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Monday, 22 July 2002 10:06

Columbus health-care leader

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Accomplishments Physiatrist, Mount Carmel Medical Center We take care of people with an entire gamut of problems: musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis, neck pain, sprains, sports injuries, chronic low-back pain and headaches, to the more serious neurological musculoskeletal disorders like strokes and head injuries. We try to improve the way people do things in life with a minimum amount of pain and a maximum amount of function. Assistant clinical professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The Ohio State University I'm a graduate of Ohio State and I did my residency there. Ever since then, I've been on the teaching…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:05

A case for e-mail

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The paper trail is diminishing at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP. The replacement: e-mail, thanks to improvements after the Cleveland-based law firm's Columbus office was chosen nearly two years ago to pioneer new hardware and software systems now used in all of the firm's eight domestic and 10 international offices. "I have found it, personally, to be a much quicker and more effective way of communicating with clients," says Craig Woods, a partner in the firm's litigation department. "To some extent, it helps me end the endless phone tag we have from time to time." Rather than mailing a paper…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:04

Taking control

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Keith Agler, president of Northwest Multimedia Inc., decided about four years ago that he needed to take action to help his 5-year-old business, which was surviving but not growing. "We wanted to have more than a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation," Agler says. "Our sales activity consisted of stumbling onto customers that needed our help." Mike Levi, owner of Discovery Resource Group now doing business as The Business Doctors, helped Agler develop a plan to increase sales at his Northwest Columbus presentation services company. The key: better customer targeting. "You can't control who's going to spend money with you," Levi says. "You learn…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:04

It virtually sells itself

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Technology has allowed Jonathan Schooler's home-improvement customers to try it before they buy it. Now, they're buying it more. In February, Schooler, president of Global Efficiency Concepts, purchased a digital imaging program, DesignWare Personalizer, produced by Design Imaging Group Inc., based in Holtsville, N.Y. "Up until now, all the client had to choose from was a small color sample, a sample window, a swatch of roofing colors, and it really didn't give the client a true idea of what it was going to look like on their home," Schooler says. Now, the sales staff of his Neil Avenue business can…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:04

Developing independence

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With the expiration of her five-year lease looming, Maria Tray was anxious to move her software-development company from its high-cost quarters in a Dublin corporate park. Thanks to a U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loan of $625,000, Tray-the 50-year-old president of Shared Resources Inc.-got her wish. Just three days before her lease expired, she relocated to a 5,500-square-foot site she built with SBA assistance on Sawmill Road and Federated Boulevard, about a quarter-mile east of the Dublin Village Shopping Center. Curiously, she did not move to get more space. The new site is just 1,100 square feet larger than the Dublin…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:04

A SIMPLE solution

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It was the last straw for Wes Herczeg, president and COO of Core Solutions Inc. in Worthington. Earlier this year, he lost the opportunity to bring on what he considered double-A talent to his company, which provides custom software development and consulting for businesses. The man almost agreed to join Core Solutions-until he learned there was no retirement benefit for employees. "This individual is a multiyear experienced person in developing software applications using some high-end development tools and is very conscious of security. He's not a risk-taker in any fashion, but is very aware of his financial situation," Herczeg says.…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:03

Well-schooled

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Robert Reany exchanges pleasant banter with his workers as he helps prepare for the Friday lunch crowd at Columbus' North Market. The 41-year-old entrepreneur moves confidently from behind the well-ordered displays of fresh fish and salads chilled on ice to sit at a wooden picnic table on the market's sun-drenched boardwalk. With obvious pride, he begins talking about a subject he knows well: how to sell some of the best fresh fish in town. "I've been profitable since Day One," boasts Reany, who opened Bob "The Fish Guy" three years ago with $10,000 and more than 20 years of experience…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:03

Moving in the right direction

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How do you choose each new location? The first thing we'll do is take a look at markets that are similar size to Columbus or markets that are growing and have a lot of business activity coming in. After we find a market we think may be compatible to us, we'll go in and do some very basic research of who the competitors are, who the players are as far as larger businesses are concerned, what kind of unemployment market they have and what kind of general economy they have. The other thing we'll do is research certain geographics of…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:03

In brief

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He's an adviser to world corporations and heads of state. He's an author of such forward-looking books as "Megatrends 2000" and "Re-inventing the Corporation." Yet even John Naisbitt can take a step back in time-in fact, he advocates it. Naisbitt hand-addresses all of his business correspondence-a task, he says, that makes his work stand out amidst the stacks of impeccable, but impersonal, computer-generated mail flooding our offices today. "We think about the high-tech side. Think about the human side," says Naisbitt, who visited Columbus earlier this year as part of a Deloitte & Touche-sponsored "National Millennium Panel: Looking Ahead to…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:03

A starting point

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It's like a library reference desk for women opening, expanding or managing a business in Ohio. The Women's Business Resource Program, created in 1983 as part of the Ohio Small Business Development Center in the state's Department of Development, identifies the unique needs of women business owners and helps them locate sources of financing, provides direction for purchasing and procurement opportunities with government agencies and private industry, conducts research on women-owned businesses and distributes information on business resources throughout Ohio. In 1987, the program became part of the Ohio Small Business Development Center. For women starting a business, the program…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:02

The battle of her life

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In her 25 years of business, Farah Majidzadeh has been frightened only one time. It was 1990, five years after she had won a bid for work on what would become a $50 million dollar contract in Saudi Arabia. The 1985 deal was a real coup for her Westerville-based engineering consultant company, Resource International Inc., which at the time had nearly 60 employees and revenues of about $2 million. She had, after all, partnered with two other American businesses, two Saudi companies and a Greek firm to win the contract over competing bids from at least five other countries and…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:02

Letters to the editor

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Please thank Joan Slattery Wall for the hours of time she spent surfing the Internet in search of sites that could help business executives run their companies ["Must-see Web sites," November 1998]. I went to the EntreWorld site and found the info I needed within minutes. Mary Douglas, president Describe, Columbus I won't buy their baloney, either Congratulations on your well-researched, well-reasoned commentary blasting Kroger for barring an HIV-positive child from an in-store play area ["Now on special: baloney," November 1998]. Coincidentally, it came as an even exchange: My mail carrier handed me the November issue of SBN as I…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:02

Business Notes

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The Ohio State University is one of the 10 best places in the country for a woman to earn a Master of Business Administration degree, according to Working Woman magazine. Schools chosen by the magazine showed strong performance in rising female enrollments, women student groups and female graduates getting excellent job placements. Ohio State's Fisher College was specifically commended for its active chapter of Women in Business and its MBA Corporate Mentoring Program. "This ranking is a reflection of the efforts of faculty, staff and students," says Joseph A. Alutto, dean of OSU's business school. "Just as important, it is…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:01

Who to Watch in ’99

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Everyone wants to know which local companies are on the cusp of something big. That’s why each January, Small Business News tells you Who to Watch in the coming year. The organizations we’ve selected this year aren’t the only ones to keep your eye on in 1999. At least one large, Columbus-based employer that didn’t make the list appears destined for an interesting year. That employer is the State of Ohio. Not only will our state government get a new administration, but it’s likely to face one of the biggest challenges of the century—converting its computer systems seamlessly into the…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:01

ReSaurus Co. Inc.

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Scores of new toy introductions and another big jump in sales are what Douglas Sapp has on his mind for the coming year. Sapp, president and CEO of ReSaurus Co. Inc. of Columbus, plans on increasing his toy offerings by 100 percent and his sales by nearly 200 percent in 1999. Sapp has already seen a large increase in demand for his company’s toys in the past year—including an almost 15 percent rise in profit margin—thanks to a good marketplace and his ties to the video game industry. “We are seeing our products move at such a high velocity, that…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:01

invata international inc.

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Impending changes at invata international inc. should make the company, celebrating its 10th anniversary, a business to watch for the next few years. President Andrew Marks says 1999 will serve as a springboard for the company. The first quarter, he’ll introduce a new product, SAMTRAK Internet Suite, which will integrate his facility maintenance tracking software across the Web, enabling clients to post online updates to request building repairs and equipment servicing. “We have prospective customers already writing us checks to fund the development of the product,” he says, adding that one prospect, a pharmaceutical company he declines to name, could…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:01

Express-Med Inc.

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Alan Rudy called 1998 a rebuilding year for Express-Med, yet his company’s revenues still grew by 40 percent. That’s why, when Rudy says 1999 will be a return to the fast-paced growth of Express-Med’s earlier years, we know he’s talking warp speed. Rudy’s five-year-old mail-order medical supply company has seen triple-digit sales growth at least twice before—including a 515 percent leap between 1995 and 1996. Now, with a new president, CFO and other middle management in place to run operations while Rudy scouts out new business, the company appears positioned to start doubling its annual sales again. “We spent a…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:01

Can’t beat ’em? Join ’em.

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Insurance agents have found a new way to fight competition: Join forces. The Professional Insurance Agents of Ohio is offering professional employer organization services to clients through a new entity, Allied Professional Employer Group, (APEG). John Koetz, president of W.E. Davis Insurance Agency and a vice president for the new group, says agents were losing business because clients were using PEOs, which already provided group health insurance or retirement plans, for example. APEG, which enlisted the help of Allied Employer Resources Inc. to provide the PEO services, receives the profits of any sales and pays a service fee to Allied.…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:00

What labor shortage?

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Mount Carmel Health System has found an additional pool of entry-level candidates-and help in hiring them. As a Welfare to Work business partner, Mount Carmel has, for two years, taken advantage of services offered by the Franklin County Human Services Department to hire about 50 former welfare recipients in areas such as housekeeping, nutrition services and patient care. "We felt that would be a good pool for us, because we really wanted to recruit folks from the community," says Sue Doud, staffing coordinator for Mount Carmel Health System. Mount Carmel is working to build more support networks and improve training…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:00

Meet the 1998 Innovators of the Year

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Education: Mills received his bachelor of arts degree in communications from The Ohio State University in 1968; James earned a bachelor of arts degree in broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati in 1971. First job: Mills was a newspaper carrier; James started a company in high school "to do psychedelic lighting for bands." Why I chose this career: Mills says, "When I was very young, I made pretend television stations. I wrote plays in elementary school and put them on. I was on the school newspaper in high school. And once I got to college, I realized I really liked…
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:00

Getting connected

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Sprint PCS is donating approximately $80,000 in digital wireless service to selected public schools on Columbus's Near East Side. The program, called Education Connection, is designed to promote learning in the classroom by increasing communication among teachers, students, parents and staff. "The Sprint PCS Education Connection will be implemented in schools that may not otherwise have the resources to utilize new technology," says Kathleen Bailey, chair of the Near East Side Commission, which works with schools in the community. About 20 phones will be donated for the program, which will be evaluated after a year.
Monday, 22 July 2002 10:00

Do you know this man?

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David Schirner, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Columbus and Franklin County Inc., knew he was in for a change a few years after R. Gabe Reitter II joined his board of directors in 1990. Reitter had already forced Schirner to alter the way the organization had operated for 60 years. Among the improvements: a more developed customer service approach to recruiting and retaining volunteers, a larger development staff and new programs to allow more flexibility in recruitment. Schirner didn't realize how much of a change he'd encounter, though, until the latter half of 1995, when he…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:59

A new opportunity

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After working with thoroughbred race horses for 24 years, Dr. Richard Nelson says he was suffering burn out. Nelson, a veterinarian, realized he needed a change and took out a U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loan for $468,000 to start a veterinary hospital. The doctor used the SBA 504 loan program, designed for purchasing land and constructing or buying facilities, after his banker from Heartland Bank of Grove City suggested it. Approval took about three months and construction of his hospital on Norton Road in Columbus lasted roughly nine months. Nelson now runs a small animal veterinary practice in which surgeries…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:58

Unite and conquer

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Tourism destinations in Hocking Hills are proving there is strength in numbers. Eight lodging facilities and an antique mall partnered with the Fairfield County Visitors & Convention Bureau and, with a minimum contribution of $1,000 each, hired Columbus marketing firm Lord, Sullivan & Yoder about a year ago to publicize their offerings. “Our primary focus of that group is to increase midweek and off-season overnight stays,” Valery Junge, general manager of the AmeriHost Inn in Logan, says of the Hocking County Marketing Initiative. Not only has LSY helped these businesses develop new, unified marketing efforts, such as “learning vacations” in…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:58

Lack of resources

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What you don’t know could hurt you. Mimi Sommer, executive director of Concord Counseling Services, almost learned that the hard way. In her quest to keep overhead low at her not-for-profit Westerville agency, Sommer and her board decided not to hire specialized administrative staff such as a human resources director. Instead, duties such as hiring employees and putting together a personnel manual would be absorbed by Sommer and middle managers. Sommer wasn’t, however, entirely comfortable with that arrangement, especially because it had been some time since the organization’s personnel policies had been revised. “I was very aware of lots of…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:58

A vision of savings

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Richard Hocking, materials manager at Worthington Cylinder Corp., has found an alternative to hiring permanent employees—a plus for him, especially since the tight labor market makes him struggle to fill positions. Hocking sends parts shipments at least three days a week to the nonprofit Vision Center Industries in North Columbus, where employees who are blind, visually impaired or have some other disability assemble at least 6 million O-rings on valves a year for him. “In general, we view them as a low-cost alternative—low cost, high quality,” Hocking says of the organization, which completes assembly, packaging, mailing and inspection jobs for…
Monday, 22 July 2002 09:57

The cruel truth

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If you’re an Internet junkie like I am, perhaps you’ve seen that saucy “Bill of No Rights” piece that’s been circulating as of late. It’s a no-holds-barred reality slap (supposedly penned by a Georgia state legislator) for those among us who feel entitled to something more than our own opinion. It starts: “We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more…