Page 1

Sept ember201 6


Businessman • Investor • IT Security Expert • Bestselling Author • Financial Commentator • Star of the hit show “Shark Tank”

Sponsored by: MacDonald Illig A T T O R N E Y S


business 2016 VOL. XXIX NO. 9 | SEPTEMBER

M ag a Z in e

spoTlighT Q&a:

InsIde The RapIdly ChangIng CommunICaTIons IndusTRy

Technological RevoluTion

TR aining scheDule

iRing wecreate llc Develops insp soluTions ing keT MaR ign, Des siTe Web

& see The laTesT coMpuTeR, hR s Rse cou pRofessional DevelopMenT


Join us for Manufacturing Day 2016!

LAST YEAR, WE HELD ONE OF THE LARGEST MANUFACTURING DAY CELEBRATIONS IN AMERICA — attracting more than 1,500 students, teachers, administrators, community leaders, businesses and manufacturers — who gathered at the Bayfront Convention Center for one of the most anticipated and exciting events in our community! And we’re about to do it again! On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bayfront Convention Center, ERIE MANUFACTURING DAY will showcase the technology, tools, talent, skills and good-paying jobs available in a variety of manufacturing industries — jobs that offer our young people a strong foundation where they can learn, grow and build a solid future upon right here in our community. Manufacturing in America is central to our economic strength and a driver of innovation. Manufacturing jobs are some of the best in the country and in our community, yet the public — especially our young people, do not perceive them to be. And there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them. But together we can help tell the real story. Please visit www.eriemfgday.com or call Patty Welther at 814/833-3200 and learn how you can be a big part of its success! WORKING TOGETHER FOR A STRONG MANUFACTURING ECONOMY:


FEATURES FEATURE STORY | WHAT’S INSIDE

3

MAKING THE CONNECTION Why Business Communication Isn’t Business As Usual

COVER STORY | LOCAL PROFILE

4

TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION weCreate LLC, headquartered at the Renaissance Centre in downtown Erie, is a growing company that is becoming synonymous with helping businesses that want to take their websites and online presence to the next level.

SPOTLIGHT Q&A | BROADCASTING

7 DEPARTMENTS

EVENTS & EXTRAS

12

BUSINESS BUZZ

13

PEOPLE BUZZ

17 18

WHAT’S NEW

EDITORIAL

NETWORKING & MORE

21

MBA EVENTS

HEALTH MATTERS | RESOURCES

9

AWARDS & PORMOTIONS

HR CONNECTION WORKPLACE TRENDS

HR Q&A

GET ANSWERS

Michael Malpiedi, general manager of Connoisseur Media, talks about the dynamics of the media company and the rapidly changing communications industry in which it operates.

READ ON THE GO! For the most current Business Magazine updates, visit mbabizmag.com

How to pick the right pharmacy plan for your business and your employees. Chronis Manolis, RPh

LEGAL BRIEF | SOCIAL MEDIA

11

What you need to know about handling online criticisms of your business. John Persinger

ON THE HILL | SPENDING Executive Editor Karen Torres ktorres@mbausa.org Contributing Writers Chronis Manolis, RPh John Persinger

Feature Photography Rob Frank R. Frank Photography www.rfrankphotography.com Additional Photography iStock Photography Casey Naylon

15

Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc. printcon@erie.net Advertising Sales David Thornburg 814/833-3200 dthornburg@mbausa.org

Angela Zaydon, state government relations representative for the MBA in Harrisburg, talks about why every dime — and vote counts when it comes to Pennsylvania’s future.

On the Cover: From left: Brian Bohrer, Nathan Wheeler and Zach Lanich are the owners and co-founders of

weCreate LLC, an integrated website design and marketing solutions company based in Erie, Pennsylvania. For full story, see page 4.

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 2016 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.

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

1


YOU CAN’T BUILD THE ERIE OF TOMORROW ON YESTERDAY’S NETWORK. Technology is changing the way we work and live. Although demand for next generation services at work and home have increased exponentially, the legacy network delivering service has not kept pace with the needs of our region.

DID YOU KNOW? Velocity Network has installed hundreds of miles of fiber optics across Erie County. Scores of businesses currently benefit from VNET Fiber’s data, voice and HDTV services.

reliability

100% local

business + residential

HDTV

phone

gigabit fiber

Velocity Network is building tomorrow’s network today. By investing in Erie, VNET is committed to delivering the customized solutions to meet the needs of business and residents for generations to come. A one hundred percent fiber optic network designed and built to deliver Internet service at Gigabit speeds, Enterprise Voice Over IP telephone solutions, and the latest in High Definition Television services, is now available.

built for erie. 814.833.9111 // www.vnetfiber.com


FEATURE STORY | WHAT’S INSIDE

Making the Connection WHY BUSINESS COMMUNICATION ISN’T BUSINESS AS USUAL The business world is constantly changing and nowhere is this more evident than in the area of communication. Faxes and snail mail have given way to emails and texts, and websites and social media are providing even more dynamic interfaces with potential customers. Today, business communication isn’t business as usual. Small and medium businesses need access to the right tools to be fast, flexible and efficient so they can focus on developing their operations and increasing customer loyalty.

Did You Know?

Research suggests that developing and managing ongoing strategic communications programs provide a wide range of benefits and can help deliver results that can positively impact a company’s bottom line, but that means being in tune with the increasing demands of workplace communications. According to a 2014 Internal Communication and Technology Survey, conducted by Newsweaver and Melcrum: • Less than half of respondents believe their team has the digital / technological skills necessary to do their jobs. • The three most used channels are the intranet (93 percent), email (90 percent) and leadership communications (84 percent). • The three most effective channels, in order of most effective: email, intranet and leadership communications. • 50 percent to 60 percent of respondents always use email for the tasks of: employee newsletters, change communications, HR/rewards/pension communications, events, pulse surveys and leadership communications. • By a large margin, the two most popular new communication technologies to be deployed: Internal social networking tools (46 percent) and Intranets (45 percent).

Consider This

How we communicate is just as important as what we communicate. A study by uSamp, for example, shows that a stunning 95 percent of the respondents chose workplace communications over in-person meetings. Of this, 48 percent of the respondents preferred emails, while 20 percent preferred calling over mobile phones. Desk phones were preferred by another 10 percent, while 8 percent each preferred texting colleagues or scheduling web meetings. Over the past decade, unified communications technology has made it possible for non real-time communication platforms to be accessed on a real-time basis. 82 percent of respondents from the study preferred receiving text messages over voicemails; furthermore, as many as 36 percent of those surveyed confided to have deleted voicemails without listening to them.

Read More

and their brands stand out. We’ll hear from Connoisseur Media General Manager Michael Malpiedi on the rapidly changing communications industry, especially as it relates to broadcast. We’ll also look at the communications resources, such as training and team building, that are essential to communicating with your best brand advocates — your employees. As a leader in professional development programs for more than 20 years — the Manufacturer & Business Association’s expert trainers deliver the knowledge and skills you need to compete in today’s business world. The MBA’s Marketing & Communications courses, for one, are ideal to help your business excel internally and externally. For instance, our Must-Haves of Effective Communication workshop is geared toward helping you foster an environment where everyone knows what’s expected of them and how to achieve that desired outcome. To learn more, visit www.mbausa.org.

In this edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll take a look at the communications industry and how companies, such as weCreate, are carving out a niche in a technological revolution to help businesses

Make Your Organization Stand Out!

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

3


COVER STORY | LOCAL PROFILE

TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION weCREATE LLC DEVELOPS INSPIRING WEBSITE DESIGN, MARKETING SOLUTIONS

From left: weCreate co-founders and owners Brian Bohrer, Nathan Wheeler and Zach Lanich provide integrated web and marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes, including manufacturing firms, restaurants and e-commerce businesses. In its brightly painted and bold, new urban office at Suite 103 in the Renaissance Centre on 10th and State Streets, weCreate LLC is inspiring a local renaissance of sorts in the world of business communications. Through its engaging and integrated website design and marketing solutions, the seven-person company is rapidly earning a reputation as a go-to resource for businesses that want to take their websites and online presence to the next level. “There’s a huge movement in Erie going on right now; it’s a local technological revolution,” explains weCreate co-founder Nathan Wheeler. “Every day, we work with companies

“weCreate came highly recommended to us by several other businesses in the Erie area a couple years ago, and we were immediately impressed. We have worked with weCreate on several projects since then, such as a complete website redesign, SEO presence strengthening, marketing strategies and business card design. We have found them to be extremely professional, knowledgeable, creative and timely in their approach to all facets of our needs. We have the highest regard for their combined talents and passion!” — Susan M. Hofius, Rail Ryder

4

SEPTEMBER 2016 • mbabizmag.com

that are finally realizing that their competitive advantage is produced online.” Some of weCreate’s recent work includes stunning website designs for manufacturing companies like McShane Welding, Rail Ryder and Onex Inc., restaurants, such as Cloud 9 Wine Bar, as well as various e-commerce sites, such as Just by Jan Painting Services and Bednez Photo Expressions. weCreate produces the web content, website design and web development, generates ideas for new products and services, including email and social media campaigns, and provides graphic design and logo design.

back to Erie and was looking to create a team initially to create a site for online skateboard sales. That search led him to marketing expert Bohrer and, then, developer Lanich, who eventually joined Wheeler in forming the weCreate partnership, each bringing their unique talents to the firm.

“Seventy-five percent of our business is manufacturing, but we also do work for many startups and small businesses that want to get their ideas off the ground,” says Wheeler. “If your business does not have a website, has a website that does not display correctly on all devices, or has an outdated website that does not represent the quality you produce, we want to work with you.” Behind the Scenes As the brainchild of Wheeler and co-owners Zach Lanich and Brian Bohrer, weCreate is carving out a niche in web design. The trio came together about five years ago when Wheeler, a former Marine with a master’s in international business and marketing, moved

weCreate recently held a grand opening at its new office location at 1001 State Street, Suite 103, in the Renaissance Centre in downtown Erie.


Throughout his career, Wheeler has participated extensively in stock and currency trading, built several Internet businesses, and played a key role in building international Internet start-ups owned by other individuals, most notably Lessonpro.com. Over the past six years, he has created and implemented integrated marketing plans for businesses in five states and provided online marketing consulting to more than 100 businesses. Bohrer, who previously owned a website development company in Erie, brings another level of managerial and sales experience to weCreate. He was one of the top salespeople for General Motors in the tristate region and launched a record-breaking telecommunications business, with retail locations in both Erie and Cleveland. Lanich, who is the lead developer and creative team leader, is the driving force of weCreate’s technical team. He has both an associate’s degree in computer systems support and a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and has brought several years of experience in the business, technology and programming fields to the weCreate portfolio.

— James Patrick McShane Jr., McShane Welding Company us on our new website,’ ” says Wheeler. “Our goal is to establish long-standing relationships with every client and to fulfill every design, development and marketing need that they have for years to come.” For more information about weCreate LLC, call 1-866-914-4757 or visit www.wecreate.com.

Mobile Friendly Matters Design experts agree that websites also must be optimized for mobile platform in order to maximize sales. Research shows that an estimated 60 percent of Internet access takes place on mobile devices. According to weCreate, around 30 percent of visitors to manufacturing sites it tracks come from mobile devices. “We are seeing a lot of procurement and purchasing personnel doing smart phone research on lunch breaks or walking the shop floor instead of sitting at their desks,” says Wheeler. For restaurants and retailtype companies, that number rises to around 70 percent.

Rail Ryder - Trail http://www.railryder.com/ On

Rail Ryder is one of Erie’s man http known for creating a one-of-a-k One rh Securing System. Rail Ryde weC with their product and the indu and p than happy to bring their web fully st level to showcase their fanta acce providing Search Engine Optim team marketing services. plan

Services Rendered Ser - Fully Custom Design & Deve

- Fullg - Professional Product Photo - Cust - Custom Programmatic Func n - Sea - Search Engine Optimizatio - Marketing Campaigns - Mar

“You don’t want to frustrate that 30 percent by not having a mobilefriendly website,” Wheeler insists.

weCreate, for one, wants to hear from its clients about their growth generated by website referrals. “We love the phone calls or texts saying, ‘Just got a call from someone who Googled and saw us at the top of search results’ or ‘Everyone is complimenting

Past Work

“Companies want aesthetics, they want to be found, and they want the sites to be easy to

“There’s a lot of different research out there, but pretty standard 75 percent of procurement personnel are researching OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to make purchasing decisions,” adds Wheeler, “That’s why it’s really necessary to have good content on your website and search engine optimization.”

“The weCreate team is a professional, full-service website design and marketing company. I would recommend weCreate for businesses out there that are looking to re-establish their brand, as well as update their marketing presence online.”

Past Work

Lasting First Impressions In a world driven by Internet marketing, good website design is crucial to business success. Today, a majority of people and companies do their business online and that means having an integrated website that stands out from the rest.

According to web credibility research from Stanford University, 75 percent of web users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. In fact, 85 percent of business-tobusiness customers search the web before making a purchasing decision.

Work in Progress

“Together, we’ve formed a very marketfocused website development company,” explains Wheeler. “When we build websites, the first thing you’ll notice is they look exceptional. We put a lot of graphic design and thought into marketing. We identify who is going to be the visitor and what they’re going to search to find it. Once they are there, we create a strong call to action and user experience.”

use,” says Wheeler. “That’s where weCreate comes in.”

Cloud 9 Wine Bar

http://www.cloud9erie.com/

Erie’s Chef Bertrand and gener al manage Shields were on a mission to bring somet to Erie, and they accomplished just that. F variety of carefully selected artisa nal wine beers and delectable drinks to their exqui made dishes, Cloud 9 is officially the hot in Erie PA for any crowd. The weCr eate te thrilled to provide Cloud 9 with a custom d website that displayed their food/ wine sel well as provided other information to visit

weCreate LLC was happy to help bring thi to life by providing a custom them ed webs all the functionality Cloud 9 neede d to brin presence to the web. Cloud9Erie .com is fu andmany built onexamples the WordPress Co are respo somensive of the Management System.

Here of weCreate’s design capabilities and Ser vices Rendered marketing solutions.

- Fully Custom Design & Developm ent - Custom Programmatic Functiona lity Online•Gift Card Sales 2016 mbabizmag.com SEPTEMBER

5


Meet the Highmark Cancer Collaborative. A new collaboration that unites our patient-centered health coverage with Allegheny Health Network, the region’s top-rated* large health system for cancer care, and world-renowned cancer research institution Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, providing second opinions and access to early phase clinical trials. Learn how we can help your employees and your business. Visit HighmarkCancerCollaborative.com

I N CO L L A B O R ATI O N WIT H

*ComparionÂŽ Medical Analytics, 2016 National Quality Rating Database. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


October

Manufacturer & Business Association

TRAINING SCHEDULE

November December

GAIN

New Skills!

Learn it today. Apply it tomorrow! As a leader in professional development and computer training programs for more than 25 years — the Manufacturer & Business Association’s expert trainers deliver the knowledge and skills you need to compete in today’s business world.

ENHANCE Your Career!

“Supervisory Skills training at the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) has been an excellent tool for American Turned Products (ATP) to not only develop or refresh skills of current supervisors but also to provide opportunities for promotion. ATP utilizes the MBA training to make an investment in individuals who show initiative and skills on the shop floor. This training takes them to another level and thus enhances our performance as a manufacturer in a highly competitive automotive market.”

Certified Supervisory Skills Series – Erie

From left: ATP Chief Executive Officer Scott Eighmy, graduate Brian Hartman, Chief Operating Officer Harry Eighmy and Plant Manager Jim Light.

— Harry Eighmy, Chief Operating Officer American Turned Products


T

R

A

I

N

I

N

G

October

November

Professional Development

Professional Development

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course I Course II Course II (Hermitage) Course IV

10/20 and 10/27 10/11 and 10/18 10/25 and 10/26 10/12 and 10/19

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course III Course III (Corry)

10/13 10/19

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course II Course III Course III (Hermitage) Course V

11/10 and 11/17 11/8 and 11/15 11/22 and 11/23 11/9 and 11/16

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course IV Course IV (Corry)

11/10 11/9

Food Safety Certification

11/21

Supervisory Safety Series

10/18, 11/1 and 11/15

Food Safety Certification

10/17

Forklift Train the Trainer (Half Day, a.m.)

11/3

Finance for the Non-Financial Manager

10/3

Must-Haves of Effective Communication

11/9

RCRA Hazardous Waste (Half Day, a.m.)

10/6

Must-Haves of Effective Communication (Hermitage) 11/2

DOT Hazardous Material (Half Day, p.m.)

10/6

Strategic Finance for Non-Financial Managers

11/3

Blueprint Reading 10/11, 10/13, 10/18, 10/20 and 10/25

Small Business OSHA Part 2 (Half Day, a.m.)

11/3

Getting Organized and Becoming More Efficient (Half Day, a.m.) 10/4

Small Business EPA/DEP Part 2 (Half Day, p.m.)

11/3

Workplace Communication

10/14

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing 11/8, 11/10, 11/15, 11/17 and 11/22

Women in Leadership

10/28

Public Relations Bootcamp (Half Day, a.m.)

11/1

NEW! The Basic Concepts of Design of Experiments 10/18

Marketing Planning (Half Day, p.m.)

NEW! Managing Conflict

Writing to WOW! (Half Day, a.m.)

11/11

Customer Service (Half Day, p.m.)

11/11

Intro to Social Media (Half Day, a.m.)

11/14

Event Planning & Fundraising (Half Day, p.m.)

11/14

NEW! Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA)

11/15

HR Essential Certification Series Terminations

11/17

HR Essential Certification Series Discrimination & Harassment

10/4 10/13

Computer Access Level I Excel Level I Excel Level II Excel Level III

10/27 10/26 10/5 10/12

“The training provided by the Manufacturer & Business Association fills a real need for our organization. Our area is fortunate to have a resource like this providing the knowledge and reference materials for the professional development of both up-and-coming and experienced leaders. The soft skills learned in the Leadership program have and will continue to pay dividends to our organization and, most importantly, to our customers. It’s an excellent resource that businesses in the area should take advantage of.” — Ryan Ray, Plant Manager Power Drives, Inc.

11/1

HR for Non-HR Professionals

11/3

Computer Access Level II (Two Days) Excel Level I Excel Level II Excel Level II Excel Level III QuickBooks Online (Half Day, a.m.)

11/10 and 11/17 11/16 11/2 11/30 11/9 11/11

“The instructor is willing to answer questions relating to our work problems and helps to solve the issue.” — Mindy McAllister, Accounts Payable Rehrig Pacific Company


S

C

H

E

D

U

L

E

December

Training

Professional Development

Regional Locations

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course I Course III Course IV Course IV (Hermitage) Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course V (Corry) Course V Food Safety Certification

12/7 and 12/14 12/8 and 12/15 12/6 and 12/13 12/13 and 12/14 12/7 12/8 12/19

Conducting Effective Meetings

12/6

Workplace Communication

12/6

Women in Leadership

12/9

Computer Access Level III Excel Level I Excel Level III QuickBooks Pro 2015

12/8 12/14 12/7 12/16

“AccuSpec Electronics uses the Manufacturer & Business Association to certify our supervisors because it is a nationally recognized certification program that helps them grow into better leaders.” — Patty Schender, PHR HR Manager AccuSpec Electronics

“Whether it is computer classes or professional development courses, the training provided by the Manufacturer & Business Association has allowed us to provide a cost-effective solution that is critical to our ability to stay competitive.” — Joy Sherry, Human Resources Director Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

All courses are held at the MBA Conference Center in Erie, unless otherwise noted. Butler: Fairfield Inn & Suites 200 Fairfield Lane Clarion: Park Inn by Radisson, Clarion 45 Holiday Inn Road Corry: Higher Education Council 221 North Center Street DuBois: Best Western 82 North Park Place Erie: Manufacturer & Business Association Conference Center 2171 West 38th Street Grove City: Hampton Inn & Suites Holiday Boulevard Hermitage: LindenPointe, Training & Workforce Development Center 3050 Prosperity Place Kittanning: Armstrong Educational Trust 81 Glade Drive Meadville: Holiday Inn Express 18240 Conneaut Lake Road Mercer/Grove City: Hampton Inn, Grove City 4 Holiday Boulevard Oil City: Keystone Community Education Council 206 Seneca Street St. Marys: Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties 4 Erie Avenue, Suite 200 Titusville: Towne Square Conference Center 110 West Spring Street Warren: Warren/Forest Higher Ed Council 589 Hospital Drive, Suite F Williamsport: Genetti Hotel 200 W. Fourth Street * Handicap access and parking available at all sites.

Onsite Training Get more flexibility and convenience with our onsite training options ­— one of the most cost-effective choices for group instruction. • Flexible and convenient scheduling • Customized instruction • Eliminate travel expenses

Course Registration Contact Terry Nunez at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or tnunez@mbausa.org to register or for more information on upcoming courses. Online registration also is available at www.mbausa.org.


MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS CERTIFICATE SERIES @ THE MBA Are you trying to move you career to the next level? Or are you in need of some additional skills with your current job? The MBA’s NEW Marketing and Communications series will help strengthen your competency by further developing these highly coveted and sought after skill sets. Whether you are looking to move into this fastpaced and dynamic industry or just want to stay on top of current trends, this program is right for you.

Coursework includes: Workplace Communication Skills: Email and telephone etiquette, customer service, emotional intelligence, communication-style typing, and communicating with difficult people.

Writing to WOW!: Make your message ten times more powerful and avoid the seven deadly sins of

grammar. Save time and have the necessary tools to tackle any business-writing task.

Presentation Skills: Improve your presentation skills in this hands-on learning class that will not only give

you the tips you need to succeed, but also has two opportunities to present to the group. You will have the chance to both self-access your progress and receive peer feedback.

PR Bootcamp!: Get a crash course in public relations. You will be provided with working tools to develop a PR strategy and learn how to utilize typical PR tactics such as event plans, media pitches and press releases.

Marketing Planning: Develop a marketing plan for either your entire operation or a specific event. You will receive a marketing plan template, free resources to utilize and develop the plan, and guidance in making your strategy more effective and efficient. Introduction to Social Media: Provides a broad overview of social media tools that will assist participants in beginning a social media strategy. Everyone will leave with a template for a plan that will assist their organization in building a social strategy to engage customers and assist with business goals.

Upcoming Courses at the Manufacturer & Business Association, 2171 West 38th Street, Erie • Workplace Communication Skills: October 14 OR December 6 • 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. • $210 members • Presentation Skills Class: November 4 and 11 • 8 a.m. - Noon • $250 members • PR Boot Camp!: September 30 OR November 1 • 8 a.m. - Noon • $140 members • Marketing Planning: September 30 OR November 1 • 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. • $140 members • Introduction to Social Media: September 23 OR November 14 • 8 a.m. - Noon • $140 members • Writing to WOW!: November 11 • 8 a.m. - Noon • $140 members

To sign up for classes, visit mbausa.org. All classes must be completed in a 12-month period to receive the certificate.


SPOTLIGHT Q&A | BROADCASTING

Inside the Rapidly Changing Communications Industry

Even with the best product and talent, a company is only as successful as its ability to attract and retain customers. Effective marketing and communications strategies play a critical role in helping to drive such business success. Here, Michael Malpiedi, general manager of Connoisseur Media, talks about the dynamics of the media company and the rapidly changing communications industry in which it operates. Connoisseur Media is one of the fastest-growing media companies in the country, including 39 radio stations in 11 markets. Tell us briefly about the history of the company and its operations here in northwest Pennsylvania. Jeff Warshaw’s career in radio ownership began in the early ‘90s followed by the creation of Connoisseur Media in 2004. After starting a few stations in the Midwest, our six-station cluster in Erie was his first acquisition in 2006. The dominance of these stations and the longevity of the staff drew Warshaw to the Erie market. Connoisseur Media centers on radio’s unique ability to fulfill the timeless need for human touch and create local awareness that connects us all. That connectivity is deeply rooted in community involvement, meaningful content, compelling entertainment, and a passionate pursuit to be the best choice for our clients, colleagues and community. In the Erie market, Connoisseur operates six local stations, including Rocket 101, 93.9 The Wolf, 94.7 Bob FM, Star 104, JET Radio 1400 and Fox Sports Radio 1330. Tell us about the diversity of these stations and the advantages of having such a broad spectrum of audiences. We are very fortunate to have this diverse cluster of radio stations that collectively reach over 60 percent of Erie County adults on a weekly basis. We offer six distinct formats combined with local and visible on-air personalities that have built a very

strong core of loyal listeners. Advertisers are able to benefit from the great cross section of the Erie County community that responds to the music, promotions and advertising messages each station provides. The communications and media industries are constantly changing. Please explain why Connoisseur Media broadened its services beyond radio to also include interactive digital, mobile, social and event marketing solutions? As the world evolves and technology advances, we continue to grow our platform enabling us to further engage our audiences in exciting ways that also offer our advertisers new, intriguing and interactive methods to reach consumers. On the mobile front, our stations have downloadable apps that allow continual station access. On the digital front, our stations have highly interactive web and Facebook sites plus a digital department that is able to mobilize customer websites. Listeners are constantly being directed to our web and social media portals for comment, interaction and the ability to win great prizes. For employers, what are some of the short- and long-term benefits of integrating such services into their branding and strategic marketing plans?

largest number of adults, it is imperative that advertisers remain current. Being able to include social media, digital and mobile elements add immediate and visual components to the listener’s experience. This total package combines radio’s intimacy with the digital world, which helps local businesses become more full-service with minimal additional expense. What’s next for Connoisseur Media? Connoisseur Media has grown from a small but well-respected broadcaster to the 20th largest radio company in the country by sales. Our dedication to creating a company that excels in quality, as opposed to quantity, is how “Connoisseur” lives up to its name. Connoisseur Media is committed to only grow in markets like Erie where the need for broadcasting diversity and excellence are revered. Is there anything else you would like to add? I am very proud to be a part of a company that is so established and respected in the Erie community. From Roar on the Shore® to Celebrate Erie to hundreds of local events and charities, you will find one or more of the Connoisseur stations on site. Our radio personalities and marketing consultants grew up in Erie, live in Erie, shop in Erie and appreciate all that makes us love Erie!

A multimedia approach to advertising is a proven formula for advertising success. Even though radio remains the No. 1 broadcasting medium for reaching the

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

7


HUMAN RESOURCE & EMPLOYMENT LAW CONFERENCE

OCTOBER 21, 2016 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Join us for the MBA’s fourth annual Human Resource & Employment Law Conference and hear from these highly acclaimed speakers: • Scott Warrick, JD, MLHR, CEQC, SHRM-SCP, Scott Warrick’s Consulting & Employment Law Services, Presentation: 7 Myths and 7 Skills of Strategic HR • Lisa DeFilippo and Tracy Daggett, Professional Development Trainers, Manufacturer & Business Association, Presentation: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation • Daniel Miller, Esq., MacDonald Illig Attorneys, Presentation: Employment Law Updates

• Michael D. Parkinson, MD, MPH, FACPM, Senior Medical Director for Health and Productivity, UPMC Health Plan and WorkPartners, Presentation: Wellness is the BEST Business: Manufacturing Health, Safety and Performance for Western PA

Knowledge is power and this one-day conference delivers! Gather with your fellow human resource professionals from a wide variety of industries and businesses for this full day of interactive sessions, thoughtprovoking information and numerous networking opportunities (breakfast and lunch included). Attendees will receive 5.75 credits.

Register today at www.mbausa.org!


HEALTH MATTERS | RESOURCES

How to Pick the Right Pharmacy Plan

allow for comprehensive ‘wholeperson’ management. Additionally, having access to both medical and drug claims data enables enhanced analytics to highlight opportunities to improve quality and lower overall costs.

For Your Business and Your Employees

3) Look for a formulary (list of covered drugs) that receives independent medical oversight. The best pharmacy plans include independent oversight committees of pharmacists and physicians that continuously update their formularies based on new products, new evidence and market trends.

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 Advantage, UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health, LifeSolutions, EBenefit Solutions, and Askesis Development Group. As with health plans, there are a lot of pharmacy plans to choose from these days, and they all think they’re the best. Go big — it’s more economical! Go small — it’s more customizable to your organization! Go pharmacy-only carve out — we’re the experts! Go pharmacy-plus-medical plan — we’re more comprehensive! As we say, it’s noisy out there. Here are six recommendations that will help you decide which pharmacy plan is best for you and your employees: 1) Look for a large player. This really just comes down to the influence over purchasing power that larger plans offer. For example, larger plans are better able to negotiate drug discounts with pharmacy benefits managers

(PBMs) such as Express Scripts Inc. In these cases, when a pharmacy company goes to a PBM with 50, 500 or even 5,000 lives, that company has far less leverage to obtain discounts on its drug costs than if the pharmacy company covers 500,000 lives. 2) Look for a pharmacy plan that is integrated with a medical plan (that is, not a “carved-out” pharmacy plan). If your medical and pharmacy insurer is one and the same, this entity will know your employees better. It manages their overall health including medical and pharmacy claims and understands the impact of drug on overall costs. Integrated plans have programs that

4) Look for a formulary customized to your market. Some formularies are created using national demographic and drug trend data. Problem is, this national “data” may or may not apply locally. 5) Look for a multi-tiered formulary. This makes it far easier to influence drug selection and control costs, including the extremely high cost of specialty drugs. 6) Look for a player that has an aligned and comprehensive strategy to manage members on specialty drugs. Specialty drugs are high cost, injectable or oral drugs used to treat rare and chronic conditions. It’s projected that specialty pharmacy costs will drive 50 percent of all pharmacy costs by 2018 yet involve only 1-2 percent of your members. By finding a pharmacy plan that takes a holistic, “whole-person” approach to members on these specialty drugs, it will promote cost effective, high-quality care not just for their drug costs but their overall health-care costs. These strategies will help you better plan for and contain your pharmacy costs. The right pharmacy plan and formulary will also help guide your employees to the right drugs that are both affordable and appropriate. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

9


Redefining Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is more than an academic discipline and reaches far beyond the concept of traditional business creation and small business management. Entrepreneurship is a mindset; a frame-

work for thinking and acting that can empower anyone to succeed. Date:

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

Time:

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location:

Erie’s Raymond D. Blasco Library H.O. Hirt Auditorium 160 East Front Street Erie, Pennsylvania 16511

Register by emailing Info@InnovationCollaborators.com Book signing and reception to follow. Attendance is free.


LEGAL BRIEF | SOCIAL MEDIA

of the plaintiff; and, 4) the statement was made negligently or with intentional malice. As you can see, proving that an online comment is illegal is difficult. Online comments are often personal opinions and not facts. Claiming that John’s House of Chicken has the worst fried chicken is an opinion. Claiming that John’s House of Chicken’s fried chickens are actually fried rats is a statement of fact. Only the latter of these two statements would rise to the level of defamation. Instead of pursuing legal action, you may want to consider the following options: • Drown Out the Noise: Encourage your customers to post honest, positive feedback online. If you have several positive comments, that one negative comment will get drowned out, making it less likely that someone actually reads it or, if someone does read it, it will seem out-of-place in comparison to all of the positive comments.

How to Handle Online Criticism John Persinger is an associate with MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP and a former White House staffer. He is a member of the firm’s Emerging Technology Practice Group and handles online and social media-related legal issues.

But social media is also a two-way street. Unlike traditional advertising, companies cannot control everything that is being said about them. Many companies have had negative, often false, and sometimes quite vitriolic comments made about them online. Companies sometimes spend precious time and resources responding to these disparaging remarks.

Has your business been disparaged by online comments, such as a negative Facebook post or a Yelp review?

In order for a court to order the removal of a negative online comment, you would have to prove that the comment violates the law. One way is to show that the comment violates a trade secret, such as someone stealing the recipe for your secret sauce and posting that recipe on Facebook

Do you know how to handle these comments? Having a social media presence is a must for businesses these days. It allows you to engage existing customers, recruit new customers, and hear directly from both groups. If you have a new product or are offering a discount on existing products, advertising through your social media channels is often the most cost effective.

Clients often ask if they can sue the commentator. The answer is yes. But you are unlikely to win, and it will cost you quite a bit to lose.

Another way is to prove defamation. Generally, defamation occurs when there is the following: 1) a statement shared with someone other than the person defamed; 2) the statement is a false statement of fact; 3) the statement harms the reputation

• Address the Complainant’s Concerns: Although the disparaging comments may only be personal opinions, sometimes there is a valid reason underlying the person’s negative post. If your company reaches out to the individual, you may be able to determine what triggered the negative post and, by addressing the person’s concerns, that individual may correct the negative post or follow up on it with a more positive post. • Contact the Social Media Company: Most social media companies are reluctant to police all of the communications on their site. However, if an online post is something truly offensive or it infringes on your intellectual property rights, then you should contact the social media company. While the law may not provide a guaranteed remedy for negative online reviews, you may find that by utilizing non-legal measures, you save time, money, and stress, and have a more positive outcome. For more information, contact John Persinger at 814/870-7702 or jpersinger@mijb.com. mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

11


BUSINESS BUZZ | WHAT’S NEW

PENN STATE BEHREND OPENS ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND INNOVATION CENTER

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, opened its $16.5 million, 60,000-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center on July 20. According to a press release, AMIC is a collaborative research facility designed to advance the college’s “open lab” model of learning and discovery, with academic and industry partners co-located in shared space. Neal Asbury, chief executive of The Legacy Companies and host of the nationallysyndicated talk radio show “Made in America,” was the featured speaker at the opening. Penn State Behrend Chancellor Ralph Ford and J. Scott McCain, chairman of the college’s Council of Fellows, also offered remarks. AMIC is the new home of Penn State Behrend’s mechanical engineering and industrial engineering programs. The building’s academic wing includes 27 faculty offices, five classrooms, two specialty work areas and an advanced manufacturing lab. According to the press release, an >

The Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center provides more space for Penn State Behrend’s School of Engineering, which has more than 1,400 students. Eight classrooms and 25 faculty offices are located in the building, which is located on the south side of Technology Drive, near the Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center.

additional lab houses “the region’s most powerful environmental scanning electron microscope,” purchased with funding by the National Science Foundation.

space. SKF Aerospace North America will move its Erie operations into the building’s first floor, nearly doubling the size of its previous site in Knowledge Park.

The building’s manufacturing wing is reserved for industry tenants, with nearly 19,000 square feet of production and office

For more information about the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center, visit www.behrend.psu.edu.

“Hamot chooses Peek’n Peak for numerous overnight retreats and meetings. The amenities make it the perfect venue for team building. We really enjoy playing golf, visiting the spa,

www.PknPk.com

and stretching our limits on the adventure course.”

~ David P. Gibbons UPMC Hamot, COO

Over 20,000 SqFt. of Meeting & Event Space • 108 Brand New Hotel Rooms • Clymer , NY 12

SEPTEMBER 2016 • mbabizmag.com


PEOPLE BUZZ | AWARDS AND PROMOTIONS

NWIRC WELCOMES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO

Robert Zaruta has joined the Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) as president and chief executive officer, after serving for 16 years with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC). He is responsible for executive management functions including leadership; community relations and advocacy; risk management and compliance; and strategic, program, human resources, and financial planning.

PROCHEMTECH WELCOMES ACCOUNT MANAGER

ProChemTech International, Inc. recently announced that Bradley (Brad) Hannah, CWT, has accepted a position as account manager for the company’s Arizona district. Hannah will be responsible for sales and service in this district covering Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Certified Water Technologist with a total of 21 years experience in the water management field. He was formerly employed by Chemco, AquaServ Engineers, Garratt-Callahan, and CH2O. He is also retired from the U.S. Navy where he was involved with naval nuclear power units. He will now be based at the Chemical Plant #2, Apache Junction, Arizona.

With 10 staff members located in offices in Erie, Meadville, and DuBois, Pennsylvania, the NWIRC’s mission is to enhance the competitiveness and growth of small- and medium-sized manufacturers in the 13 counties of northwest Pennsylvania by working with clients to improve their productivity and technological performance. Throughout his tenure with NEPIRC, Zaruta was a key member of the management team helping in the development and implementation of the Center’s strategic plans, business models, sales processes, internal client engagement management processes, marketing strategies and special initiatives. Additionally, he developed, implemented and managed a national program providing sales training and licensed sales methodology to Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) locations and their clients across the country. He also participated in numerous Industrial Resource Center (IRC) and MEP special initiatives, provided working sessions at National MEP Conferences and seminars, and has been an advocate for NEPIRC, the IRC network of Centers, and MEP in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. Most recently, as the director of Business Development, he managed NEPIRC’s staff of strategic business advisers along with developing and managing key accounts, directly delivering a suite of growth services and managing third-party service engagements.

ProChemTech International, Inc. provides innovative integrated water management programs for boiler, cooling tower, process, and wastewater systems to commercial, government, and industrial customers in 16 states. Chemical product applications are supported by on-site service while the majority of the cooling tower and wastewater treatment and recycle systems are supplied as custom design-build projects. Chemical products and equipment are manufactured in plants located in Apache Junction, Arizona, and Brockway, Pennsylvania.

In addition to his IRC/MEP experience, Zaruta has held leadership and management positions within Fortune 500, regional and small enterprises. As an entrepreneur, he founded and led a startup telecommunications company to dynamic growth. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Some of his relevant industry training and certifications include Lean Specialist, Innovation Engineering Management System, Solution Selling, and Project Management from Penn State.

COLPOYS HEADS NATIONAL FUEL’S PENNSYLVANIA DIVISION

Michael D. Colpoys has been named vice president of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, the utility subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company. His responsibilities include general oversight for the Pennsylvania division, which includes 213,000 residential and commercial customers in 14 counties across northwestern Pennsylvania. Colpoys also is responsible for all Pennsylvania field operations for the Utility and National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation. Colpoys started at National Fuel in 1987 as a management trainee and was named junior engineer soon after. He has held several management positions within Pennsylvania operations throughout his career, advancing to assistant vice president in 2009. Most recently, Colpoys served as vice president of National Fuel Gas Midstream Corporation and oversaw the development, construction, and operation of the Company’s expanding gathering pipelines. “With nearly 30 years of company experience, Mike’s leadership and operational expertise will ensure that Pennsylvania customers continue to receive safe and reliable service,” said Carl Carlotti, president, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation. Colpoys received a bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University and Master of Business Administration from Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. He serves as a board member for the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association and the 100 Club of Buffalo. He resides in Erie.

Thank You

Roar on the Shore was an unforgettable experience. Five days of events, concerts, and rides; all to provide a wonderful new playground for Erie children.

Roar on Five da wonder

It was a great joy to encounter each rider, each ROAR & MBA staff, each caring and generous person along the way during this 10th anniversary celebration.

It was a MBA st way du

We could not be more grateful for this opportunity. Here’s to your next 10 years of fabulous rides, wonderful riders, and remarkable community impact.

We cou Here’s wonder

David González, CEO of St. Martin Center, Inc.

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

13


14

SEPTEMBER 2016 • mbabizmag.com


ON THE HILL | SPENDING

Every Dime — and Vote — Counts When it Comes to PA’s Future Angela Zaydon is the state government relations representative for the Manufacturer & Business Association in Harrisburg. Contact her at 717/525-7213, cell 814/460-3136 or at azaydon@mbausa.org. How did you fair in the 2016-2017 budget? That dreadful constitutional budget deadline of June 30 rolls around every year. Sometimes the legislature meets that deadline and sometimes they don’t. Last year, we went nine months over the deadline. This year, we faired a little better ­— only missing the date by two weeks. But did we actually fair better? The media and the public have been so focused on the June 30 deadline that they overlooked what is actually in the budget and how it affects them. The legislature passed, and the governor approved a $1.3-billion revenue package, including a $650-million tax increase. The $31.6 billion is reached by a five-year loan of $200 million from the Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association (JUA). The JUA is a governmentchartered nonprofit that provides medical professional liability insurance. Another $100 million is expected from a gambling expansion. The uncertainty of this $100 million from gambling expansion is sketchy, at best, because the legislature has not passed the expansion yet. The $650-million tax increase includes a 6-percent sales tax on digital downloads, such as iTunes, eBooks and apps, as well as on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and satellite radio. It also includes $1-per-pack cigarette tax hike, a new tax on smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products and a new tax on e-cigarettes. In addition, a reduction in the vendor discount offered to retail stores who collect sales tax for the state has now been capped at $300 per year.

While we did not come out of the budget unscathed, it could have been worse.

We have the power to protect ourselves, our family and our businesses in Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf originally wanted $3 billion in new taxes, which would have been detrimental to every family and business in Pennsylvania. In addition, the 5-percent gross receipts tax on home heating bills did not make it in the budget. Do not, by any means, interpret this as a good, fiscally responsible budget. The government is still living beyond its means. And, it’s only going to get worse next year.

by staying vigilant in who we elect. Every legislator played a role in this year’s budget. Every legislator will play a role in next year’s budget and has the power to decide if businesses thrive or fail, if families pay extra money to the government or keep that money in their family budget and whether we grow our economy or watch it recede. Every vote counts — not only in your district, but as a whole. It is so very important to send fiscally responsible people to Harrisburg who cannot only represent you as a constituent, but also you as a Pennsylvanian.

As we are all aware, Pennsylvania has many areas that are budget busters and need immediate reform. The public pension continues to be underfunded and the costs continue to rise exponentially. Health-care costs are rising faster than they are funded and will continue to rise. Governor Wolf continually claims that the structural deficit in excess of $1 billion needs funded. He also advocates the need for more money for the public school system, of which the majority of the money will be used to fund health care, pensions and finance school bonds and debt; unfortunately, very little of that money will ever see a classroom. And the big question is: How does this spending get financed? By you, the taxpayer. Now, let’s fast forward one year to the 20172018 budget. What if cigarette revenues aren’t what they expected, for many reasons, and it turns out that the gambling expansion didn’t quite meet expected numbers? What if unfunded pension liability and health-care costs rise, and property taxes don’t meet the school districts debts, the JUA wants to be paid back, and it’s not an election year? Any of those factors could mean disaster.

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

15


STEM Manufacturing Internship Achieve project results AND shape student experience

Northwest Industrial Resource Center’s STEM Manufacturing Internhip program connects manufacturers’ innovation needs with resources at regional colleges and universities. We identify, screen, and facilitate a selection of high-caliber science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students for your project. A STEM Manufacturing Intern provides an opportunity for your company to: • • •

improve technology development increase efficiency and effectiveness mentor and evaluate future skilled leaders

Students are back in session! Let us tap into our database to help take the burden out of selecting the right qualified candidate. A limited number of mini-grants are available for eligible internships to make student wages more affordable. Contact us now to identify a STEM Manufacturing Intern for your 2017 project. greinard@nwirc.org • (814) 898-6887 or Register for a brief informational webinar about the program at www.nwirc.org/events

&

16

SEPTEMBER 2016 • mbabizmag.com


HR CONNECTION | WORKPLACE TRENDS

SURVEY: U.S. WORKERS SPEND 6.3 HOURS A DAY CHECKING EMAIL Despite the popularity of instant messaging, texting and social media, experts say that email is the top communications tool at work and will continue to grow in importance over the next few years.

Tax Exclusion Update for Employer-Sponsored Health Care Under current law, premiums paid for employer-provided health benefits, including the portion paid by an employee under a cafeteria plan, are excluded from an employee’s gross income for income tax, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) purposes. According to Xerox’s Legislate ®, an important change that may accompany a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would eliminate or limit such exclusion. Bills and proposals affecting the tax exclusion include the following: • The Empowering Patients First Act (H.R. 2300) would limit the tax exclusion. It would give employees a refundable tax credit for health insurance coverage purchased through the individual market (but not for employer-sponsored health insurance) and, if an employer contributes toward the employee’s health-care coverage, the bill would limit the tax exclusion to $8,000 per employee for self-only coverage and $20,000 for family coverage, subject to indexing. • American Health Care Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 2653) would eliminate

the tax exclusion and replace it with a standard tax deduction ($7,500 for individuals; $20,000 for families) for coverage obtained in the individual or group markets. Employers would continue to be permitted to deduct payments made for health benefits provided to employees as a business expense. • Another proposal would cap the exclusion at $12,000 for self-only coverage and $30,000 for family coverage, subject to indexing.

In an online survey, comprising 400 U.S. white-collar, adult workers, nearly half of the respondents said they think their use of emails for work will increase in coming years. Nineteen percent said it will go up substantially. More than 90 percent of the workers admitted they checked personal emails at work and 87 percent looked at business emails outside of working hours. The workers questioned in the poll estimated they spend 6.3 hours a day checking emails, with 3.2 hours devoted to work emails and 3.1 hours to personal messages. Nearly 80 percent said they look at emails before going into the office and 30 percent said they checked their inbox while still in bed in the morning. Half of the respondents also monitored emails during their vacations. The numbers were even higher for 18-34 year olds, with 45 percent opening emails upon waking up.

WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION LACKING, STUDY FINDS

Limiting the tax exclusion in this way would increase employee’s taxable income (subject to employment and income tax) and reduce take-home pay. It also would increase employment tax obligations for employers.

Employees feel employers could be doing a better job at communicating with them, researchers say. Findings from workplace mobile app maker theEMPLOYEEapp finds that less than half of American workers feel their employers do a sufficient job of communicating information to them.

Finally, one bill, introduced last month, would provide employers with an alternative framework for providing health-care coverage and allow them to avoid certain ACA mandates, including the Cadillac tax. This bill, the World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan (H.R. 5284), would not repeal the Cadillac tax. Employers that choose to remain under the ACA paradigm would continue to be subject to the Cadillac tax, whereas those that provide health-care coverage as contemplated by the bill would not.

The findings come from the second part of the 2015 Mobile Trends in the Workplace Study, which drew on the responses of more than 200 workers. The results showed that workers put a high level of importance on their interactions with employers, as 68 percent of respondents said the frequency of communication with employers affects their job satisfaction and 62 percent said the methods of communication used impacts their job satisfaction. Despite this, just 45 percent of workers felt their employer did a strong enough job communicating with them, while 33 percent said they would like more frequent communication.

Melissa Damico is manager of Client Services for the Manufacturer & Business Association Insurance Agency (MBAIA) and a licensed insurance agent. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or mdamico@mbausa.org.

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

17


HR Q&A | GET ANSWERS

CAN WE HAVE A POLICY FORBIDDING EMPLOYEES FROM SAYING DISPARAGING THINGS ABOUT THE COMPANY ON SOCIAL MEDIA? Not in such broad terms. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees have the right to discuss terms and conditions of employment for mutual aid and protection. That includes the right to discuss wages and working conditions, and to do so on social media, if the employee prefers.

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that forbidding disparaging remarks on social media may discourage employees from exercising their NLRA rights, and is, therefore, not allowed. However, the Board has accepted policies that give specific examples of prohibited conduct (such as harassment, threats, etc.) and found that employees should not misconstrue the policy to prohibit the exercise of NLRA rights.

CAN WE LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF TIME EMPLOYEES SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES ON WORK TIME? Yes. While the Stored Communications Act (SCA) may prohibit employers from reading the content of an employee’s social media account (even if the employee is on social media during work time), the SCA does not prevent employers from establishing policies about acceptable use of social media on work time. Employers may discipline employees for improper use of work time, and may even monitor the number of visits or the time spent on social media sites by employees. Discipline may be imposed if employees violate such a policy.

HAVE AN HR QUESTION? GET ANSWERS! At the Manufacturer & Business Association, we know that HR questions can arise at a moment’s notice. Through our HR Hotline, members can stay informed with free, unlimited access to our HR-certified specialists who will provide expert support and guidance on numerous personnel and compliance issues. Call today at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660!

Vetting Candidates Through Social Media Poses Benefits, Risks Recruiting has changed a lot over the years, but one thing has remained constant: Recruiters do their best to go wherever they can find the most talent. For many employers, the way to reach the best selection of qualified employees is to tap into one (or several) of the many social media platforms. Not only does social media widen employers’ access to potential employees, but once those potential candidates are identified, social media provides the opportunity to obtain background information on potential candidates. Of course, employers only have access to the information that a candidate makes publicly available, and savvy users may know how to keep private that information that may turn off employers. Nevertheless, employers may still be able to rule out candidates who haven’t taken the time to ensure their social media presence is a professional one. When looking for information about applicants online, employers that do vet applicants via social media would be wise to define what they are looking for rather than simply peruse social media profiles haphazardly. Individual LinkedIn profiles, for example, often give employers access to the work histories, professional associations, and educational background of prospective employees. Researching an employee online can help a company narrow down an applicant pool, but the process isn’t without risk. At the same time that a recruiter might be researching a prospective employee’s background and overall image, the recruiter may well be also collecting protected information about a candidate that most employers would prefer not to have. Some employers find that the risks associated with vetting applicants online outweigh the benefits and choose to avoid the practice altogether. Employers should also consider that some applicants won’t have any publicly available information online, and aside from professional qualifications that prospective applicants would be likely to willingly share, most won’t have anything available online that would affect a hiring decision. Vetting prospective employees via social media is rarely a comparable substitute for traditional background checks for those companies and industries which require them. For more information on background checks, email hr@mbausa.org.

Stacey Bruce is the director of HR Services at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or sbruce@mbausa.org.

18

SEPTEMBER 2016 • mbabizmag.com


How you need it. When you need it. Where you need it. Considered a leader in professional development and computer training for more than 25 years, the Manufacturer & Business Association offers you the ease and flexibility of onsite training for your group. Onsite Convenience: Nothing beats the convenience of training conducted at your facility. Let our expert instructors bring the training you need, when you need it, where you need it. Customized Programs: From full-day to half-day programs, all of our courses can be tailored to address your organization’s specific needs. Focused Interaction: Facilitated by our training specialists, your employees’ experience is further enhanced through group discussion on key topic areas specific to your company’s work environment. For more information about onsite training programs, call 800/815-2660, 814/833-3200 or visit mbausa.org.

You need it. You want it. We’ve got it. You’ll love the choice of flexible meeting rooms all equipped with WiFi, flat-screen TVs and laptops. And our onsite business center with phone, fax, copier and computer, plus complimentary breakfast, beverages and afternoon snacks, maximizes convenience for you and your guests!

So relax, you’ve come to the right place. Visit www.mbausa.org or call 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 today.

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

19


www.MbaEnergyAdvisors.com

TODAY TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO

It’s energy savings made simple.

IS A GOOD DAY TO LOWER YOUR ENERGY COSTS. LOWER YOUR ENERGY COSTS. We’ve helped hundreds of companies of We’ve helped hundreds companies of every size and type save of millions of dollars every sizeelectricity and typecosts, save millions of dollars on their and we’re here on their electricity costs, and we’re to help you too! Our energy expertshere will to help you too! Our energy experts will answer your questions, review all available answer your help questions, review an all effective, available options and you develop options help you develop an manages effective, efficientand energy strategy that efficient energy strategy manages your risk and maximizes yourthat savings. your risk and maximizes your savings.

Trust & Expertise Trust & Expertise Expanded Suppliers Expanded Suppliers Scalable Plan Options Scalable Plan Options Raving Fan Service Raving Fan Service Free Cost Analysis Free Cost Contact JudyAnalysis Rosatti at 814/833-3200, Contact Judyor Rosatti at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 jrosatti@mbausa.org. 800/815-2660 or jrosatti@mbausa.org.

Contact Judy Rosatti at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or jrosatti@mbausa.org.

Free Cost Analysis

Raving Fan Service Scalable Plan Options Expanded Suppliers Trust & Expertise We’ve helped hundreds of companies of every size and type save millions of dollars on their electricity costs, and we’re here to help you too! Our energy experts will answer your questions, review all available options and help you develop an effective, efficient energy strategy that manages your risk and maximizes your savings.

IS A GOOD DAY TO LOWER YOUR ENERGY COSTS. It’s energy savings made simple. It’s energy savings made simple.

TODAY

www.MbaEnergyAdvisors.com www.MbaEnergyAdvisors.com


EVENTS & EXTRAS | NETWORKING & MORE

The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) strives to keep its members informed on the most current business issues affecting employers in the region. For more information about upcoming events, see the Association’s website, www.mbausa.org.

Fernando Aguirre, owner and chief executive officer of the Erie SeaWolves, shares his winning lineup of values and principles for success and how that approach is running the bases in the team ’s competitive Double-A baseball franchise, during the Manufactu rer & Business Association’s (MBA) mont hly Eggs ‘n’ Issues briefing at the MBA Conference Center.

As a token of appreciation, the MBA and ROAR on the Shore® hosted a special reception for longtime sponsors and supporters of the charitable bike rally in June at the MBA Conference Center.

the MBA Board of At left, Don Hester, chairman of Board of Directors, Governors and Roar on the Shore with a custom presents Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott ® support of the Roar artwork as a thank-you for his bike rally.

of the ime and generous supporters Shown are some of the many longt ® t its 10-year history. ghou throu rally Shore the Roar on

MARKETING FOR MANUFACTURERS PAPA goes back to 1990 as an Erie-area design and communications firm. Today, our marketing agency is focused on how to help manufacturers grow their business. This focus and experience is what sets us apart. We help you: » Refine Business Strategy & Support » Increase Leads & Revenue

» Diversify into New Markets & Industries » Increase Customer Loyalty

“Utilizing PAPA to continually update our website and manage our SEO, Social Media and customer engagement strategies has enhanced our presence, increased our internet traffic and improved the quality of our leads. I would highly recommend PAPA and their services.” Stephanie Goss Marketing Manager, MFG Tray

1673 W 8th St, Erie, PA 16505 • 814 454.6236 • www.PAPAadvertising.com

mbabizmag.com • SEPTEMBER 2016

21


PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID ERIE, PA PERMIT #199

Here’s the plan that employees are choosing more than ever.

Your employees want to know that they and their families have access to the highest quality health care possible. So it’s no surprise that UPMC Health Plan is such a popular choice. By offering full in-network access to the top-ranked care of UPMC, plus other doctors and hospitals in your community, UPMC Health Plan provides the peace of mind your employees appreciate. Not to mention award-winning customer service, online wellness tools and more. Give your employees the opportunity to choose UPMC Health Plan.

Call for a quote today at 1-888-383-UPMC.

UPMCHealthPlan.com

September 2016 Business Magazine  

weCreate LLC, headquartered at the Renaissance Centre in downtown Erie, is a growing company that is becoming synonymous with helping busine...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you