September 1, 2014

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What are you ready for, what are you waiting for? PDF Print E-mail

I’m all Apple all the time. Since 1984.

So far, Apple and Steve Jobs have changed the way computers run, revolutionized the mobile phone, and revolutionized the way music is distributed to a point that all retailers, distributors, manufacturers, producers, music groups, and recording artists are totally dependent on Apple for a sizeable share of their revenue.

The iPod, and all versions of their music players, phones, laptops, and anything that plays music uses iTunes as a playing medium AND a purchasing medium. WOW.

Oh, there are still DVDs and other forms of distribution, but Apple rules. And Apple makes the rules. They have completely changed the game and the process. The world, accepted it, bought it by the billions, and LOVES it.

Their iPod competition has utterly failed. Got Zune? Not only was it a billion dollar failure, it was a joke. The iPhone started another revolution. And that’s a story for another day.

Today is iPad day. Or should I say “book replacement” day. The iPad is so revolutionary that no one even saw it coming. They didn’t know what to do with it – or could have predicted the changes it would inspire.

Capitalizing on the growing demand for e-books, the exploding app market, e-reader popularity, and the global appetite for cool products, Apple went to market having no idea what an explosion of creativity they were unleashing.

Remember this ditty? No more homework, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!

Well, some of it is about to come true. The homework will still be there, the teachers will still be there, their dirty looks will (unfortunately) still be there, but the books are fading fast.

Remember your first day of school every year? “Issuing books” was a major part of the day. Signing for them, writing your name and grade in them, putting them in your book bag, and then dragging them back and forth to class, to home, and back to school all year. (Not to mention losing them and dropping them in a puddle of water.)

Well, those days aren’t completely over yet, but the iPad is beginning to idle printing presses globally. And soon, like the Yellow Pages, newspapers, and magazines, the majority of printed media will only be available online as a download or from some ASP.

REALITY: Everyone on the planet is looking for ways to improve education. The iPad will lead the revolution. It will provide 21st century learning and make it FUN (and might even eliminate some of the teacher’s dirty looks).

What kid wants eight textbooks when they could have an iPad? NOBODY ON

THE PLANET. Less money, no hassle,

completely searchable, underline-able, note-take-able, and FUN.

Our three-year old daughter Gabrielle dominates one of our iPads. She

 
5 essential building blocks for a thriving work culture PDF Print E-mail

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What makes a successful business thrive? That’s what eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs would like to know, because their businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg.

Adam Witty has managed to turn plenty of heads in the business community as founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, (http://advantagefamily.com/), an international publisher of business, self-improvement, and professional development books and online learning.

Witty, who was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011, says creating the right environment is crucial for success. The magazine also featured his company in their top 500|5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for 2012 and 2013, when the company ranked No. 42 in Media and No. 36 for Top 100 South Carolina Companies.

“You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders, that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together, and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry – that’s the question,” says Witty, the author of five books and an in-demand speaker and consultant on marketing, business development, media and publishing, and entrepreneurship topics.

“Of course, you need folks with the right qualifications who are willing to bring their A-game every day – that’s crucial. But there are also character traits to look for: a positive, can-do attitude, for instance. If a person doesn’t fit in the mix, not only will he or she be less likely to bring their best, they can also compromise everyone else’s game.”

Witty talks about what it takes to get that hum every CEO wants, both in the office and in one’s respective industry.

• Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait. An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table – perhaps more than you were expecting – and that something extra as a human being. Of course, that isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time to see the true colors of a talented individual to come through. This speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager, “which may be a small business’s CEO,” Witty adds. Also, it’s important to have A-players who put the team first, who have helped Advantage Media Group earn a spot on the Best Places to Work in South Carolina list for 2013 and 2014. Egomaniacs who cannot collaborate can to grind productivity to a screeching halt.

• The importance of having fun … “Having fun not only helps your team do well, it’s a sign that you’re doing things right,” Witty says. “Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do.” Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm while tending to the tasks at hand.

• Make employees, and clients, your extended family. A family environment significantly facilitates a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers and other crucial components of the business. Without these folks, your business couldn’t survive.

• Direction: understanding the “why;” encourage difference makers. “Our team members are driven by the ‘why’ of what we do,” Witty says. “The right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.”

• Commit to lifelong learning. Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every one on your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences and skills, people lead to a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.

 

(Adam Witty is the founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, (http://advantagefamily.com/), an international publisher of business, self-improvement and professional development books and online learning. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals to help them write, publish, market and monetize books to grow their business. Witty has been featured on ABC and Fox, and was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011.)

 
4 smart investments beyond the Stock Market PDF Print E-mail

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As major stock market indexes continue to climb, so too are concerns on the “fear market” – VIX, the CBOE S&P 500 Options Volatility Index, says entrepreneur Dean Anastos.

“Advances in the market have been relatively thin in volume, and the declines have been heavier; in general, there seems to be too much complacency among investors, and there are hints here and there that the market is not as bullish as many have supposed,” says Anastos, who specializes in real estate, computer programming and trading data communications equipment.

“Now may be a really good time to look elsewhere for smart investments,” says his business partner Ricky Brava.

Anastos and Brava review some of those options.

• Real estate is still growing. No area was hit harder by the recession than real estate. Since then, however, the getting has been good for prospective buyers looking for a profit, yet many remain gun shy due to the hard lessons of 2008-09. Meanwhile, the housing recovery continues as prices are getting back to where they once were. In many markets, buying is still cheaper than renting, “although this is not true everywhere,” Anastos says. “Ultimately, it depends on the area, the loan and how long you may be looking to live on the property – or, if you want to rent a property out, which continues to be very lucrative today.”

• Banks have plenty of distressed debt; consider a deal. (www.apollofinancialgrp.com). “We buy distressed debt bank portfolios that aren’t generating cash for the bank and work with the families in the homes to refinance at affordable rates,” says Brava, senior partner at Apollo Financial Group, founded by Anastos, who adds, “If we can’t work it out with the owner, the property gets a second chance, rather than sitting vacant, when we sell the loans as non-performing first or second lien bank notes.”

Conduct a title search of the property to reveal any liens. Check with the county to ascertain what, if any, outstanding property taxes are due. Contact a local real estate agent to get an estimation on the property and its as-is resale value.

• Keep in mind tax-advantaged investments. Tax-advantaged investments can include real estate partnerships, oil and gas partnerships and suitability, which refers to how appropriate an investment may or may not be to an investor. Two of the most common types of real estate partnerships, for example, are low-income housing and historic rehabilitation. The federal government grants tax credits to those who construct or rehabilitate low-income housing or who invest in the rehabilitation or preservation of historic structures.

• Pay attention to possible changes to Roth IRAs – a good option, so far. This is still a good investment option for retirement, even though significant changes have been proposed by the White House. Your allotted money goes into a Roth after it’s been taxed, but earnings aren’t taxed. Unlike traditional IRAs and 401(k)s, Roth owners currently don’t have to take annual distributions after turning 70½ — which means the money has even more years to grow if the owner doesn’t need it. Once the owner dies, the beneficiary inherits the money tax-free. President Obama says this isn’t what was intended in a Roth and wants to change this advantage, yet his proposal continues to face opposition and many think it won’t pass.

 
Secretary Husted announces August Ohio Business Profiles PDF Print E-mail

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COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that August’s Ohio Business Profile features seven nonprofit organizations who work tirelessly to help make our state a better place to live. Whether they help feed the hungry, assist those in need, or fight to protect our state’s most fragile resources, they give us causes to champion and provide outlets for all Ohioans to help give back.

“These nonprofits are making a difference in local communities around the state by providing goods and services that people need, as well as by supporting jobs and helping to strengthen the state’s economy,” Secretary Husted said.

According to the most recent report available from the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Ohio’s nonprofits employed almost 500,000 paid workers. That is equivalent to one out of every 10 workers in Ohio, earning nearly $18.8 billion in wages. Companies profiled this month include:

· Freestore Foodbank – Cincinnati - The largest emergency food and service provider to children and families in the tri-state. The organization distributes more than 18.5 million meals annually to more than 300,000 low-income individuals and families. · SHC/The Arc of Medina County – Medina - Partners with individuals with disabilities and their families to provide services to assist them with living.

· Black Swamp Conservancy – Perrysburg - Dedicated to preserving family farms and natural habitats. To date, they have protected more than 13,300 acres of land across 13 northwest Ohio counties.

· Keep Ohio Beautiful, Inc. – Fairlawn - Believes that everyone deserves to live in an environment that is healthy, safe, clean and beautiful. They are a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and serve as Ohio’s umbrella organization for 33 local affiliate organizations.

· Elizabeth’s New Life Center – Dayton - Specialize in positive solutions and support for unexpected pregnancies, including free pregnancy tests, ultrasound scans, consulting on pregnancy decisions, parenting education, and material assistance.

· Food for Thought – Toledo - Provides over 350 lunches each week in the Toledo area and also provides a “Mobile Pantry” that serves more than 1,400 each month.

· The Arc of Ohio – Columbus - Works to create a world where children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities can enjoy equal rights and opportunities.

 
3 proven management techniques that work in any business PDF Print E-mail

Within the first five years of a small-business venture, about half do not survive, according to the government’s Small Business Administration. And after 10 years, only a third are still around.

“Successful entrepreneurship hits the bull’s eye of the American dream, but most simply do not make it,” says veteran Texas businessman David M. Smith, author of “The Texas Spirit,” (www.TheTexasSpiritBook.com).

“You don’t have to have extravagant wealth or a degree from Harvard to make it; a successful business requires essentially the same thing for a successful life – perspective.”

Smith reviews some common denominators for success.

• Aim at nothing and you always hit it. “If you’re like me – perhaps with a touch of ADD and someone who wants to do too many things than you have time for – this is a helpful aphorism,” Smith says. Not every idea that comes to mind should be pursued; be very selective with your time, and when you go after something, go full-throttle.

• You cannot win on the defensive in business or any other endeavor. Don’t think in terms of defense; instead, think of counterattack. To take a defensive position on anything means that you have conceded at least some of your position.

• Work toward optimal employment for everyone in your company. “At least once a year, I have a one-on-one discussion with every person in our companies – a renegotiation to hopefully renew employment for a longer period,” he says. “This adds an important personal touch and attention to detail.” Of course, the same approach offers an excellent return in your personal relationships, too.

• Keep in mind Union Pacific’s motto: “Safety is my responsibility.” Safety should always rank high in your priorities; it’s easy to take it for granted until a catastrophe happens. Texmark celebrates more than 25 years without a production-halting accident – a remarkable record in the industry.

• Organize projects, planning and profit action with at least three people, but never more than five. You need a point person for the meeting and at least two compatible partners – more than five people gums up the process. Meet weekly; the point man should set priorities and is most responsible for action.

• People chemistry is more important than process chemistry. Just as you must have a process for making chemicals built around operating conditions that are best for the desired chemical products, so too should you have the right chemistry of people working together. The right chemistry is trickier than you think.

• Promote voluntary participation regarding medical benefits and thrift and savings plans. It’s always best to put individuals in charge of their health and financial destiny – to let people consciously choose their plans. Monolithic systems arbitrarily imposed by institutions are the beginning of stagnated individual responsibility.

 

(David M. Smith is the author of “The Texas Spirit,” www.TheTexasSpiritBook.com (2014; Halcyon Press). He’s the founder and owner of Chemical Exchange, Inc. and Texmark Chemicals of Galena Park, Texas. An El Paso native, he attended the University of Texas in Austin. Early in his career, he moved east to Houston and established himself in the petrochemical industry. His new book, “The Texas Spirit,” features a series of essays about the ways in which the United States can benefit from Texas’ example, including economic models and moral fiber.)

 
Tuttle Services receives Fit-Friendly Worksite awards PDF Print E-mail

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LIMA – Tuttle Services, Inc. has been recognized by the American Heart Association by receiving the Fit-Friendly Worksite Gold Achievement and the Worksite Innovation Awards. Among the elite group of awardees, Tuttle was one of four organizations within a five-state region to be presented the Worksite Innovation Award.

Tuttle Services, Inc. and its subsidiary companies, Tuttle Construction and Touchstone CPM, implemented the Fit-Friendly Worksite Recognition Program to increase physical activity in the workplace and to promote a culture of wellness. Throughout the year, a variety of wellness programs and healthy living educational sessions were implemented to encourage and support the staff in their wellness endeavors.

Studies suggest that by utilizing a worksite physical activity program and promoting a culture of activity, employers can: increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and reduce healthcare costs.

“Our employees are our most valuable asset and we believe in promoting their health and well-being by offering opportunities to engage in wellness activities and supporting one another to embrace a healthy lifestyle,” said Paul Crow, President of Tuttle Construction.

 

(Since its origin in 1928, Tuttle has built a strong reputation throughout the region by consistently exceeding customers’ expectations. Tuttle offers a wide range of construction services for the industrial, institutional, and commercial markets. Construction Management services are also provided through Tuttle Services’ subsidiary, Touchstone CPM. Operating on a philosophy based on professional ethics and high standards, Tuttle is driven to provide successful projects that include value-added intangibles, which foster long-term relationships. For more information, please visit: www.tuttlenet.com or www.touchstonecpm.com.)

 
How to overcome excuses PDF Print E-mail

Great people throughout history often fail, quite miserably, before finally reaching their goals, says international business strategist Dan Waldschmidt.

“Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Albert Einstein was a terrible student and was expelled from school; Sigmund Freud was booed from a stage,” says Waldschmidt, author of “Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success,” (www.EdgyConversations.com).

“Ideas, brilliance, genius – they all mean nothing without the guts, passion and tenacity necessary to make your dream a reality. But often, people fall back on excuses and give up on trying to reach their goals.”

Most of us have dreams, and many of us have big ones, but few of us actually see them through, he says.

He offers six tricks for jumping off the excuse train and forge the path to your goals.

• Avoid the need to blame others for anything. Mean, small-minded people know that they suck. That’s why they are so cranky and eager to point out others’ mistakes. They hope that by causing others to feel inadequate, everyone will forget about how woefully off the mark their own performance is. Don’t blame anyone, for any reason, ever. It’s a bad habit.

• Stop working on things that just don’t matter. Not everything needs to be done in place of sleep. If you work for a boss, then you owe them solid time. You can’t cut that out. You can, however, cut out television time, meetings and anything else that gets in the way of achieving your goals. Replace entertainment with activity toward your goal.

• Refuse to let yourself wallow in self-doubt. You’re alive to succeed. Stop comparing your current problems to your last 18 failures. They are not the same. You are not the same. Here’s something to remember: Your entire life has been a training ground for you to capture your destiny right now. Why would you doubt that? Stop whining. Go conquer.

• Ask yourself, “What can I do better next time?” And then do it next time. If you spend a decade or two earnestly trying to be better, that’s exactly what will happen. The next best thing to doing something amazing is not doing something stupid. So learn from your mistakes and use the lessons to dominate.

• Proactively take time to do things that fuel your passion. Exercise is a great example. Living in the moment requires you to live at peak performance. A huge part of mental fitness is physical fitness. A sparring or running partner is a great way to refresh physical competition. Physical activity accelerates mental motivation.

• Apologize to yourself and those around you for having a bad attitude. Do this once or twice and you’ll snap out of your funk pretty fast. When you start genuinely apologizing for being a bad influence on those around you, you learn to stop whining and start winning.

(Dan Waldschmidt is the author of “Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success,” (www.EdgyConversations.com). He is an international business strategist, speaker, author and extreme athlete. His consulting firm solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for savvy companies all over the world.)

 
Ohio’s natural gas production nearly doubles from 2012 to 2013 PDF Print E-mail

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CANTON – Ohio’s natural gas production nearly doubled from 2012 to 2013 because of increasing activity in the Utica shale and continued development of midstream infrastructure. The announcement came today at the “State of the Play” event at Stark State College.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) released data for 352 horizontal shale wells that reported production in 2013. The wells drilled in the Utica and Marcellus shale produced 3.6 million barrels of oil and 100 billion cubic feet of gas. On average, Ohio’s oil and gas production increased approximately 65 percent quarter to quarter from first quarter 2013 to first quarter 2014.

“Ohio’s oil and gas industry is growing and moving our state toward energy independence,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “At the same time, we have updated our laws and increased our staff to provide Ohioans the proper protections as the industry continues to grow.”

ODNR projects all oil and gas wells in Ohio produced 8 million barrels of oil and 171 billion cubic feet of gas in 2013. Compared to 2012, Ohio’s total oil production increased by 62 percent and natural gas production increased by 97 percent. The percentage increase in natural gas production is the largest in Ohio history, and the total production is the fourth highest annual total in state history. ODNR also released production data for the first quarter of 2014. A total of 418 wells reported production of 1.9 million barrels of oil and 67 billion cubic feet of gas.

The production growth depends heavily on the development of the midstream infrastructure needed to transfer the resources to market. In a little more than 24 months, a new industry developed, including 11 processing facilities and miles of new pipelines. Companies have spent or have committed more than $6 billion on midstream infrastructure.

“Companies are investing billions of dollars and creating jobs for Ohioans, proving the value and importance of the Utica shale play,” said JobsOhio Senior Managing Director David Mustine.

Ohio’s regulatory agencies, including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Commerce and ODNR have taken steps to improve their permitting and inspection processes. The agencies have made concerted efforts to implement regulations and rules that are clear, concise and protect Ohioans and the environment. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

 
Genoa Bank names Cassin as new AVP, Commercial Loan officer PDF Print E-mail

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GENOA, Ohio — GenoaBank, a locally owned, independent, community bank, announced Mark Cassin’s appointment as a new Assistant Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer for the Sylvania Branch in Sylvania.

With over 35 years of experience in the banking industry, Cassin is sure to continue the high quality levels of professionalism and customer service GenoaBank customers have received for years.

“Mark brings a great amount of expertise to our Commercial Lending Department. We are confident he will serve our customers commercial lending needs, while increasing GenoaBank’s lending ability across all areas,” said Martin P. Sutter, GenoaBank’s President and CEO.

Cassin will be based in the bank’s Crossroads branch while construction continues for Sylvania, but will be available to provide commercial lending at any of the bank’s other branches. He will be serving the communities in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

Cassin attended University of Toledo, specializing in Business Management. Cassin who is actively involved in his community is the trustee and committee member for the University of Findlay. He is chairman of the finance committee at St. Michael Parish and School. He resides in Findlay with his wife and three children.

 

(GenoaBank, founded in 1902, is now in its second century of providing a broad range of banking services to business and private customers in Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, and Sandusky Counties. The bank has assets of $275 million and operates branch offices in Genoa, Elmore, Maumee, Millbury, Oregon, and Rossford, Ohio.)

 
Kevin Cahill joins First Financial Bank PDF Print E-mail

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Fort Wayne, IN – First Financial Bank is pleased to welcome Kevin Cahill as an assistant vice president and treasury management services representative. Cahill will serve clients throughout Northeast Indiana and Northern Ohio.

“I’m proud to join the First Financial team,” said Cahill. “I look forward to working with local businesses to provide them with the tools and resources they need to achieve their financial goals and grow their business.”

Cahill is a graduate of Purdue University and is a member of the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. Prior to joining First Financial, he worked for the Tippmann Group, Tower Bank and also spent time as a pitcher with the Washington Nationals.

Take another step on the path to success and schedule an appointment with Kevin Cahill today by calling (260) 452-0431 or e-mailing Kevin.Cahill@bankatfirst.com.

To learn more about First Financial Bank and our treasury management solutions, visit www.bankatfirst.com, or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FirstFinancialBank.

 

(First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of March 31, 2014, the Company had $6.5 billion in assets, $4.0 billion in loans, $4.8 billion in deposits and $691 million in shareholders’ equity. The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its four lines of business: commercial, consumer, wealth management and mortgage. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations is available at www.bankatfirst.com.)

 
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