$2.00/NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
THE SCOOP ON PIERRE’S
Companies’ confidence in economy regresses
Ice cream maker to unveil new items, possibly boost output By KATHY AMES CARR email@example.com
Survey: Manufacturers skittish, but area firms optimistic on future
ure, it may be its most popular flavor, but hardly anything Pierre’s has done in the ice cream market has been plain vanilla. The Cleveland-based company that was founded in 1932 has expanded several times within the city’s borders, and continues to innovate by adding products that satisfy the cravings of a diverse customer base. “Every flavor we come out with has to be, ‘Wow, amazing,’” said Shelley Roth, president and CEO of Pierre’s Ice Cream Co. “You’d think it were simple, but it’s not. It’s really a mix of art and culinary skills.”
By DAN SHINGLER firstname.lastname@example.org
See PIERRE’S Page 9
JASON MILLER/PROVIDED ART
ABOVE: Pierre’s CEO Shelley Roth chills out in the company’s freezer, which is set to a cool minus 25 degrees and holds the equivalent of 36 million scoops of ice cream. The Cleveland company in June unveiled its new 35,000-square-foot ice cream factory, which enables Pierre’s to at least double its production capacity. LEFT: Ice cream containers move through the production process.
In what may be the first chinks in the armor of an anemic recovery, confidence is waning and order expectations are declining among U.S. companies that machine, bend, stamp and fabricate things from metal, according to a survey by the Precision Metalforming Association in Independence. PMA surveys its members across the country each month. This month, it found that more of them were pessimistic about the economy, as well as their nearterm business prospects, INSIDE: A month-bythan at any time since 2009. month look at the decline Only 11% of 132 comin confidence among PMA panies surveyed said they survey participants on expected general business projected order volume conditions to improve over and general business the next three months. conditions. Page 16 The last time optimism was that tough to find among the survey’s respondents was in February 2009, when only 9% predicted the economy was about to improve. At that time, the nation lost nearly 700,000 jobs in a month and the stock market was dipping to a 12year low that was only half of its peak value. To be sure, businesses today are not as concerned as they were in early 2009 — and the PMA survey only asks if they think business and the economy will improve from their present conditions, not if they will plunge into another recession. What’s more, only 28% of November’s See SURVEY Page 16
Bioinnovation progress seen in invention uptick Akron institute, hospitals also confident in potential By CHUCK SODER email@example.com
Doctors at the three major hospital systems in Akron have submitted 88 ideas for new inventions over the past year. That’s up from 25 last year. And zero the year before.
Many more are on the way, given that most of the increase was from Summa Health System, said Thom Olmstead, director of technology assessment and business development for the Medical Device and Development Center at the Austen BioInnovation Institute of Akron. Akron General Health System and Akron Children’s Hospital are just starting to ramp up their innovation efforts, Mr. Olmstead said. “We’re not even beginning to scratch the surface there,” he said.
The huge increase in invention disclosures is one of the early achievements of the Austen BioInnovation Institute, which was founded three years ago by the three hospital systems, the University of Akron and the Northeast Ohio Medical University, or NEOMED. The institute — an effort designed to get the institutions to work together to create technologies and improve patient care — also will spend $12.8 million to transform three floors of a 32,000-square-foot building
INSIDE Browns after more certainty The team is offering club seat customers a three-year price freeze if they commit to five more years. But with those ticket prices rising only slightly over the past four seasons, is the commitment worth it? ALSO INSIDE: ■ Tallmadge tech outfit helping banks better identify customers’ habits. PAGE 5 ■ Mystery buyer nabs mortgage on office portion of downtown Cleveland’s Chase Tower. PAGE 9
See AKRON Page 4
EVENT PLANNING Businesses incorporate nontraditional elements of entertainment into their gatherings ■ Page 13 PLUS: SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH ■ ADVISER ■ & MORE
Entire contents © 2011 by Crain Communications Inc. Vol. 32, No. 48
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
CORRECTION In the Forty Under 40 section published Nov. 21, the story on SparkBase Inc. president Geoff Hardman incorrectly described how his older brother Doug Hardman came to own SparkBase. In 2007, the elder Mr. Hardman bought NewMarket Solutions’ card processing partner, SparkBase, and recruited his brother to join him.
COMING NEXT WEEK Law firm managing partners are tasked with handling many different duties. We look at how they balance those varied tasks in our periodic Legal Affairs section.
List: Largest savings institutions ................17 Reporters’ Notebook.....19 Tax Liens......................12 What’s Cooking...............6
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
PARTY TIME If for some reason you really don’t want to attend the office holiday party, your career probably won’t suffer from the decision. In a survey by staffing services firm OfficeTeam, 61% of executives whose companies host holiday parties said there’s no unwritten rule requiring employees to attend. Of course, that means 39% of bosses expect you to be there, so judge accordingly. Here’s how more than 1,000 senior managers surveyed said their companies will celebrate the holidays this year (multiple responses were allowed):
Type of function Off-site party
REGULAR FEATURES Big Issue ........................8 Bright Spots ...................7 Classified .....................18 Editorial .........................8 Going Places ................10
3Q 2007 41%
On-site party or luncheon
Informal gift exchanges
Our company does not host holiday celebrations
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NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
X-rays mark the spot for radiology firm Aris takes advantage of hospitals’ move to outsourcing work, sees business boom By TIMOTHY MAGAW firstname.lastname@example.org
Chances are your late-night X-ray after an unexpected emergency room visit won’t be analyzed down the hall, but rather by a radiologist hundreds — if not thousands — of miles away.
And if Carl Kozlowski has a say in the matter, the Hudson-based company of which he’s president, Aris Teleradiology Inc., will be a part of the imaging equation. Since Aris’ launch in 2007, Mr. Kozlowski said, the provider of radiology services on a contract basis has seen its business explode at an
annual revenue growth rate of 542% as more hospitals outsource their radiological work. Mr. Kozlowski maintains it turned a profit just 21 months after its founding. Simply put, Aris allows hospitals and other medical groups to transmit images Kozlowski over a secure network to be analyzed by the company’s on-call radiologists. Mr. Kozlowski said community hospitals have difficulty staffing radiologists, particularly spe-
THE WEEK IN QUOTES
By STAN BULLARD email@example.com
“We want to focus on Northeast Ohio; that is our core customer base, and we want to maintain and excite and enhance that customer base. But we’d like our brand to be enjoyed in other markets in the East Coast and Midwest.” — Shelley Roth, president and CEO of Pierre’s Ice Cream Co. Page One
“There’s a hyper focus on specific strategies. … Companies aren’t doling money out across the board; they’re being very specific, with educational or communitybased opportunities.” — Gina Morris, director of marketing and public relations with Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Page 15
See ARIS Page 18
Starmax Resource calls former 7UP plant in Maple Heights home, lauds central location
— Jim Drabik, owner of Drabik Manufacturing in Cleveland. Page One
— Geoff Short, sales and promotions manager for Jerry Bruno Productions. Page 13
radiology group. The investment will allow Aris to expand its national footprint, according to Mr. Kozlowski. Aris has clients in 14 states, but over the next five years it plans to expand its client base to more than 40 states. As part of the growth, the company plans to build regional offices around the country with sales people, most likely starting out west. Aris was largely the brainchild of a handful of executives at Summa,
Room for expansion drives cleaning supply wholesaler’s move
“It’s starting to go back to the roller coaster ride up and down. One week, you get a bunch of quotes and orders and the next week it’s dead.”
“Clients are demanding and wanting out-ofthe-box entertainment solutions. … They are really looking for creative options.”
cialists, 24 hours a day. “Now these hospitals know they don’t have to deal with the limitations of having one radiologist in the chair that day,” Mr. Kozlowski said. Mr. Kozlowski said a Connecticut-based private equity firm, Great Point Partners, recently invested an undisclosed amount in Aris, which is owned by Summa Health System and Akron Radiology Inc., a private
Starmax, founded by Karl Zou company in 2000, sells mops, brooms and other cleaning supplies.
Starmax Resource LLC, a global company that embraces the foundation of a century-old local concern, is turning on the lights at the former 7UP building in Maple Heights. Starmax leased the entire, 115,000square-foot industrial building at 14301 Industrial Ave. because it needs room to expand, particularly with additional parking for trucks on the property’s 10-acre grounds, said Karl Zou, Starmax president and owner. Previously, the company was in 100,000 square feet in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland. However, Mr. Zou said its operations were constrained by multitenant operations there, and the layout was less efficient than that offered by the Maple Heights building. With its move to Maple Heights already under way, Starmax is shifting 16 jobs to Maple Heights from Collinwood. The company sells a variety of mops, brooms and other cleaning apparatuses and materials wholesale to a bevy of national retailers. Mr. Zou said he founded Starmax in 2000 in Beachwood as a warehouse and distribution company after he worked for years as an international trade specialist See STARMAX Page 5
ArcelorMittal, Lakeland team on training program Steelmaker anticipating big needs as current work force continues to age By DAN SHINGLER firstname.lastname@example.org
With many of its existing steelworkers nearing retirement, ArcelorMittal knows it will need new ones in Cleveland soon. So the steelmaker intends to forge them itself from the local population with the help of Lakeland Community College and possibly other schools. “The average age of our employees in Cleveland is 57,” said Mark Langbehn, the company’s head of
hourly employee training. “We have an image we have to rebuild as far as jobs in manufacturing and jobs in the steel industry go.” To recruit and train the new workers it needs, the company has partnered with Lakeland to introduce a two-year associate’s degree program. It includes two internships at ArcelorMittal that will pay enough to cover the cost of the degree before the student graduates, according to the steelmaker. “The cost of going to a community
college is between $7,000 and $9,000, so they’ll make enough between their two internships to pay for their education,” Mr. Langbehn said. After that, he said, students have a huge leg up on getting a job at the plant — and those jobs pay well. “The average steelworker makes $70,000 to $75,000 a year with full benefits,” Mr. Langbehn said. Students who enroll in the programs will earn associates degrees in either industrial electronics or maintenance and repair, with special
coursework designed to teach safety regulations and procedures specific to the steel industry. In addition to the two paid internships at ArcelorMittal during their schooling, they’ll get another year of training at the company as paid employees once hired. Working closely with manufacturers is not new for Lakeland.
One hand washes another The school already designs much of its coursework to meet the needs of area manufacturers, and it works closely with many of them in Lake See MITTAL Page 17
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
Browns offer price freeze on club seats But customers must commit to five seasons By JOEL HAMMOND email@example.com
The Cleveland Browns are making a push to lock in premium seat buyers at Cleveland Browns Stadium, literature recently distributed by the team to those customers shows. The Browns are offering club seat buyers the opportunity to lock in their current prices — ranging from $1,260 to $2,800 for a season ticket, depending on location within the club seating area — for three years if they commit to buying their seats for five years and sign up for that plan by this Thursday, Dec. 1. The five-year option would be subject to a 3% hike in 2015 and again in 2016, according to team literature, which would amount to a first-year jump of $38 for the cheapest club seats and $84 for the most expensive. The plan is an attempt by the Browns to maintain their season ticket base in an era where uncertainty — especially in premium seat areas — reigns. “The certainty is obviously advan-
tageous for us” in terms of the effort required to sell those seats if it can lock buyers in for multiple years, said Jim Ross, the team’s vice president of business development. “We’re not renewing that entire base every year. For customers, it’s price assurance.” The club area at Browns Stadium offers customers a climate-controlled bar and seating area. In addition to the price freeze, the Browns are providing fans who commit to five more years a $250 voucher to be used at concession or merchandise stands at the stadium. The Browns’ offer is not unusual. Bill Dorsey, chairman of the Cincinnati-based Association of Luxury Suite Directors, said some teams are including an all-inclusive food option in similar long-term club seat deals, thus giving those who commit for an extended period another perk that customers with shorter terms don’t have. Whether the Browns’ offer lures more customers to commit long term remains to be seen.
Akron: Hospitals alter approaches continued from PAGE 1
OUR WORK MEAN MORE
OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUR
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in downtown Akron into a mock hospital. There, medical students and practicing physicians would train and practice their skills with the help of actors, cadavers, dummies and computer simulators. The building, at 47 N. Main St., is scheduled to be finished by April. It will house the institute’s headquarters on its third floor. The institute has faced challenges, said president and CEO Dr. Frank Douglas. For one, it lost a $5 million earmark from the U.S. Department of Defense a year ago, when both houses of Congress decided not to pass any earmarks for two years, he said. Plus, the institute expects to receive less state money than originally forecast because the Ohio Third Frontier economic development program now aims to fund more startups and less research. Dr. Douglas said he plans to spend much of 2012 raising money from the philanthropic community. Regardless, the institute — which still receives money from its five partner institutions and several other sources — is off to a good start, he said. “I will say without fear that you will not find another institution that has made as much progress” in three years, Dr. Douglas said.
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The Austen BioInnovation Institute has played a big role in changing the culture at Summa, said Steven Schmidt, vice president of clinical research and innovation at the hospital system. Summa has been issued only a handful of patents over the past 35 years, he said. The system started
working to change that situation in 2009, when it updated its intellectual property policy to extend beyond Akron City Hospital and to give bigger payouts to whomever invents technology that produces revenue. In June 2010, staff from Austen’s Medical Device and Development Center started meeting with Summa physicians to gather their ideas for inventions, help them identify problems and find ways to solve them. Summa already is negotiating a deal to license out a technology it developed with the institute’s help. That technology, called PacerMan, includes a dummy made with materials designed to give medical students and doctors a realistic sense of what it feels like to guide pacemaker leads through the body to stimulate the heart. The technology also includes software that gives users feedback on their performance. Summa alone produced more than 50 invention disclosures over the past 12 months, Mr. Olmstead said. Akron Children’s produced 20 and Akron General produced six, but those numbers should go up considerably because neither of those hospital systems had viable intellectual property policies in place when they started working with Austen, he said.
As real as can be Austen’s medical device center — which also helps partner institutions develop device prototypes and is almost done building out a prototyping laboratory near the institute’s new headquarters — is just one of the four centers within the organization, which employs 25 people. For now, Austen’s Center for Simulation and Integrated Health
“Every team has its own supplyand-demand curve,” Mr. Dorsey said. “If it’s the (Green Bay) Packers? Fans likely would jump on it. If it’s the Browns, where there is excess inventory? It’s not as easy a sell.” One club ticket buyer who spoke with Crain’s said his tickets haven’t risen in price since after the 2007 season, the Browns’ last winning year, when they went 10-6 and nearly made the playoffs. He said he’s still considering whether to make the five-year commitment for his four club seats. Customers who only want to renew their club seats for 2012 will not see a price increase next year if they commit by Thursday. In addition, customers who pay for their club seat plans in full by March 1 will have access to a Meet the Coaches event, a $50 merchandise/concession voucher and a hat. Customers who pay in full by April receive the voucher and hat. Those who don’t renew their club seats could be subject to repayment of their personal seat license fee — the fee customers must pay for the right to buy seats at the stadium, except in the east end zone — which costs as much as $1,500 per seat for club seats. Mr. Ross acknowledged that prices have not gone up in the club seat area. “But,” he added, “that doesn’t mean they won’t.” “The time to raise these prices may be coming soon,” he said. “That’s the proposition for (ticket buyers).” ■
Care Education is using a large ambulance that has been converted into a medical simulation center. Once built, the permanent simulation center should portray what it’s like to treat a patient from the moment an actor arrives in the fake waiting room through the end of a fake surgery on a dummy or cadaver in the fake operating room, said Dr. Michael Holder, vice president for the center. Dr. Douglas, the institute’s leader, noted that researchers from partner institutions are working together on several grant-financed research projects related to wound healing and orthopedics through the institute’s Center for Biomaterials and Medicine. That center includes the six-monthold Akron Functional Materials Center, housed on the University of Akron campus. There, researchers are collaborating with 15 companies to develop new technologies, most which would be available to the whole group, Dr. Douglas said. “We may bring together a polymer scientist with a physician from Summa with a biochemist from NEOMED,” he said. The Center for Community Health Improvement is working on ways to unite Akron’s social service agencies and health care providers to make the community as a whole healthier. For instance, it is creating a program to help diabetes patients more easily tap community resources. Plus, the center is building a network of physicians interested in helping drug companies do clinical trials that would test the effects of drugs after they have been released. The institute aims to bring even more clinical trials to the community through a newly created Clinical Trials Center, Dr. Douglas said. “We recognize the fact that there’s a real opportunity,” he said. ■
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NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
Tallmadge tech outfit sees dollar signs with banking software By MICHELLE PARK firstname.lastname@example.org
It has doubled its work force in the past year, and Segmint Inc. in Tallmadge expects to accelerate its growth further by banking on what it deems “a bank’s most successful branch of the future” — Facebook. Incorporated in 2007, Segmint provides a digital platform that analyzes customers’ spending patterns, which enables companies to deliver highly targeted online advertising to those customers, all without revealing a person’s identity. For example, if Segmint identifies for a bank that customer No. 345 has started spending money frequently on home improvement, that information presents an opportunity for the bank to advertise a home equity product, said Rob Heiser, Segmint president and CEO. Segmint’s work force, which includes employees, consultants and interns, has increased to roughly 30 from 14 last November, Mr. Heiser said. In addition, the company now has more than 40 customers, whereas a year ago it had signed its first customer, Mr. Heiser noted. Segmint’s customers include banks, credit unions and financial technology providers. And there’s more to come, according to Mr. Heiser. The company has a “very robust sales funnel” and likely will make a lot of large announcements in the next few
months, Mr. Heiser said. Segmint, he noted, is talking with some of the country’s largest institutions. “We’ve had a very good year,” he said. “I think next year will be a much bigger year than this year.”
The Facebook connection Later this month, Segmint plans to introduce its new, trademarked SegmintSocial, which allows banks to identify their customers precisely on Facebook and to engage them in real-time, personalized dialogue. This newest product mimics the way a bank employee might recognize a customer inside a branch, only it allows for a different kind of recognition on Facebook. The way it works: A person visiting an institution’s Facebook page must “allow” the sharing of information per Facebook policy. If he or she does, Segmint’s technology assesses if the visitor is a bank customer, and if so, the bank’s Facebook page automatically is customized to deliver a personalized experience for that individual. The customer then can use a private dialogue box on a bank’s Facebook page to submit questions and concerns, though they still need to visit the bank’s official site to transact business. On the other end of that dialogue, the bank can see
Starmax: Supplier spots opportunity with big boxes continued from PAGE 3
for Sunshine Industries Inc., which became Starmax’s largest customer. While he had worked at Sunshine, a century-old supplier of cleaning equipment, Mr. Zou launched a factory of his own in Shanghai that produced equipment for Sunshine and other customers. The classic immigrant entrepreneurial story is at work at Starmax. Mr. Zou grew up in China and emigrated in 1991 to the United States, where he received a master’s degree in economics at the University of Toledo. He came to Cleveland to work for Sunshine, he said. After Sunshine succumbed in 2005, Starmax bought its assets from creditors. One change Starmax made in Sunshine’s business was the vertical integration provided by its own manufacturing capability. That operation grew so much that it replaced its original Shanghai factory with a larger one 100 miles away at Jiangsu, China, that now employs 300 people. The company continues to maintain an office in Shanghai and has another in Hong Kong. Total sales are in the $10 million range today compared with $3 million in 2004, Mr. Zou said.
Filling a big hole Leslie Gambosi, Maple Heights economic development director, said Starmax sought no incentives from the city and moved on the deal based on the building’s central location and proximity to highways. “It’s huge for us to get this,” Miss
Gambosi said, because Starmax fills the third-largest empty space in the suburb. The 7-Up bottling operation moved to Twinsburg last winter, she said. Terry Coyne, executive vice president of Grubb & Ellis Co., represented the building owner, DonDa LLC, in the transaction. David Sternberg, the broker at Metro Space Realty of Cleveland, represented the tenant. Mr. Coyne said the transaction shows continuing appetite for industrial real estate in Northeast Ohio as manufacturing and related industries remain stronger than the lagging economic recovery. Next on Starmax’s horizon at a so-far-undetermined date is a distribution operation somewhere on the West Coast. “Sometimes we ship products here from the West Coast only to shift them back,” Mr. Zou said. “It’s wasteful.” Avenues for growth for this concern remain. Mr. Zou said Starmax is pitching to become a supplier to national big-box home improvement retailers, which it does not sell to currently. Among Starmax’s workers are employees from S.A.W. Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides work for people with developmental disabilities and is a partner with the Cuyahoga County Board of Development Disabilities. S.A.W. workers sometimes can number as many as 40 for Starmax, depending on the workload and marketing promotions, Mr. Zou said. ■
what Segmint calls a customer’s “Key Lifestyle Indicators,” such as how they’ve spent money recently and their overdraft history. The result? A bank doesn’t need to look up account information in order to respond quickly to those reaching out to it on Facebook. For example, if a customer asks why he or she was assessed an overdraft charge, a bank could see immediately via SegmintSocial that the per-
son has an account subject to overdraft charges; it then could suggest that the customer switch to an account that will avoid them in the future. Segmint executives demonstrated SegmintSocial in September for 1,000 bankers at a conference in New York City. “Honestly, it blew everybody away,” Mr. Heiser said. “We’ve talked to some very large institutions that had no idea that this was possible.” Banks need to adopt and embrace social media, Mr. Heiser said. “If they don’t, their customers are going to start moving to institutions that are,” he said. “The social lives of a lot of citizens are going to happen digitally.”
It’s working in Smithville Segmint’s only active client in Ohio, Wayne County Community Federal Credit Union, has seen online product applications double since it began using Segmint this spring, according to CEO Chris Blough. The credit union based in
Smithville, a village in Wayne County, is receiving at least five online applications a month where it used to receive one or two, he said. Tailoring the credit union’s ads to specific members has helped convince them to do more on the institution’s website than blindly click through to their own online banking accounts, Mr. Blough said. The credit union, with $42 million in total assets and 5,500 members, is planning to use SegmintSocial, too. “It’s a step forward in social media marketing,” Mr. Blough said. Segmint last month secured a $1.5 million loan through the state’s Third Frontier program, which promotes technology-related economic development in Ohio. The money will be used for software development, Mr. Heiser said. Mr. Heiser is adamant about growing Segmint in Northeast Ohio and helping to establish a technology hub in the Midwest. “Many people have told me I should move to the coasts, and I refuse,” he said. “This is my home. “I am ecstatic,” he continued. “I think what we’re doing — doing this from Ohio — is incredible. As you have successes, it definitely spawns more successes. ■
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
increase fruit consumption and help people live healthier lives.”
WHAT’S COOKING What’s Cooking is a Crain’s blog that each Monday posts business news occurring in Northeast Ohio’s culinary, winery and brewery industries. Check it out at www.CrainsCleveland.com. To submit information, email Kathy Ames Carr at email@example.com. ■ Healthy Foods LLC is realizing the fruits of its labor after it recently announced a strategic partnership with Dole Food Co. that will expand the availability of healthy soft-serve desserts made with the Cleveland manufacturer’s yonanas frozen treat maker. Healthy Foods and the Hawaiibased producer of fruit and vegetables will develop and launch a commercial yonanas maker to be used in restaurants, schools, hospitals, hotels and other commercial institutions. Healthy Foods’ yonanas maker transforms frozen fruit into a product that tastes like soft-serve ice cream. The two companies will encourage
restaurants and other institutional customers to use Dole fruit with the yonanas maker. The alliance also will involve co-branding of the companies’ other products. “This partnership will quickly move yonanas to a larger stage,” said Winston Breeden, Healthy Foods CEO. “With the power and reach of the Dole brand, our company will be able to raise our profile at both the consumer and commercial levels.” Healthy Foods said the partnership includes new packaging for the $49.99 consumer version of the yonanas maker, which is sold at major retailers including Target, Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon. “At Dole, we continuously strive to bring healthy, nutritious food options to people around the world. Working with Healthy Foods is consistent with this mission,” said David H. Murdock, chairman of Dole Foods. “The yonanas product gives us a new platform to
This will perk you up ■ Erie Island Coffee Co. likely will experience a pleasant jolt in sales with its first foray into the grocery retail market. The operation that has locations in Rocky River and downtown Cleveland said it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Heinen’s for the grocer to carry several of the local brand’s coffee products throughout the next year. Annalie Glazen, an Erie Island Coffee partner, said all 17 Northeast Ohio Heinen’s stores are selling Erie Island’s signature blend, craftsman blend, French roast, decaf signature blend, Hazelnut blend and a flavored coffee that combines Mexican liquor, caramel and vanilla bean. “This is our first major retailer placement and it has been really well-received,” Ms. Glazen said. “We would love to reach other markets in the future, but our relationship with Heinen’s is unique because (it is) a local company as well.” The coffee sells for $8.99 a pound.
Insights from a business owner
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
Cut out the pork ■ Market Garden Brewery’s inaugural “nose to tail” beer dinner has been set for 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday, Nov. 29. Chef Michael Nowak will pair a five-course pork-based menu with beers brewed by the Market Garden and Lancaster-based Rockmill Brewery. Matt Barbee from Rockmill and Market Garden’s Andy Tveekrem will discuss each beer pairing and will revel in the festivities. The dinner will feature an heirloom pastureraised pig from Tea Hills Farm in Loudonville, Ohio. The menu items include: ■ mixed charcuterie, house pickles and fruit mostarda, paired with Rockmill Saison; ■ roasted loin with sunchoke puree and herbed carrots, with Boss Amber Lager; ■ crispy smoked face with Ohio City chard, black-eyed peas and Market Garden’s Pale Ale; ■ lacquered belly with squash variations, paired with Festivus; ■ braised shoulder with bacon bread pudding and braised greens, with Rockmill’s Maraschino Dubbel; and ■ mixed sweets with St. Emeric Stout. Tickets cost $45. To make reservations, call 216-621-4000.
And for the gumbo crowd … ■ A restaurant that serves Southern cuisine has opened in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. Chef and owner Nolan Konkoski has unveiled his much-anticipated Southern Hospitality concept, known
as SOHO, at 1889 W. 25th Street. The menu includes items such as duck gumbo, crawfish fritters, fried green tomatoes, catfish po’boy, shrimp and grits, low country boil, chicken and waffles, pecan pie and, of course, beignets. Mr. Konkoski said the total project cost was $150,000, paid for in part with a $40,000 low-interest loan from the city of Cleveland, an SBA loan and $7,000 from the Charter One Growing Communities grant. The grant will assist SOHO’s patio build-out along Gould Court, between West 25th Street and the West Side Market parking lot. Hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Sweet event for children ■ A culinary instructor in Perrysburg who also has been a contestant on a Food Network competition show will guide children and their families through a gingerbread housemaking event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan. Chef Jim Rhegness of Penta Career Center will show young bakers how to construct and decorate a gingerbread house they can take home and enjoy as a seasonal decoration. “This annual event has become one of the highlights of the holiday season,” said Barb Jones, director of the nonprofit Veggie U, which educates students on nutritional eating and food sourcing. Mr. Rhegness is a past “Food Network Challenge: Gingerbread Champions” contestant and has appeared with his gingerbread creations nationwide. Cost for the class is $35 and is limited to 35 participants. Call 419499-7500 for more information. Proceeds benefit Veggie U. Chef Jim Rhegness of the Perrysburgbased Penta Career Center will help children build gingerbread houses as part of an event that benefits Milanbased VeggieU. PHOTO PROVIDED
“I’m six-foot-five and even I felt like the phone company l o o k e d d o w n o n m e . S w i t c h i n g t o C o x c h a n g e d t h a t .”
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NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
Its services include short-term export credit insurance; mediumand long-term export credit insurance; investment insurance, bond and guarantee business; debt and capital retrieval business; and credit assessment business.
BRIGHT SPOTS Bright Spots is a periodic feature in Crain’s, highlighting positive business news in Northeast Ohio. To submit information, please e-mail Scott Suttell at firstname.lastname@example.org. ■ There are five Ohio companies, including three from Northeast Ohio, on the new Top 100 Military-Friendly employers list from G.I. Jobs magazine. Magazine editors reviewed data from more than 5,000 companies nationwide. This is an award for large organizations, as only companies with more than $500 million in revenue were eligible to compete. Topping the list among Northeast Ohio companies was FirstEnergy Corp. at No. 42. Also on the list was auto insurer Progressive Corp. (No. 67) and diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. (No. 78). The two other Ohio companies that made the cut were uniform company Cintas (No. 64) and American Electric Power (No. 82). Among factors considered in the rankings are a company’s assets dedicated to hiring military, the percentage of new veterans hired and Reserve/Guard policies. ■ The Timken Co. has taken its online auto-aftermarket catalog site mobile, with new applications designed for iPhones, Android devices and Blackberry smart phones. Each app contains all the functionalities of the original site, www.TimkenInfo.com. Through the applications, users can search for Timken products by year, make, model, part number or even an industry part number, the company said. In addition, the app “offers convenient access to torque specifications for Timken products, as added earlier this year to Timken Info.com,” according to the company. Available torque specs cover axle nuts, flange bolts and wheel studs. “Our customers tell us training and easy access to information are two of the most important things we can provide beyond quality products themselves,” said Barry Harris, Timken’s manager of global strategy, marketing and cataloging, in a statement. “We want Timken to be the trusted source for professional technicians to find technical information about today’s toughest bearing and seal questions.”
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CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
■ Cleveland law firm Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. received the “Most Valuable Partner Award” from the China Export & Credit Insurance Corp., known as Sinosure. Weltman Weinberg said the reward is “in recognition of the outstanding performance in amicable debt collection, litigation, investigation, response, efficiency, valueadded service and flexibility during the period of 2009 and 2010.” Sinosure has been a client of Weltman Weinberg since spring 2006. Weltman Weinberg partners George R. Hicks Jr. and Michael F. Schmitz were presented the award in Guilin, China, on a visit in October. Sinosure is China’s official export credit insurance agency, offering export credit and credit insurance.
■ The Lake County Captains, the Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, have introduced a new logo to commemorate the team’s coming 10th anniversary season in Northeast Ohio. The team moved from Columbus, Ga., and began playing at Classic Park in Eastlake in April 2003. Its new logo incorporates the ship design that is featured on the sleeve patch Captains players wear
on their uniforms and adds “10” to the bow of the ship. A ribbon below the ship with “2003” and “2012” signifies the inaugural year as well as the coming season. A Captains “C” logo with the lighthouse rising from the bottom of the letter will separate the two years on the ribbon. “This is a milestone year for our organization and we feel that the logo that will represent the 10th anniversary is one that our community will be proud of,” said Brad Seymour, Captains vice president and general manager, in a statement. The logo will be featured on merchandise available at the gift store at Classic Park as well as online at the team’s website. It will be seen
on all team-issued print materials produced for the 2012 season. ■ Beckham’s B&M Bar-B-Que plans to celebrate the grand opening of its sixth store at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, as it takes over a former Taco Bell at Hawthorne Valley Shopping Center in Oakwood Village. The 2,000-square-foot store at 23840 Broadway offers seating for 60. Beckham’s co-owner Greg Beckham said customers of the new store “will always enjoy the delicious barbeque made from scratch every day with the same family recipes that have been passed down from my father over the last 53 years. “But this location may also be the place to change up the menu a bit with more salads, more vegetarian plates and other healthier choices,” Mr. Beckham said.
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NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
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Hold the ax
very few years, someone in Washington circles raises the idea of abolishing the U.S. Small Business Administration. The basic argument is that government shouldn’t put at risk taxpayer money, in the form of SBA loan guarantees, in order to provide a safety net for banks that take on small business borrowers they probably wouldn’t lend to otherwise. Well, that idea is coming up again as the federal government wrestles with how to bring down its massive budget deficit. But now is not the time to take an ax to the SBA. Ted DeHaven, a budget analyst for the freemarket public policy think tank The Cato Institute, called for terminating the SBA in an August op-ed piece at WashingtonExaminer.com. Mr. DeHaven said while lawmakers portray SBA loans as a boost for small business, “they’re actually a form of corporate welfare for some of America’s largest banks.” “The banks reap profits from the program, but taxpayers are liable for the losses,” Mr. DeHaven stated. It’s a legitimate complaint. SBA loan guarantees do put taxpayers on the hook for up to 85% of the losses of loans that go into default. However, the case he makes for abolishing the SBA ignores the sorry manner in which the credit markets are functioning following the subprime lending crisis of 2008-2009. Small business borrowers that can’t issue their own debt in the form of bonds and notes, like big companies can, have been caught in a Catch 22 nightmare with their banks. The banks, desperate to avoid adding to their nonperforming loans, have been willing to extend credit only to customers that can prove beyond a doubt they have the wherewithal to repay their debts. But those businesses that qualify for loans often don’t need them because they have enough cash and existing credit capacity to make investments without them. Where does that scenario leave small businesses that need money to grow but that aren’t so flush with cash or assets that they’re a lead-pipe cinch to make good on their debts? It apparently leaves them turning to loans backed by the SBA, if statistics from the agency are any barometer of the lending atmosphere. As Crain’s finance reporter Michelle Park wrote a few weeks back, the Cleveland district of the SBA backed more dollars to more borrowers during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 than it has in any year since fiscal 2008, just before the Great Recession kicked in. The district’s loan volume totaled $363.6 million in fiscal 2011, up 66% from $218.6 million in fiscal 2010. And the number of borrowers receiving SBAguaranteed loans climbed 37%, to 1,434 from 1,048. These numbers and national loan figures from the SBA that tell a similar story indicate more businesses are willing to invest in themselves again if only they can gain access to money. With the U.S. unemployment rate stuck at around 9%, it is going to take many such investments to get the recovery truly into gear. If the government is willing to lend trillions of dollars to bail out big banks, it surely can afford to put a few billion dollars at risk to energize lending to small business.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
A pox on the cowards in Washington
member of the committee and a former o far, only Steve LaTourette is U.S. trade representative, wouldn’t be inspiring any confidence among part of a compromise plan. Political Northeast Ohio’s congressional analysts immediately began to suspect delegation as citizens fumed last his heretofore attractiveness as a candiweek over the latest fiasco to come out of date on the national stage, and that’s the nation’s capital. probably not unfair. Members of Congress couldn’t bring What was unfair was for the larger themselves to jettison their petty partibody to abdicate its responsisan squabbles and deal with the bility and push this tough work budget mess we’re in, so they BRIAN to these 12 members. What’s created the so-called “super TUCKER also unfair is that the American committee” of 12 members to people, suffering through what fashion a compromise. Their is for most the worst economic task was to work a deal that times they’ve faced, get nothing would make sense to both sides from their elected representaof the aisle. tives. Nothing but the same, Hovering like the sword of tired blame game. Damocles was the threat that The Democrats chide the if the committee couldn’t reach Republicans for their insistence a deficit-reduction deal, then on no tax increases as part of a deficit harsh, non-strategic, across-the-board reduction plan. The Republicans attack cuts of $1.3 trillion would begin in 2013. the Dems for refusing to cut expensive This was the chance for lawmakers to do entitlement programs. Nobody cares real good — to ignore the shrill cries about the middle ground, that spot on from their extremist wings and mix tax which most of their countrymen reside. increases with sensible entitlement cuts. As the deadline neared, Rep. LaTourette, But, no, they couldn’t do it. Even who represents much of Greater CleveOhio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a respected
land’s eastern suburbs as well as Ashtabula County, declared that he no longer would abide by lobbyist Grover Norquist’s now-infamous “no new tax” pledge that Rep. LaTourette signed years ago. Anyone with half a brain knows that we can’t cut this enormous budget deficit without a combination of taxes or revenue enhancements, as well as entitlement program reductions. That’s the pledge we should demand from all of them, starting now. So write or call the offices of Marcia Fudge, Dennis Kucinich, Betty Sutton, Marcy Kaptur and Jim Renacci and demand that they start acting like responsible adults who care more about their constituents than they do for their powerful Washington positions. Right now, none of them — except for Rep. LaTourette — has had the courage to say that it’s time to compromise and do what’s right. If they don’t make that promise, they all should be removed from office at the next earliest election. The American people are sick and tired of their selfishness and slavish allegiance to party ideologues. ■
THE BIG ISSUE At this point, it doesn’t look like there is going to be an NBA season. Do you care?
I’m just ambivalent about it. I couldn’t care less if we had a season right now. I’m out here struggling.
I don’t really care. I’m not really a basketball fan. I like baseball and football a lot more.
Personally, no, I don’t care because I don’t follow basketball. I do care because it will affect the economy.
I care because with the NBA and the Cavs, it attracts people downtown. … But at this point, it looks pretty futile.
➤➤ Watch more of these responses by visiting the Multimedia section at www.CrainsCleveland.com.
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
Mystery buyer lands Chase Tower $13 million mortgage for office complex sells at lower number; value still hard to determine By STAN BULLARD firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierre’s CEO Shelley Roth said the company is in a position to ramp up production now that its expanded $9.2 million ice cream factory is online and has worked out operational kinks.
Pierre’s: CEO eyes larger, broader market penetration continued from PAGE 1
Pierre’s operation on Euclid Avenue in the city’s Midtown neighborhood, where it already churns out 60 ice cream flavors and about 235 products in total, has some pretty chill new concepts that are set to come out by the end of the year. Pierre’s will reintroduce in a pintsize version its line of sorbets, including a new mango flavor, and is dipping into a new niche by introducing lactose-free ice cream in vanilla and chocolate. “We would always try to steer lactose-intolerant customers to the dairy-free sorbets, but they still wanted that ice cream,” Ms. Roth said. “We’re now brainstorming for other product ideas as well.” Pierre’s latest expansion — a 35,000-square-foot addition that cost $9 million and was completed in June — has enabled the 85-employee company to branch out its product line, with the potential to at least double its production capacity. “I think we could easily go to four or five times our current production” capacity, Ms. Roth said. She declined to discuss current and projected production, and said she wasn’t sure when a leap in output might come. The company does not disclose its revenues. Pierre’s core brands are distributed primarily throughout Northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania and Michigan. Its ¡Hola Fruta! pure fruit sherbet that was launched in 2007 reaches a larger market, with penetration in 11 states, from New York and Kentucky to Texas. Yovation probiotic frozen yogurt was introduced in 2009 and is distributed in Ohio and five East Coast states. “We want to focus on Northeast Ohio; that is our core customer base, and we want to maintain and excite and enhance that customer base,” Ms. Roth said. “But we’d like our brand to be enjoyed in other markets in the East Coast and Midwest.” Ms. Roth said she currently is in talks with other retailers and distributors about carrying the Pierre’s
line, but would not disclose their identities.
Staying true to its roots Pierre’s has a rich history with several local businesses, including Heinen’s and Dave’s Markets, each of which has been selling the company’s products for decades. Pierre’s also produces the private label ice cream for each of the two food merchants and distributes various national brands for both grocers.“Pierre’s dominates our ice cream category,” said Rob Miller, Dave’s senior vice president of marketing and merchandising. “The offer value to our customers, not just in product quality, but in the quality of weekly specials they run, too.” Likewise, Les Gyerman’s perspective of the ice cream stalwart has not waffled during the 40 years he has worked for Heinen’s. “We’ve been doing business with Pierre’s for 50 to 75 years, and they’re always investing in their product,” said Mr. Gyerman, Heinen’s dairy/frozen category manager. While local food manufacturers such as Orlando Baking Co. have indicated that they’re pretty much tapped out in the Northeast Ohio market, Ms. Roth said she continues to eye growth opportunities here. “We still see potential in our own backyard,” Ms. Roth said. “If I see a store with 10 doors (in its frozen dessert section), and we’re only occupying two doors of space, I see potential.” Pierre’s over the last 80 years has evolved from an ice cream shop at East 82nd Street and Euclid Avenue to what now is an eight-acre, 91,000square-foot campus at Euclid Avenue and East 65th Street. Pierre’s research and recipe development is done onsite, with a team of marketing, quality assurance and production folks, and even Ms. Roth. “It’s really a lot of fun,” said Ms. Roth, who noted that ice cream is a part of her daily nutritional intake. “I enjoy the equivalent of about a dish a day.” ■
SOLD!!! That word as it appears on an online auction site may have less drama than an auctioneer’s voice in person, but the outcome is the same for the $13 million mortgage on the office portion of Chase Financial Tower at Tower City Center in downtown Cleveland. The winning bid for the nonperforming mortgage was $3.5 million, though the identity of the winning bidder remains unknown. Bids escalated from an opening bid of $1.6 million and met the minimum price set by the marketer of the loan, Archetype Advisors of Miami Beach, according to postings on the website Auction.com. The mortgage, issued in 2006 by JPMorgan Chase, is secured by the four floors of office space that Forest
City Enterprises Inc. developed at 250 W. Huron Road, but which sits empty because banking giant Chase terminated its lease and left the building in 2008. Forest City quit paying on the mortgage after it failed to reach an agreement with the lender for a reduced principal payoff for the loan, which Archetype Advisors now is marketing. Archetype handles distressed debt for lenders and sometimes disposes of it. Jonathan Russo, the Archetype Advisors account executive who ran the auction, did not return three calls from Crain’s. Neither of the most likely auction bidders — Forest City or the parties behind Horseshoe Casino Cleveland — would comment on whether either was the winning bidder. The casino interests may have been attracted to the 125,000 square feet of office space because they hold an option to buy from Forest City the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Cleveland, which rises eight stories above the office space. The tower sits near the city’s first casino at the Higbee Building as well as the Huron Road land the casino group acquired from Forest
City earlier this year for construction of a new casino complex. The casino interests consist of Cleveland Cavaliers co-owner Dan Gilbert and Caesars Entertainment Corp. of Las Vegas. Although the bid looks like an epic bargain-hunter purchase, Mark Nasca, head of the Chagrin Falls office of JDI Real Estate LLC, said the key factor is what the property itself is worth in the current market. “The original balance on the note might mean something to the lender as they might have to take a loss on it,” Mr. Nasca said. “But from a buyer’s point of view that is irrelevant to the liquidation value of the loan. I tell lenders that on a regular basis.” Mr. Nasca should know; Chicagobased JDI regularly invests in mortgages that lenders are shedding. Securing a mortgage means the note buyer still might need to go through foreclosure to obtain ownership of the property. In the Chase tower case, Mr. Nasca said the property might be tough to value because it is sandwiched between other portions of Tower City Center and the hotel. ■
Boss of pension policy oversight will retire By ROB KOZLOWSKI Pensions & Investments
Aristotle L. Hutras, director of the Ohio Retirement Study Council, the state Legislature’s pension oversight committee, will retire Dec. 30. Mr. Hutras has been director since 1990. The council was formed
in 1968 to assist the governor, state Legislature and other public officials on public pension policy. A job posting for his position will appear on the council’s website soon, according to Mr. Hutras. The council advises on the benefits, funding, investment and administration of the $76 billion Ohio
Public Employees’ Retirement System; the $62.6 billion Ohio State Teachers’ Retirement System; the $11.6 billion Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund; the $10.6 billion Ohio School Employees Retirement System; and the $692 million Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirement System, all in Columbus. ■
Congratulations Debbie Birk, on receiving a 2011 Forty Under 40 award from Crain’s Cleveland Business!
We celebrate your achievements as a leader in our business and community. Congratulations to all the SUCCESSFUL, TALENTED and INSPIRING winners.
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CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
GOING PLACES JOB CHANGES
BENESCH: Julie R. Fenstermaker to associate.
CBLH DESIGN: John Rach to director of marketing. VAN AUKEN AKINS ARCHITECTS LLC: Traci Thomas-Walkosak to project manager.
ENGINEERING WISS, JANNEY, ELSTNER ASSOCIATES INC.: Mark D. Chase to senior associate.
FINANCE HUNTINGTON BANK: Richard Pohle to senior vice president, commercial region manager; Karen Davies to senior vice president, commercial team leader.
FINANCIAL SERVICE 212 CAPITAL GROUP: Andrew Baszuk to financial adviser. COHEN & CO.: Magdalene Bihn, Ashley Marucci, Jamie Ferline and Richard Boswell to staff accountants, accounting and auditing; Anthony Suttle to staff accountant, tax; Andrew Klek to staff accountant, corporate. REA & ASSOCIATES INC.: Dan Bialek to supervisor. UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES: Mill Creek Wealth Consulting Services — Jason L. Seifert and Gregory S. Perram to vice presidents, investments and financial advisers; Ken F. Senvisky Jr. to vice president, investments; Patrick G. Hahn to assistant vice president.
HOSPITALITY KALAHARI RESORT SANDUSKY: David Friedberg to director of sales.
INSURANCE KAISER PERMANENTE OHIO: Nancy E. Paton to chief public affairs officer.
MCDONALD HOPKINS: David G. Johnson to of counsel.
MEYERS, ROMAN, FRIEDBERG & LEWIS: Gerald Goldberg and Daniel N. Steiger to of counsel. SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY: Daniel G. Berick to regional practice coordinator for the Americas; Cipriano S. Beredo III to Cleveland deputy practice group leader.
MANUFACTURING AMERICAN ROLL FORM PRODUCTS: Chris Schmitt to director of marketing; Dave Zaragoza to director of engineering. MAIN STREET GOURMET: Brett Boyer to custom projects director; Angela Kelley to project sales specialist. OM GROUP: Christopher M. Hix to chief financial officer.
MARKETING HITCHCOCK FLEMING & ASSOCIATES INC.: Maggie Harris to vice president, account services; Katie Greenwald to account manager of public relations; Michael Anthony to assistant account manager.
NONPROFIT CLEVELAND HEIGHTS-UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS LIBRARY: Kimberlee DeNero-Ackryod to deputy director. JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF CLEVELAND: Kim Meshanko to manager of business development, JFSA Care at Home. PSYCHOLOGICAL & BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANTS WILLOUGHBY: Dr. Toni L. Carman to psychiatrist. SOURCING OFFICE INC.: Don Iannone to executive director.
REAL ESTATE SUMMIT MALL: Tim Hill to mall manager.
SERVICE RESIDENTIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS: Scott O’Brien to vice president, operations.
BOARDS AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC COLLEGE OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS: Dennis E. Kane, D.O., (South Pointe Hospital) to president. FAIRMOUNT CENTER FOR THE ARTS: Jim Cowan to president. NORTHEAST OHIO MEDICAL UNIVERSITY: Dr. Eric Kodish (Cleveland Clinic) to chair; Dr. Chander M. Kohli to vice chair. WVIZ/PBS AND 90.3 WCPN IDEASTREAM: Robert C. Smith (Spero Smith Investment Advisors) to chair; Edward P. Campbell to immediate past chair; William R. Stewart to secretary; Jerrold F. Wareham to president, CEO; Kathryn P. Jensen to chief operating officer; Larry Pollock to vice chair; Kevin McMullen to treasurer.
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Akron company Fewer auto industry execs expect rebound in near future nabs patent for By DANIELLE EMERSON Automotive News
DETROIT — A new survey shows automotive industry executives are less optimistic about the economy than they were three months ago, but remain mostly positive about 2012 business forecasts. Accounting and consulting firm KPMG conducted the study in July and October. The October survey found 42% of the executives responding expect the economy to improve in 2012, down from 58% in July. Likewise, 73% don’t foresee a full economic recovery until the end of 2013 or later, up slightly from 71% who said the same in July. The survey measured the responses of 89 executives, more than half of whom work for companies that generate more than $10 billion of revenue annually, the firm said. “There’s a sense of this cautious optimism where they see this growth opportunity,” Gary Silberg, national auto industry leader for KPMG, said. “And they’re willing to invest. All the CEOs I’ve talked to feel this way.” Mr. Silberg said many of the executives remain on edge about how
government regulations, such as the new fuel economy standards proposed in mid-November, will impact their companies. KPMG found more regression regarding plans for hiring and capital spending in 2012. Fifty percent of executives surveyed after September expected to add employees next year, compared to 62% who said they would in July. A similar decline was found in projections for capital spending: In July, 71% expected to increase capital spending. Now, only 62% expect to do so. “One major finding of our most recent survey is the concerns that executives have over the macro economy,” Mr. Silberg said in a statement. “In addition to the uncertainty regarding the global economic environment, auto executives are challenged with intensified competition, pricing pressures and volatile commodity prices.” Mr. Silberg said auto executives feel good about the orders and numbers they’re seeing. Those surveyed believed new models and products, as well as expansion into new geographic markets, will increase revenue. ■
green technology By SHAWN WRIGHT Waste & Recyling News
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Polyflow LLC in Akron a patent for its pyrolysis process, which converts mixed and contaminated plastic and rubber waste into transportation fuels and chemical intermediates. The recycling technology company is designing a full-scale processor that it said is capable of converting up to 2½ tons of mixed and contaminated polymer and rubber waste per hour into transportation fuels and aromatics. The technology is expected to be implemented during the second quarter of next year, the company said. In addition to the U.S. patent, Polyflow said it also received a process and apparatus patent from the Commissioner of Patents in Australia. “As the world continues to seek more efficient and sustainable methods of managing complex waste streams embedded with polymer and rubberbased items, the Polyflow process is well-positioned to meet this demand,” Polyflow CEO Jay Schabel said. ■
To those making all the difference:
Thank you. With your generous gifts, Discover the Difference: The Campaign for University Hospitals has now reached $804 million towards our $1 billion goal. Nearly 55,000 friends have contributed to help advance our timeless mission â€” To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. And for that, we extend our deepest gratitude. A special thanks to the following benefactors, for their gifts of time, talent and treasure:
CAMPAIGN HONORARY VISIONARIES The following Visionaries have made transformational gifts. Monte and Usha Ahuja and Family The Dolan Family Char and Chuck Fowler Family The Cleveland Foundation Dr. Donald J.* and Ruth W.* Goodman The Harrington Family Leonard and Joan Horvitz, and Richard A. Horvitz and Family
George Humphrey Family The Elizabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation Rainbow Babies & Childrenâ€™s Foundation Bob, Eleanore and Kathy Risman Jane and Lee Seidman Iris S. and Bert L.* Wolstein * deceased
Monte Ahuja, Co-Chair John G. Breen, Co-Chair Sheldon G. Adelman, Vice-Chair Paul H. Carleton, Vice-Chair Ralph M. Della Ratta Jr., Vice-Chair Candice J. Burr Kathleen A. Coleman
Christopher M. Connor Ronald E. Dziedzicki Avroy A. Fanaroff, MD Allen H. Ford Richard A. Hanson Patricia J. Ljubi Cliff A. Megerian, MD
Henry L. Meyer III Janet L. Miller Thomas G. Murdough Jr. Richard W. Pogue Ann Pinkerton Ranney Julie A. Raskind Robert S. Reitman
To learn how you can make a difference, visit www.UHGiving.org
Discover the Difference T H E C A M P A I G N F O R U N I V E R S I T Y H O S P I TA L S
Barbara S. Robinson David M. Rosenberg, MD Enid B. Rosenberg Barbara P. Ruhlman Kathleen J. Sanniti Jacqueline F. Woods
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
TAX LIENS The Internal Revenue Service filed tax liens against the following businesses in the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office. The IRS files a tax lien to protect the interests of the federal government. The lien is a public notice to creditors that the government has a claim against a company’s property. Liens reported here are $5,000 and higher. Dates listed are the dates the documents were filed in the Recorder’s Office.
LIENS FILED Healthrapid Inc. 6739 Ridge Road, Parma ID: 20-4135845 Date filed: Oct. 7, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding, unemployment
Amount: $28,524 Cardiology Associates of Cleveland Inc. 12000 McCracken Road, Suite 460, Garfield Heights ID: 34-1358270 Date filed: Oct. 31, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $23,959 Victory Solutions LLC 6505 Rockside Road, Suite 175, Independence ID: 20-4833667 Date filed: Oct. 7, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $23,803 Solution Source Inc. 26404 Center Ridge Road, Suite B5, Westlake
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
ID: 56-2554446 Date filed: Oct. 20, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding, unemployment Amount: $22,566 Special Transport & Rigging Inc. 4730 Warner Road, Garfield Heights ID: 34-1898934 Date filed: Oct. 14, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $18,856 Rybak & Associates Inc. 21821 Libby Road, Suite 102, Bedford ID: 03-0514289 Date filed: Oct. 20, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $18,477 Martin Cement Co. P.O. Box 461091, Bedford ID: 34-1613970 Date filed: Oct. 7, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding
Hanson Services Inc. 2070 Chesterland Ave., Lakewood ID: 65-0805630 Date filed: Oct. 20, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding, unemployment Amount: $15,303
Residential Appraisal Group Inc. 6882 Karen Drive, Seven Hills ID: 34-1676267 Date filed: Oct. 14, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding, corporate income Amount: $11,748
Manju Govind LLC Knights Inn 221156 Brookpark Road, Fairview Park ID: 34-1831580 Date filed: Oct. 12, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding, unemployment Amount: $12,183
Wirtanen Insurance Agency Inc. 23615 Lorain Road, North Olmsted ID: 34-1846529 Date filed: Oct. 25, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $11,511
Avon Drive In Laundry & Dry Cleaning Co. 1830 Superior Ave. E., Cleveland ID: 34-0866085 Date filed: Oct. 7, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding
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Peter G. Gordon, D.D.S., Inc. Beachwood Dental Group 23300 Chagrin Blvd., Suite G10, Beachwood ID: 34-1134403 Date filed: Oct. 31, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $11,382 Taylor Road Discount Center Inc. 2467 Warrensville Center Road, University Heights ID: 34-1354758 Date filed: Oct. 7, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding, unemployment Amount: $9,621 Quality Care Residential Homes Inc. P. O. Box 605641, Cleveland ID: 75-3189085 Date filed: Oct. 31, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $9,443 Platinum Plumbing Inc. 5914 Ridge Road, Parma ID: 52-2385110 Date filed: Oct. 12, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $8,899 Thomas Faroh LLC 8040 Strongsville Blvd., Strongsville ID: 01-0851289 Date filed: Oct. 31, 2011 Type: Employer’s annual federal tax return Amount: $7,903 Farohs Candies & Gifts LLC 7223 Pearl Road, Cleveland ID: 01-0851289 Date filed: Oct. 14, 2011 Type: Unemployment, employer’s annual federal tax return Amount: $7,689
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Will Repair Inc. 2901 E. 65th St., Cleveland ID: 34-1577547 Date filed: Oct. 14, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $7,499 Fresh Start Inc. 4807 Cedar Ave., Cleveland ID: 34-1032718 Date filed: Oct. 20, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $7,007 Abeco-Ayad Inc. Grandpas Kitchen 2165 E. 55th St., Cleveland ID: 34-1784858 Date filed: Oct. 7, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $5,945 Taqueria Mexico Tacos Inc. Mi Pueblo 12207 Lorain Ave., Cleveland ID: 34-1745953 Date filed: Oct. 12, 2011 Type: Employer’s withholding Amount: $5,193
LIENS RELEASED FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO ENROLL,
contact Chris Pilkington at 614-429-7440 or firstname.lastname@example.org Member FDIC
COMMERCI A L
W E A LT H
ARB Marine Group Inc. 6140 Parkland Blvd., Mayfield Heights ID: 31-1636806 Date filed: Sept. 1, 2011 Date released: Oct. 12, 2011 Type: Corporate income Amount: $140,904
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
15 SPONSORS’ COMMITMENTS STAY STRONG AMID DOWNTURN.
A WAY TO THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR Clients more often asking for unusual entertainment options By AMY ANN STOESSEL email@example.com
ometimes meeting planners have to pull a few tricks out of their hat to get guests’ attention — at least when it comes to entertainment. Just ask Elizabeth Denton Spencer of Spencer Creative Strategy in Moreland Hills, who helped plan a Howard Hanna managers dinner earlier this month. The event, at the InterContinental hotel in Cleveland, was attended by more than 150 from Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and featured the magic of Rick Smith Jr., a founder of the entertainment agency, Cleveland Entertainers. The illusionist not only wowed the real estate agency’s guests with his tricks, according to Ms. Spencer, he helped drive home a marketing message of the firm: “The Magic of Howard Hanna.” “It just made sense to have a magician perform,” Ms. Spencer said. “It takes a corporate event and makes it entertaining.” Mr. Smith — who has performed
MOLLY NOOK PHOTOS
TOP: Magician Rick Smith Jr. (far right) entertains guests at a Howard Hanna managers dinner earlier this month at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland. LEFT AND ABOVE: The event, which was planned by Elizabeth Denton Spencer of Spencer Creative Strategy, played off the “Magic of Howard Hanna” theme all the way down to the table settings and desserts.
See WOW Page 15
Planners tap larger audience through mobile apps, social media By TIMOTHY MAGAW firstname.lastname@example.org
More event organizers add emerging technologies to their plates
More than one-third of American adults — or 35% — own smart phones, according to a study released last summer by the Pew Research Center. Additionally, the survey states that mobile phones are the primary source of Internet access for 25% of those with the devices. “The convergence of mobile in every part of our lives is here,” said John Heaney, brand director at SparkBase, a Cleveland company that processes loyalty and gift card transactions. “It’s in shopping, dining, where you go on vacation. People feel more naked without their phones than their wallets.” The Cleveland International
ending an email alert or distributing an old-fashioned paper flier to attendees at an industry conference or other special event is becoming slightly passé. After all, thanks to an avalanche of smart phone applications and other emerging mobile technologies, special event planners are discovering new ways to engage their audiences. Oftentimes, it’s no cheap endeavor, either — developing a mobile app can cost an organization thousands of dollars. But as more consumers continue to migrate from their antiquated flip phones to handheld supercomputers such as the iPhone or Android devices, event planners are shelling out the dough.
Film Festival, for one, introduced a free smart phone app about three years ago, said Debby Samples, the festival’s marketing and membership director. Last year, the application was downloaded more than 700 times. The app features movie show times, trailers and other news updates. The application will be updated for this spring’s film festival, which runs March 22 through April 1 of next year. “We pride ourselves on keeping our audiences informed about everything — the good, the bad and everything in between,” Ms. Samples said. “This was just another way to do that.”
Not one size fits all Though mobile applications might signal that an organization’s on board with the latest technology, they’re not for everyone, according to Andrea Aber, an account manager for the Cleveland-based digital marketing agency thunder::tech. They can be costly endeavors, and it’s important to note whether an application would offer some sort of value for the consumer, Ms. Aber noted. Thunder::tech, for instance, developed a free mobile application for Cleveland Beer Week, which carries a list of upcoming events and participat-
ing pubs. “We’re getting more and more requests for apps for specific events. Individuals are there, and they’ll most likely be on their phones anyway,” she said. Cleveland Independents, a consortium of locally owned and independently operated restaurants, is slowly dipping its toe into the mobile realm to determine whether an app might suit its audience. As part of its Cleveland Restaurant Week earlier this month, Cleveland Independents introduced QR codes — a bar code, of sorts — on its promotional materials to gauge whether people access its website through mobile devices. The idea is to determine whether an app would be a worthwhile See ENGAGE Page 14
14 CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
Planners now called upon to consider procurement
rocurement should be integrated in the total strategic meetings management programming of your company. Buyers and agencies need to understand their roles, and the meeting planner is sometimes called upon to be a liaison between the two. As defined by The National Business Travel Association, strategic meetings management programming “means the management of enterprise-wide meeting-related processes, spend, volume, standards and suppliers to achieve quantitative cost-savings, risk mitigation and superior service. It includes matching department goals to corporate values/objectives and using data consolidation and reports to enhance the strategic nature of meetings.” Procurement is defined as the purchase of goods and services at the best possible prices, delivery dates and legal terms. The definition is changing over time as procurement evolves in the workplace. As more planners are being viewed upon as strategists — not just as a person who’s responsible
of executing meetings and events — it’s imperative they understand the procurement process and what they can do to assist those in charge of procurement with their jobs.
First steps ■ Find out who is in charge of the buying process within your company. Inquire to see if there is a company procurement department or figurehead. Make an appointment and inquire about what current policies are in effect with regards to procurement, specifically as it relates to meetings and events, and what is being tracked. ■ Gather data from your own meeting planning department, and share all of the information you have gathered so everyone will understand procurement in regards to meetings/events. ■ Look at other spending in your company, and how other business units are working toward watching their costs. Is there a tie-in to your department? ■ As you integrate event planning procurement into the company, ensure that all stakeholders (basi-
ADVISER cally everyone in the company from the mailroom to the C-level execs) play a role. To ensure there are no loopholes in company spending as it pertains to meetings and events, make sure mailroom, graphics department, security and those in travel support and are abreast of costs. One area might have an effect upon the other and not even realize it. ■ As an event planner you should be prepared to make a study or document the big picture of meeting/ event spending dollars while sharing all the details that go into putting a large/medium sized program together. ■ Be open and collaborative; nothing is worse when doors are
closed before they are opened. Don’t be the “controlling planner.” If you don’t appear to be forthright, a team player or proactive, you might find yourself out of a job. Again, today’s job scope is vastly different than it was even just a few years ago. A planner today is looked upon as a strategist and not just a person who executes. ■ Clearly articulate what it is that you as a planner are doing and your outcome for all involved as it pertains to procurement. ■ A planner’s buying power might be something that’s not understood companywide, and therefore a planner/strategist must enlighten others about the why of doing what you do. ■ Benchmark and tabulate information along the way; it’s a process and a lengthy and arduous one at best, but in the end, it will be good for the company — and even better — for your reputation.
Other considerations Pricing can increase once a company obtains preferred vendor status. The opportunity to bid as in the past might be minimized and a preferred vendor may capitalize on his or her status. However, the costs of working with a vendor who charges a bit more might be worth it in the long run for your peace of mind — but then again, maybe not. Look into specialized software with your procurement department to integrate all departments, and choose the best software to support your procurement department as well as suppliers. If there isn’t a procurement department in your company, then look at how a smaller company does it and then
possibly a larger organization. Procurement departments are looking at the bigger picture, and your job is to work with them and move toward the same goal of reaching companywide savings. In turn, procurement departments should assist you in helping your planning department shine. They should support your desire to reduce the risks and costs associated with meeting planning, bids for supplier services or venues and contracts. They should have some formats and forms that will assist some of your efforts. If not — look at creating some with them. Identify all suppliers to ensure that you are meeting your procurement definition of purchasing goods or supplies at the right prices and terms. Set procedures to evaluate any proposals and quotes that may come from your suppliers. Also, don’t be shy or afraid to call your competition. They might not be able to share specifics of what they are doing but they should be open to share best practices as they are planners just like you in this ever-changing, vastly scrutinized, meeting event industry. In closing, it’s imperative to be a catalyst in delivering savings to your company through procurement and reducing meeting costs. Valueadd is a term used when identifying cost savings, and there are measurements of control you can leverage when monitoring spending as it pertains to your meetings and events. ■ Mr. Schwartz is a certified meeting planner and president and founder of The Professional Planner Group, a full-service, meeting, event, conference and incentive management company. He has been in the field of corporate meeting, event and conference management for more than 10 years.
Engage: Twitter may suffice continued from PAGE 13
investment for the group. “If our customer base is accessing our website through cell phones, we wanted to know if a smart phone app would increase our business,” said Myra Orenstein, the acting executive director of Cleveland Independents. “We could potentially expand our creative to meet our audience better.” Cleveland Independents has tapped Barcode Connections, a local startup that offers mobile, Internet and social media marketing services, to conduct the research, but the results aren’t yet available.
It ain’t all expensive Many of the event-driven smart phone applications display schedules or other nuggets about the gatherings, and while useful, there are other — and cheaper ways — that event planners throw smart phones into the mix. The Cleveland Clinic, which has a robust presence online and in several social media channels, has used Twitter to engage audiences during its “Ideas for Tomorrow” speakers series. A Clinic communications staffer generally live tweets the events with the hash tag #CCIdeas. When Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at the Clinic in September, 259 tweets included the #CCIdeas hashtag, which was a
trending topic in Cleveland that night. The tweets weren’t from the Clinic alone, but those in the audience and those following the event online as well. “It’s a huge opportunity to reach a national or global audience,” said Paul Matsen, the Clinic’s chief marketing officer. “An effective Twitter network or bringing in a group of interested bloggers will multiply your message, particularly to people who are passionate about the subject matter.” Meanwhile, developers and marketing experts expect other webbased technologies to be thrown into the event planning mix, which could drive down the cost of planners using mobile technology. Dan Young, the principal of the Cleveland-based mobile technology developer DXY Solutions LLC, expects to see event planners continue to integrate Facebook, Twitter and other social media and blogging platforms into mobile software to create turnkey solutions any organization can pick up and tailor to its needs. “Mobile has really taken on a front-and-center position with how people are getting information about a variety of things,” Mr. Young said. “Events are one of the areas that are starting to get some traction now because almost everyone’s got a smart phone.” ■
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 15
Sponsors monitor outlays closer Commitments for events that benefit community, extend message persist By JOEL HAMMOND email@example.com
Wow: Unique events can offer insight into co-workers continued from PAGE 13
DAN O’KEEFE/DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND ALLIANCE; COURTESY OF PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME ENSHRINEMENT FESTIVAL
ABOVE: Winterfest, held each November in downtown Cleveland, is one event seeing consistent support from corporate sponsors. BOTTOM: Five 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees participated in the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, which is part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival.
ooking to nail down sponsors for your upcoming event? The days of companies simply forking over a check, no questions asked, appear to be over. So, according to Clevelandarea event planners and industry observers, best bets are centered around one of two themes: events that serve the community where they’re held, or those that address a timely subject and allow sponsors to deliver their message on that topic. The former group includes events such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, held each August in conjunction with the hall’s annual induction of former NFL players and coaches, and the upcoming downtown Cleveland Winterfest, which was scheduled to be held last Saturday, Nov. 26, on Public Square. The latter includes association trade shows, panel discussions and other events dedicated to a topic relevant to sponsors — such as Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Ideas at Dawn business breakfast series. It all adds up to a local flavor of a nationwide uptick in sponsorship, according to Chicago-based IEG, which measures sponsorship trends nationwide. The company projected North American sponsorship growing by 5.9% in 2011, to $18.2 billion, after a 3.9% increase in 2010. “And it’s actually a very underutilized market,” said Dave Lutz, the managing director of Aurora-based Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, which tracks the events industry nationally. Much of the football hall’s enshrinement festival actually is staged by a department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Joanne Murray, the director of the enshrinement festival, said sponsorships constitute about 45% of the two-week-long festival’s budget, which is about $2.3 million. From 2008 to 2010, the group fell short of its budget, meeting 94% of its goal in 2008, 87% in 2009 and 89% in 2010. But this past summer — despite uncertainty surrounding the crowning moment of the event, the Hall of Fame Game, which eventually was canceled due to the NFL’s labor issues — the chamber exceeded its sponsorship goal by 3%. “We get great year-to-year support from local companies, who see the event as part of the Canton area’s tradition,” Ms. Murray said. Ms. Murray said the slide in sponsorship from 2008 to 2010 was due in part to national tours cutting back. For instance: Ford, Honda, Pepsi and other companies have traveling tours to promote prod-
on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “America’s Got Talent” and in 2002, broke the world record for throwing a playing card 216 feet, 4 inches — performs roughly 600 shows a year across the country, from birthday parties to corporate and fund-raising events. Calling magic a “hobby that turned into a big-time career,” Mr. Smith reports that his sales nationwide regularly trend upward, a fact that’s not surprising given the observations of Sherri Foxman, founder and CEO of Cleveland event-planning firm Party411. “People want to do what people haven’t done,” she said. “They want entertainment that is also interactive.”
Getting into the game
ucts, which land at different events nationwide. She said those national brands cut back on tours during the recession, but that is an area in which things continue to improve. Sponsorship increases at any event signal value, said Joel Solloway, the owner of Beachwood event planning company EventWorks Inc. His company has helped the Canton chamber with the festival for 14 years. “It’s always challenging,” Mr. Solloway said. “There are only so many companies in Northeast Ohio, and they’re all being asked by so many different organizations. It’s hard to make those dollars go as far as they used to.”
A part of the community Like those companies seeing value in the football hall enshrinement’s place in the Canton community, downtown Cleveland’s Winterfest — which includes a tree-lighting ceremony, wine and ale fest, concerts and more — offers similar potential value to sponsors. Gina Morris, the director of marketing and public relations with Downtown Cleveland Alliance, which produces the event, is two months into the job after being on the opposite end of the spectrum: working for Time Warner, coordinating partnership and sponsorship opportunities. “From the money-giver role, there’s a hyper focus on specific strategies from sponsors,” Ms. Morris said. “Companies aren’t doling money out across the board; they’re being very specific, with educational or communitybased opportunities. “Winterfest gives them a chance to give back to the community they’re serving,” she said. Ms. Morris said Winterfest sponsorship is up about 20% from last year, though it’s a moving target of sorts since some of those commitments are not cash; for
instance, the Lake Erie Monsters and Quicken Loans Arena offer promotions during games. Huntington Bank is the presenting sponsor of the event, and spokesman Brent Wilder said since Dan Walsh joined the bank’s Cleveland office last year, the company has increased its sponsorship commitments substantially, including a $500,000 gift to the Global Cleveland initiative, the goal of which is to attract newcomers to Cleveland. “Our commitment to Cleveland is deep, and we are constantly looking for opportunities to catalyze Cleveland’s economic renaissance,” Mr. Wilder said in an email, noting that the bank also is sponsoring a “Power of Three” event this Saturday at PlayhouseSquare. The City Club, too, is seeing increased sponsorship from Cleveland corporations that, according to public relations and program manager Carrie Miller, “see value in showing the community they’re aligning with us” and the club’s free speech mission. Crain’s breakfast series also has grown, from three events in 2008 to 11 this year, as sponsors increasingly have expressed interest in presenting topics on which they have an expertise. One of those sponsors is Cleveland law firm Benesch, which has added to its sponsorships regionally and nationally, said spokeswoman Jeanne Hammerstrom.“It’s good exposure for (attorneys’) expertise,” she said. Associations that hold similar events can offer company sponsors additional opportunities, such as placement in their magazine, a presence in e-learning initiatives and other ways to offer sponsors more value, said Velvet Chainsaw’s Mr. Lutz. “Companies like to sponsor things that are valued, something that’s helpful,” he said. ■
With corporate and private clients looking for the unusual, Northeast Ohio meeting planners and entertainment providers are stepping up and taking advantage of the opportunity for business. Party411, for example, has produced an array of events on the corporate side with a creative flair for entertainment, featuring even go-karts for Hyland Software in Westlake and a petting zoo for National Interstate in Richfield. Green screens are popular for placing guests in unusual scenes. Hat makers, hypnotists, masseuses and airbrush tattoo artists also are getting into the act of entertainment — “unusual distractions,” as Ms. Foxman calls them. In the corporate realm, video scavenger hunts even are being used to get people involved. “Team building is always going to be a big thing. … Some of these different activities also are marketing based,” Ms. Foxman said. Take the experience of Jackpot Gaming, where corporate events make up about 90% of the firm’s business. Located for more than 42 years on East 185th Street in Cleveland, Jackpot puts on casino nights for both corporate and nonprofit organizations. “We’ve entertained a lot of people,” said owner John A. Copic, whose father founded the business. Today, Jackpot produces on average four to five events each week, and 2011 will be Jackpot’s busiest year. Mr. Copic said gaming activities
not only serve as great team-building activities, you might also get a glimpse into how someone might play their cards in real world. He used blackjack as an example: “It’s a really powerful way for these seven guys to get to know each other.” And a traditional game of cards: “You can actually get a lot of business done playing poker.”
Hitting the right notes Musician Matthew Skitzki also has discovered that Northeast Ohio is a good place to entertain. He founded his business, Professional Piano in 2007, providing premium piano services for customers, entertaining at special events and providing collaborative services for other performers. Mr. Skitzki has played the piano since the age of 4 and graduated in 2010 with a master of music degree from Cleveland State. “For me, I found that it’s better to corner a smaller market,” he said. And his business seems to have struck a chord. Professional Piano has experienced an increase in both sales and engagements since its inception, presenting 117 performances in 2010 and already logging 144 in 2011. “I think live music is making a comeback in sort of the same way vinyl records are,” he said. “People want a unique experience.” Geoff Short, sales and promotions manager for Cleveland-based Jerry Bruno Productions, a fullservice entertainment provider, couldn’t agree more. “Clients are demanding and wanting out-of-the-box entertainment solutions,” he said. “They are really looking for creative options.” Jerry Bruno provides entertainment for roughly 1,200 events year, 75% of which are weddings. It has a full roster of disc jockeys and bands, as well as specialty acts such as theme artists, steel drum performers and belly dancers. “I do see more and more clients wanting different kinds of things,” he said. And this stretches into all parts of an event’s production, from aspects like lighting to little things like electronic placards. Ultimately, Mr. Short said he encourages clients to consider the total guest experience: “There is so much more involved in the entertainment experience,” he said. ■
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CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S 2011 FORTY UNDER 40 AWARDS Crain’s last Monday celebrated its 20th Forty Under 40 class with a gala at Executive Caterers in Mayfield Heights. For more photos and a video from the event, visit www.CrainsCleveland.com.
JASON MILLER PHOTOS
ABOVE: Honoree Eric Logan (center) from Precision Castparts Corp., with Chuck Cave (left), Robert Half International’s senior regional manager and Crain’s publisher and editorial director Brian Tucker. BELOW: Honoree Timothy Burke of FirstMerit Bank NA, alumna Lisa Zone of Dix & Eaton, alumnus Mike Shafarenko of Civic Commons and honoree Mike Swallow of CBiz Retirement Services.
ABOVE: A group of Forty Under 40 honorees and alumni gather after the awards ceremony. LEFT: The 2011 Forty Under 40 awards.
Survey: Ohio companies more optimstic continued from PAGE 1
survey respondents were predicting a decline in the economy over the next three months; by contrast, 70% believed things were about to get worse in November 2008, as the recession took hold of the nation’s psyche. But, economists say, optimism definitely is teetering again. “Turkeys may be the appropriate seasonal symbol,” said economist Ned Hill, dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, in discussing the new dark outlook. Dr. Hill was not surprised to see more pessimism and less optimism among manufacturers. He said it’s driven by anxiety and fear of the unknown. “Uncertainty has an economic cost,” Dr. Hill wrote in discussing the survey results by email with Crain’s. “This reflects a combination of Europe’s slide into recession, the possible contagion of American money center banks, and gridlock in Washington reflecting conflicting views on how to move the economy forward among the public.” Other economists agree. For instance, Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics in Pepper Pike, has been saying for more than a year that uncertainty is holding back the recovery. The uncertainty is not just about the economy, but about government regulations and taxes that business leaders either know or fear are coming, Dr. Mayland told the National Tooling and Machining Association on Nov. 7. But businesses in the PMA poll aren’t worried just about the economy in general. Only 21% in November said they
expect their own orders to increase over the next three months, down from 35% in August and a peak of 61% who said order flow was about to improve in February 2011. The last time 21% or fewer of the poll’s participants predicted their order volumes were about to pick up was the dismal month of February 2009, when only 16% saw their sales on the verge of increasing. Likewise, layoffs also are up. This month, 17% of the PMA’s polled members said they had employees on layoff, up from just 8% in October. That number, however, has varied between 6% and 25% since the beginning of 2010, including twice this year when 18% of surveyed companies had layoffs in effect — so the 17% showing for November is not a stark new peak.
It’s better in Ohio PMA president Bill Gaskin said the numbers indicate a near-term slowdown. However, he said his members also tell him they still are confident with regards to their long-term prospects. “Undoubtedly, year-end will bring softness as signaled by our Business Conditions report, but most are getting signals from their customers that business will continue to grow in 2012 by another 10% or so,” Mr. Gaskin said. Shale gas drilling, a still-recovering automotive sector and other factors may be helping Northeast Ohio to outperform the nation as a whole. When the Chicago-based accounting firm McGladrey polled more than 600 of its manufacturing clients around the nation in September and October, it found Ohio companies
were among the most optimistic. Karen Kulek, head of the firm’s national manufacturing and distribution practice, said while 43% of the businesses she polled nationwide reported their business was growing or thriving, that number was significantly higher — 52% — for Ohio companies. On the ground, local manufacturers that spoke to Crain’s report mixed results, though they say they don’t fear the sky is falling. Order volumes continue to be strong and skilled labor is still in short supply, they report. But, with regard to new business opportunities, or “quotes,” the picture is mixed.
Back on the ‘roller coaster’ Jerry Zeitler, president of DieMatic Corp. in Cleveland, said business still is going strong, with new orders coming in nicely. Mr. Zeitler sells precision stamped metal parts, primarily to automakers. He said that sector is still on the upswing, in part due to a pickup in sales to the U.S. plants of Japanese companies as they recover from the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, he said. Somewhat less upbeat is Jim Drabik, of Drabik Manufacturing in Cleveland, which makes large machined parts that often go into new plants other manufacturers are constructing. He said his company still is busy, “but things have definitely slowed up.” “It’s starting to go back to the roller coaster ride up and down,” Mr. Drabik said. “One week, you get a bunch of quotes and orders and the next week it’s dead.”
That said, Mr. Drabik is confident enough, and busy enough, that he’s looking for help. And he doesn’t see layoffs to the extent that skilled
workers must hunt for work. “I am running three ads looking for skilled machinists, with no reply,” he said. ■
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
Mittal: Steelmaker offers students opportunities across U.S. continued from PAGE 3
County on work force initiatives such as the Alliance for Working Together. The new program, dubbed “Steelworker for the Future,” will prepare workers for a job in a steel mill, or most any other manufacturing setting, say school and company officials. “Lakeland is committed to bridging education with jobs,” said school president Dr. Morris W. Beverage Jr. “With degrees in industrial electronics or maintenance and repair, we ensure the needs of ArcelorMittal are met, while providing our
graduates with high-tech skills necessary for today’s manufacturing and engineering sectors.” ArcelorMittal knows the program likely will end up training workers for other companies, but that outcome has happened before and the company doesn’t mind, Mr. Langbehn said. The company has worked with community colleges in Illinois and Indiana for the past two years on similar programs, Mr. Langbehn said, and it might expand the program to other schools in Northeast Ohio as well.
This year, the company got its first shot at hiring the first crop of graduates and offered jobs to all 23 students who finished their degrees. Mr. Langbehn said 18 accepted and five went elsewhere. Students also can go to work at other ArcelorMittal locations, and the company has 20 operations across the United States. “If they are interested, there are opportunities to go anywhere in the U.S. where these plants are located, because all of our plants have the same attrition issues,” Mr. Langbehn said.
While ArcelorMittal is not going so far as to guarantee jobs for graduates of the program at Lakeland, its track record in hiring from other programs and the age of its 1,700person work force in Cleveland definitely means jobs will be opening up at its Cleveland works for students, said Mark Granakis, president of United Steelworkers Local 979 in Cleveland, whose members staff the plant. Local 979 will help train students in the program during internships, as well as mentor them when they are hired by the company after graduation.
“People with an electrical or mechanical skill set will soon be needed to replace retiring workers,” Mr. Granakis said. “This partnership helps us properly educate and encourage careers in manufacturing as a step towards sustainable future.” ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said the company is hiring in Cleveland. ArcelorMittal just posted job openings for an unspecified number of electrical and mechanical maintenance technicians. Those are just the start of the new employees it will need going forward, she said. ■
LARGEST SAVINGS INSTITUTIONS RANKED BY NORTHEAST OHIO DEPOSITS(1) Deposits Company name Headquarters address Rank Phone/website
2011 entire market share %(2)
Total assets ($millions)
$ millions 6-30-2011
% of gross loans 6-30-2011
Net income Top local executive ($millions) Title
Third Federal Savings & Loan Assn. 7007 Broadway Ave., Cleveland 44105 (216) 441-6000/www.thirdfederal.com
Ohio Savings Bank, A Division of New York Community Bank 1801 E. Ninth St., Cleveland 44114 (216) 588-4100/www.amtrust.com
Robert J. Tolomer executive vice president, officer-incharge, Ohio operations
Dollar Bank FSB 1301 E. Ninth St., Cleveland 44114 (216) 736-8900/www.dollarbank.com
Andrew D. Devonshire president, Ohio banking region
First Place Bank P.O. Box 551, Warren 44482 (330) 373-1221/www.firstplace.net
Steven R. Lewis CEO
Home Savings & Loan Co. 275 Federal Plaza W., Youngstown 44503 (330) 742-0500/www.homesavings.com
Patrick W. Bevack president, CEO
First Federal Savings & Loan Assoc. 14806 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 44107 (216) 221-7300/www.ffl.net
Gary R. Fix president, CEO, managing officer
Park View Federal Savings Bank 30000 Aurora Road, Solon 44139 (440) 914-3900/www.parkviewfederal.com
Robert J. King Jr. president, CEO
Westfield Bank FSB Two Park Circle, Westfield Center 44251 (800) 368-8930/www.westfield-bank.com
Timothy E. Phillips president
First Federal S&L Assn. of Lorain 3721 Oberlin Ave., Lorain 44053 (440) 282-6188/www.firstfedlorain.com
John R. Malanowski president, COO
Wayne Savings Community Bank 151 N. Market St., Wooster 44691 (330) 264-5767/www.waynesavings.com
Rodney C. Steiger president, CEO
Geauga Savings Bank 10800 Kinsman Road, Newbury 44065 (440) 564-9441/www.geaugasavings.com
Allen Lencioni Sr. president, CEO
CFBank 2723 Smith Road, Fairlawn 44333 (330) 666-7979/www.cfbankonline.com
Eloise Mackus, CEO Therese A. Liutkus, president, CFO
Home Savings Bank 142 N. Water St., Kent 44240 (330) 673-9827/www.homesavingsbnk.com
Howard T. Boyle II president, CEO
North Akron Savings Bank 158 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Akron 44310 (330) 434-9137/www.northakronsavingsbank.com
Stephen D. Hailer president, CEO
Valley Savings Bank 140 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls 44222 (330) 923-0454/www.valleysavingsbank.com
Ann Durr president, COO
Conneaut Savings Bank 305 Main St., Conneaut 44030 (440) 599-8121 /www.conneautsavings.com
Philip Heffelfinger president, CEO
Home Federal Savings & Loan Association of Niles 55 N. Main St., Niles 44446 (330) 652-2539
Lawrence Safarek president
Northwest Savings Bank 2 Liberty St., Warren, Pa. 16365 (814) 723-9696/www.northwestsavingsbank.com
Thomas Stanton vice president, Crawford, Lawrence, Mercer and Ohio district manager
Northern Trust Bank FSB 10 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 48304 (248) 593-9300/www.northerntrust.com
Michael A. Cogan president, CEO Ohio
Pioneer Savings Bank 6701 Detroit Ave., Cleveland 44102 (216) 961-0422
Virginia C. Barsan president, CEO
First Federal Bank of Ohio 140 N. Columbus St., Galion 44833 (419) 468-1518/www.firstfederalbankofohio.com
Thomas L. Moore president, CEO
Source for financial data: Highline Financial LLC, a Thomson Reuters Company. NA=Not available. Crain's Cleveland Business does not independently verify the information and there is no guarantee these listings are complete or accurate. We welcome all responses to our lists and will include omitted information or clarifications in coming issues. Individual lists and The Book of Lists are available to purchase at www.crainscleveland.com. (1) Deposit information includes branches located in Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties, as of June 30, 2011, and June 30, 2010. All other numerical data is institution-wide as of June 30, 2011. (2) Includes all financial institutions in the 15-county coverage area.
Marc A. Stefanski chairman, president, CEO
RESEARCHED BY Deborah W. Hillyer
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
Aris: Competitors also raising money continued from PAGE 3
new radiologists in the marketplace, so there are going to be a variety of reasons to seek companies like Aris to provide these services,” Ms. Kim said. Mr. Kozlowski attributes part of Aris’ growth to its ability to offer a number of subspecialty services to its roster of 74 clients, which range from 25-bed to 400-bed hospitals. The idea is to provide them with the services of radiologists trained in certain areas that can diagnose ailments properly, and quickly.
which owns about a 60% stake in the company, according to Unhee Kim, Summa’s system vice president of service lines and ancillary services. Ms. Kim said Summa and Akron Radiology saw an opportunity to tap into an underserved market as smaller hospitals — particularly those in rural areas — had difficulty staffing their radiology departments 24 hours a day. “We’re not turning out a lot of
Contact: Phone: Fax: E-mail:
Given the federal government’s push to decrease the number of unnecessary medical tests as a way to get a handle on skyrocketing health care costs, properly analyzing patient X-rays the first time will make Aris an attractive partner, Mr. Kozlowski noted. “That’s what we do,” he said. “This lowers costs.”
An attractive investment? Aris might be the latest, but it’s certainly not the first teleradiology
company in the region to attract interest from investors. Radisphere of Beachwood, one of Aris’ competitors, last year raised $27.5 million to support the company’s growth. Maverick Capital Ltd. of New York led the financing round, which also included Radisphere’s existing investor, Oak Investment Partners, which has offices in Connecticut, California and Minnesota. “The problems are significant, and the solutions to them are significantly challenging,” Radisphere CEO Scott Seidelmann said of the need to keep health care costs in check. “I’m glad to see companies
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raising capital because in the end you need to solve these problems in an appropriate way.” Providers of specialized health care services have become attractive propositions to outside investors, said Susan Luria, a vice president at BioEnterprise Corp. in Cleveland, a nonprofit that assists health care companies in the region. “There’s increased interest in looking at service-related companies because you can see more quickly whether or not these companies can execute,” Ms. Luria said. “There’s a relative easy test to see whether the business model functions.” ■
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NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 4, 2011
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS
THEWEEK NOVEMBER 21 - 27 A developing situation: Drug developer ChanRx Corp. of Garfield Heights raised additional capital from both Sante Ventures of Austin, Texas, and the company’s founder, Dr. Arthur “Buzz” Brown. ChanRx will use the money to pay for Phase IIb clinical trials on a drug it developed to treat atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac rhythm disorder. The company in a news release did not say how much money it received, and a ChanRx official did not respond to an inquiry about the amount.
Setting the stable:
Moody’s Investors Service revised Summa Health System’s rating outlook to stable from negative, citing the Akronbased health system’s improved operating performance and expanding presence in the Northeast Ohio’s health care market. Moody’s also affirmed the health system’s Baa1 bond rating, which affects about $360 million of the health system’s debt. The Moody’s announcement “underscores the thoughtful manner in which we operate our organization and the steps that we have taken to redesign the way we deliver care,” said Summa president and CEO Thomas Strauss.
Strong flight pattern:
Akron-Canton Airport reported that last month set a record for travel in October through the airport. A total of 148,113 passengers passed through the airport last month, which was up 11% from October 2010, the previous record. For the first 10 months of the year, 1,378,318 travelers flew through AkronCanton, a 5.3% increase compared to the like period in 2010. The largest carrier at Akron-Canton, AirTran Airways, saw its passenger traffic through the airport increase 19% last month compared to October 2010.
REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK BEHIND THE NEWS WITH CRAIN’S WRITERS
A whale of a find for Cod lovers ■ If you give some old scrap iron to workers at the ArcelorMittal steel works in Cleveland, they’re likely to melt it down and turn it into gleaming new steel. But a recent junkyard find will be spared such a fate thanks to its historical significance. ArcelorMittal has volunteered to store two submarine engines that recently were discovered in the Great Lakes Towing Co.’s yard in the Flats. The engines were made in Cleveland around 1942 for use in U.S. submarines for World War II. That’s not the real reason they’re such a great find, though. They’re also the same engines used in the USS Cod that’s docked near Burke Lakefront Airport — where restoration teams had given up on restoring that boat’s engines for a lack of spare parts. Now they’ve got those parts, say ArcelorMittal’s spokespeople, who note the company was glad to be of service to such an important piece of American history. — Dan Shingler
■ Just in time for another hot start by the Cleveland State University men’s basketball team, following the Vikings just got a little easier. The Horizon League’s “Horizon League
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Excerpts from recent blog entries on CrainsCleveland.com.
named Cynthia D. Tomasch as vice president of planning and investor relations, at the polymer producer based in Avon Lake. Effective Dec. 14, Ms. Tomasch will succeed Joseph P. Kelley and will be responsible for PolyOne’s corporate financial analysis and planning functions. Mr. Kelley is moving to Materion Corp. in Mayfield Heights, where he will be vice president of finance for the company’s Advanced Materials Group.
This and that: The Cleveland International Film Festival received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a program that focuses on minority filmmakers. The film festival this year was the only recipient of the grant. … Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. announced two executive promotions. The producer of welding equipment named Doug Lance as vice president of operations and Thomas Matthews as vice president of R&D. … Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the state will receive $22.8 million as its share of a settlement with drug maker Merck over misleading marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. The company agreed to pay a total of $950 million in its agreement with the federal government, 43 states and the District of Columbia.
To keep up with local business news as it happens, visit www.CrainsCleveland.com.
Attention all flower children ■ Are you a child of the ’60s? If so, Kent State is asking you to upload pictures to its website that show what people looked like, what they experienced and what they cared about during the tumultuous decade. The photos will be displayed at the university’s new May 4 Visitors Center, which will explore the iconic shootings that left four Kent State students dead and nine others wounded at the hand of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970. The center is slated to open sometime next year. Photos should be submitted by Dec. 21
Moving in, and moving on: PolyOne Corp.
Along for the ride: National Interstate Insurance Co., a unit of National Interstate Corp. in Richfield, joined the newly assembled Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association. The insurer of buses and other commercial vehicles said the association was formed to support the bus and motorcoach industry by providing advice on laws and regulations, as well as various educational programs, conferences and activities to increase awareness of current issues facing bus operators, owners and the general public.
Network Live” is now available for download on any iOS smart phone or tablet, with availability on the Android operating system coming soon. The app will offer any game carried live on the Horizon League TV network, plus all league games, which are available on Horizon League.com. The league says it’s the only college conference to offer its entire live video collection through a mobile app. The Vikings, who started 12-0 last season before finishing 27-9 and playing in the NIT, were 4-0 on this young season after a road victory over Kent State last Tuesday night. In last week’s Associated Press poll, CSU reached No. 26, thanks in large part to a seasonopening road victory over then-No. 7 Vanderbilt. — Joel Hammond
Aleris is in elite company among U.S. private firms
THE COMPANY: Weatherchem Corp., Twinsburg THE PRODUCT: MegaFlap Weatherchem, a maker of plastic dispensing closures and controlled access packaging, describes its new MegaFlap as “a unique closure system that features an integrated scoop retention mechanism.” It’s designed for containers that are bulky, heavy and hard to handle, and the MegaFlap can be used in a variety of sectors. The MegaFlap’s scoop retention feature allows the scoop to clip onto the inside of the lid, which the company expects will be “popular with consumers frustrated with separate scoops that are easily lost or misplaced.” The ability to clip and store the scoop onto the MegaFlap’s interior “solves another consumer frustration — scoops no longer fall into the container and become messy and hard to find,” according to Weatherchem. The company says the MegaFlap’s “unusually large and flat surface area on the top of the closure provides abundant space for decorating with a logo, marketing message, or product information.” For information, visit www.Weatherchem .com. Send new product information to managing editor Scott Suttell at email@example.com.
■ There are 212 private companies in the United States that have at least $2 billion in annual revenue, and four of them are based in Ohio. So said Forbes.com in its annual list of the nation’s largest private companies. The 212 companies on this year’s list are down from 223 in 2010, Forbes .com said. Despite the drop, though, combined revenues this year are $1.33 trillion compared with $1.35 trillion a year ago. Only one of the four Ohio companies is from Northeast Ohio. That honor rests with Aleris International of Beachwood, a producer of aluminum rolled and extruded products. Aleris was No. 85, up from No. 135 in 2010. Forbes.com puts Aleris’ 2011 revenues at $4.12 billion, up 37% from the previous year. The company, led by CEO Steven Demetriou, has about 7,000 employees. The largest private company based in Ohio, according to Forbes.com, is Momentive Performance Materials, a Columbus chemicals company. It was No. 42 on the list. Also on the Forbes.com list are HCR ManorCare (No. 76), a nursing home and rehabilitation center operator based in Toledo, and NewPage Corp. (No. 111) of Miamisburg, a producer of coated and carbonless paper.
NE Ohio’s retiring types need to start saving more ■ It looks like Northeast Ohioans have some work to do to be prepared for retirement.
and must be no larger than 5 megabytes. To upload a picture, visit www.kent.edu /about/history/may4/virtualtour/photos/. — Timothy Magaw
A short tale about tall letters ■ Ever wonder how tall letters that are 350 feet in the air need to be to be seen across a city skyline? The F, T and B on the new signs that will top Fifth Third Bank Center, 600 Superior Ave. in downtown Cleveland, are 8 feet tall, and the rest of the letters are nearly 7 feet tall, according to a bank spokeswoman. All of them dwarf a certain Crain’s finance reporter, who stands roughly 5’2”. All four signs — one for each side of the building — should be up next week pending the weather, the spokeswoman said. She noted the signs, which use LED bulbs, are 60% more energy efficient than the previous signs that shouted Fifth Third’s name atop the 28-story building. The new signage reflects the bank’s new branding, which was introduced in 2007 and includes a new logo and new colors. The bank has staggered replacement of corporate signage for cost reasons. — Michelle Park
MarketWatch.com reported that an Ameriprise Financial survey of 11,600 adults in 30 large U.S. cities, including Cleveland, found wide variations in retirement readiness. At least 300 in each city were surveyed. They were asked “whether they’ve saved any money in a retirement account, consulted with an adviser about retirement goals, or assessed how much income they’ll need in retirement,” MarketWatch.com said. People in three California metro areas — San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego — are the most prepared for and optimistic about retirement. Indianapolis, New York and Atlanta came in at the bottom of the list of cities for retirement readiness. The national average for respondents who say they’re putting aside enough money for retirement is 69%. Cleveland/Akron was one of 15 markets that fell below that mark, at 67%.
Your shopping trip is a data miner’s delight ■ Forest City Commercial Management, part of Forest City Enterprises Inc., is testing a new survey technology by a U.K. firm to track mall shopping behavior and flow by using mobile phones. Chain Store Age reported the surveys are being conducted at Promenade Temecula in Southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va., through New Year’s Day. They mark the first use of this kind of technology in a mall setting. The survey system, called FootPath Technology, “consists of a small number of monitoring units installed throughout the center,” Chain Store Age reported. “The unit recognizes signals from shoppers’ mobile phones and sends the data to be evaluated.”
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* 36 month lease on 2011 BMW 328i xDrive Sedan, through January 03, 2012. Monthly Lease payments of $359.00 for 36 months based on MSRP of $40,125.00.. Total Lease payments are $12,924.00. Excludes tax, title, license and registration fees. Subject to credit approval. See BMW Cleveland for details. Dealer contribution may affect terms. Lessee must cover insurance and all items not covered under the BMW Maintenance Program. Purchase option at lease end for $25,279.00 excludes taxes. 30,000 allowable miles during lease term. Ultimate Service covers all factory recommended maintenance on all new vehicles, as determined by the Service Level Indicator, for 4 years or 50,000 miles, which ever comes first. ** Qualified customers only. 0.9% APR for 24 months available through January 03, 2012. Also available, 3.9% APR for 25-60 months.
Through two decades of change, we grew by serving customers first I believe the answer to the age-old question, “Where has the time gone?” is both simple and direct: Use your time well so you can look back with contentment and say, “I’m pleased with what I accomplished with my time.” My wife, Marti, and I just celebrated our 21st anniversary. Our son, Taylor, is 20. Our daughter, Sydney, will be 19 next month. Davis Automotive Group is 20 this month. It seems like yesterday Paul Yusko and I walked into Jaguar Cleveland that first day not fully knowing what we bought. Little did we know where this would take us and the success we would achieve. Back in 1991, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo were facing competition from new entrants into the luxury car business. There was also an economic recession. Ford had just acquired Jaguar and would later acquire Volvo. BMW was foundering and Range Rover was a sport utility outlier. Within a few short years, our business began to improve. BMW introduced the new 3 Series, followed by a 5 Series and then 7 Series. Under Ford, Jaguar’s quality improved and new products were
in the offing. Land Rover introduced the a new version of the Range Rover along with the Defender 90 model, still highly sought after and valuable, and the Discovery. In 1996, BMW acquired Rover Cars which included many iconic names, including Range Rover and Mini Cooper. With increased business and more models, it was time to move our business. In 1996, we began construction on our new campus in Solon at SOM Center Road and U.S. Route 422. Everyone told us we would fail because there were no other dealers in the vicinity of our proposed new location. From our real estate experience, we knew the right location would be the key to our success. As our reputation and brands improved, so did our business and the need for even more space. Today, we are finishing our fourth major expansion for BMW and will begin work on the Jaguar, Land Rover and Maserati facility next year. Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate to share my thoughts and feelings with the readers of Crain’s Cleveland Business. I’ve written about my mother and father, my relationships with my wife, our children and often about our valued customers. I have also had the opportunity to share my appreciation for the people I work with each day and their commitment to Davis Automotive Group and our customers. The vast majority of the Davis
personnel our customers see each day have been with us since we moved to Solon 14 years ago. It is satisfying to know we’ve created an enjoyable working environment for our team and customers alike. Without the great people we work with, and the customers we have, Davis Automotive Group would be just another car dealership. This article is a tribute to the commitment, hard work and honesty of each person at Davis Automotive Group. Thank you for being who you are and how you’ve helped us become what we are. -- Jeff Davis
6135 Kruse Dr. • Solon • (440) 542-0600 • www.DavisAutomotive.com