1 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 17 SMALL BUSINESS Cozy: Some owners too attached to let go continued from PAGE 13 Mr. Szarka said the biggest potential retirement asset an owner has is the business and that planning to tap that asset should begin at least 10 years before a retirement date. He said that retirement for the owner usually involves an outright sale of the business or a phased sale. He said the longer the owner holds on, the greater the likelihood that the business will lose value. Older owners often don t keep up with industry trends, he said. Most owners postpone retirement but the window of opportunity isn t that big. The finding in the National Federation of Independent Business survey that many business owners don t plan to retire is perfectly logical to Jim Krimmel. I don t plan to ever totally retire, said Mr. Krimmel, president and one of two owners of Zaclon LLC in Cleveland, a 30-employee producer of industrial chemicals. Mr. Krimmel, 60, said he plans to stay active in the business as long as possible. I m blessed with good health, and I want to stay active in the business, he said. The surviving owner inherits the business and if I am the sole survivor, I will have to do some succession and estate planning, Mr. Krimmel said. William R. Dorer Jr., 54, a selfemployed attorney, said he hasn t contemplated a date when he plans to stop working. He has, however, done some planning and has been saving for when he does retire. I haven t done anything exotic, but I work with a capable (stock) broker. I have taken a moderately aggressive approach to the stock market, Mr. Dorer said. He isn t concerned about having enough money for a comfortable retirement. Mr. Dorer, whose office is in Mayfield Heights, has created a marketing concept called Biz- HouseCounsel, which he and another attorney, Patricia Pribisko of Westlake, use to package their legal services. BizHouseCounsel, which was created in 2005, markets itself to businesses as a low-cost source of legal advice. It has little overhead to drain personal finances, part of which will be used for retirement. You can t cannibalize your retirement or rob Peter to pay Paul, he said. Equating retirement with death Jeff Susbauer is familiar with the attitudes of small business owners. Too many business owners are married to the business, said Mr. Susbauer, who conducts strategic planning seminars for the Council of Smaller Enterprises. As a result, they equate retirement with death. Mr. Susbauer operates Growth Strategies Inc., which provides consulting services to business owners. He is also an associate professor and chairman of the department of management and labor relations at Cleveland State University. He has advised business owners for more than 20 years. Mr. Susbauer said owners often stay too long, live for the moment and don t create enough value in their businesses. They get to the point where they can t retire, Mr. Susbauer said. His advice? Treat the company like a real business. Run it for profits and not as a tax shelter or cash cow. Hire competent people. Have an exit strategy and build value into the business so you can cash out and retire, Mr. Susbauer said. He said that, unfortunately, between 20% and 25% of the business owners he has come into contact with follow that advice. This raises questions about the long-term future of many area companies, especially since most jobs reside in small businesses that are being operated by owners who are aging. However, Steve Peplin, CEO and #1 Sandwich Delivery Chain in America. Rated majority owner of Talan Products Inc., personifies the business owner who equates building value with a successful retirement. My retirement is in the company, Mr. Peplin said. I save as much as I can, but I have more confidence in the future of the company than in the stock market. Mr. Peplin, whose company is a growing Cleveland manufacturer of metal stampings with sales of about $25 million last year, added, I enjoy the work, but I am starting to think about retirement issues. I want the organization to survive, but I haven t yet put together a concrete plan. $922,381 * 27.21% * $222,847 * AVERAGE GROSS SALES AVERAGE FOOD AND PAPER COSTS Tired of Being Screwed? Then stop hiring fly-by-night roofing contractors whose only office address is wherever their pick-up truck happens to be parked at the time! The no-insurance, irresponsible operators are driving the few remaining honest roofing contractors out of business. Unless the consumer gets wiser, ultimately there will be no one responsible left! We are looking for a few wise consumers. 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This offering is made by prospectus only. Please note that our April 2006 Uniform Franchise Offering Circular also includes average gross sales, food and paper cost, and net profi t information for affi liate-owned Restaurants that were open for more than one year but less than 5 years as of the end of the period of through as well as actual average gross sales information for the period of through for all Restaurants in the system (affi liate-owned and franchised) that were open as of December 27, 2005.
2 18 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 SMALL BUSINESS Brothers know best Poised to take over the family business when their father retires, Courtney duo adds to plan with acquisition of Garrett & Associates By SHERRY GAVANDITTI Two of Northeast Ohio s oldest family-owned land surveying and civil engineering companies eventually will be under the majority ownership of two brothers who plan to consolidate the firms land records into one location by midsummer. The recent acquisition of Cleveland-based Garrett & Associates by Chris and Doug Courtney is part of the brothers long-term plan, one that includes someday taking over the family business, The C.W. Courtney Co., another civil engineering and surveying company based in Mayfield Village. C.W. Courtney dates four generations to 1903, according to president and chief financial officer Lee G. Courtney II, who has been part Rolls Royce Ferrari of the company since the 1950s. The CFO plans to retire in the next five years, so he and his sons, 40-year-old Chris, who is CEO, and 37-year-old Doug, chief operating officer, are consulting attorneys now for succession planning. Chris and Doug Courtney each will own 50% of C.W. Courtney when the transition is complete, in addition to being partners in their newest venture with Garrett & Associates. My great-grandfather Clarence W. Courtney founded the company. He was a registered engineer and surveyor, said Doug Courtney. From my great-grandfather, it went to my great-uncle Leland G. Courtney. My uncle and my father purchased the company from my great-uncle in the late 1960s. Growing into the future Chris and Doug Courtney in M I D W E S T E R N A U T O G R O U P Serving The Greater Cleveland Area Midwestern Auto group is home to the World s Largest Group of European Brands. As such, we are uniquely qualified to indulge our clients with automobiles and accessories that fit any desire and budget. It is our mission to be a lifetime resource for all who truly appreciate genuinely superior automotive products and services. Our state-of-the-art facilities are equipped to handle the most discerning customer demands and we look forward to welcoming you to the MAG world of dealerships, one where quality and excellence are part of everything we do. Bentley Aston Martin AUTHORIZED DEALER FOR: Aston Martin Audi Bentley BMW Ferrari Jaguar Land Rover Lotus Maserati MINI Porsche Rolls-Royce Saab Saleen Volkswagen MIDWESTERN AUTO GROUP 6335 Perimeter Loop Rd. in Columbus JANINE BENTIVEGNA Brothers Doug (left) and Christopher Courtney (right) recently acquired land surveying and civil engineering firm Garrett & Associates from Richard Garrett (second from right). The pair s long-term plan also includes taking over their family company, C.W. Courtney, from their father, Lee G. Courtney II (second from left), who plans to retire in the next five years. December bought Garrett & Associates, a family-owned land survey and civil engineering firm founded in The pair s father is not involved with the Garrett & Associates deal. While the Garrett portion of the company is operating in partnership with C.W. Courtney, it is a separate legal entity and will maintain the Garrett name, according to Chris Courtney. The brothers Garrett deal was kept separate from C.W. Courtney to allow their father to continue his pullback from the company. The Garrett acquisition was presented to the Courtneys by Richard Garrett, former owner of Garrett & Associates. We re a similar-type company with a similar history. He approached us through a mutual accountant in late 2005, Doug Courtney said. Mr. Garrett agreed, saying he chose the Courtneys because 100 years plus of land surveying excellence in Cleveland will continue. Chris Courtney projects the companies will generate more than $3 million in 2007 and up to $5 million by He said in the last three years C.W. Courtney, which employs 15 full-time staff members and eight part-timers, had annual billings of between $1.7 million and $2 million. Projections for 2007 are consistent with the past few years. He said Garrett & Associates, with six full-time staff members and two part-timers, over the same period billed between $450,000 and $580,000 and projects $1 million annually by Construction on a 3,000-squarefoot warehouse at 700 Beta Drive in Mayfield Village is expected to be completed by the end of the month. The building will eventually house the companies hundreds of thousands of land records, some dating to the 1800s. According to Chris Courtney, Garrett & Associates worked on a number of large downtown projects, including Tower City Center, as well as Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University buildings and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. Many of C.W. Courtney s records are of surrounding suburbs. Kicking it into high gear For the Courtneys, succession planning had been a long time in the making. For a long time all three of us were in limbo. If anything had happened to any of us, we would have been in a world of hurt. It took about eight years of succession planning because it took a backseat to engineering and billing work that had to get done, Doug Courtney said. We ve been working on the succession since our uncle Ronald Courtney retired back in the late 1990s. When he passed away, we kicked it into high gear. Lee Courtney agreed that planning ahead is essential. When we bought the company from my uncle we never contemplated he would die a year later. The agreement dealt with how financial things would be handled when and if he did. It would have been a real mess otherwise, Lee Courtney said. If something unexpected happens and you haven t made a provision for it, things can get pretty mixed up. Cleveland Attorney Mike Solomon, who has worked with the Courtneys, has been involved in succession planning for 30 years. I use a phrase rough justice. You ll never be able to make it equal, it s a moving target, he said. The biggest issue is how the older generation gets assets out of the family business while transferring the company to someone else, according to Mr. Solomon. Considerations include how much the older generation needs, if they want a lump sum, the tax and non-tax issues and who the boss will be. It s crucial to figure it all out at the beginning of the transition stage while everyone is friendly. When things become less friendly, you ve got problems, he said. For the Courtneys, looking to the future means relying on the strength of their family bonds. The whole generational transition tackled many issues, but we worked to strip out the stuff that dealt with lack of family trust, said Chris Courtney. The three of us came to an agreement. We trust each other, we love each other, and family always comes first.
3 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 19 SMALL BUSINESS Entrepreneur whips up way to wow cookie desert with her desserts Corporate gift-giving a focus of baked goods biz By SUE ANGELL When former marketing and sales manager Penny Parker left the beauty industry, she knew that she wasn t ready to retire. After much soul-searching, the enterprising Ms. Parker decided in March 2006 to go for broke and transform her love of cookies into a business intended to satisfy the cravings of Cleveland s most discriminating cookie connoisseurs. Cleveland is a virtual cookie desert, said Ms. Parker, the owner of Wow! Cookies! A Gourmet Cookie Experience LLC of Shaker Heights. If you take a look around, you won t find many bakeries left in town. My challenge, then, was to provide Clevelanders with a wholesome treat that combined highquality ingredients with a homebaked presentation. Taste of the corporate world In addition to traditional online sales of gift baskets, Ms. Parker has aggressively sought out the corporate customer. She spends an estimated 25% of her time on networking within that sector, whether it s by attending trade shows or marketing through word of mouth. But why focus on corporate giftgiving? If you are involved in running a business, there s always going to be someone to whom you owe a debt of gratitude, Ms. Parker said. A successful business is one in which the people in charge have the unique ability to thank the key players at the appropriate time. The business of corporate gifts whether they re used to promote products or services, mark personal or company achievements or celebrate holidays is rapidly growing, according to the National Business Association, a Dallas-based nonprofit. Not surprisingly, a niche industry is scrambling to get a piece of the proverbial pie by offering corporate America a selection of unique gift ideas. The corporate gift-giving industry is a big business with many different players, said Celia McGrath, sales director for Olympia Candy in Strongsville and herself a member of the corporate gift-giving world. It can encompass everything from a small mom-and-pop gift basket operation run out of someone s home to a local florist to a large company like the HoneyBaked Ham corporation. Ms. Parker now rents commercial kitchen space in Shaker Heights and has hired six part-time bakers to help bake and sort between 2,500 and 3,000 cookies and brownies that two other employees deliver to her clients each week. During the holiday season, however, Ms. Parker and her employees produced and delivered more than 50,000 sweet treats in two months. And that s not even counting the 10,000 cookies that were sold to her clients on Valentine s Day. Ms. Parker attributes her ability to grow in large part to the good relationship she was able to establish with her bank. And although she wouldn t give specific startup costs, she did say that she was fortunate to have been given a good line of credit one that enabled her to buy equipment, hire a staff and manage her other start-up costs. While Ms. Parker declined to give sales numbers, she said she was able to break even within a year and eventually hopes to purchase a production facility for her business. No cookie-cutter business The cookie entrepreneur prides herself on what she sees as the ability to please all cookie lovers through a menu that includes peanut butter, chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal raisin, chunky chocolate chip, cranberry apple oatmeal, caramel pecan chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, as well as triple chocolate and triple chocolate walnut brownies. I use natural, wholesome ingredients real eggs, real butter and real milk. There are no artificial preservatives in these cookies, only quality ingredients, she said. I want people to have a wonderful cookie experience, said Ms. Parker. If you re going to indulge yourself, it might as well be with something good, right? Toni Orecchio, owner of Cleveland s Cork & Beans, a gourmet coffee and fine wine shop, sells Ms. Parker s cookies at her shop. I have customers who come into the shop simply because they know they can buy her cookies from me, said Ms. Orecchio. As for Ms. Parker, her venture into entrepreneurship has been a labor of love. I am very fortunate in that I love this business, Ms. Parker said. It s really a happy business, and I enjoy bringing happiness to people. People seldom get angry with you when you re passing out cookies! Running A Business Can Be Taxing. Paying Taxes Doesn t Have To Be PAY-TAX SM Penny Parker, founder of Wow! Cookies!, prides herself not only on the array of products she offers, but also the use of natural ingredients. 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4 20 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 SMALL BUSINESS HOWTHEYDIDIT A look at how a small business tackled a challenge By SHARON SCHNALL WHO: Chris Bokash, 47, president and owner of Empire Group of Hudson, has always loved being around cars. And, for 25 years, he has had an automotive connection, beginning in the 80s as a car salesman for what is now Dick Bigelow Chevrolet of Parma, and later as a sales and leasing account representative with an area sales and leasing firm. Then, in 1990, he and a partner established Empire Group. The umbrella company originally encompassed two businesses: Empire Sales & Leasing Co., which sold and leased new and used cars, Construction Management General Contracting Design/Build trucks and vans; and Empire Equipment Acceptance Co., which offered financing for the latter company s transactions. In 1992, Mr. Bokash added a third venture, Empire Limousine Co., which grew to five vehicles and about seven part-time and full-time employees. And, by 2000, Mr. Bokash was the sole owner, presiding over this array of automotive offerings. The word around town was, You ve got to go to Chris Bokash. He s a one-stop shop, said his wife Jennifer Bokash, who met him in 2003, as a sales and leasing customer. He selects for you. He negotiates for you. He saves you a lot of time. Building solutions that fit your needs. EXPAND RENOVATE RELOCATE See how we make building better. Visit or call Akron, Ohio RUGGERO FATICA Chris Bokash, president and owner of Empire Group, and his wife Jennifer sold the limousine portion of the business after the arrival of their daughter in November The couple married in Ms. Bokash, a company officer, is the administrative manager for Empire Group. WHAT: For the Bokashes, the birth of their daughter in November 2005 began a new chapter in their personal lives, one that also prompted practical adjustments to their professional lives. I thought with this baby coming, there would be changes, Mr. Bokash said. I didn t realize how many changes all good. With their limousine company, a 24/7 schedule was the norm, and the couple had been willing to do what was necessary to be accessible to ground transport customers, even taking a 2 a.m. phone call about rates. We were always equipped with our cell phone, said Ms. Bokash, who had reduced her hours by the end of the pregnancy. That business followed us wherever we went. It becomes part of your lifestyle. Last year, however, the couple decided to part ways with the rigors of that business. In September, Empire Limousine Co. was acquired by Stephen Qua, 48, president and majority owner of Company Car & Limousine of Cleveland. Founded in 1994, Company Car & Limousine is a chauffeured limousine business with 32 vehicles and 23 full-time employees primarily serving Northeast Ohio corporate customers. Service in another 450 U.S. cities is offered through an affiliation network, Mr. Qua said. While 10 vehicles is the national fleet average, 80% to 85% of the industry has three vehicles or less, said Jon LeSage, managing editor of Limousine & Chauffeured Transportation, an industry trade magazine. The limousine business, unless it s done on a large scale with infrastructure, is extremely intrusive on your family life, Mr. Qua said. One- to three-vehicle limousine companies dominate the Northeast Ohio market, said Mr. Qua, who is a board member, representing the 16-state central region, for the National Limousine Association, of Marlton, N.J. I ran a three-car company 13 years ago, Mr. Qua said. It s been a long time since I had a cell phone on my bedside table I have undying respect for Chris. HOW: Although Mr. Bokash wrote copy for an advertisement to sell the business, that ad was never placed. Instead, he called three or four major competitors, ones considered reputable. Of those, Mr. Qua was a standout for his professional demeanor. Mr. Qua said the initial attraction for acquiring Empire Limousine was its large base of corporate customers. During their early talks, Mr. Bokash presented preliminary concerns regarding the business, including whether current employees would be given the opportunity of employment with the new business; customers would receive equal or better service and treatment; and the buyer would grow the business. I think he wanted his legacy to live, Mr. Qua said. He didn t want someone to shut it (the business) down and take it out of the market. He wanted his years of work to mean something. THE DETAILS: The Cleveland headquarters of Company Car & Limousine and different work shift structure resulted in Empire employees not opting to join the new company, according to Mr. Bokash and Mr. Qua. Recorded greetings, on both companies phone systems, direct Empire Limousine customers to Company Car & Limousine. Additionally, Company Car purchased Empire Limousine s dedicated telephone line. Both owners declined to reveal the acquisition price or comment on their respective companies gross sales. THE FUTURE: In the same month that one business was shed, Mr. Bokash accepted the next challenge, working as an independent representative and regional manager for Wynn s Extended Care Inc. of Brea, Calif. He now sells, wholesale to car dealers, extended service contracts and other aftermarket warranty products. This is something that doesn t require me to hire employees, he said. I can do it while on the road. I already have numerous relationships with dealers in town. And, as a licensed automobile dealer and a leasing automotive dealer for Empire Sales & Leasing, he expects to complete 150 to 200 transactions this year, split equally between selling and leasing activity. Mr. Bokash s other remaining business, Empire Equipment Acceptance Co., will continue to support some portion of that activity including construction equipment leases. And as for his limousine business, any regrets? I really wanted to put it in hands that would help it prosper and grow, and I really think that s what happened, he said.
5 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 21 CHOICE BITS Excerpts from recent Editor s Choice blog entries on CrainsCleveland.com. Workplace dads want to be less-frequent fliers The Mayfield Group of Solon, which designs planned promotional programs for the drycleaning business, was one of the companies mentioned in a March 7 USA Today story about working dads expressing greater reluctance to travel for their jobs. The paper notes that nearly 50% of male senior executives say they re more likely to ask for less travel during their job negotiations than they were five years ago, according to a 2007 study by the Association of Executive Search Consultants, a New York-based trade group. The concern about the impact of fathers travel on family is a challenge for employers grappling with retention and recruitment issues, according to USA Today. Some are responding by developing unique programs to curtail travel, but employees are increasingly asking for concessions, such as negotiating travel schedules, the ability to take family members along on trips or greater flexibility from their companies when it comes to work-life balance. USA Today notes that The Mayfield Group has dealt with fathers reluctance to travel largely by relying more on technology, such as showing graphics by using a webcam or meetings held via video conferencing. The understanding for the need for work balance comes from the top. Dean Kampman, a partner with the company, told USA Today, We still travel, but to combat it, we ve shifted our focus to use technology. It s helped internally with the employees I have. I m a reluctant traveling dad myself. Not the best of times, not the worst of times Cleveland s economy has been stuck in idle so far this year, largely the result of weakness in the auto industry, according to the Federal Reserve Beige Book report released March 7. The Fed says economic activity here has showed modest growth since early January with restraint from the auto and housing sectors tempering growth in others. Production by manufacturers was stable to increasing. Activity in commercial construction has increased while residential contractors report sales remain stable at low levels. Postholiday sales by retailers were disappointing, weather being cited as a primary reason. Loan demand at banks was flat while core deposits and credit quality were characterized as stable. Overall, energy-related activity was flat to slightly down. And demand for trucking and shipping services continues to soften. On the employment side, things are holding steady, though staffing firms remain upbeat about the number of job openings, according to the Fed. Three-fourths of our contacts said that openings have increased over the past six weeks and on a yearover-year basis with the greatest demand seen in health care. The report is based primarily on anecdotal evidence from local business owners. How exactly did they define definitive? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has rolled out The Definitive 200, an effort with the National Association of Recording Merchandisers to come up with 200 albums that should be in every music collection. It s a fun idea turned, well, completely bizarre. The list does a pretty good job at the top 10: the Beatles Sgt. Pepper s, Pink Floyd s Dark Side of the Moon and the Rolling Stones Exile mixed in with U2 s Joshua Tree and Nirvana s Nevermind. Indeed, it s hard to argue with anything in the top 20. But that s where the line is drawn: No. 21, Shania Twain s Come On Over? Really? That s No. 21? How about the Dixie Chicks at No. 33 with Wide Open Spaces ahead of The Clash s London Calling? Or, Avril Lavigne s Let Go above the Forrest Gump soundtrack. (Yeah, Forrest Gump made it, Lou Reed did not.) Anyone hit shuffle on the ipod and hope Enya (No. 132) or Kenny G (No. 107) pops up? Want to get crazy with No. 134, the Footloose soundtrack? If those appeal, you can always try Lionel Richie s Can t Slow Down (No. 135) for the ride home. These three have their admirable qualities Three big names in Northeast Ohio s corporate landscape showed up on Fortune magazine s new list of the country s most admired companies. Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was the second-mostadmired company in the motor vehicle parts category. Eaton Corp. of Cleveland took the fifth spot in industrial and farm equipment. And Mayfield Village-based Progressive Corp. ranked second in the property and casualty insurance category. Fortune honored 306 companies nationwide, including 12 based in Ohio. The companies were graded in eight categories: innovation; people management; use of corporate assets; social responsibility; quality of management; financial soundness; long-term investment; and quality of products/services. Business heirs need to question capabilities Research by Andy Birol, founder of Birol Growth Consulting in Solon, provided valuable context for a March 8 New York Times story about people who become business owners unexpectedly, usually due to the sudden death of a family member. The story profiled a few such people, who lean heavily on trusted advisers and employees to keep their businesses viable. The Times noted that Mr. Birol has interviewed more than 5,000 business owners and estimates that 50 percent of businesses inherited unexpectedly fail or are sold in a year or two. He suggested that prospective business owners must answer three essential questions when considering what course to take. The first: Can you do the job? This is critical because there is so much guilt along with the assumption of the duty or responsibility to take over the business, Mr. Birol told the newspaper. Many people end up making irrational decisions. They go into it with the idea that they have to do it, and they may simply not have the capability. The next question: Will you do it? The person they are replacing had that confidence and conviction that they could run a business, and the new person rarely brings the same level of confidence, Mr. Birol said. If the heir can and will take on the job, The Times noted, the third question is, How will they do it? Mr. Birol noted that this last question is made more difficult because the business owner who died might have been on the wrong track, leaving the new leader to figure out the best and highest use of the company, according to the newspaper. Columnist cries foul over Tribe in Civil Rights Game The New York Daily News on March 8 made a stink about the Cleveland Indians playing in the inaugural Civil Rights Game, a March 31 exhibition against the St. Louis Cardinals. Columnist Filip Bondy contended that by scheduling the Indians to play in the game in Memphis, Major League Baseball officials have sabotaged (the event) by ignorance and is pleased to announce the promotion of Paul A. Neundorfer Vice President long-practiced indifference and have created a perfect storm of political incorrectness a whowhat-when-where primer on how to inadvertently stage an ironic insult to a local and large population of Natives. Memphis, Mr. Bondy noted, is along the Southern land route of the Trail of Tears, a genocidal, forced march of Cherokees in The relocation was mandated by President Andrew Jackson, and caused the death of at least 4,000 Indians, many buried in shallow graves. Tens of thousands of Cherokee descendants now live in and around the city. Thus, he argued, a team sporting Chief Wahoo on its caps is an insult For more information, please contact our - TENANTreps.net Office Lease Expiring? Renewing? Office Expanding? Remember! Broker commissions are embedded in lease rates. Leaving this money on the table by not utilizing tenant representation means that you will actually pay the landlord s broker to negotiate against you! Call Ellen or John Tobin now (216) TENANTreps.net Corporate Real Estate Advisors Fifth Third Center 600 Superior Avenue, Suite 1300 Cleveland, Ohio Tel: (216) > Charlotte Cleveland Seattle Shanghai to the ideals of the Civil Rights Game. Bob DiBiasio, vice president of public relations for the Indians, told Mr. Bondy that the nickname and logo remain a matter of individual perception. When some people look at our logo they see baseball, Mr. DiBiasio said. They see Bob Feller and Omar Vizquel and Larry Doby. The Wall Street Journal did an op-ed piece, and they asked the question, If something is not meant to demean, can it be demeaning? To receive daily s that include items from all our blogs, visit
6 22 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 LARGEST EMPLOYERS IN CUYAHOGA COUNTY RANKED BY FTE EMPLOYEES Name Full-time equivalent Full-time equivalent Address employees in Cuyahoga County Percent employees in Ohio Rank Phone/Web site change Type of business Cleveland Clinic Academic medical center, Euclid Ave., Cleveland ,461 27, % 29,057 28,562 ambulatory centers, 11 community (216) /www.ccf.org hospitals University Hospitals Euclid Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.uhhospitals.org 15,904 16, % 21,803 21,596 Health care provider Cuyahoga County Ontario St., Cleveland (216) /www.cuyahogacounty.us 9,295 9, % 9,295 9,142 County government U.S. Office of Personnel Management E St., NW, Washington /www.opm.gov 9,172 9, % 40,575 40,200 Federal government Progressive Corp Wilson Mills Rd., Mayfield Village (440) /www.progressive.com City of Cleveland Lakeside Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.city.cleveland.oh.us Cleveland Municipal School District E. Sixth St., Cleveland (216) /www.cmsdnet.net 8 KeyCorp 127 Public Square, Cleveland (216) /www.key.com National City Corp E. Ninth St., Cleveland (216) /www.nationalcity.com MetroHealth System MetroHealth Drive, Cleveland (216) /www.metrohealth.org Case Western Reserve University Euclid Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.case.edu United States Postal Service Orange Ave., Cleveland (800) /www.usps.com Giant Eagle Inc Richmond Road, Bedford Heights (216) /www.gianteagle.com Group Management Services Inc Columbia Road, Suite 101, Richfield /www.groupmgmt.com Sherwin-Williams Co Prospect Ave., NW, Cleveland (216) /www.sherwin-williams.com State of Ohio (1) E. Broad St., Columbus (614) /www.ohio.gov Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority W. Sixth St., Cleveland (216) /www.riderta.com Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc St. Clair Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.lincolnelectric.com American Greetings Corp. 19 One American Road, Cleveland (216) /www.corporate.americangreetings.com 20 UPS 4300 E. 68th St., Cleveland /www.ups.com Continental Airlines (2) Riverside Drive, Cleveland (216) /www.continental.com General Motors Corp Chevrolet Blvd., Parma (216) /www.gm.com Cuyahoga Community College Carnegie Ave., Cleveland (800) /www.tri-c.edu Ohio Savings Bank 1801 E. Ninth St., Cleveland (216) /www.ohiosavings.com Medical Mutual of Ohio 2060 E. Ninth St., Cleveland (216) /www.medmutual.com UHHS/CSAHS-Cuyahoga, Inc E. 22nd St., Cleveland /www.stvincentcharity.com Cleveland State University 2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.csuohio.edu Parma City School District 6726 Ridge Road, Parma (440) /www.parmacityschools.org Parma Community General Hospital 7007 Powers Blvd., Parma (440) /www.parmahospital.org 8,796 8, % 9,629 9,445 Provider of automobile, commercial auto, motorcycle and recreational vehicle insurance in 50 states 8,327 8, % 8,327 8,136 Municipal government 7,442 7, % 7,442 7,472 School district 6,615 6, % 8,686 8,405 Financial services 6,563 6, % 14,253 14,872 Financial holding company 5,627 5, % 5,627 5,503 Integrated health care delivery system 4,955 5, % 4,955 5,075 Higher education NA 4,208 4, % NA NA U.S. postal service 3,709 2, % 11,587 9,527 Grocery store chain 2,888 1, % 6,306 8,280 Human resource, payroll, health care and employee leasing 2,881 2, % 3,846 3,843 Paints and coatings manufacturer 2,809 2, % 57,299 57,299 State government 2,677 2, % 2,677 2,655 Public transportation 2,394 2, % 2,860 2,767 2,175 2, % 2,175 2,168 2,113 2, % NA NA Parcel delivery 2,089 2, % 2,100 2,987 Airline Manufacturer of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment Manufacturer and distributor of social expression products 1,980 2, % NA 19,098 Automotive manufacturer 1,895 1, % 1,895 1,845 Higher education 1,881 1, % 1,979 1,960 1,815 1, % 2,425 2,475 Health insurer 1,744 1, % 1,793 1,937 1,726 1, % 1,726 1,666 Higher education 1,703 1, % 1,703 1,703 School district 1,703 1, % 1,703 1,848 Retail banking, mortgage and construction lending, investment and insurance services, indirect auto lending St. Vincent Charity, St. John West Shore, Cuyahoga Physicians Network, WSPC, PME Independent not-for-profit community hospital Person in charge Title Delos M. "Toby" Cosgrove, M.D. chairman, CEO Thomas F. Zenty III Dennis Madden county administrator Greg White chairperson, Cleve. Federal Executive Board Glenn Renwick, Peter B. Lewis, chairman Frank G. Jackson mayor Eugene T.W. Sanders CEO Henry L. Meyer III chairman, CEO David A. Daberko chairman, CEO John F. Sideras Todd S. Hawkins acting district manager, Northern Ohio district Anthony C. Rego vice chairman E. Mike Kahoe president Christopher M. Connor chairman, CEO Ted Strickland governor Joseph A. Calabrese CEO, general manager, secretary/treasurer John M. Stropki Jr. chairman, CEO Zev Weiss CEO Frank W. Whalley vice president, North Ohio District Robbie Anderson senior director, Cleveland Bruce Pierson plant manager Jerry Sue Thornton president Robert Goldberg CEO Kent W. Clapp chmn., Jeffrey S. Jeney, Cliff J. Coker office of the president Michael Schwartz president Sarah Zatik superintendent Patricia A. Ruflin
7 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 23 TAX LIENS The Internal Revenue Service filed tax liens against the following businesses in the Cuyahoga County Recorder s Office. The IRS files a tax lien to protect the interests of the federal government. The lien is a public notice to creditors that the government has a claim against a company s property. Liens reported here are $5,000 and higher. Dates listed are the dates the documents were filed in the Recorder s Office. LIENS FILED Stoudmire Investment Group LLC Euclid Ave., East Cleveland ID: Date filed: Jan. 18, 2007, unemployment Amount: $10,655 Moon Group Inc Detroit Ave., Lakewood ID: Date filed: Jan. 31, 2007 Amount: $10,400 Ohio Family Realty Inc Brookpark Ext., North Olmsted ID: Date filed: Jan. 29, 2007 Amount: $10,156 Surgicorp Ltd Lake Ave., Suite 1501, Lakewood ID: Date filed: Jan. 24, 2007 Type: Corporate income Amount: $9,123 Stark Group LLC 1310 E. 49 th St., Cleveland ID: Date filed: Jan. 17, 2007, unemployment Amount: $8,673 Alternative National Mortgage 6120 Parkland Blvd., Suite 302, Mayfield Heights ID: Date filed: Jan. 18, 2007, unemployment Amount: $8,541 Schill Architecture Inc Lorain Road, Suite 613, North Olmsted ID: Date filed: Jan. 31, 2007 Amount: $8,077 Eaman Inc Scranton Road, Cleveland ID: Date filed: Jan. 10, 2007 Amount: $8,028 Shelton & Associates Inc. P.O. Box 33811, North Royalton ID: Date filed: Jan. 31, 2007 Amount: $7,229 Affordable Carpet Service Inc Brookpark Road, Parma ID: Date filed: Jan. 24, 2007 Amount: $7,022 Mutual Display Manufacturing Co E. 27 th St., Cleveland ID: Date filed: Jan. 31, 2007 Type: Failure to file complete return Amount: $6,981 Graham Management Inc Aurora Road, Solon ID: Date filed: Jan. 31, 2007 Amount: $6,609 T & L Enterprises Inc W. Bagley Road, Suite 101, Berea ID: Date filed: Jan. 24, 2007 Amount: $6,429 Arrowhead Trading Co Greenhaven Parkway, Brecksville ID: Date filed: Jan. 29, 2007 Type: NA Amount: $5,933 Ashbury Community Services Inc Ashbury Ave., Cleveland ID: Date filed: Jan. 29, 2007 Amount: $5,797 Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Cleveland Inc Industrial Parkway, North Olmsted ID: Date filed: Jan. 18, 2007 Amount: $5,732 J & S. Landscaping Inc Milo Road, Garfield Heights ID: Date filed: Jan. 29, 2007 Type: Unemployment Amount: $5,371 S & E Trucking Inc Burrbridge Road, Cleveland Heights ID: Date filed: Jan. 24, 2007, failure to file complete return Amount: $5,122 Chuck Brown Bail Bonds Inc Lee Road, Shaker Heights ID: Date filed: Jan. 29, 2007, unemployment Amount: $5,002 LIENS RELEASED Abel Counseling & Associates Inc Lee Road, Suite 10, Cleveland Heights ID: Date filed: June 2, 2004 Date released: Jan. 29, 2007 Amount: $12,530 Ala Nevada Inc Parkland Blvd., Mayfield Heights ID: Date filed: June 29, 2005 Date released: Jan. 29, 2007 Type: Corporate income Amount: $52,700 Arco Heating & Air Conditioning Co Aurora Road, Bedford Heights ID: Date filed: Sept. 6, 2005 Date released: Jan. 10, 2007 Amount: $17,046 Baldwin Manor Nursing Home Inc Baldwin Road, Cleveland ID: Date filed: Oct. 23, 2006 Date released: Jan. 10, 2007 Amount: $201,922 HELPING CLIENTS FIND THEIR WAY WHEREVER THEY ARE HEADED. 200 attorneys. 40 areas of practice. 10 offices. One address: One Cleveland Center, Ninth Floor l 1375 East Ninth Street l Cleveland, OH l AKRON CINCINNATI CLEVELAND COLUMBUS FORT MYERS NAPLES ORLANDO TALLAHASSEE TOLEDO WASHINGTON, D.C. PROGRAMMERS ARE LOOKING HERE. SALES PROFESSIONALS ARE LOOKING HERE. ACCOUNTANTS ARE LOOKING HERE. ENGINEERS ARE LOOKING HERE. CREATIVE DIRECTORS ARE LOOKING HERE. THE RIGHT TALENT IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK ṢM With over 998,000 unique users*, cleveland.com will put you in touch with the right qualified candidates faster than ever. The best local jobs are on cleveland.com. TO ADVERTISE CALL OR *Source: 2006 Visual Sciences 9 Month Average (January- September) With more than 40 areas of practice and offices in nine cities, Roetzel & Andress provides legal guidance, no matter what industry you re in or challenges your business faces. Roetzel & Andress has more than 130 years of experience and an on-going commitment to assist our clients with reaching their goals. No matter where your life or business is headed, Roetzel & Andress will be with you every step of the way. PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS RENEW ONLINE NOW! THE BEST LOCAL CANDIDATES. IF YOU RE LOOKING FOR THEM, YOU MIGHT CONSIDER LOOKING HERE TOO. cleveland.com is the online home of The Plain Dealer and Sun News.
8 24 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 LARGEST EMPLOYERS IN CUYAHOGA COUNTY RANKED BY FTE EMPLOYEES Name Address Full-time equivalent employees in Cuyahoga County Percent Full-time equivalent employees in Ohio Rank Phone/Web site change Type of business Kaiser Permanente of Ohio Lakeside Ave., Suite 1200, Cleveland (216) /www.kaiserpermanente.org 1,698 1, % 1,888 1,805 Health plan/health care provider, HMO Mittal Steel USA Kinross Lakes Parkway, Richfield (330) /www.mittalsteel.com 1,600 1, % 1,900 1,900 Integrated steelmaker Nestle USA Bainbridge Road, Solon (440) /www.nestleusa.com 1,503 1, % NA NA Diversified food manufacturer 33 Rockwell Automation 1 Allen-Bradley Drive, Mayfield Heights (440) /www.rockwellautomation.com 34 Alcoa 1600 Harvard Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.alcoa.com Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities 1275 Lakeside Ave. East, Cleveland (216) /www.ccbmrdd.org The Plain Dealer 1801 Superior Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.cleveland.com Ben Venue Laboratories Inc. 300 Northfield Road, Bedford (440) /www.benvenue.com Ernst & Young LLP 925 Euclid Ave., Suite 1300, Cleveland (216) /www.ey.com Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District 2155 Miramar Blvd., University Heights (216) /www.chuh.org FirstEnergy Corp. 76 S. Main St., Akron (800) /www.firstenergycorp.com GE Consumer & Industrial 1975 Noble Road, East Cleveland (216) /www.geconsumerandindustrial.com Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority 1441 W. 25th St., Cleveland (216) /www.cmha.net Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland 1455 E. Sixth St., Cleveland (216) /www.clevelandfed.org ExpressJet (dba Continental Express) 5300 Riverside Drive, Cleveland /www.expressjet.com Berea City School District 390 Fair St., Berea (440) /www.berea.k12.oh.us Eaton Corp Superior Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.eaton.com JPMorgan Chase & Co E. Ninth St., Cleveland (877) /www.chase.com Shaker Heights City School District Parkland Drive, Shaker Heights (216) /www.shaker.org Euclid City School District 651 E. 222nd St., Euclid (216) /www.euclid.k12.oh.us PPG Industries Inc W. 143rd St., Cleveland (216) /www.ppg.com J.C. Penney Co Day Drive, Parma (440) /www.jcpenney.com Goodrich Landing Gear 8000 Marble Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.goodrich.com Lakewood City School District 1470 Warren Road, Lakewood (216) /www.lakewoodcityschools.org Cleveland Public Library 325 Superior Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.cpl.org Cuyahoga County Public Library 2111 Snow Road, Parma (800) /www.cuyahogalibrary.org ICI Paints in North America W. Sprague Road, Strongsville (440) /www.icipaints.com/northamerica Moen Inc Al Moen Drive, North Olmsted (440) /www.moen.com Hyland Software Inc Clemens Road, Westlake (440) /www.onbase.com 1,462 1, % 2,200 2,518 1,250 1, % NA 1,393 1,205 1, % 1,205 1,222 1,200 1, % 1,200 1,450 Newspaper 1,094 1, % 1,094 1,048 Provider of power, control and information solutions Global manufacturer of aluminum and related finished goods Educational, vocational, residential and support services for children and adults with mental retardation/developmental disabilities Manufacturer of sterile injectable pharmaceutical products 1,065 1, % 1,730 1,732 Professional services firm 1,042 1, % 1,042 1,064 School district % 7,866 7,685 Diversified energy company % 3,000 3,577 Manufacturer of lighting products, major appliances, industrial systems, electrical distribution products 923 1, % 923 1,027 Public housing authority % 1,157 1,155 U.S. central bank 868 NA NA NA NA Airline % NA 844 School district % 3,081 2, , % 17,100 17, % School district % School district Diversified industrial manufacturer for electrical, fluid power, truck and automotive segments Financial services to consumers and businesses and to wealthy individuals and large corporations % 1,500 1,800 Automotive coatings supplier % NA NA Department store % NA NA Landing gear systems % School district % Public library % Public library % 1,015 1,020 Paint manufacturer and distributor % % Manufacturer of residential and commerical plumbing products OnBase Enterprise Content Management software suite Person in charge Title Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott regional president, Kaiser Foundation Terry Fedor general manager Angelo Iantosca, Nestle Prepared Foods Co. Steven A. Eisenbrown sr. vp, architecture and software business William F. Christopher exec. vp, Alcoa; group pres., Alcoa Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Transportation Terrence M. Ryan Terrance C.Z. Egger president, publisher Thomas J. Murphy president, COO Donald T. Misheff Northeast Ohio managing partner Deborah S. Delisle superintendent Anthony J. Alexander Michael B. Petras Jr. vp, electrical distribution and lighting sales George A. Phillips executive director Sandra Pianalto Pa;ul Paul D. Larghe Larghe station director, manager field services Derran Wimer superintendent Alexander M. Cutler chairman, CEO James M. Malz president, Northeast Ohio market Mark Freeman superintendent Joffrey P. Jones superintendent Larry Corrigan plant manager Travis Julian district manager Mike Brand president David Estrop superintendent Andrew A. Venable Jr. director Sari Feldman executive director David Loose CEO Richard E. Posey A.J. Hyland
9 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 25 Name Address Full-time equivalent employees in Cuyahoga County Percent Full-time equivalent employees in Ohio Rank Phone/Web site change Type of business VNA Health Care Partners of Ohio E. 22nd St., Cleveland % Home health care, hospice, private duty service, physician housecalls (216) /www.vnacleveland.org Dominion East Ohio E. 55th St., Cleveland (800) /www.dom.com % 1,413 1,422 Natural gas distribution Parker Hannifin Corp Parkland Blvd., Cleveland (216) /www.parker.com Ferro Corp Lakeside Ave., Cleveland (216) /www.ferro.com Huntington National Bank 917 Euclid Ave., Suite 212, CM65, Cleveland (216) /www.huntington.com Hospice of the Western Reserve 300 E. 185th St., Cleveland /www.hospicewr.org The Lubrizol Corp Lakeland Blvd., Wickliffe (440) /www.lubrizol.com RPM International Inc. PO Box 777, Medina (330) /www.rpminc.com Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland 3659 S. Green Road, Suite 322, Beachwood (216) /www.jfsa-cleveland.org Discount Drug Mart Inc. 211 Commerce Drive, Medina (330) /www.discount-drugmart.com Avery Dennison 8080 Norton Parkway, Mentor (440) /www.averydennison.com Penton Media Inc E. 9th St., Cleveland (216) /www.penton.com Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc Firestone Pkwy., Akron (330) /www.bridgestoneamericas.com % NA 4, % Manufacturer of motion and control products and systems Producer of technology-based performance materials for manufacturers % 5,764 5,654 Financial services % Hospice % 2,097 2,385 Specialty chemical company % 1,153 1, % Specialty coatings and sealants for industrial and consumer markets A private, non-sectarian, non-profit organization, has been serving the needs of the community since % 3,150 3,000 Retail drugstore chain % 1,692 1,713 Manufacturer of pressure-sensitive paper, film and foil, graphic materials and specialty tapes % Business-to-business media company NA % 2,001 2,005 Tire manufacturer Person in charge Title Mary Lou V. Stricklin David Searles vice president, gas operations Donald E. Washkewicz chairman, James F. Kirsch chairman, Jerry Kelsheimer president, Northern Ohio region David Simpson CEO James L. Hambrick chairman, Frank C. Sullivan Milton J. Schachter Parviz Boodjeh, CEO John Gans, president Christian A. Simcic, group vp, Roll Material Worldwide Sandra Beach Lin, group vp, Specialty Materials Worldwide Hank Hara president, product development Crain's Cleveland Business uses staff research, company surveys and the most current references available to produce its listings, but there is no guarantee these listings are complete. We welcome all responses to our lists. Business lists and The Book of Lists are available to purchase at Ford Motor Co. declined to provide employee numbers. (1) 2007 numbers from the 2006 Largest Employers in Cuyahoga County list. (2) 2007 number does not include Continental Express which is no longer a subsidiary of Continental Airlines. RESEARCHED BY Deborah W. Hillyer
10 26 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 Don Schwaller - Classified Manager Phone: (216) Fax: (216) INDUSTRIAL SPACE REAL ESTATE COMMERCIAL SPACE Copy Deadline: 3 p.m. All Ads Pre-Paid: Check or Credit Card Is it luck? No, just lots o listings! S. Main Street Akron, OH Development Opportunity. Downtown Akron across from baseball stadium. Great tax credit project. Call Because smart & experienced beats smart every time sm For Lease 16,500-51,500 Sq. Ft. 16,500 sq. ft. w/10 tom crane, dock & drive-in, 3 phase power. Available immediately. Additional 33,000 sq. ft. adjacent shop or warehouse, 4 docks, 2 drive-ins. 3 miles from the I-76/I-71 interchange. 620 Corp LAND LAND FOR SALE North Royalton Retail Site 32 Acres / Zoned GB Macedonia Commercial Site 4.5 Acres / Zoned B-2 PRICE REDUCED! Twinsburg Assisted Living Site Approved for 100 units Zoned R-7 Brunswick South Business Park 4.5 Acres and 5 Acres Zoned I-L Light Industrial Darrell A. Young Enterprises, Broker (216) Brokers welcome IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY AVON LAKE FOR SALE OR LEASE 16,900 sq. ft. expandable. Retail, industrial, automotive. 5 acres, 150 car parking. 6,150 sq. ft. a/c, showroom ARE YOU READING THIS? This small ad space could bring BIG BUSINESS. Contact Don Schwaller at (216) INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY SafeHarbor Network request Private Lender s desiring a 12% to 20% return secured by real estate. Call to request Free Report on Private Mortgage Lending. Northridge Plaza North Ridgeville, Ohio On Center Ridge Road GLA: 95,550 Sq. Ft. Anchors: Marcs and Post Office 24,750 Sq. Ft. Retail / Outlot also available High traffic area Northridge Plaza Co OFFICE/WAREHOUSE SPACE For daily on-line updates, sign CrainsCleveland.com/Daily FOR LEASE Cannon Rd. Bedford Hts. New building. Near I-271 & I ,688 sf. Office/Warehouse. Build-to-Suit. King & Associates, Inc. 440/ STREETSBORO LEASE 2 cranes, 3 docks, 1 double door. 12,000 sq. ft. of warehouse. Two 3,500 sq. ft. office suites. Call Mr. King (330) OFFICE/RETAIL SPACE For Rent Mentor Ave. Painesville 5,000 Sq. Ft.total House w/ addition Possible office/ Restaurant / Retail Zoned B2 $2,000 per Month LUXURY PROPERTIES OFFICE SPACE Broadview Hts. New Class A luxury office space Global commercial real estate expertise Close to I-77 and Rt. 82 on Town Centre Dr. Available to move in Sept. 07 Space is limited going fast sq. ft. available on first floor For more information call Joe Carollo from JPMS Property One at Hudson, Ohio HQ Concept-Professionally Furnished Office Suites One/Two person suites, Secretarial/ Receptionist Service (Optional). Great Locationopens Cleveland/ Akron Markets FAX OR US YOUR AD... FAX: (216) List your Industrial, commercial or Retail Space Here! Crain s Cleveland Business classifieds will help you fill that space.. Contact Don Schwaller at CATAWBA ISLAND OHIO LAKEFRONT LUXURY HOMES $358,000 to $2,850, LIVE / WORK The Cloak Factory Condominiums 1,700-6,000 sq. ft. Premium Office / Residential Spaces in Warehouse District. Pinnacle Management Group Cloakfactory.com Waterfront Property Unique home caters to any lifestyle! Great for entertaining. View of Twin Lakes. Zone heat, art gallery, guest house, 5 fire places, 3 kitchens centrally located. Finished lower level / possible maids quarters or 5th bedroom. 3 Great Rooms. Jeannine Dyer RE/Max To Advertise your Luxury Property contact Don Schwaller at (216)
11 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 27 Energy: Many see firm as merger candidate continued from PAGE 1 Mr. Alexander responded, Not right now. He said FirstEnergy also has no plans on the drawing board for a new coal-fired power plant. FirstEnergy s power generation capabilities, which come under the umbrella of a subsidiary called FirstEnergy Solutions, are taking on more importance as the company looks ahead to later in this decade when electric utilities are fully deregulated. At that time, customers served by the company s operating companies such as Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Ohio Edison Co. will be free to purchase electricity from any power producer. The CEIs and Ohio Edisons will provide the delivery systems through their transmission and distribution networks, while FirstEnergy Solutions looks to be a power provider of choice. Mr. Alexander describes the reorganized FirstEnergy as two businesses joined at the top by a parent company. FirstEnergy Solutions runs 20 generating plants capable of producing more than 13,000 megawatts of power, while its group of seven utility subsidiaries transmit power to 4.5 million customers in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Wall Street, however, sees only one company, and it s giving the one it sees high marks. FirstEnergy s stock hit a high of $66.29 Feb. 28, up 157% from $25.82 on Aug. 18, 2003, days after a blackout darkened the Midwest and fingers started to point FirstEnergy s way as the company that triggered it. The stock closed last Thursday at $ The peak in stock price came just days after FirstEnergy reported record earnings for 2006 of $1.25 billion, or You can t sit around and worry about it. I think you just stay focused on the operating fundamentals of our business and the rest of that noise around the industry, it s just there. Anthony J. Alexander, president and CEO, FirstEnergy Corp. $3.81 a share, handily eclipsing its previous record profit of $878 million, or $2.67 a share, in TheStreet.com has put First- Energy on its top 10 list of stocks of large companies that have the most potential to increase in value. The online investment information service praised the company s plans to increase capacity on the generating side of the business, saying FirstEnergy has cost advantages over its competitors, as it generates electricity using nuclear power and coal, compared to its competitors, which typically use oil and gas. Mum on mergers While FirstEnergy s improved financial and operating positions allow Mr. Alexander to look ahead confidently, he still faces an industry that is in flux and ripe for a round of mergers and acquisitions. Last month, for example, a private equity group that includes Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group said it would pay $32 billion for TXU Corp., a Texas electric utility that is considerably larger than FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy has not been singled out as either a target or an acquirer, and Mr. Alexander deflected questions on the subject. You can t sit around and worry about it, said Mr. Alexander, who earned $2.8 million in 2006, according to the company s recent proxy statement. I think you just stay focused on the operating fundamentals of our business and the rest of that noise around the industry, it s just there. Others nonetheless are thinking about it, though the complicated state and federal regulatory net that is tied to power companies makes unfriendly takeovers difficult, said James Halloran, analyst for National City Private Client Group. Mr. Halloran said FirstEnergy could be attractive to a larger, acquisition-minded utility such as Exelon Corp. of Chicago or Dominion Resources Inc. of Richmond, Va. Or, it could be an acquirer of a smaller utility on the edges of its current market territory, such as DPL Inc., the parent of Dayton Power & Light, or Duquesne Light Holdings of Pittsburgh. But Mr. Halloran doubts First- Energy is thinking about mergers and acquisitions. The company has a good gig going on right now, he said. NRC loosens the reins Much of FirstEnergy s attractiveness to the financial markets is a response to a company that has cleaned up its act over the last five years and recently saw the last cloud lifted from its nuclear power plants. Specifically, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 2 said it would reduce its inspection routine to normal levels after two years of more intense scrutiny of operations at the Perry nuclear plant. The NRC s action contrasts with a string of problems that began in 2002 when workers discovered acid eating through the reactor lid at the Davis- Besse nuclear plant near Toledo. That plant was closed for repairs for two years and cost the company a record $33.5 million in fines, $500 million in repairs and millions more in bigger bills for purchased power. FirstEnergy also appears to be making strides in upgrading the regulated transmission and distribution side of its business. I know that FirstEnergy has paid a lot of attention since the blackout to rebuilding its transmission system, said Robert Burns, senior institute specialist and attorney at the National Regulatory Research Institute at Ohio State University in Columbus, a center established by an association of state utility regulators to study the regulated industry. Mr. Burns said the company was given 43 recommendations after the blackout from federal regulatory agencies for improving the reliability of its section of the region s power grid and it has completed all of them. Tom Cerzan, an electric utility analyst at Regulatory Research Associates Inc., a Jersey City, N.J., firm that publishes subscription-based research on energy industries, sees the improvement, too. At this point they are on the road to recovery, Mr. Cerzan said. We ve got the potential down the road for a market-based generation regime, and they will fare well. ON THE WEB Story from Timken to shut Sao Paulo plant Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR) said it will close a manufacturing plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by the end of the year, as part of an effort to restructure the company s Automotive Group in the face of weakening North American vehicle production. Closing the plant will improve the performance of Timken s Automotive Group by eliminating manufacturing redundancies and further aligning its global footprint to expected levels of demand going forward, the maker of bearings and alloy steel said in a news release. The Sao Paulo plant, which employs about 300, opened in 1960 and produces tapered roller bearings ranging in size from 0 to 8 inches. Timken said it will maintain sales, marketing and warehouse operations in Brazil. We continue to implement our initiatives to manage our portfolio and improve the performance of Timken s automotive business, said Jacqueline A. Dedo, president of the company s Automotive Group. Timken said its restructuring plan, announced in 2005, and a work force reduction plan announced last year are on track to deliver expected savings of $40 million and $35 million, respectively, by The company said it has cut more than 2,500 jobs from its Automotive Group since REAL ESTATE BUSINESS SERVICES BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIY BUSINESS FOR SALE Design/Build!! Retail Warehouse Storage Distribution Tenant Services CALL (440) FOR INFO CNC MACHINING Quick Turnaround. Specializing in PRODUCTION, CNC MILLING, CNC TURNING, and Welding. Open 24 hours to meet customer requirments. Aerotech Enterprise DBA K&F MFG 8511 Mulberry Road Chesterland, Ohio Fax OFFICE FURNITURE Huge selection of pre-owned and New Office Furniture at Low Prices. Immediate Delivery Mon. Fri. 8-5 Sat Payne Ave. Cleveland WANTED: Your subscription to Crain s Cleveland Business To sign up call toll-free at or CrainsCleveland.com Click on Subscribe Now. 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12 28 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 Plight: Board unhappy with communication gap continued from PAGE 1 economy in which residents chose not to have elective surgeries, said Patricia Ruflin, its CEO. I don t think we got a full grasp of the effect of the economy on health care, Ms. Ruflin said. We always think people are going to do what they need to do, no matter what, and that s just not the case, especially with elective procedures. Fred DeGrandis, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic s regional hospitals, said Northeast Ohio s high rate of unemployment also is a challenge to community hospitals because it results in a higher amount of charity and uncompensated care. What s more, reimbursement levels from private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid are likely to stay flat at least until the November 2008 presidential election, which could bring about some reimbursement changes, he said. In a very common way, (hospitals) all are facing reimbursement challenges but there is significant pressure on all of our community hospitals, Mr. DeGrandis said. Strength test Southwest General last year hired Chicago-based Navigant Consulting Inc. to examine the hospital s strengths and weaknesses and to make recommendations on how to become more efficient. Mr. Rowe would not disclose the findings of a report Navigant gave to the hospital in April However, he admits the hospital likely made some mistakes in the past. In our periods of strong growth or economic strength, we would start new programs and probably not evaluate them as well as we should have, Mr. Rowe said. While Mr. Rowe said Southwest General remains strong in cancer, cardiology, orthopedics and neurosciences, he would not disclose weak areas within the hospital because he said no decisions have been made or announced to staff and the community on changes within the hospital. However, he said some changes already are in the works. Southwest General has begun to ask patients to pay their co-pays or deductibles up front, a simple move Mr. Rowe said will result in about $500,000 in additional income for the hospital in 2007 and an estimated $1 million in The hospital previously didn t try to collect that money, he said. Physicians also had complained that their patients weren t admitted fast enough, so the hospital is working to speed up that process and to prepare operating rooms more quickly for the next patients. Health care has not been focused on productivity, Mr. Rowe said. We need to focus on that every day. A failure to communicate Economic and operational challenges notwithstanding, Southwest General has some work to do to restore happiness among the communities it serves. The pediatrics unit has been on the chopping block for about three years as parents increasingly sought medical care for their children at academic medical centers such as Akron Children s Hospital and Rainbow Babies & Children s Hospital, which is owned by University Hospitals, the same hospital system with which Southwest General is affiliated, Mr. Rowe said. Southwest General tried to close the unit in 2004 but backed off because the community complained. Dissatisfaction still lingers among those who pay taxes to support the hospital, which gets a total of $1 million a year from Berea, Brook Park, Columbia Township, Middleburg Heights, Olmsted Falls and Strongsville. If a child is 12 years old, they cannot be admitted to Southwest, they have to go out of the area, said Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr. Residents are not benefiting from that value service, so why are they paying taxes? Despite the unpopularity of last month s decision to close the 20-bed pediatrics unit, Mr. Rowe said it had to be done because the unit averaged only two to three patients a day over the last two years. Children 14 and over can still be admitted at Southwest General and outpatient services will still be provided for all ages. David Lambros, a member of the Southwest Community Health System board of trustees and law director for Brook Park, said he s also pushing for improved communications between the board, the hospital and the communities it serves. One breakdown in communications came last year, when the Navigant report was not given to all board members, said Mr. Lambros, who only received the report last month. He said there also was a lack of communication to the community when the hospital cut jobs and decided to close the pediatrics unit. Announcing the closing of the pediatrics unit might have been a situation where the hospital put the cart before the horse, he said. There should have been some ground work done with the mayors of the communities to show what needed to be done, he said. Mayor Starr said he was extremely disappointed that local elected officials were not notified before the public that the hospital planned to shut down the pediatrics unit. While Mr. Lambros said Mr. Rowe has worked hard to rectify the communications problems, he still wants to further address th issue. A real eye-opener Despite the hospital s difficulties, Mr. Rowe said he believes Southwest General is on the right path to post profits this year of 4% over the hospital s costs, and 5% by We haven t had a 5% margin for a while, he said. We ve been looking at 2% to 3% in the past. Southwest General also is looking to gain more market share by building a $15 million, 45,000-square-foot medical services center in Brunswick to house 12 doctors in areas such as imaging and laboratory services. Mr. Rowe said the center is planned for 4.7 acres on state Route 303 and should be completed in about 18 months. About 38% of Brunswick residents admitted to a hospital come to Southwest General, he said. With so many changes and improvement initiatives on the table, Mr. Lambros is optimistic. The past year has been a real eye-opener, (but) I think we re going to be OK, he said. Ellison: Area known for rough past continued from PAGE 1 firm, which now is in a storefront at 6403 Detroit Ave. next to Cleveland Public Theater. I want to walk to work, Mr. Ellison said, as the site is just blocks from his Carroll Avenue home in Cleveland s Ohio City neighborhood. Such a deal is striking for Lorain west of West 32 nd Street. In his memoir Hollywood Animal, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who grew up in the neighborhood, described the buildings Mr. Ellison just bought as being in a strudel ghetto of Hungarian residents. The gritty, tough street has gone downhill since. However, the area north of Lorain in Ohio City now is home to astonishing restored Victorian homes and a plethora of tony townhomes. South of Lorain, the Ohio City Townhomes a few years ago transformed part of West 41 st Street near Mr. Ellison s buildings. In between, Lorain Avenue itself west of West 32 nd Street remains desolate. There are stretches of boarded-up buildings and bumperto-bumper used car lots. An occasional antique store or hardy small business punctuates some blocks. Urban renewal Mr. Ellison s purchase of the buildings from Ohio City Near West indicates a change could be afoot. So, too, Mr. Mazzola said, do rumors about speculative purchases of buildings not yet visible in the public record plus plans for a nearly $2 million townhouse complex on the north side of Lorain near West 47 th Street. Most of all, there s the benefit of two recent projects in the area. One is the Cleveland Environmental Center, a $2 million conversion of the landmark former Cleveland Trust bank building at 3500 Lorain as offices for multiple green nonprofits. Defining the other end of that segment of the street is Urban Community School s new $12 million campus at 4909 Lorain. Mr. Ellison s project sits in the middle. Ironically, Mr. Ellison s plans call for demolishing the four frame buildings surrounding the brick building he wants to save. Demolishing the frame buildings will provide room for parking and landscaping and give prominence to the surviving building, Mr. Ellison said. The Ohio City Near West Design Review Board and the Cleveland City Design Review Board have approved Mr. Ellison s plans. Councilman Joe Santiago, whose Ward 14 includes Mr. Ellison s project, said he supports Mr. Ellison s intentions. He notes five prior plans to redo the corner fell through. That is known as a highly druginfested area, Mr. Santiago said. He said he hopes the new investment, plans to convert West 41 st and West 44 th streets to two-way streets from one-way streets, and attention to the area by Ohio City Near West s security coordinator and police can help remake lower Lorain. Mr. Ellison estimates he needs to spend about $500,000 for his project. He said he hopes to land tenants for the first-floor storefront and part of the 2,100-square-foot second floor, or simply gain more word-of-mouth design work, to help swing financing. If he cannot, Mr. Ellison vowed to finance the work by selling his house and moving into a loft on the second floor next to his proposed office. Sprucing up the corridor Another breakaway project for the street that has won local design review and city approvals is Courtyard Homes, a nine-townhouse development at West 47 th Street and Lorain by Robert T. Boothe Co., a shopping center development consultant and custom home builder in Gates Mills. Robert Boothe, president of the namesake firm, said he hopes to build a model home in late spring or early summer for a model. His plans call for nine, three-bedroom brownstones each costing upwards of $185,000. He currently is negotiating for financing. It s raw, but there are successful housing projects nearby, Mr. Boothe said. It s not a 100-unit project, but it will mean something for the Lorain corridor.
13 MARCH 12-18, CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS 29 In the River Styx Road store, the Ace space borders the Buehler s floral department to help make for a smooth transition into the hardware store s outdoor merchandise and its gift area. MARC GOLUB Store: Duo presented design challenge continued from PAGE 3 screwdrivers stuck in the corner. While the Ace has its own entrance from the parking lot, there s no interior wall separating it from the grocery store. Meshing the two environments was the job of Los Angeles-based design firm Shook Kelley Inc., which has handled several interior makeovers and layout projects for Buehler s. We didn t want to have a basic hardware store stuck in the middle of a grocery store, said Jennifer Ochoa, Shook Kelley s project manager for Buehler s. Ace Hardware has their own design standards. Trying to implement those and still having it work with the Buehler s design and making it work with their design standards and incorporating all that together was definitely a challenge. In both the Delaware and River Lamson: Mantra is Better. Faster. Different. continued from PAGE 3 he honed for eight years as head of Glenwillow-based Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co., the maker of Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners that now is part of Techtronic Industries Co. of Hong Kong. The need for speed At Royal, Mr. Merriman ramped up the company s product development capabilities and reduced the average time for bringing new products to market to just eight months from 24 months. Part of the recipe, he said, is to better connect company departments, which include marketing, engineering, sales and manufacturing. As at Royal, Mr. Merriman has expanded Lamson s product development team consisting of all these departments to brainstorm how to develop new product lines and to become BFD. They ll say Mike is always talking about BFD Better. Faster. Different, Mr. Merriman said. Innovation is cliché. I like the word different, as in how can we be different from the other guy? It could be something as simple as paying a bill faster or sending out a customer order quicker. Better. Faster. Different. That s the mantra. While he describes Lamson as an innovative player in a competitive field, Mr. Merriman is determined to improve its performance by expanding its role in other industrial Styx Road stores, the Ace space borders the Buehler s floral department, which Ms. Ochoa said helped make for a smooth transition into the hardware store s outdoor merchandise and its gift area of household items such as dishes and framed pictures. It s not just about visually blending the stores, either. We put the things that appeal to the female customer first, before you get into the paint and chainsaws, Ms. McMillen said. Depending on the (store) location, 75% to 80% of our customers are females. (And) most home improvement is driven by the female. Ms. McMillen said though she could not provide specific numbers on customer traffic and store sales, both have increased at the combined Ace and Buehler s stores. sectors. He said opportunities for internal growth abound in commercial and industrial construction as well as the burgeoning telecommunications industry. Mr. Merriman also is intent on exploring new geographic markets, especially in North America. For instance, there is plenty of business to be tapped in the Southwest region, where the residential housing boom is expected to resume in Arizona and other communities this year. All the while, Ramius is applying pressure to Lamson pressure it has applied to other companies, too. Atlanta-based financial software provider S1 Corp. underwent a proxy fight last spring when Ramius pushed to increase the number of directors at the struggling company. S1 eventually did name Ramius managing director Jeffrey C. Smith to the board. Ramius waged another proxy battle two months ago with Phoenix Technologies Ltd., a firmware company in Milpitas, Calif. Ramius didn t return two calls last week to comment for this story. However, Douglas Kahl, professor of finance and international business at the University of Akron, said Ramius thus far has shown more interest in achieving a short-term gain for investors than displaying real concern for Lamson & Sessions future. Customers like one source It sounds like they are prepared to burn the company to get a stock bump, Dr. Kahl said. What we found was that moving it to Buehler s and incorporating it as part of the store made it easier for the existing Ace customers (to visit), as well as increasing the (grocery) store business, she said. Ace Hardware spokesman Christopher Boniface, speaking from the company s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters, said while there are other Aces linked to grocery stores, they are few and far between. While the everything under one roof approach isn t a new one, the combination of Ace franchises with locally run grocery chains could be a way for both small entities to combat Wal-Mart and Home Depot. It is a great way to bring together two independent businesses in one town and sort of come together as one, Mr. Boniface said. There is a little bit of strength in that. He said Ramius insistence that Lamson sell its PVC business could affect current customer relations across Lamson s business, which includes the Carlon line of thermoplastic fittings and electrical enclosures. Selling an underperforming business when the market is down isn t a good option, Dr. Kahl said. Dr. Kahl said a company such as Lamson with a healthy cash flow could buy back shares to increase share value, but spending cash in this fashion could limit growth options through acquisitions or expanding operations. In the long run, you might end up with a company that is damaged, he said. As for Mr. Merriman, he seems intent on running Lamson as a whole. Mr. Merriman said several construction industry customers have explained to him that purchasing both pipe and fittings from a single source in this case, Lamson remains a preferred option. In other words, selling the PVC business could disrupt sales of fittings. I told Ramius that I m hearing from customers that the two (together) are important, he said. The question is, what weight do customer concerns carry with the hedge fund? Mr. Merriman can t afford to ponder the answer. We can t get distracted from growing this company, he said. Even if we are sold, we have to barrel forward to convince the new owners we can grow. College: Football team to use high school s field continued from PAGE 3 There is not a building that won t be touched, said Mr. Victor, who came to Lake Erie College last fall from his former post as dean of the Walker School of Business at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. Though Lake Erie College hasn t yet embarked on a formal capital campaign to finance the renovations, the school raised $5 million in private donations the first six months of Mr. Victor s tenure, said Scott Evans, vice president of institutional advancement. The most the college previously raised in one year was $5.2 million in 2003, he said. Trying to stand out The 1,000-student college has started to recruit students in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Mr. Victor said. A marketing campaign titled Get in. Stand out was launched last fall simply to let students know Lake Erie College existed. Those that did know us, there was a perception that we were an all-female institution, even though the college has admitted men since 1986, Mr. Victor said. The efforts already seem to be paying off. In the current school year, Lake Erie College so far has had 489 campus visits versus 287 during the same time a year ago. About 1,000 students have applied to the school for entry next fall, which is about twice as many as the 521 who had applied by this time in 2006, said Kathleen Lawry, public relations and marketing specialist at Lake Erie College. Currently, we have a waiting list and are taking a closer look at our pool of applicants, Ms. Lawry said. The college expects a freshman class of 250 next fall, a 75% increase over the 142-member freshman class in fall 2006, Mr. Victor said. In preparation for a higher enrollment, Mr. Victor said, Lake Erie College is exploring the possibility of building residence halls to join the existing four. Until then, the college is leasing an apartment building near campus to serve as student housing and is considering leasing other apartment buildings throughout Painesville, said Christine Boyd, the college s director of public relations and marketing. Ms. Boyd said there s also an interest in owning again the property now occupied by the neighboring Phillips-Osborne School. The private, primary school, which announced this month it would merge with The Andrews School in Willoughby, originally was operated by Lake Erie College before breaking off on its own in Rita McMahon, Painesville s city manager, said she s glad to see Lake Erie College attempting to become a more active member of the community. She said the college plans to invite the community onto campus for various events and activities, initiatives the college hasn t always taken. There s a lot of people who have lived here maybe all their lives and never been on campus, Ms. McMahon said. On the field While marketing can account for some of the increased interest in the school, the power of sports As of last week, the college had received 925 inquiries and 300 applications for admission from male students interested in the football program. can t be denied. The school next fall will launch a Division III football team and will add more sports in the coming years, Mr. Victor said. As of last week, the college had received 925 inquiries and 300 applications for admission from male students interested in the football program, Ms. Lawry said. Mr. Victor expects the interest in football to increase because Lake Erie College is applying to become a Division II football team by fall 2008, which means the school can give athletic scholarships. The National Collegiate Athletic Association will determine how much in athletic scholarships must be given to qualify for Division II status based on factors such as enrollment and number of athletic teams, Ms. Boyd said. The college last month further prepared for that status by signing a deal with the city of Painesville and the Painesville City school district to use the high school football stadium for the college s home football games. Under the five-year agreement, the college will spend $100,000 to improve the stadium s locker rooms and press box to bring it up to college standards and will explore footing the bill for artificial turf. In turn, the city will resurface the parking lots and update the restrooms, and Thomas W. Harvey High School s soccer team will be able to use the college s soccer field for three home games a year. Banners promoting the college will be put up around town and near the football stadium next fall and the college plans to display and sell some of its merchandise in local stores as a way to interest residents in the school and its sporting events, Mr. Victor said. and off Lake Erie College also is working to identify subjects that it will promote as the school s areas of expertise, Mr. Victor said. The existing equine studies program will be a natural focus for the college, he said. Other areas in which the school does well include the international program, justice studies and pre-professional majors such as pre-veterinary medicine, said Robert Trebar, associate dean of management studies at Lake Erie College. Mr. Trebar said the college hopes to further distinguish itself by creating a program to infuse entrepreneurship throughout the campus. The program is backed by a $1.3 million grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman and Burton D. Morgan foundations. Mr. Trebar said a Business Plan Clinic already has been established to help Lake County residents start their own businesses. The school also wants to offer more math and science majors in areas such as allied health and alternative energy, and officials there have applied for $750,000 in federal grants to launch the programs, Mr. Evans said. A consultant this spring will evaluate the campus to determine what allied health majors the college can handle or should create, Ms. Boyd said. Noted Mr. Trebar: It s a way for us to distinguish ourselves from other colleges.
14 30 CRAIN S CLEVELAND BUSINESS MARCH 12-18, 2007 THEWEEK MARCH 5-11 Getting well: A unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. in Columbus signed a definitive agreement to acquire Well- Corp Inc., a provider of health management services based in Solon. Nationwide did not say what it will pay for WellCorp, which will Agranovich become part of its Nationwide Better Health unit. WellCorp will continue to be headquartered in Solon and will operate under its current management team. WellCorp was founded in 1995 by its CEO, Cheryl Agranovich. The company operates regional offices through the United States and provides health management programs for a number of Fortune 1000 companies. Vacant CEO suite: Tom Bradshaw is out as CEO of Ricerca Biosciences LLC. Mr. Bradshaw s contract with the drug discovery and development organization was up at the end of February and was not renewed as part of a mutual agreement, said Tim Tinkler, general counsel for Ricerca. There was no animosity, Mr. Tinkler said. Mr. Tinkler declined to say why Mr. Bradshaw is gone, but did indicate his departure is related to coming transactions at Ricerca, located in Concord Township. Securing funds: The state of Ohio settled its securities fraud case against Time Warner Inc., netting six state pension funds $144 million. The case arose in 2003 after the state opted out of a class-action lawsuit alleging that America Online Inc. misrepresented its sales and subscriber numbers to inflate its stock price prior to its 2001 merger with Time Warner. Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann said six state pension funds lost nearly $400 million when the price of the merged company s stock fell from $48 a share to less than $10 a share after the misrepresentation was discovered. Mr. Dann said the $144 million the six state pension funds will net from the suit is 16 times larger than they would get from the pending class-action settlement. Sad loss: Joseph J. LoPresti Jr., president of Cleveland-based law firm McDonald Hopkins Co. LPA, died Sunday evening, March 4. He was 59. Mr. LoPresti had been president of the firm since McDonald Hopkins will be led by its executive committee, though the firm is likely to begin searching for a new president. Stone cold: Quarry operator American Stone Industries Inc. of Amherst formally terminated its proposed deal to sell 989 acres in Lorain County to Trans European Securities International LLP, a European consortium. Under an agreement signed May 24, 2004, Trans European acquired an option from American Stone to buy the acreage for $23.7 million and turn it into a high-end resort. But the deal started to go sour the next year, when Trans European advised American Stone that its financing had fallen through. For the record: HydroGen Corp., a Cleveland company that designs and makes phosphoric acid fuel cell systems, was approved to list its common shares on the Nasdaq Capital Market.... The William J. and Dorothy K. O Neill Foundation of Cleveland named Leah S. Gary as its president and CEO. She will assume the job April 9. Ms. Gary has been a vice president at the St. Luke s Foundation of Cleveland since July To keep up with local business news as it happens, visit REPORTERS NOTEBOOK BEHIND THE NEWS WITH CRAIN S WRITERS Now, about those millions in Wal-Mart tax dollars WHAT S NEW COMPANY: Design Engineering Inc., Avon Lake PRODUCT: Heater Hotter The Heater Hotter go ahead, try to say that five times real fast is a radiator additive specially formulated to absorb heat from the engine and transfer it to the cooling system without raising engine temperatures. Accelerating the transfer of heat means 50% faster warm-up to help an engine reach normal operating temperature, according to Design Engineering. This insures hot air is available for interior heat on command, even in sub-zero temperatures. The company says Heater Hotter s exceptional thermal conductivity properties help promote the release of surface tension, or water vapor bubbles, which form near engine hot spots and impede coolant flow. Transferring heat quickly and efficiently can extend the life of a cooling system and, in turn, reduce engine wear and tear. Heater Hotter also includes a corrosion inhibitor that helps stabilize the ph level to help prevent rust, electrolysis and mineral deposits from forming on radiator core for long-term protection. For information, visit ing.com. Send new product information to Urban economic development is a murky affair that takes the graduate-level chemistry of environmental pollution, mixes it with a strong dose of high-finance voodoo and then turns it over to a bunch of government bureaucracies that work from thick regulatory manuals. So it shouldn t be surprising that Clevelanders have been led to believe that Wal- Mart was going to be awarded a blanket tax abatement for its new super center at Steelyard Commons but gave it back after a public uproar, with the prospect of sending millions of dollars to city coffers in the years ahead. That s not the whole story. It s true that a seldom-used state law does grant automatic tax abatement to a property owner who cleans up a polluted piece of land. It s so seldom used that many public officials, including those in Cleveland, were unfamiliar with the nuances of the law. When The Plain Dealer got wind that city officials feared they would be losing tax revenue, it became a Page One headline. A citizen ruckus was raised, and because citizens are shoppers, Wal-Mart officials stood up to say they would forego the abatement. Well, someone should have talked to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the agency that certifies cleaned-up property for tax abatement, before jumping to milliondollar conclusions. As Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heidi Greismer explained to Crain s, the tax abatement only applies to the increase in the value of the land, not to new construction. In other words, Steelyard Commons property owners are not entitled to tax abatement for the shiny, expensive new buildings they put up on their tax-abated land. And because land is usually only a fraction of the total assessed value of a retail property, it s likely the annual tax windfall created by Wal-Mart s decision to decline the abatement will be in the thousands, not the millions. Jay Miller Carrying the torch for Chicago s Olympic hopes Brulant Inc. aims to help Chicago win an Olympic competition far more important than any gold medal contest. The interactive marketing firm in Beachwood has designed a web site that promotes the Windy City as the best location for the 2016 Summer Games. Brulant got the job through managing partner Suketu Gandhi, who joined the company last summer and now leads its Chicago office, which opened in January. Mr. Gandhi said he already knew a few members of the Chicago Olympic Committee, so they contacted him when they needed to redesign what had been a simple web site. A crew of five employees in both Chicago and Cleveland worked through most of the holiday season to finish the site, which went STOCKS 10 BEST PERFORMERS CLOSE WEEK S 52-WK 52-WK COMPANY 3/9 % CHANGE HIGH LOW 1. Sifco Industries Inc. (SIF) Olympic Steel Inc. (ZEUS) DataTrak International (DATA) Chart Industries Inc. (GTLS) Omnova Solutions Inc. (OMN) Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF) Myers Industries Inc. (MYE) Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) Jo-Ann Stores Inc. (JAS) Ferro Corp. (FOE) WEAKEST PERFORMERS CLOSE WEEK S 52-WK 52-WK COMPANY 3/9 % CHANGE HIGH LOW 1. OM Group Inc. (OMG) Oglebay Norton Co. (OGBY) Associated Estates Realty (AEC) RPM International Inc. (RPM) National City Corp. (NCC) PolyOne Corp. (POL) Progressive Corp. (PGR) Nacco Industries Inc. (NC) Lincoln Electric Holdings (LECO) Developers Diversified (DDR) MOST ACTIVE CLOSE WK S VOL. 52-WK 52-WK COMPANY 3/9 (in thousands) HIGH LOW 1. Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) , National City Corp. (NCC) , Progressive Corp. (PGR) , Developers Diversified (DDR) , KeyCorp (KEY) , FirstEnergy Corp. (FE) , OM Group Inc. (OMG) , Eaton Corp. (ETN) , Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF) , Parker Hannifin Corp. (PH) , Source: FinancialContent Inc. THEINSIDER up Jan. 20, said Mr. Gandhi, a Chicago native. There were a lot of Clevelanders showing the Midwest spirit, he said. This spring the U.S. Olympic Committee will pick either Chicago or Los Angeles as its applicant to the International Olympic Committee, which will choose from cities worldwide in fall Mr. Gandhi said he was thrilled to work on the site and would love for the Games to come to his hometown. It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of something as special as the Olympics, he said. Chuck Soder Serious competition for a fun prize MetroHealth Medical Center is one of 20 hospitals across the country competing for a free children s entertainment center that aims to help children get their minds off their illness while in the hospital. The Fun Center is a mobile unit that includes a flat screen monitor, DVD player and a Nintendo game system that can roll up to a child s bedside. Colgate-Palmolive and the Starlight Starbright Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit that helps seriously ill children and their families cope with their illnesses, are sponsoring the competition. People can vote for a certain hospital as many times as they want at te.com/app.colgate.us/corp/community Programs/Starlight/HomePage.cvsp. The five hospitals with the most votes as of March 31 will win a Fun Center. Shannon Mortland
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