SBN Staff

Tuesday, 26 February 2002 12:08

Advertising's best

They say sex sells. But the winners of the 2002 ADDY Awards didn't need sex to be provocative.

In fact, this year's big winner, Brokaw Inc., garnered the bulk of its recognition for advertisements promoting snow plows, animals, police and the Cleveland ad agency itself.

Brokaw pulled in 45 of the 155 awards handed out Feb. 20, including its fifth straight Best In Show award, which it received for its Web site at The decision was unanimous by the four judges.

Brokaw won four gold awards, 14 silver awards and 27 citations of excellence. Among the notables were the company's visually entertaining ad campaigns for Hat Trick Snow Plowing and the Animal Protective League.

The other big winner was Marcus Thomas, which picked up five golds, five silvers, 13 citations of excellence and two Judges' Choice awards. Three of their top honors were for work the agency did for the Cleveland Indians, including television spots highlighting the baseball team's 100th anniversary.

Wyse Advertising was close behind with 20 awards, one gold, eight silvers and 11 citations of excellence.

The other winners were:

Adcom Communications -- two citations of excellence

American Greetings -- one gold, one citation of excellence

Arras Group -- one citation of excellence

Aue Design Studio -- one gold

BrownFlynn Communications -- one citation of excellence

Derby DeMuesy -- one silver

designRoom Creative -- one silver, two citations of excellence

divine Inc. -- one citation of excellence

Dix & Eaton -- one citation of excellence

Doner -- one silver, two citations of excellence

Epstein Design Partners Inc. -- one silver, one citation of excellence

flourish -- three silvers, four citations of excellence

Hitchcock Fleming & Associates -- two citations of excellence

Innis Maggiore Group -- one citation of excellence

Karen Skunta & Co. -- one silver, one citation of excellence

Keith Berr Productions -- one silver

Liggett Stashower -- one gold, two silvers, two citations of excellence

Manheim Advertising Inc. -- one silver

Marefka Co. Inc. -- one citation of excellence

Nesnadny + Schwartz -- four golds, three silvers, one citation of excellence

Point to Point -- six citations of excellence

Stern Advertising -- four silvers, six citations of excellence

thinkinc. - one citation of excellence

Tiny & Gabes -- one citation of excellence

Wolf Group -- three citations of excellence

ADDY winners move on to a regional contest in Louisville, Ky., this month. Those winners go on to the national competition. The ADDYs are sponsored locally by the Cleveland Advertising Association. How to reach: Cleveland Advertising Association, (216) 241-4807, ext. 11,

Tuesday, 26 February 2002 11:57

Business Notes

Jones, Dunn & Co.

Jones, Dunn & Co. of Hudson has changed its name to Advantium. Founded in 1995, Advantium, assists businesses in the recovery of money lost during everyday business processes. The rebranding focuses on Advantium's shift to develop innovations in post-audit software capabilities and business processes, and in its partnership programs, both key in today's downturned economy.

Akron Glass Tinting

The company, which installs window film on commercial and residential properties, has moved its headquarters from Cuyahoga Falls to Akron. The new facility on Moe Drive will allow it to continue to grow by providing more vehicle, warehouse and office space.

Falls Lumber and Millwork

The Mogadore-based company has acquired Markulis Signs and Wood Works Inc. The company, now a division of Fall Lumber, is headed by Markulis Signs' founder, Joe Markulis.


The Akron-based manufacturer of specialty tire and wheel service tools has acquired the assets of the Dowley Manufacturing Co. and Oldforge Tools. Dowley/Oldforge Tools is a manufacturer of specialty mechanics' tools. The acquisitions will help boost Ken-Tool's manufacturing and marketing capabilities and will add a well-respected product line and brand to the company.

Allen Keith Construction Co.

The company, formerly of Uniontown, has moved to a 30,000-square-foot facility on Greenburg Road in Green. Allen Keith Construction specializes in the restoration of residential, commercial and industrial buildings damaged by fire, water, storm or other disasters.

Monday, 18 February 2002 05:47

Movers & Shakers

G. Michael Burke, Vincent Delie Jr. and David Hammer have been named senior vice presidents at National City Bank. Burke manages a team of relationship managers in the bank's investment real estate group. Delie and Hammer manage teams of relationship managers in corporate banking.

Bill Sutton has joined management consulting firm General Management Technologies as office manager/controller. He previously was a professional services manager with Innovative Management Solutions.

Louis Stanasolovich, president and CEO of Legend Financial Advisors Inc., and Diane Pearson, a financial adviser and shareholder at the firm,were selected by Worth magazine in its September 2001 issue as among the "250 Best Financial Advisors in America." This was Stanasolovich's fifth consecutive selection on the list and Pearson's first.

Michael Hennen and Jill Locnikar, now associates at law firm Cohen & Grigsby PC, were honored this summer by the Allegheny County Bar Association's Bankruptcy & Commercial Law Section as the 1999-2000 recipients of the Gibson Award. The award goes to the law students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Duquesne University School of Law who receive the highest award in the bankruptcy course. In addition, associate Michael Braxton has been elected to the board of directors of the Pittsburgh City Theatre. He works in the firm's litigation group.

Gerard Kunic has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Commercial National Bank of Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of Commercial National Financial Corp. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Allegheny Valley Bank of Pittsburgh.

David Pae has joined FullTilt Solutions as senior practice manager at its Pittsburgh-based e-business consulting practice. He previously was director of strategy for marchFIRST, where he was responsible for strategy, methodology and technical architecture development.

Ronald Gill Jr. has joined consulting and engineering firm SecuraComm Consulting Inc. as an accounting assistant.

Larry Schwartz has joined CPA firm Alpern, Rosenthal & Co. as a sales account manager in the technology services group. He is a Microsoft-certified sales specialist and Cisco sales expert.

Valerie Bray has been promoted to the position of interior design director at PWCampbell, a local construction services organization. She is responsible for developing interior finish selections, space planning and retail merchandising programs for clients.

Harold Wintner, a McKeesport-based CPA, has been honored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as an honorary member of its organization to salute his 50 years of membership. Wintner, 81 years old, continues to practice actively as a CPA.

L. Michael Yandura has joined NuRelm E-Business Software Inc. as office manager. He will manage the office and take over administrative responsibilities at the Web-enabling software company's Uniontown-based headquarters.

Barbara Johnson, vice president and a director of The Webb Law Firm, has been selected to be profiled in the 56th edition of Marquis' "Who's Who in America." This is the third time she has been featured in the publication.

The Fragasso Group Inc., a local investment management firm, has made several officer appointments. Deborah Sales has been appointed a vice president of the firm and branch manager of its downtown office. Diana Schroeder has been appointed corporate secretary and continues as the firm's administrative manager. Andrei Voicu has been named a vice president and continues to serve as director of portfolio management. Michael Fertig has been appointed a vice president and branch manager of the firm's South Hills office branch.

Brad Lauer has joined packaging specialist All-Pack Inc. as sales territory manager. Previously, he was a control agent with Federal Express in New York City. Also, the company has hired Judi Tranter as customer service representative in its Pittsburgh office.

W. Ryan Davis has joined the Pittsburgh office of law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP as an associate in its business and finance practice group. Abhijat Parikh has joined as a patent associate in its intellectual property-patent practice group and Jennifer Schlagle has joined as an associate in the litigation practice group.

David Lovejoy has joined Greycourt & Co. as a director and chief operating officer. He is a director of First Internet Bank and formerly vice chairman of Mellon Bank Corp. Before that, he was vice chairman of Security Pacific Corp.

William King Jr. has joined Great American Federal Savings and Loan Association as a senior commercial loan officer in its commercial lending department. He most recently was vice president and commercial loan officer at First International Bank in Pittsburgh. John Kish, chairman and CEO of Great American Federal, has been elected to the board of directors of Housing Opportunities Inc., a nonprofit corporation providing home ownership services to low- to moderate-income individuals and families.

J. Victor Conrad, CPA, CFP, ChFC, a financial professional of the member companies of The MONY Group, has been elected to the executive committee of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Debbie Cavrak has joined Elisco Advertising as an account executive. Most recently, she was graphics supervisor at Douglas Laboratories.

Jeff Mauro has been hired as an account executive at Innovative Integrations, a local business solutions company. Brenda Dare has joined as human resources consultant and Ladd Sustar, a senior technical solutions consultant at the firm, has become a Citrix-certified administrator, which means he is able to install and administer tasks on Citrix MetaFrame XP networking solutions.

Carol Cieslak has been promoted to director of operations at Corporate Accommodations Inc., which provides fully furnished and equipped short-term apartments to business and individuals throughout 10 locations in the Pittsburgh area.

Paul Minton has been named an associate at Pittsburgh law firm Blumling & Gusky, LLP. He joins the firm's corporate and commercial law practice group. He previously worked at Reed Smith LLP.

Kevin Taylor has joined Monroeville-based Mirage Advertising as vice president and creative director. Before joining the firm, he served 11 years as vice president and creative director at Krome Communications.

Linda Mathesius has been hired as a project manager for Beaver Falls-based Integra Marketing Group.

Eva Stevenson has been promoted to director of operations at CFA Real Estate Network, a full-service title company. She joined CFA, formerly known as Credit-facts of America, 18 years ago in the sales department.

Michael Cassidy, a shareholder in the health care group of law firm Tucker Arensberg PC, along with members of the referral network of law firms called Great Lakes Law, has authored the "Health Care Compliance Manual." The publication has been published by LexisNexis and offers readers information about health care legal issues.

Daniel Mosedale has been named executive chef at The Original Fish Market at the Westin Convention Center downtown. He is a native of Watford, England.

Adam Obsenica has joined Yanni Partners as a consulting analyst. He most recently worked for Duquesne University, where he provided technical support in its Investment Technology Center.

William Wolfe has been hired by The Callos Cos. as vice president of outplacement services for the personnel services company's Pittsburgh office.

Cristin McCormick has joined SecuraComm Consulting as a marketing coordinator. She previously was a proposal writer at Eckerd Health Services.

Accounting firm Horovitz, Rudoy & Roteman has added Tassie Bisers, Donna Deist, CPA, Gabriella Gally and Kathy Prokay, CPA, to its tax services team.

Anne DeLaCroix, who sold her real estate company to Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in 1996, has been named manager of the Howard Hanna Poland office and vice president of residential sales. The Poland office in Mahoning County includes 45 agents covering the county.

Kevin Laird has been named vice president and chief economist of Howard Hanna Financial Services. He joined Howard Hanna Financial in 1997 as a coordinator for the wholesale lending department. Most recently, he had been managing the firm's secondary marketing department.

Carrie Morrow has been appointed sports and wellness director at The Rivers Club in Oxford Center downtown. Prior to her new position, she was fitness program director with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh.

Vivian Anderson has joined accounting firm Stokes & Hinds as a tax associate.Kelly Cowan joins the firm as a staff accountant.

John Lyncheski, an attorney who chairs the health care practice group at law firm Cohen & Grigsby, has been appointed chair of the Labor, OSHA and Human Resources Substantive Law Committee of the American Health Lawyers Association.

Theodore Schroeder, an attorney with the Pittsburgh office of law firm Littler Mendelson, has joined the Glade Run Foundation as a board member. The foundation is part of Glade Run Lutheran Services.

Douglas Noxon has been appointed executive chef/director of food and beverage of the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe in Cecil Township. He most recently was executive chef and assistant director of food and beverage for Oglebay Resort and Conference Center and the Wheeling Park Commission in Wheeling, W.Va.

Richard Hershberger, Ph.D., has joined the Pittsburgh Technology Council as the managing director of its Biomedical Network, an association of council member companies in the biomedical and biotechnology industry cluster. Jared Roberts has joined as managing director of its Information Technology Network and Olivia Davis has joined as managing director of its newly created Entrepreneur Network. In addition, Brian Kennedy has been hired as the council's public policy manager; Seon Pierce has joined as membership services executive; Andrea Kotjarapoglus has joined as a membership sales executive; Tony Esposito has been hired as production designer; Linda Tabakin has been hired as director of information and consulting services for both the council and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center; and Dana Takach has been named office administrator.

Monday, 18 February 2002 05:33


Jay Apt has had a rich and varied career as a scientist, academic, astronaut, museum administrator and, now, as a venture investor. Here are some key events in that career.

  • 1976 -- Earned doctorate in physics and appointed post-doctoral fellow in laser spectroscopy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 1976-1980 -- Staff member of the Center for Earth & Planetary Physics, Harvard University

  • 1980 -- Joined the Earth and Space Sciences Division of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • 1982-1985 -- Flight controller responsible for space shuttle payload operations at NASA's Johnson Space Center

  • 1985 -- Selected as an astronaut candidate

  • 1986 -- Qualified as an astronaut

  • 1991-1996 -- Completed four NASA space shuttle missions

  • 1997 -- Appointed director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History

  • 2000 -- Joined iNetworks LLC as chief technology officer


Thursday, 31 January 2002 05:43

Kick-off speaker: Rayona Sharpnack

Founder and president, Institute for Women's Leadership

How do you define success? Rayona Sharpnack's defining moment came when she realized she was able to meet Hillary Clinton simply by making a request to the former first lady's gatekeepers.

As founder and president of the Institute for Women's Leadership, a consulting organization that assists women worldwide in identifying their personal and professional goals, Sharpnack is on a mission to remove the obstacles that limit women from reaching their true potential.

She leads training programs, including "Women Leading Change," a three-day initiative that works to ensure there is a woman's voice at every decision-making table around the globe and provides participants with the communications tools to get there.

"For most people, leadership is about what you need to know and what you need to do," says Sharpnack. "But sells more than 1,000 books that will tell you what you need to know and what you need to do. We work on who you need to be.

"In my classes, I'm going for those 'Aha' moments, which really are the ignition and illumination of the genius of the participants themselves. The experience is much more meaningful and relevant than trying to learn someone else's shtick or methodology for leadership."

Sharpnack's career began as a professional softball player for the International Women's Softball League, where she led a strike against the owners of the San Jose franchise, questioning their business practices. She also realized her childhood dream of becoming a physical education teacher at a time when such a position was unthinkable for a woman. A national Junior Olympic record holder for the longest softball throw, she now plays shortstop for the California Express, a professional women's senior team.

Sharpnack assists women in creative thinking, enabling them to fulfill their daily commitments. Her visionary "Ready, fire, aim, aim, aim" philosophy strives to empower women who desire a work-life integration by removing barriers.

She has made numerous appearances throughout the United States, Australia, Brazil and Canada, addressing or co-designing tailor-made conferences for up to 500 people. In addition, she has worked extensively with Fortune 500 companies, including Apple Computers, the Gillette Co., Charles Schwab Corp., Hewlett-Packard and Wells Fargo in the advancement of women's leadership.

The women at Schwab felt the training made such a difference in the company's competitiveness that they asked Sharpnack to conduct a co-ed version, now a standard part of the company's human resource training.

"Quite simply, it was a life-changing experience," says Vivian Groman, senior vice president of finance and corporate administrative technology at Schwab, who completed Sharpnack's workshop in 1997. "You walk in with a challenge, some mountain that you don't think you can climb. When you walk out, you've built a higher mountain that you know you can climb."

Thursday, 31 January 2002 05:38

Movers & Shakers

Elizabeth Adrian and Jeffrey Golembiewksi have joined the law firm of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis as associates.

John Zatkos has joined Rothman Gordon as an associate practicing in the law firm's workers' compensation department.

Scott Westwood has been named a principal in the law firm of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote. Regina Petruzzi has been named an associate.


Michael Frachioni and Nancy Saunders have joined DKW Law Group as corporate associates. Kathryn Kenyon and David Ruiz have joined as litigation associates.

St. Barnabas Health System has named to its board of trustees for 2001-2002 John Curran, chairman; John Howell, vice chairman; John Turnbull, treasurer; William Day, secretary; and Kathryn Jennings, assistant secretary. Board members are Alan Offstein, Joseph Scaletta and Thomas Schmidt. Retired chairman William Reed remains as a member of the board.

James Barnett has joined the consulting staff of SecuraComm, an independent security and engineering consulting firm.

Hae-Dong Jho has joined the department of neurosurgery at Allegheny General Hospital.

The Pittsburgh Technology Council's board of directors has elected Mark Evans, president and CEO of Confluence Technologies, as its chairman. Other newly elected members of the council's board are David Klasnick, Richard Lunak and Chris Maher.

John Waclawski has been named an associate at the law firm of Dickie McCamey & Chilcote.

Karen Hanchett-Serbin has joined Shared Vision Alliance as its client liaison and facilitator.

Edward Flohr has joined Alpern, Rosenthal & Co. as tax manager. Patricia Scarpaci has joined the accounting and consulting firm as senior tax accountant and Kristin Kacik has joined as semi-senior accountant.

Steven Russell has been appointed managing director of venture capital firm iNetworks LLC.

Mary Roche has joined marketing firm CommuniTech as public relations director and account executive for Communitech's Philadelphia region.

John Brown and David Malone have been elected to the board of directors of NSD Bancorp Inc. and NorthSide Bank.

Debra Flinner has joined NorthSide Bank as vice president and commercial loan manager.

Paul Greb, Christine Kwolek and Gary Phillips have joined the staff of WTW Architects.




Jennifer Perkins has joined the Pittsburgh office of Mullen, a full service advertising, marketing and public relations agency.

Matthew Modell has joined the Massaro Co. as an estimator in its pre-construction services division.

Terry McClusky has joined Elisco Advertising as creative director.

Robert Bernstein, managing partner of the Bernstein Law Firm, has been elected chairman of the standards committee of the American Board of Certification, the organization that certifies bankruptcy and creditors' rights attorneys.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission has elected Butler County Commissioner James Kennedy as its chairman and Greene County Commissioner David Coder as its vice chairman.

Homer Walton, a shareholder with the law firm Tucker Arensberg, has been appointed to the Allegheny County Department of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Appeals Committee.

Shannon Clougherty has been named an associate at the law firm of Blumling & Gusky.

Jason Kunzman has joined Schneider Downs as senior consultant to the firm's litigation and forensic accounting services practice.

John McGinley has joined the Pittsburgh office of law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott as an equity owner.

Thursday, 31 January 2002 05:27

PR primer

Emerging technology companies looking for some public relations savvy in a hurry might want to consider a 12-week course offered by a Pittsburgh public relations firm.

Ketchum Pittsburgh has launched a service, Catapult, that it says is designed to educate young companies about the role of public relations and equip them with basic skills, strategies and tactics to communicate with the media and other audiences.

"Many emerging businesses typically lack the resources or experience to determine and achieve their public relations goals in the early stages of their life cycles," says Jeff Cohen, vice president and group manager of Ketchum's technology practice.

Companies choosing Catapult to jumpstart their public relations efforts will get a training session in public relations basics, a forum with key executives to develop focused corporate positioning and an influencer inventory analyzing media, industry analysts and other influencers in the company's industry.

Other sessions include materials development, preparing and releasing press releases, media training for key executives on how to interact with the news media and one that will explain the development of a complete strategic and tactical public relations plan based on the outcomes of corporate discovery.

Thursday, 31 January 2002 05:12

Business Notes

The Shaner Hotel Group LP has acquired the 402-room Pittsburgh Marriott City Center.

Point Park College received a grant from the H.J. Heinz Co. Foundation to establish the H.J. Heinz Co. Chair in Business Management in the college's department of business.

Burns & Scalo Roofing Co. received the roofing contracts for Washington Tool and Machine Co. in Washington, Pa., and for the Oncology Nursing Society in RIDC Park West.

Elisco Advertising has been selected as agency of record by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Ripple Effects Interactive has been chosen to create a $550,000 Web-based infrastructure and gateway site for the interactive exploration of Pennsylvania history and state historical markers.

Magnet Communications won three new accounts, PPG Industries' self-cleaning glass and its CertifiedFirst Network, and General Nutrition Corp.'s Gold Card program.

American Textile Co. will build a 110,000-square-foot combined world headquarters/distribution facility at RIDC Riverplace City Center of Duquesne.

Access Data Corp. acquired Newton Partners Inc. of Sacramento, Calif.

Massaro Properties LLC has signed Mad Mex, part of the bigBurrito Restaurant Group, as a tenant in Robinson Plaza Two.

Landau Building Co. has been awarded construction contracts for an expansion and renovation of the Butler Area Public Library, renovation and new construction at the East Liverpool YMCA in Calcutta, Ohio, and upgrades to the Brew House in the South Side.

Telerama Internet has been selected by Carnegie Mellon University to provide DSL connectivity for all students who live in the university's off-campus housing.

PWCampbell has been awarded the design/builder contract by the Middleburg Bank in Middleburg, Va. The contractor has also been awarded a similar contract for the Kemba Columbus Credit Union in Columbus, Ohio.

Washington Reprographics has formed a digital color division, Color Group. It has also secured a contract agreement from Crown Castle International to provide CAD detailing.

WTW Architects has been awarded the expansion and renovation contract for Mother of Sorrows Parish in Murrysville.

The Regional Industrial Development Authority of Southwestern Pennsylvania will build two speculative flex buildings at the City Center of Duquesne. The development will include two 20,000-square-foot pre-engineered buildings. Each will provide space for up to four tenants. The two buildings will share a parking area.

Goff Backa Alfera & Co. has formed the Wealth Management Advisory Group, a financial planning and wealth management service.

Rothman Gordon Foreman & Groudine has changed its name to Rothman Gordon PC.

Communitech has added ShoreGroup Inc. to its client roster.

Basic Business Concepts, a business consulting firm with expertise in finance, planning, business development, management and sales, has incorporated and is doing business from its offices in the North Side.

Houston Harbaugh has created a partnership with Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. to form Chatham Settlement LP.

Canon Business Solutions-Northeast Inc. has expanded into the Pittsburgh metropolitan area with an office in Moon Township.

Main Street Capital Holdings LLC and company management acquired Contraves Corp., a high-end precision electronics assembly company.

Colliers Penn has been selected by Neville Square Properties to market the former Pitts-Des Moines world headquarters in Neville Township.

bigBurrito Inc. has opened new Mad Mex restaurants in Robinson Towne Center and State College, Pa.

Andi Test Lab formed a cooperative agreement with Rhein Tech Laboratories Inc. of Herndon, Va., to provide environmental testing services.

Compunetix has opened an office in London.

Fitting Creative has been selected to design and implement a marketing campaign for CareerBuilder Inc., a Web employment recruitment company.

Turner Construction Co. has been selected for a $2.5 million renovation project for the Three Mellon building, Downtown.

RE/MAX Select has opened an office in Wexford.

Wednesday, 30 January 2002 10:03

Job news not all gloom

There's little doubt 2001 was a rough year for the Northeast Ohio job market. But not all the news was as bad as LTV's.

Nearly 120 firms committed to projects totaling more than $73 million in new location or expansion projects. Those are expected to result in the creation of more than 2,200 jobs and the retention of 6,100 jobs, according to the Ohio Department of Development.

Among the companies that have made commitments:

Progressive Insurance. A $13 million expansion project in Parma for its transportation recovery division will create 300 jobs.

Sherwin-Williams. The paint maker's automotive division in Warrensville Heights has committed to a $15 million paint research and development center that will create 164 jobs.

Formtek. The company purchased the assets of the former SNS Properties and has committed $14 million to its Bedford Heights location. It manufactures equipment for handling, feeding and forming metal for stamping operations. The project will create 40 jobs and retain 125 at an average salary of $42,000.

Quark Biotech. An emerging cancer research company in Cleveland, Quark has committed $2.3 million for a start-up project that will create 40 high-paying jobs.

NeoMed Technologies. A start-up firm researching cardiac function, NeoMed has committed $6 million to a project that will create 50 high-paying jobs.

Wednesday, 30 January 2002 09:50



Meaden & Moore joined 52 CPA firms across the nation in the merger of TAG International and AGN International-North America Inc. The merger creates an organization with 52 member firms and annual billings of nearly $400 million.


Mark Freeman Associates has been named agency of record for Safeguard Technology, a manufacturer of anti-slip floor, stair and walkway surfaces for commercial and industrial use.


First Federal of Lakewood has introduced Lakewood Investment Services, a business unit that offers investment products, financial planning and educational seminars. Bank customers can purchase individual securities through Financial Network Investment Corp. (FNIC) at all eight FFL branch locations.

Fifth Third Bank received top ratings from PLANSPONSOR Magazine's Defined Contribution Survey. The magazine says Fifth Third provides "exceptional customer service and the best retirement plan and pension products in the industry."


Lake Erie College's business administration program has been award accreditation by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education for its bachelor of science degrees in accounting, business administration and international business as well as its master's of business administration degree.


Silicone rubber compounder Silmix has been acquired by Michigan-based Wacker Silicones Corp.

Star Precision Products has been certified to the ISO 9001:2000 Without Design, International Quality System Standard.

Fire-Dex Inc. has upgraded its certificate to ISO 9001:2000 standards. The company is the first protective clothing manufacturer in the industry to receive this certification.

HI TecMetal Group's Brazing & Metal Treating subsidiary in Kentucky was honored by Ford Motor Co. with a Ford Q1 Quality Certification. The Ford Q1 status indicates that BMT-Kentucky is recognized as a Tier 1 and preferred supplier to Ford Motor Co.

Caster Connection has opened an office and warehouse complex in Novi, Mich. Caster distributes domestic and imported casters for the automotive, health care and restaurant industries.

Metal Supermarkets has opened a one-stop shop for small quantities of cut metal on West 140th Street in Brookpark.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland reports a banner year in 2001, in which it served 1,271 children. That's an increase of more than 51 percent over 2000, when the mentoring organization served 837 local youths.


A. LoPresti & Sons Inc. has joined PRO*ACT, a supplier of produce and perishables, as the group's 34th member. PRO*ACT provides produce category solutions and delivery service to foodservice organizations nationwide.


Sales Building Systems, specialists in building sales for restaurant and retail chains, has selected InfoGrow Corp. to provide online maps showing national retailers the untapped workplace market for each of their locations.