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BUSINESS M A G A Z I N E Manufacturer & Business Association

VOLUME XXVI, NUMBER 11

NOVEMBER 2013

2EDPD&DUH Employers Take Wait-and-See Approach to Health-Care Law / Page 14


14

November 2013

EDITORIAL >

FEATURES >

Why medication adherence is critical to care and cost containment.

Brad Phillips, the Association’s new chief financial officer, talks about his new role and how his experience will benefit the Association and its membership.

7 / Health Matters CHRONIS MANOLIS

9 / Legal Brief The state and federal tax issues affecting same-sex married couples. NICHOLAS J. HOLLAND

13 / Aging & Wellness How families can access the new free tools and resources to cope with Alzheimer’s disease. DIANNE CUNNINGHAM

17 / Business Management Why you should prepare now for mergers and acquisitions during the Baby Boomer retirement era. JOE BIONE & STEPHEN C. FINDLAY

SPECIAL SECTION >

3 / Spotlight

10 / PA Cyber School Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School administrators announce they will be opening a satellite office in Erie to better connect with their growing enrollment.

14 / ObamaCare Experts explain why employers are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new healthcare law and keeping a close eye on options available in the private sector.

4 10

23 / On the Hill Angela Zaydon, the Association’s state government relations representative in Harrisburg, addresses the most recent proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania and the burden it places on employers.

26 / 2013 Corporate Gift Giving & Event Planning Guide The holidays provide a great opportunity to thank your clients and reward your team for a year of hard work. See our annual gift giving and event planning section for ideas of where to start!

DEPARTMENTS > 4 / Business Buzz 20 / HR Connection

24 / HR Q&A 29 / People Buzz

Read on the Go! For the most current Business Magazine updates, visit our website, www.mbabizmag.com, fan us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 1


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SPOTLIGHT > Brad Phillips is the new chief financial officer (CFO) at the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA). He joins the MBA following the retirement of longtime CFO Dan McMahon and brings with him more than 30 years of accounting experience in a wide range of industries, from public accounting and manufacturing to banking and health care. Phillips recently sat down with the Business Magazine to talk about his new role and how his experience will benefit the Association and its membership.

VOL. X X VI, NO. 11 NOVEMBER 2013 Manufacturer & Business Association Board of Governors

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you bring to the MBA. I was born and raised in Erie and graduated from Strong Vincent High School and then went on to get my accounting degree at Penn State. I attended Behrend for two years and Main Campus for two years, and then went back and earned my MBA in 2006. As CFO, I bring a little bit of everything to the table. I like learning and I like new challenges, and I’m always looking to expand into different areas. The nice thing about my experience is that I know it will benefit the MBA and its members. What is your work experience? I started out in public accounting for Ernst & Young as a senior audit manager. I was there for 12 years before I became CFO at Uniflow, where I enjoyed working with the engineers and management to understand the flow of the business, not just the ledger, and really worked toward right sizing the organization. After five years, I moved on to Northwest Physicians, a physician group in Meadville, as chief financial officer. It was a different field, the service sector, and a big shift from being product based to focusing on time/personnel costs, and how to identify the types of services that are going to bring the biggest bang for your buck. While I was there, we brought on more physicians and an urgent care center and consolidated administrative work to share costs. Then, in 2001, I decided to return to Erie by taking a position at Boetger & Associates (later acquired by Northwest Savings Bank) designing and administrating more than 300 retirement plans to meet the needs of a variety of companies and clients. I was with them for more than seven years before I joined Great Lakes Home Healthcare as vice president of finance in 2008. Our biggest challenge there was the reduction in Medicare reimbursements, so you had to be smart in order to provide the best service at a reasonable cost. What attracted you to the MBA? The Association has a very diverse membership base and it helps the members in so many different ways. Going as far back as Uniflow, I’ve always heavily used the Association’s services. At Great Lakes, we used the Conference Center facilities, as well as the leadership, computer training and energy programs. Even as a large organization, our HR people would call the MBA’s HR Department for help. The consistent theme is the quality and professionalism of the MBA and the services it provides. Why is MBA membership such a good investment? It’s always a good idea to invest in your people. During a recessionary period, it’s a great opportunity to train them, so as the market and economy recover, they can be leaders and drive the process forward in their companies. As you bring on new employees, you can get them involved in training to hit the ground running. Likewise, most people aren’t lawyers, HR or energy specialists. I think that if you look at the total programs that the Association has to offer – whether HR, legal, energy or insurance services, etc. — just don’t forget that they are there and they are available. They can help you out and allow you to focus on what you need to run your business. What would be your advice to MBA members about health-care reform? The Affordable Care Act is changing the insurance marketplace dramatically and it is going to affect everyone and every business, so come lean on us. Rely on the MBA to keep you abreast of what is going on, because we are truly on the leading edge.

Contact: Karen Torres

Editor in Chief Executive Editor Managing Editor & Senior Writer

Joel Berdine John Cline Dale Deist Bill Hilbert Jr. Mark Hanaway Donald Hester Timothy Hunter Paul Kenny J. Gordon Naughton Dennis Prischak Sue Sutto Ralph Pontillo rpontillo@mbausa.org John Krahe jkrahe@mbausa.org Karen Torres ktorres@mbausa.org

Contributing Writers

Joe Bione Dianne Cunningham Stephen C. Findlay Nicholas J. Holland Chronis Manolis

Photography

iStockPhoto

Advertising Sales

Design, Production & Printing

Patty Welther 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 pwelther@mbausa.org Printing Concepts Inc. printcon@erie.net

ON THE COVER: Experts say many employers – large and small – are waiting to see how the recent rollout of the new public health insurance exchange will affect them and their employees as they brace for 2015. For full story, see page 14. Mission Statement The Manufacturer & Business Association is dedicated to providing information and services to its members that will assist them in the pursuit of their business and community interests. – Board of Governors Manufacturer & Business Association 2171 West 38th Street Erie, Pa. 16508 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 www.mbausa.org © Copyright 2013 by the Manufacturer & Business Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial, pictorial or advertisements created for use in the Business Magazine, in any manner, without written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage. The magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. The Business Magazine and Manufacturer & Business Association do not specifically endorse any of the products or practices described in the magazine. The Business Magazine is published monthly by the Manufacturer & Business Association, 2171 West 38th Street, Erie, Pa. 16508. Phone: 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 3


Business Buzz NEW TV SERIES SHOWCASES LOCAL MANUFACTURING Jet 24, Fox 66, and YourErie.com recently introduced a new feature: Made in AmERIca, Made RIGHT Here!

LOGISTICS PLUS DELIVERS CLEAN ENERGY TO CALIFORNIA Erie’s Logistics Plus is playing a big role in the generation of clean energy in Southern California, providing the transportation and solar panels to the Mount Signal Solar Farm — the largest solar installation in the world. According to Logistics Plus, the first phase of the $636-million three-phase project is expected to take nine months and will convert 1,936 acres of low-yielding Logistics Plus employees Randal Straus and farmland into a photovoltaic solar farm Colin Seth onsite at the Mount Signal Solar Farm. near Calexico. The project will employ 950 workers at the peak of its construction, and the total acreage utilized will be 4,500 when all three phases of the project are completed. A total of 3.1 million solar cells will be transported and installed throughout the project, which will provide electricity to 72,000 households through a 25-year lease agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric. Logistics Plus, which manages freight for small, medium, and large sized companies, was selected for the project because of its expertise in international and domestic forwarding and warehousing. For more information, visit www.logisticsplus.net.

My new competitive advantage?

Each week, the media outlets — in partnership with Meadville-based tool manufacturer Channellock and the Manufacturer & Business Association — will share stories of products produced in northwest Pennsylvania. This series highlights everything from medical devices and parts for vehicles to clothes, food and novelties, as well as the companies that make them — tiny shops that live and breathe the American entrepreneurial spirit to mid-size and major manufacturers — all combined to produce millions of dollars in revenue and employ thousands across the region. The first segment aired September 15, during the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on JET 24, and at 10 p.m. on Fox 66 News. The stories will repeat Mondays on Good Morning Erie from 6 to 7 a.m. and

A bank that understands the competition. Every bank offers solutions for small business. First National Bank offers solutions for your business. Our knowledge of the local business environment gives you the confidence to be as competitive, and as successful, as you envision. For local decision-making and expertise ranging from treasury management to insurance to equipment leasing, find the advantageous relationship you deserve, at First National Bank. To learn more, visit fnb-online.com or call 866-362-4603. NATIONAL WINNER Overall Client Satisfaction Small Business Banking and Middle Market Banking

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DEPARTMENTS > Contact: Karen Torres

Fox 66 News Good Day Erie from 8 to 9 a.m. For more information, visit www.YourErie.com. GANNON RECEIVES $45,500 IN SCHOLARSHIPS FROM MARQUETTE SAVINGS BANK Marquette Savings Bank, headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, recently donated $45,500 in annual awards and scholarships to Gannon University. The corporate gift will help fund both the Marquette Savings Bank Endowed Scholarship as well as the Marquette Savings Bank Annual Scholarship Award and benefit students from both Erie and Crawford counties. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We established this program to help students in Erie and Crawford counties with financial need,â&#x20AC;? said Marquetteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CEO Michael Edwards. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this donation, Marquette is able to give area students an opportunity to continue their education locally at Gannon University.â&#x20AC;?

The scholarships endowed by Marquette are among the almost 200 scholarships at Gannon endowed by corporations, foundations, families and individuals. For more information, visit www.gannon.edu. II-VI INCORPORATED ACQUIRES SWITZERLAND-BASED SEMICONDUCTOR LASER BUSINESS II-VI Incorporated in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania recently announced that it has acquired the Zurich, Switzerlandbased semiconductor laser business of Oclaro, Inc. in a transaction valued at $115 million. The acquisition provides II-VI with semiconductor laser technology used in industry-leading laser system products including fiber lasers and direct diode lasers for material processing, medical, consumer and fiber optic communication applications. The gallium arsenide semiconductor laser business was

originated by IBM Zurich and was integrated with the gallium arsenide semiconductor laser assets in Tucson, Arizona acquired from Newport SpectraPhysics in 2009. II-VI will operate the business as II-VI Laser Enterprise GmbH. DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE TIME-CHANGE POSTER TODAY Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to fall 5HPHP back! Download EHU 7XUQ\R and post the XUFORF NV EDFNR Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s QHKRX URQ free time-change 681'$<1 29(0%( 5 poster, available DWDP  at www. mbausa.org, and remember to turn your clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 3, for DaylightSaving Time. Provided

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Helping JMA?J businesses move forward EJM@?JJW

Logistics Plus moves freight to every corner of the world. But when its president, Jim Berlin, needed to finance the purchase of the former Skinner Engine building to expand his business, he chose the hometown solution. As the only locally headquartered bank in Erie, Marquette provided helpful advice and fast decision-making, eliminating typical travel delays for out-of-town approvals.

80,848-square foot Skinner Engine building

Marquette Business Bankers (left to right): Jim Jackson, Sherry Waller, David Slomski, Eugene Cirka, Beverly Schneider, Jon Patsy

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Health Matters

EDITORIAL > By Chronis Manolis, RPh

Medication Adherence is Critical Prescription for Overall Care The late C. Everett Koop, a former surgeon general of the United States, once said: “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” That seems obvious, but it’s a point that needs to be stressed because medicine is only effective when taken as directed by a physician. Medication non-adherence — or, the failure to take drugs on time in the dosages prescribed — is both dangerous and costly. It is dangerous for the patient and costly to the health-care system. Some Effects of Noncompliance: • According to the Express Scripts Drug Trend Report, $329 billion was spent on avoidable medical and pharmacy expenses as a result of patients not being adherent to medication treatments.

Many patients struggle with the concept of needing to take medicine now in order to stay healthy in the future and to avoid a more serious condition 10, 20, or 30 years later, when it will be too late to treat the condition with medication. Other Reasons for Non-Adherence May Include: • The cost of the prescription discourages the patient from purchasing the medicine. • Patients simply forget to take the medicine. • Patients are concerned about side effects. • Patients don’t believe the medication is effective. • Patients lack an understanding of their condition.

• Approximately 50 percent of patients do not take their medication as prescribed, which results in increases in the overall cost of treating chronic conditions and increases the number of hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

Figuring out what to do to solve the problem of medication adherence is complex because there is no “one size fits all” solution and improvement levels of adherence are often gradual.

There’s general agreement about the importance of the problem, which makes it all the more puzzling that it persists. Clearly, there are a number of reasons that people may not take their medicine.

• More conversations. Patients and doctors need to discuss this issue and why taking medication, which has little impact on their condition at the moment, may improve their health later in life.

For persons with asymptomatic conditions, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol disease, and type 2 diabetes, taking medication has no immediate effect on the way they feel. And, when taking medicine does not make you feel better, some people do not understand why they need to take it. As a consequence, many do not.

• Involve pharmacists. This can include getting them to encourage patients to use their medication or also asking patients if they understand why they are taking a drug.

But any kind of progress in this area requires action on several fronts. This includes:

late getting a refill. This can inspire conversations with a case worker about the problems the patient may be having. Ultimately, the problem may be more behavioral than anything. Some people do not want to take medication for reasons that could have complex roots. Taking medicine for some patients would require a lifestyle or behavior change, and those are never easy. If patients are treated as individuals, methods to improve their medication adherence can be found. If cost is a factor, oftentimes less expensive generics are available. If forgetfulness is a problem, pillboxes or textmessage reminders could work. Side effects can be eliminated by finding a substitute for the medication. To learn more about UPMC Health Plan pharmacy services visit http:// www.upmchealthplan.com/pharmacy/ index.html. Chronis Manolis RPh, is the vice president of Pharmacy for UPMC Health Plan, which is an affiliate company of the UPMC Insurance Services Division. The other integrated partner companies of the Insurance Services Division include: UPMC WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for You Advantage, UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health, LifeSolutions, EBenefit Solutions, and Askesis Development Group.

• Involve health plans. They can know if a patient picks up a prescription, or if the patient is

November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 7


Legal Brief

EDITORIAL > By Nicholas J. Holland

New Definition of ’Marriage’ Creates Clash Between Federal, State Tax Laws On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA"). Specifically, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA’s definition of “marriage” as being limited to a union between one man and one woman. As a result of the Court’s decision, state law is now relied on to define “marriage” for purposes of federal and state laws, including tax laws. Therefore, samesex couples who were legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages are now subject to the federal tax laws for married couples and the generally favorable tax rules for married tax filers. In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, the Internal Revenue Service recently issued Revenue Ruling 201317, which provides that same-sex couples, legally married in states that recognize their marriage, are treated as married for federal tax purposes — even if the same-sex couples now live in states that do not recognize samesex marriages. Thus, a same-sex couple legally married in another state now residing in Pennsylvania (a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage) can now file joint federal income tax returns to take advantage of increased deductions and credits as well as lower tax rates. Since Pennsylvania law does not recognize same-sex marriages, the couple would have to file as unmarried taxpayers for Pennsylvania income tax purposes. As a result of the new federal position, legally married same-sex couples are now also entitled to a number of the favorable rules for married couples under the federal gift and estate tax rules. Under federal law, each taxpayer is entitled to exclude up to

$5.25 million of transfers from federal gift and estate taxes. This exclusion is above and beyond the marital deduction that permits unlimited transfers to a spouse (during life or at death) free of federal gift and estate tax. In addition, federal estate tax rules provide that a spouse’s unused exclusion (the $5.25 million of free transfers) can be transferred to the surviving spouse. This allows the surviving spouse to possibly transfer up to $10.5 million from federal gift and estate tax (both spouses’ $5.25 million exclusion). As a result of the federal government’s new interpretation of “marriage,” legally married same-sex couples have the ability to use these powerful tools to reduce or eliminate their federal gift and estate tax. Pennsylvania’s DOMA Statute While the federal government expanded the definition of “marriage” to include same-sex couples, the federal position on “marriage” does not control for state law purposes. Pennsylvania has a DOMA statute and under it, “marriage” is currently limited to only a union between a man and a woman. As such, Pennsylvania law, including Pennsylvania tax law, does not recognize same-sex marriages. This difference is evident on transfers on death. Pennsylvania’s tax on death is known as the Pennsylvania inheritance tax (“PIT”). The PIT tax rate is based on the beneficiary’s relationship with the decedent. For transfers to a surviving spouse, the PIT tax rate is zero percent. However, for transfers from a decedent to someone who is not a spouse, the tax rate varies from 4.5 percent to 15 percent. The PIT rate for a beneficiary not related to the decedent is the highest 15-percent rate. Since Pennsylvania currently does

not recognize same-sex marriages, any transfer at the death of a legally married same-sex couple domiciled in Pennsylvania to a surviving spouse will be subject to the highest PIT tax rate. This disparity between the federal taxes and Pennsylvania taxes for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples will continue as long as Pennsylvania’s DOMA remains unchanged. To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any federal tax advice contained in this document, unless otherwise specifically stated, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter that is contained in or accompanying this document. For more information on this topic, please contact Nicholas J. Holland at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, LLP at nholland@mijb.com or 814/870-7717. Nicholas J. Holland is an associate with MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, LLP and is affiliated with the firm’s Business Transactions, Trusts & Estates and Tax practice areas. He concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, tax and business matters.

November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 9


Online Charter School Connects to Students With New Erie Office

PACYBER The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School will open a satellite office in Erie this fall. That’s good news to Neil Beardsley, Nolan Beardsley and the 1,000 other PA Cyber students in northwestern Pennsylvania. Nearly 400 PA Cyber students reside in Erie County alone. PA Cyber’s new Erie office will be located at 2212 West 15th Street, Suite 104. (An opening date is to be announced on the school’s website, www.pacyber.org.)

Erie resident Jensyn Elliott (shown receiving her diploma from PA Cyber CEO Dr. Michael J. Conti) had 17 college credits already earned through a tuition-paid dual credit scholarship program when she graduated in June 2013.

the convenience of an on-site location where they can get in-person services for enrollment, arts and social enrichment, orientation, and a variety of supplemental academic and extracurricular activities.” Families in the Erie area who are new to PA Cyber will be particularly interested in the Cyber Success Workshop, which provides students in grades 5-12 with tools to help them thrive in the cyber school environment. Conducted one day per week over a period of six weeks, the workshop teaches students organizational skills, goal-setting, pacing, good study habits and navigating PA Cyber’s various online systems.

The Beardsley brothers — Neil in sixth grade, Nolan in eighth — already are frequent participants in PA Cyber in-person events such as field trips to the Drake Oil Well and Erie Tall Ships Day, an ecology class at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, and a school welcome back picnic at Presque Isle. “With a local office in Erie, we’ll be able to take part in more classes and activities, and to have someone to discuss things in person with if needed,” said their mother, Amy Beardsley. The new office will be a short drive from their home in North East Township where Brian and Amy reside with their boys and a small army of pets. Michael J. Conti, Ph.D., chief executive officer of PA Cyber, said, “Even though PA Cyber is an online school, we are always striving to provide our students with

10 < www.mbabizmag.com < November 2013

PA Cyber students learn teamwork with a parachute game while having fun at one of the many Family Link social and recreational activities offered throughout the year.


PA Cyber’s new Erie office at 2212 West 15th Street, Suite 104, is undergoing a complete interior renovation in preparation for its fall opening.

target opening this fall could not be better timed, as that’s right about when students will have settled into the new school year and can then begin to think about supplemental services.” Dani Merritt gives son Sam, a PA Cyber sixth grader, a hug at a recent PA Cyber family picnic at Presque Isle State Park. The family moved to Edinboro, Pennsylvania from Minnesota over the summer and switched to cyber school after home-schooling Sam and their two daughters, Abigail, a senior, and Sarah, a first grader.

Basic orientation — how to set up the technology, access curriculum, submit assignments and more — is offered by appointment 9 a.m. to noon every Tuesday throughout the school year at PA Cyber satellite offices and support centers, including the new Erie office. Orientation and the Cyber Success Workshop are part of Cyber ++, PA Cyber’s menu of in-person educational, social and enrichment programs available at its local offices. Those services include one-on-one tutoring, academic enrichment and social activities for students in grades K-12. In Elementary Cyber ++, for example, students in kindergarten through fourth grade are exposed to music and the arts, and participate in academic games and activities to complement the math, reading, writing and science lessons they work on at home with parental supervision.

The Erie office will be available to handle enrollment daily by appointment throughout the year. Upon request, arrangements can be made to meet instructional and administrative personnel for specific needs. Families in the Erie area interested in taking advantage of the services offered there should continue checking www.pacyber.org and PA Cyber’s Facebook page and Twitter feeds to find out when the grand opening will take place. PA Cyber is Pennsylvania’s first and largest K-12 cyber charter school, offering state-certified teachers who provide a high-quality, tuition-free public education for 11,000 schoolchildren from nearly every school district in Pennsylvania. PA Cyber is still enrolling students for the current school year. Interested parents may call 1.888.PACYBER (1.888.722.9237). More than 150 PA Cyber parents and students attended a welcome back to school picnic at Presque Isle State Park on August 20. The online school offers families numerous social and cultural outings year-round, such as visits to museums, historical sites, businesses, farms, caves, concerts and theatrical performances.

The ArtReach programs offered in local PA Cyber offices are very popular with students, said Dr. Conti. ArtReach gives students both online and on-site access to workshops, classes, seminars and performances in music, theatre, dance, creative writing and visual arts. The program was developed and is operated in cooperation with the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, a western Pennsylvania cultural, entertainment and educational asset. “The number of PA Cyber students in the Erie area is significant and continues to grow,” Dr. Conti said, “so we are very eager to provide them with easier access to on-site administrative and enrichment services. Our

November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 11


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EDITORIAL > By Dianne Cunningham

Aging & Wellness Helping Families Cope With Alzheimer’s Disease As one of the most feared diseases, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis presents many challenges for those living with it. Because an estimated 70 percent of people with Alzheimer’s live at home, however, the responsibility of caring for them usually falls on their families, who frequently face — and dread — the unexpected and unknown. Many family members wake up every day with anxiety and fear because they don’t know how a loved one with Alzheimer’s will act or react. The good news is there are a number of new resources available to help these caregivers learn about and cope with this insidious disease. What is Alzheimer’s? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. And, although

current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Free Resources Available While it may be impossible to predict behaviors exhibited by a person struggling with Alzheimer’s, utilizing the resources available to area families is important to dealing with whatever situation may arise. This network of support now consists of free tools and materials created and utilized by Home Instead Senior Care to help family caregivers navigate the challenges that come with caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. These free resources include workshops where family members receive a version of the in-depth Alzheimer’s CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® training program (the same training program used by our own CAREgivers). The workshops offer specific solutions for the many common issues that arise when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. The workshops are offered regularly, and dates/times are at the convenience of those interested in attending. Also available is a free Confidence to Care at Home kit, an at-a-glance collection of information, tips and resources to help handle difficult situations, avoid household accidents, encourage engagement, and prevent caregiver stress, that is designed for any member of the household to reference, any time they need it.

In addition, there is the Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Daily Helper, a free smartphone app that families can use to search behaviors and help find solutions when they have to react quickly to a situation. The app is designed to help families manage issues as they arise, whether at home or in public. According to experts, Alzheimer’s either is or may someday be a reality for about one-third of the families in our community. With the right tools, families can replace their fears with a sense of confidence that they are equipped to handle any situation. For more information about Home Instead Senior Care or its free Alzheimer’s resources, please visit www.homeinstead.com/eriepa; or www.helpforalzheimersfamilies. com; or call the Erie office at 814/464-9200.

Dianne Cunningham and her husband Bob are owners and operators of Home Instead Senior Care, a licensed agency that helps seniors to “age in place” by providing ADL and IADL personal care services throughout Erie County. They are members of the Independent Council on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania Advisory Board, among other organizations.

November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 13


2EDPD&DUH EMPLOYERS TAKE WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH TO HEALTH-CARE LAW While both the mandate that large employers provide healthcare coverage to their employees and key provisions of the SHOP exchange available to small businesses — in which they can offer a choice of health plans to their employees through the public marketplace — won’t happen until 2015, experts say most business owners are eager to see how the Affordable Care Act and the public exchanges that opened in October will affect how they cover their workers. “Any time you undertake something that is as far-reaching and as inclusive as what we are talking about here, there are going to be issues,” explains Lorin Lacy, a principal at Buck Consultants, a global HR benefits consulting firm. “Everybody is anticipating that it is going to be rough in the beginning and, at the end of the day, will be a couple of years before we see the systems really able to handle things effectively.” “That is why,” he continues, “we expect to see most employers decide to continue what they are doing and hopefully see there are cost-effective alternatives.” The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as ObamaCare, seeks to increase employer-sponsored health coverage in two ways: by requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to cover those who work at least 30 hours a week or face penalties for not doing so; and by giving tax credits to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees who decide to provide health insurance. 14 < www.mbabizmag.com < November 2013

Consumers were able to shop around for health-care plans on the public exchanges starting October 1, but individuals may not qualify for subsidies if their employer already provides an affordable health insurance plan that complies with Affordable Care Act rules. These low-income subsidies are available on a graded scale, so people below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, for example, could realize a greater benefit. “We could possibly see some employers say to a few employees that they may be better off to go through the public exchange because they can get a better subsidy, but I don’t think that most employers are going to take that approach,” Lacy says. “I think that most are going to say, ’You are our employee and this is the solution we are providing for you.’ ” Experts point out that many small employers provide healthcare coverage today even though there is no requirement to do so. They do it because they want to provide protection and financial security for their employees, and they want to use it as a tool to attract and retain them. “That is not going to change,” notes Lacy, “just because public exchanges are out there.”

Small Business

Unlike large employers, small employers with up to the equivalent of 50 full-time employees — those working 30 hours or more — are not required to offer health insurance


"A lot of our clients are taking a wait-and-see attitude and are looking at what is happening in the private health-care delivery area that can be as responsive or more responsive." — Lorin Lacy, Buck Consultants to full-time employees and are exempt from any penalties. However, in order to encourage small businesses to provide insurance, the Affordable Care Act created the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange to offer plan choices and a tax credit for eligible employers with fewer than 25 employees. While small businesses are currently limited to offering a single plan through the federally run SHOP until 2015, experts say most employers will look for options elsewhere. Many favor private exchanges because they offer defined contribution plans and opportunities to customize supplemental offerings such as dental, life and disability products. “Right now,” adds Lacy, “we still have a lot of questions about SHOP and that is why a lot of our clients are taking a waitand-see attitude and are looking at what is happening in the private health-care delivery area that can be as responsive or more responsive.” Experts say history demonstrates the private sector can take benefit and health insurance situations and make it a better experience from the employer perspective in terms of what is provided as well as what they want to provide to their employees and their retirees. “I certainly think the MBA membership, which consists mainly of small-business owners, wouldn’t be running their businesses if they didn’t think that they had a solution that worked for their customers effectively and efficiently, and I think that is the way most employers view private health care vs. public health care,” adds Lacy. “That’s what we are seeing in the Medicare-eligible space where there is an unlimited number of options out there and these options are providing better benefits at a better cost than what companies that stay with straight Medicare coverage are experiencing.”

According to Lacy, this increasing demand is just one of the reasons why the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) is anticipating on building its own private health exchange to provide solutions for employers and their employees, in addition to assisting them with the SHOP option. “From its beginning, the MBA has really been there to serve its members and to deliver training, solutions, products, and services that add value to a member’s experience in running their benefit programs or their pay program or whatever it may be, so that is the way they have approached this as well,” says Lacy. “We really believe that the Association can add significant value and take a lot of the worry and stress out of it for member companies.” The MBA also is in a great position to help employees and member companies navigate the system — keeping them informed as updates come available. “As you are looking at your 2014 solutions, you have to continue with the status quo, but as you look into the MBA exchange or whatever solution you may be considering for 2015, just be aware of the value the Association provides,” says Lacy. “It is going to keep you up to date on what’s happening and what to watch for as things are rolled out.” For the most current health-care law updates, visit www.mbausa.org.

The MBA as a Key Resource

Private health insurance exchanges are growing fast and experts predict that nearly one in five people will purchase health coverage through a privately run exchange within four years. In fact, research by global management consulting firm Accenture shows this participation will approach public exchange enrollment levels as soon as 2017 and surpass them soon thereafter.

Lorin Lacy of Buck Consultants provides a health-care law update at the Association’s Eggs ’n’ Issues briefing. The Association is helping members navigate the new law through special briefings and other communications. November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 15


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EDITORIAL > By Joe Bione and Stephen C. Findlay

Business Management Prepare Now for Mergers and Acquisitions During the Baby Boomer Retirement Era Editor’s Note: This article is the fourth in a four-part series devoted to understanding the transitioning of a company from operational excellence, market intelligence and buy-side strategies, business valuations and exit strategies. This month’s column focuses on providing business owners an in-depth perspective on key aspects of sell-side strategies. Every company is always in the midst of an ongoing transition. But how you manage your company’s transition will significantly impact its future success and the value you ultimately receive for the successful exit you have worked so hard to achieve for so many years. For most middle market business owners, the sale of the company will be among the most significant financial transactions of a lifetime. That makes it far too important to risk going-it-alone as a first-time seller. In fact, the next 15-plus years, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will be driven by significant industry changes that are rapidly transforming the M&A landscape. Three dominant factors propelling growth are: 1) a growing tsunami of retiring Baby Boomer business owners; 2) the Information Age’s perpetual revolutions – and resulting market disruptions, and 3) the increasingly global competitive landscape in which all businesses must compete. Companies that maximize their operational efficiencies will achieve the flexibility to control their own destinies, while those that don’t will most likely fail. M&A buyers and sellers should prepare to take full advantage of the fruitful, and increasingly competitive, M&A environment in the coming two decades. Key Factors An estimated 67 percent of today’s middle market business owners will reach retirement age by 2029. This means

that more than 800,000 middle market businesses will be sold or otherwise disposed of at an average of 43,000 middle market businesses annually by then. Waves of technological advances will drive the need for M&A going forward. Firms that fail to maintain continuous technological advantages will be unable to deliver the cutting-edge solutions demanded by their own rapidly-evolving markets and, consequently, may be overtaken by competitors. Likewise, operational improvements, a rapidly-accelerating trend toward a global economic world-order, and as much as $1 trillion in Private Equity Capital “dry powder” seeking business acquisitions collectively guarantee a significant rise in M&A activity through 2029. Talk to an M&A Adviser Far too often, business owners wrongly assume that the sale or purchase of a business is just like any other negotiation they previously managed and too often lead their sell-side M&A transactions by themselves. Resulting “do-it-yourself, first-time M&A” transactions too often prove quite costly, even catastrophic, to first-time M&A business owners. Why? Because first-time M&A sellers often overlook the fact that the full value of a transaction involves far more than just the price they negotiate for their businesses. Transaction terms often cause first-time M&A sellers to leave huge sums on the table while first-time buyers significantly overpay for their acquisitions. Why You Should Talk to an Operational Expert 1. Appearance: First impressions set the tone for what is to come. 2. Efficiency: A good buyer can identify a business’ operational efficiencies which inevitably drive the price (up or down) they are willing to pay based on the “synergies” they anticipate achieving.

3. Maximize Profits: Improve your bottom line with the assistance of a third-party operational expert to identify and capture all available operational efficiencies before a transaction is negotiated. Studies published over the past 35 years repeatedly established that over-inflated purchase prices cause roughly 70 percent of buy-side acquisitions to fail to achieve their objectives primarily due to overestimation, and subsequently underrealized, “synergies.” However, such errors easily can be avoided by enlisting a professional M&A adviser, operational expert and other advisers with extensive industry experience and a mastery of the art and science of M&A. For more information on mergers and acquisitions in the Baby Boomer retirement era, please contact Joe Bione at the Whitehall Group at 248/5191072 or bione@whitehallgroupllc.com, or Steve Findlay at the McLean Group at 814/464-3749 or sfindlay@ mcleanllc.com.

Joe Bione is the president of The Whitehall Group, which has been assisting companies for more than 25 years in how to maximize current operations and improve the bottom line performance of companies all over North America.

Steve Findlay is the managing director of The McLean Group’s Erie, Pennsylvania office, an investment bank providing mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business valuation and strategic consulting services to middle market businesses. The McLean Group has been a partner of The Whitehall Group since 2012. November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 17


Don Damon, Kelly Buck, Paul Sallie

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Since 1991, C.H. Reams & Associates has been dedicated to providing independent, objective and honest insurance services to clients across the nation. As one of the leading insurance and employee benefits administrators in Northwest Pennsylvania, the agency serves a very diverse clientele ranging from small, local employers to large, multistate corporations. C.H. Reams specializes in designing, implementing and maintaining customized employee benefit plans. In addition, they provide unique administrative services that enable customers to manage their benefit plan in the most cost-effective manner.

What Sets Us Apart? Unlike many other benefit administrators who simply offer one service for all groups, C.H. Reams & Associates understands that all companies have different wants and desires when building an effective benefits plan. Not only will C.H. Reams consult on plan design, implementation and renewal services, but they also provide billing and customized management reports. While other brokers help clients to buy these products for in-house use, C.H. Reams actually serves as an extension of their client’s human resources department.

It’s a service that goes above and beyond and has proven much more cost effective for the companies they serve. “Our systems are really what make this work,” explains owner Chuck Reams. “We’ve developed systems that makes their lives easier. They aren’t just hiring a broker, they are also getting a benefits package administrator.”

Getting Compliant with the Affordable Care Act C.H. Reams & Associates has spent a considerable amount of time preparing for enforcement of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, set to take effect January 2014. With the marketplace now open for enrollment, C.H. Reams is available to help companies navigate the complexities of the plan, find the right solutions for their business, and help them stay compliant. C.H. Reams is already providing efficient administrative systems that can carry their clients into the future. “The complexity of understanding and being compliant of this health care act today is really a full-time job,” says Tom Reams. “The average company doesn’t have the ability to staff someone to do that research. We are not only saving them money, but saving them trouble down the road.”

Group Products • • • • • •

Fully Insured Health Plans Self-Funded Health Plans Dental Insurance Vision Insurance Life Insurance Disability Income Insurance • Long-Term Care Insurance C.H. Reams & Associates is pleased to offer samples of their consolidated billing statements or management reports. Contact the office for more information.


HR Connection EMPLOYER-SPONSORED FAMILY HEALTH PREMIUMS SEE MODEST RISE IN 2013 Annual premiums for employersponsored family health coverage reached $16,351 this year, up 4 percent from last year, with workers on average paying $4,565 toward the cost of their coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey. During the same period, workers’ wages and general inflation were up 1.8 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. This year’s rise in premiums remains moderate by historical standards. Since 2003, premiums have increased 80 percent, nearly three times as fast as wages (31 percent) and inflation (27 percent).

The 15th annual Kaiser/HRET survey of more than 2,000 small and large employers provides a detailed picture of the status and trends in employersponsored health insurance costs and coverage. PARTICIPATION CRITICAL TO SUCCESS OF WORKPLACE WELLNESS PROGRAMS More than 80 percent of all employers — 85 percent of large companies and 81 percent of smaller companies — have employee wellness programs in place, according to bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study. However, many of these wellness programs are not working as well as they could, as just 44 percent of them have employee participation rates higher than 50 percent.

“High levels of participation are critical for wellness program success, but companies are falling short when it comes to outcomes-based incentives that reward participants for their actions and increase engagement in these programs,” Brad Wolfsen, executive director at bswift, said in a news release. “To move the needle on wellness, assessments must be objective, progress must be measurable and employees must be invested in their own wellness success.” According to the study, 64 percent of large employers use health insurance premium discounts, credits, surcharges or penalties in their wellness programs.

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DEPARTMENTS > Contact: Stacey Bruce

Employers Required to Post Notice About Coverage Options for Employees The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) created a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section that requires employers to provide notice to employees with details about health insurance exchanges.

ployees, and the other should be used by employers who do not offer coverage. The individualized information requested on page 3 of the model notice for employers who offer health coverage is optional.

features both model exchange notices and a video from recent Eggs ‘n’ Issues guest speaker Lorin Lacy of Buck Consultants reviewing the growing questions and uncertainty surrounding PPACA.

While the FAQ on Notice of Coverage Options posted on the Employee Benefits Security Administration website clarifies that there is no fine or penalty for failing to provide the notice, it states that if a company is covered by the FLSA the notice should be distributed to employees no later than October 1, 2013.

Employers also must distribute the notice to any new hire within 14 days of his or her start date.

For more information, please contact me at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

The Department of Labor developed model exchange notices for employers to meet this notice requirement. One notice should be used by employers who offer employer-sponsored health insurance to some or all of their em-

For Association members who are interested in learning more about PPACA and their obligations under the law, visit the Association’s website, www.mbausa.org, which

To read more about the content requirements and to be provided with model language and notices and time frames, please visit the DOL site at www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr1302.html.

Patty Smith is the director of Employee Benefit Services at the Manufacturer & Business Association.

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OntheHill

DEPARTMENTS > Contact: Lori Joint

New Tax Relief Proposal Places Huge Burdens on Employers Angela Zaydon is the state government relations representative for the Manufacturer & Business Association in Harrisburg. Contact her at 717/525-7213 or azaydon@mbausa.org.

Reform, reduce, eliminate … Three words we consistently hear tossed around over and over again when referring to property taxes. The problem is that all three of those words come at a huge cost to Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania businesses. The most recent proposal to eliminate property taxes does so by creating the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF). The ESF would be funded by four revenue sources. The first is an expansion of the state sales and use tax. The second would be an increase in the state sales and use tax rate from 6 percent to 7 percent. The third would be an increase in the state personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.01 percent. And the last revenue source would be a redirection of certain monies transmitted to school districts through the Property Tax Relief Fund, which is already in existence. Distributions to school districts from the ESF would be made by the PA Department of Education on a quarterly basis based on a formula that uses the district’s property tax collections from the previous year as the base year. The proposed expansion of the state sales and use tax leaves nothing sacred. A new tax would be placed on goods, including all food and beverage items not currently taxed — all clothing, shoes and apparel that sell for more than $50; all magazines and textbooks; non-prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical items; caskets, burial vaults and markers for gravesites; all candy and snack food, including those items in vending machines; and the sale of horses delivered out of state and horses used exclusively for commercial racing; as well as all their bedding, feed, and grooming supplies. Most personal hygiene products, such as diapers, toothbrushes, toilet paper and toothpaste, also would be taxed. Plus, the purchase of state and federal flags and direct mail order catalogs. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, there’s a laundry list of services that would be taxed — day care; legal (except domestic relations and criminal matters);

nursing and residential care facilities; architectural and engineering; accounting, auditing and bookkeeping; advertising and public relations; design and customized programming, environmental and scientific consulting; research and development; investment advice; waste management; towing services; cable; laundry and dry cleaning; funeral and cremation services; barber and salon services; veterinarian and educational services (excluding tuition); intrastate transport of freight by a Pennsylvania company; and event hotel occupancy tax increases. This tax shift creates many illusions and misconceptions. This proposal would not completely eliminate all property taxes, just school property taxes. Secondly, it does not actually eliminate the school tax but instead provides for a two-year phase out while still allowing the school districts to levy a tax to pay for outstanding prior debt, with some taxpayer approval. In addition, it levies an $11-billion deficit in the general fund with no explanation on how that will be filled. Not only would this proposed tax affect every consumer’s spending in Pennsylvania, but every business as well. Businesses will be required to pay a tax on all services needed to keep their business running, including advertising, accounting, financial advice, and legal advice, just to name a few. Any business that is subjected to a government audit or investigation will be at a greater disadvantage than before because the required legal fees would now be taxed. In addition, raising the personal income tax would kill the effort to create more jobs, make Pennsylvania less competitive, and halt new business creation. There is no question that meaningful tax reforms are needed in Pennsylvania and that property tax reform, relief, or elimination is one of them. However raising, broadening, and creating new taxes and placing huge burdens on employers, while still leaving an $11-billion deficit, is not the answer. November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 23


HR Q&A HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU QUALIFY FOR THE SHOP MARKETPLACE? • In 2014, SHOP is open to employers with 50 or fewer fulltime equivalent (FTE) employees. Beginning in 2016, all SHOPs will be open to employers with up to 100 FTEs. If you’re self-employed with no employees, you can get coverage through the individual market Health Insurance Marketplace, but not through SHOP. • If you plan to use SHOP, you must offer coverage to all of your fulltime employees — generally those working 30 or more hours per week on average. • In many states, at least 70 percent of your full-time employees must enroll in your SHOP plan.

WILL I QUALIFY FOR SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH-CARE TAX CREDITS? You may qualify for employer healthcare tax credits if you have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees making an average of about $50,000 a year or less. To qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, you must pay at least 50 percent of your full-time employees’ premium costs. You don’t need to offer coverage to your parttime employees or to dependents. Starting in 2014, the tax credit is worth up to 50 percent of your contribution toward employees’ premium costs (up to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers). The credit is available only if you get coverage through the SHOP

Marketplace. The tax credit is highest for companies with fewer than 10 employees who are paid an average of $25,000 or less. DOES AN EMPLOYER NEED TO OFFER HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE TO PART-TIME EMPLOYEES? Employers are not required to offer coverage at all. However, there may be penalties if coverage is not offered. If an employer chooses to offer coverage, it would only need to offer coverage to all full-time employees (those working 30 or more hours per week) and their dependents. A parttime employee is counted as half a full-time employee to determine if an employer has 50 full-time equivalent employees, but the tax penalties for not providing coverage (calculated per full-time employee) do not apply to part-time employees.

Technology Scouting

Searching outside your normal channels, we find solutions for client-specific technology needs.

Dealing with a significant product or process problem? Seeking innovation opportunities? Drawing upon our extensive relationships and the expertise of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and RTI International, the Northwest Industrial Resource Center can help you bring technology success into focus. As part of our new Technology Scouting services, we research and assess potential solutions, technology providers, and partners. Contact Gerry Schneggenburger, gschneggs@nwirc.org or (814) 898-6891, for more information. www.nwirc.org

MEP  MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP

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24 < www.mbabizmag.com < November 2013


DEPARTMENTS > Contact: Stacey Bruce

DOL: Same-Sex Spouses Have Benefit Rights Legally married same-sex couples now have the same federal rights as other married couples when it comes to pensions, 401(k)s, health plans and other employee benefits, even if they live in states that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recognize their unions, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The new guidance means employers are not only required to treat employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; same-sex and opposite-sex spouses equally for purposes of the benefits extended to spouses, but also comply with several key benefit provisions: â&#x20AC;˘ Employers with self-insured welfare plans (meaning benefits are paid out of the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general assets) may not have to extend spousal-benefit coverage to same-sex spouses, because federal law does not require spousal welfare-benefit coverage and because state insurance law mandates do not apply to self-insured plans. However, employers that continue to provide benefits coverage only to opposite-sex spouses are almost certain to face legal challenges under federal discrimination law.

â&#x20AC;˘ Employees will no longer have to pay federal income taxes on the income imputed for an employerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to a same-sex spouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medical, dental or vision coverage. And workers can pay for same-sex spousesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; coverage on a pretax basis under a Section 125 plan. â&#x20AC;˘ Businesses will have to offer COBRA continuation coverage to same-sex spouses. â&#x20AC;˘ Employers with pension plans will be required to recognize same-sex spouses for purposes of determining survivingspouse annuities. Same-sex spouses also must agree to receive payment of their deceased spouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pension benefits in a form other than a 50 percent joint and survivor annuity, with the same-sex spouse as the beneficiary. â&#x20AC;˘ Organizations with 401(k) plans will have to recognize same-sex spouses for purposes of determining death benefits, and same-sex spouses must consent to beneficiary designations. â&#x20AC;˘ Employees must be permitted to take family and medical leave to care for an ill same-sex spouse.

Under a new IRS ruling, employees who pay for employer-provided health insurance for their same-sex spouse may treat these costs as excludable from federal income taxes, even if they live in a state that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recognize their marriage. State income taxes are another matter, however. For more information on the state and federal tax issues affecting samesex married couples, please see this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Legal Brief section on page 9. For additional questions on employee benefits, contact the Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HR Services Department at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

Stacey Bruce, SPHR is the HR Services director at the Manufacturer & Business Association.

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'PSBEEJUJPOBMJOGPSNBUJPOPSRVFTUJPOTDPODFSOJOHPVS$4"QSPHSBNT1MFBTFWJTJUNBTPOGBSNTDPNPSDBMM 26 < www.mbabizmag.com < November 2013


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28 < www.mbabizmag.com < November 2013


People Buzz ERIE BUSINESS CENTER APPOINTS DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS Paul Sargent has been appointed director of admissions at Erie Business Center (EBC).

before working as a branch manager for PNC Bank. She joined Northwest Savings Bank in September 2012 as a floating manager and most recently worked as co-manager of the bank’s 34th and Liberty Street office.

In his new role, Sargent is responsible for staffing, supervising, training and managing a goal-oriented admissions team. He also is charged with setting and meeting strategic admissions goals, developing and managing his department’s budget, collaborating to develop marketing tools and ensuring compliance with all accreditation and state regulations.

FIVE MACDONALD ILLIG ATTORNEYS MAKE BEST LAWYERS LIST The law firm of MacDonald Illig Jones & Britton LLP recently announced that attorneys James D. Cullen, Roger H. Taft, W. Patrick Delaney, Mark J. Shaw and Craig Murphey, partners at the firm, have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.

Sargent earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and business administration from Thiel College and a graduate degree in international business from the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. He previously held positions at the London School of Business and Finance in both Prague and Toronto, along with various roles including sales manager for the Americas and Central Europe, and education consultant. Additionally, he worked as an ESL (English as a Secondary Language) instructor and lesson coordinator at the Sentia Language School in Prague. NORTHWEST SAVINGS BANK NAMES KEISEL MANAGER Robin Keisel has been named manager of the Fairview office of Northwest Savings Bank, 7512 West Ridge Road. In this position, Keisel will be responsible for customer service, administration, lending, and business development. She will work with the commercial lending, business services and investment management areas of the bank to provide customers a fullrange of financial services. She also will oversee the bank’s involvement in community activities. Keisel began her banking career at National City as an assistant manager

Attorney Cullen, former chair of MacDonald Illig’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group, is recognized for his work in the area of trusts and estates planning and administration. He is among a very distinguished group of attorneys who have been listed in Best Lawyers for more than 20 consecutive years. Attorney Taft, co-chair of MacDonald Illig’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, is recognized for his work in the area of commercial litigation. A principal trial lawyer at MacDonald Illig, he concentrates his practice on commercial litigation and employment litigation including employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases. Attorney Delaney, chair of MacDonald Illig’s Litigation Practice Group, is recognized for his work in the areas of commercial litigation and construction litigation. His practice is concentrated on such matters as contract claims, shareholder or partner disputes, construction claims, property damage claims, business torts and Uniform Commercial Code disputes.

DEPARTMENTS > Contact: Karen Torres

Attorney Shaw, chair of MacDonald Illig’s Environmental Law Practice Group, is recognized for his work in that area of the law including environmental litigation, compliance and permitting matters. Attorney Murphey is recognized for his work in the areas of personal injury litigation and insurance law. He is a civil litigator who concentrates his practice in the areas of insurance coverage, insured defense, arbitrations, trials and appeals. AEGIS COMPANY WELCOMES NEW EMPLOYEE AG Aegis Company, Inc. (Aegis Company) recently hired Adam R. Sankey as the consulting company’s newest safety project manager. In his new role, Sankey will be responsible for working with a variety of manufacturing clients to achieve their safety goals, as well as maintain compliance with regulatory agencies. A native of Grove City, Pennsylvania, Sankey joins the firm as a recent graduate from Slippery Rock University, with a B.S. in safety management. His work experience included an internship with Aegis Company where he assisted with writing OSHA-required safety plans and providing annual employee training.

Share your good news!

The Business Magazine publishes member news on major appointments and awards as space permits. Submit your release and highresolution color photograph to ktorres@mbausa.org or mail it to the Association at 2171 West 38th Street Erie, PA 16508.

November 2013 > www.mbabizmag.com > 29


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November 2013 Business Magazine  

Experts explain why employers are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new health-care law and keeping a close eye on options available in...

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