Canton-based Diebold Inc. has a history thats rich in innovation. Founded in 1859, Diebold was one of the first manufacturers of security systems in the country. Now, 140 years later, the company has stayed true to its roots, with security products ranging from the vault that houses the Hope Diamond to the weather-resistant ATMs at the new Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Since the 1960s, Diebold has been a pioneer in ATM technology. Diebolds product lines also include electronic security and bank facility systems, such as drive-through teller equipment. The companys primary customers include banks and financial institutions, hospitals, universities, public libraries and utilities.
Under the leadership of Robert Mahoney since 1985, Diebold has expanded its product line to include automated drug dispensing and inventory control systems for the health care market. Another product line, card security systems for colleges and universities, enables students to use a single card to access campus facilities, as well as make purchases from campus retail establishments.
The company has yet to rest on its laurels.
We file for over 200 patents a year, says Mahoney, the companys chairman and CEO. About 40 percent of those applications become patents, consistent with the national average.
Even with 80 new patents a year, the company continually challenges itself technologically. Mahoney says he encourages innovative thinking among his 7,000 employees (including 1,000 at the Canton headquarters) by communicating with them on a regular basis over a number of different channels and offering remote education through the Internet.
In addition, Diebold fosters an entrepreneurial environment, which encourages people to take calculated risks without fear.
Each developmental area within Diebold, in a sense, is set up like its own company, Mahoney says. The philosophy gives each employee within those areas a greater sense of ownership.
One of the projects Mahoney now leads is helping banks transform their facilities so they can offer a wider range of products, including insurance and financial management services.
Its a huge opportunity, with over 650,000 bank branches in the world, he says.
In addition, Diebold has invested in databases that will provide information on where customers shop, where they bank and the actual routes they take during the day (footprints). The information will be used to help banks transform into selling-oriented facilities, he says.
Were getting into professional services, outsourcing and consulting, Mahoney says. Were not just a manufacturer.
After a disappointing year last year income before taxes dropped 35.5 percent to $119.8 million Mahoney led a realignment effort that is proving successful. The effort, which included consolidation of facilities and the elimination of some jobs and noncore products, has saved the company $22 million.
Mahoney is focusing on bringing innovative, cost-competitive products to market more quickly and boosting worldwide sales. Diebold has offices in Argentina, China, India, South Africa and several European countries. Its manufacturing operations are in Ohio, Virginia, California, South Carolina and Argentina.
How to reach: Diebold Inc., (330) 490-4000 or www.diebold.com
Brown has subscribed to that philosophy from Day One. She founded the business, which specializes in electronic workflow solutions, out of her home in 1992. As she added employees over the years, she found that she could tap into a wider and better-qualified pool of job candidates if she completely disregarded where they were located.
It actually happened by default rather than design, she says. When I decided to expand my staff, the virtual office had already been working for me for years, and we decided to try it in an expanded version and it worked really well.
Now, with 20 employees, DataNow still has no offices. All employees work out of their homes, and interact with customers and other employees via e-mail and the Internet. Staff meetings are conducted over the companys intranet.
With todays shortage of good tech people, Brown uses programmers as far away as New Zealand, most of whom specialize in Lotus Notes and Java. On certain projects, its just as seamless to the customer as using someone whos entirely local, she says.
In England and New Zealand, Brown says, the technology job market is flooded with Asians and Russians who will program more cheaply than their counterparts in this country. Because of the competition, she says good programmers often look to make money outside of those countries, which creates a great opportunity for U.S. companies with virtual offices.
Brown is able to give her employees the freedom to think creatively by avoiding traditional job descriptions when they are hired.
Generally, when we hire someone, instead of saying, This is our definition of this job, we talk to the person and find out where they will bring value to the company and what makes them happy, she says. We try to tailor each job to the individual persons skills. If we like somebody, well make a job for them that fits.
This month, Brown will break another rule, this time one of her own. Shes opening a physical office in Barberton, a think tank place for developers, she says.
While she wont require employees to work out of the office, she says it will provide a place for people to work collaboratively, when necessary. We decided that we were getting better results out of our developers when they could work in teams. Its going to be interesting to see what they come up with.
So far, Browns strategy seems to be working. DataNow has been recognized in its industry as a finalist in the Lotus Beacon Awards for the last two years. Brown has been selected as a regional finalist in the 1999 Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards in the Innovative Approaches category.
How to reach: DataNow, (330) 645-1255
J.F. Jeff Keeler Jr. lists his home phone number on his business card.
He also doesnt mince words about how he entered the ditch digging career that set him on a path to becoming chairman and CEO of The Fishel Co., a $150 million privately held business: I married the bosss daughter, he says without blinking an eye.
Keelers refreshing frankness, however, is nothing new to those who know and work for him.
- On a monthly basis, Keeler sends employees a letter telling them how much profit the company has made or how much money it has lost.
- In a cash profit-sharing plan, the company divides among its employees whom Keeler calls teammates one-third of its before-tax profits. When he first did that in 1984-85, employees received a bonus of one weeks pay annually; this year, bonuses could top eight weeks pay.
- When Keeler developed Vision 2000, a strategic plan outlining the companys goals, he shared it not only with employees but with major clients.
Keelers demeanor is just as open in one-on-one dealings. Without hesitation, he gives matter-of-fact answers to the most pointed questions.
What has been the scariest moment of his business career? Having a Fishel teammate seriously injured or killed. Getting that phone call I go to funerals, visit with families, he says. Thats happened not often, but its happened a time or two.
What is one thing most people dont know about him? I was dyslexic as a child, he says. Keeler was behind in grade school and junior high, but has learned to overcome the problem. I dont look at it as a disability; Im just a slow reader, he says.
Keeler expects Fishel teammates to be as open and enthusiastic as he is. Celebration bells in all the companys offices are rung for accomplishments, from making a sale or finishing a project to personal mileposts such as family additions.
Keelers openness explains how he develops such innovative ideas to lead The Fishel Co., which provides utility contracting for energy and information systems.
Im a sponge for business knowledge, Keeler says, noting he gets many of his ideas from organizations hes joined, such as the Chief Executive Organization and Columbus Presidents Organization, of which he is president. He also serves as a board member of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
Furthermore, Keeler gets ideas from other company boards on which he serves: Bank One, Davon Corp., AirNet Systems Inc., Metatec Corp., Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc. and Sports Imports Inc.
One reason I go on a board is, I feel I have something to offer, but I also have the opportunity to learn, he says.
His knowledge has garnered the respect of others in the business community.
Jeff should write a textbook on management because he knows more principles of good management than the people who write the books and spend their life studying good management, Roger Blackwell, a marketing consultant and Ohio State University business professor who has authored several books, says in Keelers Hall of Fame nomination form.
Jack Ruscilli is equally impressed.
It has been Jeffs forward thinking that has taken The Fishel Co. well beyond the worlds greatest ditch digger, Ruscilli says in Keelers nomination form.
Keeler is quick to stress the role of teamwork in getting the 63-year-old Fishel Co. where it is today.
One thing Ive done is surround myself with people who are smarter than I am in their own special area. I brag on my officers, but they have people working for them who are equally as good. I also am blessed with the best board in the United States of America, he says with conviction.
His motives for success are opportunities to improve and the challenge to be the best in his business. Every team, he says, has its own motivator, depending on its mission and vision.
I dont have to be the leader in every situation, he says. I think you only recognize that with age and maturity. It goes back to hiring people that complement your experience and hiring people that are smarter than you are. Then I step aside and yield and follow their lead.
Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com) is a reporter for SBN.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Joseph LaGuardia, regional vice president
From a health and wellness perspective, innovation is imperative. Anthem is constantly creating new ways to communicate needed health information to its customers.
For example, Anthems broad network of physicians and hospitals can be reviewed online at the companys Web site, www.anthem-inc.com. As Anthems corporate mission is To improve the health of the people we serve, it continues to develop educational materials and provide more services to customers on the Internet.
By sharing valuable information on everyday health and on effective treatment and prevention of illness, Anthem works diligently to improve the health and quality of life of our members.
Brouse McDowell, Akron
Carol Todd Thomas, director of administration and COO
Its clear that if you dont innovate, youre out of business. Brouse McDowell decided a couple of years ago that in the legal profession, you need to innovate and understand the environment in order to serve your clients.
Our clients are looking for new solutions from us and its an entirely different market out there than its ever been. Weve had to be responsive to the needs our clients have by innovating the way we deliver service. Weve done that through the use of technology.
We use technology to increase the service level to our clients, reduce their costs, speed up the delivery of our services and communications and to really operate in the same environment that theyre living with on a day-to-day basis.
John Opdycke, event marketing manager
Without innovation, we (Nextel) cant be the industry leader. Thats our goal to bring new products and new applications for those products to our target market sooner than anybody else. And without being innovators, thats hard to do.
Terry Tung, regional director, enterprise services
Sarcom innovates by developing best practices in customer satisfaction. Through these initiatives, the company has achieved a 99.32 percent customer satisfaction level.
Its done through surveys, completed monthly, and all employees are trained monthly in ways to help customers better. Its a constant reinforcement of the companys mission.
Thats been the companys claim to fame and the reason we feel were so successful, Tung says.
For example, each employee is empowered to solve customers problems: Up to $500 per incident with no prior management approval or paperwork. Problems are resolved quickly within 48 hours.
Teresa Wetzel, marketing manager
ICG, headquartered in Englewood, Colo., is a telecommunications provider of high-quality, integrated communications solutions. ICG offers local, long distance and enhanced telephony and data communications to small- to medium-sized businesses.
As a leading competitive telecommunications provider, ICG Communications Inc., embraces the notion of innovation. In fact, its employees creativity and ingenuity have put ICG on the forefront of the voice and data industry. As a telecommunications leader, ICG continues to play a revolutionary role in the industry, which is rich with past, present and future technological accomplishments.
What are the most import innovations in your industry and how have they impacted operations?
I believe current innovations in information technology have promoted horizontal technology reuse, are energizing the flow of investment capital for entrepreneurs and are significantly broadening opportunities in private equity funding.
Gerry Cowden, Cowden, Humphrey & Sarlson
Disease state management programs to improve treatment of chronic illness is the one innovation that is transforming the health insurance industry. Today, at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and congestive heart failure are proactively managed through education and preventive programs. The result can be dramatic improvements in health.
At Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, our corporate mission is To improve The Health of the People we Serve. Every facet of our business, including our physician and hospital networks, our benefits product design, wellness and subscriber education programs such as the Anthem Healthy Woman ... are all designed to help people to Get well. Be well. Stay well.
Joseph La Guardia, regional vice president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
What mantra do you run your business by?
The customer is always right. Companies that focus on customer satisfaction, regardless of the industry they are in, will be more successful than those that dont.
Randy Wilcox, president and CEO, SARCOM.
What new innovations do you see occurring in your industry in the next 18-24 months?
Voice over DSL Voice over DSL can provide one-stop shopping for telecommunications needs. The technology can provide both high-speed Internet access and voice capabilities across phone lines from a single provider.
Unified messaging The key words for unified messaging are convenience and access. Unified messaging makes the computer and telephone interchangeable, allowing easy access to both voice mail and e-mail from the same port, whether it is a phone or a computer.
Theresa Wetzel, ICG Communications Inc.
We dont know what the next big innovation will be in the next 18-24 months. What it wont be is more changes and improvement to IP, Linux, Ethernet or Windows 2000. It will be something to do with changes in connectivity using fiber optics and the way data is moved through the fiber channels. But no one is sure things change and they change very fast.
Cindy Nelson, DeCarlo, Paternite and Associates Inc.
Multidisciplinary practices under one roof law, finance, accounting, IT systems design and other important client needs related to firm core competencies. Deeper appreciation of the firms knowledge base, its compilation, organization and utilization. Commoditization of tasks thought to be high value, such as complex document drafting.
Robert P. Reffner, Brouse McDowell
What does innovation mean to your company?
As you read this, Valugraphix is implementing business programs that will meet the needs of the clients. We are utilizing the Internet by offering services designed to enhance promotional programs and increase customer awareness. We have combined exceptional personal service and timely delivery as the forefront of our business to ensure a successful presentation for our clients.
Kevin Kolman, president, Valugraphix
The following is a list of the 32 stand-alone companies headquartered in Northeast Ohio which went public between the 1988 and 1996, with the year of their IPO and their stock ticker symbol. It does not include real estate investment trusts, or REITs, of which there were 11 in this area during the same period.
Year Company Stock Symbol Description
1988 American Steel & Wire Corp. (RODS) Steel works and blast furnaces
1988 Novaferon Labs Inc. () Biological products
1988 Phonetel Technologies Inc. (PHN) Communication services
1988 Riser Foods Inc. (RSR) Grocery stores
1989 Chempower Inc. (CHEM) Hazardous waste management
1990 Mr. Coffee Inc. (JAVA) Electric housewares and fans
1990 North Coast Energy Inc. (NCEB) Crude petroleum & natural gas
1991 Royal Appliance Mfg. Co. (RAM) Household appliances
1992 Capital American Finl Corp. (CAF) Accident & health insurance
1992 Chart Industries Inc. (CTI) Fabricated plate work
1992 PVF Capital Corp. (PVFC) Savings institution
1992 Providence Health Care Inc. (PHCI) Skilled nursing care facility
1992 Signature Brands USA Inc. (SIGB) Electric housewares and fans
1992 Steris Corp. (STRL) Surgical appliance supplies
1993 Corrpro Companies Inc. (CO) Engineering services
1993 DIY Home Warehouse Inc. (DIYH) Lumber and building materials
1993 Emerald Financial Corp. (EMLD) Savings institution
1993 Geon Co. (GON) Plastics and resins manufacturer
1993 OM Group Inc. (OMP) Industrial inorganic chemicals
1993 Universal Electronics Inc. (UEIC) Household audio/video equipment
1994 Cohesant Technologies Inc. (COHT) General industrial machinery
1994 First Kent Financial Corp. (FKFC) Savings institution
1994 Officemax Inc. (OMX) Office supplies
1994 Olympic Steel Inc. (ZEUS) Metals service centers
1994 Sinter Metals Inc. (SNM) Motor vehicles parts
1994 Sports Sciences Inc. (SSCI) Games and software products
1995 Advanced Lighting Tech Inc. (ADLT) Electric lighting
1995 Gliatech (GLIA) Pharmaceutical products
1996 Collaborative Clinical Research (CCLR) Physical and biological research
1996 Mazel Stores Inc. (MAZL) Nondurable goods wholesale
1996 NCS Healthcare Inc. (NCSS) Drug and proprietary stores
1996 Roadway Express Inc. (ROAD) Trucking services
Market researchers use a variety of methods to gather data. Each has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of effectiveness, cost, reliability and expedience.
Here’s a rundown of various research methods and their pros and cons. The information is derived from the Web site of market research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch:
Telephone surveys Telephone surveys can ensure qualified respondents, allow the researcher to probe the respondent, provide good response rates and allow the researcher to gather and quantify the information quickly. On the down side, they can be moderately expensive.
In-person surveys Like telephone surveys, these can ensure that the respondents are qualified and interviewers can delve deeply into the attitudes and opinions of those being questioned. They also enjoy good response rates and active respondent involvement. The disadvantages are that interviewer bias can skew the results, turnaround time is slower and they are expensive.
Internet surveys These kinds of surveys are inexpensive and eliminate interviewer bias. The problems are that they don’t ensure qualified respondents and they can produce biased respondent demographics. Also there’s no opportunity to probe for more information.
Mail surveys As with Internet surveys, mail surveys prevent interviewer bias and are usually low in cost. However, they don’t ensure that the respondents are qualified or offer the ability to probe for more information. Response rates and turnaround time are often poor. How to reach: Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch, www.intersearchcorp.com
Steve Orr, like many entrepreneurs, always wanted to have his own business.
He was 21 when he quit college and jumped at the opportunity to start his own company servicing aquariums.
“Dad, I’m quitting electrical engineering to go scrub algae for a living,” he jokes.
But soon his little aquarium service, Premier Aquatics, grew into a bona fide business with a dozen employees and a half-million dollars in annual sales.
This from what started as “just a job” in custom sales at Byerly’s aquarium stores; he’d purchased the Byerly’s service division to create his own company.
“I never even had a goldfish when I was a kid,” he says, “but it quickly became a love and a hobby.”
That was in 1988. A decade later, his picture changed.
In walked Aquarium Adventure superstores. With the backing of multimillion-dollar parent Petland Inc. of Chillicothe, the newcomer nearly sank Orr’s retail business. Then Orr uncovered a golden opportunity that led him to put an end to his own company and join the retail behemoth.
Rather than regret moving from the top of his own creation to a player in a much larger organization, Orr found just the opposite.
“For me it was liberating,” he says. “Before, I was doing all the administration, paperwork, payroll, taxes, meeting with the accountant, paying the bills and ordering the product. Now all of that is done by specialists. So it frees me up to go back to my focus, to do what I do best custom aquariums.”
Premier Aquatics had grown at a steady pace. Orr bought out his partner in the first year and added service trucks, as well as a high-end, salt-water specialty store on Bethel Road. He was seeing annual revenues of $500,000 and a fork in the road.
“We had hit a size where we couldn’t operate as a small business anymore,” he says. He struggled to grow to the next level, say 50 employees.
“We had reached no man’s land,” he says, explaining the period small business owners experience after the start-up stage but before their company really grows.
Then came the turning point.
Aquarium Adventure, the superstore concept by Petland, moved into Central Ohio three miles from Orr’s store.
“They opened a 12,000-square-foot superstore right up the road in a great location, and it pretty much nuked our retail business,” he says.
He decided to close his retail sales operations and focus solely on servicing customers.
Then he paid a visit to his competitor.
At the asking, Columbus-based Aquarium Adventure executives shared with him their business plans.
“They were struggling to get a service division going,” Orr says. “Their focus was retail.”
Orr was left standing with his foot unexpectedly in the door.
A new school of fish
Very early on, Orr says, both parties realized it would make sense to partner.
“The bottom line is we’re businessmen,” Orr says. “We both wanted to grow our business. It was obviously good business sense.”
Within six months, the companies had merged. Orr is now the manager of Aquarium Adventure’s installation/service division.
Orr at first found it tough to make the transition to corporate life from owning his own business.
“It was sad to let that go,” he says of the certain “club”-like group of fellow entrepreneurs who had built their companies from scratch. “But I quickly realized that the crux of that is just pride in good work and a job well done, and that doesn’t go away. It’s still challenging and a level of expertise that is my responsibility. The bulk of it doesn’t change or didn’t for me, at least.”
He’s never looked back, and he’s reaping the benefits.
- For the first time, he’s working with peers. “There are big pluses to that,” Orr says. “I have people I can go to and discuss issues with. It isn’t all on me.”
- He’s got the pull of big business behind him. “It allows me to grow easier; there’s less problem with capital and cash flow; there are much greater resources in inventory and staff and advertising and marketing because there’s an economy of scale,” he says.
- Personnel issues are easier. His employees made out in the deal with greater pay and benefits. Plus, it’s easier for him to hire, because employees prove their worth in the retail division before they’re eligible to join Orr’s service staff.
- Stability has become the norm. “I can cash my paycheck each time I get it. I used to be the last one to be paid,” he says, referring to his days as a business owner settling bills and payroll before drawing any profit.
Adjusting to the new habitat
Orr and his new boss, Bill Wymard, Aquarium Adventure’s director of operations, both say attitude has been key in making the merger work.
“That was a big plus for Steve coming on board with us. There could have been a situation where, when you sell your own business and you’re your own entrepreneur, to sell it could be very difficult. There could be ego problems,” says Wymard, who himself sold his own Petland franchise before launching Aquarium Adventure.
Orr says he had to adjust to the culture of a large company, even though he saw the advantage to having peers in management.
“At the same time, I had to be respectful of the other people running the company,” Orr says. “I couldn’t make snap decisions like I used to.”
The arrangement requires both sides to give and take.
“There are things that I’m sure Steve felt strongly about and wanted to continue to do or to operate in a certain way,” Wymard says, “so we say, ‘You’ve got the background and experience. Although that’s not the way we would do things, that’s fine, we’ll step back.’”
For example, Orr insisted he be able to provide the same level of service to customers as he did while operating Premier Aquatics. In fact, he met with his existing customers at the time of the merger to alleviate fears that he would not be the person taking care of them under the ownership change. In addition, because Aquarium Adventure was a new division of Petland, he was able to use systems he already had in place and inventory he preferred.
“They really gave me free reign to run services as we needed to do,” Orr says of Petland executives.
“It also takes close monitoring from the beginning to make sure both sides were comfortable,” Wymard says, noting boundaries are set and tested so each side needs to be flexible.
Overall, Wymard stresses, each party needed to acknowledge the expertise of the other.
“I think it’s the checking of the egos and being a good team player, with everyone understanding what the goal is and working together,” Wymard says. “Ultimately, the company needs to be successful and everybody wins.”
Joan Slattery Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.
Community service isn’t simply philanthropic lip service, it’s a way of life. So much so, that when prospective employees are interviewed for jobs at Sentinel Consumer Products Inc., they are given a packet of materials that illustrates the company’s commitment to giving back.
“They know how important it is to us and how much a part it is of our culture,” says Michael Klein, president of the 95-year-old Mentor-based manufacturer of health and beauty care products. “There are a lot of companies that give money. That is a lot easier to do than to give the energy and the time and to go through the various mental processes involved that really allow your employees to get involved.”
For Klein, it’s the difference between giving money to Meals-on-Wheels and actually delivering the meals. The money is important, but taking the meals to recipients creates additional commitments that other companies simply don’t make.
To help facilitate and coordinate the enormous philanthropic output, Sentinel created Senti-Cause, a committee of people from all departments which meets twice a month to explore philanthropic opportunities.
Like many other organizations, Sentinel began its good deeds around the holiday season: it provides food baskets to feed more than 1,000 people at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays also have Sentinel employees involved with the Special Immunology Unit of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Sentinel has donated a television and VCR, decorated Christmas trees and shopped for as many as 50 children at the hospital.
“I think that when you think about the good that we do in that singular moment that sticks out most in our minds,” Klein says. “We’re dealing with children that have an incredible amount of courage. It really feels very, very good to be able to be a part of something that makes them feel, at least for a moment, very, very good.”
The company’s first involvement, nearly 20 years ago, was to sponsor a holiday party for mentally disabled children. Explains Klein, “I went to the party and I watched everybody’s reaction. It was not easy. When you’re not exposed to these kinds of situations, they’re not easy to deal with.”
By making involvement part of the company culture and by providing employees with these experiences, Sentinel ensures employees have opportunities to involve themselves in philanthropy from January to October. The company sponsors a regional basketball tournament for the Special Olympics and regularly participates in Children International, which sponsors needy children in Third World countries.
Employees also get involved in yearly trash cleanup at one of Mentor’s parks.
The Senti-Cause mission is simple: “To directly reach as many individuals, families and groups in need with as much charitable assistance as time and funds allow.”
The list of the company’s “almost daily” involvement goes on and on, Klein says. He wasn’t surprised when he received notification that his company was named a winner of the Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service.
“I thought we deserved it,” he says. “There’s nobody more deserving than this company.”
How to reach: Sentinel Consumer Products Inc., (440) 974-8144
Dan Jacobs (email@example.com) is senior editor at SBN.
After receiving an overwhelming and enthusiastic response to last month’s column entitled “Join the PAC: Politics can make or break your business,” a number of readers have decided they would like to move forward with the formation of a Political Action Committee dedicated to electing truly pro-business candidates on the local, state and national scene.
As I described last month, a PAC is an independent organization, the primary purpose of which is to support or oppose candidates, political parties or ballot issues. It is more financially flexible than independent campaign donations, allowing groups of people to pool their resources, educate voters on issues that may affect them and support likeminded candidates for political office.
It will be the goal of this new PAC to act as an advocate for pro-business issues, with a motto of “We are in the business of helping business succeed.” The organizers of the PAC have set a goal of raising $250,000 during the next six months. As a reader and a business person, you will read more about the PAC in its own newsletter, paid for by the PAC and contained in future issues of SBN.
If we all pool our resources, we can have a much greater impact on the whole. Listed below is a breakdown of how the PAC hopes to make its $250,000 goal.
5@ $5,000 $25,000
50@ $2,500 $125,000
50@ $1,000 $50,000
50@ $500 $25,000
50@ $100 $5,000
200@ $50 $10,000
250@ $25 $5,000
500@ $10 $5,000
There will be different levels of participation to help the PAC meet its goals, but each and every donation, regardless of amount, is important. This is an opportunity to stand up and be counted. Together, you can bring business issues to the forefront of the political arena.
Several committees are being contemplated with regard to the PAC’s formation. If this is something that you would like to be more actively involved with, please let us know. It is the intention of the PAC to make this something that readers and business people can be involved in at every level. I am pleased that the organizers of the PAC have adopted many of the goals that I set forth in last month’s editorial, including:
- Raising and donating money to political candidates who are truly pro-business, who have demonstrated their commitment to a pro-business agenda by their actions, including voting records, candidates’ questionnaires and by members of the PAC who can vouch for their pro-business agendas.
- Creating a new voice for business owners and leaders to bring attention and focus on the issues that affect them.
- Educating members of the Political Action Committee about issues that may affect their businesses and the politicians who have a direct influence on corresponding legislation.
- Bringing about change to help businesses grow and prosper.
Synergy is where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. I know each one of us gets asked to do a lot of things, but I hope you will consider creating a stronger political voice a priority. When the Political Action Committee is formed, the organizers will let you know where contributions to the PAC can be sent. Look for that information in the PAC’s first newsletter, coming soon.
Fred Koury (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president and CEO of SBN.