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Monday, 23 February 2009 19:00

Fifth Third Bank protects the future

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Banking in the current economy can bescary. But the passage of theEmergency Economic StabilizationAct in October provided some relief to businesses and consumers worried about theirbank accounts. This act increased theamount for Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.insurance in certain types of bank accounts.“The modifications enacted in 2008 were aresult of the economic crisis that involvedsubprime mortgages and mortgage-backedsecurities issues,” says Terri L. Crane, vicepresident of corporate treasury management at Fifth Third Bank. “These recentchanges and improvements should helpcontinue the confidence of both the consumer and financial communities.”Smart Business spoke with Crane aboutwhat changes were made to FDIC insurance, the benefits of…
John Limbert likes to think of his 210 employees at National Bank and Trust Co. as a baseball team, albeit a large one.Limbert, president and CEO, can’t pick up a bat or run the bases for his employees. Instead, he has to stay out of their way and let them succeed.To do that, he gathers their input before setting goals and then gives them the reins to reach those goals creatively, keeping an eye on their progress and providing support when necessary.The 40-year banking veteran says he has made it through a career of tough decisions and tasks by relying…
Monday, 26 January 2009 19:00

The Hoeflinger file

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Born: Dayton Education: Bachelor’s degree, communications, Wright State University; MBA, Xavier University First job: LaRosa’s was my first job, when I was 16. What is the most important business lesson you have learned? Always keep your eye on the customer. Your customers’ satisfaction is the axis that keeps the wheel going, so you better keep it greased. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that your end user is the key to a successful company. Everything you do, from the top down, from answering phones to mailing benefit letters, to meeting with clients face to face, are crucial spokes. It…
Friday, 26 December 2008 19:00

The List

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Blue Chip Solar & Wind 10939 A Reed Hartman Highway Cincinnati, OH 45242 (513) 351-9463 www.bluechipsolarandwind.com Sells, monitors and maintains photovoltaic systems and wind turbines Reduces utility payments with new energy system Cincinnati Babbitt Inc. 9217 Seward Road Fairfield, OH 45014 (800) 776-4809 www.cinbab.com Repairs energy-producing devices Electrical apparatus service company Duke Energy 1000 Court House Cincinnati, OH 45202 (513) 287-2400 www.duke-energy.com Generates electric and distributes natural gas Provides support for green technology energyQue LLC 10224 Amberwood Court Cincinnati, OH 45241 (513) 319-7382 Provides commercial energy analysis and management Offers thermal imaging and employee energy education First Day Natural Lighting…
Friday, 26 December 2008 19:00

Understanding credit markets with Fifth Third Bank

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Perhaps the only thing tougher thanunderstanding the local weather pattern is understanding today’s credit markets. Talk of “frozen” credit is commonthis winter.“I constantly hear questions from my customers about whether banks are still lending money,” says John Covington, vice president with Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati.“We’re definitely still doing deals. The ideathat credit is not available is simply untrue.”That does not mean, however, that banksare not exercising strict discipline in evaluating loan requests.Smart Business asked Covington to sortmyth from reality.So, capital is available?Capital is available. There is alwaysmoney for the right purposes. Today, however, capital is extremely valuable. Mostbanks are…
Tuesday, 25 November 2008 19:00

The List

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Diamond Travel & Consulting Inc. 4724 Vine Street Cincinnati, OH 45217 (513) 242-6622 Knowledgeable travel agents. Offers deals Diplomat Travel 2725 Cypress Way Cincinnati, OH 45212 (513) 531-8128 Travel management company. Handles thousands of corporations’ travel needs Have Pen Will Travel 7162 Reading Road, Suite 1150 Cincinnati, OH 45237 (513) 458-5507 Offers travel management services. Offers deals Maritz Travel Co. Inc. 1199 Edison Drive Cincinnati, OH 45216 (513) 948-5000 Travel agency. Caters to business travelers Millennium Hotel 150 West 5th Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 (513) 352-2100 www.millenniumhotels.com 24-hour business center AV equipment, photocopying, fax machine and meeting hall Navigant International…
Tuesday, 25 November 2008 19:00

Fifth Third Bank on best business options

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In today’s market, there are two majorconsiderations when choosing a mix ofpayment options: cost and fraud protection. Both are vital. However, most business owners know there are several routesthey can take, and it can be confusing.“The ‘right’ payment mix delicately balances costs, security/control needed, settlement timing, and the frequency of thepayment transaction,” explains Matt Zeck,vice president at Fifth Third Bank inCincinnati.Smart Business asked Zeck for tips onchoosing the best options available tobusinesses today — while avoiding problems like payment fraud.What are some of the payment options available these days? Today’s financial marketplace continuesto support the traditional payment optionsof cash and…
Sunday, 26 October 2008 20:00

Pure Romance Inc trains its next leaders

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If you’re a newly hired management-level employee at Pure Romance Inc., you’re going to be spending a lot of time with Chris Cicchinelli. “I typically have them shadow me for three to four weeks,” says Cicchinelli, president of Pure Romance. “They sit in the different meetings. Even if they’re from IT, they sit in and understand the financial pieces of the business, how the actual business works with the consultants.”Cicchinelli says developing leaders is essential for the long-term survival of any business, and if you are leading a growing company, the impetus for developing new leaders must start with you.That…
Sunday, 26 October 2008 20:00

The Anderson file

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Born: Chicago Education: Bachelor’s degree, Yale University; law degree, Vanderbilt Law School First job: Caddy What do you like best about being a leader? It’s fun, but I think from a satisfaction standpoint it gives you the opportunity to have a much broader impact on important things than you would be able to have as an individual. If you could have another job other than being a CEO, what would it be and why? On the light side, it would probably be sailor on a sailboat somewhere just because I like that. From a career standpoint, I came to this…
Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:00

Dave Drachman keeps close contact at AtriCure Inc

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Being a CEO is all about staying close — close to your employees, close to your customers and close to your markets.Dave Drachman says that staying close to those you and your business serve keeps your finger on the pulse of the many variables that can affect your business. And you stay close by keeping your channels of communication open and staying in frequent contact with the people you serve.It’s something Drachman makes a personal priority at AtriCure Inc. — a $48 million developer and manufacturer of cardiac surgical products. And while he often relies on phone and e-mail communication…
Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:00

The Harrison file

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Born: Union City, Ind. Education: Bachelor of science degree, mechanical engineering, Duke University First job: Fence painter as a teen What is the most important business lesson you have learned? It’s all about the people. What is the best business advice you’ve received? Thank people for a good job. What is your definition of success? Achieving beyond expectations What do you like best about being a leader? The opportunity to envision the future and create it If you could have another job, what would that job be? Property rehabber Fast facts about Procter & Gamble Product Supply: Brothers-in-law William Procter…
Tom O’Neil equates e-mailcommunication to a candy bar: It’s quickly consumed, easily digested and leaves a temporary feeling of fullness and satisfaction.But once you come down offthe sugar buzz of instant gratification, you don’t feel nearly assatisfied.O’Neil, managing partner ofErnst & Young’s 230-employeeCincinnati office, says e-maildoes serve the purpose of disseminating information quickly,but as quickly as you can hit your delete button, the messageis lost. Just as you can’t subsistsolely on sugary treats, yourcompany would not be healthyif you tried to rely solely onelectronic communication torelay messages and keepemployees in the loop.O’Neil says you need to find abalance, and if…
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 20:00

The Jones file

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Born: Smithtown, N.Y. Education: Bachelor’s degree, architecture, The University of Cincinnati First job: Working on a packaging assembly line What is the most important business lesson you have learned? Tough challenges and great successes are relatively short-lived in business but relationships endure. In a city like Cincinnati, you will always meet again. How you treat people, whether in your own company, your clients, your subcontractors or partners, is what is important in the long term. What is the best business advice you’ve received? From my boss and mentor Rich Homan: Make it easy for people to do the right thing.…
Saturday, 26 July 2008 20:00

Fifth Third Bank on selling your business

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Most business owners devote theirentire lives to building a successful enterprise. One day, for whatever reason, it comes time to sell.“When clients engage in the process ofselling a business rarely do they understand the complexities of the actualtransaction that is being considered,”says Will Thatcher, vice president andaffiliate head of business banking forFifth Third Bank.The road to a successful transaction islittered with obstacles. Smart Businessasked Thatcher to help negotiate aroundthe potholes.How far ahead of a potential sale shouldone start getting the ducks lined up? Over the years, I have seen many reasons why business acquisitions have notoccurred. The tangible ones are…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Righting the ship

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David Herche can tell you that it’s not always easy being the one who has to make the decisions that change a company’s fortunes. When Enerfab Inc., a design engineering company, which provides products and services for the food and beverage industry, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and the utility industry, came to Herche in 1987 it was in dire straits. The bills had piled up far higher than the meager amounts of money the company was bringing in, and Herche, a CPA, was told he could have a fair share of whatever profits he could get from selling the…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Judging entrepreneurial excellence

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The 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® judging panel       Marty Grunder founder and president, Grunder Landscaping Co.           Alan Rudy founder and president, Into Great Companies Inc.           Patty Brisben founder and CEO, Pure Romance           Brendan Ford office manager, Talisman Capital Partners           Steve Higdon partner and executive vice president of business development, Faulkner Real Estate Corp.  
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Cool technology

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Gene Cooke has a pretty cool job. That’s not just a pun on the fact that Cold Jet LLC, the company where Cooke is president and CEO, is the premier dry ice blasting and dry ice production company. The fact is, Cooke gets to use the company’s capabilities to charge his people with the task of creating new technology. To say that Cooke has been successful in putting that charge to his employees would be an understatement. Cold Jet was originally founded in 1986 on the concept of creating a cost-effective, environmentally responsible cleaning solution for the aviation industry. After…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Cut to the heart

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When Tim Gase talks about low turnover at his company, you should listen. If you want the number in percentages, it’s zero — as in, for two years, not one employee has left Peerless Saw Co. Maybe that’s because Gase and his partner, Ken Lloyd, have impressed their 51 employees with the success they’ve led the saw company to during the last decade. Or maybe it has something to do with the loyalty that Gase showed to his employees in 1999 when he and Lloyd bought the company. At that point, Gase was president at Peerless and found out that…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Midwest Electric

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RJ Nicolosi isn’t one who just moves onwhen somebody tells him no or thatsomething can’t be done.Nicolosi, the president and CEO ofMidwest Electric, has grown his company by leveraging relationships whereother companies have simply given up trying. Realizing that one of his company’sstrengths was the ability to capitalize on itsrelationship with the electrician union hallsand source-qualified electricians, Nicolosihas gone the extra step to meet withunions to build relationships. As a resultof those relationships, Nicolosi has beenable to find electricians where he needsthem most — and often in cases whereother companies would have simply gotten a no.When the company first tested…
John Cacaro describes hisleadership style as laid-back, saying he prefers toobserve and let a situationdevelop before he reacts to it.But don’t mistake that for themark of a passive, noninvolvedleader. While he gives hisemployees room to operate, thefounder, president and CEO ofEmployers Choice Plus — anemployer services provider thatposted 2007 revenue of approximately $38 million — is proactive when it comes to engaging his team and getting peopleinvolved in moving the company forward.Cacaro says that any CEOwho wants to grow a companyneeds buy-in from the peoplewho do the work. If youremployees are not on the samepage with you — and, moreimportant,…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Fifth Third Bank on going global

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It’s one thing to add a new product to yourcompany’s line. It’s another thing altogether to take the entire line overseas. Many things are different in the international market, including floating credit and methods ofgetting paid. Thus, every business ownershould have a firm grip on how to manageforeign currency deposits and accounts ifthey expect to expand into the global arenawith confidence.“Doing business globally today is much easier than it was 10 years ago or even a coupleof years ago,” says Greg Greene, a vice president and market manager in business banking with Fifth Third Bank. “With grossdomestic product growth in…
Friday, 25 April 2008 20:00

Bob Coughlin involves employees at Paycor Inc

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Five years ago, when BobCoughlin’s company was posting about $10 million in annualrevenue, he met with his management team.At that meeting, a statement onthe wall asked what preventedPaycor Inc. from becoming a$50 million company. There werealso pictures, and one of those— a drawing of someone in arowboat trying to pull an oceanliner — spoke a thousand words.The group saw the parallel in theeffort; as the rowboat didn’t havethe ability to pull the ship, neitherdid the payroll service providerhave the management depth and talent to pull the company to thenext level.The management team members concluded that Coughlinshould hire another level of…
Friday, 25 April 2008 20:00

The Greber file

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Born: Cincinnati Education: Bachelor of science degree, zoology; master’s degree, environmental science, both from Miami University First job: Junior scientist What is the most important business lesson you have learned? Character, integrity and reputation are everything in the business world. These are essential to running a sound, reputable and successful business. You can correct a lot of problems or mistakes in business and life, but it is very hard, if not impossible, to fix character and reputation issues or failures. What is the best business advice you’ve received? Never forget who the customer is and the importance of your relationship…
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 20:00

Anthony Cook goes beyond the open door

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Anthony Cook calls himself abig believer in overcommunication. The president and CEOof The Dental Care Plus Group— a dental insurance providerwith an estimated $60 millionin 2007 revenue — says it’sa concept that he first learnedyears ago and one that hehas been reminded of eversince.Though overcommunicationmight seem like a synonym forexcessive communication,Cook says that’s the furthestthing from the truth when itcomes to engaging youremployees, who rely on communication from you for direction, motivation and a sense ofhow their job fits in to the bigger picture of the company.Smart Business spoke withCook about why you need tocommunicate with youremployees as often as…
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 20:00

Storopack reaches new levels of success

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John Mellott once bought a company on a handshake.There was no signed contract or phalanx of lawyers, just twomen and a lot of trust. Mellott and the owner set a price parameter, and the seller trusted Mellott enough to sell him his businessand close up shop before the paperwork was finalized.“He said that in his 40 years of business, he had not dealt withanybody he would have that kind of trust in,” Mellott says.Trust, integrity and passion have been the cornerstones ofMellott’s long career.He’s also been told he is hard to keep up with, and even thoughhe is set to…
Sunday, 24 February 2008 19:00

St. Luke Hospitals orchestrate success

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As a leader, you have tomaintain a delicate balance when it comes to communication, says Nancy Kremer.While you want everyone inyour company on the samepage, working toward the samegoals and embracing the samecore values, you also want eachof them to think freely, challenge assumptions and bringnew ideas to the table.According to Kremer — head of St. Luke Hospitals, a memberof The Health Alliance, a healthcare system with an estimated$71.2 million in annual revenue,according to Hoovers.com —managing a business is lot likeconducting an orchestra. Even ifyou have the most talentedmusicians, if they don’t knowhow to play their parts, themusic won’t sound…
Sunday, 24 February 2008 19:00

The Murray file

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Born: Greensburg, Pa. Education: Bachelor’s degree, Xavier University; master’s degree, The Ohio State University; law degree, Chase Law School at Northern Kentucky University What was your first job? Busboy at York Steak House What is the most important business lesson you have learned? If you are not honest, there’s going to be a price to pay. I’m not talking about myself having been dishonest, but I’m saying that people who are not honest with themselves or each other will seriously damage a business and the morale of a company. The higher up in leadership you get, the more it is…