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FINALIST / INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURINGOne need not look far to understand the impact of Mecco Marking & Traceability on the consumer world. From the message of “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” inscribed on a car’s side mirrors to the serial numbers on Gillette razor blades, Mecco produces the lasers that help identify and mark items.Four years ago, David Sweet eagerly accepted the position of president at Mecco. The company was already performing poorly, and the economic downturn only worsened its outlook.However, today, Mecco has 27 employees and a management structure that facilitates communication. Prior to hiring Sweet,…
Shared decision making in health care can be simply defined as decisions that are shared by doctors and patients. These decisions are informed by the best evidence available and are weighted according to the specific characteristics and values of the patient.In 2010, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported lower costs and fewer hospital admissions when patients were given shared decision-making tools to help understand their options and the consequences of those options.“Shared decision making acknowledges that there is no single right answer for everyone and that medical decisions involve value judgments,” said Dr. Stephen Perkins, vice…
FINALIST / INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURINGJames Lind has climbed from the very bottom to the very top at McKees Rocks Industrial Enterprises Inc. through hard work and determination. He started as summer help during college. However, he quickly surpassed his peers in responsibilities and caught former President Jack Klee’s eye due to his strong initiative and demonstrated managerial skills.Lind would move up through the ranks under Klee’s mentoring, and upon Klee’s death in 2005, he assumed controlling stock of the company and moved into the role of CEO. He continued Klee’s vision of transforming McKees Rocks, Pa.-based MRIE from an industrial park…
Eighty-five percent of small business owners feel that their cyber security is adequate, according to a recent survey. However, that sense of security may be a false one, as two out of three businesses have been victimized by a data breach or cyber security incident, according to a national preparedness report recently released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.“There’s a false sense of security out there by business owners,” says Jason Corrado, commercial insurance advisor for First Commonwealth Bank. “They believe that it will never happen to them or that they are properly protected, but things are changing so quickly…
WINNER / INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURINGUniversal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. was launched in 1994 when founder Mac McAninch rejuvenated a defunct stainless steel mill in Bridgeville, Pa. The company became a successful stainless steel producer and soon opened two more previously shuttered mills in Titusville, Pa., and Dunkirk, N.Y.When Dennis Oates joined Universal’s board in 2007, McAninch was approaching retirement age but hadn’t found a suitable candidate to succeed him. Less than three months later, Oates had won the con?dence of both the founder and the board, and based on Oates’ industry and leadership experience and his strategic vision for the…
FINALIST / HEALTH SCIENCESDoug Engfer thought there was a better way to record the data that is essential to the success of clinical drug trials. Before invivodata inc. was launched, patients were asked to record the details of their experience in a paper-based logbook.Unfortunately, there was no way to know when the data was entered or if it was entered all at once at the end rather than throughout the process. This could have a dramatic impact on the study, and Engfer wanted to develop a better system to track these critically important trials.It was a tall order as this…
FINALIST / HEALTH SCIENCESIn 2005, Patrick Daly made the decision to leave Ethicon Endo-Surgery and moved his wife and family from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to accept the position of president and CEO with Cohera Medical Inc. At that time, Cohera was a virtual company that was based on a novel medical device technology developed at the University of Pittsburgh.Although the inventors maintained an active role in the development of the technology, it was Daly who brought the vision and the expertise necessary to communicate the market opportunity to investors.Daly developed the initial business strategy that focused on the development of…
FINALIST / HEALTH SCIENCESAs a practicing physical therapist right out of college, Arnold Burchianti II, Celtic Healthcare founder, president and CEO, noticed a stark disconnect between the various disciplines of health care providers that were caring for a patient. Nurses were not communicating their patients’ needs to physical therapists and physical therapists were not communicating with occupational therapists and so on. As a result, patients were not receiving top-notch attention and services.Burchianti was taught that integrated health care was the key to quality care, and he immediately understood the need for an organization that practiced this vital concept.In 1996, he…
Saturday, 30 June 2012 20:01

Dr. Frank Alderman, CEO, MedExpress Urgent Care

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WINNER / HEALTH SCIENCESDr. Frank Alderman, CEO of medical care provider MedExpress Urgent Care, is a consummate entrepreneur.The youngest of six children, he and his siblings had limited ?nancial means and depended on one another and community organizations for basic survival. He started working at an early age and put himself through college, pharmacy school and medical school at West Virginia University.In founding MedExpress, Alderman risked his personal and professional success as an established emergency room physician to promote an untested business model that would re-envision health care.Exposed ?rsthand to emergency room overcrowding and unnecessary visits for most of their…
Saturday, 30 June 2012 20:01

Reed Mahany, President, RECO Equipment Inc.

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FINALIST / CONSTRUCTIONWhen Reed Mahany’s boss told him that he was a natural salesperson, it was a trait that he didn’t necessarily see in himself. On his ?rst day in sales at RECO Equipment Inc., sitting on a stack of phone books — there weren’t enough desks — he may have wondered if he was cut out for a sales career. But within four years, he was the top salesperson in the company.As the president of RECO Equipment today, Mahany leads the company with a simple philosophy: Focus on what you are good at. Since he became a part of…
FINALIST / CONSTRUCTIONMelvin E. Clark Jr. grew up with the idea that helping people is a good and honorable thing — and he’s incorporated that philosophy into his life in business. The son of an evangelical minister, Clark has built a network of friends and associates who believe in his leadership style and who want to help him succeed in whatever endeavor he pursues.Clark began his career as a corporate and labor attorney before launching his ?rst business, which just happened to be the nation’s ?rst minorityowned railroad construction company. He worked hard to build it into a success and…
Saturday, 30 June 2012 20:00

Honoring the best of the best

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For more than 25 years, Ernst & Young has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of men and women pursuing innovation and entrepreneurial excellence in their businesses, teams and communities.The blood, sweat and passion they’ve poured into their businesses and the triumphs they’ve achieved stand as a testament to the role they play as visionaries, leaders and innovators. Ernst & Young founded the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program to recognize this passion for excellence and to build an influential and innovative community of peers.We have gathered here and in 25 other cities in the U.S. to honor the men and women who…
WINNER / CONSTRUCTIONH. Rochelle Stachel did not pick the most opportune time to launch a business. She had two kids in college and a lucrative job, and it seemed as if there was no logical reason for her to shake up the status quo.But Stachel saw an opportunity — the lack of customer service in the area of inspection practices for the nation’s infrastructure such as roads and bridges, stadiums and arenas, oil and gas facilities, power stations, and commercial construction.Stachel wanted to fill that gap. Her inner drive and desire to conquer any challenge, especially those that no one…
Saturday, 30 June 2012 20:01

Richard Lunak, President and CEO, Innovation Works

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WINNER / SUPPORTER OF ENTREPRENEURSHIPIt wasn’t a slam-dunk decision that Richard Lunak would take the position that had been offered to him and become president and CEO at Innovation Works. The not-for-pro?t company that was created to help entrepreneurs was itself struggling and had recently been investigated for its handling of a federal contract.At the same time, it was an opportunity for Lunak to get back to his roots and assist entrepreneurs. He re?ected on his previous experiences helping those with a dream to make it a reality and was sold.He arrived to ?nd a business that was being pressured…
Saturday, 30 June 2012 20:03

Stephan Liozu: The price is right

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Warren Buffett recently said, “The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent, then you’ve got a terrible business.” Yet, in most companies pricing receives scant attention.Data from the Professional Pricing Society indicates that less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a full-time function exclusively dedicated to pricing. Research from McKinsey & Co. shows that less than 15 percent…
Health care reform is a topic that is on everyone’s mind, and for good reason.How health care reform evolves over the next several years will impact all of us. We have already witnessed more than 1 million dependents under the age of 26 being added to their parents’ employer group insurance plans.In addition, these plans no longer have lifetime limits for coverage and many plans have removed any cost sharing, such as copays, deductibles and coinsurance for selected preventive services. High-risk pools have also been established for those who have previously had difficulty obtaining coverage, says Chuck Whitford, a client…
Your responsibilities as the sponsor of a retirement plan are more significant than you may realize. It’s not enough anymore to simply hire a service provider to manage the plan and offer it to your employees. As a plan sponsor, there is a tremendous amount of fiduciary responsibility, and decision-makers are held to an expert standard in the eyes of the Department of Labor (DOL).If they don’t have the skills to meet such stringent standards, plan sponsors need to retain outside experts to guide them through the decisions that must be made on a recurring basis, or risk running afoul…
Pittsburgh’s health care landscape has been anything but boring, and for Robert Rogalski, that statement holds very true. The health care lawyer turned health system CEO has been surrounded by industry change and talk of mergers and acquisitions ever since returning to the area in 2009.Rogalski’s entrance into the CEO role at Excela Health was rather nontraditional. The former counsel for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and West Penn Allegheny Health System was asked to join the board of directors at Excela, a 4,800-employee, $500 million health system. Just a few months later, he stepped in as interim CEO and…
Thursday, 31 May 2012 20:01

Leslie Braksick: A reason to cheerlead

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I have attended four funerals in three weeks. Each service, a “celebration of life,” was amazing. I am a better person for having known and loved these people — and for seeing their lives and accomplishments honored so beautifully by their families and friends.A phrase I heard often from the adult children of each deceased was: “I just lost my biggest cheerleader.” They lost the person who never stopped reminding them of how good they were and the difference their actions were making in the lives of others. They lost the person who made certain they fully appreciated their special…
One of the basic assumptions about health care is that patients take medications to aid care. However, there may be times when medication does not aid care, but rather, jeopardizes patient safety. Therefore, medication safety is an issue that should be taken seriously by health care professionals and patients alike.According to the Institute of Medicine — an independent, nonprofit organization — at least 1.5 million Americans are sickened, injured, or killed each year by medication errors. The cost related to preventable errors has been conservatively estimated at $3.5 billion a year and does not include lost wages, decreased productivity and…
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) have been a part of the business scene long enough to almost be taken for granted. By now, many people are familiar with the fact that an EAP is an employer-paid program that is best known for helping employees deal with personal problems that are capable of adversely impacting their work performance, health and well being.Not as well known, however, is how EAPs can also be used by employers to enhance an organization’s performance, culture and business success.“Creating and maintaining a work environment that ensures quality production is a primary goal of every business,” says Susan…
As electricity prices continue to drop, is now the time for businesses to evaluate electricity prices offered by suppliers?Yes. With the overabundance of natural gas supply from Marcellus Shale driving electricity prices lower, there has never been a more advantageous time for businesses to evaluate the prices, products and services energy suppliers are offering. Energy suppliers are competitively offering some of the best pricing options in response to the current market trends. However, although businesses are seeing some of the lowest prices for electricity, the trends are cyclical and prices may very well trend upward once again, says Robert T.…
Today, employers face many challenges when managing employee benefits programs.With premiums ever-rising, employers must continually balance cost control measures with being able to provide a robust employee benefits package that will help retain and attract top talent, says Keith Kartman, client advisor with JRG Advisors, the management arm of ChamberChoice.“To ensure that you are providing a benefits package that is both competitive and economical, you need to know how your offerings compare to others in your industry,” says Kartman.Benchmarking is a practical and proven method that enables an employer to measure its current employee benefit offerings against competitors within the…
Succession planning may be in the back of your mind, and you may actually have a plan defined, but many business owners don’t put a lot of time into thinking about what makes the plan effective. Instead, they’re too busy focusing on the day-to-day tasks to keep operations running smoothly.But if a company is going to survive into the next generation, it is critical for the owner to be planning how that’s going to happen, says Cheryl A. Parzych, executive vice president of wealth services, First Commonwealth Financial Corp.“If your business is to succeed after your succession, you must consider…
The customer is always right. For Maura Clark, this old adage has never been truer than in today’s business environment. Clark leads a business in an industry that is known for its tough competition and pressures to be at the top.She is president of Direct Energy Business, a $4.5 billion division of Direct Energy, which provides electricity and natural gas solutions to businesses across North America. To overcome the economic conditions, remain on top of the energy industry, defeat the competition and answer the pressures of the market, she has had to keep the company focused on customer needs.“All of…
Darrin Grove is happy that his growing innovation firm is located in Pittsburgh. Grove is the founder and CEO of TrueFit Solutions Inc., a 42-employee innovation firm that helps entrepreneurial start-ups and large enterprises bring new mobile, Web and social apps product ideas to market.“We’re very proud to be a Pittsburgh-based company,” Grove says. “Pittsburgh’s a great place for us to be because Pittsburgh is a very innovative city and the innovation in Pittsburgh dates very, very far back. Pittsburgh has innovation in its DNA.”Grove and his team at TrueFit work hard to collaborate with entrepreneurs, start-ups and large enterprise…
Monday, 30 April 2012 20:01

Stephan Liozu; Information intake

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Since my arrival at Ardex in 2008, I have focused at least 50 percent of my attention on people’s learning and development. We have adopted a culture of learning that focuses on boosting and energizing our organizational memory. At Ardex, excellence from our people is a must, and they deserve to get the skills and knowledge to reach it.Books, magazines and academic papers being distributed to the extended management base materialize this learning culture. Employees are invited to participate in lunchbox sessions, departmental training programs or advanced external programs.Budgets for learning and training are protected from cutting initiatives during tough…