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G THE VER N I Z I YB N G EST O C RE

Awards 2017

IN BUSINESS

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A special supplement to Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly


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Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.


Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly 3306 Independence Drive Fort Wayne, IN 46808 (260) 426-2640 • Fax: (260) 426-2503 www.fwbusiness.com

Table of Contents

Randy Mitchell randymitchell@kpcmedia.com Publisher

Mac Parker Business Excellence Award .......................................................4

Lucretia Cardenas lcardenas@kpcmedia.com Editor

Business of the Year - Revenue More Than $5 Million.................................5 Business of the Year - Revenue Less Than $5 Million ..................................6

Linda Lipp llipp@kpcmedia.com Associate Editor

Nonprofit of the Year ..........................................................................................7

Doug LeDuc dleduc@kpcmedia.com Reporter

CEO of the Year - Revenue More Than $5 Million..........................................8

Bridgett Hernandez bhernandez@kpcmedia.com Reporter

CEO of the year - Revenue Less Than $5 Million ...........................................9

Claudia Johnson cjohnson@kpcmedia.com Marketing Manager

Nonprofit CEO of the Year ................................................................................10 CFO of the Year ..................................................................................................11

Beth Welty bwelty@kpcmedia.com Fort Wayne Paginator

Startup of the Year ............................................................................................12

Emilee Smits research@kpcmedia.com Researcher

Best Use of Printed Advertising .....................................................................13

David Thornberry dthornberry@kpcmedia.com Advertising Director

Best Use of Facebook ......................................................................................13

Ann Saggars asaggars@kpcmedia.com Creative Manager

Best Blog ............................................................................................................14 Best Printed Newsletter ..................................................................................15

Kanisha Bevins kbevins@kpcmedia.com Special Sections Designer

Best Use of Pinterest........................................................................................15

MARKETING CONSULTANTS Bobbi Jenks Sheba Herring

Best Use of Twitter ...........................................................................................16

George O. Witwer Publisher Emeritus

Best Digital Newsletter ....................................................................................17

Terry G. Housholder President

Best Website .....................................................................................................17

Randy Mitchell Chief Executive Officer

Best Use of Instagram......................................................................................18

S. Rick Mitchell Chief Financial Officer

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly is proud to partner with the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, official venue for all 2017 Business Weekly events. Business Excellence Awards is a special publication of Fort Wayne Business Weekly, KPC Media Group Inc. ©2017 All rights reserved.

All photos taken by Ray Steup, Creative Content Producer, KPC Media Group

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

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Mac Parker Business Excellence Award

John Sampson

President & CEO at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Homesick, struggling to make his mark, a young John Sampson was ready to quit. On a trip home to Washington state, Sampson prepared himself to speak to his father, Ray, about his decision to leave the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland after his mandatory two years. It was time to return home and marry his high school sweetheart, Pam. Before Sampson could share with his father his decision, his father cut him off, already sensing where the conversation was headed. “The decision is yours …. But, I also want you to know that, if you quit, you will never know what you could have made it,” Ray Sampson said. The message was clear: Giving up is a matter of attitude. John Sampson realized that day the difference between “not winning” and “not giving up.” The lesson, along with his faith, has driven him since. The message of not giving up was one that helped shape the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. When he arrived to lead the partnership in 2005, the idea of cities, towns and counties working together was foreign for the most part. Inter-regional rivalries prevented the governmental entities and economic development groups from working together – especially if two entities varied in size. The sole job of the partnership is to connect and advocate the region but, building cooperation among the entities at the start was a task that only became more difficult once the Great Recession took hold of the region in 2008 and 2009. Difficult conversations ensued. Sampson became a listener - someone to vent to, complain to and even, at the depth of the recession, cry to. But through his determination to not give up, he worked with local business leaders who also were committed to not giving up – even if it meant they didn’t end up “winning.” The focus was that the region working together was better off than allowing each group and entity to Page 4

fend for itself. “The reason it worked even during the recession is because we decided to stand together,” Sampson said. He noted that business and government leaders in the region have weathered several vehement arguments and fights. “But, even when we disagreed, we agreed to act,” Sampson said. While Sampson won’t take the credit, he served as president and chief executive officer of the partnership when northeast Indiana received one of the initial $42-million grants under the state’s Regional Cities Initiative. As a result, regional quality-of-life projects are receiving state investment. It’s one of the reasons Maclyn T. Parker, a retired attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels who is still very active on commissions and boards in the region, recommended Sampson be this year’s recipient of Parker’s namesake award: the Mac Parker Award. “John has built the northeast region into a unified regional group, and economic development groups come from throughout the state to follow the path of what he has done,” Parker said in an email recommending Sampson be selected for the award. Introduced last year, the award celebrates an individual who has devoted a career deeply engaged in their work and in their community, making contributions that will impact northeast Indiana for years to come Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly is recognizing Sampson at the 2017 Business of Excellence Awards. Although Sampson champions the business environment of northeast Indiana, he’s only lived in the state for 17 years. After graduating from the Naval Academy with a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering, he spent a number of years operating nuclear plants across the country.

He came to Indiana in 2000 as vice president for external affairs for American Electric Power, representing Indiana and Michigan. He initially lived in Fishers but made frequent commutes to and from the Fort Wayne area – coming in contact with a number of northeast Indiana regional leaders and business owners. It was the dedication and the strength of the business leadership in northeast Indiana that attracted him to the area and to his current role. Investments such as those made by Parkview Health and Steel Dynamics to put up the initial funds for the partnership showed that local businesses were willing to take the risk for the betterment of the whole. The courage among the community leaders was contagious to Sampson. To the leaders, Sampson was the loyal, dependable, collaborative visionary the region needed to move the partnership forward, said Noble County Economic Development Corp. Director Rick Sherck, who served on the selection committee that hired Sampson. “He wanted to make a difference, not build a resume,” Sherck said. Contributing to Sampson’s ability to lead is his sense of humor and his faith,

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

See MAC PARKER AWARD, Page 8


Business of the year - revenue more than $5 million Brief description about the business: Waiter on the Way strives to connect its customer base to prepared foods of their choosing while providing the service of convenience. This is accomplished through a variety of platforms and levels of serviceability. Our services include everything from delivering a single meal for a hotel guest to an elegant plated reception for several hundred.

Waiter on the Way 701 South Clinton St., Suite 110, Fort Wayne, IN, 46802 (260) 442-3663 fortwayne.waiterontheway.biz Years in operation: 26 Owner: Derek Berkes Top executive at company: Derek Berkes Number of FTE employees: 30

What efforts has the business recently made that led to its recent achievements? We do not settle for the status quo. There is a conscious effort to expand available products and services while simultaneously improving product quality and accessibility. We continue to build our brand by developing or acquiring additional brands that will connect back to our core and stand alone as well. What is the philosophy behind the way business is conducted? The company is built on the philosophy that our customer wins first and we win second. We apply this to our staff as well. Our core value is to produce or create the highest quality food products and deliver them to our customers through one of our business channels.

What makes the business stand out from others in its industry? The diversity offered by the waiter on the way menu and its subsidiary companies creates a platform like no other in the food industry. What’s one word the business hopes its customer’s use to describe it? Value. We want to deliver value and be valuable to our customers through each interaction with our customers. What are the future plans for the business? Future plans include franchising Waiter On The Way to other cities outside Fort Wayne, Indy opening in January of 2018, expanding WOW Factor Catering, developing a meal service division for pre-ordered weekly meal plans (Blue Apron), opening an event center with the look and feel of New York, taking Vanilla Bean cookies and Jai Juice to the retail marketplace, developing new packaged goods for retail stores, developing a line of vegan and vegetarian food products that can plug into our Blue Apron concept, creating a specialty fine chocolate division that can complement our chef driven catering menu and event center, event development that will include local and regional musicians and artists.

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

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Business of the year - revenue less than $5 million Hosler Realty Inc. 616 N Sawyer Road, Kendallville, IN 46755 (Corporate office, additional locations) (260) 347-1158 www.hoslerrealty.com Years in operation: 79 years (Since 1938) Owners: Gregg Pyle and Joe Sells Top executive at company: Hosler Realty is managed by co-owners Joe Sells and Gregg Pyle, but all realtors, brokers and employees hold a leadership role, and are crucial to the company’s overall success. Number of FTE employees: 13 full-time

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Brief description about the business: At Hosler Realty, we care about the people we work with and the quality of service we provide them. We are the oldest continuous real estate firm in Noble County, starting out as a small family business in 1938. Hosler now boasts 20-plus agents with expertise in residential and commercial real estate, as well as a bilingual agent to support those Spanish speaking clients. What efforts has the business recently made that led to its recent achievements? We have seen tremendous growth within Northeast Indiana, have added over 15 new and experienced agents/ brokers, and recently opened new locations in Ligonier, Albion, Huntertown and Garrett. In addition, we make an intentional and concentrated effort to get involved and give back to the communities we serve. What is the philosophy behind the way business is conducted? “If you take care of your community,

your community will take care of you.” Our number one goal is to always be honest and take care of the client first! We’re not happy unless our customers are happy. What makes the business stand out from others in its industry? Unlike many in the real estate business who focus solely on commissions and profits, our agents focus on service and community. We want people to associate the name Hosler with honesty, integrity, and service excellence. What’s one word the business hopes its customers use to describe it? Ethical What are the future plans for the business? We hope to see the continued growth and success of our business and our agents; but more importantly, we hope to create an environment where every family in northeast Indiana has the opportunity for home ownership.

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.


Nonprofit of the year Brief description about the organization: Since 1858, the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne has been dedicated to delivering on our mission, values and cause to our local communities. We are committed to strengthening the foundation of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y addresses the most pressing needs in our community by ensuring that everyone – regardless of age, income or background – has the opportunity to learn grow and thrive. The Y currently serves more than 78,065 members and 20,000 program participants across Allen, Whitley and Wells counties at eight membership branches, two Early Learning Centers, the YMCA Child Care Services branch, the YMCA Youth Service Bureau and YMCA Camp Potawotami.

YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne 347 W. Berry St., Suite 500, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 (Central branch) (260) 422-6486 www.fwymca.org Years in operation: 160 Founders: The first YMCA in Fort Wayne was organized in 1858. The meetings were held in the Dietrick’s Mercantile Institute located at the corner of Main and Calhoun Streets. Isaac Jenkinson was the first president of the YMCA in Fort Wayne serving from 1858-1860. The programs consisted of weekly religious, literary and social meetings. Top executive at organization: Martin Pastura, president and CEO Number of FTE employees: 546 Number of volunteers: approximately 1,920 per year

What efforts has the organization recently made that led to its recent achievements? Over the last 20 years the YMCA has worked diligently to become available to all people by expanding services to seven membership branches and three youth development branches across three counties. Presently, we serve almost 99,000 children and adults from all walks of life through our facilities and programs. We have raised a substantial amount of money and served thousands of people with financial assistance. As part of our promise to ensure that finances are not a barrier to participate at the Y, in 2016 we raised almost $600,000 and offered 24,800 people reduced rates on memberships and programs. The Y has also continued to build up our collaborations with other area non-profits, schools, businesses and local government to connect Y members to service opportunities. Almost two thousand local Y members serve as volunteers in or through the Y to help make our community a better place to live.

What is the mission of the organization? The mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. What’s one word the organization hopes the community associates with it and why? Love – it’s one of the most important words we know in the Y. Our mission and cause are all about loving, serving and caring for everyone. We strive everyday through our staff and members to love our neighbors and city. That’s the kind of culture we try to build in the Y as we serve our community. What are the future plans for the organization? As we develop a new strategic plan for the next three years, the Y will focus on offering more programs in order to fulfill our mission and our cause. Some examples include teen leadership programs, chronic disease prevention and special needs programs for children and adults. We will continue to expand our services to youth in crisis through enhanced character development programs. As we continue to deepen our impact on the community we will also work toward growing our endowment to make sure the Y is here for years to come. Lastly, because the Y relies on passionate people in our community who want to make a difference, we will continue to develop our volunteer program. These will be the main focus areas in our future plans.

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

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CEO of the year - revenue more than $5 million What led to you becoming the CEO? Acquisition of the company in 2002 after two years of working with the company. What is your philosophy in managing the company and the team that runs it? Find and support talent in all ways then lead or get out of the way, depending on the circumstance What does a typical workday look like for you? There is no typical work day, but each day consists substantially in teaming with and supporting our company’s leadership How many cell phones and/or tablets and/or computers do you use on a daily basis? One laptop and one cell phone with a heck of a lot of data usage!

Bradley J. Toothaker Company: Bradley Company & Great Lakes Capital

How do you de-stress or wind down? Swim, which I have done for most of my entire life, including competitively in college; or otherwise exercise, snow ski when I can get away

Years with company: 21 Education: UCLA BS in history with business

What was your biggest career fail and how did you handle it? Frankly, I’ve had many and there’s only one way, that is to address it head on and move on.

How do you prefer to communicate? Entirely circumstantial, but in person is always best. What do you consider to be your greatest success thus far in your career? As in above, I think there have been many and they all have to do with growth and success in our team, some of the best are current leaders of the company who have served at all levels and are true servant leaders. Who and/or what has made your current success possible? Other than our people I mentioned, discipline from competitive swimming then my wife, Katie!

MAC PARKER AWARD from Page 4 as well as Sampson’s competitive spirit, Sherck noted. “Yes, he wants to win on the golf course but he also wants to win for the region,” Sherck said. One attribute that several people associate with Sampson is his passion – for his work, his family, his church. “He’s one of the most dignified and passionate people I know,” said Pastor Nathanael Brenner, of Holy Scripture Lutheran Church. Sampson, who serves as church president, was the first person Brenner spoke to when he made the move to Fort Wayne. Now, the two meet for breakfast on Page 8

a regular basis. Sampson provides Brenner with lessons on the church’s history and offers leadership advice. Brenner also serves as a colleague for Sampson to run ideas by and provide spiritual advice. “We learn from each other,” Brenner said. Brenner greatly appreciates the time Sampson takes to have breakfast with him, acknowledging Sampson’s dedication to church, family and work. “He’s very good at balancing,” he noted. But balancing is simply what one does when having a good attitude and a strong faith is what drives a life. “It’s been a blessing to be asked to do

this work,” Sampson said. “A privilege.” He won’t take credit for much the region has accomplished over the past 12 years because, after all, his job is simply advocating for the communities in northeast Indiana and assisting them in communicating and working together. Together, well, together they’ve accomplished quite a bit and have built a redevelopment and investment momentum that Sampson hopes to see build the region into an attractive, economic success that can weather the next recession. BY LUCRETIA CARDENAS lcardenas@kpcmedia.com

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.


CEO of the year - revenue less than $5 million What led to you becoming the CEO? He is a founding partner and principal broker of BND Commercial, where he has been top producer in 2005, 2007 and 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015, according to the BND website. Prior to BND, he was executive vice president of a competing northeast Indiana real estate company, where he was the top producer in 1999 and 2002.

O. Karl Behrens Company: BND Commercial Years with company: Since founding of company in 2004 Education: University of Indianapolis with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a concentration in marketing and accounting.

What is your philosophy in managing the company and the team that runs it? According to his nomination: “He makes sure that all employees feel like a family within this company and provides numerous opportunities for family gatherings throughout the year. He never hesitates to work with individual employees if special needs arise regarding family or other personal matters. He makes sure that BND supports numerous local charities

and rarely says no to an opportunity to donate for a worthy cause.”

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Nonprofit CEO of the year

Joe Jordan Organization: Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne Years with organization: Nine Education: B.S. in business administration; Master in business management

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What led to you becoming the CEO? My goal was always to live a life of significance. I wanted to put myself in a position to help others. I really didn’t seek to be a CEO. All I wanted to do was put myself in a position to serve. Be a servant to mankind. What is your philosophy in managing the company and the team that runs it? My philosophy is very simple. Stay mission focus, create a world class experience for the membership and treat everyone with dignity and respect. When we focus of these things, we are a great organization. What does a typical workday look like for you? For me there are no two days alike; however, every day I am working with people. So the only thing that is consistent on a daily basis is working with people. From donors, board members, staff, volunteers, organizational partners, parents and children. A typical day is working and dealing with people. How many cell phones and/or tablets and/or computers do you use on a daily basis? I have two cell phones, desk phone and one computer. I use all of them daily. How do you prefer to communicate? I prefer face to face communication whenever possible; however, I don’t mind text or email at all. How do you de-stress or wind down? I de-stress and wind down by getting away from it all. Just allowing myself some space and listening to music and watching a good movie. I normally do

this once a week. What was your biggest career fail and how did you handle it? My biggest career failure was when I missed a major grant deadline. I immediately admitted to the error and started raising the money that the organization would have reviewed if the grant was awarded. I am happy to report that I raised more money than the grant would have allowed us. What do you consider to be your greatest success thus far in your career? My greatest success is helping bring awareness to the organization and getting the right people (staff, volunteers, donors, and partnerships) involved with the organization. As result of getting the right people involved, over the past 9 years, each year, the organization has grown in every major category. Who and/or what has made your current success possible? All of the people around me have made me a success. They bought into my vision and embrace my leadership. From the board of directors and staff to major donors and organizational partnerships. They allowed me to dream and create an organizational environment that’s mission driven and focused. It’s really about leading the right people and getting them to believe in the mission and the vision of the organization.

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.


CFO of the year

Laura Ramsey Company: Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities Years with company: Three Education: Bachelors in Business Administration from St. Francis College

What led to you becoming the CFO? I cut my teeth in the trust and audit departments of Lincoln Bank. I found that I loved not-for-profits when I became the Finance Manager at McMillen Health. After a nice run at McMillen, I became the Controller at Turnstone where I was able to watch the community band together to pledge funding to build the fabulous Plassman Fieldhouse. My career then took me to Arts United as the Director of Finance. Arts United has a great mission and is a model for providing services to smaller arts organizations. When the CFO position opened up at Turnstone, I sent in my resume and am so happy that I was selected to be at the Chief’s table to help lead the organization during this exciting new phase of opportunities for the clients and the entire Fort Wayne community What is your philosophy when you go about budgeting? Budgeting, if done properly, is the most important control that the board of directors can use. The budget is the numerical story of how management expects to fulfill the initiatives and goals set forth in the strategic plan. Requesting meaningful input and explaining the numbers to staff tends to demystify the often dreaded, “budget!” What does a typical workday look like for you? I like to start my day early. I sort through the mail box and send items on their way then I review and approve anything my staff accountant has left for me from the previous night. Next, I review the calendar for any meetings gathering any reports I might need for them then I start on my task list. What is your favorite Excel function and why? I came of age before desktop computers and can remember having to recreate work papers every time the prime interest rate changed in the 1980s (41 times in 1980 alone varying from 11 percent to 21.5 percent). It is sweet to be able to AutoSum, copy formulas and use absolute references. How do you de-stress or wind down? I like to make jam and jellies. It is a multi-sensory process and makes great gifts! What do you think is least understood about a CFO’s roll these days? How has

the roll changed over the years for you or has it? Because the accounting department seldom provides direct service to clients in the not-for-profit world, they are often seen as a hindrance to the “real work” being done. Explaining the value added by our department to staff is an integral part of my job. I don’t believe that the roll has changed over the years. The tools available to me to accomplish the work have improved exponentially. What do you consider to be your greatest success thus far in your career? I led an accounting software conversion from Fundware, an ancient system no longer supported by Blackbaud, to Abila MIP. By obtaining an excellent accounting intern from Trine University, I was able to complete the entire conversion with only minor inconveniences for only $1,500. Who and/or what has made your current success possible? I have been able to work under some excellent CEOs and BOD Treasurers during my career. Cathy McNulty, Holli Seabury, and Brian Bowman at McMillen Health; Susan Mendenhall and Troy Panning at Arts United; Nancy Louraine, Mike Mushett, Dave Springmann, Corinna Ladd, and Chris Rupp at Turnstone. Tom Skiba from Haines Isenbarger and Skiba has provided excellent accounting assistance. They each taught me very useful lessons and I quote them regularly: “It is the same conversation at other organizations but their number may have more or less zeros,” “We just need to manage expectations” and, my all-time favorite, “Let the vendor do the work.”

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

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Startup of the year Brief description about the business: Hyde+Alchemy is a local micro perfumery specializing in L’Huile de Parfums. Every fragrance is made by hand, in small batches, using 100 percent all natural ingredients.

Hyde+Alchemy 9327 Greyhawk Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46835 (260) 312-0909 www.hydealchemy.com

How did the business get started? H+A started as a concept on the beach in Tulum during our honeymoon. We were inspired by all the handmade, natural products offered and wanted to do something similar in the fragrance industry we both shared a passion for. Being a startup (and recently married), we have bootstrapped the business thus far.

Years in operation: One Founders: Jon-Paul Capito, Leah Capito Top executive at company: Jon-Paul Capito Number of full-time employees: Two Number of part-time employees: Five

What is the philosophy behind the way business is conducted? Our goal from the beginning was to provide full transparency to

everything we do. As a fragrance house, we are driven by creativity, clarity and personal experience. Creativity: All of our fragrances are created with an “Open Source” philosophy. Customer feedback, personal memories, and limitless trial and error all go into each perfume we make. By utilizing this strategy, it provides us with unique products that truly are one of a kind. Clarity: In the pursuit of transparency, we share our full ingredient list for every fragrance we make to help better educate the consumer with what they smell. Personal experience: We strongly believe in the personal buying experience that can be found in small boutiques and salons. At H+A, we focus on these sales channels exclusively as we believe these shops align with our values and beliefs.

Congratulations to:

LAURA RAMSEY winner of the 2017 Not-For-Profit CFO of the Year Award

Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities

www.turnstone.org 3320 North Clinton Street • Fort Wayne, IN 46805

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Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

What makes the business stand out from others in its industry? H+A specializes only in L’Huile de Parfums, which is the highest concentration level in fragrance. Every fragrance offered is 100 percent alcohol free and made by hand with all natural ingredients. In a world of synthetic, mass marketed fragrances, these perfumes are truly unique. What’s one word the business hopes its customers use to describe it? Innovative. What are the future plans for the business? Our growth plan for 2018 is to expand beyond the Tri-State area by acquiring showroom space on both coasts to make H+A more accessible for new and current vendors.


Best printed advertising What was the purpose of the ad campaign? To promote home and office delivery as well as our image and brand. The main billboard on Interstate 69 we wanted something different and that would catch everyone’s eye. How/What was the feedback from the ad campaign? Lots of people have commented on how they can tell it’s a Peerless ad from the color and the “less” emphasis as soon as they see it. Others have said that it is very simple and direct.

Peerless Cleaners Who created the ad concept? Burkhart Advertising

How long did the campaign run? It is still currently running. Any advice to others who are considering a print ad campaign? Seeing our brand throughout the city on billboards, bus huts, print and social media is important to ensure we

are first in our customer’s minds as their dry cleaning choice. After that it’s important that we have the quality and service at each location or delivery truck to back it up.

Best use of Facebook What is the organization’s goal with the social account? To engage prospective and current students, alumni, and the Manchester community How often does the company post? One to three times per day on average What is the most rewarding aspect for the company by maintaining the account?

Creating posts that go “viral” in our community by connecting with and engaging people of all ages, like our “Dear Professor” series during graduation or our “Spartan Football Dad Joke Battle.” What’s the No. 1 tip you can give to others on this social medium? Video is king

Manchester University Website: www.manchester.edu Social account: @ManchesterUniv Account manager: Erica Graphman, social media coordinator Years on social account: 8+ years

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

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Best Blog

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Blog: Northeast Indiana’s Blog Blog contributors: The entire collaborative Regional Partnership team contributes to the blog. Age of blog: Since 2012

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Blog highlights: 1. John Sampson, president and CEO of the Regional Partnership, writes a monthly blog encouraging business leaders to influence the growth and momentum of the region while also discussing topics critical to regional economic development and business investment. 2. Stephen J. Bailey, of With a PH Digital & Development, writes a series showcasing the personality, passion and aspirations of members of the Regional Partnership’s Emerging Leaders Alliance. 3. The Regional Partnership regularly partners with regional businesses to showcase the transformative work, initiatives and programs that provide an impact on the region’s economy. These blogs are topical and cover everything

from business attraction and talent development to talent attraction and retention. What is the purpose of the blog? The purpose of the blog is to build brand awareness, showcase regional momentum and develop community attachment, and engagement. How often is the blog updated? Weekly What do customers most appreciate about your blog? Community engagement and storytelling, that’s the benefit to readers of the Regional Partnership’s blog. The northeast Indiana Blog allows readers to understand complex economic development initiatives and engage

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

in transformative work within the region’s 11 counties. From upcoming events to stories about regional leaders, readers can get involved and stay informed. How did the company decide what voice to use in the blog and what topics it would address? Has that evolved over time? The Regional Partnership’s voice has evolved over time. When the Our Story Project results were released in 2014 after surveying more than 900 people in our region, we learned northeast Indiana’s common personality, voice and messaging. This report, which dubbed northeast Indiana as a “Contender,” has helped us use consistent keywords and messaging for various audiences and topics.


Best printed newsletter

Brightpoint Website: mybrightpoint.org Who edits/composes your newsletter? Jennie Renner, development manager, writes the stories and takes most of the photographs (some are contributed by other staff.) The Nichols Co. designed the newsletter. Age of newsletter? We have published a newsletter for many years, but the current version was conceived when we rebranded and changed our name in 2015.

Newsletter highlights: We provide relevant information and tell compelling stories about a few of the thousands of people who are helped every year at Brightpoint. One of our regular columns is called “Mission Moment.” It is a brief retelling from an employee point of view of a particular time while working at Brightpoint where they felt really connected to our mission. What is the purpose of the newsletter? To inform our donors and partners about what Brightpoint is doing and

how their support is being used to create brighter futures for communities, families, and individuals. How often is the newsletter sent? Six times a year (every other month) What do customers most appreciate about your newsletter? Being able to read about the real people whose lives are being changed with help from Brightpoint. Did the company ever have an “aha” moment when designing the newsletter? How did that

come about? When we rebranded in 2015, it was an opportunity to start fresh and begin telling our story differently. As an organization we are doing many of the same things that we have been doing for over 52 years, but we are focusing more on connecting the reader to the heart of what we do. We have been told several times by individuals who have received help that they believe “Brightpoint” is a great name for us because we were the bright point in their lives. This is what we are striving to convey in the information and stories we include in our newsletter.

Best use of Pinterest What is the organization’s goal with the social account? To provide current and prospective students with helpful information and to help people learn more about the college process in general

Manchester University Website: www.manchester.edu Pinterest account: manchesteru Account manager: Erica Graphman, social media coordinator Years on Pinterest: 6 years

How often does the company post? We usually have scholarships to post once a week, and then as we find posts to repin or new content to share What is the most rewarding aspect for the company by maintaining the account? Our large following allows us to

increase brand awareness in a way we may not normally be able to. Additionally, maintaining our “Scholarship Opportunities” board and “Careers In” board has the benefit of providing many departments across campus with tools for assisting students and they’re also helpful to people outside our community! What’s the number one tip you can give to others on this social medium? Be creative, collaborate with other people on boards, curate boards that are helpful/informational for your audience and people outside your audience.

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Best use of Twitter What is the company’s goal with the social account? The Regional Partnership’s goal with social media is to develop a network of informed and engaged community members throughout the 11-county region. We use the tool to communicate community news, events and initiatives. We also use it to collaborate with our 11 Local Economic Development Organizations (LEDOs) and with business and community leaders to develop a network of brand ambassadors to inspire regional pride.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Website: www.neindiana.com Facebook: neindiana Twitter: NortheastIN Instagram: northeast_in

How often does the company post? We post a minimum of

LinkedIN: northeast_in

five days a week. What is the most rewarding aspect for the company by maintaining the account? The most rewarding aspect of maintaining social media is connecting and engaging with the community and experiencing the growth of regional pride and impact of personal storytelling first hand. Northeast Indiana is a great place to live, work and play; just look at #NEIPride! This insight into the community perception helps guide strategic and tactical decisions. Our social media presence also expands our brand nationally and allows us

Account manager: Stephen J. Bailey of With a PH Digital and Development Years on social account: Since 2012 or about 5 years

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BoysGirlsClub_78357 1/6 pg Business Excellence Awards 11/2/17

64 Bobbi sz 4c

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to compete in the global marketplace for business investment and talent attraction. What’s the number one tip you can give to others on this social medium? Twitter is about conversation and interaction. Keep people talking about your subject matter by engaging them in the different aspects of why people follow you in the first place. Tell them more about your brand through text and photos while interacting with their tweets, too. If you love what you are tweeting about, people are going to feel it when they see it in their twitter feed.


Best digital newsletter

Newsletter highlights: Project of the Month Something Cool – Share about someone who is a creator and is worth a follow on Instagram. Learn Something – Share some technical advice for our industry.

Dancer Concrete Design Website: nickdancerconcrete. com Who edits/composes your newsletter: Nick Dancer writes; edits done by Alexis Dancer and Andrea Bauman

What is the purpose of the newsletter? The purpose is to teach, maybe get a laugh, and inspire others to create. How often is the newsletter sent? Last Friday of the month

Age of newsletter? 2017

Website highlights: Introductory information on Fort Wayne’s first craft distillery. Highlights include background on the distilling process, interactive maps showing locations that carry the spirits, spirit descriptions and award information, listing of upcoming community and tasting events, and career postings.

Three Rivers Distilling Co. Website: threeriversdistilling. com Website manager: Stephen J. Bailey Age of website? 2 years

What is the company’s goal with the website? To provide visitors with information on our award-winning craft spirits and direct them to locations to try and purchase those spirits. How often does the website change? Updated appropriately

What do customers most appreciate about your newsletter? Authenticity We try to add value without just talking about ourselves. We want them to learn something, maybe laugh a little, and be inspired to create. Did the company ever have an “aha” moment with the designing the newsletter? How did that come about? Yes. Inspiration from a company called Hiut Denim, a boutique jean manufacturer out of the UK. Their newsletter and how they bond with their clients inspired us to start our own.

Best Website based on new product introductions, awards, events, and locations.

What do customers most appreciate about your website? The beautiful design, easy flow and concise information. Did the company ever have an “aha” moment with the website that made it what it is today? How did that come about? The website is built via Wordpress that allows for designs that adapt to mobile, and gives the ability for the website to be updated regularly without having to recreate the wheel. After full-branding assistance from One Lucky Guitar, the

Business Excellence • November 2017 • kpcnews.com • ©KPC Media Group Inc.

website was built around a few key concepts: simple, easy to navigate, and focusing on the strengths of the brand which are the people, the products, and how it connects with the public. The “aha” moment came from watching everyone at TRDC create their spirits during the distilling process; everything in the website design was motivated by that process. Page 17


Best use of Instagram What is the company’s goal with the social account? There’s a lot that goes on at Trine University. Instagram lets us capture those special moments, from a beautiful day to the construction of a new building, and share them with the campus, the community, prospective students and parents.

Trine University

How often does the company post? Two to three times a week

Website: www.trine.edu Instagram account: trineuniversity Account manager: Debbie Richard Years on social account: 3 years

What is the most rewarding aspect for the company by maintaining the account? Social media is an important piece of the communication plan

and, in a text-heavy world, it’s great to have a platform that utilizes pictures to tell the story. What’s the number one tip you can give to others on this social medium? Be consistent.

Whether it’s posting every day or once a week, find the right mix for your company. A social media content calendar can be a big help to keep you on the right schedule. And, don’t forget to throw in a little fun.

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly Business Excellence Awards PLATINUM SPONSOR

Bradley Company Bradleyco.com 111 E. Ludwig Road, Ste. 101 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825 (260) 423-4311 Bradley Company is the choice of clients who desire a nimble, entrepreneurial and long-term real estate service partner. We provide a diverse portfolio of services for all commercial real estate needs: commercial brokerage services, corporate services, commercial and multihousing management, real estate tax consulting, project and facilities management, research services, and strategic planning. We provide this wide range of services through our incredible professionals with varied skills and specialties, with a continuously expanding geography.

This has resulted in almost $200 million worth of brokerage transactions annually, over $2 billion in capital markets experience, more than 10 million commercial square feet, 2,000 multi-housing units managed and, since 2011, over $1 million saved in tax liabilities.

Since our founding in 1978, our company has been creating value for our professionals, clients and community through excellence in service delivery, our strong partnerships and our commitment to creating innovative solutions that assist our clients in achieving their goals.

Get to know Bradley Company.

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Our core asset is our Capital Integrity and it is what you can expect from every member of the Bradley Company team. We create value for our clients and our communities while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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Congratulations O. Karl Behrens, CCIM,SIOR on being named Business Weekly’s

CEO of the Year

Revenue Less than $5 Million.

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Profile for KPC Media Group

Northeast Indiana Business Excellence Awards 2017  

Northeast Indiana Business Excellence Awards 2017  

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