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Monday, 22 July 2002 09:58

Information highway aids real time speeders

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We all cringe at the wail of a siren and flashing blue lights in our rearview mirror. What’s worse is when you get nabbed far from home and want to fight the infraction, but for the sake of time, money and expediency, you bite the bullet and send in the cash. For many, driving is a critical part of doing business. Added points can not only jack up insurance rates, they can take you off the road. Now there is a practical site on the Internet to help you wage war against traffic violations. With www.speedingticket.net, motorists can link up…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:57

BBB as arbitrator

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The Better Business Bureau of Akron has been chosen by the Summit County Juvenile Court as a provider of mediation services. It may seem a bit odd for a business organization to be dealing with legal issues, but it is a natural outgrowth of the BBB’s arbitration division. “This is really an expansion of our role as a problem solving dispute entity for the community,” says Edward Pierce, director of mediation services for the BBB. The bureau has been an arbitrator for businesses since the late ’60s. Judge Judith Hunter says that among the factors that led to the inception…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:56

When leverage goes bad

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If you own a small or medium-sized business, you’re on the radar screen. As professional service firms plot their expansion strategies, the dynamic and exciting “growth companies” are the target. How do lawyers, insurance specialists and other service providers attract the attention of these businesses? Referral and word of mouth continue to set the standard for choosing a professional services firm. At the center of this referral network is the CPA — a business executive’s “most trusted adviser.” If your CPA refers you to an attorney or insurance firm, that referral is seen as credible and, in the final analysis,…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:56

News clips

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If your business is located in Alliance, and you were not recognized at the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce’s 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…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:56

In the name of growth

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The Cascade Capital Corp. is honoring 44 Akron-area companies on May 6 as it presents its annual Business Growth Awards. The awards are given to companies in Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland, Holmes and Wayne counties that, over a five-year period ending Dec. 31, 1998, experienced an increase in sales by either 25 percent or $5 million or an increase in employees by either 25 percent or 25 bodies. The selection committee was made up of the following: Tim Biro, Ohio Innovation Fund; Susan Ernst, National City Bank; Ted Walter, Key Bank; Neal Waxman, Capital Advisors; Mark Sarlson, Cowden Humphrey &…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:56

Business Notes

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A North Canton company has come up with a way for you to increase exposure to your Web site. Integrity Marketing Services is distributing Web-Site Packs, which resemble a deck of postcards. Each card, designed to mount next to a monitor, describes the features and advantages of each site. The company is distributing two packs, one for consumer marketing and the other for business-to-business marketing. Belden & Blake Corp. of North Canton has formed Belden Energy Services Co., a wholly owned gas marketing company. DaimlerChrysler has chosen Stark State College of Technology to provide apprenticeship training for employees of DaimlerChrysler’s…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:56

“What I meant to say ...”

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Dennis Patterson, a human resource generalist for Roberts Express in Akron, remembers a time when he would become frustrated during discussions with subordinates if they made rebuttals to his management directives. Sharon Campbell, a systems technician for Kent-based Schneller Inc., recalls meetings with a supervisor during which she became so irritated by his autocratic style that she would leave in exasperation, sometimes slamming the door behind her. These two professionals share something in common: their communication styles — and those of the people with whom they worked — were contributing to problems in the workplace. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:55

Y2K relief

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The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering Y2K Action Loans to small business that need financial assistant to address their Y2K compliancy problems. “Y2K is an issue that every small business must address; however, potential repair costs should not be a reason to avoid preparing for the Y2K challenge,” says SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez. The lending program, which is part of the SBA’s 7(a) program, was authorized by the Small Business Year 2000 Readiness Act, signed into law in April by President Clinton. The SBA will guarantee up to $750,000 of a bank loan made for Y2K purposes, and the…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:55

Practice what you preach

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When Cathy Morgan interviewed for the position of medical records director at Portage Path Behavioral Health — Summit County’s largest health care provider of outpatient behavioral services — the clincher in her acceptance of the job offer was the organization’s attentiveness to employee wellness. “They don’t just preach about job burnout, they practice ways to prevent it from happening in their own workplace,” she says. Statistics show tens of millions of workers in the United States suffer from job burnout, a condition psychologist Herbert Freudenbeger (who claims credit for the term) defines as “a depletion of energy and a feeling…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:55

King Cantina fights to keep its monarchy

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In September 1998, Tony Polito struck a deal he thought would allow him to expand his restaurant, King Cantina. Instead, he was forced to move out of his successful location on West Market Street in Highland Square. He sold his recipes and the license to the existing restaurant to a new owner, and sought out a new location in Canton or Cleveland to grow his business. Shortly afterward, the new Highland Square owner was approached by the popular Aladdin’s Eatery chain, which wanted to sublease the property. The money was right and the licensee sold out to Aladdin’s, leaving Polito…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:55

Business Notes

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SEA Group Inc. has moved its Canton offices to Embassy Parkway Parkway in Akron. SEA Group provides custom software to businesses. R.W. Martin & Sons Inc. has finished the expansion of its Stoneman warehouse in Kent. SFS Stadler Inc., a Swiss manufacturing company, has broken ground on a new facility in Sharon Center. The company, which manufactures high-precision fastening products, plans to hire 65 employees within the next few years to work at the new location. Bill Bennett, formerly of Welty Building Co., has started Bennett Construction Management Inc. in Akron. Akhia Public Relations of Hudson has been named public…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:55

A system of rewards

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When Sam Reed, an engineer for Akron-based R&R International, went to work last Friday, he had Puerto Rico on his mind. It’s safe to say, so did most of R&R’s 225 employees. Reed knew the company’s quarterly conference call lunch meeting was that day, and that along with cash, clothing and other rewards, the company CEO would be giving one lucky employee a trip to Puerto Rico. But Reed, who works on location for R&R in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, knew he’d miss the meeting, so he e-mailed Kellie Kerr, the company’s HR manager. “He said, ‘I won’t be able to attend…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:53

Movers & Shakers

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Gust Goutras has been elected president of the Stark County Bar Association. Goutras is chief deputy, chief magistrate and court administrator for the Stark County Probate Court. Malone College has appointed Russell R. Gifford, former president of CNG Energy Services Corp. and former CEO and president of East Ohio Gas, as its first executive-in-residence. Gifford will join a panel of guests to discuss work force retention Sept. 13 as part of the college’s Business Series. The Aultman Health Foundation has appointed Karl Meinert as executive vice president of its satellite facilities and Timothy A. Oberschlake as associate vice president of…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:53

Six mistakes

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Marc Miller, president of ChangeMaster Corp., admittedly hates many of the traditional selling techniques. He trains his clients how not to have to make a lot of cold calls. He “abhors” those goofy closing techniques. And one of his rules is “no jargon.” Here are some of the most common problems he’s seen in his 15 years as a sales trainer. Managers who don’t have enough hiring experience to be good at it. “So what they do is they hire somebody else’s sales baggage,” says Miller. “They end up hiring people who are low-probability shots, or they hire somebody else…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:53

Phoenix in Akron?

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How long does it take to recover from fire and water damage when your product is pulp? About five years, say owners of The Bookseller Inc., a firm created in 1948 by a family’s love of the antiquarian trade, but ravaged by a 1994 blaze. Recalling the inferno that destroyed the 3,000-square-foot site at 521 West Exchange, father-daughter team Frank and Andrea Klein say they also lost 80 percent of inventory, representing about $100,000 worth of out-of-print books and magazines. “We did salvage a cash register, a counter and some rare reference books,” Andrea chuckles. The resurrection site became a…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:53

Creating a unified voice

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Growing up in Cleveland, the drive to Summit County to see concerts and basketball games at The Coliseum was my first realization that Northeast Ohio consisted of more than Cleveland’s east and west suburbs. But the Cavs didn’t stay long in Richfield, and soon ,The Coliseum’s premiere concerts started to trickle north. To me, the demise of The Coliseum symbolized that as a region, Northeast Ohio just wasn’t ready to share its resources. But that could be changing. Regionalism is a word that the Northeast Ohio business community has heard repeatedly in the latter part of this century. If Cleveland,…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:53

A new breed of ownership

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More than half the U.S. work force is employed in family-owned businesses. In fact, 78 percent of all jobs created now are at family-owned companies. Family-owned businesses are thriving, and for the next generation poised to take leadership, you’d think those statistics would offer, at the very least, security. Still, the generation assuming ownership in the ’90s is taking more risks than ever with the family business. Stability, and a healthy track record, make no difference. The next generation is shaking things up. “This generation that’s coming into their own in the ’90s are more likely to change the direction…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:52

Be counted

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In the 1996 presidential election, there were more people of voting age that stayed home than went to the polls. The numbers continue to dwindle and the polls reflect it. People are disgusted with both Democrats and Republicans and no longer feel a strong allegiance to either party. The number of voters listing themselves as “other” doubled from 1992 to 1999, leading to a fractured political landscape full of questionable candidates and extremist views. Voter apathy continues to grow, caused by broken pledges and the feeling that one vote doesn’t matter. People don’t take the time to study the candidates…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:52

Signs of success

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When the new corporate home of Schumaker Homes and Schumaker Real Estate opened on Wise Avenue in April, the Schumaker family unveiled more than just a new building. The Schumakers also decided to completely change and update their companies’ signage. New signs were designed for the inside and outside of their 24,000-square-foot corporate offices, and for the two model homes that sit on the same lot. The trick was to find signs that would draw enough attention, yet not detract from the warm feel of the model homes or the tasteful landscape. “It’s very professional, it’s very corporate, but it…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:52

Graduating summa cum laude

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Sitting in his vast office — his blue eyes lit up with a slight bit of mischief — Albert Gilbert, Ph.D., is about to tell a story he doesn’t want his listener to misunderstand. The president and CEO of Summa Health System hasn’t been able to contain his enthusiasm about the fact that his hospital was recently named one of the nation’s top hospitals in four categories in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Hospitals” issue. But he’s careful about how much credit he’s willing to take. “One doctor minimized it, saying, ‘That’s just a popularity contest. They…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:52

Diverse and efficient

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The phone rings and Peter Young’s deal du jour is interrupted by a frantic customer begging a favor. Dialogue done, Young darts out his door. Sprinting past the row of administrative offices, he plucks a hair net from his suit pocket and covers his head before entering the sterile production area. Production floor supervisor Pat Boyer harkens to familiar footsteps and looks up to see Young conferring with manufacturing manager Bill Scheppler. She doesn’t even have to surmise the conversation’s content. Boyer instinctively anticipates a changeover because it’s a typical scenario — and business as usual — at Harry London…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:52

Appearances do count

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For the last nine years, Michael DiMaio, president of Fairlawn’s Michael DiMaio & Associates Inc., has helped area businesses create up-to-the-minute work environments that not only make employees happy but make them productive as well. Then one day he looked around his West Market Street offices and thought he’d better do something for himself. “It’s like that old story about the cobbler’s children having no shoes,” DiMaio says of many architectural firms. “We’re out there designing great spaces, great homes, and sometimes our own space is rubbish.” DiMaio’s space may not have been rubbish, but he knew it needed improvement.…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:51

Movers & Shakers

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Second National Bank of Warren has appointed Patricia A. DiFrancesco and Christine M. Reese as branch banking officers. TeleDevelopment Services of Streetsboro has hired Mark N. Schmidt as vice president. Schmidt will be responsible for the company’s consulting, training and outsourcing divisions. Richard B. Hite has joined Seibert-Keck Insurance, Akron, as vice president of business development and acquisitions. Akron law firm Roetzel & Andress has hired Peter Lawson Jones as partner in its Cleveland office. Main Street Gourmet of Akron has hired Cheryl Davis as director of national accounts. Amer Cunningham Brennan Co., Akron, has hired Thomas J. Lloyd as…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:51

Stock Item

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Alex Csizar, Telxon Corp.’s vice president of investor relations, says he’s not really a gadget guy. But he’s stumbled onto a tiny piece of technology he won’t be without these days. It’s the 4800 Series Turbo DS Wireless PC Radio Card by Aironet (Nasdaq: AIRO). Csizar often needs to take his laptop from the docking station in his office (where it’s hardwired) into the boardroom for an executive staff meeting. Problem is, once he’s off the network and Internet, he can’t watch real-time quotes of Telxon stock. “So, I installed an Aironet access point which is tied into the network…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:51

Explore success

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The Akron Regional Development Board is presenting its annual Exploring Success Conference Oct. 5 for business owners and managers who want to reinvigorate their management skills. This year’s keynote speaker is Jim Rohn, author of “Seasons of Life and The Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness.” Rohn also heads a California management development corporation. For more information on the conference or to register, call the ARDB Center for Small Business at (330) 379-3170. SBN is a sponsor of the event.
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:50

Constructing a qualified crew

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What’s there to do when a scarcity of qualified workers thwarts an employer’s attempts to build a proficient work force? Whether it’s job retraining in an employee’s current field or career development in a different direction, many firms are offering continuing education opportunities for workers to acquire and enhance position expertise. Alltel Communications Inc. is one such company that recognizes the importance of training and ongoing education. “Being the size of company we are, with approximately 25,000 employees, there are a lot of advancement opportunities within our organization, not just in Ohio but throughout the country,” says John Dascenzo, human…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:50

A contender

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I heard the new editor of Ohio’s largest newspaper speak to a group of Northeast Ohio journalists the other day. He agreed to answer questions from the audience after he finished speaking, which I thought took some guts. You see, Ohio’s largest newspaper is not always thought of as Ohio’s most well-respected newspaper. Especially not to a roomful of reporters — most of whom work for the competition. After the first few obligatory innocuous questions, a reporter asked, somewhat rhetorically, what the editor thought the best newspapers in the country were, and where Ohio’s largest newspaper ranked. The editor listed…