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Thursday, 21 October 2004 07:37

The changing face of faculty

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According to a 2002 report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, only 27 percent of college students fall within the 18- to 22-year-old age range. Today's typical college student was considered "nontraditional" just a decade ago. Now, students are more inclined to concern themselves with their next career move, paying the mortgage and coordinating transportation for their children, rather than with campus life and full-time classes. This trend has two important implications for the future of post-secondary education. Since the overwhelming majority of college students today are people who must incorporate education into an already hectic life, classes…
Monday, 27 September 2004 11:58

Movers & Shakers

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Chemical Abrstracts Service appoints Bergner VP Chemical Abstracts Service appointed Brian Bergner vice president, information technology. His principal responsibilities include maintaining and developing the technical infrastructure to support CAS‚ extensive worldwide database building and distribution operations. "We are delighted to have attracted Brian Bergner to CAS and Columbus," says Bob Massie, president of CAS. "He has an extraordinary track record of technology leadership in the pharmaceutical industry, one of our principal customer sectors. Brian brings the skills and experience that will help CAS move to the next level of information delivery and analysis." Prior to joining CAS, Bergner was director,…
Monday, 27 September 2004 11:56

Technical dependency

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New hardware and software can save companies a great deal of money and improve efficiencies -- there is no doubt about that. Technology firms are producing more and more programs that can help businesses, and firms should certainly take advantage of them. But are we relying too heavily on technology to solve our problems? What happens when the technology fails, as it sometimes can? Companies have disaster recovery plans, but what happens if the computers crash or the power goes out? Do employees know how to function in the absence of technology? I recently visited my local video rental store.…
Tuesday, 31 August 2004 05:07

Global engineering

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Today, business is all about speed of delivery, says Charles Rodenfels, senior vice president of URS Corp.'s Columbus office. "Our clients' expectations are to do it quicker," says Rodenfels. "It" refers to the company's bundle of design, engineering and project management services. Rodenfels says clients' expectations have changed because of the Internet and the ability to serve clients electronically. But the design and engineering process still takes time, so meeting clients' expectations can be a challenge. "There is a lot of information to process," says Rodenfels. The Internet has also enabled the Columbus office of URS to take advantage of…
Monday, 30 August 2004 13:14

Internet banking for businesses

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Internet banking has become an essential part of business banking, and its use among businesses continues to increase. Online banking can be quick and convenient, allowing business owners access to accounts around the clock. Taking advantage of online banking There are a number of reasons online banking has become an important service for businesses. Benefits include: * Cost savings. The days of companies purchasing software for multiple computers are a thing of the past. Thanks to Internet banking, the ability to access account activity can be implemented with no software expenses, and it can allow multiple employees in different locations…
Wednesday, 21 July 2004 11:27

Comfort zone

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Gordon Zacks was 32 years old in 1965 when his father died and he was named president of comfort footwear manufacturer R.G. Barry Corp. in his place. But despite his 10 years of experience at the company's corporate headquarters in Columbus, Zacks was unsure of how to adequately take on his father's role. "I had no illusions about my ability to fill his shoes," Zacks says. "I didn't know how I could create a high-performance culture within the framework of our business." Now senior chairman of R.G. Barry Corp., Zacks says his father had a passionate commitment to the business…
Tuesday, 22 June 2004 12:51

The Clark file

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Born: April 30, 1953, Cleveland Education: Undergraduate degrees, physiology and government, Ohio University; master's degree, public administration, Ohio University First job: J&L Steel, as a laborer in the steel mills in Cleveland Career moves: Summer jobs for then Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk; managed a restaurant after college; Ohio Legislative Budget office during grad school; after college, Senate Republican Caucus as chief financial analyst, promoted to chief operating officer; left for private practice as a lobbyist in 1986 What is the biggest challenge in business you've faced? The biggest day-to-day challenge is to position our company ahead of the competition if…
Tuesday, 22 June 2004 12:47

Tangible benefits

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Owning and occupying a building can be a profitable investment for any business. With interest rates at historically low levels since the first quarter of 2003, now is an excellent time to be a borrower. The business that owns and occupies its building may want to consider creating a long-term benefit via financing with a fixed-rate mortgage loan that has a term of 10 to 20 years. The advantage to the business owner of such long-term financing is the elimination of interest rate fluctuations from the variables impacting the profitability of the business. Just as fixing an interest rate on…
Wednesday, 26 May 2004 12:34

What's it worth?

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We would all probably agree, at least philosophically, that educating ourselves and our employees is rewarding. We probably would not all agree on how much we should invest in training programs or tuition reimbursement benefits. However valuable we think the training and development of our employees is to our company, formal programs can be expensive. We are the ones held accountable for the bottom line, so we have to be able to answer the question: Are our educational expenditures giving us a reasonable return? There is evidence to suggest that dedicating resources to employee training and development is not only…
Thursday, 29 April 2004 06:35

The people side

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Executives and managers are inundated every day with the latest book, theory and technologies that promise to improve a company's bottom line. Some books tout a new twist on customer service; others innovative ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies. All of these facets of your business are important, and in today's economy, they should be taken seriously and considered. But before you jump on the latest business craze bandwagon, don't forget that at the end of the day, your company's success hinges on the performance of your employees. The best technology in the world won't improve customer service if…
Thursday, 29 April 2004 06:33

Is your company prepared?

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The signs are all there. Your information system is affectionately referred to as "Old Unfaithful" and your managers have dubbed the human resources department "The Business Prevention Unit." While this may seem to demonstrate a collective sense of humor, make no mistake -- the morale of your employees is declining right along with your productivity. Three years of scrimping and cutting back, however necessary, are taking their toll. It is time for changes -- big ones. Are your people fully prepared to effectively plan and implement those changes? Even the best-laid business plans can fall victim to economic reality. And…
Thursday, 11 March 2004 12:07

Movers & Shakers

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FAMILY BUSINESS CENTER OF CENTRAL OHIO The Family Business Center of Central Ohio named J. Richard Emens as executive director. Emens will continue to serve as a partner with the law firm of Chester, Wilcox & Saxbe and has also committed to expand the services and increase the membership base of this growing organization. The center has been serving the needs of family-owned businesses since 1998. Membership includes family businesses and service providers representing more than 3,000 employees. Emens was a founding member and has served as chairman of the advisory board for many years. Emens has worked with more…
Thursday, 11 March 2004 12:05

Livin' it

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I've seen it all too often. Companies -- often very large ones -- dictate and train one culture and live another. For example, a valued employee at a very large company was asked to take a management training class. He was pleased to participate. However, he was soon astounded by what he was learning. He was being taught how to communicate with, listen to and show appreciation of the employees that he would be managing. What surprised him was that this methodology had never been employed in his part of the company. Quite the contrary. Supervisors and managers were encouraged…
Thursday, 26 February 2004 08:35

Timeliness is everything

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It's almost become a cliché -- the world is a smaller place, and we're moving faster than ever before, thanks to the World Wide Web. Then why is it still taking weeks or even months to complete some customer service transactions? We can order an item, and post sales and banking transactions electronically. Today, if a transaction takes more than a few days to complete, there is something wrong. As consumers, we are more sophisticated and spoiled, and because we can often get immediate results, we want immediate results in every aspect of our lives. Executives of large companies are…
Thursday, 26 February 2004 08:32

Movers & Shakers

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Christie named Worthington Industries CFO Worthington Industries Inc. announced that its president, John Christie, is now also its chief financial officer. Christie has served as president and COO of Worthington Industries since June 1999. He will retain the title of president as he moves from COO to CFO. "John has demonstrated his strong financial and leadership skills in his oversight of this function over the past four months," says John P. McConnell, chairman and CEO. "In his experience as COO, Mr. Christie gained a deep understanding of our operations, and that will serve us well in his new area of…
Friday, 30 January 2004 08:06

Power 100

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Columbus leaders battled several challenges this year -- SEC inquiries, resignations and retirements, to name a few. As a result of these events, the movers and shakers in Columbus climbed up and down the "ladder" -- and this list -- at a dizzying rate. For example, Sally Jackson resigned as president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Michael Coleman's Chief of Staff Ty Marsh stepped in, putting him in a position of even greater influence. While most of last year's top 10 hold fast to their positions, a large number of the remaining people on…
Friday, 30 January 2004 08:01

Notebook

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NATIONAL CITY Herbert Chen was named vice president and senior investment officer at National City's private client group, which serves the financial needs of high-net-worth individuals through customized and expert investment guidance. Chen is responsible for Ohio and Florida. He brings more than 16 years of experience to National City, including in investment management, derivatives trading, risk management and client relationships. Most recently, he worked in New York City for Citigroup, JP Morgan and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Chen is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and received his MBA from New York University Stern Business School. Roger Lossing and Michael Scharfe will serve…
Thursday, 11 December 2003 05:45

Count on a brighter year

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Here is one more reason to celebrate the New Year: More than 60 percent of Ohio's CPA business leaders predict Ohio's economy will improve in 2004, with increased capital investments and a stabilizing job market driving the expansion. As 2003 drew to a close, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants launched a new initiative to take stock of Ohio's business and economic climate, and to use the unique insights CPAs possess to forecast what lies ahead in the coming year. More than 700 of Ohio's CPA business leaders responded to the State of Ohio Business Poll. They included members…
Thursday, 11 December 2003 05:42

Notebook

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UNITEDHEALTHCARE As part of its overall plan to grow business in Ohio, UnitedHealthcare is shifting the geographic responsibilities of its Columbus and Cincinnati CEOs and bringing the chief administrative officer from its Chicago health plan to Ohio. Thomas Brady is now CEO for the Columbus health plan. Dorothy Coleman is CEO for Southwest Ohio and Brett Bäby is now CEO for the Cleveland-Akron health plan. Brady will assume the responsibilities for all of Ohio. He will work with employer groups, engage medical and trade/business associations, lead the network development activities outside current metro areas, establish and maintain regular relationships, and…
Thursday, 20 November 2003 11:47

Rising to the challenge

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Every day, OhioHealth President and CEO David Blom prepares for battle. The foes he faces are many -- a rapidly changing health care industry, increasing costs and the threat of for-profit surgical centers entering the Columbus market. But it's all in a day's work for Blom, who's worked for OhioHealth since 1982 and has risen through its ranks to its top spot. "The rate of change in the industry and the sheer complexity of it all is a huge challenge," he says. "Medical technology is changing, but unfortunately, reimbursement systems haven't kept up." Blom's job -- to accomplish OhioHealth's mission…
Thursday, 20 November 2003 11:43

Happier employees

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Abbott Laboratories was looking for a way to attract and retain top employees. So three years ago, the company, which includes the Columbus-based division Ross Products, launched a companywide work-life survey to find out what issues its employees were concerned about and how it could help them. At the top of the list were family-related concerns. "We found that a large number of our employees have older children in elementary, middle school and high school," says Kathy Smith, director of diversity, inclusion and work life, at Ross Products. As a result, Abbott began developing initiatives to improve the work-life balance…
Tuesday, 04 November 2003 06:57

Natural resources

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The challenges of financing a new business or expanding an existing one are formidable, and there's no single formula for raising business capital. With conventional loan financing, lenders want to see a business plan. Borrowers who clearly show how much they need, why they need it and how they'll pay it back find a warm welcome from investors and lenders. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides venture capital and support for bank loans for small businesses through traditional lenders and provides training and educational support to entrepreneurs. The SBA works with thousands of lenders and educational institutions, supporting loans through…
Tuesday, 04 November 2003 06:53

Developing leaders

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I'd like to congratulate Jim Grote, Howard LeFevre and David Milenthal. This year's inductees into the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame display the type of entrepreneurial spirit, relentless drive and community leadership with which Junior Achievement is proud to be associated. They each set a great example for all of us in their passion and dedication to the future of Central Ohio. The Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame allows us to recognize the excellence we see in local leaders and strive to pass on that excellence through our volunteers in the classrooms. It is this tradition of excellence…
Tuesday, 04 November 2003 06:50

Fixing the system

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If you are like the vast majority of Ohio employers, you insure your workers' compensation liability through the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Unless you are a really large employer, one with 500 employees or more, you have no option; Ohio is one of a handful of states that does not permit insurance companies to cover workers' compensation claims. Most people who invested in the stock market did well in the late '90s; those invested in the market in the last few years have taken a bath. The Bureau of Workers' Compensation is no different. As with insurance companies, the…
Monday, 22 September 2003 11:55

Tough as nails

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Mark Corna isn't the type of man who shrinks in the face of adversity. Corna, president of Columbus-based commercial construction firm Corna/Kokosing Construction Co., instead takes a proactive approach to the sluggish market, saying it keeps him on his toes. "In the boom years, it was easier to win jobs," he says. "Now, it's a lot of work. We have to plan very hard." Corna says the company strives to achieve high-quality results in its projects while making the most efficient use of its resources: labor, equipment and time. "We look at ways to schedule the work so that we…
Monday, 22 September 2003 11:51

Telecommuting troubles

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With approximately one out of five workers in the United States telecommuting to some degree, employers without a comprehensive telecommuting policy are only a click away from costly legal problems. There are several issues to consider when drafting a policy. * Safety. Workers' compensation covers on-the-job injuries, including those suffered at home. So who is responsible when an employee working at home slips on the kitchen floor while getting a cup of coffee? Potential liability issues extend beyond the employee to injuries sustained by business visitors and even the employee's child. * Wage and hour issues. Telecommuting creates a number…
Tuesday, 26 August 2003 11:17

Favorable review

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The third quarter is an ideal time for small business owners to conduct a financial check-up to determine how to achieve their goals during the final quarter. There are numerous items to consider when determining if your business's financial state meets your expectations. It pays to regularly review your 2003 business plan. Compare the actual financial numbers to projections. If they aren't on target, decide which can be achieved and how to get there. If there are goals that are out of reach, review why they weren't achieved and determine what can be done in the future to attain them.…