Roscoe Medical, a manufacturer and distributor of home medical equipment, appointed Daniel A. Radish as chief financial officer.
In his role, Radish will responsible for the overall financial and administrative oversight of Roscoe Medical, including the management of the accounting, finance, credit, payroll and benefit administration departments. He has expertise in strategic financial planning, credit and risk management, information technology planning and management from a wide array of industries.
Radish brings more than 20 years of senior leadership and financial experience, most recently as a director with Union Partners, a private equity and performance acceleration firm. In this position, he was instrumental in generating deal flow as well as merger acquisition valuation and analysis, financial planning, fiscal policy development and leadership of the due diligence process. Early on, Radish spent seven years in public accounting and since has held leadership positions throughout his career.
Radish is active in local civic and business communities, serving on several boards. He is a certified public account and holds a B.S. in accounting from Miami University.
Wells Fargo Advisors added two people to its Chagrin Falls office: Stephen Reagh, senior PIM manager, and Gary Fishback, PIM manager. Both Reagh and Fishback hold the title of senior vice president — investment officer. They joined Wells Fargo Advisors from the Pepper Pike office of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
promoted Kevin Campbell to senior director of marketing — wholesale business unit.
In his new role, Campbell will be responsible for leading Moen’s wholesale product marketing, trade marketing, brand management and marketing communications efforts. He will also be deeply involved in developing strategies for the business unit and implementing strategic initiatives.
Campbell has been with Moen for more than 13 years, serving in a number of roles with increasing responsibility.
He started his career with the company in 1998 as an intern and has been an integral part of the organization’s success throughout the years. He most recently served as director of marketing of Moen’s Retail Business Unit, where he was responsible for all product management and marketing communications initiatives for products sold through retail channels including The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. Prior to this role, Campbell held a variety of roles in both marketing and product management across both the retail and wholesale business channels.
Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The University of Notre Dame and his MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management.
, a law firm with offices in Akron, Cleveland and Avon, Ohio, announced that Marc B. Merklin has been elected to succeed Jeffrey T. Heintz as managing partner of the firm. Merklin’s term begins in January 2012 when Heintz steps down after eight years as managing partner of the firm.
A member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Merklin is chair of the Commercial and Bankruptcy practice group and focuses on general business counseling, commercial law and business reorganizations. He represents creditors, debtors, committees and trustees in Chapter 11 reorganizations, as well as borrowers in loan transactions and bankruptcy and commercial litigation. He also works on the sale and acquisition of financially distressed companies.
Listed in the Best Lawyers in America editions 2006-2011, Merklin is nationally board certified in business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification, a nonprofit organization created to recognize attorneys who are experts in the bankruptcy and creditors’ rights fields.
Andrew E. Brickman says anything is possible if you’re persistent in pursuing your goals.
He’s proven that with the success of Abode Living’s recent development projects, despite a downturned economy that has particularly devastated the real estate market. Only one town home remains for sale of 27 at the upscale 27 Coltman in Little Italy, while the first phase of million-dollar town homes at Eleven Rivers in Rocky River has sold out.
Already on to a new project, Clifton Pointe in Lakewood, the managing partner and director attributes Abode’s success to innovation and quality fostered by a culture of employee empowerment.
Brickman emphasizes that his staff members are partners — not just employees — in the business. He looks to his nearly 200 current project employees to help him continuously improve the company and serve its customers well.
“If you have an opportunity to interact with people at all levels within the organization and you can see what they’re doing and you know what their position entails, you can work with them to help empower them to do a better job,” Brickman says.
To empower employees, ensure your compensation system directly relates to productivity, as opposed to a standard cost-of-living payment system.
“Rewarding people based on merit and productivity versus a fixed rate of compensation is — if practical — a more effective way to create a type of culture that I think will foster the most favorable results,” Brickman says. “I don’t think the fear of losing their job motivates people.
“I certainly believe in a pride of ownership — that if it’s yours, you’re going to generally take better care of it.”
Give employees more responsibility to further their sense of ownership in the company by allowing them the flexibility to make their own decisions, get creative and take risks.
Brickman’s director of branding and marketing developed a charitable partners program that committed Abode to match donations made by customers, suppliers and contractors. Despite the monetary cost, Brickman says the program has resulted in increased exposure to Abode’s target demographic.
“Creating a sense of significance and importance within the employees’ psyche relative to the overall success of the company creates a sense of confidence,” Brickman says. “It further empowers them, makes them feel more responsible and more a part of the organization’s success.”
Promote open communication so that employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and critiques.
“Foster an environment that leads to more people willing to speak up to try and make changes or try and identify problems sooner rather than later,” Brickman says.
“The people that (CEOs) surround themselves with have to be willing to speak frankly and speak their minds so that if they don’t understand the vision of the CEO, it can be refined and it can be improved upon.”
Brickman’s vision is for his employees is to go above and beyond the Golden Rule to satisfy customers, treating customers better than they would want to be treated in the same situation.
Employees who feel personally invested in the success of the company, and thus their performance on its behalf, will actively embrace this vision of excellent service. This benefits the company, as well as its customers and ancillary support.
“A relationship should be a win-win relationship,” Brickman says. “We should try and be focused on how we can help (customers and suppliers) improve themselves and their business. And that’s kind of the culture I’ve tried to create within the organization, one based on optimism, passion and persistence for always trying to do the best that we can.”
How to reach: Abode Living, www.welcometoabode.com or (216) 721-0027
It’s not just about how you can serve your customers; it’s also about how your customers can serve you. Andrew E. Brickman hosts “share its” to get outside input from customers and suppliers before starting a project, ensuring issues are identified and worked out before starting.
“Make these people feel like they’re an important part of the project, that their opinions matter and that we appreciate them taking time out of their busy schedule to weigh in on it,” says Brickman, managing partner and director of Abode Living. “By doing that, you get people who really care, who are sincere and who aren’t just there to say yes to the project.”
Be professional and hospitable by hosting these collaborative meetings at a distinguished venue.
“By hosting it in a fine-dining establishment, we create a certain sense of quality — that we’re committed right down to providing a quality experience for the people who are in attendance,” Brickman says.
Communicate with customers to find out what they value in a product or service to give you an edge over competitors.
“If you don’t have something very special and you can’t relay that to your customers, then you’re going to have a commodity,” Brickman says. “And if it’s a commodity, it’s just a race to the bottom in terms of price.”
High domestic unemployment and low domestic consumer spending teamed with the heavy burden of a European economic debt crisis has tampered with potential merger and acquisition growth. With third-quarter deal volume down 16 percent and an uneventful month in October, the M&A markets are attentively watching to see what will evolve in the overall marketplace.
Confidence has weakened from international debt policies and recent increased regulations. At the same time, there is some optimism out there as a result of certain positive market data. Gross domestic product is one definitive indication of a growing market, and current third-quarter estimates for the U.S. economy are at 2.5 percent growth, double the previous quarter. Another encouraging sign for M&A markets is the amount of debt and equity available for transactions.
S&P nonfinancial companies have accumulated more than $1 trillion of cash and short-term investments on their balance sheets. This is 58 percent higher than during the market slowdown in 2008. Private equity “overhang” (funds available from private equity groups for acquisitions) combined with S&P 500 cash balances, totals more than $1.5 trillion of capital available for acquisitions.
With mixed market data, some companies are playing it very conservative while others are seeing the market as an advantageous time to pursue other companies. The market appears uncertain as August posted the highest activity of the year and September the slowest activity of the year. The value of companies, or rather the multiples on companies, remains high as buyers compete for healthy companies and banks compete vehemently to provide lending for those transactions.
In Northeast Ohio, there was some activity but not at the level seen in previous months. The Riverside Co., nevertheless, remained by far the most aggressive group in Cleveland, completing three separate transactions. Riverside completed two acquisitions including ECN Inc., an emergency communication group that issues messages on behalf of government and education entities, and PPS AB, a private school operator in Sweden.
Albert D. Melchiorre is the president of MelCap Partners LLC, a middle-market investment banking firm. He is also a director on the ACG Cleveland board. For more information on MelCap Partners, please visit www.melcap.co. For more information about the Association for Corporate Growth, please visit www.acg.org/cleveland.
Deal of the Month
The deal of the month goes to a transaction between two local companies. On Oct. 3, Cleveland’s PolyOne Corp. announced it would acquire Berea’s ColorMatrix for $486 million. ColorMatrix, a leading manufacturer of specialty additives, liquid colorants and dosing technologies globally, had sales of $196.8 million and EBITDA of $43.6 million for its fiscal year ending June 30. For the past decade, ColorMatrix has increased EBITDA by 16 percent annually.
PolyOne, a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, will add additional support to its specialty business through the acquisition. The company’s specialty business will now be greater than 50 percent of operating income compared to 2 percent of operating income in 2005. PolyOne also adds an additional 162 patents and another 107 pending patents with the acquisition. PolyOne expects to increase its global reach through the acquisition and build on revenue of $2.6 billion in 2010.
NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
Richard Browdie, president and CEO
Browdie has headed The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging for nine years. The not-for-profit organization aims to advance the health, independence and dignity of older adults by raising the standards for quality care. This is accomplished through the Eldercare Services Institute, Margaret Blenkner Research Institute and Katz Policy Institute.
Boy Scouts of America
Barry J. Norris, scout executive
Norris leads the Boy Scouts of America scouting effort in northern Ohio for more than 20,000 young boys and male teens. Under his leadership, the Greater Cleveland Council has become one of the top councils in the country. The most recent Good Scout Luncheon, the council’s premier annual fundraiser, had record attendance and money raised.
Canton Christian Home
Tom Strobl, executive director
Strobl has led Canton Christian Home, a continued care and skilled nursing facility, at a time when the new state budget has reduced revenue to nursing homes. By cutting costs and establishing a performance-based bonus system, Strobl has created a strategic plan to maintain Canton Christian’s quality care to its residents.
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Natalie Ronayne, executive director
Ronayne has led the Cleveland Botanical Garden as executive director since 2007. As part of a five-year strategic plan to further the organization’s mission and promote success, the organization is focused on expanding and enhancing opportunities to enjoy and learn about plants, as well as improving the vitality of the local community and urban environment.
Cleveland Furniture Bank
Thomas Gaghan, executive director
Gaghan brought more than 30 years of experience in human resources and operations management to the Cleveland Furniture Bank, using his operationally oriented skills to create a business model that is largely self-sustaining, generating funds through an adjacent thrift store. The charity serves more than 300 agencies, 3,000 families and as many as 10,000 individuals each year.
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
Bernard P. Henri, executive director
For more than 20 years, Henri has used his training in speech pathology to lead the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. Among his many accomplishments is CHSC’s close partnership with Case Western Reserve University. The organization provides first-year training for the university’s master’s-level speech pathology students. Henri has been directly involved in training, faculty recruitment and search committees.
Cleveland Zoological Society
Elizabeth T. Fowler, executive director
During more than a decade of leadership, Fowler has lead the Cleveland Zoological Society in its efforts to advance the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, raising significant support for education, conservation and capital improvements as well as creating awareness of the zoo as a major civic asset in the region.
Cornucopia Inc. (dba Nature's Bin)
Scott Duennes, executive director
Duennes has been the executive director of Cornucopia Inc. (dba Nature's Bin), an organization providing work adjustment training for people with disabilities, for 25 years. He has ensured Cornucopia has been continuously CARF accredited since 1989. Over the years, Duennes has worked with county and state agencies in providing vocational services to more than 3,000 individuals with disabilities.
Creative Education Institute Inc.
Carole Richards, president and executive director
Richards has led the Creative Education Institute Inc. in reducing illiteracy for nearly 20 years. Recognizing the needs of children with learning disabilities and learning differences, she started the Academic Fun & Fitness Camp in 2002. The camp has grown from 15 campers to about 50, with Richards personally reviewing applications, test results and individualized education programs.
Dennison Railroad Depot Museum
Wendy Zucal, executive director
Zucal has been executive director of the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum since its opening in 1989. She’s led staff and volunteers to raise more than $5 million for six major phases of restoration and expansion, doubling the Depot’s exhibit space. She’s engaged more than 600 volunteers who contributed 7,000 hours annually and has grown the museum staff to 35.
Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center
Linda Dooley Johanek, CEO
Dooley Johanek was a key leader in the merger that created the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, which has enhanced services, increased availability and saved funds for the organization. Dooley Johanek created a new model to address child abuse and domestic violence that recognizes a continuum of abuse and victimization from young children through the elderly.
Friends of the Henn Mansion Inc.
Jean Reilly, president
Reilly attended a 1996 meeting advocating saving the Henn Mansion, a 1923 historic residence owned by the city of Euclid. Forming the Friends of the Henn Mansion Inc., this group raised money to complete more than $800,000 in renovations. It leases the mansion, subleasing the second floor to a local nonprofit and opening the first floor to short-term business and community rentals.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — Northeast Ohio Chapter
Laura Chalker, executive director
Chalker solicited input from board members of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Northeast Ohio Chapter to develop a five-part strategic plan, honing chapter operations and focus. This move re-energized chapter participation, cut costs and jumpstarted fundraising. Both annual JDRF walks bring in more than $1 million, while the annual gala raises an average of $350,000 a year.
Dennis Allen, CEO
Allen has led Hattie Larlham, a nonprofit that provides services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, for 23 years. Since he started in 1988, he has grown the number served from 180 families to 1,500 individuals. Allen also guided the organization’s transition from an annual budget of $7 million to one of $32 million.
Tish Dahlby, executive director
Dahlby has transformed MedWish International into an international leader in the recovering, repurposing and redistribution of medical supplies and equipment in order to provide humanitarian aid in developing countries and reduce solid waste. Over the past five years, the organization has recovered 2.2 million pounds of medical surplus from more than 50 hospitals in the United States.
New Avenues to Independence Inc.
Thomas M. Lewins, executive director
Lewins has served as executive director of New Avenues to Independence Inc., a nonprofit multiservice organization primarily focused on services and supports for individuals with disabilities, for 24 years. Among his many accomplishments, he has grown the number of people served from 80 to more than 600, expanding into multiple counties and creating a volunteer program utilizing more than 400 volunteers.
The Nord Center
William D. Bierie, president and CEO
The Nord Center is a provider of comprehensive behavioral health care services. Among Bierie’s initiatives to strengthen the organization was the creation of Edible Delights Café in June 2011. This social enterprise is run by volunteers and trainees from the Nord Vocational Industries Food Service Skills Training Program, providing hands-on experience as well as funds for Nord programs.
Scot Rourke, president and CEO
Rourke’s vision for creating OneCommunity, a broadband and Internet provider, was to build a strong network in Northeast Ohio to give the region a competitive economic advantage that would also contribute to better health, education and government while encouraging interaction and collaboration among civic leaders. He has since attracted $150 million in investment in the region.
Saint Joseph Academy
Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis, president
Beginning her work with Saint Joseph Academy — the only all-girls Catholic high school in the city of Cleveland — in 2006 as the first president, Corrigan-Davis has applied her previous business experience to better the school. Under her leadership, it has enjoyed financial strength, operational surpluses, growing philanthropic support and increased contributions to its endowment fund.
Tuesday Musical Association
Barbara Feld, executive director
Feld has furthered the Tuesday Musical Association’s mission — to provide a premier concert series, a comprehensive educational and scholarship program and performing and listening opportunities — for more than 20 years. One of Feld’s initiatives is a partnership with the Akron Art Museum to present FUZE!, a three-concert series of avant-garde classical music.
Village Food Project
Barbara F. Harrell, executive director
The Village Food Project is a project that gathers the community to minister to neighbors in cancer crisis by providing nutritious and healthy meals. Volunteer teens cook under adult supervision, while middle-school students help tend to an organic garden. Under Harrell’s leadership, a team of 150 volunteers has served more than 1,600 meals since February 2011.
West Side Catholic Center
Aaron Marinelli, board president
Marinelli began his work with the West Side Catholic Center — whose mission is to provide basic needs and programming to help individuals become self-sufficient — as a volunteer high school student, volunteering on his lunch hour or after school. He joined the board in 2007 and has served in numerous capacities, playing important roles in location and service expansions.
NONPROFIT BOARD EXECUTIVE
Art Therapy Studio
James R. Graham, board president
Graham drove Art Therapy Studio’s strategic planning process, which included focusing the organization’s mission — to enhance the quality of life for children and adults affected by spinal cord injury, brain trauma, stroke and multiple sclerosis through the therapeutic use of art. In 2010, the company’s art therapists worked with more than 1,800 clients during more than 5,700 sessions.
Berea Children's Home and Family Services
David Zentkovich, board chairperson
Zentkovich has been instrumental in guiding the Berea Children’s Home and Family Services through major agency initiatives including the rebranding of the organization, increasing fundraising capacities and the geographic growth of programs. The human service organization serves 13,000 children, families and adults annually.
Care For Others
Founding board of directors
Care For Others is a Christian-founded organization formed to prevent hardworking families and individuals from entering a cycle of poverty as a result of a difficult life experience or emergency through financial assistance and support services. Board members have served in staff capacities since the organization’s founding in 2006, serving nearly 300 individuals or families to date.
Christmas Box Angel of Hope Children's Memorial
Sara Ruble, founder and trustee
Following the death of her son, Ruble reached out to other bereaved parents through several initiatives. One such project was the founding of the Christmas Box Angel of Hope Children's Memorial, a healing and gathering place with personalized bricks serving as tributes to lost children. This year marked the Angel of Hope 10 Year Remembrance at the memorial.
Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership and Quality Alliance
Fred M. DeGrandis, chairman
DeGrandis has worked for the Cleveland Clinic Region Hospitals in various capacities since 2003. In addition to serving on numerous nonprofit boards and establishing the Fred DeGrandis Family Fund, he was instrumental in implementing an annual systemwide employee giving campaign to support several Cleveland Clinic funds that improve the lives of employees, patients and shareholders.
Cleveland Furniture Bank
Michele Ferrara, board president
Ferrara worked with the Cleveland Furniture Bank’s executive director to reach out to area furniture retailers, the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors and the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association to secure more furniture donations to drive the organization’s goal of providing basic furniture to those in need. CFB reaches as many as 10,000 individuals in a year.
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
David J. Abood, board secretary
Abood got involved on the board for the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center after seeing the difference the organization made for his son, diagnosed with hearing loss. His push for monetary support from the organization’s board of directors to fund its new University Circle headquarters in 2007 resulted in the largest giving from board members in the organization’s history.
Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center
Dean C. Williams, board president
Williams helped guide a merger resulting in the creation of the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, aimed at preventing child abuse and domestic violence. Elected board president, he ensured that the newly merged agency saved money while also expanding the availability of counseling, education, advocacy and outreach services to Cleveland.
Easter Seals Northern Ohio
Michael Urse, past board member
Urse held several board positions for Easter Seals Northern Ohio, including treasurer and president. Over the last 20 years, he has helped secure more than $1 million in support for the organization. He was instrumental in creating several special events to raise public awareness, generate funds to support programs for people with disabilities and recruit new donors, participants and sponsors.
Friends of the Henn Mansion Inc.
June Daugherty, founder and former board member
Daugherty founded the Friends of the Henn Mansion Inc. in 1996 to save the 1923 historic residence, owned by the city of Euclid, from being torn down. Having served as president, secretary and treasurer, she has guided the organization in raising money to complete more than $800,000 in renovations. The group continues to lease the building.
HandsOn Northeast Ohio
Terri Postel, board chair
The official Volunteer Center for Cuyahoga County Ohio and an affiliate of the HandsOn Network, HandsOn Northeast Ohio manages the volunteer experience to make it easier for both volunteers and agencies. Postel, a founding board member, has led the organization to increase the number of volunteers at projects managed by HandsOn NEO by 400 percent since its inception in 2007.
Robert C. Smith, board chair
Smith’s leadership helped guide ideastream, a not-for-profit multimedia public service organization, through an ambitious strategic plan — The Multiple Service Plan. In addition to pushing for conversion to digital television and broadcasting technology, the organization expanded from one to four channels of broadcast television and a new broadcast transmission facility was built and a website was created to host audio and video content.
Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio
Eric J. Johnson, former board chair
Johnson led the Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, implementing a new strategic plan. One element was the creation of an executive leadership council, which brings together key business leaders from the area to provide JA with guidance on numerous topics. This has opened the door for both valuable insight and increased financial support.
Saint Martin de Porres High School
Jack Myslenski, chair of Corporate Work Study Program board
Saint Martin de Porres High School provides students of modest economic means with a college preparatory education. Myslenski has helped lead the school in providing students with an innovative curriculum and the unique Saint Martin’s Corporate Work Study Program. Since he became the CWSP chair in 2006, the program has seen a 61 percent income increase.
Southwest Community Health Foundation
Thomas P. Perciak, chairman emeritus and mayor of Strongsville
Perciak served the Southwest General Health Center for 19 years, supporting the mission of Southwest General Health Center through philanthropy. During his time as chairman, the foundation raised more than $20 million and experienced annual volunteer and donor growth. In 2009, Perciak won the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s Distinguished Philanthropist Award for the Midwest region.
Vocational Guidance Services
Lauren E. Miller, board chair
Vocational Guidance Services is a vocational rehabilitation agency serving people challenged with disabilities, poverty and other employment barriers. Each year, VGS serves nearly 5,000 individuals in 24 Ohio counties. Miller joined the board in 1999 and became chair in 2010. Serving on numerous committees, she was a leader in four strategic planning processes during the last decade.
Western Reserve Land Conservancy
William C. Mulligan, board chairman
The Western Reserve Land Conservancy, dedicated to preserving the scenic beauty, rural character and natural resources of a 14-county region in northern Ohio, has flourished despite the economic downturn. Under Mulligan’s leadership, the nonprofit increased its net assets more than 100 percent, produced budget surpluses for three consecutive years, increased staff and services by 50 percent and preserved more than 75,000 acres.
James Pshock, founder and president
Bravo Wellness offers services to employers and business partners desiring results-based incentive programs for wellness. The company has donated more than $82,000 to various charities since its inception in 2008. Bravo further fosters a culture of service by encouraging team members to volunteer where their passions lie.
Ciuni & Panichi Inc.
Brian Marita, managing partner
Ciuni & Panichi Inc., an audit and accounting firm, has been a member of the Business Volunteers Unlimited of Cleveland for more than eight years. The company uses an employee-based volunteer committee to determine which events the firm will participate in during the upcoming year, with employees donating both time and money. The firm itself donated more than $20,000 over the past year to organizations and students.
Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America
Howard L. Lewis, chairman and CEO
A provider of supplemental insurance products, Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America supports numerous local, national and international charities and support organizations. Among these are Wigs for Kids, for which Family Heritage is a corporate sponsor for annual fundraisers, and the Cleveland Foodbank, for which employees raised $28,000 last year during the Annual Harvest for Hunger campaign.
Findaway World LLC
Mitch Kroll, co-founder and CEO
Findaway World LLC employees participate in two companywide fundraising events, sponsored by the company, as part of its Findaway Gives Back Program. In addition to supporting organizations through this program, employees also participate in an event called “15.” At their assigned time, monthly teams are able to use allotted funds as they wish. Many choose to make monetary and product donations.
Findley Davies Inc. — Cleveland
Rob Rogers, chairman and principal
A full-service human resource consulting firm, Findley Davies Inc. promotes a fundamental belief in community activity and service among its employees. Sixty organizations are benefiting from donations of time and money by the company’s Cleveland office. For more than 11 years, it has been a United Way of Greater Cleveland Pacesetter company.
Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO
GE Lighting houses the 10th grade of MC2STEM High School on the grounds of its world headquarters in East Cleveland. Donating more than 312 days of business time, the company provides students with a dynamic real-world learning environment. GE volunteers spend time tutoring and mentoring students, as well as deliver lab experiences and support a FIRST Robotics team.
Herschman Architects Inc.
Mike Crislip, president
Herschman Architects Inc., a provider of architecture and engineering services, supports a variety of organizations through donations of money, services and time. Among these organizations is the Cleveland Foodbank, for which HA sponsors its signature design/build competition, Canstruction. HA has sponsored this event uninterrupted since 2003, donating about 120,000 pounds of food.
Howard & O'Brien Associates
Lauren Rich Fine, partner
Howard & O’Brien Associates is a retained executive search firm specializing in senior-level recruiting assignments. The firm has 100 percent participation from staff in community programs through volunteering, monetary contributions or participation in fundraising events. Rich Fine is particularly involved, serving on eight agency boards and three advisory boards.
A.J. Hyland, president and CEO
In addition to partnering with several organizations and offering donations and sponsorships, Hyland Software encourages employees to serve on an individual basis. Hyland will match employee donations dollar for dollar to qualifying nonprofits and will match $200 for every 20 hours volunteered at a community organization, up to a certain amount.
Independence Excavating Inc.
Victor DiGeronimo Sr., chairman, and Victor DiGeronimo Jr., president
Independence Excavating Inc., a construction company, is led by the DiGeronimo family. Both the company and the DiGeronimos demonstrate a commitment to community service. Independence Excavating made nearly $114,000 in charitable contributions in 2010, while The DiGeronimo Family Foundation gave $136,000 in grants that same year.
Kaiser Permanente — Ohio Permanente Medical Group Inc.
Ronald L. Copeland, M.D., FACS, president and executive medical director
Kaiser Permanente, a nonprofit health care organization, supports numerous charitable organizations through donations of time and money. Through the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio’s thriving Communities Grants Program, the company gave more than $650,000 to community organizations in 2010. So far this year, Kaiser Permanente has awarded more than $216,000 to 17 organizations in the region.
K-D Lamp Co.
Sherry Stein-Epstein, general counsel
K-D Lamp Co., a provider of vehicular lighting, has supported school programs in Ashtabula County for decades. Employees are also active within their communities, in alignment with the company’s philosophy that helping the communities where they live and work is an integral part of their work ethic.
Main Street Gourmet
Steven L. Marks and Harvey S. Nelson, co-founders and co-CEOs
Main Street Gourmet, a manufacturer of frozen bakery products, supports a variety of organizations. An example of the company’s commitment to improving the quality of life for local citizens is its Nothing Goes to Waste Program, which incorporates donations and sales of “off-spec” products to support the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, generating nearly $125,000 throughout the years.
Marcus Thomas LLC
Jim Nash, Managing Partner
Although Marcus Thomas LLC, a full-service integrated marketing communications agency, is involved with a variety of organizations, it has a particular relationship with Achievement Centers for Children. For years, agency staff members have donated professional expertise, time and resources in support of children with disabilities and their families.
Olympic Steel Inc.
Michael Siegal, chairman and CEO
Olympic Steel Inc., a steel service center, supports a variety of organizations at both the corporate and division level. In 2010, Olympic Steel made charitable expenditures exceeding $273,800. That same year, its multiple divisions reported numerous employee initiatives supporting more than 55 charitable causes with more than $66,800 in cash donations and more than 667 hours of volunteer service.
Paul Vanek, MD, Plastic Surgery
Paul F. Vanek Jr., M.D., FACS
Paul Vanek, MD, Plastic Surgery, a provider of plastic and reconstructive surgery, supports Project MediShare, in addition to other organizations. Vanek volunteered for a surgical mission in the wake of the Haiti earthquake as part of this project, with his practice matching medical supplies and monetary donations made by the community.
PPG Industries Inc.
Thomas J. Meyer, plant manager
PPG Industries Inc. is a manufacturer of Teslin synthetic substrate, optical monomers used for corrective lenses and designed silicas. PPG provides support to a variety of organizations. One such is the Center of Science and Industry, for which the company provided $50,000 for the Innovations in Industry exhibit in 2010. Employees also got involved in the design process.
Natalie A. Leek-Nelson, president and CEO
Providence House is the nation's oldest crisis nursery, committed to child abuse prevention and family preservation. Programs currently support a range of services, including 24/7 residential child care for newborns to 6-year-olds in placements lasting up to 60 days, child and family case management services, educational and visitation programs for children and parents, and a 12-month after care program.
Rotary Club of Cleveland
Beverly Ghent-Skrzynski, executive director
The Rotary Club of Cleveland, an international business networking and service organization, follows the Rotary International motto of “service above self.” The organization’s structure includes four primary public service committees — community service, international service, youth service and vocational service — which support the Cleveland community through 24 distinct programs.
Sequoia Financial Group
Thomas A. Haught, president
Sequoia Financial Group and its employees make donations of time and money to various organizations. This year, the financial planning and wealth management services company solidified its position as a lead sponsor for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s 2011 Matching Gift Program, committing to match food bank donations dollar-for-dollar up o $20,000.
Christopher M. Connor, chairman and CEO
The Sherwin-Williams Co. is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution and sale of coatings and related products. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for its employees and their communities, the Sherwin-Williams Foundation made charitable donations to more than 60 organizations in 2010, amounting to $788,438.
Matt Danis, business development manager
Skanska-Shook Construction, a joint venture created in 2000 to collaboratively pursue work in the health care and technology industries, created the Building Blocks Program in 2010. This pro bono construction training program focuses on emerging minority- and women-owned small business contractors, providing a curriculum highlighting skills and processes necessary to growth in the health care field.
Smith Medical Transportation Systems Inc.
Robert Smith, CEO
Smith Medical Transportation Systems Inc., a provider of ambulatory services, supports a variety of local organizations, including the Muskingum Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross. The company is a corporate sponsor for the chapter’s AED program, which has so far distributed 200 automated external defibrillators — all with the potential to immediately save lives.
Spirit of America Foundation
Harry L. Allen Jr., chairman
Spirit of America Foundation is a national safe boating program that teaches boys and girls in the seventh grade water safety and allows them to safely operate various watercrafts. This program offers participants the opportunity to develop self-confidence, set goals, build social skills and demonstrate responsible behavior — all while having fun.
Staffing Solutions Enterprises
SueAnn Naso, president, and Carmella Calta, CEO
Staffing Solutions Enterprises, a full-service recruitment solutions organization, has incorporated a 12-month charity campaign called the SSE Monthly Give Back Program to ensure aid is provided where it’s needed, when it’s needed. A charity is selected for each month of the year, with employees donating time, money and goods.
Tavens Packaging and Display Solutions
Dick Ames, president and CEO
In 2010, Tavens Packaging and Display Solutions donated 5,000 boxes that enabled the Cleveland Foodbank to transport 325,000 pounds of food. The company has since committed to sponsoring the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s recycling initiative and is partnering with The City Mission to host Campout Cleveland to raise money and awareness for homelessness.
Triad Communications Inc.
Rick Krochka, president
Triad Communications Inc., an advertising and marketing firm, provides pro bono services worth tens of thousands of dollars each year through its “Design4Good” program. The company takes applications from area organizations for assistance with design services ranging from marketing materials to website development. In 2011, Triad provided pro bono design services for 18 organizations.
Deborah Donley, founder and co-principal
Vocon, an architecture and interior design company, has a strong commitment to community partnerships. Recent outreach includes the donation of professional design services to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s new location and the Cleveland Sight Center’s new headquarters facility, as well as assistance in renovations to create the Rainbow Healing Garden for Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA
Alan H. Weinberg, managing partner
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA provides comprehensive creditor representation and legal services to business and financial institutions. The company contributed nearly $90,000 to help support numerous organizations over the past year. One example is WWR’s annual fundraising campaign to support the March of Dimes through March for Babies, for which the firm raised nearly $22,000 this year.
On a Saturday in early March 2010, Will Knecht was delivering some product for customers when he got a call on his cell phone, “Will, come back to the forge, it’s on fire.” He hustled back to find his flagship store, corporate offices and work shop of Wendell August Forge up in flames.
Knecht, president of the company, a retailer and manufacturer of handcrafted metalware and giftware that employs 106 people, couldn’t believe what he was seeing. As firefighters went to work, Knecht says he didn’t think the damage was going to be as bad as it ended up being.
“As that was burning, I had a very interesting peace about me that day,” he says. “I wasn’t anxious, I wasn’t stressed; it was what it was, and I really trusted the Lord that he knew what he was doing even though I didn’t.”
As the fire roared on, more Wendell employees came to the site where Knecht led them in a prayer, which ultimately set the tone for rebuilding and moving forward.
“As we broke that circle it was absolutely like the lights had been turned back on, and we were all about what do we do next. What are the next steps? What do we need to do to get back up and going?”
To add pressure to getting back to work and refocused, the company had just landed its biggest order in its history.
“We got an order from the Pittsburgh Penguins … two days before the fire,” Knecht says. “We were able to create 20,000 replica tickets of the last game at the Mellon Arena and we were able to deliver those on time.”
The Penguins order was a game changer for the company and following the fire it helped to keep Wendell August motivated and in business.
“That order took on added significance because it was the rallying point,” Knecht says. “We were going to deliver that and it put everything in focus.”
The first step Knecht had to take was to rally his employees and change their demeanor from wondering what was next to focusing on getting past the fire.
“As you can imagine … there was a lot of fear,” he says. “This fire wasn’t the end of the game. This was the closing of a chapter or the closing of a book on Wendell August and at the same time, that day was the opening and writing of a new book. We conveyed that confidence to each of our employees and said, ‘We’ve got to go about getting it done now and turning this around. This is a temporary setback, but we’re going to be OK.’”
Knecht did everything he could to continually communicate that Wendell August would make it through this hardship.
“Having faith, for me, was the cornerstone, but what that gave me was a sense of purpose and direction and clarity that it was incumbent upon me to communicate,” he says. “My job became the chief communicator inside and outside. I had to provide the stability. They had to see in me a calm and peace, strength, confidence, and they had to see a future focus.
“Bad things are going to happen. It might not be a fire, but a company might lose its biggest account. A company might lose a key employee. The leader’s job is to overcommunicate a sense of calm, a sense of focus and a sense of direction. That’s what we were able to do immediately after that fire. You have to communicate that clearly, directly and consistently. That’s what they needed from me. They didn’t need me to make the product or make a big sale. They needed me to calm and steady the ship.”
Eventually the company got itself back on track, and Knecht had to keep his employees motivated.
“When you go through a cataclysmic event like we did, it’s all about the here and now and getting us through today,” he says. “Then you change gears when you get through an event like that and you have to execute and get back to business basics. You’ve got to stay the course. You need to overcommunicate and you as the leader need to become the bridge to move on to the next phase of life. Put it behind you and change your demeanor, communicate and focus and then begin to throw the vision forward and cast that vision for the employees.”
HOW TO REACH: Wendell August Forge, (800) 923-4438 or www.wendellaugust.com
Wendell August was opened to exciting opportunities because of the fire and being forced to think in new and different ways.
“There is a realization on all of our parts that we are an almost 90-year-old company, so we’ve got a tremendous foundation, but we’re basically rewriting the book and we have this blank canvas now to paint on,” says Will Knecht, president. “There’s an energy and there’s an excitement about some of the new directions we’re headed.”
The Penguins order put the company into the realm of licensed products, which is today a big focus that the company is moving on significantly as part of the future.
“That Penguins order … and the success that we had with that allows us to talk to some teams in Major League Baseball and the NFL and other NHL teams,” he says. “You have to look outside of yourself and think differently and open your mind. One of the things we did was we weren’t stuck in a ‘This is how we’ve always done it.’ We as a company opened our horizons and we looked at what the possible was. What can we do now that we have this great foundation of a company yet a blank canvas to paint? That’s what I would challenge business folks who go through an event such as this to open their mind to the opportunities sometimes you don’t see when business is going as business as usual.”
Samuel Bennett is used to being an individual contributor. Bennett, principal and eastern region client management practice leader for Buck Consultants, an employee benefits consulting firm, has had to adjust to a new mentality in his new role as leader of the Cincinnati office.
The 40-employee office has had to overcome challenges of a tough economy where everybody needs to work a little harder for less. Bennett’s job is to motivate employees and continue to right-size the business.
“The biggest transition into a leadership role out of sales is really making sure people you work with are successful and not just yourself,” Bennett says. “The best thing a leader can do is inspire others to be successful.”
Smart Business spoke to Bennett about how he is adjusting to a leadership role and motivating employees.
I always go back to, as a company, why are we here? Where are we headed? It’s easy with all the noise of the economy to get internally focused, but what I find is our people are happy and more motivated when they’re focused on the client stuff and not on the internal stuff.
You have to find and focus on the priorities both of your organization and internally on your relationships with your staff. It should be a combination. The staff should be well aware and motivated with the company direction and understand where you’re headed, but also see what their personal value is in that whole scenario and be able to connect that. I think all companies are headed in two directions. They want to grow and they want to be profitable, but if you make your clients happy all that other stuff takes care of itself.
Get to know employees and clients
There are very few people in my office in the first six months of my tenure where I didn’t buy them lunch, take them to breakfast, meet them for a drink or whatever it is to just figure out what it is that they’re about. It’s just a personal relationship-building exercise. You can transfer that over to clients too and getting to know clients on a personal basis. What their needs are, where they’re at in the organization and what their expectations are. It’s more of a communication thing and if you take the time to get to know the employees and the clients, a lot of times you’re headed off in the right direction because most employees and clients will tell you exactly what they want and exactly what they need.
You’ve just got to create that avenue of communication. It’s hard. When you’re in a leadership role you’re tugged in 25 different directions, but if you don’t make the time to build those relationships and you’re focused on the tasks, you’re missing out on the big piece of it.
You have to learn as much about every individual as you can, because there is no single way to motivate everybody. Everybody has their own little thing that motivates them. Some are motivated by money. Some want autonomy. Some want some credit when things go well. You have to figure out each individual and what makes them tick. Does it work when you kind of spread it like peanut butter and treat everybody the same? I think you leave half the people out when you approach it that way. When you individualize it and really learn what makes everybody tick, you can adjust your style to meet what motivates them.
That takes a while to do. That’s not something you read in a book or is easy to figure out. It takes a little time. There’s no one way to be a true leader, but you can learn from everybody you interact with every day. Adjusting your style to fit your individual employees is more successful than to say, ‘Here’s my style, everyone adjust to me.’
HOW TO REACH: Buck Consultants Cincinnati, (513) 784-0005 or www.buckconsultants.com
In late August, Smart Business sponsored the third installment of its Power Players luncheon series, which featured David Gilbert, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
In the almost 12 years that the commission has been around, it has been responsible for bringing in 104 events to town, with an economic impact of more than $310 million.
“Most of them are the U.S. Jump Rope World Team Trials, the U.S. Taekwondo Junior Championship — not sexy events, but the common denominator in every one of those is they bring people to town,” he says.
And that’s the key. Bringing people to town means more people spending money in the region. The commission strives to bring as many events as it can to town, but to also run them better than the rest of the competition.
“Really, it’s no different than any other business,” Gilbert says. “How do you try to find out what a customer’s needs are and do what you can to make your business better.
“Where we’ve set the mark in the community is the ability to service these events better than anybody else in the country.”
Out of about 250 sports commissions across the country, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is one of the largest with 14 full-time employees and has become one of the top three or four sports commissions as a result of its service excellence.
This level of excellence has allowed it to secure two major events for the region — the 2013 National Senior Games and the 2014 Gay Games, which combined should bring more than 30,000 people to the region. Additionally, the organization has hosted several major Olympic qualifying events and expects to see more of these major events in the future.
“It’s very much about building a reputation,” he says. “More often than not, now our leads come directly. Instead of us going out and begging people – it certainly still happens — regularly — but we get calls saying, ‘Hey you hosted [this] and did a great job, would you consider hosting [that]?’ That’s helped a great deal. It’s developing relationships with individual organizations.”
How to reach: Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, (216) 621-0600 or www.clevelandsports.org
Global Cleveland named C. Lawrence Miller its first president. In this role, Miller will oversee the organization’s staff and be responsible for designing and implementing its strategic programming.
Global Cleveland is a new civic economic development initiative focused on connecting newcomers to opportunities and the region. Miller brings more than 25 years of talent attraction and international human resources experience to Global Cleveland. Most recently, he served as vice president, human resources, of the Lubrizol Corp. In addition to his 13 years with Lubrizol, Miller held senior leadership positions with Tremco, Diebold, and Ferro Corp. He lived and worked in France for two years and is president of the French-American Chamber of Commerce (Northern Ohio). Miller serves on the board of Cleveland’s Center for Families and Children and is a member of the Human Resource Planning Society.
Britton-Gallagher & Associates Inc. appointed Lee Stacey president and CEO.
Stacey had been president and CEO of Willis of Ohio, an operating unit of the global insurance provider Willis Group Holdings plc, for six years. He assumes many of the current duties of Bruce H. Ball, who becomes Britton-Gallagher’s chairman and will focus on strategic direction and business development for the 69-year-old firm.
Stacey joined Willis in 2005 after having served for five years as managing director, president and CEO of Acordia (now Wells Fargo Insurance Services) in Detroit. Prior to that, he was vice president of the insurance division of Comerica Bank from 1997 to 2000, assistant vice president of the brokerage firm Johnson & Higgins from 1994 to 1997, and an underwriter for Lumbermens Insurance from 1993 to 1994.
Western Reserve Partners hired Gregory A. Hill as an analyst. He previously worked for Fifth Third Bank in their middle-market finance group, performing underwritings, financial modeling and leveraged finance analysis. He worked on transactions in various industries, including capital goods, consumer products, construction and health care.
Please send your executive-level promotions to email@example.com.
Northeast Ohio’s first-of-its kind Advanced Energy B2B Conference & Expo was packed with companies, technologies and researchers driving progress in advanced energy in the region. The two-day event drew nearly 500 participants during the course of the event, which took place Sept.14-15 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. The conference and expo showcased the region’s assets in advanced energy and provided a venue to explore commercial opportunities to stimulate regional growth. The exhibition hall was sold out with more than 50 companies featured.
The event was co-produced by NorTech, a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization, and the Summit County Mayors Association.
“The future of advanced energy is business to business, and this conference made that happen,” says Norma Powell Byron, president, Ashlawn Energy LLC. “We were able to talk over coffee with potential suppliers, forge customer relationships, and we even got an understanding of the federal government’s perspective. This type of comprehensive opportunity is where NorTech excels.”
The event was geared to companies and researchers engaged in the advanced energy industry, supply chain manufacturers interested in new opportunities, and regional, national and international collaborators seeking to do business in Northeast Ohio. The conference and expo highlighted competitive advantages in major sectors of the advanced energy industry, including biomass/waste to energy, energy storage, fuel cells, nuclear, shale gas, smart grid, solar photovoltaic, transportation electrification and wind energy.
“As a supplier of controls and solutions that cut across renewable and
traditional generation systems and sustainable manufacturing, this
conference afforded Rockwell Automation an excellent venue to highlight our
capabilities, while creating a climate that epitomizes the spirit of a clustering effort and business to business conference,” says Dave Mayewski of Rockwell
Automation. “The partner environment in this venue spanned the entrepreneur striving to commercialize an offering to the established manufacturer scaling to meet new demands and challenges.”
Presentations by industry experts
The conference offered a full slate of regional, national and international speakers and advanced energy experts. Arun Majumdar, director of the Advanced Energy Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, presented strategies for seizing advanced energy opportunities focusing on innovation, manufacturing and the marketing of technologies created in the U.S. and sold internationally.
Dennis McGinn, retired vice admiral and president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) spoke on the close link between energy, climate and the national security. Stephen Crolius, senior director of the Clinton Climate Initiative provided a global perspective on how clean renewable energy technologies are impacting regional economies worldwide.
“The quality of the speakers was excellent. The director from ARPA-E gave an excellent overview of what the federal government is doing in some breakthrough advanced energy technologies,” says Julian Norley of GrafTech International.
Statewide partnership established
During the conference and expo, a new statewide network was announced between NorTech and seven of Ohio’s energy focused business organizations. This new organization, Advanced Energy Economy Ohio (AEE Ohio), will seek to drive the development of advanced energy to boost the state’s economy and competitiveness. Composed of CincyTech, Dayton Development Coalition, EWI, NorTech, Ohio Business Council for a Clean Economy, Rocket Ventures, TechColumbus, and TechGROWTH, the group represents one of the first regional energy organizations in an emerging, national coalition of advanced energy regional business organizations.
About the co-producers
NorTech is a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio. As a catalyst for growing Northeast Ohio’s emerging technology industries, NorTech is leading efforts to develop regional innovation clusters that create jobs, attract capital and have a long-term, positive impact on the region.
The Summit County Mayors Association is a nonpartisan organization composed of the leaders of the 22 cities and villages in Summit County. The organization focuses on economic development, regional planning, emergency management, infrastructure improvements and community development block grants.
Business leaders today are looking for opportunities to engage with customers and prospects in new ways that build stronger relationships, reward loyalty, and most importantly, drive sales.
There is no shortage of strategies or tools to enable stronger relationships — between the old standards of television, print advertising, out-of-home, direct mail, etc., that have been in the marketing plan for years and new technologies like e-mail, SMS/text messaging, mobile applications, social networks and location-based services that may be in the early stages of proving value. Marketing leaders have a lot to consider.
At Signal, we’ve developed a global solution for small, medium and enterprise businesses that simplifies digital communications via e-mail, SMS and social media. With a wide range of clients — from Sears and Redbox to family-owned businesses — we’ve learned a lot about what works and what does not.
Here’s a primer on how you can impact your bottom line with an integrated strategy leveraging SMS and e-mail to develop a direct line of communication to your customers and prospects.
1. Build a customer insights database, not a list of e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers.
So you have e-mail address and mobile phone numbers in your opt-in subscriber list — now what? Do you know if the e-mail and mobile number belong to the same person? What about the time of people are most likely to respond to your campaign, or whether they engage more with SMS or e-mail communications?
It is certainly valuable to build your subscriber lists for the purpose of sending messages, but consider the obvious benefits of transforming that list to a single “data warehouse” of customer insights and behaviors. Signal’s platform makes it easy to collect a wide variety of data then store it in a single customer profile, which can be used for segmentation and targeting in the future.
The more you know about your subscribers’ interaction with your communications across e-mail, SMS and even social media, the more efficient your marketing efforts become, allowing you to maximize spend.
2. Set expectations and deliver value.
Your customers and prospects already get enough self-promoting e-mail, so it’s important to offer content that adds value to your customers’ lives while also supporting your company objectives.
Have you ever signed up for a company newsletter because of a call to action like: “Sign up to subscribe to our newsletter for exciting company updates”? Though it may seem like a reasonable pitch — “exciting company updates!” — this prompt is generic and does not showcase the value that subscribers should expect from opting in to your database.
Instead, focus on the things that you know customers want: special offers, discounts, exclusive content, etc. Also, make sure that you are clear about how frequently they can expect to hear from you and what type of content you’ll be sharing. Make that content exclusive to that channel, whether it’s e-mail or SMS, and customers will want to subscribe.
By setting the right expectations that give subscribers a good reason to opt-in and stay subscribed, you’ll experience stronger growth and engagement, which in turn extends reach and ROI.
3. Affect buying decisions with timed offers and calls-to-action.
Understanding usage is an important step in delivering value to your customers and influencing their decisions through e-mail and SMS.
E-mail allows you to communicate with richer content as compared to SMS. However, open rates and click-through rates can change significantly depending on when your e-mail hits the inbox. If your content is valuable to your readers when they start their day at the office, a weekday morning may make the most sense. If you’re sending a promotion for a happy hour, then just before lunch is ideal so that customers can start to rally their friends during lunch.
SMS, on the other hand, is a much more immediate communication that can affect a buying decision in real time. About 83 percent of text messages are read within one hour, and open rates for SMS are typically 3 to 4 times higher than for e-mail. For example, a recent study found that 68 percent of lunch decisions are made in less than an hour or on an impulse. Timing is incredibly important if you want your message to impact a customer’s buying decision.
4. Prime the pump with e-mail; close the loop with SMS.
It’s no secret that better outcomes are the result of a fully considered marketing plan. However, too few businesses truly leverage their various channels to maximize the return. Understanding e-mail and SMS usage will help you execute a truly cross-channel strategy for maximum efficacy.
One useful strategy for syncing your SMS and e-mail actions is to use e-mail to build awareness or initial interest in your offer or content, then rely on SMS to prompt action at the moment of truth. For example, you can use your weekly or monthly newsletter or promotional e-mail to set expectations about an important upcoming event, then close the deal with a text message that reminds buyers about that promotion.
Marketing today is more integrated that it has ever been in the past. However, silos still exist — to the detriment of your business’ ability to leverage digital communications channels to their highest potential. Your path to successful cross-channel communications and increased ROI is to better understand customer behavior and preferences and translate those insights into campaigns that map most closely to what your customers want, when they want it.
John Sharry is an Account Executive at Signal, a Chicago-based company that offers a dead simple product that unifies e-mail, mobile and social marketing in a single platform. Recently named No. 108 on the 2011 Inc. 500 report, Signal offers more great insight on Twitter, Facebook and their blog.