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Focus: Banking and Finance

December 2011 • January 2012

HC Welcomes Super Bowl fans Plus...

Arbuckle’s Railroad Place Cultural Arts Road Trip Qualifying for a Bank Loan

North Region Hotel Quarterback Paul O’Connor and HCCVB Deputy Director Karen Radcliff sport handmade Super Scarves


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December/January

’11/’12

Features

14 12 16 19

Noblesville’s Robert Arbuckle

Entrepreneur

10 Ethics 18 Focus Column/Banking 22 Marketing Column

Super Bowl

23 Personal Finance Column 24 The Pitch-In

Getting a Bank Loan

25 Dining Out 26 Chamber Pages 32 Hamilton County History

Cultural Arts Tour

 Cover photo by Mark Lee, Great Exposures

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

35 Business Resource Directory


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www.hamiltoncountybusiness.com Published six times per year by the Hamilton County Media Group PO Box 502, Noblesville, IN 46061 • 317-774-7747

Editor/Publisher Mike Corbett ~ mcorbett@hamiltoncountybusiness.com Creative Director Melanie Malone ~ melzee@indy.rr.com Correspondents Deb Buehler ~ deb@thesweetestwords.com Jeff Curts ~ jcurts@att.net Rosalyn Demaree ~ ros_demaree@hotmail.com Stephanie Carlson Curtis ~ stephcurtis.com@gmail.com Shari Held ~ sharih@comcast.net Chris Owens ~ zetus77@gmail.com Contributors Emmett Dulaney DBA ~ eadulaney@anderson.edu David Heighway ~ heighwayd@earthlink.net Robby Slaughter ~ rslaughter@slaughterdevelopment.com J. Michelle Sybesma ~ jms@skillsconsulting.com Andrew Thompson ~ andrew@businesslawindiana.com Dr. Charles Waldo ~ cnwaldo@comcast.net William J. Wilhelm PhD ~ wwilhelm@indstate.edu

Please send news items and photos to news@hamiltoncountybusiness.com Submission does not guarantee publication

Subscription $20/year To subscribe or advertise, contact Mike Corbett at mcorbett@hamiltoncountybusiness.com Copyright 2011/2012 Hamilton County Media Group. All rights reserved.

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Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012


Letter from the Editor/December 2011 • January 2012 Reflections from the campaign trail My political campaign is behind me. In case you missed it, the incumbent mayor beat back my challenge in Noblesville, though many are assuring me that 35% against a Republican incumbent starting from scratch in Hamilton County isn’t bad.

Mike Corbett Editor and Publisher

The past four months have been some of the most exciting of my life. I’ve never worked harder but also seldom enjoyed myself more. A political campaign is a real adventure. I learned a lot and grew a bit. Here are a few reflections. Paranoia I have a new appreciation for political personalities and why candidates act the way they do. Because each vote is at stake, the need for votes becomes almost compulsive, and the candidate is always seeking clues as to where each person stands. Every small thing becomes filled with meaning; an unreturned phone call or email carries much more weight when it happens in a campaign. I don’t particularly like that feeling, and I tried hard to guard against it, but it’s a reality on the campaign trail. The Endless Pursuit In business, we set goals, devise strategies to meet them and execute the plan, with success based on sales or some other metric. It’s a nice, neat package and a time-tested formula. Maybe it’s my inexperience, but during a campaign, in the absence of metrics except the final one on election day, it’s full speed ahead at all times. I suppose if a candidate can afford to conduct interim polling, he or she might know where they stand midcampaign. But when you don’t have that kind of information you are always operating on “high” and, well, it’s exhausting. You never know when it’s OK to rest, so you don’t. Negative Campaigning This a touchy subject. I stood accused of this in my campaign even though I tried hard to keep the discussion civil. I listened to those who said they weren’t interested in what I thought of my opponent’s record, they only wanted to hear what I would do to improve things. The problem is, my opponent ran on his record, so if I intended to improve things, I had to explain how I would do those things better, which meant I had to address his record. I don’t see how to cleanse a campaign of that sort of rhetoric without making it so sanitary that you avoid discussing important issues. In the end I think people object to the tone of negative campaigning more than the substance. It doesn’t have to be mean. Questioning an opponent’s

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine


record, sticking to the facts, and avoiding name calling all seem like pretty good guidelines to keep the tone civil.

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Entrepreneur Emmett Dulaney

A Lesson from the Pumpkin Patch Your power position affects your negotiating ability Sometimes, concepts seem overly simplistic on the paper of a textbook, making it difficult to understand how they would ever apply in the real world. One of the goals of entrepreneurship education is for students to learn that those principles truly do apply and to suffer the consequences while still in school so they won’t be so vulnerable to them after they graduate. Many times, it only takes a simple lesson for it to hit home, such as the case with Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model.

pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch was such an integral part of setting the scene for the business that it was advertised in every promotional piece and was included in a package deal marketed through Groupon (two pumpkins included with admission and games). Not only were the pumpkins used for aesthetics, but they were intended as a profit item as well. Unfortunately, all the promotion was done in September, before students got the news of a pumpkin shortage.

A standard of both management and marketing disciplines, the Five Forces Model identifies five different areas to evaluate for an industry, the goal being to strategize how to have the best hand. One of the five areas is the power of the

The shortage raised the price of pumpkins at the wholesale and retail levels and tipped the tables out of favor for the family fun park. Not purchasing pumpkins was never an option since the promotions were already underway and it was important to meet expectations of those who came to the park. The students hit the phones and called around until they found a pumpkin patch on the east side of Indianapolis that agreed to supply a large quantity at a reasonable price per pound compared to what others were charging.

All the promotion was done in September, before students got the news of a pumpkin shortage. supplier. It is unfortunate to find yourself in a position where the supplier of a good you need can dictate terms unfavorable to you. Since that concept is easily understood, most business plans just state that the business intends to have more than one supplier so they will never be in a situation where they can’t impose their own terms. That is a lot easier said than done, as students at Anderson University learned this fall.

Computing gasoline, labor, and other expenses involved with making the pumpkin run, it worked out to be slightly cheaper than buying them locally and would thus be worth the effort. On Thursday, the students arranged with the farmer to purchase and transport the pumpkins on Saturday morning (he said to be there at 8am), and reserved a van. At 7am on Saturday morning, they called to say they were on the way and confirmed the price; he said he would be waiting.

In October, nineteen students ran a family fun park, which included a hayride, concessions, games, live music, and a

At 8am, they pulled into the farm with the intent of loading a cargo van with 300 pumpkins. The farmer told them not

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

to get the pumpkins near the stand and drove with them back to the field where there were others to load. Try as they might, it was not possible to safely put that many pumpkins in that type of vehicle. It maxed out at around 200, meaning that the costs of getting the pumpkins now had to be spread over a smaller quantity, cutting into the profit. When the van was full, and sagging like a teenager’s jeans, the farmer handed them a bill and told them to drive to the cashier. As they were driving, they did the math and found it to be 20% more per pound than the agreed upon price. When brought to the farmer’s attention, his response was “You should have locked it in.” The price that existed on Thursday and the price that existed at 7am on Saturday morning went up by 20% at 8am when the van was loaded and the farmer had the power. The choices that existed in that moment were to pay the increased price, or unload all the pumpkins and leave empty handed (a more costly undertaking). The supplier genuinely had all the power in the relationship at that moment and a concept that had existed only on paper became a reality that those students suddenly grasped and will never forget.

More from Porter: Michael Porter’s classic book On Competition was updated and expanded in 2008 (ISBN: 978-1422126967). Not many business books have stood the test of time the way this one has and it is well worth the read. Emmett Dulaney teaches entrepreneurship and business at Anderson University.


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Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

9


Ethics

Insidious Influences: Heuristics

Bill Wilhelm

Hidden factors that affect your decisions In my last column I discussed the unethical practice of “wardrobing” (buying an outfit or other non-consumable product, wearing or using it, and then returning it for a full refund). When challenged, wardrobers will often defend their actions with the argument that “everyone is doing it,” and they will actually believe that that rationalization is sufficient to justify their actions. A psychological influence to dispense with thorough rational analysis is known as a heuristic – preconceived notions or ways of thinking about unknowns. Heuristics serve as guides in the investigation or solution of a problem. The danger of heuristics in ethical decision making is that they can desensitize us to important ethical questions. The heuristic that resulted in the rationalization by the wardrober in this example is called the theory of social proof wherein clues as to proper behavior are taken from the actions of others. We all no doubt tried to employ the social proof heuristic on our parents when we were younger, most likely with little success. But when employed by adults, it can be a powerful rationalization used to justify bad behavior.

Heuristics can desensitize us to important ethical questions… One of the most powerful heuristics in business is obedience to authority. All of us tend to follow authority. As a result, we are much more likely to get involved in unethical behavior when influenced to do so by an authority figure – whether we are aware that the behavior is ethical or not. This blind obedience can be reinforced by the false consensus effect, the tendency to believe

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that others are honest. It is often difficult for subordinates who trust and are loyal to their superiors to think of them as less than honest. Subordinates who fall prey to these two heuristics can unwittingly become involved in unethical behavior. They may have felt that they were “just obeying orders” – the classic good Nazi defense. That defense did not work for the war criminals at Nuremberg and it does not work in courts of law today.

The Importance of Context

Would you prefer to buy a bag of potato chips that are 75% fat free or chips that are labeled 25% fat? In fact, these two bags are identical, but it is the framing of the message that motivates our likely response – to purchase the bag labeled 75% fat free. Framing can have a profound effect on ethical decision making as well because it establishes the context in which truths are articulated and understood. Framing effects have many implications in marketing communication to customers as well as management communications to stakeholder groups within and outside a company. A CEO who frames his or her responsibilities solely in terms of maximizing shareholder value may neglect other stakeholder interests such as those of the employees, suppliers, customers and the community. We’ve all no doubt heard of or used the adage “slippery slope.” This heuristic, called process refers to a process of decision making that engages a person in making a series of smaller incremental decisions that can lead eventually to a more significant outcome that may involve unanticipated unethical results. Reinforced by the social proof heuristic (“everyone is doing it”), an employee may at first participate in a singular incident of petty theft of company property. They may then support another

December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

employee involved in petty theft by making false statements about inventory shrinkage. Incidents of petty theft may increase in frequency and in value. Eventually, major thievery may result. The employee who looks the other way when another employee is engaged in company theft is also on the slippery slope process.

People detest losses more than they enjoy gains, about twice as much. Another heuristic that can be dangerous to companies developing new products and their eventual customers is sunk costs and the related phenomenon called escalation of commitment. Managers may fight to maintain a new product in which much has been invested even after safety issues related to customer use have been detected. The Ford Pinto is a classic example of how sunk costs in a dangerous product resulted not in the product being recalled and fixed, but an escalated commitment to continue to sell the product while increasing the expenditures in lobbying against revised safety legislation in the automotive industry. The costs in human life, human suffering, and also to Ford’s reputation and bottom line were all devastating. The drug industry is particularly susceptible to this heuristic because of the huge sums of capital required in new drug development leading up to final approval. Witness the debacles of the Dalkon Shield, Fen Phen, and Vioxx to name a few.

Justifying Irrational Behavior

Cognitive dissonance is the psychological tendency that interferes with rational processing of information that is counter to our


existing beliefs. Once someone has taken a position on an issue they tend to cognitively screen out new evidence that contradicts their position. Related to the confirmation bias in which we seek out evidence that supports our position, the interplay of these psychological manifestations can lead to what can appear as foolhardy or dishonest positions about complex ethical issues. Could the effects of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias been instrumental in the downfall of one of the largest U.S. accounting firms, Arthur Andersen in their dogged support of the unethical practices of their client Enron? The evidence would seem to suggest as much. Loss aversion is a more persuasive heuristic in decision making than the prospect of gain. This irrational behavior in decision making was first uncovered in the work of Daniel Kahneman for which he won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. People detest losses more than they enjoy gains, about twice as much. Loss aversion is interrelated with the endowment effect, the notion that we value things and attach ourselves to them more than we valued them to begin with. When we own something we begin to value it more than other people do. As Dan Ariely points out in his excellent best seller, Predictably Irrational, “In many transactions why does the owner believe that his possession is worth more than the potential owner is willing to pay? There’s an old saying, ‘One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.’” In summary, heuristics can lead people to make irrational decisions and, when combined with personal biases such as the self-serving bias, can result in quite negative outcomes. As shown in example at the beginning of this article about the power of the social proof heuristic, these insidious influences can lead to unethical choices. By becoming aware of these influences we can help minimize their effects. Forewarned is forearmed. Dr. William J. Wilhelm teaches business ethics and social responsibility management courses at the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University, Reach him at wwilhelm@indstate.edu.

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Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

11


Seeking A Touchdown

For Local Tourism

County Rolls out the Welcome Mat for Super Bowl Visitors Story and photos by Jeff Curts

Super Bowl Extra Points:

he countdown clock staring at Karen Radcliff in her office is starting to come into focus now. What once seemed like an eternity is now first and goal. Super Bowl XLVI (46), scheduled to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on February 5, promises to provide both an international stage and economic boost for not just Indianapolis,

- While Indianapolis is the smallest city to host the big game, it scores points as being the closest in proximity to other NFL franchises, according to Bill Benner, former sportswriter and current volunteer co-chair of the media operations and media relations committee. “Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Nashville and Green Bay are all within a comfortable driving distance to Indianapolis.” “We’re positioning this as the best Super Bowl fans have attended without having a game ticket”.

T

In Hamilton County, three areas covering more than 80 locations have been designated as Super Celebration sites… but all of Central Indiana and specifically, Hamilton County. Radcliff, Deputy Director of the Hamilton County Visitor and Convention (HCCVB) the past 16 years, is part of an army of volunteer coordinators who have been anticipating a certain Sunday in February since the game was awarded to the area back in May of 2008. “It’s been exciting and presents such a unique opportunity to help lead a regional effort of this magnitude,” offered Radcliff,

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who co-chairs the Super Celebration Committee, a multi-county promotional effort designed to bring out-of-town visitors and local fans into neighboring communities for a week long party prior to the big game filled with special deals, meals and events at local venues. In Hamilton County, three areas covering more than 80 locations have been designated as Super Celebration sites: the I-69 corridor at exits 3/5, the I-69 corridor at exits 10 and into downtown Noblesville, and US SR 31 in Carmel and Westfield. “It’s a really cool concept, where we’re working closely to develop a consistent message with our communities and merchants to ensure similar signage, décor, welcoming information, but still trying to showcase the unique aspects of each community. The local face of this event isn’t any one particular city, but Hamilton County as an area.” Regarding the economic impact, Radcliff added, “we currently have around 2,000 hotel rooms contracted throughout the county, and fully expect to be sold out well before February.” The minimum stay for guests is four nights, Thursday-Sunday, which is considered peak time for the super weekend. The game is expected to draw

December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

- The Super Scarf program (see cover) has exceeded expectations. The scarves are souvenirs for volunteers and the Host Committee initially expected about 8000. To date, more than 11,000 have been knitted, crocheted or woven. Volunteers at the Indiana Women’s Prison are sewing on the patches. - Social media’s presence will be felt as well and local businesses could receive a boost. A Super Bowl app will be available to visitors and the media, with information ranging from maps of the area to restaurant menus and locations to sleep, drink, and shop. - Dr. Michael Hicks, Director of Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University, conservatively measures the one-time impact of the Super Bowl at $365 million in total economic activity. The game will benefit communities in terms of wages, the value of goods and services sold and in tax receipts and expenditures. Source: http:// cber.iweb.bsu.edu/research/superbowlstudy.pdf


Football fans Cathy, Erin, Paige, and Michael Eacret can’t wait for the Super Bowl.

around 150,000 visitors, and with only approximately 20,000 hotel rooms available in Indianapolis, that leaves a lot of room for Hamilton County and nearby areas. The fans demographic profile also inspires local tourism and business leaders. As Radcliff points out, the economic development benefits “come not only through spending, but also visitation.” According to data from past Super Bowls, 65% of those who attend the game are key decision-makers within their company, and based on a positive experience, most would consider hosting a business meeting in the area, and a few would discuss expansion or even establishing a business. While the Indianapolis host committee doesn’t plan to do a study, Dianna Boyce, Director of Communications for the organizing group, adds prior research from host cities have measured the impact of hosting a Super Bowl game generating between $125 million to $400 million. Local companies can reap potential benefits as well through participation in the NFL’s Emerging Business Program, a joint effort by the league and Indianapolis host committee to inform Local banker and Steelers apologist Daniel Hayes gets his game face on.  

and engage the Minority and Women Owned Businesses (MWBE) of opportunities available surrounding Super Bowl XLVI. To date, 26 Hamilton County firms have signed up for the program, and while there are no guarantees regarding contracts or work related to the game, it gives businesses an introduction to potential local partners and exposure to other procurement opportunities. While fans, both local and out-of-town, will be directed toward activities such as the NFL Experience and the Super Bowl Village in downtown Indy, many Hamilton County businesses and hospitality entities are expected to be a hub for guests and should receive a considerable spike in business. Count Paul O’Connor, General Manager of the Renaissance Hotel in Carmel, as one of the event’s biggest supporters. “I’m very excited, it’s a feather in the cap of the region to host the Super Bowl and all the ancillary events that come with it,” remarked O’Connor, whose hotel is at capacity for game week. “The fact that Indianapolis is the smallest city to host the game helps compress busi-

ness from downtown to the north end.” He believes the layout will ensure Indianapolis a spot in the annual Super Bowl rotation. Like many area business people with a vested interest, O’Connor has lent a hand in the effort to organize and assist his peers in putting their best foot forward. As a “Hotel Quarterback”, he’ll serve as a liaison to other hotels, providing information on details such as coordinating delivery schedules, employee transportation, snow removal, and other logistics. Meanwhile, Kevin Ryder, owner of Woody’s Library Restaurant in Carmel, sees the synergy in the hospitality sector and simplifies the game’s potential impact. “Everything’s better when there’s a big event. If the hotels are full, it’s good for business.” Ryder has operated Woody’s for 14 years and is bullish on the area. “It’s an exciting time. An event of this nature and the attention it brings, not just to Indianapolis, but to Hamilton County and Central Indiana, is hard to duplicate. As merchants and as a community, it gives us a real opportunity to showcase ourselves and what we have to offer.” v

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By Shari Held ~ Photos by Mark Lee

item has a story. So does 89-year-old Robert Arbuckle, the heart and soul of the business.

Early years

ven before you walk through the leaded glass door of Arbuckle’s Railroad Place in Noblesville, the vintage railroad cars let you know you’re in for a unique experience. Inside, gas lights lend a soft glow and old-time ambience, highlighting a treasure trove of items from past eras—a train bell, an assortment of old tools, a tandem bicycle, a stuffed-animal covered piano advertising “Arbuckle’s Railroad Place - Free Pretzels & Beer (root).” The memorabilia is showcased alongside Arbuckle’s tools of the trade—spools of thread, reels of ribbon, fabrics, quilts and sewing machines, antique and new. Every

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Arbuckle was born in Lebanon and graduated from Fairmount High School in the early 1940s. It was there that he met Adeline Mart Nall, the drama teacher famous for mentoring James Dean and getting him in front of the cameras. “Adeline Mart Nall had a big influence on my life,” Arbuckle says. “I was very thankful for her guidance in public speaking and acting.”

photography school in Winona Lake before setting off to Uptown Chicago to make his name. “I thought I was a hot-shot photographer,” he quips.

Cameras figured prominently for Arbuckle as well—but he was behind them, taking the shots. After graduation he moved to Noblesville where his father, a Purdue graduate, had begun teaching the semester before. Arbuckle recalls that his father bought him a 4 x 5 Speed Graphic camera—“the epitome of a press photographer’s camera. . .back when cameras were as big as automobile batteries and weighed about the same.” He attended a professional

World War II tanked that career before it got off the ground. Arbuckle was sworn into the Navy on October 13, 1942 at the Palmer House Hotel, and soon found himself in Cuba, living in a tent and drinking out of a blister bag while monitoring German submarine activity. Before long, he was selected to attend officer’s training school, where he earned an engineering degree. Arbuckle never did see combat, but he did take the U.S.S. South Dakota from

December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

Arbuckle’s daughter, Sara Carter, works at the shop


loss of our industrial base as a tragic thing.” Arbuckle put his engineering degree to good use, converting treadle sewing machines to electric machines. In 1948 he opened his first store on the north side of the Square, becoming a dealer for the major brands—Pfaff, Necchi, White, Singer and Viking—once new machines became readily available. “I’ve been in the sewing machine business ever since,” he says.

Robert Arbuckle

San Diego, around the Panama Canal to Philadelphia where the Navy retired it. The Navy didn’t retire him, however. “When it came time for me to be discharged, the Navy said they would put me in the Reserves and call whenever they needed me,” Arbuckle says. “Next year on October 13th I will have served in the Navy, active and reserve, for 70 years. I’m still waiting for that call.”

Putting down roots

Arbuckle returned to Noblesville after the war and married his sweetheart, Beverly Pfaff. They had two daughters—Sara, who works with her father, and Linda. At that time, Noblesville’s economy was a mix of industry and agriculture instead of the “service economy” and “bedroom community” it is today. “We attract a lot of people into Hamilton County because of our good educational system and because we have the land for expansion,” Arbuckle says. “But, I see the

Twelve years later he left the Square—a move precipitated by a one-hour time limit the City placed on parking. Adequate space for loading and unloading trucks was already a challenge, but when the City called Boggs Wrecker Service to tow a customer’s car, that was the last straw. “I said, I got to get out of here,” Arbuckle says. “I bought this place and I have parking for 200 automobiles now. I solved the problem of loading, unloading, parking and traffic, and we also got more square feet and more room to breathe.” Arbuckle may have taken a roundabout route into the sewing machine business, but he’s had no regrets. “It brings in very creative people,” he says. “People who are making something and are positive in their attitude. That’s been the wonderful part about the business I’m in. It makes for a pleasant lifestyle.”

Going with the flow

In the ‘70s, Arbuckle became an independent dealer, buying sewing machines from a Japanese family and merchandising them under the Arbuckle name. “I was very proud of what we produced,” he says. “And all our machines were marked ‘from Noblesville, Indiana.’” Business was good, and he expanded into fabrics and notions. Around that time he also began breeding horses and started a livery business. His horse and carriage rides were sought after for weddings, and the City of Indianapolis tried to hire him to provide carriage rides around the Circle—an offer he refused. “I

had other fish to fry,” he says. Arbuckle did, however, “put on the dog” for Mel Simon’s Indy 500 parties, which were attended by Hollywood movie stars and celebrities. He opted out of the livery business around 1980, but you can still see the harnesses and photos displayed in the store. Other ventures that came and went include an office machinery department and bottled gas sales. “We’ve just had to go with the flow to stay in business,” Arbuckle says. “And we are still doing it.” He’s pragmatic when it comes to the future of his business. “It’s disappearing,” he says, noting the decline in home sewing today. His advice for young entrepreneurs starting out in business today: “Marry a woman who’s got lots of money.”

A zest for life

You’d think at age 89, Arbuckle might entertain thoughts of slowing down. Not so. He enjoys riding his bike—both for exercise and in local parades. In fact, one section of his shop is devoted to bicycle sales and repair. He’s a big advocate of developing the Midland Trail, which passes right by his place, as a bike and hiking trail, and tying it into the Monon Trail. Another passion is ballroom dancing. Every Sunday night you’ll find him at the Continental Dance Club on Indy’s west side, where he learned his first dance steps 30 years ago. But his store is where you’ll find him six days a week. “This is my social life,” he says. “Where could I have more fun that I have right here? They say if you find a job you like, you’ll never have to do a day’s work in your life!” v

Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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Focus: Banking/Finance

Loosening the purse strings Banks are loaning money when you prove you’re credit-worthy By Rosalyn Demaree

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ocal bankers would like to debunk a myth they hear all too often.

in Noblesville and Fishers. A Sheridan branch opened in 1990.

Banks are making loans, they say, although more stringent regulatory oversight and the impact of losses nationwide may make it a little harder to get one now compared to five years ago.

While the past five years have been harsh ones in the banking industry, Miller believes that an upside has been a growing trust in community banks. “A community banker knows the business or person well and won’t make a knee-jerk reaction (to a loan application),” she said. “Tons of people have reduced their mortgages with community banks. They can walk in and talk to somebody.”

Today’s low interest rates can help businesses lower their cost on interest and may make this the time to refinance loans, said Karen Miller, president and CEO of The Farmers Bank. “It’s not easier (to get a loan) than it was five to 10 years ago,” Miller explained. “In some cases it could be harder. Banks are a little more particular about which companies they loan to and scrutinize information more.” But, she points out, that pushback can be good. Answering tough questions about business plans can help businesses, particularly start-up ones, find success.

For businesses, “Now’s the time to try to get long-term fixed rates for loans on long-term assets like your home or buildings,” she advised. Before making an appointment to apply for the loan or refinancing, however, Miller said a little homework is in order:

Get an assessment of your business plan. Ask an outside accountant or CPA

to review and comment on it. If you have a relationship with a banker, ask him or her for an opinion before you start the loan application process.

Do some self-assessment. Take a

thorough and totally honest look at your cash flow. If you’re thinking of expanding, determine what additional income it can generate. Make sure you answer the most important question: Can I make the payments.

Get your financial house in order And Miller knows more than a little bit about success. A banker since 1985, she is one of four women running an Indianaheadquartered bank. Under her leadership since 2005, Farmers Bank grew its Hamilton County imprint this year, opening branches

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“Banks will loan money if you have good credit and good collateral,” said Chuck Crow, chairman and CEO of the Hamilton County-based Community Bank. “There’s an opportunity out there to restructure your position.”

December • January County 2012/Hamilton Business Magazine June • July 2011 2011/Hamilton BusinessCounty Magazine

A banker for 42 years, Crow is well-versed in how the industry works. He has been actively involved for many of those years in state and national banking associations, often holding leadership positions. The decision to loan money doesn’t end with the customary handshake in the lending officer’s office. Like the Baileys faced in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” bank examiners regularly investigate an institution’s soundness. “The bank has to prove to examiners that the decision (to loan money) was a good one,” said Crow, explaining that banks are restricted on the types of investments they can make. They earn their money from high-grade, government-back securities, municipal bonds or higher quality loans. “Be really truthful with yourself in the pro forma.” a key document for businesses to complete when wanting a loan, he counseled, smiling as he adds, “We never see a pro forma say, ‘I’m not going to make it’.”

Use realistic numbers about the cost

to expand, the salary and benefits increase for new employees and the size of payment you can make. Consider honestly how much – or how much more -- of your product you’ll be able to sell. You can anticipate questions about this, whether the answer is 1,000 or 10. “Bankers take a little risk, but can’t take risk all the time,” Crow pointed out. “Who would’ve made a loan to the guy who invented the hula-hoop?”


Look at your collateral to support the

loan. Things happen unexpectedly that create problems making loan payments, including health changes, marital situations, an economic downturn or the loss of a job. “Some bad things happen unfortunately,” he said. “Banks don’t want to be the bad guy. We’ll work with everybody as much as we can as long as there’s cooperation on both sides.” Extending credit and renewing the note can be options before collateral is liquidated.

as other community banks, have been successful in applying to small businesses,” said Tade J. Powell, vice president of First Farmers Bank & Trust, which specializes in commercial and agricultural business loans. He points out, however, that applying for and processing an SBA loan can be a little more complicated and time-consuming than a commercial loan’s timeframe. “Banks that specialize in commercial lending and are well capitalized are still very active in commercial lending; however, the regulato-

ry environment is making the underwriting process much more dependent on current documentation,” he said. Before going for a loan, self-evaluate business plans quarterly and have copies of pertinent records – including profit/loss statements, asset/liability schedules, income and property taxes, compensation, and overhead expenses – ready, Powell recommended. That way, the institution better understands the dynamics of your business and how to structure the lending relationship. v

LOCAL

Tom Dooley Westfield Banking Center Manager

FINANCIAL

Lindsay Sweet Noblesville Banking Center Manager

SUCCESS

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VALUABLE EASY P E R S O N AL

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Cindy White Retail Market Leader

RELATIONSHIPS ICE

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This can be the tallest hurdle for young entrepreneurs to overcome because they haven’t had time to accumulate a lot of net worth, Crow said. They often need parents, other relatives and friends to help get them started, and then look at a commercial loan when the business is under way.

Ryan Mooney Carmel Banking Center Manager

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bank does. Financial statements, several years of tax returns and an assessment of the value of what you’ve accumulated will be examined before a loan is approved.

LIFE LO

Study your financial history before the

CONVENIENCE

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Jonathan Hunt Fishers Banking Center Manager

LOYAL

COMMUNITY

BANKING SECURE

He doesn’t say that to discourage start-up business owners. “If you believe in an idea and are willing to be all in, roll the dice and try the idea.”

SBA loans bridge gaps

Loans from the Small Business Administration can help bridge the gap when funds can’t be secured from banks, relatives or friends.

“The SBA has some exceptional packages that First Farmers, as well

First Merchants is a community bank that has been serving Hoosier customers since 1893. With honesty and integrity, our team of experienced financial professionals are ready to make running your business a smooth process. These talented advisors are empowered to make decisions and deliver responsive, customized solutions that meet your unique business needs. Serving customers throughout Central Indiana with a convenient banking center located near you, we invite you to experience the First Merchants difference today.

Carmel ‡ 317.844.5675 Fishers ‡ 317.913.9020

1.800.205.3464 www.firstmerchants.com

Noblesville ‡ 317.770.7570 Westfield ‡ 317.867.5488

Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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Focus: Banking/Finance Qualifying for Bank Loans

Courtney Lloyd

Here’s what to expect when you submit an application. Your business is growing. More projects are coming in, you need to hire more employees, or you would like to purchase a bigger location. Whatever the scenario, you have decided that you need some financial help. Before you approach a bank for a loan, here are six tips to help understand how lenders evaluate your application and what you can expect. #1 – You are one of the most important factors in the decision-making process. This includes your personal credit history and credit score. You are your business, and you are the one paying the company’s debt, so this is a vital indicator in a loan decision. In most cases, you will be asked to personally guarantee the loan. Pull your personal credit report from annualcreditreport.com –review it to make sure there aren’t any errors and that it is up to date. It can take three to four weeks for mistakes to be corrected, so starting early is helpful as you want to be sure that the lender is pulling the accurate report the first time. Also, your managerial expertise and experience are relevant as poor management has been most frequently cited as the reason businesses fail. Highlighting your education and history in the field is beneficial. #2 – Repaying the Debt. Lenders will determine if the business can generate enough cash and manage those

funds to continue making existing loan payments, along with the new loan payment. Cash is king, and if your company is not generating enough it is unlikely that the company can afford to add more debt. A bank does not want to put you in a worse condition and, in a sense, set you up to fail. Understand your financial statements and make sure your company has a strong cash flow. Money in the checking account does not always necessarily support this.

in the business, is also significant. As mentioned, it is unlikely that a bank will finance 100% of the collateral, so it is expected that you will put some of your own funds into the deal. This shows your commitment to the loan. An owner’s equity versus the debt is strong leverage needed to sustain a business, especially in a tough economy. External factors, including the state of the economy, potential new bank regulations or possible changes in your life, are also considered.

#3 – The Case for Collateral What assets can you pledge as a source of repayment? Rarely are banks originating unsecured loans, so a lender wants to know

#5 – Documentation! Be prepared. Normally two or three years of personal and business tax returns are required, along with your interim business financials. Most banks will also like to see a personal financial statement, which can be supplied by your banker. If this is a new business, an extensive business plan is also imperative, as it incorporates all the facets of starting a company. The net worth and cash flow are key indicators of the strength of your business. Other factors reviewed are sales and profitability trends. These financials will help a banker determine a business’s credit-worthiness.

A bank does not want to set you up to fail… what the secondary source of repayment will be. This can be accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, real estate, etc. Many companies need capital to purchase supplies when new projects are coming in. In this case, the accounts receivable would be collateral in case of default. Banks normally will only use a percentage of the value as collateral. #4 – The Equity Equation Your down payment, or the equity you have

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

#6 – Know Your Banker The economic landscape and new financial regulations have changed underwriting dramatically. Loans that once were getting approved easily are now not. Enhancements such as using the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help improve your case. Find out if your lender is an SBA Preferred Lender, as this can speed up the turnaround time and potentially strengthen the deal. You need your banker to know your business now more than ever and, in turn, you need to have a strong relationship with your banker. This, along with being prepared and understanding what a bank is seeking, will give your business an advantage in the loan decision process. Courtney Lloyd is a Relationship Manager at STAR Bank. Contact her at Courtney.Lloyd@ starfinancial.com


Touring the

Cultural

Landscape Cicero group takes to the road in search of ideas

Story and photos by Mike Corbett

“You can observe a lot by watching.” That Yogi Berra witticism is at the heart of the Cicero Arts and Culture Mobile Workshop. Financed by a Community Conversation Workshop grant from Ball State University and Indiana Humanities, the Cicero Plan Commission invited about 50 people on a day-long road trip to see what similar communities are doing to develop their cultural offerings. Here’s a travelogue on the day’s

events and observations from a follow up meeting.

Kokomo

Although Kokomo, the seat of Howard County, is considerably larger than Cicero and isn’t a lakefront community, it has made a number of changes to its downtown in the past few years that may be instructive. For instance, it removed 400 parking meters. It replaced traffic signals with stop signs in an effort to slow traffic and make the downtown more pedestrian friendly. It added rain gardens and bike lanes, and used stimulus funds to buy three trolleys. Ridership on the free trolley system is about 800/day, 8 times higher than expected. Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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Culver

Midway between Indianapolis and Chicago, Culver has a smaller population than Cicero in the Winter, but larger in Summer when it grows by about 5000 people. It is in Marshall County and is best known as the home of the Culver Military Academy, which adds nearly a thousand students and faculty to its base town population of 1500. Downtown is on the west shore of Lake Maxinkuckee, the state’s 2nd largest natural lake. Homes around the lake are mostly owned by summer residents from Chicago and Indianapolis, each about 100 miles away. It boasts more than its share of fine dining restaurants, due mostly to its summer residents. Culver has received a number of grants recently, designated to revitalize the downtown area with new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, street lighting, tree wells and electrical conduit. Most of the attention was focused on the lakefront, which features an impressive public dock. Left: Group lunch in lakefront pavilion Right: Galleries at The Village at Winona

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

Winona Lake

About forty miles east of Culver, adjacent to the Kosciusko County seat of Warsaw, is the Village At Winona, situated on Winona Lake’s eastern shore. This community has a colorful history of boom and bust cycles. It has long been a hub of evangelical religious gatherings, which at their peak drew hundreds of thousands for summertime conferences. Buildings would go up in the boom times, which would then fall to neglect during the busts. The Cicero tour focused on the efforts of private developer Brent Wilcoxsen, who arrived during a bust period in the mid 90’s and began developing properties along a canal into a planned unit development of European-style artisans cottages. He now owns 39 residences and businesses in the Village, which he leases to artists seeking showroom space.


Left top and middle: Galleries at The Village at Winona Left bottom: The Palace Theater in Goshen is owned by a local church and is used for Sunday services. Below: First Friday in downtown Goshen Bottom: Cicero bus tourists meet local merchants at a Wine Tasting Room in Goshen

The Village has launched a number of art initiatives to capitalize on the large artists’ community that has formed over the years. It has established an art commission, launched a Heritage Trail Art project and holds six major art events annually. Wilcoxsen feels the Village has reached a stage where it competes with Disney World for business.

Follow up

Several weeks later, Cicero Plan Commission Director Paul Munoz convened a follow up meeting of tour attendees, local citizens and interest groups. They discussed ideas from the tour and reasons people might want to visit Cicero. They learned about the developing Nickel Plate Arts Trail and train excursions by the Indiana Transportation Museum. The question of the night was: “What would entice passengers to get off the train in Cicero?”

Follow up meeting at Red Bridge Park in Cicero

zation, and run by local businesspeople. Most are volunteers, though one receives a stipend for taking the lead organizational role for each event.

The largest concern among the groups present was the need for better communication so local residents and visitors alike can be better informed about what’s happening in town. It’s the start of a long process that will help Cicero update its strategic plan, identify its unique attributes and develop them into attractions for both residents and visitors. v

Business owners shared their opinions on the reasons behind their First Fridays’ phenomenal success, and generally agreed that participation by local merchants is key. They also stressed the importance of having the local municipal government behind them.

Dark, Milk or White Chocolate Bark, Peanut Clusters, Pecan Logs, Turtles

Goshen

Our final stop on the tour was the City of Goshen, population 37,000, seat of Elkhart County in the region known as Michiana along the Michigan-Indiana border. We arrived in time to participate in their First Friday event, which draws 5,000 people in an average month and up to 18,000 in July and January, its two most popular events. The event is sponsored by its Main Street organiHamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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Marketing Are you a Specialty Employee?

Charles Waldo

Experts Agree that Certain Qualities help you Stand Out In the last issue, I suggested employees need to find ways to be regarded by their employer as a “specialty employee” just as my wife and I think of the My Dad’s Sweet Corn brand as a “specialty product.” If you are mentally classified by your employer as a specialty employee, you have so many skills and so much knowledge and experience, coupled with a winning personality, that your employer simply can’t – and won’t -- lose you. So you get paid more, get choicer assignments, get more variety in your work, are far less likely to be laid off in tough times, and move ahead faster. So, what are those “specialty” features against which you can measure your actual performance? There are literally thousands of books and articles that report the results of both anecdotal and very large studies on the key qualities of “fast trackers.” There are hundreds of individual traits listed in these publications. But, when tallying which

Here are the “fast tracker” (aka specialty) traits from two of my favorite books on the subject. traits are most frequently mentioned, the “10%/90% Rule” holds true: 10% of the total traits are listed in 90% of the studies. Here are the “fast tracker” (aka specialty) traits from two of my favorite books on the subject. While they might seem more applicable to managers or technical personnel, for the most part every employee would do well to work by them. From High Flyers: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders, by Dr. Morgan W. McCall, Jr., Harvard Business School Press. McCall asserts that the specialty employee: 1) Continually seeks opportunities to learn and do new things;

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2) Acts with integrity, is known as a “truth teller,” and takes responsibility for own actions; 3) Adapts to cultural differences whether in a domestic or foreign assignment; 4) Seeks broad business knowledge and wants to understand how his company “fits together;” 5) Is committed to making a positive difference in whatever role he finds himself and can put the organization above self if necessary; 6) Brings out the best in people, individually or in teams; 7) Is insightful, is able to see things from new angles and perspectives; 8) Has the courage to take reasonable risks and go against the status quo; 9) Seeks and uses feedback to better own performance; 10) Learns from the inevitable mistakes and doesn’t make the same mistake twice; 11) Is open to and able to handle criticism, and avoids being overly defensive; From Winning by Jack Welch, Ph.D., Harper Collins Books. Welch is the retired Chairman and CEO of General Electric Company, as much known for its talent as its products. While his extra-marital affairs may rightly be criticized, Fortune 500 CEO’s regularly rated Welch as their most admired CEO. Boardrooms are different than bedrooms. 1) Integrity.Telling the truth. Being authentic (He takes a lot of personal flak on this one.); 2) Continual learner. High degree of intellectual curiosity; 3) Maturity. Able to stand the heat. Confident but not arrogant; 4) Positive energy. Thrives on action and relishes change. Contagious enthusiasm; 5) Able to energize others. Optimistic, great communicator, concerned about others’ well being;

December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

6) Edge – The ability to make tough “go” or “no go” decisions in a decisive manner. 7) Execution – Can push through all the inevitable problems and obstacles in any project; 8) Passion – Exhibits authentic excitement about the job and the people doing it; 9) Is able to “see around corners.” Has a “sixth sense” of what is coming, usually gained from experiences, often unhappy ones; 10) Hires, develops and keeps great people. Maintains deep “bench strength.” 11) Is resilient and able to bounce back from the inevitable set-backs.

“Smarts” and “Smarts”

While it is essential that any person wanting to move ahead in an organization, especially a large, blue chip company, have a fair degree of IQ “smarts” (GPA, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.) one doesn’t have to be “Mensa smart” to succeed. When you look at the above factors, it becomes clear most are of the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) type – the “soft side” of managing. In fact, almost all studies of competencies factors found in successful managers show that 80% – 90% are of the EQ type. Did you assess your day-to-day job performance against the above criteria? How did you do? Even if you are not a manager or business owner, these qualities can be developed as an individual contributor. If there are some “holes,” you may want to get and devour the above books. How do you acquire EQ competencies? Just being aware of what they are is a good place to start. Try Dr. Daniel Goleman’s ground-breaking book, Working With Emotional Intelligence.

Dr. Charles Waldo is a retired Professor of Marketing at Anderson University’s Falls School of Business


Personal Finance Mark Robbins

Saving Taxes through Smart Giving Year End Strategies to Put You in the Holiday Spirit Most people (Warren Buffett excluded) are interested in shrinking their tax bill. Giving to charity is a key way to do that. But you don’t have to write a check. Smart charitable gifts involve giving something other than cash. So whether you are generous or a Grinch, here are some ideas to spark your interest. IRA Charitable Rollover Those age 70 ½ or older are required to take minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRA). Distributions from traditional IRAs increase your taxable income. Per the Pension Protection Act of 2006, you can make annual charitable distributions up to $100,000 from your IRA, satisfying your minimum distribution and excluding the amounts from taxable income. Imagine a married 73 year-old with a $400,000 regular IRA and adjusted gross income of $70,000. Making her 4.05% required distribution ($16,200) to charity could save her $4,050 in federal income taxes. This scenario is especially beneficial for those who do not itemize deductions, are already at their deduction limit for the year, are having deductions phased out because

Non-cash gifts make you look brilliant. of income, or don’t need to take the minimum distribution for living expenses. Distributions must be made directly to a public charity, such as a university or a community foundation, from the IRA trustee. Private foundations

and donor advised funds don’t qualify. Unless Congress acts, December 31, 2011 will be the last date to take advantage of this.

ing a charity the owner and beneficiary of the policy. He would be making a substantial gift without writing a check.

Asset Worth More than Cost Basis Most of your assets have likely decreased in value recently. But if you have held them for quite a while, they could still be worth more than the price you paid for them or their value when you inherited them.

Savings Bonds Series EE is the most common type of savings bond. Donors purchase these at a discount and owe tax on the accumulated interest when the bond is sold. Unfortunately, gifting Series EE bonds to charity still triggers income tax, but it also qualifies for a tax deduction.

Transferring an appreciated asset to charity—stocks, bonds, real estate, etc—allows you to claim a charitable deduction for the fair market value of the gift and avoid the capital gains tax you would have paid when you sold it. For those in the 25% income tax bracket (who also pay a 15% long-term capital gains rate), that could be a 40% tax savings. These gifts can be given outright or be used to fund charitable arrangements that can return lifetime income such as a charitable remainder unitrust or charitable gift annuity. Life Insurance I recently spoke with a business owner who has a rather common problem. He took out several life insurance policies when his children were younger. The kids are grown and gone, and the whole life policies are paid up. Keeping them artificially inflates the value of his personal balance sheet and makes it more likely his estate will owe federal estate tax. We talked about giving one of those policies to charity. He has two options. First, he could retain ownership of the policy and simply change the beneficiary designation. Upon his passing, the charity would receive the proceeds outside of probate, and his taxable estate would be reduced. Second, he could claim an income tax deduction today by mak-

Imagine this: a donor has a Series EE bond with a face value of $10,000. He purchased it years ago for $5,000. If he redeems the bond or gifts it to charity, his income would increase by $5,000 (the accumulated interest income). But his income tax deduction would be $10,000. If he can claim the full amount of the deduction, he would owe no tax on the transaction. Donor Advised Fund: Your BFF A donor advised fund (DAF) is an alternative to a private foundation. You fund the DAF with assets and receive an immediate income tax deduction. You then have flexibility on the distribution. You can make grants to charities at any time, even years in the future. DAFs enjoy higher tax deduction limits compared to private foundations and don’t require a separate tax return. Utilizing a community foundation to administer your DAF can also enable you to involve your family in giving decisions. Every Who in Whoville knows how generosity can change the heart of the giver and the receiver. But making non-cash gifts to charity can make you shrewder than the average Who. Mark Robbins is a CPA and vice president of the Legacy Fund. Contact him at markr@cicf.org

Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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The Pitch-In

Notes from all over the county… The Entrepreneurship Advancement Center recognized several Hamilton County businesses at its first Entrepreneurship Celebration. Teacher Sharon Brimberry (Sheridan) won for outstanding high school entrepreneurship educator, Indy IT Professionals (Fishers) won the emerging business award, Golars (Fishers) the established business award, and Allegient (Indianapolis), the mature business award. NatureNURTURE won the Second Annual Community Business Plan Competition and received a $15,000 consulting package to help start the business. The EAC is also administering a new small business loan program called the Small Enterprise Loan Fund (SELF). The fund is targeted at new and existing businesses in rural areas of Hamilton County. Get details from cathy@goentrepreneurs.org.

Noblesville’s Ace Hardware is downsizing from more than 15,000 square feet in a stand alone building to a little over 9,000 square feet in the Noblesville Square Shopping Center on SR 32. Owners Pat and Allison Deary opened the store five years ago and quickly realized the store was too large. Almost all the inventory will fit into the smaller space. The current store will close December 31 and reopen around Feb. 1. At Carmel City Center, Authentic Sports Collectibles is re-establishing a retail store after first opening at 116th and Range Line 8 years ago. Nature’s Karma is also moving from Clay Terrace. They join 6 retail/service businesses and 4 restaurants in the mixed use development. Periculum Capital is locating its headquarters in the James Building, which houses the Tark-

Are you ready for some trivia?

ington and Studio Theaters. Up the street, the Swanky Abode opened in the Indiana Design Center. The Indiana Soccer Association will relocate its state offices at Grand Park, Westfield’s planned athletic facility, which is expected to open to some field play next year and be fully operational by 2013. The ISA has 85,000 members state-wide. Godby Home Furnishings opened its fourth full-line furniture store in the former O’Malia’s grocery store space in Carmel’s Meridian Village Plaza Shopping Center. The Westfield-based retailer closed a clearance store in the same shopping center earlier this year. Godby has stores in Westfield, Noblesville, Carmel and Avon.

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

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Serving Up the Classics in Cicero

Dining Out

Jackson Station Café Story and photos by Chris Owens

consider sentimental appeal. Waking up on a Saturday to go out for a big plate of biscuits and gravy is enticing because it was almost a weekly ritual for my father and me. Finishing the day with a bowl of homemade soup or a plate of beef Manhattan reminds me of our family dinner time here in Central Indiana. Visit Jackson Station Café in Cicero and you’ll find a large menu full of similar choices, a great view, friendly staff and a place in which I’ve managed to find some nostalgic favorites.

As the cold weather settles in for another Indiana winter it seems like my thoughts, at least around meals, turn to the classics. Some may call it comfort food, but in my opinion it’s far more than that. M-W.com defines comfort food as “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” I tie seasons and

The familiar site has been home to several restaurants over the years, but seemingly none with this variety of featured foods. times of the year to favorite foods and winter is definitely a season I equate with food that should make you feel good. I have my own definition of the classics in terms of cuisine. Memories of places I’d eat with my dad, our family’s Southern roots, and family recipes have shaped what I

The familiar site, located just northeast of Morse Reservoir at 400 West Jackson Street, has been home to several restaurants over the years, but seemingly none with this variety of featured foods on their menu. Jackson Station reopened in June of 2011 under new owners and family business partners, George Chiamopoulous and his Uncle Nick. Though owning a restaurant is a new venture for George, he’s been working in them for several years and has vowed to make Jackson Station the best eatery in town. His family of Greek origin was originally from Chicago and George’s parents moved the family to Indiana when Nick decided to open the first of his many establishments in Kokomo. “I’ve just been with him forever. Seven restaurants later I actually own my own now” said George when speaking of his Uncle. This venture is the latest for Nick who owns a number of other restaurants around the area. The menu at Jackson Station is not short on options. “It’s a wide variety,” according

to George, “It’s got Italian, it’s got a little Chinese, a little Greek, a little Mexican, and a lot of American.” I mentioned the phrase “the classics” to George when describing my take on his menu. “That’s a great way to describe it,” he says. “You’ve got all these chain places changing their menus and we just keep it simple and, as you said, classic.” It is apparent that quality and consistency are two major goals set by ownership for the Jackson Station staff. “We buy top product, we don’t buy generic, we take pride in what we do, we cook everything homestyle, everything is fresh and nothing is out of the box, it’s just really good food.” Jackson Station Café also boasts a family feel to go along with the memories some of their dishes are bound to bring back. According to George,” it’s like a big family here, you can actually go sit down at a table and talk with people for a few minutes”. It is a very family-friendly atmosphere.” Given his Uncle’s success in the restaurant business, the support of his family, and a growing business in Cicero, I asked George if he had plans to expand. “I don’t plan on stopping here,” he responded. I look forward to watching them grow.

Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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    

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 

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       

   

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   

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

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine


Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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HAMILTON NORTH

Hamilton North Chamber 70 N. Byron Street Cicero, IN 46034 317-984-4079

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Upcoming Events! DECEMBER 2011

JANUARY 2012

Red Bridge Park Community Building, Entertainment: Indiana Academy Bell Choir

Hamilton Heights High School, Speaker: Tony Cook, Superintendent, Hamilton Heights School Corporation

Tuesday, December 6 HNCC Holiday Celebration ~ 11:30 am

Tuesday, January 1 HNCC Luncheon ~ 11:30 am

SEPTEMBER luncheon

Brenda Myers, Hamilton County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Abe Evans, representing Bill Cook, Town of Atlanta Town of Arcadia

Kay Hartley, Town of Cicero

Zeke Turner, Cicero Economic Development Committee

OCTOBER LUNCHEON

Bell of Recognition for 4th Quarter 2011

Cheryl Schulz, Alexander’s on the Water 1st Quarter Bell of Recognition Nominees: Beck’s Hybrids Edward Jones/Corey Sylvester Alice’s Restaurant/Alice O’Brian

Mark Robbins, The Legacy Fund explains to Chamber members the purpose of the The Legacy Fund

Debbie Laird, Agape Therapeutic Riding Center presents the Business Spotlight

Alive After Five at Arcadia Wine & Spirits Brandon Anderson, owner of Arcadia Wine & Spirits, is joined by friends and HNCC Board Members in cutting the ribbon to open his new downtown Arcadia store

Chamber members networking and sampling at Arcadia Wine & Spirits

NEW MEMBERS Kid Again, LLC Jennifer Davis 160 S. Peru Street Cicero, IN 46034 (317) 984-1300

December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine

Ternion Advisors

Ted Spurgeon 110 N. Jackson Street Suite 210 Cicero, IN 46034 (317) 836-1333

Erika’s Place

Cheryl Hunter/ Erika Flanders 40 W. Jackson St. P.O. Box 156 Cicero, IN 46034 (317) 984-9303


UPCOMING EVENTS! DECEMBER 2011

JANUARY 2012

December 7 – 11:30 a.m. Holiday Membership Luncheon

January 9 – 7:30 a.m. Legislative Breakfast

December 8 – 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Holiday Business After Hours

January 19 – 7:30 a.m. Legislative Breakfast

Purgatory Golf Club

Mr. G’s Liquor

2012 Taste of Business in Noblesville will be held Tuesday, March 27. Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Golf 365 - 9625 E. 150th Street Suite 101

January 25 – 11:30 a.m. Membership Luncheon

The Mansion at Oak Hill - 5801 E. 116th Street

January 26 – 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Business After Hours – All-County Conner Prairie - 13400 Allisonville Road

FEBRUARY 2012 February 13 – 7:30 a.m. Legislative Breakfast

The Mansion at Oak Hill - 5801 E. 116th Street

February 22 – 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Membership Luncheon

Harbour Trees - 333 Regents Park Lane Firehouse Subs Winner - Bistro Award

Indiana Members Credit Union Winner - Most Creative Award

Aubrey Kelley, Mike Harmon, Yuri Harmon, Michael Lowry and Jonathan Burgoni

Ann Ashley, Lonnie Carpenter and Samantha Knowles

sponsored by Logan Street Signs & Banners

ASPIRING PERSONS

sponsored by Comcast Business Class & Spotlight Indianapolis

Godby Home Furnishings Winner - Best in Show Award

Ginger’s Café sponsored by Chamber Legacy Partners, Winner - People’s Choice Award Community Bank & Riverview Hospital sponsored by Duke Energy Chamber President Sharon & The Farmers Bank McMahon with Chris Cline Mikki Perrine & Jackie Bolden and Bethany Young Presenting the award, Willy Wonka (aka Syd Loomis, The Farmers Bank)

Glenn Troyer, Krieg DeVault, LLP, was awarded the first Aspiring Person Award presented by Aspire Indiana. The presentation took place at a recent Chamber membership luncheon.  In addition to his legal work on behalf of the organization, Mr. Troyer was recognized for the significant and positive impact he has had on the community.

NEW MEMBERS

Seek out our new members at the next Chamber event you attend and help them feel welcome! Photographs courtesy of Steve Furlow, The Times

Golf in January?? Get in the swing now!  Don’t miss the Business After Hours on Thursday, January 19 at Golf 365, located at 9625 E. 150th Street Suite 101.    Noblesville Chamber committees are looking for great volunteers. Contact the Chamber office, 317-773-0086, if you would like to serve. This year’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony will be held November 25, the Friday following Thanksgiving at the Judicial Center.

Bob Keeney Noblesville Youth Baseball

www.noblesvillechamber.com

This exciting and very popular event showcases a wide variety of Chamber member businesses and restaurants. Hundreds of area residents enjoy the creative, fun and often yummy displays!  Go to www.noblesvilechamber.com for more information!  Pictured below are last year’s award winners.

The Mansion at Oak Hill - 5801 E. 116th Street

NOBLESVILLE

A TASTE OF BUSINESS IN NOBLESVILLE!

Noblesville Chamber 601 Conner Street Noblesville, IN 46060 317-773-0086

Blair Carmosino The Carmosino Group

Hamilton County Business Magazine/December 2011 • January 2012

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Sheridan Chamber 407 S. Main Street P.O. Box 202 Sheridan, IN 46069 317-758-1311

Sheridan Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner

www.sheridanchamber.org

SHERIDAN

Held on September 22, 2011 at The Palomino Ballroom, Zionsville Our Guest Speaker was Andy Cook Mayor of Westfield, Indiana

2011 Monthly Luncheon Dates Thursday, December 1st, Member Christmas Luncheon

Sheridan Community Center - 300 E. 6th Street Sheridan, Indiana 46069 Derek Arrowood will be giving us the “ State of the Schools” address The SHS Choir will be performing. Please get your reservations in early email to: chambermail@sheridanchamber .org

President Parvin Gillim.

Mayor Andy Cook.

Edna, Travis, Erin, Rachel and Jennifer at Sheridan Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.

Business of the Year was Sheridan Florist, Patty Nicholas, Rachel Spencer, Parvind Gillim Buffet at the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.

Peter Feeney, Rev. V.J. Stover, Bob & Helen Hamilton, Bob Halcomb, & Rev. Carol Fritz

Door Prizes at the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. Jill & Steve Biddle, Greg & Sharie Morgan, & Del & Maxine Burtner

Be sure to visit the Sheridan Chamber Website, www.sheridanchamber.org for information on all upcoming events!

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December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

DECEMBER 2011

Holiday Membership Luncheon Thursday, December 15th ~ 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The Bridgewater Club ~ 3535 East 161st St Enjoy holiday entertainment and door prizes as we celebrate the season and recognize some special volunteers. $15/members with reservations • $20/all others Register online at www.westfield-chamber.org by Friday, December 9th - 317.804.3030

Membership Luncheon Thursday, January 19th ~ 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Welcome to the Westfield Chamber 2012

The Bridgewater Club ~ 3535 East 161st St “Westfield Chamber 2012”: Meet new board members and committee chairs as they present their plans and projects for the upcoming year. $15 for members with reservations $20 – all others. Register online at www.westfield-chamber.org by Friday, January 13th 317-804-3030

All County Business After Hours Thursday, January 26th ~ 4:30- 7:00 p.m.

Super Bowl themed Networking event with members of all Hamilton County Chambers! Conner Prairie Museum ~ 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers No Charge. Register online at www.westfield-chamber.org by January 24th

Tom Warner, Frontier Sponsor

Rob Garret accepts the Lantern Award “Business of the Year” on behalf of Ameriana Bank.

Keltie Domina awards Jim Gapinski with the Beacon Award “Citizen of the Year”.

ribbon cuttings Maple Park Village

Kim Thompson, owner of Huntington Learning Center received the Wick Award “Volunteer of the Year”

www.westfield-chamber.org

Lantern Award winners Sponsored by

WESTFIELD

Best Wishes for Happy, Healthy Holiday Season and a Happy 2012!

JANUARY 2012

Westfield Chamber 130 Penn Street P.O. Box 534 Westfield, IN 46074 317-804-3030

Body One Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation

All Chamber event dates, times and locations are subject to change. Please call 317-804-3030 or visit www.westfield-chamber.org for details.

Godby Home Furnishing Hamilton County Business Magazine/October • November 2011

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Hamilton County History

Unfinished Business?

David Heighway

The murder of Benjamin Fisher

W

hen doing historical research, the information sometimes leads you down strange paths and you find yourself investigating things that you didn’t expect. The murder of Benjamin Fisher is one such case. While looking at the War of 1812 and its presence in Hamilton County for the upcoming bicentennial, I came across Fisher’s story in the local histories. The more I looked at the case, which was the first known murder in the county, the more I began to wonder about many of the tales about it that have been passed down through the years.

It happened in Strawtown which was a lively place (HCBM Feb./Mar. 2009). There are no contemporary accounts - the earliest version we have is from 1874, some 53 years after the fact. Fisher himself was born in 1791 in Pennsylvania and moved to Indiana after serving in War of 1812. He was an early settler of Fishersburg area, which would be named for him, in Madison County. The cause of the incident was a man named Philip Shintaffer (1776-1840), who ran a tavern in

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Strawtown, (mostly known as a gin mill), and who made his money by selling liquor to the Indians. Later writers would refer to him as a “notorious character”. The standard version of the story begins in March of 1821 when Shintaffer got into an argument with one of the Indians – supposedly about watering the liquor. Shintaffer knocked the Indian down and threw him into the fireplace, where the Indian was severely burned and possibly died. The conclusion happened in April and played out the way it did because Shintaffer had the only grindstone in the area. Fisher and some other farmers were in Strawtown to get some axes sharpened when a group of Indians, possibly Miami or Pottawatomie, came to take revenge on Shintaffer for his actions the month before. Armed with knives and tomahawks, they attacked the tavern. The farmers responded with their axes and whatever was at hand. They held off the Indians until Shintaffer was wounded, Fisher brained by a tomahawk, and one Indian was killed, at which point the Indians fled.

Fishersburg today

ing what they came to do. This is pretty awesome hand-to-hand fighting skills on the part of the farmers and, unless one was named Bruce Lee, seems somewhat unlikely. 2) No guns were used – the Indians allegedly wanted silence, but nothing prevented one of the farmers from stepping into the trading post and picking up the rifle that would have been in every house.

This story has been repeated for many years. There are versions from possibly Shintaffer himself (second- or third-hand), Benjamin’s daughter Mary Fisher Simmerman (1816-1884), and Benjamin’s son Charles Fisher (1819-1912). These would seem to be reliable sources, even though Fisher’s children were quite young when the incident occurred. However, when the story is viewed by a historian, oddities begin to appear.

3) For some unknown reason, Fisher was buried in Strawtown where he died, not sent home to his family and his own property, which was only about eight miles away. There was no official burial ground at Strawtown and no reason why that site would have been preferred. The grave was apparently left unmarked. Later historians would mention a “low mound” with no headstone near the Strawtown Cemetery. It could possibly be found with modern archeological techniques. It might have some interesting stories to tell.

1) The various versions have different counts for the parties involved, but it comes out as 4 to 6 farmers holding off 8 to 12 Indian warriors, which are pretty bad odds. Then, when one farmer was down and another wounded, thereby increasing those odds, the Indians abandoned the attack without complet-

4) The night after the killing, Shintaffer packed all of his goods and his family into a canoe and fled. (Presumably. he didn’t take the grindstone.) He followed White River to Greene County and settled there for a few years. The histories there refer to him a man of “considerable notoriety” having a

December 2011 • January 2012/Hamilton County Business Magazine


In the final analysis, many of the stories don’t appear to hold up and it’s not clear what might have actually happened. Native Americans have stood accused of this crime for 190 years, even though they gained nothing from it, not even revenge. No other possibilities seem to have been considered, including the short-tempered, violent man who fled immediately after the killing. With the signing of the Treaty of St. Mary’s in 1818, the Indians were already leaving the area, so the motives in all cases seem a little unclear. No matter what else may have happened, Benjamin Fisher was in the wrong place at the wrong time and left a conundrum for future historians. David Heighway is the Hamilton County Historian

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Some of the people who remained to tell the story were interesting characters – one of the alleged participants was Jacob Hire; although he’s not named in the earliest versions. He has a mysteri-

Charles Fisher, the son of Benjamin, was two years old at the time of the attack. While he was too young to have witnessed anything, he told this story often. He was known for his stories. For example, he said that he had the powder horn that his father carried in the War of 1812. He also said that he had the tomahawk that his father was killed with. And he also said that he had pieces of his father’s skull from the attack and would show these pieces to visitors. (As a side note, Charles was also one of first

to say that Strawtown was named for the Delaware Chief Straw, a person that modern historians have found no evidence actually existed.)

Photo by Eclectic Events & Design

5) Finally, despite this being a sizable attack on an isolated settlement, there is no record of an official reaction. There was apparently no attempt to capture the perpetrators, even though during the War of 1812, soldiers would chase Indian warriors from Franklin County all the way to the area of modern Hamilton County. Three years after the Strawtown fight, the governor would call out the militia because of fears of retaliation for the Massacre on Fall Creek. But in this case – a wholesale assault and battle involving possibly 20 people and two deaths – nothing was said or done.

ous background and was sometimes partner with Shintaffer in business. He built the first businesses in Strawtown – a distillery and a horseracing track. Later, he became Overseer of the Poor for White River Township, (he had apparently built up a good client base). Another alleged participant was Jacob Colip, but he is also not mentioned in the earliest versions and there is no record of his being in Hamilton County until 1823. No other participants are named.

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“quick temper” and often being the defendant in court cases. He left there in 1832 and finally settled in Cass County, Michigan, where he is buried.


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Hamilton County Business Magazine December 2011/January 2012  

The Hamilton County Business Magazine celebrates and promotes industry, commerce and entrepreneurship in Hamilton County, Indiana

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