Crain's Cleveland Business

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Cavaliers team doctor sometimes has tough task of going against wishes of players and coaches — P. 3 Departing Hopkins director predicts that airport’s growth trajectory will be best in its history — P. 4

Mentoring, half-time work help aging base

Bright lights, big money Week that includes Bridgestone and Hall of Fame inductions is key for Akron, Canton

NASA Glenn launches retirement program in which workers scale back, get some benefits


On Thursday, Aug. 6, 22-yearold Jordan Spieth will headline a group of professional golfers competing for a $1.57 million first prize at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron. That same night, about 15 miles south (a 19-minute drive, according to Google Maps) of Firestone Country Club, more than 100 Pro Football Hall of Famers will be among a crowd of 4,000 for the annual Gold Jacket Dinner at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. The sports couldn’t be more different. But for Northeast Ohio, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinements and the Bridgestone Invitational signify one of


See LIGHTS, page 8


Kathleen Needham was supposed to retire from NASA Glenn Research Center back in May. If that would have happened, nearly 40 years’ worth of experience would have walked out the door with her. But it didn’t happen. In April, Needham heard that NASA was about to launch a phased retirement program. It’s designed to help the federal space agency’s aging workforce ease into their Golden Years — and pass along their knowledge in the process. So in June, Needham became the first NASA Glenn employee to take the partial retirement plunge: She’ll work half-time and receive half of her retirement annuity, while maintaining other benefits. There’s just one catch: She has to spend at least 20% of her work time mentoring other employees and passing along her knowledge. That rule could help NASA Glenn endure the silver tsunami — the wave of baby boomers who are starting to retire in large numbers — without losing too much expertise. It could hit NASA Glenn hard, if it isn’t ready: The center has a particularly old workforce. Nearly half of its employees are in their 50s. Relatively few are in their


See NASA, page 7



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ARCHER AWARDS Crain’s again recognizes some of the region’s top human resources professionals ■ Pages 14-26 PLUS: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ■ PROFILES ■ & MORE

Entire contents © 2015 by Crain Communications Inc. Vol. 36, No. 31



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Republican debate packs the house for local hotels By DAN SHINGLER


Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao is shown with Dr. Richard Parker, right, during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

THE RIGHT MEDICINE Cavs doctor’s difficult task is made more hectic by his role with Clinic By TIMOTHY MAGAW

Just as the Boston Celtics’ now-vilified big man Kelly Olynyk pulled on Kevin Love’s arm during the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Dr. Richard Parker jumped from his seat, over a guard rail and sprinted into the training room at almost the same time as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star power forward. “I just knew that something wasn’t right,” said Parker, the Cavs’ head team physician and recently named president of Marymount Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic’s 315-bed community hospital in Garfield Heights. Love’s injury — ultimately diagnosed as a torn labrum and dislocated shoulder — was a devastating blow for the team, and, for better or worse, one of the most memorable moments of the season for Parker. The team’s success early on hinged on two things: developing chemistry and staying healthy. That chemistry came together despite some early struggles, but it was the team’s health that would be its undoing during its deep playoff run. The even-keeled Parker boasts a critically important role within the Cavaliers organization. That’s especially the case during this offseason as two of the team’s biggest assets — Love and Kyrie Irving — recover from significant injuries in anticipation of another trek in which the Cavs are the odds-on favorites to win a championship. And with a playoff-destined team like the Cavs, that pressure is compounded. Parker said a single playoff game, for instance, can take the toll of five regular-season games on players’ bodies because of the intensity at which they play. Parker and his team of caregivers are tasked with ensuring a group of some of the world’s best athletes can compete at the highest levels during one of the longest and most-grueling seasons in professional

sports. It’s an intriguing role, too, given that Parker isn’t a direct employee of the Cavs, but rather the Clinic, which has contractual relationship with the Cavs to provide medical services. At times, Parker said that sort of relationship can create some tension with players or coaches, especially when limiting a star’s playing time is involved. “At the end of the day, my role is to allow the athlete to reach his or her maximum athletic potential but never do anything that would jeopardize their health or length of their career,” Parker said. “That is really what we do.” One of those players who credits Parker with extending his career is Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the former Cavaliers center who was plagued with foot injuries early in his career.

“There’s always a lot of pressure on the doctors. But Dr. Parker’s always been on point and done the right thing. He always puts the players’ health first, even if that means sometimes fighting the player to keep them off the floor.” – Zydrunas Ilgauskas former Cavaliers center It was only a few months into Parker’s tenure as team physician when Ilgauskas, or Z as he’s affectionately known, felt a crippling pain in his left foot after taking a shot during a game against Miami. Parker and Ilgauskas visited a handful of specialists around the country before settling on one in Baltimore to perform the reconstruction surgery. At that time, Parker persuaded Ilgauskas and the Cavaliers organization that a twoyear recovery lay ahead — a recovery that would include limiting Ilgauskas’ minutes

on the floor, even if it meant benching one of the team’s strongest players at a critical point in a game. One time, Parker recalls Ilgauskas being benched as the game went into overtime after hitting his 32-minute ceiling. “I remember sitting in the stands, and Z and (former Cavaliers coach) John Lucas were so mad at me,” Parker said. “You can imagine some of the four-letter words that were thrown at me. But at the end of the day, Z was able to end his career on his own terms.” The NBA is tough business, even so for the docs, Ilgauskas told Crain’s in a recent interview. For instance, they’re dealing with strong-willed players but also the team owners who are paying out multimilliondollar paychecks and expect players to perform even in the face of injury. “There’s always a lot of pressure on the doctors,” Ilgauskas said. “But Dr. Parker’s always been on point and done the right thing. He always puts the players’ health first, even if that means sometimes fighting the player to keep them off the floor.” He added, “He’s really old school and does the right thing.” When Parker began his tenure with the Cavs, it was an eight- or nine-month a year gig, whereas today it’s a year-round responsibility. That responsibility even includes draft-time recognizance — something of which he’s particularly proud of his role over the last few years. “It just keeps escalating and evolving. It’s a bigger and bigger business,” Parker said. “There’s so much more scouting and assessing of talent. Everybody’s trying to figure out what is the magic way of predicting the future — not only in terms of winning and losing — but predicting injuries.”

Balancing act When Parker began his medical training, he never considered sports medicine as a See MEDICINE, page 5

With about 4,500 ticket holders and an unknown number of media representatives coming downtown for the Aug. 6 Republican primary debate of presidential candidates, hotels in the city center expect to be full to capacity — even if Quicken Loans Arena won’t be. Most of the big downtown hotels report that they are either sold out already, or expect to be in the days leading up to the event. “A lot of hotels, us included, already had a large group base over that time frame, so our availability was limited. But we did pick up some more blocks (of guests),” said Brian Ludford, director of sales at the Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway. Ludford said some other events, most notably a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses being held at Cleveland State University, will keep his and other downtown hotels busy before the debate. The Radisson is half a block from Quicken Loans Arena, where the debate will be held — but if you want a room that close to the action, it might be too late. “We’ve had calls from Fox News and others, but we had to tell them we were full,” Ludford said. Nearby, at the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland, sales and marketing director Lynn Coletto said she’s seeing a nice bump in room sales from the debate as well. “Absolutely, there’s been great demand and excitement for the Republican debate. And, because of that, we’re putting together some special events,” Coletto said. Those will likely include some sort of themed decorations for the lobby, as well as a Dixieland jazz band, she said. The hotel also is trying to decide on a gift to leave with guests in town for the debate. “We’re not sure what it will be. We’re deciding that right now,” Coletto said. “Sometimes it’s food, sometimes it’s beverage, sometimes it’s a keepsake — maybe it will be little elephant lapel pins.” At the Renaissance Cleveland on Public Square, general manager Steve Groppe said he’s also getting new business from the debate. “We’re very busy next week,” Groppe said. “At this point, we’re very close to being sold out, if we’re not already.” The same is true for the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade, said its director of sales, Angela Perry. She said the hotel expects to sell out its 293 rooms for the nights around the debate, based on initial demand. Tickets for the debate itself are no longer available, and Fox News, which is organizing the event, has limited seating to about 4,500 people, even though the arena can hold more than 20,000. But then, organizers aren’t necessarily looking to generate the crowd noise of an NBA Finals game. Local tourism officials, however, are looking to make as much media noise as they can — and say the debate will help to show off Cleveland and its ongoing revitalization. They also say the event will be good for business in and of itself. “Any time that a large-scale event like this takes place in Cleveland, it gives the city a chance to shine — to those in attendance as well as to those who are at home watching,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland. “Attendees will get to experience our revitalization first-hand through the hospitality of those who work in our hotels, bars, restaurants and attractions. In turn, hosting the debate attendees will create an impact for our local businesses,” he added.




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AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015

Departing Hopkins head says airport will take off

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In the year-plus since United Airlines drastically cut its flight schedule in and out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, ending nonstop service to dozens of cities, Ricky Smith, the airport’s director, has managed to restore key portions of the air service lost. Now, as he leaves to return home to Baltimore, he is predicting growth in air service here. “We’re in a position now where we will begin to experience air service growth in Cleveland that we’ve never experienced before,” said Smith, who is leaving Cleveland to take over as CEO and executive director of the Maryland Aviation Administration, responsible for overseeing the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. “There is a whole new round of growth here in Cleveland that is going to put Cleveland on a trajectory for passenger growth like it’s never seen before.” Yes, Smith sounds like a father bursting at the seams about the prospects for a child at the top of his first-grade class. And that’s a particularly bold prediction for continued growth since air travel has gotten more difficult and unpredictable in the 14 years since 9/11, especially at Cleveland Hopkins, an aging, second-tier airport that has had more than its share of challenges. United’s announcement in February 2014 was a roundhouse blow. The airline said it would reduce the number of daily flights out of Cleveland from about 200 to 72 and end direct service to Phoenix and dozens of smaller cities, including Dayton; Flint, Mich.; and Rochester, N.Y. Service to Phoenix has been restored, but it’s unlikely nonstop service to most of the smaller cities will return. In an interview in his office overlooking Cleveland Hopkins’ airfield, though, Smith said he expects an airline he declined to name would soon be adding direct service to Kansas City International Airport. Whether air service from Cleveland Hopkins grows any further, as Smith is forecasting, remains to be seen. Michael Boyd, for one, questions the prospects of any significant service expansions at Cleveland Hopkins, though he praises Smith’s work there. “I think things have stabilized, and now you’ve got a solid airport,” said Boyd, whose Evergreen, Colo.based Boyd International Group is

a leading aviation consulting firm. “There are no shortfalls in Cleveland’s air service. The metric is, ‘Can you get there from the rest of the world?’ and Cleveland has excellent access.” Some travelers, though, bemoan the need to connect in Houston, Denver or Chicago for travel to cities like Tucson and Seattle and the smaller cities that were part of United’s hub service. But Boyd said that as the number of carriers has dwindled through mergers to only a handful, it’s unlikely that there is another airline capable of entering the Cleveland market and offering new direct service, profitably, to any new markets. “The service is about where it needs to be,” he said. “When you stop being a connecting hub, you drop down to about 35 direct destinations.” Cleveland Hopkins now has 38 nonstop destinations — 33 yearround and five seasonal.

with United’s hub. Both of those airlines, and Spirit Airlines, quickly opened operations in Cleveland in the last year. In addition, Smith made Cleveland Hopkins more attractive to the budget carriers by increasing revenue from parking, taxicabs, food and beverage service and retail operations. Those financial boosts make the airport more attractive to the airlines, whose lease agreements require them to cover whatever portion of the airport’s operating cost that nonairline revenue doesn’t cover. That master lease was also crafted to allow Smith to offer new or growing airlines additional financial incentives, which helped land Frontier, JetBlue and Spirit. The airport’s latest statistics show that the number of scheduled airline seats departing from Cleveland Hopkins hit 445,177 in May, an 11.4% increase over May 2014’s 399,502, as United was beginning the cutbacks.

Eyes to the sky While Cleveland Hopkins has not been immune to criticism — travelers have complained about parking, delays caused by slow snow removal in winter, long lines at security checkpoints and drab and aging concourses — Smith’s efforts have earned him praise from Northeast Ohio’s business community. “I really think he’s done a fine job, particularly with what we’ve gone through” with United Airlines, said Lee Thomas, retired Cleveland managing partner of Ernst & Young, who heads the air service demand task force of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. After United’s announcement, Thomas said, “Smith and his team quickly put into gear relationships they already built with the Frontiers of the world (what are called ultralow-cost carriers) and with Southwest Airlines to get more air service in.” Thomas was referring to the airport’s air service development team, led by chief of marketing and air service development Todd Payne, which Smith created shortly after he arrived in 2006. Before that, Cleveland Hopkins was not marketing itself to the airline industry as other airports were, in part because it wanted to keep United, which dominated the market, happy with its Cleveland operation. Smith saw that as short-sighted. So by the time United announced its dehubbing, Payne had already set the table for carriers like Frontier and JetBlue, which had been reluctant to go head-to-head

Supply and demand Rob Turk, executive vice president of Professional Travel Inc., a North Olmsted travel agency specializing in corporate travel, is optimistic air service will grow, though he said it will come only as demand for service grows. “We still have a strong airport, and I think the demand will dictate supply,” he said. “With a healthy business community, with a healthy growth in meetings and convention business spearheaded by the Republican presidential nominating convention next July and the new (convention center and Global Center for Health Innovation), there is a lot of reason to be optimistic.” Turk added that while some of his customers lament the loss of the direct flights to smaller cities that United offered on small, regional jets, others never liked flying on the 50-seat aircraft. Those travelers prefer traveling on the roomier, full-sized aircraft, even though it means connecting through Chicago, Detroit or Houston. “It’s a better flying experience,” he said. Smith did point out one advantage of United’s reduced dominance of local air service — fares are down. The average fare on a domestic flight on Hopkins was $413 for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $462 a year earlier. That’s the biggest drop in fares among the nation’s 100 largest airports. “It’s one of the benefits of losing the hub,” he said.

#RUN4RECOVERY Volume 36, Number 31 Crain’s Cleveland Business (ISSN 0197-2375) is published weekly at 700 West St. Clair Ave., Suite 310, Cleveland, OH 44113-1230. Copyright © 2015 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: 212-210-0750 Subscriptions: In Ohio: 1 year - $64, 2 year - $110. Outside Ohio: 1 year - $110, 2 year - $195. Single copy, $2.00. Allow 4 weeks for change of address. For subscription information and delivery concerns send correspondence to Audience Development Department, Crain’s Cleveland Business, 1155 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, 48207-9911, or email to, or call 877-824-9373 (in the U.S. and Canada) or (313) 446-0450 (all other locations), or fax 313-446-6777.

CORRECTIONS Due to incorrect information submitted to Crain’s, the July 27 list of family owned businesses reported an incorrect percentage of business that is family owned for Fleet Response. The Mawaka family owns 66.9% of the business.

A July 27 article incorrectly stated that Spice Cos., Crop Bistro & Bar, Grove Hill Tavern, Fire Food & Drink and Red Restaurant Group are clients of Those operations are not paying clients and have been only in discussions with the job board’s owner, Nicole Dauria.



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AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015



Lender sues over Landmark Centre By STAN BULLARD

Landmark Centre, a Beachwood building owned by an affiliate of Mayfield Heights-based North Pointe Realty, has been hit with a foreclosure suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Ohio Realty Development Fund, a Cleveland-based lender, has sued to foreclose on the nearly 50,000square-foot building on Science Park Drive, to collect a $3.6 million note it holds against the property. The note was originally issued in 1989 by the former Leader Mortgage Co. of Cleveland and was transferred to Ohio Realty in 2005. Ohio Realty has asked Judge John O’Donnell to appoint a receiver and conduct a sheriff’s sale of the property.

Dr. Richard Parker

MEDICINE continued from page 3

career. He figured he’d go into cardiology, but after a rotation in orthopaedic surgery, he discovered he could “actually fix things” as opposed to just managing chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease. “Fixing” professional athletes, however, came later under the tutelage of Dr. John Bergfeld, the longtime director of sports medicine at the Clinic who also spent several years as both the Cavs’ and Cleveland Browns’ head doc. Parker’s big break came when Bergfeld asked him to take over as the team physician for the Cleveland Rockers, the short-lived professional women’s basketball team, before eventually taking on the role with the Cavaliers. Bergfeld said it takes a certain type of person to be a team physician, given the long hours, demanding travel schedule and the propensity for outside scrutiny. But with Parker, it’s his ability to juggle his responsibilities that sets him apart. Beyond his work with the Cavaliers, he serves as the chairman of the Clinic’s department of orthopaedic surgery. Also, earlier this year, Parker took over as president of Marymount, the first community hospital to become part of the Clinic system. “You don’t get to do all that without being good,” Bergfeld said.

The property owner has not filed an answer to the suit, which was filed July 15. Landmark Centre dates from 1989 and is about15% vacant, according to CoStar, an online realty data provider. The multitenant building is draped in black exterior glass and one of many office buildings in Cleveland and Akron suburbs created by North Pointe chairman Bart Simon in the office-building heyday of the 1980s. The glass-skinned buildings, termed curtain wall in the construction business, have distinctive designs emphasizing corner

offices and other features popular in the 1980s. A spokesman for North Pointe, who returned calls to Bart Simon and North Pointe CEO Scott Simon, said the development concern is in active negotiations with its lender to find an amicable solution. He said the development concern hopes to get the case dropped soon. Edward Schwartz, identified as president of Ohio Realty Development Fund, did not return an email and phone call asking for comment on the case. Landmark Centre is located

We are


LAKELAND TO PLACE BOND ISSUE ON BALLOT Lakeland Community College plans to place a bond issue on the Nov. 3 ballot that, if approved by voters, would generate $40 million to help pay for renovations to facilities that would aid in the training of health care professionals. The proposed 0.4-mill bond issue would cost $14 per year per $100,000 of property value. The $40 million would be repaid over a maximum of 27 years. The state, meanwhile, has already committed $8.5 million toward the project. In a news release, Lakeland’s board chairman Ken Quiggle said, “Passage of this proposal is critical to prepare more well-trained graduates for the health care, science and biotechnology jobs of the future.”

near two other multitenant office buildings with separate ownership groups that recently traded hands for more than $100 a square foot. The sales to out-of-town owners by a different lender demonstrate a newfound value for the properties in the era of low interest rates and investor interest in the Midwest to find alternatives to richly priced office buildings on the nation’s coasts. As recently as 2011, such office buildings were of dubious value in the wake of the Great Recession and the housing-led real estate collapse that prompted it.


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Bendix is among two industry leaders in providing heavy truck safety technology By DAN SHINGLER

Elyria-based Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems looks like it’s about to get a boost in sales thanks to some new trucking regulations. The company, which has more than 500 employees in Northeast Ohio and about 3,000 nationally, is one of two major providers of electronic stability control systems used by big truck manufacturers. Currently an option that’s included on about one-third of the trucks sold in the U.S., the systems will be mandatory for Class 8 semis (trucks weighing more than 33,000 pounds) beginning in 2017. Another safety technology in which Bendix is a leader, collision mitigation systems that aim to prevent trucks from hitting other cars or other objects in their path, is also being recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. That’s all good news for Bendix. The company is one of two leaders in the field for these types of heavy truck safety technology — the other is Michigan-based WABCO Vehicular Control Systems, according to Bendix director of corporate marketing T.J. Thomas. Thomas said Bendix has about two-thirds of the market, when it comes to selling stability control systems to truck manufacturers, and it is the only major supplier of systems that control for both roll and traction control, which will soon be required equipment. He’s looking forward to the day two years from now when the use of the systems becomes mandatory, but in the meantime Bendix is fighting for as much market share as it can get to fend off competitors. The company, part of Germany’s KnorrBremse Group, does not disclose its sales. “All of this stuff is optional right now — that’s why it’s important for us to get out to the fleets to demonstrate it,” said Thomas, speaking July 21 at Norwalk Raceway during a demonstration of the company’s latest truck safety technology. Thomas said that currently, truck buyers opt for stability control on about a third of the trucks sold in the country. U.S. Class 8 truck sales totaled a little more than 220,000 units in the U.S. in 2014, according to research published by Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and Ward’s Communications. About a third of those trucks


UPS driver BIll Lazarski of Chicago is a big believer in Bendix’s collision mitigation technology. come with stability control as an option, about 15% come with optional collision mitigation systems, and about 5% of buyers opt for technology that will check a truck’s blind spots, which Bendix also makes, said Thomas.

Delivering peace of mind Some buyers aren’t waiting for the federal government to tell them what to order on their trucks — they’re already buying the new technology. That includes UPS, which has insisted on stability control systems for all of the new trucks it’s purchased since 2012, and it now will require Bendix’s collision mitigation technology on the 2,600 Class 8 trucks it will buy this year. “Technology allows our people, our most valued asset, to have another opportunity to return to their most important stop,” which is their own home, said UPS Global Fleet Manager Emilio Lopez. The technology is also popular with UPS’ drivers, including Bill Lazarski of Chicago, who helped evaluate the new collision mitigation system and recommended it be used.

“This decision, as far as I’m concerned, is one of the best decisions UPS has made during my career,” said Lazarski, one of the company’s “circle of honor” members who has driven for at least 25 years without an accident. In fact, Lazarski has gone 35 years without incident. Lazarski said he and the UPS drivers that he mentors take safety seriously — not just their own, but the safety of all of the other cars and trucks around them on the road. “When I’m driving, I look at you as my family,” Lazarski said. Keeping both drivers and other traffic safe is a chief reason more buyers are opting for the new systems, Thomas said, noting that they both protect the company’s drivers and also help reduce a company’s potential liability. For instance, Bendix’s collision mitigation system has been proven on the road to reduce rear-end collisions by 70%, as well as reducing the severity of crashes it can’t prevent by 70%, Thomas said. “The return on investment is there,” Thomas said. “Once a fleet buys this stuff, they buy it again and again.”

YOU CAN WATCH US, TOO Look for Crain’s Weekly Report webcast, which will hit your inbox Friday afternoon. To sign up, go to:



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30s, which 20 years ago was the largest age group at the center. As required, Needham is doing her part to address that problem: She created a written plan detailing how she will pass along her knowledge. As part of that plan, she will be mentoring a handful of employees, including the person who’s temporarily replacing her as head of the business office that serves the center’s Research and Engineering Directorate. Needham expects that the program will be good for Glenn and good for her. The thought of diving headfirst into retirement scared her. A few friends of hers seemed “kind of lost” when they quit working, cold turkey. She’d rather ease into it: She’s working on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Wednesday mornings. On Wednesday afternoons, she takes yoga. “You have one foot in both worlds,” said Needham, who had been chief of the directorate’s management support and integration office. Now she is deputy chief.

hire somebody. “There’s no transfer of information,” she said. Glenn has been working on those problems over the past several years. For instance, in 2009, Crain’s Cleveland Business wrote a story about NASA Glenn’s efforts to post advertisements for more entry-level positions designed to attract younger employees. That program “went very well, and continues today,” with a few adjustments, according to Forman.

Young blood Through a variety of newer hiring tactics that target less-experienced professionals and the millennial generation, Glenn is bringing on

more young people these days. The number of employees in their 20s and 30s has gone up somewhat since 2009. And about 69% of employees hired during the current fiscal year, which started in October, fall into the “early career” category, meaning that they have less experience. Glenn would like to see that number rise to 75%, according to Forman, whose official title is deputy division chief of Glenn’s Human Capital Consultant Division. Though the center needs young blood, it also values the knowledge of older employees. The phased retirement program should help preserve it, Bailey said. “We are hoping we can capture some of that expertise before it walks out the door,” she said.


Fighting the silver tsunami About 23% of Glenn’s employees are eligible for phased retirement, according to Cynthia Forman, who helps lead the human resources department at Glenn. So far, the center has received “about a half-dozen inquires” about the program, she said. A total of three applicants have been approved; none of them plan to remain in partial retirement for the maximum period of time, two years. The federal government only recently started allowing individual agencies to create phased retirement programs. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management finalized rules related to the process in November 2014. Since then, only two organizations have implemented such programs: NASA and the Library of Congress. The union that represents engineers and scientists at NASA Glenn helped create the program. Sheila Bailey — who is president of the Lewis Engineers and Scientists Association — has talked to a few employees who are thinking about signing up. One of them is 78 years old. How did the center’s workforce get so many gray hairs? For one, NASA Glenn has shrunk considerably over the years. It has about 1,600 employees today, excluding contractors. That’s down from 2,900 in 1993. And when you don’t hire very many new people, your existing workforce is going to keep getting older. And there’s another problem: When NASA Glenn does hire new people — regardless of age — they’re often tasked with replacing someone who is already gone, Bailey said. “Our problem has always been that you need to lose somebody to





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the biggest weeks on the sports calendar. “You have two incredible venues that are part of Northeast Ohio and that draw from all over the region,” said Daniel Colantone, president and CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. “Every hotel room is booked. It’s an amazing time.” The Bridgestone Invitational moved from late August to the first Thursday of the month in 2007, when the World Golf Championships event was in its second year of its title partnership with the auto industry giant. The four-day tournament is entering its ninth year of going head-to-head with the Hall of Fame enshrinements, but its organizers say this is much more of a partnership than a competition. “We’ve always worked well with the Hall of Fame,” said Don Padgett III, the executive director of the Bridgestone Invitational. “It’s really a marquee weekend to show off the region in Northeast Ohio.” Padgett pointed out that the Hall of Fame’s two most notable events — the induction ceremonies and the Hall of Fame Game, which kicks off the NFL preseason schedule each year — are held on Saturday and Sunday night, respectively. “Our golf is obviously during the day,” Padgett said. “There are some who come to the area to watch the golf during the day and go to a lot of the Hall of Fame’s functions as well.” The numbers for both events have continued to rise, and, according to the cities’ chambers of commerce and local company executives, the interest of the region’s business community has remained as strong as Spieth’s performances in the Masters and U.S. Open.

Bridging relationships

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The Bridgestone Invitational last studied its economic impact in 2011. That analysis estimated that the tournament produced $21.1 million in total sales across the region and drew 42,000 unique visitors. The Bridgestone’s total attendance has increased each year since 2009 (last year’s event drew about 90,000), and its revenue has “continued to grow,” Padgett said. A key aspect of that development is a sponsorship renewal rate that is usually in the 80% to 90% range, Padgett said. Bridgestone extended its title sponsorship through 2018 in August 2013, and “a lot” of the tournament’s sponsors followed suit. “People see value in the event,” Padgett said. “They continue to come back and support us.” John Zoilo, the Akron Children’s Hospital’s vice president of development and the executive director of its foundation, said the hospital’s partnership with Northern Ohio Golf Charities — one that extends more than 30 years — has resulted in donations that are “comfortably” in the seven-figure range. This year, Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital will each receive $100,000 as the tournament’s signature charities, plus $100 donations from the tournament for every birdie compiled by Ohio natives Ben Curtis and Jason Dufner. From 2008-13, Zoilo said Akron


The attendance of the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron has increased each year since 2009. Children’s Hospital received more than $50,000 per year from the Bridgestone. That support will more than double this year. “We’re very grateful, and have been the recipient of tournament proceeds for many, many years,” Zoilo said. The VP of development said the hospital also uses the Bridgestone “as a valuable vehicle to reward donors, thank people and cultivate prospects.” Akron Children’s Hospital is one of the sponsors of the Bridgestone’s Signature Suite on the 16th green. The suite — which costs $49,500 plus taxes for a group of 24, according to the event’s website — helps the hospital “deepen” its relationships with its donors, Zoilo said. Colantone, the Akron chamber’s president and CEO, believes the “greatest economic impact” of the Bridgestone is the opportunity it provides businesses to host clients, and lure potential customers and/or employees. “They see everything there is to offer here,” Colantone said. “You might have a prospective CEO who would be employed by a major company in town. There are a lot of different opportunities here.”

‘Record-breaking’ time This year, the Gold Jacket Dinner was moved from Friday to Thursday to accommodate the NFL Network. The shift opened the door for the Hall of Fame to hold its first Concerts for Legends on Friday night, Aug. 7. The featured act, Aerosmith, is expected to play before a sellout crowd of about 21,000. The enshrinement ceremony the following night annually draws more than 20,000, and Sunday’s preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will be played before a capacity crowd of about 22,300. Dennis Saunier, the president and CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the organization’s research has indicated that the weeklong festivities at the Hall of Fame bring about 700,000 visitors. That total includes 200,000 for the annual parade on Saturday morning. The Canton chamber hasn’t conducted an economic study of Hall of Fame week for 10 years. The organization estimates that the impact has increased by 3% per year

since the study, which would put the current numbers at $32 million for Stark County and $45 million for the state. “It’s just a tremendous influx of people,” Saunier said. “It’s an extremely, extremely important time of year for our community. That includes all of Northeast Ohio. This has an impact regionally and throughout the state.” As was the case during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ run to the NBA Finals, the Hall of Fame brings in a huge collection of media members for its events. David Baker, the Hall of Fame’s president and executive director, told Crain’s in June that the festivities attract more credentialed media than any NFL event aside from the Super Bowl. Pete Fierle, the hall’s vice president of communications, said the Canton landmark is expecting media representatives from 250 to 300 outlets, and more than 2,000 credentials will be awarded. “It should be a record-breaking weekend on many fronts,” Fierle said. Diebold, one of the Hall of Fame’s biggest sponsors, purchases 25 tables at the annual Gold Jacket dinner, said Mike Jacobsen, the North Canton company’s senior director of corporate communications. “For us, it’s as much about employee recognition (at the Gold Jacket Dinner) as it is entertaining customers,” Jacobsen said. Diebold also entertains clients at the Bridgestone, Jacobsen said — “but not to the scale that we would the Hall of Fame.” Another Stark County industry heavyweight, Timken Co., has supported the Hall of Fame’s activities since the event’s inception, and the company in recent years has sponsored the Bridgestone, said Kari Groh, Timken’s vice president of communications and public relations. Doing so allows the company “to package an experience that goes well beyond tours of our facilities and business meetings,” Groh said. Saunier, the Canton chamber’s top executive, said “a lot” of Hall of Famers attend the Bridgestone, and a collection of golfers visit the Hall of Fame during the week. “To have that type of regional impact and influx of the greats of both sports, no one can really duplicate that,” Saunier said.



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John Campanelli ( EDITOR:

Elizabeth McIntyre ( MANAGING EDITOR:

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Draw a line Finally there’s movement to bring real reform to the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn in Ohio. Some efforts are further along in the process than others, but we are at least heading in the right direction after decades of partisan nonsense that had politicians picking their voters rather than voters picking their politicians. For almost half a century, Ohio politicians have gamed the system that allows the majority party to redraw congressional and legislative districts according to which party runs the Apportionment Board and the General Assembly after every new U.S. census count. Back in 1970 and 1980, the Democrats had the pencil and eraser in hand when constructing districts that all but guaranteed that Democrats would be elected with little opposition. The Republicans wrested control in 1990, drew districts to their liking as the Democrats had done, and have been holding firm since. Issue 1 could take the power to redistrict out of partisan hands after the 2020 census. If approved by voters this November, an independent, seven-member committee will be created to draw boundaries for state legislative districts. The bipartisan commission would consist of the governor, auditor, secretary of state and four legislators — two from the majority party and two from the minority party in the House and Senate. To ensure that compromise is at the table — what a refreshing idea — at least two of the votes for approval must come from the minority party for the legislative map to be in effect for the full 10 years. Without that minority party buy-in, the map has a shorter life, four years, and would be reworked again. The issue is being placed in the hands of voters, where it belongs. But that only gets us halfway there. Issue 1 covers state legislative districts, not congressional ones. Fortunately, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in late June opens the door to reform there, too, allowing independent panels to draw congressional boundaries. We applaud recent efforts by state Sens. Frank LaRose and Tom Sawyer to introduce legislation that would bring a more rational and fair process to the way Ohio’s congressional districts are created. Under LaRose’s and Sawyer’s plan, the same commission created by Issue 1 would determine U.S. House of Representative districts. That makes a lot of sense. But it’s unlikely that reform will happen in the short term. The General Assembly likely will not meet before the August deadline for placing issues on this fall’s ballot. Our hope, though, is that bipartisan momentum continues for redistricting reform and the Legislature moves as quickly as it can. We need to ensure that voters have real choice before the 2020 census.


Wisdom comes from many places Someday I want to open my own cidents and botched medical procebusiness, a small egg farm maybe or a dures. These video animations are then microbrewery — or a combination of shown in court, with powerful results. the two. (Check out his website or YouTube “Eggs and a Keg,” I’ll call it. channel for some amazing examples.) If that ever happens, I figure I’ll have As his reputation has grown, Roder two paths to success: I can put in years has built a nice book of business with of toil, make all the mistakes other peoprosecutors and police departments ple have made, learn from across the country. He also those mistakes and then serves as an adviser for CBS flourish — all by the time I’m News’ “48 Hours.” Soon, he 80 or so. tells me, he’ll be able to reveal Or I can simply talk to sucan even bigger project. cessful business owners, ask Until then, I asked him to them to reveal why their busishare the best business lesnesses thrive and just steal son he’s learned. their knowledge. Roder told me about the It’s an easy choice. time he was taking a forensics In the weeks and months class at the University of New JOHN ahead, I’m going to occasionHaven. ally share some of the “secret CAMPANELLI The instructor walked sauce” I’ve stolen … I mean around the room passing out … learned … from successful business bags of broken glass. owners. “We all got a bag of broken glass from If we’re lucky, we might save oura car window that had been shot out,” selves years of work. He’s the first inhe recalled. “Our goal was to assemble stallment: the broken glass to find the bullet hole. Scott Roder runs the Evidence Room, We’re talking thousands of pieces of a fascinating business based in Indebroken glass.” pendence. His niche is forensic animaWorking in a small group, Roder and tion. Using decades of court experience three police detectives hunched over and a team of experts, he helps clients the table and tried to piece together the recreate and animate crime scenes, acshards — with zero success.

“Ultimately, time ran out and he was like, ‘All right, who’s done?’ “We raised our hands and said we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t figure it out.” Instead of admonishing Roder and his teammates, the instructor surprised everyone in the classroom. “He said, ‘You passed the test.’ “We were like, ‘How did we pass the test?’ “He said, ‘Sometimes you have to say, “I don’t know.’ ” That was years ago, but the assignment has stuck with Roder. “That’s a lesson that I take into every case,” he said. “If I don’t know the answer, I say, ‘I don’t know.’ And then I find someone who does know. … The key is to surround yourself with people smarter than you.” To be exposed as less-than-smart or just plain stupid is a fear many of us share. And saying “I don’t know” feels like an announcement — to your colleagues, to your clients, to the world — that you belong in the mental minor leagues. Truth is, it’s just the opposite. Admitting you don’t know and then consulting someone who does is something beyond smart. It’s wisdom.

TALK ON THE WEB Re: Removal of seats at Progressive Field I feel bad for the long time season ticket-holders that will have to relocate — but from an aesthetic standpoint, I like that they’ll be removing those seats. Much like how right field used to be, that main concourse behind home plate and down the third base line feels completely detached from the game on the field. Opening that up to give more direct sightlines from the concourse to the field is a big plus.

And a scoreboard update has been long overdue. I hope it’s not a complete reconstruction, but turning the scoreboard into one big LED screen is probably what will happen. I wonder if they’ll change the “Indians” logo above the scoreboard, too? I hope not — as long as the script logo on the jersey remains the same, then that should stay as well. — disqus_XC7woDjlbQ

learn that the Indians are eliminating the section 200 seats. These are truly the best seats in the house. As the Indians continue to try to attract younger customers with bars and food options, and provide more bigmoney corporate benefits, the longtime season ticket-holders paying for tickets out of their own pockets become the collateral damage. — Donald Sinko

As a season ticket holder for the past 23 years, I was very disappointed to

Looks like the Dolans are turning Jacobs Fields into a minor league park



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CRAIN’S SUMMER IN THE CITY PHOTO CONTEST “Rising reflections” — By Clifton Haworth Clifton Haworth was walking downtown on his lunch break and looking at the progress on the Hilton Cleveland Downtown at the Convention Center when he took this photo. Haworth, 26, is the marketing coordinator at Britton Gallagher. His prize includes a $50 gift card to Heinen’s and a $50 gift card to Miles Farmers Market.


Summer in the City is a contest inviting people to share their Cleveland photos. Weekly prizes include gift certificates to metro Cleveland venues, grocery stores and retailers at a value of $50 to $100. Three grand prizes will be awarded after Labor Day. Add images at

TALK ON THE WEB (CONTINUED) with the removal of all these seats. — Jorge Hernandez After (last) weekend’s performance against the White Sox, the team looked like a minor league team also. — Richard Maguire

Re: Record amount invested in tech firms It is important that money keep flowing for startups, but we have lost sight of one of the key reasons to do this: creating jobs! Unfortunately, the tech companies are not really job creators, and thus we

have a serious problem. We continue to lose population because for all the startups, there are no jobs. This is a region that has long depended on a diverse manufacturing base, and that continues to disappear. — Neil Dick

Re: Browns stadium improvements

Re: Kasich announces presidential bid

A 16-year-old stadium needed $125 MILLION in “renovations”? — 207868

Well, he’s set to make the debates it appears, so away we go. He’s got his flaws, but his experience and capability are exceptional. — Peter Jensen

So what. Put a good product on the field … please! — TruthHurts2013

I am not impressed. Also, the variable ticket pricing plan is a shamockery to long-term seasonticket holders, which includes me (34 years). — Scott Vranic

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SPORTS BIZ: Assistant editor Kevin Kleps writes about the Browns, Cavaliers, Indians and much more. Weekdays

AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015


Send information for Going Places to

JOB CHANGES ENGINEERING PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF: Nancy Lyon-Stadler to senior principal engineer.


WEEKDAYS: Morning Roundup and daily headlines MONDAYS: Real Estate Report TUESDAYS: Health Care Report WEDNESDAYS: Dealmaker Alert and Manufacturing Report THURSDAYS: Small Business Report FRIDAYS: Shale and Energy Report

EDITOR’S CHOICE: Managing editor Scott Suttell rounds up news and views about business, and stories of interest in Northeast Ohio. Weekdays


HEALTH CARE: Reporter Timothy Magaw breaks down the latest news about the region’s hospitals. Tuesdays THE DISH: Twice per month, freelance reporter Lee Chilcote has morsels on the local food and restaurant scene.


BDO USA LLP: Kelly Carmen and Zachary Komoroski to tax associates; Richard McCleary to STS actuarial senior manager; Allison Zdelar, Jim Morrison and Addison Hart to STS GES associates; Josh Izworski to field exam manager; Stephen Kresnye and Ilaisaane Tyree to audit seniors; Kimberly Williams to OFS senior. CORRIGAN KRAUSE: Henry F. Gingerich to director; Aaron C. Apathy and Michael C. Bigrigg to managers, assurance services; Sean E. Brady to supervisor, assurance services; Nicole C. Malinowski to senior associate, assurance services. DYKE YAXLEY LLC: Nici Lucas to tax department. FAIRPORT ASSET MANAGEMENT: Rachel Margulis, Aaron Nuti and Joyce Zak to advisors. NOBLE-DAVIS CONSULTING INC.: Carol A. Ausflug to senior sales associate











WESTFIELD INSURANCE: Robyn Hahn to group marketing and communications leader.

RATLIFF & TAYLOR: Beth Sweeney to market president.


LEGAL DWORKEN & BERNSTEIN CO. LPA: Stacy Callen and Steven Roth to associates. MCGLINCHEY STAFFORD PLLC: Ashley Mueller and Paula Gallito Shakelton to associates. WELTMAN, WEINBERG & REIS CO. LPA: Carolyn Paris to director of human resources.



DESIGN ENGINEERING INC.: Bill Herrmann to vice president, operations. EQUIPMENT MERCHANTS INTERNATIONAL: Joe McFarland to vice president, engineering and manufacturing.

NONPROFITS HIRAM HOUSE: Courtney Nicolai-Guzy to executive director. KOINONIA HOMES: Cressa Marks to residential supervisor.

September 8-11, 2015 • Cleveland, OH USA Cleveland Convention Center

ROTARY CLUB OF CLEVELAND: Beverly A. Ghent-Skrzynski to executive director emeritus; Sharon S. Lerch to executive secretary.

REAL ESTATE HANNA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Yulu Li to senior account analyst, corporate services department.

SERVICE DAVEY TREE EXPERT CO.: Paul Milano to corporate fleet manager.

CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC: Richard J. Hipple (Materion Corp.) to chairman. MAGNOLIA CLUBHOUSE: Kathy Pender to chair; Rebekah L. Dorman to vice chair; Catherine Post Sullivan to secretary. NORTHERN OHIO PLANNED GIVING COUNCIL: Patricia Fries (University Hospitals) to president; Charles M. Miller to vice president; John R. Tullio to secretary; Andrea Shea to immediate past president; Daniel Bonder to treasurer. ROTARY CLUB OF CLEVELAND: Beverly A. Ghent-Skrzynski to president; Julia R. Brouhard to president-elect; Eileen R. Smotzer to vice president; Jerold R. Smith to secretary; David B. Humphrey to treasurer; Bryan D. Shauer to sergeant-at-arms. TOWARDS EMPLOYMENT YOUNG PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATE BOARD: Ryan Puente (Burges and Burges Strategists) to president; Mary Katherine Coyne to vice president; Shannon Colemen to treasurer. WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Steve Petti to president; Brian Monter to vice president; Charles A. Izzo to chair; Russel Friedrich to vice chair; Chalana Williams to secretary; Wayne Lawrence to treasurer.


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LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ANDREW J. PASSEN Executive vice president of human resources Forest City Enterprises Inc.

The Archer Awards For the fifth year, Crain’s Cleveland Business is honoring Northeast Ohio human resources professionals with its annual Archer Awards program. Held in partnership with Howard & O’Brien Executive Search, this year’s program aims to highlight HR professionals who have helped build their companies with a combination of the best people, talent, development and culture. Honorees were selected by an independent panel of judges: Deborah Armstrong, chief human resources officer, Materion; Dennis Armstrong, chief human resources officer, Vita-Mix Corp.; Rob Gilmore, partner, Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP; Tom Hopkins, senior vice president, human resources, The Sherwin-Williams Co.; and Amy Shannon, president, Pinnacle Leadership Solutions. Award recipients will be announced during an event slated for 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at the InterContinental Hotel, Cleveland. At the event, Crain’s is partnering with Dress for Success Cleveland on a donation drive; attendees are encouraged to donate a pair of women’s shoes. For more information on the event and donation drive, contact Kim Hill at 216-771-5182 or, or visit

Colleagues say that one of Andrew Passen’s aphorisms when sizing up candidates for CEO jobs or to work on a new internal company team is, “Go where the energy is. To pick up on people, see what excites and captivates them as a person.” In Passen’s own case, it’s clear his passion is finding what makes people tick. That explains how he wound up heading the human resources department at the Cleveland-based national real estate company and spent more than three decades, most of it as a principal, at a consultancy of organizational psychologists who help companies across the U.S. and Europe select, train and manage executives. Passen’s first job after receiving a degree in psychology from Miami University was as a psychologist in the Ohio prison system assessing the next stop for felons doing jail time. However, after earning a master’s in psychology at Cleveland State University he was managing a community counseling center when, through a friend, he met an executive at a Cleveland company who suggested he try working in business as an organizational consultant and psychologist. Envying the executive’s tasks and travel schedule, Passen secured a doctorate from Kent State University to launch his business consulting career. Fast-forward to 2006. Forest City chairman Charles Ratner, then CEO, tried to hire Passen, who had worked as a consultant for the company, to lead a transformation of the firm’s personnel unit to a full-fledged human resources department. Passen said he was happy with what he was doing, but agreed to work for the company temporarily. After six months, he agreed to take the job permanently. For his part, Passen said he was attracted by the opportunity to work with a man of Ratner’s integrity and the opportunity to help improve the company’s operations as it set about evolving from a primarily family-run company to a more corporate one. Thomas E. Hopkins, senior vice president-human resources at SherwinWilliams Co., said Passen is well known in the region’s human resources community and his tenure at Forest City has coincided with a challenging time for someone in his role. “He helped hold the workforce together as a lot of us did in the 2008 recession,” Hopkins said. “In a downturn, the ability to hold onto your human capital is important.” Hopkins also noted that Passen’s tenure at Forest City coincided with the first nonRatner family member to lead it when David LaRue became CEO. Sam Miller, co-chairman emeritus at Forest City, said Passen’s job also involved keeping peace. “When you’ve got this many relatives in one compa-

ny, everyone has their own opinion,” Miller said. “It’s not easy to do something new.” Charles Ratner said Passen is a “quick study on a company’s culture” and possesses unerring judgment. “He helped us understand ourselves,” Ratner said, “He’s been a wonderful contributor in making our company better.” Colleagues say Passen is unassuming — known as “Andy” as opposed to Dr. Passen — a person willing to challenge others but someone with whom they would share a foxhole, a person with the ability to listen to others yet weigh in incisively and diplomatically to help make a decision. Passen’s friends and former clients regularly touch base with him. Working at a company such as Forest City, Passen said, enhanced his knowledge of what it is like to work within a company, which is different from working with companies as an outsider. He is also excited that Forest City is working on creating a career ladder to remedy a shortcoming in leadership preparation common in the real estate industry. On the personal side, Passen met Sue, his wife of 45 years, when the two were students at Ashtabula High School, and they have a grown son. Passen also co-chairs the program committee of the Cleveland Leadership Center, a nonprofit that helps develop civic leaders, and belongs to professional associations ranging from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists to the Urban Land Institute. As a hobby, he works on blowing glass and fusing glass into decorative plates and other objects. Charles Ratner said Passen’s hobby is suitable for the personnel expert’s personality. “He sees the beauty in something that might not be apparent at first,” Ratner said, “and turns it into a work of art.” — Stan Bullard



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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HONOREE KAY KRAMARZ Human resources site manager; Swagelok Co. Kay Kramarz took the long road into human resources. When she started work 20 years ago at her former employer, insurance broker Britton Gallagher of Cleveland, she was in a marketing role. As she grew with the company, her role evolved into one focused on training, performance management, employee relations and, eventually, in 2014, on running the human resources department. Kramarz, a planner by nature, said that when she began that role, she wrote key objectives on a whiteboard, to make sure “not to get completely caught up in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the long term.” One big-picture idea was critical, she said: keeping in mind that HR “is not an intrusion anymore, the way people used to see it.” At Britton Gallagher, according to the nomination, Kramarz developed and implemented a formal hiring program, created an internship program, bolstered HR technology with a staff performance software program, and helped save money for the company and employees by working to improve the employee benefits program. “We’re partners,” she said of the ideal relationship between the HR department and workers. “We’re there to help, to be approachable … and improve the experience of the employees.” These days, Kramarz is doing that work at a new employer. About a month ago, Kramarz joined Swagelok Co., a Solon-based developer of fluid system products, assemblies and services for the research, instrumentation, process, oil and gas, power, petrochemical, alternative fuels and semiconductor industries. The privately held company has

WHO TO WATCH The third “Who to Watch” section of 2015, “Who to Watch in Manufacturing,” is scheduled for publication Sept. 28. It will highlight up-and-comers and innovators in manufacturing. If you think you know who will be among those leading the Northeast Ohio manufacturing sector of the future, drop an email to sections editor Amy Ann Stoessel,, or call 216771-5155. Send your suggestions no later than noon on Monday, Aug. 24. Please include the person’s name, position and a paragraph explaining why he or she stands out. There are no hard and fast requirements for this section, other than the candidate needs to exhibit the kind of potential that makes him or her someone to watch in the manufacturing sector. Keep an eye out later this year for one more of these sections: “Who to Watch in Marketing and Creativity,” Dec. 7.

$1.8 billion in annual sales. At Swagelok, Kramarz provides HR services for five facilities, with more than 1,000 employees in total. The work is similar in nature to what she was doing at Britton Gallagher — managing the intricacies of HR issues for employees, for instance, and implementing programs to improve employee engagement — but she’s now doing it on a larger scale. In her short time so far at Swagelok, Kramarz said she has found the company to have “a culture that’s so strongly engrained and committed” to improvement.

In turn, she said, that creates “the right recipe” for improving employee engagement on a lasting basis. “It’s not about throwing parties, or having a great café,” she said. “Those things are fine, but they’re fleeting.” Dennis Laughlin, the former president and CEO of Britton Gallagher, said in a letter supporting Kramarz’s nomination that she’s ideal for HR because she “looks for the larger picture and yet is committed to the details of being a professional.” To that end, Kramarz “develops a plan based upon total needs for the department, not just the immediate

job opening,” according to Laughlin. He added that she “connects with employees.” On occasion at Britton Gallagher, he noted, she was “required to help employees through personal difficulties, and her demeanor is a huge asset.” Away from work, Kramarz said she enjoys cycling, spending time in the outdoors, traveling and wine tasting. (Her husband sells wine.) She has two children — a son who just graduated from Hiram College and a daughter who will be a sophomore at Ohio University. — Scott Suttell






Every year, Crain’s readers and event attendees are engaged, inspired and guided by the insight offered from our Women of Note honorees. On July 23rd, Crain’s Women of Note event was bigger and better than ever. Partnering with the Cleveland Foundation, we added a morning leadership summit to bring together over 450 Greater Cleveland women for a can’t-miss morning of learning, sharing experiences, acquiring new contacts and creating new ideas. Following the Women of Note Summit, the 2015 Women of Note honorees were celebrated at an awards luncheon presented by CBIZ. The luncheon had record-breaking attendance with over 650 attendees. Thank you to all who attended and helped make the day such a success!






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LAUREN HALEY Human resources manager; Vocational Guidance Services

Formed four years ago as part of the human resources department at Signet Jewelers of Akron, the business support services team has responsibility for corporate communications at the company as well as business travel, relocation services and corporate events. Within the company, the corporate communications function has some of the greatest impact on employee performance. The team’s first assignment was a complete overhaul of the company’s mission statement and establishing a set of core values for 35,000 team members worldwide. Next, the team launched Vision 2020, Signet’s strategic plan, which addresses specific growth and process goals for the company’s workforce. Since business services has corporate communications responsibility, getting out the word on those plans fell to it. To do so, the unit operates the company intranet, digital signage and the content for meetings for professional development of both the company’s home office and field teams. The unit also arranges special trips for groups of 10 to 100 based on performance and an annual week-long incentive trip for about 1,000 employees and their guests based on meeting “stretch goals,” and it organizes a three-day summit twice a year for company executives. Other meetings are held for internal groups of 100 to 2,400 to align efforts of company teams with its mission as well as external meetings for stakeholders, vendors and industry groups that may include several hundred people. For example, the business support services team coordinated several conferences to secure commitments from Signet suppliers and competitors to assure that people

providing diamonds and gemstones are treated fairly to fulfill goals for responsible sourcing set by the Responsible Jewelry Council, Diamond Empowerment Fund and Jewelers of America. The business support services team also works with two other departments to manage Signet’s program for corporate social responsibility. In Northeast Ohio, that means supporting Akron Children’s Hospital, the American Diabetes Association and the Relay for Life. In 2014, the business support services team got one of its largest assignments yet as Signet acquired Dallasbased Zale, which increased Signet’s size 50%. The business support services team worked with Zale units to familiarize them with Signet’s values and strategic plan. Steve Becker, Signet’s chief human resources officer, described business support services as integral to his unit and Signet’s leadership. “They play a strategic role in planning and executing many of our organization’s leadership development and employee engagement initiatives that significantly contribute to our company’s performance,” Becker said. — Stan Bullard





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The way her boss, Susie Barragate, describes it, Lauren Haley takes on every task or challenge at hand with “real passion and real creativity.” It’s that kind of attitude that has allowed Haley to grow as an employee during her 12-year tenure with Vocational Guidance Services, a Cleveland-based nonprofit vocational rehab agency. Haley joined the organization as a human resources assistant, though she was quickly promoted as a human resources generalist. She was promoted to her current human resources manager role in 2013. Her role, according to the nomination, carries an enormous workload — one that is “essential to the success of the entire organization.” “Sometimes working with people all day is really hard, but that’s what our employees do. They work with people all day long. She has a way of finding individuals and recruiting individuals that, for them, this is their passion,” said Barragate, the organization’s vice president of human resources. “It’s not easy to seek out these types of people who do the work and don’t get paid a lot of money for it. People are here because they like the mission.” Vocational Guidance Services is a complex organization. The agency and its affiliates find work opportunities for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. As such, Haley’s office often deals with several different organizations with different recruitment strategies. Last year, she led the implementation of a new online applicant tracking system. Previously, the human resources team tracked more than 1,000 job applicants annually by hand, according to the nomination. The new system allows supervisors to access each candidate’s in-

formation, interview notes and updates on the progress of filling open positions. Haley also led the development of the organization’s new employee orientation resource manual — something that has been credited with putting new employees at ease if they’ve never worked with individuals with disabilities. Also, in her work managing workers’ compensation claims and its affiliates, she’s brought a renewed awareness to safety in the workplace for employees and the individuals the group serves, which has resulted in fewer and less severe claims. Over the last three years, she’s reduced the organization’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation costs by 33%, a savings of about $130,000 annually. “It is this kind of persistence and innovation that, while not directly service related, positively impacts VGS’ ability to fulfill its mission,” the nomination said. Haley has a unique perspective at Vocational Guidance Services, having had family members who have received services through the organization. According to the nomination, she has the ability to look at the big picture and make decisions that are best for all areas of the agency “because of her view of the importance of VGS’ work as it pertains to the participants we serve.” “She’s about more than just the HR piece,” Barragate said. “She wants all the programming and all the staffing to really serve the individuals who come — Timothy Magaw here best.”

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KAREN KAMINSKI Vice president, human resources Caesars Entertainment


Karen Kaminski was faced with a daunting challenge. Horseshoe Casino Cleveland was slated to open on May 14, 2012. On that date, it would become the first full casino, with table games, in Ohio. Before that date, however, very few people in Ohio had ever worked at a casino. So Kaminski had to create an entire human resources department, which then had to hire and train people to run an entire casino. For instance, they had to hire about 500 people to manage table games — games that previously didn’t exist in Ohio. But they did it. She and her staff have hired about 2,200 people, and more than 90% of them lived in Northeast Ohio, according to the nomination. That is an amazing accomplishment, given the size of the challenge, according to Scott Lokke, senior vice president and general manager for the casino. “I’m glad it was her and not me,” he said. It helped that she had developed good working relationships with the labor unions that represent casino employees, as well as government officials, regulatory agencies and community partners. For instance, Kaminski has led “more than 10 successful labor negotiations” that each resulted in an “ami-

cable collective bargaining agreement,” the nomination stated. Lokke attributes that success to Kaminski’s collaborative attitude. He said that collaboration is one of her “guiding principles.” You can also trust what she says. “She’s a very authentic, very genuine person,” Lokke added. Like almost everyone else hired before the casino opened, Kaminski — who also oversees HR for ThistleDown Racino — was new to the gaming industry when she was hired in September 2011. However, she was not new to human resources and labor relations. One reason the casino hired her was that she had legal experience related to labor relations, Lokke said. She earned a law degree from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1999 and briefly worked as a labor relations attorney. She spent the next 10 years working as director of human resources at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores before joining the casino. Prior to earning her law degree, she served in human resources management roles for both May Department Stores and Clark Refining & Marketing, the company that used to oversee Clark-brand gas stations. Lokke said Kaminski also has created leadership training programs that have helped the casino regularly pro-

mote employees from within the organization. In addition, she’s a “prototypical community leader,” he said. Kaminski, who also holds an executive MBA from Kent State University, has taught classes at both Kent State and Cuyahoga Community College. She’s also passionate about animals, serving on the board of trustees of the Cleveland Animal Protective League. She regularly participates in charitable events and encourages employees to do so as well, according to the nomination. — Chuck Soder

What could be tougher than managing the compensation and benefits for the workforce of a large, diverse international manufacturing company? Managing those benefits and adding new ones while that company, in its 118th year of business, splits into two, for one thing. Oh, and let’s make sure some of the employees work in foreign countries as well. Such was the challenge put to Doug Nelson, Chris vanNatta and Colleen Ash, all members of the Timken Compensation and Benefits Team who in the summer of 2014 helped Timken Co. separate into two distinct companies — Timken Co. and Timken Steel. It was a tough task. And they smashed it. “Our benefits and compensation team remade itself over the last year,” said Richard G. Kyle, president and CEO of the new Timken Co. “They examined legacy processes and partnered with strategic advisers to create a delivery model that quickly changed how we operate.” In other words, if you worked at Timken, you probably didn’t even notice what a good job the HR department’s compensation and benefits

Signet Jewelers is proud to recognize the Signet Business Support Services Team and Jamie Broadhead as Archer Award finalists. Congratulations and best of luck to all of this year’s nominees.


team was doing because you saw no hiccups in the management and delivery of the benefits. Under Nelson’s leadership, the compensation team led by Ash and benefits team led by vanNatta worked tirelessly to ensure a cohesive plan was in place. The Timken team worked closely with upper management to develop compensation programs aligned with the company’s business goals and strategies, then worked on impact assessments and on implementing the technology needed to deliver the programs. Then, once the new systems were in place and flawless, the team had to communicate to employees how the programs would work. It was almost like starting a compensation and benefits program for a brand new company — except in this case it was a new company starting life with thousands of employees. The team made it easy, both for employees and management. “Their efforts provided a seamless transition for our retirees and 14,000 associates around the world — and allowed us all to focus more sharply on our mission,” Kyle said.

— Dan Shingler




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REGGIE STOVER Vice president, people and talent development; Fairmount Santrol

FRANK ZUPAN Director of talent management; Associated Materials

Reggie Stover has been a part of Chesterlandbased Fairmount Santrol for about four years, as the company has gone through a transition from being privately held to public. In that time, the company has seen quite a bit of growth. According to the nomination, in the years that Stover has been with Fairmount, it grew from 764 employees to more than 1,200. Revenue grew from about $900 million in 2011 to more than $1.3 billion last year. As that growth was happening, Stover grew the human resources department from four to 14 employees and gave structure to a department that was previously lacking in it. “It does not take long to see Reggie’s successful leadership apparent on many fronts,” the nomination said. “It was strategic and cost effective to restructure human resources into regional, internal customer-centric departments. This approach brought a human resource business partner to each of our key regions to allow a human resource presence that had been absent. Employees and managers could more easily reach out for HR assistance when needed. He centralized Employee Relations, Total Rewards, Learning & Development, Sustainability and Communications & Engagement to eliminate redundancies, leverage consistent programs and reduce costs.” Stover also implemented a number of other programs, including a new leader assimilation and the company’s Development Dialogues, which president and CEO Jenniffer Deckard described as similar to performance appraisals but with more of a focus on conversation. Deckard also praised the company’s Sustainable Development initiatives, which Stover oversees, as “incredibly important” to the company. The teams all fall under the pillars of people, planet and prosperity and are employee driven, she said. For example, the recover, recycle, reduce team focuses on efforts to reduce waste, while the corporate social responsibility team coordinates volunteer efforts. Under Stover, one of the teams helped create

When Frank Zupan was hired by Cuyahoga Falls-based Associated Materials Inc. about two years ago, the director of talent acquisition position was a new one. The company was hiring more than 100 people a year, said Jim Kenyon, senior vice president of human resources, but there was no ownership of it. Zupan came in and almost immediately brought order to the chaos, Kenyon said. Zupan implemented a cloud-based recruiting program that took “a lot of stress” out of the system, as everyone could see who was hiring for what. The $1.2 billion building materials manufacturer has more than 140 plant and supply center locations, and in 2014, it had about 3,500 employees. The nomination highlighted Zupan’s ability to make processes easier, rather than more complex. It also made note of his knowledge of social media that he’s shared with the industry, saying he was an “early adopter” of social media in human resources. “What sets him apart is his willingness to challenge the status quo and ability to drive innovative solutions that will support not only HR, but the rest of his organization as well,” the nomination said. “Rather than being satisfied with ‘that’s the way we’ve always done things,’ Frank pushes his team and those around him to view challenges through a different lens to come up with a better solution.” The nomination also discussed Zupan’s work in getting the company’s new leadership team acclimated. Associated Materials named a new CEO and CFO in 2014. “Meetings were quickly scheduled with senior leaders in an effort to identify expectations and early business needs that his team would need to meet,” the nomination said. “Had Frank not provided the necessary leadership to make these interactions happen, a considerable amount of time and money could have been wasted on projects that were not key priorities of the new leadership team.” In the time Zupan has been at the company, he’s built a strong talent acquisition team, which means Associated Materials doesn’t have to turn

a program that offers education and training opportunities to employees. The nomination said the topics for these courses can range from the role the company plays in fracking to welding to PowerPoint. “Reggie recognizes that people are our greatest asset and he works hard to make sure we are not only recruiting top talent but also developing our family members to reach their highest potential,” the nomination said. Overall, Stover is engaging, empathetic and has an “infectious” enthusiasm, Deckard said. “People trust Reggie, and they’ll come to him,” she said. Outside of Fairmount, Stover is active in the community and serves on the boards for Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He is also an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the nomination said. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

to an outside recruiter for hires, Kenyon said. “As we move into a more continuous improvement phase of talent acquisition, he has led a restructuring of AMI’s performance management process,” Kenyon said in a recommendation letter. “He developed training, improved the process flow, and led the efforts to ensure eligible employees receive regular feedback. Most recently, he is leading AMI efforts to implement a talent management process to address resource gaps, assess teams, implement development plans for high potentials, and address key succession needs.” Zupan recently was promoted from director of talent acquisition to director of talent management, as his role has been growing to include helping develop people. His focus will be on developing talent internally and figuring out how to best fill gaps in the company, Kenyon said. Outside of Associated Materials, the nomination said Zupan is active in the human resources community, including the Cleveland Society of Human Resource Management and the city’s DisruptHR movement. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

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Our pride is showing. Our high-performing and award-winning culture makes KeyBank a great place to work. Attracting, retaining, and developing a talented, diverse, and engaged team is the top priority for KeyBank’s human resources professionals. We celebrate our Archer Award finalists and the entire KeyBank HR team. They are the ambassadors of Key’s brand as an employer of choice in the communities we call home. Their collective passion and professionalism inspire us and we are proud to be part of their team. Craig Buffie Chief Human Resources Officer, KeyBank HR Executive of the Year Brian Fishel Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer, KeyBank Talent Management The KeyBank Campus and Veteran Recruiting Team HR Team of the Year We congratulate all the Archer Award nominees and finalists for their unwavering dedication to building talented and diverse teams.

©2015 KeyCorp. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

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MICHELLE FLANIK Director of organizational development American Greetings Corp.

JAMIE BROADHEAD Director, HR shared services operations Signet Jewelers

As an adjunct lecturer at Baldwin Wallace University, Michelle Flanik gets straight A’s from the four students who rated her at “She absolutely loves HR, and makes the class very interesting and enjoyable,” commented one student on the online forum of Flanik’s class on human resource management. “I loved going to her class!” Wrote another student: “Proficiently explains material and relates them to professional experience. She is not an academic only professor, what she teaches she applies in the real world everyday.” Flanik gets the same praise about her day job. She is director of organizational development at American Greetings Corp., where she has been a leader in transitioning the organization and its employees from a public company to a privately held one and implementing a new enterprise software system. Another challenge Flanik has undertaken is as co-project leader for the 109-year-old company’s move from its longtime headquarters in Brooklyn to Crocker Park in Westlake. Flanik is leading a group of 40 that is planning to make the move as orderly and stress-free as possible for roughly 1,600 employees. In nominating Flanik, Renita Jeffer-

Jamie Broadhead signs her emails with a quote from legendary animator and entrepreneur Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And she lives that out in her career at Signet Jewelers, where she has risen rapidly in the human resources department specializing in the re-engineering of legacy processes, deploying technology and restructuring jobs to meet the changing needs of the business. Signet is the leading specialty jeweler in the world and its American headquarters, under the Sterling Jewelers banner, is in Akron. The company employs more than 23,000 people. “Jamie is a skilled leader and is recognized throughout the company for her ability to develop her team while managing to high standards,” said Lynn Ahlers, vice president of Signet Total Rewards, the company’s compensation and benefits programs, in an email. “As an HR leader, Jamie dedicates herself to meeting the needs of Signet team members, the HR team and the company as a whole.” Broadhead, wrote Ahlers, was instrumental in the development of a new department, the HR Shared Services department and, after Signet’s acquisition of ULTRA Stores Inc., a 102-store jewelry chain that operated in outlet centers and licensed jewelry

son, director of leadership development, diversity and inclusion at the creator of greeting cards and other social expression products, said, “Michelle’s vision, leadership and involvement has provided direction and stability during a challenging time in the company’s history. Her experience and wisdom provides a strong and calming confidence to those she leads.” Flanik first came to American Greetings in 2005, after seven years in human resources at two area banks. She stayed a year and then took a job at the Ernst & Young LLP accounting firm but returned to American Greetings two years later, in 2008. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from BW. A past president of the Cleveland chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, Flanik is praised for her consensus building and conflict resolution, which, the nominating form says, stems from her ability to guide people in building strategies. “Michelle has led the charge in creating a culture that exemplifies the company’s mission to ‘create happiness, laughter and love,’” said Jefferson in an emailed statement. “An example of this work was shown in a recent company survey,

which showed associate engagement was up 6% company-wide and the organization improved in all areas and was above the industry norm.” It was Flanik who took the lead to conduct this associate engagement survey of the company’s 18,000 employees, after a 10-year lapse. She also conducted an internal survey to examine the use of flexible work hours throughout the company which has been well received and is being used to develop new policies. — Jay Miller

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departments, she developed the transition plan to shift 1,000 ULTRA employees to Sterling’s plans. An Akron native, Broadhead joined Sterling Jewelers in 2006 as an unemployment administrator after graduating from the University of Akron and finishing an internship for the Demag Plastics Group in Strongsville. She quickly took on added responsibilities, creating the first Sterling open house, a program to help the company acquire talent. Soon she was an HR supervisor, managing employee records and working to streamline the way the company hanSee BROADHEAD, page 23



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CRAIG BUFFIE Chief human resources officer KeyBank

The human resources operations team at high-end blender manufacturer Vitamix knows how to keep things light. Teambuilding events and theme days are common at Vitamix, which boasts an enthusiastic legion of fans who are devoted to the company’s products. (Sample posts: “Will the Vitamix Change the Way We Think About Food,” on Vogue’s website, and, from BuzzFeed, “28 Things That Every Single Vitamix Owner Knows To Be True.”) Vitamix’s human resources trio — HR manager Mary Hanna and HR business professionals Sarah Spacek and Tim Wydra — work easily together to meet the heavy demands of an around-the-clock manufacturing schedule at a company that has brought on nearly 250 new employees in the last two years, said Brad Johnson, the company’s director of manufacturing operations. Plus, they’re extra creative on Halloween theme days with group costumes. “One year they did three people on a roller coaster — with fake vomit,” Johnson said. “Another year was three different restaurant table tops — Mexican, French and Italian. You can see they just gel really well together.” That’s critical, Johnson said, because Vitamix’s 24-hour production cycle has shifts that start at midnight, and employees whose HR needs sometimes need to be met at nontraditional times. He said Hanna, Spacek and Wydra also were critical in the process of helping Vitamix open a plant in Strongsville in 2012.

The HR operations team supports more than 400 employees over three shifts at three locations, according to the nomination. Its successes include “designing and delivering training to improve the effectiveness of supervisory leadership skills; driving positive employee relations training to reduce the probability of organizing; creating a weekly ‘HR Facetime’ session to enable employees to discuss and resolve issues; and conducting reorganizations to create the structure to support the significant growth of the organization.” The team also has developed a series of career development workshops. For instance, with the assistance of Vitamix recruiters, the nomination stated, the HR operations team helped 53 hourly workers “create resumes and learn tips on how to prepare for the next position within Vitamix.” Nearly 80 employees attended an in-house college fair to ask questions and learn about degree programs. As a result of that event, nine operations employees enrolled in degree programs, with more expected, according to the nomination. Johnson said he appreciates the flexibility Hanna, Spacek and Wydra bring to their work. “Between the three of them, there’s always someone around when you need them,” he said. “Their phones are always on. … At times it’s stressful, but they manage it with incredible skill.” — Scott Suttell

When Craig Buffie joined KeyBank in February 2013, he didn’t take time to settle in, but instead hit the ground running. “One would be challenged to describe Buffie as patient,” his nomination points out. “Just the opposite, he has the reputation for rolling up his sleeves and focusing on collaborative efforts in order to get to the heart of any issue.” Among his first actions in the Csuite was establishing a new leadership program to attract and retain managers. KeyBank CEO Beth Mooney credits those efforts with laying a foundation that poised the company for future growth at a time when many were still reeling in the depressed economy lingering from the recession. “He found that balance between acting with conviction and maneuvering within the corporate landscape,” Mooney said in an email response. An accomplished college athlete — he is a 2003 member of the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team and was a four-year letterman and twoyear captain of the Penn State basketball team — Buffie’s time is now spent leading a corporate team. Not surprisingly, the company’s physical wellness has improved annually under his leadership as measured by UnitedHealthcare. Last year, Key was recognized by the National Business Group on Health as among the “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles,” as well as by the American Heart Association as being a “Fit Friendly” company.

But Buffie’s diverse business background is largely what appealed to the bank. Prior to Key, Buffie held a variety of positions with Bank of America, from human resources roles in the corporate, investment banking and consumer banking divisions to, most recently, serving as head of home loan originations. His business acuity coupled with a background in human resources uniquely positions him to connect with his corporate peers, according to his nomination. “His solid foundation in all business facets — sales, marketing, operations and finance allowed him to effortlessly communicate with diverse peers and partners in the delivery of sound talent acquisition and talent development strategies for Key,” Mooney said.


Since Buffie’s arrival, the company has whittled down its reliance on outside groups to find new talent — the company today is drawing its brightest and largest groups of young employees ever. He’s already spurred at least five critical programs tied to enhancing leadership, including ones for executive and accelerated development, a three-day Leading for Growth program and a year-long manager development program dubbed Managing@Key. Those initiatives for Key managers are instilling a new focus on leadership driven by new levels of engagement and communication. According to an internal assessment, Key’s employee engagement is up 25%. “Engagement is more than simply a level of job satisfaction,” Mooney said. “It’s about how employees relate to Key, their desire to go above and beyond, their intent to build a lasting career with us.” For folks as driven as Buffie, impatience can be a valuable asset, particularly when it comes to managing a $4.1 billion bank with 14,000 employees. “Is impatience a bad quality? When you look at how Craig approached the development of the leadership program, it was his ability to lead change and is reflected in his proficiency building networks and managing relationships,” Mooney said. “They say patience is a virtue. However, as Craig has demonstrated, so is impatience and a sense of urgency. — Jeremy Nobile




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SHELLY PEET Vice president, human resources Nordson Corp.

In just two years, KeyBank’s Campus and Veteran Recruiting Team has revolutionized the face of one of Cleveland’s largest banks. Led by Erin Cunningham, the nimble team’s staff of six is credited with recruiting and retaining some of the brightest and most diverse groups of new hires the company has ever seen. Minority and female hires are up 47% and 50% respectively. Meanwhile, the presence of veterans in the bank’s ranks has topped 100 — a significant increase considering the company didn’t directly target those individuals before the team’s inception. Meanwhile, applications for critical Key programs have soared 300%; intern-to-permanent rates are up 10%; and job offer acceptance is up 17%. Those are some stellar numbers for a team assembled just two summers ago, let alone a major bank with $4.1 billion in total assets competing for top talent with other large financial institutions, said Brian Fishel, senior vice president of talent management and acquisition who oversees the team. “It’s still in its infancy,” he said, “but we’re making some great progress.” The team was first established because the company realized it wasn’t capitalizing on pipeline talent. The team also worked to rebrand the bank’s image while targeting young people. Those campus efforts are filling the bank’s summer intern program with droves of stellar young people. The first year’s program yielded about 100 people compared with more than 320 this past year. They’re anticipating 400 plus next season. That early identification — connecting with young people at the forefront of their careers — is also critical to bolstering the bank’s staffs in traditionally male-dominated positions, like those in corporate and investment banking, with

more women and diversity. And growing retention rates bode well for maintaining diversified ranks. The bank had always done some recruiting on college campuses, but never in the calculated and concerted efforts applied today. Between 2013-2014 alone, the bank hired more than 270 directly from campus events. The company recruits on more than 50 campuses across the country with six “primary” schools, including a couple in Ohio, where the bulk of hires comes from largely through “KeyBank Days.” Fishel says the bank has become “more selective” in who it targets. The rising incoming GPAs of new groups are evidence of that. But the team’s efforts, through everything from career fairs to social media, are helping craft a brand obviously resonating with young people, Fishel says. “They’re just driving the right people to have the right interest in Key,” Fishel said. “We went from being a bit player to a big-time player on the right campuses.” The same team, in its mission for vets, has partnered with G.I. Jobs, a magazine-affiliated organization that helps place veterans in the civilian workforce, and 100,000 Jobs Mission Coalition, which is a group of nearly 200 companies committed to finding vets jobs. The veteran objectives merged into the campus-focused recruitment efforts last year. Regarding the increased emphasis on veteran hires, Fishel simply says it’s “just the right thing to do.” — Jeremy Nobile

Congratulations, Reggie and all of the Archer Award nominees! The Fairmount Santrol Family is proud to have one of our own as a 2015 Archer Award nominee – our Vice President of People and Talent Development, Reggie Stover. Your leadership, achievements and involvement with the community inspire all Fairmount Santrol Family Members to remain committed to our motto of “Do Good. Do Well.”

Fairmount Santrol is a leading provider of high-performance sand and sand-based products used by oil and gas exploration and production companies to enhance the productivity of their wells, as well as a supplier to the foundry, building products, water filtration, glass, and sports and recreation markets.

Talk about a broad set of skills. Yes, Shelly Peet has achieved some impressive feats as a human resources manager at Nordson. For one, she played a big role in helping the Westlake-based company — which makes equipment used to dispense industrial coatings — manage an enormous amount of growth, much of which took place in other countries. The company has 6,000 employees today, up from 3,900 in 2009. But her skills go well beyond HR. Let’s start with her education: Peet holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Wittenberg University and both a bachelor’s and a master’s in engineering from Case Western Reserve University, according to her LinkedIn profile. So did she become an engineer? Nope. She moved into the world of computer technology: From 1990 to 2003, she served as director of information systems at TRW, which at the time was one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world. Then she became the chief information officer at Nordson. She still fills that role, but in 2009 she was promoted to vice president — a position that also puts her in charge of human resources, corporate communications and community relations. Having a broad set of skills has served her well. For one, Peet led a project that seems perfectly suited to someone who has worked as both a CIO and a human resources manager: In 2014, Nordson implemented Workday, a software system that the company uses to manage its workforce. That project also required her to gain buy-in from executives throughout the business. Her “non-traditional background” helps her in that regard as well, according to an endorsement letter from CEO Michael Hilton. Her broad experience helps her “partner with leaders across the business,” he wrote. And it probably doesn’t hurt to have a technical background when you need to figure out which job candidates are “likely to be successful in a technology driven company like Nordson,” said Jim Jaye, director of communications and investor relations. (Side note: Jaye once asked her why

she majored in physics. She told him that “it was the most difficult major she could find,” he said.) Peet also led an effort to centralize human resources functions at Nordson. Before, different business units did their own hiring. Having a centralized team has helped Nordson move employees from one part of the company to another and improve its professional development programs, according to the nomination. Peet has done a lot to help other leaders at Nordson broaden their own skills. Working with Hilton, she led an effort to create new succession planning programs designed to help the company groom top talent. For instance, the company regularly moves some of its best employees into roles related to different parts of the business. That serves “to broaden their perspectives, develop their global insights and prepare them for larger roles,” the nomination stated. Peet has done a lot to prepare the future leaders of Nordson, according to Hilton’s letter. “She has brought great focus to identifying, developing and mentoring Nordson’s top talent and exposing them to global opportunities,” he wrote. Peet is a board member for the Nordson Foundation and several other nonprofits, such as Open Doors Academy and the Cleveland Zoological Society. — Chuck Soder

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TALENT MANAGEMENT FINALIST PAULA CALMER Vice president, talent acquisition/recruiting manager of risk management; PNC Last year, Paula Calmer was tasked with finding 60 people for PNC’s risk management department who had a very specialized skill in quantitative modeling. It’s not like those types of employees grow on trees, but Calmer managed to piece together a recruiting strategy that filled those slots. “Those were not easy positions to fill, but she did an excellent job at building a strategy that allowed us to scale up over time and deliver results,” said Jim Hullinger, a PNC vice president and senior manager of talent acquisition. At the ground level, according to the nomination, she leveraged PNC’s partnership with various universities and subject-matter experts at the company to describe the application of quantitative modeling within PNC to students who were graduating with upper-level degrees. She also worked with other business units within PNC to identify and cultivate internal talent that could meet the requirements needed for those positions. Within her own business unit, Calmer “champions performance management by creating a culture where joint accountability is emphasized,” according to the nomination. She also holds herself to the same standards she sets for her team. “Paula is an integral part of what we do here,” Hullinger said. “She’s a valued leader.” Her ability to hire the right candidates — ones that align with PNC’s values — are a strength no doubt, but according to the nomination, one thing that really sets her apart is her commitment to diversity and inclusion. In her role at PNC, she oversees five employee resource groups that target women, African Americans, Latinos, military vet-

erans and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Calmer quickly rose to the rank of vice president for diversity and inclusion with the Cleveland Society of Human Resource Management, or CSHRM. In that role, she helped turn around a committee that had been having little impact. One way she did that was through a series of partnerships, including one with the Commission on Economic Inclusion. Through her work at CSHRM, Calmer’s orchestrated events that benefit the broader human resource community. For example, she organized a

workshop focused on veteran talent and a panel discussion involving female business leaders with a candid discussion about the obstacles they face. Under her leadership, attendance at these sorts of programs has increased 62%, according to the nomination. “Paula is the consummate professional, creative and goal-driven, and importantly, an authentic person,” wrote Deborah Bridwell, deputy executive director of the commission, in a letter of support. “She models inclusion in her openness to new committee volunteers and to new ideas.” — Timothy Magaw

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dled its U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services filings for new employees. She initiated an audit of the system and then implemented an electronic system to handle the filings. Broadhead also helped create and maintain a dashboard of metrics used to measure the impact of HR on the company’s success. In early 2013, Jamie was promoted to manager of HR shared services operations. Among her duties is handling Signet’s Family and Medical Leave Act program. She also has been instrumental in the development of the HR Shared Services department, a new initiative for the company. “Jamie’s leadership capabilities include her high level of productivity, her ability to manage multiple complex projects and functions at once and her attention to detail,” wrote Ahlers in nominating Broadhead. “Her willingness to jump in feet first and get her hands dirty is an example of a leader that is committed to success, resilient and driven to meet department goals.” Broadhead also finds time to donate her time and energy in the Akron community. She is among the leaders of the volunteer program for the annual Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament and has volunteered at the Akron Roadrunner Marathon and Akron Children’s Hospital’s Kids Fun Run. Broadhead also serves as a softball commissioner at her local youth softball organization. — Jay Miller

Forest City salutes our very own

ANDY PASSEN The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Awards.

Our visionary. Our advocate. Our counsellor.

Our friend.





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DOUGLAS DYKES Director, human resources Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

BRIAN FISHEL Senior vice president, chief talent officer KeyCorp

Kellie Rotunno jokingly says that Douglas Dykes, director of human resources for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, is her twin brother from whom she was separated at birth. That feeling comes from seven years of working with and getting to know Dykes on both a personal and professional level, said Rotunno, who is NEOSRD’s chief operating officer. Just as Rotunno speaks highly of Dykes’ accomplishments — such as creating a team spirit and a continuous improvement culture — she points to his commitment to his community, church and family as the qualities that make Dykes stand out. “On a professional level you like him,” she said. “But when you get to know Doug on a personal level, that’s when you get to love him.” Dykes started working for the sewer district in August 2008, following five years in human resources at The Holden Arboretum

and 10 years with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. As director of human resources for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Dykes is lead strategic partner for all human capital initiatives. According to the nomination, he has converted “a strictly transactional HR department into a robust strategic HR department,” transitioning human resources functions from “supporting district initiatives to driving district initiatives.” Among his accomplishments have been streamlining business processes, including incorporation of paperless transactions; introducing domestic partner benefits; facilitating in-house production of an employee handbook; spearheading the introduction and administration of a wellness program; and fully implementing a paid time off program. Dykes and his team have received recognition both locally and nationally for their work. “Douglas has phased out antiquat-

congratulations Lauren Haley Vocational Guidance Services Human Resources Manager Finalist 2015 Archer Award for Innovation

Our Mission: Preparing People with Barriers to Employment for a Brighter Future

ed policies and processes; he’s ushered in change and strategic initiatives in an organization where HR was historically utilized as a personnel department for solely processing paperwork,” the nomination said. “Under Douglas’ leadership, the HR Department has transitioned into a strategic business partner leading change and assisting in setting the direction for the entire organization.” He also co-founded the HR Exchange Network to foster a platform where more than 60 HR professionals meet quarterly to network and share practices, and he facilitated a Charity Choice program, which has set record numbers for financial donations and been publicly recognized for its achievements. “Douglas is an exceptional business leader with exemplary character. He is trustworthy and lives his life with honesty and integrity. Douglas is a person of passion and dedication in his personal life and career,” said Julius Ciaccia, NEORSD CEO, in a letter accompanying the nomination. “He sees the potential in those around him and has the ability to tap into that potential while inspiring others to push beyond their limits, grow their talent and reach the peak performance,” Ciaccia wrote. “His number one priority is to ensure that his staff is regularly being challenged to grow, learn and demonstrate strategic HR practices.” — Amy Ann Stoessel

Brian Fishel is a quintessential people person. And for a high-ranking executive at a company like Key, which has 14,000 employees, there’s no shortage of people to connect with. When Fishel joined Key as chief talent officer in August 2013, he spent months on a veritable listening tour, connecting with employees at all levels of the business. Hundreds of people and thousands of questions later, he drew a better understanding of what people liked about the company and what could be done better. It’s a very hands-on approach for a C-suite executive. “It would be easy for someone with his brains, background and experience to walk in and say he’ll implement what’s successful elsewhere,” said Craig Buffie, chief human resources officer for Key. “He sort of suspended judgment, if you will, to say, ‘I’m going to draw from all these people who work here and build something that’s unique to Key.” Sharp yet equally humble and armed with a “boundless reservoir of energy,” Buffie said, Fishel’s charming demeanor quickly secured him as a “go-to person, the coach’s coach.” “He has a passion for employees and a particular passion for doing everything he can to develop leaders to their full potential,” Buffie said. But it’s clearly not all talk for Fishel. In his short tenure so far, he’s already enacted several sweeping improvements to the company. He’s instituted new leadership development curriculums, centralized all staffing activity — reduced reliance on search firms for talent has decreased spending in that arena by 15% — and enhanced rigor of CEO and board of director reviews. Among senior level executives, of which Key hires between 20 to 25 a year, turnover is less than 5% of external hires. Meanwhile, diversity and the caliber of younger employee groups are im-

proving. Female and minority hiring is up 4% year over year. He’s instituted a goal of requiring about 8% of new hires to consist of veterans. A college campus and veteran recruiting team that he oversees is drawing larger groups of interns and young employees with higher GPAs than ever. And it was Fishel who encouraged the bank to start tracking all these numbers in the first place to better understand and assess the makeup of its staff. Fishel’s seemingly boundless energy translates into the community as well. He supports an inner-city little league baseball development program as a volunteer. He’s also a founding member and chairman of the Best Practice Institute, a professional coalition of more than 42,000 managers, coaches, directors and executives who specialize in leadership development and talent management. “You can’t fake (Fishel’s) enthusiasm,” Buffie said. “People know whether you’re genuine or not, whether you really have their self interests at heart. And his motives are pure.” — Jeremy Nobile

HR EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR FINALIST WENDY EDGAR Director, Americas human resources; Ernst & Young

Crunch Time!

Nancy Altobello, Ernst & Young’s global vice chair of talent, has been with the company for 35 years. So when she says Wendy Edgar “can get things done like nobody else I’ve ever seen,” it’s quite a compliment. Edgar, who has been with EY for 19 years, was selected to head the company’s Americas human resources in April 2012. “We have 25,000 employees in the U.S.,” Altobello said. “That’s a big responsibility. She’s overseeing it. It’s a really big job. You know what I find with Wendy — the bigger the project you give her, the better she does.” In 2010, after the recession had taken its toll, Altobello said EY realized it needed to be more directly involved in recruiting new employees. For that task, she leaned on Edgar. “I was fairly new at my job (she had held quite a few roles at EY prior to her current position) and knew our experienced recruiting network was not up to it. And I knew going through agencies would be quite costly,” Alto-

bello said. “I asked Wendy to build an experienced recruiting network inhouse. She did, and it flourished.” That network, Altobello said, now hires 4,000 employees a year in the U.S., and EY uses outside agencies for only 10% of its hires. “It was a huge win for our firm,” Altobello said. According to the nomination, Edgar’s efforts have improved the quality of EY’s executive recruiting, and the company has “saved millions.” Another benefit: The network has increased the role of referrals in EY’s hiring from 30% to 50%, and the company has found that method is “the best source of new hires,” the nomination said. Edgar had another key responsibility following the recession: redesigning EY’s compensation program. “Our compensation needed to change, especially post-downturn,” Altobello said. “Wendy took that on and built something that works for all of our service lines. It’s been incredibly

well-received. The employee satisfaction scores around compensation have about doubled.” Edgar said she is “bullish about ensuring” that EY’s U.S. Total Rewards program is competitive and has “a positive impact on employee engagement.” She also helped to implement Ernst & Young’s wellness program. As a result, each employee is reimbursed up to $500 a year and 75% for weight loss programs, workout equipment, gym memberships or other wellness expenses. “If there is one quality I am really proud of, it’s my leadership skills,” Edgar said. “I lead every day. People respect and follow my lead. And when I’ve moved into new roles, my team wants to follow me.” Added Altobello: “There’s a can-doness about her. Not only in terms of her positive attitude and approach to things, but also her ability to get things done in a high-quality way.” — Kevin Kleps



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RISING STAR FINALIST MEGAN DEAN Benefits and wellness manager, human resources Cleveland Cavaliers As the benefits and wellness manager of a professional basketball team, there were high expectations for Megan Dean when she was hired in 2011. The Cleveland Cavaliers say she’s delivered — and then some. “The reason she’s a rising star is not only does she elevate the understanding of benefits, and the delivery and communication of that with our employees, she does it in a way that yields results,” said Alberta Lee, the Cavs’ vice president of human resources, of Dean. The outcome, Lee said, is the organization’s employees (or “team members,” in Cavs speak) tell the HR department “what a tremendous job” Dean does. “There is something in her delivery that is high-tech, high-feel, and it’s just an unassuming ‘it’ factor she has,” Lee said. Dean has led the Cavs’ “All For You” wellness program, and, according to the nomination, she’s made sure it’s “inviting and inclusive of all team members, no matter their level of health.” Included in the program is a health and wellness fair in which employees learn how to improve their well-being and can receive chair massages, screenings and flu shots. Since December 2013, Dean has also organized seven Wellness Lunch and Learn events, during which health professionals speak to employees about stress management, portion sizes, nutrition and physical activity. Lee said Dean also implemented a “Stress Less” initiative this year. Employees who successfully completed the program received an extra day off work. “She was able to convince everybody in upper management that was reasonable,” Lee said. “It added the perspective of community to this. She’s very strategic, very smart and thoughtful.” The nomination said Dean “hit the ground running” on a new biometrics screening program in 2013. Cavs employees had the chance to lower their

health care premium costs by participating, and the number of workers who took part tripled. “We have very different benefit plans here, so it’s not simple,” said Farrell Finnin, the Cavs’ director of human resources. “There are different plans for players, coaches and regular team members. Megan is terrific. You don’t have to bird-dog her. You know when you give her a task she’ll handle it all the way through.” Dean has another key role for the Cavs. She is the campaign manager for the organization’s annual fundrais-

er for the United Way of Greater Cleveland. According to the nomination, the Cavs have increased their yearly United Way contributions by at least 5% during Dean’s time in charge of the campaign. “She doesn’t even know she has the ‘it’ factor,” Lee said. “Because of everything we stand for, it would make sense for us to have a robust initiative on wellness. What she’s done successfully is to broaden that. It’s not all about the physical. It’s about other aspects of wellness.” — Kevin Kleps

Our employees keep our Great Lake great Congratulations to Douglas Dykes for being named a Crain’s Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year! Interested in learning about our career opportunites? Visit





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Archer VIP Party Nearly 80 Archer Award finalists and sponsors gathered on July 15 at Chinato on East Fourth Street in downtown Cleveland for the Archer award program’s VIP event. Attendees had the chance to network, while honorees took part in video interviews.


ABOVE: Sandy Chochola with premier sponsor Aon Hewitt greets guests during a brief program. BELOW: James Lundquist, PRADCO; Janet Rohlik, PRADCO; Paula Calmer, PNC (Finalist) and Brian Calmer; Ginny Tredway, PRADCO; Tammy Colson; and Frank Zupan, Associated Materials (Finalist)

Upcoming Special Supplement

This special supplement is used as a tool for readers to become more actively involved within our region’s nonprofit community. Use this advertising opportunity to showcase your organization along with your commitment to Northeast Ohio. Issue date: October 26 Ad close: September 14 Materials due: September 21 Book your ad today. Contact Nicole Mastrangelo at 216-771-5158 or

View the 2014 Giving Guide at

LEFT: Wendy Edgar, Ernst & Young (Finalist) and her husband Scott Edgar RIGHT: Phyllis Dykes and Douglas Dykes, NE Ohio Regional Sewer District (Finalist)





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usinesses today face an incredible amount of pressure from both internal and external sources. Increasing globalization, rapid technological change, and tougher competition challenge companies, while internally they may face organizational changes such as new alliances, structures and hierarchies; and new ways of assigning work, outsourcing, offshoring, and

remote workers, with a high turnover rate in the workforce. As a result of these growing pressures, HR leaders have faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. Compounding the pressures, the economic decline has created enhanced expectations for HR professionals as businesses focus on surviving turbulent financial conditions by drastically trimming budgets and often reducing payroll while maintaining core operations.

president’s letter First and foremost, successful senior HR leaders are expected to bring a high degree of knowledge to the role. This includes literacy in the language of business, strong financial acumen, and a firm knowledge of human capital management issues and their effect on business operations. The Human Resources Leadership Group of NE Ohio enables HR leaders to develop and maintain these critical knowledge and skills. The HR Leadership Group of NE Ohio’s mission is to provide programming that addresses the most important knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes required of highly successful senior HR leaders. The common focus is to address leadingedge thinking in human resources to remain effective and aligned with business strategy. We are proud to partner with Crain’s Cleveland Business for our second special supplement dedicated to human resources. The articles were crafted by many of our members, which include HR professionals such as HR vice presidents and directors, leading consultants, and academia. As HR leaders, we recognize that managing people can be a complex part of the leadership role. HRLG offers an open forum for your HR leaders to stay on the cutting edge of topics, solutions and best practices through learning from industry experts and networking with local leaders. Please contact me at 440-520-3031 or to learn more about the HR Leadership Group. Amy Shannon is president of the HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio.

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If You’re Investing in Your Employees Your Bottom Line Will Reflect it! BY AMY LUNDSTROM LANE


s the economy continues to show strength and unemployment falls, your ability to retain your current employees is imperative. Given the increasing choices for career advancement outside your organization, employee retention must now be considered a leadership priority, not just a human resources department measurement. We’ve all heard the statistics about the cost of turnover. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that it is from 150 to 400 percent of the position’s salary. While there are many reasons for employees to leave your organization, I would challenge you to consider if your organization offers enough opportunity for growth and advancement as part of your retention strategy. According to a survey conducted by the American Management Association (AMA), employee development issues are of top importance for employees. AMA’s Eric Rolfe Greenberg states, “Investing in employees’ development is more important than immediate compensation.� As a leader or manager, are you taking responsibility for developing

hiring & development your employees? Often organizations leave this to the HR department, rather than ensuring that there is a holistic, integrated strategy for developing employees and creating opportunities for growth. By doing so, these organizations are limiting their productivity and success. According to research by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, increased worker training and education raised business productivity more than comparably increased hours worked or capital equipment. For sustainable, positive impact, employee development initiatives should be driven by the organization’s leadership and framed by functional managers. They must also be multifaceted and considered longerterm engagements. While training programs are a key part of developing employees’ skills and growth, the training must not be offered in isolation; if done so, the return on the training investment will be minimal. Ideal tactics for developing employees’ skills will be supported by performance evaluation and

coaching conversations and clearly defined individual development plans. Further, research shows that training offered is more likely to have an impact on the employee’s growth and performance in the workplace if the manager and participant communicate before and after the training about its objectives, discussing how the learning can best be applied to the workplace. Mentoring and job rotation also support learning and are effective approaches to support an employee’s skill development. The evidence is clear — employee development is of strategic importance for engagement and productivity and leads to competitive success. Leaders who invest their attention, budget and vision on developing employees will see return not just in reduced turnover, but also in customer satisfaction and organizational profitability. Amy Lundstrom Lane is associate vice president for Corporate and Professional Development at Kent State University. Contact her at 330-672-5828 or

August 3, 2015 S3

Creating a Learning Culture BY KAREN KAMINSKI


e often tell our employees to continue learning to advance in their careers. It’s a nice idea, but formal education opportunities are not always feasible as daily tasks and family responsibilities take precedent. So it’s up to us to create a culture that will make learning easier. Fill the toolbox Give employees the tools to learn and succeed. In addition to tuition reimbursement for employees to attend college or earn professional certifications, offer on-site training to help employees expand their current role, learn a new job or improve their leadership skills. Provide hands-on training or online courses to help them better understand the industry or to brush up on previously learned skills and regulations. This will help them do their jobs better and assist their colleagues on a daily basis. Your business will benefit by having a well-trained team that needs little oversight. Mentor employees to help them grow in the field and eventually take on additional responsibility. If employees express an interest in another department, allow them to shadow someone in that area so they can determine if it’s right for them.

hiring & development It’s all about timing Now that the toolbox is full, give employees time to use them. There’s always work to be done, but sometimes it’s more beneficial to relieve employees of those duties temporarily so they can focus on the future. Give them time at work to attend on-site learning sessions such as a book club or Toastmasters. The upfront investment pays great dividends over time. The coach is in Make learning the norm. Refer to leaders as coaches. Employees should be encouraged to come to coaches for guidance and support. In turn, coaches should view missed opportunities as teachable moments. Instead of finding fault with an employee who misses the mark, teach them how to do the job properly. Allow employees to coach one another. A happy, well-balanced team leads to a successful business. Karen Kaminski is vice president of human resources for Horseshoe Casino and ThistleDown Racino. Contact her at 216-297-4891 or

A Nesco, Inc. Company

Nesco Works For Me. Our company was growing like never before. That was the good news, but ^L ULLKLK H Z[HMĂ„UN Z[YH[LN` [OH[ ^V\SK NP]L \Z Ă…L_PIPSP[` [V PU]LZ[ PU UL^ markets, ride out highs and lows, and stay competitive. Nesco Resource helped us put together a contingent workforce strategy that gave us the right people, right when we needed them. They screened employees for skills and backgrounds and even provided training and on-site management. Now I have the right people in the right place and my company can concentrate on what it does best: satisfy our customers. That works for me.

Let Nesco work for you. With over 70 branch offices around the country specializing in engineering, IT, light industrial, and administrative temporary and permanent staffing, we can help optimize your workforce. As the largest staffing firm headquartered in Ohio, we’re proud to call Northeast Ohio home since 1956. Call one of our NEO branch offices today.





HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

S4 August 3, 2015


Stepping Up to the Plate on Succession Planning BY LEE ANN HOWARD


any successful organizations include leadership succession planning as an integral part of their corporate strategy. These succession plans are not just a replacement policy when the sitting chief executive steps down, but instead are part of a comprehensive program for turnover and development from the board of directors through lower levels of management. These plans aim to identify and onboard successors in the event of a change in leadership, expected or unexpected. It provides an opportunity to evaluate the processes, strengths, and leadership ability of potential successors and also provide development plans for individuals. Succession planning is applicable to organizations of all sizes, from publicly traded, multibillion-dollar corporations to small private and family owned companies and non-profits. While these plans can vary based on the size, location, industry, and talent development capabilities of an organization, effective plans take into account employee retention rates, the transparency of the promotion process, the length of time previously needed to fill open positions, and the available resources and responses to unexpected talent loss. Through our experience in executive

search and board of director placement, as well as in corporate human resources, we’ve been brought in at different stages of the succession planning process to find leaders that fit. While this list is not exhaustive, here are a few important items to consider when developing and evaluating a leadership succession plan:


Clearly define The plan’s ownership and responsibility within the company. Defining the ownership and responsibility of all aspects of the succession planning process, from development to execution, provides individual accountability and communicates the plan to involved parties. Human resource professionals can best be used in the role of a subject matter expert, acting as facilitator and architect for the creation and implementation of the succession plan. The role of operational management in succession planning focuses on providing information on the performance, potential, and leadership readiness of internal employees. In this role, management is responsible for assessing the “bench strength” of internal employees to ultimately backfill the domino void of leadership succession at the highest level of an organization, providing training and development opportunities to individuals to groom them for future roles.

hiring & development “The flexibility to change or pivot the succession plan is critical when the direction of the entire company changes . . .”


Start small when building a new plan. A company developing a succession plan from scratch can fall into the easy mistake of attempting a comprehensive and robust succession plan that permeates all levels of the organization. While it is important to have a well thought-out succession plan, attempting to launch such an extensive plan can result in little actual progress year-over-year. Instead, it is easier to limit the initial scope of the succession plan to the essential senior leadership. A more concentrated approach to developing a new succession plan is able to generate company-wide acceptance more easily and it becomes less of a burden on the company,

especially among those individuals with ownership and responsibility.

align successors with the company’s new direction.



Emphasize the substance of the plan over the form. Creating more complex analysis and assessment packages can push the form of planning and execution over the substance and purpose of the succession plan. An example of this is the popular 9-Box Grid that assesses the performance and potential of individuals, differentiating future leaders from low performers. Its simplicity drives its effectiveness in comparing individuals. Adding additional analysis, even when intending to improve the assessment quality, often drags down the efficiency and effectiveness of the tool and can shift focus away from purpose of the 9-Box Grid in identifying future leaders.


Be willing to change the plan if the direction of the company changes. The flexibility to change or pivot the succession plan is critical when the direction of the entire company changes, such as entering a new market or making a significant acquisition or divestiture. This can take the form of emphasizing different experience or skills, changing the timeline for talent development, or bringing in individuals from outside the organization to better

Use the plan. Companies with succession plans have devoted time and resources to developing such a plan, but when faced with an unexpected event that shakes up the company leadership, some have chosen to abandon the plan. It scraps the efforts put into the prior plan and can reduce the potential buy-in from employees in any future succession plan. If the company has developed a strong succession plan, the best advice is to use the plan to help inform the decision-making process. Lately we have seen executives more aware of the need for succession planning, but more importantly recognize the need for their organizations to improve both succession planning and its execution. Progressive companies not only have a track record of effective succession planning and execution, with unexpected failures few and far between, but also devote resources to building a strong bench of ready potential leaders.

Aon Hewitt

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Risk. Reinsurance. Human Resources.

Lee Ann Howard is a co-founder of Howard & O’Brien Executive Search. Contact her at 216-514-8980 or lah@

HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level


August 3, 2015 S5

Changing Talent Market Requires Companies to Evolve to Compete BY PAMELA STROKO


t is no secret that this is the tightest talent market we have seen in decades and the shortage of talent is being felt globally. With the job market improving and people having more options, according to the Hay Group (2015), we will see one-quarter of the global talent in some sort of transition between now and 2018. At the beginning of the year, a CNN poll reported 52% of employed Americans planned to look for a job this year. What are they looking for and how can your organization compete?


It has always been about development. In Deloitte 2020, we learned that 86% of people

leave a job because of lack of career development. If you can’t offer that development, someone else can. Focus on making self-directed learning available; create opportunities for lateral development and learning in place — not all development comes from a promotion.


Become a coaching and feedback culture. The workforce today demands a higher level of connection and dialogue. People don’t want a feedback conversation once or twice a year — they want real relationships with their managers and peers. They seek cultures of collaboration. Feedback and coaching can’t just be an event; it has to happen as part of how you work and how you succeed

hiring & development together. If your managers aren’t great at relationship building and coaching, train them. In his book “Shine,” Ed Hallowell talked about how critical connection (Vitamin “C”) is to organizational life. It actually contributes to high performance in organizations.


Having the right tools to support a development culture is critical. If you want to create stickiness from the day people accept the offer, you need great onboarding; and there is an even bigger performance lift when you connect onboarding to performance expectations and goals in Year One. You need tools

that support career development and career pathing. Real succession and talent review where you take an honest look at your talent strengths and gaps and build actionable plans to develop talent is critical. Connecting individual performance to organization goals is essential for clarity, setting expectations, and delivering great performance. Social and mobile capability is the price of admission for creating collaborative cultures — the more connected people are, the more likely they are to stay. Tools that support learning and make it available on any device support a “develop anywhere, anytime” culture.


Integration matters. According to Bersin (2014), organizations that have integrated approaches to

talent have 26% higher revenue. They have 40% less turnover among high performers, and 17% lower overall voluntary turnover. They are better positioned to hire the best people and have nearly 1.5 times greater ability to plan for future workforce needs. Think about your integrated plan and develop a roadmap to get there. Start where you are, perhaps in small ways, and create your path to a development and retention culture. Pamela Stroko is Vice President Mid-Market HCM Transformation and Thought Leadership at Oracle Corporation. Contact her at 224-306-7709 and

Outsourcing Recruitment Can Help Companies Build Talented, Local Workforce BY CRYSTAL WITTMAN


usinesses like yours are taking off. It’s no secret that Cleveland, along with Ohio, is hiring. A recent article in Crain’s Cleveland Business cited that a net gain of 1,900 jobs in May for the state. But filling jobs can be a bigger challenge than creating them. Finding and keeping the right talent at the right time and cost may sound straightforward. Yet anyone who has managed the talent acquisition process knows it’s complicated. Today, you need to write effective job postings, recruit pas-

sive talent not looking to make a career move, screen through applicants, and create an interview process with meaningful assessments. This is not even considering factors needed to compete for top talent, such as having access to the latest recruitment technology or creating an employer brand that resonates with them. The difficulty is compounded when you remember the day-to-day areas your business should be focused on, such as producing products and delivering for customers. Managing talent is costly and time consuming. A 2015 report from a major consulting

hiring & development firm showed companies have increased their talent acquisition spending by 7% to keep up with increased competition, yet time to fill is longer than ever. If your business is struggling, you’re not alone. A Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) partner — a professional services organization that helps businesses attract, engage and retain top talent by using its focused expertise to augment all or part of the

talent acquisition process — could be the solution. An RPO can be a strategic partner with your existing team in a market like Cleveland and wherever you do business globally. RPOs offer pureplay consulting solutions, focused on your needs and aligned with your brand, infrastructure and talent assets. Regardless of your company’s size, there are scalable options — both rapid and longer-term — that can upgrade your talent capabilities to support where your business is and where you want it to go. Look at your talent acquisition needs

and costs and effectiveness of your current processes. You may find when it comes to filling good Clevelandbased jobs with incredible local talent, working together with an RPO team to tailor solutions makes a lot of sense. Crystal Wittman is the head of Alexander Mann Solutions’ Cleveland Global Client Services Center. Contact her at 216-336-6388 or

We’ve redefined the meaning of

work-life balance. At Medical Mutual, we’re a health insurance company that actually believes in the importance of good health. That’s why we strongly support wellness and encourage our employees to live active, healthier lives. Things like an on-site fitness center, healthy meal options in our cafeteria and health screenings make it easier for our employees to find the right balance between their work and their well-being.


HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

S6 August 3, 2015


“Competition and encouragement can go a long way toward helping people change their lifestyles and make better decisions.”

Wellness in the Workplace: It’s Good Business Programs Offer Unique Perk for Employees BY THOMAS P. DEWEY


othing is more critical to the overall success of your company than the people you employ. Without them performing their jobs at a high level each day, productivity — and your bottom line — would most certainly suffer. That’s why it’s so important to keep your employees happy and healthy. A workplace wellness program is an excellent way to help accomplish both of those goals. Wellness programs utilize company workspace to promote and support healthy behavior among employees. While varying in size and scale, many offer health education and weight loss programs, smoking cessation programs, diabetes management programs, health screenings and fitness center memberships. At Medical Mutual, we offer a few wellness program options for our customers to help them improve the health of their employees. We also implemented a comprehensive program for ourselves that has worked extremely well. It incorporates an array of health-related activities and offers incentives to our employees for participation. Better health brings lower costs Studies have shown a significant

hiring & development percentage of healthcare costs could be linked to employees’ poor lifestyle choices. Tobacco use, unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise can lead to a variety of costly health problems and increase the risk of chronic disease. Companies that invest in a wellness program could see a reduction in medical claims, disability costs, workers’ compensation claims and absenteeism due to illness. The more employees understand their risk factors, the more likely they may be to make positive changes to help improve their overall health. An enticing perk for employees Recruiting and retaining talented people isn’t easy. Top candidates have a lot of options and most every employer offers a pretty similar benefits package. Many companies are now looking for unique perks to set them apart from the competition. Wellness programs demonstrate a real commitment to the health and wellbeing of our employees. That can result in increased job satisfaction among staff members and stronger retention rates. Wellness programs also help build camaraderie among co-workers. Employees can participate in a variety

of non-work-related activities or simply go to the gym together. Competition and encouragement can go a long way toward helping people change their lifestyles and make better decisions. It just makes sense More and more companies are becoming believers in the advantages

The Center for Corporate and Professional Development We’re your employee development resource. You are in good company when you choose Kent State for your employee development and training. We work with top employers in our region, from University Hospitals and Saint-Gobain to The Sherwin-Williams Co., Lubrizol Corporation and NASA.

Kent State’s Center for Corporate and Professional Development works with you to develop and deliver onsite training programs such as Lean Six Sigma, supervisory skills and project management. We also consult with you on organizational performance through a variety of services such as strategic process improvement consulting.

of wellness because they’ve seen what we’ve seen. Wellness helps employees feel better. When they feel better, it helps improve their morale, their mental outlook and their productivity. It also helps them live healthier lives, which in turn reduces absenteeism and medical claims. There is a cost involved in setting up a wellness program, but it’s

really an investment in your employees and in the future of your company. Thomas P. Dewey is vice president of human resources for Medical Mutual. Contact him at 216-687-7446 or thomas.dewey@

Modern HR in the Cloud Core HR for the Global Enterprise Talent Management with Social Sourcing Predictive Analytics and Big Data Insights On Desktop, Tablet, and Smartphone

“ ... Kent State’s programs are incredibly adaptable ... they design training to address your organization’s specific problems ... I highly recommend Kent State.” John Ruth, President BDI

#1 in Human Capital and Talent Management

Consider Kent State as your talent development partner. Call 330-672-5828 or visit The Center for Corporate and Professional Development Kent State University, Kent State and KSU are registered trademarks and may not be used without permission. 14-1669 or call 1.800.ORACLE.1 Copyright © 2015, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.


HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

August 3, 2015 S7

Succession Planning: Recruiting for the Future direction, not supervision. They prefer being motivated by and collaborating with upper management. These are the people — not the candidate who checks all of the boxes because they worked at a competitor in the same industry and had the right technical skills — that will move up to management. It’s important that these future star candidates have a plan. They need to know where they stand and where they will be in five years. If they don’t know, it will be hard to keep them long term. Take the time to communicate with your future leaders. Companies that

constantly have to restock their talent shelf fall behind while companies that make this important practice part of their culture are growing exponentially.

A Unique Approach to Building Potential

training room. But if your team isn’t adventurous, seek out programs that combine leadership development, teamwork, communication and a little fun along the way. The result will be an unforgettable experience that will teach your associates to maximize their potential, lead with purpose and strengthen teamwork.



or companies that are searching for future leadership, succession planning is a hot button term in corporate circles. Wikipedia defines succession planning as “a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available.” What is the secret to carrying out

Experiential Learning Can Improve Morale and Productivity BY RICK GRAHOVAC


orkplaces are living, breathing and evolving environments. Oftentimes, these places are filled with people who feel undervalued, undeveloped or not engaged in the “big picture” of their company or organization.

a good, proactive succession plan? Simple: Strong, forward-thinking leadership. When we approach talent acquisition projects for our clients, we are constantly asked to “find our next manager” or “ find me the person that is going to run this place in 10 years.” These are pretty heavy statements. Companies that focus on personality traits and soft skills find better leaders than people who search for industry experience alone. Lou Adler, CEO of the Adler Group and world famous talent acquisition guru, calls this process and

Whether you are leading a nonprofit organization or for-profit corporation, you understand that your employees are your greatest assets — they carry out your vision and mission, they are the face of your company, and they are often responsible for your success or failure. Leadership development and organizational learning is paramount to business and personal success. Consider programs that focus on experiential learning and empowering profound inner change that achieves substantial

hiring & development outlook “performance based hiring.” “Companies that remain ultrafocused on candidates that are skills and experience qualified are missing out on the best candidates,” he says. Rather, the focus needs to be on talented candidates that can do the job and who have the ability to lead a team. The exact type of experience he or she has is not relevant. Candidates who are self-motivated require

leadership & responsibility group results such as stronger relationships, increased trust, opened lines of effective communication, and increased morale, group performance, and productivity in the workplace. Conscious leadership starts with the premise that each person possesses leadership potential and that the only way an organization can reach its full potential is when the individuals within

that organization are reaching theirs. The focus is on three themes: presence, perspective and relationships. Our greatest power as leaders comes from the ability to be fully awake and aware in the present moment with a willingness to allow our perspective to change and understand that our relationships with each other — coworkers, supervisors, the community and outside world — are all interrelated. Sometimes this type of learning needs to come outside of the

Chris Nash is the managing partner of Rogers Group, a boutique recruiting agency that focuses on finding talent and leadership for manufacturing and technology organizations worldwide. Learn more at or

Rick Grahovac is CEO at Common Ground. Contact him at 440965-5551 or grahovac@ commongroundcenter. org.

Plan your next corporate event at the World-Class Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Visit or call 216-635-3304.

HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

S8 August 3, 2015


Directing Culture and Organizational Change BY BETH SWEENEY


yebrows continue to knit and rise when leadership takes up the broad topic of accountability in organizations of any size, public or private. In other words, the task goes on. More and more clients talk about building an overall culture of accountability — driven to find something that allows them to quickly implement new things, rapidly shift course or realize the exponential difference in productivity when everyone is focused and aligned. Accountability has become synonymous with excellence, peak performance and exceptional results; yet it comes with many questions and

ambiguity. Why do efforts at building a culture of accountability lose steam? Or perhaps the better question to ask is “What common themes are found in organizations that do it well?” Clear direction and definition First, a culture of accountability requires an organization to be thoughtful in declaring what actions and activities matter. Being intentionally focused on those things that are mission critical is a common indicator. Following closely behind direction is definition. Highperforming organizations are known for having a clear line of sight between the actions they are accountable for

leadership & responsibility and their direct impact on success. Intentional conversations Second, because all organizational work depends on conversation, there is focus on articulating expectations around accountability at all levels of the organization, and in a way that connects to each person’s role. Leaders at all levels are called to be crystal clear about expectations. Ask if conditions of satisfaction are being collaboratively defined. Highperforming organizations often cite the

development of their leaders and their ability to hold powerful and productive conversations collaboratively with employees. There is a dialogue that is both spoken and heard. Connect to the work If we only talk about accountability once or twice a year during performance reviews, we are missing opportunities to embed mission critical activities into our everyday business processes, clearly a best practice for high performing organizations. Setting up cycles of commitments means that accountability becomes a daily, top-ofmind awareness, and keeps the thread strong in connecting everyday work to

mission critical goals. The concept of accountability and the culture it creates will continue to raise eyebrows. I suggest accountability be kept clear, simple, easily understood, and transferable as a legacy value. Love the logic to define it, talk about it and connect it to the work. Then, let it work for you. Beth Sweeney is market president for Ratliff & Taylor, the area’s largest full-service talent management firm. Contact her at 216-901-4800 or

Managing Workplace Diversity and Generational Differences BY MARY WILSON-HRIVNAK


diverse workforce has become very desirable as a means to boost attractiveness, retain key talent, and sustain competitive advantage. The one source of competitive advantage that is truly unique for an organization is its employees and their ability to be innovative. In short, a company needs to encourage different individual perspectives and foster inclusion in the workplace. Having multiple generations in the workplace is one aspect of an increasingly diverse workplace (for example, managers describe employees based on birth year to form generational cohorts such as Millennials, Gen Xers,

Gen Y, and Baby Boomers). Contrary to the popular notion of “problems” with younger generations, recent research shows that Millennials are similar to other generations in attitudes about work when compared at similar ages. Current differences in attitudes across generations are more likely to come from being in a different life phase or challenges to work-life balance. An increase in understanding of where employees are in terms of their personal lives may thus help employees resolve conflicts and allow the company to use talent to its fullest potential. A single 40-year-old taking care of an aging parent may be more similar to a 25-year-old single working mom than


leadership & responsibility to employees in her cohort. This has implications for job design, workplace flexibility, incentives and rewards. The more diverse the workplace, the less likely companies will be able to have a one-size-fits-all plan. One example of where younger generations differ is the tendency to be more at ease with technology because they have grown up with it. Companies must embrace technological change or get left in the competitive dust. They are wise to seize talent that may be crucial to future success; however, managers should not stereotypically








assume that every Millennial is tech savvy or that a Baby Boomer is technically incompetent. How companies define diversity, recruit, select, and utilize employee talent can make matters better or worse. Managers need to define how diversity strategically matters for their organization. Emphasize what you can offer regarding work-life balance to recruit a diverse and qualified applicant pool. Resist attempts to select solely based on artificial categories; instead, hire based on competencies related to the job. Foster a workplace environment where managers encourage opposing viewpoints and

are inclusive across generations. Encourage and provide training for your HR staff on managing diversity and best practices in human resources. This will increase the potential for your organization to retain key talent and sustain its workplace advantage. Mary Wilson-Hrivnak is an associate professor and chairperson of Dean’s Diversity Council in the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University. Contact her at 216-687-5058 or


HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

August 3, 2015 S9

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Collaborative Effort BY HAROLD HARRISON


ositive social and environmental change takes planning. And, it takes a strong team to turn the plan into a reality. Is your organization part of the movement? Many organizations today aspire to exercise strong corporate social responsibility (CSR). Those that do it well typically have a long-term strategic plan to guide their everyday operations — with every staff member playing an active role. These efforts

positively impact the local community at large — benefitting customers, social welfare and the environment. Protection of natural resources, environmental stewardship and ongoing improvement in environmentally sound business operations all generate an economic benefit. And, as the social responsibility footprint expands, the benefit grows. Examples of CSR initiatives include office recycling programs, staff volunteer opportunities and conservation projects. If you do not have a plan in place,

leadership & responsibility it is easy to get started. Gather your stakeholders, listen to your customers and evaluate your opportunities. Next, set realistic short-term and long-term goals with milestones to evaluate progress along the way. This roadmap will serve as a guiding post that will need to be revisited over time. Human capital is integral in developing and maintaining healthy CSR.

Investment in management training and networking plays an important role in implementation of CSR strategies. The upfront investment can result in cost savings and time while producing longterm sustainable business practices. Countless positive company, community and environmental outcomes can arise when CSR has been effectively implemented. Benefits companies may achieve include increased brand affinity, a vested workforce and a reduction in annual operating costs. The community will benefit from enhanced service expe-

riences and potentially lower costs. Lastly, the environment will benefit through sustainable practices and emerging recycling and energy-saving programs. Don’t get left behind. Invest in your future today. It’s your CSR. Harold Harrison is the chief human resources officer at the Cleveland Metroparks. Contact him at 216-635-3200 or

Want Your Employees to Become Better People? You Should. BY WALTER K. CHAPMAN


he kind of folks I’m looking to hire want to be part of an organization that helps them become a better person. The kind of people I’m looking for also care about their job. I mean really care — not just for the performance review and the bonus, but because they have pride in what they do and who they’re doing it with. So here’s the challenge for an organization — define the values that are important to your organization and consciously work toward helping

your employees grow in their ability to understand and experience the benefits of those values. Like-minded employees will come your way, and the payoff will be truly wonderful. Perhaps the best example of this strategy in action is supporting community service within the company. Helping employees learn and/or strengthen their value of service above self, as well as experiencing it with their work peers, has a tremendous collateral benefit for all parties involved. Supporting your employees through the experience of volunteering will further

leadership & responsibility their growth as a whole person, and they will appreciate you for supporting a value beyond the traditional employer role. Nurturing the value of service above self helps make the organization a fulfilling place to be for the “whole person” — not to mention that it can improve productivity and loyalty. The more your employees are enabled and fulfilled, the more productive and loyal they will be. The best productivity

comes from an employee that is enabled by an organization that cares about their whole person and has been liberated from the yoke of distracting stresses to take pride in their work and their organization. Employee loyalty is then demonstrated out of respect for the caring and enabling that an employer has demonstrated. Organizations that really stand out truly believe that their employees make the difference in their business model. They also understand the powerful correlation between their efforts to support their population and the

productivity of that same population. Presenteeism redefined. Go the extra mile to listen, train, empower, and respect your employees. Surround your people with resources and a culture that helps them be all they can be. Show them that you appreciate their whole person. They will notice. Walter K. Chapman is CEO and director of Chapman and Chapman. Contact him at wkc@ chapmanandchapman. com.

THEY SAY technology drives transformation

WE KNOW real change is powered by people At KPMG, we work with you to turn business theory into real solutions. #time for HR

© 2015 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. NDPPS 392729

S10 August 3, 2015

HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level


DATA AND TECHNOLOGY IN HR: The Bridge between your People and Delivering Business Strategy BY ROBIN RASMUSSEN


here’s never been a better time to be involved in delivering the people agenda. Human resources executives have a massive opportunity to demonstrate the value HR adds to the delivery of business objectives using something known as “evidence-based HR.” Simply put, evidence-based HR uses data, analysis and research to understand the connection between people management practices and business outcomes such as profitability, customer satisfaction, and quality. While the growth of evidence-based HR is gaining momentum, a recent KPMG report, titled “Evidence-Based HR” conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit, reveals this new era of evidence-based people management is by no means guaranteed. Talent issues are firmly on the C-suite agenda — organizations across the globe are grappling with issues such as regulators, customer requirements, talent and the demands of a changing workforce. Now more than at any other time in my career, I’m seeing HR’s opportunity to leverage technology and data to demonstrate its ability to deliver against these issues. For the first time companies can draw a line of sight between HR activity and business insight. While the report’s findings further highlight these trends and indicate there have been some modest gains


technology in the perception of HR’s ability to deliver strategic value since our 2012 report (15% in 2012 vs. 23% in 2014), it also presents some interesting findings. Namely, more than half (55%) of executives are still skeptical about its potential to make a real difference, yet an overwhelming majority (82%) of these skeptics plan to increase their use of evidence-based HR. Further, the report reveals that whatever the obstacles and resistance, the growth of evidence-based HR will gain momentum. What is irrefutable is that organizations that have embraced an evidence-based approach will continue to lead the way. But it’s not just about the HR function. CEOs need to embrace and lead this change, while at the same time demand more accountability from their HR leaders on how they are integrating data into their people management strategies to avoid losing ground. It starts with three critical success factors:



Move beyond basic HR key performance indicators to data that can deliver predictive insights about the role of people in your business. To do this well, data scientists should work within the HR function. Indeed, a number of our clients are recruiting data scientists as well as working out how to make the transition from analytical insight to action.

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Develop both your industry and company knowledge. HR is not generic, nor is it industry agnostic. You must apply what you know from an HR perspective to your industry and to the specific needs of your company. You should also know how to frame the questions that will direct your analytical efforts.



Reconfigure so that HR and management work together within a model that promotes evidence-based people management. As much thought should go into designing the components of an evidence-based operating model: Information flows: Who sees what, when and where? n

Visualization: How to portray data and insights in a way that leads to action. n

Decision-making: Where, how frequently and under what governance are things decided collaboratively? Specifically, decisions that are required or implied by predictive insights as opposed to “rearview mirror” insights. n

Responsibilities and critical people management roles: Who is accountable for what? n

Capabilities: What skills are needed to enable and implement evidencebased decision-making? How can HR evaluate the best research within the organization and combine with external management and social science thinking to determine which research is pointing to something really important? n

Becoming evidence-based requires an effort of will and a sufficiently changed mental model that will surely be a challenge for many companies. I am, however, seeing a move among early adopters toward embracing big data and becoming more evidencebased. It’s not quite widespread yet, but I believe it is just a matter of time. Robin Rasmussen is a principal in KPMG’s Advisory Management Consulting practice and leads the HR & Payroll Shared Services and Outsourcing network. Contact her at 415-608-1139 or The views expressed here are the author’s alone and do not represent those of KPMG LLP.


HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

THE GIG GROWS UP How the Gig Economy Is Changing How We Hire and How We Work



he Gig Economy is generally defined as a trend in shortterm employment enabled by online platforms connecting workers with people hiring. Sometimes this can performed completed remotely. For example, and Upwork specialize in web design, graphic design as well as accounting and writing tasks. These online platforms are evolving and now, in some cases, are partnering with traditional staffing firms. The combination has the potential to change not only how we hire, but how we look at strategies for growing businesses. What’s old is new Short-term and temporary or contract employment is nothing new. However, Gig Economy players and traditional staffing services share many synergies that can help bring together the best of both worlds. For example, Nesco Resource and Field Nation announced a partnership in 2013, one of the first between a traditional staffing firm and a Gig Economy player. This specific partnership offers the geographic reach and online technology of Field Nation combined with the back-office support experience, recruitment expertise, and national brick-and-mortar network of Nesco Resource to create a highly robust tool for companies to find the right talent, right when it’s needed. With this new paradigm, the next

technology “There are 53 million people in the U.S. who are freelancers or contractors.” evolution of the Gig Economy is not only disrupting hiring practices but also the relationship that companies have with service providers. Looking ahead, companies have the opportunity to replace third-party service providers with short-term contractors at a much lower cost. At the same time, they can rethink permanent labor by using more sophisticated tools to better analyze and supplement their direct workforce with highly skilled, trained, vetted contingent labor. Finding the best There was a time when finding the best people for the job meant looking in the permanently employed base for a candidate and then hiring them as a full-time employee. Those days are quickly changing. There are 53 million people in the U.S. who are freelancers or contractors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited 31% of the workforce was contingent in 2006. By 2014 the number grew to 34% and

is projected to grow to 40% by the end of the decade. Additionally most freelancers or contingent workers want to do this kind of work. A Field Nation study revealed that 88% of freelancers and independent contractors surveyed chose this line of work compared with 8% who felt they were forced into this market because they had no other options. Ninety-four percent said they chose the contract lifestyle to better utilize their talents. Imagine a company that could boast those same figures? Wouldn’t you want to tap into that workforce? The movement in the Gig Economy means that more and more jobs and projects can be handled with a contingent workforce — and that workforce may very well hold the most talented, dedicated people happy to work on a project basis.

We’re now able to bring that efficiency and reach to a wide range of other industries. This level of speed, and pinpointing of skills is helping to drive the Gig Economy beyond tech jobs. Companies in manufacturing, engineering, accounting & finance, and a wide range of other markets are finding that contingent labor is not a desperate stop-gap measure; it is, in fact, a pathway to growth. This strategy allows for a highly skilled workforce on a project that can help meet a surge in demand or take advantage of seasonal trends. On the other hand, companies can save time and money by shifting from service providers toward an

August 3, 2015 S11

online platform like the Field Nation / Nesco Resource partnership. The Gig Economy is really a combination of trends converging. An increasing number of people are finding that working on a contingent basis is rewarding both financially and personally. For many companies, The Gig Economy is offering greater flexibility to grow into new markets, take on new clients without fear of overextending current staff or payroll. This crossroads of trends could mean untold opportunities for companies and a new role for HR professionals — as the new drivers of sales growth and increased profitability. Tim McPherson is president & COO of Nesco Resource. For more information call 440-461-6000 or visit www.nescoresource. com.

Proven locally and nationally Contingent labor can be an effective solution on any scale. In the world of IT, for example, there are often largescale projects that require large teams deployed across many locations within a tight timeframe. Using a national recruiting center and a network of branch offices, companies like Nesco Resource are able to pinpoint the talent not just for individual jobs but also for entire teams on projects sometimes across hundreds of worksites. That requires both national reach and local knowledge.



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HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level

S12 August 3, 2015

Gain Easy Access to the Cloud with an HR Portal BY LENNY FAYARD


R leaders everywhere are moving to cloud-based HR technology solutions to meet the consumerlike user expectations of employees and managers in their organizations. Moving to an HR SaaS solution is the first step in unifying data and processes, but often not the final one. Most HR SaaS solutions provide a mobile-enabled, user-friendly selfservice engine for the HR practice areas they support. So why would

technology a company still need an HR portal solution? Ultimately, to have all things HR in one place, an HR portal solution needs to be implemented as well. No matter how unified a SaaS solution is, there are always some HR processes that are handled outside of the core system. Additionally, most HR SaaS solutions do not house policy content or serve as an overall document

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We have over 580 active members making CSHRM a great organization to network with people in the HR community. We have regular monthly programs that touch on a variety of topics, several conferences to H[SDQG \RXU +5 NQRZOHGJH +5 FHUWLÂżFDWLRQ and mentoring programs and much more! For more information - Visit our website at call us at (440) 940-6534 or email us at

management solution. As part of a typical SaaS deployment, integrations will be built to incorporate data to other downstream systems; however, to provide a united user experience, an HR portal solution should be executed. What’s in your portal? When evaluating HR portal solutions, make sure the benefits gained from SaaS are enhanced versus inhibited. The HR portal solution should provide single sign-on to all HR systems and policy content. It should be mobile-enabled, and the user should be able to navigate via deep links. The HR portal should provide on-demand support with checklists, quick reference cards and access to what is needed, when it’s needed. It should also be SaaS-based, and on an evergreen update schedule that not only focuses on technology innovations but also on user experience, behaviors and overall employee and manager needs. When moving HR to the cloud, evaluate an updated HR portal solution in parallel to enable success and offer a holistic and comprehensive solution. Lenny Fayard is UPoint Product Manager for Aon Hewitt. In Northeast Ohio, contact Ryan Black at com or Greg Hubbell at for more information.

“Collaborate, seek input and give people a voice in how things can work better.�

Build a Great Workforce by Taking the Right Steps BY ROBERT SCHEPENS


fter thousands of interviews with CEOs, owners and top HR practitioners in small to medium-sized companies in Northeast Ohio, I’ve learned that those who have made it have a few simple traits in common. These building blocks don’t take a lot of money and can be put straight into action.


Have a purpose to what your company does for the customer, beyond making money from them. Good employees want something more out of work than a paycheck. Employees, vendors and consultants need to know your purpose by and in their heart.  Pick and train good supervisors. People leave bad supervisors not companies.  Have a firm set of workplace values that support your purpose. How do you want people to act on behalf of a customer when you aren’t looking?  Refine the art of onboarding. The immersion of new people into your organization starts the first time you speak with them, not the first day on the job. An “orientation hour� is worse than no immersion.  Leadership needs to be tangible and transparent. Walk the talk. Talk about purpose, values, vision and people in a good way. Be a role model. Walk around, engage and show integrity for your values and purpose. Celebrate accomplishments.  Train, develop and never stop. Training develops confidence. Confidence breeds productivity.



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Get rid of the wrong people. Those who don’t want to join in will rot your core.

business management


No person has all the answers. Collaborate, seek input and give people a voice in how things can work better.  Have an integrated operating plan for all operations, departments and staff. Keep everyone informed. “Mushrooms� don’t make good employees.  Have a vision for tomorrow. Keep everyone, including yourself, fresh and anticipative. If you don’t have it, find someone who does.


10 11

Help workers feel secure with safety, benefits, low turnover, training, sensible management and direction. Â Building the great workplace will produce an efficient, stable and enduring workforce that builds productivity and profits. Robert Schepens is a certified personnel consultant and CEO of Champion Personnel System, Inc. The Great Workplace 2.0 is available on Amazon and through Champion Personnel System. Learn more at the-great-workplace.

HR Leadership Group of Northeast Ohio Taking Talent to the Next Level



Integrated Talent Management Brings Organizational Success BY MARK PLASTER



re your employees and managers feeling supported by the services of your HR function? What technology investments will add the most value? How should HR support your organizational objectives? Developing a roadmap for your human resources function will answer all of these questions and help you create a direct link to your organization’s business strategy. But where do you begin? These five steps will guide you through the process:


Define your current state and vision for the future. Gather a core group of stakeholders to identify the current state, your vision for the future, and the project plan.


Assess your HR function. Four assessments provide the most critical information to align your goals: A time allocation survey requires each HR associate to document their activities based on categories such as benefits administration or performance management. n A service delivery evaluation asks managers and other customers of HR to rate the performance of the HR function, and gathers data on the level of importance for each HR activity. n A practice questionnaire measures your HR practices and policies to help you see how your function compares to high performing organizations. n A skills inventory documents the skills of your current HR staff and compares them to the skills you will need in your future HR function (based on the vision you identified during the planning phase). n


Compare your results to best practices. Once you have the data, you can compare your way of doing HR activities and your level of performance to the best practices in your industry.

business management


Develop your HR roadmap. Using the data as a baseline, conduct a formal planning session to identify your goals that will meet your vision for the future and align with organizational objectives. This session needs to result in a concrete action plan with assigned responsibilities and timelines.


Implement changes. Assigning a project manager to implement the action plan will keep your team on track as you strive to reach your desired state. Taking the time to complete the entire HR service delivery assessment process will ensure you can measure the effectiveness of any changes. It also gives you the direction to create a roadmap. To conduct a quick check of your HR service delivery effectiveness, download our checklist at http:// Kimberlie England is a principal and leader of the Change Management Practice, specializing in managing and driving organizational change. Contact her at kengland@

August 3, 2015 S13

lthough talent management is a widely used term, many organizations take an ad hoc approach to their efforts. There is a lot of “talent” activity taking place, but it is often not as aligned or connected as it could be. This creates much work that often yields minimal results because efforts are disconnected or may not move the organization toward bigger picture goals. To be effective, talent management processes must contribute to the success of the business by attracting, developing and retaining essential talent. Tapping into an organization’s talent philosophy — its “rules of the road” for making talent decisions — is the key to creating an integrated talent management system. This creates success by ensuring that each talent process, while effective on its own, is even more so when aligned and integrated with others. With the proper focus, organizations can establish talent management as a

business management key business process, embedding sound talent practices within the organization. Integrated talent management addresses performance management, associate development, succession planning, and other key practices by creating a roadmap for managing a critical business asset — people. Simply, a talent roadmap takes the many pieces of your HR system, considers them in the unique context of your organization, and aligns them with each other and the big picture business goals. This results in consistent, effective talent practices that reinforce the organization’s overall culture. Talent management becomes a key business process that delivers well-selected, wellskilled and well-matched associates — the lifeblood of any organization. How, as a decision maker, do you get there? While it is essential that your approach be tailored to your

organization, there is a proven roadmap for creating a talent management system. To achieve the best results with the most direct path, organizations need to: Work with business and HR leaders to articulate their talent philosophy. n Identify the relevant elements of a talent management framework. n Conduct an inventory to assess the extent and impact of current efforts. n Establish milestones to keep the process on track and achieve the desired objectives. n

Truly effective talent management results from alignment and thoughtful implementation of an integrated strategy, which focuses activity and yields bigger, business-wide results. Mark Plaster is president at Markwood Partners, LLC. Contact him at 330-768-7035 or mkplaster@

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1:20 PM

Page 1



AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015


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3:17 PM

Page 1

AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015




Full-time equivalent local employees


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ISSUE DATE: October 26 | AD CLOSE: September 25 | MATERIALS DUE: September 29 The October 26 special supplement will be a tribute to 35 years of Crain’s Cleveland Business. This supplement will also feature the Most Connected section.

This is the Who’s Who in Cleveland. They’re successful. They dominate their industry. And, most important, they’re so well-connected, Kevin Bacon would be jealous. In fact, you’re probably connected to a few of these heavy-hitters yourself. Book your ad today to be a part of this monumental supplement. Contact Nicole Mastrangelo at 216-771-5158 or




4:46 PM

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AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015

Above, the opening panel of the summit, “Your Voice, Your Story: Women in media, on media and in our community,” was a lively conversation between Elizabeth McIntyre, editor, Crain’s Cleveland Business; Micki Byrnes, president and GM, WKYC; Dee Perry, senior host/producer, ideastream; and Connie Schultz, columnist, Creators Syndicate. Below, left, Michelle Park Lazette, writer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and Sally Gries, chairman and CEO, Gries Financial LLC, discuss the topic, “Equal Say. Equal Rights. Equal Pay.” Below, right, attendee Anne Owings Ford, with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, poses a question to the panel. At bottom, Teresa Metcalf Beasley, partner, Calfee Halter & Griswold, is joined on stage by her daughters, ShelBy Beasley, a freshman at DePaul University, and ShelLynn Beasley, a junior at Laurel School.

Hundreds of Greater Cleveland women of diverse ages, backgrounds, passions and pursuits joined Crain’s on July 23 at the Cleveland Convention Center for a half-day of candid conversation, provocative thinking, innovative business ideas and workable solutions. Visit us at to view all of our post-event content.



4:48 PM

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AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015


Above, Jodi Berg, CEO, Vitamix, and Reka Barabas, director, Bad Girl Ventures, talk about how the community can better support women in entrepreneurship. Below, Ronn Richard, the Cleveland Foundation’s president and CEO, poses with the event’s “SPARK Ambassadors.” The ambassadors were young women who volunteered to serve as social media correspondents during the program.


Above, summit attendees answered the question, “How can you pay it forward to the next generation of female leaders in our community?” via an interactive post-it wall at the event.

BOOM! #NAILEDIT Growth. Balance. Fun. Experience Life at OEC Developing software solutions for the automotive industry since 2000





4:40 PM

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AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015

REAL ESTATE CLASSIFIED Phone: (216) 522-1383 Fax: (216) 694-4264 Contact: Denise Donaldson E-mail: AUCTION

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



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3 ACRES MIDDLEBURG HTS Pearl near I71 or Bagley Zoned multi or GB MLS #3704084



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40-Slip Marina with 3-Bed Home

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(440) 967-4362


Selling a Business? Ohio Business Brokers Assoc. WWW.OBBA.ORG Find hundreds of businesses. Find a good broker to help.


(800) 690-9409

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

Buying a Business?




NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR 2015 Categories & Criteria Awards will be presented to individuals serving small, medium and large enterprises in the following capacities:


Consideration will be given to: Leadership, business strategy achievement, protection of company interests, governance/compliance, notable legal achievements, community/volunteer effort

FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO NOMINATE, VISIT If you have any questions regarding nominations or the General Counsel program, contact Kim Hill at




4:04 PM

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AUGUST 3 - 9, 2015

THE WEEK JULY 27 - AUGUST 2 The big story:

The University of Akron’s EJ Thomas Hall shut down Monday as staff members were laid off as part of the university’s effort to address a $60 million deficit. The university said it will no longer promote outside events at the venue. EJ Thomas will still host academic programs and be available for rent. Akron Mayor Jeff Fusco said that he believes this is not the last gasp for the venue, which “has been a significant component of quality of life our citizens enjoy.”

Public viewing: ViewRay is now a public company after opting for an “alternative public offering.” The cancer therapy technology company went public through a reverse merger with a shell company that had already filed for an initial public offering; at the same time, the company raised ViewRay’s MRIdian machine $26.7 million from several institutional investors. The Oakwood Village company will trade on the OTC Markets (OTCQB: VRAY). It will use the money to ramp up sales of its MRI-guided radiation therapy machines.

High-profile investor: Abeona Therapeutics, which is developing treatments designed to reverse rare genetic diseases, raised $8.5 million from a few of its existing investors and board members. One of them is Soros Fund Management, a fund founded by iconic billionaire George Soros. The publicly traded company also just received a Job Creation Tax Credit from the state of Ohio. The 45%, six-year credit will help the company renovate and equip a new headquarters on the fourth floor at 6555 Carnegie Ave., which is part of the MidTown Tech Park Campus. The company aims to manufacture its own drugs there — and create the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs in the process.

Flying high: Travel from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has gotten more affordable, according to Last year, it was 66th on the website’s annual airport affordability report. This year, it’s jumped to the No. 8 spot. looks at average airfares on its site during the month of June for a mix of popular domestic and international destinations. According to the report, the average airfare out of Cleveland Hopkins was $278, eighth lowest among 101 airports, as ultra-low-cost airlines increased service after United Airlines closed its Cleveland hub in 2014. (See related story, Page 4.) Debate sideshows: Cleveland will be at the center of the political universe the week of Aug. 3, and the Jones Day law firm and The Washington Post are taking advantage of all the talent in town. The two organizations are hosting an invitation-only, “pre-game conversation,” Wednesday, Aug. 5, in advance of the first Republican presidential candidate debate the next evening. The lineup includes political operatives, journalists and policy makers — in Cleveland to watch and analyze the debate — who will discuss the issues, the candidates and campaign media coverage in Ohio and nationally. The same night, political strategist Karl Rove will be speaking at a $75-a-head college fundraiser at Cibréo Privato in Playhouse Square. That event is co-sponsored by the University of Mount Union, Cleveland State University and the University of Akron. (See related story, Page 3.)





MetroHealth to hire SVP of population health The phrase “population health” might be cliché to many working in health care today, but for The MetroHealth System, it’s a way of doing business. So much so, in fact, that the health system is hiring for the newly created position of senior vice president of population health. The idea is to find someone who can help accelerate MetroHealth’s transformation from a health system that only cares for people when they’re sick into one that keeps people healthy. This individual, who will report directly to MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros, will develop and lead programs that will help the system find the root causes of patients’ health risks and “upstream our intervention to make the biggest impact,” according to an email from Boutros. This, of course, isn’t MetroHealth’s first foray in the population health arena. As Medicaid eligibility expanded under the Affordable Care Act — and before that, through an experimental waiver in Cuyahoga County — the health system has retooled itself to manage the health care of these challenging populations. Some of those efforts include the usual targeted outreach to high-risk patients. Other efforts include offering patients transportation and even legal assistance. The health system has also taken over the local care coordination efforts for CareSource, a nonprofit Medicaid managed care plan, and launched a Medicare accountable care organization. — Timothy Magaw


the hospital was the first of its kind. Ford has a big presence in the Cleveland area, and the F-650 and F-750 will be made at the Avon Lake plant. The company wanted to do something for the community and show its commitment for the Cleveland area, Lowrey said. The toys were donated by Funrise. — Rachel Abbey McCafferty

Small business center goes to college


Giant Tonka truck revs up smiles at Clinic The Ford Motor Co. brought a biggerthan-life-size Tonka truck — and plenty of presents — to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation on Thursday, July 30, for a Christmas in July event. The vehicle has a dump truck body on one of Ford’s prototypes for a model year 2016 F-750 truck, said Mark Lowrey, marketing manager for the F-series fleet trucks. The company worked with Funrise Toy Corp., which has a license from Hasbro for the Tonka brand, to create the truck with the Tonka labels and in the trucks’ “iconic” yellow. “The general public has really taken to this,” Lowrey said. The vehicle was debuted at a truck show in March and has made appearances at kidfriendly events, Lowrey said, but the visit to

BEST OF THE BLOGS Excerpts from recent blog entries on

Someone tell LeBron

COMPANY: Post-Up Stand, Maple Heights PRODUCT: Line of tabletop sign holders The large-format printed signage and trade show display supplier says its new line of tabletop sign holders “is aimed at an upscale market.” The display line features metal bases, as well as a few acrylic holders, for promotional signage “that can be used in high-end department stores, hotel lobbies or any reception area,” according to the company. Post-Up Stand says the tabletop display line features bond paper prints and PVC boards, the latter of which uses a UV printing process that is the result of the company’s recently-acquired flatbed HP Scitex FB700 UV printer. The new display sign holders add to Post-Up Stand’s existing table banner displays, which include retractable and pop-up models in five designs. Two of the tabletop sign holders offer the option of double-sided graphics “for increased visibility of the printed message,” according to the company. The company says the versatility of the tabletop signage “lends well to industries that will need to change out the graphics often,” like retail stores, restaurants and event centers. For information, visit Send information about new products to managing editor Scott Suttell at

Small business owners on the far East Side now have plenty of free expertise under one roof. The Ohio Small Business Development Center serving Lake and Geauga counties has moved to Lakeland Community College. Previously, the program had been co-sponsored by the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority and split between two locations in Painesville and Kirtland. The new location, located off Interstate 90 at the state Route 306 exit, will allow small business owners the opportunity to access the college’s other resources catered toward the business community, including free access to fully equipped, professional office space. All of the resources from the Ohio Small Business Development Center will continue and are still free to residents of Lake and Geauga counties who own or want to start a small business. They can seek help with business planning, market research, human resources, regulatory guidance and finding capital and financing. — Timothy Magaw

A long New York Times profile of a Bronx high school basketball coach, Marc Skelton, and some of his colleagues had an intriguing nugget for Cavaliers fans. It’s a great feature (with terrific photos) about people who are good at their jobs and are highly committed to what they do. This part was especially relevant: Skelton is among a cluster of New York coaches, men and women, who study the game with a Talmudic intensity. They attend conferences, write for websites and have taught at basketball camps. … They study the work of Princeton’s legendary Pete Carril and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach, David Blatt (LeBron James’s complaints to the contrary, Blatt is revered as an innovator). They steal one another’s plays and techniques, and keep a wary eye on new rivals.

Shaker heights Northeast Ohio, it seems, is a region of movers and shakers among people who collect salt and pepper shakers. A charming Washington Post story about the recent Novelty Salt and Pepper Shakers Club Convention near Washington, D.C., featured a few Northeast Ohio residents, most prominently Joyce and Bill Fisher, who live in suburban Cleveland. Sixty years ago, the paper said, they got a marriage license and “an ugly present” — a salt and pepper shaker set shaped like teacups, with faces on their sides and holes in their heads. In 2015, the Fishers own 15,000 salt and pepper shaker sets. “We had three children,” Joyce Fisher told the paper, explaining how she and her husband accumulated so many at their home. “When you’re raising children, you don’t buy shakers, you buy shoes. But then the children move out, and the shakers

don’t talk back, and the shakers don’t need to eat. So, I kept them.” The story featured a great picture of Akron’s Bonny Schwitzgable surrounded by shakers. She told The Post she acquired her first salt and pepper set at the age of 6. “The rest is history,” she said. Also pictured was Joshua Weaver of Hudson, who holds his 4-year-old daughter, Alexie, outside the hotel room of his mother, Karen, whose room is filled with salt and pepper shakers for sale. Although most shakers sell for less than $25 per set, some “are worth thousands of dollars,” according to the newspaper. Bill Fisher tells the paper he once saw a one-ofa-kind pair shaped like “The Jetsons” go for $7,000.

Business is hopping Craft beer is a frothy business these days, according to a new report from Nielsen, and Cleveland is a particularly strong market for it. “In terms of sales, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger stand-out in the beer category than craft,” the service said. “For starters, higher-end priced products such as craft are driving most of the growth across the overall beer market, but the total beer category growth has been paltry. In fact, volume for the whole category grew just 0.6% for the 52-week period ending June 20, 2015. Comparatively, however, volume growth of craft beer for the same period was 10.2% — on par with the growth of Mexican imports.” Nielsen says consumers’ desire to search for and buy local is growing. The Midwest and Southeast are the strongest growth markets. And Cleveland, in particular, stands out. Nielsen ranks cities in three categories: craft beer’s dollar share of the local market; its change in dollar share from a year ago; and its sales volume percentage change from a year ago. Cleveland ranks No. 7, No. 4 and No. 3, respectively, in those categories.



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