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$1.50/FEBRUARY 15 - 21, 2010

Vol. 31, No. 7

Branch hours in crosshairs after move by Huntington Competitors cite lack of demand, forgo changes By ARIELLE KASS

Banks agree on this point: With the advent of online banking — not to mention direct deposit and drivethrough ATMs — people are spending less time inside their local branches. What they don’t agree on is what to do in response to that. Huntington National Bank, which over the weekend began Sunday branch banking and last week extended its hours at more than 50 Cleveland-area locations, is working to be more convenient for customers. The expansion of banking hours is part of a push to drum up new business in this area, but Rob Soroka, senior vice president of retail banking in Cleveland for Huntington, said if the move is successful, it may be extended to other markets in 2011.

REIT hands over keys to downtown office site


t’s 1994. The economy is good, Gund Arena and Jacobs Field just opened, and fans are doing anything they can to grab tickets for the Cavaliers, Indians or Browns, all of which are winning. Fast forward to 2010: The economy either is recovering from a tailspin or still spinning. The Cavs are one of the best teams in the NBA — and own the hottest tickets this side of the Super Bowl — but the Browns are struggling and playing to a half-filled stadium, while the Indians are losing games, money and plenty of fan patience. Are the latter duo’s current struggles a matter of cash or flash?

KeyBank Center’s relative youth a plus, but competition nearby may offer obstacles for lender

See COURT Page 7

BALL’S IN THEIR COURT Pro teams contend with fans’ spending scrutiny, limited discretionary dollars but remain bullish on NE Ohio Story by JOEL HAMMOND ■

“I do think (Huntington’s decision) would put pressure on (other Northeast Ohio banks).” – Rob Soroka, senior vice president of retail banking in Cleveland, Huntington Bank “It eliminates the time barrier,” Mr. Soroka said. “Peoples’ schedules are getting more cluttered, not less cluttered.” So with 24-hour supermarkets, drive-through pharmacies and libraries that let you order books online, why are many banks still closing at or before 5 p.m.? Richard Lewis, executive vice president and market manager for PNC retail banking in Northern Ohio, said it’s because customers haven’t asked for the bank to be open longer. PNC keeps some drivethrough banking windows open until 6 p.m., Mr. Lewis said, but most branches are open from 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. PNC has branches inside grocery stores that are open later, Mr. Lewis said. And while older customers


The Behringer Harvard real estate company of Dallas has handed the deed to KeyBank Center to its lender, a move indicative of troubles that could be brewing for some office buildings in downtown Cleveland amid the recession and real estate credit crunch. The long-term outlook for the building at 800 Superior Ave. and short-term money concerns prompted the decision, which became final Feb. 5, according to Cuyahoga County land records. Those records show Behringer Harvard deeded the 23-story building for no money to a limited liability corporation formed by LNR Partners, a Miami Beach, Fla., real estate financing and STAN BULLARD management concern. The building is the first class B, or middle-age, downtown structure of scale that has encountered problems in this downturn, which already has forced into foreclosure the older Leader Building in downtown Cleveland and a variety of suburban office buildings plus the transfer to its lender of Summit Office Park in Independence. Jason Mattox, Behringer Harvard’s chief administrative officer, said in an interview that occupancy of the See LENDER Page 11

INSIDE Stow company hears good reviews


Growth in U.S. consumer product sales, spurred by noise-canceling headphones and turntables that can convert LPs into digital files, have been a bright spot at Audio-Technica. The 100-employee company hopes to get its products into big-box stores soon. Read Chuck Soder’s story on Page 3.


See HOURS Page 4



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Crain’s and technology advocacy group NorTech team up to honor 12 winners and eight finalists in the organizations’ second annual innovation awards




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COMING NEXT WEEK Health Care Mental illness in the workplace is a sensitive issue, both for the employee and the employer. Next week, we look at which professions are tied to employees who struggle with mental illness, the legal issues companies face and how employers can help.

REGULAR FEATURES 30 Years and Counting ..9 Best of the Blogs ........19 Classified ....................18 Editorial ........................8 Going Places ...............12

Letters ..........................8 List: Ohio venture capital and buyout firms ......17 Reporters’ Notebook....19 The Week ...................19


FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE ... In this time of great economic turmoil, the decline of union membership remains constant. The number of wage and salary workers who belong to unions fell 4.8% to 15.3 million in 2009, largely reflecting the overall drop in employment due to the recession. In 1983, there were 17.7 million union members. More publicsector employees (7.9 million) belong to a union than do private-sector employees (7.4 million), even though the private sector has five times the number of workers. But union membership does have its privileges: Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by age, 2009


All workers Union members

Nonunion workers






























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RPM primed to expand via acquisition Flush with cash, Medina manufacturer renews strategic buying amid private equity pullback By DAN SHINGLER

The economic rebound this year is still in question, but 2010 is shaping up as a year of expansion for Medinabased RPM International Inc. RPM, a producer of coatings, caulks, sealants, roofing materials and other construction-related goods, kicks off the year with a new acquisition, a war chest of about

$750 million and an appetite for more deals. “Strategic buyers are now more in the driver’s seat,” Frank Sullivan, CEO of RPM, said in a recent interview. Mr. Sullivan was speaking a couple weeks after his company’s Jan. 19 acquisition of Universal Sealants, a coatings and construction products manufacturer in the United Kingdom with sales last

year of $55 million, and he predicts other deals — including more offshore transactions — are to come. RPM was hobbled in terms of the acquisition game for much of the last decade as hedge funds, Sullivan private equity firms and other financial buyers paid more for companies than strategic buyers such as RPM thought they were worth — or for amounts that would have required more debt than disciplined buyers wanted to run up. Before deals became so expen-

sive, RPM built much of its revenue base and its reputation by buying midsize manufacturers whose principals wanted to remain active in the business — the same sort of transaction it did with Universal Sealants. It’s ready to get back in that game, Mr. Sullivan said. “We will do more of these (transactions) in the U.S. and we will do more in Europe, because our real competition was private equity and they’ve been taken off the table” because of the end of cheap financing,

Mr. Sullivan said. Now, not only are financial buyers unable to secure the money they need to compete with RPM for deals, but RPM itself also has a stockpile of ammunition to use in an acquisition campaign. “We sit here with about $300 million of cash in the bank, which is more cash than we’ve ever had, and we have about $450 million of a credit facility we’ve not used,” Mr. Sullivan said. “That gives us an option to go and pursue $5 million to $200 million (revenue) acquisitions, which is really our sweet spot.” See RPM Page 12

INSIGHT Tokyo-based Audio-Technica, with its U.S. unit headquartered in Stow, is appealing to the consumer market with its headphones, microphones and turntables. PHOTOS PROVIDED

Colleges diversify offerings with more online classes Virtual coursework appeals to larger demographic By SHANNON MORTLAND

Sitting in a classroom with a growling belly and listening to lectures under a sea of fluorescent lights are no longer musts for those seeking college degrees. Many students instead are opting to take college courses online at their convenience — and local colleges and universities are working to capitalize on that trend by adding more online options to their course catalogs. “We’re continuing to roll out the online courses,” said Rob Davis, dean of online educational services at Notre Dame College. “It’s extremely popular and growing faster than we can keep up with.” An estimated 4.6 million students took at least one online course in

IN TUNE WITH CONSUMERS Electronics maker Audio-Technica makes some noise as sales of headphones, other products gain traction in U.S. market By CHUCK SODER


o longer does the phrase “Big in Japan” sum up the popularity of Audio-Technica Corp.’s consumer products. U.S. sales of the audio electronics maker’s consumer products have more than doubled since 2006 as part of the company’s effort to sell more microphones, headphones and turntables to a broader American audience. See ELECTRONICS Page 4

fall 2008, a 17% rise over the same period a year earlier, according to a recent report by Babson Survey Research Group, the College Board and the Sloan Consortium, a New York nonprofit committed to boosting online education. Notre Dame entered the online market four years ago after losing potential students who were seeking online courses, Mr. Davis said. More online options — including a graduate degree in homeland security next January — are planned to attract working adults, high school students and teachers earning master’s degrees or needing additional courses, he said. Teachers in particular will be targeted next fall by Lake Erie College as it launches hybrid online/in-person classes for its master See ONLINE Page 11

THE WEEK IN QUOTES “There’s no clear evidence that individual income affects attendance, but one thing is consistently true: Teams that do well on the field do well in the stands. More winning means more people going to games.”

“The building is in really good shape. We’ll have naming rights. It’s not a flashy building, but we’ll have a competitive price in the $18-asquare-foot range. We’ll lease it.” — Alex Jelepis, a Grubb & Ellis broker retained to lease KeyBank Center. Page One

— Bruce Coates, University of Maryland-Baltimore County economist. Page One

“It doesn’t just end on awards night. … The idea is that these are the set of companies you want to highlight throughout the year.” — Rebecca Bagley, president and CEO, NorTech. Page 13

“I had a sense alternative energy was going to be pretty big. … And I felt I had a patentable idea.” — Aaron LeMieux, founder and president, Tremont Electric. Page 14




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Hours: Competition requires new ideas continued from PAGE 1

continue to visit the branch often, younger ones don’t. “Industry-wise, lobby traffic has diminished a bit,” Mr. Lewis said. “The younger generation tends to use virtual banking. Their patterns are much different.” Carol Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association, said there aren’t figures for when banks close on a city-by-city basis, though a 2007 community bank competitiveness survey (the latest available) by the ABA Banking Journal said just 21% of banks offered evening hours. Nearly no one in the West offered extended hours, Ms. Kaplan said, but four in 10 Northeast banks did. Saturday hours are “virtually the rule” in the Northeast, Central and Midwest regions, Ms. Kaplan said, and were offered at 77% of banks, according to the survey. Just 5% of banks offered Sunday hours at the time, with the heaviest use in the Northeast and Central states.

Matter of convenience


Mr. Lewis said PNC decides branch hours by monitoring traffic patterns and surveying customers. If people are lining up outside the door past closing time, he said, it’s a sign the bank’s hours are not in line with customers’ desires. But with PNC’s other technological offerings, Mr. Lewis said the physical branch is just a small part of what the bank brings to the table. “They haven’t told us they need hours beyond what we’re providing,” Mr. Lewis said of PNC’s customers. Todd Hays, KeyBank’s senior vice president and retail executive in the Cleveland district, said in an e-mail that Key’s typical 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. weekday hours are “very

similar to the majority of our peers here and across the country.” Key, and many other banks including PNC, stay open until 6 p.m. Friday and have shortened Saturday hours. Mr. Hays said a survey of Key customers shows that less than 1% of Cleveland-area customers would like the bank open longer, in part because of the convenience of other technologies. Tom Zirbs, U.S. Bank’s senior vice president and regional manager for Northeast and Central Ohio, said brick-and-mortar branches may close early, but in-store branches — which U.S. Bank has a number of — stay open later, adding a “convenience factor” for customers. Teri Charest, a U.S. Bank spokeswoman, said the bank sees a surge of business between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at in-store branches across its 24-state footprint. Charter One has about 25 in-store banks in Northeast Ohio, said Pete Camilleri, Midwest retail director for in-store banking, which he called “wildly successful.” He said Charter One is constantly looking at how branch hours work with other banking options. “It doesn’t mean in the future, we can’t possibly change,” he said. “In today’s world, people bank differently.” Mr. Camilleri and Tom Partridge, Northeastern Ohio market president for Fifth Third Bank, said Huntington’s decision to extend its hours didn’t mean their banks had to do the same. Mr. Partridge said Fifth Third regularly evaluates its hours and was doing so before Huntington’s move. He said the bank last reviewed its hours last winter and changed them at a “select number” of locations. “It doesn’t necessarily put any pressure on us,” he said.

Turning up the pressure Still, Mr. Soroka, of Huntington, said he did expect some competitors to follow suit. “I do think it would put pressure on them,” he said. “But I’m not expecting anyone in the near future to extend their hours to the extent we have.” Mr. Soroka cited the added cost and complexity of longer hours as the reason many banks choose not to do so. That said, one bank in the area struck even before Huntington, extending its hours in December. FirstMerit now is open between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. in “85% of the network,” said Jim Brocklehurst, FirstMerit’s executive vice president and director of retail banking. “We listen to the customer, we understand what they need,” Mr. Brocklehurst said. “We’re quite happy. We’re opening new accounts, we’re adding to relationships.” Mr. Brocklehurst said FirstMerit saw an opportunity to get ahead of the market and customers have been appreciative. Hours had been unchanged since at least 2006. Some banks have kept their hours in place even longer. Third Federal Savings and Loan’s hours have remained steady for 20 years and spokeswoman Jennifer Rosa said there are no plans to extend its 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekday hours. Mr. Soroka said because Huntington’s best customers use the branches most frequently, its move is a play to keep them happy as well as to lure other customers who wish their bank was open later. “It’s a huge commitment that we made,” he said. “It’s a competitive environment out there. Every little bit counts in the business of banking. This is more than a little bit.” ■

Electronics: Company eyes big-box presence continued from PAGE 3

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Granted, the recession has had an impact on the Tokyo-based company’s overall sales, said Crystal Griffith, consumer marketing manager for Audio-Technica’s U.S. subsidiary, which is based in Stow and has about 100 employees. However, the growth in U.S. consumer product sales — led by the company’s noise-canceling headphones and turntables that can convert vinyl records into digital files — has been a bright spot. “That’s where a lot of our growth has come from in the past few years,” said Ms. Griffith, who would not give sales figures for the company. Audio-Technica’s consumer products have been popular in Japan and Southeast Asia for years. In the United States, however, the company traditionally has focused on selling professional audio products to theaters, musicians and others in the entertainment and broadcasting fields. That focus started to change in 2006, when the company released its first set of headphones targeting U.S. consumers. The next year it released its first

pair of noise-canceling headphones, which produce sound waves that cancel out ambient noise. The product wasn’t designed to help Audio-Technica make inroads with U.S. consumers, but the company soon realized it could do the job, Ms. Griffith said. “Everyone knew this was going to be a good launch pad for us,” she said. The company since has released a few more models in its QuietPoint line of headphones, including two released this year. QuietPoint headphones typically sell at prices ranging from $79 to $199 and are designed to compete with Bose Corp.’s QuietComfort headphones. The popularity of iPods and other portable digital music players has “exploded the headphone market in general,” Ms. Griffith said. Across the industry, sales growth of noise-canceling headphones has been tepid of late, but the robust sales of mobile phones that double as music players could drive future growth in the segment, she said. Audio-Technica also has been pleasantly surprised by steady sales

of its turntable products, Ms. Griffith said. Microphone sales, while important to the overall company, comprise just a small portion of its U.S. consumer sales. The steady sales growth in the U.S. consumer market should help Audio-Technica cut deals to sell its products via big-box retailers, which Ms. Griffith said have been hesitant to bring in new products because of the recession. AudioTechnica today sells most of its consumer products online, though it also sells them through outlets such as The Apple Store, J&R Music and Computer World, and Micro Center. Greg Leser, merchandise manager for Micro Center, which has a store in Mayfield Heights and 22 others nationwide, said the QuietPoint headphones Audio-Technica released in 2007 sold fairly well. He’s more excited, however, about the two newest headphones in the lineup, which Micro Center is selling for $79 and $99. “We think with those price points and the quality of the brand behind it, they should rock,” Mr. Leser said. ■

We Value that too. Volume 31, Number 7 Crain’s Cleveland Business (ISSN 0197-2375) is published weekly, except for combined issues on the fourth week of May and fifth week of

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Geauga Savings changes direction after missteps Community bank disentangles itself from mortgage loans after subprime debacle, aims to return to roots By ARIELLE KASS

Allen Lencioni Sr., who has been president and CEO of Geauga Savings Bank and Maple Leaf Financial Inc. for just over a year, is performing more than a facelift on the troubled financial institution. He’s aiming for full-on reconstructive surgery. Mr. Lencioni has brought on a new team to run the bank. But more importantly, he’s changing the bank’s mission and its Lencioni trajectory. Instead of being a bank like the one that bought brokered deposits and made subprime and other nontraditional mortgage loans, Mr. Lencioni is trying to shape Geauga Savings into a bank more like it was at its 1982 inception: one focused on providing financial services in the local community. To that end, Geauga Savings is working to create a new identity. It’s

a change prompted by a March 2009 cease-and-desist order from the Office of Thrift Supervision that said Geauga Savings’ holding company, Maple Leaf Financial, was engaging in “unsafe and unsound practices” that resulted in low earnings and inadequate capital. The bank received a separate, similar order. Mr. Lencioni said Geauga Savings officials want to move beyond simply fixing what regulators asked them to, though because the bank needs to win approval for its changes, the effort sometimes moves slowly. “The order may have started the process, but it’s irrelevant to finishing it,” he said. “Not being able to execute ideas is frustrating, but it’s the price you pay for past sins. The opportunities are out there. As soon as we have the money, we have to go find some.” Mr. Lencioni said the bank got into trouble because it adopted a “mortgage company model,” making loans

— including subprime loans — nationwide. Geauga Savings and other community banks were pushed into the real estate market by larger banks that did more commercial lending, he said, and Geauga Savings’ bankers did not understand proper underwriting standards as well as they should have, resulting in high delinquency rates on property loans. Now, Geauga Savings is getting into business banking and has added three commercial lenders to its staff. The bank’s strategic plan indicates Geauga Savings expects to start in the sector by buying loan participations and equipment leases before moving into a direct lending program. Longer-term goals include the introduction of business depository products, business lines of credit, small business development lending and equipment financing. “We’re going to rewrite virtually every major policy of the bank,” Mr. Lencioni said. “We weren’t directed to return to community banking, but the direction the board has chosen is the right direction.”

Branching out Charlie Crowley, managing director of investment banking in Cleveland for Stifel Nicolaus & Co., agreed that

Mr. Lencioni is employing the right strategy for the bank. Mr. Crowley said the relative economic health of Geauga County means there are opportunities in that area. However, Geauga Savings’ lack of a retail infrastructure may be a problem for the bank, Mr. Crowley said. It currently has just one branch, in Newbury. “It’s hard to be a successful local retail player without a branch footprint,” Mr. Crowley said, noting that Geauga Savings had had more branches, but sold them. “They’re just getting started. It will take a number of years if they hope to build a true community bank franchise.” Mr. Lencioni said he knows the challenges Geauga Savings faces, and he eventually would like to expand the branch network and give the bank and holding company a true home base, instead of the 20year-old strip mall with a leaky roof where it now resides. He is launching online banking this spring and is planning to market Geauga Savings as a hometown bank, creating more lending relationships in the immediate community. “More people should know we’re here,” he said. “Whether that brings them through the doors or not, who knows?”

Getting back on track Although commercial lending is

going to be the bank’s new focus, Mr. Lencioni said it learned its lesson in the subprime debacle and will not chase loans outside its area, a 20-mile radius. Despite a number of market competitors, including national institutions, Mr. Lencioni said the bank took in $45 million in community-based deposits in 2009. He said the bank has launched some creative products to bring customers in its doors. Going forward, Mr. Lencioni said he is confident the bank will remain in business and will not go the way of more than 175 closed by regulators since IndyMac was shuttered in July 2008. “We’re definitely on the right track,” he said. “My belief and impression is that regulators are pleased with the progress. They haven’t said that to me, but they haven’t closed my doors, either.” He predicted that it would be a year or two, though, before the cease-anddesist orders were lifted. Mr. Lencioni said it is a small step, but the bank was profitable in October and November 2009. After losing a “couple million dollars” in 2008, Mr. Lencioni called that a “phenomenal turnaround.” “The progress has been immense here,” he said. “The biggest story here is that the bank is well on its way to recovery. It’s not done yet, but the scary part’s over.” ■

AmTrust wins approval to sell insurance unit A bankruptcy court ON THE WEB Story from small part of the judge last week larger deal, said approved the Christopher Meyer, process for AmTrust Financial Corp. a Squire, Sanders & Dempsey to sell its insurance subsidiary, a attorney who is representing small part of a larger deal that is AmTrust Financial. sending its securities company to The court did approve the New York Community Bank, process for selling the insurance AmTrust Bank’s new owner. agency, which includes publicizing Details of the securities company the sale. If more bids are received deal were not apparent in a Feb. 5 that meet the sale criteria and have filing. AmTrust Investment Services similar or better terms as Novak’s Inc. is not a debtor in AmTrust offer, a Feb. 22 auction will be Financial’s bankruptcy filing, and held. The court will approve the sale therefore the court does not need Feb. 23. to approve that transaction. The The bid deadline is this Friday, Feb. sale of AmTrust Insurance Agency 19, at 5 p.m. Any new bids must be Inc., which is a debtor, to Novak at least $500,000; Novak has Insurance Agency Inc. in Solon is a offered $450,000. — Arielle Kass

We are pleased to announce that

Andrew P. Male has been promoted to Vice President

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For more information, please call (216) 589-0900 or visit



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Court: Wins sure to improve attendance continued from PAGE 1

According to a December study published on, it’s a money matter: The Cleveland-ElyriaMentor metropolitan statistical area is badly oversaturated for professional sports based on a measure of the MSA’s total personal income (TPI) and a formula the study’s authors used to determine what income level adequately can support each sport. Using Bureau of Economic Analysis data, the study determined the Cleveland MSA’s TPI to be $83.2 billion in 2008. The authors then calculated the TPI needed to support the city’s three sports teams at $160.4 billion — baseball at $86.7 billion, football at $37.6 billion and basketball at $36.4 billion annually — for a huge disparity.

straight games, including last year’s playoffs. “There’s no clear evidence that individual income affects attendance, but one thing is consistently true: Teams that do well on the field do well in the stands,” said Bruce Coates, a University of MarylandBaltimore County economist who has written extensively on sports teams and their effects on local economies. “More winning means more people going to games,” Mr. Coates said. Cavs president Len Komoroski said the team is bullish on Northeast Ohio and confident projects such as a new casino, a planned medical mart, the Euclid Corridor transit line and East Fourth Street’s resurgence will lead to a comeback.

“When (the Cavaliers) were at their abyss, I thought, ‘No way they’d ever sell out.’” – Mark Rosentraub, former Cleveland State professor and sports economist Cleveland’s TPI actually has risen yearly since 2000, though the latest data show the rate of increase slowing. Other economic factors, too, are trending downward: The area’s population declined 2.8% from 2000 to 2008, and the most recent unemployment figures range from 7.9% (Geauga County) to 10.8% (Summit County) in the sevencounty area. “The (combination) concerns me if I’m a front-office executive,” said Mark Rosentraub, a former Cleveland State professor and author of “Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who’s Paying For It.” “Everyone took a big economic hit; some took larger hits,” Mr. Rosentraub said. “Given the decline in income, high unemployment rate and the declining population base, I’d be concerned.” His is not a myopic doom-andgloom scenario, however. “It’s dangerous to take a snapshot and say, ‘This is unsustainable,’” Mr. Rosentraub said. “In a worstcase scenario, where the economy continues on this path, then it’s troubling. But if there’s improvement and these trends stop, then what’s the worry?”

Teams confident Each team maintains that on-field or on-court production trumps all, and the Cavs are Exhibit A. Despite the aforementioned economic struggles, the Cavaliers are setting attendance records and winning league accolades seemingly every day. The team recently was recognized by the NBA as one of eight teams with at least 10,000 season-ticket holders and at least 2,000 new season-ticket holders. As of Feb. 10, the Cavs have sold out 62

Meanwhile, the team — the only NBA franchise in a many-hundredmile radius — has strengthened its presence in Columbus and Pittsburgh by staging preseason games and increasing its marketing in those areas. Cavs ratings on Fox Sports Ohio are up 47% this season over 2008-09 in Columbus, and 93% in Cincinnati. “The Cavaliers truly are a regional team, as we’ve continually evolved into reaching a deeper and wider market,” Mr. Komoroski said. “We have a product (those regional markets) are excited about. We’re building that bond on a day-by-day basis.” Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz said in an e-mail that while the economy played a role in the Browns’ struggles — a 5.3% decline in attendance and threats of the first local television blackout in 11 years — the team’s early poor play was more of a factor. Mr. Bonsiewicz said the team is confident, and its focus “continues to be centered on building a competitive team on the field while ensuring that Browns games remain affordable and all of our fans receive great value and have a wonderful game-day experience.”

Meanwhile, the Indians have adjusted downward their sales goals for this year after a 65-win season in which attendance fell 17.6% from 2008. “They’re most vulnerable because of their ticket price point,” said Cleveland State economist Ned Hill. “The Cavs and Browns draw the more serious fan, while the Indians draw more pure entertainment dollars. That entertainment dollar goes to movies, dinner, the bingo table and now gambling.”

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U.S. Competitiveness in the 21st Century Craig R.

Barrett Retired Chairman & CEO

Intel Corporation mart workers, smart ideas, and an attractive business environment are all necessary ingredients for success in international competition. Dr. Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel Corporation will review the present status of the United States with respect to these factors and will offer his recommendations for what we should do now to improve our competitiveness in the world.


A harder sell

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The Indians, though, are undeterred, citing improvement in attendance when they’ve won: In 2005, when the Indians won 93 games and fell just short of a playoff berth, attendance jumped 11% from the year before; in 2007, when the Indians were one win away from the World Series, 14% more fans bought tickets than in 2006. That’s nothing like the 455 straight sellouts of the mid1990s, but it’s nothing at which to sneeze, either. “We absolutely believe the Great Lakes region, and specifically the Northeast Ohio community, can and will continue to support three winning professional sports teams,” said Indians vice president of public relations Bob DiBiasio. Again, the Cavs may provide a proper example: Anyone who in 2002 thought the Cavs — mired in a 17-win season, featuring Ricky “Wrong Way” Davis and drawing just 11,500 per game — would turn into a model franchise with wild growth and a 50-plus-game sellout streak deserves high praise. “When they were at their abyss, I thought, ‘No way they’d ever sell out,’” Mr. Rosentraub said. “Now look: They’re selling out in the middle of a depression.” ■

FREE and open to the public

Weds., February

24, 7:30 pm

Gault Recital Hall  Scheide Music Center 525 E. University Street  Wooster, Ohio

W For further information, contact: Prof. John W. Sell  330.263.2383  email:


The James R. Wilson Lecture Series brings distinguished business and financial leaders to the College of Wooster to share their insights and to interact with the campus community.

2/8/2010 8:24:00 AM




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Brian D. Tucker ( EDITOR:


Scott Suttell (


Join in


s tax dollars become tighter, more government bodies are recognizing that collaboration is the sensible way to deliver services to their constituents while holding down their costs. So it is with the city of Akron and Summit County, which are moving closer to combining their public health departments. Last week, a committee that has been studying the feasibility of merging the city and county health departments recommended in favor of the two becoming one. Under the arrangement, an expanded Summit County Health Department would provide public health services on a contract basis to the city. Dr. C. William Keck, who was head of Akron’s health department for almost three decades and who served on the merger feasibility committee, calls the proposed combination “the right thing to do.” “The kind of health problems we’re concerned about don’t respect geographic boundaries,” Dr. Keck told the Akron Beacon Journal. The proposed joint effort is just the type of collaboration between and among government bodies that the philanthropy-backed Fund for Our Economic Future has been pushing in Northeast Ohio with its program known as EfficientGovNow. To help spur such endeavors, the fund last year staged a competition that promised the winners seed money for their collaborative projects. It was thrilled when it received 65 project ideas from partnerships that involved nearly 300 government entities. Now the fund is conducting a second round of competition under EfficientGovNow. Among the proposals it already has received is an abstract from 17 government entities in Ashtabula County that collectively propose creating a network of local government staff to provide countywide, coordinated strategic planning services regarding land use planning. Now that’s collaborative thinking. (The deadline for submitting proposals in the latest round is Feb. 26; go to for details.) The fund recognizes that businesses will stay in and relocate to areas where they believe their tax dollars are spent wisely for government services. It takes work and sometimes a willingness to relinquish control over who provides a service, but municipalities and other government bodies that seek ways big and small to work together should reap benefits down the line. We encourage more of them to join in.

Snow job

F last week deemed Cleveland the worst winter weather city in America. And, to be sure, we get our share of bitter, blustery days (just like last week). But you don’t hear the hearty people of Northeast Ohio panic and wail like East Coast residents do when they’re dumped on by Mother Nature. We’re tougher than that. So,, how about coming up with a list of biggest weather wimps in America? We’ll nominate Washington, D.C., for the top spot, followed by New York and the entire state of New Jersey. Take that, America.


Gateway critics, stay on the sidelines


be naysayers complaining about Gateway n the next few weeks and months, and its “unfulfilled” promises. America’s sports fans will get many Just last week, Cleveland Scene, an glimpses of downtown Cleveland alternative weekly newspaper that from high-tech TV cameras mounted covers the local bar and music scene, on aerial blimps gathered here for the trashed Tom Chema because his name Cavaliers’ playoff run. was mentioned in a Plain Dealer story At night, our buildings will look about potential candidates for the new magical. In the day, the lake views will be county executive position. The awe-inspiring. Across the nation weekly newspaper accused and in many countries, basket- BRIAN Mr. Chema, who’s now presiball fans will see views of our TUCKER dent of Hiram College but back iconic, I.M.Pei-designed Rock in the early 1990s led the effort and Roll Hall of Fame and to develop Gateway (The Q, Museum. Progressive Field and two parking The bars and restaurants garages), of deception. downtown will be jammed. And Mr. Chema and the business if, as we all hope, the Cavs leaders who helped win voter extend their run to the NBA approval for Gateway misled Finals, there will be hundreds of the public because they underpeople gathered outside Quicken estimated the cost of the project, the Loans Arena to watch the games on outnewspaper said. The story’s author quoted door screens. The hotels will be full, and two sociology professors who wrote a the energy will be palpable, much as it book about the public financing of was during the Indians’ wonderful midsports arenas and stadiums that is a 90s playoff runs. “study in how Cleveland leaders bent to But it seems no matter what happens the will of corporate powers.” downtown, and no matter how much I have to share this quote from the national attention we get, there still will

book that Scene apparently thought was critically important. It is in reference to the “Free Stamp” outdoor sculpture in the park at East Ninth and Lakeside: “We assumed this is supposed to have something to do with political freedom,” the sociologists opined, “but we couldn’t help but notice that it is pointing directly at the nearby corporate towers. A metaphor for the ages.” What absolute garbage. The sculpture is downtown. Yes, thankfully, we have some businesses left here, and if it weren’t for the corporate leaders who helped build Gateway, downtown Cleveland would be a wasteland. The Warehouse District, Gateway neighborhood, East Fourth — all areas the likes of which every “expert” says is necessary to save urban centers — would never have been developed without Gateway. Cleveland 2.0 has a chance to survive and even prosper, with the right leadership. But 20 years from now, I believe urban historians will mark the construction of Gateway as a lynchpin in our city’s reconstruction. ■


3C rail line part of broader energy solution ■ I think the position on the ClevelandColumbus-Cincinnati rail corridor that Brain Tucker expressed in his Feb. 1 commentary, “Rail line not the best use of $400M,” is really misguided. First, the $400 million that Ohio received in high-speed rail funds are part of the stimulus package. The Ohio 3C program will certainly provide jobs in Ohio for construction of new rail grade crossings and sidings, passenger train employees, and even more, hopefully many new jobs in manufacturing of new railcars right here in Ohio. And all that stimulus doesn’t include the economic development which will occur around each stop/station, or the relief it will provide from driving. Your position also seems to ignore

that the time each of the “for the same cost, I’ll just drive myself” proponents spend driving between Cleveland and Columbus, or Columbus and Cincy, could be better spent working, reading, talking, texting or sleeping. Hopefully none of us are doing those things while we are spending those two hours driving. It also simply ignores the whole issue of “peak oil,” and the fact, whether we want to admit it or not before it smacks us squarely in the forehead, that we simply are not going to be able to continue to waste billions of barrels of precious (mostly foreign) petroleum each year by burning it to drive when we can travel more fuel efficiently by other means. The gas simply won’t be there.

Then there is the whole issue of national security and economic risk due to dependence on foreign oil, and continuing to ship billions of dollars a year to our “friends” in the Middle East. Brian, we already have painted ourselves into a corner by our massive dependence on oil. We must begin to do something about it — now. Public transportation, including intercity passenger rail, is one of the components of the solution, along with programs to promote domestic development of renewable energy sources, alternative sources of propulsion, and reduced commutes. When I sit in traffic at the I-70/I-71 split, or on I-71 and I-77 northbound into Cleveland, I think about the massive quantity of that finite See LETTERS Page 9



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AND COUNTING ... What is the most memorable sports moment in Cleveland over the last 30 years?

Crain’s Cleveland Business is celebrating its 30th year as Northeast Ohio’s premier source for business news with a special May 24 double issue, which will feature profiles of 30 of the most influential Clevelanders. As part of the celebration, we also are reflecting on the most memorable events of the past three decades with weekly polls — some of which can be found in this space — trivia questions, online content and video interviews. You can get in on the fun by visiting www.CrainsCleveland .com/30thAnniversary.







I may have to go back to Bernie Kosar in 1986 and The Drive (engineered by Denver’s John Elway). I was at the stadium in 10-below weather.

When the Cavs got LeBron (in 2003).

The day we got LeBron James, and Shaq playing on the same team and having a winning season so far. Having two superstars on the same team at the same time.

LETTERS continued from PAGE 8

petroleum commodity that is being burnt by all those cars with single occupants, including mine, and all the time wasted in the commute by myself and all those others. Don’t you? That is why I think your comments are misguided, and you are misleading your readers. Brian Boschen Tallmadge

‘No’ to rail idea ■ I am a subscriber and regular reader of Crain’s Cleveland Business and read Brian Tucker’s Feb. 1 commentary on the 3C rail corridor. I wholeheartedly agree with him on the issue and would also add that the majority of responses I have seen in letters to papers and online have been in opposition to building it and raised the very same questions. Why spend this money on the train when the money can be put to better uses that will benefit a greater number of people (a quick calculation says $400 million is the equivalent of 8,000 jobs paying $50,000 for a year). Building it when there is little expected use means taxpayers will be funding it for years to come. My question is whether there is anything that can be done about it. To whom in Congress or state government should letters/e-mails be written to express the concern and displeasure, in the hopes of avoiding future obligations in the state or putting this money to more productive uses? Bob Nicolay Westlake

Slow rail ‘silly’ ■ I read Brian Tucker’s Feb. 1

commentary with interest. I agree the $400 million for a slow rail line is not a wise choice. However, $400 million for a high-speed rail line that links Cleveland to Columbus in one hour and Cleveland to Cincy in two would be very wise and well spent. No one will ride rail for business if they can drive it just as fast and still have the mobility of a car when they get there. To think otherwise is foolish. We should consolidate our geographical location as the first of the “flat” states — combine it with the hope of a “newly re-funded” Third Frontier — and access the excess of manufacturing knowledge and prowess that this region has (maybe more than Northern Germany) and create a high-speed rail line that would be the envy of the country rather than the butt of the jokes. Sadly, we’re on the same path that Ohio has typically chosen — more jokes to follow, I’m afraid. Slow rail is silly, short thinking — and, I agree with state Sen. Jon Husted — a “money pit.” But a simple conversion of thought to the high-speed trains running in France and Japan would put all of Ohio on the map. James Sammon Cleveland

Lenders play rough ■ It was ironic that, after I met with two clients of mine, I read your Feb. 1, Page One story, “Banks say plenty of credit is available, but potential users aren’t biting.” They both came to see me because they have been unable to make any headway with their lenders. Both gentlemen owned small strip centers, had excellent credit, had paid timely on their mortgages for seven to

Cleveland to host medical devices event Cleveland this spring will play host to the North American debut of an established European conference focused on how plastics are enabling the design and development of the next generation of advanced medical devices. The event, “Plastics in Medical Devices 2010,” kicks off April 12 with a pair of concurrent, afternoon workshops at LaCentre conference center

in Westlake, followed by a 31-speaker conference program April 13 and 14. The event’s organizer, the Akronbased Plastics News Global Group of Crain Communications Inc., chose to import the event from Brussels to tap into both Northeast Ohio’s growing high-tech medical business and the state’s stature as the nation’s secondlargest maker of plastic products. “Plastics in Medical Devices 2010”

10 years and were now suffering cash flow problems. One of the clients was also looking for an additional loan to expand space for a current tenant. They had contacted their lenders several times and, in most cases, did not even receive a response. I wrote a letter in early December of 2009 for one client and never received a response. Both clients were simply looking to have their loans restructured in some way to ease their cash flow problems. I finally informed them that they likely would have to go into default before the lender would talk to them. One of the clients sent in an “interest only” payment with an explanation and, surprise, the lender called and set up a meeting. In another instance, the same week, a landscaper client called and told me his lender, without prior notice, froze his credit line. He, during the landscape season, would pay down his line in order to have a cushion during the erratic winter snowplowing season. He had been doing this for years. He called his lender and the final response was, “Sorry, we have the right to do it.” Your story does not reflect the real world that the small businessman is living in. The clients I mentioned above are solid, hard-working people with excellent credit ratings and the lenders will not talk to them unless they go into default. The lenders will cut your credit without a thought on how it will affect your business. Robert J. Belinger Attorney Independence

WRITE TO US Send your letters to: Mark Dodosh, editor, Crain’s Cleveland Business, 700 W. St. Clair Ave., Suite 310, Cleveland, OH 44113-1230 e-mail:

aims to bring together all segments of the supply chain under one roof for two intensive days. Participants will include polymer and equipment suppliers, product designers, plastics processors, medical device makers and pharmaceutical company end users. The two-day conference costs $895. A combination workshop/conference discount also is available. Full program and sponsorship details are available at



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Babcock & Wilcox looks to future Barberton manufacturer’s solar technology, clean coal pilot performing well in early tests By DAN SHINGLER

While the nation and world decide how to better manage their production of energy and output of carbon emissions, Babcock & Wilcox Co. is preparing for the next generation of nuclear-, solar- and coal-based electricity. In a nondescript building tucked away at its Power Generation division in Barberton, home to about 4,000 of its 20,000 U.S. employees, B&W quietly is working on a way to extract carbon dioxide from coal-fired utility emissions. Its pilot facility — only a fraction of the size of what eventually could be built onto a real power plant — has tested well so far, the company reports. Meanwhile, B&W’s operations in Virginia are preparing to bring to market a new generation of modular nuclear reactors that could power a single large industrial user, a small town or perhaps a large city. The 125-megawatt modular reactors, each about the size of a railroad car,

can be used as a single unit or in groups, depending upon how much power is needed at a specific site. And its solar power group in California learned Jan. 20 that a solar array and receiver B&W designed and built performed well during its recent startup. While its solar technology is up and running, B&W’s clean coal technology is still a few years from market. Its modular nuclear reactors are closer to market and largely developed, but they still await government clearance for use. Nonetheless, with concern about high carbon output and demands for energy only rising, the company thinks it is well-positioned for a future in which energy will be derived from a broad spectrum of sources, said Mary Pat Salomone, who became B&W’s chief operating officer on Dec. 6. The company hopes to expand its footprint outside the nuclear realm, where it long has been a major player, and to do more business overseas as a result of its new technologies, Ms.

Salomone said.

Technical know-how Perhaps the most promising of B&W’s ongoing development efforts is its regenerable solvent absorption technology plant in Barberton. Known as RSAT, the technology aims to take carbon dioxide out of coal-fired power plant emissions. The plant takes simulated power plant emissions and passes them through a solvent, which captures the carbon dioxide. The pollutant then is chemically extracted from the solvent. At that point it can be pumped into aquifers deep underground, which will keep it from entering the atmosphere, said Don Langley, B&W vice president and chief technology officer. The technology works — so well that B&W already is able to extract about 14,000 pounds, or seven tons, of carbon dioxide per day out of the emissions it runs through the plant. If that sounds like a lot of carbon, consider that a typical coal-fired power plant emits between 8,000 and 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the air each day, Mr. Langley said. B&W’s technology is designed so it can be retrofitted to existing coal-


Babcock & Wilcox’s regenerable solvent absorption technology extracts carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. fired plants, of which there are nearly 1,500 in the United States alone, Mr. Langley said. It also can be installed in new plants. The technology can extract different amounts of carbon from flue gases, depending on how it is used and how much solvent is exposed to that exhaust — and how much money a utility is willing to commit to the process. “You can make a decision — do I want to capture 10% of the CO2? Fifty percent? Or even 90%,” Mr. Langley said. B&W’s solar and nuclear plants have no such concerns, as they produce no carbon dioxide when they generate electricity — though the issue of dealing with long-term storage of nuclear waste remains a problem. B&W is no newcomer in the nuclear power field, and hopes the United States and other countries renew their interest in nuclear as a source of electricity. The company says its new modular reactors might make the development of nuclear power easier and safer than before because of their size. The modular reactors can be built in more remote places than traditional power plants, Ms. Salomone said. They also do not require huge cooling towers and other infrastructure like traditional nuclear plants, so they would avoid the use of huge amounts of cement in their construction and wouldn’t leave gigantic structures behind

when they outlive their usefulness.

Pricey stuff None of B&W’s new products and technologies are likely to come cheap. The company has yet to put a price on its reactors and declined to speculate on their cost, but its clean coal technology could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to install on a single plant, Mr. Langley said. Those big investments mean the use of the technologies will require government support, mandates or both, said Ms. Salomone and Mr. Langley. But concerns about climate change and energy independence are pushing governments toward just such a scenario, and B&W hopes the U.S. government acts to clean up the nation’s energy portfolio. Even global warming skeptics, such as energy industry expert Mike Brakey, think a lot of factors are working in B&W’s favor. Mr. Brakey, president of an industrial electrical consulting firm in Shaker Heights, predicts the United States and other nations will move forward with more nuclear plants and will seek to clean up coal plant emissions. When the U.S. economy finally does recover, the nation likely will restart plans to build scores of coalfired plants that were shelved in the last three years, Mr. Brakey said. “We will not only need the solar, the wind, the geothermal, nuclear and the fuel cells, but we’re going to need those 157 coal plants we’ve canceled,” he predicted. ■

Cohen & Co. aims to duplicate investment advisory success By ARIELLE KASS

With the expansion of its Sequoia Financial Group investment advisory arm into Florida, accounting firm Cohen & Co. is trying to replicate Sequoia’s success in Ohio in the Sunshine State. Three people have joined Sequoia from Redhead Financial Group in Tampa. Also on board are two new Ohio employees, one of whom is an executive vice president at the firm. Those hires bring to 22 the number of people who are part of Sequoia. As of Dec. 31, 2009, Sequoia’s assets under management had climbed to $445.3 million, up 28% from $348.4 million at the end of 2008, as it brought on nearly 30 new clients. Sequoia president Thomas Haught said his firm’s connections with Cohen & Co. provide the opportunity

to find new clients internally. That’s what he hopes will happen in Florida, where Cohenrecently consolidated its three accounting firms in the Tampa area. “We have the opportunity to expand the business and grow the business going forward,” Mr. Haught said. Stanley D. Milovancev, former president of ValMark Securities and Advisors in Akron and Sequoia’s new executive vice president, said he came on board to help Sequoia grow. He worked with the firm at ValMark, he said, and is bringing a strong background in retirement planning to Sequoia. Sequoia is a fee-based practice, and Mr. Milovancev said he sees the connection with Cohen as appealing to clients who are seeking more transparency and integration in their financial lives. ■



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Lender: Loans for real estate redevelopment scarce continued from PAGE 1

476,000-square-foot office building is 66% after it recently lost some tenants and KeyCorp vacated some of its massive holdings there. Many remaining tenants have leases that expire over the next two years, he said. “To re-tenant that building over the next few years would take a lot of money,” said Mr. Mattox, whose company manages or owns investments in a $10 billion portfolio. KeyBank Center was one of 34 properties it obtained in 2007 when it bought IPC REIT of Toronto for $1.4 billion. The downtown Cleveland building is the only property Behringer Harvard transferred to the lender from the former IPC portfolio. Mr. Mattox declined to say how much money he thought it would take to spruce up the building, noting, “It was significant enough not to be justified by the property.”

Cuyahoga County assigns the building a market value of $44 million for property tax purposes.

Lots of competition Behringer Harvard also owns the adjoining Fifth Third Center at 600 Superior Ave. That property is in a different portfolio than KeyBank Center and has a different lender. Mr. Mattox said the transfer of the building at 800 Superior has “nothing to do” with Fifth Third Center. Alec Pacella, a vice president at broker NAI Daus in Beachwood who specializes in investment property sales, said the building has potential because it dates from 1969, so it is among downtown’s newer buildings. Some sections were renovated for various tenants over the years. However, within just a few blocks, competition lurks for tenants who might consider leases at KeyBank Center, Mr. Pacella said.

The competition includes space in Eaton Center, 1111 Superior Ave., when Eaton Corp. moves its world headquarters to a new suburban campus in Beachwood. The Huntington Building, 925 Euclid Ave., also stands to lose the Ernst & Young accounting firm and the Tucker Ellis & West law firm to Ernst & Young Tower in the Flats if the developer of that planned building lands financing to resume construction this spring. Just across the street, the entire 1717 East Ninth St. building is dark and scheduled for a sealed-bid auction March 4. Bringing KeyBank Center up to snuff would cost at least $4 million, according to industry estimates. But LNR Partners, the new owner of KeyBank Center, is a “patient holder,” Mr. Pacella said. “They are familiar with Cleveland and from what I know they are not

Online: Technology boosts schools’ capabilities continued from PAGE 3

of science in education program, said Peter Lee, special assistant for academic affairs for curriculum and program development at Lake Erie. Initially, students will come to campus one day a week and will do the rest of the work in an online classroom. By spring 2011, the program will be entirely online, Mr. Lee said. “We have two kinds of students,” Mr. Lee said. “One wants that physical connection with the college and the other says, ‘That’s nice, but I’m only available at 1:30 a.m.’”

Meeting demand Some students just like the idea of not driving to campus, fighting for a parking space and walking to and from class, said John Savery, the University of Akron’s director of instructional services. Student demand and the state’s call for better access to higher education for all Ohioans have prompted the University of Akron to offer more than 200 courses online to date, and the school has applied for the state’s approval to add six more degree programs online, Mr. Savery said. Baldwin-Wallace College has noticed that some students like taking an extra class online in the evenings after spending their daytime hours in the classroom, said Guy Farish, associate academic dean at BaldwinWallace. The private college currently only offers online classes in the summer, but students urged the school to launch online classes yearround, starting in fall 2010 or spring 2011, he said. This summer, Baldwin-Wallace will offer about 15 classes online, up from eight in summer 2009, Dr. Farish said. Baldwin-Wallace also is considering putting its MBA program online in the next year “to access the students who are not going to come to Berea to study,” Dr. Farish said. “There seems to be a lot of demand from students, (but) we won’t jump into it,” he said. “We’re doing it as a pilot with the idea that we’d like to have some courses online.” Online education possibilities will be greatly increased over the next year at Ursuline College. The small, private school now has 12 classes online each semester, but it plans to offer at least one class online in each of its 50 programs over the next year,

said JoAnne Podis, vice president for academic affairs. Ursuline first is educating faculty members on how to teach online, which is different than being in a classroom, Ms. Podis said.

Old pros Some local colleges and universities are well-versed in what it takes to make online learning successful. Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga, Lakeland and Lorain County community colleges have been offering online classes for years and are not slowing down. CWRU offers online master’s programs in nursing and engineering, said Carol Savrin, director of the master’s program and assistant director of the doctor of nursing practice. The 18-month master’s program in nursing has been operating online for eight years. Students spend a week on campus and take the rest of the course online, while completing clinical work at hospitals in their hometowns, Dr. Savrin said. The program’s flexibility has attracted students from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, Dr. Savrin said. The program has worked so well, she

said, that two more master’s programs are under development as hybrid online/classroom programs and two others are considering it. Lorain County Community College two years ago received approval to offer all its programs online and in person, said Karen Wells, provost at LCCC. About half the college’s 12,800 students take classes online. Tri-C offered 512 classes online last fall and had 15,000 students take at least one class online in the 20082009 school year, said Christina Royal, Tri-C’s executive director of e-learning and innovation. Students tend to do well in online classes but some still need help, so Tri-C has been experimenting for the past year with online tutoring, she said. The online technology must be top notch and the staff must be available for student assistance, said Marilyn Jones, vice president for learning support and vice provost at Lakeland. Most colleges that offer online classes use a software program called Blackboard, which is an online classroom that enables students and professors to communicate via discussion boards, forums, e-mail and chat rooms, she said.

a fire seller. They will likely look to increase tenancy and cash flow” before trying to sell the property, he said. Michael Guggenheim, president of Guggenheim Real Estate Group in Beachwood, which will manage the building for LNR, said longterm plans in terms of a sale are not yet set, but the immediate goal is to boost occupancy. “There is a lot of life here,” Mr. Guggenheim said. “There are a lot of buildings that have no life out there.” LNR itself did not return four calls from Crain’s by deadline last week.

Substance over flash One plus for the building is that downtown Cleveland office vacancy is not faring that badly compared to other markets, said Warren Morris, CEO of the Colliers Ostendorf-Morris brokerage. For example, Colliers reports downtown Cleveland vacancy

Technology is so advanced, Dr. Jones said, that Lakeland attracts students from outside Northeast Ohio and from out of state. She has worked with libraries and military commanders to administer tests to students wherever they may be.

Scalpel, please Improved technology has enabled online learning, in some cases, to become more intense than classroom learning, B-W’s Dr. Farish said. “The students who might hide in the back of a traditional classroom


of 15% stacks up respectably against other cities, as Dallas has 22% vacancy, Phoenix 17%, and Los Angeles and Miami, both 16%. Moreover, KeyBank Center has substantial tenants. They include KeyCorp’s continued presence on about seven floors, including management for its Cleveland district and a large KeyBank branch on the first floor and the Calfee Halter & Griswold law firm, a five-floor tenant. Online realty data provider CoStar reports the structure has three empty floors formerly occupied by KeyCorp, which has other substantial offices in the regions, including at its Key Tower namesake and a substantial office complex in Brooklyn. Alex Jelepis, a Grubb & Ellis broker retained by LNR to lease Key Bank Center, is undaunted by those concerns. “The building is in really good shape,” Mr. Jelepis said. “We’ll have naming rights. It’s not a flashy building, but we’ll have a competitive price in the $18-a-square-foot range. We’ll lease it.” ■

and not raise their hands, they are forced to participate in an online classroom,” he said. “It actually does draw out certain kinds of students.” Still, there are disadvantages. Schools never really know if an online student is whom they claim to be, the lack of human interaction makes learning hard for some students and some things are just better taught in person, Dr. Farish said. Dissecting a frog wouldn’t have the same effect on a computer screen, he said, adding; “For certain things, you need to get your hands dirty.” ■

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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

RPM: Firm well-positioned for outside deals


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And all that buying power is what will be left after RPM pays an undisclosed amount for Universal Sealants, Mr. Sullivan said.

Locked and loaded Analysts who follow the company say they’re impressed with RPM’s ability to turn its many subsidiaries into a herd of cash cows in a down economy. They note in particular RPM’s ability not only to continue to pay a dividend, but also to increase its payout last October for the 36th consecutive year. Elliott Schlang, managing director of the institutional research firm Great Lakes Review in Shaker Heights, gives RPM high marks and recommends that clients buy its stock, which he figures will reach $25 a share sometime this year. The stock, which hit $9 a share early in 2009, recently has been trading at a little more than $19 a share. “They went for a relatively long period, for them, of not acquiring (a business), so their cash built up during that period,” Mr. Schlang said. On top of the hefty cash position, Mr. Schlang said RPM is in good shape to take on more debt to do deals. “If you take the cash out and net the debt, their net debt to total capitalization drops to about 30%, which is extremely low for them,” Mr. Schlang said. “Given the pretty good predictability of earnings, the consistency of their record and the consistency of their cash flow, they don’t mind having a high debt ratio,

RPM READY TO REV UP After doing nothing but small deals while it amassed cash in 2009, Medina-based RPM International Inc. has opened 2010 with its first sizable acquisition in a year and says it’s ready to spend more. RPM deals of the last 12 months: 2010 ■ Jan. 19: RPM buys U.K.-based Universal Sealants, with annual sales of $55 million. 2009 ■ Dec. 14: RPM’s Rust-Oleum

normally, but this is low.” Saul Ludwig, an analyst following RPM for KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland, also said RPM is better able than many companies to do deals in today’s tough environment. Both he and Mr. Schlang said the biggest risk RPM faces is ongoing asbestos lawsuits that are a legacy from some of the businesses the company bought. “Certainly, they have an uncanny ability to generate cash, even with the need to spend $75 million on asbestos payments” in 2009, Mr. Ludwig said. “They have the ability to keep doing these acquisitions. Remember, they’re also still building their equity base every year.”

Over there More of those deals will probably

ARCHITECTURE ARRAY HEALTHCARE FACILITIES SOLUTIONS: Randall Von Ryan to project manager; Marko Lukowsky to project architect/designer; Susan Pon-Biscoe to interior designer.

subsidiary acquires U.K.-based BibreGrid Lmt, with annual sales of $3.5 million. ■ Sept. 23: RPM’s Stonhard subsidiary acquires Australia-based Ascoat Contracting, with annual sales of $5 million.







EDUCATION NORTHEASTERN OHIO UNIVERSITIES COLLEGES OF MEDICINE AND PHARMACY: Jay Alan Ghershen, D.D.S., to president; Dr. Jay C. Williamson to interim dean of medicine.

■ April 1: RPM’s Tremco subsidiary acquires Canam Building Envelope Specialists Inc., a Canadian company with sales of $6 million. ■ Feb. 9: RPM’s Tremco subsidiary acquires Swiss sealants company Karochemie AG, with annual sales of $13.4 million.

FINANCE CHARTER ONE: Stewart Rea to senior vice president and head of commercial real estate, Ohio market; Michael Wilbur to vice president, relationship manager, commercial real estate; Claudine Daugirdas to portfolio manager, commercial real estate.

be done overseas, Mr. Sullivan said, because federal tax laws do not allow companies to bring home their overseas profits to invest in the United States without paying U.S. taxes on the income. “About $200 million of the $300 million (in cash) is overseas, and you can’t bring it back to the U.S. without a huge chunk of it being washed away,” Mr. Sullivan said. “Because of that, we’ve pretty much got that earmarked for deals outside the U.S.” While Mr. Sullivan would like more flexibility to use that money buying companies in the United States, overseas acquisitions fit in well with RPM’s current push to diversify into foreign markets. Mr. Schlang said more overseas deals would represent a continuation of a strategy RPM already was pursuing, and one he thinks is wise for the company in an increasingly global market. “They’re now in 15 countries, with manufacturing in 90 locations. Their foreign manufacturing is about 35% of total sales, whereas in 2001 it was 15%,” Mr. Schlang said. “I think, in today’s world, that’s absolutely critical. We’re no longer in a regional or national economy.” In the meantime, Mr. Schlang tells clients, RPM’s dividend yield is at more than 4%, offering a better return that most treasuries or other income investments, even before considering any increase in the company’s stock price this year. ■

HEALTH CARE CAMBRIDGE HOME HEALTH CARE: James P. Newbrough to president. AKRON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Dr. Roger Hudgins to division director of neurosurgery and clinical director, Neuroscience Center.

LEGAL WALTER & HAVERFIELD LLP: Mark S. Floyd to partner; Susan R. Hartung to associate.

MANUFACTURING MIDWEST BOX CO.: Laurel Hecht to co-owner and CFO; Pola Leonard to customer service representative. SPECTRUM SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS CORP: Jim Mauro to vice president, business development.

MARKETING AQUENT STUDIOS: Steve Morey to art director. EDWARD HOWARD: Melissa Koski to senior account executive. HITCHCOCK FLEMING & ASSOCIATES INC.: Nick Betro to president; Mandy Davis to media team leader; Evan Perrow to account manager; Michael Anthony to account coordinator. MELAMED RILEY ADVERTISING: Stephanie Landes to associate creative director.

NONPROFIT CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA: Ross Binnie to chief marketing officer. KOINONIA HOMES INC.: Jo-Anne Curry to director for development and communications.

SERVICE HEALTHCARE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS INC.: Keith Krebs to account executive. PATINA SOLUTIONS: Robert Fronberry to practice director, technology services. PREDICTIVE SERVICE LLC: Tom Coyne to director of sales and marketing.

BOARDS AGN INTERNATIONAL: James P. Carulas (Meaden & Moore) to chairman. INTERACT CLEVELAND: Denise Horstman to president; Rabbi Edward J. Sukol to vice president; Sensei Dean Williams to treasurer; Cindy Myers-Ray to secretary. NAIOP NORTHERN OHIO CHAPTER: David Sobochan (Cohen & Co.) to president; Dave Robar to presidentelect; Traci Mockbee-Hunt to treasurer; Matt Ambrose to immediate past president. NATIONAL TOOLING & MACHINING ASSOCIATION, CLEVELAND CHAPTER: Frank Chesek (Exact Tool & Die Inc.) to president; John Coppolino to vice president; Jeff Wherry to secretary/treasurer.


Doing our part to keep our Great Lake great. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is proud to protect public health and our environment.



WEBINARS of WONDER! Our “Invisible Heroes” will take off their masks and give you a free glimpse of their expertise with a new series of presentations to help your private business.

Grow your private business with tips on upcoming topics: Employee Benefit Plans: Compliance and Audit Best Practices - by Susan Peirce, CPA, MTax, Christopher Smith, JD, LLM and Pamela Dunlap, CPA Wednesday, March 3, 2010 @ 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - by Max E. Dehn, JD and Douglas A. DiPalma, JD from Cavitch Familio & Durkin LPA and Chuck Mullen, CPA, MTax from Apple Growth Partners Thursday, March 11, 2010 @ 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Register today at Akron P 330.867.7350 Westlake P 440.871.8288 Apple growth is healthy growth.


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THE OHIO ALLIANCE OF PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS: Perry White (Citizens’ Academy) received the 2009 Charter School Leader of the Year Award; Alicia Sadonick (Citizens’ Academy) received the Ohio Charter School Teacher of the Year Award.

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CUDELL IMPROVEMENT INC.: Vince Valentino (Cleveland Lumber) received the Walter and Pauline Martens Lifetime Achievement Award; Lynn Blatnica and Erhard Kubiak (ELC Construction), Jeanette Toms and Kim McDonald (The Good Earth Garden), Jim Edwards (Hope Community Garden), Joanne and Jerry Newbury, Ed English and Chuck Marks (Crime Watch and Court Watch) received Service Awards; Bill Harr (Parkview Federal Savings & Loan) and Dave Geraci (Coffey & Ferrels Inc.) received Special Recognition Awards; Kathy Tierney (City of Cleveland) received the Excellence in Government Award.

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he annual NorTech Innovation Awards program is intended to honor the innovations and achievements of companies, entrepreneurs, universities and nonprofit organizations from throughout Northeast Ohio. “It’s so important to feel good internally (in Northeast Ohio) about the assets we have,” said Rebecca Bagley, NorTech’s president and CEO, of the importance of the awards program that has been hosted by NorTech since 2000. With more than 40 nominations this year, Ms. Bagley said she was struck by two characteristics — the diversity in applications, and the robust number submitted in the advanced energy category. She said that not only do the awards help to build the area’s view of itself, they also serve as a promotional tool outside of Northeast Ohio. “It doesn’t just end on awards night,” she said. “The idea is that these are the set of companies you want to highlight throughout the year.” The NorTech Innovation Awards ceremony is Feb. 24 at LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility in Westlake. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and networking at 6, dinner at 7 and the awards presentation at 7:30. The speaker for the event is Harry Shimp, operating partner for Element Partners, of Radnor, Pa., where he is responsible for supporting the company’s renewable power and advanced material investments. — Amy Ann Stoessel

ABOUT THE JUDGES The panel of judges was selected to represent a broad range of expertise from academia, venture capital, private industry and economic development from throughout the Northeast Ohio region. The judges were: ■ Iwan Alexander, faculty director, Great Lakes Energy Institute, and professor, department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Case Western Reserve University. ■ Claiborne (Clay) Rankin, managing member, North Coast Angel Fund LLC. ■ Chris Schmid, former president of LuK USA and Tekfor USA.

■ Edward (Ned) Hill, dean, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University. ■ Kathleen Needham, chief, technology transfer and partnerships, NASA Glenn Research Center. ■ Albert Green, CEO, Kent Displays Inc. ■ Thomas Murphy, president and chief operating officer, Ben Venue Laboratories. ■ Steve Walling, chairman and CEO, Plasticolors, Inc. (Judges with direct connections to particular nominees recused themselves from evaluating those nominations.)

ABOUT THE FINALISTS ■ Akron Polymer Systems, novel polyimide optical films and coatings. Two University of Akron faculty members in 2002 formed Akron Polymer Systems to commercialize advanced polyimide materials. The technology is applied to display screens — such as televisions and airplane cockpit instrument panels — to provide better optical clarity, enabling large liquid crystal displays to be viewed from all angles. The company, which now employs 12 and reached $2 million in revenues in 2009, according to vice president for business development Matt Graham, has expanded its reach into high-performance polymers for missile nose cones, biomedical devices and fuel cells. ■ Monarch Teaching Technologies, VizZle, web-based software for children with autism. VizZle, created by Monarch Teaching Technologies of Shaker Heights, uses Web 2.0 technology to give educators the tools they need to help children with autism meet their educational goals. Students with autism need highly individualized support and adaptations of curriculum, and they especially benefit from visual content. VizZle helps apply Web 2.0

FOR MORE ON THE WINNERS ... ... turn to Pages 14-16 for detailed explanations of this year’s 12 honorees and their innovations: ■ InSeT Systems LLC, Akron ■ Parker Hannifin Corp., Cleveland ■ Tremont Electric LLC, Cleveland technology for the purpose of creating, teaching and sharing visual language, and the software makes it possible for teachers and parents to access available teaching tools, materials and expertise. ■ PolyOne Corp., Molded-in Metallic Colored Plastic Assisted by Tool Design. The name is long but the end result is as direct as can be: It helps consumers save money. Molded-in metallic colors of plastic are desirable because they lower the price points of household appliances with the stainless-steel appearance consumers now favor. PolyOne says this is possible because the process significantly reduces “knit lines” — dark areas where melt fronts come together around a hole. These lines are not aesthetically pleasing, and as a result,

■ ABSMaterials Inc., Wooster ■ Cleveland State University, Fenn College of Engineering, Cleveland ■ Catacel Corp., Garrettsville ■ ViewRay Inc.. Oakwood Village ■ MesoCoat Inc., Euclid manufacturers have been forced to paint the parts after molding, which raises the cost of the appliances. ■ R.W. Beckett Corp., AquaSmart Boiler Control. R.W. Beckett Corp., a North Ridgeville maker of oil and gas burners, has developed the AquaSmart Boiler Control to make sure that owners of residential and small commercial water boilers can keep them on a tight leash. The product’s sensor system allows the owner to control just how hot or cold boiler water can get. That control, according to the company, can save homeowners up to 20% on their heating bills when compared to unregulated boilers. ■ Sooth Inc., computer network management automation. Sooth Inc. of Beachwood has tested and begun distributing its SEER and

■ NASA Glenn Research Center, Brook Park ■ Kent Displays Inc., Kent ■ Akron Research Commercialization Corp., Akron ■ RSP Tooling, Solon SUPERVISOR technologies, which provide computer network management automation that otherwise is performed by technicians. Currently, if a network has a problem, IT staff must address it. Sooth’s software products prevent and resolve network issues in real time, without the need for IT staff intervention. ■ Thogus Products Cos., radiation protection technologies lead-free shielding. Thogus Products in Avon Lake makes a variety of plastic products from traditional compounds but as of late has been working closely with PolyOne and others to produce plastic parts that can replace lead in medical devices where radiation shielding is required. By using a dense, tungsten-filled polymer, Thogus is able to market a product that blocks

radiation as well as lead, with no leaks or hot spots, but has none of lead’s problems from toxicity. ■ University of Akron, novel breast prosthesis. Judit Puskas, a professor of polymer science and integrated bioscience at the University of Akron, was listening to the radio when she heard something that shocked her: a story about the high failure rate of silicone breast implants. Her solution is a thermoplastic rubber breast implant that she has been working on for a decade. Dr. Puskas is working on an anti-microbial coating that would prevent infections, a major problem with implants. She is now trying to get funding for clinical trials. ■ Zethus Software LLC, CyberLabNet 1.0. Imagine the cost and time savings of allowing scientists to use standard internet connections to share data and images of the same lab experiment regardless of where they — or the test — are located. Youngstown-based Zethus Software LLC is rolling out such a product under its “CyberLabNet 1.0” line. Moreover, Zethus products use multiple computers to store data for use by many researchers — and yield continuing revenue.




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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

InSeT Systems LLC


Inertial tracking system for underground mines


hink of this walkie-talkiesized unit as a potential lifesaver for underground miners. Former Navy submariner Russell Breeding patented the inertial tracking system to find workers trapped in cave-ins where conventional GPS systems are useless. Developed by Akron-based InSeT Systems LLC, the product yokes miniaturized versions of inertial guidance systems like those in submarines and tiny electronic devices into a device fitting into a tool belt. The system’s creators say its real-time operation would save valuable time by allowing rescuers on the surface to locate missing miners underground within 25 feet. The collapse of the Sago, W. Va., mine in 2006 gave Mr. Breeding, a former U.S. Navy submariner and

Roetzel & Andress congratulates our clients Cleveland State University, Parker Hannifin, and The University of Akron and all the other 2010 NorTech Innovation Award finalists. 220 attorneys • 40 areas of practice • 11 offices One Address:

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now InSeT’s chief technical officer, the idea. He enlisted his cousin Jay Breeding, a retired executive, for the quest as chief operating officer by telling him: “’I know how to find these guys. You figure out how to make it a company.’” The venture is cruising toward a test by early March at Century Mine, Ohio’s largest underground coal mine, and there are hopes to seek required federal certification later this year. Lee Poseidon, a Cleveland-based JumpStart Inc. venture partner who serves as a mentor to InSeT, said, “I’m pretty jazzed up about it.” He said the product could tap vast markets, first the global underground mining market, then others. Moreover, the system offers repeat business moving installations as mines change. — Stan Bullard

Parker Hannifin Corp. Hybrid hydraulic energy recovery system

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hile firms such as Toyota are grabbing headlines building hybrid electric powered cars, Parker Hannifin Corp. is leading the way in another direction, using proprietary hydraulic hybrid technology to power heavy-duty vehicles that get low fuel efficiency because they work in stop-and-go traffic. The company believes its patented hybrid hydraulic energy recovery system, which it calls RunWise, can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 50% in buses, waste collection trucks and delivery vans. “If a traditional garbage truck uses 44 gallons of fuel a day, ours use about 22 gallons,” said Joseph Kovach, vice president of technology for Parker Hannifin’s Hydraulics Group. In October, Parker announced that Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, committed to purchasing 20 hydraulic hybrid systems. Michael Stark, alternate fuel program manager for Freightliner Custom Chassis, said his company looked at several alternative fuel

As a community partner in technological innovations, Kent State University. . . • Contributes $1.96 billion annually to the region’s economy;

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• Received $46 million in external funding in FY 2008-09, bringing new income from outside the region; • Is home to the internationally renowned Liquid Crystal Institute® for basic and applied liquid crystal materials research; • Has facilitated the creation of 16 start-up companies in the region; • Accelerates the growth of emerging technology-based businesses at its Centennial Research Park.

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remont Electric LLC, based in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, has found a very direct way to take personal energy, make kinetic energy and save you some money. The company turns the power walk into a money-saver. With its trademarked nPower energy conversion technology, designed and patented by company founder and president Aaron LeMieux, a Tremont Electric personal energy generator takes some of the energy you generate by walking and running to power your mobile devices. Mr. LeMieux, who has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo, got the idea in 1996 while hiking 1,500 miles along the Appalachian Trail, a footpath

technologies and decided the Parker Hannifin system held the most promise. “Upon analysis of what systems were out there, Parker was furthest along in their development and seemed to provide the most cost-effective and efficient system that we could find,” he said. The vehicles are powered by fuel-efficient diesel engines. However, during acceleration and braking, Parker’s proprietary Power Drive Unit, which replaces the conventional transmission, takes over, saving fuel. The heart of the system is a tank of hydraulic fluid, called an accumulator, under pressure. When the vehicle brakes, the pressure on the oil increases; when the vehicle accelerates, the pressure is released to turn the wheels. Once the energy stored in the accumulator is depleted, the engine kicks back in. In other words, the transmission, not the fuel-burning engine, powers the vehicle at stops and starts, a considerable savings on vehicles like delivery vans and garbage trucks. — Jay Miller

that runs from Maine to Georgia. He spent the next decade ruminating over the idea while working as a business turnaround consultant. In 2006, he quit his job and raised $135,000 from friends and family to develop his idea. “I had a sense alternative energy was going to be pretty big,” he said. “And I felt I had a patentable idea.” He then won a $55,000 loan from Cuyahoga County’s North Coast Opportunities Technology Fund and that has led to follow-on financing. “The technology was solid but the product just needed some design work and prototyping to attract more investment,” said Gregory Zucca, strategic program officer with the county’s development department. Mr. LeMieux said he plans to be selling his power batons online by spring at $149 apiece. — Jay Miller



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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

ABSMaterials Inc. (formerly Absorbent Materials Co. LLC) Osorb


BSMaterials Inc., formerly Absorbent Materials Co. LLC, has tested the waters with Osorb, its absorbent glass, and says the innovation’s ability to remove toxins from water

has significant environmental implications. The Wooster-based company has developed and patented seven different types of shape-changing glass that are capable of removing oil, chemicals or pharmaceuticals from water and are a “vastly lower cost solution to ecological clean-up activities,” according to its NorTech Innovation Awards nomination form. “We can extract Prozac from the water and recover it for reuse,”

said Stephen Spoonamore, CEO and chairman. “We can capture it in the molecule form, so it’s more pure than it was before. The secondary byproducts and fillers are gone.” The glass can remediate toxins in groundwater, remove hexamine from polluted water, or remove organic acids and hydrocarbons from produced, or polluted, water that is pumped during the production of oil and natural gas.

Cleveland State University, Fenn College of Engineering Wind harnessing system for urban and low-wind speed regions


eople aren’t likely to install a 300-foot-wide wind turbine in their back yards, so a professor at Cleveland State University has come up with a smaller alternative. The wind harnessing system for urban and low-wind speed regions is small enough to be erected on top of a building and can generate enough electricity to power two homes measuring between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet. The system includes a 25-foottall cylinder with four turbines on each side, all of which measure 7 feet in diameter, said Majid Rashidi, the Betty L. Gordon Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Cleveland State and the inventor of the wind harnessing system. As wind hits the cylinder, the wind is diverted to the sides and into the turbines,

Catacel Corp. SSR stackable structural reactor


atacel Corp. has designed a catalyst that will help hydrogen makers operate more efficiently. Hydrogen plants currently make hydrogen by putting steam and natural gas into large tubes that exist within a big furnace. There are ceramic pellets inside those tubes that assist in the process of making hydrogen, said William Whittenberger, president of Garrettsville-based Catacel. Catacel has created the SSR stackable structural reactor, a fitting made of metal foil that can be dropped inside the tubes to replace the ceramic pellets, which break down over time because they do not expand and contract as the heat goes up and down, he said.

ViewRay Inc. MRI-guided radiation therapy which then use the wind power to generate energy, he said. “The targeted kilowatt hour is for anybody who needs five kilowatts to 100 kilowatts,” he said. The system is ideal for farms as the small turbines could be connected to existing silos or water towers, which are shaped like cylinders and could divert the wind into the turbines, Dr. Rashidi said. Its size and ability to use lower wind speeds to generate power also makes the system useful in urban areas, said Maria Marez Baker, a principal at patent search firm MPatents in Cleveland and an electrical engineering student at Cleveland State. “Sustainable energy generation is very important,” she said. “I’m very impressed with the design itself (because) it can generate power at significantly lower wind speeds and at higher wind speeds.” — Shannon Mortland

The metal fitting, which has a special coating designed by Catacel, will expand and contract with the heat and does not break down over time, thereby eliminating the need to shut down the plant to clean the tubes and replace the ceramic pellets, Mr. Whittenberger said. The metal fitting also enables the plant to produce the same amount of hydrogen at a lower temperature, saving energy, he said. Catacel’s stackable structural reactor was installed by HydroChem of Holly Springs, Ga., in an energy plant that opened in July 2008 in Turkey, and energy has been saved. “This type of catalyst has great potential in not being subject to breakage,” said Dennis Norton, who recently retired as president of Hydro-Chem. “It seems to be a product that will have very good financial or economic benefits.” — Shannon Mortland


n the absence of a cancer cure, ViewRay Inc. of Oakwood Village is attempting to make the treatment more accurate. The company pitches its magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiation therapy as an upgrade over more traditional X-ray-based radiation for the improved internal motion tracking and superior imaging the MRI radiation provides.

CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS The various forms of glass also capture volatile compounds like oil and octane, or volatile pharmaceuticals like antidepressants or solvents. “There are so many potential uses for this technology, but even if they were doing nothing else but groundwater cleanup, that’s a multibillion dollar industry,” said Ted Frank, a venture partner with JumpStart Inc., which invested in the company in December. — Kathy Ames Carr

Radiation therapy is a noninvasive procedure that relies upon external imaging to locate the cancer. Previous technology included images taken perhaps days before treatment or invasive procedures to determine the exact location. However, MRIguided therapy takes images four times a second, according to Richard Stark, ViewRay’s executive vice president of operations and business development, and offers constant tracking that accounts for anatomical motion. (For instance: A tumor in a lung might move ever so slightly

every time a patient breathes.) “Our hope, of course, is that this technology will allow us to see better and be more accurate, while reducing the side effects,” Mr. Stark said. Mayfield Village-based Quality Electrodynamics is working with the company to develop MRI radio frequency coils for its therapy system, and QED CEO Hiroyuki Fujita said he’s confident ViewRay will succeed. “It’s a very unique idea; we’re proud to be part of the effort.” Dr. Fujita said. — Joel Hammond

were working on the technology at PowderMet Inc., another Euclid company from which MesoCoat spun off in 2008, said MesoCoat chief engineer Greg Engleman. It’s ready to bring the first of its products to market, where they’ll be used in defense applications now that the product has been tested and received long-term projects from the U.S. Navy, Air Force and also the Department of Energy, the company reports. MesoCoat’s PComP coatings are

metallic substances like tungsten, but they contain microscopic ceramic particles engineered to both increase the toughness and durability of the coating, while still working with conventional application methods, Mr. Engleman said. One of the coating’s first uses is on the landing gear of military aircraft, where no traditional coating has been able to withstand the stress and strain of operations. “They’ve developed a very unique coating that will primarily have its major market in the commercial aircraft industry,” predicts Bruce Bodger, a subcontractor to McDonnell Douglas who’s working with the coatings. — Dan Shingler

MesoCoat Inc. PComP family of advanced coating nanoengineered cermets


small company in Euclid is using even smaller particles of ceramic to make a big difference in the world of coatings — and that could mean safer aircraft, fewer toxic chemicals and an increased life span for many parts now coated with chrome or other traditional materials. MesoCoat Inc. has been working for two years on the coatings, and before that some of its principals

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NASA Glenn Research Center Radio frequency telemetry system for implantable Bio-MEMs sensors


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urgeons could use it. Bridge builders could use it. Heck, even Goodyear could use it. The beauty of the sensor system that Felix Miranda and Rainee Simons developed at NASA Glenn Research Center is that it can be designed to keep a close eye on almost anything, be it your heart, trusses holding up an overpass or the inner workings of a tire. The system uses a 1-square-millimeter sensor that when prompted relays information to a handheld device. What type of information? The two NASA Glenn researchers designed it to help the space agency monitor astronauts’ vital signs. As they developed it, more uses emerged, Dr. Simons said. The sensor’s size gives it versatility, as does the fact that it needs no battery. The handheld device provides the power needed to send the radio frequency signal to the sensor and back. Medical technology firm Endotronix LLC, which has offices in Cleveland and Peoria, Ill., licensed the technology for cardiovascular uses in July 2008, and it may eventually license the system for other medical uses, CEO Anthony Nunez said. Others are taking notice of the system, too. For one, it was named a runner-up in the wireless category of The Wall Street Journal 2009 Technology Innovation Awards. “As time goes on people are recognizing it for what it is,” Dr. Nunez said. — Chuck Soder

Kent Displays Inc. Reflex LCD Electronic Skins


f you’re sad, you’re blue, but can your cell phone be, too? If Kent Displays Inc. has its way, cell phones and other handheld electronic devices soon will have the capability to change color on command to fit your mood, need or preference. And it could be just the beginning for the technology.

Akron Research Commercialization Corp. Silver-based pharmaceutical candidates for cystic fibrosis


eave the gold to the Olympians. Wiley J. Youngs and his research team at the University of Akron are more interested in silver. Dr. Youngs, an Akron distinguished professor of chemistry, and a colleague from biomedical engineering, Yang Yun, have identified silver n-heterocyclic carbene complexes that have shown good results in treating bacterial lung infections, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis. After about a decade of research, Dr. Youngs said clinical trials are drawing closer and could begin within a year. The use of silver-based compounds in medicinal applications has gained favor in recent years because the compounds are thera-

The company’s Reflex LCD Electronic Skins can be custom cut and conformed to another surface, such as a cell phone, according to the company’s NorTech Innovation Awards nomination. Kent Displays Inc. uses a special liquid crystal display technology that is reflective; it uses ambient light and no power is required to keep the image on display, said Kevin Oswald,

peutically effective and don’t have the severe side effects caused by other active metals, said George Newkome, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Akron. The university has helped Dr. Youngs in the commercialization of his technology through a startup venture known as the Akron Research Commercialization Corp. Their first product, called Silvamist, is an inhaled drug candidate for the treatment of respiratory disorders and lung infections. The company is currently in the process of applying for Investigational New Drug, or IND, status for Silvamist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which would enable clinical trials to move forward. The technology’s promise has led to the development of the Center for Silver Therapeutics Research at the university. Early stage research has shown that some silver-based compounds might work as anticancer agents. — Scott Suttell

FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

communications director at Kent Displays Inc. The skins are made of conductorcoated plastic film laminates with the liquid crystal technology inside, which ultimately “provides more an experience like paper would,” Mr. Oswald said. “It’s a really important gamechanger that Northeast Ohio can own,” said Dr. John L. West, vice president for research at Kent State University and former director of the university’s Liquid Crystal Institute, about the technology. Kent Displays has the ability to

manufacture the electronic skins, and the hope is that a production run will be scheduled this year. While the current focus of the company is on handheld electronic devices, the anticipation is that there will be other applications. In fact, Dr. West said the same technology being utilized in the electronic skins could precipitate a shift from glass liquid crystal displays to those made with plastic. “If we do this right, we can actually have a new high-tech industry here that we own,” Dr. West said. — Amy Ann Stoessel

RSP Tooling Nozzle design to atomize Inconel 718


ormally, RSP Tooling in Solon atomizes steel, spraying it into dies and molds. But president Jim Knirsch wanted to work with the nickel-based super-alloy Inconel 718, and the spraying process needed to change. Scott Miller, who subcontracted as a physicist for the RSP project that would create new nozzles to spray the alloy, describes the difference between the two as “water and honey.” “One’s pretty hard to atomize, and that other’s very easy,” he said, describing attempts to spray honey out of a nozzle. Mr. Knirsch went one step further. “It literally poured out of our nozzle,” he said. “It did not spray at all.” Because Inconel 718 is much stronger than steel and has uses in the aerospace industry, RSP kept on

working. The company redesigned their nozzles to keep the alloy from touching the nozzle’s sides. Mr. Knirsch estimated a significant reduction in both cost and time as a result of the new technology. Now, the company is just making forging dies, but he said in a little more than a year they could be working toward manufacturing jet engine and turbine parts. The alloy is less likely to suffer from metal fatigue problems, Mr. Miller said, and the process is “pretty important” for the aerospace industry. He said the nozzle opens up opportunities for cost reduction there. Mr. Knirsch said he is working on getting a patent on the nozzle, but does not yet have one. The development of the nozzle took eight years. — Arielle Kass

LAST YEAR’S WINNERS The winners of the 2009 NorTech Innovation Awards were: ■ Arisdyne Systems Inc., Cleveland: Hydrodynamic cavitation for biodiesel production ■ Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland: Viral disease biotech platform ■ Greenfield Solar Corp., North Ridgeville: High-intensity photovoltaic concentrator ■ Sensor Development Corp., Strongsville: Microbial volatile organic compound sensor ■ Neurowave Systems Inc., Cleve-

land Heights: The NeuroSENSE Monitor ■ Powdermet Inc., Euclid: SComP syntactic composites ■ NASA Glenn Research Center, Brook Park; Zin Technologies, Middleburg Heights: vMetrics ■ Pathogen Systems Inc., partnering with Kent State University’s Liquid Crystal Institute and NEOUCOM: Rapid pathogen detection system ■ University of Akron; KenCak LLC, Akron: Bioartificial pancreas ■ Quality Electrodynamics Inc., Mayfield Village: Ultra-compact MRI pre-amplifier

IT’S GOOD TO HAVE A TENANT REP. YOU WON’T BE TREATED LIKE PROPERTY. Most brokers represent property. We don’t. We’re your tenant representative. We represent you. Your company. And your interests.

Smart move. Contact George Hutchinson: 216.524.0710 x104

© 2009 Allegro Realty Advisors, Ltd.

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FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010





Capital Minimum under investment management Top executive (thousands) (millions) Title

Name Address Phone/Web site

Name Address Phone/Web site

Capital Minimum under investment management Top executive (thousands) (millions) Title

Arboretum Ventures 11000 Cedar Ave., Cleveland 44106 (216) 658-3989/



Jan Garfinkle founder, managing director

Linsalata Capital Partners 5900 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 280, Mayfield Heights 44124 (440) 684-1400/



Frank N. Linsalata, chmn.; Eric V. Bacon, Stephen B. Perry, sr. managing directors

Athenian Venture Partners 20 E. Circle Drive, #37146, Suite 229, Athens 45701-3751 (614) 360-1155/



Karl O. Elderkin managing partner

Max-Ventures LLC 5900 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 203, Cleveland 44124 (216) 765-2505/



Michael Feuer CEO, sr. managing director



Darrell W. Austin managing partner

Morgenthaler 50 Public Square, Suite 2700, Cleveland 44113 (216) 416-7500/



Robin C. Bellas managing partner

Mutual Capital Partners Fund 5805 Bridge Ave., Cleveland 44102 (216) 928-1908/



Bill Trainor Wayne Wallace general partners



Eric Von Hendrix, president; June E. Taylor, co-president Edward S. Pentecost chairman, CEO

Austin Capital Partners LP 1422 Euclid Ave., Suite 500, Cleveland 44115 (216) 574-2284/ Blue Chip Venture Co. 250 E. Fifth St., Cincinnati 45202 (513) 723-2300/



John C. McIlwraith managing director

Blue Point Capital Partners 127 Public Square, Suite 5100, Cleveland 44114 (216) 535-4700/



David P. Given John F. Kirby managing partners

MWV Pinnacle Capital Fund LP P.O. Box 241065, Cleveland 44124 (216) 502-4740

Brantley Partners 3201 Enterprise Pkwy., Suite 350, Beachwood 44122 (216) 464-8400/



Robert P. Pinkas managing general partner

National City Equity Partners 1965 E. Sixth St., Suite 1010, Cleveland 44114 (216) 222-2491/



Bridge Investment Fund LP 11000 Cedar Ave., Suite 100, Cleveland 44106 (216) 658-5470/



Michael Goldberg managing partner

Ohio Innovation Fund 1120 Chester Ave., Suite 418, Cleveland 44114 (216) 830-1171/



Timothy Biro managing partner

Candlewood Partners LLC 10 1/2 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls 44022 (440) 247-2800/



Glenn C. Pollack managing director

Peppertree Capital Management Inc. 3550 Lander Road, Suite 300, Pepper Pike 44124 (216) 514-4949/



F. Howard Mandel president

CapitalWorks LLC 1111 Superior Ave., Suite 970, Cleveland 44114 (216) 781-3233/



John M Mueller CEO

Primus Capital Funds 5900 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 200, Cleveland 44124 (440) 684-7300/



Loyal W. Wilson managing director

Capvest Venture Fund LP 14 S. High St., New Albany 43054 (614) 855-9980/



William M. Custer Jakki Haussler managing directors

Redline Capital, Midwest Capital 20600 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 495, Cleveland 44122 (216) 991-1201/



Todd Peter president

CID Capital 180 E. Broad St.,, Suite 810, Columbus 43215 (614) 222-8185/



Peter G. Kleinhenz managing director, Columbus

Reservoir Venture Partners 400 W. Wilson Bridge Road, Suite 130, Columbus 43085 (614) 846-7241/



Curtis D. Crocker managing partner

CoreNetwork 101 Main St., Toledo 43605 (419) 697-9696/



Robert J. Savage managing partner

Resilience Capital Partners LLC 25101 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 350, Cleveland 44122 (216) 292-0200/



Bassem Mansour, Steven Rosen, co-CEOs; Michael Lundin, partner

River Cities Capital Funds 221 E. Fourth St., Suite 2400, Cincinnati 45202 (513) 621-9700/



Daniel T. Fleming Edward C. McCarthy J. Carter McNabb managing directors

Draper Triangle Ventures 737 Bolivar Road, Suite 1500, Cleveland 44115 (216) 363-5300/



Michael Stubler managing director

Early Stage Partners LP 1801 E. Ninth St., Cleveland 44114 (216) 781-4600/



James M. Petras managing director

The Riverside Co. 50 Public Square, 29th floor, Cleveland 44113 (216) 344-1040/



RiverVest Venture Partners 11000 Cedar Ave., Suite 100, Cleveland 44106 (216) 658-3982/







Signet Enterprises LLC 75 E. Market St., Akron 44308 (330) 762-9102/



South Franklin Street Partners 10 1/2 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls 44022 (440) 264-8040/



Raymond A. Lancaster managing director

Sunbridge Partners 3659 Green Road, Suite 118, Beachwood 44122 (216) 360-0151/



John Gannon general partner John M. Rice Suzette Dutch Dennis Costello Carrie Bates George Emont managing partners

Edgewater Capital Partners 28601 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 205, Cleveland 44122 (216) 292-3838/



Christopher Childres managing partner

Evolution Capital Partners LLC 29325 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 302, Pepper Pike 44122 (216) 593-0402/



Brendan D. Anderson Jeffrey D. Kadlic Paul L. Gierosky managing partners



R. John Fletcher, CEO Pearson M. Spaght Linda Tufts


Steven Baker Christopher Baucom Joseph Michael John O'Connor managing directors

Fletcher Spaght Ventures 180 E. Broad St., Suite 810, Columbus 43215 (614) 429-4236/ Fort Washington Capital Partners 303 Broadway, Suite 1200, Cincinnati 45202 (513) 361-7600/ Gates Group Capital Partners 6120 Parkland Blvd., Suite 202, Mayfield Heights 44124 (440) 684-9900/ Glengary LLC 3201 Enterprise Parkway, Suite 430, Beachwood 44122 (216) 491-4700/ Isabella Capital 1995 Madison Road, Cincinnati 45208 (513) 721-7110/ Key Principal Partners Corp. 800 Superior Ave., 10th floor, Cleveland 44114 (216) 828-8125/ Kirtland Capital Partners 3201 Enterprise Pkwy., Suite 200, Beachwood 44122 (216) 593-0100/






E. M. de Windt Jr. senior managing director, CEO Stephen R. Haynes managing director



Margaret H. Wyant managing director



John R. Sinnenberg chairman



John G. Nestor chairman, senior managing partner

RockWood Equity Partners LLC 3201 Enterprise Pkwy., Suite 370, Beachwood 44122 (216) 378-9326/ Roulston Ventures Management LLC 1200 East St., Fairport Harbor 44077 (440) 350-1230

Triathlon Medical Ventures 250 E. Fifth St., Suite 1100, Cincinnati 45202 (513) 723-2600/



Zapis Capital Group LLC 26202 Detroit Road, Suite 300, Westlake 44145 (440) 871-1300/



Stewart A. Kohl Bela Szigethy co-CEOs Karen Spilizewski vice president Owen M. Colligan Brett R. Keith managing directors Thomas H. Roulston II general partner

Anthony S. Manna chairman

Lee Zapis CEO

Source: Information is supplied by the companies unless footnoted. Crain's Cleveland Business does not independently verify the information and there is no guarantee these listings are complete or accurate. Individual lists and The Book of Lists are available to purchase at

Crain's Cleveland Business Book of Lists Northeast Ohio's most comprehensive market research tool, available in print or digital formats.

RESEARCHED BY Deborah W. Hillyer




3:12 PM

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Contact: Phone: Fax: E-mail:



Genny Donley (216) 771-5172 (216) 694-4264





Near Cleveland, OH Airport - Court Receiver Directs Sale

Fully-Operating 93-Room Hotel

OPENING BID AT: $910,000

SUPER 8 HOTEL: 15385 Royalton Rd., (Rte. 82), I-71 @ Exit 231, Strongsville, OH 44126. Eight-month Receiver Revenues of $55,000± / mo. ADR @ $51.41. Built 1979 as Red Roof Inn with 108 Rooms, 32,256± SF Total. Areas of Hotel recently converted to Office, BreakfastArea, Fitness Center, & Two Owner-Manager Apts. Now 38 Kings & 55 Double-Doubles. Roof just redone. Next to Hoover Ice Arena, near IX Convention Center, and Southpark Mall.


ON-SITE INSPECTIONS: March 4, 10, & 16 from 2:00 to 4 P.M. See Web-Site at

Auction: 11 A.M., March 18, On-Site For Brochure, Terms, & Bid Packet Call: 216-360-0009 / Gordon Greene, CCIM / OH R.E. Broker & Auctioneer Chartwell Group, LLC

REAL ESTATE SERVICES Need to sell your home? • Job Loss • Business Failure • • Medical Cost • Divorce • Call us to discuss your options. Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified

Transaction Realty 216-432-0444

FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

Great View. 3 Bdrm/2 Bath In-suite Washer/Dryer. Underground parking and much more! Call today and select your own carpet & tile!

216-228-7761 17600 Detroit, Lakewood


Warehouse District Office Space


Architecturally Unique Space on West 9th. Beautiful Office w/ quality Built-Ins, Volume Ceilings, Lectriever holding 2500 files and more!

Notice is hereby given that sealed proposals will be received in the Board of County Commissioners Office of Procurement & Diversity, Room 100, County Administration Building Annex, 112 Hamilton Court, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 until 11:00 A.M., (Local Time) on:

Entire floor approx. 5000 sq. ft. w/ an option for a 2nd floor w/ approx. 2500 sq. ft. connected by a stairwell & elevator. 2nd Floor contains large conference room holding 20+ people and separate kitchen area. Many other extras! Storage Available.

March 31, 2010 for: The sale of County-owned property no longer needed for public use: Permanent Parcel Nos. 110-04-005 to 007, 60 to 63, 80 to 82 and 117 to 124 located at 12212 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, as per County Requisition No. CT-09-16145. Any questions concerning the property may be directed to the Real Estate Division, at (216) 698-2517.

Priced Below Market! Perfect for small businesses such as architects, engineers, accountants, lawyers or insurance agencies.

For more info call Larry Weiser at 216-496-5678 FOR LEASE

Cleveland/Shaker Hts. Historic AmTrust building, N. Moreland & Larchmere. 1,000 s.f. to 8,000 s.f. from trendy & modern to well appointed & distinguished. Free parking • Kitchen Facilities • Large Training Room/Classroom Space • Conference Room. For additional information contact

Fairmount Properties 216-514-8700

CBD Office Space Located @ E.9th & Superior or Euclid – 200SF up to 10,000SF Traditional or Loft Offices Owner Operated Properties


Classified Ads WORK!

APARTMENTS 2,100 Sq. Ft. Penthouse

Copy Deadline: Wednesdays @ 2:00 p.m. All Ads Pre-Paid: Check or Credit Card

ATTENTION REALTORS: Now is a great time to promote your Luxury Properties to high-end prospects AND receive reduced rates on your advertising. Call Genny Donley at (216) 771-5172 or e-mail for more details.


The official closing time shall be determined by the wall clock located in the Office of Procurement & Diversity, Room 100, County Administration Building Annex, 112 Hamilton Court, Cleveland, Ohio 44114. Late bids will be returned unopened. Specification and proposal blanks may be obtained at the Office of Procurement & Diversity. (Same Address) Interested bidders may visit the site (12212 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio) for a walk-thru on March 10, 2010 at 11:00 A.M. Each bid must be accompanied by a “Certified Check”, “Cashier’s Check” or “Money order” drawn on a solvent bank or Savings and Loan Association, payable to the Treasurer of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in a sum equal to 5% of the amount bid, conditioned that if such bid is accepted, the bidder shall proceed with the purchase. The balance of the amount bid is due from the successful bidder within sixty (60) days after award by the Board of County Commissioners. The above described parcel and interest to the conveyed will be by QuitClaim Deed. The Board of County Commissioners reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids. By order of the Board of County Commissioners of Cuyahoga County. Jimmy Dimora Timothy F. Hagan Peter Lawson Jones Lenora Lockett, Director, Office of Procurement & Diversity Publish in Crain’s Cleveland Business February 15, 2010 and February 22, 2010 This notice may also be viewed at the following Cuyahoga County Internet Web Site: by clicking on the show events tab and the bid due date month. A list of open bids will appear on the next screen.



(800) 690-9409


LANDERHAVEN Your Event Venue


DON’T FORGET: Crain’s Cleveland Business on-line @ For all the latest business

Crain’s Executive Recruiter

ATTENTION BUSINESS SERVICE OWNERS! Submit your business card to promote your service and receive a

SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT off your ad price.

To find out more, contact Genny Donley at 216.771.5172

WANTED: Your subscription to Crain’s Cleveland Business To sign up call toll-free at 1-888-909-9111 or on-line @ Click on “Subscribe Now.”

CHAIR OF THE DIVISION OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Baldwin-Wallace College seeks an experienced leader who can work effectively on and off campus to plan and execute strategic initiatives that advance the mission of the Business Division and the College. An MBA or a Ph.D. in a Business Administration/ Management field are preferred, and a rich track record of working with corporations and their management leaders is highly desirable. Salary and professorial rank are commensurate with qualifications. Learn more about position, qualifications and application requirements at In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the College and the Division of Business Administration actively encourages applications from individuals who desire an environment that celebrates diversity. Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vita, statement of leadership philosophy, and the names and contact information of three current references to: Dr. Mary Lou Higgerson, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Baldwin-Wallace College, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, OH 44017. Electronic applications are encouraged and may be submitted to B-W is an EEO/AA employer and educator committed to diversity in the classroom and workplace.

To place your Executive Recruiter ad Call Genny Donley at 216-771-5172

For daily on-line updates, sign up @



FEBRUARY 15-21, 2010

1:54 PM

Page 1





THEWEEK FEBRUARY 8 - 14 The big story: FirstEnergy Corp. agreed to buy Allegheny Energy Inc. of Greensburg, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh, in an $8.5 billion deal that would create one of the nation’s largest electric companies. Allegheny shareholders would receive 0.667 shares of FirstEnergy common stock in exchange for each share of Allegheny they own. Based on closing stock prices on Feb. 10, Allegheny shareholders would receive a value of $27.65 per share — a 32% premium — or $4.7 billion total. Akron-based FirstEnergy also would assume about $3.8 billion in Allegheny debt. The deal is expected to close in about a year. The combined company would be based in Akron. Going south: Novelis Inc., a producer of aluminum rolled products, said it’s moving its North American headquarters to Atlanta from Cleveland. About 80 professional positions will move to Atlanta as the company consolidates its operations at its world headquarters in the Georgia city. Novelis said the consolidation, when combined with other expected staff additions, will bring its Atlanta staff to about 220 by the end of 2010. Novelis selected Atlanta as its world headquarters in 2005 when it was spun off from Canadian aluminum producer Alcan.

Hey, it has a lake view!: Eaton Corp. shared a rendering of its planned Beachwood headquarters with its employees, giving a first glimpse of the 470,000-square-foot structure the company says it will begin building in early 2011. The mostly glass, semi-circular headquarters will cradle a lake and will be surrounded by walking paths on its 53-acre site, which is the highest point in Cuyahoga County. The $170 million development includes a 220,000-square-foot parking garage for Eaton employees. Executives in the highest of the building’s 10 floors are to have views of downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie.


Signs of change begin to emerge at Nat City ■ PNC is beginning to proliferate. But in most cases, you’ll need to wait until spring — or a particularly blustery day — to see the signs. PNC Financial Services Group, which bought National City Corp. in late 2008, finally will change the name of its Cleveland-area branches April 12. Already, though, the work to make a smooth transition is starting. Some branches already have had their National City signs replaced by ones that say PNC, though the new signs are covered by banners with the National City name. At one location, though, the PNC sign is going uncovered. That’s because the Detroit Road branch in Westlake is a relocation from one inside a Giant Eagle and will not be used until the full conversion takes place, a PNC spokeswoman said. While there is not yet a sign on the building — and won’t be one until after the branch opens, once conversion is complete — a construction sign bears PNC’s name. — Arielle Kass

To their credit: Huntington Bank is continuing its Cleveland push with an announcement that it will make $360 million in loans to small businesses in this area over the next three years. The announcement is part of a $4 billion initiative that will increase lending in Ohio and five other states. Huntington also will add more than 150 business bankers in those areas, including about two dozen in Cleveland. The bank estimated the loans would be $150,000 on average and would be used for working capital, expansion, new employees or new equipment. This and that: The Cleveland Clinic received a $5.4 million grant to continue to study brain tissue injury and inflammation in multiple sclerosis. The grant from the National Institutes of Health will support research that began in 1999 and will extend it another five years. … Athersys Inc. of Cleveland said it was granted two patents related to its MultiStem technology, an investigational stem cell therapy designed to treat diseases and conditions including acute myocardial infarction and inflammatory bowel disease.

Even a slow fix would be welcome about now

■ Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People has opened two new foreclosure prevention offices in the Cleveland suburbs. Once a week, trained counselors from ESOP will set up shop in Bedford Heights

■ Research by Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher shows government-backed small business loans have decreased by more than 30% statewide since 2006, including an even steeper drop in Cleveland. In 2009, there were $15.1 million in Small Business Administration loans made in Cleveland, the office of Mr. Fisher’s U.S. Senate campaign said in a statement, down from $25.4 million in 2006. The Marion, Chillicothe, Youngstown, Washington Courthouse, Akron and Columbus markets saw a bigger drop than Cleveland’s 40%, the office said, with their losses ranging from 46% to 95%. The Canton area, with 15%, saw the smallest percentage loss.



Speaking of signs, here’s one the housing mess isn’t over

Excerpts from blog entries on

The Cavaliers aren’t the only winners at The Q

Want a new drug: Contract drug discovery company Ricerca Biosciences LLC in Concord agreed to buy the Discovery and Preclinical business of MDS Pharma Services of King of Prussia, Pa., which is part of MDS Inc. of Toronto. Ricerca did not say how much it would pay for the business, which has operations in Washington, France and Taiwan. The business provides biochemical, cellular, tissue, organ and animal assays for use in profiling the specificity and selectivity of drug compounds.

and Garfield Heights. The free foreclosure prevention counseling will be available every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Jimmy Dimora Community Center at 5615 Perkins Road in Bedford Heights and every Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Word of Righteousness Family Life Center at 13455 Dressler Ave. in Garfield Heights. To participate in counseling, a homeowner must make an appointment, but does not need to reside in the city where counseling takes place. ESOP also has sessions in South Euclid and Lakewood. For information, call 216-361-0718 or e-mail jrobinson — Arielle Kass

COMPANY: Ridge Tool Co., Elyria PRODUCT: Auto-Clean drain cleaning machine In this case, an idea that goes down the drain is a good thing. Ridge Tool says the Auto-Clean product works in pipes from ¾ to 1½ inches in diameter. It’s designed to clean sink, utility sink, tub and shower drains. The Auto-Clean drain cleaning machine features Ridge Tool’s dual-direction Autofeed technology, which advances and retrieves the drain-cleaning cable with the push of a lever. The aluminum paddles on the Autofeed allow the user to feed cable down the drain at 18 feet per minute, enabling most blockages to be reached in less than one minute. The product’s Maxcore 50 cable cuts through blockages with a ¼-inch-by-30-foot inner core cable. The unit features a handle for easy transport and storage and rubber feet that provide increased stability, Ridge Tool says. A foot bulb activation allows users to turn the unit on and off with the tap of a foot. The AutoClean drain cleaning machine is compact and weighs only 11 pounds. For information, visit Send new product information to managing editor Scott Suttell at

■ Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans are getting a lot of bang for their arena naming rights bucks. So said The Wall Street Journal in a piece that looked at which companies have their names on buildings where the home teams are most successful. With a .656 winning percentage — and getting better all the time — over the last four years, the Cavaliers have produced for Quicken Loans the second-best success rate for a naming rights patron, tied with what the Pittsburgh Steelers have done at Heinz Field. Only Gillette, with a .750 winning percentage for the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, has fared better.

At Journal Register, a new boss brings a new attitude ■ John Paton, the new CEO of Journal Register Co., the publisher of The (Lake County) News-Herald and The (Lorain) Morning Journal, is off to a fast start in transforming the company. In a memo and PowerPoint presentation to employees, Mr. Paton said the company “will have Flip HD cameras in the hands of every one of our reporters within 30 days” and will establish “Community Journalism Media Labs” in six communities it serves. (The memo doesn’t specify if Northeast Ohio is one of those.) He added that Journal Register will “upgrade and enhance our I.T.

Columbus saw the largest dollar-figure decrease, with a loss of $25.8 million, while New Philadelphia saw the smallest with $49,800 less in SBA loans. Mr. Fisher, in his role as a candidate, said there is a sense of urgency about shrinking SBA loans, which are a problem across the state, and not just in the cities. “It’s fair to say there are a variety of reasons, but the No. 1 reason is the economic downturn,” the Democrat said last week in a conference call with reporters. “There is no one quick fix.” — Arielle Kass

More plugged-in patient care ■ Private practice doctors and Akron General Health System soon will be able to share more patient information electronically. The health system is installing a practice management system in which Akron General and physician practices will be able to use a software program to document patient care, submit prescriptions and receive laboratory results. The practice management software will work closely with the hospital’s existing electronic health record system. It is expected to reduce prescription errors and enable doctors to communicate faster on patient care. “We’ve made it a priority to ensure that our community health care providers will have the tools they need to be able to focus their time and attention on providing top-quality care and enhanced patient safety, whether in the hospital or in their own physician practice,” said Dr. Jack Mitstifer, president of inpatient services at Akron General. — Shannon Mortland

infrastructure so that our employees can fully participate in the new news ecology.” There’s a lot of gloom and doom in the news business these days, but Mr. Paton is having none of it. “New technologies and seismic developments such as social media are, if we are an open and questing company, allowing us to experiment in ways to truly participate with the audience,” he wrote. “By opening ourselves up to ideas and partnerships within our communities and those companies that are harnessing technology to both create and distribute information, we can participate with the audience in ways we have never done FILE PHOTO/MARC GOLUB before,” Mr. Paton wrote. “And we can become better providers of local journalism.”

This Medina resident wishes Congress could start fresh ■ Here’s to you, Michael Wish. The 30-year-old Medina resident was among the people quoted in a Feb. 12 New York Times story about the public’s perception of Congress. That perception, to put it mildly, is not good. “Three-quarters of the public disapproves of Congress, matching the highest level measured by the New York Times/CBS News Poll since it began asking the question in 1977,” The Times noted. “Four out of five voters thought Congress was more interested in serving special interests than voters.” Mr. Wish, a Democrat, fits squarely with the majority of voters. “I think Congress and the Senate need to be completely revamped,” he told the newspaper, adding, “The old way of doing things is no longer working.”



3:09 PM

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February 15,-21 2010