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Friday, 28 October 2005 07:43

Movers & Shakers

Duravest Inc. named Dr. Ogan Gurel president and CEO. Gurel was also appointed to Duravest’s board of directors, as well as the board of directors for Estracure Inc.

Gurel was chairman of the Aesis Research Group, which provides comprehensive, forward-looking information and research services to the health care and life science sector. Prior to the Aesis Group, Gurel was vice president and medical director at Sg2, a leading health care intelligence think-tank and consultancy serving hospitals and health systems.

At Sg2, Ogan was the principal architect of the industry-leading Impact of Change health care utilization forecasting system and participated in a business development strategy that built the firm from a start-up to one with more than $12 million in revenue within three years.

Gurel’s business background includes management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton. He also was an independent consultant to several medical device firms in which he was involved with both European and FDA clinical trial development and oversight. Gurel has a bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard and was a visiting researcher at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France.

He teaches cellular and molecular biology, bioinformatics and mathematical modeling at Roosevelt University.

He received his M.D. from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Gurel was involved in international medical relief work during the NATO military campaign in Kosovo and in Turkey after the 1999 earthquake.

EQUIS
Equis appointed Lisa Takata vice president in Equis’ Corporate Services group. Takata focuses on expanding Equis’ real estate technology practice.

Takata has more than 20 years of experience in finance, accounting and management consulting. Her expertise includes implementation of financial and real estate ERP systems, business process design and data migration of real estate portfolios resulting from mergers and acquisitions. Previously, Takata was a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting, where she served as one of the key individuals responsible for the design and development of its real estate platform.

Equis also appointed Paul Katz senior vice president. Katz works with Equis’ Corporate Services Group providing strategic real estate consulting to corporate and public sector clients. Katz has more than 20 years of experience in real estate transactions, portfolio management, strategic planning and construction management worldwide. As former vice president at TeleTech in Denver, COLO.com in San Francisco and Anixter International Inc. in Chicago, Katz had responsibility for site selection, transactions and construction of facilities worldwide.

EPSTEIN BECKER & GREEN
Hans U. Stucki joined Epstein Becker & Green PC’s national litigation practice.

Stucki, a commercial litigator, represents multi-national companies in a broad range of industries, with particular experience in banking and finance. He also possesses in-depth knowledge of the aviation industry and varied electronics-related industries, regularly appearing before federal and state courts, arbitrators, mediators and administrative agencies, and has handled myriad arbitrations, mediations and appeals involving complex legal issues.

Prior to joining EBG, Stucki practiced at Holland & Knight representing major corporations as both in-house and outside counsel. As senior litigation counsel for two Fortune 100 corporations, Stucki directly litigated a full array of labor and employment issues before state and federal courts.

Stucki’s experience includes business torts and contract claims, construction disputes, real estate litigations and issues pertaining to dealer termination, product liability and a wide variety of unfair competition.

Stucki was also active in the Association of Corporate Counsel while in-house, serving for four years as chair of the Litigation Section. He was a recipient of the association’s Member of the Year Award in 1995. He is a recurrent faculty member to organizations such as Council on Education in Management; Centaur Conferences International (Europe), Legal Conferences; Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (Europe); the American Bar Association; and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.

4240 ARCHITECTURE INC.
4240 Architecture Inc. promoted Geoffrey Brooksher to senior associate.

Brooksher is both technical director of the 4240 Architecture Chicago studio and head of 4240’s Sustainable Architecture Task Force. A member of the American Institute of Architects, Brooksher’s 4240 projects include 200 Fillmore, a repositioned office building in Denver and new offices for the Spencer Foundation, a Chicago-based educational watchdog organization.

He pursued a dual concentration in architecture and business administration at Carnegie Mellon University.

VITAS
Sharon Rostoker was named general manager of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Chicagoland Northwest, assuming responsibility for the overall operation of the program.

A 14-year veteran of VITAS, Rostoker most recently was general manager during the launch of the VITAS program serving the Greater Sacramento Valley and Foothills in California. In this role, Rostoker was responsible for obtaining the program’s initial licensure and certification, implementing the business plan and interviewing, hiring and training employees. Previously, Rostoker was director of admissions for VITAS’ Chicagoland Northwest program, Chicagoland North program and San Gabriel Cities, Calif., program.

She also worked as regional education and training coordinator for the San Gabriel Cities program.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 05:55

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Akron-based Soulsby Accounting Group serves as a virtual accounting department for many corporate clients. The firm’s president, Tracy Soulsby, CPA, says there are several ways for a virtual accountant to help clients adjust to a new way of doing things.

  • Market the concept. Soulsby says prospective clients tend to have a traditional mindset about accounting departments and she works with them to show them the benefits. “It’s just doing it one prospect at a time,” she says.
  • Overcome the transition period. Familiar with their own in-house accounting department, there is an adjustment period when clients make the virtual switch. Soulsby encourages clients to ask questions so they can iron out procedures together.

”Getting them through that initial transition period and helping them ease through it is a bit of a challenge, but we always get through it,” she says.

  • Help clients open up to new ideas. Old ways of doing accounting are not necessarily the fastest, easiest or best.

Soulsby says a client who pays employees weekly and doesn’t do direct deposit could reduce administrative time and cost by changing to semi-monthly payroll and direct deposit.

  • Create systematic procedures. “The more procedures you have in place, the smoother things run,” she says. “Another big benefit of having (procedures) is they’re ready to communicate to the client right away, and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.”

HOW TO REACH: Soulsby Accounting Group, (800) 584-2721 or www.soulsbyaccounting.com

Friday, 28 October 2005 12:55

A not-so-brief history of Alfred Mann

Alfred Mann is a business builder, and his track record success shows he’s got the Midas touch. Here’s an overview of his start-up story and a vitae of his leadership experience.

  • President and founder, Spectrolab, now part of Boeing, established 1956, sold to Textron 1960, continued as CEO until 1972. Developer of electro-optical and aerospace systems

  • President and founder, Heliotek, now part of Boeing, established 1960, sold to Textron 1960, continued as CEO until 1972. Manufacturers semiconductor and electro-optical components

  • Chairman emeritus, former CEO and founder, Pacesetter Systems Inc., established 1972, acquired by Siemens AG 1985, chairman and CEO of successor company Siemens - Pacesetter, Inc., 1985-1992. Developed, manufactured, and distributed cardiac pacemakers

  • Former chairman, CEO, and founder, MiniMed Inc., established 1983, incorporated 1993, went public 1995, acquired by Medtronic Inc. 2001. Develops, manufactures and distributes microinfusion systems and continuous glucose monitoring systems for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes

  • Former chairman, CEO and founder, Medical Research Group, a privately held affiliate of MiniMed, acquired by Medtronic Inc. 2001. High-risk research group focused on development and clinical trials of various medical devices, including an artificial pancreas

  • MannKind, chairman and CEO, founded 1991 as Pharmaceutical Discovery Corp., renamed 2001. A publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutic and drug delivery systems for the treatment of diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

  • Chairman and founder, DermaPort, established in 2004, a privately held company developing percutaneous parts for dialysis and other purposes

  • Chairman, co-CEO and founder, Advanced Bionics Corp., established 1993, sold to Boston Scientific Co. Developer, manufacturer and distributor of cochlear implants for the restoration of hearing to the deaf and neurostimulation systems for the treatment of chronic pain, migraines, angina and other neural deficits

  • Chairman and founder, Second Sight LLC, established 1998. Development, manufacture and marketing of implantable visual prosthetics

  • Chairman and founder, Implantable Acoustics, established in 2002 to develop, manufacture and distribute implantable acoustic hearing systems

  • Chairman and co-founder, Neurosystec, established 2004. Development of cutting-edge treatment for diseases of the brain and nervous system that combine ultraminiature device technology with the delivery of neurologically-active therapeutic agents

  • Chairman and founder, Bioness, formed by The Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research, Alfred Mann, and Ness Ltd. in 2004. Development and delivery of innovative devices and therapies for physical and rehabilitative medicine

  • Chairman and founder, Quallion, LLC, established in 1999. Development, engineering, and sale of highly reliable battery products and battery product management systems for medical, military and aerospace applications

  • Chairman, Stellar Microelectronics, acquired from Kimball Electronics and renamed 2003. A full turnkey electronics manufacturing services provider

Friday, 28 October 2005 12:23

The Kite file

Age: 39

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, economics, DePauw University

Career moves: 1987, business development officer , Harris Trust and Savings Bank; joined Kite Development Corp. in 1990 as CFO; 1994, president, KMI Realty Advisors Inc.; 1997, president and CEO, Kite Cos.; August 2004, president and CEO, Kite Realty Group Trust

Boards: International Council of Shopping Centers; Young Presidents Organization; The Children’s TherAplay Foundation Inc.

Largest multi-site tenants, as of Dec. 31, 2004

  • State of Indiana — three locations

  • Circuit City — three locations

  • Walgreen’s — three locations

  • Bed Bath & Beyond — three locations

  • Old Navy — three locations

  • Publix — three locations

  • Marsh Supermarkets — two locations

  • Ultimate Electronics — two locations

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods — two locations

  • Winn-Dixie — two locations

  • Kerasotes Theatres — two locations

Total percentage of gross leasable area in portfolio — 25.6 percent

Total percentage of portfolio annualized base rent — 25.2 percent

Thursday, 27 October 2005 20:00

The Blake File

Birthplace: Cincinnati

First job: Hotel laundry

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, MBA from University of Cincinnati

Involvement: Chairman of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education; Trustee of Alverno College

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
To listen to your customers.

What has been your toughest business challenge?
I think the toughest business challenge any executive faces is communication and making certain that everyone in the organization understands what the agenda is and how they contribute to the success of the business.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Jack Welch is someone that I have looked back to and learned an enormous amount from. He was very focused on fact-based management. He was very focused on customers and customer expectation. He was always pushing to get better.

When you asked him what he spent most of his time on, he said people and developing people. I think that is really a key to success for any businessperson.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 05:22

Movers & Shakers

Capital Acceleration Partners LLC hired Tim Mueller as an operating partner. Mueller brings more than 20 years of experience as an accomplished entrepreneur, professional manager and civic leader to the Capital Acceleration operating team.

Previously, Mueller served on Mayor Jane Campbell’s executive staff for three years as chief development officer for the city of Cleveland, leading the charge on initiatives in economic development, city planning, community development, work force development, and building and housing from 2002 to 2004.

As CEO and co-founder of Vantage One Communications, Mueller accomplished numerous firsts by uniting nonlinear communications with the untapped muscle of the Internet. He successfully grew the company by servicing nearly 15 Fortune 500 clients across the United States and creating an innovative work culture for employees that resulted in an annual turnover rate of less than 6 percent over 10 years.

During that same time, Vantage One received numerous national accolades and expanded its presence to the Dallas, Phoenix and Tucson markets. In 1999, Mueller and his business partner sold Vantage One to a private equity firm.

Mueller is a past winner of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. He was also named to a local business magazine’s list of most influential people in Northeast Ohio and another publication’s Power 100, a list of the most powerful people in Northeast Ohio.

SUSAN G. KOMEN BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Northeast Ohio Affiliate named Sophie Sureau executive director.

Sureau oversees daily operations of all affiliate programs, services and activities, provides guidance to volunteers and committees, and acts as a liaison with the affiliate board and its committees, grantees, donor organizations and the public. This year, the Komen Northeast Ohio Affiliate granted nearly $1 million to organizations in its 15-county service area that provide breast health education, screening and treatment.

Prior to joining the Komen Northeast Ohio Affiliate, Sureau started the nonprofit organization Helping Hands for Burn Survivors in Montreal and was named a Hero in June 2005 by Time magazine’s Canadian edition for her work mentoring burn patients.

MCDONALD HOPKINS CO.
John D. Fabian joined the law firm of McDonald Hopkins Co. LPA as an associate in the litigation department.

Fabian has experience in several areas of litigation, including complex antitrust litigation matters and Ohio employer intentional tort claims.

Fabian earned his juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

CB RICHARD ELLIS INC.

Candi Pascoe joined the Global Corporate Services team of CB Richard Ellis Inc. as a corporate services associate. Her key responsibilities include supporting the Global Corporate Services team focusing on marketing for the team’s office, and industrial and retail clients.

Prior to joining CB Richard Ellis, Pascoe served as the special events coordinator for the YWCA Greater Cleveland. She is a member of the Cleveland chapter of Commercial

Real Estate Women and serves as vice president and chair of the marketing/PR committee for Cogswell Hall Inc., a nonprofit organization on Cleveland’s near west side, which provides safe, affordable housing and supportive services for women facing critical life challenges.

BRULANT INC.
Brulant Inc. named Timothy J. Sikon chief operating officer. He was previously chief financial officer and managing director for Max Ventures.

In this role, Sikon manages the day-to-day operations of the firm, as well as future growth.

Sikon brings more than 25 years of experience as a senior financial manager working closely with entrepreneurs in high-growth, middle-market and Fortune 500 companies. His expertise includes operations, mergers and acquisitions, business integration and restructurings.

As chief financial officer for Big Game Capital, Sikon completed multiple acquisitions employing more than $12 million of equity. He has been a financial adviser to Brulant since 2003, providing ongoing financial management and operations services, as well as assistance with strategic planning.

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY AND ENTERPRISE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Gov. Taft recently appointed Thomas Washbush, a partner at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, to the Industrial Technology and Enterprise Advisory Council and its Technology Investment Tax Credit Committee. His term runs through 2007.

The Industrial Technology and Enterprise Advisory Council assists the Ohio Department of Development in technology investment issues.

Washbush is a partner with Benesch’s Corporate & Securities Practice Group. He has more than 15 years of experience in structured financing, mergers and acquisitions, bank representation and general corporate work.

Friday, 28 October 2005 12:52

The Mann File

Born: 1925, Portland, Ore.

Education: Bachelor of arts and master of science degrees, the University of California Los Angeles; honorary doctorates, University of Southern California, The Johns Hopkins University, the Technion and Western University

First job: Research and development staff, Technicolor Corp., exploring electro-optical technology

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
The keys to achieving your goals are commitment, patience and resilience.

What has been your toughest business challenge?
Trying to cure cancer. But I believe it can be done. At MannKind, the immunology division will soon begin trials for a variety of therapeutic vaccines for cancer that have great potential.

Whom do you admire most in business?
No one. I’m too busy to pay attention to what anybody else is doing.

Personal goal: To make the world a better place, one life at a time.

Friday, 28 October 2005 11:19

Protecting your inventions

Patent protection offers many benefits to entrepreneurs and innovators, allowing companies and people to profit from their novel ideas and providing incentive to develop more. But the process of applying for a patent can be time-consuming, expensive and confusing.

According to Tom Donovan, partner in the Chicago law firm Barnes & Thornburg, for small businesses, the key to successfully pursuing patent rights is to approach the patent process seriously and intelligently. A competent approach ensures that patents obtained will ultimately have competitive value to the company, meaning your money isn’t wasted on protecting inventions that will never make it to the marketplace.

Smart Business talked to Donovan about the steps involved in the patent application process.

When in the process of new product production should a business or entrepreneur look into getting a patent?
Patent applications should be filed, or at least considered, very early in the process of developing new products. It is always a good idea to file patent applications as soon as possible, because a delay in filing a patent application in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and foreign patent offices can result in a loss of patent rights.

Having said that, in cases where the product is far from completion and additional development work is anticipated, it may make economic sense to wait until the product is more developed. It also may make sense to file a provisional patent application if the invention is not yet completed.

But, again, it is important that any decision to delay in preparing the application is made with keen understanding of what could result in loss of patent rights.

How does the patent application process work?
There usually are two steps. The first step is to conduct a patentability search to obtain an understanding as to whether the invention might be patentable.

The second step, assuming that the patentability search comes up favorable, is to have your patent attorney prepare and file a patent application that covers the invention. The first step is optional, although in most instances it is a good idea.

Who should be involved in the patenting process?
Patent counsel and individuals associated with the company that can make informed decisions in connection with technical, budgetary and marketing issues.

The technical person may be either the inventor or someone responsible for the research and development or engineering staff. The budget person is someone that has the power to authorize the cost of filing and prosecuting patent applications and who also understands the company’s budget. The marketing person is someone responsible for trying to sell the invention.

At large companies, these individuals may all be different, but at smaller companies there may be one or two individuals who can consider all of these issues when making patent decisions.

How long does the process take?
In the U.S., once a patent application has been filed, it can take from about 18 months to three or more years for the patent to issue.

How much does the application typically cost?
It depends upon the technology. The total fees and costs to prepare and file a U.S. patent application usually range from about $5,000 to $10,000, depending upon the technology. If the technology is complex, the total fees and costs could be higher.

What are the benefits of having a product patented?
In the U.S., the key benefit is that it gives you the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the invention covered by the patent.

And how long does that protection last?
A U.S. patent expires 20 years from the filing date of the application.

So you have to apply for a patent in each individual country?
Yes. Patent rights are territorial. If you want patent protection in a particular country, you have to obtain a patent for that country. Just to clarify, there are some countries that have joined together to form regional patent offices where you can obtain a single regional patent that will be recognized in individual countries, provided certain steps are taken. But the point is the same — you need to have patent protection within each country.

Are there any tips you could offer to companies looking to secure a patent?
Yes. Patents can be critical to a company’s success, so companies should take very seriously the decision-making process involved in pursuing patent protection. There are four important components to that process.

First is technical — what is the invention? Next is budgetary — can we justify the costs to obtain a patent? Then consider marketing — is there a market for this invention? And finally, the legal aspects — is the invention patentable and what will be the potential scope of the patent?

It is important to consider all of these components when deciding what inventions should be protected.

Tom Donovan is a partner in the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg. His practice focuses on intellectual property. Reach him at (312) 214-8329 or tdonovan@btlaw.com.

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