Monthly Message – September 2014 - Conway Center for Family Business

Monthly Message – September 2014


Monthly Message — September 2014

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

Program presented by:


The Crane story began in the 1920s, when Robert S. Crane built a business based on designing and producing unique products like the grand chandelier 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 held a variety of jobs and eventually created Taytec Corporation in 1947, a modest plastics manufacturing company that would become Crane Group Co.

Today, Crane Group is a private holding and management company whose operating companies comprise a broad range of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Their products and services are known for being innovative and of the highest quality.

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.

Expansion and Growth Strategies for Your Family Business

October 16 – 7:30-9:00 a.m.

Community Room in Alumni Hall

Ohio Dominican University

1216 Sunbury Road, Columbus, 43219

How do you know when it’s time to grow or expand your family business? What factors should you consider before you hire more staff or seek financing to take your business to the next level? Tom Dunson, of Commerce National Bank, will lead a panel discussion with family business leaders on strategies that will help you assess your opportunities for growth and expansion risk factors you need to consider.

The panel will address financing options for family business leaders who are considering expansion – including the types of financing available, how you qualify for different levels of financing, and where you can apply based on your risk factors.

You’ll also gain insight into how to prepare and update your balance sheet to get the best results when meeting with prospective investors, potential partners, and lenders.

Family business leaders who have been through the expansion process also will share their perspectives on what worked for their business, what didn’t, and what they would do differently if they did it again.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how and when you should grow your family business to be sustainable for future generations!

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 lifecycle of the family business. Family business leader Steve Harmon, president of Spartan Logistics, will lead one session. 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.

Sign Up Today!

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
Sign up today 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.

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 advisors who will attend the Awards Program.

Expo display tables may be reserved for $175.
* 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.

Family Business Tour – A Huge Success!

Steve Harmon and his staff at Spartan Logistics were wonderful hosts for the 11th Annual Family Business Tour & Networking Event on August 14. They opened up their warehouse to nearly 100 family business leaders and advisors, sharing information about their second-generation business and giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the logistics and warehousing industry. Guests enjoyed yummy food from Catering by Design, a great selection of beverages, a corn hole tournament, and outstanding networking. Thank you to Steve for being such a generous host and making it an event to remember!

Directors’ Insight

We are honored to announce that the following companies and individuals will be recognized at the 16th Annual Family Business Awards Program and Expo on November 7th. This special event honors the outstanding performance of family businesses in the areas such as leadership, planning, communication, support, and community service that are best practices needed to maintain a successful and productive family business. Winners in the Communication, Community Engagement, Re-Invention, Succession Planning, and Support Categories will be announced at the program on November 7. We hope to see you there!

Family Business of the Year
Velvet Ice Cream

Lifetime Achievement
Farah Majidzadeh, Resource International, Inc.

Champion Real Estate Services
Integrated Leadership Systems

Community Engagement
Luebbe Hearing Services
ms Consultants, inc.
Safex Inc.
Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties

Milestone Achievements
10 Years: Timeless Skin Solutions
15 Years: Advance Sign Group
20 Years: EclipseCorp
25 Years: Jendco Safety Inc.
25 Years: IGS Energy
30 Years: Air Force One
30 Years: Katzinger’s Delicatessen
35 Years: Cashmans Equine Equipment
40 Years: Rotolo’s Pizza
60 Years: DaNite Sign Co.
65 Years: Kirk Williams Company
80 Years: Dublin Cleaners

ABC Home Services
Casto Management Services
Rinkov Eyecare Centers

Succession Planning and Implementation
Diehl Whittaker Funeral Service, Inc.
Miles-McClellan Construction Co., Inc.
Sound Communications

Support of Family Business
Johnson Investment Counsel

Dick and Deana

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.

Leadership Development Peer Group
September 16, 2014
8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Room 274 – Griffin Center at Ohio Dominican University
Topic: Leadership vs. Management

Business Development Peer Group
September 25, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Room 276 – Griffin Center at Ohio Dominican University
Topic: Best Practices for Getting Noticed, Being Memorable, and Breaking through the Clutter

Online Strategy Peer Group
October 1, 2014
8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Fathom Columbus
Topic: TBD

Human Resources Peer Group
October 3, 2014
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Community Room/Alumni Hall at Ohio Dominican University
Topic: Labor Laws – The Ins and Outs of Hiring, Firing and Everything In Between
Facilitated by Labor and Employment law experts at Fishel Hass Kim Albrecht

Succession Planning Peer Group
October 9, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Room 274 – Griffin Center at Ohio Dominican University
Topic: Succession of Ownership I: Types of owners; appraisals and tax issues; transfer for consideration or gift? Purchase? Redemptions?

CEO Peer Group
October 9, 2013
3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Integrated Leadership Systems
*RSVP required

Women’s Peer Group
October 14, 2014
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Room 274 – Griffin Center at Ohio Dominican University
Topic: It’s Not All about YOU – Working with the ME Generation

Next Generation Leaders Peer Group
October 14, 2014
Noon – 1 p.m.
O’Brien & Associates
47 W. 3rd, Columbus
*RSVP required

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

Member Events

How to Hire Better Leaders Workshop

Getting the right people in the seats is essential for any “good” company to be a “great” company. For many businesses, their hiring success rate is only fifty-five percent! That’s like flipping a coin and hoping for the best. The hiring process should not be a guessing game but a proven process with successful results. In an interactive presentation on September 19, from 8-10 a.m., at The Country Club at Muirfield Village, Alec Broadfoot, of VisionSpark, will cover the following topics:

  • Costs of hiring poorly and benefits of hiring right
  • Attracting top-performers
  • Importance of a Position Profile
  • Interviewing techniques that reveal candidate character and performance traits

Seating is limited and available to only business owners and C-level executives who desire success in hiring key leaders for their company. Trusted Advisors working with these company leaders as clients may also qualify. If you are interested in attending or would like more information, please contact Alec at

Build Your Brand DIY Workshop with GREENCREST

GREENCREST, the only Certified Brand Agency in central Ohio and one of only 31 in North America, is offering a unique and exclusive workshop for those eager to learn how to better brand their business. GREENCREST’s Brand Discovery Sessions are valued at $7,500, but you can learn how the brand development process works for only $297 per person!

In this powerful 3-hour workshop, you will learn:
* What a “brand” really is and how it can increase your profitability
* The secrets to defining your competitive advantage
* How to communicate the “why” factor and why it’s important
* What NOT to do when crafting your exclusive brand
* The most common re-branding mistakes and blunders
* How a brand can increase the value of your business

Build Your Brand DIY Workshop will be offered from 1-4 p.m. at Commerce National Bank, on three separate dates this fall: September 25, October 16, and November 6.

Register online at

Welcome New Members

Sound Communications, Inc.
Garry Stephenson, Toni VanHorn-Stephenson, Darin Cooper
3474 Park Street, Grove City, OH 43123

Established in 1983, Sound Communications, Inc. is a Grove City-based, family business with employees in Indiana, Tennessee, and Georgia. With 28 employees, including 3 family members, Sound Communications is the leading integrator of recording-based solutions for business and public entities. Their product lines include contact center and public safety call recording, courtroom recording, and digital video surveillance and recording for fixed and mobile (in-car) applications. Founder and CEO, Garry Stephenson has over 20 years experience in digital recording. His wife, Toni VanHorn-Stephenson, Vice-President, has extensive expertise in business and fiscal management. Second generation member Darin Cooper, President and Systems Engineer, specializes in both mid-level business management and digital recording. Together, the staff of Sound Communications, Inc. works to protect the assets businesses value the most – their property, their customers, and their employees.

Member News

Fast 50 and Smart 50 Awards

Congratulations to Our Members!

Conway Center members Champion Real Estate, Ohio Power Tool, Overmyer Hall Associates, Preferred Living, and RevLocal were named by Columbus Business First to the 2014 Fast 50 List, which recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Central Ohio, those that have the largest average annual revenue growth from the previous three years. Great work!

Congratulations to Conway Center members who were chosen for the Smart Business Smart 50 Awards, which recognize top executives for their ability to effectively build and lead savvy organizations: Dianne Grote Adams, Safex; Lisa Ingram, White Castle System, Inc.; Kent Johnson, Highlights for Children, Inc.; Tom Krouse, Donatos Pizza; Dr. Mary Lou Luebbe-Gearhart, Au.D, Luebbe Hearing Services; Pat McCurdy, Kimball Midwest; Debra Penzone, The Charles Penzone Salons; Peggy M. Ruhlin, Budros, Ruhlin, & Roe, Inc.; Michael and Randy Schoedinger, Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service; Diane Warren, Katzinger’s Delicatessen, LLC; Scott White, IGS Energy; Michelle Yeager-Thornton, Champion Real Estate Services; and Conway Center advisory board member Mary Lynn Foster, Children’s Hunger Alliance.

Champion buys 157-unit apartment complex in Delaware, extending record year
Columbus Business First
Champion Real Estate Services has expanded its depth in Delaware by buying a 157-unit apartment complex. Champion CEO Brian Yeager said the…

Crane Group purchases Fla. ‘sheet pile’ business
Columbus Dispatch
A subsidiary of Crane Group, based in Columbus, has purchased the assets of Shoreline Plastics of Jacksonville, Fla. The acquisition will become part…

Dublin hoping to prime pump for R&D park with Command Alkon incentive
Columbus Business First
Dublin is offering to give away about $900,000 worth of land to spark the…at Route 161 and Houchard Road to developer Dublin Building Systems.

Direct Energy, IGS top survey of Ohio electricity consumers
Columbus Dispatch
Direct Energy, based in Houston, received the top score from survey respondents, with 659 points on a 1,000-point scale. IGS Energy, based in Dublin…

Kimball Midwest Headquarters Expanding In Columbus, Ohio
Industrial Distribution
Chas, Pat, Ed, and Dave McCurdy at the groundbreaking of Kimball Midwest’s expansion…

3D Systems Acquires Laser Reproductions Further Expanding Its Quickparts Network
Wall Street Journal
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Laser Reproductions brings to 3DS three decades of advanced manufacturing service bureau experience with…

Lincoln Construction Beats Hunger
Lincoln Construction, along with their friends and employees, held a successful Christmas in July Campaign, collecting over 6,150 meals! In the last eight years, they’ve donated more than 33,650 meals to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank!

Memory Mile walk to benefit hospice program
Columbus Dispatch
By and large, people aren’t sad, said Dr. Charles von Gunten, OhioHealth’s vice president of medical affairs for hospice and palliative medicine.

Sound Communications names new president
Columbus Business First
Darin Cooper has been promoted to president of Sound Communications Inc. from chief technology officer. He succeeds founder Garry Stephenson…

New title marks milestone for Velvet
Columbus Dispatch
The Dager family, who makes Velvet Ice Cream in Utica, continues to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary – most recently, with a new…

Burgermeisters: Inside White Castle’s Cult
From fans with tattoos of the logo to fanatics who have shipped their sliders worldwide, family-owned White Castle has developed a cult following.

Interesting Reading

Two Federal Court of Appeals’ Decisions Inject Further Uncertainty into the ACA
Findley Davies
On July 22, 2014, two federal Courts of Appeals issued conflicting decisions on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) issue, whether an individual who purchases health coverage on a federally-facilitated Marketplace (aka an Exchange) could qualify for premium tax credits. Learn potential implications and why we recommend a wait-and-see approach.

Were You Overcharged By The Ohio BWC?
Rea & Associates
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has decided to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that the BWC, over the course of many years, had a system of group rating in place that improperly overcharged many Ohio businesses. A lower trial court originally ruled in favor of the plaintiffs with possible damages exceeding $800 million. While the ruling was upheld on appeal, the appeals court sent the decision back to the initial court to better address the issue of damages. Do you think you are eligible to claim part of the settlement?

The State
Are you a Monarch, General, Ambassador, Governor, or Inventor? This article describes the different exit style strategies that family owners use when leaving their business. Sourced from a Family Business Advisor article, the author helps put the theory into real-life terms.

Family Businesses Need Entrepreneurs For Long-Run Success
In the world of family business, the entrepreneurs we celebrate are usually founders of companies. These clever, hardworking individuals identify a…

Running a family business can have unique challenges
Statesman Journal
Family businesses can be wonderful…worked through on the way towards a smoothly running business, especially if the business was started by the…

Can an Outside CEO Run a Family-Owned Business?
A good friend ran a sizeable sports cap company, a family business, and he was looking to step aside. Gus took the job and relocated his family.

Family members can create special kinds of conflict
Conflict within the family business is an age-old problem. We are all aware of negative effects such as interpersonal conflict, sibling rivalry and outright…

Clear plan helps business succession
Herald Sun
While most businesses are family owned, fewer than a third survive to the second generation, even less to the third and fewer still to the fourth…

Keeping Family Dynamics from Becoming Family Dynamite!
CBIA’s Family Business
A family business can be one of the most satisfying and also one of the most frustrating of life’s endeavors. Success in a family business brings unity…

5 Family Business Lessons Learned
Small Business Trends
Me – writing about family business? That’s not what I expected. I didn’t grow up as a child of a family business and I didn’t intend, when I started a…

What Parents Should Know Before Their Children Join the Family Business
Business 2 Community
Having the opportunity to bring your children into the family business can result in the best of times – or the worst. I find many parents who have their…

Early financial training can help foolproof family businesses
In fact, according to studies by the Harvard Business Review and Family Business Institute, only 30 percent of family-owned businesses survive into…

Find the perfect advisor for your business with 5 easy questions
The thousands of family-owned businesses facing a transition from baby boomer owners – and often managers – to the next generation need the full…

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