On page 16, SBN presents the winners of the 2000 Pillar Award, sponsored by Medical Mutual of Ohio. The award honors companies of all sizes for giving back to their communities.
Its purpose is to encourage a charitable environment and recognize creative efforts that make a difference through a four-pronged effort to:
Publicize the issue of community service as it applies to the realities of today's competitive business world; share creative ideas about how companies of all sizes are having a positive impact in their communities; honor companies that go well beyond the minimum expectation of community service; and create a sustaining fund, administered by the Cleveland Foundation, to aid local nonprofit organizations in their mission to serve the people of Northeast Ohio. Including this year's donation, the sustaining Pillar Fund contains in excess of $30,000.
This year marks the third year of the Pillar Award. Nominations are judged by an independent panel. For more information on next year's event, contact SBN at (216) 228-6397.
Marlite a specialty interior wall system manufacturer in Dover, has redesigned its Web site at www.marlite.com to provide better information to its customers.
The Hoover Company, North Canton, has been awarded the Supplier Performance Award by Retail Category for the fifth straight year for the floor-care category.
Excell Consulting Group of Wooster and Palitto Consulting Services Inc. of Wadsworth have formed a partnership with the intention of improving both companies.
Waikem Auto Group of Canton has completed the purchase of Petty's Jeep in Massillon. The dealership has selected Innis Maggiore Group to handle advertising and promotion for its 14 area automotive franchises.
Cohen & Co., Canton, has merged with Mather, Pfeifer & Potts Inc., a Stark County CPA firm.
Research conducted by Yankelovich Partners in 2000 indicates American consumers have strong opinions about smoke and other air quality issues. Consider that:
- 80 percent believe businesses should find a way to accommodate both nonsmokers and smokers in their establishments.
- 86 percent believe ventilation can have a lot or some impact on addressing smoking issues.
- 91 percent agree they would be more likely to go to an establishment that had a state-of-the-art ventilation system vs. one that did not.
What you can do
Restaurant and bar owners
- Control airflow to minimize smoke drift from smoking sections to nonsmoking sections.
- Properly maintain -- and consider redesigning -- ventilation systems to help contain kitchen odors, grease and tobacco smoke, as well as regulate room temperature and humidity.
- Adjust ventilation systems to peak business times to make them more cost effective.
Hotel owners and managers
*Watch the air quality in guest rooms and common areas closely, as these reflect upon the management's commitment to cleanliness and attention to detail.
* Make flexible accommodation policies for the lobby, restaurant, bar/lounge and meeting rooms to allow for differing preferences of these audiences.
*Ensure proper housekeeping procedures are followed, as this can contribute to cleaner, fresher air. For more ideas, go to www.pmOptions.com/home/home.asp.
Inviting press attention is one of the best ways to grow a small business, but many businesses don't know how or where to begin. Lee Esposito, principal of Lee Esposito Associates, offers the following dos and don'ts for generating publicity.
- Become a student of the media. Read local newspapers and business journals and watch news broadcasts to discover patterns or trends and learn which reporters cover your specific industry.
- Read national stories and watch network news broadcasts for opportunities to publicize your business. Local editors and reporters often are eager to put a local slant on national stories.
- Contact reporters or editors to introduce yourself and your business. Be prepared to let them know what's new or unique about your business and how it will benefit their readers, viewers or listeners.
- Tie your product or service to a quirky national holiday or celebration. For example, a pizza chain that offers a peanut butter and jelly pizza received extensive media coverage by tying its pizza to the April 2 celebration of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.
- Disappear after the interview. Be available throughout the process to assist with additional facts, figures or questions.
- Use jargon. Instead, use colorful, everyday language when describing your product or service.
- Ask for or expect special concessions because you are an advertiser.
Medical Mutual of Ohio
As one of Ohio's largest health care insurance providers, Medical Mutual of Ohio devotes its community service efforts toward health-related and educational issues.
Last year, the company was a major sponsor of the MS Walk for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Heart Association Heart Walk.
The co-founder and title sponsor of the Pillar Award for Community Service, Medical Mutual contributed 92 volunteers to the Meals On Wheels program and provided Christmas gifts for 210 underprivileged children.
"We're a long-time Cleveland company," says Jared Chaney, Medical Mutual's vice president of corporate communications. "The health and well-being of a community is what our business is all about."
Under the leadership of its S.H.A.R.E. volunteer committee, which stands for Share, Help, Aid, Reach and Educate, the company encourages its 2,500 employees to get involved in causes they support. In upper management, 27 executives serve on 48 nonprofit and charitable boards.
The impact of community service hit Xerox Connect employees last year when they treated 65 children from one of Cleveland's YMCA centers to a Cleveland Cavaliers game and dinner at Gund Arena.
"When it was all done, we had a couple of the employees here with tears in their eyes because the kids had such a good time," says Dave Fazekas, Xerox Connect Great Lakes Region vice president. "They were hugging them when they were leaving. A good number of these kids had never been to a Cavs game before."
Xerox Connect, an information technology consulting, outsourcing and systems integration subsidiary of Xerox, also provided technical expertise to set up computer kiosks free of charge at the Great Lakes Nature Center in Bay Village. Projects like these are not only the right thing to do, but good for the company, Fazekas says.
"It makes the employees feel good to see good things happening, and we can make a mark within the community," he says.
Xerox Connect is in its second year of sponsorship for the Pillar Award.
Mars Employment contributed its job hunting and placement expertise to help residents at the Women in Transitional Housing center in Cleveland. By teaching the women resume writing, interview skills and personal presentation, Mars Employment helped give them a second chance at life.
"We should give back because I think we're so fortunate," says Marilyn R. Sims, president of Mars Employment. "We've been very lucky, but I don't know that it's all luck; a lot of times you have to do it yourself."
Other than providing job-hunting skills, Mars gives employees time off to help clean and paint rooms in the women's shelter in between tenants. Sims also sits on the board of directors.
"I didn't want to be the kind of a person who sits on the board of directors and not know what really happens," she says.
Mars Employment is involved in annual events to raise money for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and the Ronald McDonald House. This is its first year of involvement with the Pillar Award program.
The environment you work in is important to all businesses, big and small. COSE knows this. Its been helping Cleveland-area small business owners with health insurance and purchasing programs since 1972.
"I think that we are out there every day with lots of players trying to make this place a better place to live, and a better place to work," says Steve Millard, executive director of COSE. "It's important to recognize the efforts of businesses of all sizes. But when you look at some of the smaller businesses whose efforts sometimes go unnoticed, it's good to be able to highlight some of the interesting things they're doing."
COSE, a nonprofit organization, is designed to be a resource. Not only does it provide resources for its members, nonmember companies also receive COSE's help, so the organization can try to improve the places they work and live.
Outside the company, employees provide tutoring for local elementary schools and speak for Junior Achievement. COSE also encourages them to get involved in local boards and helps them schedule time for community service efforts.
This is COSE's first year of involvement with the Pillar Award.
Renaissance Worldwide, an information technology and business consulting firm, formed The Renaissance Community Project in October 1996 and has contributed to the efforts of more than 150 charities, including The American Cancer Society, The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation, American Ireland Fund, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and others.
Though many are national charities, the company encourages participation in local causes such as homeless shelters, schools, community arts programs and food pantries.
"Part of our culture has always been an awareness of our community and a dedication to contribute to its well-being," says Melissa Blatnik, Ohio branch recruiting manager for Renaissance Worldwide. "We encourage the participation of our employees, families, consultants, business associates and friends in making a difference in our world."
This is Renaissance Worldwide's first year of involvement with the Pillar Award.
If you know someone who has translated any of those traits into a successful business model, you can nominate them for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) award.
Ernst & Young is seeking nominations for Northeast Ohio-based entrepreneurs as part of its 14th Annual Entrepreneur Of The Year awards, the pre-eminent program honoring outstanding owners of fast-growing companies.
"Entrepreneurs increasingly impact the Northeast Ohio economy by creating new industries that will dramatically change the way we live and do business in this century," says C. Lee Thomas of Ernst & Young, director of the firm's Cleveland entrepreneurial services practice. "The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award program is designed to recognize those individuals who are paving the way for a new age of entrepreneurship."
Past Northeast Ohio EOY award winners include a virtual "Who's Who" of local business leaders, such as Dr. Gil van Bokkelen and Dr. John Harrington of Athersys Inc., Mal Mixon of Invacare Corp., Carol Latham of Thermagon Inc., Jack Kahl of Manco Inc. and Howard Cleveland of Digital Day. Last year, 15 entrepreneurs in nine categories from Northeast Ohio were selected as EOY award recipients.
Nationally, past awards recipients include Michael Dell of Dell Computer Corp., Sheryl Leach of the Lyons Group (creators of "Barney"), Jim McCann of 1-800-Flowers, Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee and Richard Schulze of Best Buy.
Those eligible for the EOY awards are owners and managers who have primary responsibility for the growth of their company; if the company is public, the founder must be an active member in top management. The requirements for consideration are owners and managers of companies that have been operating for at least two years. Allowances will be made for e-businesses able to demonstrate a profitable business model.
The Northeast Ohio EOY awards banquet and ceremony will be held June 14, 2001, at The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. All of the national EOY award recipients and finalist will be announced and honored at a gala during the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year International Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., Nov. 15-18, 2001.
There is no fee for nominations. Self-nominations are encouraged, as are those from suppliers, customers and others who work with entrepreneurs. Nominations must be received by April 6, 2001, in order to be considered. For more information and nomination forms, call (216) 583-8301 or visit the Ernst & Young Web site at www.ey.com/us/eoy.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year award is also sponsored by BOWNE of Cleveland, Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, Marsh USA, McDonald Investments and the Ohio Department of Development.
Sandra Turner has been promoted to director of the National EY/Assist program, employee assistance and work/life resource and referral service of Ernst & Young LLP.
The Greater Cleveland Growth Association has added Carol A. Caruso and Christopher D. Hess to its government relations division.
Willis of Ohio, an international insurance broker and risk management consulting firm, has appointed D. Thomas Paterson to senior vice president.
Jennifer Kay Braman and Yuri R. Linetsky have joined Hahn Loeser + Parks LLP's Cleveland office as associates.
Russel B. Turell has been elected principal at McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Haiman Co. LPA. Colin G. Skinner, Paula A. Kuhn, Jason Seifert and Leslie W. Wargo have been named associates of the firm.
Adam Wallace has joined Flashline.com Inc. as chief information officer.
Hawk Corp. has appointed Woodrow "Woody" Haddix as president of the Hawk Powder Metal Group.
Midland Aluminum Corp. has appointed Kerry B. Hardin as a regional sales manager at Midland's Ohio operations.
Vincent J. D'Angelo, P.E., has joined R.E. Warner & Associates Inc. as project manager.
Metropolitan Bank & Trust has named Andy Kelly to the construction lending team.
Leslie Croy has joined Liggett-Stashower Inc. as vice president and general manager of Liggett Stashower Interactive, the agency's interactive account services group.
Arthur Andersen has promoted Christopher M. Essig to principal in the Tax Practice and Wayne K. Walker to principal in the Practice Management department in the Cleveland office.
The American Heart Association has appointed Kathleen McDermott as health communications manager for its Cleveland Metro Division.
Frank A. Carrino has been promoted to principal of Insurance Tax Services for the Cleveland office of Ernst & Young LLP.
Lake Hospital System has appointed Sunny Masters executive director of the Lake Hospital Foundation.
Peter F. Russ has joined HR Consulting of Northeast Ohio Ltd. as a senior consultant.
Vincent R. Kaval, principal of Medimetrix, and Peter H. Calfee, president of Calfee Financial Advisors, were elected as members of the David N. Meyers College Board of Trustees.
Parma Community General Hospital has appointed Donn Wolfson, M.D., as president of the hospital. Tom Sidor, M.D., will serve as president-elect, Diane Butler, M.D., as secretary, and Susan Longville, M.D., as treasurer. Ashok Argekar, M.D., Tim Gallagher, M.D. and Raju Modi, M.D. will serve as members-at-large.
Michael D. Gladish has been appointed managing director of information technology for AAA Motorist Association.
The investment banking firm of Brown, Gibbon, Lang & Co. has promoted Andrew K. Petryk as managing director and principal, Scott T. Berlin as senior vice president, Nir Gabriely as vice president and Jay Greyson as senior associate.
August Mack Environment Inc. has hired Kevin Savage as an account manager for its innovative guaranteed compliance program.
Lewis B. Frauenthal of Frauenthal-Newman & Co. was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Ambiance Incorporated has appointed Rick Henneman as district manager.
Steven H. Roesing, P.E., founder and CEO of @Industry Inc., was presented with the 2000 President's Award by the Solon Chamber of Commerce for exemplifying outstanding leadership and service.
The national law firm of Baker & Hostetler LLP has added Michelle M. Hervey, Leigh Houston, Jonathan J. Hunt, Bridget M. Meehan, Eric J. Steiner, Priya M. Travassos and Monica S. Verma as associates.
Christopher J. Carney, Cathryn R. Ensign and Matthew J. Stockslager have been elected shareholders at Brouse McDowell.
RE/MAX Crossroads has added Carol J. Woodard to the list of Top Producing real estate sales executives in the Westlake office.
Ceres Group Inc. has named T.J. Parrish as national sales director of its subsidiary, Continental General Insurance Co.
Licata & Associates Co. LPA has added David J. Kovach, Richard K. Heiser, Betty Sislak and Deanna Palerno to its firm.
McManamon & Co. LLC has promoted Barbara F. Sikon to director of tax services.
Steven Goykhberg, Capital Markets senior associate for SS&G Financial Services, has received his Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) Certification.
Rosemary Ramsey, Ph.D., interim Dean of the College of Business Administration at Cleveland State University, has been appointed to the board of directors of Sales & Marketing Executives of Cleveland (SME-Cleveland) and to the board of directors of NBA Cleveland Christian Home Inc.
Angela M. Plona has joined the collection department at Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA. Dean Talaganis has joined the foreclosure/real estate department.
Virtually all large companies, and many smaller businesses, have adopted and implemented substance abuse policies. If you are in that minority without a policy addressing this important issue, here are some suggestions for getting started.
B>Tailor the program to your company and employees.
Developing a drug policy is not a "one-size-fits-all" proposition. Different companies have different legal requirements. Some industries -- trucking, for example -- are subject to federal mandates in regard to drug testing. Industrial firms with employees operating heavy equipment will want to have more stringent policies than a service company with office staff.
B>Confer with your professional advisers -- in corporate risk management, human resources and legal counsel.
Drug testing and substance abuse policies should be integrated into your corporate risk and safety programs in order to be effective. They are also a vital part of the company's employee handbook. All records must be kept confidential. Link the substance abuse policy to the company's Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Commit to the policy.
Substance abuse programs and drug testing are only worthwhile, and legal, if uniformly and consistently applied. Disparate treatment of employees or of applicants for a position is a sure invitation for a lawsuit.
Understand the costs and benefits. Make an informed decision on the expenses of implementing a substance abuse program -- testing, reporting, follow-up. The benefits will be empirical as well as qualitative. Source: Gordon R. Friedrich, vice president and corporate counsel, The Reserves Network
COSE, the Council of Smaller Enterprises, is working with a number of local organizations to stage a regional business plan competition. Entries are being accepted now through the end of the year, with winners announced early in 2002.
For information, contact COSE Customer Service at (216) 592-2222 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals interested in writing a business plan will find a wealth of resources on the Internet. The following are among numerous reliable sites offering free assistance.
* www.cose.org -- Members and nonmembers will find valuable assistance and support.
* www.sba.gov -- This site offers small business start-up and business plan information, as well as links to other useful sites for business planning.
* www.score.org -- This site from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) includes business plan samples, templates, shareware and software.
* www.americanexpress.com -- The small business section includes interactive tools for writing a business plan.
The cold call is a hard fact of doing business. Few people like them but they're a part of every sales strategy.
If your sales team is having trouble with cold calls, consider changing your approach.
Odds are, you're beginning your calls as if you already know the person you're talking to. Instead, when making a business call to a stranger, try this: "Hi, Jane, my name's so-and-so. We haven't met yet. The reason I'm calling is ... "
The key is that you point out that you haven't met yet.
People often receive calls from strangers who take the opposite approach. They don't introduce themselves and instead fake familiarity by asking, "How are you?" This annoys the person being called because it sounds insincere and wastes their time. Jeff Mowatt (email@example.com) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry who develops training programs and consults to business owners looking to improve their staff's service. He can be reached at (800) 566-9288.