Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Mike Dewey of Mt Carmel Brewery. He and his wife, Cathleen, cofounded this local microbrewery.

A craft brewer is one that is small, independent and traditional. The beer business is a $99 billion per year business. There are over 2500 breweries in the US. In 2004, there was one other microbrewery in Cincinnati called Oldenburg. A microbrewery is a craft brewer that brews less than 15,000 barrels per year. Each barrel is 31 gallons.

Mike and Cathleen began brewing in the basement of their home and then applied for an A1 license in 2004. Their first sales were done door-to-door. After a visit to Jungle Jim’s, they realized their processes would need to be refined to meet the demand. They have become one of Jungle Jim’s best sellers. Mt Carmel self-distributed for their first 5 years in 1 van. After that, they partnered with Heidelberg for distribution. Currently, there are 7 full time employees, several part-time employees and everyone has worked for them for over 3 years.

Tours are given on Saturdays from 12-5. 

Please note: There are no more Rotary meetings this year. We will resume meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Peggy Kirk of Hydrosystems, Inc.

Hydrosystems, Inc. was founded in 1963 and headquartered in Newtown, OH. Currently they are the #1 global producer of chemical management systems and their gross sales are closing in on $100 million per year. In 1997 they were acquired by Dover Corporation and then acquired Nova Controls in 998, Chemilizer in 2010 and Dosmatic in 2011. They have 385 employees in 7 global locations and 260 locally with around 30 engineers. Everything is built in America and is sent to these hydro facilities worldwide.

Hydrosystems, Inc. sells over 800, 000 systems annually. Standard products ship in 1-3 days. They focus on responsibility, integrity, honesty and trust. In 2010 a second shift was added and setup so employees can have dinner with their families and meet other needs of dual-income families. Their corporate culture includes profit sharing, all-employee meetings, talent development, wellness programs, summer employment program, high school outreach and success celebrations. Peggy emphasized how the company loves investing in high school students. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Rotarian Peter Weiglin who spoke about the Rotary Foundation.

November is Rotary Foundation month. The foundation started in 1917 and is best known for giving over $500 million to eradicate polio. The goal is that every Rotarian would donate at least $100 every year to the share fund. The foundation promotes peace, helps prevent diseases, provides access to clean water and sanitation, improves basic education and literacy, and helps communities develop through microfinance.

Each Rotary district and each Rotary club has a foundation committee. The foundation dollars are channeled through our global network of local Rotary clubs around the world in the form of national grants and district grants. The rating of the foundation is outstanding and has extremely low administrative costs.

Next week we will hear from Heidi Woods, Director of Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Cyndy Wright of Park National Bank who spoke about Health Savings Accounts. Park manages over 10,000 accounts with an average balance around $2000 each. While people tend to use them day-to-day, balances seem to be increasing. These accounts already conform to the Affordable Care Act, so they are alive and well for 2014.

An HSA is an individual, portable trust account that helps pay for your out-of-pocket health expenses and is not subject to income tax when used for qualifying health expenses. These include visits to doctors, vision, dental, long-term care premiums, etc. Setting aside these dollars can especially help us when we retire if we are able to save them up until that time.

These types of plans make us more conscientious and more in control of our health care expenses. Contributions can be done through payroll deductions and also directly at your bank. While you are paying a larger portion of expenses, you still get the negotiated rates of health care companies while.

You are eligible for HSA if you are covered by a high deductible health insurance plan, not covered under other health insurance, not enrolled in Medicare and not another person’s dependent. Certain contribution limits apply and the annual year-end deadline is April 15.

For more information contact Cyndy chwright@parknationalbank.com

Next week we will hear from Rotarian Peter Weiglin who will speak about the Rotary Foundation.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from our exchange student, Joseph Kunz of Berlin, Germany.

Germany has many bordering countries and 16 different city states. Joseph showed us photos of his parents and his brother who is also an exchange student in Franklin, Tennessee. His grandfather, who died at age 92, was a businessman, Rotarian and even a Rotary District Governor who wrote 8 books. Joseph’s dad was also an exchange student in Dallas when he was a boy and continues to reconnect with his host family.

In 2008, Joseph visited friends in Africa and he says “it was the 3 weeks that changed my life.” He encountered women who had no idea if they would see their children the next day, people who drank the blood of cows to become stronger and ironically, many people who found great happiness under very simply conditions. This impacted Joseph a lot. In fact, he finds it extremely difficult to throw away extra food because it reminds him of those in need.

Next week we will hear from Cyndy Wright about Health Savings Accounts. It is our visitor day, so come have breakfast with us!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from State Representative Doug Green who shared a State of Ohio update. Doug started into politics as Brown County Recorder, then in 1998 elected to Brown County Auditor and last year became Ohio State Representative. He loves being in politics to help people and meet new people. The Greens are Christians who pray together daily and believe it is important to pray for those in authority and also become involved in the process.

When Doug went to Columbus, he was simply intending to focus on existing laws. However, upon arriving, he was immediately given many opportunities to impact new laws. Many of these had very little to do with “dollars and cents” which was a personal challenge for him. He greatly desires to make a difference for the people of the State of Ohio.

Doug Green can be contacted at dgreen73@frontier.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Help Batavia Students Win A Grant

“Celebrate My Drive” - Celebrates the benefits of driving safely.

Quickly vote online every day this week through Saturday to help Batavia High School students win a grant!

Click “Make a commitment”

Enter your email address and birthdate click verify, be sure to choose Batavia High School, answer 2 questions, click submit

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Peter Eddington who is a Television Producer and guest of Vic Kubik on “how a 30 minute TV special is engineered from start to finish.” He shared about the Beyond Today Television Program (www.beyondtoday.tv). This is an international program and is also produced on YouTube.

Their studio is inside the corporate offices of the United Church of God in Milford Park 50. Beyond Today has a team of 16 people who write, edit and produce this show. They have various subjects aimed at improving the lives of their audience. There are a growing number of people are getting religious connections over their televisions. They have received over 170k responses requesting their free literature. Many folks partner with them to help them offer everything for free.

Next week we will hear from State Representative Doug Green who will share a State of Ohio update.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What We Learned at This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from our very own, Mac Hickman who is our current Rotary 6670 District Governor.

Mac says he is not the same Rotarian as he was when he started speaking at various Rotary clubs. He believes Rotarians are here because we want to be here and because we want to change lives. Some do it in simple ways and others in ways we don’t even realize. Our community knows Rotary and the good it does.

He shared a story about Phyllis in Xenia who got an award for a non-Rotarian who made a difference in her community. After being presented a check for her service, she wanted her check to go to the Rotary foundation because she believes we are making a difference. Phyllis told them Rotary had changed her life at age 10 when they helped her father keep their family farm.

Mac remembered when he was asked to join Rotary and how it took him time to get his mind around what Rotary was all about. He has discovered that we learn Rotary by osmosis. We simply go from club to club, event to event and continually discover more and more about what the great service organization does.

He shared a story about when he was in Thailand. The morning had just begun and it was already approaching 100 degrees. While he stood there a little girl came by with ice cold water. She offered it to him because she saw his Rotary emblem. Rotary had impacted her and it was a moment Mac will not soon forget. It changed him once again.

Many of these experiences have renewed Mac’s passion for the Rotary Foundation. He believes now more than ever that the Rotary Foundation is the engine the fuel’s much of the incredible things the Rotary does around the world. Mac is a long-time supporter of this foundation.

Our current Rotary International president, Ron Burton, spoke to an audience and told them that the main reason he is president today is because someone asked him to join Rotary. Rotarians have to consider the importance of simply inviting people to attend a Rotary meeting. People need to be aware there is a club in their community where they can share a meal, hear a keynote speaker, socialize, network and give back to their local area.

Next week we will have Visitor Day and hear from Peter Eddington who is a Television Producer and guest of Vic Kubik on “how a 30 minute TV special is engineered from start to finish.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Laura Shamp of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. She spoke to us about the Clermont Fund. Laura recently moved to Cincinnati from Boston where she worked in private fundraising. She has found Cincinnati to be quite unique and wonderful with very accessible, kind, warm and generous people.

Michelle grew up in the Midwest and was exposed to Rotary when she was growing up in northern Ohio and lower Michigan. She even lived in Chicago near the RI headquarters. She has raised two children here in Cincinnati.

The GCF serves 8 counties as a permanent charitable resource funded by numerous, local families. Since they have a variety of funds, anyone can give to this foundation at any level. Some of their “donor advised funds” allow donors to designate where their funds go. There are 2 sides to the foundation…working with donors to get funds and stewards for the spending of the funds. They are approaching $500 million in assets.

The Clermont County Fund was established 20 years ago by a group who cared very much about Clermont County and who wanted their funds to impact the county. Anyone can work with the GCF to invest in endowments to support their favorite charity.

On Oct 22, GCF celebrate their 50th anniversary by announcing their top 7 new ideas chosen to fund from many community submissions. The top winner will get a $50k grant to bring their vision to life. 

For more information, check them out on the web http://www.gcfdn.org/

Next week we will hear from our very own, Mac Hickman who is our current Rotary 6670 District Governor.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Melinda Payne of the Emergency Management Agency who spoke on Disaster Management. She gave us emergency preparedness tips for the workplace.

Employee action plan is one of the best things to do.
-You should establish a procedure to report emergencies including any special directions to dial the phone, their name, a call back number, location of emergency, description of the situation.

-Fire procedures
Pull fire alarm, evacuate the building, call 9-1-1
Evacuation routes, direct all to exits, life saving techniques

-Severe weather procedures
Watch – conditions are right for the development of severe weather
Warning – severe weather is imminent or occurring. Take action immediately.
Do people know where to go within your building

Following an earthquake evacuate, assembly areas, communicate with responders, aftershocks
Cover mouth tap on hard surface, do no shout

-Hazardous materials release
If a spill occurs INSIDE the building, warm employees and customers, evacuate, call 911, assembly areas, communicate with arriving responders contain spill. If spill occurs OUTSIDE the building listen for safety messages, shelter in place, evacuation, assembly areas, communicate with employees

-Suspicious packages
Do not open, handle with care, notify supervisor, Isolate package, call 9-1-1

-Bomb threat
Telephone threats – remain calm, keep caller on the phone, alert a fellow employees to call 9-1-1 complete threat check list, do not hang up the phone

-Hostage situation
Do not be a hero, be cooperative, stay calm, minimize conversation, observe your surroundings, If rescue attempt is made drop to ground, hands over head, do not resist being apprehended

-Crisis response planning for functional and access needs
Mobility impaired, hearing impaired visually, developmentally disabled

-Emergency prevention
Smoking, trash accumulation, improper storage of hazardous materials, general housekeeping
Security – limit access, deterrence, detection, silent alarms, IT safeguards

Promote preparedness and workplace safety, Review and update emergency action plan and continuity of operations plans, train and exercise plans

Melinda Payne 513-732-7661 mpayne@clermontcountyohio.gove
2279 Clermont Center Drive Batavia, OH 45103
Plans can be found at www.fema.gov or www.ready.gov

Next week we will hear from Laura Shamp of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation who will speak about the Clermont Fund.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Steve Heck who spent 20 years in the military, is a teacher at Milford schools and is also an astronaut. Steve thanked local businesses for their vital help in keeping schools going.

The topic today was about a program Steve helped design that will begin in Milford and be expanded to the nation. This program will not cost the schools money and has an executive committee full of CEOs from several local companies. The goal is to improve STEM education for fifth graders which includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mechanics. Phase 1 begins with the training of teachers and students in STEM education. Phase 2 involves student experiments which will be flown in space over the summer. They believe this program will impact over 10,000 people in the first year and intend to run this at least 5 years.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from David Uible who spoke about the alternative sentencing program for Clermont County jails.

The CASC Program is a first of its kind program in Ohio administered by Talbert House. It is a program held at the Clermont County Jail for people with drug and alcohol problems who are willing to address their problem. The jail had plenty of unused space available for this.

It is designed to rehabilitate addicts and reduce the rate of recidivism. This is a residential program for women for up to 50 women. There will be work component which will allow women to hold a job, get needed education, have family visits and even go to their family doctor. They will pay some portion of the program expenses and be residents of the facility. A bill is being submitted in the state legislature to allow other counties to admit offenders to this Clermont County program. After one month, there are now 40 women enrolled. There are hopes of opening a men’s program in the future.

For more info contact Thomas Eigel 513-732-7301

More info HERE

Next week we will hear from Jill Grubb and Mike Ashmore (Treasurer) of Batavia Schools presenting a tutorial on public school funding in Ohio.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Bruce Meadows Author, Writer, Publisher, Photographer and Rotarian. Bruce is a Director of Sales for a janitorial company and hopes to go on the road to begin marketing his book soon and photograph America. In 2008, Bruce lost his job and went back to school to attain a Masters in Art Education. He then was encouraged by his wife to write a book which will be turned into a series of books. Part of the proceeds go to “Partners in Conservation” which is an organization that teaches poachers how not to destroy the forests.

Bruce has been a fine art photographer for around 30 years. His wife says Bruce “thinks differently behind the lens.” He considers numerous factors before pressing the shutter button. Bruce shared a lot of interesting information about cameras and his various photography adventures.

His book is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle. Bruce sold copies today and made a generous donation to our Rotary dictionary fund for elementary students!

His photo gallery can be viewed at http://wildaboutphotos.smugmug.com/

Next week we will hear from David Uible who will speak about the alternative sentencing program for Clermont County jails.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Jim Meyer of Trail Management who shared about Clermont County’s natural beauty, nature, trails, etc. These include Cincinnati Nature Center, Sycamore Park, Stonelick State Park, Little Miami River, Local Township Parks, farms and backyards.

Natural areas face many problems today. Ohio state parks and nature preserves have had their budgets severely slashed over the last 10 years. As a result, park personnel cannot maintain the trails and natural areas are being shut down and private parties are organizing to maintain and preserve these precious areas. Commercial and residential development and next shopping center continue to pose a threat to natural areas. 

If you are interested in helping, contact Jim Meyer jim.meyerr@trailserv.com or 513-207-3305.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Robert Hudson, author of the award-winning book “A Better Tomorrow” who spoke about jobs in the heartland. Robert is a lawyer who serves entrepreneurs who deal with employment issues as they build their businesses. He previously served as President of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. After years of writing columns for the newspapers, a friend suggested he compile all his columns and build out a book which chronicles the first term of President Obama from a business perspective.

A primary inspiration for the book was a business person who grew up as a child of an absentee, moon-shiner father. As he grew up, the business man worked hard as an employee and saved every penny he earned. Eventually, he broke his family’s cycle of poverty. This book is a testament to the fact that we live in a country where we can accomplish anything.

Next week we will hear from Bob Derr from the Veterans Association and organizer of FALLEN HEROES Commemorative Sculpture.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Greg Fusuro or Capital Investment Group, developer and builder of Ivy Pointe Lofts. He shared the history of Capital Investment Group which did a lot of development in the Washington DC area in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Someone convinced the company to look into the Cincinnati area where Greg was working. He sold them several properties and they eventually relocated their headquarters here. Together they developed South Shore Condominium Development in Northern Kentucky behind Don Pablos. Since that time, they have focused mainly on downtown and the urban core.

Capital Investment Group believed they could take the “urban concept” and apply it in a “suburban” context. They began looking for a suburb that had a “downtown” type of area with an urban feel. The basic idea was to help businesses grow and remain in business by creating residential living space right next to them. Union Township Administrator, Ken Geist, agreed with this concept and welcomed the idea of creating a “24-7” environment. There is no other concept of this kind in our area. This will be a very upscale, 4-story single building that is elevator served, will include a fitness facility, pool room, card room and a club room with an internet cafĂ©. The units will rent from $800 to $1200 per month and will be sized from 600 to 1100 square feet. The target renters are employees of TQL.

According to Fox 19 News, “The $13 million Lofts at Ivy Pointe will include 133 efficiency, one-and two-bedroom residential rental units in a four story elevator building on three acres located at the entrance to the Ivy Pointe Business Park. The development is in close proximity to the headquarters of Total Quality Logistics, Jungle Jim’s and a planned Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.”

A couple of stories can be found here and here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Carl Lamping of Clermont County PermitCentral. He has been with the building department for 20 years.

Carl’s predecessor, Ray Sebastian, used a grant from the State of Ohio to create permit central. This combined all of the departments necessary for building in the county. They have an extensive website where you can get lots of info, many forms, codes, status of a permits, inspection information and much more.

Next week, we will hear from Greg Fucero of Capital Investments.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What we learned about our community

Today we heard from Kurt Kiessling, who is the Senior Counsel for American Modern Insurance Group (AMIG). They are one of Clermont County’s largest employers.

AMIG was founded in 1939 as a family owned finance company doing small loan auto finance. Their owner, Mr. Hayden, began financing manufactured homes, then constructing them and finally then insuring then. For tax reasons, the bought a small barge company which carried the companies through the 1980s. In the 1990s, the company became a multi-line insurance company.

In the 1990s, the city of Cincinnati made a blunder by selling property next to AMIG which they had not offered to AMIG. The company decided to build in and move to Clermont County, OH. In 2008, AMIG was acquired by Munich Re which has changed them from a small business to a company learning how to function as a large corporation.

Munich Re asked that the company be known as AMIG as opposed to Midland because AMIG has better name recognition worldwide. Munich Re is a data driven company. As long as the company continues to make money, things are looking good for them to stay in the community. The Hayden family foundation still runs the baseball program locally.

The Midland Foundation gives to some of our larger Greater Cincinnati charities such as the United Way and the Fine Arts Fund (now Art Wave) as well as some local ones such as Senior Services. They believe in the value of building a strong community.

Next week we will hear from Jeff Schweiterman from the-American Egg Council who will speak on the “incredible edible egg”.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Rich Mills and Kelly Bollin of Huhtamaki. They are moving into part of the old Ford plant in Batavia. Over $20 million is being spent to re-purpose the building. 

Huhtamaki is a manufacturer of consumer specialty packaging with a head office located in Espoo, Finland. They were established as a candy factory in 1920 and then expanded into food packaging in the 1930s. Their packaging division separated in the 1960s and became a leader in Europe. Today they manufacture smooth and rough molded fiber products, release films, flexible packaging, foodservice paper cups and other products based on paper forming technology.  

Their website states, “Huhtamaki is a specialty packaging organization that provides many of the world’s most recognizable consumer goods packaging and foodservice containers, as well as the retail line of Chinet® premium disposable tableware.”

Their values include:
-Treating their world with respect
-Knowing their business
-Getting things done for customers and employees

At a recent job fair with Workforce One, Huhtamaki had over 1000 applications. They hope to add about 300 jobs in Clermont County.

Next week we will hear from Kurt Kiessling, who is the Senior Counsel for American Modern  Insurance Group. He will share about insurance underwriting, casualty occurrences around the world and global insurance issues.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Lauren Smally of PUCO, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

What is electric choice? It is the deregulation of the generation portion of an electric bill which began in 2001. Customer can shop for the generation portion, but all of your other needs are still serviced by Duke. As of 2012, 40% of all eligible residents in Ohio have switched their electric supplier.

You can check your bill to find your “price to compare” and then shop rates amongst over 20 suppliers. There is an apples to apples comparison chart on the PUCO website which gives us a list of certified suppliers. For a supplier to be certified means the PUCO has examined the supplier’s financial statements and managerial records and if anything goes wrong, the PUCO can take action against the supplier.

If you decide to shop, you should…
1.    Compare offers
2.    Contact suppliers
3.    Read the contract
4.    Receive confirmation

Questions to ask include…
1.    Are you a certified supplier?
2.    Is the price fixed or variable?
3.    If it is a variable price, how does it change?
4.    What happens when my contract expires?
5.    Do you charge any cancellation fees?
6.    Can I stay on budget billing with my electric company?
7.    Do you offer budget billing for your part of the bill?
8.    Will I receive one or two bills a month?
9.    What sources are used to produce the electricity?
10.Is there a customer incentive for signing up?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Erin Rosiello of the Bureau of Workers Compensation. She is the representative for Southwest Ohio. Ohio is one of four states which is monopolistic which means a company purchases a policy through the state and hires a company to negotiate premiums. The state is working on getting base rates down and limit fluctuation in the premiums. Destination Excellence programs are being developed to help small businesses.  Discounts are available to companies who attend monthly safety meetings.

Next week we will hear from Lauren Smally of  PUCO

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Sharon Woodrow who spoke to us about the GreaterCincinnati Harmony Festival which is a music camp for young people, ages 13-18, held at Miami University. This event is sponsored by local Barber Shop Harmony groups. Their belief is that young people who are involved in music can achieve more in life.

Their website states...
Many music educators are aware that Sweet Adelines International and the Barbershop Harmony Society exist - but they are not aware of their strong educational focus. Educators of vocal music at all levels, from elementary to collegiate, can benefit from clinics, school visits and educational techniques offered by these organizations through their Young Women In Harmony and Youth In Harmony programs. Both Sweet Adelines International and the Barbershop Harmony Society have cultivated long and healthy working relationships with MENC. In 1971, MENC approved the inclusion of a barbershop quartet category in school music contests and endorsed these organizations' involvement in school music programs. In 1991, these organizations reaffirmed their commitment to mutual efforts in music education.”

Next week we will hear from Greg Simpson of the Clermont Fair Board

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Fliers for upcoming events can be FOUND HERE

Want to share you event? Email rotaryclub.batavia@gmail.com

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Jill Cochran of the Boys and Girls Club of ClermontCounty. They began their first club in 1996 in the village of New Richmond and serve students ages 6-18. Since then the truancy rate has dropped from 86 or so kids to around 23. Statistically, the hours of 3-7pm have the highest rates of teen crime, teen pregnancy and other juvenile issues.

The focuses of the Boys and Girls club are education, leadership & healthy lifestyles. They have a 97 graduation rate and even take students on college visits. The cost is only $5 per student per year. Employees are staffed at a rate of 20 to 1. 90% of their budget is raised on their own.

Community support is essential to the success of the Boys and Girls club. It is important to them to partner with many groups to do county wide and community efforts. Their facilities are opened for other organizations to use such as the Clermont County Knothole Umpire training school which gives summer jobs to youth. The club also offers some after school work in Felicity and hold a summer program in Goshen. The newest project is to establish a club in Mt. Carmel. The old “gentlemen's club” will become a Boys and Girls Club! This has been a partnership with the Union Township Police Department.

Next week we will hear about our annual golf outing to be held June 19.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Vic Kubic who is operations manager for the United Church of God. Their offices are located in Park 50 in Milford, they produce a television program, publish a magazine called “Good News Magazine” and are currently conducting “Kingdom of God Seminars. He and his wife also work with www.Lifenets.org which does work in Eastern Europe, Latin America and other countries.

Vic shared about his journey to Africa. He reports there is an immense amount of activity in Africa these days. Even more interesting is that over 1/3 of his flight were folks from China. His organizations give a “hand up” to people in Africa and help them obtain educational and career opportunities.

Zimbabwe used to be one of the most desirable areas in the world to live but has been ripped apart by wars. From a distance, the country appears very striking and gives off glimpses of what it used to be. Up close, however, it is decaying. On additional note, the U.S. Dollar is now the currency.

Next week we will hear from Chris Bortz of Towne Properties who will speak on their Kent Rd Project.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Greg Ward of Downing Displays which was founded in 1962 and was the first manufacturer in the United States of portable exhibits. They are headquartered in Greater Cincinnati which gives them a huge advantage in terms of shipping to most major trade show cities.

Their website states, “For 50 years Downing Displays has been building brand experiences for event marketers. We pioneered the portable display industry by creating displays that could be set-up by one person and transported in a car. This concept of lightweight, simple and durable building techniques has guided us as we moved to modular aluminum and wood built structures. Today we are a full service event marketing company providing solutions for trade shows and events around the world.”

When their business began, it was very face-to-face and their customers were interested in how their displays were constructed. Today's generation of business professionals are far less engaged in face to face communication and more interested in the message that goes on the display. In both generations, trade shows are still an important part of business even with all of the technologies available today. One change is that people are more interested in using the internet than checking out a showroom and consequently, Downing only needs one show room today. Display companies not only must design, build, and store displays for companies but businesses are demanding they bring ideas to the table on how to make their displays more effective. Video monitors are also in high demand for display purposes. 

Next week we will hear from Kim Hamel, Eastgate Mall Manager and Regional manager for several CBL Shopping malls across the Midwest. Retail analysis of Clermont.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Tim Beckman, President & Owner of Cutting EdgeTechnologies. They are a specialty Batavia cutting firm dealing with concrete bridges, high rises, large infrastructures & forming needs.

Their website states, “We are a specialty diamond wire cutting, drilling and precision removal contractor, offering unique field services for concrete and metal cutting applications—both on land and undersea. Our worldwide focus markets are nuclear, hydro, locks and dams, heavy industrial, decommissioning, bridge construction and undersea pipes and platforms. Diamond wire sawing, related diamond cutting tools and core drilling are our primary areas of expertise. CEO and President Tim Beckman helped pioneer the first-ever construction diamond wire sawing business for North America in 1983. Cutting Edge also offers diamond core drilling, hydraulic splitting, diamond blade sawing and specialized superabrasive cutting of steel. Wire cutting of tube bundles and specialized pole sawing with superabrasive blades are also available.”

Their company does not do work on typical residential or commercial structures. Rather, they focus on structures that are 50 feet or more deep.

Next week we will hear from Downing Display Company. They do trade show materials and fabrication of booths celebrating in business.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Mathew Kennedy of Kennedy Creative, a branding and marketing company, and is an advocate for Sustained Brands, a local food / produce source. He moved his companies from downtown to Clermont County).

Kennedy Creative's website says they are “the only brand strategy and design firm that uses real world experts on every project. Our one-of-a-kind Creative Collaborative system is designed to open the door to opportunities that drive high growth, building our clients businesses with tangible results. Unlike take-a-number agencies with bulging staffs, Kennedy Creative draws from an exclusive pool of industry experts spanning an array of categories. The result: We custom build a team for every project.”

Sustain Brand's website says they “bring local food to Ohio Valley grocery stores and for sale online. We partner with the best farmers and producers in the area to bring local foods under one name and into more regional stores and for sale online; helping local farmers and giving you more access to better food. We want to support a local food chain in which food never travels more than a few hours to reach your table. In supporting local food, we'd like for our options at the grocery store to be made naturally and sustainably rather than seeing only the highly processed subsitutes that have taken their place.”

Next week we will hear from Tim Beckman, President / Owner of Cutting Technologies…..specialty cutting firm on concrete bridges, high rises, large infrastructure cutting / forming needs) Batavia business local success story.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Lisa Jackson & Kathryn Grever of HealthSource of Ohio, a private non-profit organization. They spoke about the depth & breadth of health care services offered throughout Clermont & the differential between preventative health care costs & reactionary health care costs.

HealthSource has 4 offices in Clermont County and plan to expand to Hamilton County. They are a community health center offering all sorts of health care services and they treat everyone regardless of their ability to pay. The HealthSource website states, “HealthSource of Ohio is a not-for-profit primary care organization consisting of medical, dental, and behavioral health services. We strive to bring to the people of Southwest Ohio comprehensive quality health care that responds to the needs of the community.”

This particular business model provides opportunities for discounted services depending on various family situations. In a typical year they treat over 50k patients and have over 200K visits. Recently, they Health Source Foundation was founded to help fund their mission and they are looking for strategic partnerships. One such partnership called, “Reach Out and Read” helps promote health care literacy through the purchase of certain reading materials. This particular concept serves both children as well as adults. Another partnership assists patients who have genuine transportation needs to meet chronic health care issues.

Regarding the foundation, their website states, “The HealthSource Foundation is committed to providing opportunities and encouraging expressions of support to impact the mission of HealthSource of Ohio. The Foundation interacts the philanthropic community in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Click Here to download the HealthSource Foundation brochure to learn more about how you can help. For more information, please send an email to kathryng@healthsourceofohio.com.”

Next week we will hear from Mathew Kennedy owner of Kennedy Graphics (they moved from downtown to Clermont County) and advocate for Sustained Brands (local food / produce sources and benefits to community).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Annette Meagher, Clermont County Communications Director, who spoke on the power of social networking as communication and promotional sales channels.

Social media appears daunting with all its users, people and prospects, but it is really nothing more than virtual networking. It can be very powerful when you harness it to meet your goals. Social media makes things more comfortable for clients to ask questions and discover other information.

You must be strategic – determine your exact goals
Know your audience – use social media to survey them
Make your goals measurable – just like your other plans

Social media is an “immediate gratification” platform, it is important to respond right away. It is necessary to create influential content and develop clever, catchy phrases. Photos are magnets for people because people love them and they will generally bring the most engagement. You can also offset negative thoughts in the community by posting more positive information.

During disasters, social media can be extremely powerful. People and resources can be connected to meet needs, find family members and share information.

There is a wonderful free guide to help you get started in social media available here.

Next week we will hear from Michael Schumaker of Focused Quality Solutions who will speak about techniques for auditing your business to find sustainable productivity enhancements and quality improvements.