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Medical Mutual 2014 Pillar Awards For Community Service, Cincinnati Mike SimsCFOAdvancePierre Foodswww.advancepierre.com Helping provide a meal AdvancePierre Foods’ volunteers aid relief work in storm-damaged areas Whether it’s donating thousands of pounds of food products to aid victims of storms or holding a company-wide volunteer day and donating burgers on National Burger Day, AdvancePierre Foods is committed to helping people in need. After Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast in 2012, AdvancePierre Foods donated 40,000 meals to help with relief efforts. Nearly 3,600 cases of food were delivered to Long Island’s Island Harvest Food Bank, which offered meals to people at…
Christine NeitzkePresident, co-founderThe Dragonfly Foundationwww.thedragonflyfoundation.org On the wings of hope Christine Neitzke co-founded The Dragonfly Foundation to give support to ill youngsters Seeing a need for families and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to receive more support for young cancer and blood disorder patients, Christine Neitzke and her friend Ria Davidson founded The Dragonfly Foundation in August 2010. They have been working closely with the hospital, its staff, patients and families ever since to bring support and encouragement at times when it is needed most. Christine and Jim Neitzke’s youngest son Matt was diagnosed with stage 3A Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2010.…
Rick ChouteauPresidentAdopt A Class Board of Directorswww.aacfoundation.com Making connections Rick Chouteau makes sure students have positive role models through Adopt A Class Foundation Under his leadership as the first president of the board of directors of Adopt A Class Foundation, Rick Chouteau has overseen the group’s growth from three members in 2008 to 12. But that’s not all. AAC has increased its number of participating schools from nine to 24, increasing the number of students served by 167 percent. And that’s a welcomed situation by the organization’s benefactors — preschool through eighth grade students in Greater Cincinnati schools with at…
Stuart AitkenCEOdunnhumbyUSAwww.dunnhumby.com/us Leading the pack How employees get energized to help the needy at dunnhumbyUSA Philanthropy is a worldwide commitment for dunnhumbyUSA and employees get to decide where the effort to meet that commitment is directed. Each fall, through the science company’s Helping Hands program, everyone gets together to decide which nonprofits dunnhumby will support that year. The IRS must recognize the charities chosen as legitimate charities, and the effort to help must provide opportunities for everyone to volunteer through team activities with clear goals. These have been fundamental to the effort under the leadership of CEO Stuart Aitken. Employee…
Great companies, great employees, work for the greater good of Greater Cincinnati Medical Mutual, along with our co-founding Pillar Award partner Smart Business, welcomes you to the annual Pillar Awards. We are honoring an outstanding group of companies and organizations of varying sizes. While this year’s diverse group of honorees may be different in many ways, one thing that they all have in common is their commitment to strengthening the bond between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds. It occurred to us many years ago that few things are more meaningful and important than investing time and resources in supporting our…
The average age of Sue McPartlin’s counterparts at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is 27. That’s roughly equivalent to the number of years she’s been at the Big Four accounting firm. There’s one thing those years of experience at the firm has given her — knowledge — and she’s very proud to share that knowledge with the company’s millennial employees who already make up more than 50 percent of PwC. “I’ve been here longer than most of our newer hires have been alive,” says McPartlin, who became market managing partner of PwC’s Cincinnati office in 2011. “Because such a large percentage of our…
The aging workforce and retirement of an increasing number of baby boomer business owners is creating a pressing need for new leaders and transitions of ownership among the family and private-owned business sectors. This is an issue that has been easily pushed off before, but it has become an important reality for a number of businesses. Waiting is no longer an option. The topic of succession planning has become a trend as organizations become more proactive in their growth and sustainability. A constantly changing business environment also has businesses re-evaluating processes and procedures to remain relevant in their industries. Organizations…
Business, in the age of the smartphone and advancing technology, relies heavily on electronic data. Many companies have a large amount of their value tied up in information assets. Cyber liability is the potential exposure of losing, destroying, or unauthorized disclosures of that data. Hackers elicit the greatest concern, but employee theft and loss can be severe as well. “Any company that conducts business over the Internet or stores and/or provides confidential information is at risk of a data breach,” says Jayce Stewart, Commercial Risk Consultant with RiskSOURCE Clark-Theders. Smart Business spoke with Stewart about how to address cyber liability…
On Mondays, many high school, college and professional football teams all get together in a dark room and do the same thing: They break down game film. It’s often not a pleasant session after a team has lost. Their performance is under a microscope. Many plays are paused, replayed again and again in slow motion. Actions are scrutinized at a hyper level. Because comments like, “I dropped that pass coach, but I want you to know my intention was to catch the ball” or “I did miss three easy tackles, but my plan was to not miss any,” would not…
Monday, 02 September 2013 16:00

How effective fleet management can reduce costs

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Fleet tracking and management, if correctly implemented, can provide a business with a number of procedural, safety and cost efficiencies, says Noah Goodwin, CPCU, a commercial risk manager at RiskSOURCE® Clark-Theders. “Fleet management can improve driving safety habits, which can reduce auto and workers’ compensation claims, and subsequently lower insurance costs. Morale can also be improved through increased safety,” Goodwin says. “Fleet tracking can help reduce fuel costs by increasing route efficiency, reducing idling time and impermissible usage.” Smart Business spoke with Goodwin about how to effectively manage your fleet. What exactly is fleet tracking, and how does it work?…
Statistics from the National Council on Compensation Insurance show that 38 to 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims are related to the use of alcohol or drugs in the workplace. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, on average, employees with inappropriate substance use cost their employers $7,000 annually. Many Ohio businesses are turning to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s (BWC) Drug Free Safety Program (DFSP) for assistance to address this issue and reduce their annual premium.“A well-designed DFSP will help an employer deter substance use on the job, create a safer workplace and impact the bottom line by…
Shortly after he began with First Financial Bank some nine years ago, Claude Davis felt so strongly about building brand awareness that each year he and his team engaged a study to measure the awareness of the bank in each of the states where it operates. The year-to-year report showed the progress — and the momentum the bank was achieving. “We did a lot of work,” says Davis, who is CEO, president and chairman of the bank. “It has been about constant marketing, constant awareness building and the consistency and the look and feel of the brand.” The payoff has…
Some four years ago, Tom Daulton was given $250 million by GTCR Golder Rauner LLC, a private equity firm that specializes in the health care industry, and was told to purchase a medical device company that had the potential to be turned into a public company. Fortunately for Daulton there was such a company for sale, and it had everything he wanted. That company was called Biopsys, which had been acquired by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Endo-Surgery for about $310 million 12 years prior to Daulton’s search. Ethicon renamed the business Mammotome after the company’s breast biopsy system, which was…
Crisis management is something you hope to never be confronted with as a professional, yet you intuitively know and understand it’s something for which you must be prepared. There are many ways to handle and manage a crisis, but it always begins and ends with a plan. In my experience, I find that less than 10 percent of organizations actually have a crisis management protocol or plan — and even fewer actually practice their response on a regular basis. Why? The boss doesn’t view it as a priority. Get focused on the importance of a plan Smart bosses understand the…
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 05:16

Get out of my social media sandbox

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It’s a new marketing communications argument — which “discipline” should manage the new medium of social media? Should Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn be handled by PR, advertising, HR or something else? Agencies are springing up that specialize in social media management and any manner of blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and the like. It’s become a verb. We need more friends, more likes, more this and more that. “Who” is managing your social media is far less important than “what” is being managed. You are trying to engage, to enlighten, to share. You are not trying to sell, although long term and…
The Ohio safety council rebate program created by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) rewards employers for their active participation in a local safety council. It also provides an additional performance bonus rebate for reducing the frequency or severity of workers’ compensation claims.“With the number of safety councils available across the state with a focus on a variety of industries, employers are able to not only receive information on new safety techniques, products and services to assist their businesses, but also reduce their premium for simply attending these helpful meetings throughout the year,” says Russ Hocutt, vice president at…
There’s an adage in business that no one is irreplaceable. But in nearly every company, there’s at least one person whose contributions are so essential that their unexpected death would be devastating to the future of the business. Taking out a life insurance policy on those essential employees — what’s known as key person life insurance — is a way a company can protect itself from the impact of losing a key employee.“You never want to think about something terrible happening to anyone, but if it does, this is a way you can be sure your business will continue,” says…
For Philip Rielly and Eric Hill, the past five years have been a very different experience compared to most others in the business world during that time. While many companies were hunkering down, cutting back and fighting to stay in business, Rielly and Hill were nurturing the healthy growth of a young company. In fact, in just the past three years they have seen their company’s employment and revenue double. Rielly and Hill are co-founders of BioRx LLC, a more than 200-employee national provider and distributor of specialty pharmaceuticals they started in 2004. Hill, who is vice president, is located…
Friday, 31 May 2013 20:00

Are your messages getting lost?

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Remember playing telephone as a kid? You would sit in a circle with friends and whisper a message into the ear of the child next to you. By the end, when the last kid would announce the message out loud, everyone would break into laughter: It never bore any resemblance to the original message. Is that still happening to you? Are your messages getting lost in a modern-day game of telephone? I see it in companies all the time. The CEO knows the message — in this case the business’ vision and strategies — but it gets terribly distorted as…
When Jean-Paul Ebanga looks up at the sky, he thinks about the more than 3 million people who fly every day on airplanes powered by CFM International engines. In fact, every 2.4 seconds an airplane departs under the power of a CFM engine.“That means our role today is far beyond delivering engines to the industry; it is also making sure people are traveling in a very safe way at a decent price,” says Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International, a $15 billion aircraft engine manufacturer that is a joint venture between GE here in the U.S. and Snecma in…
Karri Bass loves to do consumer research. As a former Procter & Gamble employee, she constantly thinks about what drives consumer behavior toward a particular product.That desire is what led her to launch Illumination Research, a marketing consulting company that was founded on a passion for uncovering what makes consumers tick and translating those insights into business-building ideas.“When I was working in marketing for P&G, a huge part of our job was to better understand the consumer,” says Bass, principal and insight strategist at Illumination Research. “We want to figure out how they think, not only about the product category…
With 88 percent of businesses now active on social media, the social media landscape is becoming more cluttered and more difficult. This means that, for businesses, it is becoming harder and harder to break through the noise and be heard. In order to penetrate the noise, businesses must deliver the right message to the right person in the right way. Increasingly, the way that people want to receive messages online is visually. We’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is true. The brain can process images faster than text. This is why images are breaking…
The Deductible Program was implemented in 2009 by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) as another alternative for employers to control their costs while promoting workplace safety. Over the past few years, the program has been enhanced to include a small and large deductible program so that employers of different sizes, hazard groups and risk tolerance levels have options that best fit their organization.“The Deductible Program can be financially beneficial for those employers that have a focus on their safety efforts and are able to keep their claim costs low,” says Mark MaGinn, vice president at CompManagement, Inc. “An…
As an executive, you probably spend a lot more time thinking about economics than ergonomics. But ergonomics, the applied science of maximizing productivity by reducing employee fatigue and discomfort, may be able to help your business.“Whether you work at a desk, a factory line or you’re driving a truck, ergonomics is something that needs to be addressed across all industries,” says Jonathan Theders, president of Clark-Theders Insurance Agency Inc.“Often it’s related just to safety, or some people look at it as a barrier to do business — a cost we must incur to get our keyboards at the right height…
Friday, 08 March 2013 17:08

How to get your marketing messages aligned

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When sales and marketing departments get together to position a product, new or existing, in the marketplace, it is often a challenge to get both parties to agree on what should be a product’s messaging. While both parties bring great ideas to the table and a business case can often be made for why their ideas should be given importance, there are a few things that should always be considered as a part of a product’s key message — and some that should never be a part of that message. WII-FM They often say that a customer’s favorite radio station…
For Chuck Shive, coming to Mikesell’s Snack Foods Co. was an opportunity to get into a different industry and utilize his background to make a difference. He entered Mikesell’s as the executive vice president of marketing, looking to upgrade a more than 100-year-old potato chip brand.Not long after Shive started, the company’s CEO, David Ray, retired and Shive made the leap to president and CEO in May 2012, becoming only the fourth CEO in history of the company, a 180-employee organization with annual revenues of more than $40 million.Once he was in the top spot, he turned his attention to…
There are market cycles in every industry, and insurance is no exception. But you don’t have to just take what the market brings you. Jonathan Theders, president of Clark-Theders Insurance Agency Inc., says the market cycle is only half of the pricing equation.“You can’t control the market itself — storms are going to occur, natural disasters are going to cause pricing to change,” Theders says. “You have to focus on what you can do to differentiate your business and make yourself stand out.”Smart Business spoke with Theders about how to position your business for success in the hardening insurance market.How…
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