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MASSIVE INDUSTRIAL YARD BULLY IN PERRY BRINGS INNOVATION AND JOBS

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FOCUS EASTERN CUYAHOGA

SOUTH EUCLID AIMS TO WORK AS ONE


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CHARDONS FAIRMONT MINERALS ON CARING COMPANIES HONOR ROLL


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June/July 2012

FOCUS BUSINESS INSURANCE

Three reasons to avoid lapse in coverage


By Ryan Hanley

FEATURED
By Kay Bryson

FOCUS TECHNOLOGY

TDA maintains success with help of people, creativity


eeping up with technology is probably one of the biggest challenges for many small businesses, but many that did it well thrived during the recent economic downturn. Further, companies that created a positive visionary culture for their employees weathered the storm even better than most. TDA, a Willoughby architecture, planning and interior design company also known by its former name ThenDesign Architecture, is a local firm that has embraced and integrated technological changes into its corporate climate, while fostering a laid-back, yet disciplined, creative atmosphere for its 38 employees to advance and thrive. Robert A. Fiala, TDAs partner, says the companys growth of 50 percent to 70 percent through the downturn can be attributable to two factors. The first was seeing the

s a small-business owner, the term lapse in coverage probably sends a shiver of fear down the spine, and well it should. Most small-business owners fight tooth and nail, scraping together dollars, explaining away their late payments and, in some cases, signing waivers of subrogation and statements of no loss just to avoid a lapse in insurance. If youve never heard of a lapse in insurance, a lapse is defined as (according to III.org): The termination of an insurance policy because a renewal premium is not paid by the end of the grace period. Most often, a lapse in insurance coverage can happen for one of a few reasons: Unintentionally (or intentionally) not paying your bill (a.k.a. cancel for non-payment).

A
>

Robert A. Fiala, partner at TDA

See LAPSE IN COVERAGE, page 7

Building information modeling software allows TDA designers to draw a building in three dimensions. storm clouds over the horizon in 2006 when lending became tighter and deals were more difficult to close. The second was a conscious decision to move away from commercial into educational design due to state funding that became available at that time.
See TECHNOLOGY, page 2

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FOCUS BUSINESS PROFILE

CELEBRATING

Tri-County Business Journal

21

YEARS

Landscapers partner to spur growth


By Mary C. Gannon

DO NOT DELAY Deliver by June 8, 2012

8350 Kirkwood Drive Chesterland, OH 44026

3 Business Law Q & A 3 Communications Chat 4 Opinion 11 Business Briefs 12 Awards & Honors 13 Movers & Shakers 16 Sales Strategies

hen looking to grow their businesses, a lot of company owners will look to mergers and acquisitions to achieve that goal. Sometimes that route is not possible and some businesses that might be a great fit to merge together arent ready to lose their independence. It was a scenario just like this that led two of Lake Countys premier lawn and landscaping companies to align their businesses and partner to service each others clients.
See LANDSCAPERS, page 8

INSIDE

Photo CoURtESY oF tDA

2 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

FOCUS TECHNOLOGY
Continued from page 1

Speed of change Technological advances are the biggest changes Fiala has seen since he started in the business after graduating from Notre Dame College in 1977.

Not only has the technology inside of the buildings changed rapidly, but CAD design software used in the design process, especially over the last five years, has changed. For ADVERTISER FOCUS

example, the introduction of building information modeling allows designers to draw a building in three dimensions, allowing them to better avoid collisions and obstacles such

Managed IT support solutions that fit business tech needs

ornerstone IT is a Microsoft-certified IT firm headquartered in Mentor and founded in 1994 by Raymond Paganini. With 18 years of leadership in IT for small- and medium-sized businesses in Northeast Ohio, Cornerstone IT has positioned itself as an advanced, full-service IT firm offering world-class technical support. Accordingly, Cornerstone IT developed Cor-Care, a multitiered managed IT support solution designed with the flexibility to accommodate varying levels of company IT support needs. Cor-Care offers several degrees of support, monitoring and maintenance, and managed security. Specific degrees of managed IT support include infrastructure, network, server and application monitoring, offsite backup services, IT disaster recovery services and security administration. Further capabilities include cloud computing and hosting services, application development and website hosting. Additionally, Cornerstone IT allows small- and medium-sized businesses the benefits of shifting their technology to the cloud by facilitating webbased shared resources as a service. The IT firm has been recognized as a pioneer of cloud-based technology and specializes in the administration of Microsofts complete cloud services solution, Office 365. As an honor of excellence in cloud services, Cornerstone IT has been awarded Microsoft Cloud Champion two years in a row. This honor requires technical competency, as well as sustained volume in implementing and migration of Office 365. As a leader in outsourced IT and managed services, Cornerstone IT maintains several industry credentials including Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, Microsoft Small Business Specialist and Connec+Wise Certified Partner certifications. Cornerstone IT provides 24/7 performance monitoring and quick response times. The company recently moved into new corporate headquarters as a result of recent growth. Contact Cornerstone IT at 440-639-1234 for an outsourced, managed IT solution that fits your small- to medium-sized business technology needs.

as ductwork not fitting into the ceiling. Another change Fiala has seen is the trend for a builder to hire a design building team to facilitate designers, architects, engineers and construction crew to work together, creating one entity to manage the entire project from start to finish. Previously, an architect would hand in the drawings and be done. Our tasks remain the same, but how we do them changes, he says. On the advice of a hired marketing consultant, the company changed its name in 2008 at a cost of $30,000 for the consultation and replacement of all collateral materials such as logo, business cards and promotional activities. The name change was designed to make their marketing perception more understandable and recognizable. In retrospect, Fiala reflects that everyone was using the three-letter name at the time and its easier answering the phone with the new name. Other than a few long-standing clients questioning whether the name change was for some other reason, the transition was seamless. The new company tagline is Think, Design, Act. Importance of people While company names and technological savvy are important, its an organizations people who make it work. Another key to TDAs success was finding a wealth of talented, young employees who became available when they were laid off from other firms during the recession. Prior to that, Fiala says, he struggled to find good hires. This influx of talent opened up new markets and opportunities for TDA. Through an intermediary, the firm was introduced to a Pittsburgh designer named Dina Caruso, who built a solid reputation as the principle designer of Ritz Carlton Hotels, among many other designs. The two companies merged in January, opening the hospitality market and other specialty segments to TDA and prompting the opening of a Pittsburgh office. Caruso has worked on buildings in Mexico, El Salvador, London and Jamaica, and the merged company is working on a new Hilton Garden Inn in Pittsburgh. TDA believes that it is important to do everything possible to make the work environment fun and productive simultaneously, especially in a creative environment. TDAs website states, We do not believe in closed doors, long titles, corporate jargon, working alone or rushing through a project. Instead, we believe in open office environments, asking to be referred to by our first names, honesty, team brainstorm sessions and getting to know you better by sitting down together with a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream (please say ice cream). Fiala and partner Christopher Smith screen new hires carefully, looking for employees whose egos do not interfere with the collaborative, creative process. Theres a

multi-tiered interviewing process, including one in a social setting. Tech and creative staff interview each candidate, asking as many personal questions regarding pets, hobbies and charitable work as professional. Smith, a 12-year employee, moved up the company ranks to become a partner six years ago because he has the intangible skills of leadership, charisma and understanding to take over once Fiala retires. Employees have no titles on business cards and are offered flex time, allowing new mothers to spend time at home while remaining employed. Fiala and Smith are Willoughby residents, married and active in the community. Fiala and his wife have three children. Ready for the future TDAs operating model will be significantly different in the future, Fiala says, as firms must keep up to survive and grow. There are higher expectations and more direct responsibility for projects in assisting clients and providing advocacy with land deals, financing packages, tax abatement and zoning issues. As a result, TDA recently brought in a financial skillset person and cross-trains employees to become engaged in evolving trends in the field. Through intense mentoring, meetings in the field and handle issues on site, employees develop a broadened skill set. The 25- to 28-year-old staff members relish these new opportunities, with Fiala jokingly saying they dont know enough to be afraid of failing. Fialas mentor was company founder Bruce Huston, who started Huston Associates in 1951. Fiala worked there after college for nine years. He worked for a Cleveland firm for another 10 years, returning to Huston, who gave him free office space to run his upstart company while grooming Fiala as managing partner to take over the company. When Huston retired in 1989, the first name change occurred. ThenDesign came from the word thecan, an old English word for think. The company website states, We believe that successful design is fostered by the art of thinking thinking about your needs and developing aesthetically appropriate and workable design solutions to meet those needs. Fiala credits Huston with the success of the company, but his vision and management style cannot be discounted. In February, the company won the NEO Success Award. More than a third of the staff is LEED certified. Fiala brings his baby-boom era work ethic to the table. His advice for young entrepreneurs is to stay with it. Dont get so embittered and quit. We designed the company culture early on and stayed with it. Too many leave too early, he says. Focus, discipline and hard work are the keys.
Kay Bryson is a Painesville-based freelance writer who has written for the Plain Dealer, the News-Herald and other publications.

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 3

KeyBank Chardon makes a difference at WomenSafe

T
Photo CoURtESY oF UNItED WAY SERVICES oF GEAUGA CoUNtY

Workers compensation provides variety of benefits


ost workers are familiar with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) temporary total disability (TTD) benefits that state law provides to replace the wages of those who are unable to work while recovering from a workrelated injury. They may not be as familiar with other benefits available for those who qualify. This article provides a brief overview of some of these additional benefits. Question: Can I receive a pain and suffering award for my industrial injury? Answer: Generally, no, but you may be able to receive permanent partial disability compensation for the permanent effects of your industrial injury, which is similar to a pain and suffering award sometimes provided for victims of personal injury accidents such as car collisions.

BUSINESS LAW Q & A

eam members at KeyBank in Chardon joined 8,000 KeyBank employees nationwide to participate in Neighbors Make the Difference Day on May 24. In partnership with United Way Services of Geauga County, KeyBank employees volunteered at WomenSafe (www.womensafe.org), a local domestic violence shelter and United Way partner agency. Employees spent the afternoon assisting with landscaping projects and donation sorting.

work experience and other disability factors in determining whether you qualify for permanent total disability benefits. These benefits are payable from the date of the award until you return to work or die. This lifetime benefit is reserved for the most seriously injured workers who have first made every effort to rehabilitate themselves or find other work.

weekly wage is low, the benefit for the violation of a specific safety requirement is based upon the statutory maximum for that year of injury.

Q: Are there cost-of-living

increases for workers compensation benefits?

A: No, with very rare exceptions. Q: Can I apply for a lump


sum settlement of my workers compensation claim?

Q: My spouse has been

killed on the job. Are survivor benefits available?

A: Yes, death benefits are pay-

KeyBank Chardon employees volunteer for Neighbors Make the Difference Day. Ive worked in Chardon for many years, but I never realized all the services that WomenSafe provides, said Jonathan Schneider, branch manager. Not only does this project give us an opportunity to help WomenSafe with the maintenance of their facility, but it also raises awareness among our employees about abuse and neglect in our county. WomenSafe, the Green House, is the sixth disclosed shelter in Ohio and provides services to victims (adults and children) fleeing violence in their home. United Way Services of Geauga County facilitates volunteer opportunities for many local businesses. Day of Action events can help employees engage more deeply with their community, foster a stronger sense of unity with co-workers and provide a meaningful way to improve lives. If your organization is interested in hosting a United Way Day of Action, contact Joann Randall at jrandall@uws.org or 440-285-2261, ext. 225.

Q: What if the doctor says


I can never return to work again?

A: You may qualify for per-

able to the spouse and children of a worker whose death is the result of an industrial injury. Benefits are paid at 66 2/3 percent of the deceased workers average weekly wage and are payable until the spouse remarries, in which case, he or she still is entitled to an additional two years of benefits. Benefits for the children can continue to be paid until they reach age 18 or become emancipated and may continue to be paid until the age of 25 if they are enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning.

A: Yes. The BWC will work with

you to settle your workers compensation claim. If a settlement is reached, the case is closed and no further compensation or medical benefits are ever payable.

Q: Do I need a lawyer? A:
Workers compensation claims that only involve a trip to an emergency room and payment of the bill may be simple, but more complicated cases involving time away from work or less commonly applied benefits outlined above may require a lawyers help. information?

manent total disability benefits, which are given to those who no longer can work due to the industrial injury. If your claim is allowed for, say, low-back trouble, however, the hearing officer cannot consider any health conditions other than the lower back trouble that was allowed. To receive these benefits, you likely will have to attend a hearing, where a hearing officer will consider your age, education,

Q: Are any additional

awards available to me?

Q: Where can I get more

A: Yes. If, for example, your em- A: Visit the Ohio Bureau of
ployer violated a specific safety requirement of Ohio law or the BWC, you can apply for compensation based on the specific safety requirement violation. Such an award constitutes a penalty for an employer and continues for any future compensation paid in the claim. Even if your average
Information was provided by the ohio State Bar Association. the column offers general information about the law. Seek an attorneys advice before applying this information to a legal problem. For more information on a variety of legal topics, visit www.ohiobar.org.

Workers Compensation website at www.ohiobwc.com.

Give your voicemail greeting a makeover


By Phil Stella

COMMUNICATIONS CHAT

After being enlightened ... Hello, this is Ralph Schmoozer with Schmoozer and Associates of Lake County, your one-stop shop for small-business technology needs. Please leave a detailed message and Ill return you call within four business hours. Thank you. (34 words, 20 seconds) This version concisely indicates the only two bits of information callers really want to know: that they reached the right person/ organization and when they can expect a call back. We already

Hello, this is Ralph Schmoozer, president of Ralph Schmoozer and Associates of Lake County. Im sorry I cant take your call right now. Im either on the other line or away from my desk, but your call is very important to me. Please leave me a message with your name and number at the tone and Ill get back to you as soon as

But your call is very important to me ... . How do you know? It could be a wrong number, an unso-

Voicemail greeting. What your callers hear or dont hear in your greeting says a lot about your personal and business values, style and personality. An all-too-typical voicemail greeting before being enlightened:

Im sorry I cant take your call right now ... . Why apologize? Its not your fault that they called when you werent available. Its useless information and a waste of the callers time. Im either on the other line or away from my desk ... . Who cares? Its not a complete answer anyway. You also could be in the bathroom, out for a smoke, taking a power nap or avoiding them because Caller-ID told you who it was. Its useless information and a waste of the callers time.

an you remember the days before voicemail? I can. Voicemail has proven to be a tremendous advantage ... or disadvantage ... for your business, based on the impression your customers get. The devil is in the details. Here are a few best practices learned from years of helping business people take the pain out of communicating over the phone:

possible. Thank you and have a nice day. (70 words, 40 seconds) ... President of ... Who really cares. Probably not your callers. Let go of the ego. Make sure you have a brief branding statement so every caller knows what youre all about. Useful information is for you, if not for them. licited telemarketer or your mother-in-law. Its a contrived attempt at courtesy, useless information and a waste of the callers time. Please leave me your name and number at the tone ... . After 20 years of voicemail, do we still need to tell callers what to do? Do you really care about doing business with people who arent bright enough to know to leave their name and number? I dont. Its useless information and a waste of the callers time. And Ill get back to you as soon as possible ... . What does this mean? Because you didnt define return call expectations, you leave it to the caller to do so. It likely will be a different definition than yours would have been. Its better to say nothing or give the caller a reasonable expectation of when they should expect you to call back.

know which one is shorter, but which one projects a better image of the business and the person? Which one is more courteous and user-friendly? Take a few minutes to enhance the quality of your voicemail greeting today. Ill be calling you soon to find out how you did.
Phil Stella runs Effective training & Communication and empowers business leaders to communicate confidently. he is a CoSE MindSpring Expert, a professional speaker and faculty at the University of Phoenix. Contact Phil at 440-449-0356, phil@communicate -confidently.com or www.communicate-confidently.com.

4 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

EDITORIAL

Invisible World is all around us in Northeast Ohio


ven if you own a business, you still might pass the Invisible World, a world of small, unrecognizable logos on office doors, of unknown operations tucked away in industrial parks or of IT, marketing and other services run out of households. This is the world of the many, many small- and mid-sized businesses in our tri-county area providing valuable services and innovations we might not yet know about, at least directly. As a business publication, we continually becoming aware of this Invisible World, as if were wearing some type of special glasses that allow us to see the remarkable contributions of these operations previously unnoticed. Niche businesses, like Chesterlands CAS Dataloggers (a datalogger supports vibrating wires to handle geotechnical data), serve specific markets most of us didnt know existed, all the while building a solid corporate backbone for our communities. In addition to highly technical businesses, we count any small retail or food establishment we pass each day, but have yet to visit, as part of our Invisible World. By the invisible world, we dont mean unimportant, but just unknown by us. Whats part of our Invisible World will be different for you. As a business journal staff, we have occasion to speak with a variety of people at chambers of commerce meetings and business events, and have come away with a heightened sense of value for this Invisible World. We by no means are suggesting that small business werent valued previously, only that something seems to have shifted slightly in the cultural landscape, resulting in more respect and value to home-grown businesses in our communities. Every business in the Invisible World looks to be visible to someone. To this end, it becomes important to manage perceptions, whether through voice mail messages as discussed in this issue by Phil Stella or through business relationships as discussed by Diane Helbig. Here is to all the businesses in our region becoming visible to all the right people. We hope to meet some of you at an upcoming business event.
Speaking of invisible worlds, do you have a business that is anticipating growth due to the potential shale-gas drilling expansion in Ohio? If so, wed like to hear from you and learn about how this growth is expected to impact your business. Contact us at editor@tricountybusinessjournal.com. June/July 2012 Volume 22, Issue 3
TRI COUNTY

Opinion
ON BUSINESS MATTERS

SEND YOUR LETTERS/COLUMNS EDITOR@TRICOUNTYBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM

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WE WANt to hEAR FRoM YoU! Send us your thoughts regarding this issue, todays economy or any other topic affecting the tri-county business community. Nows your chance to participate and be heard on the local business front. Send your letters to the editor or your inquiries for guest columns to Editor todd Nighswonger at editor@tricountybusinessjournal.com.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Use technology to increase sales

nformation t Whileechnology is essential in appraise the opportunity within the organization, business, but that doesnt mean it has to be complex the first step is to identify the opportunities and/ or costly to be effective. Technology may be the or threats being felt. Once the opportunities/threats most important enabler for change and tracking results are identified, prioritize them based on impact to the that a company can introduce. business plan (if a plan exists). Otherwise, assess the Does your company have a plan on how to use impact to the business overall. technology to grow sales? Does your company have Determine the seriousness of the threat or the a plan on how to use technology as a competitive impact of the opportunity. Dale Stefanic weapon? Make a decision about the urgency of the threat or If not, you are missing out on great opportunities the potential of the opportunity. Implementing a full technology strategy can have a benefit that Perform problem analysis to validate seriousness, urgency cascades throughout the organization. and impact. Information technology should be an asset to a business and Take some time to see if there are any opportunities in your support the business through a clear definition of the role it will organization where IT can be used to reduce cost or improve play. This is done in the business plan. productivity. Do your homework to find the right partners and From an information technology perspective, there are only trust their judgment. three kinds of projects: We can apply technology in a more mundane environment Those necessary to stay in business that provides the same kind of competitive environment for Those necessary to stay even with your competition small business. Many do not have a system that tracks leads Those that give you a strategic advantage. and automates the communication between the company and its A strategic advantage can be thought of as redefining or many customers, clients and contacts. changing how the game is played. For example, Amazon We think of this tracking as part of a customer relationship changed the rules for bookstores. Books could be purchased management (CRM) application. CRM applications include online and shipped to your door very quickly and inexpensively. Constant Contact, High Rise and Zoho, to name a few. Amazon further redefined the rules by allowing any product to be I use AddressTwo (addresstwo.com), which comes with a purchased with just the click of one button. 14-day free trial. AddressTwo is easy to use and fully integrates A competitive advantage raises the bar in a specific market contacts, calendar, email marketing, task management and follow or industry. If a manufacturer creates an innovation that allows up with postcard marketing to simplify my life. I consider this a product to be produced for 20 percent less than the industry application to be a competitive advantage for me in my business. average, the rules havent changed, but the bar has been raised Ask yourself what technologies you can use in your business to a new level. Another definition of a competitive advantage to increase your productivity (when you use it) and reduce your could be higher quality, lower cost, speed to market or improved cost. Ask yourself how this technology will grow sales, increase customer service. revenues and shorten the sales process. Information technology (IT) can be used in many markets, on The key to a good technology purchase is knowing what you many kinds of applications and on many kinds of problems. The want to accomplish (returning to the business plan) and how challenges generally fall into one or more of several categories: technology will help you achieve your goal. When you evaluate Manufacturing and high-tech firms your technologies purchases against the three criteria listed at the Deregulated companies beginning, its hard to make a bad technology investment. Mergers and acquisitions As business owners, we have to constantly evaluate our Companies facing financial crisis processes and identify the best practice to stay ahead of not Companies under heavy end user demand only our competition, but current trends in your marketplace. Highly competitive service industries. Technology allows us to do this and use it as a tremendous tool to IT does not typically generate value directly unless you are a make the best and most practical use of our time. technology driven company committed to using technology to After all, time is money. change the rules. IT adds value by enabling the productive and Dale Stefancic can be reached at dale@dalestefancic.com. effective use of existing business processes. Learn more about Dale at www.EntrepreneursonCall.com and www.GetAmazingMarketing.com. If you have an immediate opportunity and want a way to

Web site: TriCountyBusinessJournal.com Publisher: Todd Nighswonger, publisher@tntpublications.com Editor: Dale Luckwitz, editor@tricountybusinessjournal.com Contributing Writers: Kay Bryson, Mary Gannon, Diane Helbig, Jim Maxfield, Phil Stella, Maria Shine Stewart, Dale Stefancic Advertising Sales Manager: Gina DiFrancesco, 216-509-0592, gdifrancesco@tntpublications.com Graphic Designer: Terri Heuser Wolters Ad Production Coordinator: Sherry Lundberg Subscriptions & Accouts Receivable: Candy Bogenrief, billing@tntpublications.com

Planning and preparing for inspiration


BOOK REVIEW
Review by Terri Schlichenmeyer

Address: 8350 Kirkwood Drive, Chesterland, OH 44026 Phone: 440-510-2000 Fax 440-510-2001 Published six times per year. Tri-County Business Journal is an Ohio registered trade name. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. All rights reserved. TNT Publications also produces:

Member: Beachwood, Chesterland, Euclid, Heights-Hillcrest Regional, Madison-Perry Area, Mentor Area, Painesville Area, Western Lake County and Willoughby Area Chambers of Commerce, Lake Communicators, Lake County Development Council and Lake County Visitors Bureau.

here are days when you wish you were a magician. If you were, all problems would be fixed with a click of your fingers. No more thorny predicaments. No more halfbaked ideas. No more unfinished business. One finger pop and youd solve everything, quick and painless. Abracadabra is never that simple or is it? In the new book Snap: Seizing Your Aha! Moments by Katherine Ramsland, youll see that you shouldnt worry about your fingers. Its your mind that should be snapping. You know how it goes: You spot a problem that stymies you. Frustrated, you head for bed and sleep until your subconscious gets done chewing on the problem and the solution smacks you awake. Problem solved. Is it really that easy? Ramsland writes that it is, but it requires preparation and the implementation of three basic steps: scanning, sifting and solving. Overall, its not what you think about the problem, but

how you think. Scanning seems to involve an immersion in the issue itself and a certain bliss or flow with the situation as a whole. Youre interested in the product or end result and even may be passionate about it, so finding a solution becomes imperative. You feel like youve slipped into the most comfortable clothes ever owned and you simply know everything is right. A certain amount of synchronicity even comes into play. Youre being aligned for where you need to be to achieve a positive end result. The best way to sift is to know as much about the issue as you can and to try to see it from new angles. Your cognitive map may get in the way here, so move beyond habits and old paradigms. Look at the problem from other angles. Keep your mind flexible. Harness your flow. Focus, but dont despair if your mind wanders. Just about the time youre ready to throw the whole idea in the round file, walk away. Go to the movies or for a quick hike. Take a nap or a drive. Watch
See BOOK REVIEW, page 5

Snap: Seizing Your Aha! Moments by Katherine Ramsland, foreword by Deborah Blum 2012, Prometheus Books 283 pages, includes index $25

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 5

COMPANY EXPANSION

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Why entrepreneurs choose not to grow their businesses


by Doug and Polly White ts undeniable that small business is the growth engine of the economy. The Small Business Administration reports that there are 22.9 million small businesses in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 90 percent of all net job creation from 1996-2007 came from small businesses. There is little question that if the United States is to recover from this recession and if unemployment is to be driven down, small business will lead the way. Yet, not all small business owners choose to grow. Harvard Business School teaches that the primary objective of a business in our capitalist system is to create shareholder value. To oversimplify only a little, businesses increase shareholder value by growing the bottom line. To be sure, if a business has financial investors, there is a fiduciary obligation to grow the bottom line. You might think that this is a no-brainer. Certainly all business owners would want to grow their enterprise. What we found might surprise you. During the course of conducting research for our new book, Let Go to Grow: Why some businesses thrive and others fail to reach their potential, we interviewed the owners of more than 100 small and mid-size businesses. More than a few had made a conscious decision not to expand their companies any further. Growing their businesses is simply not something they wish to do or feel they can do. We found three primary reasons that small business owners decided not to grow:

Its more than friends, followers

contractor who has revenue of about $2 million per annum. The owner pulls enough cash out of the company each year to make a very nice life for himself and his family. He has time for a wonderful personal life and is able to pursue some hobbies that he loves. As a businessman, he is highly respected in his industry. Because he is honest, trustworthy, reliable and good at what he does, there is usually more work than he can accept. Even when times are tough, he keeps his crews busy. There is little doubt that he could grow the business significantly if he decided to do so. Growing the business would mean buying more equipment, hiring more people, probably working longer hours and definitely delegating significant decision-making authority to new managers. The owner has decided not to take that path, at least not right now.

1. To avoid risk and maintain their lifestyle. We spoke with a concrete

2. To avoid regulation. A local bank was very successful. Through hard work and excellent customer service, it had grown its assets exponentially. In the process, it had created wonderful jobs and hired many people. It was a great example of small business fueling the growth of the American economy. As the number of employees grew, the diligent head of human resources approached the president and said, You know, when we hit 50 employees, well be subject to FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act). After gaining a thorough understanding of the complexity of complying with the act, the president made a conscious decision to stop the growth of his bank. Job creation came to a screeching halt. The president wasnt opposed to extending the benefits of FMLA to his employees. Rather, he made an informed decision to avoid the

perseverance and sacrifice, George Carson had grown his cabinet business, Riverside Manufacturing, to a company with 40 employees. The employees operated the equipment.They built and installed the cabinets. They made sales calls and resolved customer service issues.They scheduled production, shipped product, sent invoices and paid bills. Overhead was still very low. There were no supervisors or managers. To the extent that there was any formal organizational structure, everyone reported to George. George was unwilling to let go of decisionmaking responsibility and wouldnt delegate the hiring or management of any of the workers. Once his capacity to perform these tasks was exhausted, growth stopped. Although he struggled to explain why, George just wasnt comfortable delegating decision-making authority. He probably was right, because Riverside lacked the infrastructure necessary for successful delegation. It didnt have the right managers in place. It didnt have well-documented processes to communicate to employees how George wanted things to be done. Finally, it didnt have a robust set of metrics to let George know what was going on in his business if he werent present. Without these three things, delegation is risky at best. George chose to continue making all of the decisions. When his capacity was exhausted, Riversides growth stalled because he decided not to delegate decision-making responsibility and wouldnt delegate because he didnt have the right infrastructure. George didnt realize he was the constraint to growth in his business. Whether its satisfaction with the status quo, a desire to avoid the burden of regulation or not understanding how to delegate, many smallbusiness owners have implicitly or explicitly made a decision not to grow their businesses. Some pundits subscribe to a mantra that in business you have to grow or die. We found example after example of entrepreneurs who debunk this myth every day. Its completely reasonable for business owners to make an explicit decision not to grow because they are satisfied with the size of their enterprise. Thats their choice. Its shameful that our government incents small businesses not to hire and crushes job growth with unnecessarily burdensome regulation. Its unfortunate that some entrepreneurs unwittingly become the constraint to growth in their businesses because they dont know how to delegate properly.
Doug and Polly White are principals at Whitestone Partners (www.WhitestonePartnersInc.com), a management-consulting firm for small businesses. Specifically, they specialize in helping ownerdependent businesses where the owner/principal wants or needs to let go, but is reluctant to do so.

3. To avoid having to delegate responsibilities. Through hard work,

considerable cost associated with the complexity of maintaining records and making judgments about what qualified for FMLA and what did not. So much for small businesses fueling the growth of the economy.

ts become very cool to launch a social media marketing campaign. The Internet is changing the way we do business, but most of us still are figuring out how to use it effectively. Social media marketing companies (those who want to help you with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) and Internetmarketing companies (which go beyond social media to include building websites, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, etc.) have become ubiquitous. You cant go to a networking event without running into three or four people who want to help you build your website, improve your SEO or get more followers for your business for a price, of course. The Internet, used properly, can be an important part of your marketing mix. Used improperly, it can be a black hole into which you dump tens of thousands of dollars without results. To maximize the return on your Internet-marketing dollar, follow these four tips: 1. Basics still matter. Launching into a social media or Internet marketing campaign without working through the things you learned in Marketing 101 is like firing a shot gun into the darkness and hoping you hit a deer rather than your neighbor. The chances of a happy outcome are small. Yet, this often happens. Before you begin, we suggest answering three questions: Why would a prospective customer buy my product or service rather than a competitors? Is there a segment of the market that would value the things that differentiate my product or service, and is it large enough to support my business? What is the most cost-effective way to reach this segment with the message that my product or service is different? An Internet marketing campaign or, more specifically, a social media marketing campaign may be a part of the answer to the third question, but maybe not. It may be more effective to reach your target market through print advertising, radio, television or direct mail. You should only launch an Internet marketing campaign if it is the most cost-effective way to reach your specific target segment. Assuming you decide that this is the case, you can begin to focus on which social media channel will be best for your business and what creative you should use. 2. Choose the right social media. Not all social media is created equal. For example, Pinterest, which is image based, may be great for a residential Realtor who can post pictures of the homes that he is marketing. It probably would be less useful for a criminal defense attorney. What pictures would she post?
See SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, page 6

BOOK REVIEW
Continued from page 4

TV or the sunset. Distract your conscious mind, give your brain time to play with the issue and see what happens. Wishing you could do a little prestidigitation on a problem? Snap: Seizing Your Aha! Moments isnt magic, but it will help you with a different kind of mind-reading. Using dozens of real-life examples from science, business, medicine and more, Ramsland proves that problem-solving can be effortless in the right circumstances and with a little practice. Her instructions are easy to implement, those anecdotes are

an awful lot of fun to read, and I was intrigued by her assertion that learning to mine aha! moments isnt just for grown-ups. Parents can teach their children to do this, too. While this is a particularly great book for entrepreneurs, I think its also a worthy read for anyone who gets stuck while problem-solving. If thats you (and you know it is), then Snap: Seizing Your Aha! Moments is a book youll want to get your fingers on.
ohio native terri Schlichenmeyer is the Bookworm.

6 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

FOCUS GEAUGA

Incubator serves as virtual sounding board for businesses

by Dale Luckwitz

hink of the Geauga Business Incubator like an online matchmaker service ... for businesses. The brainchild of Anita Stocker, director of the Geauga County Community & Economic Development, the interactive web forum looks to match questions from businesses, or potential businesses, with answers from a volunteer team of experienced business professionals. Launched in February with assistance from the non-profit Geauga Community Improvement Corp. and private sponsors such as First Energy, the website (www.geaugabizforum.com) is designed to be a free resource to help new, as well as veteran, businesses navigate the tricky waters of growth, technology, regulations and a myriad of other challenges a business faces as it develops. Key to this resource, however, is that information is provided by business executives, government officials and professional educators representing a variety of sectors and corporate experiences. Stocker points out that she did not want the site to be a department site simply offering stock

answers, but instead envisioned a forum for the sharing of more real-world experiences. The volunteers with different points of view are the essential part of it, Stocker says in referring to an ever-growing list of advisors that includes Rocky Black of the Department of Agriculture. While the site maintains an impressive list of vetted advisors who have agreed to volunteer, the forums are open to advice from business professionals who visit the site and realize they have the perfect answer to a question. The site can assist a well-established business as much as a new one, according to Stocker, who points out the site can be perfect for that one business that is doing fine, but suddenly reaches unknown territory that all businesses go through. Regarding start-up businesses, Stocker hopes to eventually see the site used as a crowd-sourced testing ground for individuals considering starting something completely new in the region, a resource to help them pitch it, redefine it, rebuild it, cut it down, put it back up and see what they come up with. The virtual environment can accommodate what Stocker has

encountered as two very different styles of inquiry: a bold, fearless (sometime reckless) and eagerto-share attitude she has encountered with younger entrepreneurs and a more suspicious, guarded and distrustful stance of other business people not so willing to share. By allowing questions to be posted with full anonymity or full disclosure of identity, the website accommodates both extremes of approach and all in between. Early challenges As a new site, one main challenge is getting the word out

to businesses and individuals. Stocker wants to see the Geauga Business Incubator move into the schools, particularly high school economic classes. I would like the economic classes to really make it an assignment, she says. The other challenge is to get people talking in this new format. While there are posts, Stocker says there is an initial timidity of posting questions or answers, something she expects eventually will wear off. The result will be a full-fledged resource of business answers. Stocker expects the site, still in

its infancy, will continue to evolve and grow in its usage. The forum section, where businesses post questions and answers, is separated into several topics: business planning, development, financial, government, energy, exporting, legal, marketing, resources, startups, agriculture/food production, sustainability and IT. Within these topics are further subdivisions. The possibilities appear limitless for Geauga County businesses and beyond.
Dale Luckwitz is editor of the Tri-County Business Journal.

Massive industrial Yard Bully in Perry brings innovation and jobs


by Dale Luckwitz
High-tech Yard Bully with old model straddle carrier in background.

Photo courtesy of Tom Mitchell of The Marshfield Group

entor-based Great Lakes Power Service has debuted the ST 35, or Yard Bully, one of the most technologically advanced straddle carriers ever designed. The huge lifting machine, designed and manufactured in Ohio at the companys Perry facility, is capable of lifting about 77,000 pounds and shuttling materials around at almost 25 miles per hour. Numerous orders have been

placed for the ST 35, with at least one international order to go to Australia. Great Lakes Power has created six jobs as a result of the Yard Bully and expects to see additional jobs added as production grows. At an unveiling ceremony May 1, vice president and chief engineer Harry Skip Allen III, son of company chairman Harry Allen Jr., explained how he and his design team began with a blank sheet from the bottom up, rethinking and redesigning almost all elements of the machine.

I knew that our ideas would radically change the marketplace and we would fully exploit todays technology, Allen said. Like a high-end aircraft, the Yard Bully employs a variety of fly-by-wire systems (designed by Ohio-based Parker Hannifin) that replace traditional manual controls with sophisticated electronic interfaces, delivering feedback to the operator and improving control and safety. Other clever designs and safety features range from an ergonomic swivel seat that enables the straddle carrier to
See YARD BULLY, page 11

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING


Continued from page 5

In fact, depending on the market segment a company is trying to reach, social media may not be appropriate at all. While we believe that essentially all businesses need a website, if the target market segment is septuagenarians, you may want to rethink launching a Twitter campaign. Unfortunately, weve seen too many social media marketing companies that dont differentiate. They have a set of things they do and they do these same thing for all of their clients regardless of the industry and the companys market focus. The marketing company has one set of tools. They are a solution in search of a problem. They resemble a repairperson who only owns a hammer, so to him everything is a

nail. What are the results? Some clients (the lucky ones whose industry and target market segments happen to fit what these firms do) see fabulous results. Others are not as fortunate. These companies spend large amounts of money pursuing a social media strategy that has little hope of working. 3. Offer content. In our experience, simply going out on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with a message that says, buy our product is ineffective at best and potentially value destroying. At some point, you will annoy people with your repeated solicitations. Similarly, we find that posts such as just cleaned the cats litter box or sitting in Starbucks enjoying a cup of coffee do little to increase peoples desire to purchase your

product or services. Instead, offer value to your prospective customers. Post an article, a link to a blog post or a video that might be helpful for your target audience. It is completely acceptable to link to the work of others if you give proper attribution. If you author the material, however, you position yourself as an expert. This can be useful in selling your product or services. You have gotten the prospective customer to click through to your blog or website. You have given him or her something of value and made a favorable impression. Perhaps you have positioned yourself as an expert. Now, you are in a much better position to offer something for sale. You can use a banner ad on

your blog or invite the prospect to click to the e-commerce portion of your website. 4. Focus on sales, not clicks. One huge problem with some internet marketers is misalignment of objectives. You want to sell your product or service. They measure success in clicks, friends, followers or some other metric that does not necessarily equate to sales. Our advice: If your goals are not aligned with the firm you are paying for marketing services ... run! Otherwise, you are highly likely to find your marketing company charging big fees and declaring success because you have 2,000 more followers. If you havent booked any incremental sales, however, you shouldnt be celebrating, and neither should the people you are

paying. Dont misunderstand. Interim goals are fine. Gaining a certain number of followers and/or obtaining a target click-through rate are wonderful short-term objectives. It is similar to getting a first down in football. Many a team has gained more first downs than their opponent has and still lost the game. We all know the final objective is not to get first downs, but to score more points than the other team. The final objective of Internet marketing is sales. Dont lose sight of this and dont let those you are paying to help you lose sight of this. The Internet in general and social media specifically can be wonderful tools for generating sales. There are fabulous

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 7

FOCUS BUSINESS INSURANCE

LAPSE IN COVERAGE
Continued from page 1

meet the > Your business may notof a new inspection requirements

insurance carrier. You may not get your renewal paperwork back to the carrier by the required due date. You may be saddled with a huge audit bill and not be afforded coverage until your audit adjusted premiums are paid in full. There also are cases where a small business may purposefully cancel coverage for a set amount of time to save cash flow during periods of inactivity. A prime example of why you might purposefully cancel your insurance is an exterior contractor closing shop for the winter. While canceling your insurance, not paying your bill or not submitting paperwork on time might be legitimate, be aware of repercussions of an insurance lapse. No matter the reason for incurring a lapse in insurance, there are penalties (some severe) in which you may not be aware.

> >

Bad for business A lapse of more 30 days can lead to the loss of a continuous coverage discount given by most carriers. There are at least three reasons that this is bad for business: Most insurance carriers give a discount for maintaining constant coverage. This includes switching from one carrier to another. Continuous coverage shows stability within a business, which is something insurance carriers reward. A lapse in coverage can result in the loss of long-tail products / completed operations coverage. If you have placed coverage

>

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with an insurance carrier for, say, five years, the products / completed operations portion of your liability policy covers you for work done throughout those five years. If you are sued for something you did four years ago, even if its not an ongoing project, your liability carrier will respond. If you have a lapse, you lose that long-tail coverage. A lapse will cause your business to lose goodwill with insurance underwriters. This is especially painful for small-business owners who must deal with commercial insurance underwriters. In most instances, commercial insurance is written on a case-by-case basis. Insurance agents, such as myself, must sell (in a matter of speaking) the underwriter on why that particular business is a good fit for that particular insurance carrier. If your small business has a lapse or a couple of lapses over a period of time, the number of underwriters who want to write the policy decrease significantly. Less insurance carrier options means your premiums most likely will be higher. Obviously, all three of these scenarios assume that you have insurance in place, then have a lapse and then care to get insurance back. The repercussions of having an insurance lapse and not getting new coverage are you simply dont have any insurance protection. That means no defense costs, no general liability, no property coverage, no nothing.

The rub What Im trying to get at here is that a lapse in your insurance coverage is bad. Too often, I see insurance consumers, especially small businesses, have

a relatively cavalier attitude toward insurance. Insurance is not an expense, but a necessity to the small business. Without it, your business is exposed to an infinite number of losses. ADVERTISER FOCUS

Ryan hanley is an insurance producer for the Murray Group Insurance Services (www.murraygrp.com), an insurance and financial services firm in Albany, N.Y. he is the creator/ author of the website theory in Success online (www.ryanhanley.com).

COSE Partners in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

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OSE has been working closely with Goldman Sachs to expand the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative to Cleveland. This program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services best addresses barriers to growth. Through the support of Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, each business owner selected to participate will receive a scholarship to cover program tuition and materials. Participating businesses will receive a series of one-on-one business advising sessions from dedicated professionals to help develop a tailored plan for growth. Cleveland will be the seventh city to benefit from the innovative project. Locally, the program will partner with Cuyahoga Community College, as well as COSE, Jumpstart, the Urban League, The Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the City of Cleveland. Goldman Sachs five-year commitment gives local partners ample time to establish a long-term, sustainable model to effectively grow businesses. This effort targets companies in operation for at least two years with revenues of between $150,000 and $4 million annually and a minimum of four employees. While its not for out-ofthe-gate start-ups, 10,000 Small Businesses will benefit many companies in the early stages of revenue and growth, opening doors and creating a foundation for future successes. 10,000 Small Businesses also will provide Northeast Ohio with approximately $300 million in capital via small-business lending. While specific details are expected in the fourth quarter of 2012, Goldman Sachs has noted that you wont need to participate in the educational curriculum to be considered for access to the money. At this point, the key is to create a large pool of applicants for classes beginning in September. Over five years, this initiative will have a meaningful impact on hundreds of small businesses in Northeast Ohio. To find out more about the program and access a schedule of information sessions, go to www.cose. org/10ksb or www.tri-c.edu/10ksb. The deadline to apply for the first set of classes is July 2.

8 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

FOCUS BUSINESS PROFILE

LANDSCAPERS
Continued from page 1
Photo courtesy of Turf Pride Lawncare Service

Bob Pulver (left) and Dave Petti in front of co-branded van

Turf Pride Lawncare Service of Grand River and Pulvers Landscaping & Design of Mentor are working together to provide quality services to clients throughout Northeast Ohio, with each company focusing on its areas of specialty. We were looking at a merger of some type, but we decided we didnt need that, says Bob Pulver, owner and founder of the full-service landscape and design firm. Pulver and Turf Pride owner Dave Petti found they offered complementary services that they could provide to each others customers. We decided to team up and he could do all my fertilization for me. I believe in quality first and quantity second, Pulver says. I didnt feel my quality in

the fertilization was quite what I wanted. Niche marketing key to partnership Petti, who started his business 10 years ago, focuses strictly on lawn care, including fertilization, weed control, grub prevention and core aeration, whereas Pulvers offers lawn maintenance and installation, spring and fall clean-up, irrigation systems, landscaping walls, walkways, lighting, decks and more. By growing through the partnership instead of just adding employees, Petti plans to add new services within the year, such as perimeter pest control, tree and shrub service. If you grow too fast, you have to limit the quality of your employees, Petti says.

Pulver and Petti found that they each had something to offer: Pulvers business clientele is almost 95 percent commercial, while Pettis is almost 95 percent residential. We can market off of each others customer base, Petti says. We trust each other. Pulvers always gets the job done, so its easy to refer somebody to him. With this partnership, they know the other business will get the job done with qualified, licensed workmanship. The two have started marketing themselves together, with special brochures and fliers that describe what each business has to offer. In addition, they plan to eventually add both logos to all their trucks. While Petti is a two-man show he and his wife run the business together he plans to add at least one employee. Pulver, on the other hand, has 26 seasonal employees

to meet the growing demands of their partnership. When things slow down somewhat in the winter, both are busy marketing, making repairs, planning budgets for the next season, and more. Technology as a game changer Both men rely on technology to streamline their business. Petti uses web marketing, including a newly updated website and Facebook page, as well as new software to make his business more efficient. Pulver also uses an advanced software program with GPS capability to plan customer visits, budget gas and mileage, and keep track of employee time. Technology has really helped me save money everyday, Pulver says. I went from four crews

to three and no more overtime by managing my trucks while they are out on the road. In addition, Petti says, the software program allows him to create accurate measurements of property sizes so he knows how much fertilizer and other products he will need. It cuts down on waste. With all these things in their favor, the future looks good for Pulvers and Turf Pride. Its like a marriage, and youre going to have kinks to work,out, Pulver says. But its good to bounce ideas off each other and use our different expertise to grow and build our business.

Lake Dream House tours to begin in late June


he Lake County Y 2012 Dream House at 11188 Dobbins Way in Concord Townships Cambden Creek Estates is a 2,800-squarefoot home built by W.R. Dawson Construction. The 2012 Dream House opens to the public for tours from noon8 p.m. Monday, June 25 through Sunday, Aug. 12. Anyone who purchases a tour ticket will be entered into a drawing to win the home or a $200,000 cash option. The semifinal drawing for 20 ticket holders will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Dream House. The final drawing will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. Each of the 20 semifinalists will choose a key, and whoever has the key that opens the front door wins the 2012 Dream House and furnishings or the cash option. Tour tickets are $13 each or $11 each for three or more tickets at all Lake County Y branches, at the Dream House during tour hours, by phone at 440-354-5656 or online at lakecountyymca.org. Major donors for this years Dream House are Cambria, Guhde Flooring America, Home Remedies, Leisure Spaces, Levin Furniture, Mars Electric Lighting Center in Mentor, Mentor Lumber & Supply, Sheraton Furniture, Snow Brothers and W.R. Dawson Homes. The Tri-County Business Journal and Lake/ Geauga Family, Cleveland Family and Akron Family magazines are among the media sponsors.

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 9

FOCUS EASTERN CUYAHOGA

ith its newly formed community development corporation (CDC) called OneSouthEuclid, the city aims to position itself for innovation and renewal. OneSouthEuclid is designed to serve and assist the small-business community, says Michael Love, economic development coordinator for the city.

One of the outparcel buildings under construction that will house Panera Bread.

Loves enthusiasm for the concept is because a nonprofit organization can operate with more flexibility than a city [can]. Completing the formation of the CDC, however, was a long process, he says, from the initial proposal to approval and implementation. The six-member board includes representatives from small business, education and government. The mission statement of this 501(c)(3) includes a commitment to enhance the quality of life of all community stakeholders. In the 1980s, South Euclid had a community development organization, Love explains, that was focused on Mayfield Road. Love credits Mayor Georgine Welo with keeping the possibility of another CDC on the citys radar. Thriving communities have a synergy between residential and business worlds. As such, OneSouthEuclid will focus on commercial revitalization, residential revitalization, and marketing and community development. Rejuvenation is a word Love repeats. Steps to that lofty end have begun, including several specific efforts that include a focus on community gardens as part of the citys green initiative and the rehabilitation of homes to green standards. In addition, residential resale may be possible through a CDC to make a dent in the foreclosure crisis, rather than having the homes end up in the county land bank, Love says. Storefront art efforts may add a splash of color to vacant space, offering a more pleasant image to those driving or walking by.

Survey says A survey under way may open the way to enhanced communi-

cation between the city and the business community, as well as among business owners. Unlike a neglected survey that might arrive by email and land in a black hole in cyberspace or by mail and drop into a pile of papers on a desk, this one is being distributed and collected on a one-to-one, faceto-face basis. Three members of the board took a particularly active role in this: former city service director Ed Gallagher; Kevin Maher, owner of Maher-Melbourne Funeral home; and Anthony Holman, owner of Anthonys Place Restaurant. They are taking the lead to make personalized calls on business owners for the survey, which consists of six parts on six pages and questions from simple yes/ no/not sure answers to multiplechoice options to an open-ended space for comment. Question examples: How often do you communicate with your fellow business owners? Would you recommend South Euclid as an ideal location for a fellow business owner? Why did you choose to locate your business in South Euclid? Would you be open to working ... to form a merchants association? If commercial property owners voted to form a Special Improvement District, ... would you be willing to help subsidize this cost by paying a slightly higher rent? We are hoping for a 100 percent response rate, Love says, adding that results will be shared with business owners at an upcoming meeting of the citys existing business advisory board, which meets quarterly. Other CDC board members are Karen Poelking, Notre Dame College vice president for board and community relations and a city resident; Yvonne Sanderson, coowner of Focal Plane Photography and a city resident; and Keith Benjamin, South Euclid community services director.

oneSouthEuclid Board of Directors. Front, from left: Anthony Holman, President Ed Gallagher, Vice President Keith Benjamin. Back: Treasurer Karen Poelking, Kevin Maher and Secretary Yvonne Sanderson.

We are always looking for additional individuals to share ideas with the board, Love says. Individuals do not need to be business owners or employers. Residents and employees with particular expertise might provide a useful perspective. Keeping tabs on business in the city is no small task. We have 300 brick-and-mortar businesses in the city, Love says, adding home-based business are in addition to that number and difficult to tabulate. Merchant cultivation OneSouthEuclid hopes to spearhead the cultivation of several merchant associations in the future.

The Cedar-Green area has such a group already, Love says, but there is not just one intersection that might benefit from such an association. Other hubs include MayfieldGreen, Mayfield-South Belvoir, Green-Monticello and MayfieldWarrensville. If stakeholders in these various spots could communicate more often and more actively, fresh ideas might emerge and collaborations fostered. Creating a mutual synergy, large businesses and small businesses nearby might together improve revenues. At Oakwood Commons, a Super Walmart is the forthcoming tenant, Love says, where outparcels at Oakwood are open to occupancy. The Cedar Center North project

features national chain tenants and room for green space. The city worked to bring in GFS (Gordon Food Service) Marketplace and Bob Evans restaurant. Eight other businesses are expected to open, possibly by fall, Love says of locations brought in by Coral Co. and DeVille Development. Asked about the interplay between big-box retail, chain restaurants and small business, Love predicts that there is going to be increased traffic, increased visibility.
As well as serving as eastern Cuyahoga contributing editor for the Tri-County Business Journal, Maria Shine Stewart is owner of Shine Writing Services

PhotoS CoURtESY oF oNESoUthEUCLID

by Maria Shine Stewart

SOUTH EUCLID AIMS TO WORK AS ONE

10 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 11

BUSINESS BRIEFS

Study finds healthy food options available at Lake convenience stores

Lake County General Health District and the Action Communities for Health, Innovation, and EnVironmental ChangE (ACHIEVE) Wellness Lake County Initiative, in conjunction with Master of Public Health candidate Paul Kasden, performed a 2012 survey of Lake County convenience food stores to see how many offered healthy food options. The survey found that the following stores had the most fresh fruit and vegetable choices: 1. RediGo Food Mart, 161 Richmond St., Painesville (15 choices) 2. Falcones Convenient Mart, 444 N. State St., Painesville (13 choices) 3. RediGo Food Mart, 426 Bacon Road, Painesville Township (12 choices) 4. RediGo Food Mart, 33 W. Walnut St., Painesville (11 choices) 5. Kirtlands Market, 8232 Chardon Road, Kirtland (10 choices) 6. Convenient Food Mart, 36201 Lakeshore Blvd., Eastlake (10 choices) More information about Lake County General Health Districts programming to fight obesity can be found at www.lcghd.org.

Skoda Minotti acquires Quantam Network

Mayfield-based CPA, business and financial advisory firm Skoda Minotti has acquired information technology firm Quantam Network Services. The acquisition will be integrated into the Skoda Minotti Technology Partners services group, a fullservice information technology and telecommunications firm. As part of the acquisition, Tom Horton, MCP, joins the firm as client network engineer, Level III. Hortons experience with Quantam Network includes a strong background in Citrix, as well as providing services that include network design and implementation, network security architecture and implementation and backup and disaster recovery planning for the manufacturing and healthcare industries.

a standing committee of AIA Cleveland. Co-founded by Technical Assurance and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, BECClevelands mission is to share knowledge and resources impacting building enclosures in the Northeast Ohio. For more information contact Ed Taylor at etaylor@ technicalassurance.com or 440-953-3147.

Chesterland Chamber plans June fundraiser

Lyndhurst insurers join with Westlake firm

Diane Helbig, president of Seize the Day Coaching and a frequent contributor to the TriCounty Business Journal, and Marilyn Landis have co-authored a 17-page article discussing how small businesses can thrive in the new economy. The article looks at changes to the economy and offers concrete action steps small business owners can take to master these changes. The article, Thriving in the New Economy, is available in the Kindle store for 99 cents.

Painesville artisan distillery gets license

Building enclosure group starts locally

AIA Cleveland and the Building Enclosure Council of Cleveland (BEC-Cleveland) have announced the formation of BEC-Cleveland as

The Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control has granted a manufacturing license to Painesville micro-distillery Seven Brothers Distilling. The distillery received approval May 10 for an A3A permit that allows distilleries making less than 10,000 gallons of spirituous liquor per year to offer tasting samples and carry-out sales of their products.

Mentor Chamber in energy program

The Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) have announced a collaboration that will benefit area businesses and their employees. Through this new partnership, chamber members are eligible to participate in the COSE Energy

From left are Daniel P. Troy, Lake County commissioner; Harry Allen III, vice president of Great Lakes Power; U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette; Harry Allen Jr., chairman of Great Lakes Power; and Richard J. Pennza, president and CEO of Great Lakes Power.

Beachwoods WTI to build solar project


Weatherproofing Technologies (WTI), a subsidiary of Beachwood-based Tremco, announced it soon will begin working on its largest solar power project in Pennsylvania for the Neshaminy School District. Power generation from this renewable energy source is expected to provide approximately 90 percent of the schools usage. During a time when school districts are looking for ways to do more with less, this solar generation project will keep electricity prices affordable, said Dean M. Bekas, manager of the Philadelphia area for Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance. By developing this solar project as a power purchase agreement, we can provide an energy solution that required no up-front capital and provides fixed power costs that are less than the projected market rates now and for the future. The 400,000-square-foot project includes a 3.36-megawatt solar array installed on the high school and middle school roofs along with covered bus parking structures. The $15 million project is funded through energy grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvanias Department of Community and Economic Development and through Federal Tax Credits. Construction will begin as soon as the grant money is released and is expected to take 10 months. Earlier in April, parent company Tremco was given an Award for Excellence in Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security Performance from the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council for renovations at its headquarters in Beachwood. The project integrated multiple elements of sustainability and environmental stewardship including rooftop vegetative plantings within the business planning cycle. The facility received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in February.

sults in lower operating costs and better reliability, Allen said. We designed it to be a rugged, robust and reliable performer in what we believe to be some of the harshest operating conditions available. Used by steel mills, shipyards, refineries, copper smelters and lumber and military operations, a straddle carrier rolls over, or straddles, materials, lifting them up from the bottom underneath the cab. The actual ST 35 on display at the unveiling was one of two Yard Bullies destined for Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. For more specifications on the ST 35, visit straddlecarrier.com.

Photo courtesy of Tom Mitchell of The Marshfield Group

Helbig authors article on thriving in economy

Hamilton Insurors, which had been based in Lyndhurst, has merged with the Insurance Partners Agency (IPA) headquartered in Westlake. The new operation, called Hamilton Insurance Partners (www. inspartners.com), creates one of the largest independent insurance agency companies in Ohio. With the merger of the companies, the Hamilton Insurors Lyndhurst office has moved into Insurance Partners five Northeast Ohio regional offices, with locations in Chardon, Mentor, Solon, Westlake and Elyria. With this merger, IPA has added nine people including all the key Hamilton agency principals.

On June 9, the Chesterland Chamber of Commerce will hold its Crafts, Antiques & Flea Market at Chesterland Mini-Storage at 11695 Chillicothe Road. This annual fundraiser, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., raises money to replace and maintain the Welcome Home banners that greet visitors as they drive into Chesterland. For more information, call 440729-0099.

Choice program, a dedicated resource that addresses smallbusiness energy challenges. The program extends the opportunity for area businesses to enroll in savings programs for natural gas and electricity. The program also lets participants conduct facility energy assessments and attend educational events. In addition, it provides discounted residential utility rates so employees of area businesses can take advantage of energy cost savings opportunities. Business owners can get more information on the program by contacting COSE at 216-5922205 or energy@cose.org. In other COSE news, the Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce and COSE have entered into an alliance. Through a special joint membership agreement, businesses can join both

organizations and save $150 or more on what it would have cost to join each separately. For more information, contact WLCCC at 440-943-1134 or ktercek@westernlakecountychamber.org or COSE at 216592-2222 or memberservices@ cose.org.

Lake Communicators gives intern scholarship

Lake Communicators, a professional development group for individuals who live, work or serve clients in Lake County, announced the winner of its 2012 $1,500 Marketing Communications Internship matching a mar-com major with an interested Lake Communicators member business. The 2012 internship recipient is Rebecca Hannen, a junior
See BUSINESS BRIEFS, page 12

YARD BULLY
Continued from page 6

State Treasurer Josh Mandel announced the 2012 awards for the State Treasurys Agricultural Linked Deposit Program. Ohio farmers have been approved to receive $59.1 million in interest rate reductions on operating loans and lines of credit this year. more than 700 farms have been approved to receive Ag-LINK awards, spanning 64 counties. Ag-LINK, an annual program in existence for 27 years, allows Ohio farmers to apply for interest rate reductions on new or existing loans or lines of credit up to $100,000. For more information on the Ag-LINK program, visit www. OhioTreasurer.gov/AgLink.

State announces Ag-LINK awards

be driven in either direction to an easily removable operators cabin. One remarkable feature of the design is that the Yard Bully does not use traditional drive shafts or chain and sprocket drives, or even have a steering linkage, but instead is hydraulic driven. Our idea and mantra was that fewer moving parts to wear out re-

12 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Continued from page 11

at Baldwin-Wallace College majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing theatre who will be interning at Lake Metroparks. Hannen graduated from South High School in Willoughby, where she was a National Honor Society member and was involved in drama club, Leadership Council, Key Club and marching band. She received an academic scholarship to Baldwin-Wallace.

State auditor reports on local governments

Twenty-four governments in Lake County use street sweepers, sewer maintenance vehicles and road repair equipment at rates as low as 3 percent, or about 1 day, of a month, according to a study released in April by state auditor Dave Yost. Yost said he chose Lake County for the first-of-its-kind Ohio study because so many local governments agreed to cooperate in pro-

viding data and exploring shared services. The study is a utilization study, the first part of a two-part process to find cost-avoidance and cost-savings opportunities that will work for each of the participating governments. Meetings and working groups are being scheduled in May, June and July to explore ways to boost usage rates. A full copy of the report may be accessed online at www.ohio auditor.gov.

GOVERNMENT TRI-COUNTY SBA LOANS

From March 19April 6 in Lake, eastern Cuyahoga and northern Geauga counties:
CoMPANY Aggcorp A.J. Goulder Electric Bogles BNB CF CAPC Inc. dba teleco of Cleveland Charbel R Rached SR Charbel R Rached SR Custom Masonry and Stone Works Emmanuel Ventures Fairway Management Goldtrak Greater Cleveland XC Krew Kuts Parts Pro Automotive Warehouse Vivo CItY Euclid Willoughby Solon Cleveland Heights Eastlake Mayfield Heights Richmond Heights Euclid Mayfield Heights Solon Beachwood Mentor Madison Wickliffe Mentor LoAN AMoUNt $325,000 $106,000 $35,000 $150,000 $100,000 $90,000 $90,000 $25,000 $20,000 $25,000 $20,800 $25,000 $35,000 $465,000 $117,000

Newbury's BaseTek to build Middlefield facility

BaseTek broke ground May 30 on a 26,000-square-foot facility on White Road in Middlefield. The company, founded in 2001, is located in Newbury Township, but will transfer all manufacturing operations to the larger Middlefield facility once open. BaseTek designs and builds custom base castings out of its proprietary Zanite polymer concrete for multiple applications, including machine tool, semiconductor, metrology, rotating equipment and pharmaceutical OEM markets. According to plant manager Justin Sly, the company expects to see building begin in mid-June and completed by Thanksgiving. The company employs about 10 people and hopes to cross the 20-employee threshold by next year.

BaseTek employees and associates

AWARDS & HONORS

Skoda Minotti pair earn certifications

Bob Goricki, online marketing manager for Mayfield Villagebased Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing, recently passed the Google AdWords Advertising Fundamentals Exam and the Reporting & Analysis Advanced Exam. By passing these two exams Goricki is Google AdWords qualified. Gregory Skoda Jr. has earned the certified information systems auditor (CISA) designation through Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

With this designation, Skoda joins a group of world renowned professionals who audit, control, monitor and assess an organizations information technology and business systems.

Lakeland recognized as model of efficiency

In an effort to respond to the flood of students calling the financial aid office during peak times, such as registration, Lakeland Community College in Kirtland mapped out a plan to reduce students wait time. As a result, Lakeland is one of 16

colleges and universities nationwide recognized by University Business, a leader in higher education news, for its efforts to improve service to students. The Models of Efficiency program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology or business process improvements. The college contracted with Edfinancial Services to establish an external call center staffed with advisers who had expertise in federal financial aid regulations. Their staffers were trained on the colleges financial aid policies and procedures, and handled nearly 9,000 calls.

EA Group wins regional advertising award


Mentor-based environmental services firm EA Group was awarded a first place 2012 Heartland Regional Pinnacle Award from the Society of Marketing Professional Services for its BrEAth EAsier print advertising campaign. EA Group, which provides environmental, health and safety consulting, field, and laboratory services in Northeast Ohio, worked with b-2-b marketer 2nd Street Advertising, based in Concord, to design and write the series of advertisements. Awards were presented at the 2012 SMPS Heartland Regional Conference in Cleveland in April. The event was attended by chapters from Chicago, Columbus, Greater Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Northeast Ohio, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. The Pinnacle Awards honor individuals and firms responsible for excellence in marketing communications in five categories: advertising, feature writing, internal/employee communication, direct mail and swag.

Chardons Fairmount Minerals on caring companies honor roll


The 750 employees at Chardons Fairmount Minerals have adopted its corporate sustainability motto Do Good. Do Well. as an organizational challenge and earned the producer of industrial sand a place on Center for Companies That Cares 10th Honor Roll. Fairmount Minerals was named to the nonprofits honA Fairmount Minerals team or roll that recognizes private, member hauls a new tree during the industrial sand producpublic, for-profit or nonprofit ers Summit Day of Caring, when employers who demonstrate some 450 employees lent a hand outstanding workplace practo the Conservancy for Cuyahoga tices and active community Valley National Park. involvement, according to Center for Companies That Care. Each honor roll organization adheres to the 10 Characteristics of Socially Responsible Employers such as appreciating people, developing great leaders and volunteerism. The recognition comes after a series of community outreach activities that represent the companys 3 Ps mission of people, planet and prosperity. Fairmount Minerals, its 29 locations and the Fairmount Minerals Foundation give back to more than 20 international communities.

Lake Health receives heart treatment award

Lake Health has received the Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Lake Health has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients with 85 percent compliance for at least 24 months to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

Chesterland Chamber members never miss

Reena Kanner and Derek Nevar were honored by the Chesterland Chamber of Commerce for their perfect attendance in 2011. Both are on the executive board.

Kilbourne honored at ElectroExpo 2012

WD&Ws Hrabik gets CSU alumni award

Martin J. Hrabik Jr., CPA, MBA, at Walthall, Drake & Wallace LLP, CPAs was honored with the Alumni of the Year Award from Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Association at Cleveland State University, where he received BBA and MBA degrees from Cleveland State University. Hrabik joined the firm, which has locations in Mentor and Independence, shortly after graduation, made partner in 1975 and retired in 2008. He is retained on a consulting basis.

The Electrical League of Ohio (ELO) honored Terry Kilbourne, president of Tec Inc. Engineering & Design in Willoughby, with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening reception of the ElectroExpo 2012 in March. Kilbourne served on the ELO board for 20 years and was president from 1995-2001. He has been actively involved in the Illuminating Engineering Society, recently completing his term as a national director.

bassador Award and Painesville City Manager Rita McMahon received the 13th annual Gus Gehring Award. Roszczyk has been a volunteer since co-chairing 2005 fund year and has served as the boards first and second vice chair and, for the past 1 1/2 years, as the board chair. The Gus Gehring Award is presented each year to one of Lake Countys outstanding community leaders in recognition of continued service to UWLC.

Pattie Group manager earns HR certification

Roszczyk, McMahon receive UW awards

During United Way of Lake Countys (UWLC) annual meeting, Steve Roszczyk received the second annual Matt Logies Am-

Carla Pattie Fitzpatrick, HR manager of The Pattie Group in Russell Township, was awarded certification as a professional in human resources (PHR). The certification, awarded by the HR Certification Institute, signifies that Fitzpatrick possesses the theoretical knowledge and practical experience in human resource management necessary to pass a rigorous examination demonstrating a mastery of the field.

Photo by Dale Luckwitz

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 13

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Height-Hillcrest adds four to chamber board

Pope

Riffle

Wills

Valerian

The HeightsHillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce (HRCC) has elected four to its board of directors: Larry Pope of Third Federal Savings & Loan, Molly Riffle of Cleveland H e i g h t s - U n i v e rsity Heights Lib r a r y, N a t h a n Wills of The Wills Law Firm and Jay Valerian of Liberty Bank. Pope, Riffle and Wills were elected to serve for three-year terms. Va l e r i a n w a s elected to serve a one-year team for a seat that had been vacant.

Beachwood hires Doutt for econ development

Doutt

Beachwood Mayor Merle S. Gorden and Beachwood City Council appointed Jim Doutt as the citys economic development director.

Douglas Klier was appointed to a four-year term on the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Klier (ADAMHS) Board. Klier is a therapist and a registered nurse at Premier Behavioral Health Services and Hillcrest Hospital. Painesville Police Chief Troy Hager was appointed to a four-year term. Hager is a member of the Lake County Opiate Task Hager Forces Public Education Committee.

Fifth Third Bank Klier, Hager added to promotes McHugh Lake ADAMHS Board Paul McHugh of

Doutt served as the executive director of the Medina County Economic Development Corp. from 1998 until 2008. Doutt has held management positions in the private sector and is a former school principal. He has served in other economic development roles in Northeast Ohio including serving on the boards of TeamNEO, the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium and president of the Ohio Economic Development Association.

director of manufacturing at Libra Industries. Jones will have overall responsibility for contract manufacturing and assemblies opJones erations in Libras two plants in Mentor. Jones has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing management in a variety of industries including industrial regulators and fittings.

and practitioners concerns. Stanley is an associate attorney with Petersen & Ibold in Chardon.

The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) announced that Nancy V. Rodway, MD, MS, MPH, has been named medical director as of mid-April.

Lake health district hires medical director

experience includes the management of accounts receivables and payables, the reconciling and processing of weekly consultant invoices to ensure compliance with project budgets, cash application, vendor relations, and time and project reporting.

Mayfield Collision hires Walker as GM

University Heights has been promoted to assistant vice president, business banking relationship manager, for Fifth McHugh Third Banks Northeastern Ohio region. McHugh is responsible for developing, growing and managing client relationships for emerging businesses in eastern Cuyahoga County, Geauga and Lake counties.

Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A. announced a new association with Alabasi & Associates Co., L.P.A., a highly regarded immigration Alabasi practice in Cleveland. Kim Alabasi announced that she will collaborate with Dworken & Bernstein, with an office in Painesville, to expand her practice in Lake County, recognizing the growing need for legal immigration services in this region.

Dworken & Bernstein partners with Alabasi

Mayfield Collision Centers announced the appointment of Mike Walker to general manager for its South Euclid and Bedford Heights stores. Walker will report directly to the companys owner and president, Tom Griffin.

ERC adds training, Bednar as director

Stanley added to bankruptcy court

Breedlove joins TDA Architecture


Kelli Breedlove has joined architecture and design firm TDA in Willoughby in a newly created position to support Breedlove the operations/accounting department. Her 15 years of accounting

Libra Industries hires manufacturing head

Phil Jones has been named

The Geauga Bar Association has appointed Robin L. Stanley, Esq., to the Attorney Constituent Group for the Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court. The group provides input to bankruptcy judges regarding alternative dispute resolution, technology, uniformity and standardization

ERC in Mayfield Village has added technical training to its training offerings, to be headed by Pete Bednar, who joins ERC after seven years as director of the Center for Business & Industry at Lakeland Community College. At ERC, Bednar will be responsible for working with local and national organizations relative to their technical training needs.

14 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

Study: Employers increase flex time

mployers are increasing employees options for managing when and where they work, while reducing some options that affect how much they work, according to the latest edition of the National Study of Employers, designed and conducted by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and released May 1 by FWI and the Society for Human Resource Management. First conducted by FWI in 1998, its the most comprehensive and far-reaching study of practices, policies, programs and benefits provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of todays workforce and workplace, including workplace flexibility, health care and economic security benefits, care-giving leave and elder care assistance. In the 2012 study, some of the most surprising findings have been around changes in provisions of workplace flexibility since 2005. Significantly more employers are allowing at least some employees >> To use flex time and periodically change starting and quitting times within some range of hours (66 percent in 2005 to 77 percent in 2012). >> To take time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs without loss of pay (77 percent in 2005 to 87 percent in 2012). >> To work some of their regular paid hours at home on an occasional basis (34 percent in 2005 to 63 percent in 2012). >> To have control over their paid and unpaid overtime hours (28 percent in 2005 to 44 percent in 2012). Opportunities to work a reduced schedule or take extended leaves away from work, however, have declined. Significant decreases were found in employers allowing at least some of their employees: >> To return to work gradually after childbirth or adoption (86 percent in 2005 to 73 percent in 2012). >> To take a career break for personal or family responsibilities (73 percent in 2005 to 52 percent in 2012). >> To move from full time to part time and back while remaining in the same position or level (54 percent in 2005

to 41 percent in 2012). It seems that employers are dealing with the lingering economic instability by trying to accomplish more with fewer people, says Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of FWI and an author of the study. Most of the gains allow employees to work longer hours or adjust those hours to care for their personal and family responsibilities while getting their work done. Although some may have expected employers to cut back on flexibility entirely during this economic downturn, we are seeing employers leverage flexibility as they look toward the future. Employers continue to find ways to offer flexibility to their employees, despite economic challenges they may face, says Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, president and CEO of SHRM. As we look ahead, it is clear that to remain competitive, employers must find ways to offer flexible work options if they want to attract and retain top talent. While there has been a decrease in the maximum length of care-giving leaves for new fathers following childbirth, new adoptive parents and employees caring for seriously ill family members, the study also found that more employers today are providing at least some replacement pay for maternity leave during the period of disability. Fewer employers, however, are likely to provide full replacement pay than in 2005. Similarly, employers today are more likely to provide health insurance coverage for full-time employees than in

2005, but 41 percent have asked their employees to pay a larger proportion of the premium for personal health insurance over the past year. It is clear that employers continue to struggle with fewer resources for benefits that incur a direct cost, says Ken Matos, senior director of employment research and practice at FWI and the lead author of the report. However, they have made it a priority to grant employees access to a wider variety of benefits that fit their individual and family needs and that improve their health and well-being. To download a copy of the report, visit WhenWorkWorks.org or FamiliesAndWork.org.

RoboBot competition merges youth, fun, manufacturing


PhotoS BY DALE LUCKWItz AND CoURtESY oF WESt GEAUGA RoBotICS

Crunch Time students work on their robot at Burton Industries. From left are Drew Burton, Greg Jenkens, Skylor Gomes, Michael Girbino and Chris Heintz.

Billy Bot entertains a younger attendee at the AWT Regional RoboBot competition.

Two student-built robots battle it out in the AWT Regional RoboBot Plexiglas cage.

by Dale Luckwitz

parks flew at the second annual AWT Regional RoboBot Competition. Literally. Sparks and pieces of metal and plastic flew into the air as 24 teams from local high school and trade schools pitted their battling robots against each other April 28 at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland. The RoboBot Competition was organized by the Alliance for Working Together (AWT), a collection of manufacturing leaders joined together to help promote careers in manufacturing to todays youth, in collaboration with Lakeland and Auburn Career Center. The competition is associated with the larger National Robotics League events. Focused on generating interest in the manufacturing fields, the event hit the mark. In addition to the competition, there was an exhibition hall, which included a virtual welding display sponsored by Lincoln Electric, and the rolling, rollicking Billy the Robot from Chicago from the play Heddatron. During each battle, two robots, each with a 15-pound maximum weight and built by student teams under the guidance of industry sponsors, faced off in a three-minute challenge. Scores were awarded by a judging panel based on aggression, control and damage. Each team was required to provide documentation showing the process of constructing its RoboBot. Of particular note this year were two all-girl teams, a demographic notoriously difficult to reach by the industrial trades. Madison High School and Beaumont Schools all-girl teams provided strong robotic designs, with first-year Beaumonts

Deus Ex Machina robot, sponsored by Christopher Tool & Manufacturing, making it to the final round. Beating out Deus Ex Machina to win this years regional event was the robot Crunch Time from the West Geauga High School team of the same name, coached by high school teachers Brian Spotts and Natalie Cooper and sponsored by Burton Industries in Mentor. According to company CEO Chris Burton Sr., the student robot-building process began with a shop tour, a brief lesson on manufacturing and learning about the companys management system. The company helped the students set goals, assign tasks, collect data, review data and repeat the process. Before the students began designing their robot, they first examined previous robots to figure out what worked or didnt work. The students received hands-on training in machining, as well as problem solving, engineering, design, teamwork, timelines, scheduling, purchasing, material strengths, part tolerance, etc., Burton says. The biggest lessons learned by both the students and our machinists included the importance of following a good business plan and management system. The collaborative process was emphasized by not only Burton, but also by Spotts and Cooper, with Burton pointing out that the assistance of other shops, both for the Lakeland event as well as the semifinals in Indiana, proved invaluable. Ultimately, however, it was the drive of the students that moved this event forward. According to Beaumont advisor Gretchen Santo, her team of female designers, all freshmen and sophomores, dedicated every Saturday beginning in late

November to designing and build their robot at Christopher Tool in preparation for the competition. The students were self-driven, self-taught and deserve all the cred- From left are Connor Bayzath, it for their success this Micheal Girbino, Chris Heintz, Skylor Gomes, Greg Jenkins, year, Spotts says of Josh Zjaba and Domenic Mitri. the winning team. We were truly impressed by the amount of time, effort and pride the students put into creating their robot. We all got to watch a great group of kids work together as a team.
Dale Luckwitz is editor of the Tri-County Business Journal.

to learn more about AWts work with promoting industrial careers or to find out more on how your company can become involved in this fun, yet impactful, event, visit www.thinkmfg.com or AWts Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AWtRoboBots.

to watch videos of the winning battle, see West Geauga Robotics Youtube videos, including video of Crunch time vs. Deus Ex Machina, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXAnv_onDXg.

www.TriCountyBusinessJournal.com 15

JOB GROWTH

Former Coe site in Painesville nears redevelopment

T
PhotoS CoURtESY oF LAKE CoUNtY PoRt AUthoRItY

he City of Painesville and the Lake County Port Authority will begin clean-up and redevelopment of 160,000 square feet of industrial space at the former Coe Manufacturing site as a result of financial commitments from the Ohio Department of Development

this project in our community, said Rita C. McMahon, city manager. It has been a true partnership that will now clean up a Brownfield site, create new jobs and new investments into these industrial buildings that were just sitting here in our community. The citys Office of Eco-

Coe site offers manufacturing buildings in good condition in the 30,000- to 50,000-squarefoot range, a size in short supply and somewhat difficult to find in Lake County. Loftus has been approached by parties interested in the site. Additional funding is being secured for assessment of the property in addition to monies marked for remediation. A loan for the assessment has undergone cursory approval, and Loftus hopes it will be finalized by the end of June. Based on securing the loan and passing confirmatory sampling for environmental testing, Loftus expects busi-

Arial map of Coe site. a connected cluster that likely would be divided into two sections. The original Coe Manufacturing traces its roots in the Painesville community to 1852, when Harold Hayes Coe and Leonard Anderson formed Anderson and Coe. The company initially produced steam engines and machinery for sawmills and grist mills. Over the years, operations grew into Coe Manufacturing. The company began working with the city in 2003 on

Inside a Coe manufacturing building. in collaboration with JobsOhio. This has been a long process, John Loftus, executive director of the port authority, said after the states Controlling Board approved a Jobs Ready Sites grant of $1.2 million. The city has sought financial resources to remediate and clean-up the site since 2003, a site that spans about 15 acres. Four years ago, the city and port authority began a partnership that resulted in several meetings with state and regional representatives from the Ohio EPA, Ohio Department of Development, TeamNEO and the new JobsOhio, as well as Lake County government, to aggressively pursue clean-up solutions for the site. The City of Painesville is excited about the potential job creation that will result from nomic Development also is looking forward to the reuse opportunity. It is perfect timing, with industry picking back up in the community and our building inventory dwindling in manufacturing, said Cathy Bieterman, the citys economic development coordinator. This will now open up some excellent space that will allow us to retain and attract companies into the community. The state indicated in its letter of commitment that it seeks to partner with local communities and businesses to complete necessary upgrades to prepare sites, like this one, dedicated to creating and expanding job opportunities. The reopening of the Coe site is expected to create more than 50 jobs based on key companies that the port authority and city are working on. According to Loftus, the

a Phase I environmental as sessment, but after several

Outside one of the Coe manufacturing buildings.

nesses possibly could begin moving into the facilities this summer. The Coe site offers a variety of manufacturing and

office buildings, including a 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot L-shaped building, a freestanding office building and

disappointing years and rough competition, Coe was acquired by a competitor and ceased operations in 2009. Created in 2007, the port authoritys mission is to promote projects that will provide for the creation of jobs and employment opportunities and improve the economic welfare of Lake County residents. For more information, visit www. lcport.org.

16 Tri-County Business Journal June/July 2012

ADVERTISER FOCUS

regions premier wine, food event


ine lovers will sample fine vintage offered by 20 wineries, enjoy great food, listen to the best regional bands and learn from wine experts in the American Wine Society Education Tent. They will marvel at spectacular Friday fireworks, enjoy cooking classes by the Western Reserve School, sample gourmet foods from Clevelands best food trucks and fun festival food from many vendors. They may rub shoulders with Ohios best wine makers in the Meet the Winemaker Tent and learn about food and wine pairing with Marianne Franz of the American Wine School. It all will take place at Vintage Ohio on Aug. 3-4 at Lake Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland. Vintage offers the perfect venue for wine lovers at all levels of sophistication. Experienced palates will note varietal nuances. The festival format offers wines that just taste great to those sometimes intimidated by wine. To best enjoy the festival, a plan helps. Whites should be sampled before reds and dry wines before sweet ones. Between samples, tasting food, shopping at artisans, relaxing to great music and attending a cooking class will encourage moderate consumption. Sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a designated driver ensure a fun day and safe trip home. Wine Store purchases will extend the Vintage experience to a future date and time. Vintage Ohio is truly a great summer event. To save $10 off the gate price of $30, go to www.Ohio Wines.org and use the code TNT12.

Vintage Ohio:

How to maximize business relationships


e all need others to help us in our businesses. We need companies that excel in the things that we dont to provide us with the products and services to operate effectively and efficiently. We need clients to sell to. Its great to have referral partners, too. Many times we end up in relationships that fall flat. We become unhappy or disenchanted if the other person doesnt meet our expectations. This usually happens when we havent been clear from the beginning. When we expect our vendors to know what we need and want, without telling them, we set ourselves up for disappointment. When you are paying someone for something you need in your business, you owe it to yourself, and to them, to be very clear. The same is true for client relationships. Being clear at the outset about what you are going to do for them, and what they are going to pay you, prevents dissatisfaction down the road. When you think about the referral relationships youve had in the past, can you identify the ones that worked well? Can you remember the ones that didnt? Do you know why? For those that didnt work, there probably was a misunderstanding about how the relationship would work. How can you set the stage for successful relationships? Create a process for this relationship building. There are steps you can take to ensure greater success with any business relationships you create.

SALES STRATEGIES

by Diane Helbig

1. Determine what you want to get out of the relationship. When it is working well, what does it look like? Do this for vendors, clients and referral partners. Get a clear picture of what you think a great relationship looks like. 2. Explore what you think they are going to want to get out of the relationship. What matters to them? While youll have a general idea, you want to be able to pin it down. Create a list of questions you can ask the other party. This list will help you get to know them, what they want, how they tick and what they believe. Pay attention. This is the place where you can identify whether they are a good potential partner. 3. Together, create a written proposal for working together. This gives each of you the opportunity to make sure your needs are going to be met. Moreover, it clearly spells out what the expectations and consequences are. Include the methodology for parting company in the event either of you would like to. This will go a long way to preventing ill will later on. 4. Agree to review this document periodically. Do this throughout the relationship to make sure it still is relevant. You can make any changes to it at that time or determine that the relationship has run its course and its time to move on. Taking the time to develop this strategy ahead of time will save you time in the long run. It also will help to ensure that any business relationship you enter into will be successful for all involved.
Diane helbig, president of Seize this Day Coaching (www.seizethisdaycoaching.com), is a business and leadership development coach, speaker, author and radio show host. Call 216-534-2030.

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