Cascade Capital Awards 2013
Service Category/Employee Growth/Established
Sam Falletta, president and CEO, Incept Corp.
If you work for Sam Falletta, you don’t need to worry about his reaction when you bring him a problem. One of his greatest passions as president and CEO of Incept Corp. is coming up with a solution to a client or co-worker’s challenge.
It’s no doubt a key reason why Incept has become a successful business where people like to work.
During the past five years, Incept has nearly doubled the size of its workforce and realized a pretax profit increase of more than 375 percent. The business process outsourcing firm specializes in call center and social media support services for the biomedical, software and automotive industries.
Incept has created a strong employee culture based on the Lead by Culture philosophy developed by Zappos.com. It combines a commitment to people with the employment of best industry practices and promotes productive peer-to-peer and superior-to-subordinate communication across all levels of the organization.
Employees not only work well together on the job, but also bond through the company’s philanthropic efforts. In 2009, the company established a committee to manage its charitable fund, which is comprised of entry-level and senior executives and manages.
According to Falletta, the growth of the company’s staff and revenue are a direct result of the company’s community-driven corporate culture. In 2012, Incept grew its staff by 30 employees and is poised for continued growth in the years ahead. ●
How to reach: Incept Corp., (330) 649-8000 or www.inceptresults.com
Cascade Capital Awards 2013 -- Service -- Best story
J. Rayl Transport Inc.
Jeremy Rayl, the third generation to lead J. Rayl Transport Inc., has experienced a lot of success as CEO since taking over in 2008, including 46 percent growth in sales.
Don’t believe for a second though that Rayl takes that success for granted.
“If you don’t understand the risks that are out there, then you’re being naive to the potential things that could possibly bankrupt your company,” Rayl says. “It’s being able to identify these opportunities and being able to accurately identify our costs, what our revenues need to be and really understanding what drives profitability for our company.”
J. Rayl Trucking has about 230 trucks, 750 dry van trailers and 15 flatbed trailers covering more than half the country, and its brokerage covers the rest of the U.S. and Canada. The company has more than 250 employees and strives to develop cost-saving solutions for its customers.
Through its ability to provide several logistic options for a variety of commodities, J. Rayl Trucking has been able to maintain and expand its customer base.
Rayl puts a lot of effort into measuring risk vs. reward when attempting to meet the ever-changing needs of his customers.
“It has to have some sort of measurable ROI, and it has to add value to the company whether it is dollars saved or overall quality improvement,” Rayl says.
The result is an organization that continues to grow and continues to be a place where employees enjoy going to work. ●
How to reach: J. Rayl Transport Inc., (800) 753-5050 or www.jrayl.com
Cascade Capital Awards 2013 -- Manufacturing -- Employee Growth winner
Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc.
Darlene Swiatkowski and Joseph Swiatkowski
The improvements, changes and innovations at Ohio Hickory Harvest over the past several years read like, well, a “soup to nuts” list.
Not only has the wholesale distributor of dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, trail mixes and confections expanded by acquiring I.M. Good Snacks, it’s built a new 30,000-square-foot facility in Akron — and has already added an additional 17,000 square feet. A new nut roaster, bringing the total to three, was included in the expansion, along with two new form fill and seal packing machines and an automated tub packaging line.
Over the last two years, the company has added 10 new items to the products list, as well as more flavorings and blends of nuts.
To top it all off, Ohio Hickory Harvest formed a new LLC company in 2012 and became majority owners of a Columbus-based chocolate and yogurt pretzel company, American Confections.
CEO Darlene Swiatkowski explains how significant that move was.
“We are now manufacturing and producing the best line of chocolate, yogurt, peanut butter, blueberry, raspberry and holiday-coated pretzels you’ve ever eaten,” she says. “And we’ve just begun.”
To help manage the growth, Ohio Hickory Harvest has increased its personnel by 175 percent since 2008.
Owned by the Swiatkowski family (Darlene’s son Joseph is president and son Mike is vice president of sales and marketing), the company has managed to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere — and every item that leaves the company represents the staff, the family’s ancestors and the future successors. ●
How to reach: Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc., (800) 448 6887 or www.hickoryharvest.com
Cascade Capital Awards -- Manufacturing -- Best Story winner
Daniel’s Amish Collection
Christopher J. Karman
Back in 2003, Christopher J. Karman and his brother Ted bought a small Amish furniture-making business called Country Curios — which not surprisingly made Amish handcrafted curio cabinets. The Karmans had just quit their jobs working for a Fortune 500 company, and soon realized the harsh truth — people simply weren’t buying curios to display their knickknacks anymore.
So the idea of trying to grow a business in a declining market did not thrill either brother, but the Karmans didn’t give up. Instead, they broadened the product selection, went after high quality retailers and took the company national. Christopher took over as president as he and Ted launched Amish Mills and Daniel’s Amish Collection furniture products.
The company now offers office furniture, kitchen cabinets and bedroom suites. Since the company was founded, the workforce has grown from 12 craftsmen to about 150, and revenue has grown 134 percent in the last five years.
Daniel’s Amish Collection now operates two factories: one in Dundee and the other in Mount Eaton.
The business also has made a large impact on the local community and economy. Daniel’s Amish Collection supplies good-paying local jobs in an honest work environment, especially for those Amish who have moved away from farming and find that woodworking is the next biggest occupation.
Karman is pleased with the sense of family and personal pride among the workers.
“I am proud to say I feel we have the best workforce in the entire U.S.,” he says. ●
How to reach: Daniel’s Amish Collection, (330) 359-0400 or www.amishmills.com
Cascade Capital Awards
Service category, sales growth emerging, Laudan Properties LLC, Kevin Weidinger
After a “back of the napkin” strategy session five years ago at a Bob Evans restaurant, the Laudan Properties LLC business model was formed. Since then, Laudan Properties, under President Kevin Weidinger, has experienced rapid revenue and employee growth as it pursues its mission to be the Midwest’s preferred residential property preservation and inspection organization.
Laudan Properties is a trusted organization for end-to-end field services solutions, built on four core principles of people, values, integrated solutions and community.
Laudan’s competitive advantage is its vast network of more than 150 licensed contractors who cover a service area stretching 15 states from Michigan to Florida and expanding west toward California. That team of contractors has been honored with “Site Builders of the Year” and “Customer Service Excellence” awards.
Laudan’s growth has also been made possible by the company’s ability to rapidly recruit, train and motivate its diverse contractor network that delivers service offerings such as inspections, preservation, remodeling and rehabilitation, grounds maintenance and winterizations.
In addition, the company leverages cloud computing and mobile technology to link contractors to Laudan and Laudan to clients. This creates lightning fast data exchanges, which are crucial for clients such as banks, servicers and brokers.
The proof of Laudan’s success over the years is in the company’s operating results. Since its inception in 2008, the company has seen double digit revenue and profit growth and new job creation. ●
How to reach: Laudan Properties LLC, (866) 512-6984 or www.laudanproperties.com
Recognizing 46 outstanding companies that fortify the strength of the regional economy
It is with great pleasure that I congratulate the 46 Cascade Capital Corp. Business Growth Award winners for 2013. These companies are required to be within Summit, Medina, Portage, Wayne, Stark, Ashland and Holmes counties in Northeastern Ohio.
Based on both the Business Growth Award’s criteria and the challenges facing small companies in today’s business environment, this is quite an accomplishment. A company may earn a Business Growth Award by either increasing its sales level or increasing its employee base over the course of the past five years. The importance of its growth measures far beyond actual sales and employee growth figures though.
From an economic development perspective, increased regional company sales to other parts of the state, across the nation and even internationally, enrich our local/regional economy. Receipts and profits generated by growing area companies are positively manifested when these companies purchase local goods and services, invest in new operating facilities, equipment and employees. These wealth-creating mechanisms directly lead to the economic vitality of our regional economy.
The goal of Cascade Capital Corp. is to provide meaningful financing assistance to small- and medium-sized companies poised to grow through investment in new operating facilities, equipment and human resources. Over the course of the past five years, Cascade Capital Corp. has approved financing for more than 150 local/regional company projects totaling in excess of $100 million through its core SBA 504 and Ohio 166 loan programs. The collective completion of these projects was expected to result in the creation or retention of 1,000 jobs for our region.
Cascade Capital provides affordable, long-term fixed interest rate financing directly through its SBA 504 Loan Program. The SBA 504 assists growing small- to medium-sized companies to purchase new operating facilities, equipment or even other businesses. In combination with traditional bank financing, SBA 504 offers up to 90 percent financing for these major fixed asset purchases. For building purchases, Cascade Capital can offer 20-year financing terms at fixed interest rates well below market.
Cascade Capital’s Ohio 166 Loan Program continues to offer perhaps the most competitive fixed interest rate available for business borrowers — as low as 3 percent fixed for five years and about 4 percent fixed for 15 years.
A number of 2013 Business Growth Award winners have received funding in the past from Cascade Capital through its SBA 504 and Ohio 166 loan programs.
Congratulations again to all of Cascade Capital Corp.’s 2013 Business Growth Award winners on a job well done! Thank you for your continuing role in supporting and revitalizing our local and regional economy through your sustained growth and investment. ●
Robert Filipiak is executive director of Cascade Capital Corp., an economic development finance company that has provided dependable financing options to growing small- to medium-sized companies in Greater Akron and Northeastern Ohio since 1983. Reach him at (330) 379-3160 or email@example.com.
Here is a list of Smart Business Akron/Canton's coverage:
FirstMerit Legacy Award
Entrepreneurial Spirit Award (tie)
Manufacturing Best Story Award
Manufacturing Sales Growth Award (tie)
How Dallas Steiner led venture products to a global presence with a stump grinder
Manufacturing Sales Growth Award (tie)
How Ben Biery keeps the Swiss, cheddar and provolone coming, all in Biery Cheese packages
Manufacturing Employee Growth Award
Technology Best Story Award
Technology Sales Growth Award
Technology Employee Growth Award
Service Best Story Award
Service Category, Established, Sales Growth Award
Service Category, Emerging, Sales Growth Award
Service Category, Established, Employee Growth Award
Service Category, Emerging, Employee Growth Award
Cascade Capital Corporation Honor Roll 2013
ACS Industries Inc.
For more than 35 years, ACS Industries Inc. has been providing world-class manufacturing of construction equipment attachments and replacement parts. The company has committed to not only create but retain high-paying manufacturing jobs and has done so to the tune of 100 manufacturing positions in the local economy over the past five years, increasing the employee headcount by 44 percent.
Biery Cheese Co. Inc.
A family-owned and -operated company, Biery Cheese Co. Inc. has been providing top quality cheese products for more than 80 years. The company constantly innovates to create custom cheese blends and flavors and has won numerous awards. Biery Cheese also operates Apollo Sky, a quality freight delivery company. The company’s commitment to product innovation, research and development has rewarded Biery Cheese with increased sales and workforce.
Daniel’s Amish Collection
Christopher J. Karman
Wooden household furniture manufacturer Amish Mills/Daniel’s Amish Collection has focused on expanding its product line over the past few years and has succeeded in doing so. The company is not only proud of its products, but its customer base too. Amish Mills/Daniel’s Amish Collection furniture can be found in high-quality stores. The company’s success has led to revenue and employee growth of more than 130 percent each over the past five years.
Design Molded Plastics Inc.
Diane Hanson and Jay Honsaker
Design Molded Plastics Inc. is a full-service thermoplastic injection molding company that employs more than 120 associates and serves customers in the medical equipment, protective equipment, automotive, home appliance, electronics and consumer goods industries. Design Molded Plastics’ growth has come from tightening quality variances and commitment to product innovation. This dedication to quality and customer satisfaction resulted in increased sales.
Fuserashi International Technology Inc.
Fuserashi International Technology Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Fuserashi Ltd. The company produces highly specialized, cold-formed steel products for the auto and agricultural industry and started U.S. work in 1996. The company has grown by expanding its product offerings into areas such as mobile devices. Fuserashi broke ground on a facility expansion in 2012, adding 60,000 square feet and 17 full-time employees.
Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc.
Darlene Swiatkowski and
Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products Inc. is a family-owned second- and third-generation company that sells dried fruit, nuts and candies to local stores. The Swiatkowski family leads by example to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere with emphasis on quality and customer service. In 2012, Ohio Hickory formed a new LLC, became majority owners in American Confections and has increased employee headcount by 175 percent.
OrDerv Foods Inc.
Since the 2005 purchase of OrDerv Foods Inc., a manufacturer of sauerkraut balls, Keith Kropp has helped expand the company’s food offerings to include wonton poppers, fried pickles, Rueben bites, fried banana peppers, calamari, lobster bites, sauces and a new line of Olivations. In 2005 the company had three employees and with Kropp’s hard work, it has seen sales growth of 175 percent since 2008.
Venture Products Inc.
Venture Products Inc. is the manufacturer of Ventrac compact tractors and commercial grade attachments. Since the first release of Ventrac in 1998, Venture Products has quickly become a leader in the sub-compact tractor market, seeing sales growth of 93 percent between 2008 and 2012. The company’s products are sold in diverse markets such as state and city municipalities, golf course maintenance, parks, sport facilities and airports.
Jay Mellon and Jim Laber
AtNetPlus Inc., a full-service IT company, has been an early adopter of many technologies that are now commonplace in the industry. Most recently, it has focused on cybersecurity and developed a comprehensive solution called Attack Safe to make cybersecurity accessible and affordable for clients. The company has experienced growth in the number of clients served and has grown its own headcount by 33 percent.
Corporate Technologies Group Inc.
Jeff Sumner and Brett Harney
Corporate Technology Group Inc. is a leading voice and data technology company that has made numerous changes over the past year. In response to client needs, the company expanded its solutions offerings with a primary focus on network monitoring. With the addition to its product portfolio, Corporate Technology has also started offering network assessments. All in all, the company saw sales increase by 30 percent since 2008.
Epiphany Management Group
Epiphany Management Group was founded in 2007, as a one-person company with no existing customers. Over the last six years, that outlook has drastically changed with significant investments made in senior management personnel, processes and systems automation. The success is largely due to a strategic planning process. In a four-year period sales have increased 454 percent.
Etactics Inc. is a cost-effective EDI and print services company that enhances the accuracy and delivery of many time-sensitive documents, especially invoices. The company serves more than 2,000 clients and is preparing for the next level of growth. Etactics continues to add new products and services and in doing so increased its headcount by 61 percent in the last four years.
Keystone Technology Consultants
Keystone Technology Consultants is a full-service IT company that puts heavy emphasis on its customers and the relationships it builds. By fostering these relationships, Keystone has been able to create lasting impact by helping with network needs today and toward the future. This attention to detail has helped Keystone realize a 100 percent sales increase and a 92 percent employee increase in the past three years.
Americas International Inc.
Americas International Inc., a wholesale distributor of rubber and rubber chemicals, has continued to expand beyond Northeast Ohio into Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. In November 2012, the company partnered with Solutia Inc., a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical, to distribute Therminol drum quantities to the Northeast. With a network of warehouse operations that ensure accurate and on-time deliveries, sales have grown 164 percent since 2008.
Area 51 Consulting
Area 51 Consulting is an IT consulting firm for local small and midsized businesses. On Jan. 1, the company merged with TCI Data Solutions, a move that resulted in substantial expansion of Area 51’s team and resources as well as product and service innovation. Sales have tripled since 2008 and staffing levels are on the rise as well.
Broadleaf Partners LLC
Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover
Broadleaf Partners LLC is a growth-focused investment management firm serving the needs of foundations and endowments, retirement plans and high net worth individuals. The investment management firm uses frequent and honest communication to build client confidence and trust. Sales have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 49.5 percent since 2008.
Carrara Companies Inc.
Carrara Companies Inc. provides comprehensive restoration, construction, cleaning and environmental services. Founded in 1996, the business has averaged 30 percent growth each year. Since 2007, Carrara has doubled its annual revenue and added 37 associates. The company has three locations — Richfield, Cuyahoga Falls and Columbus — where it supports the state of Ohio in emergency response.
Catastrophe Management Solutions Inc.
Curtis F. Pilot
Catastrophe Management Solutions Inc. provides call center support to national insurance carriers during catastrophic weather events. CMS focuses on maintaining a roster of trained and prepared employees who can step up and be ready when they are called into action. Staffing has increased rapidly, from 11 employees in 2009 to 700 in 2012.
Certified Nerds is a computer repair and sales shop focused on providing fast and friendly service at competitive prices. Employees are willing to take the time to answer questions and provide clear explanations even when the inquiry is not part of an order. The focus on exemplary service has propelled sales to grow by 74 percent since 2008.
Cohen & Co.
J. Michael Kolk
Cohen & Co. provides entrepreneurs and privately held businesses with a full range of accounting, tax and business advisory services. The goal is to help local business owners remain profitable, which is a key component to a growing economy. Management and employees work together to align goals and keep the firm moving forward and growing.
County Fire Protection Inc.
County Fire Protection Inc. is a full-service fire protection company. It’s become a multi-million dollar company that specializes in the service and installation of fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems, backflow preventers, fire extinguishers and exit emergency lighting among other things. Growth has taken County Fire Protection across Ohio with offices in Akron, Columbus and Toledo.
Great Lakes Fasteners Inc.
Kevin R. Weidinger
Great Lakes Fasteners Inc. is a fastener distributor with offices and two distribution centers in Twinsburg. Since 1958, GLF has been servicing Midwestern manufacturers by providing innovative problem solving skills with a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality fastener products. An aggressive acquisition strategy has propelled sales to 32 percent growth since 2008.
Group Management Services
Group Management Services is a professional employer organization that provides payroll and benefit services as well as risk management and human resources. GMS has doubled its sales force in the last five years and has enhanced its on-boarding process for all new hires. Sales have grown by more than 56 percent since 2007.
Helen M. Torok, MD
HMT Dermatology Associates Inc. offers world-class general and cosmetic dermatology, dermatologic surgery, skin cancer treatment and holistic medicine, as well as high-quality skin care products and makeup. HMT has consistently added new treatments and services while growing its capabilities and as a result, sales have increased 35 percent from 2008 to 2012.
Incept Corp. is a conversational communication BPO firm that specializes in call center and social media support services for the biomedical, software and automotive industries. The company has executed more than 15 million customer transactions for some of the best known brands in the world. During the past five years, Incept has nearly doubled the size of its workforce and realized a pretax profit increase of more than 375 percent.
InfoCision Management Corp.
Craig Taylor and Steve Boyazis
InfoCision Management Corp. has been a leader in the call center industry for 30 years specializing in inbound and outbound call center solutions, direct mail and fulfillment and interactive web and data solutions. The goal is to provide direct marketing services that deliver results for the customer. In the past five years, the company has created 700 jobs.
J. Rayl Transport Inc.
J. Rayl Transport Inc. is a third-generation, full-service transportation company that was created in response to the needs of local tire companies. The company has more than 230 trucks and 750 dry van trailers servicing the United States and Canada, placed strategically depending on the needs of customers. Sales have grown consistently, increasing 13 percent from 2011 to 2012.
W. Michael Jarrett
Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc. provides supply chain management services to high-growth companies. Services include transportation management, freight bill payment, premium freight management, claims processing and custom reporting. Each customer gets service that is catered to its own needs. The company added seven employees in 2012 and watched its sales rise by 18 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Kisling Legal Group
Alberto “Rob” Nestico
Kisling, Nestico & Redick LLC, a personal injury law firm serving Ohio, is based in Akron and has offices in Canton, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. Since 2008, the firm has added 65 new jobs as its business has grown. The Kisling Legal Group offers the knowledge, experience and commitment necessary to get proven results.
Laudan Properties LLC
Kevin R. Weidinger
Laudan Properties LLC works closely with banks, servicers, real estate brokers and investors to manage and maintain their portfolio of residential assets. Its competitive advantage is its network of licensed contractors with a service area stretching from Michigan to Florida and now expanding west toward California. Success is reflected in the firm’s sales, which grew 195 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Lighting Services Inc.
Kim Allerman and Kurt Allerman
Lighting Services Inc. is a design/build company specializing in retrofit lighting. Through advances in lighting technology as well as the company’s experience in the field, customers have saved millions of dollars in energy costs. Since 2008, the company has added 10 new positions to assist with the additional work brought about by cost-conscious customers interested in advances such as LED technology.
Named after Metis, the Greek Titan goddess of wisdom, planning and good counsel, Metis Construction Services LLC supplies construction services to diverse industries, and is involved in such projects as the redevelopment of downtown Kent. Since its creation in 2009, the company has grown from two employees to 20 and its revenue has increased nearly tenfold.
Metisentry is a Web design development and promotions company that serves small- to midsized businesses. Last year, it grew in diversity by acquiring a local consulting firm named Rainmaker to expand its marketing offerings. Founded in 2006, Metisentry began as a one-person operation. The company has seen 185 percent growth in revenue since 2008 and has employed as many as 10.
National Interstate Insurance Co.
National Interstate, a specialty property and casualty insurance holding company, offers transportation insurance, alternative risk transfer and insurance for specialty vehicle owners. Built on the premise that customer service and personal attention matter, National Interstate has been on the Forbes 100 Most Trustworthy Companies list for the past four years.
Ohio Tool Systems Inc.
An industrial tool and material handling distributor, Ohio Tool Systems Inc. has expanded from a five-person staff in 1974 to a 50 employee, multi-million dollar operation with nine sales locations and four factory authorized repair and warranty service centers. Some of its clients include Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. Annual revenue since 2008 has grown by 46 percent.
Outtech Inc.’s mission is to provide clients with professional sales and marketing specialists with a passion to help build the success of the outdoor and hunting equipment manufacturers the company represents. Outtech stresses comprehensive training of the dealers and box stores in the use of the products — and as a result, has seen a 60 percent growth in annual revenue since 2008.
W. Michael Jarrett
As its name implies, PackShip USA provides packaging and shipping services for large, high value merchandise and logistics management for mid-market companies. Based in Orrville, PackShip USA has other locations in Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina. PackShip USA encourages its staff to do great things for customers every day. Its revenue has grown by 50 percent since 2008.
A. Ray Dalton
PartsSource Inc. provides medical replacement parts and software solutions for biomedical and diagnostic imaging equipment. Founded in 2001 by A. Ray Dalton, the company today receives requests for more than 1,000 parts per day. PartsSource has garnered Cascade Capital Growth Awards six of the past seven years and has added nearly 200 employees in each of the last five years.
QualCare LLC, dba Home Instead Senior Care
Home Instead Senior Care, a health service organization that provides personalized quality private duty home care to seniors in Northeast Ohio, has grown its sales over the past five years by 205 percent. To meet the wishes of clients who wanted more mature companions, the organization recruits senior citizens to fill those roles, and they have become the backbone of the company.
Sequoia Financial Group LLC
Thomas A. Haught
Sequoia Financial Group LLC offers a full range of wealth management services. The company has continued to grow since its founding 20 years ago, expanding and better serving its clients in Northeast Ohio and beyond. In particular, the company has grown through acquisitions and in offering innovative technology. Annual revenue since 2008 has increased by 60 percent.
Slate Rock Safety LLC
Slate Rock Safety LLC is a retailer and wholesaler of work and safety apparel, all sold through ecommerce. Its premise of employee enthusiasm, a high-spirited culture and empowerment has led to substantial growth over the last five years. The company recently relocated to allow for additional office and warehouse space to address its growth, which includes a whopping 1,514 percent in revenue since 2008.
Robert Littman and Mark Goldfarb
Accounting and business advisory firm SS&G recently added an office in Chicago to its existing Ohio, Kentucky and North Carolina locations. During the recent unstable economy, SS&G has focused on providing clients with the guidance needed to continue the success of their businesses. This has helped the firm to grow by 36 percent in the last five years.
Specializing in medical billing and accounts receivable, independent physician and dental practice management, clinical research and financial and operational consulting, SS&G Healthcare Services LLC focuses on those issues so clients can concentrate on what matters — their patients. Since 2008, the company has had an increase in annual revenue of 62 percent, and the staff has increased by 15 percent.
Steel City Lighting Co. Inc., dba Five Star Lighting
Kim Allerman and Kurt Allerman
Five Star Lighting is a specialized wholesale distributor of lamps, ballasts, light fixtures, lenses/louvers and lighting-related products using state-of-the-art technologies. As a supplier of energy-efficient lighting products, the company takes pride in bring savings to the local economy in energy costs, improvement in productivity and safety resulting from improved facility lighting and the ability of companies to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution.
Trillium Creek Boutique LLC
Trillium Creek Boutique LLC offers cosmetic consultations and retail sales of a variety of skin care products, makeup and gifts. With four locations in Medina and Wooster, the boutique also offers complimentary makeovers and skin care consultations. Dr. Helen Torok, medical director of Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery Center, trains all the consultants. Annual revenues are up 31 percent since 2008.
WhiteSpace Creative, an integrated marketing agency, last year acquired an advertising and marketing agency, resulting in growth of a third in clientele and staff. This added to the company’s recent focus to develop more robust public relations and social media service offerings. In the past nine years, WhiteSpace Creative added 25 positions, and annual revenue has grown 30 percent since 2008. ●
FirstMerit Legacy Award
Thomas J. Ferkovic, managing director, SS&G Healthcare Services LLC
The world of health care is changing dramatically, and Thomas J. Ferkovic is proud that SS&G Healthcare Services LLC is helping its customers effectively manage through the transformation.
“Due to changes in health care, particularly with reimbursements, physician practices and hospitals are more and more looking for professional management,” says Ferkovic, the company’s managing director. “As we grow, our team is better positioned to share our expertise and help our clients succeed.”
SS&G Healthcare has been one of the leading growth companies in Northeast Ohio for a number of years. The enduring success has allowed the company to expand its operations throughout the East Coast to better serve and meet the increasing demands of those physician groups and hospitals around the country.
The company provides a customized mix of practice management and operational and financial consulting services to meet the complex, changing needs of clients in the health care industry. These services include revenue and expense management as well as strategic, operational and financial planning. It is all built on a strong foundation through its affiliation with SS&G Inc., a full-service certified public accounting, tax and business advisory firm.
SS&G Healthcare has more than 100 employees who provide compliance plan development, strategic planning, physician compensation consulting, contract negotiations and accounts receivable management.
Employees make a strong effort to stay updated on new industry developments as well as advancements in procedures and methods.
The organization is led by Ferkovic, who entered into a joint venture with SS&G to form SS&G Healthcare in 1999. At that time, the focus was on outsourced practice management services for small to midsized physician groups. But Ferkovic recognized the potential for additional opportunities.
Ferkovic earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Toledo and a master’s degree in information science from Case Western Reserve University. He is also a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
He is a big believer in the power of analytics and the importance of knowing where you are and where you want to go.
“Every physician wants to grow his or her practice, but you can’t do that until you know exactly where you are and until you’re measuring key indicators for the health of the current practice,” Ferkovic said in a recent article published in Physician’s Money Digest. “A lot of physicians see how healthy they are by looking in their checkbook, but you have to do more than that.”
The efforts to help their clients grow and succeed have not gone unnoticed.
“The members of the SS&G Healthcare team felt like partners and family,” says Kenyokee Crowell, administrator of regional practices for the Cleveland Clinic Health System. “Long after the management contract has ended, the relationships with the many people who assisted us are strong.”
The result of all this success is a consistent place on the honor roll for the Cascade Capital Business Growth Awards. SS&G Healthcare is now a seven-time winner. The company has grown from 97 employees in 2008, when the global recession took hold, to 112 employees in 2012. Since 2008, sales have grown by 62 percent.
Ferkovic and his team understand that they will need to continue studying ways to get better and be more effective in the service they provide to customers if that growth is to continue. ●
How to reach: SS&G Healthcare Services LLC,
(330) 670-5316 or www.ssandghc.com
Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Michael Jarrett, president, Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc.ichael Jarrett brought with him an extensive background in transportation management when he founded Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc. in 1999. Fourteen years later, it’s that experience and the strong work ethic he has instilled in the organization at every level that continue to propel the company’s growth.
JLS specializes in transportation management services for manufacturing companies, wholesalers and distributors who ship or receive products from all over the world. That service is provided in a customized manner developed through detailed conversations between the company and its customers.
JLS embraces the uniqueness of the customer’s needs for a particular job to develop a customized solution that will get that job done. Such attention to detail has become even more critical at a time when the global economy is still uncertain and companies are very cautious about their expenses.
Companies in all lines of work are being forced to take a closer look at their costs, including those that affect their supply chain. Transportation costs may be a deciding factor in determining how competitive a business is within the marketplace.
As the company’s president, Jarrett understands how important cost is to his customers. But he knows that it’s not just about money. It’s the bottom line, of course, but customers also want to know they are getting value for that money. It’s why JLS works hard to develop solutions that are customized and address specific needs.
Through its centralized routing center, JLS allows customers to gain more control over their supply chain, become more cost effective and increase efficiencies. Customers are assigned a dedicated logistics coordinator as well as a customer account team who understand the customer’s business requirements.
All suppliers must contact the routing center for routing instructions. This allows the company the ability to route all shipments on the appropriate carrier based on shipment characteristics such as location, weight, size and cost. This ensures that the customer will not incur any unnecessary freight charges.
Customers may contact the routing center for assistance on outbound orders, access its online order-entry system or receive a routing guide and continue to work directly with the carriers. JLS also manages freight-bill audit and payment services, carrier performance and reporting.
The company’s proprietary software allows customers to access information online such as order entry, quotes, tracking and reporting in order to manage their day-to-day shipments.
The attention to detail has positioned JLS as a reliable partner in the transportation management industry. Business ethics, employee character and operational efficiency are key tenets in Jarrett’s entrepreneurial leadership philosophy at JLS.
The approach has worked well wherever Jarrett has been, including his eight-year tenure with Caliber Logistics where he managed multiple routing center operations, directed the implementation of new accounts and was responsible for negotiating carrier contracts.
In everything Jarrett does, he thinks about the customer’s needs, and it’s a key reason why JLS has experienced consistent growth.
The company is now an eight-time honoree at the Cascade Capital Growth Business Awards. Sales grew 18 percent from 2011 to 2012 and are up 49 percent over 2010. Jarrett plans to maintain a high-growth mode by continuing to invest heavily in two key areas: integrity-based, skilled people and leading-edge supply chain technology. ●
How to reach: Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc.,
(330) 682-0099 or www.jarrettlogistics.com
Cascade Capital Awards 2013 --Sales Growth (tie)
Biery Cheese Co. Inc.
While the basic process of making cheese hasn’t changed much over the years, innovations such as those launched by Biery Cheese Co. Inc. continue to be discovered.
Biery Cheese has been innovating from the beginning. Founded in 1929, at the start of the Great Depression, Norman F. Biery Farm was having a hard time selling milk to bottlers. The solution? The Biery family, along with a group of local Ohio dairy farmers, created a co-op in order to market their milk in the form of Swiss cheese.
Today, Biery Cheese continues to innovate by creating custom cheese blends and flavors and winning national and worldwide cheese awards.
In 2010, to create additional production space to meet current and future sales opportunities, the company committed to a large expansion of its Louisville, Ohio, plant. In conjunction with the expanded facility, Biery Cheese is committed to implementing new technology to improve and expand the business.
A new ERP system has been introduced to convert the existing product and operation management, allowing Biery Cheese to reap the benefits of real-time inventory control and tracking, as well as increased efficiency.
The company’s facilities are equipped with the latest packaging technology that allows Biery Cheese to continue innovative expansion into new products and markets. Most recently, the company launched new prepackaged cheese trays and custom arrangements for the retail market. The facilities are USDA, FDA, kosher, organic and military approved to ensure customers are receiving the highest quality products.
Ben Biery serves as CEO of the family-owned company, which is now in its fourth generation. ●
How to reach: Biery Cheese Co. Inc., (330) 875-3381 or www.bierycheese.com