getting her story out is gratifying enough. I think of myself 10 years ago reading that article, and my biggest hope is that itll inspire other women to go after dreams thats the biggest thrill.
A pat on the back
If your business is located in Alliance, and you were not recognized at the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerces recent Business Alliance Awards, you might want to think about how you spent the last 12 months. The Alliance chamber recognized 85 local businesses for their contributions to the city at a mid-March reception.
Kathy Stroia, president of the chamber, kicked off the ceremony by handing out 82 Golden Spade Awards to new and/or recently expanded or remodeled businesses.
In addition, special awards went to the following: The Small Business of 1999 award was presented to East Ohio Stone owners Ed and Carol Allenbaugh; Francisco DeLeon, owner of Don Panchos Tex-Mex Cafe, won the Large Business of 1999 award; and the Spirit of Enterprise Award went to Richard C. Sherer, owner of R.D. Williams Office Supply.
If youve been thinking about expanding your product line to take advantage of the millennium stand in line. Hundreds of millennium-themed items were unveiled at the Promotional Products Association International Expo in Dallas recently.
Some millennium-themed items hitting the marketplace include countdown clocks that play a mystery song when the date changes to 01-01-00; a millennium crystal ball, which lets you look into the 21st century; a millennium keepsake book, which becomes a time capsule when filled; millennium-themed screen savers; and New Years Eve party packs. Oh, and dont forget to order your Were Y2K compliant facial tissues to send out to your clients.
Computer time travel
Its estimated that it costs the average business $9,092 to operate a networked PC. At that price, any computer down time comes at a premium.
A new software called GoBack allows Windows 95 and 98 users to recover software-related problems by taking their computers back in time five minutes or five days ago before the problem occurred. The manufacturer, Wild File Inc., asserts that the new technology will drastically cut computer down time by enabling employees to recover quickly on their own from software problems.
Come January, you might just want the option of sending your computer back to Dec. 31, 1999. For more information, visit the products Web site at www.goback.com.
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services sees gold in the graying of America.
The real estate company is preparing its agents to meet what it expects to be a crush of business spawned by the large number of senior citizens changing their housing situation in the near future. That means, presumably, a lot of real estate going on the market, as well as demand for alternative housing for seniors, such as apartments, condominiums or smaller single-family homes.
Sixty-seven of Hannas agents have completed a 12-hour course for designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. The program was developed by the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council, which spent the last decade designing a national certification course to capitalize on the growing older population.
We are very excited to offer this course because we have always prided ourselves on training expert agents who understand the importance of niche marketing and selling, says Helen Hanna Casey, president of residential sales for Howard Hanna.
According to statistics from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), seniors are the largest group of property owners in the United States. By 2000, the population of those over 50 years old is expected to grow to some 75 million. AARP estimates that 83 percent of seniors own their own homes and that nearly 8 million of them will move residences in the next two years.
Respironics Inc. has inked a deal with Tri-anim Health Services Inc., of Sylmar, Calif.
Tri-anim Health Services will distribute and sell the BiPap Vision product through its 90-person sales force and 12 distribution centers.
BiPap Vision is a new noninvasive pressure support ventilator with user-friendly graphics capabilities for comprehensive patient monitoring.
Pittsburgh could very well become the sports arena capital of the world.
While plans for two new sports stadiums near the Golden Triangle are well on their way, and even the Penguins are vying for a new home in town, a private concern is putting up an indoor sports facility in the suburbs thats geared for soccer. Landau Building Co. is the general contractor for the 100,000-square-foot complex.
Investors have broken ground for the $3.25 million Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena in Harmarville. The facility will house three indoor soccer fields, complete with bleachers and a second-floor mezzanine. The playing surface will use Field Turf, a simulated grass which the developers say will be only the second in Western Pennsylvania to use it.
There also will be a cafe-style eatery for players and spectators and a fully equipped pro shop.
The owners of the new complex say they expect to hire 25 employees to serve an anticipated 5,000 patrons a week.
Employers and agencies seeking to widen their search for job talent might want to log onto Pittsburgh-Employment.com.
The sites developer, 2MTC, invites job seekers to post their resumes and offers employers the opportunity to list their openings, with options that include highlighting positions with a Hot Jobs designation. Those jobs will be displayed as soon as a job seeker enters the site.
The site wont be limited to high tech openings. 2MTC says it will list light labor, construction, food service, medical, accounting and executive positions. 2MTC is hoping to have 25,000 listings by this summer.
Job seekers can update their resumes on the site and remove them at any time. They can get career assistance through the site, including resume writing, legal aid, relocation and other services, all of which are provided by local firms.
Gemini Holdings Inc. has acquired Frontier Supply and Equipment, of Buffalo, N.Y., and Warehouse Point Supply and Equipment, of Hartford, Conn.
Gemini Holdings has consolidated both companies, leaders in their respective markets, into USA Clean LLC, its full-service distributor of laundry supplies, chemicals, new and used equipment and parts to on-premise laundering facilities, including dry cleaners, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, country clubs and laundromats.
The acquisitions give USA Clean distribution in 14 states through five regional distributors. With the addition of the two companies, USA Cleans annual revenues top $25 million. And Gemini Holdings says its not done yet. The company has its sights set on dominating the industry.
Gemini Holdings acquired Carman Supply, of McKees Rocks, in 1997, and followed that purchase with the takeover of Havnaer Supply and Equipment, a Virginia-based company, in 1998.
Says Tom Certo, president and CEO of Gemini Holdings: As a result of these acquisitions, well be able to maximize buying power, provide a more efficient distribution network and broaden our range of products and services that we can offer to our customers.
And clean up in the process, too.
Target Stores, which describes itself as a national, upscale merchandiser, is aiming at an Oct. 10 date to open five stores in Western Pennsylvania.
The stores will be in Washington, Monroeville, Hempfield Township and Pittsburgh, where the company is building two locations.
Minneapolis-based Target Stores, the largest division of Dayton Hudson Corp., expects to hire 200 employees at each of the five locations and estimates that it will pump more than $1 million into Pittsburgh-area communities through local purchases of supplies and services.
Managed Care of America Inc., has acquired Consolidated Benefits Inc., a third-party administrator for benefits claims with offices in Columbia, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C.
Charles Davidson, MCAs president, says the purchase of Consolidated Benefits will give Managed Care of America a significant strategic advantage in developing business in the Southeast.
Our integrated-benefit delivery products will provide an excellent complement to their claim-administration services, he says.
Would you like to cut employee injury claims by 11 percent this year? And reduce them by another 13 percent next year?
Sure you would, and listening to your employees might be part of the solution.
Thats what Ward Trucking does, and the company was able to reduce work-related injuries by 11 percent between 1996 and 1997, and by 13 percent between 1997 and 1998. Preventable accident rates dropped by 14 percent from 1996 to 1997, and another 13 percent from 1997 to 1998.
The company uses a combination of regular training, inspections and incentive programs to stress the value of safety to its workers.
Working with representatives of Commercial Insurance Associates, Ward Truckings safety team conducts an annual Safety Safari. During this week, the companys safety manager visits service centers and spends time talking with employees about safety and training in round-table sessions. Employees are encouraged to make suggestions to reduce workplace hazards and improve safety.
And we act on their ideas, says Michael Ward, executive vice president. As a result of suggestions from employees, the company installed grab handles on its tractors to assist drivers in getting in and out safely, and outfitted their trailers with translucent roofs to heighten visibility.
A year ago this month, C.J. Petitti told SBN his not-yet-2-year-old call center in Hilliard would reach $12 million in revenues by years end. [Theyve found a calling, June 1998].
Turns out, he underestimated himself.
Petittis Hilliard-based CallTech Communications Inc. not only grossed $13.5 million in revenues for 1998, hes now projecting that figure to hit $22 million in 1999. In addition, CallTechs staff grew from 500 in June 1998 to 965 as of this April, and the companys call volume jumped from 425,000 per month to more than 700,000 in that same time period.
This fast-track growth resulted from new clients, including Cable & Wireless USA and Universal Studios, as well as expansion with existing ones, such as Priceline.com Inc. To accommodate Pricelines recent business surge alone, for example, Petitti increased his staff from 20 to 280 in one year.
To make room for all this growth, late last year CallTech expanded from a 12,000-square-foot space on Arlingate Plaza to an additional 42,000 square feet on Equity Drive. Petitti is also opening a Florida location, which is expected to be operational by August.
As Petitti puts it: Were rockin.
Thats news to me
Urban Environments Inc. has won five Landscape Ohio! awards from the Ohio Landscape Association, including three for residential projects; one for the commercial landscape maintenance of the Metro Center Office Complex in Dublin; and another for the installation of landscape and irrigation at the 1997 BIA Parade of Homes Foundation House.
Westerville-based Abrasive Technology Inc. has acquired the manufacturing assets of Johnson City Hytech Abrasives LLC of Tennessee. This is the 11th acquisition for Abrasive in the past 13 years.
EXXCEL Contract Management Inc. has been named the 1998 National Volume Builder of the Year by the Buildings Division of Kansas City, Mo.-based Butler Manufacturing Co. EXXCEL has received the award for three consecutive years. These people are scientists of this business, says Richard Jarman, president of Butlers Buildings Division. They run their business on the basis of mutual respect for all, and their passion for doing business better than anyone has earned them another National Volume Builder of the Year Award.
Reitter Stucco and Supply Co. has won one of four national Excellence in Exterior Insulating Finishing System Design Awards presented by the EIFS Industry Members Association. Reitter Stucco won the renovation retrofit award for its work on the Anchor Hocking plant in Lancaster.
Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc. has received a Design of Merit Award from Mason-based Steelox Systems Inc. for its Dorcy International project at Rickenbacker. The competition, open to contractors who have supplied clients with Steelox building or roofing systems or components, judges projects on functional and attractive use of building materials, unification of design and appropriate use of space and scale.
Columbus-based CTL Engineering Inc. has opened its first international office, in Bangalore, India. Other offices are planned for France and Malaysia. These offices will work with merchants involved in global trade and interested in providing product testing on import/export merchandise.
Success magazine has ranked Stanley Steemer International Inc. of Dublin third in its annual Franchise Gold 200 list. The list recognizes the best-run franchise companies in the nation as measured by financial health, corporate management, growth and stability, the quality of support given to new franchises and opportunities to buy additional units at a good price.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved a 10-year, 75 percent tax credit for Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. to relocate its headquarters and a distribution center to New Albany in 2001. The estimated $104.5 million project is expected to create 409 jobs and retain 291 within the first three years of operation.
The American Heart Association has tapped Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer & Associates Inc. to develop a nationwide, multiyear marketing program to address compliance issues in people with heart disease and stroke.
Costello Nardecchia Advertising has been retained by Frazeysburg-based Williams-Burg Square Homes for marketing services and by the Kroger Co. for Midwest operations project work, including broadcast television and in-store promotions.
Greencrest has been hired to develop a logo, handle public relations and create communications pieces for Capital Procurement Ltd. and to conduct research and develop marketing materials for Fox Embroidery. Both new clients are Columbus-based companies.
The Prometheus Group, a Columbus-based manager of municipal Internet utilities, has signed an agreement with Massachusetts Braintree Electric Light Department to provide ongoing engineering, remote system monitoring and help-desk services.
Columbus/Worthington Heating and Air Conditioning Co. has been purchased by Florida-based Blue Dot. Services Inc.
Out of the Box Designs has begun a relationship with Advanstar Communications Inc.s regional office in Cleveland to market Advanstars mix of communication products and services, which includes 70 magazines, journals, and newsletters; more than 100 expositions, trade shows and conference events; reference books; industry directories; and multimedia products.
Arlington Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has hired Brad Granger as COO, a new position created in response to the facilitys growth and large number of patients receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy. A licensed nursing home administrator, Granger previously was COO for a Regency Manor, a Columbus-based rehabilitation and subacute center, and chief administrator of a Wapakoneta nursing home.
Cardinal Health Inc. has appointed Stephanie A. Wagoner as president of its new financial services company, Cardinal Health Capital Corp. Also at Cardinal Health Inc., Richard J. Miller has been named CFO; Connie R. Woodburn has been named corporate vice president, professional and government relations; Leonard G. Kuhr has been named corporate vice president and treasurer; and Michael E. Beaulieu has been named corporate vice president and controller.
Acock Associates Architects has promoted Peter Confar, Ed Nabakowski and Mitch Acock to partners.
Harlan W. Robins has joined Baker & Hostetler LLP as a partner in its Columbus office. Prior to joining Baker & Hostetler, Robins was associated with the law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.
Jesse Turner has joined CM Direct as COO and will be responsible for managing the direct marketing agencys financial, employee and vendor relations. Prior to joining CM Direct, Turner was employed for 10 years in the distribution operations division of The McGraw Hill Cos.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has elected several local executives to its board of directors, including: Robert R. Boehm, president, Boehm Inc.; Reginald L. Carter, senior vice president, operations, Columbia Gas of Ohio; Megan T. Galajda, regional manager, government relations, GE; Cathy B. Miley, vice president, director of regional operations, State Auto Financial Corp.; Mark W. Kontos, senior vice president and CFO, Battelle Memorial Institute; Neal F. Zimmers, resident vice president, state relations, Ohio, CSX Transportation; and W. Craig Zimpher, government relations vice president, Nationwide Insurance Enterprise.
The Franklin County division of the American He art Association has chosen Dimon R. McFerson, chairman and CEO of Nationwide Insurance Enterprise, to receive the Heart Higgins award in recognition of his community service and leadership in Central Ohio. The award is named after retired U.S. Army Gen. Hugh Higgins, who before his death in 1997, was an American Heart Association volunteer for more than 20 years at the county, state and national levels.
Mazatlan Inc., a Pickerington restaurant, has named board members, including Jose G. Melendez, president; Sergio Munoz, vice president; and Rene Morales, secretary. Part owner Paul Apolinar Alvarez will serve as co-manager; Melendez also will head up the kitchen.
Greg Gelting has joined Fifth Third Bank as vice president of the residential lending division. Also at Fifth Third, Andy Dale has been named assistant vice president in the commercial lending department.
Roy H. Williams has been named executive vice president of economic development for the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. He will be responsible for the chambers $4 million annual Advantage: Columbus strategies to build strong regional coalitions to promote Greater Columbus. Prior to joining the chamber, Williams was partner, co-founder and president of The Economic Development Group Inc., an international economic development consulting firm with offices in Columbus and Phoenix.
The Fairfield National Bank has promoted to vice president positions the following: Barron M. Walker, who joined the bank in 1994 as a commercial lender; Daniel L. Bates, a 14-year employee of the bank; and Timothy D. Hall, formerly assistant vice president and commercial lender at Fairfield National.
Retail Planning Associates has promoted Bob Murch to vice president of finance. Murch joined RPA in 1996 after having performed financial analysis for The Limited for five years. Also at RPA, Eric Harned has been promoted to vice president of new business development and analysis. Harned has been with RPA since 1993.
Mary Ostrom, a 10-year employee of Columbus-based Nationwide Global Holdings Inc., has been promoted to vice president of Latin America business development.
BrainStyles: Change your life without changing who you are, is a new book by Marlane Miller, who urges you to stop trying to change and start becoming the person you really are.
To improve yourself, you have to be more of yourself, says Miller. Each of us has a natural brainstyle wired into our genes. Your brainstyle is your particular set of gifts, the essence of who you are. Neurological research has shown that the left and right sides of the brain are accessed at different speeds, and in varying sequences, in different people. This is critically important when making decisions, so important that relationships and businesses pivot around those judgments. By understanding how your brainstyle mandates your decisions, you can deliver your best in any relationship.
Feel the burn
Is doing sit-ups the best way to lose my belly?
Abdominal exercises are great for strengthening and firming up the abdominal muscles, but they do little to erase the fat that accumulates at the belly. To lose the fat, you literally have to burn it off by using it for energy. You can do that by engaging in regular aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise, reducing your caloric intake or through a combination of the two. Your body will then draw from the fat stores at your belly, using them for energy. Thus, your belly size will be reduced, according to www.drkoop.com.
Saw those teeth
When flossing, use a sawing motion and gently pull the floss between your teeth. Always remember to rinse after flossing, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Water makes up most of your body composition (an average 150-pound person contains 42 quarts of water); its the medium in which chemical reactions occur in your body; its a lubricant for muscles and joints; and it serves as a vehicle to rid your body of unwanted metabolites and wastes through urine.
You need about 1 milliliter of water for every calorie you consume. Translated to cups, you require about 8 cups (2 quarts) if you consume 2,000 calories a day. This figure rises if you exercise heavily, since youll lose water through sweat. Depending upon your sweat rate, you lose anywhere from 1 to 2 quarts of sweat an hour, especially in warm weather.
Not counting beer, other alcoholic beverages and coffee and sodas with caffeine, all of which boost urine production and fluid loss, you should be reaching for 2 to 4 quarts of water and other fluids throughout the day. Your urine color, which serves as a good gauge of your hydration status, should be pale yellow. Dark urine suggests you are not drinking enough fluid.
Drink to your health
You dont have to drink when others are, and you do not have to accept an offered drink. Practice saying no politely, says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Keep your family safe from stinging insects. Avoid the sweet smells bugs are attracted to, such as perfumes and hair sprays, open food and drink, and garbage areas. Advice from American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
I told you so
To prevent future attacks of gout, be sure to follow the medication guidelines your doctor prescribes, says the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Whats up, doc?
Learn to talk to your doctor. Probably the biggest complaint most people have about their health care is their relationship with their doctor: Office visits are too short and the physician is in such a rush to get on to the next patient that its easy to forget to ask important follow-up questions.
The financial pressures on doctors arent going to go away, so the only way to get more out of the encounter is to be firm in pressing your physician for clear answers to clear questions. Make a written list of questions ahead of time if that helps, and dont be afraid to call back later if you think of pertinent questions once you get home.
Keep track of your bills. This is especially important if you have traditional insurance that requires you to pay a portion of the bill. When you get a bill from the doctor or a statement from the insurance company, look over it carefully to see exactly what it says. Often, the first bill from the doctors office wont seek payment from you, but will tell you how much your insurance company is being billed. And once you get the insurers statement, carefully go over the codes attached to any denials so you understand why a particular payment was rejected. Billing mistakes are common, and its up to you to catch them.
A little yuck goes a long way
When shopping for tonights dinner, stop by the supermarkets salad bar. Add garbanzo beans and beets for extra crunch and color. Some advice from The National Cancer Institute.
Give me drugs, any drugs
According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Americans spent $17 billion on nonprescription medications in 1997. And over the past 15 years or so, a CHPA reports shows, Americans have become less inclined to tough it out and are quicker to make a run to the drugstore to get immediate relief from those annoying symptoms.
Most doctors say if symptoms persist beyond seven to 10 days, despite taking over-the-counter medication, patients should go in for a visit, as many viral and bacterial infections tend to clear up after about a week.
This quiz, adapted from the American College of Sports Medicine, will help you identify the health risks associated with beginning to exercise.
- Has your doctor ever told you that you have a heart condition?
- Do you ever have pains in your heart or chest?
- Do you frequently lose your balance, feel faint or have spells of severe dizziness?
- Has a doctor ever said your blood pressure was too high?
- Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?
- Are you taking any prescription medications, such as those for heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes?
- Do you know of any other reason why you should not engage in physical activity?
- If youre female, are you pregnant?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, The American College of Sports Medicine suggests you see a physician before beginning a program and that includes any fitness appraisals or pre-exercise tests typically offered at fitness centers. If you honestly answered no to all of the questions, you can be reasonably sure that you can safely start becoming more active, if you do so gradually. To really be sure, check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
What is the quickest way to tone up?
The best way to tone your body is to perform resistance/weight training exercises on a regular basis. Such exercises make your muscles firmer, stronger and more defined which gives you that toned look. Of course, if the muscles are hidden under a layer of excess fat, youll need to combine your weight training with aerobic exercise and a healthy diet.
Why do I seem to gain weight around my middle and nowhere else?
When you gain weight in the form of excess body fat, it accumulates in certain locations based on gender and heredity. Males have a tendency to accumulate the fat around the belly because that is where their center of gravity is. Females tend to gain more fat in the hips, t highs and buttocks for reproductive purposes.
Theres a microbe in my soup
Food Handling Safety Tips
- Be aware that raw or improperly cooked meat and poultry can harbor numerous types of food-borne illnesses. Always treat meat and poultry as if it were contaminated. There is no reliable way to tell just by looking at it.
- Avoid cross-contamination. From the supermarket until they are ready to serve, keep meat and poultry separate from other food. This includes in the grocery bags, fridge and coolers. Take special care to ensure that meat juices do not drip onto prepared or raw foods, such as salads.
- Use one cutting board or preparation area for meat and poultry and a separate one for other foods. Cross-contamination frequently occurs when meat and other foods are prepared on the same cutting board or whatever surface is available. If you do not have separate preparation areas, wash the one you are using in hot, soapy water after preparing the meat. Do the same with knives, utensils, plates or anything that comes in contact with the meat.
- Thaw meat and poultry completely before cooking.
- Cook meat and poultry thoroughly, using a meat thermometer.
- Wash your hands often.
- Follow the general guideline that hot foods should be kept hot (after cooking) and cold foods cold. This holds true for transportation to the picnic as well as during the event itself.
- If you are a guest, get to the picnic early and eat right away. Pay attention to the way the food is handled and prepared. Unless it is on a burner or ice, do not eat anything that has been sitting out for more than two hours one hour when it is really hot, above 90 degrees.
- Food that has been sitting out for longer than one or two hours, depending on the weather, should be thrown away, not taken home as leftovers.
For more information, call the USDAs toll-free Meat and Poultry Hotline at (800) 535-4555. Specialists are available to answer questions between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday. At any time, you can listen to recorded messages with answers to frequently asked questions about food preparation safety.
Stop jet lag
You may not be able to prevent jet lag completely, but you can certainly take preventive measures to reduce its severity.
- Drink, drink, drink. But make it water; go easy on the booze. Drink water before, during and after the flight. Carry a bottle of water with you on board and sip constantly. The air in the cabin is extremely dry, and it is easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration, in turn, can worsen the symptoms of jet lag.
- Start out well-rested. Get a good nights sleep before you fly. Pack early, so that you are not up until 3 a.m. the night before your trip.
- Set your watch ahead. Start thinking in the time zone of your destination. Plan how you will adjust your eating and sleeping schedules to the local time as quickly as possible.
- Get some daylight exposure. Spend half an hour or so outside in the daylight soon after arrival or the next morning if you arrive at night. This lets your body clock adjust to the different position of the sun.
- Pace yourself. Do not climb off the plane and onto the tour bus. Spend some time just resting and relaxing. The longer the flight, the more time you should allow.
Source: OnHealth at www.onhealth.com
Caffeine in my blood
Caffeine is absorbed very quickly from the gastrointestinal tract and then distributed in the various body tissues. After absorption, it passes into the central nervous system.
Caffeine sensitivity refers to the amount of caffeine that will produce negative side effects. This amount will vary from person to person. Caffeine does not accumulate in the bloodstream nor is it stored in the body. It is excreted in the urine many hours after it has been consumed. Caffeine will
not reduce the effects of alcohol, although many people still believe a cup of coffee will sober up an intoxicated person.
Caffeine may be used as a treatment for migraine headaches and in relieving, for a short time, fatigue or drowsiness. There is no human requirement for caffeine in the diet. Moderate caffeine intake, however, is not associated with any health risk. Three 8-ounce cups of coffee (250 milligrams of caffeine) per day is considered an average or moderate amount of caffeine. Ten 8-ounce cups of coffee per day is considered excessive intake of caffeine.
Thats a stretch
Should I stretch before or after I do aerobic exercise?
First of all, stretching cold muscles is potentially harmful and less effective than stretching when the muscles are properly warmed up. Theoretically, you should perform some sort of aerobic activity lightly for five minutes to warm up, then stretch, then resume your aerobic activity, and stretch again at the end, according to www.drkoop.com. The problem is that most people dont.
Regular stretching is probably the most neglected area of fitness. Perform all your stretches at the end of the exercise session. It is more likely you will stretch once, rather than twice in the same workout. Aerobic exercise, such as walking and jogging, slightly stresses the muscles and tendons, making them tighter. Therefore, its best to stretch after a workout to help relax the exercised muscles. Muscles that are warmed up can be stretched safely and effectively.
The new PR
Forget company Web sites and registering key words with search engines the popularity of the Internet allows businesses to make new gains in getting their names noticed online. Ace Hardware last year released information on preparing a home for winter weather that appeared in more than 100 newspapers with a combined circulation of 1.2 million. The company did it by submitting the information to the Article Resource Association Web site www.aracopy.com. a service that caters to newspaper and magazine editors by posting news articles with photos and graphics that can be downloaded.
From party favors to profits Can a golf shirt and a hand exerciser really motivate a sales force?
The answer was an overwhelming yes for a pharmaceutical firm that launched a “Get Pumped” campaign to motivate its staff. Each member was given a Power Performance Pack that contained the golf shirt and exerciser. The program helped produce a 60 percent sales increase of the promoted product.
Meanwhile, Geico Direct Auto Insurance launched a “Mission Possible” campaign complete with cardboard briefcases, cellular-phone shaped water bottles and candy-filled bombs that resulted in a 43 percent sales increase over the same period the previous year.
The Texas-based Promotional Products Association International urges companies take notice and develop their own plan to motivate sales people. It cautions employers to set a concise goal, create a program that reflects employees’ tastes and keep an eye on the bottom line.
On the other hand Alexander Haim says it’s not about handing out pens, caps and T-shirts, it’s about making your employees feel good enough to be motivated. Haim, who is pushing his new book “Motivating & Rewarding Employees: New and Better Ways to Inspire Your People,” says promotional campaigns that try to excite workers by handing out trinkets are hogwash. Instead, he says management is 90 percent emotional skill and managers have to make their employees feel good to motivate them. That means focusing on their greatest strengths, making them feel optimistic and exuding a belief they can solve any problem and accomplish their goals. For more information about the book, visit www.adamsonline.com.
Giving employees a stake in company decisions has its problems, most notably the creation of employees who believe they should be consulted at every turn. But a new book promises to educate leaders of businesses both big and small how to avoid this trap and develop one of the most important and frequently neglected leadership skills in the business world decision making.
Mary Gelinas and Roger James, the authors of “Collaborative Change: Improving Organizational Performance,” assert good decision makers are created rather than born, and provide tips on how to hone a variety of decision-making styles. The authors emphasize that not only is the quality of the decision critical, but also the fact that everyone in the organization understands the process through which it was made. For more information, go to www.josseybass.com.
Solving the office supply blues
Never be caught low on paper clips or file folders ever again. Staples.com. is touting a new service that takes the hassle out of ordering office equipment by allowing business owners to create their own online “personal store” in less than five minutes. When pens and paper clips start running low, customers go to the Web site, access their account and submit their ready-made list to restock the shelves.
Staples.Com is hoping it can edge out its online competitors by gearing the service toward small business owners who don’t have time to waste running out to the store and very often don’t have office managers to restock supplies. However, they’re still fighting one obstacle that will be tough to overcome delivery time.
In a recent nationwide survey, 85 percent of attorneys polled said their firm has a Web site. That is nearly double the 47 percent that reported an Internet presence just two years ago. More than 200 attorneys among the nation’s 1,200 largest law firms were polled by the Affiliates, a staffing service specializing in project attorneys and legal support personnel. That leaves us wondering just one thing do the sites actually generate clients?
Spectera Inc., a national managed vision care company, has opened eight stores in Cleveland and Akron during the past month. The Baltimore company’s dip into the Northeast Ohio market was spurred by a need to serve 200,000 members of Kaiser Permanente of Ohio and 27,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. The new stores will create 50 full-time jobs.
Roughing it with style
Premier Parks Inc., the regional theme park company that owns Geauga Lake Amusement Park, has broadened its horizons. The company purchased the 146-room Aurora Woodlands Hotel and renamed it Lodge on the Lake.
The lodge is decorated to resemble a rustic wilderness lodge, but guests need not be worried about primitive accommodations. The hotel will offer Internet access from each room and free shuttle service to Geauga Lake and Sea World. Exclusive rooms designed to accommodate a family of six to eight have been created, offering queen-size beds, a refreshment center and sitting parlor. The Woodlands Bar and Grille will be located in the hotel lobby, and new glass enclosed exterior entrances are being built.
The renovation bill for all this rustic charm? A hefty $2 million. And we wonder why the price of amusement park admission keeps going up.
Public records meet the information age
The traditional slow search for public records may be on the brink of extinction. New software developed by a Washington company allows lawyers, bankers and leasing managers to escape public records purgatory and search for public business documents from their desktop computer. The software allows clients to search for Uniform Commercial Code filings or federal tax liens through Online Data Searches’ up-to-date databases. The company database contains documents filed throughout the West, but will eventually include all 50 states. For more information, visit www.onlineucc.com.
Good work doesn’t speak for itself
A healthy dose of self-promotion is more effective than quiet competence, according to two behavioral scientists. In a new book, George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson say some of the best sales people, highest paid professors and most powerful executives did not attain their positions by being the most competent, but rather through purposeful self-promotion. “The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales,” was written after 25 years of researching what makes people successful.
Dudley and Goodson describe a fear of self-promotion that manifests itself into a common phenomenon they term “call reluctance,” which limits sales people from achieving their full career potential. They offer practical exercises and techniques to help people escape these self-limiting patterns. For more information, visit www.call-reluctance.com.
One in five chief information officers say they would be busy tracing budgets and capital expenditures if they hadn’t opted for a career in technology, according to a recent survey. Twenty-one percent of those questioned say they would have pursued accounting and finance; 15 percent say teaching would have been a secondary career choice. Engineering finished third with 11 percent, medicine snared 9 percent and business administration, 8 percent. Entertainment, law and marketing each received 5 percent, while scientific research finished last with 4 percent.
The survey was developed by RHI consulting, a specialized consulting firm that provides information technology professionals on a project basis. An independent research firm surveyed 1,400 CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with more than 100 employees.
Just say Yahoo!
Although their salary and bonuses may pale in comparison to top-tier pay in traditional corporate America, executives of Internet-related enterprises are walking away with a larger share of stock options than service and industrial companies, according to a study by William M. Mercer Inc.
The analysis, based on public information released between 1996 and 1999 by 32 publicly traded Internet-related companies, found that after going public, the companies had a median of 15.7 percent of their total common shares set aside for stock-based competition, including stock options and restricted stock grants. In comparison, 350 large service and industrial companies reserved median shares of around 10.7 percent.
However, the study showed the Internet companies had a median of 3.7 percent of those stocks left for future incentive grants, while the service and industry companies had around 5.3 percent still available. Meanwhile, the median salary for Internet CEOs was around $200,000, while that of all other Internet executives is $133,563. The median annual bonus among the latter executives was $11,953.
Employers’ efforts to educate their workers about 401(k) plans have spurred increased contributions and more aggressive investment decisions. According to a study by Buck Consultants Inc., the leading worldwide human resources consulting firm, 60 percent of those surveyed with education programs reported higher worker contributions as a result of education initiatives. The survey found that 58 percent with education programs reported employees were making less conservative investment decisions. About nine out of 10 employers have taken steps to teach their work force about savings and retirement principles.
The nationwide survey, based on responses from 646 employers with 401(k) plans, found that 28 percent are considering methods to automatically enroll new workers as a way to boost participation, while 7 percent already do so. Meanwhile, 77 percent of workers are enrolled in 401(k) plans, a level that has remained stable the past six years.
Local firms honored
Five Cleveland-area firms on the cutting edge of quality service, entrepreneurship and other outstanding business practices were recently honored at the Third Annual Business Leadership Awards, sponsored by Cleveland State University and the Rotary Club.
Ohio Savings Bank received the Training and Development Leadership award because of the company’s progressive corporate culture and unique philosophies. The company’s training and development department forged strategic partnerships with all internal clients, developed a Positive Change Committee and encouraged a variety of learning opportunities for employees, from tuition reimbursement to seminars and conferences.
Cleveland Plastics Firm of Elyria was honored with the Quality Leadership award for its innovation in putting customer’s needs first. Each customer is assigned an account manager who documents the customer’s needs with an extensive and comprehensive checklist that is used to improve the product. The company attained a record level of sales in March 1999, while improving first-time quality levels to 99 percent.
Ronald Cohen, of Cohen & Company, a Cleveland firm devoted to advising family-owned and closely held businesses, received the Entrepreneurial Leadership award. The firm ranks among the top 75 accounting firms in the U.S. Cohen was honored for his role as a long time advocate of small businesses through legislative change, particularly in the areas of taxation and capital formation.
Niagara Custombilt Manufacturing Co. of Cleveland was honored for Global Business Leadership. The company has become the world’s foremost builder of custom industrial washing machines, which clean any size or shape of stampings, castings, machine parts or other industrial products. Niagara exports its products to more than 40 countries.
Deliotte & Touche LLP of Cleveland received the Community Service Leadership award for supporting many
local organizations through monetary gifts and the time and effort of its employees. The firm has targeted four major organizations for annual support: Beach Brook, a facility that counsels abused children; Junior Achievement; Riverside Elementary School; and the United Way Services. Last year, United Way benefited from a 48 percent increase in employee contributions, bringing the firm’s yearly total to $250,635.
Luckily, the batteries were charged
PC Guru president Jonathan Husni has seen a lot of strange things since he founded the Beachwood-based computer systems integrator 11 years ago. But what happened during a recent systems upgrade at Harry London Candies tops everything.
Husni explains that PC Guru installers were adding five new servers to help support Harry London’s new software system one Thursday in April when a nearby transformer blew at about 1 p.m., knocking out power in the company’s offices.
Because the server room had no windows, the installers suddenly found themselves standing in complete darkness. Under normal circumstances, Husni could have sent them home and had them return once power was restored. But, he had made a commitment to Harry London president Peter Young that the work would be completed before the end of the day so that employees could resume business as usual Friday morning.
So, taking a page from the Boy Scouts of America manual, out came the flashlights.
For the next seven hours, PC Guru installers toiled by flashlight until 8 p.m., when generators were finally brought in. Power was restored around midnight, and the installers stayed well past 1 a.m. to finish the final pieces of the upgrade.
When Harry London employees returned to work the following day, the upgrades were online and it was business as usual. Husni must be a fan of the stage because he’s subscribed to its one simple rule the show must go on.
A little Java with those beans?
Flashline.com is making waves again. The online software components marketplace recently added a new service to its growing menu of custom-written drop-in software products. Software developers can choose from a collection of commercial quality JavaBeans components written exclusively for JavaServer pages. The offerings are among the first commercial components available for JavaServer applications on the Internet.
SBN featured Flashline founder and President Charles Stack in its April issue. At the time, Stack said Flashline would emerge as one of the premier sites on the Internet for software components. The new service adds another notch in Flashline’s belt on its way toward reaching Stack’s goal.
In yet another effort to help its members get the word out, the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has established a Web site www.prsacleveland.org.
A year in the making, the PRSA site is better late than never. Graphically pleasing and designed by Vantage One Communications, it offers visitors a list of upcoming programs, membership information and job listings, among other benefits. Could broadcast faxes generated by the site be far behind?
Good news for Northeast Ohio polymer companies demand for reinforced plastics is expected to increase 3.3 percent to more than four billion pounds in the year 2003, valued at $5.6 billion. The projections are based on a study from the Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.
So why is this good news for companies such as Geon? Because the projected increases will require 2.8 billion pounds of resin, which in turn could lead to increased orders for regional polymer firms.
Few products on the market are patented. Conversely, few patented products ever are sold. So while it seems to go against everything you’ve been taught in business school about protecting your inventions and ideas from competitors, Dr. Vernon Brabham, a retired optometrist and inventor, suggests taking ideas directly to market.
That unconventional idea is just one Brabham espouses to up-and-coming inventors on his Web site www.bizine/invent.com.
Here are a few others:
- Don’t let invention brokers scam you. The FTC says the vast majority are either ineffective or fraudulent.
- Find out if someone is already producing your idea. You may end up being the one infringing on an existing patent.
- Learn how to figure the cost of your product before you start. Otherwise, you could lose money in the venture.
- The idea is only 5 percent of the total process. Marketing is the other 95 percent.
- Above all, don’t be afraid of new ideas. Dare to dream.
It’s time to upgrade
So you’ve refused to upgrade. Your TRS-80 with the cassette tape drive still works fine. Sure it’s a little slow, but think how much money you’ve saved over the years. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the personal computer, Dell Computer Corp. has launched a “Search for the Oldest PC” still in use at a small business. If you win, you’ll earn your company $15,000 in new Dell computer equipment. You can enter the search by calling (877) 572-DELL or visiting the Web site at www.dell.com, that is, if you have an Internet connection.
The fairer business?
Some quick facts about women-owned business from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Association of Women Business Owners:
- In 1999, women-owned businesses numbered over 9.1 million, accounting for more than one-third of all businesses. They generated $3.6 trillion in revenue and employed 27.5 million workers. For Ohio, that works out to 352,000 firms, 1,124,300 employees and $12.07 billion in sales.
- The top growth for women-owned businesses in the U.S. between 1987 and 1996 were in construction, wholesale trade, transportation, agribusiness and manufacturing.
- Employment at U.S. women-owned firms with 100 or more employees has expanded six times faster than that at all firms in the economy.
- Access to capital has improved. Since 1982, use of credit cards has plummeted from 52 percent to 23 percent and business earnings have doubled.
- The number of firms owned by minority women has increased. By 1992, there were more than 275,000 African-American, nearly 250,000 Hispanic and more than 200,000 Asian women-owned firms.
The honors keep coming
City Visitor Publications President & CEO Rocco DiLillo has been invited to Palm Springs, Fla., to speak to CEOs from around the country at the Inc. magazine CEO Symposium. The event gives attendees the opportunity to discuss leadership strategies with other top executives. DiLillo is a former winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award and one of this year’s judges.
Relaxing the rules a bit
The Internal Revenue Service is giving a break to smaller companies that still have not complied with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System by extending the waiver on penalties from July 1 until the end of 1999. A business qualifies for the break if its payroll and income taxes were $200,000 or less during 1998.
However, the 10 percent penalty will still start July 1 for businesses that paid taxes totaling $200,000 or more last year. The IRS says it will also give a one-time warning notice to businesses that should be complying with EFTPS as of June 30, 1999.
Beginning January 2000, no company that pays federal taxes of less than $200,000 a year will be required to use EFTPS, while those that have taxes totaling $200,000 or more for the first time during 1999 will have to begin electronic transfer in the second succeeding calendar year.
So that’s why
The next way the Internet is going to make our lives easier is e-commerce. That comes as no surprise; the experts have been admonishing us to get on board for some time now. But why? RHI Management Resources asked 1,400 CFOs from around the country the following question: “What is the greatest benefit to be derived from offering e-commerce in your business over the next five years?” Here are the top four responses:
- A means of reaching a broader range of prospective clients 37 percent
- A value-added benefit to existing customers 21 percent
- Reduced operational costs 17 percent
- Faster service/product delivery 13 percent
To the Great White North
Marilou Myrick, president and CEO of ProResource Inc. was selected as one of 150 U.S. women business owners to represent the United States at the Canada /U.S. Businesswomen’s Trade Summit ’99 in Toronto. She was one of four women representatives from Ohio to attend the first ever trade mission of its kind.
EEOC’s settle-not-sue policy spreading
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Cleveland district office rightly takes pride in the success of its alternative dispute resolution program, in which warring parties can ask the EEOC to mediate disputes rather than pursue costly administrative cases. Now, the office, which oversees cases throughout Ohio, is taking its program on the road. Earlier this year, it held an ADR kickoff in Columbus. Says ADR coordinator Loretta Feller, “We’re mediating great guns.”
Careful with those live demos
Cleveland attorney Jim Troxell, with the firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, has developed a reputation as one of the area’s leading authorities on Internet law. But even he gets an unpleasant surprise from the technology now and again. Recently, he was leading a client through a live demo of various Web sites when he accidentally called up a porn site. “We have a fast connection, and it was up like that,” he says.
A new innovation tax
Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner recently told a U.S. Commerce Department conference on the digital economy that as a number of patent protections have been installed in the U.S. patent system over the last 15 years, smaller companies are increasingly being hit with patent-infringement suits by larger players. That has “created a substantial ‘innovation tax’ that afflicts some of America’s most important and creative small firms,” he said.
Bean counters storm the Web
As their business continues to fundamentally shift, accounting firms are becoming endlessly creative in cooking up promising new revenue streams. One of the more creative recent entrants might be the CPA WebTrust seal, an attempt to capitalize on the exploding e-commerce sector. The accounting industry has commissioned surveys that purport to show potential customers will be 46 percent more likely to buy from a site carrying such a seal of approval, which denotes that a qualified CPA has quarterly monitored the integrity of the site’s processes and transactions.
- In 1999, women-owned businesses numbered over 9.1 million, accounting for more than one-third of all businesses. They generated $3.6 trillion in revenue and employed 27.5 million workers. For Ohio, that works out to 352,000 firms, 1,124,300 employees and $12.07 billion in sales.
MCM Communications will be designing and producing a new publication, PA Golf Magazine, developing collateral and trade show material for Diebold, and producing brochure materials for the newly-built Rock Run Estates.
Nationally renowned educational facilities architectural firm Fanning Howey Associates, Inc. has moved into the newly renovated Cigar Factory Building in the Strip District. Walnut Capital Partners, Lhormer Real Estate, Smerd Development and architect Joel Kranich preserved the historic features of the century-old building, which showcases timber beams, exposed brick and prominent windows in the office design.
Turner Construction Co. will manage construction for the renovation of the 96-year-old Phipps Conservatorys Botany Hall.
The Bottom Line Inc. offers the SBAdvantage Guide for Small Disadvantaged Business applicants. The guide streamlines and organizes the information gathering and form completion needed to obtain SDB certification. For information, contact The Bottom Line via e-mail at email@example.com.
The RIDC Growth Fund awarded contracts for the Industrial Center of McKeesport and the City Center of Duquesne. In Duquesne, Mainline Demolition of New York received the general site demolition contract for a bid of $159,185; A. Martini and Co. of Verona will receive $902,350 to renovate the stores and open hearth buildings; and Max Environmental will do open-pit remediation for $79,500. In McKeesport, Sciarretti Asphalt and Paving received a landscape contract worth $67,338.
The Volk Law Firm has opened a North Hills office for the practice of labor and employment law. Volk offers an array of services in human relations, labor negotiations, OSHA cases, labor and commercial arbitration and employment discrimination.
Apollo Solutions, consultant and reseller for Solomon Financial Software for Businesses, announced that its new development efforts will focus exclusively on Microsoft technology platforms. Its product line includes accounting, distribution, project management, manufacturing and e-commerce. Contact Apollo via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prudential Preferred Realty will market the Rocks of Laurel Oak, the latest phase of construction in the Diamond Run luxury golf course community in Ohio Township and Franklin Park. Prudentials senior consultants division has also entered an agreement with National Health Management Inc. to assist in the sale of private homes belonging to NHM personal care facility clients.
A joint venture between DQE subsidiary Montauk and Waste Energy Technology has been undertaken to provide services to the landfill gas management industry. The 50/50 venture will be named Waste Technology L.L.C.
Compuvisions is designing a Web site for New York City-based Brand Futures, a division of Y&R Advertising. Brand Futures, through its Web site, will market and deliver proprietary consumer trend research to businesses globally. Says Larry Honig, executive director of Compuvisions, We are helping Brand Futures market, sell, and deliver its innovative trend research to a whole new market.
Brusters Old-Fashioned Ice Cream and Yogurt Store opened a new location at 493 Lowries Run Road in Ross Township. It will employ about 20 people.
Internet service provider Stargate purchased Pittsburgh OnLine in a move to expand across the western Pennsylvania market. By providing coverage in a few areas that we have, to date, underserved, this gives us an even stronger foothold in our core region, western Pennsylvania, says Marcus Ruscitto, president and CEO.
FORE Systems, Inc., a developer of super high-speed voice, data and video transmission switching systems, has authorized Penn Telecom, Inc. to resell FORE Systems Fore Runner ASX -1200 and ASX-200BX ATM switches, the ES-3810 Local Area Network switches and ForeView network management solutions. The acquisition of FORE ATM equipment will complete our portfolio of data service offerings, says Frank Macefe, PTI president.
Donald Arnheim has announced the formation of the Arnheim Consulting Group to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations. Although Ive enjoyed my career as a business owner and value the relationships that have developed over the years, community service has always been at the core of who I am, says Arnheim, a volunteer for more than 38 years for, among other causes, Rodef Shalom Temple, Leukemia Society, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh authorized an agreement with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority providing for $1 million in sewer line improvements for the South Side. Also, in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corp., the Polish Hill Civic Association, and contractor Steve Catranel Construction Company, Inc., the URA approved financing for a three-unit single-family development on Herron Avenue in Polish Hill. The URA is providing $205,700, while $263,789 comes from private sources.
ServiceWare Inc. is offering free access to its how-to Knowledge-Pak for Microsoft Office 2000. It can be accessed via ServiceWares Web site at www.serviceware.com
Cerebellum Software has announced three new undertakings. First is a strategic partnership with consulting firm Keane Inc. in Boston. Through our strategic partnership with Cerebellum Software, we can introduce our clients to a new, innovative product that leverages existing information technology assets for rapid application development products, says Brian Keane, Keane Inc. president. On the heels of the Keane partnership is an announced expansion into San Francisco and New York City. To move its product onto the market faster, Cerebellum has acquired Pittsburgh-based OPSoft Technologies to create a channel sales department.
Downtown creative agency Fitting Kolbrener is changing its location and its name. Newly-christened Fitting Kolbrener Creative has relocated from the Conestoga Building to Four Smithfield Street. Phone numbers are unchanged.
WTW Architects of Pittsburgh has been chosen to develop a master plan for 12.6 acres of newly purchased land and conduct the renovation of the existing building housing the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The $10 million project is slated to begin early next year.
Trucking company Pitt Ohio Express Inc. has instituted predawn delivery service. Pitt Ohio expects to give its customers a competitive advantage in cycle time, warehousing expenses and inventory costs.
Who says art and culture arent big business? Certainly not Northeast Ohios business leaders. Theyre well aware that Clevelands arts and cultural organizations bring money into their companies, but few realize exactly how large an impact those organizations have. The bottom line? Those groups generate about $1.3 billion in economic activity each year, according to a recent study by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. And they impact the work force as well, employing more than 3,700 full-time workers. Maybe that explains all those corporate donations.
Beware old tricks wearing new names
Just when you thought youd seen every multi-level marketing scam in existence, from outta left field comes cycling.
The concept is a repackaged edition of the time-tested favorite send money to people who have already signed up, then add your name to some list and hope some poor fool sends you money.
This scams twist: A company called Fortune Quest International LLC wants you to send it a $295 one-time fee to join as an independent contractor and sell health care products (none of which are even described in the offer). It then wants you to sponsor two people, who in turn sponsor two more people, and so on. That cycles your name onto the top of a list, supposedly assuring that youll reap a fortune.
Any way you look at it, its the same old thing. Whatever happened to earning money the old fashioned way working for it?
A little touch of home
Lets say youre sending a couple of key engineers or management types to Singapore to oversee integration of a new subsidiary for eight or nine months. Or perhaps youre moving them and their families overseas to run the company for a few years. Odds are that your firms human resources department will handle most of the details concerning the move. But what about other, smaller issues, such as advice on local schools, neighborhoods, banking and other aspects of daily life? Your employees will probably be left to fend for themselves.
A new Web site, www.expatexchange.com, is designed to help supplement a businesss involvement and bridge the gap between whats already handled by your company and whats left. The site is a virtual community established as a support network for expatriates and people assigned overseas for any extended period of time. It includes forums on life in 50 countries, advice from volunteers and experts, a spouses network and information on paying taxes.
The British are coming!
With all the rage about merger mania 2,354 M&A transactions (consolidations, mergers and acquisitions) valued at more than $399 billion have been announced in the second quarter of 1999 alone its easy for business owners to let the potential tender offers put dollar signs in their eyes.
So whos doing all these deals? The largest acquirer of U.S.-based companies is England. Its businesses have racked up 58 acquisitions valued at $46 billion so far this year, according to a study by Mergerstat, an M&A trend watcher.
According to the report, 1999 is on pace to be a record year, with consolidations and acquisitions within the broadcasting and communications industries leading the way.
And, as British firms complete more purchases, such as Vodafone Group PLCs acquisition of AirTouch Communications ($62.8 billion), American business owners may have to complete another acquisition of their own acquiring a taste for tea and crumpets.
Women business owners who have experienced difficulties breaching the walls of major corporations as potential clients will see those walls come tumbling down Oct. 21, at Connection 2000.
The fair, sponsored by the Cleveland chapter of NAWBO the National Association of Women Business Owners is designed to give women business owners access to purchasing agents and decision makers who want to spend money with women-owned businesses. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ameritech corporate offices, 6889 Snow Road, Brecksville. For more information, contact NAWBO at (216) 676-9262.
Pulling up the stakes
It wasnt that long ago that savvy opportunists could make a few extra bucks by registering World Wide Web domain names, then selling the rights to them to companies who were a natural fit. Its a practice which has been dubbed cybersquatting, and Flashline.coms Charles Stack made a quick $25,000 when he sold movies.com to Disney that way. Well, dont look now, but the sun may be setting on cybersquatting with introduction of a bill in Congress to make it a crime. That, however, doesnt mean the practice will be outlawed any time soon. Its no secret how slow the process of lawmaking can be. But just in case enough big money pushes this issue through, you may want to consider snatching up those URLs while you still can.
Protective instincts or survival techniques?
Now that Congress has limited lawsuits surrounding the millennium bug, many major law firms are troubled by the limitations on filing against software and computer makers or vendors. But on the flip side, 86 percent of the nations 1,200 largest law firms say theyre already Y2K compliant, according to a recent survey by The Affiliates. That begs the question: If the bulk of them are ready, why are the attorneys so outraged about Congress move? It could be that theyre looking out for the little guys. Or, maybe theyre concerned about fewer billable hours for their Y2K compliant systems.
Healing the walking wounded
Bob Rosner, author of Walking Wounded, will be the featured speaker Oct. 26 at the ERC Annual Conference. Rosner is a nationally recognized observer of workplace trends, and is a former consultant to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.
The ERC conference is designed to help senior executives, business owners and HR professionals enhance their problem-solving, communication, interpersonal and creative skill sets through one half-day of break-out sessions. The conference will be held at Windows on the River.
SBN Magazine is the events print media sponsor. For more information, contact the ERC at (216) 696-3636.
From a higher authority
Pope John Paul II has named Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor David Forte to the Pontifical Council for the Family. He will serve on the councils board of expert consultants. So does that give him insight into which students say little prayers before his next test?
History in the moving
Parma Movers Inc./The Lincoln Moving & Storage Co. has donated two vehicles to the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum. A 1951 Cadillac and a 1960 white truck still showing the Parma Movers name will join the museums collection.
They must be working somewhere
An OfficeTeam survey of interviewers found these unusual responses to the question: What is the most unusual thing you have ever heard of happening in a job interview?
- An applicants reference sheet listed a person with the title Dad. When asked if it was his dad, the candidate replied, No, but he is a dad.
- When asked about her proficiency with software programs, the interviewee pulled out a photo of herself standing next to a computer and replied, This shows my familiarity with todays office equipment.
- One candidate explained several firings this way: Previous employers had conspired to place a curse on him, and he was conducting his own secret investigation.
And sometimes, actions speak louder than words:
- When the hiring manager walked into the lobby to greet the candidate, she was feeding her virtual pets and asked him to wait just a minute.
- A beeping noise was heard coming from a candidates briefcase. He opened it, switched off an egg timer and informed the interviewer he could answer one more question without being late to his next interview.
And we wonder why theres a tight labor market.
As the year 2000 approaches, tensions about the millennium bug are growing. And fear is the primary ingredient necessary for scam artists to prey on desperate computer owners. If youre not Y2K OK, listen up. The Better Business Bureau has put out a publication outlining what to watch out for.
- Opportunists looking for investors to finance phony Y2K solutions.
- Consultants or businesses selling services or software that arent Y2K compliant or dont fix problems as promised.
- Solution providers pitching miracle solutions at too good to be true prices.
- Exorbitant pries for services and so-called survival supplies (i.e. bottled water, candles, canned foods, etc.)
- Y2K specific scams such as the bogus banker, credit card stickers, Trojan book safes; funny money scan; and the bogus bells.
A copy of the publication is available online at www.bbb.org
A good cause
Believe it or not, its time to begin thinking about ordering those holiday cards. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic Inc. has a way for you to get those cards and do a good deed at the same time.
Cards ordered from the organization come with the inscription, In the spirit of the holiday season, a donation has been made in your honor to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization that fulfills the wishes of children fighting life-threatening illnesses. A good cause, and the cost is mostly tax deductible. For more information, call (301) 962-WISH.
By any other name
Infoworld Enterprise Solutions, one of the 1999 finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program, has changed its name to AdvizeX Technologies LLC.
From the ashes
Do you or your company exemplify the spirit of successful renewal in your corporate or personal performance? If so, you might be honored as one of the Phoenix 50 and earn a trip to Hawaii. Jim Belasco and Ingram Micro CEO Jerre Stead, authors of the book Soaring with the Phoenix: Renewing the Vision, Reviving the Spirit, and Re-creating the Success of Your Company are looking to recognize organizations and individuals for their efforts. For more information, including rules and entry forms, visit the Web site at www.soaringphoenix.com. Deadline is Oct. 31.
Welcome to the machine
More than half of U.S. economic growth is fueled by technological progress in equipment and structures, according to an elaborate study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. That may not come as a surprise, but researchers say no one had ever isolated the various sources of technological advance and their effects on the Gross Domestic Product.
Researchers also wanted to break down how much economic growth is fueled by advances in the production of new equipment and structures compared to disembodied technological advance. The study found 37 percent of economic growth is tied to technological progress in equipment and 15 percent from structures.
Why is this important?
Researchers say public policies such as investment tax credits that reduce the cost of new equipment would likely stimulate output growth and help cut down on unemployment. For more information, visit www.clev.frb.org/ccca
Fastest companies keeping prices steady
The CEOs of Americas fastest-growing companies are keeping a lid on prices, says a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Although most will juggle their prices a bit either up or down, only 30 percent expect to end the year with a net increase. Ten percent say they will likely see a net decrease in prices. But viewed separately, the survey shows service sector companies are pushing prices higher than their counterparts in the product sector. Thirty-five percent of service industries expect a net increase in prices, while only seven percent expect a decrease. In comparison, 30 percent of product sector companies say they will see a net price increase, while 12 percent say prices will be lower.
The jail business
The Ohio Department of Correction and Rehabilitation is negotiating a deal with a Massachusetts firm that touts itself as an industry leader in reducing the chance of a first-time offender becoming a repeat criminal.
The ODCR is working out the details of a contract with Civigenics to manage a new 552-bed prison in Lorain County. The North Coast Correctional Treatment facility in Grafton will cater mainly to men and women doing time for drunken driving convictions. In this case, the firms educational agenda will be focused on public safety issues caused by the return of alcohol and drug-abusing offenders to the community. The company is already working with nine states, as well as law enforcement agencies in Texas and Colorado.
What does a ski lodge do during the dog days of summer to turn a profit? Round up a bunch of classic rockers and blues musicians, of course. Boston Mills, better known for its cold weather entertainment options, will turn its green rolling hills into a mini-Woodstock during two sweltering August afternoons. A Classic Blast, featuring Blue Oyster Cult, John Kay & Steppenwolf and a monster fireworks display is set for Aug. 8th, while the B.B. King Blues Festival, which will include Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Tower of Power, is scheduled for Aug. 22.
Rolling into history
The 51-year-old Greyhound bus station at 1465 Chester Ave. in Cleveland was recently added to the National Registry of Historic places, a move that could allow the owner to qualify for a 20 percent federal income tax credit for repairs and alterations. On the other hand, the recent designation would offer no protection if the owner decided to bring in the wrecking ball.
Nevertheless, the three-story limestone building was added to the National Register because it is an example of the Art Moderne style popular from 1935 to 1950. It was also the first Greyhound station built during the companys post World War II expansion boom. The building was originally nominated to the National Register in 1990, but its owner at the time objected. Earlier this year, the current owner of the building put that nomination back on track.
What does $1 billion worth of golf shirts look like?
Sales of promotional products reached an all-time high last year, topping $13 billion. It is the eighth consecutive year sales of items imprinted with company logos or messages have increased, with 1998 marking an 11 percent increase over the previous year. Since 1990, the industry has witnessed 162 percent growth.
For the 13th consecutive year, wearable items such as T-shirts, caps and jackets were the most popular products, garnering more than 27 percent of all sales. Other chart toppers included writing instruments (11.7 percent) calendars (8.9 percent), and glassware and ceramics (8 percent). The study was sponsored by The Promotion Products Association International. More than 13,000 promotional products distributors in the United States were surveyed.
More companies are leasing more equipment to free up operating capital and bank credit lines for inventory, expansion and the occasional emerge ncy, according to a study by the Equipment Leasing Association. Annual leasing revenue jumped to nearly $3.9 billion in 1997 from $3.55 billion in 1996. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed expect to maintain or increase their leasing activity during the next two years, while 68 percent lease more equipment today than they did five years ago.
Hey, wheres our cut?
SBNs recent cover girl, Custom Edges Carol Herzing (May 1999), attended an early summer meeting of vendors interested in commercial tie-ins to the new Cleveland Browns. A woman with the teams staff took one look at her, and said, I just read about you. Carol walked out with a seven-figure contract to supply Burger Kings in the area with Browns-themed plush dolls. Shes convinced the exposure helped her land the deal.
Wheres our cut, part II
It may or may not surprise you to learn that theres a company in Cleveland that scours local publications and sends feature article subjects a handsomely framed copy of the article. Their pitch is simple: we understand you didnt ask for this, but if youre interested in this as a keepsake wall hanging, keep it and send along $175. But it appears they could use a little editorial help. The company recently sent Ron Copfer a framed article of a piece that appeared in SBN. It looked appealing, we must admit. Only one problem: the plaque attached misspelled his name as Ron Copper.
Who says all the good Internet domain names are taken at this late date in the Internets gold rush? Broadview Heights-based Web developer Tom Roberts was in the market for catchy addresses to support his emerging work on broadcast e-mail. He figured the Italian name for mail had a nice ring to it. Postino.com was already spoken for, as was epostino.com. But he was able to register e-postino.com.
Working to be your poster boy
Northeast Ohio Software Association executive director Jim Cookinham recently got off a good line about NetGenicss Manny Glynias and his unofficial role as the poster boy for area software start-ups. Mannys a little nervous, because he knows that software start-ups work and dont work, and he doesnt want to be the poster boy of not working.
Turner also has been chosen to complete the construction of the labor/delivery/operating room at Magee-Womens Hospital. Interior work will be completed on a 43,000-square-foot area in February 2000.
General Products, Inc. of Murrysville has purchased West Virginia-based Adena, Inc., a water treatment chemicals company. With Adenas expertise in water treatment and our background in chemical products, it takes us to a new level, says General Products owner and president Gene Chafre.
CAPCO Contracting is the first business to receive a loan through the Community Express Pilot Loan Program, a collaborative effort of the SBA and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The $400,000 loan was arranged through Mellon Bank.
JLS Technologies has opened an enterprise resource planning software training center. Classes run weekly for two hours for 10 hours per workshop. The West View facility provides free JD Edwards ERP software training to qualified Western Pennsylvania IBM AS/400 developers. Contact Bruce Hurst at (412) 939-0280 or email@example.com.
Guidos Real Estate has merged with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Guidos adds 12 sales associates to Howard Hannas 1,300 sales and staff personnel. Marie Guidos, owner of Guidos Real Estate, assumes a position as associate broker and senior consultant at Howard Hanna.
Roccos Auction & Appraisal Services of Erie has been chosen to handle the liquidation of properties for Howard Hanna. Howard Hanna also has formed an affiliation with Premier Properties By Barbara Alexander LLC in West Virginia. Eighteen companies have joined Howard Hanna since 1995.
WTW Architects of Pittsburgh has been chosen to design a renovation and addition for the University of Colorados University Memorial Center in Boulder. At a cost of $23 million, the project is planned to start in spring 2000 and finish in summer 2002.
Thermal Transfer Corp. has selected the RIDCs City Center of Duquesne for relocation. RIDC will complete a $5 million renovation of Thermal Transfers new 116,000-square-foot facility by years end. The company designs and manufactures heat recovery products used in metals production, heat treating, glassmaking, chemical processing, cement manufacturing, food processing, paper, textiles, waste management, and pollution control.
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC has merged its legal practice with Philadelphia-based Connolly Epstein Chicco Foxman Oxholm & Ewing. The expanded practice will operate under the Eckert Seamans name. Strategically, Eckert Seamans reinforces its statewide presence, while Connolly Epstein gains an expanded range of services that can be provided, especially in the area of intellectual property.
Network solutions firm CyBerJaz has merged vertically with training and software consulting company PC Advisors. The companies will operate under the CyBerJaz banner. Says John Hudson, director of business development for the combined firms: The new CyBerJaz will be perfectly positioned to manage a clients total needs.
Tuscarora Inc. has acquired the principal business and operating assets of Lane Container Company, a Dallas-based company. The merger gives Tuscarora further access to regional markets. Lane founder Rick Lane now holds the post of general manager at the Dallas operation.
Exercise Equipment, Inc. has merged with Ranieris Fitness Products, making Exercise Equipment the largest locally owned fitness equipment dealer in the tri-state area.
E-Transport has added an office in New Jersey and a temporary office in England. The company provides automated tariff and pricing information for the international shipping industry.
The Mon Valley Initiative has closed its first loan to a bakery in Elizabeth, Pa. The MVIs Initiative Fund finances small and start-up businesses in economically troubled areas in the Mon Valley. It targets small manufacturers needing equipment, leasehold improvements, property acquisition and expansion, and working capital.
XiTech Corp. has merged with Professional Communications and Cable Inc. PC&Cs 14 employees have been transferred to the new XiTech offices. PC&C was very attractive to us because of its expertise in network and telecommunications installation, says XiTech president Jim Sommer.