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Thursday, 29 November 2001 05:39

Sheer growth

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Not so long ago, wealth was measured by the size of one's flock or herd. Today, an investment in livestock still shares many desirable characteristics of investments in stocks, bonds and real estate. Desirable, that is, if the livestock is in demand. Among all livestock, none represents a greater investment value than alpaca. Cuddly, cute-faced cousins of the llama, alpacas were domesticated thousands of years ago by the Incans of the Andes Mountains in Peru and first imported to the United States in 1984. Now being raised throughout North America and abroad, alpacas are typically about 36 inches tall and…
Wednesday, 31 October 2001 08:39

Changing times

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Early last month, I flew to Seattle to spend four days with fellow journalists from all over the country. Most were breaking away from one of the busiest times of their careers as reporters and editors to come to this event. We left our jobs to participate in an annual conference on journalism, organized and hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists, a national organization that serves to protect the free press in our country. In the days following the Sept. 11 attacks, there was much discussion among the groups' membership and board of directors about canceling this year's conference.…
Tuesday, 30 October 2001 06:36

Collective good

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Two managers from the Belden Village Disney Store organized a Sept. 11 disaster relief drive for mall merchants and shoppers in late September. The Salvation Army collected donated items on behalf of the Red Cross, while the Canton Fire Department accepted monetary contributions. Restaurants in the food court collected $800 in the first two hours. The drive focused on contributions of money and water, specifically for rescuers in Washington, D.C. By the end of the day, more than $5,000 was collected, along with about 60 cases of water. Disney headquarters matched all donations, so the Red Cross will receive more…
Tuesday, 30 October 2001 06:20

Business Notes

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Meadon & Moore, a Cleveland-based accounting firm, has merged with the Akron accounting firm Daywalt, Tobin & Co.. Daywalt, Tobin partners David E. Daywalt and Alfred S. Tobin are now vice presidents and shareholders with Meaden & Moore. Moore Stephens Corporate Finance, a new entity of Moore Stephens Apple, Akron, will provide merger and acquisition services to sub- and middle-market companies. Jones & Wenner Insurance Agency, Fairlawn, has acquired the Charles G. Hawley Insurance Agency of Spencer. The Urda Co. Inc., an Akron-based marketing and public relations firm, has been named agency of record for Bar's Products, a Michigan-based manufacturer…
Tuesday, 30 October 2001 06:06

Looking outside

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When Bertha Jenkins applied for a job in Liniform Service's uniform make-up department in 1971, it's safe to say the 21-year-old wasn't gunning for the president's office. But over the years, she worked her way up the proverbial ladder at the Barberton-based uniform/linen sales and rental concern, graduating from mending torn aprons and linens to the position of production manager, then general manager. By the time Pat Shultz was hired as a part-time office/production worker in 1980, Jenkins had been appointed vice president. Shultz would follow in her footsteps, moving from doing the billing and ironing linens to managing the…
Tuesday, 30 October 2001 05:54

Take shelter

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In the face of the unspeakable horror of Tuesday, Sept. 11, Americans have pulled together like never before. We cannot begin to express the enormity of the loss of life or the incomprehensible evil of the perpetrators. Yet the outpouring of support for each other across the country renews our faith in the ideals of America. One of the lessons learned from this tragedy is that life is delicate, fleeting, and we can never know when it might be taken from us. So we resolve to say, "I love you," more often or stop putting things off until tomorrow. Our…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:50

Business Notes

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Ohio Legacy Bank, has opened a full-commercial branch on 132 E. Liberty St. in Wooster. KT Commercial Tire, a business venture between KS Bandag and Kauffman Tire, will break ground on a 20,000-square-foot facility this fall on Lake Road at the I-71/224 interchange. FirstMerit Corp. has been named Employer of the Year by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Freda's Hallmark, Ameritech Quantum Communications, Famous Hair, Mailboxes Etc., Mega Rays Tanning, Lucky Star Chinese and The Single Tree Gift Shop have opened at Washington Square in North Canton. Durkin Hill, a newly developed independent living complex, has opened in North Canton.…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:50

Movers & Shakers

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United National Bank & Trust Company, Canton, has appointed Sarah Howes McIntosh as private banking officer and Ted Madison as assistant vice president, commercial lending. Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs' Canton office, has appointed James S. Simon to its Business Practice Group. The board of directors of H-P Products Inc., Louisville, has promoted Bud Kirkpatrick to president and chief operating officer and Allen Green to executive vice president. Innis Maggiore Group Inc. has added Lorraine Kessler as business development director, Carrie DeVille-Hart as account coordinator and Paul Frye and Amy Foster as graphic designers. Roger L. DeVille, George M. Smart, and…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:50

Fiscal focus

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You may be expert at creating a product, providing a service and marketing your wares. But if you don't know how to efficiently collect cash, spend it and invest it wisely, cash flow may be the challenge that brings you to your knees. Managing cash flow is probably the most challenging aspect of running a company -- especially since cash is tightest during growth periods. Even if you rely on your banker, financial planner or accountant to help you manage cash, you need to understand and apply the basic principles yourself on a daily basis. To compile a mélange of…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:50

Tunnel vision turnaround

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Nearly 60 years ago, Joseph E. Cole had a vision. He believed that if he set goals and worked hard to achieve them, he could accomplish anything. So in 1935, he embarked on a career with National Key Co. He subsequently purchased the company and became head of the nation's largest key blank manufacturer and retail key chain. As Cole met his objectives, he set his sights on higher aspirations and altered the focus of his firm, literally speaking. Today, his legacy is known as Cole National Corp., which includes Cole Vision and Things Remembered. Cole Vision in Twinsburg --…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:50

Technology weds strategic marketing

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I thought the two were dating, or just good friends. The marriage of Internet sales and Web-based supply chain management seemed forever on the horizon. The Internet has been dominated by the business-to-consumer phenomenon. I have purchased everything from printer ribbons to appliances on the Web. On the business-to-business side, we've heard about trade portals developed for the auto, chemical, energy and aircraft industries. GM's TradeXchange and the Big 3 Covisint portals have begun to redefine how suppliers behave. EDI changed our business landscape for the last four decades. We are facing change again in light of Internet technology. Your…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:50

Recession-proof

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Whether or not the predictions we're hearing are accurate, the economy is in for some kind of a change. If you read everything you get your hands on, you might believe that we're in for a recession soon. My peers in the journalism community are poising their pens to write about what they deem inevitable. A turn in the economy is great fodder for business journalism. Most of the business owners I talk to don't seem as concerned. They're not hoarding their cash. They're not laying off employees. In fact, the growth-oriented businesses SBN Magazine has been covering the last…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

A simple premise

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The small, picture-postcard town of Peninsula isn't exactly the sort of place your garden-variety retailer would choose to set up shop. There are no shopping plazas with big box anchors, no malls inhabited by retail chains, not even a bustling town square. The only store of considerable size on Main Street is Booties of Peninsula, a purveyor of fine tableware, gifts, home accessories and furnishings. Proprietor and Peninsula native Chris Hixson calls it a "home goods emporium," a place that sells everything from greeting cards and candles to $4,000 sofas. During its 29 years in business, the store has moved…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Hot-wired for higher profits

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Dick Speelman saw the writing on the wall back in 1997, when he first heard rumblings about utility deregulation. He knew the transition from power company monopolies to open markets would affect the full-service electrical contracting firm he had established in Tallmadge a decade earlier. He just wasn't sure how. Curious, Speelman started scrutinizing states that had already been deregulated. What he discovered was a deteriorating power source reliability and quality that left many businesses in the dark. "When utilities become private companies, their incomes are reduced by their competition, and they don't have as much money to build power…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Movers & Shakers

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Cutler/GMAC Real Estate, Stow, has appointed Vallie Harlan as manager of its Stow/Falls office. McCoy Associates of Akron has promoted James B. Hill and Charles E. Kessler to associates. Stella K. Skaljac has joined the law firm of Kastner, Westman & Wilkins, Akron, as an associate. Schlabig & Associates, Akron, has hired Randy Young. Republic Technologies of Fairlawn has appointed James T. Kuntz vice president of purchasing and supply chain management. Constatine Skalkos has joined Hitchcock Fleming and Associates, Akron, as account supervisor. SS&G Financial Services of Akron has added to its staff Keith Arnold, Mindi Burkadt, Kristen Colvin, Ed…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Quitting the band

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Al Mothersbaugh describes his modus operandi through the words of John Coltrane: "If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn." "You've got to live it," says Mothersbaugh. It right now refers to his business, Akron Glass Tinting, although three years ago, it referred to his band, The TwistOffs, which achieved a rare level of regional success in its 10 years of touring, recording and playing to a loyal local audience. Mothersbaugh left the band in 1998 to take over his family's business. But if you think this musician isn't putting the same heart and soul into his…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Hire the best

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You've always been great at sales. Then one day you became the manager or the owner -- and that's when the nightmare began. That was when you discovered the manager's reality: The sales manager's position is one of the most difficult in the company to fill as you're caught between playing nursemaid to your people and bringing in the numbers. Here are some of the problems managers and owners face every day as they try to improve their businesses. 1. Don't blue-sky the job. For years, you've boasted about your company to countless job-seekers, hoping to attract the best. You…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Challenged?

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If you're like other business owners, you've probably been thinking about the challenges your business will face this year. SBN Magazine asked some Canton-area business owners what their biggest challenge will be this year. Compare their answers to yours. Glen Becker, owner of Becker Marketing Group, told us his biggest challenges will be to manage growth and remain efficient while maintaining current customers. Sally Lewis, vice president of Big Kahuna Graphics Inc., says she'll challenge herself to network and to make face-to-face contact with potential customers. Bill Weaver, owner of The Colonade Room, says he's expecting to face increased competition…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Movers & Shakers

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Massillon Community Hospital has installed the following medical staff officers: Michael L. Lykins, D.O., president; Steven E. Connelly, M.D., past president; Tracy A. Kotnik, M.D., president elect; and Catherine B. Chambers, M.D., secretary-treasurer. Massillon Community Hospital has named Gerald F. Klimo, M.D., to its associated medical staff. Wayne Bancorp Inc. of Wooster, parent holding company of Wayne County National Bank, Chippewa Valley Bank and MidOhio Data Inc., has named the following associates to new positions: John A. Lende to treasurer, Wayne Bancorp Inc. and vice president/controller, Wayne County National Bank; and Michael G. Force to vice president lending, Wayne Bancorp…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Communicating in the electronic age

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Cell phones, pagers, voice mail and e-mail are among the most lauded inventions of the 20th century, godsends that allow on-the-go individuals to communicate with business associates, friends and family members at any time, at any place in the world. No more waiting at a desk to take an important call. No more busy signals or endless minutes of waiting for a real person to answer a ringing telephone. E-mail even eliminates the ringing telephone, allowing users to send and respond to messages at their convenience without sacrificing speed. But high-tech communications gadgets and systems have created problems of their…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Know your rights

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Many commercial real estate tenants are being overcharged as a result of pro-landlord lease language, miscalculation of additional rent items such as operating expense escalations and service billings, and a lack of adequate document and billing verification by the tenant. As a business owner and executive, you should be aware that these overcharges can, and often do, cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the term of your office space lease. There are hundreds of ways you can be overcharged, ironically, in full accordance with your lease document. Here are three areas where overcharges can easily occur, and steps…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Movers & Shakers

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The United Way of Central Stark County elected as its new officers Bill Strohmenger, vice president of Aultman Health Foundation, chairman; Mike Gill, district president of KeyBank, first vice chairman; Bob Morlan, president of FirstMerit Bank, second vice chairman; and Scott Warburton, an accountant at Bruner-Cox, treasurer. Shearer's Foods Inc. has appointed Todd Brabson as director of health, safety and security. Coleman Caldwell, vice president of sales and marketing for Shearer's, has been appointed chairman of the national Snack Food Association's marketing committee. Massillon Community Hospital has added Dr. Barbara C. Lohn and Dr. Lynette M. Gogol to its associate…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

It's that simple

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  I am constantly searching for innovative companies to feature on the pages of this magazine. However, when most of us define innovation, rarely do we picture a century-old family business whose staple product is jelly. This month, I was surprised to find out how much The J.M. Smucker Co. has to teach other businesses. That's right. Even you, running your dot-com start-up, can learn from this family-run producer of jelly, juices and butterscotch sauces. What, you may ask, is innovative about food items so basic your grandmother probably had the same ones stocked in her refrigerator? The answer can…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Pricing matters

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Pricing is a major factor in the profitability of any retailer. Price items too high, and your customers will turn elsewhere; mark items too low, and you're out of business. Understanding the elements of pricing for an optimal profit margin is the formula for retail success, according to Stephen Huttie, owner of Crown Retail Consultants in Wooster. Crown Retail Consultants assists retailers with business plans, profit planning, merchandise planning, marketing and advertising. A retail management veteran, Huttie started his consulting business after a 25-year stint with the J.C. Penney Co. He was so successful with one of his clients --…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Back to the basics

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Adorning a wall in the operations department at Carter Lumber Co. in Brimfield Township, a mural depicts a logging truck rolling down a dirt road, approaching what appears to be a growing business district. Proudly, Neil Sackett recounts the painting's symbolism. "That old lumber truck is rolling through time, starting in the 1900s when my grandfather, W.E., earned his apprenticeship in the timber trades," says Sackett, president the Carter Lumber Co. stores nationwide. "He worked at a lumberyard in southeast Arkansas, doing everything from sawing logs to leading mule-driven logging teams through the woods." Sackett refers to the company's founding…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Shutting down

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Last year, a fledgling dot-com venture launched by a local computer concern went out of business after its lifeline of investment dollars slowed to a trickle. The owner, in his infinite wisdom, handled the situation by letting the last of his employees go, then turning off the lights, locking the door and disappearing from sight. Wages and bills were left unpaid, and messages left on the business' still-functioning automated telephone system were not returned. The only reason some creditors knew of the dot-com's demise was because unfailingly responsible employees took it upon themselves to contact them after they'd been dismissed.…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49

Newsclips

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Red alert Pauli Hubbard, a certified financial planner, says that since her fiscal crystal ball broke about 19 years ago, she now likens the stock market's status to a nautical cliché. "Remember the old adage, 'red sky at night, sailor's delight, red sky at morning, sailors take warning?' Well, consider this -- a consistent rally in the bond market is a harbinger to future consistent rallies in stocks," says Hubbard, president of Creative Financial Services Inc. in North Canton. "I know it doesn't rhyme, but if you're looking for hope in your portfolios this spring, it may be something to…