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Thursday, 29 September 2005 12:04

Home grown

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Rick Angheld founded the Rick Angheld Real Estate Group in 1985, but about 10 years ago, he decided to branch out into other areas of his field. In addition to selling real estate, he now manages a mortgage company, title company, commercial real estate business and management company. He also runs a development company that buys dilapidated houses near the University of Akron, tears them down and builds new student housing. He’s currently building his last student-housing complex in Akron and is looking at the Kent State University student-housing market. “I’d never build something that I wouldn’t personally live in,…
Thursday, 29 September 2005 11:39

Polymer pro

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Over the past 40 years, there have been many challenges and advances in the field of polymer chemistry, and nobody understands that better than Rick Organ, president and CEO of Kent-based Schneller Inc. “In the past couple years, the No. 1 item has been weight consideration, taking more weight out of the aircraft and, in turn, out of our products. And No. 2 has been addressing the environmental considerations and ensuring more environmentally-friendly products,” Organ says. Schneller Inc. develops and manufactures engineered decorative laminates and nontextile floor coverings for the transportation and architectural industries. Its 200 employees work from its…
Wednesday, 31 August 2005 09:49

Movers & Shakers

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Lauren International Inc. appointed Kevin E. Gray, a 22-year company veteran, as CEO. Gray assumes CEO responsibilities from founder Dale Lauren Foland, who retired in April after 40 years with the corporation. Gray previously served as president and CEO of Lauren International and as president of Edgetech IG and president of Lauren Manufacturing, a manufacturer of molded or extruded polymer solutions and gaskets. Foland will stay involved with the company as chairman of the board. In his new role, Gray is positioning the company for significant growth well into the future. Like other domestic manufacturers, Lauren International faces unprecedented pressure…
Tuesday, 30 August 2005 13:16

A company's business valuation

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In determining the value of a business, a qualified financial expert will consider national and regional economic data, industry trends, the company’s financial history and outlook, history of transactions within the company and the industry, among many other considerations and factors. Defining valueBusiness appraisals are preformed for many purposes, including contemplated stock and asset transactions, estate planning and litigation (such as divorce, dissenting shareholders, economic damages, etc.). Value could mean different things, depending on the purpose and how it is used. A target company could be more valuable to a strategic buyer who can implement synergistic capabilities not available to…
Thursday, 28 July 2005 05:38

Walk this way

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Every day, papers are filled with news reports about the general lack of wellness among Americans. These reports tell us that chronic illnesses — including obesity, diabetes and congestive heart failure — are all on the rise. Besides the serious health risks associated with them, these illnesses limit our productivity, increase the cost of our health care and curtail the quality of life for all of us. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 64 percent of American adults ages 20 and older are overweight or obese. Additionally, 15 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 19, and 15…
Thursday, 23 June 2005 20:00

Solid connections

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What would you like your Web site to accomplish? Community outreach? Client education? Fund-raising? Most organizations today have some type of Web presence, but are you really getting your money's worth? Your mission Every company exists to further its mission. Your Web site should be used to involve clients by demonstrating your mission and providing easy access to information and resources. For example, an arts education organization might provide a list of classes along with a registration form. A steel corporation could offer shareholder information or international locations. A food bank can provide dates and times for food distribution. And…
Monday, 23 May 2005 06:43

Burden reduction

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In the course of running and growing your business, there are inevitable responsibilities that always manage to drain an organization, or a staff member, of valuable time. Somewhere close to the top of this list of responsibilities lies payroll processing. The payroll process can be a thankless, time-consuming administrative headache that is often thought of as a necessary evil. Regardless of the size of your business, payroll processing can sideline efforts to focus on more productive areas. Outsourcing can provide much-needed relief from this unprofitable administrative burden. Due to the ever-changing payroll tax laws, filing requirements, human resource demands and…
Monday, 23 May 2005 06:35

Half-full region

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"Plucky optimism" isn't a phrase that's often used in the business world; in fact, an overly rosy outlook can be perceived as a weakness, akin to naïveté and excessive idealism. But for Robert Briggs, chairman of the Fund for Our Economic Future, optimism isn't about being naïve or unrealistic; it's a conscious decision to acknowledge and address problems and still maintain a positive attitude. "People who try to be positive get up in the morning and say, 'I'm not going to let my problems bother me or anybody else. I'm going to be upbeat and positive.' I think that's what…
Friday, 22 April 2005 09:43

Movers & Shakers

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. elected Denise M. Morrison to its board of directors. Morrison is president - global sales and chief customer officer for Campbell Soup Co., where she is responsible for the company's $7.1 billion in global sales. Morrison joined Campbell Soup in April 2003 from Kraft Foods, where she was executive vice president and general manager of its Snacks and Confections divisions, responsible for brands including Planters nuts, Lifesavers candies and Altoids mints. Prior to that, she was senior vice president at Nabisco Inc. and general manager of the Down the Street division. Morrison joined Nabisco…
Friday, 22 April 2005 09:33

It's your move

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For 25 years, CPA firm Brott Mardis & Co. was housed in the First National Tower in downtown Akron, growing to fill two floors. Last year, president Denise Griggs decided to relocate the firm several blocks away into the O'Neils Building, the former home of the iconic department store. During the weekend of Dec. 3, 2004, the Brott Mardis team moved in, joining Roetzel & Andress, Ernst & Young, McDonald Financial Group and the Harry Buffalo restaurant in the O'Neils Building. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the firm used timelines provided by the Association for Accounting Administration for moving an…
Friday, 22 April 2005 09:26

Just in time

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Ted Swaldo and his team at ASC Industries Inc. in North Canton used to be forecasters. In the past, they'd guess how many aftermarket water pumps their automotive and light truck customers would buy, then manufacture those pumps and store them until an order arrived. "That became very inefficient for us because no matter what we tried to forecast, they always wanted something different," says Swaldo, ASC's president and CEO, and one four engineers who founded the company. After two years of examining its methodology and assembly processes, ASC implemented just-in-time manufacturing, and today, receives an order, pulls the components,…
Friday, 22 April 2005 07:26

Flourishing fashion

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The operators at J. Marco Catalog are happy to take your order. But don't ask to speak to Mr. Marco unless you want to make president Cory Smith laugh. The Seville-based company was started in 1979 by Smith's mother, a single mom who named the company after her three children -- a daughter with the middle name Jo and sons Mark and Cory -- all of whom serve on J. Marco's executive team. "Sometimes salesmen will call in and say, 'I talked to Mr. J. Marco just a week ago, and I'm returning his call.' And we're like, 'OK, sure,…
Tuesday, 22 March 2005 05:26

Team approach

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If you're not familiar with Six Sigma, it can sound like some sort of secret society with its own code. You hear about black belts, green belts, reductions in variations and references to mysterious statistics. But despite some of the odd terms, it's really not all that complicated. When upper management fully endorses the concept and it is implemented correctly, it can greatly increase the profitability of a company. "It's a management process for running a company," says Dale Flowers, co-director of the Institute for Management and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. "Some of the key aspects to it…
Tuesday, 22 March 2005 05:06

Movers & Shakers

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The Timken Co. named Donald J. Remboski vice president - product innovation in the Technology Group at Timken Research in North Canton. In this new position, Remboski helps the company accelerate both top- and bottom-line growth by creating strategies for inventing and deploying new product technologies. Sal Miraglia, senior vice president - technology, says, "Remboski's knowledge of complex automotive systems will be extremely valuable as the company moves into new markets, which will require customer centricity, conceptualization, development and the manufacture of new and unique products to serve those markets." Early in his career, Remboski was employed as a programmer…
Tuesday, 22 March 2005 04:58

Vested interest

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Banking is in the blood of Ann Durr, president and COO of Valley Savings Bank. The granddaughter of the attorney who helped found Valley Savings and Loan in 1923 and the daughter of a former Valley chairman of the board, Durr can relate to the small business owners who come to her for loans and financial advice. "I have an enormous amount of pride in what I do because of my family heritage," she says. "And I think my employees feel that, too." Customer demand weighs heavily at this institution. With three offices in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow and more…
Wednesday, 23 February 2005 06:53

Club rules

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In the current economic climate, many private golf and country clubs are struggling to retain and attract members. Current club members may still be reeling from the results of previous economic conditions and the effects on their investments and businesses, while younger generations usually targeted for new memberships may have different financial goals -- such as saving for their children's college tuition or purchasing a larger home. As a result, many clubs are faced with unexpected budgeting challenges, forcing them to consider drastic measures such as selling, merging with another club or dissolving completely. Before making an irreversible or unpopular…
Wednesday, 23 February 2005 06:29

The director's cut

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After Lean Cuisine and Fred Segal committed to joining forces at Sundance, the two companies began to discuss other ways to team up at the festival to promote their brands. Because Sundance is set on the ski slopes, Lean Cuisine Marketing Director Brett White, his team and Fred Segal devised the concept of giving to Sundance VIPs a scarf that would tie back to both brands. Fred Segal designer Joey Tierney created a scarf that included a sheaf of wheat in the design, symbolizing Spa Cuisine's use of whole grains, and that contained a concealed pocket for carrying personal items.…
Monday, 24 January 2005 05:46

The diversity of fraud

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Two recent news items illustrate how widespread --and different -- corporate fraud can be. On the high-tech front, two doctors were ordered to pay more than $500,000 to Medicaid and private insurers after billing them for free vaccines. The culprit, according to the doctors, was outdated software used for billing. According to the doctors, the archaic billing system was set up in 1994, three years before the overbilling started and before they owned the practice. Still, a computer glitch was not a sufficient enough excuse to avoid the double-damage penalty imposed by Medicaid for submitting false claims. The practice, the…
Monday, 20 December 2004 11:13

Second life

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A 79-year-old Cleveland businessman had a universal life insurance policy with a face value of $2.5 million. In early 2004, he decided he no longer needed the policy for estate-planning purposes, but the surrender value was only $19,000. Instead, he sold the policy on the secondary life insurance market for $705,000. Similarly, a 67-year-old physician was diagnosed with cancer. He had a life insurance policy with a death benefit of $801,000, but he needed the money now so he could retire earlier than planned. The surrender value was only $78,000, but by selling the policy on the market, he received…
Monday, 20 December 2004 10:54

Hiring and keeping the best

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What is your organization's most valuable asset? If you answered "my employees," you are a savvier businessperson than you may realize. Regardless of your industry, enhancing your intellectual capital can significantly influence your success and directly impact your bottom line. Your ability to attract and retain quality people, especially in a tight and competitive job market, can increase your profit margin. Recruiting and hiring While many hiring and retention practices are somewhat general, administering them is often cumbersome. Not only is hiring employees a time-consuming process, but making an incorrect hire can be very costly. To avoid making a hiring…
Wednesday, 01 December 2004 08:45

Leading by example

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One month before Sept. 11, 2001, The Achievement Centers for Children (ACC) and its executive director, Patricia Nobili, began a campaign to raise money to build a new facility on Cleveland's East Side. Several years of hard work and $8.2 million later, the state-of-the-art Breen Family Center opened in June 2004. The licensed and accredited ACC helps children and young adults with disabilities lead independent and productive lives. The agency also weaves therapy, education, recreation and family support services together to meet the needs of the entire family. The centers are located in Highland Hills and Lakewood, with Camp Cheerful…
Wednesday, 01 December 2004 06:39

Connecting with communities

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For The Cleveland Clinic Health System Western Region's hospitals, community service runs deeper than financial support and simple volunteerism. Fred DeGrandis, CEO of Lutheran, Lakewood and Fairview hospitals, helps integrate philanthropy into the hospitals' mission and connect its staff in a personal way with its surrounding communities. DeGrandis says creating relationships with the people you serve helps you better understand their issues, move the community forward and become a stronger organization. More than 150 members of the hospital's management team are board members or actively share their talents with local nonprofit organizations. One leads a local development corporation designed to…
Wednesday, 01 December 2004 06:24

Strengthening communities

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In an effort to instill a sense of ownership and responsibility in local residents, Chip, Kenneth and Scott Marous, the president, secretary/treasurer and vice president, respectively of Willoughby-based Marous Brothers Construction Inc., implemented the Participating Area Resident (PAR) program in local neighborhoods. Foremen at the Longwood Apartments on Cleveland's near East Side acted as mentors to PAR employees and taught them basic construction techniques so Marous Brothers staff could determine where their skills could best be worked into the construction company's apprentice program. As a supplement to union training, Marous Brothers' Total Quality Management Program has been implemented to instruct…
Wednesday, 01 December 2004 06:15

Thoughts on philanthropy

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We asked the sponsors of this year's Pillar Award for Community Service about the role philanthropy plays within their organizations. Each offered great insight into creating a culture of giving and encouraging employee participation. Here are a few of their ideas. Robert King Jr., Fifth Third Bank Describe your company's philosophy of philanthropy. At Fifth Third, the belief is that building a stronger community helps build a stronger bank. In 1948, Fifth Third established one of the financial industry's first corporate foundations. Today, the foundation office reviews hundreds of funding proposals and requests for assistance from nonprofit entities. We work…
Wednesday, 01 December 2004 03:48

Movers & Shakers

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FirstMerit Corp. appointed Norman A. Bliss as senior vice president, Corporate Community Reinvestment Act officer. Bliss will head FirstMerit Corp.'s CRA compliance in its 24-county market. He has more than 15 years of banking experience, and most recently served as the community reinvestment officer for FirstMerit's Northern Ohio banks. "Norm is a community leader and has a successful track record in helping to develop low- and moderate- income communities," says Robert P. Brecht, senior executive vice president. "His experience in community reinvestment, combined with his ability to work with community-based organizations, will continue FirstMerit's history of strong community partnerships and…
Thursday, 21 October 2004 06:59

Go with the flow

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Five years ago, you might have found Lance Healy and Jim Walborn delivering grout to a construction project. Today, they run Elyria-based Banyan Technology, a multimillion dollar nationally deployed technology firm. When Healy's product development company joined forces with Walborn's concrete specialty supply house in 1999, they expanded beyond the traditional local markets and began to explore the possibilities of the Web. The pair launched in August 2000 but, frustrated with the difficulty of the coordination and management of freight, soon pioneered a new online marketplace for freight. Following this successful model, Healy and Walborn received many requests to…
Thursday, 21 October 2004 06:57

The honor roll

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Birol Growth Consulting It took a defining life moment for Andy Birol to realize his future was his own hands -- he had just lost his job as vice president of sales and marketing at an information services company and his daughter was ill in the hospital. While Birol was successful in getting his company, Birol Growth Consulting, off the ground, one year later he lost a major client that represented 92 percent of his business. He realized he wasn't doing the basic things he was telling his clients to do -- selling, delivering and developing at the same time.…