SBN Staff

Friday, 19 July 2002 10:23


Big winners

Nine Baldwin-Wallace College students topped their league in the regional Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) competition held in April. The competition included 32 schools. The B-W team is coached by Sandy Maltby, former vice chairman of Small Business Services at Key Bank.

The theme was "Building Big Ideas, One Individual at a Time" and the students' winning paper was titled "Opening the Gates to China," focusing on the meaning of free enterprise in the United States. Students from Jiangxi University in China responded with a paper focusing on the same topic as it relates to China. Maltby says despite the recent tension, "education and students can bridge the cultural gap that exists between two countries."

What women want online

The key issues of shipping, delivery and price are what really motivate online women shoppers to spend more. That according to a study by Columbus-based BIGresearch, which asked more than 11,000 active Internet users what would motivate them to spend more money shopping on the Internet. The study asked online shoppers what, where and why they bought online during the recent holiday shopping season. The top four issues which consumers said would motivate them to buy more online were shipping and delivery; pricing and promotions; payment options; and privacy.

When asked why they shop online, convenience, pricing and product selection are reasons usually cited. "What the non-online shoppers are saying is that pricing is certainly a factor but if you want me to shop online you need to address the shipping costs which are not a part of the normal retail shopping experience," says Joe Pilotta, vice president of BIGresearch.

Unfortunately for e-tailers, shipping costs are an inherent cost of doing business for direct merchants.

Check 'em out

Cleveland's Corporate Screening updated its Electronic Applicant Search Engine (CSS EASE) in March so clients can now order and review complete background investigations online. Companies in need of background investigation services have traditionally had two options -- raw information brokers and private investigators.

Raw information brokers provide quick access to a large amount of data, but that data may or may not apply to a specific person. Private investigators typically provide detailed, specific reports, but they may return information that cannot legally be used in the hiring process, and their fees are usually too steep for companies in need of a large number of background checks.

"CSS EASE gives clients the ability to experience the power and speed of the Internet with the thoroughness and quality of a professional investigator at a fraction of the cost," said Dennis Drellishak, president of Corporate Screening. "And our reports are in compliance with all legal aspects of the pre-employment screening industry."

Check out Corporate Screening at

New e-courses

The American Management Association (AMA) announced its first three online self-study courses in its performance support library. Based on the most popular and basic AMA programs, the new e-learning courses provide the essential information for first level supervisory skills, the fundamentals of leadership and safe hiring, managing and firing practices. The self-study courses allow users to set their own pace. Find out more at

Tools for success

The Entreprenuer Institute will hold its fourth annual President's Forum of Cleveland June 5, 2001, at Executive Caterers of Landerhaven. The forum is designed to provide the presidents and owners of business with the tools they need to compete in the new economy. Among the featured speakers are Jack Kahl, former CEO of Manco Inc., Ed Crawford, CEO of Park-Ohio, and Richard Pogue, senior advisor, Dix & Eaton.

The President's Forum is an invitation-only event. Those interested should contact the Entrepreneur Institute at (614) 895-1153 to see if they qualify for attendance.

EOY judges named

Six local business leaders have been tapped as judges for the 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards to help pore over nearly 100 nominations and pick a handful of elite entrepreneurs for recognition. The judges are Art Holmes, CEO of Chart Industries and a former EOY honoree; Loyal Wilson, managing director of Primus Venture Partners; Gil Van Bokkelen, president and CEO of Athersys Inc. and a former winner; Sandy Maltby, associate professor of business administration at Baldwin-Wallace College; Kevin Mcmullen, president of Omnova Solutions; and Sandra Pianalto, first vice president and COO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Judges will begin interviewing EOY candidates in late May. Winners will be announced at a special banquet on June 14, 2001. For more information, contact EOY at (216) 583-8301.

Tuesday, 30 October 2001 07:26


Edging out the competition

For executives seeking ways to increase performance, morale, teamwork and sales, Douglas Brooks, president of ASE Corp., and Patrick Donadio, a business coach and professional, will present a seminar, How to Increase Performance & Profits, Jan 18 at the Hyatt Regency.

The seminar, which will be held in the morning and repeated in the afternoon, is designed to help business owners and presidents create a good workplace environment and a business image to attract more customers. Topics also will include time management and maximizing effectiveness as well as information regarding attitude development and strategies to benefit employees.

SBN Magazine is a sponsor of the event.

Brooks, a speaker, trainer and coach, teaches programs for personal and professional development as well as approaches to sales success. He has been quoted in many national publications, including The Wall Street Journal and Smart Money magazine. Donadio works with leaders and managers who want to move to their next level professionally by teaching them how to increase profitability, cultivate relationships and enhance effectiveness. His clients include Nationwide Insurance, Time Warner Communications and J.C. Penney Co. Catalog.

For information, call 766-7898 or e-mail or

Extending Wendy's reach

Looks like Wendy's won't stop at hamburgers and donuts.

Wendy's International Inc. has hired Jonathan F. Catherwood to a new position of senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions.

Catherwood's 12 years of M&A experience includes a stint as general partner at Windsor Group LLC, an investment bank focusing on M&A in the technology sector, and vice president of corporate strategy for GTE Corp.

"Jonathan brings a depth of experience in the M&A area that will be invaluable as we continue to identify business opportunities for the corporation over the next several years," says Wendy's chairman and CEO Jack Schuessler. "He has completed nine transactions since 1998 and has worked on several other business opportunities for the Windsor Group and GTE."

Also in an effort to ensure long-term growth for the corporation, Executive Vice President Kathie T. Chesnut has added responsibilities for corporate business development to her plate of R&D, supply chain management and quality assurance.

To fund its growth, the company is amending revolving credit agreements to raise the amount the company could borrow from $167 million to $200 million and considering the issuance of unsecured short-term notes to leading financial institutions.

"Our balance sheet is in great shape with a debt-to-equity ratio of 21 percent," says Kerrii Anderson, executive vice president and CFO, noting the company continues to post positive sales increases at Wendy's and its acquired Tim Hortons operations. "We believe that we could borrow additional cash and maintain our investment grade ratings."

Steeled for growth

The state has shored up growth at Buckeye Steel Castings Co. with economic development help.

The company will receive a $2 million loan from the Development Financing Advisory Council. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved a 65 percent, 10-year tax credit that will provide a more than $1 million benefit to the 120-year-old company.

The funds will be used to purchase and upgrade machinery and technology in a more than $27 million project expected to create 163 jobs within the first three years of operation and retain 971.

And through the Ohio Department of Development, Buckeye Steel will receive a $100,000 business development grant and a $250,000 Ohio Investment in Training Program grant to assist the company in training workers using new machinery.

Continuing the transformation

Jay Dascenzo is still molding his company after splitting from partner Miguel Perez this spring.

Previously called Dascenzo-Perez Inc. under the partnership, the communications agency became Dascenzo Inc. and now Dascenzo Creative Inc., with three divisions: marketing/advertising, public relations and production. Dascenzo says he's landed 15 new accounts, including marketing campaigns for the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau and Steiner + Associates, the developers of Easton; media campaigns for Columbus State community College and The Columbus Landmarks Foundation; and "Something to Talk About," a statewide video series and public awareness campaign for the Ohio Department of Education.

If you want a job done right...

Ruscilli Construction Co. is increasing its work in general construction - bringing in its own crews to do work on a project - for more expansion from construction management projects, where the company supervised an entire project with contractors and subcontractors doing the work.

The company has 15 general construction projects totaling nearly $100 million under way, including a 24,000-square-foot building for Three-C Body Shops Inc.; a new store for Sofa Express in Polaris Fashion Mall; and projects with White Castle, Groveport Madison Local Schools and Pace Logistics.

Awards and accolades

Fifth Third Bank Central Ohio's Pamela Foster, vice president of the Compliance and Community Affairs Department, is inducted into the Corporate Sisters organization, which provides network and support resources for African American executive women. Foster also is treasurer of the Greater Linden Development Corp. and chair of the St. Stephens Community Homes board as well as a board member of the YWCA, Capital University Legal Assistance Advisory Board and the United Way Neighborhood Development Vision Council.

Paul A. Gydosh Jr., a certified financial planner with Steinhaus Financial Group and an adjunct professor of finance at Franklin University, is named to Worth magazine's 2001 list of the top 250 financial advisers in the nation.


Buchanan & Associates and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are honored by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators with the international PACE Award for a poster campaign designed to increase awareness of traffic safety issues in the department's Corporate Safety Program.

Jupiter Marketing is named a national finalist in the 2001 Silver Microphone Awards for a commercial created for Three-C Body Shops Inc. Bob Juniper, president of Three-C, who is also president of Jupiter Marketing, wrote the spot and provided the vocal talent.


As secretary/treasurer of the Columbus Bar Foundation Stephen C. Fitch, a partner with Chester, Willcox & Saxbe LLP

As Ohio Department of Development director, State Sen. Bruce Johnson

As president of the Rotary Club of Westerville Brent D. Rosenthal, a shareholder with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP


As officers of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's board: vice president, Melissa P. Ingwersen, president of Bank One's Columbus market; treasurer, Geoff Chatas, American Electric Power's vice president of corporate finance; and secretary, Richard G. Smith III, executive vice president of Executive Jet Inc.

Promotions, executive hires

Mike Mizesko, former president of, to a principal of Applied Performance Technologies

Liz Lane, president of Fisher Post and Graphics, adds to her duties training at Reputation Management Associates.

Michael W. McBride, bought out as co-owner of Strategic Resource Partners, to senior marketing consultant at Affiliated Resource Group


Ted Lape, former vice president of corporate banking for Fifth Third Bank, to vice president of sales and marketing for National Century Financial Enterprises Inc.

Gregory Grunewald to director of SS&G Financial Services' Columbus office

Lena W. Jochim to vice president, part owner, Business Management Group Ltd.

Ryan Burgess to vice president of treasury management and public funds, and Jane Bittcher, vice president and manager of the Business Development Group, at Fifth Third Bank Central Ohio



Save the date

lunch, Nov. 8, Easton Hilton: National Association of Women Business Owners meeting; 888-5203

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nov. 13-14, Center for Dispute Resolution, Capital University Law School: Handling Workplace Conflicts: Strategies & Skills; 236-6430

11:30 a.m. Nov. 13, Grady Memorial Hospital, Delaware: Occupational Health/Drug Testing program presented by Delaware Area Safety Council; (740) 369-6221

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 14 and 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Nov. 15, Ohio Union Ballrooms at The Ohio State University: Career Day Job Fair; 292-7005 to register your company

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31, 2001, Greater Columbus Convention Center: Central Ohio Construction Expo; 486-9521

The Service Corps of Retired Executives offers four seminars this month at Edison Welding Institute, 1250 Arthur E. Adams Drive: 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 14, Government Contracts; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 14, Buying/Selling a Business in the New Millennium; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15, How to Start Your Business; and 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 15, Business Taxes. Call 469-2357 for information.

New clients and partnerships

Prime Engineering & Architecture Inc. signs two contracts, valued at $17.5 million, for design tasks at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base for the 121st Air Refueling Wing and design of U.S. Army Reserve centers for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers throughout the United States.

Sport Management Inc. partners with High Point, N.C.-based Motorsports Designs to bring decal design and application to the motorcycle industry and identify teams and riders for potential sponsorship opportunities.

GBQ Partners LLP and The Jacob Co. partner to provide services to each others' clients.

Greif Bros. Corp. signs agreement with The Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., to provide steel drums in a contract worth about $190 million in sales over four years.

Cardinal Health Inc. signs on Orange, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health System to provide pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and services in an agreement expected to generate approximately $600 million over five years.

Accurate Glass and Mirror Co. acquires Hepburn Masonry Co. to expand services in the glass and glazing industry and masonry new build and restoration.

Renier Construction breaks ground on a 9,400-square-foot building into which Rite Rug will move its Lancaster store.

Abrasive Technology Inc. is awarded a patent for the manufacturing of a twist drill.

Abercrombie, the Kids division of Abercrombie & Fitch selects CallTech Communications LLC to provide customer support for e-commerce.

Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects completes three new schools for Hilliard City Schools.

SBC Business to Business adds Elford Inc. to its client list.

Wednesday, 24 October 2001 08:45


Parma Hospital named 'safe place to work'
Parma Community General Hospital, a 2000 Pillar Award for Community Service honoree, was recently honored for its efforts to keep employees safe. The hospital was among 31 statewide recognized by the Ohio Hospital Association for its outstanding efforts. The honor was based on criteria including the number of on-the-job injury cases, work days missed due to job-related injuries and emergency preparedness.

It's a banker's life for me
Have you ever wondered how executives at financial institutions stack up in comparison to other white collar jobs? Incentive pay for CEOs and presidents rose 19 percent last year at financial institutions, according to a study by Crowe Chizek and Co. LLP. For business leaders at banks owned by multibank holding companies, that number was 35 percent. Other findings include:

  • On average, Ohio-based independent bank CEOs and presidents received an annual salary of $133,682 with a bonus of $29,783.
  • CEOs and president of bank affiliates earned $178,704 in 2000, with an average bonus of $29,469.

On the flip side, entry-level tellers who work in communities with populations of less than 100,000 earn an average of $15,552. Their metropolitan counterparts earn about $17,118.

Technical testing
Are you sure job candidates for your company have the skills necessary to leap into the workplace ready to help your business move forward? If not, you could be setting yourself up for a long, drawn-out training process that could unearth a huge skill weakness the initial job interview didn't reveal.

That's the impetus behind Mentor-based Vector Technical Inc.'s new employee verification package, an online testing program which encompasses tests for more than 325 clerical, industrial and technical skills.

''What we're trying to do at Vector is qualify skills for our clients,'' explains Terry Sneed, the company's IT specialist. ''What this means is that if a candidate comes in here and says they have a certain skill, we can test them and find the perfect match for our client companies.''

Qualified philanthropy
The staff at Cleveland-based Qualified Pension/Profit Sharing Consultants Inc. had a busy August. On Aug. 16, employees prepared and served a barbeque dinner to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. A week later, reading material collected during a companywide book drive was delivered to the Brecksville Veterans Administration Hospital.

Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49


HR help

As more businesses recognize that their most important resource is the people who work for them, human resources management is becoming a more integral part of organizations. Consequently, many accounting firms are expanding their services to include HR consulting and executive recruiting divisions.

With the acquisition of Spectra Resources Ltd., a North Canton-based human resources and executive recruiting firm, the accounting firm of S.R. Arner & Co. can now fill a need many small businesses have been unable to afford. It offers clients employee recruitment, training and assessment, policy and procedure development and compensation consulting services.

"In Stark County, there are a lot of small businesses that cannot afford to have a full-time human resource person," says Arner CPA and consultant Frank Monaco. "We saw that need within some of our client base, and we wanted to fill it. The biggest obstacle in providing this new service will be getting the word out to clients and local businesses that we can help them write their employee handbooks, search for qualified professionals or add support for any other HR needs."

Thursday, 31 March 2011 20:01

Prairie City Bakery innovates and satisfies

Prairie City Bakery may be a bakery, but it operates like a traditional manufacturer, doing everything a manufacturer does – from product development to taking that product to market. Bill Skeens, Prairie City’s president, and his team produce more than 65 different bakery items, each made to Prairie City’s specific specifications.

“We are always looking for new ideas and ways to satisfy the customer and always ask ourselves, ‘Is there a better way to do this?’” Skeens says.

Though the company, itself, has a total of 11 employees, Prairie City’s impact on employment goes well beyond that. Last year, the company sold more than $20.5 million in bakery goods that were produced in seven separate bakery operations — primarily in the Midwest and Canada — that employed more than 500 people.

Skeens was named one of 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and U.S. Bank. We asked him how he overcomes challenges, innovates and gives back.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

Three years ago, a major account of ours was looking to develop a private label program in a very short period of time. On a Thursday, we met with their buyers and got specifically what an ideal product line would look like from a quality, packaging and pricing standpoint. The following Friday, we came back with live product, packaging and pricing and laid out 25 alternative products, two different packaging designs and pricing on all items in their conference room.

This was a total company effort involving and coordinating with all of our suppliers, creative packaging designers and financial people to deliver this is just over a week. We were in competition with much larger companies, and because we delivered, we ended up producing 15 of their 18 private label items and continue to deliver on this business today.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

Our people are all empowered to ‘Do what is right for the business.’ When I worked for a large bakery manufacturer, we only sold what we could make, and this often was not what the customer wanted. With the Prairie City Bakery model of outsourcing of manufacturing, this is a huge advantage because we want to sell what the customer wants to buy.

We do not have blinders on that say, ‘This is the only way we can do it.’ We look to solve problems and provide a solution, and then we get our reward of selling the right product that provides us with revenue.

Customers ‘vote’ with their dollars every day, and we are always looking for creative solutions that set us apart, add value and makes customers not only want to buy from us but to recommend us and to be and advocate of Prairie City Bakery.

How to reach: Prairie City Bakery,

The Smart Leaders Class of 2010

In October 2010, Smart Business and U.S. Bank recognized 10 business leaders for their commitment to business excellence and the impact their organizations make on the regional community. Treated to a keynote address by Middleby Corp. CEO Selim Bassoul, these 10 leaders comprised the honor roll:

  • Jason Beans, founder & president, Rising Medical Solutions
  • Dave Brittsan, CEO, DB Aviation
  • Joel Fruendt, GM, Clarke Mosquito Control
  • Rob Jessup, CEO, Jessup Manufacturing
  • Amanda Lannert, President, Jellyvision Lab
  • Scott Morey, president and CEO, Morey Corp.
  • Larry Neibauer, CEO, CEO Deliveries Co.
  • Nancy Ruscheinski, president and COO, Edelman U.S.
  • Jim Signorelli, CEO, ESW Partners
  • Bill Skeens, President, Prairie City Bakery

Monday, 22 July 2002 10:05

In brief

The Cleveland Foundation will administer a sustaining fund that will be used to allocate proceeds from the new Pillar Award for Community Service.

The Pillar Award program, created in partnership between Medical Mutual of Ohio and Small Business News, identifies and honors companies of all sizes for outstanding contributions to their community.

The program is accepting nominations through Sept. 30 (see page 53), which will be judged by an independent panel of community leaders.

Honorees will be featured in the December issue of SBN and at a special banquet on Dec. 3, 1998.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Greater Cleveland's non-profit community through a sustaining fund managed by The Cleveland Foundation. The fund will be non-allocated, meaning the Cleveland Foundation will determine its best use on a year-to-year basis.

"Our goal is to have an impact," says Robert G. Rosenbaum, editor of SBN. "The 40 or so people who work at SBN's headquarters give very generously to charitable causes, but we can only do so much. That's a frustration we have. But if we leverage the collective power of our audience and advertisers, we think we can do more.

"It's an especially important message today in light of BP's planned departure to Chicago. [Its predecessor] Standard Oil helped to invent the concept of community service, and to witness how fast a company can uproot itself after more than a century of philanthropy is a frightening prospect for anybody who cares about their home town."

Rosenbaum says the magazine has committed to a minimum donation of $10,000, and adds, "We think we can do far better as the Pillar Award program matures over the years."

In other Pillar Award news, Executive Caterers at Landerhaven signed on as a corporate sponsor. Medical Mutual of Ohio is the event's founding sponsor.

They're a tad less "aussem" now

In a development that has received far too little attention, Cleveland's best-named law firm has undergone a change in names that threatens to undermine its radical distinctiveness.

For years, the firm of Seeley Savidge & Aussem turned a thousand heads as they happened by it in the phone book or on a sign somewhere. One could almost read the momentary confusion on the perplexed faces of those first encountering the name: Is this another lawyer joke or is that the actual name of a firm? For others, the string of names conjured to mind the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who wrote that, absent rules governing human conduct, life is "nasty, brutish and short." But none of it did any harm to the firm's client development. What client, after all, wouldn't want to march into court or a deposition backed by counselors whose name sounds like a troupe of steroid-popping pro wrestlers?

Alas, all good things came to an end. Partner Jim Aussem, who prepped at Ernst & Young before joining the firm, has left to open a Cleveland office for the prominent Akron firm of Brouse & McDowell.

The firm's new name, by the way, is Seeley Savidge & Ebert. Just doesn't have quite the same ring to it, now does it?

At least we're not last

Every state likes to brag that it's a hospitable climate for business, and Ohio's no different. But what about the climate for entrepreneurship?

That's where Ohio comes up short, in the opinion of one long-outspoken small-business advocate. For the last three years, the chief economist of the Small Business Survival Foundation, Raymond Keating, has prepared what he calls his Small Business Survival Index, a state-by-state ranking of the environment for entrepreneurship.

His latest offering, the 1998 index, places Ohio a "wretched" 46th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Only Rhode Island, Oregon, Minnesota, Hawaii and D.C., in that order, fared worse. South Dakota, not exactly known as a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, ranked first.

"Ohio entrepreneurs do receive a boost from fairly low sales taxes," he notes. "However, Ohio imposes fairly high personal income and capital gains taxes, a high corporate income-tax rate, a death tax reaching beyond the federal pickup level, a high health-insurance tax, and a very high electric utilities tax."

The rankings are based on criteria that include: the total crime rate and the tax rates for personal income, capital gains, corporate income, property, sales, unemployment, health insurance, electric utilities and workers' comp.

For the complete index, plus Keating's no-nonsense views on other political developments as they affect small business, check the Small Business Survival Foundation's Web site, at


"This problem knows no age limit. People in their 70s cheat."
Kay Wallis, HR director for a midsized Cleveland manufacturer, of the widespread propensity of job applicants to cheat on drug tests

Ups and downs

Downs to BP America and its move to Amoco's Windy City office building. But at least all those years of hand-wringing over Cleveland's declining oil business have finally ended. Hang on: Banking's next.

Ups to online banking. Customers can now check their account balances and pay bills from home computers. That is... if they can bump their kids off the World Wide Web.

Downs to private prisons. Good business concept - the more prisoners they keep, the more money they make. Too bad the profits keep walking out the door.

Ups to Medical Mutual of Ohio for expanding services to the poor and elderly. Not to downplay the profit potential in administration of Medicare and Medicaid programs. But it's not easy money, so this decision is more than pocket-deep.

Downs to the Asia Flu for infecting local manufacturers. Exports are down, and so are stock prices. This is one fortune cookie everyone could have done without.

Downs to Cleveland Indians stock - worth a fraction of its IPO price. It looks more like wallpaper than an investment. We called it months ago. Let's hope on-field performance isn't tied to per share value.

Editor's note: For our cover story of the 99 greatest moments in 99 years of business, check the Cleveland page under the Get Local link at left.

Here are some local highs and lows.

1901: U.S. President William McKinley, a lawyer from Canton, is shot at Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition and dies eight days later.

1907: Canton janitor James Murray Sprangler invents a device to help him clean floors and carpets. He takes his invention to boyhood chum William H. Hoover, then president of a business that made leather goods. The Hoover Co. is founded a year later.

1912: The Canton Pressed Brick Co. becomes the Belden Brick Co., as brick manufacturing changes to the extrusion method.

1916: The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Co. starts producing its own steel, setting it apart from all other American bearing makers and setting off a period of high growth.

1920: The American Professional Football Association, predecessor to the National Football League, is founded in Canton.

1943: As the Diebold Safe and Lock Co. begins diversifying into office products, it changes its name to Diebold Inc.

1960s: Timken Research develops improvements in steel production, such as strand casting, electric arc melting and vacuum-degassing facilities. These innovations help the company survive the onslaught of foreign steel in the ’70s and ’80s.

1963: The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens, eventually drawing more than 500,000 people a year for the enshrinement festival alone.

1970: Belden Village Mall is completed.

1970: Diebolds Futura Automatic Banking System provides 24-hour teller services in an armored box now known generically as ATM.

Monday, 22 July 2002 10:01

In Brief

Here are three rules to follow: Keep your emotions in check; play the numbers game accurately; think big picture.

They could be maxims to run your business, hire an employee or purchase a competitor, but they’re some of the many tips included in a locally authored book, “Writing Effective E-Mail: Improving Your Electronic Communication,” by siblings Nancy and Tom Flynn.

Nancy, president of Nancy Flynn Public Relations Inc. in Northwest Columbus, and Tom, a senior information project leader for Liebert Global Services, merged their knowledge in an 83-page book covering message composition, grammar, formatting and organizing.

Some excerpts:

  • Be specific, but write as if your boss, the media or mom were reading.

  • Eliminate sexist language by using the generic pronoun “one,” for example, or using an article such as “the,” “this” or “that” instead of “his” or “her.”

They also warn of times when e-mail may be inappropriate, such as when you must deliver unpleasant news or when your message is extremely important.

The book, published in October [Crisp Publications, $10.95], was a first for the sister-and-brother team.

Nancy Flynn says she proposed the book when executives in her writing skills workshops expressed an interest in electronic communications—and when she saw the poorly written e-mail she received.

“It seemed as though there was a need to get the word out that good writing is good writing whether in cyberspace or on a piece of paper,” she says.

Apparently the publisher saw the same need, almost immediately accepting the Flynns’ August 1997 book proposal. After e-mailing draft versions to each other, the siblings delivered a copy to the publisher in January 1998.

Watch for more titles under the Flynn name. Nancy has another proposal in the works, and would not rule out a future collaborative effort with her brother.


“The secret to becoming wealthy is that there is no secret—just principles.”
Correspondent and radio personality Mort Crim, during the Better Business Bureau’s Business Integrity Awards luncheon this fall

Monday, 22 July 2002 10:00

Close, but not quite

Here are some moments that, in retrospect, seem to have deep meaning, though they didn’t make the list.

1901: King Camp Gillette patents the disposable safety razor. Worst news for barbers since leeches. Now, “suits” are only two steps away (battery-operated razors, cars) from shaving on the Interstate.

1909: Cincinnati Reds play the first pro game under lights at night. Bosses suddenly wonder why the office doesn’t look as empty as it used to.

1911: Carrier invents air conditioning. Office staffers in wool suits are revived and get back to work.

1920: Background music is introduced in stores and elevators. Next stop: Orchestral arrangements of Roll Over Beethoven.

1922: Push button elevator is invented (after annoying background music drives operators out?).

1930: Based on angry feedback from a customer—”Take this tape back to those Scotch [miserly] bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it!”—3M re-introduces its auto-painting tape as Scotch Brand Cellulose Tape. It will be another half-century before someone coins the phrase “customer focus.”

1936: Culligan Water Technologies Inc. rises to market dominance in distributing water purification systems. Now workers have a place to gather to talk about last night’s game.

1948: The U.S. Bureau of National Standards builds the first Atomic Clock. Predictions that people will now be on time for big meetings prove overly optimistic.

1959: The first electric drip coffee maker is mass marketed, raising the question in offices nationwide: How did we ever survive before?

1969: Don Fisher opens the first Gap store for disillusioned Baby Boomers—who now have high-paying suit-and-tie jobs, but still wear Gap duds for casual Friday.

1973: Fred Smith founds Federal Express based on a class project he was assigned at Yale. (The prof gave him a failing grade on the paper, saying the whole idea of building an overnight delivery business was doomed.)

1980: 3M makes its second great contribution to this list: Post-it Notes.

1988: The rise of independent business as the driving economic force is noted. The same year, SBN publishes its first edition. Coincidence?

1989: Dilbert, the cartoon character, is born, giving voice to those who spend their days in cubicles, and prompting CEOs of all the largest companies to say: “So what’s the joke?”

1993: Michael Jordan leads the Chicago Bulls to a third straight NBA title, retires in his prime to try baseball, proves he can’t, in fact, do everything, and still manages to retain the title of world’s highest-paid pitchman.

1998: Sen. John Glenn retires from Congress and returns to outer space, a hero once again. All without doing a single celebrity endorsement—yet.

Michael L. Ball
vice president, Karlsberger Cos.

Years in marketing: 22

First job in this field: The firm [NBBJ] called it marketing, but basically it was lead generation, business development.

What I learned from that job: The whole ability to listen and assimilate the culture of the client and understand how the firm could best respond.

Biggest marketing project: I have worked on projects in the $200 million range both domestically and overseas.

Best response from a marketing campaign: The very first project I ever marketed was for a hospital in Cincinnati. The client asked all of the usual questions, which typically results in a huge volume of material in response. We boiled down our response to five pages. When I delivered that proposal response, the client just looked at me and he said, "Is this it?" and I said, "Yes. We knew you would be receiving volumes of information and that you have a short time to evaluate all of it and that brevity would be important." We did not get the job; we just, at that point, did not have the credentials. [But] that really launched things, because once we were short-listed for that project, others took us very seriously.

Hardest part about my job: I think the hardest part of the job is trying to get people who are so consumed with responsibility and time pressure to take time out to look at other options. I rely on other people to help me. I am a strong believer in relationship marketing.

What I like best about this profession: Being able to get to know people and to understand their point of view, their passion for what they're doing and bringing that to a service that we provide-problem solving that we bring, experiences that we bring.

Advice to other marketing professionals: I truly believe that winning this particular opportunity or job or prospect or client is not nearly as important as doing the right thing and ultimately that comes back and pays off.

Other honors: The Merle Robert Maffit Memorial Scholarship; the Herbert S. Balmer Award; and Soldier of the Year for the Ohio Army National Guard. I have recently been elected president of the Ohio chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Nominated for this award by: Pete J. Kienle, director of marketing/business development for Moody/Nolan Ltd. Inc.

What his nominator says: "I often say, 'What would Mick do in this situation?' and that perspective helps me in my decision process. In short, Mick's innovation and leadership have helped write the book where none existed."

Karl Borchers
Sales associate, The Huntington National Bank

Years in sales: About three

First job in this field: My first job in sales was more customer service with Home City Ice Co.

What I learned from that job: I learned how to deal with people, and that people respond to someone who is nice to them and polite; to someone that is going to go the extra mile for them and someone who will do whatever they can to help.

Best sales year: 1998

Largest single sale: It is just a combination of many sales that added up to one amount. I've averaged over $300,000 worth of loans in the last five or six months. It's a lot of different customers.

Hardest part of my job: Time management and learning all the legal aspects of the banking industry while trying to increase sales. You have to know what you can do right now for the customer and what you have to do once the branch closes. There are some duties that have to wait until the lobby closes like telephone work, responding to people and paperwork for loans.

What I like best about this profession: I like being able to help people. There are so many products to offer, that there is a good chance to make a sale with every person you see.

Advice to other sales professionals: There is a potential sale with just about everyone you come in contact with. Keep that in mind, be helpful, nice and polite to every customer because that is half the sale right there. People won't respect your advice or recommendations if you don't care about them.

Other honors: Some little ones like gift certificates for opening the most accounts in a specific period of time.

Nominated for this award by: Andrew W. Livingston, district market manager and vice president of The Huntington

What his nominator says: "The Huntington recently introduced a new life insurance product line and Karl is the number one referral source for the product and has achieved the highest referral-to-sale ratio for the product."

Traci Born
personal financial counselor, The Huntington National Bank

Years in sales: About six

First job in this field: I was an account manager with Household Bank.

What I learned from that job: I learned a lot of things from that job like needs-based selling and customer service.

Best sales year: 1998. As of the end of November, I'd made $18,044,805 in our core products such as checking, savings, loans and investments. This is the most I've ever made.

Largest single sale: I pulled in just over $2 million with a construction company in May 1998.

How I got the sale: The man came in to close out an account. I started talking to him to find out why he was closing it. I found out that he was looking for another bank. We started talking and we went over the products and services we offered. We found out what he needed and matched it with the services we offered.

Hardest part of my job: The hardest part is that I do everything. In this [job] you have things changing all the time. [So] I do a lot of reading like the Wall Street Journal and other magazines. When you read the journals they keep you aware of what's going on. It keeps me on top of everything. We [also] have a lot of support here at The Huntington. We have ⊃ team leaders that do investments and I can turn to them if something becomes complex, and the same thing with the mortgage companies. You get a lot of support from them.

What I like best about this profession: I love my job because, whatever you do, it will have a major impact on someone's life. It's amazing to me and I love that.

Advice to other sales professionals: Listen to your customers. Even if they don't come in for a sale, if you service the customer properly ⊃ then, when they do need something, they are going to come back to you.

Other awards: There are a lot of Huntington awards that I have received [including] the Skippers Club award for the last four years. It recognizes people that make a certain dollar amount in investments. You have to have $1.5 million in investments to receive it.

Nominated by: Pat Santelli, senior vice president with The Huntington

What her nominator says: "Traci displays professional excellence and innovation by developing a financial profile of her clients, analyzing their needs and recommending a customized financial course of action."

Mike Driscoll
residential sales team leader, Atlas Butler Heating and Cooling

Years in industry: 15

First job in this field: Atlas Butler

What I learned from that job: You have to have a lot of patience. Things will come in their time, not in your time. If you're somebody who wants instant gratification-with television and media [influence], we want things right away-that doesn't happen with sales.

Best sales year: 1998 [with] just over $1 million. I generally don't track year to year, but this has been the best income.

Largest single sale: Residentially, I'd say about $12,000 or $13,000. Commercially, probably about $70,000, for Sandy Wood, the owner of Wood Development.

How I got that sale: Just a buildup of rapport over several years. I started out with renovations. As he grew, our work with him grew.

Hardest part of my job: Staying focused so that outside influences don't interfere with what you need to do every day to be successful.

What I like best about this profession: The people. I love working with people.

Advice to other sales professionals: You have to hav e a desire to want to work with people. And it's very helpful to understand your product and feel comfortable not only with people but with the product. And don't be afraid to get a 'No.'

Other awards: Atlas Butler has awarded me several company awards. I also won with the Small Business Council several years back. Also Columbia Gas, American Electric Power and Carrier-I received a Top Achiever award. I've been the only one to come close to $1 million in residential sales for Carrier that's not the owner of a company.

Nominated for this award by: Phil Stevens, sales and marketing manager for Atlas Butler

What his nominator says: "He has combined his technical knowledge, his passion for customer satisfaction and an unsurpassed work ethic to become a nationally recognized sales leader ⊃ His annual selling volume is actually four times greater than the national average for sales people in comparable positions."

David Dygert
vice president and senior business specialist, The Huntington National Bank

Years in industry: In sales since 1988; business banking since 1991.

First job in this field: Right out of college I was a manager for The May Co. Department Stores in Cleveland.

What I learned from that job: Always know what's happening on the larger corporate level.

Best sales year: [Last] year. Almost a tie from '93, '94 and [last] year. About $16 million worth of loans and deposits.

Largest single sale: About a $3 million relationship.

How I got that sale: That sale was a referral from some attorneys in town.

Hardest part of my job: Just time management. It's not finding the business anymore. I try and have real good support staff. Without them, you spend all your time servicing instead of selling.

What I like best about this profession: Diversity. You get to see probably one of every type of business throughout any given year.

Advice to other sales professionals: Sell more. Everything else sorts itself out.

Other honors: I was elected president of the New Albany Chamber of Commerce for 1999. That was an honor. Internally, I won the Huntington Bank Business Banking Award for outstanding sales performance for the last four quarters. At Bank One, I was the No. 1 Small Business Administration lender for '94 and '95.

Nominated for this award by: Rich Smith, vice president/business banking manager, The Huntington

What his nominator says: "He is an expert at helping his clients identify their needs and then, in using his creativity to develop those solutions which fit both the needs of his clients and the bank."

Brent Jackson
vice president and senior business specialist, The Huntington National Bank

Years in industry: About 12 years in the banking industry; about 2 1/2 in the sales end.

First job in this field: This one.

What I learned from that job: We're in a real competitive industry and it's hard to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The only way to do that is through outstanding customer service.

Best sales year: [Last] year. There are about four different things we look for: loans, deposits, fees and other related banking financial services. Loans were $14 million in new loans. Deposits, probably about $3 million. Fee income, around $45,000.

Largest single sale: It was for a new customer to the bank: $2.5 million in loans and probably $750,000 in deposits and other related services [for] a large hair design group

How I got that sale: Persistence. It took about 15 months. Initially they were real happy with the bank they were working with and didn't see a need to talk with anybody else. But finally a little opportunity opened up, and by then I was established as a potential source for them.

Hardest part of my job: We're spread a little bit too thin. I like the sales side of my job, but the way we're structured we also manage the existing portfolio. I have a great account relationship assistant. She's been very instrumental in helping with the existing portfolio side, the everyday customer issues that come up, things that used to take two to three hours out of my day.

What I like best about my profession: It's very rewarding when you can help a business. A lot of times it's a family owned business, so you get to know the people on a personal level. It's rewarding to help them buy that building they've always wanted or get them a loan for expansion.

Advice to other sales professionals: You just have to take care of every need and be proactive in trying to identify customers' needs. It pays off in unbelievable ways through referrals. Look at your existing customers and make sure that they are king.

Other awards: The Columbus Countywide Development Corp. recognized me as the Women's Prequalified Loan Specialist of the Year (a loan program aimed toward women) in October [1998]. Within our group at the bank, we give out a Quarterly Sales Performance Award. I've gotten that the last four quarters in a row.

Nominated for this award by: Rich Smith, vice president/business banking manager, The Huntington National Bank.

What his nominator says: "He is the consummate consultative salesperson and is committed to fully understanding each and every need of his clients."

Mary Jobe
Resource One Computer Systems Inc.
vice president of marketing, Resource One Computer Systems Inc.

Years in marketing: About a decade now.

First job in this field: My first job was at NCR Corp. in Dayton. I was the creator, developer and writer of a college newsletter they used for recruiting.

What I learned from that job: Big companies have a lot of money to spend. I learned that after I got to a small company. That experience was also great fundamental exposure to marketing and communications for me. That was really my first exposure to target marketing and it was highly targeted. I felt like I had the best job in the world since I got to fly around the country to different schools where they were recruiting.

Biggest marketing project: I think Resource One continues to be the biggest. It's an ongoing project. When I came here six years ago, we had four people and $9 million in sales and every day we work on growing our people and our customers and our revenues. Statistically, today we're at 62 people and $35 million in revenues. It's a marketing project that never stops.

Best response from a marketing campaign: We do a lot of direct marketing with collateral materials like brochures. That's really the best way we get response. Because we're a small company, it's been my responsibility to make us look bigger than we are; to create very professional leave-behinds to project the image we want to have. Every time we send something out, a customer will respond about something-even if it's, "Gee, that's a neat brochure," or "I didn't realize you were a minority business." Even though we're a computer company, there's not a computer anywhere in our brochures. We focus on the people. They remember those things. We have Stampp [Corbin, the CEO] in there and he's eating. They like that casual, folksy approach to who our people are.

Hardest part about my job: Focusing in on marketing. There are so many things that go on in a small company, and because I'm one of the more senior people here, I wear a lot of hats. My project list is a half a mile long and a foot deep.

What I like best about this profession: I love the variety of projects. But that's also what I don't love-the exposure to so many different things and the inability to get everything done. I love seeing the way the technology is starting to drive our business. I've got a fun job, too. I'm not an accounting person ⊃ I get the sexy position. I get to do the cool stuff.

Advice to other marketing professionals: I would say know your audience, know your company, look for creative ways to get stuff done and always ask your suppliers to sharpen their pencil.

Other awards: Five Golden Screen Awards for Computer Advertising Excellence from the Computing Techn ology Industry Association

Nominated for this award by: Stampp W. Corbin, president and CEO of Resource One Computer Systems Inc.

What her nominator says: "Mary has taken the company from one with no marketing direction to that of an industry leader ⊃ She is an exceptional career woman, mother and philanthropist."

Kathy Kamnikar
president, Antique Networking Inc.

Years in industry: Over 25. I've always had a foot in the door in the marketing aspect of things.

First job in this field: I worked for an advertising company in 1973-Kight Cowman and Abram. I was a production assistant.

What I learned from that job: I got the whole realm of how you take a product and get the word out.

Biggest marketing project: Probably The Limited when they were opening more stores in different areas in the mid-1970s.

Best marketing campaign: Banner advertisements for Internet advertising. On the Web you know the people are on the Internet and they will see your ad. You can also tell how many were clicked through to your Web page. I've been on the Internet since 1995.

Hardest part of my job: Probably hiring good people that know about the Internet and the antiques industry. A lot of things to do with antiques are on the weekends and, you know, who wants to work on weekends?

What I like best about this profession: It's very exciting and very fast paced. Every day something is happening.

Advice to other sales professionals: If they're not using the Internet to advertise, they should be.

Other awards: We received the Five Star Award from Z Best Sight, the Major Web Select Award and the Megellan Award. They are companies that check out different Web sites and look at them for ease of use and functionality. We also received the Distinguished Antiquarian award that is specifically for Web sites for the antique industry.

Nominated for this award by: Judith K. Kienle, principle of Kienle Communications

What her nominator says: "Kathy prepared and implemented an aggressive business plan which has resulted in building a successful business in less than three years. She has garnered the respect and support of five major antique show promoters in the United States ... [and] catapulted Antique Networking into every region of the country."

Dan Lappin
account executive, NEXTLINK Ohio

Years in industry: Seven

First job in this field: Digital Consulting. I would sell seminars and conferences to computer technology upgrades. Different computer and technology topics.

What I learned from that job: Persistence. Attention to detail. Respecting the time and the needs of those I speak with. And the value in communicating.

Best sales year: 1998. Gross should be about $1.8 million.

Largest single sale: $2.6 million, Kroger Co., in 1997.

How I got that sale: A lot of building rapport and a lot of relationship building.

Hardest part of my job: Probably just not having enough time in the day. You get really passionate about something and you could work on it all night. I try to prioritize a lot, constantly prioritizing things and writing them down. I make sure every day I go through that list and have gone through every item and make a resolution or make a contact, whatever it may be.

What I like best about this profession: I like the responsibility that you have to go out there, make the contacts and build the relationships, and that you're responsible for the way the market perceives your business. If you give a great presentation or build a great relationship, that customer sees your company through you. I like that my peers are so successful. I have great peers, great resources in my company-that's one of the major contributors to me enjoying what I'm doing.

Advice to other sales professionals: Don't look at sales as a short-term solution or short-term career. Look at it as long-term. Build the relationships and build the reputation because your reputation is what they'll see the company as. Look at it as a full career.

Other awards: I've won quite a few at my company. [In 1997] I was Salesman of the Year for Ohio. I was in the top five nationally. I won Salesman of the Month five times [that] year. [In 1998] I won Salesman of the Month five times [through November]. I think I was second in the national contest and won a trip to the World Series. I ranked second nationally in '98.

Nominated for this award by: Lisa Lawless, vice president of marketing for NEXTLINK Ohio and Jill Sweeney, senior account executive with Griffin Communications

What his nominators say: "He has been instrumental in landing several key accounts for NEXTLINK Ohio, including Worthington Schools, the Columbus Board of Realtors and the Blue Jackets ⊃ Dan's sales philosophy stems from his belief that success is dependent on building strong relationships."

Robert M. Roach
owner, Executive Planning Systems

Years in sales: 30

First job in this field: Agent for Northwestern Mutual Life

What I learned from that job: If people weren't in a position or didn't have the need at that time ⊃ I continued to keep in touch with them and cultivate them and let them know I had a sincere interest in what they were doing.

Best sales year: I've been very fortunate in that every year has been a little bit better than the year before. My sales volume is in excess of $10 million a year.

Largest single sale: I've been able to help some medium-sized businesses fund some very large business agreements and nonqualified retirement plans. The premiums have been in excess of $100,000. Some of my larger clients are Saturn of Columbus, Elford Inc., Escape Enterprises Inc. and Countrytyme Development Co.

How I got my largest sale: My largest sale ever came about by staying in touch with the prospective client and providing the service that the company needed all along the way. When the opportunity for the company to install the benefit plan arose, they turned to me because they knew I had the knowledge and the interest in their company.

Hardest part about my job: Effective time management and delegation. I have two staff members and have tried to utilize them through delegating service work and marketing so that I'm able to exercise my unique ability and not spend time on those things I'm not particularly good at.

What I like best about this profession: I like the fact that when I make a sale, I'm truly helping other people.

Advice to other sales professionals: Get involved in their communities through civic and community organizations and also be active in their professional organizations. Active involvement in these organizations is good for networking, and it allows other people to see the quality of person that you are.

Other honors: Qualifier for 26 years for the Million Dollar Roundtable [an award for life insurance professionals]; the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Columbus Life Underwriters Association; Chartered Life Underwriter of the Year by the Columbus Society of Chartered Life Underwriters and Chartered Financial Consultants

Nominated for this award by: Larry V. Carlson, general agent for Northwestern Mutual Life

What his nominator says: "Bob is a leader in our industry and has given generously to our community in a variety of ways."