What are the most import innovations in your industry and how have they impacted operations?
I believe current innovations in information technology have promoted horizontal technology reuse, are energizing the flow of investment capital for entrepreneurs and are significantly broadening opportunities in private equity funding.
Gerry Cowden, Cowden, Humphrey & Sarlson
Disease state management programs to improve treatment of chronic illness is the one innovation that is transforming the health insurance industry. Today, at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and congestive heart failure are proactively managed through education and preventive programs. The result can be dramatic improvements in health.
At Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, our corporate mission is To improve The Health of the People we Serve. Every facet of our business, including our physician and hospital networks, our benefits product design, wellness and subscriber education programs such as the Anthem Healthy Woman ... are all designed to help people to Get well. Be well. Stay well.
Joseph La Guardia, regional vice president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
What mantra do you run your business by?
The customer is always right. Companies that focus on customer satisfaction, regardless of the industry they are in, will be more successful than those that dont.
Randy Wilcox, president and CEO, SARCOM.
What new innovations do you see occurring in your industry in the next 18-24 months?
Voice over DSL Voice over DSL can provide one-stop shopping for telecommunications needs. The technology can provide both high-speed Internet access and voice capabilities across phone lines from a single provider.
Unified messaging The key words for unified messaging are convenience and access. Unified messaging makes the computer and telephone interchangeable, allowing easy access to both voice mail and e-mail from the same port, whether it is a phone or a computer.
Theresa Wetzel, ICG Communications Inc.
We dont know what the next big innovation will be in the next 18-24 months. What it wont be is more changes and improvement to IP, Linux, Ethernet or Windows 2000. It will be something to do with changes in connectivity using fiber optics and the way data is moved through the fiber channels. But no one is sure things change and they change very fast.
Cindy Nelson, DeCarlo, Paternite and Associates Inc.
Multidisciplinary practices under one roof law, finance, accounting, IT systems design and other important client needs related to firm core competencies. Deeper appreciation of the firms knowledge base, its compilation, organization and utilization. Commoditization of tasks thought to be high value, such as complex document drafting.
Robert P. Reffner, Brouse McDowell
What does innovation mean to your company?
As you read this, Valugraphix is implementing business programs that will meet the needs of the clients. We are utilizing the Internet by offering services designed to enhance promotional programs and increase customer awareness. We have combined exceptional personal service and timely delivery as the forefront of our business to ensure a successful presentation for our clients.
Kevin Kolman, president, Valugraphix
Smythe Cramer Co. has been selected as the exclusive Cleveland affiliate for Christies Great Estates Inc., a subsidiary of auction company Christies International.
Beth Wain Brandon, chairperson for the board of Recovery Resources, and David Sommer, chairman of the board of Neighborhood Counseling Service, announced the organizations have entered into merger discussions subject to final approval by their respective boards of trustees later this year. The not-for-profit social service agencies plan to operate jointly as Recovery Resources.
The following companies have joined Gregory Marketing Communications list of accounts: Oberalpen and Cast Nylons.
Hi TecMetal Group has maintained six accreditations monitored by the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program.
The Sausage Shoppe has earned the Reserve Grand Champion Awards in the Jerky-Restructured and Innovative Pork Product classes at the American Convention of Meat Processors.
The Arras Group was among the finalists for Agency of the Year at the Business Marketing Association awards.
Steel service center Demsey and Associates Inc. has been awarded ISO-9002 certification from the Quality Management Institute.
The Millcraft Group has opened its Ohio Valley Regional Distribution Center in West Chester.
The Millcraft Distribution Center.
The Westside Industrial Retention & Expansion Network has been awarded the Economic Development Program Gold Award by the Council for Urban Economic Development.
Smythe, Cramer Co. has merged Assured Mortgage Corp. into its in-house banking subsidiary, Home Mortgage Assistance Corp.
The board of trustees of the Saint Ann Foundation has awarded $1,074,777 in grants to 64 nonprofit organizations in Northeast Ohio.
Romac HealthCare, a business of Romac International Inc., has opened a Cleveland office to provide nurse staffing services to the greater Cleveland area.
The Reserves Network has acquired Staff Resources Dayton office.
Eckley Corner Beverage has changed its name to Wine & Spirits World and moved to 5977 Andrews Road, Mentor-On-The-Lake.
Michael Friedman has opened a sixth Captain Tonys restaurant at 14431 Cedar Road.
Shick & Wesley has been acquired by Flynn, Sabatino & Day.
The $2,000 David L. Stashower Scholarship, provided by Liggett-Stashower, has been awarded to Kent State University senior Jennifer Gaylord and Capital University senior Marty Hatfield.
Northcoast Business Systems has won the Elite Dealer award from OfficeDealer99 Magazine for the sixth consecutive year.
Partners of the law firm Donahue & Scanlon announced the firm has changed its name to Collins & Scanlon LLP.
CoreComm has opened an office at 5910 Landerbrook Road, Mayfield Heights.
Cleveland-based Sedlak Management Consultants Inc. has completed a new catalog fulfillment facility for Wisconsin-based Pleasant Co. and opened an office in Westerville.
McKinney Advertising & Public Relations has been retained by Central Command, the U.S. and Canadian distributor of AntiViral Toolkit Pro.
Independence-based Physician Business Systems, Cleveland Health Network Management Services Organization has received the top gold award in Healthcare Marketing Reports 1999 Healthcare Advertising awards.
Integrated Marketing Communications has added ECM BioFilms Inc. to its client roster.
Copfer & Associates and Sonnhalter have announced a strategic alliance, Copfer-Sonnhalter.
The Cleveland Clinic Lorain Ambulatory Surgery Center has been added to the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield network.
Stefano R. Marino and Scott F. Savoca have formed Stefano Savoca Salon at 5676 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst.
Wood Dimensions has been named a certified participant in the Architectural Woodwork Institutes Quality Certification Program.
Peter H. Calfee, president of Calfee Financial Advisors Inc., has been elected chair of the Board of Examiners of the Certified Financial Planer Board of Standards.
Libra Industries Inc. has extended its ISO 9002 certification to cover the former Flow Thru Systems Inc., which it acquired in November 1997.
Edward Howard & Co. has been awarded the Bronze Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America.
Health Hill Hospital for Children has achieved accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Employers seeking ways besides financial compensation to reward their employees find that work/life programs enhance efforts to attract and retain top talent. While many business owners have believed this for years, it was mainly based on anecdotal evidence.
But a survey of performance-based work/life programs earlier this year by the American Compensation Association confirmed those beliefs, indicating that programs such as family care, flex time, financial, wellness and career counseling are highly valued by employees. More importantly for employers, they are low cost, valued-added alternatives to expensive financial-based rewards.
The survey, which elicited responses from 1,256 employers nationwide, revealed the following:
- 18 percent use some work/life programs to reward employee performance.
- 43 percent do not use work/life programs, but say they will in the future.
- 24 percent of those that use work/life programs link those programs to improvements in employee satisfaction in the workplace.
- 48 percent use nonmonetary compensation to reward performance. Of this group, 41 percent plan to add work/life programs to their compensation packages.
This former senior vice president and associate director of Ketchum Public Relations in Pittsburgh has jumped head-first into marketing his own mystery novel. The novel, called The Deceivers, was published this past September by Creative Arts Book Co., of Berkeley, Calif.
The book is one of three in a series he wrote about a branch of magic called mentalism. Like the books main character, Aiello says he too has had a lifelong interest in mentalism and has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for 18 years. All three novels, set in Pittsburgh, are said to reveal one or more methods used by phony psychics.
But at this point, mentalism wont get him greater sales. Thats where his years as a P.R. executive come in handy.
Writing suspense novels might be my greatest challenge ever, he says. Im drawing on my PR experience by marketing myself to promote the book. Now I have to practice what Ive preached to clients all those years.
And then he has to sell some books.
If there are any doubts that entrepreneurial education is a growth industry, they might be dispelled by the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business Small Business Development Center and its experience with the demand on its management training services.
During the first six months of this year, the SBDC reports that it trained 1,174 people at 18 seminars, workshops and conferences. That compares to 667 trained during the same period last year an increase of 43 percent. The SBDC also provided 3,679 hours of management consulting to 586 entrepreneurs. Nearly 1,200 phone calls were fielded by the SBDC during the first half of the year.
Other highlights of the Katz SBDCs performance in entrepreneurial assistance this year include:
- A significant increase in start-up capital and expansion capital secured by SBDC client companies. Businesses landed $5.85 million in the first six months of the year, compared to $4.8 million during the same period in 1998.
- The opening of 37 new businesses by SBDC clients during the same period.
Pitts SBDC offers one-on-one business management consulting services in Allegheny, Washington and Greene counties through offices in Oakland, Harmarville, Wexford, Waynesburg and Washington, Pa. How to reach: The Small Business Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business, (412) 648-1544 or www.pitt.edu/~sbdc/.
The Ohio Department of Development honored local businesswomen Erin Nyrop Glasgow, owner/president, Sterling Electric Co., Dublin; Mindy D. Hedges, president, Media Solutions Inc., Delaware; Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin, owners, Gooseberry Patch, Delaware; and Rhonda J. Slotta, president, TDCI Consulting LLC, Worthington, at the 1999 Excellence in Enterprise Awards. The Ohio Department of Developments Womens Business Resource Program/Small Business Development Center and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP established the award in 1996 to recognize the achievements and economic contributions of Ohios women-owned companies.
Gov. Bob Taft has appointed 21 business executives to his Small Business Advisory Council. Local executives named to the council include Linda Hondros, president, Hondros College; James Matesich, CEO, Matesich Distribution Co.; Curtis McGuire, owner, Redlegs Lumper Service Inc.; Dwight Smith, president, Sophisticated Systems Inc.; and Robert Vennemeyer, CEO, Design Group Inc.
Michael E. Flowers, partner of Bricker & Eckler LLP, has been elected chair of the business law section of the American Bar Association. As chair, Flowers will implement three new initiatives for the section, including a business law ambassadors program, a career forum and an electronic resume bank and job posting service.
Rogers Drew has been appointed international tax partner in the Columbus office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Samuel S. Stallworth Jr., vice president and general manager of WSYX-TV, has been elected a national vice president of the voluntary leadership of Muscular Dystrophy Association. The associations vice presidents provide counsel in their areas of expertise and assist through advocacy and support of its programs.
David A. Diamond has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president-corporate controller at Nationwide. Before joining Nationwide in 1988 as director of financial projects, Diamond was senior manager at Ernst & Young.
JoAnna W. Cooke has been named vice president of marketing for the United Way following 10 years of volunteer involvement with the organization. Prior to joining United Way, Cooke spent three years with Bank One Corp. as vice president of strategic marketing for its Finance One Corp. and vice president of marketing development for Banc One Credit Card Services Co.
Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer & Associates Inc. has named Neal Gearinger vice president/account director. Gearinger, formerly the director of managed care marketing, neuroscience and infectious disease with Bristol-Myers Squibb, will be responsible for all aspects of a number of the agencys pharmaceutical accounts.
Alan Silow, former director of marketing and public relations for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico, has been appointed executive director of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
Paul A. Gydosh Jr., a Columbus-based certified financial planner, has been named to Worth Magazines annual list of the top 250 financial advisors in the nation. Gydosh is a financial planner with the Steinhaus Financial Group, an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.
I just read your SBN pain article [A recurring pain, October 1999] with interest. I have been telling friends and family for years about the circus our medical system has become, but was just written off as a whiner.
Then, after 39 years of excellent health, my wife finally had to enter the game and quickly began to experience the frustration that you and I experienced.
She decided it was more healthy to stay sick.
Although you must have felt you were at your wits ends, you actually found the right doctor fairly early on in the game. I am still chasing the wild goose after decades of this merry-go-round.
Friends, family, associates, churchgoers and fellow sufferers were quick to steer me to their favorite doc who would most certainly be able to fix me right up. I found that these lay referrals only served to provide a never-ending fountain of dead-end avenues chewing up time, money and frustration endurance.
The system cannot be changed with knowledge alone. For years, I have come to feel that I knew more about the diagnosis, symptoms, drugs and alternative treatments for back pain than any doctor I ever met. Certainly I knew more about my pain. Knowledge of the medical system is more important than knowledge of the medical condition, as it turns out.
The real problem is that doctors are a legal monopoly. If you need drugs, surgery or elaborate diagnostics, the only place you can get it is from the system. And you can only get what they say you will get. You have the right to decline service, but you cannot demand it.
You cannot threaten to go somewhere else, because there is nowhere else. So they get away with practices which would doom any other free-market organization overnight.
The same solution that works for runaway government works for runaway health care: The people need to take control. For this to happen, a whole lot more people need to care.
But you and I are a good start, dont you think?
D. Keith Lamb
Micro Resources Inc.
So do something
This letter is in response to your editorial, A recurring pain. I usually scan SBN for any information that may be helpful for me. Your editorial caught my attention.
Actually, Im a little confused by it. By the standards that you set, you may have had a successful experience.
The drugs didnt harm you. You could have had a myelogram. How about exploratory surgery? Your insurance, it covered most of the inflated bills, right? What you went through is a typical scenario. The medical people are looking for a disease. No disease, no pay. They found no disease, so they figured you would get better anyway. You are lucky you did not find a really aggressive specialist.
So you want to change the $1.7 trillion [thats a lot of zeros] medical system? Me, too. However, if you intend to wait for your next issue to develop, then you are actually doomed to repeat the experience you just wrote about. Excuse me for telling you that you will need a completely new way of looking at health, but you do.
As a leader in the business community, let me put it to you this way. If we shifted our consciousness from disease and symptoms, looking for the quick fix, to a proactive health care approach, all levels of productivity would be increased. Fred, if you had a fleet of vehicles, would you rather protect your investment by maintaining them or would you wait until they began to break down? This is the approach to health that you describe in your editorial.
I am a chiropractor. I want you to know that chiropractic is not about pain. Pain is a symptom. Pain is the bodys way of telling us that something is wrong. Chiropractic is about removing the cause of your disease, which is interference to your nerve system, or vertebral subluxation.
The chiropractic you were referred to is actually physical medicine. You tell me, was it different than the physical therapy? There are a lot of my colleagues that treat symptoms. Unfortunately, it is not what chiropractic is about.
Mr. Koury, the time to do the research is now, not when you are having an issue. If you have been in business more than a month, you know that there is usually more to the story than what meets the eye. This is certainly true in the health industry.
To begin with, health comes from within, not from a pill or potion. The nerve system is the most important part of your body. It is the first system to form in the developing embryo. It is the only system with its own protection [skull and vertebra]. You will only get one. It controls every function of every cell in your body.
If there is any interference with its message, you cannot be healthy. Chiropractors are the only profession trained to detect nerve interference. Check it out; no one else in town is talking about the nerve system for health.
Just think, if everyone was concerned with maintaining their health, there would be fewer days missed at work. Employees would be able to concentrate better, make fewer mistakes. The possibilities are endless. You said you could do something about it.
Brian G. Foltz, D.C.
Network Chiropractic Center
Technology isnt the driving force we thought it to be when it comes to bringing new products to market.
In the 9th annual Grant Thornton Survey of American Manufacturers, 67 percent of mid-sized manufacturers (74 percent of larger companies) were prompted by their customers needs or demands. Other product drivers include competitive pressures, 16 percent; internal innovation, 9 percent; new technology, 6 percent; and not sure, 2 percent.
As competitive pressures intensify, suppliers will have to find new ways to conceive and deliver innovative products faster, while maintaining quality and lowering product costs, the study concluded.
And how long does it take for a mid-size manufacturer to bring a product to market?
Less than six months, 39 percent; six to 12 months, 42 percent; more than 12 months, 14 percent; and 5 percent gave no answer.
RegionalHUBsites.com, a developer of specialized Web-based search directories for niche industries, has launched a Web site for Ohio companies in the manufacturing industries. RegionalHUBsites.com is the first new-media company to focus on regional industrial.
The site, www.manufacturingOH.com, creates an online buyers community of more than 20,000 manufacturing firms and includes a free manufacturing classified ad section where manufacturers and purchasing agents may post manufacturing-related requests for proposals, job opportunities and equipment sales.
We believe that the two primary ways that potential clients can find manufacturers on the Web are through search engines and links. says Donald Ferris, founder of the RegionalHUBsites.com. Search engines are becoming more and more cluttered as thousands of businesses flood daily on to the Web. And lets face it not everyone is going to fit into the top 10 or 20 spots of a search engine response. What weve done is to build a user friendly, highly functional, target-specific, searchable directory.
Its well known that people like to do business regionally, if possible. Our sites are built upon that premise, he says. We believe that more and more, people are using the Web like a phone book. You have to be listed in the right directories in order for people to find you quickly.
We also know that search engines like hub sites, since they contain a large amount of links and allow users to locate the specific information they requested. We also believe that youll have better luck being spotted by a potential client if you are listed in a specially designed and heavily promoted directory.
How to reach: RegionalHUBsites.com, (508) 398-0411 or (877) HUB-SITES, or via e-mail at email@example.com
The following is a list of the 32 stand-alone companies headquartered in Northeast Ohio which went public between the 1988 and 1996, with the year of their IPO and their stock ticker symbol. It does not include real estate investment trusts, or REITs, of which there were 11 in this area during the same period.
Year Company Stock Symbol Description
1988 American Steel & Wire Corp. (RODS) Steel works and blast furnaces
1988 Novaferon Labs Inc. () Biological products
1988 Phonetel Technologies Inc. (PHN) Communication services
1988 Riser Foods Inc. (RSR) Grocery stores
1989 Chempower Inc. (CHEM) Hazardous waste management
1990 Mr. Coffee Inc. (JAVA) Electric housewares and fans
1990 North Coast Energy Inc. (NCEB) Crude petroleum & natural gas
1991 Royal Appliance Mfg. Co. (RAM) Household appliances
1992 Capital American Finl Corp. (CAF) Accident & health insurance
1992 Chart Industries Inc. (CTI) Fabricated plate work
1992 PVF Capital Corp. (PVFC) Savings institution
1992 Providence Health Care Inc. (PHCI) Skilled nursing care facility
1992 Signature Brands USA Inc. (SIGB) Electric housewares and fans
1992 Steris Corp. (STRL) Surgical appliance supplies
1993 Corrpro Companies Inc. (CO) Engineering services
1993 DIY Home Warehouse Inc. (DIYH) Lumber and building materials
1993 Emerald Financial Corp. (EMLD) Savings institution
1993 Geon Co. (GON) Plastics and resins manufacturer
1993 OM Group Inc. (OMP) Industrial inorganic chemicals
1993 Universal Electronics Inc. (UEIC) Household audio/video equipment
1994 Cohesant Technologies Inc. (COHT) General industrial machinery
1994 First Kent Financial Corp. (FKFC) Savings institution
1994 Officemax Inc. (OMX) Office supplies
1994 Olympic Steel Inc. (ZEUS) Metals service centers
1994 Sinter Metals Inc. (SNM) Motor vehicles parts
1994 Sports Sciences Inc. (SSCI) Games and software products
1995 Advanced Lighting Tech Inc. (ADLT) Electric lighting
1995 Gliatech (GLIA) Pharmaceutical products
1996 Collaborative Clinical Research (CCLR) Physical and biological research
1996 Mazel Stores Inc. (MAZL) Nondurable goods wholesale
1996 NCS Healthcare Inc. (NCSS) Drug and proprietary stores
1996 Roadway Express Inc. (ROAD) Trucking services