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Bidding farewell to a part of your company

Metro is taking unique approach

How divestitures are playing a role in local business models

Boutros is forming a civic focus group of sorts as he plots campus overhaul



sk insiders to explain this M&A trend, and most of them will tell you it has to do with cash and companies minding their (core) business. A number of Northeast Ohio companies sold a piece of their business last year to another company. Some local advisers expect that number to grow in the near term, given the pipelines they’re seeing, the cash that currently is chasing deals and the way executives are focused on growing their companies’ core businesses. KeyBanc Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of Cleveland-based KeyCorp, has “more going on now than we have for several years,” in terms of corporate divestiture activity, said Paul Schneir, managing director. The story is similar for the Cleveland office of law firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, where attorneys are busier with divestitures than Megan L. Mehalko can remember being in recent history. “You used to see this, and you’d say, ‘OK, they’re trying to raise money to pay down debt, redo their capital structure, whatever,’” said Mehalko, who chairs the firm’s corporate and securities practice group.


It was billed as an event where MetroHealth would unveil plans for a striking overhaul of its crumbling and outdated main campus off West Boutros 25th Street in Cleveland. However, the health system’s boisterous CEO, Dr. Akram Boutros, last week didn’t unveil a single blueprint or cost estimate for the massive facelift he expects will be almost complete by 2020. Instead, Boutros, who joined the health system less than a year ago, launched what could be characterized as a countywide focus group aimed at drumming up ideas to revitalize the taxpayer-supported hospital’s dilapidated headquarters and its blighted surrounding neighborhood. The idea, Boutros said in an interview last week with Crain’s, is to transform MetroHealth into “another jewel in the necklace that is Cleveland.”


See DIVEST Page 25


See METRO Page 23



74470 83781



SMALL BUSINESS Kent company has a new way of looking at electronic tinting technology ■ Pages 19-22 PLUS: ADVISER ■ FROM LAW TO FITNESS ■ TAX TIPS ■ & MORE

Entire contents © 2014 by Crain Communications Inc. Vol. 35, No. 19





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Voters gave land developers a ticket to ride at the former Geauga Lake amusement park in Aurora, and the prospective buyers seem to care. Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin and Cliff West, an associate at investment realty broker Marcus & Millichap’s Cleveland office who has the listing to market the property for land owner Cedar Fair Inc. of Sandusky, both say at least three parties are sizing up the entire property for offers. Moreover, a half-dozen other parties have signaled interest in smaller pieces of the property. The change in appetite surfaced suddenly, marking a big switch after the seven-year hiatus since Cedar Fair closed the landmark amusement park in 2007 and West began actively marketing it in 2009. The difference is that Aurora voters last week soundly approved a municipality-introduced measure to replace the former industrial zoning of the site with mixed-use zoning that opens it up to a variety of land uses. The city-driven measure, Issue 11, passed in the May 6

GEAUGA LAKE ■Founded: 1887 ■ Closed: 2007 Park names ■ Geauga Lake amusement park: 1887-2000 ■ Six Flags Ohio: 2000-04 ■ Geauga Lake: 2004-07 primary election with 81% approval, or 2,319 votes cast in favor of the measure to 528 cast against it. The outcome is such that Benjamin is thankful that Aurora City Council previously enacted a 180day moratorium effective May 7 on approvals for new projects in the area if voters approved the rezoning. “This will give the city the time it needs to develop regulations for the property,� she said. “This is not a moratorium on the sale of the property or investigation of the property. It was obvious we needed four months before we would be ready for shovels to go into the ground.� Neither Benjamin nor West would say specifically what parties are sizing up an offer for the property at 1100 Squires Road. “There have been some very in-

teresting ideas for the development of the property,� Benjamin said, though she declined to spell them out more specifically. West said that May 8, the day after the measure passed, he had “quite a few phone calls about the property.� It was quite a difference from prior conditions: West said the first two years he represented the site, amidst the throes of what became the Great Recession, he did not receive a single phone call.

“This puts a whole new picture on everything. We have a much better chance of selling the entire park now.� – Cliff West associate, Marcus & Millichap “This puts a whole new picture on everything. We have a much better chance of selling the entire park now. If it had failed and remained industrial, it would have been very difficult,� West said. “The city is not saying, ‘We don’t want that.’ They’re saying, ‘We want to look at things.’ � See GEAUGA LAKE Page 8

Cities still scuffling with state over proposed income tax bill Possible raise of commercial activity tax is another issue that has yet to be resolved By JAY MILLER

The Ohio General Assembly is moving quickly and nearly unanimously to pass a bill designating a state rock and roll song. House Bill 283 sailed through the lower House last Wednesday, May 7, 90-0. Now, the Senate will take up the bill that makes “Hang on Sloopy� the state’s rock song. The song, long a favorite of the Ohio State Marching Band, would join “Beautiful Ohio,� a World War I era love song, which became the state song in 1969. It is having a harder time finding a consensus on two business-tax issues that have stirred a lot of debate in Columbus. One is House Bill 5, which would simplify the way the state’s 600-plus cities collect their income tax. The other is the part of Gov. John Kasich’s budget course correction that raises the rate on the commercial activity tax, or CAT, the state’s key business tax. A decision on the CAT tax

changes should be resolved before the Legislature recesses in June since it is part of what the governor calls his “mid-biennium budget review.� Ohio’s manufacturers are fighting the proposed increase in the tax, which falls heavily on their industry. The muny tax reform legislation, though, likely will remain in limbo, at least until the Legislature returns for its lame duck session after the November elections. Though the strongly Republican Legislature generally can side with business on tax issues without worrying about up-close-and-personal objections back home, its members find themselves caught this time in a crossfire between business interests wanting to cut their tax bills and mayors — Republican and Democratic — who can get in their faces about a bill that will take money out of their budgets. Cities see the bill as a state assault on the finances of local governments. They won a number of concessions in previous versions of

Volume 35, Number 19 Crain’s Cleveland Business (ISSN 0197-2375) is published weekly, except for combined issues on the fourth week of December and fifth week of December at 700 West St. Clair Ave., Suite 310, Cleveland, OH 44113-1230. Copyright Š 2014 by Crain Communications Inc. Periodicals postage paid at Cleveland, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices. Price per copy: $2.00. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Crain’s Cleveland Business, Circulation Department, 1155 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48207-2912. 1-877-824-9373. REPRINT INFORMATION: 800-290-5460 Ext. 136

the legislation, but they believe the bill the House passed last November still includes too many tax policy changes that will reduce revenues for many taxing districts. “I don’t think there is going to be any movement on it until November,� said Kent Scarrett, a lobbyist for the Ohio Municipal League, which advocates for the state’s cities. “There are still a number of issues that were not resolved and some new issues included in the bill the House passed that did not get vetted.�

Group think Among the business organizations that have supported changes in the way municipal income tax is collected are the National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio, the Ohio Society of CPAs, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Nursery and Landscaping Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. The business groups complain that each of Ohio’s nearly 600 taxing cities have their own rules about what is taxed and how to file, adding unnecessarily to the cost of filing taxes. See TAX Page 8

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OPENED: 2013

Could it happen here?

WHY IT COULD WORK: The massive center could “build a perfect stage for the NFL draft,” said Dave Johnson, public relations director for the Cleveland Convention Center and the adjacent Global Center for Health Innovation, and it has all of the technical capabilities to meet the many demands of the draft. The latter aspect is crucial, since the draft is much more of a television event than it is a gathering that requires 10,000 rabid fans wearing dog masks and Johnny Football jerseys.




CAPACITY: With a 225,000-squarefoot exhibition space, finding room for the draft wouldn’t be an issue.

OPENED: 1922

leveland isn’t the home of the NFL draft. That’s New York, where the league’s spring showcase has been held since 1965. But Northeast Ohio might be the capital, if such a title exists, of year-round draft chatter. (You might have heard about new Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel once or twice in the past eight months.) The NFL has said it is exploring moving the 2015 draft from Radio City Music Hall, which has hosted the seven-round, three-day event since 2006. Cleveland and Canton have both stated a desire to host the draft, as have at least seven other cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. (For more on that, read Crain’s story at That got us thinking about where the draft could be held in Northeast Ohio, should the NFL choose Cleveland, its draft-talk capital, or Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Radio City Music Hall can seat 6,000, but by the time the massive television sets of the NFL Network and ESPN are built, along with a layout that includes tables for all 32 teams and more room for some league operations, only about 3,500 seats are used, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. Crain’s has narrowed Northeast Ohio’s NFL draft options to five locations. One that isn’t included is one of the city’s signature sports venues, Quicken Loans Arena. The Q’s first priority is the Cleveland Cavaliers, and sources said the NFL’s late April or early May schedule would make it unlikely for it to be a venue for the draft, especially if the Cavs advanced to the postseason. Our top five, in no particular order, follows.

CAPACITY: 10,000 WHY IT COULD WORK: The auditorium has already hosted two huge national events — the 2009 and 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions — and the multipurpose facility has a 21,780-square-foot registration lobby.


S STATE THEATRE, PLAYHOUSESQUARE OPENED: 1921 CAPACITY: 3,200 WHY IT COULD WORK: The historic former host of such Broadway productions as “The Lion King” and “Phantom of the Opera” certainly would provide a dynamic setting. Gina Vernaci, senior vice president of theater operations, said PlayhouseSquare “would be thrilled” to host the draft and could simulcast the broadcast to its other theaters. A possible drawback is PlayhouseSquare’s two largest halls, the State Theatre and Palace Theatre (which has a capacity of 2,800), don’t have the seating room of the other four local facilities.



OPENED: 1991

OPENED: 1951

CAPACITY: 13,600


WHY IT COULD WORK: Located on the campus of Cleveland State University, the Wolstein Center has been home to its share of large-scale events, including the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the 2008 Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Matthew Herpich of Global Spectrum, which manages the Wolstein Center, said “the beauty” of its curtain system is the facility could block off 4,000 seats in the front of the building and still leave plenty of room for a stage and TV crews. If the NFL draft carries its May 8-10 draft timeline from 2014 to 2015 (when the Thursday-to-Saturday block would be May 7-9), the Wolstein Center likely wouldn’t be an option because it has those days locked on its calendar for Cleveland State’s graduation.

WHY IT COULD WORK: The Civic Center is a two-mile drive from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is home to the Hall’s Enshrinement Festival. The festival includes a Gold Jacket Dinner the night before the annual Hall of Fame inductions that packs the house. The auditorium is 16,000 square feet, and, if selected, the facility and the city “would not disappoint,” civic center general manager Blake Schilling said.

Low-cost steel imports are testing local companies’ resolve By RACHEL ABBEY McCAFFERTY

An ongoing fair trade investigation could determine the future of United States Steel Corp.’s Lorain plant. That’s because 55% to 60% of the products made there are competing with low-cost tubular goods be-

ing imported from countries like South Korea. David Britten, senior vice president of tubular goods at U.S. Steel, said the cheaper imports ultimately are driving down prices for domestic producers. U.S. Steel is one of nine domestic producers seeking antidumping duties on a category of products

called “oil country tubular goods,” which can be imported from South Korea, India, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. A preliminary ruling from the Department of Commerce in February found that eight of the nine countries in question — all but South Korea, the biggest exporter in

the investigation — were “dumping” goods in the country, or selling them below a fair value. Goods from those countries now are subject to what essentially are preliminary duties in the form of cash deposits. A final determination is expected in July. And in Lorain, where U.S. Steel recently spent millions on up-

grades to serve the oil and gas markets, plant manager John Wilkinson fears the company may not realize the benefits of its investments if the investigation doesn’t go their way. See STEEL Page 24

INSIDE: A look at how fair trade investigations work. Page 24




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Voters just decided to extend the sin tax for another 20 years, but Cleveland’s three big-league sports teams haven’t committed to sticking around that whole time. All of their leases expire in the 2020s.

Will teams extend their stay?

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Execs won’t say if they’ll renew stadium leases to match tax By JAY MILLER

The NFL draft is giving Cleveland Browns backers several reasons to hope for a better season this fall. Indians manager Terry Francona remains confident that his baseball team can shake off its sluggish start and play themselves into the playoffs in October. And the Cavaliers are looking forward to a playoff push next season. For all that wishing and hoping, the city’s major league teams can be certain of one thing — the voters of Cuyahoga County want them to have well-maintained buildings to compete in for the next 20 years. They demonstrated that last week by voting 56%-44% to continue the sin tax until 2035. It is expected to raise about $240 million over that time, and the money will help pay off remaining debt incurred in the city’s three sports facilities and pay for upgrades of the buildings. All that remains is for the teams to show the same commitment and agree to stay in Cleveland, at least during the 20 years the county’s smokers and drinkers are paying the sin tax. Representatives of the Indians and the Cavaliers, whose leases at Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena run through the 2023 and 2026-27 seasons, respectively, were circumspect when asked last week about extending their leases. Matt Carroll, chief of staff to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and a member of the Gateway Economic Development Corp. board, was willing to say only that discussions about lease renewals could come up as Gateway and the teams plot plans for the buildings’ futures. “That hasn’t come up to the (Gateway) board yet,� Carroll said in a telephone interview last Thursday,

May 8. “But it will be on someone’s agenda, I think.� In an emailed statement attributed to Indians executive vice president Dennis Lehman, the baseball team talked only about renovation plans discussed before Cuyahoga County Council earlier this year. “We have a multi-year plan that we’ve previously presented to county council and while conversations with Gateway have taken place, we will also be formally presenting to Gateway in coming months,� the statement read. Cavaliers president Len Komoroski wouldn’t speculate on future lease negotiations and said the team has one of the longer leases in the NBA. “We have a long-term lease, we’re in the mid portion of the lease and we’re excited to keep having a positive impact on Cleveland,� he said in a telephone interview last Thursday. Discussion of a lease extension is less of an issue for the Browns, who are signed to play at FirstEnergy Stadium through the 2029 NFL season and are in the midst of a $120 million makeover of their lakefront home.

“That (lease renewals) hasn’t come up to the board yet. But it will be on someone’s agenda, I think.� – Matt Carroll member, Gateway Economic Development Corp. board The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay $30 million of that amount, outside of the sin tax. If discussions of lease extensions originate with the Gateway board, how and when isn’t certain. Although Carroll said he would expect the issue to be raised by the Gateway board, board president Tim Offtermatt isn’t likely to bring it up. “For me personally, this (the lease extensions) are not an issue,� he said. “My view has been that these are public buildings and we certainly have a better chance of keeping all

three teams or even other tenants or users of the buildings if the buildings are in good shape.� Offtermatt is an investment banker with Stifel Financial Corp. who specializes in public finance. The other members of the Gateway board, who are chosen by Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, are Emmanuel Glover, senior vice president at Fifth Third Bank; William Reidy, a retired managing partner of the Northeast Ohio practice of the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP accounting firm; and Tracey Nichols, Cleveland’s director of economic development.

Sticking around Cities rarely make long-term financial commitments to sports teams without assurances the teams will stick around while taxpayers are still paying for the buildings. The teams have not expressed any interest in leaving. Indeed, the lion’s share of the money that financed Coalition for Greater Cleveland’s Future, the committee that ran the tax renewal campaign, came from the three teams. The Indians and the Cavaliers already have renegotiated their lease voluntarily once before. In 2004, a decade after the buildings opened, the teams renegotiated their leases to ease the financial burden on Gateway Economic Development, the quasi-public corporation that manages the two buildings in the Gateway complex, and is the depository for the sin tax revenue. Communities typically have leases in place that bind teams to facilities for the term of any public financing. In April 2013, for example, the city of Charlotte agreed to provide $87.5 million for upgrades to 17-year-old Bank of America Stadium, a building owned by the Carolina Panthers football team. In exchange for the public financial support, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer at the time, the Panthers’ ownership agreed to pay a $75 million penalty should the team leave before the end of the 2018 football season. â–



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Tax: CAT change could be resolved soon Geauga Lake: New zoning continued from PAGE 4

The groups, operating as the Ohio Municipal Tax Reform Coalition, a business group, believe the lack of uniformity raises the cost of tax compliance and keeps businesses from locating in Ohio. Thomas Zaino, managing partner of the Columbusbased law firm Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC, and a former state tax commissioner, has represented the Ohio Municipal Tax Reform Coalition. He said the cities’ concerns about lost income are hard to quantify and, in any event, not as significant as the cities believe. For example, Zaino said the modification of what is called the “occasional entrant rule” will not have the impact cities believe. The rule governs how an electrical contractor, for example, apportions the city tax when he works in a number of cities for short periods of time.

“I have yet to see a city take into account the increased revenue they are going to get from the proposed change.” – Thomas Zaino managing partner, Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC Existing law says tax doesn’t have to be paid to a city where the contractor works for less than 12 days. The new law expands that exemption to 20 days. That would reduce taxes paid to some cities. But, Zaino argued, the tax still is paid, if not to the occasional city because of the additional eight days of exemption, then to the business’s home city. At the same time, though, it would reduce the number of cities the contractor must file withholding returns with, saving the cost of those additional filings. “I have yet to see a city take into account the increased revenue they are going to get from the proposed change,” he said. “It’s not going to have a tremendous impact on cities.”

Legislative maneuvering Other issues, especially several amendments attached to the House bill, have widened the gap between the two sides, and the bill that left the House in November passed on a near-party-line vote, 56-39. The cities object to a floor amendment that elimi-

nated something called the throwback rule, which allowed cities to tax the net profits from sales to a location outside the municipality that are not taxed by another municipality. Businesses and the administration sought this change, arguing that it has made it more difficult to attract Internet businesses to the state. The rule had been eliminated in committee but was reinstated just before the floor vote. “This isn’t about uniformity. This is just reducing the income tax obligation,” Scarrett said. “We were disappointed; we thought we had an agreement.” The CAT tax change will be resolved before the Legislature’s recess since it is a part of Kasich’s plan to reduce the state income tax. But it is being opposed by business groups that might otherwise be supporting the broader tax cuts. The Kasich administration wants to offset a part of the $2.6 billion in revenue lost because of the 8.5% decrease in the state income tax by increasing the CAT tax. But fiddling with the CAT tax has some business advocates upset. “We’re always concerned that the CAT will be raised,” said Rob Brundrett, director of public policy services for the Ohio Manufacturers Association. The OMA has been leading the fight to keep the tax as broad-based and as low as possible since it estimates that manufacturers pay more than 27% of the CAT tax, more than any other industry group.

By the numbers The Kasich administration is asking the Legislature to approve a 15% increase in the CAT paid by businesses with more than $1 million in gross receipts from 0.26% to 0.3% of gross sales in Ohio. Small businesses now pay a flat $150 a year, rather than a graduated tax. The increase would restore $743 million of the revenue lost by the cut in state income tax. The OMA would prefer that the state eliminate exemptions to the tax — like the exclusion of first $1 million of receipts from a graduated tax or a credit for certain research and development expenses. In total, the OMA estimates the carve-outs cost more than $373 million annually. “The broader the base, the lower the rate,” Brundrett said. ■

is providing more options dom water park, which West said is not up for sale.

continued from PAGE 4

Land of opportunity West said that prospective buyers of smaller parcels balked when they learned any of the Geauga Lake land would need a rezoning for anything outside industrial. Since the site has poor highway access, industrial was a non-starter. Terry Coyne, executive managing director and director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s industrial unit, agreed. The distance to the Geauga Lake land from an interchange, he said, is too great to support industrial use there. By contrast, the new zoning opens the door to a host of opportunities. According to the measure, the list of permitted uses includes residential, recreational, entertainment, educational, retail and service activities. Although specifics of where different uses might be favored remains to be determined, West said the mixeduse zoning would allow the designation of parts of the site for apartment use or residential use, as well as commercial use on major arteries adjoining the park. The zoning measure covers about 320 acres of former Geauga Lake land in Aurora as well as more than 200 acres of adjoining properties owned by other parties, the mayor said. Another 220 acres of the former amusement park land is in adjoining Bainbridge Township. West said the township’s zoning did not create any issues to reuse. Moreover, he said, interest in the township land was muted because of the cloud of uncertainty over how the Aurora part of the site could be developed. Cedar Fair continues to operate the Wildwater King-

It won’t be easy Although the mixed-use zoning helps the outcome for the property, hurdles remain. Planning such a site will be an intense effort. For example, after a 2002 referendum cleared the way for development of Crocker Park as a mixed-use project in Westlake, municipal measures that regulated the project in ensuing months were expansive. The parcel carries a $15 million asking price. The scale of such an undertaking — if one buyer does secure all the Geauga Lake land — is huge. A search for 500-acre parcels on CoStar, an online realty data service, shows only one other offering: the more than 600-acre Chagrin Highlands Corporate Center project in Beachwood and neighboring east suburbs. Moreover, the site has been in use since the 1880s and includes a huge lake. Although the deteriorating former midway and concrete pads where roller coasters once operated are problematic, the site includes some gems, such as the former campground. Benjamin, a former state legislator, said the significance of the land extends far beyond the 25 square miles that contain the northwest Portage County community. “This is a large piece of land that at one time was the center of a great deal of economic activity and tourism in the region,” the mayor said. “This is really a major occurrence for the region.” ■

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MAY 12 - 18, 2014


John Campanelli ( EDITOR:

Elizabeth McIntyre ( MANAGING EDITOR:

Scott Suttell (


A bold plan W

hen it gets real cold, the faucets on the upper floors of the towers at MetroHealth are kept running. Twice a shift, nurses are instructed to go around and flush all the toilets. Despite the efforts, during the Polar Vortex in January, pipes burst and water dripped from the ceilings. It’s not too much different than an old house, worn and tired from years of service. A facelift on Metro’s West 25th Street campus is long overdue. Few people are going to argue that. Seventy-five percent of the buildings have exceeded their anticipated useful life. The oldest building is more than a century old. Yet because this facelift hasn’t yet happened, because Metro waited so long, there is a tremendous opportunity. Last Friday, the county’s safety-net hospital announced a bold plan for reinvention. Typically such an announcement would come with impressive plans, schematic drawings and a price tag. Metro didn’t provide any, aside from pictures of what a new campus might include. That dearth of details had us puzzled, until we learned about the rest of the plan. Metro is embarking on an eight-month information-gathering mission. In the days ahead, it will seek the input of citizens, business people, lawmakers and civic leaders. The goal is to know exactly what services are needed by the people. Cuyahoga County, despite being home to world-class hospitals, remains among Ohio’s least-healthy counties. Unlike hospitals that can scan markets and focus on profitable procedures, Metro’s mission is to serve the residents, whether they’re fully insured or destitute. (It provided $152 million in free care in 2013.) While any large focus-group-type effort runs a real risk of losing steam and becoming muddled with too many ideas, we’re optimistic this one will work, especially under the strong leadership of MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros. Like a procrastinating computer shopper who ends up rewarded with a newer, faster and cheaper model, Metro’s overdue reboot will allow it to take advantage of new models and efficiencies in health care. Today, 40% of office visits can be performed by using e-health technology, so expect fewer beds, smaller buildings and more focus on wellness. Look for more of a presence in schools and more programs for underserved and high-risk populations. The future of health care is not towers full of beds. Also encouraging is Metro’s financial situation; it’s much better than its aging infrastructure. Right now, county taxpayers fund about 4% of the operating budget. Dr. Boutros believes that number can go down to zero by 2016 (for comparison, taxpayers pick up about 30% of the tab for the Cook County Health System in Chicago.) MetroHealth just posted its fourth consecutive quarter of positive net income, and since 2011, it has actually reduced per-patient health care costs by 2.4 percent while the rest of the nation has seen a 4 percent increase. These are remarkable trends. MetroHealth’s mission is to be “the most admired public health system in the nation.” With vision, a strategic plan and public support, we can see something special happening on West 25th Street.


You’re missing out, Indians fans and its baseball team. retend for a moment JOHN No one is going to trade that you’re a 40-year-old virgin (probably easier CAMPANELLI away the magic of the eight seasons between 1994 and for some of us than others). 2001, the walk-off wins, the two It’s a typical Saturday night, pennants, the payrolls loaded and you’re at Marc’s stocking with All-Stars, the 455 sellouts up on frozen dinners when in a row and the euphoria our somebody accidentally bumps community shared. a cart into you. Well, not just But just like that fantasy somebody, but somebody love affair in the frozen-food amazing, the complete packaisle, those intoxicating years age: kind, funny, loving and, of baseball did some real longlet’s be honest here, hot as Sriracha. term damage. You chat, you joke, you connect. And The baseball renaissance came so just like that, you’re in a mind-blowing quickly, so intensely, after such a long relationship, sizzling with passion. All drought, that many of us still carry a your needs — emotionally and (wink warped mindset of what baseball is and wink) physically are erased in a fairy-tale what it should be. After being so thirsty fog of — perfection. for so long, our first sip ended up being Your world has gone from tricycle to eight years of champagne. Harley, from sixth-grade concert band to How can we think straight after that? the Beatles, from sour balls to Swiss Think for a moment how the Indians chocolate. ended last season: 10 straight victories to And then, just when you are consecure, on the last day of the season, a vinced that this is how it is supposed to spot in the playoffs. If that had happened be, how all relationships are … it ends. in 1988, the Indians would have signed The dream is over. You’re back to Salisbury steak, alone, on Saturday night. up 25,000 season-ticket holders. Instead, This is what happened to Cleveland today, the total number of season tickets


sits around 8,000. At a game against the Royals a couple weeks back, announced attendance was under 8,900. So much has been written and said about the Tribe’s low attendance. The blame’s been placed everywhere: It’s the new ticket-pricing system, the Dolans’ tight wallet, the size of our market. Those all might have an effect, but the main problem is that many of us still believe, at some level, that the insanity of 19942001 can realistically be repeated, that we are somehow entitled to pennant races every September. We fail to realize that those were the days of an incredible baseball bubble, of irrational ballpark exuberance. A baseball game, a baseball season, even building a baseball team — they are all completed at a methodical pace. And even the best teams lose 40% of the time. Instead of savoring the season like the summer itself, a little bit every day, many of us are staying at home, measuring everything with a ruler marked “Belle, Baerga and Lofton” and waiting for the every-night magic to return. And while we wait, we’re missing some pretty good times at the ballpark. ■

TALK ON THE WEB Re: Lake Erie wind turbine project setback ■ Innovation is like that: The early products are almost never as good as what they are replacing, at first. As the tech moves down the learning curve it gets better, cheaper and at a tipping point begins to supplement or replace the previous technologies. There are hundreds of these examples in industry. And unless you actually start building things, you never move down the curve and the technology is delayed, which is exactly what opponents of change try to do. Delay ranks right up there with IBM’s FUD tactics — Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt — to get sales. This project has seen it all. This is a long-term vision with longterm benefits, reinforcing our image of Cleveland as a green city. It is a sustaining innovation, not a disruptive one. Other technologies will coexist for decades to come. And unlike coal-fired generators, it

■ Maybe it’s time to stop beating this dead horse. The studies showed that the offshore Lake Erie concept could generate twice the electricity as onshore wind but would cost three times as much. — Bob Fritz

are going to fight it since all they worry about is their bottom line. The state of Ohio seems to only want to support these entities and has made life much harder than it should be for LEEDCo and others in the state. I have been personally involved in both wind and power projects for almost 10 years and know there is always going to be a price to pay for being new and different. Look at the subsidies the oil industry has gotten for almost 100 years and the coal industry is worse. I would like others to come forward in support. — Neil Dick

■ While this is only a temporary setback, we absolutely must come together to support approaches like LEEDCo. It is one of the most significant projects to create another alternative to fossil fuel power. The Great Lakes represent potential for power generation beyond measure. There is a price to pay for innovation, and we need to be willing to pay it. The utilities and coal, natural gas & oil

■ Why not build small wind farms in small blocks of Cleveland that have pockets of nearby blighted neighborhoods? Wouldn’t it be much less costly than the footers in Lake Erie? In 10-15 years, the technology will improve greatly. Then remove the wind farm for new homes and residences if the need exists. Some farming could be done around them. — John Decker

Reader responses to stories and blogs that appeared on:

won’t dump mercury into Lake Erie for decades to come. — Robert E. Chalfant



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MAY 12 - 18, 2014


Female newscasters deserve much better than ‘window dressing’ status By GINGER CASEY


rom the moment a little girl enters the world, she is bombarded, just like little boys are, with messages, images and examples of how she is to fit in to the culture she lives in. Here in our country, despite efforts to celebrate “girl power” and encourage them to study science and mathematics, the message that being “pretty, young and thin” seems to always trump “smart and accomplished.” Girls and women are saturated with images of cartoon princesses with tiny waists and luxurious hair, Photoshopped magazine models and celebrities who must meet the litmus test of physical beauty as well as talent in order to be successful. The latest career path to fall victim to this obsession with style over substance is the nightly news, where female news anchors have sadly become complicit with their own oppression by dressing in tight, sleeveless dresses hiked halfway up their thighs. Many say this over-sexualizing of female anchors started with Michelle Obama baring her toned arms from the day she arrived in the White House. I doubt she would have thought that showing off her powerful pipes would create an arm obsession that has led instead to disempowering women. As soon as Mrs. Obama’s arms graced a magazine cover, it was open season for TV executives from coast to coast looking for an excuse to tell female anchors to take off their jackets and bare more skin. Decades of fighting for women to have an equal seat at the table suddenly vanished, as women were once again being told this eye-candy factor was vital to their careers. What amazes me is how so many women went along with this — and how quickly they threw their own professional standing under the bus. Forget being intelligent or skilled, forget being a seasoned



Casey is an Emmy-award winning journalist who lives in Bratenahl. journalist — well, forget mostly having a long career. Indeed, the only women who can meet the new physical criteria for female news anchors are mostly young, thin women who do not have to worry about their arms becoming too fleshy. For older women, this spells disaster. Now, in order to compete, they too need to take off their jackets and show some skin, and that skin had better look good. In a dress. A short dress. Though a few can pull this off, the majority of mature women simply can’t. I can only imagine how many middle-aged broadcast news women throughout the country are now standing nervously in front of the mirror obsessing over their arms, how many are now uber-focused on their weight, or how thin their legs are. They cannot age gracefully within their profession; to stay viable they cannot age at all. Instead of staying up to study their notes, they are probably instead surfing the Internet, looking at ads for facelifts, arm tucks, injectibles and Spanx. Meanwhile, the men are not being told to show more skin — no one is telling them to show off their muscles in short-sleeve shirts. In fact, with their sharp suits and ties, they now stand in stark professional contrast to the women sitting next to them who are dressed like they are at a summer wedding or cocktail party, even in the dead of winter. Their ages might be closer than they were 20 years ago, but the message is the same — the man is the one with the power. The woman is the pretty one. Watching these women furrow their brows to ask tough questions while spilling out of their low cut tank tops makes them look even more ridiculous. No one is taking them seriously. The news bosses no doubt tell

these women how “special” they are, that they are both “beautiful” as well as smart, which is why they are chosen for these elite jobs. And these women, accomplished in so many ways, fall victim to the old ploy of being flattered into submission. In my time on the air, women fought for parity with the men they worked with. It did not come easily. For years, female anchors had been hired off the runways of beauty contests. The model of traditional newscasts was the older, avuncular anchorman loaded with gravitas and his homecoming queen daughter. The pay gap was startling. But by the late ’70s and early ’80s, feminists were making inroads in several professions and TV news finally caught on that “girl” reporters needed to grow up and become real flesh and blood women. Women began to be hired for what was under their hair, not what color it was. Yes, the prettiest still seemed to get to the anchor desk ahead of everyone else, but even those women were starting to become more credible. By the time I entered the business, we were encouraged to dress like female lawyers who, with the right suit and silk blouse, could look pretty hot — but never so hot that we lost credibility. Never so hot that no one was listening, only looking. And never so hot that we lost power as an equal. It had taken several generations of news women to get to co-anchor status and we were not going to give it up. The fight went on as much behind the scenes as in front of the camera. At one station I worked at, I was staying after the news to tape a cut-in that would run later in the evening. When I sat in my seat on the set, the floor director told me the director wanted me to sit in the “main anchor” chair. I looked around at the crew. “I am sitting in the main anchor chair,” I responded. “Any questions?” Today’s news anchors are more like news hostesses sent to serve us soundbites while wearing halter tops and stilettos. It hasn’t seemed to occur to them that this look is unsustainable over time — that eventually, while they are still very viable professionally, capable of their greatest work even, it will no longer be in their best interest to be that exposed. And sadly enough, that will be the time they will be replaced, despite how many awards they have won or how good they are as journalists. The male anchor will stay on well into his 50s and even 60s, but the news Barbies will, like the dolls, be replaced with the newer model, freshened up by the consultants for that “wow” factor and stuffed into sausage-casing dresses they think will keep people in the TV tent and sell commercials. For those of us who pushed through the early years of television news to be able to “lean in” and be taken seriously, this willing return to being window dressing is mind-boggling. But mostly it sends a sad message to all female journalists and the young girls who watch them that being armed with the facts to tell the news is less important than having arms that sell the news. ■

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MAY 12 - 18, 2014

Outlet mall inches forward Central Federal out to Craig Realty: Construction slated to start on long-delayed center in 2015 By STAN BULLARD

The proposed Outlets at Cleveland by Craig Realty Group of California is inching forward through the legal morass that has engulfed the site of what was to have been the Bridgeview Crossing Shopping Center since the Garfield Heights project stalled in 2009. Steve Craig, founder and CEO of Newport Beach-based Craig Realty, said his company hopes to start construction at the Garfield Heights site in 2015 and open an outlet center by 2016. The center, whose size is not set, would occupy the 90-acre site on the northwest corner of Transportation Boulevard and Interstate 480. However, Craig said the schedule is tentative. “We’re not a public company, so we don’t have to keep schedules to satisfy shareholders. We like to do a great job that takes advantage of the opportunity,” Craig said. “It’s really contingent on getting the right final plan and the right tenants to be part of the plan,” he added. “We can’t build something that is going to be vacant. There have been challenges on loans and legal challenges.” The most recent movement came on April 3, as Craig Realty secured a deed to the Bridgeview Center South office building at 5400 Transportation Blvd. Craig Realty paid $2 million, according to Cuyahoga County land records, to settle a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas foreclosure proceeding on the office building. David Browning, managing direc-

tor of CBRE Group’s Cleveland office and the court-appointed receiver on Bridgeview Center South, said the purchase helps Craig Realty’s plan because it improves access to STAN BULLARD an entrance to the Before building an outlet mall on this site, Craig Realty property. needs to finalize its plans and get “the right tenants.” Craig said he already had a legal right to install a before Judge John Sutula. Garfield Heights Mayor Vic Collova road next to the Bridgeview Center South building, but gaining owner- said he is more encouraged about ship made it easier to develop the the situation than in several years. retail property. He said Craig Realty He said the city is looking for federal will continue to lease the building to or local funds to help Craig Realty tenants. build roads and utilities for the proThe prior owner of Bridgeview posed outlet mall. Center South was a limited liability “Everything looks positive,” the corporation that took the building’s mayor said. name and was led by Snider-Cannata But he noted that Bridgeview Development Co. of Garfield Heights, taught him caution. “Tomorrow, the developer that assembled the everything could change with a massive Bridgeview site for a planned phone call,” Collova said. 800,000-square-foot shopping cenAlthough outlet malls regained ter. After work began on Bridgeview, popularity during the recession as Target pulled out of the project consumers became more frugal, amidst slowing sales in the reces- they remain popular in recovery and sion, which allowed other retailers to with realty developers. bail out. Construction crews left the Rich Moore, a specialist in outlet job in 2009. Lawsuits ensued. centers and a realty analyst at RBC Craig joined the scene in 2011 Capital Markets, said more than 25 when, for an undisclosed amount, outlet centers are in various stages of his Garfield Hope Loan Acquisition development nationwide. LLC purchased the construction loan Originally, he said, outlet centers that Huntington Bank had issued for went in on cornfields, but developers Bridgeview. Craig assumed its place and retailers now prefer suburban or in a pending Panzica Construction urban sites. Co. lawsuit in Cuyahoga County The impetus for those outlet cenCourt of Common Pleas to foreclose ters comes from a growing number on the property for unpaid construc- of retailers seeking another sales tion bills. That lawsuit is pending channel, Moore said. ■

raise capital — again

Of the $22.5 million that Central Federal spent two years raising and secured, at last, in August 2012, more Less than two years after it raised than half — $13.5 million — was ear$22.5 million through a hard-fought marked for improving the bank’s public stock offering, the parent regulatory capital ratios and to grow company of CFBank again is raising it, and $3 million was used to redeem capital, only this time, it’s raising it the Troubled Asset Relief Program from a limited pool of investors. (TARP) stock and warrants held in Central Federal Corp. revealed in Central Federal by the U.S. Departa May 7 filing with the Securities and ment of the Treasury. Exchange Commission that it aims Per the bank’s filings this month, to raise $12 million and already has it began selling securities (equity, raised $6.2 million from 70 people. options, warrants or other rights All of them are accredited investors, to acquire) on April 10. It does not according to the filing. intend for the offering to last more Accredited investors are defined than a year, and the minimum investby federal securities laws in a num- ment it is accepting is $10,000. ber of ways, among them, a person The bank’s decision to raise $12 whose individual net worth or joint million through a private placement net worth with a spouse exceeds $1 makes sense, given the amount of million, excluding the value of the capital sought, said Howard Groedel, investor’s primary who chairs the seresidence. curities regulatory On advice of “It would be unusual to see compliance group legal counsel, CEO an offering this small go at Ulmer & Berne Timothy T. O’Dell through the public offering LLP in Cleveland. declined to com“It would be process.” ment on the curunusual to see an – Howard Groedel offering this small rent capital raise. attorney, Ulmer & Berne LLP go through the But, bank executives told Crain’s public offering last year that their plans to speed up process,” Groedel said. the double-digit loan growth at CF“A lot of the costs that come with Bank, which has its main office in doing a public offering are fairly Fairlawn, would require them to think fixed,” he added. “So whether you’re about raising more capital in 2014. raising $200 million or you’re raising Central Federal reported March 31 $20 million, you’re going to incur a lot that net loans totaled $207.1 million of the same expenses. The fact is that in 2013, up $54.1 million, or 35.4%, it becomes more cost-prohibitive, from $153 million in 2012. the smaller the amount of money Thus, this time around, growth — that you want to raise.” not recapitalization — appears to McDonald Partners LLC is identibe motivating Central Federal’s fied in Central Federal’s filing as its appetite for capital. broker-dealer. ■


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Unrest in Congo has impact on local manufacturers SEC’s requirements for conflict minerals reporting has led to some confusion By RACHEL ABBEY McCAFFERTY

If the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gets its way, public companies still will have to turn in their conflict minerals reports on June 2. Those reports originally were expected to detail whether a company’s products used certain materials from the region in and around the volatile Democratic Republic of the Congo, noting whether those products were “DRC conflict free” or non-DRC conflict free. But recently, that requirement changed, and the SEC no longer is asking companies to attach either label to any of their products in light of a recent ruling. “That’s a huge difference,” said Dynda Thomas, a partner in the Cleveland office of Squire Sanders and head of the firm’s conflict minerals team. The SEC has said it expects companies to move forward with the rest of the rule, but the parties behind a lawsuit challenging the reporting requirements are asking for a stay in implementation. The originally required disclosure of conflict minerals was part of the wide-reaching Dodd-Frank act. Companies that report to the SEC and use minerals including tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten in the manufacturing or the contract of manufacturing of their products were expected to submit a report and state on their websites whether those products were “DRC conflict free” by June 2. The disclosures were to be included in a so-called Form SD, and companies using ma-

terials from the covered countries were expected to file a more extensive report. But a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and the Business Roundtable pushed back against those reporting requirements for companies. On April 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the majority of the rule but said that forcing companies to declare that some of their products were not DRC conflict free violated their First Amendment rights. While there was confusion around what the ruling could mean for the contentious rule, the director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance on April 29, issued a statement that said companies would be expected to hold to the original deadline. According to the statement, companies no longer are expected to assign any labels of DRC conflict free, non DRC conflict free or undeterminable. But, the statement also said that if a product originally would have been labeled as “DRC conflict undeterminable” or “not found to be ‘DRC conflict free,’” companies still should disclose what facility the minerals were produced in, what country they originated from and the efforts the company took to discover their origin. Prior to the SEC’s statement, Thomas of Squire Sanders said the rule, which was made final in August 2012, already has caused a lot of “time and work and effort” for reporting and non-reporting companies alike. And the work they’ve put

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into researching their products and supply chains hasn’t gone to waste; this just changes the reporting component of the rule, not the due diligence, determination of country of origin and supplier engagement that goes into deciding if a product uses conflict-free materials, she said.

Conflict resolution Eaton Corp., which has major operations in Beachwood, said it’s been moving forward on its reporting. “The decision hasn’t really changed our approach,” said Taras Szmagala, Eaton’s vice president and deputy general counsel, in an emailed statement. “We are monitoring guidance issued by the SEC on this, but for now, we don’t see any reason to make significant changes to our process.” Portfolio manager James Morrow of Cleveland-based APB & Associates said he thought the biggest impact of the ruling is that it loosens the requirements for third-party audits, which originally were necessary if a product was going to be labeled either DRC conflict free or non-DRC conflict free. Now, companies will have to go

“We do not believe this rule should go forward in light of the court’s decision that the SEC’s rule, and perhaps the statute itself, violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause.” – Statement from the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable through the third-party audit only if they want to voluntarily label their products as conflict free, Morrow said. APB & Associates specializes in consulting and supply chain issues and has worked with four companies in the Cleveland area on this ruling.

But wait, there’s more But the fight over this ruling isn’t over yet. On May 5, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable officially submitted a request for a stay in im-

plementation with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The group is asking for a decision by May 26. In a statement from the parties emailed to Crain’s, the group said it understands the seriousness of the situation in the Congo, but that it still thinks the corporate disclosure laws are an “inappropriate and ineffective way” to deal with it. “We do not believe this rule should go forward in light of the court’s decision that the SEC’s rule, and perhaps the statute itself, violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause,” the statement read in part. “While we understand that the SEC staff has issued guidance in an attempt to address the court’s decision, this is an inadequate response given that the disclosure requirements that the court struck down are a central pillar of the statute and the rule.” Thomas said she doesn’t expect the parties’ requested stay to be successful. She is encouraging clients to move forward with finalizing their reports, but not to rush to file them ahead of time in case further guidance or a different resolution comes forward. ■




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CONSTRUCTION CLEVELAND CONSTRUCTION INC.: Nicole Rohm to HR specialist; Chyan Churchfield and Ed Riley to assistant project managers; Erin Green to business development coordinator; Drew Neese to project superintendent. SHOOK CONSTRUCTION: Keri Ash to project manager.



ENGINEERING CT CONSULTANTS INC.: David R. Parkinson to senior project manager.




KEYBANK: Gregory S. Keegan to assistant vice president, relationship manager, Key Private Bank. LORAIN NATIONAL BANK: Susan Staffeld to trust portfolio associate.


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BROWN GIBBONS LANG & CO.: Samantha C. Geaney to analyst.

HEALTH CARE METROHEALTH SYSTEM: John Chae, M.D., to chairperson, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS: Jeffrey C. Parks, M.D., to medical staff, Bedford Medical Center.


Marino to director, organization development and learning; Christine Marsick, M.D., to hospice medical director; Jenny Oliver to director, communications and marketing; Stephanie Taddeo to director, mental health services. Hochheiser


to client associate; Barbara Kindel to client consultant. H.C. MURRAY GROUP: Lana Ciganko to customer service specialist.

LEGAL GALLAGHER SHARP: Roxanne S. Rahamim and Kevin R. Marchaza to associates; Scott A. Norcross to partner. MEYERS, ROMAN, FRIEDBERG & LEWIS: E. Mark Young to partner.

SERVICE CSR: Matt Rowe to operations manager for Cleveland Convention Center.

TECHNOLOGY EPIPHANY MANAGEMENT GROUP: Doug Jones to senior technology director.


BUCKLEY KING: Alan C. Hochheiser to partner.

INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT ASSOCIATION CLEVELAND: Kristi Buckholz (West Forwarding Services) to president; Dan Malcolm to vice president; Diane Girgash to treasurer; Audrey Nesity to secretary; Don Alt and Tom Nagel to trustees.



MANUFACTURING EATON: Carolyn E. Cheverine to senior vice president and chief counsel, Industrial Sector.


MARKETING ADCOM GROUP: Jamie Cole to senior account supervisor; Jessica Meadows to account executive; Lucy Williams to production artist; Jen Smith to copywriter.

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OHIO STATE BAR FOUNDATION: Amanda M. Leffler (Brouse McDowell LPA) received the Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under. SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS CLEVELAND PRO CHAPTER: Connie Schultz (Creaters Syndicate and Parade magazine) and Stan Bullard (Crain’s Cleveland Business) received Distinguished Service Awards.

UNION-MILES DEVELOPMENT CORP.: Jeanetta Price to executive director.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON: Ray Dunkle (Brockman, Coats, Gedelian & Co.) received the Outstanding Professional Award from the George W. Daverio School of Accountancy.

VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION OF OHIO: Katy Bloor to chief of business development; Sherrill

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MAY 12 - 18, 2014

MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS DIRECTORY ACCOUNTING Dingus & Daga Inc. 20600 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 701 Shaker Heights, 44122 (216) 561-9200 Top executive: Manohar Daga

Global Capital Management LLC 2999 Payne Ave. Cleveland, 44114 (330) 776-8068 Top executive: Tracy Zhang

Spooney CPA and Associates 8536 Crow Drive, Suite 215 Macedonia, 44056 (330) 908-0361 Top executive: Lynne Spooney

ADVERTISING, MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS AG PrintPromo Solutions 960 Graham Road, Suite 1 Cuyahoga Falls, 44221 (330) 315-9600 Top executive: Anup C. Gupta

ColemanWick LLC 13125 Shaker Square, Suite 202 Cleveland, 44120 (216) 991-4550 Top executive: Odell Coleman

CollectivMedia 23755 Banbury St., Suite 19 Warrensville Heights, 44128 (216) 551-7476 Top executive: Idris Salih

Digizoom Media 3383 E. Fairfax St. Cleveland Heights, 44118 (216) 526-0700 Top executive: Richard Stewart

Dorsey & Company Strategic Consultants to Management 3077 Meadowbrook Blvd. Cleveland Heights, 44118 (216) 812-8408 Top executive: Julius Dorsey

EGO Trip Media 10803 Lake Ave., Suite 407 Cleveland, 44102 (216) 313-5006 Top executive: TiaMarshae E. Sanford

FashionTV Network P.O. Box 110208 Cleveland, 44111 (216) 301-0620 Top executive: Neal Hamilton

The Ferneway Co. 12200 Fairhill Road, Suite E286 Cleveland, 44120 (216) 991-9835 Top executive: Ferne A. Ziglar

Linear Creative 4681 Hinckley Industrial Parkway Cleveland, 44109 (216) 741-1533 Top executive: Raymond W. Jasinski

LMT Productions 1671 Edgefield Road Lyndhurst, 44124-9384 (216) 376-9384 Top executive: Lora M. Thompson

MagnaVaria LLC 60 Willow Wood Lane Moreland Hills, 44022 (440) 836-3350 Top executive: Angela Arnold

North Coast Minority Media LLC 2800 Euclid Ave., Suite 314 Cleveland, 44115 (216) 394-0772 Top executive: Louis Angel Acosta

Proforma/Joe Thomas Group 13500 Pearl Road, Suite 139-107

SHOULD YOUR COMPANY BE INCLUDED HERE? If so, contact research editor Deb Hillyer at or by calling 216-771-5243. Cleveland, 44136 (440) 268-0881 Top executive: Joe Thomas

Quez Media Marketing 1138 Prospect Ave. Cleveland, 44115 (216) 910-0202 Top executive: Jose Vasquez

Singleton & Partners 740 W. Superior Ave Cleveland, 44113 (216) 344-9966 Top executive: Renee Singleton

Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research Inc. 3634 W. Market St., Suite 104 Akron, 44333 (216) 431-0008 Top executive: Rachel Talton Top executive: Raj Basran

BEAUTY SOLONS AND BARBERS Abed-Nego DBA Total Beauty Care Salon 22501 Emery Road Warrensville Heights, 44128 (216) 475-3809 Top executive: Josephine Marie Gilmore

Kaya Elements LLC 4859 Dover Center Road, Suite 3 North Olmsted, 44070 (440) 744-4859 Top executive: Viraj Parikh

Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa 2200 S. Taylor Road Cleveland Heights, 44118 (216) 321-7889 Top executive: Dawn Mongelluzzi Quintana

T Rice Communications LLC


21590 Kenison Ave. Euclid, 44123 (216) 526-3724 Top executive: Tina R. Rice

A & A Vending Co.

Visibility Marketing Inc. 24700 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 306 Beachwood, 44122 (440) 684-9920 Top executive: Montrie Rucker Adams

ARCHITECTURE 3D Visual Concepts 4671 Darbyshire Drive North Randall, 44128 (216) 475-9590 Top executive: Woodrow Marcus

Moody Nolan Inc. 4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 100 Cleveland, 44103 (216) 432-0696 Top executive: Shannon Thorsen

Robert P. Madison International Inc. 2930 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, 44115 (216) 861-8195 Top executive: Robert P. Madison

Ubiquitous Design Ltd. 3443 Lee Road Shaker Heights, 44120 (216) 752-4444 Top executive: W. Daniel Bickerstaff II

Wanix Architects LLC 25109 Detroit Road, Unit 330 Westlake, 44145 (440) 835-7265 Top executive: Xin Wan

Whitley/Whitley Architects and Planners LLC 12806 Northwood Ave., Suite 5 Cleveland, 44120 (216) 370-7883 Top executive: Scott W. Whitley

ARTISTS AND ART GALLERIES Hector Vega Art and Design Studio P.O. Box 02653 Cleveland, 44102 (216) 533-1322 Top executive: Hector M. Vega

AUTOMOTIVE All Around Body Shop Inc. 582 S. Arlington St. Akron, 44306 (330) 773-9597

1180 Triplett Blvd. Akron, 44306 (330) 773-9995 Top executive: Azeem Syed

ATS Training & Consulting Co. 1991 Crocker Road, Suite 370 Westlake, 44145 (440) 249-0095 Top executive: P. Rani Maddali

Cartesian Pictures 2727 Lancashire Road, Suite B703 Cleveland, 44106 (216) 956-7448 Top executive: Reginald Carter

Cleveland Classic TV Cleveland , 44108 (216) 224-7068 Top executive: Craig Siplin

Dispute Resolution Solutions Group LLC 30049 Harvard Road Beachwood, 44122 (216) 496-9158 Top executive: Veronica A. Rice

Diversity Chamber LLC 2800 Euclid Ave., Suite 314 Cleveland, 44115 (216) 394-0771 Top executive: Lou Acosta

Dolyn Enterprises LLC 24080 Rugby Court Cleveland, 44146 (216) 374-5188 Top executive: Gwen Davis

Gail’s Office Associates Inc. P.O. 28902 Cleveland, 44128 (216) 441-1073 Top executive: Delitha Sparks

Minority Business Solutions Inc. 16400 Miles Ave. Cleveland, 44128-2942 (216) 283-0707 Top executive: Arlene Anderson

New Concepts Inc. 32100 Solon Road, Suite 202 Solon, 44139 (440) 542-9510 Top executive: Sudarshan Sathe

Presidential Consultants LLC P.O. Box 17115 Euclid, 44117 (216) 650-0966 Top executive: Anthony President

Akron, 44302 (330) 535-8840 Top executive: Nancy J. Smith

Cleveland, 44109 (216) 751-2000 Top executive: Ariane B. Kirkpatrick


City Flooring and Design Center LLC

8819 Quincy Ave., Unit 130 Cleveland, 44106 (877) 492-7754 Top executive: Amelia Rodriguez

1131 Cleveland Ave N.W. Canton, 44702 (330) 456-8231 Top executive: Leonard D. Stevens

Wright Alternatives LLC

Coleman Spohn Corp.

3618 Berkeley Lane Brunswick, 44212 (216) 965-8393 Top executive: Gail E. Wright

1775 E. 45 St. Cleveland, 44103 (216) 431-8070 Top executive: Lonnie Coleman

COMPUTERS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Bolinds Solutions Services Inc. 850 Euclid Ave., Unit 1314 Cleveland, 44114 (216) 479-0290 Top executive: Linda Williams

Fit Technologies 1375 Euclid Ave., Suite 310 Cleveland, 44115 (216) 583-5000 Top executives: Micki Tubbs, Michelle Tomallo

IPhone-Mend LLC 23820 Lorain Road North Olmsted, 44070 (440) 777-7881 Top executive: Mike Parikh

Leverage Technologies Inc. 9519 Greystone Parkway Cleveland, 44141 (440) 838-1203 Top executive: David K. Ream

Mac Productions Inc. 13115 Puritas Ave., Suite 3 Cleveland, 44135 (216) 273-1005 Top executive: John A. Stubbs

NetX Internet 24930 Detroit Road Westlake , 44145 (800) 603-2187 Top executive: Ron Deus

Optimum Technology Inc. 3659 Green Road, Suite 100 Cleveland, 44122 (216) 514-5070 Top executive: Josh M. Davda

PC Repair on Wheels 23820 Lorain Road Cleveland, 44070 (440) 777-7881 Top executive: Mike Parikh

StarTech Consulting Inc. 6746 Rivercrest Drive Cleveland, 44141 (440) 546-9500 Top executive: Joe Bains

Terkk’s Computer Services 56 N. State St. Painesville, 44077 (440) 350-1903 Top executive: Tony B. Brooks

Texcel Inc.

The Coniglio Co. 1422 Euclid Ave., Suite 1510 Cleveland, 44115 (216) 391-1800 Top executive: Gwenay Susan Coniglio

Contractor Connection Inc. 400 Schroyer Ave. SW, Gate 7 Canton , 44702 (330) 479-9894 Top executive: Maria C. Maculaitis

Cordero Concrete Construction LLC 3419 Woodbridge Ave. Cleveland, 44109 (216) 269-6604 Top executive: Edgardo Noel Cordero

ETA Development Inc. 1187 Bellows St. Akron, 44306 (330) 785-9006 Top executive: Tanja McCoy

Extreme Cabling Inc. 17216 Sedalia Ave. Cleveland, 44135 (216) 688-0187 Top executive: John Costella

InterChez Technologies LLC 600 Alpha Parkway Stow, 44224 (888) 684-1227 Top executive: Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes

J.L.J.I. Enterprises Inc. 21741 Tungsten Road Euclid, 44117 (216) 481-2175 Top executive: John Torres

Lee’s Install LLC 135 Valley Forge Circle Elyria, 44035 (440) 667-2419 Top executive: Micah Lee

M. Rivera Construction 3101 W. 25th St. Cleveland, 44109 (216) 523-8050 Top executive: Mark A. Rivera

NCR Construction Ltd. 30628 Detroit Road, Suite 190 Westlake, 44145 (440) 808-1800 Top executives: Michael Angala, James Chmura

Petty Group LLC 550 Harvard Ave. Cuyahoga Heights, 44105 (216) 206-2600 Top executive: Nick Petty

4415 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, 44103 (216) 514-1818 Top executive: Herman Atkins

Power Mike and Co.

Vantage Agora

Price Builders & Developers Inc.

23611 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 226 Beachwood, 44122 (440) 391-3141 Top executives: Sudhir Achar, Harsha Chatruvedi

23103 Miles Road Cleveland, 44128 (216) 475-8112 Top executive: David Price


4500 Lee Road, Suite 205 Cleveland, 44128 (216) 780-3091 Top executive: Nakkia Baker

Transcription Smith LLC

The AKA Team

87 Oakdale Ave.

4640 Hinckley Industrial Parkway

154 Willard Ave. Bedford, 44146 (440) 232-9620 Top executive: Michael Barkley Sr.

QCG Services LLC



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MAY 12 - 18, 2014

QDC of Ohio Inc. 2440 Noble Road, Suite 403 Cleveland Heights, 44121 (216) 691-0166 Top executive: Jonnie M. Wallace

Fairlawn, 44333 (330) 576-4448 Top executives: Ruth Kyle, Senthil Kumar, Sumitha Kumar

R & R Mechanical Inc.


3519 E. 75th St. Cleveland, 44105 (216) 341-9300 Top executive: Richard Fierst

RAR Contracting Inc. 5545 Canal Road Valley View, 44125 (440) 735-1946 Top executive: Keith Rogers

Rittman Inc. 10 Mull Drive Rittman, 44270 (330) 927-6855 Top executive: Chester M. Mull Jr.

Sinco LLC 4585 Arlington Road Uniontown, 44685 (330) 354-5802 Top executive: Jacob Summers

Wallace Construction & Maintenance 13307 Thornhurst St. Garfield Heights, 44105 (216) 225-3662 Top executive: Virgil T. Wallace

DISTRIBUTION Anderson-DuBose Co. 5300 Tod Ave. SW Lordstown, 44481 (440) 248-8800 Top executive: Warren E. Anderson

Kero International Inc. 9337 Ravenna Road, Unit C Twinsburg, 44087 (330) 405-9032 Top executive: Keith A. Harris

Mastersource Co. Inc. 1208 Massillon Road, Suite 2 Akron, 44306 (330) 794-8700 Top executive: Diane Y. Marsh

Servco Products Inc. 836 E. 140th St. Cleveland, 44110 (216) 249-1900 Top executive: Eric Cleveland

TLC Springwater 20905 Aurora Road Bedford Heights, 44146 (216) 932-6288 Top executive: Kazell Pugh

EDUCATION Advanced Concepts in Personal Development Ltd. 2401 Dysart Road University Heights, 44118 (216) 533-7750 Top executive: Derrick Antonio Pledger

Alternalite Electric Inc.

D.E. Williams Electric Inc.

5425 Warner Road, Suite 5A Valley View, 44125 (888) 407-8685 Top executive: Da’Ron Henderson

168 Solon Road, Suite B Chagrin Falls, 44022 (440) 893-9591 Top executives: Jitendrakumar Vyas, Donnie R. McMichael

RWJ Wiring Inc. 1287 Marquette St., Suite 3 Cleveland, 44114 (216) 261-7959 Top executive: Michael Ballard

ENGINEERING CTL Engineering Inc.

FINANCIAL SERVICES CAM Commercial Capital, a division of Cyrus Asset Management LLC

330 Danbury Lane Richmond Heights, 44143 (216) 509-3200 Top executive: Eric W. Anderson

614 W. Superior Ave., Suite 1000 Cleveland, 44113 (216) 771-1090 Top executive: Tom Sislely

G & T Associates Inc. 11925 Pearl Road, Suite 401 Cleveland, 44136 (440) 572-0555 Top executives: Chandu K. Patel, Kiran C. Patel

H2L1 Engineering Inc. 1785 E. 45th St. Cleveland, 44103 (216) 361-2911 Top executives: Harjit S. Alag, Hardip Singh

Pro Geotech Inc. 3201 E. Royalton Road Broadview Heights, 44147 (440) 717-1415 Top executive: Shanmugam Sivakumaran

R Engineering Team LLC 3100 E. 45 St., Suite 306 Cleveland, 44127 (216) 361-2500 Top executive: Tom Roberts

Sandhu & Associates Inc. 26031-A Center Ridge Road Westlake, 44145 (440) 892-4470 Top executive: Surjit Sandhu


551 36th St. NW Canton, 44709 (330) 649-9809 Top executive: DeLores Pressley

Artist First Talent & Booking Agency

3535 S. Smith Road

2573 Butterwing Road Cleveland, 44124 (216) 856-4725 Top executive: Rita N. Singh


DeLores Pressley Worldwide LLC


Miraj International LLC

3944 Eastway Road Cleveland, 44118-2312 (216) 282-2000 Top executive: Theron Cyrus

3580 E. 93rd St. Cleveland , 44105 (216) 441-7615 Top executive: Seab H. Coleman

23715 Mercantile Road, Suite 215 Beachwood, 44122 (216) 378-9035 Top executive: Ted Jordan

Lo-Key Entertainment

3085 Interstate Parkway Brunswick, 44212 (330) 220-8900 Top executives: C.K. Satyapriya, David Breitfeller

1277 W. 104th St. Cleveland, 44102 (877) 372-0166 Top executive: Lori McClung

Funutation Tekademy LLC

Krystal Klear Communications LLC 17412 Maple Heights Blvd. Maple Heights, 44137 (216) 365-3440 Top executive: Audra T. Jones


1440 Rockside Road Cleveland, 44134 (216) 749-5900 Top executive: Christine Gregory

154 E. 265 St. Euclid, 44132 (216) 273-3744 Top executive: Vicki Dansby

4171 Linden Circle North Olmsted, 44070 (440) 777-7800 Top executive: Gertrudis Ramos, Jose L. Ramos

Advocacy & Communication Solutions LLC

Educational Management Services Inc.

Imagine That

Coleman Trucking Inc.

649 Sunset View Drive Akron, 44320-2041 (330) 903-1717 Top executive: Mexie J. Wilson

A Difference in Dining Caterers LLC 1485 S. Hawkins Ave., Suite 150, Office I Akron, 44320 (330) 864-9979 Top executive: E. Sue Valentine

Felder & Co. LLC 2330 E. 79th St., 2nd floor Cleveland, 44104 (216) 536-0771 Top executive: Michelle S. Felder

MPG Management Inc.

Ohio Lakeside Regional Investment Center 26943 Westwood Road, Suite A Westlake, 44145 (440) 835-2271 Top executive: Yong Fu

Quiñónez & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. 6100 Rockside Woods Blvd., N., Suite 240 Independence, 44131 (216) 373-2700 Top executive: Patty Quiñónez

FUNERAL HOMES E.F. Boyd & Son Inc. 2165 E. 89th St. Cleveland, 44106 (216) 791-0770 Top executive: William F. Boyd II

GRAPHIC DESIGN Same Page Graphics and Marketing Solutions LLC Cleveland, 44121 (216) 536-2239 Top executive: Crystal N. Williams


Pepper Pike, 44122 (216) 292-0610 Top executive: Janet Kemp, M.D.

Leading Age Supplies LLC 24700 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 104 Cleveland, 44122 (216) 896-0297 Top executives: Pradip P. Kamat, Arora Billy

Premier Medical Supplies Inc. 18234 S. Miles Road Cleveland, 44128 (216) 823-2777 Top executive: Claude Allen McCann

Care Circle LLC 1864 E. 89 St. Cleveland, 44106 (216) 561-2273 Top executives: Jeffrey Steven Rivers, Juahmea Charmise Harris

Caring Concierge 5247 Wilson Mills Road, Suite 202 Cleveland, 44143 (216) 280-2999 Top executive: Kevin K. Johnson

Gateway Healthcare Services Inc. 2490 Lee Blvd., Suite 228 Cleveland , 44108 (216) 938-6353 Top executive: Tracy Denise Cox

Global Drug Testing and Consulting 4425 Mayfield Road, Suite 2 South Euclid, 44121 (216) 297-9036 Top executive: Vanessa L. Brown

Janet Kemp, M.D., LTD 29425 Chagrin Boulevard, Suite 301

377 Cleveland St. Akron, 44306 (330) 252-1626 Top executive: Timothy Solomon

LANDSCAPING Murray Professional Service LLC 2235 E. 76 St. Cleveland, 44103 (216) 315-2244 Top executive: Alonzo Murray


Visiting Angels Senior Homecare

The Chandra Law Firm LLC

12200 Fairhill Road, 2nd floor, B-wing Cleveland, 44120 (216) 231-6400 Top executive: Constance Hill-Johnson

1265 W. Sixth St., Suite 400 Cleveland, 44113 (216) 578-1700 Top executive: Subodh Chandra


Ford, Gold, Kovoor & Simon Ltd.

35675 Sedge Circle Solon, 44139 (440) 349-5000 Top executive: Diane Dance

8872 E. Market St. Warren, 44484 (216) 438-1090 Top executives: Sarah Thomas Kovoor, Ned C. Gold Jr., George T. Simon, Donald R. Ford Sr.

INSURANCE Pinkney-Perry Insurance Agency Inc. 526 Superior Ave. East, Suite 910 Cleveland, 44114 (216) 795-1995 Top executive: Richard C. Perry

Rutledge Group Inc. 13124 Shaker Square Cleveland, 44120 (216) 561-4444 Top executive: Darwin Rutledge

INTERIOR DESIGN Works Of Wonder 2784 Fallen Log Lane Akron, 44333 (330) 865-0777 Top executive: Lucille Anderson

JANITORIAL SERVICES AND SUPPLIES Adrian Maldonado & Associates 659 Grayton Road Berea, 44017 (216) 372-0039 Top executive: Adrian Maldonado

Authorative Cleaning Contractors Inc. 1280 Harmon Ave. Akron, 44307 (330) 689-6718 Top executive: David L Hood

C A Horton Inc. P.O. Box 147 Oberlin, 44074 (440) 774-2117 Top executive: Charles Anthony Horton

Emerald Supply Inc.


Timothy Solomon dba I’ll Clean Your Carpet

4300 Superior Ave. Cleveland, 44103 (216) 391-3322 Top executive: Tamara L. Chappell

Full Spectrum Janitorial Services Inc. 5133 Artman Ave. Akron, 44313 (330) 606-4102 Top executive: Marcus E. McKinney

Janitorial Services Inc. 8555 Sweet Valley Drive, Suite H Valley View, 44125 (216) 341-8601 Top executives: Ronald Martinez Sr., Ronald Martinez Jr.

JDD Inc. 3615 Superior Ave. Cleveland, 44114 (216) 224-4025 Top executive: James Vaughan Jr.

Service Master by Davis 4640 Hinckley Industrial Parkway, Suite 7 Cleveland, 44109 (216) 595-1750 Top executive: John L. Davis Jr.

Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP 526 Superior Ave., Suite 620 Cleveland, 44114 (216) 771-9300 Top executive: Vincent T. Norwillo

Lei Jiang Law Firm 26943 Westwood Road Westlake, 44145 (440) 835-2271 Top executive: Lei Jiang

Margaret W. Wong & Associates LPA 3150 Chester Ave. Cleveland, 44114 (216) 566-9908 Top executive: Margaret Wong

LOGISTICS ASW Global LLC 3375 Gilchrist Road Mogadore, 44260 (888) 363-8492 Top executive: Andre Thornton

Innogistics LLC 2330 E. 79th St. Cleveland, 44104 (216) 881-5643 Top executive: Brian E. Hall

InterChez 600 Alpha Parkway Stow, 44224 (330) 923-5080 Top executives: Sharlene Chesnes, Mark Chesnes, Cassie Chesnes

InterChez Global Services Inc. 600 Alpha Parkway Stow, 44224 (330) 923-5080 Top executives: Sharlene Chesnes, Mark Chesnes, Cassie Chesnes

InterChez Logistics Systems Inc. 600 Alpha Parkway Stow, 44224 (330) 923-5080 Top executive: Sharlene Ramos-Chesnes

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS Bell & Lindsay Inc. 2316 Richmond Road Beachwood, 44122 (216) 765-0939 Top executive: Josie Lindsay

Compass Consulting Services LLC P.O. Box 221347 Beachwood, 44122 (216) 299-7335 Top executive: Tameka L. Taylor

Indus International Inc. 24700 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 104 Cleveland, 44122 (216) 896-0297 Top executives: Pradip P. Kamat, Michael Salkind



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18 CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS J.B. Neal Associates 2459 Stonefield Drive Avon, 44011 (440) 934-0334 Top executive: Judy Browne Neal

Kestada Strategy Consultants LLC P.O. Box 24120 Cleveland, 44124 (216) 282-4275 Top executive: Starlyn H. Priest

S&A Consulting Group LLP 2573 Butterwing Road Cleveland, 44124 (216) 593-0050 Top executive: Rita N. Singh

MANUFACTURING Cold Headed Fasteners & Assemblies Inc. 1875 Harsh Ave. SE, Suite C Massillon, 44646 (330) 833-0800 Top executive: Oscar Lee

E W Welding and Fabricating Inc. 336 Wyleswood Drive Berea, 44017 (440) 826-9038 Top executive: Eli Waiters

ECM Chemicals LLC 201 Quadral Drive Wadsworth, 44281 (330) 335-2307 Top executive: Edward Morris

Fox Enterprise Services 5913 Shannon St. NE Louisville, 44641 (330) 456-9780 Top executives: Delilah J. Volpe, Anthony M. Volpe

International Container Systems LLC dba Elsons International 16601 St. Clair Ave. Cleveland, 44110 (216) 481-8219 Top executive: Andrew Jackson

LEFCO Worthington LLC 18451 Euclid Ave.

Cleveland, 44112 (216) 432-4422 Top executive: Larry E. Fulton

MVP Plastics Inc. 15005 Enterprise Way Middlefield, 44062 (440) 834-1790 Top executive: Darrell L. McNair

New Horizons Baking Co.

Signs By Tomorrow


Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers

20534 Southgate Park Blvd. Maple Heights, 44137 (216) 663-1000 Top executive: Eric Hamilton

Kem’s Construction

10717 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, 44102 (216) 458-7695 Top executive: Deborah J. Gray


Mike’s Painting

Consortium of African American Organizations

1297 Allendale Ave. Akron, 44306 (330) 962-8462 Top executive: Michael Anthony Clemmons

2930 Prospect Ave., Suite 207 Cleveland, 44115 (216) 432-9481 Top executives: David Owens, William Holdipp Jr.

211 Woodlawn Ave. Norwalk, 44857 (419) 660-4000 Top executive: Tilmon (Tim) F. Brown


Technical Consumer Products Inc. (TCP)

2930 Prospect, Suite 207 Cleveland, 44115 (855) 364-2667 Top executives: Gwen Y. Davis, Hank Davis

325 Campus Drive Aurora, 44203 (800) 324-1496 Top executive: Ellis Yan

Wraptite Inc.

MOTTEP-Minority Organ & Tissue Transplant Education Program

6200 Cochran Road Solon, 44139 (440) 349-5400 Top executives: Suresh Bafna, Sunil Daga

11717 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, 44112 (216) 229-2690 Top executive: Linda D. Kimble

OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter


1419 E. 40th St. Cleveland, 44103 (216) 236-3946 Top executive: Lisa Y. Wong

City News Newspaper LLC 16781 Chagrin Blvd. Shaker Heights, 44120 (216) 591-1900 Top executive: James Crosby

North Coast Latino 2800 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, 44114 (440) 670-7017 Top executive: Louis Angel Acosta

Prelude2Cinema LLC 2904 Ambler Ave. Cleveland, 44104 (408) 203-6981 Top executive: Alex P. Michaels

The Render Ranch 11130 Arrowhead Drive Grafton, 44044 (440) 785-2893 Top executive: Alexander Rivera

2614 Ginger Wren Road Cleveland, 44124 (216) 288-2388 Top executive: Ngozi Melford Nkemere

PERSONNEL SERVICES AND STAFFING 925HIRE LLC 1700 W. Market St., Suite 167 Akron, 44313 (330) 271-0670 Top executive: Tonie Snell

HC Smith Ltd. 24000 Mercantile Drive, Suite 7 Beachwood, 44122 (216) 752-9966 Top executives: Herbert C. Smith, Rebecca Ruben Smith

Minority Executive Search P.O. Box 18063 Cleveland, 44118 (216) 932-2022 Top executive: Eral Burks


852 E. Highland Road, Suite B3 Macedonia, 44056 (330) 908-0493 Top executive: Claude C. Booker III

Social Good Made Easy Lakewood, 44107 (216) 586-4575 Top executive: Helen Griffin

Styles Of Imagination 21506 Clare Ave. Maple Heights, 44137 (216) 581-2746 Top executive: Diane Linston

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL Pulmonary Apps 5000 Euclid Ave., Suite 306 Cleveland, 44103 (216) 502-2868 Top executive: Kevin Trice, M.D.

ZIN Technologies Inc. 6745 Engle Road Middleburg Heights, 44130-7994 (440) 625-2200 Top executive: Daryl Z. Laisure

Alejandro Rivera Photography

850 Euclid Ave., Suite 1100 Cleveland, 44114 Top executive: Gregory L. Brown

1918 W. 73rd St. Cleveland, 44102 (216) 513-2186 Top executive: Alejandro Rivera

The Presidents’ Council


526 Superior Ave., Suite 724 Cleveland, 44114 (216) 771-8702 Top executive: Nicole M. Bell-Moye

2521 E. 31st St. Lorain, 44055 (440) 320-0295 Top executive: Israel Antonio Barrios




Full Color Printings LLC

Quick Employment LLC

1452 W.110th St. Cleveland, 44102 (216) 227-8521 Top executive: Michael Brunstedt

1700 W. Market St., Suite 153 Akron, 44313 (800) 597-2728 Top executive: M. Don Carthorn

2800 Euclid Ave., Suite 310 Cleveland, 44115-2525 (216) 361-3030 Top executive: Sherall E. Hardy




*Offer ends 8/31/2014. Available to new commercial subscribers of Cox Business VoiceManagerSM OfďŹ ce with unlimited long distance. Prices based on 2-year service term. A maximum number of 10 VoiceManager OfďŹ ce lines are eligible for the advertised offer. Equipment may be required. Prices exclude equipment, installation, taxes, and fees, unless indicated. Phone modem provided by Cox, requires electricity, and has battery backup. Access to E911 may not be available during extended power outage or if modem is moved or inoperable. Next-day installations are subject to availability; eligibility restrictions may apply. Discounts are not valid in combination with or in addition to other promotions and cannot be applied to any other Cox account. Services not available in all areas. 30-day satisfaction guarantee limited to refund of standard installation/activation fees and the ďŹ rst month’s recurring service and equipment fees (and equipment purchase fees if purchased from Cox) for the newly subscribed services only. Excludes all other costs and charges. Refund must be claimed within 30 days of service activation. Other restrictions apply. Š 2014 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Safe Choice LLC 11811 Shaker Blvd., Suite 422 Cleveland, 44120 (216) 231-7233 Top executives: Anita L. Spencer, Anthony Spencer


KLN Logistics dba AIT Worldwide Logistics

1538 Home Ave. Akron, 44310 (330) 633-9355 Top executive: Usha Bansal

6749 Eastland Road, Suite C Middleburg Heights, 44130 (440) 816-1505 Top executive: Kimberly Martinez-Giering

REAL ESTATE Bailey Shelton ASA 5333 Northfield Road, Suite 250 Bedford Heights, 44146 (216) 587-1322 Top executive: Bailey Shelton

F & C Research 5333 Northfield Road, Suite 250 Bedford Heights, 44146 (216) 587-1322 Top executive: B. Shelton 2521 Falmouth Road Fairlawn, 44333 (330) 869-8418 Top executive: Deborah Ann Foster

RESTAURANTS Angie’s Soul Cafe 13225 Shaker Square Cleveland, 44120 (888) 768-5223 Top executive: Akin Yemi

Zanzibar Soul Fusion



The Ink Well of Akron

Foster Group Appraisers


Simply Southern Sides

Policy Bridge


MAY 12 - 18, 2014

13225 Shaker Square Cleveland, 44120 (216) 752-1035 Top executive: Akin Yemi

RETAIL Boone Enterprises LLC P.O. Box 93357 Cleveland, 44101 (216) 921-2337 Top executives: Verneshia L. Boone, Ronald W. Boone

Mo Vaughn Transport Inc. 32901 Station St., Suite 212 Solon, 44139 (440) 248-3314 Top executive: Maurice S. Vaughn

MyCity Transportation 16781 Chagrin Blvd. Shaker Heights, 44120 (216) 662-2430 Top executive: James Crosby

Purpose Consultants LLC 4134 E. 64 St., lower level Cleveland, 44105 (216) 883-3838 Top executive: Zenobein Adams

RW Logistics 12487 Plaza Drive Cleveland, 44130 (216) 267-2000 Top executive: Richard Wall

TRAVEL Flite II Travel 23611 Chagrin Blvd. Beachwood, 44122 (216) 464-1762 Top executive: Gail M. Cochran

Here to Serve Travel LLC 1914 S. Taylor Road Cleveland Heights, 44118 (216) 383-8106 Top executive: Martha Jones

Point to Point Worldwide 3 Severance Circle, Suite 18960 Cleveland Heights, 44118 (216) 932-7300 Top executive: Asim K. Datta



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SMALL BUSINESS It’s a new way of looking at things at AlphaMicron By SHARON SCHNALL


r. Spock greets visitors in AlphaMicron Inc.’s lobby.

CEO Bahman Taheri demonstrates AlphaMicron technology that changes the tint of a lens surface from blue to red with the push of a button. PHOTOS BY SHARON SCHNALL

Batman is positioned at a laboratory door. Inside the lab, Bruce Lee oversees cubicle activity. Life-sized reproductions of pop icons are whimsically stationed in and around the Kent company’s headquarters. “The style of the place, when you walk in there, I feel like I walked into one of 100 companies of San Jose (Silicon Valley),” said Tim Fahey, director of cluster acceleration at NorTech, a technology and innovation accelerator in Cleveland. “It’s open, it’s engaging, it’s fun.” Of course, AlphaMicron also is serious, conducting research to develop and manufacture switchable electronic tinting technology. High-performance and tactical eyewear are being designed using AlphaMicron’s e-Tint technology; the lens surface immediately changes colors with the click of a battery-operated switch located on the eyewear’s frame. “Yes, there are coatings on eye-

wear, but the switchability of the liquid crystals provides an almost unique situation,” said Grant McGimpsey, vice president for research and sponsored programs at Kent State. “They (AlphaMicron) are combining the application and the material in a unique way.”

Could it be done? Beyond the ophthalmic sector, AlphaMicron also specializes in developing and implementing liquid crystal technologies on flexible plastic films for military and consumer applications in the wearable electronics, automotive and architectural sectors. The company’s late 1996 founding, by three then faculty of the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University, was inspired by a U.S. Air Force inquiry to the institute, regarding the feasibility of creating switchable tinting on eyewear surfaces using liquid crystal technology. Beyond proving if the technology could accomplish

The AlphaMicron founders were not lacking in scientific expertise, but what about business and entrepreneurial acumen? “That’s the whole point: We knew nothing,” CEO Bahman Taheri said. “But, in terms of business, it was much more interesting. ... Scientists don’t believe that the hard part is marketing and sales. (Business) is a different world. There are different parameters that are not solved by technology.” Plenty of learning took place while

setting up infrastructure, establishing employee benefits and hiring employees. Hiring the “best-qualified” employees has been a critical factor for success, Taheri said. Current employees include those from Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Russia and the United Sates. Previously, Brazil, China, Germany and, yes, Mongolia, were represented

Back before he became the cofounder of a private equity firm, Jeffrey Kadlic found that he was encountering terrific small companies, but was precluded from investing in them because his firm only made larger investments. And back before he became the other co-founder of Evolution Capital Partners in Beachwood, Brendan Anderson found that he, as the owner and operator of small businesses, couldn’t secure capital for what he, too, felt were terrific op-

portunities. “The more and more we looked at it, the more and more we were intrigued with the opportunity here,” Kadlic Anderson said of a market segment they believe was not getting a fair shake from institutional capital sources. Intrigue paved way to investment, and the two began investing in second-stage companies as Evolution Capital in October 2006.



by employees working on short-term projects. “When you bring together a whole bunch of different cultures, you can see the same problem from different viewpoints. Diversity plays a big role in innovation,” Taheri said. Some work approaches emphasize perfection, some emphasize action, See BUSINESS Page 20

■ What is a startup company? Do you define yourself as a startup? “A startup is for you to figure out, ‘How do you create value in a business setting with the technology and knowledge you have?’ ... A fully functioning company has already figured out how to create that value, how to achieve it and is capitalizing on the value it has created. “... I define us technology-wise as we’re no longer a startup. We’re very

Money isn’t always the answer when aiming to grow By MICHELLE PARK LAZETTE

this, the military wanted to work with a company and a product. Thus, AlphaMicron was conceived and launched. Today, one founder, Peter PalffyMuhoray, remains full-time as professor and associate director with the institute; the remaining founders, Bahman Taheri and Tamas Kosa, serve respectively as AlphaMicron’s chief executive officer and chief operating officer and are now Kent State adjunct faculty. Since 1999, AlphaMicron has leased, from the university, a 30,000square-foot research, engineering and manufacturing space at Centennial Research Park; the circa-1990s building previously was an open-bay bus garage. The extensive contemporary space — punctuated by bright orange, yellow and Granny Smith green interiors — was readied, in part, with $1.4 million in improvements financed by AlphaMicron and prorated against the long-term lease, McGimpsey said. When the company was first established, one part-time employee was hired. That first full year — 1997 — gross sales were $100,000. By 1998, Taheri and Kosa had left Kent State and were involved full-time with Al-

Since then, the firm, whose sweet spot is companies with $4 million to $10 million in annual revenue, has invested $65 million in a total of Kadlic eight companies, four of which remain in the private equity firm’s portfolio. Kadlic and Anderson recently discussed with Crain’s the challenges people face when seeking growth capital. Interestingly, though they are in-

vestors, they say money is not the answer for businesses that seek to evolve. ■ How does one know that his/her company is in need of — and ready for — second-stage capital? Brendan Anderson: Second-stage capital is for when you want to transform the business to something that is larger than yourself. Most of the time, there’s capital needed to build out a team that’s more experienced, that’s truly going to step up and be held accountSee ANSWER Page 20

much established. On a sales and a marketing side, we’re a startup,” said CEO Bahman Taheri. ■ What have been the building blocks for establishing and growing AlphaMicron? “People. Innovation comes from people. We have really, really smart people whom I would consider to be entrepreneurs.” See Q&A Page 20

ALSO ONLINE... Both Jeffrey Kadlic and Brendan Anderson are in the business of making investments in secondstage companies, but Anderson recently played the role of a business owner in search of such investment. Watch the co-founders of Evolution Capital Partners in Beachwood as Kadlic poses the questions an investor might ask, and Anderson seeks to answer them. The video is at www. Will Anderson — “the business owner” — score the capital he needs?




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Answer: continued from PAGE 19

able, as well as investments in equipment, technology and additional locations. The huge investment is the people cost; you’re going to need to hire that CFO, the COO and down the line. ■ How is second-stage capital different than angel investments and other early capital? Jeffrey Kadlic: A business receiving second-stage capital is profitable, it’s established and it has a proven market and model. So, you’re eliminating venture risk, the risk inherent when you have an undeveloped business. ■ How are the challenges involved in securing second-stage capital different today than they were a year ago? Similar? BA: I think it’s always been extremely difficult to raise second-stage capital. There’s hundreds and hundreds of venture firms that are looking for the very small companies. There are thousands of private equity funds that are out there to put some leverage on some bigger companies. But the pure second-stage players, it’s always very, very difficult. ■ Is its availability in any way cyclical/seasonal? JK: There is probably something to the cyclicality of it. Some secondstage entrepreneurs want a partner because it’s the evolutionary process, if you will. Some want to stick it out. If banks are overextending themselves, they (the entrepreneur) will be able to secure some bank debt. In times of irrational exuberance, banks will get ahead of


MAY 12 - 18, 2014

themselves and certain entrepreneurs will take as much capital as long as they can have control. It really kind of ebbs and flows with the credit market. Bank debt is fixed obligations. You have to start repaying it as soon as you get it. We provide permanent capital that fundamentally changes a balance sheet and allows for growth.

Bahman Taheri, shown in a chemistry lab, is one of the three founders of the Kent business, AlphaMicron.

■ What tend to be the responsibilities and requirements in attracting and securing second-stage money? BA: If an entrepreneur has a vision for growth and can explain it — how that growth is going to happen in almost a systematic form — then second-stage capital is available to them. Obviously, if they decide to go down that path, they’ve got a partner. When you have a partner, you have to chase that plan. It is radically different than doing what you want. You’re no longer going to have your fingers in every aspect of the business. ■ What are the biggest mistakes people make in seeking secondstage capital? JK: Many business owners truly struggle with transparency. They don’t want to share all of the necessary information with their employees and stakeholders to allow them to make decisions independent of the owner. That’s something that some folks never get over; they’re just not ready to take that leap to a scalable business. If you want to grow, you’re going to have to rely on other people to make decisions and execute on the plan. BA: The biggest mistake people seeking second-stage equity make is they believe money is the answer. Money sure helps, but money is not the answer. You’ll never get where you’re going unless you change how you’re managing the business. ■

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AlphaMicron: Army tests eyewear continued from PAGE 19

phaMicron. Today, 35 employees are on board; last year’s gross sales were about $4 million to $5 million, Taheri said. Financial support helped fuel the growth: more than $5 million combined from three Ohio Third Frontier grants; and an additional $1.05 million, in total, from three Small Business Innovative Research federal contract awards received in 1997, 1998 and 2006, according to government spokesmen.

From battlefield to homefront Eyewear, featuring AlphaMicron’s e-Tint film containing liquid crystals infused with specialized dyes, has been field tested by the U.S. Army since October 2013 and will continue through March 2015. Switchable technology for anticipated use on curved plastic visors for the U.S. Air Force’s helmets remains in the research and development stage. When product prototypes are finalized and field testing is completed, the e-Tint technology could potentially be adopted for large-scale use by military personnel. “The battlefields have changed,” Taheri said. “You have Special Forces — military SWAT — that transition among differing and changing lighting conditions.” “Traditionally, a soldier is supplied with eyewear with dark lenses

and another set of (interchangeable) clear lenses,” Taheri said. As soldiers enter differently lit situations, they may decide to stop and switch lenses or remove the eyewear altogether, increasing the risk of injury, particularly shrapnel in the eye. From this research and development activity, consumer crossover applications have been identified. In 2011, AlphaMicron introduced two products: a clear anti-fog motorcycle visor insert and an anti-fog motorcycle insert with electronic tint changing capability, priced respectively at $15 and $150. And, since 2005, the company’s e-Tint technology has been increasingly featured in sport goggles. For example, the Uvex Apache 2 Variotronic LCD winter goggle boasts, thanks to AlphaMicron technology, that 1/10th of a second is all it takes for lens tint to switch from clear to blue to red to violet. The glasses retail for $530, for example, through Outdoor GB, a British website. “By design they (AlphaMicron) have intentionally not made an effort to market to a broader segment,” said NorTech’s Fahey. “... They went after select markets where they knew they had the performance advantage to win and the operational capabilities to serve the volume point.” NorTech has helped AlphaMi-

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cron with commercializing its products by connecting the company to local manufacturing and supply chain assets, Fahey said. “Knowing who you are and not stepping out of who you are and staying focused to pursue opportunities that fit you —they’ve done that well.” ■

Q&A continued from PAGE 19

r■ What is the company’s next challenge? “Going through production while maintaining the same culture is going to be very difficult. For innovation, you want to always think outside the box; for production you don’t want to think outside the box, you want to think inside the box. One (thought process) is ‘constant change,’ the other is ‘don’t change.’ So you have to be able to balance your innovation and your repeat processes.” ■ What does the expression ‘take the company to the next level’ mean? “(For AlphaMicron), it means up to a point we were demonstrating a technology. We were demonstrating a concept that was possible. ... Before, we had scientific goals. In this (next level), we now want to have scientific and commercialized goals - that this technology is disseminated into society.” — Sharon Schnall This year, Crain’s Cleveland Business is introducing a feature that will focus on small businesses and second-stage journeys. The stories will focus on smaller entities that have moved beyond — or are trying to move beyond — the startup phase. If you have a suggestion for a business or topic related to second-stage growth, contact Amy Ann Stoessel at

Business continued from PAGE 19

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some emphasize delving deeply, and others, he concludes, emphasize “turning on a dime.” Taheri contributes to this cultural and professional mélange, having emigrated from Iran during the 1979 revolution. For three years, he attended a boys’ boarding school in Kent, England, before studying physics at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and later receiving a 1994 doctorate in laser physics from Oklahoma State University. “Part of it, I was used to the notion that things change a lot,” he said. “When you leave a country behind, you have to be able to adjust as neces— Sharon Schnall sary.”



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Tremont gym an exercise in reinvention By CHRISSY KADLECK


commercial litigator at BakerHostetler for close to nine years, Nick White is geared up to power lift the fitness bar in the Tremont, Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods. He’s the founder of the Tremont Athletic Club (TAC), a 14,000square-foot, full-service fitness facility that will open this fall as the anchor tenant in the Fairmont Creamery building. The $15 million historic redevelopment by Oberlinbased Sustainable Community Associates also will offer 30 residential apartments, a café and wide array of office and business incubation space when it’s complete in November. White, a transplant from Michigan, landed at the Cleveland firm in 2005 after graduating from law school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He said his exit from the security of “Big Law” is not a negative leaving-the-legal-industry story. Fueled by his own fitness journey, which began in 2008, White said he found where he wanted to focus his professional ambition and hard work, while bringing “something to the community.” “When you practice law you see a lot of people who are unhappy. You’re fixing something that’s wrong, especially in litigation, and I wanted to be around people for the one hour of the day that they are feeling really good about themselves and doing something for themselves,” White said. “I felt really good when I was with those people in the gym and that feeling was what sprung me into this idea of owning a gym someday, and I knew I wanted to do it in Tremont, Ohio City or the Shoreway.”

Filling a need A resident of Tremont since 2010, White was faced with the dearth of options for full-service fitness centers in and near downtown. He began reading books, researching the industry and making a point to visit one or two gyms when he traveled to cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles on legal business. He created his concept over the past two-and-a-half years — a process he called “the fun part” — while he searched for a suitable location. He heard about SAC’s plan to revive the Fairmont Creamery and connected with the developing trio of Josh Rosen, Ben Ezinga and Naomi Sabel to see if his vision for a gym would fit into their plans for the renovation of the 1930s building. Turns out they were in the market for a fitness center and the right operator. “When we talked with the neighborhood CDCs (community development corporations), we heard consistently that a fitness center was the sort of amenity that the West Side neighborhoods were lacking and one of the key elements that would make the neighborhood feel complete and draw new residents,” Rosen said. “The building itself had a significant amount of space that laid out nicely for a unique gym,” he said. “Old coolers could become locker

rooms and saunas. Cardio machines can be oriented toward huge operable windows overlooking the train tracks. It felt like the right use for the space.” White loved the potential of the industrial space and how its transformation would be a metaphor for the fitness journeys people would undergo there. “I want people to feel like they are in a high-end gym, but to preserve, highlight and pay tribute to the history of the space and existing finishes — glazed brick, cooler doors, large concrete pillars,” White said. “The view is fantastic. You have the West Side Market on the left and the skyline of Cleveland on the right. It’s going to be beautiful.” He raised the necessary capital — north of $500,000 — from private investors and his own capital and took the entrepreneurial leap. He signed a lease a few days before Christmas 2013. “(Nick) understood the need for a fitness center but we also loved that he lived in the neighborhoods he was looking to serve. Anytime we can work with an individual instead of a corporation, we are thrilled,” Rosen said. “Having the local knowledge and really knowing your neighbor and understanding the culture of the community is oftentimes the X factor and something we really value.” The two-floor gym will have state-of-the-art cardio equipment, free weights, functional fitness areas, group exercise studios, locker rooms, showers, a sauna and a rooftop deck for sunrise and sunset yoga and boot camp classes. But what will really set the gym apart will be its sense of community, White said. “I want it to feel when you come into the Tremont Athletic Club that you are walking into your favorite bar, restaurant, bookstore, your favorite place,” he said.


Before turning his attention to the Tremont Athletic Club, Nick White worked for nine years as a commercial litigator at BakerHostetler.

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Adding to new neighborhoods New bursts of residential development like the Fairmont Creamery are opening up opportunities for new gyms, especially private ventures. Take EB Fitness Club, which opened in the heart of the Flats East Bank development at the end of October. Positioned in the Aloft Hotel and adjacent to Ernst & Young Tower, EB Fitness (short for East Bank) is an upscale 18,000-square-foot space that offers exclusive equipment, such as a rope-climbing machine. The club also offers a weight management clinic and anti-aging medi-spa. Dr. John Fortuna, president of EB Fitness, said being located near the 4,000 employees who work in the Tower and the residents who will live in the new 250-unit apartment complex was a critical aspect of why they chose to open the gym there. In five months, the club has gained about 750 members, said Fortuna, who also is the director of chiropractic at St. Vincent Medical Center. Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc., said the nonprofit is halfway to its goal of 1,000 new residential units in the area. Ronayne said University Circle’s dense, walkable neighborhoods are “positioned for more growth,” he said. “A new fitness center would complete our neighborhood.” „

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Some owners can streamline returns F

or owners of certain small businesses that operate in multiple states, personal tax preparation can become enormously complex. Any shareholder who just lived through this in completing their 2013 tax filings can attest to the number of returns that can quickly become out of hand.


TAX TIPS Imagine how the number of state filings can grow for shareholders in pass-through entities, such as S corporations or partnerships. Because income is passed through to individual shareholders, in many cases it is up to each individual owner to report and pay his or her share of income tax that arose from the business as a result of the company’s activity in each

particular state where they are not a resident. If the business operates in many different states and has “nexus” in those states, a return must be filed in each of those states. Nexus means the activities of the business in a state are substantial enough to expose the related income to the state’s income tax laws. If that same shareholder holds interests in more than one such business entity, the number of returns grows. Many states recognize how quickly this kind of filing responsibility can increase the administrative burden. As a result, many states permit “composite” filings, or filings in which all shareholders in a given business can join together and file a single return in a given state. The benefits to individual taxpayers from the efficiency of a group filing is obvious enough. If a given business has a half dozen shareholders, and the company sells goods and services into a dozen states, the number of returns can be reduced from six individuals each filing a dozen individual returns to a dozen composite returns. However, there are some tradeoffs to consider. When an individual shareholder consents to having

their portion of a company’s income reported in a composite return, it often exposes that share of the income to the highest marginal tax rate, removing any possibility to take advantage of lower graduated rates. That means paying a larger tax bill. Depending on the numbers involved — how large a portion of an individual’s overall tax obligation is at play in a given state and how it compares with the savings that come with a composite filing — any given individual might do better to opt out of a composite return and file individually. With marginal rates as high as 13% in California or nearly 9% in New York, the implications of paying tax on any substantial portion of business income in such states can add up quickly. Another consideration is the alternative minimum tax. It’s possible that an individual taxpayer consenting to a composite return may not get the benefit of the full itemized deduction that can be achieved in the federal return for paying a higher state income tax through a composite return. The composite return might also


prohibit an individual taxpayer from taking deductions or credits that might otherwise be available on an individual return. If a business has a down year, for example, which leads to a net operating loss, some states do not allow the loss as a deduction against future year’s profits when filing a composite return but do allow a deduction under an individual filing. Some states only allow composite returns when the shareholders who are reporting are sourcing income to only one business entity or business activity. If a given share-

Selecting and hiring talent is risky business. The strategic and financial stakes are high. Worst of all, a bad decision is usually not apparent until long after the fact. Despite what’s at stake when hiring or promoting talent, subjective methods of evaluation often dominate the process. Even though there are objective tools available, many managers end up simply “trusting their gut.”


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holder holds a separate business interest also producing taxable income in a particular state, that individual may be precluded from participating in a composite return. For owners who find themselves filing multiple nonresident state returns on pass-through business income, especially on relatively smaller portions of the total business income, the benefits of a composite return could be significant.

In any game of chance, the slightest edge can tilt the odds. How valuable would it be to be able to predict an employee’s future performance before making an offer? This is exactly the type of insight psychometric assessments have been providing to employers for decades. These tools assist companies in attracting, selecting and retaining the talent needed to propel the organization forward. The key to organizational performance is clarity: the right people in the right jobs doing the right things. When clarity is increased in these three areas, a synergy is achieved that is greater than the sum of the parts. This is clarity cubed. Leadership in today’s market requires clarity in predicting the future. Management guru Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” So, predict the future performance of your employees by creating clarity in the three critical aspects of talent management. ■ First, get crystal clear on the role to be performed. What does the role entail? What are the expectations of the ideal candidate? Until the expectations are clearly defined, it is impossible to find the right person. Of course, there are subjective processes for achieving this clarity. Scientifically proven psychometric tools exist today. After all, why dig a hole with one’s bare hands when a shovel is available? Predictive tools assist in defining the behavioral characteristics of an ideal candidate and provide an objective template to measure for the presence of those

traits. Additionally, such tools use a linguistic algorithm that shapes these desired traits into the language of the job posting. The clarity of this wording attracts a higher number of qualified and motivated candidates. ■ Second, add clarity in evaluating the candidate’s ability (cognitive assessments) and willingness (behavioral survey) to do the job. Resumes, references and interviews satisfy an essential part of the selection process, but they are not enough. Think of it this way: candidates usually look their best on their resume, and who offers bad references? Cognitive assessments provide clarity regarding whether the candidate can do the job. Behavioral surveys provide clarity on whether the candidate will do the job and do it for sustained periods. A predictive behavioral assessment coupled with an objective template of performance requirements provides an employer insight to predicting future performance. The comparison between the candidate’s style and the desired style for the role will reveal potential performance gaps. These insights provide a framework for asking informed questions during the interview process and may be cause for the early exclusion of certain candidates. Ultimately, a good match of the candidate’s behavioral style with the requirements of the role will increase the probability of high levels of performance for sustained periods. ■ Third, add clarity by getting the person doing the right things. Onboarding, orientation, training, setting objectives, mentoring, and performance reviews are all necessary. The addition of predictive tools increases clarity further by providing insight into potential future performance problems and assessing whether the employee is being stimulated or drained by their work. Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Proactive managers can use feedback from predictive tools to make adjustments that will bring out the best in employees, leading to increased employee satisfaction and higher retention rates. Remember, employees don’t typically quit companies. They quit bosses. Bruce Price is an executive consultant for Predictive Synergistic Systems’ Cleveland/Akron office.



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Metro: CEO stresses health system’s commitment to openness continued from PAGE 1

It’s an unusual way to plot a major construction project, particularly in the health care arena. Typically, hospitals announce major expansion projects with much fanfare, armed with blueprints, models, renderings and plans for financing in tow. That’s what Boutros’ predecessor, Mark Moran, did when he unveiled his own (nowsidelined) vision for transforming the campus less than a year before he stepped down from the post. But that’s not the way Boutros does business. At what was billed as an annual stakeholders meeting last week, Boutros announced that he has assembled a cast of the region’s most elite civic and business leaders, including the heads of the rival Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, to go to bat for the health system as it develops a game plan for a new home. He talks of holding “visioning sessions” with citizens and civic and business leaders over the next several months and using the health system’s space at the Global Center for Health Innovation to show off possible plans. Boutros admits there are risks in planning the facelift this way, including offering a pulpit to some of the health system’s most vocal critics. Others in the community suggest Metro could be putting too many cooks in the kitchen by crowdsourcing the county for ideas. Still, the characteristically optimistic Boutros said he couldn’t imagine pursuing the overhaul another way. “We want to be known as a health care system that is designed by the people, for the people,” Boutros said.

A bold new vision If anything, Boutros’ announcement last Friday, May 9, was the first splash of a major public relations campaign to clear up any misperceptions county taxpayers might have of the hospital. Boutros stressed the health system’s commitment to transparency and its financial rebound. The turnaround has been so strong that Boutros believes the health system

COMING UP In search of ‘Who to Watch in Law’ candidates The next “Who to Watch” section of the year, “Who to Watch in Law,” is scheduled for publication June 23. It will highlight up-and-comers in the legal sector. If you think you know who will be among those leading the Northeast Ohio legal sector of the future, drop an email to sections editor Amy Ann Stoessel,, or call 216-771-5155. Please send your suggestions no later than noon on Monday, May 19. There are no hard and fast requirements for this section, other than that the candidate needs to exhibit the kind of potential that makes him or her someone to watch in the field of law. Mark your calendars for the last Who to Watch section of 2014: “Who to Watch: Education” on Nov. 24.

MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros shared these pictures as a display of “what’s possible for The MetroHealth System.” Designs such as these could be incorporated into the planned transformation of the health system’s aging main campus. can wean itself off the subsidy it receives each year from Cuyahoga County taxpayers to support its operations. Last year, the health system posted an almost $19 million profit. The county subsidy represents a small piece of MetroHealth’s overall operating revenue — only about 4% — but Boutros said his plan to be completely self-supporting by 2016 could be viewed as an important symbolic gesture, especially if the health system launches a major fundraising campaign to pay for the ambitious project. Also, by involving the entire county in the planning process, Boutros is planting the seeds for a groundswell of public support. “Metro is a public hospital. It’s a public asset, so it makes a lot of sense to do it the way Dr. Boutros is approaching it,” said Bill Ryan, president of the Center for Health Affairs, an advocacy group for local hospitals. “You want to create as much interest from the stakeholders and as much emotional and psychological investment in the

project and process from stakeholders as you can.” However, Ryan cautions that by launching such an inclusive planning process, MetroHealth could run into the risk of “paralysis by analysis.” “There’s always a risk of that, but you have to put together a process that you trust and work the process and be prepared to call the question,” he said. Hunter Morrison, the city of Cleveland’s former planning director, also said there’s risk, but said he’s a strong advocate for public input, especially when it involves a public entity like MetroHealth. “Not everybody gets what they want — and they know that,” said Morrison, now director of Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Initiative. “That’s not what grownups expect, but they do expect to be listened to.”

Questions remain How MetroHealth plans to pay for such a massive overhaul — pre-

vious estimates, for one, put the price tag at upward of $500 million — remains unclear. Fundraising likely will be part of the equation, though it could include some public support. MetroHealth officials say they hope to have a new cost estimate and more descriptive plans in place by the end of the year or early next year. Boutros, however, was clear in his address last week that he wants to accomplish the overhaul without asking for additional tax dollars. MetroHealth board chairman Thomas McDonald reiterated that

statement during an interview last week with Crain’s, but he said the project likely would involve public money in some way. “We want to be as frugal as we can possibly be,” McDonald said. “We’re not building the Taj Mahal or a shrine to anybody.” Matt Carroll, chief of staff for Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, said it was too early to comment on what would happen with the subsidy were MetroHealth to say it didn’t need it for its operations. “We don’t want to get ahead of the process,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s making any assumptions.” MetroHealth officials didn’t offer up any concrete plans for what the overhaul might include. They said it likely would involve fewer beds, the demolition of the iconic patient towers and would do a better job of weaving the sprawling medical campus into the surrounding community. McDonald noted, “Wouldn’t it be great to embrace the neighborhood opposed to having a fortress, which is the way it looks like now?” Boutros said he’s asked for the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s help in attracting new businesses and other investments in the area surrounding the health system’s campus. In his speech last week, Boutros said, “We can create a vibrancy that should attract business and investment, increase employment and average income, and reduce crime.” Joe Roman, president of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, told Crain’s the area was ripe with potential and called Boutros’ vision “an incredible opportunity for the entire West Side of town.” ■




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MAY 12 - 18, 2014

Steel: Industry officials fear shale investments could be wasted continued from PAGE 5

“That’s what scares us,� he said.

‘Feeling a squeeze’ Some of the companies, like U.S. Steel, that petitioned for the investigation had been anticipating a boon from the shale sector, making oil and gas-related investments that officials now say could be wasted if foreign countries are allowed to continue selling their products at a lowered price. At the Lorain Tubular Operations plant, for example, $200 million has been invested since 2010 for upgrades such as a new quench and temper facility, Wilkinson said. But the company started to see a decrease in order activity at the end of 2013, he said. The product coming in from South Korea is being sold at about 30% of market value, Wilkinson said, and U.S. Steel can’t compete with those prices. “I can’t even make it for what they sell it,� he said. U.S. Steel laid off about 72 employees at the Lorain plant at the

HOW THESE INVESTIGATIONS WORK In antidumping investigations, foreign companies are accused of selling products below market value, while in countervailing investigations, foreign governments are scrutinized for potentially subsidizing goods so they can be sold for a lower price. The Department of Commerce investigates whether the alleged unfair trade process is happening, and the International Trade Commission determines whether there is any injury to the U.S. industry because of that trade practice. Tubular goods are not the only focus. As of May 8, the International Trade Commission listed 23 in-process antidumping and countervailing investigations — some including multiple countries — for goods ranging from sugar to steel wire hangers. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

start of the year, Wilkinson said. The plant currently employs about 687 people. Chicago-based JMC

Steel Group runs a tubular plant in Warren that’s also been hurt by the low-cost imports coming into the country. Randy Boswell, president of Energex Tube, a division of JMC and a party to the petition, said 35 to 40 employees have been laid off on the manufacturing side of the Wheatland Tube plant in Warren in the past 60 days. The plant currently has about 140 employees. The company has invested $35 million in the Warren plant in the past six years on testing equipment and packaging and threading lines for the energy tubular market. The plant had been getting a return on investment, but prices of oil country tubular goods have dropped 20% to 22% in the past 24 months, while raw material prices have stayed relatively flat or increased slightly, Boswell said. “We’re absolutely feeling a squeeze there,� Boswell said.

Repeating history U.S. Steel is helping to lead the charge to bring attention to the in-

vestigation with a campaign that started with a May 5 rally in Lorain, co-sponsored by the United Steelworkers and hosted by Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for American Manufacturing.

“It’s too episodic. It’s too piecemeal.� – Alan Tonelson research fellow, U.S. Business and Industry Council, on the steel industry’s case-by-case approach to trade law This particular investigation is important for a few reasons, said Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul. The Department of Commerce’s preliminary decision, excluding South Korea, indicates that it “is not necessarily persuaded� that the industry is being damaged. The current situation pales in comparison to that when cuts were made at U.S. Steel’s Lorain plant in 2009. Wilkinson said the plant was looking to increase employment in 2008 and 2009 because the market was growing. But China started

dumping oil country tubular goods, seemingly out of the blue, he said. “It was a drastic turn,â€? Wilkinson said. The Lorain plant laid off about 200 employees within two to three weeks in mid-2009, Wilkinson said. At that time, he said, the plant employed about 471 people. After the industry won the trade case, business and employment started to slowly pick back up. “We’re trying to avoid that,â€? Wilkinson said in reference to the current case. Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council in D.C., said the steel industry has been the biggest user of trade law cases. But he said that while it’s encouraging to see the industry mobilizing resources and public opinion, overall, the county’s trade law system has not served manufacturing at large. The system is slow and reactive, he said. And he criticized the caseby-case approach. “It’s too episodic,â€? Tonelson said. “It’s too piecemeal.â€? â–

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Divest: Deals have similar themes continued from PAGE 1

But today, she said, “It’s not, ‘We need money.’ It’s more driven by strategic goals. Companies are looking to sell off non-core or lower performing businesses to use the money to reinforce their more profitable business lines.â€? Kevin J. Mayer, who said his firm has picked up corporate divestiture work for a handful of clients in the past six months alone, agreed. “It’s not just one deal here or there, it’s several and they’re all the same kind of theme, which is a more heightened focus on the core business,â€? said Mayer, managing director of Cleveland investment banking firm, Western Reserve Partners LLC. Those divesting have various motivations, among them, the decision to exit a certain market or an earlier acquisition that resulted in a piece of business that never really fit, Mayer said. Locally, companies making divestitures in 2013 included Cleveland-based OM Group Inc., which divested one business in March and one in May, and Independencebased CBIZ Inc., which agreed to sell its Medical Management Professionals business for $200 million in July. Then there’s Aleris in Cleveland, which on April 15 of this year, announced it was formally evaluating the potential sale of its Recycling and Specification Alloys businesses. CBIZ executives resolved almost 10 years ago to divest Medical Management “when the market was right,â€? because Medical Management did not share the common client base and approach to market as CBIZ’s other financial services and employee benefits businesses, said Jerry Grisko, president and chief operating officer. “What’s unique today ‌ the two buying groups for a business are strategic and PE (private equity) firms, and the common characteristics of those two buyers today is they have a lot of cash,â€? Grisko said. And where there’s cash and competition, valuations rise. “It’s ‌ supply and demand,â€? Grisko said. “If the price is high enough, you’re going to get more people interested (in selling).â€? That’s what happened for CBIZ: Grisko said the company had been

approached about Medical Management many times over the past few years, but opted to sell it only recently because it netted a favorable price for the division. Following what Grisko called the first material divestiture in CBIZ’s history, the company paid down debt and made a few acquisitions. “It clarified our strategy,� he said of the divestiture. “One of the reasons we’ve been told that the stock price increased (after the deal) is we have a clearer vision and one that’s easier to understand. “The other intangible benefit: Probably everybody’s most precious commodity is time,� Grisko continued. “By selling a non-strategic asset, it allows the management team to focus their time and energy and resources on the core business.�

stood at 605, down 23% from 781 in the year-ago period and down 47% from 1,131 in the same period of 2012. But, the value of those divestitures totaled $180.6 billion this year, up 75% from $103.3 billion in the yearago period, and up 81% from $99.9 billion in the same period in 2012. Naturally, the data show the prices being paid for divested assets are higher, but it also reflects another trend, according to Matthew Toole, director of Deals Intelligence, a Thomson Reuters team that studies high-level dealmaking trends. “We’re seeing a very large increase in the size of what is being divested,â€? he said. Alongside higher valuations, the increased amount of activist investor activity is driving interest in divestitures, advisers said. “Boards are getting more and more letters, and in some cases, you see companies with activists pounding on them,â€? KeyBanc Capital Markets’ Schneir said. “Sometimes, they themselves are proactive enough to think, what do we need to do ‌ before an activist comes in?â€? The percentage of divestiture-related work within Skoda Minotti’s transactions practice is roughly 20% to 25%, according to Ken Haffey, a partner of the Mayfield Villagebased CPA and business advisory firm. A few years ago, it was zero. “More and more organizations have asked us to come in and kick the tires to make sure that as they are ready to sell ‌ either a division or an entire department or some type of operating unit,â€? Haffey said. “They want to know where the warts are and the hot spots are.â€? He expects the work to continue to increase, given the number of baby boomer business owners who

may consider divestitures as a way to right-size their businesses and make them as salable and valuable as possible. “They’re just kind of cleaning up overall, dropping product lines or coming out of geographic territories that don’t make as much sense as they once did,� Haffey said. Others, too, might be driven to divest by their desire to acquire, he added. “In order to have capital to make some acquisitions, they need to somehow obtain capital,� Haffey said. “One way to do that is divesting the lower-hanging fruit, the less profitable or the less logical a fit.�

The ‘ripple effect’ The findings of the RBS Citizens Middle Market M&A Outlook 2014, released in February, echo local advisers’ expectations. It found that middle-market companies remain open to buying or selling, but that sellers are more interested in selling part of their business than the whole, and that they were less likely to take on debt and more likely to accumulate earnings, sell a business unit or divest significant assets to make investments in their existing operations. SIFCO Industries Inc. did just that in its fiscal year 2013, which ended Sept. 30. The Cleveland manufacturer of forged components for the aerospace and energy industries last August began ceasing operations of its Turbine Components Services and Repair business, which affected about 50 employees in Minneapolis, and sold its Applied Surface Concepts business to a United Kingdom company in December 2012 for net proceeds of $8.1 million. “We’ve been focused on divesting non-core, non-strategic businesses,� said Catherine M. Kramer, chief financial officer and vice president


of finance. “It’s been great for us. We’re able to redeploy capital to areas that we want to focus on. We’re making significant capital expenditure investments and continue to look at acquiring other businesses.â€? Kramer said she’s been receiving an increased volume of unsolicited calls — a few a quarter — from private equity groups that want to gauge SIFCO’s appetite for divesting assets. In many cases, a divestiture done means additional investments made, as in the cases of CBIZ and SIFCO. “The ripple effect will be, I think, at the end of the day some stronger companies,â€? Skoda Minotti’s Haffey said. “They’re going to get back to knitting, as they say.â€? It also can deliver a sea change, Thomson Reuters’ Toole said. “It changes the way industries look,â€? he said. “It changes who the players are.â€? These deals carry the potential of lost jobs, but potentially positive outcomes, too, said Benesch’s Mehalko. “You’re not sure who’s buying them, and what they’re going to do,â€? she said. “(There’s) also potential that someone buys that business and invests more than the corporate parent did.â€? â–

Avoiding the activists Data on divestitures from both Thomson Reuters and Dealogic don’t show an uptick in the number of divestiture deals; instead, they reveal their number dropped worldwide and nationwide. But the data do show that while the volume of divestitures has dropped, the value of them has risen significantly. According to Dealogic, the number of divestitures in the United States between Jan. 1 and May 8



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THEWEEK MAY 5 – 11 The big story: MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros said the taxpayer-supported hospital to be completely self-supporting by 2016. He also announced the launch of a countywide focus group to brainstorm ideas of how to overhaul the health system’s aging main campus and reinvigorate its surrounding neighborhood on the West Side of Cleveland. He didn’t unveil a blueprint or cost estimate. Boutros instead launched what he characterized as a community conversation to determine what the future of health care might look like in Cuyahoga County. He said he hopes the bulk of the new campus will be built by 2020. See story, Page One

Pay up: Cuyahoga County voters handed a big victory to the city’s sports franchises by passing Issue 7, the sin tax extension, by a 56% to 44% margin. Approval of the tax will cost Cuyahoga County taxpayers millions of dollars over the next two decades — $13 million a year for the next 20 years, renewal backers have said — to pay for renovations and upkeep at FirstEnergy Stadium, Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. The tax is 4.5 cents per pack on cigarettes, 16 cents a gallon on beer, 32 cents per gallon on wine and $3 a gallon for liquor.

President’s days: Youngstown State University on May 9 offered the position of president to Jim Tressel, currently the executive vice president of student success at the University of Akron. The announcement came one day after Akron — where Tressel also was a candidate for the presidency — instead named University of Toledo provost Scott L. Scarborough to the job. Youngstown State said its trustees are negotiating an employment contract with Tressel. They said the appointment “is not final until contract terms can be reached.”

REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK BEHIND THE NEWS WITH CRAIN’S WRITERS founder takes swing at golf business ■ Ever see those ads for, the dating site for country folk? The guy who started that site (tagline: “city folks just don’t get it”) lives in Beachwood. And now he’s got a new website that might appeal to the city slickers who make up most of our readers. Jerry Miller is co-founder of a website called, which is home to more than 100 videos designed to help you fix your golf game. Miller started playing golf as a middle-aged adult. But he had an advantage: Miller spent over 20 years in the advertising industry, and in the process he worked on all sorts of golf instructional projects and spent a lot of time at golf tournaments. That gave him the chance to get tips from “the top tour players and teachers in the world,” he says in an infomercial-esque video on the site. Now he’s relaying all that information to you, should you be willing to pay the $10 monthly fee. The video on the homepage suggests that Miller’s method is “the quickest way ever” to lower your golf score. In the videos behind the pay wall, he shows viewers how to visualize the perfect swing, dissects the swings of golf pros and even gives pointers to a salsa dance instructor who apparently had never swung a golf club.

■ An event called “Rooms to Let: Cleveland” aims to cast Slavic Village — an East Side neighborhood hard-hit by foreclosures — in a new light. About 30 artists and architects are contributing their talents to create temporary art installations in three vacant homes in Slavic Village’s historic East 65th Street and Fleet Avenue Warszawa District. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, visitors can tour the homes and enjoy what amounts to a neighborhood block party and street tour. The free event will include live music through porch concerts, historic church tours, interactive arts and pop-up galleries. Joe Duffy, community outreach and marketing manager for Slavic Village Development, said the event was inspired by a similar project that took place last year in Columbus. One of the organizers of the Columbus event consulted with Slavic Village for “Rooms to Let: Cleveland,” he said. Artists and architects have been working in the houses for the past couple weeks, he said. Two of the homes are slated for full rehabilitations by the Cleveland Housing Network and eventual sale. The third is slated for demolition.



Massillon, a maker of private-label snacks, plans to gobble up the Private Brands business and two North American manufacturing facilities of Charlotte, N.C.-based Snyder’s-Lance Inc. for $430 million. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and Shearer’s obtaining financing for the deal. Snyder’s-Lance makes products including pretzels, sandwich crackers, pretzel crackers, potato chips, cookies and tortilla chips.

turbines in Lake Erie suffered a big setback. The group behind the effort failed to win a $47 million federal grant that would’ve jumpstarted the long-running project. But there’s still hope: The U.S. Department of Energy has offered the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. a smaller amount of funding that would allow the nonprofit to continue working on the design of the foundation that the turbines would use, the wind farm’s electrical system and data collection. LEEDCo described that funding as “significant.” The organization aims to install nine turbines a few miles off the coast of Cleveland.

Are you ready for Johnny Football?: For months, Cleveland Browns fans have been clamoring for Johnny Manziel. In the first round of the NFL draft on May 8, they got their wish — 18 picks and more than two hours later than they anticipated. The Browns drafted the Texas A&M quarterback 22nd overall, capping a frantic first round for general manager Ray Farmer, who was Manziel conducting his first draft. With the eighth pick of the first round, the Browns picked Justin Gilbert, an Oklahoma State standout regarded as the draft’s best cornerback.

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■ called attention to a short film from Streetfilms that looks at how Lakewood gets 5,800 students to school each day without a bus system. The suburb’s seven elementary schools, two middle schools and high school all are within walking or biking distance of the children they serve. “We’re one of Cleveland’s inner-ring suburbs, and we started out as a streetcar community and a concentration of a downtown,” said Christine Gordillo, spokeswoman for the Lakewood City School District, in the film. “As we grew and added schools, it’s a natural evolution that our students walk to school,” she said. Lakewood city planner Bryce Sylvester said in the video that Lakewood has never had a school bus system — the result of population density, with 51,000 people in less than six square miles. noted that the school district saves about $1 million a year because it doesn’t have to run buses, which “suggests that the old-fashioned way of doing things, rather than the more recent trend of building new schools on cheap land at a community’s periphery, might be a sensible financial decision, as well as a healthy one.”

The value of focus ■ Scot Lowry, CEO of digital marketing firm Fathom in Valley View, was quoted in a Fortune story that looked at how companies can break through major barriers they often encounter as they mature. One big hurdle: Not knowing their ideal customer. “Customers aren’t all equally valuable;

The event’s promotional material says “Rooms to Let: Cleveland” aims to “invert those icons often associated with neighborhood blight and despair into new propositions of engagement, resilience and contemplation.” Duffy said the goal is to create an event that “brings a lot of people together” and introduces them to possibilities that exist for reviving city neighborhoods. Slavic Village isn’t aspiring to be an arts district, Duffy said, but through this event of artistic expression, its goal is to “be a stable community … that’s a really good place to live.” Details are available at www.roomstoletcle .org and — Scott Suttell

Fairmount Minerals zeroes in on cutting landfill waste ■ Fairmount Minerals in Chesterland makes its money from selling fracking sand to shale gas drillers across the country, but it hopes to make its mark on the environment as small as possible. For eight years now, the company has had a broad sustainability process, and it makes the results of its efforts public in a Corporate Social Responsibility report, at This year, company president and CEO Jenniffer Deckard reported that the company reduced its waste output: 10 of its facilities sent zero waste to landfills in 2013. But the company’s efforts also included initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development, and decreasing the company’s water use, energy use and carbon footprint. — Dan Shingler

some can even be unprofitable,” Fortune said. So Lowry “had his CFO draft a profit and loss statement for each. That helped him phase out the costly customers — and identify the ideal ones, such as health care and financial services firms that need very customized service,” according to the story. “Our strategy is based on deep customer intimacy,” Lowry told the magazine. “We have to focus on select clients to deliver on this.” Another major problem, apparently, is companies using outdated org charts. “It’s tempting just to stuff this important document in a drawer and forget it. Don’t,” Fortune noted. “With his now nearly 150person team squabbling over priorities and resources, Lowry shredded his org chart and reorganized everyone into teams dedicated to specific accounts. He is listed at the bottom, with the role of helping employees serve clients at the firm, which expects $20 million in sales this year.” Lowry added, “I stopped talking about my ‘direct reports’ and switched to calling them my ‘direct supports.’ “

Don’t retire here ■ This probably will not surprise you, even if you love your home state: Ohio is not a great place for retirees. A new report from ranked Ohio as the 38th-best state for retirement. The analysis included cost of living, taxes, health care, crime and climate. Ohio scored highly for its cost of living (13th-lowest in the nation), but lost points for how satisfied people are with their surroundings, (fifth-lowest, according to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index) and its weather (14th-lowest). South Dakota came out on top due to its low tax burden, low crime rate and high wellness score. The states that round out the top five: Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming.



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Unlimited Talk & Text Share up to 50 GB of data on up to 25 devices 25 GB of Verizon Cloud storage per device

RootMetrics® RootScore® Award Winner






* Rankings based on RootMetrics US National RootScore Report: covering July-December 2013 for network performance test results of 4 mobile networks as an average across all available network types. The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of Verizon. Your results may vary. Visit for details. Activation/upgrade fee/line: Up to $35. IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Subject to Customer Agmt, Calling Plan, rebate form & credit approval. Up to $350 early termination fee & add’l charges apply to device capabilities. Offers & coverage, varying by service, not available everywhere; see Rebate debit card may take up to 6 wks & expires in 12 months. Restocking fee may apply. Samsung and Galaxy S are both registered trademarks of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. Ellipsis™ is a Verizon Wireless trademark. 4G LTE is available in more than 500 markets in the U.S. © 2014 Verizon Wireless. H4756

Crain's Cleveland Business  

May 12 - 18, 2014

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