Monthly Message – August 2014 - Conway Center for Family Business

Monthly Message – August 2014


Monthly Message — August 2014

Family Business Tour and Networking Event

August 14 – 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Spartan Logistics

4140 Lockbourne Rd, Columbus, 43207


Get a behind the scenes look at one of the hottest industries in town while you spend time networking with family business peers. To make things even more fun, this open-house-style event will include a bourbon tasting table, corn-hole tournament, warehouse tours, and door prizes!

Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about logistics from industry leader Spartan Logistics, a highly successful second-generation family business that works with manufacturers to solve their industrial real estate needs through outsourced warehousing operations and managing complex supply chains for food, beverage and packaging distribution.

The event is open to Conway Center members AND all family business leaders in Central Ohio so be sure to invite any family business representatives that you know!

This event is free but requires an RSVP to Heather Howell at or 614-253-4820 by August 12, 2014.

Next Gen Mixer

August 20 – 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Bar 145

955 W. 5th Ave., Columbus, 43212

If you’re an up and coming next gen leader in your family business, we’ve got a great opportunity for you to meet up with your Central Ohio peers! Join us at Bar 145 in Grandview to chat, drink, and compare notes on your family businesses in a fun, casual environment! First drink is on us – after that, you’re on your own.

To attend, RSVP to Jill Hofmans at or 614-253-4820.

Leadership Lessons:

The Crane Group

A Family Business

Success Story

September 18 – 7:30-9:00 a.m.

Community Room in Alumni Hall

Ohio Dominican University

1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219

The Crane story began in the 1920s, when Robert S. Crane built a thriving business based on designing and producing unique products like the grand chandelier in the ceiling of the Ohio Theater in Columbus. When the Great Depression put an end to his lighting fixture business, he lost nearly everything – except his work ethic, his optimism, and the support of his wife and children. Over the next difficult decade, he filled a variety of jobs and eventually created Taytec Corporation in 1947, a modest plastics manufacturing company that would become the Crane Group.

Today the Crane Group is a private holding and management company whose holdings comprise a network of local, regional, and global companies in both manufacturing and the building trades. Their products and services are known for being innovative, high quality, and backed by some of the strongest warranties in the industries we serve.

During this program, fourth generation members Brian Westwater and Dan Crane, both Financial Directors at Crane Group, will share the company’s history, values, and passion, and how they’re reflected every day in the current generation of leadership and the company’s associates. They’ll also discuss how they’ve established and continue the enduring relationships they’ve built with customers, distributors, and suppliers and the committed philanthropic role they play in Central Ohio.

RSVP to Heather Howell at or 614-253-4820. The program is free for Conway Center members and $35 for non-members. Family business leaders attending for the first time may attend as our guest.

ODU’s Family Business Class

Free for Conway Center Members!

Building, Operating, and Passing on a Family Business will be offered by Ohio Dominican University this fall and Conway Center members are invited to audit the class at no charge. Conway Center co-founders Dick Emens and Bea Wolper will teach the 8 week course which takes place on Thursday nights from 6:00-9:30 p.m. starting on October 16 and concluding on December 11. The class will focus on issues related to the developmental life cycle of the family business. Given that the vast majority of active (large and small) businesses are family businesses, this course examines critical success factors related to growth, success and succession. Additional topics covered include managing family dynamics in the context of the business, managing family member entrance and exit to the business, and selling or passing on the business.

Contact Associate Director Deana Gordon, or 614-253-4820 by October 1 to register.

Save the Date!

16th Annual Family Business Awards and Expo

November 7

Aladdin Shrine Center

3850 Stelzer Road, Columbus, 43219

Expo: 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sponsored by: Business First, Commerce National Bank, Definity Partners, Fathom, Gryphon Financial Partners, Rider + Reinke Financial Group, and Taft/

Awards Luncheon

Mark your calendar now for the 16th Annual Family Business Awards Program on Friday, November 7, 2014 at the Aladdin Shrine Center. This event celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding family businesses within our community by honoring family businesses with awards in the following categories: Community Engagement, Communication, Family Business of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Milestone Achievement, Re-Invention, Succession Planning, and Support of a Family Business.

Awards Applications – Due August 22!

Did you receive a nomination for an award this year? If so, be sure to send in your application by 5:00 p.m. on August 22, 2014. Applications may be mailed to: Deana Gordon, Conway Center for Family Business, 1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, OH 43219 or delivered to our office at 1348 Sunbury Road, Columbus, OH 43219.

Family Business Expo

Don’t miss this outstanding business development opportunity only available to Conway Center Family Business and Service Provider members! The Expo is a great way to showcase your business, products or services to more than 400 family business leaders and advisers who will attend the Awards Program.

  • Expo display tables may be reserved for just $150 prior to September 12, 2014 (Tables will cost $175 after that date)
  • Table reservations include two Awards Luncheon tickets.

Please RSVP for the Expo by September 12, 2014 in order to guarantee your space. Contact Jill Hofmans at or 614-253-4820 for more information.

Directors’ Insight

The Conway Center’s first annual golf scramble at Little Turtle Golf Club was a great success! More than 100 golfers and Conway Center members enjoyed a fun day making new connections on the golf course and at the cocktail hour and silent auction that followed!

Thank you to our sponsors: Founder Level – Carmen’s Vacuum Sales & Service, Emens & Wolper Law Firm, Gryphon Financial Partners, Rider + Reinke Financial Group, and Spirit Services; Next Gen Level – Capitol Citicom, Dinsmore & Shohl, Kimball Midwest, Park National Bank; Beverage Sponsor: GREENCREST; Hole sponsors: GBQ Partners, Interior Supply, Lincoln Construction, Mckee Door Sales, Sequent, Sound Communications, and Spartan Logistics; and Velvet Ice Cream for providing treats for players at the turn. And special thanks to our golf committee – Karen Hockstad of Dinsmore & Shohl, Jerry Bordner of Laser Reproductions, and Steve Harmon of Spartan Logistics – and our volunteers, Jim Bishop from the Bishop Group at Morgan Stanley and Kim Gongwer of Proforma Graphic Solutions 2.

We appreciate all of your support and look forward to hosting this event again next year.

Dick and Deana

Leadership Peer Group

New – Starts in September!

The Leadership Development Peer Group, led by Morgan Hembree, Psy.D., MBA, BCB, of Integrated Leadership Systems, will help participants explore their leadership skills and provide new ways of looking at coaching and team building. This is a great opportunity for up-and-coming family business leaders as well as current managers who wish to re-evaluate their approach to staff development and mentoring. Topics will include authentic communication, culture creation, building trust, and problem solving skills. The group will meet the third Tuesday of each month from 8:00-9:30 a.m. in the Griffin Center at Ohio Dominican University starting on September 16.

Sign up today by contacting Jill Hofmans at or 614-253-4820!

Succession Planning Peer Group

Now Forming for Fall!

The Succession Planning Peer Group will reconvene on September 11 from 7:30-9:00 a.m. at Ohio Dominican University and we are looking for new members to join us! The first meeting will include a discussion on why succession planning is important and determining the right time line for starting your succession plan. Be prepared for questions and commentary that will have you thinking about the current state of your family business and its future. Most importantly, during the first session we want to learn what you hope to get out of this peer group. This group meets on the second Thursday of each month from 7:30-9:00 a.m. at the Griffin Student Center at Ohio Dominican University. Interested in joining the group or learning more about it? Contact Jill Hofmans at or 614-253-4820.

Conway Center Peer Groups

To sign up for any of our peer group meetings or to learn more about peer group opportunities contact Executive Coordinator, Jill Hofmans, at or visit for a full schedule of Peer Group programs.

CEO Peer Group
August 14, 2014
2:30-4:00 p.m.
Spartan Logistics
4140 Lockbourne Rd., Columbus, 43207

September 11, 2014
3:30-7:30 p.m.
Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling
4849 Evanswood Dr. Columbus Ohio 43229

Online Strategy Peer Group
September 3, 2014
8:00-9:30 a.m.
Fathom Columbus
1465 Northwest Blvd., Columbus, OH 43212
Topic: The Health of Your Online Marketing

Women in Family Business Peer Group
September 9, 2014
7:30-9:00 a.m.
Griffin Student Center, Room 274
Ohio Dominican University
1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219
Topic: What Documents do you Absolutely Need for Your Estate Plan?

Next Generation Leaders Peer Group
September 9, 2014
12:00-1:00 p.m.
O’Brien & Associates
47 W. 3rd Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201

Succession Planning Peer Group
September 11, 2014
7:30-9:00 a.m.
Griffin Student Center, Room 274
Ohio Dominican University
1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219
Topic: Why are You Here?

Leadership Development
September 16, 2014
8:00-9:30 a.m.
Griffin Student Center, Room 274
Ohio Dominican University
1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219
Topic: Leadership vs. Management

Business Development Peer Group
September 25, 2014
Griffin Student Center, Room 274
Ohio Dominican University
1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219
Topic: TBA

Conway Center Blog – Coming Soon!

The Conway Center is adding a blog to our website! We would like content to come from our Family Business and Service Provider members on topics of interest to family owned businesses. This is not a place for promoting your business, but for showcasing your thought leadership on issues that excite and inspire family-owned business owners and employees. Hot topics right now are successes and challenges in: succession planning, creating and running advisory boards, leadership development, social media strategies, and philanthropy. We would love to hear from you on these – or any other – topics as they relate to family businesses.

Keep in mind:

  • The key to writing a successful blog is to be personable – speak in
    your own voice and make sure your posts are not self-promotional. That is, don’t just republish company news and corporate rhetoric.
  • Adhere to fair use, cite your sources, and ask permission for photos
    that are not yours.
  • Add links.
  • The Conway Center has the right to edit your blog submission.
  • Submitting a blog story does not guarantee we will publish it.

If you have something to share, in 300-500 words, please contact Jill Hofmans at

Are you a proud member of the Conway Center?

CCFB Member Logo

We are very proud to have you as a Conway Center member and happy to include your business and a link to your website in the Business Directory at Now you can share your Conway Center affiliation with your customers and associates with a special “Proud Member of the Conway Center for Family Business” logo that is perfect for posting on your website or including on your business cards. To request a logo, just contact Deana Gordon at To see a great example of how our logo can be used on your website, check out Rider + Reinke’s new site here!

Member Events

Leveraging Technology to Achieve Business Success

Conway Center Service Provider Definity Partners has pulled together a panel of manufacturing leaders who will discuss their company’s challenges, growing pains, solutions and outcomes they have experienced as a result of customizing, integrating and optimizing new technology. Representatives from these three mid-sized manufacturing facilities took a holistic approach to process improvement by optimizing and upgrading their technology to deliver accurate and timely reports, track and manage workflow processes, and optimize and integrate new ERP systems. The event takes place on August 13, 2014, from 8:00-10:00 the Athletic Club of Columbus, 136 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215. Seating is limited so RSVP today here.

Project Management Boot Camp

ODU will launch Central Ohio’s only university-led Project Management Boot Camp on Sept. 30. Classes will be held once a week from 6-10 p.m. The nine-week boot camp will be offered on four separate occasions during the year and prepares students to take both the Project Management Professional and Certified Associate in Project Management Certification exams. For more information on the boot camp, visit

Welcome New Members

Sims Brothers Recycling
Gary Sims, Scott Knowles, Nick Van Meter, Andy Horne, Chelsea Sims Van Meter, Casey Sims Knowles
1011 South Prospect Street, Marion, OH 43302

Sims Brothers Recycling, started in 1938 by Donald Sims, grew from a simple scrap metal peddling operation to a multi-faceted recycling/processing management company. With over 160 employees, six of which are family members, Sims Brothers Recycling has four locations throughout Central Ohio, including Marion, Delaware, Columbus, and Bellefontaine. Sims Brothers is currently owned and operated by Donald’s son Gary Sims, President, and Gary’s sons-in-law: Scott Knowles, CEO/General Counsel, and Nick Van Meter, Maintenance Manager. Gary’s daughters, Chelsea Sims Van Meter and Casey Sims Knowles, assist with human resources and handle benefits. Third-generation family member, Andy Horne, is the company’s Scale Master. Sims Brothers Recycling buys, transports, processes, brokers, and sells all types of recyclable products – processing over 550 million pounds of material every year.

Thomas & Marker Construction Co.
Randall Marker, Patrick Ellis, Alison Marker, Craig Marker, Kirk Marker
2011 Riverside Drive, Columbus, OH 43221

Founded in 1956, Thomas & Marker is a full-service construction company with offices in both Columbus and Bellefontaine, Ohio. Thomas & Marker Construction Company has a total of 115 employees, five of which are family members. Third-generation members Alison Marker, Craig Marker, and Kirk Marker help manage the business alongside second-generation members Randall Marker, President, and Patrick Ellis, Executive Vice President. Thomas Marker is committed to providing quality construction services, including design/build, construction management, and constructor or consultation services in both pre-construction and construction phases. Their Quality Management System (QMS)– made up of 42 key procedures — ensures continuous improvements based on client feedback and internal audits.

Your Biz Tank
Anita Graves, Alexandra Krause, Caroline Shroyer
565 Metro Place S., #300, Dublin, OH 43016
614-594-TANK (8265)

Your Biz Tank was founded in 2012 by 3 licensed real estate agents right here in Central Ohio. Alexandra Krause, along with her mother Anita Graves and aunt Caroline Shroyer help real estate pros navigate through the online marketing work by helping them discover, create, execute and analyze an effective marketing strategy for their business. Their passion is to help agents discover what they actually need to reach their business goals — whether that is coaching, training, classes, or hiring one of their experienced virtual assistants. The three co-founders have experience in different parts of the real estate industry including owning and managing brokerages, training agents, franchise development, and tech savvy training.

Member News

Ahlum & Arbor Employees Earn ISA Certification
Ronald Dreyfus and Chris Zakrzewski of Ahlum & Arbor Tree Preservation, recently earned the Certified Arborist designation through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Earning this credential is voluntary, but demonstrates the Arborist’s dedication to becoming an elite tree care professional.

Highlights for Children Launches ‘I Was a Highlights Kid’
Broadway World
Generations of children were raised with Highlights magazine. Today, Highlights for Children is inviting those grown-up kids to share their memories…

City Signs Pact For New Heat And Power At Rec Center
Dublin City Council members last week approved a contract with IGS Energy and Hull Associates for combined heat and power service at the…

Health Care Heroes Leading Transformation of Medicine
Columbus Business First (blog)
OhioHealth Corp. … organizations are reducing their revenue through new structures and procedures, “but it’s the right thing to do,” OhioHealth Corp.

ProfitWorks Releases eBook
ProfitWorks LLC
Achieve Your Vision, authored by Alex Freytag, is an eBook that outlines the challenges and successes business owners have, and tips to gain traction on your vision. Conway Center members can download the eBook for free by clicking the link above.

HR Excellence Awards 2014 – Future Leader: Alison Marker
Columbus CEO
Alison Marker was steadily building her psychotherapy practice when opportunity opened another door. The human resources director at her family’s business, the Thomas & Marker Construction Company, was retiring, and her father, company president Randall Marker, approached her about the job.

White Castle: A Cult Classic Searching for New Sizzle
A dingy pub-style, stained-glass White Castle sign hangs in the lobby above a mannequin in a dress made out of the signature blue, white and yellow…

Alice Cooper slides into White Castle Hall of Fame
Columbus Dispatch
Instead, he commanded an audience at the White Castle headquarters. Cooper was inducted into the Craver Hall of Fame, a shrine for lovers of the…

Interesting Reading

Guest blog: Peer groups are invaluable aids to succession planning for family business leaders
Columbus CEO (blog)
Family business presidents and CEOs are no exception. The objective of the Conway Center for Family Business CEO Peer group, which I facilitate…

Additional Pension Funding Relief on the Horizon
Findley Davies
Committees in both the House and Senate approved similar bills which would extend pension funding relief for several more years. Find out how these proposals impact your contributions.

Discount for Lack of Marketability: Here’s an Extensive Checklist
Rea & Associates
The discount for lack of marketability (DLOM) is one of the most contentious issues in business valuation. What’s appropriate for a particular business interest varies depending on its characteristics. If you’re quantifying or scrutinizing a DLOM, click here for a 41-point checklist…

Where Are The Women Directors?
Family Business Magazine
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the U.S. trails a number of other countries in the percentage of women serving as directors on the boards…

How to Survive and Thrive In a Family-Owned Business
Self Storage Blog
Brothers Mike and Cris Burnam helped their father, Gordon, build Columbia, MO-based StorageMart from two facilities in 1987 into a family-owned…

Women, Leadership, Matt Lauer and Taking Over A Family Business
Women When Julie Smolyansky was forced to take over her family business at age 27, she faced some very harsh and close criticism. Her father, Michael …

The Cause of Most Family Business Failures
The powerful quote is found in the foreword of my book on family business.
I draw inspiration from this quote as it serves as a beacon and a constant…

Importance of Strategic Planning In Family-Owned Businesses
Clearly strategic planning – for both business and family – can help to strengthen the family enterprise and extend its lifespan. Professor John Ward…

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