Who says making a buck is a bad thing? Certainly not Jack Shoykhet, president and CEO of Gov24.com. That didnt always ring true, however. During a Jones Day Reavis & Pogue e-commerce program recently, Shoykhet told the crowd, In the city where I came from, the word profit was illegal. I love capitalism.
Program sponsors Conley Canitano & Associates certainly agreed. Dont we all?
The Employers Resource Council of Northeast Ohio has announced that businesses utilizing its online Travel Center to make airline reservations will not be charged the reservation transaction fee which is typical in the travel industry. The fee generally ranges between $10 and $25 per ticket. ERC members employees are also eligible to access the ERC site (www.wercnet.org) and make their leisure reservations online. The site features a full spectrum of HR and workplace information, services and benefits.
Who needs the Super Bowl?
Its become standard, if a little risky, for Internet start-ups to blow their entire marketing budget on a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. But a Cleveland company proves you dont need a lot of flash to get recognized. 1-Jobs.com, an Independence-based high-tech recruiting Web site, was ranked by PCWeek Online as the seventh-best site for those looking for high-tech workers. That places 1-Jobs smack dab between HotJobs.com and Monster.com, two operations that blew a bundle on Super Bowl advertising. Sometimes its not who knows you, but how good you really are.
Modern day wisdom
Business owners seeking their fortunes on the Net may be wise to listen to the voice of someone whos been there. Todd McCormack, CEO of TWI Interactive, an independent subsidiary of Trans World International, reminds entrepreneurs: E is just one letter of nine letters in e-commerce. McCormack spoke at the Jones/Day e-commerce program. McCormack also took a poke at the tech industrys biggest fish: I cant believe how rich Bill Gates will be when his products actually work.
Self-employed on the Net
The number of self-employed Americans with Internet access has doubled in just two years, according to a survey of members of the National Association for the Self-Employed. More than 68 percent of those responding report they connect to the Internet at home or at work. A closer look reveals 39.7 percent access the Net at home and work, 20 percent at home only and 8.6 percent at work only. And for those wondering how much time those eyeballs spend in front of a computer, they average eight hours per week online.
Whats in a name?
Northeast Ohio is losing one of its best company names. Mozes Cleveland & Co., a Web development company specializing in intranet, extranet and Internet solutions, has merged with Quest4mation, an information services company specializing in consulting and electronic commerce. The new venture will do business as Digital Day. Its certainly a modern sounding moniker, appropriate given the service it provides. But we cant help but shed a tear as we reflect on our citys past and the man whose name we bear so proudly.
A high-tech venture
National City Corp. and Cuyahoga Community College have formed an alliance designed to bring high-tech jobs to Northeast Ohio residents. The venture calls for National City to fund the establishment of Techno Venture, a series of super camps on Tri-Cs three campuses. The camps will train 350 students, grades 9-12, in the computer technology necessary to become professionally certified for high-tech jobs. The alliance also provides National City with access to the colleges students for part- and full-time employees.
Its good to be a woman
The U.S. Small Business Administration has nearly tripled both the number and dollar value of approved loans to women entrepreneurs since fiscal year 1992. According to the SBA, there are 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, which account for 40 percent of all business. These ventures employ 27.5 million people and account for $3.6 trillion in sales. And women are starting new firms at twice the rate of all other businesses.
Not so elementary
Canton-based Diebold Inc. used the recent CeBit 2000 technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany, to unveil its new Watson technology. The revolutionary ATM-like kiosks adjust to a users physical traits and consumer tastes using a mix of biometric technology and the Internet.
The result is a personalized experience that could one day make your corner ATM about as cutting edge as a rotary telephone. The Watson system identifies consumers as they approach the terminal, eliminating the need for a personal identification number. By accessing pre-registered information, the machine automatically adjusts to a consumers physical needs.
The interface also allows access to items of personal interest, such as customized stock reports and movie listings via an Internet connection. Meanwhile, the units color laser printer allows for the creation of hard copies to take with you. With technology like this at our doorstep, can those Jetsons-style TV phones be far behind?
Innovation for sale
When it comes to developing new products, a recent study shows Americas fastest growing companies acquire intellectual properties from others to gain a competitive edge. PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed 449 CEOs of companies identified by the media as Americas fastest growing. It found 49 percent of those CEOs license technologies or intellectual assets from others, while 27 percent are involved in joint ventures and 15 percent invest in smaller, independent businesses as an extension of their research and development.
Ironically, only half the businesses surveyed have a formal process for identifying and managing their own intellectual property assets. Consequently, only about one in four that hold IP assets end up licensing them to others.
Trade shows make the cut
Dont worry about the Internet replacing the traditional industry trade show any time soon. In a survey of 250 business executives conducted by Chicago-based Incomm Center for Research and Sales Training, 91 percent believed the traditional industry trade show would survive the information age.
When asked why they believed the Internet would not send the traditional exposition the way of the dinosaurs, 55 percent pointed to the networking opportunities provided by such events; 35 percent said the hands-on ability to see and discuss a service or product is hard to replicate online; and 10 percent said questions are answered better when visiting an exhibit in person.
Counting their blessings
On April 8, a dozen Cleveland area clergy representing a wide variety of faiths and spiritual beliefs blessed Western Reserve Brewery Co. Gavin Smith, CEO of the award-winning brewery in Midtown Cleveland at 4130 Commerce Ave., says there is a considerable body of historical precedent for the intertwining of beer brewing and religion, and the idea of blessing the Western Reserve Brewing Co. had been bouncing around in his head for awhile.
This is something weve always planned to do, and for some unknown reason, weve just never gotten around to it, he says.
EDR Media strikes Olympic gold
When marketing specialists at Clevelands world renowned International Management Group needed a cutting-edge presentation to sell sponsorships for the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, they turned to Beachwood-based EDR Media. The company responded with a top quality sight and sound DVD showcasing great Olympic moments for IMG marketing specialists to take with them on the road.
Cliff Hughes, director-interactive media for EDR Media, says the big-name sponsors IMG is seeking required an impressive, yet portable presentation. Given the stature and significance of the Olympics and the high profile of IMGs target audience of upper level corporate management, they wanted the quality of the presentation to make a strong statement about the quality of the sponsorship, he explains. The fidelity of the audio and the resolution of the video on DVD really sets this presentation apart, and it can easily be played on a laptop computer.
Olympic gold part II
Beachwoods Allen Telecom Inc. will make sure every cellular phone at Sydneys Olympic Park works properly during this years summer games. The company is deploying technology that allows the use of a large number of cellular phones in the same area without excessive interference. Olympics officials worried that the massive popularity of cellular phones in Australia may create problems for the main Olympic venue, expected to draw up to 500,000 visitors a day, especially as people call family and friends to share the excitement of the occasion.
Walking the tightrope
Owners of small and medium-sized businesses say their top goals are achieving significant personal wealth and making time for family, according to a survey by Chicago-based George S. May International Co. That may not be terribly earth-shattering, but the 75-year-old business management consulting firm reports that now, more than ever, business executives think they can achieve both of these goals. Seventy percent of those surveyed reported they have established or are working on a business plan that includes the integration of time-saving procedures that will help them with this delicate balance of work and family.
American business decision-makers are consciously saying they want and know how to have their cake and eat it, too, says Donald Fletcher, president of George S. May International. Before this current age of telecommuting and mommy tracks, you had to choose between fortune and family. Now, it is possible to achieve a work/life balance but it requires planning.
Rudy Socha, the president of Lorain-based WildlifeCollectibles.com, recently sent out 15,000 customer surveys to members of her Dolphin Whale & Shark gift store in an attempt to assemble a profile of her average customer. Thirty-six hours after sending out the surveys via e-mail, she received 223 responses and discovered some interesting information about her customers online habits:
- Eighty-one percent of the shoppers who responded to the WildlifeCollectibles.com survey were women.
- Sixty-five percent visited between one and three new e-commerce Web sites a week.
- Customers made an average of 11.1 online purchases a year and reported an average of 7.4 purchases a year from traditional catalogs.
- Forty-four percent of shoppers spend between $21 and $30 when buying a gift on the site for a non-immediate family member. Thirty-three percent spend less than $20, while 13 percent spend between $31 and $50.
Gov. Bob Taft honored Solon-based Keithley Instruments Inc. last month as the 2000 recipient of the Thomas Edison Award Recognizing Global Leadership in Technology. A Sept. 13 ceremony and reception was held at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus.
It's been a pretty solid year for company Chairman and CEO Joseph Keithley. His company's stock has performed better than ever over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the high-tech measuring device firm was also recognized Sept. 7 at the SBN Innovation in Business awards and took top honors in the technology category of Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur Of The Year" contest last summer.
OfficeMax Inc. and Arthur Andersen Virtual Learning Network have teamed to offer online learning and educational resources to small- and mid-sized businesses through Officemax.com. The companies said the online service will launch later this month and will initially offer more than 100 Web-based courses and two custom CD-ROM courses.
"Our core customer is the small business with less than 100 employees," said Ryan Vero, OfficeMax's head of e-commerce. "VLN will provide our customers convenient and cost effective access to online training." Officemax.com recently conducted an online customer survey to find out what services are most desired. The top-rated request was access to online training programs.
Saving for a rainy day?
A decline in national saving in the United States may negatively impact both the growth of the U.S. economy and the living standards of future retirees, according to Jagadeesh Gokhale, an economic adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He notes in a recent article that the strong performance of the U.S. economy during the past five years is often attributed to robust growth in private consumption.
But, he points out that greater consumption also means lower savings and fewer resources available for investment. This savings decline doesn't bode well for the living standards of future retirees, since the consumption usually reserved for the retirement years is being eaten up by many people during their earning years. Gokhale's solution: think about saving more money and be aware of the gap between actual savings and what you will need to maintain your lifestyle in your golden years.
If you're looking for practical, authoritative human resources information and tools, CCH Inc. believes it has just what you're looking for in its new Web site, http://hr.cch.com. A source of employment and human resources law and compliance information for more than 60 years, CCH has created what it believes to be a one-stop, complete Web resource.
"Whatever the HR professional needs, CCH is delivering it with authority to the desktop at http://hr.cch.com," said CCH Health and Human Resources publisher Jim Gallas. Well, then, how about delivering a bunch of qualified workers looking for jobs?
New York state of mind
Even if the New York City hotel where you want to stay is telling you it's booked solid, a Connecticut-based Internet company wants to hook you up with a room at a discounted price. Www.hotres.com, has access to guaranteed blocks of rooms at 30 of the most popular motels in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and can confirm your reservation over the Internet even when the clerk at the front desk tells you there are no available rooms. Meanwhile, you'll probably even get a bit of a price break by using the service to make your reservations.
The site also caters to the newbie N.Y.C. tourist with a repository of maps and information that can help even the most clueless visitors find their way around town.
If your employees no longer work a traditional 9-to-5 workday, your company's not alone. According to a recent survey by Management Recruiters International Inc., 61 percent of more than 3,500 executives polled predict the 9-to-5 workday will disappear within the next 10 years.
The survey revealed that changing workplace trends -- telecommuting, working from home and even working while on vacation -- have relaxed business owners' demands for traditional work hours. It's a reflection, they say, of changing lifestyles and a greater emphasis on a healthy work/life balance.
Have you heard ...
Still on the fence about whether those in-store demonstrations help push your product? Consider this: A nationwide survey of pet owners conducted by the Pat Henry Group found that nine out of 10 respondents first heard about the product being demonstrated at a store demonstration, either the day they were surveyed (80.4 percent) or at a prior store demonstration (8.8 percent).
It seems like there are more company name changes today than ever before. The most common are from longer names to shorter, more descriptive and catchier monikers. Temporarily Yours Placement Services has joined the ranks of the transformed. The full-service employment agency recently adopted a new name -- Employworks -- to better describe its services, says company president and CEO Michael J. Lehmann.
"I feel very positive about this," he says. "We are taking a step in the right direction to better serve our clients and employees."
Where the roots are
Just in case you've been wondering what's sparked the new economy, consider this explanation. The information technology revolution isn't new, asserts Jerry Jordan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
While advances in information technology allow ideas to spread faster and new techniques and processes to spill over into other sectors of the economy, it's no different than the impact caused by the printing press, telegraph and telephone.
"The fundamental determinants of healthy economies are the same as they ever were," Jordan writes in a recent Fed article. "So long as the right environment exists, markets will flourish, and in that environment individuals and markets will adapt to shocks. And as they adapt, the face of the economy changes."
Jordan says that so much attention has been devoted to debating whether the economy is new that business owners have overlooked the importance of the infrastructure that has led to the burgeoning economy. By focusing on the developments in the infrastructure, Jordan says, you'll be able to see the roots of a strong economy.
Let the good times roll
Northeast Ohio business owners say they believe the good times will continue, but they're not willing to bet the ranch on it. A whopping 83 percent of decision-makers across the region say they're "very optimistic" or "optimistic" that current business conditions will continue, according to the results of a Small Business Monitor survey by the Greater Cleveland Growth Association.
That leaves 17 percent who aren't so sure that the economy isn't headed for a downturn some time this year, the study says. Continuing troubles in the labor market -- specifically recruiting and retaining quality employees -- is the top reason for the not-so-sure attitudes.
Extending a training hand
Vocational Guidance Services, a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization that provides vocational training and job placement for disabled and disadvantaged individuals, has stepped into the Digital Age. VGS recently opened a state-of-the-art computer lab.
The lab, which houses 71 computer workstations, features several computers outfitted with voice recognition programs and other high-tech functions that cater to people with disabilities and those making the transition from welfare to work.
Ohio Auditor Jim Petro has been named the recipient of the 2000 In Tribute to the Public Service Award of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Creating a work force
The Cleveland chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, a trade organization representing the precision custom manufacturing industry, has developed strategic partnerships with NTMA members, universities and partner organizations. New initiatives and programs have been developed and implemented to identify and train young men and women throughout Northeast Ohio in metalworking skills.
Locating The Source
The Cleveland Jewish News has debuted a new reference guide, The Source: Guide to Jewish Living in Northeast Ohio. The full-color, glossy magazine covers the metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Elyria, Lorain, Warren, Youngstown and Sharon, Pa. The publication will include stories of both local and national interest, a calendar and explanations of Jewish holidays and terms.
Economic impact 101
Working for Empowerment through Community Organization, an economic and community development organization that supports businesses and credit unions, is $15,000 richer thanks to a grant from Fifth Third Bank, Northeastern Ohio. The money will be used to impact more than 540 individuals.
Nobody ever said customer service was easy. So what's the best way to serve your customers?
According to Carson Cole Associates, the answer is simple -- ask them. Here are CCA's three strategies for maintaining customer service:
1. Make it easy for your customers to talk to you. Solicit feedback through a telephone call, e-mail, a short letter or face-to-face meetings. Contact your customers the way the prefer to be contacted, and do it often.
2. Ask customers about their experiences. Be prepared to be genuine and sincere. Train your staff to help customers share -- particularly the bad experiences.
3. Most important, be willing to change. Thank your customer for their honesty and promise them you will fix problems. Then do it. If similar customer service complaints are voiced by more than one customer, fix the problem
New name, same beer
Cleveland's Crooked River Brewing Co. has repackaged and renamed its fall seasonal beer formerly known as Erie Nights Pumpkin Brew. When it appears on store shelves this year, it will be known as Crooked River Pumpkin Harvest Ale. The change is designed to make the beer less associated with Halloween and more with the season.
State Development Director C. Lee Johnson has announced the Ohio Department of Development's Small Business Innovation Research Program and its partners will host the 2000 Ohio SBIR Conference at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Columbus. The two-day event will take place Oct. 11-12. For more information about the program or to register, call (614) 466-3887 or (800) 848-1300, ext. 6-3887, or visit www.odod.state.oh.us/tech/sbir.
One of the most valuable HR tools at a company's disposal is the exit interview. "Assuming the departing employee has no ax to grind, information gleaned during exit interviews can give companies valuable insight on topics such as office morale," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.
The question is, how do you use that information? According to an OfficeTeam survey, 13 percent of employers always act on the information they get. Another 62 percent said they act somewhat frequently. Sixteen percent rarely act, while only 1 percent indicated they never use the information. The remaining companies either did not conduct exit interviews or did not know how often they used the info.
Domeyer offers the following tips for conducting an effective exit interview:
1. Set the stage. Meet in a neutral location and make it clear the information won't be used against the departing person.
2. Consider a third party. Even an employee who is leaving may feel uncomfortable discussing certain topics, such as office politics, with a current supervisor. It may be wise to bring an HR representative to conduct the interview.
3. Act on serious situations. Never ignore a departing employee's claim of mistreatment or discrimination. Refer the matter to your internal legal or HR department for investigation.
4. Ask the right questions. Use open-ended, general questions at first, but be prepared to get specific.
5. Take emotions into account. Depending on whether the employee left on good terms, exit interviews should be viewed as one of many information sources. A hidden agenda could influence what a former staff member says during an interview.
Chairman emeritus of FirstMerit Corp. Howard Flood says there's a big difference between local entrepreneurs and CEOs of major corporations. What sets them apart is pride.
"Entrepreneurs are prouder of who they are, what they are and what they do. And if they do something wrong, their attention to remedies will be so much quicker than the hierarchy of a major corporation," says Flood. "That's because the entrepreneurs are generally stalwarts in the community who are well recognized, and a mistake affects them more when they walk into church or into the grocery store."
E-Debt acquires competitor
Akron-based E-Debt.com was listed in a September issue of Business Week magazine as one of the leading Internet sites in the debt sales industry. The company has acquired Debtforsale.com, another of the debt sales dot-coms listed in the Business Week article.
The acquisition will add several hundred new potential buyers and dozens of additional portfolios to the E-Debt.com site, says CEO Michael Zoldan. E-Debt.com is a Web-based marketplace for the real-time trading of debt portfolios, with an emphasis on security and customer service.
Back and forth
As technology makes it easier to work from just about anywhere, more Northeast Ohio residents are commuting to Summit County than ever before.
The total number of daily work trips to Summit County has increased 36 percent over the last 20 years. Of note: 16,000 workers commute to the Akron area from Stark County; 10,000 workers commute from Cuyahoga County; and 16,000 commute from Portage County. But about 27,000 Akron-area residents commute to Cuyahoga County to work. Source: ARDB Workforce Development Department
E-mail has changed the way we work, play and bond. While some say e-mail is an impersonal means of communication, an e-mail address can provide a unique way to project a personalized image.
Some e-mail identities are downright eye-catching, with hidden meanings that reveal a slice of personality. For example, the '70s Beatles hit record "Revolution" obviously had an impact on Howard Cleveland, because 20 years after it was released, the Internet linchpin and CEO of Digital Day in Akron chose a personal e-mail address that reflects his perspective on how computers have changed the world: DigitRev@xxx.com.
With an e-mail address like Isenborg@xxx.com, it's not hard to guess that Bob Isenberg, creative director for Wern Rausch Locke Advertising Inc., is a devoted fan of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." His colleague, Betty Williams, office manager at the Canton advertising agency, designated firstname.lastname@example.org as her e-mail identity -- inspired by the vanity license plate on her little red Corvette that has, you guessed it, flair.
When presentation skills consultant Leslie Ungar incorporated her company, she named it after her world champion show horse, Electric Impulse. For her business e-mail address, Ungar combined her first initial and last name with the horse's nickname, Impi. "What I didn't realize is that in computer language, it's all translated to lower case. So instead of getting LUngarIMPI@xxx.com, I ended up with email@example.com!"
Even if you don't know Rick Mullins, a sales associate at an Akron area Radio Shack, it's not hard to figure out what his passion is. With the personal e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, Mullins is unmistakably an avid runner -- and his alter ego is Bullwinkle.
Sheri Roberts Tennant, owner of Shericho Diversified Office Services in Minerva, is addicted to Looney Tunes, as evidenced by her e-mail address, SheriTunes@xxx.com. Her spouse, Doug Tennant, a creative designer at Star Bronze in Alliance, says he uses his initials in the prefix of his e-mail address, DETbunchie@xxx.com, but reveals the "Bunchie" is his wife's pet name for him.
Stacy Wessels, president of the Image Factory Inc. in Akron, protests that, despite how her business e-mail might be misconstrued, she's not a fink. "The IF in IFemail@example.com stands for Image Factory, of course. But I included a hyphen before the 'Inc' so it wouldn't be misread as 'I Fink' -- which is certainly not the image I want to project!"
Stark and Knoll, a 15-year-old Akron law firm, is tapping into the full potential of the Internet. In September, it launched an affiliate e-company, Transaction Support Group, to provide 24-hour assistance with mergers and acquisitions.
The site is supervised by a corporate attorney, who acts as transaction manager. Services include examining due diligence, reviewing contracts and documents, preparing schedules, obtaining consents and waivers, processing financial documentation and coordinating payoffs, lien releases, mortgage filings and funding. The site can be accessed at www.transactgroup.com.
A funny thing happened on the way to Morocco. Actually, it happened at a palace resort on Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania.
Hugh McLaughlin, a physician at Cuyahoga Falls Family Practice, was having breakfast with his vacation travel companion, the director of an Akron-based international tire manufacturer.
"We were surprised when the president of Tanzania walked into the room, but when he walked up to our table and sat down, we were stunned," says McLaughlin.
Audaciously, the Tanzanian ruler told the tire manufacturer he wanted "a little Christmas present."
"He told my friend to give him $12,000 if he wanted to keep his factory running in that country," McLaughlin exclaims.
"It was amazing. President Clinton had just given this president $12 million two days before, but I guess that wasn't enough, because here he was, trying to squeeze every other American businessman he heard was in town," McLaughlin laughs.
Who wants to be a millionaire?
If your business provides computer training, what better way to conduct your job interview process than to have candidates demonstrate their teaching talents?
During its recent search for a qualified instructor, Fairlawn-based New Horizons Computer Learning Centers Inc. had 15 prospects make five-minute presentations to a class audience.
"The topic they chose didn't matter, because we were looking for classroom presence, voice projection, speaking skills and eye contact," says Mark Koenig, New Horizons' general manager.
Among the applicants -- including retired college professors, former teachers, sales reps and other professionals -- one presenter demonstrated how to make a pressman's hat.
"There we all were, making paper hats in class," Koenig laughs.
Another candidate with a sales, computer and musical background explained how to make a million dollars by uploading personally composed music onto MP3.com.
In the end, the choice was simple, says Koenig.
"What helped us decide was the applicant's strong presentation, audience rapport and, of course, computer strengths," he says.
After all, everyone wants to be a millionaire.
You must be so proud
Speaking of highly rated game shows, you might be proud because your son or daughter is a doctor, a lawyer, a biochemist -- whatever. But Doug Cowan has something bigger to boast about.
"My son is the creator and executive producer of 'Temptation Island,'" crows Cowan, chairman and CEO of The Dave Tree Expert Co. in Kent.
Cowan says his son, Chris Cowan, got his start after studying film production at Ohio University, and launching Rocket Science Laboratories, a film production company in Hollywood, Calif.
"Before this show, he and his partner already had an impressive resume, even winning an Emmy in 1998 for a TV special they did. But this is their first series, and the numbers are just incredible," says Cowan.
Asked how he feels about his son's creative role in such a highly rated production, Cowan chuckles, "Highly rated, or highly racy?"
Way cool business tool
Think cool. Think high-tech. Think again.
Many executives rely on cutting-edge tools, such as PDAs, PalmPilots and Handsprings. But Ray Gehani prefers something that seems archaic, considering his profession.
"For 20 years, I've been researching, practicing and teaching technology management, yet my favorite business tool is Post-It Pads made by 3M," says Gehani, assistant professor of management and international business at the University of Akron's College of Business Administration.
"Post-It Notes are perfect for capturing, storing, retrieving and developing my intuitive insights that pop up at odd times and places. They're my best knowledge management system for the 21st century, better than any electronic gadgetry on the market," Gehani coos. "And 3M didn't pay me to say all these wonderful things about their simple product, which is based on a sophisticated surface coating polymer technology."
Interestingly, as part of the university's Technology Management Group, Gehani specializes in polymer technology.
The Germain family isn't letting recession threats hold down business. It expects to open its second Lexus dealership in Columbus, Germain Lexus of Easton, by September.
Lexus is behind the family with some impressive statistics.
"We speculate by 2005 a 58 percent growth in affluent households in Columbus -- those with an income of $100,000 or more," says Jim Farley, Lexus Central Region area manager, who spoke at the April groundbreaking for the 34,500-square-foot facility. "Average income will grow 24 percent."
The Germains' 10-year-old Lexus of Columbus dealership is one of the Lexus stars, with a 14 percent share in Columbus -- almost 4 percent higher than anywhere else in the country.
"This project wouldn't happen if it wasn't for our faith in the organization the Germains built and all of the associates in their organization," Farley says.
To hear Steve Germain, president of Germain Motor Co., tell it, he's already won the first round of the challenge to open the dealership, which will be built by Renier Construction Corp. with architecture by Architectural Alliance.
"There were a lot of things that were not part of the 'Easton thing,' and a car dealership was right below a dirty bookstore," he joked at the groundbreaking. "Right then I said, 'We've got to get into Easton.'"
He's projecting $64 million in sales within the first year.
Germain also gave assurances to the $8.5 million project's financial supporters at Bank One: "If it makes you feel any better, I have never met a Lexus dealer yet that felt like they spent too much money." How to reach: Steve Germain, Germain Motor Co., 868-0300 or www.germaincars.com; Bill Heifner, Renier Construction Corp., 866-4580 or firstname.lastname@example.org; John Oney, Architectural Alliance, 469-7500
Who's in first?
Even though Schottenstein, Zox & Dunn is making headlines regarding its planned move to the Arena District, it won't be the first law firm to set up shop there. That honor will go to Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, which is moving Sept. 1 from a 10,800-square-foot space in the Key building at 88 E. Broad St. to 18,500 square feet of new space in the 191 W. Nationwide Blvd. building at the corner of Nationwide and West Street.
"The Arena District provides the value of our law firm being downtown with the benefits of suburban amenities such as ease of access for our clients, parking on the premises and additional meeting space," says Donald B. Leach Jr., shareholder-in-charge of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs' Columbus office. "These are the amenities needed to attract and retain clients as well as good lawyers and staff."
"They are a top-notch law firm with an outstanding reputation in the community," says Brian J. Ellis, president and COO of Nationwide Realty Investors, the entity developing the Arena District. "We feel this is a good match and that the law firm will be able to take advantage of the energy and excitement offered in the Arena District and still be in a prime downtown location."
Schottenstein, Zox & Dunn is scheduled to move into its Arena District home in 2003. How to reach: Donald B. Leach Jr., Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, 227-4262 or email@example.com
The newly established Franklin University Leadership Press isn't interested in theory. It's going after real-life success stories as its publication focus instead.
"The press will set itself apart from other university presses by concentrating on books that have practical application as opposed to works of theory and pure scholarship," says Linda Steele, senior vice president for strategic relationships and initiatives at Franklin.
That's why Leadership Press Director Jeanette M. Rivard will be pursuing book projects from established, successful leaders who have made real and significant contributions to the community or the world of business.
For would-be authors, Rivard prefers to review a prospectus prior to inviting a completed manuscript, according to the Leadership Press Web page (www.franklin.edu/busrelations/leadershippress.html). In addition, the author's leadership experience and vita or resume will be reviewed closely. How to reach: Jeanette M. Rivard, Franklin University Leadership Press, 341-6404 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The management at Crane Performance Siding came to a big realization this spring: The VIPCO brand name the company has been using for more than 30 years to sell vinyl siding wasn't working anymore. It wasn't reflecting the attitude and marketing outlook of the company. That's why the VIPCO name has now gone the way of the brontosaurus.
"We've made significant changes in our product offerings and manufacturing capabilities, and the VIPCO brand no longer represents who we are as a company," says Mike Crane, president of Crane Performance Siding, which is also the new brand name under which the company's products are marketed.
Crane Performance Siding has also unveiled a new company logo in an effort to visually demonstrate a more upscale and bold product offering.
Studies show growth in women-owned businesses exceeds growth rates reported by American businesses overall. So why is it that we hear so little about the women running these fast-growth companies? The Columbus chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners wants to change that.
The group will hold its third annual awards ceremony recognizing outstanding female business owners from Central Ohio at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon July 12 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton, 3900 Chagrin Dr. For details about sponsoring or attending the ceremony, contact Tricia Smith at 444-7455 or Karen McVey at 888-4674. SBN Magazine is a sponsor of this event.
A 3-year-old Columbus firm has hired its first COO.
Mike Covert comes to Infinis Inc. from Columbus-based Alta Analytics, where he served as vice president of product development and chief technology officer. Covert will manage the day-to-day operations of Infinis, an information technology company.
"Infinis has begun an expansion on multiple fronts -- from introducing e-business intelligence and customer intelligence services to launching new operations in Cincinnati and Cleveland," says CEO Mario Desiderio. "We hired Mike Covert as our new COO to assist in creating the infrastructure required to make these expansions successful."
Three directors at Johnstown-based Bigmar Inc. have joined the generic drug company's executive team. Cynthia R. May, who serves as the managing member of Jericho LLC -- an entity that has invested in Bigmar -- has been appointed president. She has been associated with Bigmar since 1996 and previously served as a director and vice president.
Bernard Kramer, who has been a director of Bigmar since 1996, has been named its vice president and COO. Massimo Pedrani, who has been a director since 1999, has been named executive vice president of research and development. John Tramontana will continue as the company's chairman and CEO.
Roger Geiger, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business - Ohio and No. 5 on SBN Magazine's Power 100 list published earlier this year, has been appointed to the state's Sunset Review Commission. This commission reviews state boards, commissions, councils, committees and other entities to determine whether they should be abolished or continued.
Local attorney Gregory N. Finnerty was also appointed to the commission.
Construction is underway in Hilliard at the site of All Seasons Spas' forthcoming $2 million warehouse, showroom and retail facility. The 20,000-square-foot complex is being built by Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc. and is scheduled to be completed by September.
In other construction news, Apex/M&P Construction in Blacklick has been awarded a $2.6 million contract by the New Albany - Plain Local School District to perform the carpentry, doors, hardware, specialties, metal wall panels, louvers and cornices work for New Albany Middle School. Firestone Jaros Mullin Inc. in Powell provided architectural services for the project and Worthington-based Turner Construction Co. is the construction manager.
With the sweltering days of summer just around the corner, this could be an opportune time for the marketing team at Brookdale Living Communities to kick into high gear in promoting the company's latest development. The multimillion-dollar Trillium Place to be built near Dublin will feature the only indoor swimming pool in a retirement home in Central Ohio. Trillium, set to open next spring, marks Chicago-based Brookdale's official entry into the Central Ohio market.
Downtown development is a hot topic these days with the ongoing construction of the Arena District. And nine civic-minded business people have been named to executive posts on the Downtown Council to actively support and promote the benefits of a vibrant and vital downtown.
Robin Highfield, sales manager for the Crowne Plaza, has been named chair of the council, which is an affiliate of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Joining Highfield on the executive committee are Brent LaLonde, media relations manager for the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau; Patrice Gillespie, senior account executive with Paul Werth Associates; Paula Ryan, marketing manager with Mille/James Productions; Rick Studer, a partner with Clary Communications; Jen Walker, advertising coordinator with The Johnson Family Diamond Cellar; Pieter Wykoff, vice president of Columbus State Community College; Joan Terango, advertising manager with Grange Insurance; and Jack Russell, marketing coordinator with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
Urban Environments Inc. won Landscape Enhancement Awards from the "Landscape Ohio!" program this spring for two of its landscape maintenance projects: the Tuttle Crossing freeway interchange and office building complex, and the Easton Oval office park. Duke-Weeks Realty Corp. is the owner and property manager of both award-winning properties.
Nominations are being accepted through June 15 for the Governor's Awards for Women's Excellence in Enterprise 2001. Awards will be given in the following categories: manufacturing/high technology, service, wholesale/retail, real estate/construction and Rising Star (in business less than five years).
Nominees must be Ohio based with an annual sales revenue greater than $1.5 million, except in the categories of service (minimum $1 million) and Rising Star (minimum $750,000). Nominee businesses must also be majority female-owned, well-established, growing and profitable for the most recent reporting period. For details, contact Linda Saikas at 466-4945.
Donna James, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Nationwide, has been elected to the board of directors at Intimate Brands. She has also been appointed as a member of the board's audit committee.
The Central Ohio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America gave Best of Show honors to Edward Howard & Co. at this year's PRISM Awards. The company was honored for its work with the Community Shelter Board on nonprofit community relations.
June 29 is the deadline for nominating local companies for the 2001 Business Integrity Awards, presented by the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio. These awards are designed to recognize firms whose business practices and related activities in the community exemplify the BBB's mission and principles. Nominees will be separated into four categories for judging, based on number of employees. For details, contact Kip Morse at 486-6531, ext. 120, or visit www.centralohiobbb.org.
Caroll Conklin, managing partner of the Sullivan Consulting division of Lord Sullivan & Yoder, will present The Branding Imperative in E-Business during a June 11 Business Development Forum hosted by the Industry & Technology Council of Central Ohio. The forum will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Edison Welding Institute, 1250 Authur E. Adams Dr. For details, call 225-6907.
Neil Anderson, president of NBBJ, will discuss Design in the New Economy at the June 15 Technology Leaders Luncheon at Holiday Inn on the Lane, 328 W. Lane Ave. For details, call 225-6907.
Home Office Warehouse and National Office Warehouse will present a seminar June 2 on Researching Trademarks or Brand Names. For details, call 228-2233.
More than 18 chapters of Network Professionals Inc. meet weekly either for breakfast or lunch at various locations around Central Ohio. For details, call Frank Agin, regional director, at 523-8717, or visit www.npinet.com.
LeadNet, a business-to-business networking group, meets at noon Tuesdays at the Martini Italian Bistro,1319 Polaris Parkway. For details, call Racey Morris at 846-8723, ext. 216, or Tim Moore at (740) 548-6067.
The Columbus American Marketing Association hosts Java Talk from 8 to 9 a.m. the third Thursday of each month for at Barnes & Noble on Polaris Parkway. Marketing and technology professionals meet to discuss technology topics affecting marketers. For details, contact Anne Kemter at 543-6317.
Jewish Family Services' Career and Workforce Development Center holds its Tips, Tricks and Techniques Tea from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays at Jewish Family Services, 1151 College Ave., for professionals in career search with experience in a wide range of industries. The meetings are free and open to the public. For details, call 237-9675.
A group of senior executive women has an answer to the old boys' network. It's forming one of its own.
Stephanie Wagoner, president of Cardinal Health Capital Corp., is heading up the new Columbus Women Executives group, formed earlier this year to allow women of this business stature to network with and mentor each other, as well as develop greater visibility for leadership positions.
"Columbus has a very active and vibrant business community," says Wagoner. "CWE provides a forum for women executives to develop business opportunities for their organizations and become an increasingly active part of this exciting and growing community."
Other charter members of the group's executive committee are Kyllikki Kusma of Ernst & Young; Linda Wright Barber of Nationwide Financial Services; Nadia Alaudini of PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Benita Kahn and Sheryl Clark Stoll of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.
For more information about the group, contact Alaudini at 225-8185 or email@example.com, or Wagoner at 757-7865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A dying breed
Central Ohio's largest independent insurance broker is merging with a Virginia-based company with approximately 80 offices in the United States.
Berwanger Overmyer Associates signed a definitive merger agreement in June with Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton Co., which was expected to take effect July 1.
Berwanger Overmyer has operated independently for almost 30 years. The company has revenue in excess of $22 million and a staff of more than 160.
"Our merger with HRH is the best alternative for the future growth of BOA," said Ed Overmyer, president and CEO of Berwanger Overmyer, in a release announcing the merger plans. Although Overmyer will remain with the company, Steven C. Deal of Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton will oversee the Columbus office.
New clients and partnerships
CallTech Communications partners with Iomega Corp., maker of Zip drives and disks.
Thompson Hine and Fifth Third Bank sign as sponsors for the Columbus chapter of the Women Presidents' Organization.
Mills/James Productions partners with DG Systems for digital distribution purposes.
Gerbig Snell/Weisheimer & Associates acquires Health Process Management of Doylestown, Pa.
The Ohio State University's Career Exploration Office partners with The Service Corps of Retired Executives.
Griffin Communications acquires Baird Communications.
Profitworks signs Concrete Technology Inc. of Dayton as a client.
Up & coming
Aug. 9, 12:30 p.m., National Association of Women Business Owners golf outing, Raymond Memorial, 888-5203 for registration information.
Sept. 14, 11:30 a.m., Gaining and Sustaining Competitive Advantage, Executive Interchange Series, Max M. Fisher College of Business, Pfahl Hall, 225-6907 for registration information.
Sept. 24, noon, Industry & Technology Council and Columbus Venture Network golf tournament, Little Turtle Country Club, 225-6907 for registration information.
Oct. 24, 11:30 a.m., Junior Achievement's Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Greater Columbus Convention Center, 771-9903 for tickets or sponsorship information.
Joanne S. Peters, senior associate with Isaac Brant Ledman & Teetor, Community Service Award from the Columbus Bar Association.
Curtis J. Moody, president and CEO of Moody/Nolan, and Dannette A. Render, president and CEO of DAR Public Relations, "Fifty Influential Minorities in Business" by Minority Business and Professionals Network Inc.
Mattie James, president and CEO of Child Development Council of Franklin County, the Helen Taylor Award for Management Excellence from Head Start - Johnson & Johnson.
Errol Kahoun, owner of AB Excavating and Cra-Co Investments, the Leader of the Year Award from Milo-Grogan Business Association.
Joan E. Munnelly, a senior vice president at Limited's Too Inc., the Woman of the Year award from the Committee Concerned for Children.
Resource One, 2001 Minority Business Development Recognition Award from Gov. Bob Taft.
Midwestern Auto Group, Center of Excellence Award 2001 from BMW of North America; and 2001 Porsche Premier Dealer Award from Porsche Cars North America.
The Longaberger Co., ranked No. 18 among the 500 top revenue-generating women-owned companies in America by Working Woman magazine. Columbus Fair Auto Auction ranked No. 400, Cheryl&Co. ranked No. 411 and Media Solutions ranked No. 486.
Fortner Upholstering, second place, national Craftsman competition sponsored by The Upholstery Journal.
Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects, Citation Award for Outstanding Design from American School & University magazine.
Mills/James Productions, Silver Reel from the Media Communications Association.
The Wallick Cos., ranked No. 22 among the top 50 multifamily rental builders by Builder magazine; and ranked among the nation's top 400 builders in Professional Builder magazine.
Haslett Heating & Cooling, honorary Construction Award from Blue Dot Services Inc.
Copiers & More, ProMasters Award for Customer Service Excellence from Toshiba.
Columbus Chapter No. 42 of the Institute of Real Estate Management, Gold Award, Chapter of the Year category from Institute of Real Estate Management.
Niles Overly of The Frank Gates Cos. was named Entrepreneur Of The Year in Business Services by Ernst & Young.
Timothy Foley of ME Cos. Inc. was named Entrepreneur Of The Year in Construction/Real Estate by Ernst & Young.
Ari Deshe and Jon Diamond of Safe Auto Insurance Co. were named Entrepreneurs Of The Year in Consumer Services by Ernst & Young.
Chris and Rick Doody of Bravo Development were named Entrepreneurs Of The Year in Food Services by Ernst & Young.
Dwight Smith of Sophisticated Systems Inc. was named Entrepreneur Of The Year in Technology by Ernst & Young.
Anne Matunas and Walter Sullivan of Security Voice Inc. were named Socially Responsible Entrepreneurs Of The Year by Ernst & Young.
David and Rick Milenthal of HMS Partners were named Master Entrepreneurs Of The Year by Ernst & Young.
Robert E. Shenton to managing partner, Plante & Moran, Central Ohio practice.
Douglas Morgan to partner, Calfee, Halter & Griswold.
F. Jeffrey Kovacs to partner, GBQ Partners.
David J Renke to executive vice president, Huntington Bancshares Inc.
John F. Farris to senior vice president - Express Services, AirNet Systems.
Wayne Custer to senior vice president and COO, Renier Construction.
Richard Witherow to senior vice president and Central Ohio region credit officer, Huntington National Bank.
Thomas Garrity to senior vice president, National City.
Richard C. Needles to vice president - Human Resources, Fifth Third Bank.
Kevin Finnegan to vice president - national sales leader, Lerner New York.
Cindy Silver to vice president - client services, PeeblesPanos Marketing Design.
Vicki Miller to vice president/creative director, Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer & Associates.
Harlan M. Schottenstein to vice president for special projects, Prime Tours Inc.
Scott N. Smith to vice president and chief risk officer, American Electric Power.
Mike Kvitko to vice president of stores, Internet & Hallmark projects; Jennifer Pearce to vice president of marketing and communications; and Lisa Swope to vice president of merchandising, Cheryl & Co.
Kirk B. Merritt to deputy director, International Trade Division, Ohio Department of Development.
Robert Teater and Bradley R. Kastan to the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.
Richard A. Frye to Board of Directors, Legal Aid Society of Columbus.
Dr. Glenn P. Gravlee to president-elect, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health.
Longtime employees Joseph Curran and Jeff Davis, along with Paul Rackoff of Nacht Management Inc., have purchased the business from founder Paul Huff. Rackoff is serving as CEO, Davis is the new president and Curran oversees sales.
"The timing for this partnership was perfect," says Rackoff. "We were looking to invest in a strong local company with a reputation for manufacturing quality products. At the same time, Davis and Curran were looking for a partner to help with their aspirations to take CWP to the next level."
Medex Inc. is receiving a 60 percent tax credit for eight years from the state to expand its Dublin operations. The company plans to invest at least $5.3 million in building renovations and the acquisition of new manufacturing machinery and equipment at its Shier-Rings Road facility. The project is expected to create 100 jobs within the first three years of operation.
Medex manufactures and distributes critical care medical products and infusion systems used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients in hospitals and alternate site health care facilities.
Michael P. Mahoney, Columbus managing partner of Arter & Hadden, receives the Bar Service Medal from the Columbus Bar Association.
Stampp Corbin, president and CEO of Resource One, receives a Governor's Recognition Award for Minority Business from Gov. Bob Taft.
Linda Turner, president of BLT Productions, receives the Marion "Pat" Renick Headliner Award from the Columbus Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.
Lowell T. MacKenzie is inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Columbus Society of Financial Service Professionals.
Thomas J. Bonasera, partner-in-charge of the Columbus office of Thompson Hine LLP, to the Legal Aid Society of Columbus' Board of Trustees.
Larry Clark, president and CEO of Made From Scratch, to president of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association.
Randolph C. Wiseman, partner with Bricker & Eckler LLP, to president of the Federal Bar Association's Columbus chapter.
Bob Biehl, partner with GBQ Partners, to president of the Central Ohio chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association.
Karen M. Moore, partner with Bricker & Eckler LLP, to treasurer of the Ohio State Bar Association's Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section's Board of Governors.
Floyd W. Nickerson, president of AEP Ohio, to chairman of the Ohio Electric Utility Institute.
Promotions, executive hires
Michelle Zahler to partner, Columbus office of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Charles W. Gehring to president and CEO, LifeCare Alliance.
Dominic T. Maxwell to CFO, Mills/James Productions.
Anita C. Elliott to vice president and controller, Big Lots Inc.
Brandon Russell to executive director, Trillium Place.
Kemper Allison to vice president and director of commercial lending, Advantage Bank; senior vice president of First Savings Bank of Washington Court House.
William H. Daniels to vice president of business development services and director, Small Business Development Center, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
Up & coming
Sept. 7, 1 p.m., Surviving and thriving in the dot-com world, featuring Roger Blackwell, Center for Excellence in Manufacturing Management at Ohio State University, Longaberger Alumni House, 292-3199 or email@example.com to register.
Sept. 7, 11:45 a.m., Dot-coms revisited, featuring AdOutlet.com, BizResearch, EC Outlook and SmartPipes, Industry & Technology Council, Holiday Inn on the Lane, 225-6907 to register.
Sept. 11, 11:30 a.m., Work Place Violence, Delaware Area Safety Council, Delaware JVS South Campus, (740) 369-6221 for reservations.
Sept. 13, 11:30 a.m., NAWBO lunch meeting, Easton Hilton, 888-5203 for reservations.
Sept. 14, 9 a.m., Negotiating Insurance Claims: Strategies & Skills, Capital University Law School's Center for Dispute Resolution, 236-6430 to register.
Sept. 24, noon, Industry & Technology Council and Columbus Venture Network golf tournament, Little Turtle Country Club, 225-6907 to register.
Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m., Governor's Awards for Women's Excellence in Enterprise, 466-4945 for reservations.
Oct. 24, 11:30 a.m., Junior Achievement's Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony, honoring Florence Zacks Melton, Doug Olesen, Alex Shumate and Bob Weiler, Greater Columbus Convention Center, 771-9903 for tickets or sponsorship information.
On the move
Express-Med Inc. transfers its medical supplies subsidiary from Minnesota to New Albany.
Bob Evans Farms Inc. prepares to build a distribution center in Springfield.
Eclipse Studios Inc. breaks ground on a new facility in Dublin.
Feinknopf Macioce Schappa Architects and Equity break ground on Eastglen II medical office building.
JaVa's Cyber Expresso Bar opens a location in the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The Container Store opens at Easton Town Center.
Nationwide and HMS Success, Silver Anvil Award for work promoting the development of Nationwide Arena, Public Relations Society of America.
Contract Sweepers & Equipment, Outstanding Vendor of the Year for the State of Ohio, Street Maintenance and Sanitation Officials of Ohio.
Behal Sampson Dietz, Chrysalis Award in Historic Renovation category, Professional Remodeler magazine.
Edsall & Associates LLC and The Ohio State University Department of Recreational Sports, Outstanding Sports Facility design award for Fred Beekman Park, National Intramural Recreational Sports Association.
New clients and partnerships
Imprinter Sales & Service and The Supply Department merge to form CardWare International.
FirstLocus partners with Frontstep Inc. to provide infrastructure and integration services to Frontstep clients.
RHS Solutions partners with Avert Inc. to expand its Web-based products and services.
Marketing Works Inc. signs AboutPhace, Andrews Architects, Catanzaro Foods, CrimsonCup Coffee Roasters, METSS, Printers Envelope Service Inc. and Revolution Software as clients.
The Neurological Association and St. Mark's Episcopal Church sign Apex/M&P Construction LLC as general contractor for upcoming renovation projects.
Job candidates with high-level dot-com experience are finding they have to tighten their resumes and highlight traditional skills such as project management/development and leadership abilities as opposed to the technical skills they acquired during their employment at a dot-com or start-up. Recruiters at Management Recruiters International Inc. (MRI) advise former start-up and dot-com employees who held high-level positions such as CEO, CFO, vice president of sales and vice president of marketing to include their dot-com achievements, but not to place of a lot of emphasis on their technology-based accomplishments.
''Top-level job candidates who have dot-com working experience but are not technology gurus have to prove themselves all over again to the traditional companies where they are seeking employment,'' says Neil Fox, chief information officer for MRI. According to Fox, here are five career accomplishments most valued by employers:
- Describe how you created a marketing/advertising plan and how it was successful in getting the company branded in the media.
- Emphasize how you saved money for the dot-com or start-up and cut overhead.
- Highlight how you led an overall sales team effort, and how that generated revenue for your company.
- List new products or product lines that you developed or helped to develop while working for a dot-com.
- Describe how you improved the record-keeping process and effectively budgeted expenses.
There's no shortage of critics this summer. Ask Steven Spielberg or Jack Welch. Ask anyone involved in the world of mergers and acquisitions.
While their past glories remain unquestioned, their most recent efforts have drawn an unaccustomed round of disappointing reviews from observers. After two years of history making deal activity and soaring deal values, the U.S. M&A market appears headed for an across-the-board slowdown in performance this year. Through the first six months of 2001, Mergerstat reports that dealmakers announced 4,293 United States and U.S. cross-border transactions, down from 5,259 such transactions in the first six months of 2000.
If the trend holds until the end of the year, it will be the first decline in year-over-year deal activity for the M&A market since 1991 and the lowest number of total announcements since 1998. To date, Mergerstat reports that U.S. dealmakers have disclosed just $336.6 billion of deal value, compared to $676.5 billion for the first half of 2000. If that trend continues over the next six months, dealmakers will have recorded their lowest annual total for disclosed deal value since 1997.
Mergerstat LP tracks mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. business entities, excluding the exchange of business assets, private placements, spin-offs and open-market transactions.
The U.S. economy owes much of its rapid expansion during the 1990s to substantial foreign capital inflows. But this boon to the economy carries with it some risks, according to a Policy Discussion Paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
The paper's author, Owen F. Humpage, an economic adviser for the bank, points out that since the late 1980s, the stock of foreign claims against the United States has exceeded the stock of U.S. claims on other countries. This growing international interdependence increases the U.S. economy's vulnerability to foreign economies.
If foreign economies improve as the U.S. economy slows, investors would likely pull money out of the United States. That would further diminish the dollar and raise interest rates, Humpage says. To read the entire paper, visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Web site at www.clev.frb.org/Research or fax a request to (216) 579-3050.
Thirty-five percent of companies polled plan to increase work force levels from July to September, while 16 percent report reductions will be necessary, according to a Manpower Inc. survey of employers' labor needs.
Another 45 percent expect payrolls to remain steady. The outlook was higher last year, when 41 percent of employers expected to increase work force levels. Hiring activity is likely in the following Manpower segments: construction, transportation/public utilities, wholesale/retail trade, finance/insurance/real estate and education. Cutbacks are expected in public administration, according to the survey.
Crossing the border
TBG World, Inc., a rapidly growing Toronto marketing firm, signed a five-year lease on the ground floor of the Chester Commons Building in downtown Cleveland. The parent company, TBG International, has opened offices in eight U.S. cities in the past three years.
TBG's national clients include Green Mountain Energy Company (BP), Sunoco, Talk America (AOL) and AT&T. TBG hired Lakewood-based TENANTreps.net Corporate Real Estate Advisors to broker the deal. A tenant space search and negotiation of office site alternatives resulted in TBG opening its doors in Cleveland in less than five weeks, says John Tobin, president of TENANTreps.net.
Here's how your company's press release can grab the attention of our editors, or the editors of your local paper or industry publication: ''Tell me a story, give me a local news angle, touch my heart, grab my pocketbook (save me or make me money), make my stomach turn (in horror or fear) or turn me on,'' says Paul Krupin in his book, ''Trash Proof Press Releases.''
''Trash Proof'' contains more than 120 original news releases, all of which Krupin says produced stellar publicity for their issuers and which can be used as models. It covers the how, why, when and where of using custom-targeted PR, including news release construction, delivery and follow-up in today's fast-evolving media environment. Learn about custom-targeting technology, strategies and tactics that resulted in print, radio and television publicity for a wide range of authors, publishers, businesses and local and national nonprofit organizations.
A ''Trash Proof News Release Tutorial'' can be downloaded for free (as an e-book in a PDF file) at www.Imediafax.com. The hard copy version of ''Trash Proof News Releases'' is available at bookstores nationwide, online or by calling (800) 457-8746. Cost is $37, plus $5 shipping and handling.
Dix & Eaton Inc. has a reputation for getting its clients maximum exposure. This time, however, it's D&E that's in the spotlight.
The Cleveland-based public relations and investor relations firm was named "Midsize Firm of the Year" by The Holmes Report, an industry trade publication that each year issues its report card on the nation's public relations firms.
S.N.S. Properties Inc. of Warrensville Heights was purchased in June by Massachusetts-based Formtek Inc., a subsidy of Mestek Inc. The move puts all former properties of S.N.S. under the control of Formtek.
Those include Yoder Manufacturing, a designer and builder of roll forming and tube/pipe making equipment; Mentor AGVS, a manufacturer of automatic guided vehicle systems; and Krasny-Kaplan Corp., which designs and builds material handling equipment. Those three companies become part of Mestek's metal forming group. All operations of the former S.N.S. will remain in Cleveland.