Every day is fabulous at Akron’s QT Equipment Inc., says its president, Doug Root. And why shouldn’t it be?
From 2004 to 2006, the distributor of commercial service vehicles and material handling systems grew sales nearly 325 percent, reaching nearly $10 million in revenue last year. Over the past five years, its employee base has increased from six to 21.
After several slow years, Root started sharing corporate information with employees and empowering them to make decisions. As a result, the company took off. “We live and die with our employees,” he says. “They know where we want to go, and they’re the fuel to get us there.”
Smart Business spoke with Root about how he learned to loosen the reins.
Q: How do you grow your company?
Every invoice and every piece of our marketing material says, ‘Quality people create quality services.’ A lot of companies say their biggest asset is their people, but we really do live it. If an employee has a family issue, that comes first. We worry about vacation days later with that kind of stuff.
We pay 100 percent of their hospitalization. (Other executives might say) hospitalization’s a big expense; I’d say turnover and retraining of help that’s a big expense. We virtually have no turnover in our organization. People just don’t leave us because we take good care of them. There are three rules to work for this company: Don’t lie to the boss, don’t steal from the company and don’t be late for work. Anybody that hires on gets a letter with those rules in it.
The first time I meet a new employee, I shake his hand, look him straight in the eye and tell him those three rules. There are expectations. If they can’t live with those rules, they can’t work here.
Q: How can executives keep growth under control?
Maintain a very good banking and accounting relationship. Our cost of doing business and our cost of capital grows all the time. We lean pretty heavy on those folks.
We include them in our plans. We know where we want to go, how we want to expand, and they tell us how we can get there and what we can and can’t do. I’m not afraid to listen to the fact that maybe my ideas are a little bit too aggressive for us right now.
Q: How does it benefit your company to include financial experts in your plans?
Everybody wants to see a small business be profitable. They have opened my eyes to other parts of business that may never have meant anything to me before.
They’ve really educated me in where we need to put our foot on the gas and where we need to take it off just a little bit.
Q: What can prevent a company from growing?
Living too much in the past. Three-legged milking stools don’t sell anymore. I have some friends in business who want to continue to do business the same way they did 15 years ago. Business isn’t done the same way as it was five years ago, and they can’t get past what it used to be like.
The real key to it is that you have to remain young at heart. It helps me manage the business because you need to lead by example, and you need to be able to relate to the younger folks. Staying young keeps you moving in the right direction.
Q: What other advice would you give other leaders of fast-growth companies?
You have to embrace the change that comes with growing a fast-moving company. You have to let go of some things. I didn’t always think that way; I micromanaged a lot more.
I had an informational funnel. All the information about everything that went on in this company was inside my head. If anybody needed to do anything, they needed to get with me first so I could tell them what I knew.
I’ve learned to let go of all of that stuff. We’re more of an open-book company now, and that’s one thing that had to be done. Today, I can be gone for weeks, and everybody knows where they’re supposed to be and what’s going on. Information flows a lot cleaner and a lot simpler to the right people now.
Q: Was it hard letting go?
Oh my, yes. It really was the reason we didn’t grow. You know what the definition of insanity is? It’s doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
I didn’t want to let go of that stuff, and consequently, we didn’t grow. We were marginally profitable, at best, for years. It was exhausting, and a lot of hard work, and we weren’t going anywhere. We learned to let go and grab hold of some other things. It’s made all the difference in the world.
HOW TO REACH: QT Equipment Inc., (800) 758-2410 or www.qtequipment.com
Mike Faith describes himself as “an obsessive-compulsive kind of person.” So when he says he’s passionate about customer service, you’d better believe it.
Faith started San Francisco-based Headsets.com in 1998 with $40,000. By 2005, the 60-employee company had $31 million in revenue.
Headsets.com’s service philosophy is “Customer Love,” and Faith says it takes a CEO’s commitment to successfully implement a customer service policy. “If you don’t really believe in it yourself, it’s not going to happen,” says Faith, the company’s founder, president and CEO. Smart Business spoke with Faith about how customer service became his No. 1 priority.
How did you become a self-proclaimed customer service fanatic?
I used to run other businesses with call centers, and one of the most frustrating things I found was I couldn’t buy good headsets at fair prices with good service. I saw a huge opportunity to deliver all three as a package.
Customer service is about service. It’s about serving. It’s about acquiescing yourself to the other party. It’s always been something I believed in, but it really started to manifest itself with the headset business.
In the early days, I kind of let customer service slip and paid the price. The customers I’d spent so much money cultivating weren’t coming back, and they weren’t providing a good return on my investment. I took a long, hard look at the company and myself and appraised where I was delivering on the three principles that started the business.
I found I was competing in a race for the bottom of the price pack, which was reflected in the products I was delivering and the levels of service that came along with them. I realized I was making the same mistakes as the vendors who used to supply me, so I just stopped it.
I improved the products, the service and how we did everything, and maintained fair and reasonable prices, not bargain basement, cutthroat deals. I really turned up the service thermostat all the way. If I get into something, I tend to do it in extremes, and as we did it, I really pushed as far as I could.
How did you establish these changes?
First came the realization that the customer’s not always right. I don’t buy that one, but I do buy that the customer always deserves our respect. We can’t function without loyal customers, and they need to be treated just like that.
I simply don’t allow or condone any disrespect to a customer any time, on or off the phone. If a customer service rep rolls his or her eyes after taking a 50-minute phone call from a customer and it doesn’t end in a sale, the CSR would be disciplined or maybe even terminated for rolling their eyes.
When you do that, people get it, that ‘Wow, this really counts around here.’ It’s not negotiable. If you can’t act respectfully toward all our customers all the time, you don’t work at Headsets.com.
Secondly, I know it’s an overused phrase, but we overdeliver on every standard we set. We say we’ll respond to an e-mail in two hours; we currently have a standard of one hour. We promise three-day delivery, and we actually send everything two-day delivery. It’s a pattern that’s repeated over and over in our business: Promise high, and then overdeliver.
We make some very overt promises to our customers called our ‘Seven Promises’; we live by them on every transaction every day. They go on every mail piece and on the Web site.
One of the promises is management accountability. We make available the phone number and e-mail address of the customer service manager, the shipping manager and myself.
With 220,000 customers, if you start messing up, then those three numbers get a lot of noise pretty quickly. We don’t hide behind three layers of escalated system.
If there’s something wrong or something right we want to know about it. If a problem is going on somewhere, it won’t take weeks to get to me; I’ll actually hear about it first.
How do you get employee buy-in to your ‘Customer Love’ philosophy?
Customer love means loving your customers, believing they’re everything to you and showing that in every aspect of what you do. When we interview customer service reps, if they’re not comfortable with the phrase ‘customer love,’ then we don’t select them to work for us.
There’s a dictionary definition of love which fits quite well: ‘A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude.’ If you can’t think that about your customers, then you don’t deserve to have them.
HOW TO REACH: Headsets.com, (800) 432-3738 or www.headsets.com
Find the right stuff. When we go through our interview process, we’re looking for attitude and character more than anything else. ... What we have found is that if you hire attitude first, you’re going to get a group of people that are going to be more focused on the needs of the customer and are going to be better able to get along in the corporate environment.
We can teach them what they need to know, and it’s always a plus getting someone that already has some experience, but it’s attitude first, and that’s what we’re looking for.
People are so smart today. They’re so knowledgeable about the world, and they can learn a lot of things. If you have a person with a solid attitude, the sky’s the limit.
Lead by example. Don’t ever ask someone in your organization to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself.
I’ve been here for 23 years; my car’s still one of the first in the parking lot in the morning and one of the last to leave at night. I want my people to see it.
Go out in the field. I do not like to look over people’s shoulders, although I do have a penchant for wanting to be in front of the customer as much as I can. I like to find out whether we’re performing, not by looking over my people’s shoulders but by asking the customer how we’re doing.
I don’t like to sit behind a desk and think I know what’s going on. I would much rather have a personal conversation with an individual and look them in the face than send an e-mail or talk on the phone.
Same with a customer: I encourage my people to get out in front of the customer because that’s where you learn. You don’t learn anything sitting behind a desk.
If you’re going to progress as an organization, you’d better be listening to your customer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come back from a customer full of ideas and not just for products or how to service them better but how to run my own organization.
I always encourage my people that when they’re sitting down with a customer or vendor, they have a tablet and pen with them, jot down ideas, bring them back and let’s talk about them because we don’t have a corner on smarts. A lot of good companies out there are doing things well, and we can learn from each and every one of them.
Be a vendor partner, not an adversary. A lot of people that I’ve run across have always tried to squeeze vendors until they squeak.
I want my vendors to make a little money, and I want us to be a profitable piece of business for them because I want them to be a partner. If I come back and ask them to do something unique for us, I want them to be able to do it.
There are a lot of companies that have gone by the wayside. I want my key vendors to be around. You’re not going to keep a vendor around long if you’re squeezing them so tight that they can’t afford to stay in existence.
And you’re not going to give them any opportunity to do any kind of research and development and better themselves if they’re operating on a shoestring.
Keep pace with change. As you’re going through change, if you’re focusing on those key aspects that are going to impact the customer the greatest, you can manage and you can keep those balls in the air. When you start adding balls to it, you’re liable to drop them all, so we maintain a very strict focus.
This year we’re actually getting out of some businesses that we have historically been in because they’re not the focus that we want to pursue. We’re narrowing our scope a little bit because we know what our customers want out of us, and we’re going to focus on just those things.
Build customer relationships. It’s more than just simply having them buy your product and pay you, and then you perform the service. When you are doing something that’s key to a customer, if you don’t do it correctly, it can cost them money, and it can cost bad will.
You have to stay on top of your customers and know their needs. I try to go beyond that: I’ve been to some of my customers’ sons’ basketball games and played in their high school fundraising golf outings. I do those kinds of things to stay in front of them (so they) know that we want to be part of them and that we want to have a long-term relationship.
Have a simple mission and a clear plan. We try purposely to make our mission statement very easy to remember. We stress to our people that we want to be measured by our customers and not by what we think.
Overcommunicate with your employees what your mission is and what your goal is so everybody’s pulling in the same direction, and everybody’s got that focus on the customer.
That’s what business is all about. It’s not about making money; it’s about servicing the customer. If you do it well, then your company will be profitable.
HOW TO REACH: Central Benefits Mutual Insurance Co., (614) 797-5200 or www.centralbenefits.com
Tucked over Alan Hoover’s home mirror is an index card with the words “You Gotta Believe” written on it.
The phrase, made famous by the late baseball pitcher Tug McGraw, inspires Hoover, president and CEO of Kahiki Foods Inc., an Asian frozen foods manufacturer and distributor.
In 1999, Hoover joined the then-$2.6 million company as senior vice president of sales and marketing, working with founder Michael Tsao to expand the company’s brand.
The company moved to a much larger facility in the summer of 2005. There were cost overruns with the move, and Kahiki was short on cash. Then, almost 60 days after the move, Tsao passed away, and Hoover was named president and CEO in November 2005.
Today, Kahiki Foods has 210 employees, and the company posted 2005 revenue of $23 million, with sales up more than 62 percent since 2003.
Smart Business spoke with Hoover about how he grows his company.
Q: How can other executives grow their company the way you’ve grown yours?
We had big dreams. We didn’t have any plans to stay small. Our goal was to grow and become a much bigger company. Those were really the founding things that we really started out with.
One of the things that started us along that line was embracing lean manufacturing. Every two weeks, the senior and middle managers would meet, and we started with the book ‘Lean Thinking.’ Then we went to the book ‘The Toyota Way.’ We made visits to other plants that had embraced lean manufacturing principles. Over the course, we did also bring in a consulting group to help us in that journey.
We put out scoreboards at each process to see exactly what’s going on. If you walk into a baseball game in the third inning, you might see the scoreboard ... so you know a little bit about what’s going on. I wanted to be able to do the same type of thing in our facility at each key process.
It really provided us some rather dramatic results. We dramatically reduced our inventory, freeing up lots of cash for the business. We gained incredible discipline out in our manufacturing operations, really just streamlined so many of the operations and made things easier for people to add value.
We wanted to eliminate all the wasteful things that we were doing in the facility.
Q: How can companies stay on top of trends?
You have to talk to your customers, see what’s going on in their business and really understand where they’re headed. You’re looking at what the consumers are buying and where they are going to shop.
Distill it down and (say), ‘This is where we think things are headed. Let’s create the future for ourselves by understanding where these trends are taking the consumers and our customers. Let’s be ready to go.’
There’s a (phrase) in ‘The Toyota Way’ that we use a lot. It’s called ‘genchi genbutsu’ going out and standing in the circle. When you stand there long enough, you start seeing things from a different perspective and getting new ideas.
Q: What advice would you give other CEOs trying to grow their companies?
You’ve got to love what you’re doing and be passionate about it. It really starts with you.
There’s another Japanese word we’ve incorporated here called ‘hansei.’ It means reflection. We want to make it safe for people to reflect and (say), ‘I really messed up. I made a mistake, but here’s what I want to share with the group on what I’ve learned from it. Here’s why I made that decision, and here’s how I would do it differently now.’ They’re not going to lose their job over that.
I encourage people to overcommunicate because we have to deal in three languages here every day: English, Spanish and Mandarin. When I do a meeting with our hourly team members, I’ve got interpreters on both sides of me. We also use lots of graphs and charts. People can see the trends and things that are going on.
I’ve borrowed a term from Les Wexner [chairman and CEO of The Limited Brands Inc.]: ‘Doing the right things right.’ We preach that all the time. Don’t compromise on anything in regards to quality. Treat the customer with the greatest level of respect, and do everything you can to make that customer a fanatic of your company.
If you do the right things right, and you do that consistently, you’re going to be successful. It’s not rocket science; it’s basic fundamentals.
HOW TO REACH: Kahiki Foods Inc., (614) 322-3180 or www.kahiki.com
When people walk through the doors of Milano Monuments to purchase a memorial for their loved ones, Jim Milano could refer to them as customers or clients, but he chooses to call them his families.
“A good friend of mine asked me a long time ago, ‘Why do you think your business became successful?’” says Milano, president of the Cleveland-based cemetery memorial company. “We struggled for a long time when I first started in my family’s business in the early ’80s, up til about 1990. When it became about the families, the community and the people we serve not what we get out of it everything seemed to change.
“It just feels good to help people. We’ve been blessed with the growth of our business where we can help more.”
These acts of kindness have included countless in-kind corporate donations to hundreds of churches and religious organizations to support their fundraising events.
Milano started a baby marker donation program last summer in which families who have experienced the loss of an infant can receive a free cemetery memorial.
The company donates many memorials and plaques each year, but Milano says he doesn’t do it for the recognition. His company’s donations have included a plaque at the Justice Center honoring Cleveland’s first black police officer and a memorial for a newborn baby found in a Lorain County quarry, as well as a large-scale memorial honoring the Brook Park Marines who were killed in Iraq last year.
Milano serves on the board of trustees for Cornerstone of Hope and the Northern Ohio Italian Association, and says everyone should have a page in history, without regard to their financial situation. This fall, he launched a grant program with Cornerstone of Hope to assist those who can’t afford to buy memorials for themselves or for their family members.
“People live 60 or 70 years, and they have nothing,” he says. “There should be some visible reminder of a life that was lived.”
HOW TO REACH: Milano Monuments, (800) 626-7125 or www.milanomonuments.com
KPMG LLP is an international audit, tax and advisory firm, but John Switzer, the Cleveland office’s managing partner, says his company is really about people.
Its national community service program, Involve, was started 10 years ago to coordinate the efforts of employees and partners throughout the firm’s U.S. offices. The corporate headquarters assures that volunteer hours are more than just a project of the month and instead are part of a normal annual process.
“It’s part of our DNA to give back to the community,” Switzer says.
This fall, more than 100 employees from the Cleveland office shared a Saturday working to clean up facilities at five local agencies, among them the Berea Children’s Home and Ronald McDonald House. Each Christmas, the employees of KPMG’s Cleveland office adopt families through The Littlest Heroes organization; last year, they donated more than $3,000 in gifts and gift cards to provide three families with a happy holiday.
They also collected more than $650 last summer to support Hannah’s Home, a crisis pregnancy center in Mentor.
How does the company choose which organizations to help? Switzer says many KPMG partners and employees serve on nonprofit boards, and through their participation, they learn about organizations in need of a helping hand. They also look to United Way and Business Volunteers Unlimited for guidance on which organizations have a high level of need.
Switzer says the best way to create a corporate culture of social responsibility is for the company’s leaders to get involved in the projects.
“If people see the leadership of the organization participating and making it a priority, that’s how you bring it to the group as a whole and send a more powerful message,” he says.
He also sees community involvement as a good retention tool for the firm’s new hires.
“We have a lot of young people that work here, and they have a lot of energy and a lot of strength,” Switzer says. “If you build it early in their careers, people have a lifelong interest in giving back to the community.”
HOW TO REACH: KPMG LLP, (216) 696-9100 or www.kpmg.com
It’s hard to get employee buy-in for a community service project if members of the management team don’t have their hearts in it. At Cleveland’s Herschman Architects Inc., the executives lead by example.
Mike Crislip, president of Herschman Architects; Judson Kline, partner and senior vice president; and Carole Sanderson, partner and CFO, have all served as officers or on boards of local organizations, supporting causes from professional to religious to athletic.
“There are a lot of other individuals (serving on the boards) that are in management positions in various places in Cleveland,” Crislip says. “Working together as a board, I’ve brought things back to my business, different perspectives on things, based on problem-solving and doing work as a board for a nonprofit.”
Herschman employees have joined forces to work on a children’s treehouse built at Ronald McDonald House in honor of an employee’s son and a playhouse they designed to be auctioned to support March of Dimes. The firm purchased the design, modified it for special-needs children and donated it to Broadmoor School in Mentor.
Employees also designed and constructed the Shaker Colonnade, a Canstruction piece (a sculpture created from canned and packaged food items that are then donated) to support the Cleveland Food Bank, the offices of Adoption Network Cleveland and created the Architecture Design Assistance Program Team, a resource for community development directors in Cleveland’s innerring suburbs to redevelop local retail within their communities.
Perhaps the most rewarding project was launched when the firm donated its computers to the Cleveland School of the Arts and found the school didn’t have an architecture program. Employees designed the curriculum, and several staff members volunteered to teach it.
“We encourage our staff to get involved in community service where they think their background as an architect can help,” Crislip says. “Create a communi- Carole Sanderson ty service committee like we have, where you can poll the staff and find out what people are passionate about working on, and then embrace several of those causes as a firm.”
HOW TO REACH: Herschman Architects Inc., (216) 223-3200 or www.herschmanarchitects.com
The 27-year-old company has recently undergone fast growth, says President Mark DeBellis. Suburban Steel employs 93 and posted $19 million in 2005 revenue. DeBellis projects $21 million in sales this year.
Originally a pioneer in and developer of the use of structural steel in residential construction, the company has evolved into a steel service business with facilities in Gahanna, Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis. Today, Suburban Steel provides structural steel, stocked rebar, concrete accessories, field erection, crane service, and ornamental steel design and fabrication.
Smart Business spoke with DeBellis about how he solves customers’ problems by listening to their needs.
How can corporate leaders make their customers’ jobs easier?
It’s easily said, and very few people do it: Listen to your customers. I don’t mean survey your customers; I mean roll up your sleeves, get in front of your customers, listen to their feedback because it’s genuine, and from there, step back and say, ‘What could we do to make that easier?’
If I can’t help my customers solve their problems, they are going to look for a different way to get what they want from a different product than steel. By listening to their concerns, we’ve turned it into an opportunity.
We’ve developed an internal person who can go to job sites and make the process almost pain-free. We’ve decided it’s had such a positive impact on our business and our customers, we’re developing a second person to expand that service.
When you say that you’re going to make your customers’ jobs easier, it’s a great buzzword, but we actually have listened to that. We’re very close to our customers, and it goes back to the very beginning of our company.
When Chuck Boster and Bill Jaeger started this business back in 1979, the use of our product in the residential housing market was very limited, and it was because our customers saw the product as difficult to work with and difficult to get. It’s easy to say, ‘That’s my customer’s problem.’
It’s a lot harder to say, ‘What can I do to solve that problem?’ Then you have to ask yourself, ‘Can we get paid for doing that? Will they value that service enough to pay us for it?’
When somebody says, ‘Can you do this?’ you can look at it two ways. Other companies look at it and say, ‘I wish they wouldn’t call me.’
We look at it as the best call we’ve ever gotten. Part of it’s creating an attitude that you want to help and participate.
Most companies are frustrated when somebody on the other end of the phone doesn’t know exactly what they want. We want that phone call. It can be frustrating when you have 12 people calling you that need your help at that hour, but it beats the alternative of having nobody call you.
How can companies increase their customer base?
For us, being a very localized business, our growth strategy is to grow geographically; we’re going to go to new markets. We do a lot of business in Central Ohio, but we can expand our culture and our sphere of influence. That’s our first growth strategy.
The second growth strategy that people overlook and we’ve been very fortunate to have actually accomplished this is not due to acquiring new customers or more customers; we’ve just sold our existing customers more stuff. It goes back to solving their problems.
A lot of the things that we do today are the results of listening to our customers who brought us into these businesses. Our basic business represents about 50 percent of what we do today; the other 50 percent are new services that we’re selling basically to our same customers.
They said they were having trouble getting this type of product so we evaluated and asked ourselves, ‘Is this the type of product that fits with what we do?’ and ‘Can we handle that type of product?’ If the answer was yes and we felt that we could do it better than they were getting it we sold our customers more services and more products.
We have great relationships with our customers, so when we came to them and said, ‘We’d like to talk about doing this for you,’ they listened. If we can perform, why wouldn’t they do it?
It’s easier to sell your existing good customers more stuff than it is to go out and acquire a new customer, because they like you and they already know who you are. If you do the right job for them, they have no reason to believe that you won’t continue to do the right job for them.
HOW TO REACH: Suburban Steel Supply, (800) 927-5502 or www.suburbansteelsupply.com
“Our customers are large companies looking to grow their business by reducing their costs, so we were a very key part of that value chain,” he says. “We brought down our customers’ costs, and they’re able to increase their market share, and thereby, we get the benefit of it.”
Incorporated in 1993, S&V is a marketing agent and logistic solution provider for major U.S. original equipment manufacturers who provide manufacturing parts produced by global suppliers. The company has more than 50 OEM customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and partners with more than 25 manufacturing facilities in India and China.
The company has grown from four employees and $4.4 million in revenue in 2001 to 15 employees and $20.9 million in revenue last year. Kumar expects sales growth of 20 percent for 2006.
How does Kumar make decisions regarding growth? He looks at his company’s history.
“We sell a range of products so we know where we are comparative and where there is some differentiation with the competition,” he says. “It’s just a process of elimination. We try to put more and more focus on the areas which are successful and grow them.”
Vertical integration of his products is another way Kumar sets his company apart. Serving as a one-stop shop makes S&V Industries a valued partner with his customers.
“Let’s say a purchasing department is one of our customers,” he says. “Compared to five years ago, the number of buyers is reduced, and each one is buying more so they depend on companies like us, which have the full range of products and services so they are able to get more done with fewer resources.”
Creating solid customer relationships is essential.
“You want customers for the long term,” Kumar says. “It takes a long time to get a customer on board, and once you get the customer, you want to retain the customer. It’s not just selling, but it’s a value proposition that has to keep increasing.”
HOW TO REACH: S&V Industries Inc., (330) 253-1986 or www.svindustries.com
Tifft, president and owner of Clinical Research Management Inc., founded her company in 1994 in the Washington, D.C.-area. She moved the company to Hinckley in 1996. Today, it has more than 10 years’ experience in drug and vaccine clinical trials and medical research, as well as statistical/data specialists and administrative personnel in the United States and abroad.
CRM has been awarded several government contracts to support the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.
The company has completed more than 50 clinical trials since 2001 and has added to its offerings with the adoption of the Oracle Clinical database system. This has helped grow revenue by 75 percent during the last five years.
CRM has grown its work force from 79 employees in 2001 to more than 200 as of mid-2006. The wrap-up of a 2003 contract resulted in the loss of 50 employees, but CRM has experienced such dramatic growth that its employee base never fell below 150.
Tifft is committed to the success of the Northeast Ohio region, purchasing the Hinckley corporate office in 2002 and expanding the company’s professional staff from four to 17 in the last four years. CRM also contracts with local businesses to provide Web site, server, IT and accounting services.
As an innovative way to support the community, Tifft expects to further develop affiliations and collaborations with a local health system, the University of Akron, Stark State College, Omeris in Columbus and Medina County Economic Development.
CRM recently pledged $25,000 to local school science programs for the next five years and has developed two local high school internship programs to help young people gain professional experience before continuing their education at the university level.
HOW TO REACH: Clinical Research Management Inc., (330) 278-2343 or www.clinicalrm.com