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COUNT’S 77 Presented by:
BUSINESS M A G A Z I N E Manufacturer & Business Association
VOLUME XXVII, NUMBER 5 MAY
Family, Faith and Ducks Page 22
2014 Annual Report
Association Leadership >
from the Chairman
Tim Hunter is president and CEO of McInnes Rolled Rings, located at 1533 East 12th Street in Erie, Pennsylvania. The company, founded in 1992, is a premier manufacturer of custom seamless rolled rings in a variety of carbon, alloy and stainless steel materials. For more information about the company, visit www.mcinnesrolledrings.com.
Dear Members: On behalf of the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) Board of Governors and professional staff, I would like to first say what an honor it is to serve as your 2014-2015 chairman and to extend my most sincere gratitude for the ongoing support you have shown over the past year. The MBA is truly an exceptional organization whose sole focus is to help our members succeed. We are extremely proud of the breadth and depth of our membership and our mission to help your businesses grow and thrive. The Association includes a dynamic and diverse membership of more than 4,500 member companies with an expansive footprint that covers a 46-county area in Pennsylvania, as well as three counties in northeast Ohio and two counties in southwest New York. Like the rest of the nation, an overwhelming majority of these businesses are small businesses, representing a wide range of industries, from hospitality and education, to nonprofit, industrial and manufacturing. More than 3,900 of our MBA members are operations employing 100 people or less, with the vast majority — more than 3,600 companies — employing 50 or less. These small businesses are the single most powerful driving force behind our economy — the job creators providing opportunity to thousands of families across our state and nation. The National Federation of Independent Business reports that small businesses represent 99 percent of all employer firms, employ about half of private-sector employees, have generated 60 percent to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade, and create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product. And, in manufacturing, these small businesses and others are truly the engines that drive Pennsylvania’s economic health and well-being, adding 575,000 jobs and $70 billion in value to the economy every year. America’s small businesses and manufacturers are without question the foundation on which our country stands. Which brings me to this year’s Annual Report and our 109th Annual Event keynote speaker Willie Robertson. Robertson took a small duck-call business started by his dad in a shed behind their home and turned it into the successful multimillion-dollar enterprise Duck Commander — a story that can be repeated hundreds of times here within our own community. Many local entrepreneurs and their families have risked everything in pursuit of the American dream, making countless sacrifices to
build their companies into the firms they are today. Here, at the MBA, we recognize the opportunities and challenges that these risk-takers have faced and support them in any way we can. That is why we are proud to represent their interests, lobby on their behalf, and reduce regulations and burdensome legislation that threaten to impede their growth. Of course, possibly the biggest regulatory hurdle currently faced by our members is the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With the vast majority of the provisions of this law now operating, the process of purchasing and utilizing health insurance programs for the benefit of the tens of thousands of people employed by our members will likely never be the same. As a result, your Association is doing all it can to help navigate the numerous and costly mandates forced on business by rolling out our own ACA-compliant private health insurance marketplace. At the same time, we continue to provide our members what I consider to be the premier services for employers in the region. The Association has not only trained more than 25,000 graduates through its regionally recognized supervisory, leadership, computer and HR classes, but is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to enhance its resources, including our highly anticipated second annual HR and Employment Law Conference, which will be held this fall. The Association also remains committed to programs that promote and foster the free-enterprise system — such as Americans for a Competitive Enterprise System’s successful Business Week program — and initiatives that provide real solutions to the growing skills gap, such as the Your Employability Skills (Y.E.S™) Certificate program, the American Manufacturing Tribute Bike Tour, and our own Workforce Development Committee that is helping the new Career Street program to connect employers with future workers at the high school level. At the Manufacturer & Business Association, we recognize that the only constant in business is change and that there are many challenges for our companies in the days ahead. But, being the eternal optimists that we are, we believe the future is bright and that the Association will be a pivotal factor in assisting our members through some of these greatest challenges. Sincerely.
Tim Hunter May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 3
Now, three generations strong, pictured above are Mark Pellegrino, Peter Bohrer, John B. Pellegrino Jr. & John B. Pellegrino Sr., PE
PROUD TO BE
MADE IN AMERICA FOR
For more than 70 years, RIDG-U-RAK has been family-owned and our products are Made in America. Through constant innovation, process improvements and industry-leading customer care, we’ve become one of the largest rack manufacturers in the nation producing in excess of 100,000,000 lbs. of rack per year. Now in our third generation, we remain just as committed to growth, our community and our employees.
Toll Free: 866-479-7225 • www.ridgurak.com
MADE IN AMERICA
CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E More than 70 Years of Excellence in Serving the Storage Rack Market
At the end of WWII, there was a growing need to modernize and expand the nation’s warehousing capabilities. Entrepreneurial business people began to develop innovative storage rack designs to fill those needs. Company after company was springing up, headed by owners who carved out a market share by providing a high level of personal service. In recent decades, however, most of those early family owned companies have been replaced by holding companies, investment bankers or corporate raiders. Virtually no companies like Ridg-U-Rak still exist.
John B. Pellegrino Sr., P.E.
President and CEO Ridg-U-Rak was a minor player in those early years. Although limited in marketing vision and hampered by a lack of manufacturing automation, Ridg-U-Rak had some survival strengths that helped the company to continue to grow. Today, as the operation celebrates more than 70 years of serving the material handling industry, Ridg-U-Rak is commonly acknowledged as a company built on Integrity and Service, guided by the able leadership of its president and CEO, John B. Pellegrino Sr., P.E., along with his sons, Vice Presidents John B. Pellegrino Jr. and Mark E. Pellegrino.
Capabilities Ridg-U-Rak now has two plants in North East, Pennsylvania, covering 160,000 square feet, with a production capacity of more than 100,000,000 pounds of finished steel products per year. It remains one of the largest storage rack manufacturers in North America and is still a family owned business. One of the key contributors to the company’s success has been the increased talent base of its staff, with the ability to completely manage large projects from design and code compliance, through manufacturing, to final installation and customer approval. Major capital investments in its manufacturing plants have been instrumental in improved productivity. Recent investments include the latest rolling mill equipment, a total shop layout revamping, an automated beam manufacturing line, and a 600-foot-long state-of-the-art powder coating line, which not only improves product quality, but also the company’s environmental imprint by reducing its liquid paint usage. From recycling programs to major transformations in manufacturing processes, the corporate philosophy includes doing what is necessary to meet 21st century sustainability expectations. Products Ridg-U-Rak provides an unlimited array of storage options. Whether deep and dense storage systems like Push-Back, Drive-In, and Pick Modules, or Narrow-Aisle and Deep-Reach systems, design engineers can lay out storage arrangements to meet a customer’s unique load, throughput and capacity requirements. Ridg-U-Rak also provides small storage systems for pallet loads or hand-stacked cartons, and offers replacement parts that interchange with competitive racks. Many specialty storage options are available, including a rack-supported crane system to store large dies and tools.
Ridg-U-Rak 120 South Lake Street North East, PA 16428 814/725-8751 or Toll-Free 866/479-7225 www.ridgurak.com
Seismic Base Isolation System Warehouse storage racks have proven to be particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage, and new FEMA guidelines mandate rack structure integrity during a moderate to severe earthquake. Ridg-U-Rak took a quantum leap in the design of storage racks for earthquake-prone areas when it developed and patented the Seismic Base Isolation System, a design that will resist rack damage and product spillage through the most powerful anticipated earthquake that the country will ever experience. Because of this innovated work, Ridg-U-Rak received the Excellence for Innovation award by the National Earthquake Conference. May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 5
What if your life depended on advanced heart care?
You would want the highest standard of cardiac care. You would want UPMC Hamot. Outcomes. Truven Health Analytics ranks hospitals based on a number of criteria including volume, cost, and outcomes. UPMC Hamot has been named in their list of the nation’s 50 Top Heart Hospitals nine times — more than any other Pennsylvania hospital. Experience. As the region’s largest and most experienced cardiac team, we perform more procedures than any other hospital in northwest Pennsylvania. And we’ve introduced more breakthroughs in the region, such as carotid artery stenting, minimally invasive surgery, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Specialized services. We offer the widest range of specialized cardiac services in the region, including the only valve center, peripheral vascular center, heart failure clinic, and cardiac ER. To learn more, visit UPMCHamot.org/WhatIf.
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
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• Climb UPMC Health Plan’s SmartSteps — a unique stairwell exhibit that blends health and history, spanning six floors.
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• Visit the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a first-of-its-kind venue that takes visitors from the dreamers to the heroes in western PA sports.
*Participants need an iPhone, Android, or other smartphone and a Twitter account to play History BINGO. Winners must be 18 years of age or older. Visit www.facebook.com/upmchealthplan for more information about prizes, rules, and terms and conditions of the game.
UP on of
• Check out From Slavery to Freedom, a recently updated and re-launched exhibit exploring more than 250 years of African-American history.
• Play History BINGO on Twitter during your visit for a chance to win a great prize.*
Senator John Heinz History Center
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UPMC Health Plan Weekend
UPMC Health Plan commercial members and their immediate family members can receive complimentary admission to the History Center.
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UPMC Health Plan member night X Watch the Erie BayHawks take on the Delaware 87ers, Saturday, February 22, 2014, at 7 p.m. at the Erie Insurance Arena.
UPMC Health Plan Erie Main Office 109 Boston Store Place Millcreek Mall Service and Sales Center 5800 Peach Street 814/833-6633 www.UPMCHealthPlan.com
Bringing More Visibility, More Choices, and More Savings to Erie In the past year, UPMC Health Plan’s visibility in the Erie region has increased greatly with the opening of the UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center in the Millcreek Mall. Now, in addition to the UPMC Health Plan office located in downtown Erie’s historic Boston Store, UPMC Health Plan also is reaching out to both current and potential members at its new mall location. The UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center in the Millcreek Mall offers a full complement of health insurance services, including member services for current UPMC Health Charles “Boo” Hagerty Plan members. Visitors may also purchase health Vice President - Northern Tier Markets UPMC Health Plan insurance coverage at the Service and Sales Center. The UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center has served a number of functions since its opening in September 2013. Its primary role is as the go-to place for information about UPMC Health Plan products as well as for information about the Affordable Care Act and its impact. In addition, the center has become a place for special community health events, such as free blood pressure readings, advice about improving your heart health, learning how to reduce stress, and tips on weight management from visiting UPMC MyHealth health coaches. All visitors to the UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center can find an experienced staff person available to answer insurance questions or assist with the purchase of Medicare or other types of health coverage. “Since opening the UPMC Health Plan Connect Service and Sales Center in the Millcreek Mall, we have been able to bring UPMC Health Plan closer to the people,” said Charles “Boo” Hagerty, vice president for Northern Tier Markets for UPMC Health Plan. “By reaching out to the community and providing a convenient way for people to connect with UPMC Health Plan, we are making it easier for them to learn about what we have to offer and to interact with us at a time and place that fits their schedules.” All of UPMC Health Plan’s coverage plans include access to UPMC Hamot, the region’s only Level II trauma center. Supported by a 400-member medical staff and 3,100 dedicated employees, UPMC Hamot is dedicated to serving its patients and the community in the Hamot tradition of quality, health, healing and education. All UPMC Health Plan members also have access to the UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital, the first hospital in northwest Pennsylvania devoted exclusively to meeting the health-care needs of women and infants. The women’s hospital brings together a highly skilled team of health experts offering a comprehensive range of specialties including obstetrics, neonatology, gynecology, urogynecology, gynecologic oncology, plastic surgery, and breast health. UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital also is the home of the UPMC Hamot Health Connection, the region’s delivery center for preventive health services, health screenings, and community education. The Health Connection provides health and wellness education for men and women throughout their lives. In 2014, Erie employers continue to embrace UPMC Inside Advantage™, a plan first introduced in 2012 that is designed to meet their specific needs. UPMC Inside Advantage is a value-based network that enables members to get the highest benefits and the lowest premium costs when they utilize top-tier quality hospitals in northwest Pennsylvania, including UPMC Hamot, Warren General Hospital, and Kane Community Hospital as well as all other UPMC-owned facilities and all UPMC-contracted physicians. UPMC Inside Advantage lowers premium costs by 22 percent over other comparable plans available to businesses in northwest Pennsylvania. May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 7
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CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E J.H. Bennett Offers Moving Solutions “At J.H. Bennett, our experience and dedication have remained steadfast for 100 years,” says Kent Mitchell, company president. “Our commitment to providing the best service and quality in the transportation industry has never been stronger.” Recognized nationally by its customers and by United Van Lines, its mission remains to be easy to do business with and to provide flexible solutions presented with accurate, easy-to-understand pricing.
Kent Mitchell President
As one of the country’s oldest moving companies, J.H. Bennett has upheld those promises as an Erie-based business for 100 years. As a part of United Van Lines, the company was declared the “best of the best” when it was announced as the 2012 President’s Quality Award winner in 2013. This prestigious award placed J.H. Bennett as No. 1 out of more than 400 other United Van Lines agencies. So, just how did a small agency located in Erie, Pennsylvania capture the top honor of the nation’s largest and most progressive household goods carrier? By embracing the changing ways in which today’s customers expect to do business. “We have transitioned over the years to new technologies, including the most recent E-Acceptance for moving contracts and an electronic inventory process which increases efficiency and clarifies terms for each customer,” explains Mitchell. “Our Moving Consultants are the most experienced in the region and are committed to accuracy, detail, and a thorough explanation of the entire process.” Once a move is scheduled, Move Coordinators anticipate customer needs, respond to requests and arrange services to ensure each move runs smoothly. Logistics and customer requests are conveyed to the company’s Van Operators and Service Crews, who are trained in all aspects of the packing, loading and delivery process. “Safe handling of our customers’ most personal possessions, care of the residence, and customer service are the top priorities of our crews,” says Mitchell. In addition to household relocation services and special commodities logistics, professional office relocation is among the company’s most sought-after services. “We understand how hard it is for a working office to be interrupted by a physical relocation, so we customize a step-by-step organized plan to affect a smooth and efficient transfer,” says Mitchell. “In every situation, we realize we are not just moving furniture and boxes. We are moving lives. Approaching these situations with the utmost care and exactitude is what sets us apart and drives our customers to vote us No. 1 in the industry.”
J.H. Bennett Companies 1705 Raspberry Street Erie, PA 16502 814/456-5377 or 800/542-8668 www.jhbennett-moving.com or www.gominiserie.com
The company isn’t limited to full-service moving options, either. Selfservice moving continues to grow in popularity and J.H. Bennett’s Go-Mini’s portable moving and storage units fit this niche perfectly. “Customers are realizing the advantages of using containers for not only moving, but for home staging, restoration, or even disaster recovery,” says Mitchell. “Go-Mini’s containers are delivered to your location where you can load it at your leisure or have us load it for you. Then we deliver it to your new destination or to our secure facility.” J.H. Bennett’s Erie roots run deep and have held fast through The Great Depression, two world wars and the ever-changing transportation industry. “In our 100th year of service, we look forward to meeting each challenge as a new opportunity to grow,” says Mitchell. “We want every customer to receive the highest-quality service that they will enthusiastically recommend.” May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 11
Association Services >
The MBA â€” Your
The Manufacturer & Business Association will introduce a new private health insurance marketplace to member companies, starting this July. 12 < www.mbabizmag.com < May 2014
Benefits Solution Association Plans to Roll Out ACA-Compliant Private Health Insurance Marketplace to Members
Amid the mess of the public health exchange rollout, there has been another very real blow to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the growing number of delays. Since its inception, provisions of the new health-care law have been delayed at least 29 times. And, of these 29 delays to the law, 14 have been set to last at least one year. One of those changes, announced in early February, allows smaller companies to skirt the mandate to provide health care until 2016. Specifically, businesses with more than 50 employees but fewer than 100 will have an extra year to phase in health-care coverage of employees who work more than 30 hours a week. Employers with more than 100 employees will be subject to employee-coverage rules under the ACA beginning in January 2015. The mandate to provide insurance had already been delayed one year. Experts say this constant stream of changes continues to create angst for employers already nervous about the costs of complying with the law — a law that the majority of business owners want repealed. “One of the biggest struggles of implementation of ACA is that everybody feels like they are trying to hit a moving target,” explains Lorin Lacy, principal at Buck Consultants, a global HR consulting firm, “and trying to meet those targets in the law is a huge frustration to employers of all sizes.” “This newest round of delays, for instance, gives a little bit more time in the 50-100 employee category,” he contin-
ues. “But, as with every positive, it creates more confusion and complications.” In response to these challenges, the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) has been working diligently over the past year and a half to assist its members with navigating the provisions impacting their operations. The MBA has held ongoing briefings to discuss changes in the law and provided updates to its members as information came available. Most recently, the MBA held focus groups with select member companies of various sizes to hear their needs and concerns, and what they would want most from a private health marketplace established through the Association. “All the employers were very receptive to the idea and looking for a private exchange that would provide them cost-competitive arrangements,” said Lacy. “They wanted a resource that would help with the clerical work, a system that would work for them with quoting, and be more streamlined than what the public exchanges could offer.” Introducing the MBA’s Benefits Solution. Starting this July, the Association’s new resource is a private marketplace with a select group of carriers that will offer ACAcompliant solutions for Association member companies and their employees. “Member companies are not in the business of benefits,” says Lacy, “so the goal of the MBA marketplace is to make things easier for them, be cost-competitive, and get rid of the burden of complying with ACA, since they will automatically comply.” >
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 13
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The MBA health insurance marketplace offers a more comprehensive, yet simpler, web marketplace for member companies than the public alternative. In fact, Buck Consultants already operates a private marketplace for retirees that are ending or have ended company-provided retiree benefits. The Association version of that platform is currently being customized and defined. “We are presently finalizing agreements with three medical carriers and in discussions with a fourth one in the center of the state,” says Lacy. “They are eagerly looking forward to participating, and it will offer a good choice for employers in the medical and prescription drug area.” The new marketplace also will be easy to navigate. Through the MBA, employers will be able to see and compare health-care plans on a carrier-by-carrier basis via a secure web portal. Employers can then request quotes to decide which plans to offer employees, and employees will then use the marketplace to pick their plans. “The marketplace will save time, and members will be able to make better business decisions with what they see,” adds Martin Giglio, principal and communication practice leader for Buck Consultants. The Association’s marketplace also is designed to offer call center support for member companies that may have questions along the way, with additional assistance from Buck Consultants. Employees will have the added support from the specific plan they select. “Employers and employees will be using the same site to shop,” Giglio says, “so we’re trying to make their experience much simpler.” According to Lacy, the biggest advantage of the MBA’s new benefits solution is the marketplace’s value-added services. For example, members will be able to access health advocacy resources designed to help employees live a better lifestyle. In addition, the MBA’s solution will bring all the coverage options — long-term care insurance, disability, and 401(k) retirement savings programs, for example — to one central marketplace, making the shopping experience even easier. The Affordable Care Act limits pricing differentials on carriers who participate in both the private and public options, so that is where the bundling discounts are so valuable. “We’ve encouraged carriers to come with bundling discounts, so you will see a reduced price if you get all of your medical, dental and vision together,” notes Lacy. “However, we want this to work for each member in the way each of them wants it to work. If you already offer life and disability, that’s fine. If you want to get all coverage
through them, that’s fine too. We’re trying to be as flexible as possible.” The MBA marketplace is for member companies with as few as two employees and even those looking for selfinsured alternatives. “It’s a way to say to employers of all sizes, you are not on your own,” states Giglio. “Through the MBA you have a trusted partner in the Association and you can make sure your health-care plans are ACA compliant.” The Association will be hosting a series of webinars and informational briefings about the new MBA marketplace. For the latest updates, visit www.mbausa.org.
Public vs. Private: What’s the Difference?
Driven by an ongoing need to control the cost of benefit programs and a desire to simplify benefits administration, private marketplaces have become an attractive option for employers. They differ in several important ways from public exchanges: Who Sponsors It? • Public Exchange — Government entity – either a state or the federal government (if the state delegates responsibility) • Private Marketplace — Private company What Does It Offer? • Public Exchange — Primary medical, dental and/or vision insurance through multiple carriers • Private Marketplace — Medical, dental and vision, plus for some, an array of other insurance products ranging from life to disability to critical illness, to retirement savings plans through preferred carriers Who Uses It? • Public Exchange — Primarily individuals buying insurance on their own and small businesses with up to 100 employees • Private Marketplace — Primarily active employees and retirees of the sponsoring organization and their dependents Who Pays? • Public Exchange — Consumer, small employer, or both (federal subsidies are available to individuals with household incomes of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level who are not eligible for employer coverage) • Private Marketplace — Consumer and employer Source: Mercer
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 15
Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. has been delivering sound legal advice for over 55 years. Our skilled team of more than 40 attorneys, 20 paralegals, and a dedicated support staff is driven by results. Whether you are the CEO of a large company or a young family developing an estate plan, we understand your needs and strive to fulfill them in a friendly, responsive and cost-effective manner. When you need a team, we pull together to help you come out ahead.
Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. Erie, PA | Jamestown, NY | North East, PA 814-459-2800 | www.kmgslaw.com
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When Izbicki Family Medicine first looked to open an independent medical practice, Marquette Business Banking provided just what the doctors ordered â€” an answer to their business plan within a half an hour, and a long-standing commitment ever since.
Drs. Jonathon and Harry Izbicki at Erieâ€™s first, insurance-free medical practice.
Marquette Business Bankers (left to right): Jim Jackson, Sherry Waller, David Slomski, Eugene Cirka, Beverly Schneider, Jon Patsy
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109th Annual Event >
Willie “From day one, Duck Commander wasn’t anything flashy. It started with a pretty common man with a very big dream.” ³:LOOLH5REHUWVRQ
Willie Robertson, chief executive officer of Duck Commander and Buck Commander, in the warehouse of the family run business in West Monroe, Louisiana. 22 < www.mbabizmag.com < May 2014
Photo courtesy of WME Entertainment
Robertson: Family, Faith and Ducks How the CEO of Duck Commander Helped Turn His Family Business Into a Multimillion-Dollar ‘Dynasty’ With his ZZ Top-style beard and his trademark red, white and blue bandana, Willie Robertson doesn’t fit the image of your typical CEO. But this self-described “redneck millionaire,” who owns and operates one of the most successful duck-call making businesses in America today, is also one of the best modern-day examples of the American dream come true. Through his family run business Duck Commander, Robertson, along with his
wife and business partner Korie, and the rest of the Robertson family, have cornered the market when it comes to products for duck hunters including duck calls, clothes and videos, while also branching out into deer hunting empire Buck Commander. Even their autobiography, The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Built a Dynasty, has been a smashing success for the bayou state’s favorite first family, selling more than a million copies and climbing to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. >
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 23
The Robertsons have been so successful in their business ventures, their story has been turned into the mustsee reality show, “Duck Dynasty” — breaking several ratings records on both A&E and cable TV. Yet the Robertsons’ appeal isn’t merely about its colorful cast of camouflage-clad characters, but rather the dynamics of operating a thriving duck call and decoy business while staying true to their family values. Almost every episode of the show revolves around these family relationships that make the business work and ends with the family gathering around the dining table, sharing a meal and praying together.
Growing Up Robertson
The Robertsons’ lives are a familiar storyline for any family business struggling to make it in the world — and, for the Duck Commander Family, making the best duck call possible.
“Terry went for the bucks,” Phil’s been quoted as saying, “and I chased after the ducks.”
“We didn’t bring in a consultant from the Harvard Business School to create a business model or strategic plan for us,” Willie has stated. “In fact, very little of what we’ve done has been by the book, but I think we took some chances and risks over the years in our quest to make Duck Commander a success.” Even when facing insurmountable odds, the Robertsons’ faith, family and passion for duck hunting has helped them persevere. “We’ve always thought that if we did what was morally and ethically right, while continuing to steadfastly believe in what we were doing, we’d be okay in the end,” Willie wrote in his book. “More than anything else, Duck Commander is about building solid products, fostering relationships that last, and treating our employees like family.”
To truly understand Duck Commander’s success, however, you have to look to the Robertsons’ patriarch, whose passion for duck hunting got the business off the ground. Their father Phil attended Louisiana Tech on a football scholarship where he was the starting quarterback and star of the football team. He actually started ahead of future NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw and had the option to play football professionally but declined because he didn’t want to miss the duck-hunting season.
After graduating with both an undergraduate and master’s degree in education, Phil initially supported his wife Miss Kay and family as a teacher. He also spent time as a commercial fisherman — while dreaming up a duck call never seen before. “When we were growing up with nothing more than an idea in Dad’s head for a duck call that sounded exactly like a duck, folks would sometimes look at us with pity and wonder why Dad didn’t shave his beard and get a regular job,” Willie noted. “Some would even poke fun >
“From being a kid who was on free lunches to today, a lot of good things have happened in my life. I’ve had a few tough times as well, but mostly I’m just happy to be here.”
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 25
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“Building a successful business is a lot like making a great gumbo.”
at us. We made it through some really tough times. We were a lot like … roadkill. Most people just saw a dead, stinky animal that had the bad luck to run out in front of the wrong vehicle. But when we saw roadkill, we saw something that could catch a sackful of crawfish. We saw potential in the most unlikely places!” Never satisfied with the duck calls that were on the market, Phil began to experiment with making a call that would produce the exact sound of a duck. By 1972, the same year Willie was born, Phil finally created the duck call of his dreams. As the story goes, one of his hunting buddies heard the long-hailing sound and told Robertson that he wasn’t just calling the ducks, but “commanding” them, and so Duck Commander was born. Soon after, Phil received a patent for his call and the Duck Commander Company was incorporated in 1973. The business was a true home-grown operation that started in a dilapidated shed where Phil made duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees. In the early days, Phil traveled store to store to sell his products, while the Robertson home became his “factory” from where the calls were assembled, packaged, and shipped. The Robertson family — Phil, Miss Kay and their boys Alan, Jase, Willie and Jep — assisted in the packaging and shipments of the calls, while helping Phil with his commercial fishing business. They would run the nets and take the fish to the
market — all to help keep food on the table while Duck Commander was getting off the ground. Willie says he honed his skills as a salesman by selling the freshly caught fish at the market with his mom as a young boy. Even then, the Robertsons’ “Little Tycoon,” always worked to negotiate the best price. “I learned pretty quickly that the faster you sold the fish, the faster you got to go home,” Robertson wrote in The Duck Commander Family. “I learned how to be a good salesman by selling those fish on the side of the road when I was a kid. When it’s hot, fish spoil quickly, so there was no time to waste. Once I saw that Mom was more likely to spend some of that cash we made on something that I wanted at the store if I did a good job that day, that was just the motivation I needed to work on my craft. “As I got older and wanted to buy more things,” he continued. “I realized selling stuff was my ticket.” In those early days, the Robertsons didn’t have much in the way of material wealth, and the kids were often on free and reduced lunches at school. At home, they cut and folded boxes to package duck calls, often late into the night. They took orders over the phone, often writing them down on napkins or paper plates, and whatever else they could find. In the first year, the business sold about $8,000; by the fourth year, that ballooned to $35,000. Eventually, Duck Commander was selling $25,000 worth of duck calls to Walmart, one store at a time. Sources say that once an executive from Walmart learned of this, he called and told Phil that he needed to go through him directly to sell the merchandise in their stores. Luckily, and with Walmart’s blessing, the >
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 27
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“Jase got Phil’s passion for duck hunting, and I got his entrepreneurial spirit.”
Robertsons were soon approved to sell their duck calls in bulk so they could be distributed nationally — and that translated into selling $500,000 worth of duck calls to Walmart annually. “Phil was a pioneer because he wasn’t afraid to take risks,” Willie has said of his father’s determination. “When he started the business, Phil actually carried an audio recording of live mallards. He played the tape and then blew his call, which convinced customers that his calls truly sounded exactly like a duck, (and) thus were the best on the market. “Phil was always a dreamer and a visionary and was focused on the big picture,” he continued. “He knew he could make his dream come true by pulling his family together.” Indeed, everyone in the Robertson family has played an important role in the evolution of the business. “All of the employees of Duck Commander make up a great company,” Willie wrote in The Duck Commander Family. “Some of our employees are sweet, some are spicy hot and a few are a bit cheesy. Each one of us has our roles and jobs. When we put everything together right, we do amazing things.” In other words, “If you take the onions or sausage out of Phil’s gumbo, it’s not going to taste nearly as good,” he added. “And if you take Alan, Jase, Jep, or Uncle Si out of Duck Commander, the company wouldn’t be as good as it is today.”
Entrepreneurial Spirit Willie Robertson didn’t become CEO of the Duck Commander overnight but he certainly had the drive to achieve great things. He married his wife Korie Howard Robertson right out of high school, went to college and returned to the family business after holding down other jobs. In fact, both Willie and Korie were raised in families that fostered their entrepreneurial spirit. Korie’s grandfather, the late Alton Hardy Howard, was a well-known entrepreneur in Northeast Louisiana. He and his brother founded Howard Bros. Jewelers, as well as Howard Bros. Discount Stores, and later Howard Publishing Co. — which became Howard Books and is now owned by Simon & Schuster. Howard, along with Korie’s father John, also started Super Saver Wholesale Warehouse Club, which was later acquired by Sam’s Club. Ironically, it was also Korie’s grandparents who helped start Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, a Christian youth summer camp in Louisiana, where Korie and Willie first met as third-graders. Willie took a job at the camp, after Korie graduated from Harding College and the couple moved back to the area, in 1995. In the Robertsons’ book, Korie has said the camp “proved to be a good training ground” for her husband’s business career. “Willie took the camp’s deficit from about $150,000 to $5,000 in a couple years,” she wrote. “The kids would come to camp for about six weeks during the summer, but Willie started renting the camp’s facilities to churches and youth groups during the offseason. He started a program for schools to bring their classes to the camp for nature hikes, and he even added tennis courts, hiking trails and other amenities. He was very creative in finding ways to create new revenue for the camp.” > May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 29
Investing in our
community. We’ve done business in Erie, Pennsylvania, for over 85 years, and we know what it means to be part of a community. From our support of the expERIEnce Children’s Museum and the Flagship Niagara to our sponsorship of a Habitat for Humanity build for a local family, we believe investing in the community is good for business. It’s also the right thing to do.
Elizabeth Gilmore enjoying the opening of the FMC Technologies’ exhibit at the expERIEnce Children’s Museum. Photo by Tim Rohrbach.
At the time, Duck Commander was still a seasonal momand-pop operation run from the family living room. When Willie became CEO of the company, he used not only his business education from Harding University and University of Louisiana — Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana) where he had earned a degree in Health and Human Performance, but also his sales experience to take the company out of the living room and into the big time — as a premier destination for allthings outdoors. When he first decided to get more involved in the business, Willie purchased the Duck Commander website and mail-order business from Korie’s father, running the business out of their house. But his first big strategic move in the hunting industry was to switch from Realtree to Benelli Shotguns in 2005 — right in the middle of hunting season. “The decision served as a statement that Willie Robertson was here,” Willie would later write, “and Duck Commander was gonna do things differently.” From there, Willie decided to put Phil’s picture on a box of shotgun shells — an honor at that time reserved only
“I’m accountable to everyone. If the company doesn’t make it, then we’re all out of work. And since most of our employees are also our relatives, it’s a heck of a lot of pressure to carry every day.”
for the legendary John Wayne. But the decision was the right one, and the Duck Commander business began growing not only in sales but also in sponsorship dollars. Willie also had the sense of mind to make sure the business was insulated if anything should happen to its big accounts, such as Walmart. He invested in taking Duck Commander from a seasonal business to the yearround hunting market. Noted his wife Korie, “Willie had the beard and camo like Phil and Jase, but he had a mind that could connect the dots with the business end of things.” While the company’s legendary Duckmen videos have revolutionized waterfowling with their pumpedup, rock-and-roll style, the Robertsons have set their business apart from the competition by continuously evolving. Today, Duck Commander is a thriving business empire that sells 600,000 duck calls a year in addition to their popular DVDs, books and other merchandise. “Many of the guys who started out in the hunting industry when Phil launched Duck Commander in 1973 aren’t around anymore,” Willie noted in The Duck Commander Family. “Several of them went through the same cycle: a father with a love for the outdoors starts a company, it has some success in the beginning, but if the next generation doesn’t pick up the torch, … they just dwindle back down to where they first started … or they fade altogether.” In 2006, Willie saw even more potential for the family business when he branched out into his new pursuit, Buck Commander. The deer hunting industry was an entirely new animal and industry for the Robertsons, but Willie was up to the challenge, following in Duck Commander’s blueprint. As part of Buck Commander, Willie and the Buckmen travel all over the country >
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 31
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Erie’s Academic Health Center
Erie’s Only Academic Health Center
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is the nation’s largest medical school and the only Academic Health Center in Erie. With Millcreek Community Hospital and the Clinical Practices of LECOM, the College is the core of an innovative medical education and health care system. This partnership strives to add to the quality of life for our neighbors in bringing total health care to the community by: •
Developing a 218-bed teaching hospital training new physicians and pharmacists in 14 residency and fellowship programs in the region’s largest post-graduate medical training institution;
Building a network of clinical practices in Erie County with more than 40 physicians who not only help to meet the health care needs of our patients, but also serve as clinical instructors for our students;
Opening one of the premiere medical fitness and wellness centers in the country designed to focus on the total well being of its members;
And constructing a new 144-bed senior living center to provide skilled nursing care in a homelike environment and providing a new teaching model for geriatric care.
As LECOM continues its growth at our Pennsylvania campuses in Erie and Greensburg, the College will continue its mission of providing a quality medical education at an affordable price as we prepare the next generation of osteopathic physicians, pharmacists and dentists.
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chasing white-tail deer, having a good time at hunting camp, and creating the “Buckmen” series of DVDs and the popular TV show “Buck Commander: Protected by Under Armour” on the Outdoor Channel. “I knew that if I could somehow translate what we were doing with Duck Commander to deer hunting,” Willie wrote, “the sky would be the limit.” Meanwhile, the highlight reels from the Robertsons’ “Duck Commander” duck-hunting shows caught the attention of Gurney Productions, a TV production company in Los Angeles. Soon after, “Duck Dynasty” began airing on A&E and the growth, as Willie describes, was “phenomenal.” Not only did the fourth season premiere draw 11.8 million viewers — making it the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history — but the show had $80 million in advertising sales for the first nine months of 2013. Its merchandise has generated another $400 million in revenue, about half of which is through Walmart. Willie, who is also executive producer of “Duck Dynasty,” colorfully compares the success of the show to that of his father’s famous burgers. “He took something very simple and made it into something that people have talked about for years,” Willie wrote. “I make the same type of burger Phil does, but just added a little to them and make them for a future generation. The idea behind the burger is the same as Dad’s, just with some glitz and glamour.”
A Strong Faith Although A&E promotes “Duck Dynasty” with the tagline, “Money. Family. Ducks,” at Duck Commander, the Robertsons’ faith and Christian values are truly what sustains them.
“I like to joke that the Robertson family and bad ideas go together like biscuits and jam.”
The entire Robertson family is active with the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, which meets just a few miles from the Duck Commander/Buck Commander warehouse. Much of their spirituality stemmed from their experience with their father Phil. Decades ago, the Robertsons say Phil was more interested in partying and hunting than parenting. But, after a few months apart, he asked his wife for forgiveness and desperately wanted his family back. Sources say it was at this rebuilding point of Phil’s young life that other things began to change. “From that day forward, Phil started his study of God’s Word,” Willie wrote. “He attended church several times a week and started going to Bible study nearly every night. He was baptized at the age of twenty-eight and gave up drinking and partying altogether.” This newfound faith wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan phase either. Today, Phil frequently speaks to groups about his beliefs. The rest of the family, including Korie and Willie, are also proud to be called what they describe as “religious people.” Just recently, the couple got involved with a faith-based movie, “God’s Not Dead,” which came out earlier this year. >
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 33
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In the film, Willie and Korie play themselves in a scene where they are confronted by a reporter who questions their faith, asking them how they feel about people who say they are offended by the prayer scenes in their TV show. “We’re not trying to offend anybody,” Willie goes on to say in the film. “As far as my praying to Jesus, my life and my whole eternity belongs to God. The money, fame, success, temporary. Even life is temporary. Jesus, that’s eternal.”
“Like Uncle Si says, it’s never a good family reunion when you start firing relatives.”
This message of faith is something that the family is proud to share because, as the Robertsons say, the true secret to their success is recognizing that God comes first. “Sometimes, we didn’t know how a bill was getting paid until the very last minute, but we always had faith that He would provide…” Willie stated in his book. “I think that’s the only way you can ever be truly successful in this world. You have to acknowledge that it is from above. And you have to have confidence that even if you lose it all, things will be okay.” Likewise, “You have to be willing to fail, and all the while work your tail off to succeed,” he continued. “You have to continue doing the work, believing what you are doing and most important, keep your faith in who you are. The faith of our family is not in the things we have. Our confidence is not on the monetary success we have gained. It is in the One who made us and who is there for us in good times and bad.” And, for the Duck Commander Family, it’s this faith — along with their devotion to family and passion for duck hunting — that has helped them build a “dynasty.” For more information about Duck Commander or Buck Commander, visit www.duckcommander.com or www.buckcommander.com.
Willie and Korie Robertsons’ book, The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Built a Dynasty, was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
FAST FACTS Willie Jess Robertson Born: April 22, 1972 Home: West Monroe, Louisiana Education: Harding University and University of Louisiana — Monroe Occupation: CEO of Duck Commander and Buck Commander, businessman and TV personality on hit reality show “Duck Dynasty” Family: Married to wife Korie since 1990. The couple has five children – John Luke, Sadie, Bella, Willie and foster child Rebecca.
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 35
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Eric Consiglio, Kathy Aranyos and Ed Althof
LOESEL-SCHAAF INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency, Inc. 3537 West 12th Street Erie, PA 16505-3650 Phone: 814/833-5433 Toll-Free: 877/718-9935 Fax: 814/838-6172 www.LSinsure.com
New Partner, Expert Staff The Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency is pleased to introduce its newest partner, Patrick Wachter, whose ownership helps perpetuate the agency into the future. Wachter joins Doug Loesel, Ed Althof, Eric Consiglio and Kathy Aranyos in leading the company. Although Mike Beuchert and Joe Parlak have transitioned from ownership, they continue to service customers and support the management team. “Having a professional staff averaging 25 years of insurance industry experience, we effectively solve problems for our clients,” says Loesel. “We also stand apart from our competitors in continuing education and the various designations we hold such as CPCU, AAI, CEBS, CLTC, CLU, GBA, REBC, RHU, SPHR and the list goes on. We have a vast reservoir of knowledge from which to draw and a team approach is often utilized. Someone on staff has most likely tackled just about any challenge and together we can find a solution.” Because circumstances change, Loesel-Schaaf offers a complimentary review of your personal and business policies, to ensure adequate protection. At Loesel-Schaaf, its clients and staff proclaim, “We make a difference” in their lives and in the community. May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 39
Erie FCU Commercial Lender Nathan Crouch meets with Susan Davis (left), co-owner of Pennant Motors in Fairview Township, and her sales associates to discuss the dealership’s business account needs.
Pennant Motors moved to its current location at 7589 West Ridge Road with a loan approval from the Erie FCU.
Susan Davis and her husband, Hank, had plans to grow their car dealership Pennant Motors. The couple sat down with advisers at Gannon Small Business Development Center, writing a business plan that would take their auto service, selling used foreign cars, to the next level. They wanted to move from their 12th Street location near the airport to a larger building in Fairview Township so they could accommodate more service and repair work. The Davises next met with economic development consultants who recommended that they search for financing options for their second mortgage. But they found it was challenging to find a financial institution that could help them move their plans forward. Thankfully, a trusted friend and accountant suggested they contact the Erie Federal Credit Union (Erie FCU) and gave them a name and number to call. “Erie FCU was so easy to work with, it was ridiculous,” says Susan Davis. “They were fantastic from beginning to end.” The Davises and five employees have been in their new location, a former Chrysler-Jeep dealership at 7589 West Ridge Road, since mid-October. The dealership already has seen a pickup in its car sales since the move, reporting its best November ever. “It was absolutely vital that we moved,” adds Davis. “The Erie FCU came through in a big way.”
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People Helping People More and more small business owners, including those in the professional service business, manufacturing, health care, commercial real estate and investment real estate, are coming to realize the benefits of Erie FCU’s commercial lending service. In fact, Erie FCU has more than doubled its commercial loan portfolio over the last two years — and the referrals keep on coming. “We have recently received referrals from a number of local businesses and professionals about our commercial lending services because of our niche in, as an example, investment real estate financing,” says Erie FCU Commercial Lender Nathan Crouch, a 20-year veteran of the banking industry with more than six years of commercial lending experience. “Typically, investment real estate is financed on a maximum term of 15 to 20 years amortization with most financial institutions. We are able to look at an expanded five years, 25-year amortization, which really benefits our member businesses.” Erie FCU can finance individual commercial loans up to $3 million. The Erie FCU also manages its own business loan portfolio, and lending decisions are made locally right here in Erie. “That enables us to speed to market when we have a commercial loan application,” Crouch explains. “We are able to move through the process a lot quicker because we are making the decision in-house.”
The sole objective of Erie FCU is to help members achieve their financial goals, but that only comes through having a deeper conversation about what they are looking to do — both in terms of their personal finances and for their businesses.
The Erie Federal Credit Union operates seven branch locations serving approximately 48,000 members in Erie and Crawford counties.
“When we have that type of interaction,” Crouch continues, “we find opportunities that almost always save them time and money.” Erie FCU Chief Marketing Officer Thomas Brennan points to the credit union’s tagline, “Financial Solutions from Local People You Trust.” “We try to look at everyone’s comprehensive financial perspective — businesses and consumers alike,” he states. “We try to have a global approach so that when they leave, they are in a better financial situation than when they walked in the door.” Thomas Brennan,
Erie FCU — the only credit union in Erie Chief Marketing Officer County to offer commercial loans — has been so successful in growing its business lending that it recently earned national attention in Callahan & Associates Credit Union Directory. Widely known as the best resource for a comprehensive overview of the state of the credit union industry, the directory, in 2013, ranked Erie FCU as one of the top 20 credit unions in the country for member business loan growth. “I think it is great to be recognized for something our credit union is doing particularly well,” states Brennan. “It means we are out there. We are serving the membership and the community like we should be.”
The Credit Union Difference
With more than 48,000 members throughout Erie and Crawford County, PA, $400 million in assets and 120 employees, Erie FCU’s impact is substantial. The credit union is currently making progress on plans to build a new branch location and corporate headquarters at the former Glenwood Elementary School. The plan has now evolved into a comprehensive facilities study that encompasses the new site plus all seven existing branch locations in the Erie FCU network.
that exist solely to service their members, not outside stockholders. Operating income is returned to depositors in the form of higher savings rates and lower loan rates and fees. “We are very similar to a bank in our offerings, but the true difference is how we serve our members,” he says. Erie FCU participates in the iBelong campaign, a cooperative campaign representing 93 million members, which focuses on building awareness of the credit union difference and helping consumers find a credit union that’s right for them. “People often think they have to work at a school or a certain business to belong and that is no longer true of most credit unions,” Brennan says. “If you live, work, worship or attend school in Erie or Crawford County, PA, or you are an immediate family member of an existing member of Erie Federal Credit Union, you can belong to the Erie FCU.” For more information about the Erie Federal Credit Union, visit www.eriefcu.org.
“The Glenwood project has become more of a plan rather than a construction project,” notes Brennan. “The focus right now is on our current and future needs and how to best serve our members.” The study comes on the heels of a recent merger with the Erie Flagship Community Federal Credit Union — a credit union of $6 million in assets and approximately 2,000 members. The credit union was a good fit because of the products and services that the Erie FCU could provide to its members. “We don’t typically go after other credit unions for mergers,” explains Brennan, “but when a credit union is up against the wall — a CEO retiring, for example — we help each other out. They knew that if they merged with us their members would be continuing on with another credit union under the same philosophy of ‘people helping people.’ ” And that, according to Brennan, is a critical part of the credit union difference. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives
The Erie Federal Credit Union is a full-service federal credit union with a community charter. Since 1936, Erie FCU has delivered a wide range of financial services to meet the needs of its membership. Members live, work, worship or attend school in Erie and Crawford County, PA.
Main Branch: 1109 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16504 Phone: 814/825-2436 • 800/480-0494 Toll-Free: www.eriefcu.org Federally insured by NCUA May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 41
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CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E Complete Document Management For Your Business Needs Pirrello Enterprises, a family owned and operated business, is a full-service records center that offers electronic imaging, storage, and a line of equipment sales and service to Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Recently, they have expanded to include Archival Solutions, an off-site storage and shredding company, making them Erie’s only complete document management center. President Robert Pirrello and his son, Robert Pirrello, Co-Owner and Vice President Matthew President Pirrello, have a combined experience of more than 35 years in the records business. “At Pirrello Enterprises, experience and service is our reputation,” says Robert. “We are growing and expanding, but our priority is customer service. We set ourselves apart from the competition by going above and beyond in every aspect of document management.” Pirrello Enterprises offers its clients a multitude of scanning solutions, from its large format engineering scanners; Mekel unit for scanning microfilm, microfiche and 1635mm film; to its Rimage archiving system, which can burn and create embedded color labels for high volume CD, DVD and Blu-ray production. The company also offers a wide range of Canon, Kodak, Panasonic and Fitjitsu products. Pirrello Enterprises’ professional technicians have worked for the company for upwards of 10 to 15 years and understand the importance of seeing to it that each project is done right. “Making sure we inspect everything 100 percent is part of our service. We guarantee all of our work,” explains Robert. Archival Solutions, a division of Pirrello Enterprises, completes this service with a safe and secure means of off-site document storage and shredding. “Today, square footage within a building is very expensive,” Robert points out. “We can offset that cost, and our file tracking technology and imaging capabilities allow us to access any active record, retrieve it, email it, fax it - whatever the client needs.” Robert adds, “We offer our customers a lot of advantages and help clients determine how much information to store allowing them to keep up with all government, legal and IRS storage requirements and schedules.”
Pirrello Enterprises and Archival Solutions 721 Parade Street Erie, PA 16503 Phone: 814/454-7984 Toll-Free: 888/454-7984 Fax: 814/454-7986 Website: www.pirrelloenterprises.com
Archival Solutions offers its customers confidential document destruction that is secure, efficient, and affordable regardless of the volume of paperwork a business produces. The company also offers flexible pick-up schedules based on the needs of a client’s business. “Our philosophy is for customers to shred all paper waste, and because all paper is treated as confidential, we provide a cost-efficient, timesaving way to ensure document security,” says Robert, adding, “The documents are shredded then go to a pulping mill for recycling, supporting the environment without compromising security.” May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 43
ISM. Built in Erie. Found Around the World. Another great family business that started in the garage!
CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E Helping You Navigate the ‘Concrete Sea’ of Logistics Things have changed in the last few decades. Trucks are stronger now, more fuel efficient. Businesses have many more avenues to pursue in getting their products to their customers. Technology has made the world a much smaller place thanks to the global market. But one of the challenges that companies still face is logistics. Businesses still have to successfully navigate the “concrete sea” Joe Benacci, President of highways to get their product from city to city. Taking into consideration the cost of purchasing and maintaining individual fleets in today’s economy, the task can seem daunting. One call to Benco Leasing, LLC, in Erie can change all that. The Benacci family has been a leading presence in the truck rental and leasing industry locally for more than 50 years. Their knowledge and expertise in the field is a ready asset to any company that needs a solution to their transportation situation. Benco’s staff can give companies the customized service they need to tailor a leasing program to fit their specific needs. Whether a unit is needed for a day or for a year, Benco Leasing can take the headache out of leasing with great local service while having the depth and capabilities of a national company. Joe Benacci, president of Benco Leasing, says the company’s longstanding partnership with NationaLease™ provides customers with not only local service, but also with 600 service locations throughout the United States and Canada. “No matter where our customers are in the country, if their unit needs service, there will be a NationaLease™ location nearby to assist,” Benacci says. And Benco Leasing’s fleet of trucks, tractors and trailers provide the flexibility their customers need to handle just about any situation. From drop-deck and curtain-side trailers to sleeper cabs and day cabs, Benco’s specialized equipment gives customers the option of being able to expand their business, not limit it.
Benco Leasing, LLC 3025 West 17th Street Erie, PA 16505 814/825-1881 www.lel-erie.com
Take advantage of 50 years of excellence in the leasing industry — a call to Benco Leasing, LLC will not only connect you with Erie’s oldest truck rental and leasing company, but you will have the added benefit of being able to utilize the NationaLease™ network of service locations and products. Combine this great local company’s hands-on approach with the benefits of the NationaLease™ program, and you have a recipe for success. May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 45
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Allegheny Health Network
Healthier Options for a Healthier Workforce Brought to you by Saint Vincent Saint Vincent Corporate Wellness Offering expert clinical services from the area’s top primary care and specialty caregivers. Our commitment to delivering the highest standard of care has never been stronger. • Onsite care
• Healthfair screening packages
• Lunch and learn packages
• Physical examinations and preventive health exams
• Employee assistance program
• Vaccination services
• Consultation and follow-up • Population Health Management • Onsite Biometric screenings, including full lipid panel, glucose, A1C, health and weight measurement, and results counseling • Wellness coaching • Nutritional counseling • Workstation evaluation
Saint Vincent offers many of these services as part of our exclusive Mobile Medical Unit. To learn more about the Saint Vincent Mobile Medical Unit, contact us today at (814) 452-7266 . The Saint Vincent Mobile Medical Unit 232 West 25 Street • Erie, PA 16544
To learn more, contact Saint Vincent Corporate Wellness today at (814) 452-5619. Saint Vincent Corporate Wellness • 2315 Myrtle Street • Erie, PA 16502
Saint Vincent Occupational Health Center With an occupational medicine program that offers integrated, on-site, full service physical and occupational therapy. Saint Vincent can deliver: • Pre-employment and DOT physicals • Fitness-for-duty and return-to-work exams • Drug and alcohol testing, DOT and non-DOT • Respirator and asbestos physicals • Worker’s Compensation injury care and case management • Testing and Screenings, including hearing, vision, lung function, x-ray and EKG For more information, contact The Occupational Health Center at (814) 452-7879. The Occupational Health Center • 1910 Sassafras Street, Suite 200 • Erie, PA 16502
2014-2015 Board of Governors >
Chairman Timothy Hunter, President and Chief Executive Officer McInnes Rolled Rings
Vice Chairman William Hilbert Jr., President Reddog Industries
Ex Officio Sue Sutto, President Sue Sutto REALTORS Inc.
Immediate Past Chairman & Secretary John Cline, President and Chief Executive Officer Sunburst Electronics and Blilely Technologies
Treasurer Donald Hester, President and Chief Executive Officer MAJR Products
Joel Berdine, General Manager Global Supply Chain, Locomotive and Mining GE Transportation
Mark Hanaway, Vice President Tech Molded Plastics, Inc.
50 < www.mbabizmag.com < May 2014
Paul Kenny, President McManis & Monsalve Associates
H&HMa c h i n e dP r o d u c t s
Extraordinary depth in energy energ ener gy g y transactions THE PROOF IS IN THE NUMBERS
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Sharon O. Flanery ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT CHAIR
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT
CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E Building a Stronger Team to Protect Your Business The Wilkins Company is an electronic
security integrator that can blend the benefits of an intrusion alarm, fire alarm, access control, video surveillance, and other life safety systems into one solution to manage the risk of future losses. Losses due to theft, injury, property damage or other incidents can greatly impact your organizational stability. The Wilkins Company is in the business of empowering clients to control those risks by maintaining dealerships with the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers.
From left: Cameron Wilkins, Dick Wilkins, Kurt Shenk and Tim Wawrzyniak.
Cameron Wilkins, Vice President
The Wilkins Company is excited to announce the expansion of its product and service offering through the acquisition of RKS Equipment Inc. and hiring of additional personnel. Founded in 1978, RKS Equipment had served the region by supplying fire alarm and security equipment to its customers and supporting those products through reliable service. “We are proud to continue the legacy they began as we roll their portfolio of products into our own,” states Vice President Cameron Wilkins, CET. “Through the acquisition we were given the opportunity to bring Kurt Shenk onto our team of industry professionals. With 25 years of industry experience, Kurt is a great addition to our team. Another new addition is Tim Wawrzyniak. Tim comes to us with 16 years of industry experience having served our region previously with ADT/Tyco Integrated Security.” The Wilkins Company’s team of professionals can work with end-users, contractors, architects, or engineers to develop a unique system design tailored to the property it is designed to protect. They are able to assist in all phases of project development including consultant services, specification writing, system layout, riser diagrams, installation, and acceptance testing. After installation, they can provide clients with all of their service and inspection needs. The company also has invested in a “best in class” building inspection reporting platform that can handle all National Fire Protection Association, JACHO, or state-required inspections. All fire alarm systems are required by state adopted codes to be inspected and maintained (call the Wilkins Company for more information).
Wilkins Company 3255 West 38th Street Erie, PA 16506 814/833-6376 www.wilkins-security.com
The Wilkins Company also is able to provide a proactive approach to today’s security needs with advanced video monitoring services. “Video analytics can make your video surveillance system smarter, which helps prevent crime instead of just recording it,” says Wilkins. “Adding video streaming to your intrusion alarm motion detectors can help turn a ‘blind’ motion detector into a motion viewer giving the dispatching operator the ability to verify the event is real and to request a priority response from responding authorities.” The Wilkins Company — Securing your peace of mind since 1981. May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 53
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CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E A Proud History of Providing Professional Rigging, Machinery Services Hoffman Industrial Co.’s professional riggers, movers and installers of industrial plants and equipment have been proudly serving the tristate area of Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio since 1846. In fact, whether it is a total disassembly of a machine, a reassembly in another facility or a simple machine installation, Hoffman — over its long history — has most likely played a part. The company has provided rigging and machinery services for hundreds, if not thousands, of companies over the years and Dennis Apple can offer a turnkey approach to projects. With the General Manager/Project Manager right equipment, proper insurance and expertise of decades of rigging, Hoffman can provide a safe productive solution to almost any customer need. The Hoffman Advantage • Safety, quality, service and customer care • In business since 1846 … experience matters • Variety of equipment and capabilities for any size job • OSHA-trained and safety conscious employees • Fully insured • Use “Made in the USA” hardware “Owning the right equipment, we can rapidly respond to our customers — relying on our own in-house resources,” states Hoffman’s President and Owner Art Hammond. “Our team and equipment will be on the road quickly with certified operators and trained rigging personnel.” “In order to maximize productivity, stay ahead of competition and consolidate resources,” he continues, “professional machinery rigging and relocation can be required — and that’s where Hoffman Industrial Co. fits in.” Hoffman Industrial Co. is always adapting to meet the needs of its customers. The company has an entire fleet of trucks, trailers, forklifts and equipment that is flexible enough to handle small jobs to entire facility relocations. Hoffman’s core values also include being a steward in the community. Spearheaded by Hoffman’s Office Manager Leslie Stratton, rigging services, equipment and warehouse space have been donated to numerous charitable causes and nonprofit organizations, including the 911 Memorial Project, the Perry 200 Commemoration Parade, Erie Children’s Museum, the Rescue Bank, and the Erie City Mission.
Hoffman Industrial Company 1221 Walnut Street Erie, PA 16501 814/452-2698 www.hoffmanindustrial.com
Experience Matters — 168 Years in Business and Counting. “Heavy industrial and commercial work requires a special skill set — in fact, many different skill sets,” explains Hoffman’s General Manager Dennis Apple. “More often than not, every job is different. When you want heavy equipment or machinery moved, you want people on the job who know what they are doing at all phases of the operation. Our experience allows us to understand each piece of equipment and how everything functions together. This goes far beyond simply knowing how to lift a piece and put it down.” Choosing the right rigging company doesn’t mean choosing a company that works at the bottom of barrel rates. You need to work with a company that understands its job well and that will not make compromises on its rigging operation. Hoffman Industrial Co. is a professional rigging company that understands everything about rigging and complies with all the precautions needed for a safe, effective rigging operation. Consider how valuable and how vital the load is to your business. Then choose Hoffman Industrial Co. May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 55
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The Erie Federal Credit Union operates seven branch locations serving approximately 48,000 members in Erie and Crawford counties.
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May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 57
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67:<0?-;<8-66;A4>)61)Âź;<78-5847A5-6<)/-6+A We have been voted Erieâ€™s number one agency year after year by the Erie Times readership. Whether you are looking for people or looking for work, why not go to the company with the most applicants and job openings in the market? We have five locations servicing northwest Pennsylvania, and can offer complete
geographic coverage and convenience for our applicants and client companies We invest heavily in our marketing channels to bring in the largest number of qualified candidates for your openings. We want to put ourselves in the best position to find the right person for you and your company!
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Saint Mary’s residents and staff 1894.
Caring across the Centuries
n September 21, 1884, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania opened the doors to Saint Mary’s Home of Erie for fifteen aged people who were previously residing at St. Vincent Hospital. They were meeting the needs of the people and the era in the Erie community. By 2001, Saint Mary’s Home of Erie was comprised of two campuses that served the community – Saint Mary’s East and Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge. It is operated in the Catholic tradition, as a Continuing Care Retirement Community, and is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Saint Mary’s continues to grow in order to meet community needs. The Asbury Ridge campus started expanding to offer 26 independent living homes known as The Carriage Homes at Asbury Ridge in 2007. Saint Mary’s East completed a $21 million addition and renovation Barabas, left, is visiting with Sister project that enhanced the campus to feature all private nursing rooms with attached European Margaret Phyllis McCracken, SSJ, center, and Dexter, right, showers along with countless additional amenities in 2010. in one of the courtyards at Saint Mary’s East. Dexter is a therapy dog and companion for the
Saint Mary’s services include adult day services, independent living, residential living, personal residents at Saint Mary’s East. care, skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s care, respite care as well as speech, occupational and physical therapies. In 2013, Saint Mary’s continued the growth of available services with the announcement of respiratory therapy, palliative care and home care. “Our Mission is ‘Loving to Care’ and ‘fostering an atmosphere of community in a faith-based atmosphere,’ explained Sister Phyllis McCracken, President/CEO. She continued, “Our Vision is ‘to be a principle enabler to primarily seniors in the Erie community, aiding them in living their lives in a respectable, dignified and fulfilled manner.’ This Mission and Vision will move us forward as we continue to meet the needs of seniors in our community.” The Mission of Saint Mary’s also extends beyond serving seniors. The Administration and the Board of Trustees continue the tradition of employee education, volunteerism and being good stewards in the local community.
Celebrating our 130th Anniversary
2014-2015 Association Staff & Services
At the Manufacturer & Business Association, we know the challenge for every business to compete, grow and succeed is greater now than ever before. That’s why our mission remains resolute — to deliver value-added services that lower the cost of doing business, ease the burden of compliance and increase productivity for our more than 4,500 member companies. In order to ensure that an investment with the Association is cost effective and productive for years to come, our members have a team of more than 30 additional employees who work for them at our regional offices in Erie and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They also have access to the enhanced training, networking and legislative affairs support services, as well as our low-cost energy program, the Employers’ Energy Alliance of Pennsylvania, Inc., and our new ACA-compliant private health insurance marketplace.
Value-Added Services to Help You Compete, Grow and Succeed Executive Staff
Ralph Pontillo President
John Krahe Vice President
Brad Phillips Chief Financial Officer and Vice President
Karen Learn Assistant Director
Dean Falletta Maintenance
Whether your needs are in the area of insurance, human resources, training or government affairs, our team of professionals stand ready to assist you. For more information about the Association services, visit www.mbausa.org.
Business Magazine, Communications and Marketing
Norm Zymm Director
As the only monthly business-to-business publication in the tri-state region, the Business Magazine serves as a critical information tool for employers located throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. Each month, through our print and digital editions, the magazine showcases the operations of one of our member companies and includes information on the most compelling human resource, legal and legislative issues facing businesses today.
Computer and Professional Development Training
As a leader in professional development programs for more than 20 years, our expert trainers deliver the knowledge and skills that employers need to compete in today’s business world. These courses are offered in interactive, engaging class environments — including half- and full-day classes, onsite and regional training, as well as one-on-one customized coaching — that deliver the knowledge, skills and tools to improve the performance of our members and their employees.
In every aspect, the Association’s Conference Center in Erie is unique in its business-focused amenities, offering unparallel comfort, convenience and service to the more than 21,000 guests who’ve held their meeting, seminar, briefing, trade show or special event at the Association this past year. In fact, “We are so confident that you will be pleased with our facility and service that we guarantee your satisfaction or you don’t pay for the meeting.” > 62 < www.mbabizmag.com < May 2014
Laurie Mattis Director
Christine DeSantis Administrative Specialist
Ann Miaczynski Administrative Specialist
Pam Durst Receptionist
Lori Joint Vice President
Tammy Lamary-Toman Vice President
Bea Blenner Assistant Controller
Melissa Lesniewski Administrative Specialist
Terry Nunez Administrative Specialist
Business Magazine, Communications and Marketing
Nathan Farrell Coordinator
Karen Torres Managing Editor and Senior Writer
Patty Welther Account Executive
Casey Naylon Web Administrator
Tammy Polanski Director of Marketing
Computer Training and Professional Development
Dan Monaghan Director of Training
Amy Pontillo Manager of Computer Training
Lisa DeFilippo Instructor
Tracy Daggett Instructor May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 63
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Employers’ Energy Alliance of Pennsylvania
Employee Benefits and Insurance
Patty Smith Director of Employee Benefit Services
Melissa Damico Member Support Specialist
Angela Zaynon Government Relations Representative
Chuck Jenkins Regional Representative
Dianne Wodarski Coordinator
HR and Legal Services
Stacey Bruce Director of HR Services
Robyn Hopper HR Specialist
Rose Bruno HR Generalist
Employee Benefits and Insurance
Through our new ACA-compliant private health insurance marketplace, (see page 12), the Association can offer a wide array of premium insurance plans and coverage options — health care, short-term disability and dental, for example — for you and your employees. Association members also can call our Employee Benefits team for on-the-spot answers to their insurance-related questions, so it is “the last call they’ll have to make.”
Employers’ Energy Alliance of Pennsylvania, Inc.
The power behind every business is power, and through our low-cost energy savings program that means consistently looking for ways to help our members maintain a competitive advantage. Our alliance with NRG Business Solutions provides participating companies with both fixed and variable pricing — along with the same level of experience, expertise and service they’ve come to expect from the MBA.
From the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to new regulations, our Government Affairs Department is constantly monitoring what’s happening in Washington and Harrisburg, alerting members to the impact of pending legislation and giving them the tools they need to let their voices be heard. Our professional staff also represents businesses’ interests at the local, state and national levels by maintaining frequent contact with legislators and, through its political action committee, lobbying them on the membership’s behalf, and including information on the most compelling human resource, legal and legislative issues facing businesses today.
HR and Legal Services
The Association’s Human Resources Department can provide administrative relief and professional expertise by assuming some or all of the HR responsibilities so our members can focus their energy on growing their core business. Association members also have free, unlimited access to our certified HR specialists and employment law attorneys and can call our HR and Legal Hotlines anytime with questions on a variety of employment and administrative compliance issues. Learn about our second annual HR and Employment Law Conference on page 56.
May 2014 > www.mbabizmag.com > 65
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ǁǁǁ͘ƉĐƚ͘ĞĚƵͬǁĚĐĞ &ŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ tŽƌŬĨŽƌĐĞĞǀĞůŽƉŵĞŶƚ ΘŽŶƟŶƵŝŶŐĚƵĐĂƟŽŶ WĞŶŶƐǇůǀĂŶŝĂŽůůĞŐĞ ŽĨdĞĐŚŶŽůŽŐǇ KŶĞŽůůĞŐĞǀĞŶƵĞ tŝůůŝĂŵƐƉŽƌƚ͕WϭϳϳϬϭ ǁǁǁ͘ƉĐƚ͘ĞĚƵͬǁĚĐĞ ϱϳϬͲϯϮϳͲϰϳϳϱ
ƐŬĂďŽƵƚĨƌĞĞŽƌƌĞĚƵĐĞĚĐŽƐƚ ƚƌĂŝŶŝŶŐĨŽƌĞŵƉůŽǇĞĞƐŽĨĞůŝŐŝďůĞW ĐŽŵƉĂŶŝĞƐƚŚƌŽƵŐŚtŶĞƚW An affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University
ZĞĐŽŐŶŝǌĞĚĂƐĂůĞĂĚĞƌŝŶƉƌŽǀŝĚŝŶŐ ŝŶĚƵƐƚƌǇͲĨŽĐƵƐĞĚǁŽƌŬĨŽƌĐĞƐŽůƵƟŽŶƐ͕ ǁĞŽīĞƌĐƵƐƚŽŵŝǌĞĚƚƌĂŝŶŝŶŐĂŶĚ ĐŽŶƐƵůƟŶŐ͕ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐ͗ ĂƐŝĐΘĚǀĂŶĐĞĚtĞůĚŝŶŐ ůĞĐƚƌŝĐĂůdƌŽƵďůĞƐŚŽŽƟŶŐ ŶǀŝƌŽŶŵĞŶƚĂů͕,ĞĂůƚŚΘ^ĂĨĞƚǇ &ŽƌŬůŝŌĞƌƟĮĐĂƟŽŶ ,ǇĚƌĂƵůŝĐƐΘWŶĞƵŵĂƟĐƐ /ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂůůĞĐƚƌŝĐŝƚǇ WƌŽŐƌĂŵŵĂďůĞ>ŽŐŝĐŽŶƚƌŽůůĞƌƐ;W>Ϳ Penn College operates on a nondiscriminatory basis.
PROUD TO BE A PART OF THE ERIE COMMUNITY FOR OVER 80 YEARS
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Have you made the trip to Career Street? Check out one of the busiest sites in town as local employers, educators and non-profits work in partnership to provide career exploration opportunities to Erie County youth. • Workplace tours • Job shadowing • Career speakers • Internships • Mentoring • Career fairs
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