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New Castle | Henry County



Chamber Magazine Fall 2013

Are you ready?

Read this 8-point checklist for the Affordable Care Act

D.L. Couch

Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year

Daniel Cox: New Castle’s head coach




One of Only 17 Indiana Hospitals To Receive An “A” Score

Henry County Hospital is one of only 17 Indiana hospitals receiving the “A” score for Spring, 2013. Out of 2514 hospitals surveyed nationwide, only 780 received an “A” score. The Hospital Safety Score represents how well a hospital keeps patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. This rating emphasizes Henry County Hospital’s culture of patient safety and is a testament to the excellent care patients receive. The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national nonprofit organization working to improve the safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans. Note: The grades used in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety ScoreSM program are derived from expert analysis of publicly available data using national evidence-based measures of patient safety. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score program grades hospitals on their overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. For more information, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.”

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In creating a community vision, small numbers and steps matter


had the privilege over the spring months to spend time with some very smart, passionate people. People who already make Henry County a great place to work and live. But these people also know that a community is only as good as its citizens, and the work they are willing to undertake to get the job done. These meetings resulted in a newly penned document called “Creating a Vision for Henry County 2013.” About 20 stakeholders representing public, private, and non-profit sectors in Henry County led the visioning process and took part in five working group meetings and a countywide community meeting between March and May to identify what they believed a future Henry County could and should be. Community strengths, opportunities, and gaps were identified. The men and women who sat around tables and threw out ideas were not afraid of rolling up their sleeves and doing hard work; nor were they afraid of some introspection and what it might reveal. Ideas for building a better Henry New Castle | Henry County


Missy Modesitt County fell into four categories: ■ Community development ■ Economic development ■ Education/training ■ Technology/infrastructure. I’ll quote from the report: “Any future countywide planning process should focus on the assets, challenges and opportunities that are intrinsic to Henry County and not rely on what other counties have incorporated into their plans or the planning process they used. Henry County deserves a thoughtful, insightful, and deliberative planning process that will bring the communities in the county together in a plan that transcends geo-political borders.” It was agreed that the community

Chamber Magazine Volume 3, Issue 2

PUBLISHER Missy Modesitt, Executive Director, New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce info@nchcchamber.com DESIGN AND EDITORIAL DIRECTION The JMetzger Group Juli Metzger | juli@thejmetzgergroup.com John Metzger | john@thejmetzgergroup.com www.thejmetzgergroup.com 765.744.4303 CONTRIBUTORS Writing: Darrel Radford, Doug Gruse Photography: David Nantz, Maria Strauss, Adam Sturm PRINTING Printing Creations, P.O. Box 3, 2204 S. Vine St., Yorktown, Indiana 765.759.8585 To advertise, contact The JMetzger Group: 765.744.4303 | john@thejmetzgergroup.com 4 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013

is taking small steps that often go unnoticed by the majority of our community. But these steps, nonetheless, are what will move the needle. For example, we found: ■ Even small numbers matter. A handful of groups are coming forward, taking risks and making a difference. ■ The size of action or gesture doesn’t matter. Small steps can lead to big change. ■ Because more people and groups are connecting, new networks are forming and those relationships are building meaningful networks. ■ It is clear that there is genuine interest in improving the community in which we have chosen to live. Progress will build as these interested parties continue their dialogue and develop a message of hope and prosperity. Managing change is at the heart of our success as a community and I can see new partnerships and collaborations emerging in every direction. This is an exciting time to be in Henry County. ■

For subscription information, contact Missy Modesitt at 765.529.5210. Chamber Magazine: The voice of New Castle-Henry County Chamber businesses. It is a product of The JMetzger Group and the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. These materials are the sole and exclusive property of The JMetzger Group and the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and may not be used without written consent. Copyright 2013: The JMetzger Group and The New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

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The Perfect Home Deserves A MorTgAge LoAN experT

Ameriana has been serving Henry County homebuyers since 1890. We’re dedicated to making it possible for people to own the home they love with the best loan for their needs. Jeanette Davis (NMLS 483249), a New Castle native with more than 30 years in mortgage lending, has been helping friends and neighbors through everything from buying their first home to downsizing after retirement. Whether you’re buying or refinancing, she can guide you through a variety of fixed and adjustable-rate products, including: • Low Down Payment Loans • Guaranteed Rural Housing Programs • Construction Loans • Portfolio Lending • Investment Properties

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Support made first festival a big success

New Castle | Henry County

Chamber Magazine















6 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Spring 2013


BOARD e are proud PRESIDENT to report that our first Memorial Vickie Day Festival was a success. Many of McIntosh our neighbors and friends traveled from downtown New Castle following the parade and joined us at Baker Park to continue the Memorial Day celebration. The street was filled with booths representing Chamber businesses; the volleyball courts were utilized for a sand volleyball tournament; stages were erected and event goers enjoyed music from local bands throughout the day. The food and craft vendors expressed their pleasure with the turnout and look forward to participating again next year. The Chamber was exceptionally pleased with the level of community support, the support from our Mayor, Greg York and the participation of our Chamber members. All were instrumental in making the festival a successful venture. We look forward to expanding the festival next year and making it a Memorial Day celebration tradition. The Chamber Events Committee is already planning the next event. Again this year, the Chamber will coordinate the Downtown Christmas Walk on Thursday Dec. 5, another event that continues to grow each year. Our vision for this year is to stretch the festivities from the court house lawn, down Broad Street and include the businesses on 14th street. Our downtown never looks as festive as it does on this night. The streets are filled with families enjoying the holiday season. The Chamber is excited and pleased to bring these events to our community. To all our sponsors and participants, we extend a huge thank you! â–


snowtime anytime

Motherdaughter team Dianne Syme, left, and Juanita Donica own Snowtime Anytime.

Great business ideas tend to snowball. As owners of Snowtime Anytime, Juanita Donica and her daughter Dianne Syme have managed to fool Mother Nature. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10



‘ We wanted the

snowballs to have a realistic crunch, like snow. ’

Juanita Donica looks at a purchase order in her dining room. Donica and her daughter, Diane, started their business two years ago. Their product was featured recently on QVC.


Their indoor snowballs, which launched last November, bring the magic of winter into the home in any season. The product’s soft material is both machine washable and dryable, yet the “no mess, no slush” facsimiles are designed to have the same heft as what kids might makes themselves in December. “They had to be house friendly. We wouldn’t want it to hurt a child but they had to have enough throwing power to reach a target,” Donica said. The entrepreneurs, who have a home-based business in New Castle, worked to ensure the balls didn’t feel like plush toys. “We wanted the snowballs to have a realistic crunch, like snow,” Syme said. It took the business owners two years of collaboration with a product developer to find the perfect formula. “We sent samples back and forth. It isn’t a filled ball. It’s the same material all the way through. Sooner or later, you get to where you want to be,” Donica said. The story behind the product’s inception is reminiscent of a script for a holiday TV special. Syme had a houseful of kids over for a Christmas celebration, and the high-energy guests started getting bored after running through a long-list of party games. Donica and Syme searched the home for inspiration and came across a bag of batting, the material used to stuff pillows, in the utility room. They immediately thought of staging an indoor snowball fight and ripped and rolled the material into balls. The quick thinking saved the day. “To see that many children having a great time, we knew we were on to something. We looked at each other and smiled. We have the entrepreneurial bug big time,” Donica said. In less than a year, Snowtime Anytime indoor CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 snowballs

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have packed a wallop with consumers. After it received a first-place ribbon at the Christmas Gift & Hobby Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the product was picked up by a number of major retailers, including Hallmark, Learning Express Toys, Books-A-Million, Nordstrom, Von Maur, Solutions, Seventh Avenue and Barneys. Donica also recently appeared on QVC during the shopping network’s Christmas in July programming. The product received 23 reviews on the network’s website, and every commenter gave the snowballs a score of five-out-of-five stars. “Purchased these in July, and my kids couldn’t wait to play with them,” one customer wrote. “They had so much fun having their snowball fight in the middle of the summer. And since we live in Arizona, we will enjoy them twice as much during the holidays when we don’t have snow. One of the best purchases I’ve made!” “Living where snow is rare, this is such fun,” wrote another customer. “We have already let the grandchildren play with them. The only thing that could make them more realistic is for them to be cold. They are the closest thing you can get to an artificial snowball.” For Donica and Syme, the reviews are like Christmas gifts. “To hear those words from complete strangers is amazing,” Donica said. “A couple have actually moved us to tears, they are so sweet,” Syme added. The Snowtime Anytime indoor snowballs aren’t the first product Donica and Syme created that really struck a chord with shoppers. In 1996, the mother and daughter displayed Light Cicles – the grandfather to the strings of dripping icicle lights that have flooded the holiday marketplace in the last decade – at a Christmas trade show in New Orleans. Donica and Syme had an immediate hit on their hands, but their business story didn’t have a happy ending. Although they had hired an attorney to secure a patent and trademark for their creation, which featured a specially designed “Quick-Strip” to facilitate hanging, copycat products quickly started filling retail shelves. “The icicle lights you see out there today are a cheap version of what we had come up with,” Donica said. “What we designed made it possible for people to make up their own configurations.” Because their lawyer had not sufficiently copyrighted their invention, the knock-offs were legal. “That was a big problem. We absolutely depended on our attorney. If you are not well-versed in law, you are at their mercy,” Donica said. The costly lesson made them more savvy when it came time to market their indoor snowballs. “We switched lawyers,” Donica said. “You have to take in every patent that you actually can file.” This time around, the entrepreneurs are careful to guard their idea. “We tell everybody it is a North Pole secret,” Syme said. The entrepreneurs recently met with the producers of a popular reality TV show designed to launch new

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Juanita Donica’s dog, Bing, sits on a box from the business in Donica’s home. Donica uses her home as a warehouse to store shipments.

businesses, but they walked away from the deal when they discovered the percentage of profits they would be required to share. “We love this company, and that just didn’t work for us,” Donica said. Although Snowtime Anytime snowballs sold out during the company’s QVC run and have been embraced by national retail chains, Donica and Syme are cautious about the future. “We still don’t know what is around the corner,” Syme said. At times the process has felt a bit like rolling a snowball uphill. “You have to be diligent and keep at it. The biggest hurdle is finding financing and investment,” Donica said. “You always hear people say, ‘I thought of this great idea.’ The biggest problem is getting it to the consumer. It’s a huge battle.” In addition to the indoor snowballs, the business also sells an inflatable snow fort and snow castle kids can blow up and hide behind. “That’s proven to be very popular already,” Donica said. They’re also thinking beyond snow business. “We have an everyday line coming out and some other items,” Donica said. “We love Christmas, but it’s kind of fun to make money during other quarters.” ■

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A hidden gem New Castle Motorsports Park brings people from all over the world to Henry County



Former Indy Car Driver Mark Dismore, center, runs the New Castle Motorsports Park, with the help of his wife and son-in-law.

14 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013


ot far from the city once known for having the largest automobile factory in the world, engines roar and drivers navigate the corners of a racetrack in vehicles much different than the kind Jonathan Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe built here in the early 1900s. Yet, just like the Maxwell Factory that eventually became Chrysler, these contraptions – perhaps as odd-looking to some today as the Maxwells were to a generation just being introduced to the automobile – are also helping put New Castle on the map and driving the local economy. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

A spectator watches the race. All races are free to the public.

A young driver gets ready for a race.

Racing is a family affair. Young drivers are helped by parents and grandparents.

Last-minute work.

A father silently cheers his son on.

Carts are taken to starting pit on trolleys.


Go-karts have become big business here, thanks to former Indy 500 race car driver Mark Dismore and his family. The track, located just outside of New Castle near the Ind. 3-Interstate 70 interchange, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. And while many Henry County residents have never been to the facility, it has become a huge success. Visitors from all over the world Mike Adams, Dismore’s son-in-law who manages the track, offered some eye-opening statistics about the facility’s 10-year existence: ■ An estimated 70,000 people annually have visited the track, more than triple the population of New Castle. That means about 700,000 extra visitors for Henry County since 2003. ■ Between 250 and 270 races have been held here in 10 years. ■ Visitors include people from all 50 states and foreign countries like Russia, China, Germany, Brazil and South America. “Karting is popular all around the world,” Adams said. “Every country has karting.” The Dismore course is unique in Indiana, however. Its two miles of track is the most anywhere in the state and is capable of 31 different race configurations. It is one of just three asphalt tracks in Indiana, with the others in Whiteland and South Bend. All of the races, competitors and visitors add up to more people in local motels, more customers at restaurants and more shoppers at stores. Corey Murphy, Director for the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development, says the facility certainly “revs up” the local economy. “It’s a huge asset for Henry County,” he said. “It’s kind of a hidden gem. It’s an attraction that provides a fun family activity but also brings many outside guests to the community – people who may have never come here if it

had not been for the race track.” “I think people don’t realize the economic impact the track has on Henry County and the number of people it draws,” added Missy Modesitt, Executive Director of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

All in the family

The real fuel for New Castle Motorsports Park isn’t gasoline. It’s family. Since the time he was a youngster, Mark Dismore’s experience with go-karts has been family driven. “My dad started a carting business in 1958,” Dismore said. “I was kind of born into it.” Dismore carries on that family tradition at the New Castle track and at a kart sales facility in Greenfield. He and his wife, Donna, have been married 33 years. They provide an effective team to make the facility a place families can enjoy. “It’s a family-oriented facility with a family-friendly spirit,” Dismore said. The Dismores smiled as they related instances over the past 10 years when fathers and sons visit to relive memories of childhoods gone by. “People in their 70s and 80s have driven carts here with their now 55-year-old kids, just like they did when their children were little,” Dismore said. There’s more than just a track here, however. That also is part of the family plan. The New Castle facility offers a nice restaurant and lounge area overlooking the track, where food, a big screen television and games are available. Company outings are frequently held here. Recently, Bryant Heating and Cooling brought 60 to 80 people for a memorable day at the track. “We wanted to offer a place where families could come, sit down and relax,” Dismore explained.

Famous names

Dismore’s track has gotten some star-studded attention in the past 10 years. Among the professional

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16 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013

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Anyone interested in a corporate outing may contact Mike Adams at 765-987-8090 for more details.



HE NEW CASTLE MOTORSPORTS PARK (NCMP) is open for public use of rental karts from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays unless a corporate event is being held. Phone 765-987-8090 for more details. Rates are $25 for the first 10 minutes and $1 per minute afterward. A kart can be used for an hour at a price of $65. Each driver must be at least 14 years old. Minors (14 to 17) must be accompanied by a parent. Each driver must wear long pants and closedtoed shoes. No shorts or sandals are allowed. NCMP will provide a helmet, jacket, neck collar and gloves.

drivers who have raced here are Ricky Rudd, Will Power, Eddie Cheever, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Scott Goodyear. “It’s gotten a tremendous amount of respect from professional drivers,” Dismore said. Visitors have also included the late Tom Carnegie, who for years was the booming voice heard at the Indianapolis 500. Mary Hulman George has also been here and actually offered her famous “Gentlemen, start your engines” call during one of the kart races. On Oct. 26, Susie Wheldon, widow of the late twotime Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, will be at the facility to help start the annual RoboPong 200, an endurance race involving as many as 83 go-kart teams. Wheldon had a special relationship with the Dismores before he died in a Las Vegas race in 2011. He had actually driven karts at the facility. The last one he ever drove here is on display in the track’s Racer’s Grill restaurant.

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Racing is a great bonding experience for family. This father and son pose before a KRA race.

ATTEND ROBOPONG 200: ■ Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27: Susie Wheldon, widow of the late two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, will be at the facility to help start the annual endurance race.

Millions of miles and charity dollars

Dismore said in spite of the millions of miles driven at the facility in 10 years, the worst injury ever suffered has been a broken ankle. The most important millions, however, are undoubtedly the dollars raised for Riley Children’s Hospital. An annual celebrity race here has generated more than $2.3 million for that cause. Dismore came close to having his face on the famous Borg-Warner Trophy celebrating Indianapolis 500 winners. In 2001, he qualified fourth and actually led 30 laps of the race. He had a 10-second lead over eventual winner Helio Castroneves before a $20 mechanical problem knocked him out. “It broke my heart,” Dismore said. But today, Dismore is an unquestioned and perhaps unsung champion. The checkered flag waves every weekend from March to October – for him, the Henry County economy and families far and wide. ■

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CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013 | 17

ECON 101 Answers to 6 questions about local economic development



OREY MURPHY IS DIRECTOR of the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. He has been directly involved in community economic development since 2007. He previously was executive director of the Madison Chamber & Economic Development and before that was executive director of the Economic Development Partners of Madison and Jefferson County. He’s an avid reader and keeps up with news via Twitter, following the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post. He also reads the Indiana Business Journal, the Economist Magazine, Governing Magazine and Site Selection Magazine. Follow Murphy on Twitter @CoreyMurphy01


MUCH OF WHAT YOU DO IS BEHIND THE SCENES. WHAT EXACTLY IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? ANSWER: My elevator speech is that we’re resource connectors. We connect outside companies looking for sites or buildings with those resources that we have or we assist an existing company with resources that are available through state and local programs. It requires confidentiality. These are investments that are not made by us. It’s not our story. It’s the company’s story or the entrepreneur’s story. They’re the ones taking the risk and the story is told on their terms. We come along side as a resource partner to assist them. Today, we were out with a local company looking at some available sites because expansion might become necessary in the future. We also try to explain the environment in which businesses make decisions. It is profit-driven, deadline-driven, competitive, comprehensive and risk averse. Well over 80 percent of job growth will come from companies already located here. That’s especially true in rural areas.


HOW IMPORTANT IS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND WHY? ANSWER: International marketing is very important in promoting foreign direct investment An example of this is TS Tech, whose parent company is based in Japan. Indiana is a leading recipient of Japanese investment. These are longterm initiatives that are relationship based. It’s promoting Indiana. A lot of people know where



Los Angeles is or where New York is, maybe Chicago. This kind of international connection puts a face to Indiana. We treat it as an extension of our Business Retention Expansion program. We want existing plants to know we are thankful and appreciative and ready to assist in future expansions.


ANSWER: We strive to help local companies and entrepreneurs grow and expand; attract new primary employers; and ensure the business climate remains competitive and that the hard infrastructure – roads, water, sewer and land, buildings, as well as soft infrastructure workforce – is in place.


IS SOCIAL MEDIA A USEFUL TOOL IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? ANSWER: We use social media here. It’s local marketing. We use Facebook (Facebook.com/ NCHCEDC) to promote the good news we have and to let people know when we learn about a company who is hiring. We do a lot of company visits. I always ask: Are you hiring and can I share that we visited here and that you are hiring. We see social media as a tool to communicate with our stakeholders and our community.


WHAT IS HENRY COUNTY’S GREATEST ECONOMIC ASSET? ANSWER: People. Employers want to know they can find their work force. There are three things employers look at: labor cost, highway accessibility and the availability of skilled labor. There’s a great history here of manufacturing, of our ability to make things. That’s a strong selling point.

HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? ANSWER: It’s changed it dramatically. The decision-making time frame is truncated greatly. The importance of having a data-rich, easy-to-navigatewebsite is critical. In terms of responding, most of our opportunities for business attraction comes from three sources: the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; our utility partners, Henry County REMC, Duke Energy, and the Indiana Municipal Power agency; and our own marketing efforts. ■ CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Spring 2013 | 19


Action steps to prepare you for the



Care Act


he Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March of 2010. Uncertainty is causing many employers to hold back from hiring employees, and some are considering reducing their workforces or employee

hours in an effort to avoid certain penalties. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the law continues to be changed, challenged and clarified, and original deadlines have been extended. Here are eight areas for you to know:



indi Kiner is a human resources consultant. Since forming The HR Connection in 2006, she has helped companies in various industries with strategic planning, hiring and staffing, management and employee training, policy development, and benefit plan analysis and administration. To reach Cindi: 317-448-0741 | clkiner@hrtc.net For more information about your business and healthcare go to www.sba.gov/healthcare.

20 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013

Get an accurate count of employees

Eligibility for different aspects of the ACA is based upon the number of “full-time equivalent” (FTE) employees. To figure this, first count your full-time employees (40 hours average per week). Then total the number of average hours worked weekly by all of your part-time employees and divide by 40.

Add that number to your full-time number and that gives you the FTE. For example, if you have 20 employees who work 40 hours per week and 10 who work 25 per week, you actually have 26.25 full-time equivalent employees.

Check eligibility for small business health care tax credit

If you have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees, you may be eligible for a tax credit if you offer your employees insurance. Employees must have average annual wages of less than $50,000, and you must contribute at least 50 percent toward the premium for the employee (not including dependents). The maximum credit is 35 percent of a for-profit employer’s premium contribution. The amount of the credit is based on a sliding scale; the more employees

you have and the more money they make, the less of a credit you receive. The credit can be claimed for tax years 2010 – 2013. Starting in 2014, the maximum amount goes up to 50 percent of the employer’s premium portion, and it can be claimed for two consecutive years, but only if the employer buys coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), more commonly known as the healthcare “exchange.”

Explore Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP)

If you have up to 50 full-time equivalent employees, you may purchase insurance through SHOP, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace or the Exchange. At this printing, exchanges were expected to begin Oct. 1, 2013. Employers may enroll in SHOP, which offers choices from a variety of private health insurers. These plans will have to meet certain requirements such as offering “essential benefits” and competitive pricing. If you work with a broker, you may continue to do so or you may shop independently in the Marketplace. Beginning in 2016, employers with up to 100 full-time equivalent employees will be eligible to participate. Once you are in the Marketplace, your business may continue to add employees and stay in the Marketplace, even if you exceed 100 employees. You can get more information about SHOP at www.healthcare.gov.

There is also a new call center where you can get help at 1-800-706-7893. The ACA was originally created with the intention of each state setting up and operating its own health insurance exchange with the “dangling carrot” of federal money. However, more than half of the states, Indiana included, have decided to resist the federal aid and default to a federally operated exchange. Most of this is politically motivated, and rather than receiving federal aid and then being told how to spend the money, these states have chosen to let the federal government set them up and be responsible for the results. Indiana’s Gov. Mike Pence voted against the Healthcare law when he was in Congress, and has made it clear that he opposes it, as do many other governors, most of whom are Republicans.

Know about employer shared responsibility

If you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, you will be required to offer insurance to your employees or participate in the employer shared payment. This is what has been referred to as the “Employer Mandate” or “Pay or Play.” This part of the ACA was originally scheduled to be effective Jan. 1, 2014, but recently was postponed to Jan. 1, 2015 in response to the business community’s request for more time to comply. However, since the eligibility requirements are based on the prior year’s employee count, it is important for employers to know what to expect now.

To figure your FTE for the Employer Shared Responsibility, you will base your calculations on 30 hours per week rather than 40. If you have 50 or more FTE employees, you must “pay or play.” To “play,” you must offer insurance to at least 95 percent of your employees that is “affordable” and meets “minimum value.” If you fall short in either of these areas, you will be required to make a shared responsibility payment at tax time. Go to www.businessusa.gov/ healthcare for more details.

Know your options for an adjusted community rating

In January 2014, many plans will be subject to an adjusted community rating system that bases premium costs on factors such as age, geographic area and tobacco use, rather than its own group’s history. To avoid the potential

negative effects of this, many insurers are offering an early renewal option. You should work with your broker or benefits provider to see if this option is available to you and if it makes sense for your company.

Know about available tax credits

If you have less than 50 full-time equivalent employees (based on 30 hours) you are not required to offer insurance and you will not have to pay a penalty. However, if you do

No part-timers mandate

No matter how many employees you have, you are never required under the ACA to offer insurance to part-time employees.

offer insurance, you could be eligible for a tax credit and you can purchase coverage through SHOP.

The self-employed

Self-employed individuals have to comply with the Individual Shared Responsibility Mandate beginning January 2014. More information can be found at www. CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013 | 21 healthcare.gov. ■

ometown h hoopster

Daniel Cox has become the 20th head coach of his home team, the New Castle Trojans.


22 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013


‘It’s just an extreme honor’ Sometimes, destiny takes the shape of a bouncing ball. A 5-year-old boy is seen gleefully dribbling a basketball after a high school game on the floor of New Castle Fieldhouse.

Years later, an upper elementary school student leads a youth team to a tournament title in the famed gym. Another few years pass and a teen is cheered as he helps win conference and sectional championships – where else, but on the floor of the world’s largest and finest gym. This year, Daniel Cox, the three-point shooter who experienced all of the above, will see his young career come full circle as he patrols the same sidelines where he once huddled with teammates. He’s now the 20th head coach in the storied history of Trojan basketball. And he couldn’t be happier. “It’s just an extreme honor to be in this position,” Cox said. The 27-year-old Cox joins names like Wilbur Allen, Randall Lawson and Curt Bell as New Castle graduates who came back to coach the Trojans. Arguably, none were as destined for the job as this kid.

Family ties

Both of Cox’ parents graduated from New Castle. His dad, Randy, was a classmate of former Mr. Basketball, IU star and NBA veteran Kent Benson. His

brother-in-law is none other than Brandon Miller, another New Castle grad who was recently hired as head coach of the Butler Bulldogs. And Cox’s own infant son, Cal, was born the night before this year’s state basketball championship game. Cox was assistant coach for Carmel, who played in that game. “He was born 11:30 p.m. the night before the state finals,” Cox said. “I went straight from the hospital to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.” Cox has helped coach two state championship teams, assisting Carmel Coach Scott Heady, a star player for Shenandoah that led the Raiders on a Milan-like run to the state finals in 1981. Heady’s influence was one of many Cox is grateful for in his climb to the head coaching ranks. “Scott’s a great teacher and mentor for me,” Cox said. “One of the most important things is playing together as a team. Character drives the team. Those Carmel teams have demonstrated that the past couple years and the fact that the numberone thing a player should strive for is to be a great teammate.”

Excited New Castle grad Daniel Cox returns to his alma mater to coach.



Randy Cox said the New Castle head-coaching job was “a dream come true” for his son. He reflected on Daniel’s obvious love for the game at an early age. “When he was 10, he started beating me and I knew then I was in trouble,” the elder Cox said with a laugh. Cox said his son’s love for the game led him to build a basketball court behind their rural New Castle home. “He and his friends would play all summer and even in the winter, whenever there wasn’t snow on the court,” Cox said.

‘A great hire’

A three-year starter for New Castle from 2003 to 2005, Cox was a main cog for Trojan teams that posted a 50-18 record over that span, including the 2003 North Central Conference championship and the 2005 sectional title. But some who watched Cox grow up here say it’s not the wins that impressed them the most, but how he played the game. He went on to be captain of a Taylor University team and still holds the record there for hitting nine three-point shots in a game. “I think it’s a great hire,” said local dentist and Trojan basketball historian Neil Thornhill. “A young kid and a local kid coming back to town. If he does as good a job coaching as he did playing, we’ll be in for some thrills. He played on good teams and always seemed to have a wonderful attitude.” John Hodge, veteran sports editor of the New Castle Courier-Times, echoed those sentiments in a recent story about Cox. “As a player, Cox was a quiet poker-faced type who didn’t show his emotions often during games,” Hodge wrote.

‘Defending with an attitude’

But make no mistake – there’s fire and determination behind Cox’s calm facade. “I want us to defend, I want us to be smart and I want us to be tough,” Cox said of team goals. “The last few years at Carmel we had teams that defended well

and held opponents to around 47 points per game. They defended with an attitude.” And where team defense is concerned, there’s no magic formula, technique or strategy. It boils down to plain hard work. “Coach (Steve) Bennett did a great job of instilling the work ethic on the teams I was on,” Cox said. “I want us to be one of the hardest working teams in the state.” Cox and his wife, the former Kelly Morris, a Riley Elementary School teacher, share an interesting athletic history. Cox graduated one year after New Castle won the Class 3A basketball championship. His wife, a talented volleyball player, graduated one year after that team won the Class 3A volleyball title. “My senior year we got to the elite eight and lost to Roncalli,” Cox said. “That was quite an experience in 2006, watching some of the guys you played with be on that state championship stage.”

A new trojan basketball chapter

It’s a transitional year for New Castle basketball in more ways than just the head coach. The school board recently voted to end its nearly 90-year relationship with the North Central Conference in favor of a league consisting of teams closer to home. While the move stirred some controversy here among longtime Trojan fans, Cox believes Trojan basketball will continue to play an important role in the lives of local citizens, no matter what conference they play their games. “Our administration and school board made the decision and for us, it’s not about who we’re playing but how we’re going to play,” Cox said. In 2003, Cox remembers “not being able to sleep the night before I ran out of the fieldhouse tunnel as a player for the first time.” A similar feeling may occur 10 years later, on Nov. 20 to be exact, when Cox follows his team out of that same tunnel as its head coach to play Delta in the 2013-14 season opener. Or in other words, when the bouncing ball of destiny calls once again. ■

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24 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013

D.L. Couch

Business of the Year has it covered




all-to-wall enthusiasm, gratitude and hometown pride rise with the creative designs at D.L. Couch and Associates – literally.

D.L. Couch, honored as the New CastleHenry County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year is also known as one of the best places to work.

From humble beginnings and just three employees in 1985, today Dennis Couch says the wall-covering firm sells more commercial wall covering products than any other entity in the world, with clients in 23 states and overseas. The company – which employs 50 people locally and 75 overall – was named the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year in March. That honor came on the heels of the company making a statewide “best places to work” list. “Coming from the community that’s our home, it’s very special. When you get recognized by local peers, it’s always a great feeling.” Dennis said. A New Castle native, Couch smiles when reflecting on the poetic CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013 | 25


‘ It’s almost like destiny calling. ’

Dennis Couch and his wife of 19 years, Lori, accept the Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year award.

Specialists in all facets of real estate: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Farms, Land/Lots

turns his working career have taken. When he was a young person, Donald C. “Danny” Danielson helped him get a job at Modernfold II, a sister plant to the facility that made moveable walls across from the New Castle Chrysler plant for so many years. Modernfold is gone now, having moved operations to Greenfield. But the building that once housed Modernfold II is now the D.L. Couch home base. “It’s almost like destiny calling,” Couch said. “I got started with Modernfold and worked out of this building.” Couch was with Modernfold 12 years. D.L. Couch began with just three employees in 1985, working out of the former downtown Sears building. It later moved to Troy Avenue and then to Parkview Drive. In 1996, it moved to 3900 S. Memorial Drive. “Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be doing this some day,” Couch said. His facility now has 92,000 square feet. They have hired a wall covering and fabric designer to design products for distribution worldwide. Couch’s wife of 19 years – the former Lori Alspaugh of Sulphur Springs – is also well known locally. Her dad, Rex, was superintendent of Memorial Park for many years. She said the state recognition of being one of the best places to work came in part because the Couch’s treat employees here like extended family members. “We have many people working for us who have dedicated their entire working lives to this company,” Lori said. “It’s a special environment. It’s a group of people who really care about each other. We’re really blessed. “It goes beyond the daily work day,” she continued. “We support each other when there are sicknesses or problems within families. We have prayer together. It’s just a very caring group. This is our ministry. We’ve been blessed with great people and we want to take care of them.” ■

Serving Henry County 765.529.2211 and East-Central Indiana www.eraintegrity.com Suite 101, for more than 25 years. 1484 S. Memorial, New Castle

26 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013

Citizen of the Year: Nancy Dietz

Henry County Saddle Club’s unsung hero



hen she was just five years old, Nancy Dietz can remember riding “stick horses” around the yard. Today, she has helped fuel a different kind of horsepower for Henry County through her love of the animals and her tireless efforts as a volunteer.

The Saddle Club’s unassuming hero was named “Citizen of the Year” in March at the annual meeting of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. It was easy for officials to make sure Dietz was present at the event. They simply told her the Henry County Saddle Club was going to be recognized. If it involves the Saddle Club, well, wild horses could not keep Dietz away. “We had been planning to go to Florida and my mother kept putting it off,” Dietz recalled. “I was floored. It was a very nice surprise.” Dietz’ volunteer efforts for the club have spanned three decades. Her work behind the scenes has been

Nancy Dietz.

done with the grace of a horse at one of the many shows that – thanks in part to her efforts – continue coming to Henry County every weekend from April to October. Missy Modesitt, Executive Director of the Chamber, said the honor couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person. “She goes about her volunteer efforts in a very quiet manner,” Modesitt said. “She doesn’t call attention to herself, but just does what needs to be done.” Appropriately, one of those in attendance at the March meeting was Dietz’ mother, Betty Cashner. Now in her 90s, Cashner was credited with

instilling in Dietz a servant’s heart. “Mom always thought you needed to help civic organizations,” Dietz said. “I really admire her. She was always very kind to her neighbors.” As for horses, Dietz said she’d never met one she didn’t like. “Even the old grumpy ones, you’ve kind of got to respect them,” Dietz said. Dietz has volunteered for the Henry County Saddle Club since the early 1980s. She credits late Saddle Club patriarch John Jordan for its growth. Today, she estimates the horse shows he inspired generate between $1 and $2 million annually for the county. The Saddle Club isn’t the only organization that benefits from Dietz beneficence. She also works at keeping the downtown New Castle Henry County Arts Park looking as beautiful as possible and praises local resident Vicki Hale for being a good mentor there. Married for 33 years to electrical contractor Greg Dietz, her peers view Nancy as a positive energy source for the club, a friendly face greeting hundreds if not thousands of visitors that attend horse shows in Henry County every year. “I’m really proud of the way we put on those horse shows,” Dietz said. “We’ve always tried to be kind and focus on good public relations and public service. People really enjoy coming here.” ■

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HENRY COUNTY By the numbers Total Henry County population in 2011: 49,264 Other: 4.5%

Households in Henry County in 2010. Total: 19,077.

Non-family Households: 6,057 31.8%

Living alone: 27.3%

Age 65+ 16.4%

Other: 7.2% Single parents: 9.0% Married with children: 18.2% Married, no children: 33.8%

Age 45 to 64: 29.1%

FamilyHouseholds: 13,020 68.2%

Age 0 to 4: 5.3%

Age 5 to 17: 16.8% Age 18 to 24: 7.9% Age 25 to 44: 24.5%

Henry County population over time.

Infographics by:

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Henry County population distribution in 2011. Total: 49,264 Source: U.S. Census Bureau


19.3% 5.2% Less than ninth grade

11.3% 9th to 12th, no diploma

Education attainment in Henry County among population age 25 and older in 2010. Total: 34,189. 6%

H.S. graduate (incl. equiv.)

Some college, no degree

Assoc. degree

9.2% Bach. degree

4.6% Grad./ profess. degree*

*Includes doctorate degrees. Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

28 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2013

HENRY COUNTY By the numbers Shown are the number of Henry County business units by size in 2011. Total business units: 858.

100+ 50-99 Employees: Employees: 2% 20-49 1.7% Employees: 9.2%

10-19 Employees: 13.1%

Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Note: Included are business units with zero employees and federal government employees.

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0-4 Employees: 54.9%

5-9 Employees: 19.1%

How they work together.

Top 5 Employers in Henry County

1. Henry County Hospital 2. Draper Inc.

3. New Castle Community School Corporation 4. Geo Group: New Castle Correctional Facility 5. Walmart Supercenter Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development

25,446 people work in Henry County, 91% of them Henry County residents. Shown are the top five counties sending workers into Henry County.

Hancock 14% Rush 14.8% Madison 17.2%

Delaware 28.1%

Wayne 25.9%

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30,449 people live in Henry County and work

Source: Indiana Department of Revenue

wayne 7.8%

Wayne 7.8% Delaware 19.7% Hancock 20.4%

Marion 29.4%

Madison 22.7%

30,449 people live in Henry County and work. 76% of them work in Henry County. Shown are the top five counties receiving workers from Henry County.

delaware 19.7% Hancock 20.4% Madison 22.7%

WithMarion Offices in Muncie & Indianapolis 29.4% www.whitinger.com Source: Indiana Department of Revenue CHAMBER

MAGAZINE, Fall 2013 | 29



Big Top was the theme for Cash Bonanza 2013. The evening’s weather was perfect for the outdoor event on September 14 at Montgomery’s Steakhouse. More than 300 attended the Chamber’s signature event and were treated to great food, a circus-like atmosphere and, of course, cash and prizes. The big winners of the night included: Jennifer Cutsinger: First-place, $10,000. Dennis Libby: Second-place, $1,000. nder the

Photos: NCHC Chamber of Commerce The JMetzger Group

Dennis Libby, Missy Modesitt, Jennifer Cutsinger

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Chamber Magazine: New Castle-Henry County, Indiana. Fall 2013.  

This twice-yearly publication is the voice of the New Castle/Henry County Chamber of Commerce in Indiana.

Chamber Magazine: New Castle-Henry County, Indiana. Fall 2013.  

This twice-yearly publication is the voice of the New Castle/Henry County Chamber of Commerce in Indiana.