CEO Live

Breaking business news and updates in and around Columbus

  • CEO Health Focus: Raising Parkinson’s Awareness

    Posted on Apr 28, 2015

    April is national Parkinson's Awareness month, to be followed by an Ohio Theatre appearance by Michael J. Fox in May.


  • Columbus Startup Week: A who's who of the Columbus startup scene

    Posted on Apr 27, 2015

    CMH Startup Week: Five days with the city's brightest founders, developers and investors.


  • Guest Blog: The Garden of Leading

    Posted on Apr 27, 2015

    As part of Columbus CEO's ongoing executive coaching focus for April/May, executive coach and CEO of Synergy Consultants, Mary Ann Singer, on how leaders can grow and nurture their teams.


  • Breaking: Jeni's Closes Shops, Recalls All Ice Cream

    Posted on Apr 23, 2015

    The company announced a voluntary recall today because of a possible listeria contamination


  • AEP Ohio & Columbia Gas of Ohio win national EPA award

    Posted on Apr 23, 2015

    Congratulations to Columbus-based AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio. The partners' EfficiencyCrafted new homes program has been awarded the 2015 Energy Star Partner of the Year award by the U.S. EPA. The full details of the award and the program follow in today's announcement from AEP (photo courtesy of AEP Ohio):

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio with a prestigious 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award and a Market Leader Award for their continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.

    Through their cobranded program EfficiencyCrafted, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio collaborate in their territories to assist homebuilders in incorporating energy upgrades that exceed current code and provide greater energy savings and built-in value. The program also recognizes builders who attain the highest level of the program—EfficiencyCrafted and ENERGY STAR Certified.

    “Through their sustained participation with ENERGY STAR, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are helping Americans save money, save energy, and do their part to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

    “I applaud these two utilities for earning EPA’s highest ENERGY STAR award, the 2015 Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award, demonstrating a strong commitment to energy efficiency and to preserving a healthy planet for future generations.”

    The two utilities’ accomplishments were recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year that AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio have received ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year Award, which also earns them the distinction of Sustained Excellence.

    Since the EfficiencyCrafted new homes program was introduced in 2010, over 110 builders have been enrolled in the program and more than 7,500 homes have been built. Over half of these have also earned the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes label, which requires builders to incorporate a number of additional building and energy performance features.

    “We are honored to receive this award from the EPA for EfficiencyCrafted homes that collectively have saved nearly 2.3 million CCF of natural gas and over 19.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity,” said Dan Creekmur, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio.

    AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer Pablo Vegas further explained, “The environmental impact is significant as each year these savings reduce energy costs for homeowners and are equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 21,000 acres of U.S. forests.”

    The EPA gives the 2015 Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Awards to recognize organizations’ contributions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy efficiency. These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. The EPA selects award winners from the 16,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

    The EPA also recognized AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio with the 2015 ENERGY STAR Certified Market Leader Award. Each year, ENERGY STAR New Homes presents Market Leader Awards to outstanding partners who have made important contributions to energy–efficient construction and environmental protection by building or verifying an outstanding number of ENERGY STAR certified homes, or by sponsoring a local program that supports these activities during the previous year. In 2014, participating homebuilders completed 2,487 EfficiencyCrafted homes. While all of the homes were built to perform 15 percent to 30 percent better than Ohio’s energy code, 1,056 of the 2,487 homes were also certified as ENERGY STAR, which means they meet even more stringent requirements.


  • Manta expanding services

    Posted on Apr 22, 2015

    News from the Columbus-based small business directory and service provider


  • Seven executive women leading the way

    Posted on Apr 21, 2015

    A roundtable discussion between Columbus public, private and nonprofit executive leaders touches on their work, their advice for young professionals and their perceptions of gender relations in the C-suite.


  • Guest Blog: For Family Business, Reputation is Everything

    Posted on Apr 20, 2015

    By Fritz Reitter

    Editor’s Note: This column is part of an ongoing series by family business leaders and advisors with information and ideas about topics unique to family businesses, developed in conjunction with the Conway Center for Family Business.

    Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”

    In the world of business, building a reputation for doing good work often takes years.  Companies that reach major milestones—25, 50, or over 100 years in operation—did not achieve their longevity without having excellent reputations. For family-owned businesses, the stakes are even higher because the family name is often attached to the business.

    So what does it take to build and maintain a good reputation? There are a few values that a company must possess and some rules to follow to help build and maintain their good reputation.

    1. If you’re going to do a job, do it right the first time. Expectation for doing a job the right and honest way is a practice that has been passed down from generation to generation in family-owned businesses. You learn—almost from the time you can lift a broom and sweep the floor—that it is better to do a job right the first time than to cut corners and have to come back and fix it later. Those kinds of mistakes have a way of tarnishing a good reputation very quickly and ultimately make the job cost more than it would, had it been done right the first time! 
    2. Building accountability into your business operation is a good practice and goes hand in hand with doing the job right. While your business is a family business, give your employees some “ownership” of their work. Regularly scheduled meetings where employees have to report in a group setting on their team’s progress against some benchmarks, such as quality and costs, is one way to do this. These meetings cost money in the form of time, but they are worth it, because the employee is compelled to take ownership of his or her work.
    3. Only make promises to your customers that you and your employees can keep. Company slogans or mottos are often emblazoned on the company building, trucks, uniforms, and even stationary. They become part of who the company is, and often, people will remember the company by their slogan. If you have a slogan that implies something special about your product or service, that is a promise to your customers that you must keep. If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to back up your slogan (and you will), have the integrity to do what is right. Additionally, ensure your employees understand what your slogan says (or implies) and that they embrace it with the same conviction that you do. If they don’t, you don’t want them working for you. Integrity is a core value that must exist throughout your entire organization.
    4. Embrace lifelong learning and technology. Take advantage of off-peak periods to invest in your people. Safety training, product training, and best practices are ever changing. To stay a leader in your field, you have to keep up with the latest trends. Additionally, technology, which is constantly finding more ways into the business operation, can quickly outpace your team’s current technology aptitude. You need to stay ahead of the curve or your service level can become second rate. Your employees will thank you.


    When it comes down to it, building and maintaining a good reputation is about being honest, having accountability, and having the foresight to know what’s important.

    Fritz Reitter is part owner and president of Reitter Stucco, Inc., a four-generation, family-owned company that is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015. You can reach him at

  • Guest Blog: Reduce the Capability Gap with Technology-Based Learning

    Posted on Apr 15, 2015

     The right people with the right skills can move a business forward; tech-based learning tools make this possible


  • Nemacolin Woodlands Resort a luxe option for Columbus corporate retreats

    Posted on Apr 15, 2015

    Photos and a review from the $30 million renovation press tour with owners Joe Hardy and Maggie Hardy Magerko at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.


  • Healthcare startup CrossChx raises $15 million in Series B

    Posted on Apr 14, 2015

    Columbus-based healthcare startup CrossChx announced today that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding.


  • Guest Blog: Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders

    Posted on Apr 13, 2015

    Are you giving your next generation leaders what they need? Career Coach Janine Moon offers tips on developing the up-and-comers in your company.


  • Guest Blog: A Good Apology Speaks Volumes About Company Values

    Posted on Apr 10, 2015

    Inspire PR Group President Hinda Mitchell offers pointers on avoiding communication gaffes when your business is under fire.


  • Executive Appointments

    Posted on Apr 9, 2015

    Executive appointments in Columbus organizations for March through April 9, 2015.


  • Professional Appointments

    Posted on Apr 9, 2015

    Professional appointments in Columbus organizations from March through April 9, 2015. 


  • Board Appointments

    Posted on Apr 9, 2015

    Board appointments for Columbus-based organizations for March through April 9, 2015. 


  • Halcyon CEO devoted to workforce IT training

    Posted on Apr 8, 2015

    Halcyon's Veteran Workforce Development Program provides training & certification free of charge to select veterans in hopes local companies will hire them.


  • 2015 Women of Achievement

    Posted on Apr 7, 2015

    Last Wednesday, the YWCA hosted its annual Women of Achievement luncheon at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Columbus CEO contributor Steph Greegor sent photos from the awards ceremony:

    The 2015 YWCA honorees. An anonymous donor matched the day's fundraising dollar-for-dollar.

    Sharon Davies, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at OSU, accepting her award.

    Debra Penzone, president & CEO of Charles Penzone, Inc., accepting her award.

    Christie Angel, deputy chief of staff & director of external affairs and services for the City of Columbus, accepting her award.

    Nancy Kramer, founder & chairman, Resource/Ammirati, accepting her award.

    Norah Bagirinka, asset development coach for ECDI Programs, accepting her award. Bagirinka received a standing ovation.

    Barbara Fergus accepting her lifetime achievement award.

    Aminah Robinson accepting her lifetime achievement award.

  • Guest Blog: 10 Questions to Ask When Liquidating Your Estate

    Posted on Apr 3, 2015

    Estate liquidation pointers from Jeff Baker, owner of J.A. Baker LLC. His compnay will be managing the estate sale of Dr. and Mrs. Howard Sirak April 17-19.


  • Photos: Ologie's new North Loft

    Posted on Apr 1, 2015

    Ologie's new North Loft is a bright, sprawling area, filled with places for employees to snag a moment alone


  • Data-related jobs of growing importance

    Posted on Mar 31, 2015

    Computer design & service jobs on rise in Ohio and Columbus region, mirroring national data-sector employment growth.


  • Guest Blog: Wine tips for client entertaining

    Posted on Mar 30, 2015

    Impress dinner guests with the wine order with tips from Vanguard Wines President Eric Stewart.