SBN Staff

Friday, 19 July 2002 05:47

Change is good

Change in a business environment is natural, and, if managed the right way, can be beneficial.

Here are some quick tips to help you along the way:

Plan for change

Assume your company will replace roughly 20 to 30 percent its employees every year, and make contingency plans to lessen the impact. Some steps to ease the pain:

Always be in recruiting mode. Identify blue chip candidates, interview them, background check them, keep in touch about their availability.

Cross-train employees everywhere possible. As departments lose talent, other employees will need to pick up the slack, at least temporarily.

Budget for turnover and the training costs involved in making a new employee productive.

Document mission-critical processes, so new, untrained employees can step right in.

Outsource noncritical services. If it's not part of the core business, why do you want to be in that field? Let someone else manage turnover, benefits and other productivity-draining administrative tasks.

Welcome the benefits of turnover

With new employees come new ideas, new perspectives and new experience. Sometimes the needed push for a new system or production makeover is an idea from outside the way you do things.

New people are usually itching to prove what they can do in a new environment -- many times they bring an energy and drive that's needed to move a project, improvement or service forward.

Turnover can be motivational

Sometimes, companies become complacent, willing to accept unquestioningly what is done and why. An influx of new people can bring challenges to those corporate assumptions.

By creating an environment that welcomes critical thinking, you can boost creativity. And rewarding those willing to challenge assumptions and find a better way to do things serves notice to the clock-watchers that a new wind is blowing through the company, and they can fight it, sail with it or find another pond. Don Shadrake is vice president and CIO of The Reserves Network/The FocIS Group.

Friday, 28 June 2002 07:38

Movers & Shakers

Fifth Third Bank president and CEO George Schaefer was dubbed Deal-Maker of the Year by Worth magazine in its annual ranking of the nation's best CEOs. Worth ranks CEOs on their ability to keep shareholders happy and their business profitable.

Mary Navarro was named executive vice president and head of the retail banking line of business for Huntington Bancshares Inc. Previously, she was with Bank One, where she held senior leadership positions, including small business national sales manager.

The Buyer's Agent of Central Ohio has changed its name to Revealty. Revealty is headquartered in Columbus and is owned and operated by Larry Schottenstein and Adam Knolls.

A group of three Ohio State University medical students received first place and $80,000 in cash and services for their business plan at the Fisher College/Deloitte & Touche Business Plan Competition. The group formed the company J3 MedTech to develop and market their product, a hand-held ultrasound scanner that provides a low-cost, noninvasive screening method to aid in diagnosing melanoma.

Steven Sellers has been named vice president and manager of Heartland Bank's Grove City office. Sellers has 30 years of banking experience and is a lifetime resident of Grove City.

Robert D. Weismann, a principal in the Labor and Employment Practice area of Schottenstein Zox & Dunn, has been appointed chairman-elect of Prevent Blindness Ohio, an organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight for people of all ages.

Acock Associates Architects of Columbus was awarded the Business Arts Partnership Award by the Greater Columbus Arts Council. Acock Associates was recognized for its creative support and dedication to the Columbus College of Art & Design. The firm serves as a designer and donor of materials, supplies and support to CCAD and its students.

Sam Staley, director of the Buckeye Institute's Quality Growth Initiative and director of the Urban Futures Program at the Reason Public Policy Institute in Los Angeles, has been appointed president of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions in Columbus.

Karina Sampei Brown was named relationship manager, work force development, at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Brown's goals are to strengthen and maintain strong working relationships with work force development staff and to raise the profile of work force development initiative, including the promotion of the chamber-sponsored Career Academies.

McDonald Investments in Muirfield Village promoted William P. Cseplo to managing director in the private client group. McDonald will manage investments for corporate executives, business owners and retirees, overseeing more than $200 million in assets.

Terrie Radcliff was named assistant vice president in the Business Banking area for KeyBank in Columbus. Radcliff is responsible for developing and building small business banking relationships in the Central Ohio area. Prior to joining KeyBank, Radcliff was an officer at Huntington National Bank.

Tim Jochim, founding partner of Jochim Co., was named Professional Member of the Year at the 25th Annual Conference of the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership and Related Plans) Association in Washington, D.C. The award is given annually based upon membership recruitment and professional development.

Cynthia Hayes was named director of Medical Planning Services at Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects. She will assist Vice President David Youse in leading FMS's medical planning services division, which focuses on the medical, dental and other similar professions in the planning and design of new and soon-to-be remodeled medical office facilities across the Midwest.

Friday, 28 June 2002 05:38

Movers & Shakers

Westfield Group Foundation

Westfield Group Foundation has appointed Austin Carr to serve on its board of directors. Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1971 NBA draft and a former member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is director of community relations for the Cavs.

Akron Bar Association

Marc Merklin was appointed to the Akron Bar Association Foundation's Board of Governors. He joined Brouse McDowell in 1984 and is a principal in the law firm and chair of its Banking, Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Practice Group.

SamePage Solutions

SamePage Solutions, a provider of scalable, turn-key customer relationship management services, appointed Charles H. "Chuck" Mackey to the newly created post of vice president, sales. He is responsible for refining the firm's sales process and expanding and managing the base of channel partners.

Welty Building Co.

Frank Gazzillo joined the Akron-based construction management firm as director of operations. He has been in the construction industry for 30 years.

FirstMerit Corp.

FirstMerit's board of directors promoted Mark Grescovich to senior vice president and chief corporate banking officer; Felice L. Larmer to executive vice president of investments and insurance; Earlene P. Balestrino to senior vice president/employee relations manager, human resources department; Mark A. Eakin to vice president, credit recovery; and Peter J. Dennis to assistant vice president, credit quality/loan review. David Lucht joined FirstMerit as executive vice president and chief credit officer.

InfoGrow Corp.

The Cuyahoga Falls-based company hired Judy Kolo-Rose as senior account executive.

BCG Systems Inc.

The computer services affiliate of Brockman, Coats, Gelelian & Co. hired Ken Klika as manager of networking services. BCG Systems is an IT company based in Akron.

WKSU

Abbe Turner was promoted to assistant director of development for underwriting and Tim Greenhouse was hired as development associate. WKSU is a service of Kent State University.

Innis Maggiore Group Inc.

The Canton-based communications firm hired Mark Roberts as development director, Lisa Leffler as receptionist and Karen Brackney as administrative coordinator. The firm promoted Debbie Costigan to office manager, Stacie Albrecht to financial coordinator and Brenda Sparhawk to proofreader/PR administrative coordinator.

Buckeye Color Lab

The North-Canton company appointed Stephanie Newport as marketing director.

Hall, Kistler & Co.

Stan Arner, founder of Arner & Co., joined the Canton CPA firm Hall, Kistler & Co. His sons, Franklin and Keith Arner, also joined the firm, as manager and supervisor, respectively.

Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs

The Akron-based law firm appointed Peter T. Cahoon as co-chairman of the litigation practice group and hired Brian C. Reed as a staff attorney. Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs has offices in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus and Boca Raton, Fla.

The Ruby Group Inc.

Jeffrey Ruby, founder of the sales training franchise, hired John Denny as a business development consultant. The Ruby Group is based in Cuyahoga Falls and is a Sandler Sales Institute franchise.

Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co.

The Canton-based law firm elected John M. Tucker director of the firm and Michael A. Thompson and James F. Contini to its management committee.

Friday, 31 May 2002 12:55

Biznotes

ARCHITECTURE/CONSTRUCTION

Burns & Scalo Roofing Co. has secured the roofing contract for Kaufmann's at South Hills Village.

PWCampbell was awarded the design/build contract by Mentor Schools Credit Union in Mentor, Ohio. The company was also awarded a design/build contract by the Peoples National Bank in New Lexington, Ohio.

Repal Construction Co. has secured the contract for renovations of the Housing Plus II Program Building in Braddock. It also received the contract for interior renovations for the Panera Bread Store at the Waterdam Plaza in McMurray.

Castcon Stone Inc., a manufacturer of precast concrete stairs and other architectural products, broke ground for a 47,000-square-foot building in Saxonburg.

Dick Corp. has been selected by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health Care to be the designer/builder to complete construction of its new headquarters, Millennium Center One in Moon Township.

HEALTH CARE

SeniorBridge Family Inc., a New York City-based provider of eldercare services in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts, acquired Sterling Care Counseling, a Pittsburgh-based provider of eldercare services.

LAW

Singleton-English Law Offices has moved to the St. Clair Building, across from South Hills Village.

RETAIL

AT&T Wireless opened in a new location in Century III Mall, West Mifflin. It formerly occupied a kiosk within the mall.

Model Cleaners opened a store in Greensburg in the Eastgate Shopping Center.

SERVICES

Hadad Services is offering a cleaning service for private homes where neglect has resulted in hazardous living conditions or those that have been condemned by the Allegheny County Health Department.

TECHNOLOGY

Red Square Systems secured several contracts, including Iron & Glass Bank, Manchester Bidwell Corp., New Kensington Library, Wagner Insurance, TimeSys, Strategic Technologies, American Made LLC, Fibchem Industries, Pullman Financial and United Cerebral Palsy.

Straightline Source, a division of United States Steel Corp., expanded its electronic procurement and online steel distribution service to steel buyers in Pittsburgh.

AMTECH Computer Systems opened its U.S. support operations in the Airport Office Park in Coraopolis. The U.K.-based company develops software for low voltage design, test and inspection, and high voltage circuit and design analysis.

Medrad Inc. signed a two-year agreement with W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. to be the exclusive worldwide distributor of the cardiovascular array surface coil, the first magnetic resonance coil to combine a dedicated cardiac coil and a dedicated abdominal coil in a single device.

Respironics Inc. completed its acquisition of Novametrix Medical Systems, a leading cardiorespiratory monitoring company. The transaction is valued at approximately $502 million.

TRANSPORTATION

Pitt Ohio Express introduced an enhancement of its document retrieval function that allows customers to retrieve documents up to 365 days from the date of pickup.

ADVERTISING/PUBLIC RELATIONS

CommuniTech landed an account with Systems Imaging Inc., a provider of document scanning and imaging products and services.

Manges Marketing Services Inc. has added Federated Investors Inc. and Fidelity Bank to its client roster.

Allerton Marketing Communications Inc. has assisted Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. in the introduction of Ocean Spray Sweetie Grapefruit Juice Drink by producing sales materials for use by the Ocean Spray sales broker network.

Friday, 31 May 2002 12:33

Business Notes

Alex Shumate, managing partner of the Columbus office of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, has been selected for induction into the Erie County Chamber of Commerce Gallery of Achievers. The gallery honors alumni of Erie County high schools who have achieved excellence in their profession or in service to the community. Shumate is a native of Sandusky.

Law firm Thompson Hine LLP has combined with the 110 year-old New York law firm Gould & Wilkie LLP, adding 19 attorneys and 16 legal assistants and support staff. The combined firm will operate under the name Thompson Hine LLP.

Fifth Third Bank has been named to the Barron's 500. Published annually in the Dow Jones Business & Financial Weekly, the Barron's 500 grades the top 500 U.S. firms on their investment performance using four criteria: stock market return; cash flow return on investment or real return on equity for financial institutions; forecast growth or decline in cash flow or real return on equity; and sales growth over a 12-month period. Fifth Third was ranked sixth.

Finalists for Columbus and Central Ohio's 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award are Mark T. Wehinger of EMI; Rick Malir of City Barbeque; R. Blane Walter of inChord Communications; Harley E. Rouda of Real Living; and Joseph C. Dager of Velvet Ice Cream Co.

Famous Photography, which specializes in golf photography and memorabilia, promoted Ron Bissinger to president. Amy Sagle was named marketing director and Ron Bollie was hired as vice president of sales and marketing. The company is headquartered in Dublin.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center promoted John R. Page to senior operations manager and Larry McDaniel and Richard Cook to operation coordinators. Suzanne Turgeon has joined as a sales manager focusing on the service of Ohio associations and government groups. Turgeon was formerly with ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment at the Convention Center.

Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP formed an association with Brazilian firm Farroco & Lobo Advogados. The firms will operate from offices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The association allows Squire Sanders to provide services to multinational companies doing business in Brazil and to Brazilian companies expanding locally or globally.

Osteopathic Heritage Foundations has moved its offices to 1500 Lake Shore Drive, Suite 230, Columbus 43204-3800. Phone and fax numbers, as well as e-mail addresses, remain the same.

Kathryn Lorz, president of Lorz Communications Inc., has been named the 2002 winner of the Marion "Pat" Renick Headliner Award by the Columbus Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications. The award is bestowed annually and recognizes a member's business professionalism, community involvement and association activities.

Douglas Frazier, partner at Clary Communications, received the Tom Poling Practitioner of the Year award from the Central Ohio Public Relations Society of America. The annual award goes to a PRSA chapter member whose accomplishments have made a major contribution to the public relations profession. The Central Ohio chapter has approximately 400 members.

Schottenstein Zox & Dunn received the Legal Marketing Association's Your Honor Award, presented for first place in creativity and brand identity in a signature item. The item, a hockey puck with the firm's logo, was mailed to clients announcing its upcoming move to Columbus' growing Arena District.

C. Russell "Rusty" Thompson was appointed president and CEO of Evans Adhesive Corp., an adhesive company with manufacturing facilities in Columbus; Sandersville, Ga., and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The company supplies adhesives for a wide range of applications, including packaging, labeling, product assembly and outdoor billboards.

TDCI Inc., a Columbus-based software and consulting company that specializes in enterprise resource planning, e-business and engineering solutions, named Steven Frianco director of the Enterprise Engineering Solutions Practice. Frianco was formerly with the Cleveland office of Arthur Andersen, where he was responsible for Andersen's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practice.

Griffin Communications has created a Health Care Marketing Division and named Gary Stelluti vice president. Stelluti was formerly director of communications and marketing for the Columbus Medical Association and Foundation. He will oversee the management and growth of Griffin's health care clients.

Friday, 31 May 2002 12:01

Less for Max CEO

What do you do when your company is in the midst of a strategic redevelopment plan and you're looking over your shoulder at an investor who seems to be swooping up stock?

If you're Michael Feuer, CEO and chairman of OfficeMax Inc., you keep your focus and take no bonus.

According to a proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Feuer received no bonus in the fiscal year ending Jan. 26. It's the same approach he took the previous year, when OfficeMax stock hit a low point and analysts began to question his management plan.

Since then, Feuer has developed and begun to integrate a strategic plan that includes re-evaluating the office supply retailer's growth initiative and lowering fixed costs. As the company's stock price rose, its largest single stockholder, Orient Star LLC, stopped its aggressive acquisition strategy (it had closed in on the magic 15 percent) and began selling off OfficeMax stock for large profits.

Unlike many of his CEO peers, Feuer did not reward himself for the first-year plan efforts. He received a salary of $950,000 in the year ended Jan. 26, down 1.9 percent from his salary of $968,269 the previous year.

Additionally, OfficeMax granted him 295,000 stock options, compared with 400,000 the prior year. Assuming the company's common stock appreciates 5 percent each year for the next nine years, the value of the options is $578,200. The options have an exercise price of $3.12 a share and expire April 4, 2011.

The executive received no restricted stock award in the year ended Jan. 26, compared with a restricted stock award of $14,871 the previous year.

Tuesday, 30 April 2002 08:28

Financial Services Advocate

Patrick Nagle has been a central figure in the Blair County small business community for more than six years.

Now vice president for Central Bank, a division of First Commonwealth Bank, he began his career there as a collection manager and earned rapid promotions. For the past 11 years, he has been a commercial lender.

In 1994, he became Central Bank's small business manager; the next year, he was appointed SBA lender. He then earned designation as a certified lender under the SBA CLP Program, and was named Lead SBA Lender for the First Commonwealth Financial Corp. He also has earned the designation of Preferred Lender under the SBA PLP Program.

In 1997, he received the Financial Services Advocate Award by the St. Francis College Small Business Development Center, and was given the first SBA Champion Award.

Nagle attended Juniata College and Pennsylvania State University. He began his career in finance with Capital Finance, then spent four years with General Motors Acceptance Corp. and five years with Mellon Bank.

He is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Association of SBA Guaranteed Lenders and the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and chairperson of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advocates. He is chairperson of the CARE Program for Central Bank and on the board of the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission.

Additionally, he is president of the Southern Alleghenies Commission Development Corporation and a member of the Altoona Incubator Advisory Council.

William McCloskey

Tuesday, 30 April 2002 08:14

Entrepreneurial success

Jeffrey Druzak's tenacity and perseverance, combined with dedicated employees and the consistent growth of his business, are all reasons he's been named the 2002 SBA Regional Entrepreneurial Success winner.

Druzak says Druzak Medical Inc. has a family-type atmosphere, and proudly recalls an employee who introduced the $18 million annual revenue company to a potential customer as "Team Druzak."

"That's why we're successful." he says, "The nomination could also be attributed to our ability to overcome numerous obstacles."

Druzak has overcome several obstacles since Druzak Medical opened for business in 1990, including a three-and-half-year development process for the company's fast and efficient Treetop Shopper, a Web-based, split-screen ordering system for physicians and nursing homes.

"I ended up starting and scrapping at least two other versions of the project before I finally came up with a design that worked. (It took) at least six different computer programmers. After the fifth programmer left for Chicago, I decided to build our own MIS department (and hire) our own programmer," he says.

Personal loss has challenged Druzak as well. In 1992, one of his two partners, Janet Charland, the company's business and accounting manager,lost her fight with cancer. Then Druzak's son, Benjamin Jared, died at age 6 in 1995 from bacterial meningitis. Far from giving up, he continued growing his successful business and adopted three children from Poland in 1996.

"I consider ourselves an organic-style company. We also have the philosophy of developing long-term business relationships based upon trust and a mutual respect for one another," says Druzak.

Amanda Lynch

Tuesday, 30 April 2002 08:10

Minority Business Advocate

Doris Carson Williams serves the minority community and helps minority business owners by concentrating on building good business relationships. That work has earned her the 2002 SBA Regional Minority Business Advocate award.

As the first paid director of the African-American Chamber of Commerce, Williams says, "My greatest challenge was in starting the chamber as a professional organization."

She developed an implementation proposal based on the strategic plan she was presented and engaged as many of her business associates, partners and friends as possible.

"I created systems to monitor my performance and kept my focus on building the organization based upon its mission that I believe in," she says.

That mission is to promote access and opportunity for African-American business owners and professionals. Williams is proud that the organization has more than 325 members, 28 corporate sponsors and formal programs and benefits for members.

"My business philosophy is to stay focused on your goals and objectives. Think big and be creative in your approach, thanking those who help you along the way. Not everyone may agree with you, but hopefully they will respect what you do and appreciate the end results," Williams says.

As the recipient of the 2000 Susan B. Anthony Woman of Vision Award from the Executive Women's Council and the 2002 Greater Pittsburgh YWCA's Woman in Business and Industry Award, Williams remains true to her fundamental belief in people.

"I understand the value of building relationships first, then selling the product. People tend to do business with people they know," she says.

Amanda Lynch

Tuesday, 30 April 2002 07:55

Lotus notes

Susie Bradley is stimulating the employees at her graphic design firm with a four-letter word: yoga.

"I'm always looking for ways to energize my staff," says Bradley, president of graphic design firm Bradley Brown Design Group in Carnegie.

Providing a creative atmosphere is imperative in the graphic design business, says Bradley. Yoga, she contends, is one way to foster such a climate.

"Despite the pressures, the creative juices have to flow and we have to work as a team," says Bradley. "Yoga helps stimulate the creative process."

Bradley, who says she has used other exercise regimens, including aerobics and fitness machines, has been taking yoga classes for about a year-and-a-half. She decided last September to invite her employees and those of one of her clients to join her on Mondays at midday at the Yoga Sadhana Studio in the South Side.

She mentioned the classes to Don Trone, CEO of investmgt., a Web-based community for investment fiduciaries. Trone, who has an interest in providing his employees with opportunities for physical activity --investmgt. has an on-site rowing machine and shower facilities at its offices -- suggested to Bradley that the two companies offer the class to both of their employees.

"We tend to work at desks and behind computer screens all day," says Trone. "There is a connection between physical fitness and mental attitude. The yoga classes establish a sense of camaraderie and help us to open our minds. The resulting productivity is clearly a companywide benefit."

While Bradley concedes it's difficult to quantify the benefits of offering a yoga class to employees, she says her own anecdotal experience leads her to believe that it helps reduce stress and that her employees look forward to the weekly sessions.

Says Bradley: "It's been my observation that they seem so much calmer."

Taking the class as a group, adds Bradley, creates a bond among employees and helps them work as a team. Bradley picks up the tab for the classes.

"It definitely gives me much more balance and peace. In order to run a business, you need to have a good balance of head and heart," she says. How to reach: Bradley Brown Design Group, www.bradleybrowndesign.com; investmgt., www.investmgt.com