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Monday, 03 December 2001 09:02

Our children, our future

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Jo Ann Mason has happy memories of growing up in Parma. Although the economy was tenuous with recessions and inflation, it was perhaps a simpler, more innocent time. Debates over school levies were few and far between. But today, tight budgets strain already stretched educational facilities. That's why Mason is grateful to be a part of Cox Communications, the fifth largest telecommunications company in the United States and perhaps one of the few nationwide organizations to put its money where its heart is on a local basis. Franchised since 1979 and headquartered in Parma, Cox serves 10 communities in Cleveland's…
Monday, 03 December 2001 09:00

Lights, camera, action!

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Ron Goldfarb jokes that his company won $500,000 and donated it to the Ohio Library Council. But indirectly, The Glazen Creative Group is indeed responsible for a certain celebrity contribution. Goldfarb, executive producer at the firm, put together a TV public service announcement for the council promoting Ohio's libraries. The spot featured Cleveland native, comedian and sitcom star Drew Carey, who extols the virtues of the state's libraries amid cascading images of books, rapid-fire editing and computer effects courtesy of Glazen's video artists. It's a pretty slick production for a traditional institution. After the filming, Carey was so impressed with…
Monday, 03 December 2001 08:59

Grassroots game

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The Cleveland Crunch's "Soccer In The City" program resulted from an impromptu meeting in, of all places, the Cleveland City Hall men's room between Crunch General Manager Paul Garofolo and Cleveland Mayor Michael White. The Crunch had just received an award from the city for its 1998-1999 championship season. After the celebration, White stopped Garofolo on the way out of the men's room to tell him he wanted the city's youth to be more involved in soccer. White, a former high school football player, told Garofolo he liked the fact that you don't need to be "7-feet-tall and weigh 300…
Monday, 03 December 2001 08:57

Bonded by caring

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Henry Eaton fondly recalls working with John Dix in the early 1950s. Both had entrepreneurial dreams and were mentored by the president of the Cleveland-based publishing company where they worked. They left that company in 1952 to form Dix & Eaton, but took with them the sound advice they received from their mentor. "If a community is good to you, it's your duty to put back into it ...whether it's time, money, expertise or some combination," says Eaton. Dix & Eaton is the largest employee-owned public relations and investor relations company in the United Sates, with global clients including TRW,…
Monday, 03 December 2001 08:48

A life's ministry

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Sometimes healing means more than mending a bone or curing a disease. Sometimes it can be changing a life or offering a glimpse of hope for the future. No one knows that more than the employees and staff of St. John West Shore Hospital, a 2001 Pillar Award for Community Service winner. Community can be a place or a feeling. At St. John's, it is a ministry. "It's always been a part of the history of this hospital and its traditions ... our duty to provide benefit and support to the community," says Fred DeGrandis, president of the Westlake institution.…
Thursday, 29 November 2001 18:24

Patience pays

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With so much time and money invested in each new product, there is always a sense of urgency to get it to the marketplace as soon as possible. But there are dangers involved when the marketing team starts launching a product before the development team is fully ready. "If you make an offer for sale on a product that would contain an invention, it starts a one-year clock," says Stephen Lesavich, a patent attorney with the Chicago office of McDonnell Boehnen Hulberg & Berghoff. "Within that year, you have to file for your patent or else you will be barred…
Thursday, 29 November 2001 18:16

Foreign aid

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Employers have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to hiring employees. One of those duties involves checking to make sure the person in question is legally able to work in the United States. This process starts with form I-9, the document employers use to verify employment eligibility. "The I-9 is a deceptively simple form," says Rob Ghio, chair of the immigration group at the Dallas office of the law firm Arter and Hadden. "Employers make mistakes on it all the time." The form is designed to determine whether the potential employee is a citizen and whether he or she…
Wednesday, 28 November 2001 12:07

Politically correct

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J. Donald Mottley served four terms as a representative for a Dayton-area district in the Statehouse. He fought legislation that added to the tax burden of business owners and worked to lower income taxes as chairman of the state's Ways & Means Committee. He's back in the private sector now with his former law firm, Taft, Stettinus & Hollister, which in January merged with Cleveland's Kelley, McCann & Livingstone. Mottley is the managing director of the firm's new venture, Focused Capital Solutions, essentially a lobbying and government relations branch of the firm. Government relations is an increasingly popular offering for…
Wednesday, 28 November 2001 11:52

SBN connects

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SBN Magazine has always reported on smart ideas to help grow your company, but our influence seems to be moving off the page and into the real world of business. LogiSync Corp., based in Westlake, recently became the first company to join Lorain County Community College's GLIDE program, a regional innovation center and resource hub designed to help new and existing businesses grow. And where did LogiSync President Edward Yenni find out about the GLIDE program? SBN Magazine's "dot-Comference" at LCCC last May. "It was a tremendous conference," Yenni says. "I heard (LCCC President) Dr. (Roy) Church talk about the…
Wednesday, 28 November 2001 11:25

Survivor

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Sandwiched on gray metal shelves in a quiet corner of the e2grow Inc. offices are stacks of big brown cardboard boxes. In those boxes are relics. Folded neatly in clear plastic are hundreds of T-shirts in every size from small to XXL. These T-shirts are leftovers from an eerily recent, but now disregarded time. They sport the logo of one of e2grow's latest acquisitions, Locality.com, a small business directory Web site formerly located in posh Mountain View, Calif. e2grow's president and CEO Dennis Barba Jr. rifles through the boxes looking for a large to present to an office guest. "I…
Wednesday, 28 November 2001 11:13

Giving is a bottom line endeavor

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My wife, Laura, was filling her Jeep with gas last month when a gentleman in rather tattered clothes ambled up and asked if she could spare a quarter. At first, she was startled. The man had appeared suddenly and obviously hadn't showered in a while. Further, my wife -- all five-foot-nothing of her -- was alone. But the man looked gaunt and seemed harmless. So Laura, who spent more than a decade working in the nonprofit sector, decided to help. She knew a quarter wouldn't buy very much and asked the gentleman how much money he really needed and for…
Wednesday, 31 October 2001 05:27

Field service

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The farmer working the field no longer turns on the irrigation system and lets the water flow for hours on end. There's no need. A fully integrated data management system relays specific water needs from various points in the field so the farmer can specifically target exactly how much water needs to be applied to each part. The result is higher yields, with water usage rates 30 percent lower than before. ''The farmer can also take advantage of disease modeling,'' says John Mascoe, North American sales manager for agriculture product for Adcon Telemetry. ''Data is collected on environmental conditions, and…
Wednesday, 31 October 2001 05:18

Changing shapes

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Is there nothing sacred from the advances of technology? Apparently not. Even the lowly business card, a simple flimsy piece of cardboard with the most basic of information, has been transformed into a supercharged datastream on CD. While the idea isn't new -- some have been using them for a few years -- you no longer need to have them mass produced at a factory. It's now possible to buy software and a stack of blank rectangular mini-discs and burn your own business cards, brochures or whatever you want to use them for. ''These are fully functional CDs,'' says Andrew…
Monday, 29 October 2001 11:38

The credit crisis

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With the recent dip in interest rates, the urge to refinance is in the air. But before you go running to your bank to secure that million-dollar line of credit for your business, or even look into a personal loan, consider a peek at your credit rating.People often take for granted that the information on their credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies is accurate, explains Matt Hollis, a partner at Summit Financial, one of four state-licensed consumer credit organizations in Ohio. But more often than not, one or all of your credit reports contain critical and inconsistent errors.''If…
Monday, 29 October 2001 11:19

Planning for the future

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Small business owners have been in a difficult spot for many years when it comes to retirement plans. They were expensive to start, difficult to administer and expensive to fund. Over the last several years, there have been dramatic changes in the way retirement plans are run. Most have to do with advances in technology and joint ventures by investment managers and plan administrators. These two factors have caused a dramatic reduction in the cost of administering a retirement plan. They have also allowed small plans to offer most of the benefits of much larger plans. That's good news. But…
Monday, 29 October 2001 10:22

What goes up ...

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What's driving the increase in health insurance premiums? That depends on whom you ask. Some say it's the plunge into more research and development; others blame it on new technology and the high price of the latest equipment. Still others point to an aging population. But there is a short list of primary drivers to health insurance cost increases that everyone can agree upon, says Scott Lyon, executive director of Group Services Inc., part of the Council of Smaller Enterprises. Lyon says a recent survey by The Center for Studying Health Systems Change looked at issues contributing to the 2000…
Monday, 29 October 2001 10:11

Pillar judges named

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The panel is made up of Michael Benz, president and CEO of United Way Services of Greater Cleveland; Kent Clapp, president and CEO of Medical Mutual of Ohio; Steve FitzGerald, Founder of Nonprofit Newswire; Mary Alice Frank, president of the American Red Cross of Cleveland; Fred Koury, president and CEO of SBN Magazine; James Roop, president of the James J. Roop Co. and a 2000 Pillar Award honoree; and Thomas Selden, president and CEO of Parma Community General Hospital and also a 2000 Pillar Award honoree. The Pillar Award is sponsored by Medical Mutual of Ohio, BrownFlynn Communications, Mars Employment,…
Monday, 29 October 2001 09:37

A $90 million idea

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Four years ago, Kent Clapp, chairman and CEO of Medical Mutual, called an old friend, Edward Hartzell, to toss around a few revenue-generating ideas. Together, they designed Antares Management Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medical Mutual. Today, that extra revenue is approximately $90 million generated by 700 employees from headquarters in Westlake and processing centers in Beachwood and West Virginia. Both Hartzell and Clapp have in-depth knowledge of the behind-the-scenes workings of the health insurance industry after rising through the ranks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield family of insurers. Together they concentrated on expanding Medical Mutual's most valuable…
Monday, 29 October 2001 09:22

Inevitability

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If you plan to live forever, never get sick or hurt, never quit, never get fired or never sell your business, you need not read any further. For the rest of you who live in the real world, and especially those involved in a business partnership, one or all of these issues is sure to arise at some point in your career. Most likely, it will happen when you least expect it.''It is predictable that these events will happen to different people at different times,'' says Marc Morgenstern, managing partner of Kahn, Kleinman, Yanowitz & Arnson Co. LPA. ''The question…
Monday, 29 October 2001 09:12

Movers & Shakers

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Amy Severino joined Home Instead Senior Care as a community service representative. Marie Banks joined the bankruptcy department of the creditor's law firm of Javitch, Block, Eisen & Rathbone (JBER). Century Business Services Inc. appointed John J. Fasola to head Cleveland-based The Benefits Group. OM Group Inc. hired Carolyn Carr as director, corporate communications and Paul D. Schulz as corporate vice president of human resources. Susanne E. Dickerson, Andrew S. Perry, Michael D. Makofsky and James A. Dimitrijevs joined the law firm of McDonald, Hopkins, Burke & Haber Co. Jennifer Wilson joined the staff of Akhia Public Relations as an…
Monday, 29 October 2001 08:57

Rules of the game

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Here are his top rules:1. Focus and discipline are critical. Lots of people want to buy something that is almost, but not quite, the same as what you're selling. Don't stray from your mission, Weaver says. ''That temptation can be difficult to pass up when you have no sales, but distracting your business from its main purpose is dangerous, even when your lights might go out next week.''2. Always take a paycheck. You get lazy not taking a paycheck; it lets you be inefficient. ''There may be some masochistic satisfaction from sacrifice, but you need to set out to build…
Wednesday, 24 October 2001 08:59

Sports Inc.

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Andy Schmetzer has a few spare moments. It's early afternoon, and he's just gotten done running a soccer camp on the other side of town and returned to the Cleveland Crunch's headquarters in Warrensville Heights. He carries two enormous florescent orange jugs that used to hold water. His skin is tanned from weeks out in the summer sun. He wears shorts and a red T-shirt with a big Dairy Queen logo on the front. "Are we playing softball tonight?" he asks Crunch media relations director Michael Cracas as he sets the jugs down. "I think the field should be dry…
Wednesday, 24 October 2001 08:32

As life goes on

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I have been a writer for nearly 20 years. During that time, I've rarely found myself at a loss for words. But tragedy has a strange way of creating an eerie unpredictability, and finding the right words during this one has become a struggle. Without question, the impact of last month's terrorist attacks will be felt for a long time. The recovery process will also take a long time as our nation and its people band together to resume daily activities and get back to business as usual. One of the most unique traits of Americans is our unbreakable spirit.…
Wednesday, 24 October 2001 08:06

Who is Farah Walters?

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Chosen by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of 50 people to shape the future of health care in America Has 30 years experience in health care and health care management Graduate of the Executive MBA program at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management Holds a master's of science degree in nutrition from CWRU and a bachelor of science from The Ohio State University Lectured for Pan American Health Organization, American Hospital Association, National Institutes of Health, the United States Army and various hospitals and universities Board memberships include PolyOne Corp., LTV Corp., Kerr-McGee Corp., P.C. Health Ventures, NineSigma…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 08:35

The will to innovate in a down economy

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There is little question that success in business is built on smart ideas, those brainstorms in the middle of the night that become great new products and services. That's the reason SBN Magazine and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield created the Innovation in Business Conference. This year's event, also sponsored by Andersen, Nextel, LaSalle Bank, Divine and Hughie's Audio Visual, honors 12 individuals -- four Master Innovators, five Visionaries and three Rising Stars -- for their smart ideas. Picked by a panel of judges that includes Dr. Stephen Gage, president of CAMP Inc., Dorothy Baunach, director of NorTech and…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 08:33

Fostering inclusion and cooperation

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The career of Margot James Copeland reaches back to the 1970s when she was a researcher for the Ohio State Legislature. With a master's degree in hand, the Virginia-born businesswoman took root in Northeast Ohio's profit and nonprofit sectors. With her previous position at Leadership Cleveland and then through the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, Copeland has facilitated Cleveland's renewal. It is because of those roles that she is recognized as a Master Innovator at the 2001 Innovation in Business Conference. As executive director of Leadership Cleveland, a program of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association for 10 years, Copeland nurtured and cultivated…
Tuesday, 23 October 2001 08:30

Lessons in learning

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Earlier this year, Paul Feingold succeeded Arnold Tew to become the 16th president of Myers University. But it was Feingold's work as Myers' academic vice president that earned him his current job and garnered his recognition as a Visionary in the 2001 Innovation in Business awards. Institutions of higher education can teach students or change lives. Feingold opts for the latter. He understands the community Myers serves and uses that knowledge to redefine the school's market focus and create key niche programs. The results are impressive -- approximately 1,400 enrolled students, a staff of 100 and annual revenue of more…