Now vice president for Central Bank, a division of First Commonwealth Bank, he began his career there as a collection manager and earned rapid promotions. For the past 11 years, he has been a commercial lender.
In 1994, he became Central Bank's small business manager; the next year, he was appointed SBA lender. He then earned designation as a certified lender under the SBA CLP Program, and was named Lead SBA Lender for the First Commonwealth Financial Corp. He also has earned the designation of Preferred Lender under the SBA PLP Program.
In 1997, he received the Financial Services Advocate Award by the St. Francis College Small Business Development Center, and was given the first SBA Champion Award.
Nagle attended Juniata College and Pennsylvania State University. He began his career in finance with Capital Finance, then spent four years with General Motors Acceptance Corp. and five years with Mellon Bank.
He is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Association of SBA Guaranteed Lenders and the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and chairperson of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advocates. He is chairperson of the CARE Program for Central Bank and on the board of the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission.
Additionally, he is president of the Southern Alleghenies Commission Development Corporation and a member of the Altoona Incubator Advisory Council.
Druzak says Druzak Medical Inc. has a family-type atmosphere, and proudly recalls an employee who introduced the $18 million annual revenue company to a potential customer as "Team Druzak."
"That's why we're successful." he says, "The nomination could also be attributed to our ability to overcome numerous obstacles."
Druzak has overcome several obstacles since Druzak Medical opened for business in 1990, including a three-and-half-year development process for the company's fast and efficient Treetop Shopper, a Web-based, split-screen ordering system for physicians and nursing homes.
"I ended up starting and scrapping at least two other versions of the project before I finally came up with a design that worked. (It took) at least six different computer programmers. After the fifth programmer left for Chicago, I decided to build our own MIS department (and hire) our own programmer," he says.
Personal loss has challenged Druzak as well. In 1992, one of his two partners, Janet Charland, the company's business and accounting manager,lost her fight with cancer. Then Druzak's son, Benjamin Jared, died at age 6 in 1995 from bacterial meningitis. Far from giving up, he continued growing his successful business and adopted three children from Poland in 1996.
"I consider ourselves an organic-style company. We also have the philosophy of developing long-term business relationships based upon trust and a mutual respect for one another," says Druzak.
As the first paid director of the African-American Chamber of Commerce, Williams says, "My greatest challenge was in starting the chamber as a professional organization."
She developed an implementation proposal based on the strategic plan she was presented and engaged as many of her business associates, partners and friends as possible.
"I created systems to monitor my performance and kept my focus on building the organization based upon its mission that I believe in," she says.
That mission is to promote access and opportunity for African-American business owners and professionals. Williams is proud that the organization has more than 325 members, 28 corporate sponsors and formal programs and benefits for members.
"My business philosophy is to stay focused on your goals and objectives. Think big and be creative in your approach, thanking those who help you along the way. Not everyone may agree with you, but hopefully they will respect what you do and appreciate the end results," Williams says.
As the recipient of the 2000 Susan B. Anthony Woman of Vision Award from the Executive Women's Council and the 2002 Greater Pittsburgh YWCA's Woman in Business and Industry Award, Williams remains true to her fundamental belief in people.
"I understand the value of building relationships first, then selling the product. People tend to do business with people they know," she says.
"I'm always looking for ways to energize my staff," says Bradley, president of graphic design firm Bradley Brown Design Group in Carnegie.
Providing a creative atmosphere is imperative in the graphic design business, says Bradley. Yoga, she contends, is one way to foster such a climate.
"Despite the pressures, the creative juices have to flow and we have to work as a team," says Bradley. "Yoga helps stimulate the creative process."
Bradley, who says she has used other exercise regimens, including aerobics and fitness machines, has been taking yoga classes for about a year-and-a-half. She decided last September to invite her employees and those of one of her clients to join her on Mondays at midday at the Yoga Sadhana Studio in the South Side.
She mentioned the classes to Don Trone, CEO of investmgt., a Web-based community for investment fiduciaries. Trone, who has an interest in providing his employees with opportunities for physical activity --investmgt. has an on-site rowing machine and shower facilities at its offices -- suggested to Bradley that the two companies offer the class to both of their employees.
"We tend to work at desks and behind computer screens all day," says Trone. "There is a connection between physical fitness and mental attitude. The yoga classes establish a sense of camaraderie and help us to open our minds. The resulting productivity is clearly a companywide benefit."
While Bradley concedes it's difficult to quantify the benefits of offering a yoga class to employees, she says her own anecdotal experience leads her to believe that it helps reduce stress and that her employees look forward to the weekly sessions.
Says Bradley: "It's been my observation that they seem so much calmer."
Taking the class as a group, adds Bradley, creates a bond among employees and helps them work as a team. Bradley picks up the tab for the classes.
"It definitely gives me much more balance and peace. In order to run a business, you need to have a good balance of head and heart," she says. How to reach: Bradley Brown Design Group, www.bradleybrowndesign.com; investmgt., www.investmgt.com
Sisterson & Co. achieved the level of Unqualified Opinion, the highest level of report from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, in its most recent review.
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES
Commercial National Bank has agreed to acquire the North Huntingdon branch office of Great American Federal.
Prudential Preferred Realty has acquired the residential and commercial divisions of Equity Real Estate in Squirrel Hill.
Massaro Co. will provide general construction services for the construction of an 8,500-square-foot UPMC Cancer Center at St. Clair Hospital.
PWCampbell secured a design/builder contract from Indiana First Bank in Indiana, Pa. The construction company has also received a design/builder contract from CALL Federal Credit Union for a branch office in Chesterfield, Va.
Repal Construction Co. Inc. completed projects for Westmoreland County Community College, including a 3,200-square-foot classroom building, a 1,200-square-foot exercise and fitness center and a 2,200-square-foot classroom renovation.
Cuddy Roofing Co. received the roofing contract for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Hanlon Electric Co., a union electrical contractor, formed a subsidiary, Hanlon Network Services, to specialize in installation, diagnostics and service of data communications networks.
Pittsburgh Housing Development Corp. is working with EDGE studio and no wall productions to renovate the building at 905 Liberty Ave. into the Liberty Lofts.
The Pittsburgh Foundation has awarded grants totaling $548,000 to The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pittsburgh Film Office, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Economy League and Community Design Center of Pittsburgh Inc.
Ohio Valley General Hospital has begun a Colon-Rectal Health Program, focusing on education and prevention.
Cohen & Grigsby has formed an independent workplace consultancy, cg 2.
Vangura Surfacing Products Inc. has introduced a new product line, Prosolid, a solid surface countertop product for baths and kitchens.
PUBLIC RELATIONS & ADVERTISING
Communitech has added 3 Rivers Connect to its client roster.
LarsonO'BrienAcumen was selected agency of record for Turner Dairy Farms.
Jack Horner Communications has acquired clients Tri-Arc Manufacturing Co., University of Phoenix, Pittsburgh Campus, Laurel Awning Co. and Desmone & Associates. The firm will provide various public relations and marketing services.
Fitting Creative changed its name to Fitting Group, a move the agency says better reflects its strategic direction and capabilities.
EV Products selected Krakoff Communications Inc. as its marketing communications agency.
Sewickley Graphics & Design was recognized by the American Corporate Identity 18 for entries in the corporate identity trademark/logo and corporate image brochure categories.
Arbuckle's Gourmet Coffee Co. purchased an 11,000-square-foot building in Verona for office and warehouse operations.
Filene's Basement, the Boston-based retailer, opened a 40,000-square-foot store at The Waterfront.
Blue Archer Consulting signed an agreement to provide Alcoa Inc. with financial management software for the Alcoa intranet.
XiTech has expanded its operations with new offices in Cincinnati and Ravenswood, W.Va. It has also secured a license to provide job retraining for individuals interested in the fields of systems or network administration.
Taylor Systems Engineering Corp. of Plymouth, Mich., was named a provider and distributor for Pittsburgh-based Vocollect Inc.
Penn Telecom landed the contract to provide local dial tone and other broadband services to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
In fact, the easiest road to cost savings may not require a site at all.
"Online billing and payment comes in many forms, and at some level, is beneficial to just about any company that doesn't receive payment immediately," says Joe Muttillo, sales director for the Intersoft Group, a Cleveland-based e-commerce solutions provider. "It doesn't matter whether your customer is a consumer or a business customer. Where companies receive benefits is that it helps them streamline their accounts receivable, increase their cash flow, minimize billing costs and expedite payments."
The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates the cost to send out a paper invoice or statement is 85 cents when you add in all related expenses. Sending them electronically can cost as little as 15 cents.
"One thing you have to ask yourself is whether or not you have or can get your customers' e-mail addresses," says Muttillo. "If it's a business-to-business customer, it's probably no problem. For consumers, nearly half the country still doesn't have Internet access."
Muttillo says it's important not to be misled on what an online billing system can actually do.
"This is not a product where you hit a switch and all your billing will be done online," he says.
Because you probably won't have everyone's e-mail address, you'll still have to run most of your bills the old way.
"Offer some incentive to pay online, if you can," says Muttillo. "It might be a discount or something free after so many payments. Once you are able to run people off the old system onto the online one, that's where your true savings will take place."
Smaller companies may not see huge savings because of smaller mailing costs, but they still benefit from improved cash flow. Transactions are set up as bank-to-bank transfers, saving time and money on banking fees. Bills or statements are sent out as HTML attachments in the e-mail, allowing you to customize them to look like your company Web site. For added security, the documents can also be stored on the Web, with the e-mail just stating where the bill can be viewed.
"Make sure any company you use for online billing understands your business processes and not just the Internet side," says Muttillo. "There's some upfront work to do this right, but in the long run, it saves you money." How to reach: Intersoft Group, www.intersoftgroup.com
Sept. 10, 2001, was Jon Delano's first day as KDKA-TV's money and politics editor. Easing into the job was not an option.
Delano was no novice; he's been a familiar face on the tube for some time as an analyst during election seasons. But this was his debut as a reporter, and the plan was to do some sample stories before rolling out reports for broadcast. His deep knowledge of government, public policy and politics, however, was too valuable not to be tapped during the days and weeks following Sept. 11.
"My whole career has been a series of unexpected developments," Delano says.
The turns for Delano have often been into the fast lane. He began his career as an associate with Reed Smith Shaw & McClay, now Reed Smith LLP. Doug Walgren, not long after he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1977 with help from Delano, invited him to breakfast at a Denny's restaurant, scratched out on a placemat a plan for organizing his office and asked Delano to help. Delano stayed in Washington for 14 years and served as Walgren's chief of staff until Rick Santorum beat Walgren in 1991.
In 1993, Delano himself waged an unsuccessful campaign to win a seat in Congress.
Delano's primary occupations these days are at KDKA and his duties as adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz School, but he still finds time to write columns, offer his expertise as a political analyst in newspapers and on TV and radio, and take his turn getting his kids off to school.
With all the high-profile activities he's been involved in, Delano rates as one of his proudest accomplishments a long but successful battle with the Pentagon while working for Walgren. Because of a technicality, two Pittsburgh-area Vietnam veterans' names had been left off the Vietnam War Memorial. Delano ultimately convinced officials to include the names, and you get the impression that the effort was more love than labor.
Says Delano: "I love going up against bureaucrats who say it can't be done."
The procedure for selling a bankrupt company's assets gives creditors and other interested parties a say in almost every major step the debtor takes, which can delay completion of the sale and add to the buyer's transaction costs.
Even when the debtor and buyer agree on the terms, there's no guarantee the buyer will end up with the asset. The bankruptcy court has to approve the sale agreement, creditors have an opportunity to object and other buyers may bid. To obtain court approval, the sale price must be sufficient to cover the liens on the asset and the debtor's costs to sell the property, and add something to the estate to pay other creditors.
Also, creditors and interested parties must receive notice of the terms of the sale, and the debtor must advertise the terms and hearing date. Because the goal is to obtain the highest price, once the sale is negotiated, the assets are put up for public sale.
The assets may be sold to another bidder, despite the fact that the initial buyer may have spent thousands of dollars to perform due diligence and negotiate the sale contract. The standard rules of the competitive bid procedure offer some protection to a buyer. These rules usually include stipulations that:
- Competing bidders must exceed the contracted sale price by some minimum amount to qualify for consideration.
- Bids after the first competing offer must exceed it by specific increments.
- Offers must be in the same form as the initial bid to avoid comparing apples and oranges.
- The buyer will win if it matches the highest bid rather than exceeding it.
- Competing bidders have to put down a deposit or otherwise demonstrate their financial stability before they can qualify as a bidder.
Bankruptcy judges have a great deal of discretion in approving these bid and sale arrangements. A buyer and its attorney should be familiar with the track record of the judge assigned to the case and prepare motions accordingly.
Peter N. Pross is an attorney in the Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Department at Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott. Reach him at (412) 566-5934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.