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Breaking business news and updates in and around Columbus

  • Before you join that gym: Consumer tips from the Ohio AG

    Posted on Dec 31, 2013

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has some tips for New Year's gym membership purchasers. In addition to DeWine's legal tips, remember to brush up on health club etiquette before jumping into that resolution. From today's AG release:

     (COLUMBUS, Ohio)—As Ohioans prepare to ring in the New Year, Attorney General Mike DeWine is offering tips for consumers who plan to buy gym memberships in 2014.

    “Joining a gym or fitness center can be a great way to improve your health, but it’s also important to make good choices as a consumer,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Remember to read a contract carefully before signing it and make sure you understand the cancellation policy.”

    In 2013, the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section received approximately 125 complaints involving fitness centers.

    The most commonly reported problem involved cancellations, such as consumers who had trouble canceling their memberships or those who said the business continued to charge them after they canceled.

    Under Ohio's Prepaid Entertainment Contracts Act, consumers generally have three business days to cancel contracts for gym memberships. If a new facility has not yet opened for business, the consumer's right to cancel extends to seven days after the first service under the contract is available.

    Cancellations must be in writing and must be postmarked by midnight of the third business day after the first service is available. Consumers should send the cancellation notice via certified mail, with a return receipt requested, to receive proof the business received the notice.

    Attorney General DeWine also offered consumers tips for entering into a membership:

      • Search for complaints with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau before signing a contract.
      • Read the contract carefully. Make sure verbal agreements are included in writing.
      • Determine the total cost, including any extra fees for fitness classes or personal training.
      • Find out if payments will be withdrawn or charged automatically.
      • Understand the cancellation policy and whether your contract will renew automatically.
      • Check the length of the contract. It should not exceed three years.
      • Keep a copy of the contract, cancellation notice, and other correspondence for your records.

    Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at or 800-282-0515.

  • Nationwide Children's announces two high-level recruits

    Posted on Dec 30, 2013

    Nationwide Children's Hospital will welcome two new recruits in 2014. From CEO Steve Allen's board announcement last week: 

    Dr. Jeffrey R. Leonard has been appointed Chief of Neurosurgery. He is widely acclaimed for his work with pediatric brain tumors, his recruitment places our nationally ranked Neurosurgery program on a trajectory to become one of the very best in the world. In addition, internationally-known colorectal surgeon, Dr. Marc Levitt, will join the Department of Pediatric Surgery and lead the establishment of a one-of-a-kind Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

    More about Dr. Leonard:

    Dr. Leonard will be joining (NCH) in late spring from Washington University where he is a nationally recognized pediatric neurosurgeon and researcher.

    He has earned international attention for his dedication to improving treatment for childhood brain tumors. He has received grant funding for this work in studying their genetic profiles and plans to create robust clinical and research programs at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that further enhance the ability to personalize the care of every child with this difficult diagnosis. Dr. Leonard has also performed innovative investigations in the field of pediatric head trauma and will be partnering with the Nationwide Children’s trauma team to bring innovative new treatments to children with head injuries.

    Dr. Leonard joins Nationwide Children's Hospital at an important time. He will help define the future of an already robust program and collaborate with outstanding partners in our well-known Neurology, Trauma and Oncology programs to create a national referral center for Pediatric Neurosurgery.


    Dr. Leonard graduated from medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle and then trained in Neurosurgery at Washington University in St. Louis, one of the premier and most competitive training programs in the country.  He excelled and was recruited to join the faculty at Washington University where he has had a remarkable 12-year career.  He has authored more than 75 publications, presented invited talks nationally and internationally, held leadership positions in several major neurosurgical organizations, and been the recipient of several teaching awards.  He is widely considered to be one of the rising stars in the field of Pediatric Neurosurgery. 


    More about Dr. Levitt:

    Dr. Levitt is a world-renowned expert in the care of children with imperforate anus, cloacal anomalies, Hirschsprung’s Disease and other complex colorectal abnormalities. He joins (NCH) from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he was Director of the Colorectal Center for Children, Program Director of the Pediatric Colorectal Surgery Fellowship, and Associate Director of the Pediatric Surgery Training Program.  Dr. Levitt’s expertise in the care of children with complex gastrointestinal anomalies attracts patients from countries all over the world.


    Dr. Levitt will serve as the Surgical Director of the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction, and as Director of the newly established Pediatric Colorectal Fellowship. Dr. Carlo Di Lorenzo, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Robert and Edgar Wolfe Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and a world renowned expert in gastrointestinal motility, will be the Medical Director of the Center. Together with the international expertise of Dr. Steve Teich and Dr. Hayat Mousa in the surgical and medical management of intestinal dysmotility, and the well-known bowel management program that Dr. Levitt provides for patients with fecal incontinence, we expect that Dr. Levitt’s recruitment will allow Nationwide Children’s to become the most renowned center for pediatric gastrointestinal disease in the world. 


    Dr. Levitt will also be working closely with Dr. Rama Jayanthi, Chief of Pediatric Urology, who will address the urological needs of the complex patients cared for in the Center, and with Drs. Kate Deans and Peter Minneci, Co-Directors of the Center for Surgical Outcomes Research, to critically assess the clinical outcomes of the patients cared for in the Center. Dr. Levitt’s academic appointment will be in the Department of Surgery at The Ohio State University, which is chaired by Dr. Robert Higgins.


    Dr. Levitt received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his general surgery residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center, a fellowship in Pediatric Colorectal Surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and a Pediatric Surgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. After completing his training, Dr. Levitt was on the faculty at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo for two years, at Schneider Children’s Hospital, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center for three years, and at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for eight years.

    Dr. Levitt has published over 120 manuscripts and 60 book chapters, and has delivered over 300 national/international and 100 local/regional presentations of his work. He has been an invited visiting professor all over the world. Dr. Levitt has trained numerous clinical fellows, research fellows and students in his career. He has directed numerous colorectal training courses attended by established surgeons and surgical trainees from all over the world. He dedicates much of his free time to mission trips around the world where he trains surgeons in his complex surgical techniques. 




  • Denny Griffith honored as King Arts "Legend"

    Posted on Dec 20, 2013

    Over 250 attendees joined the King Arts Complex in honoring Dennison Griffith, president of the Columbus College of Art & Design, as he accepted the organization's 7th annual Legends & Legacies award. 

    Griffith accepted the award from the stage of the KAC's historic Pythian Theater.

    The KAC's Legend's & Legacies award recognizes individuals whose work has "influenced and impacted their community, city, state and/or nation by philanthropy, committment to community, policy development, service, leadership, preservation, creativity and vision." 

    During his 15 year tenure, Griffith has led CCAD through tremendous growth and innovation. Griffith will retire on June 30, 2014.  

    Pictured below: King Arts Complex marketing director Mark Cardwell, Denny Griffith with wife Beth Fisher, KAC program director Jevon Collins, artist Aminah Robinson, King Arts Complex executive director Demetries Neely, emcee Toni Teague and emcee Napoleon Bell, executive director of the City of Columbus Community Relations Commission.



  • Ohio backs FTC patent troll fight

    Posted on Dec 17, 2013

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine signed a letter today adding his support to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) nationwide investigation of patent trolls (a derogatory layman's term for patent assertion entities).

    In October, the FTC annouced the initiative, intended to arm consumer protection authorities--such as state Attorneys General--with the intelligence needed to initaite actions against infringement-claim abusers.

    Attorneys General from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia sent a joint letter to FTC Chairman Donald Clark during FTC coment period on the proposed investigation.

    The letter, as posted on DeWine's website:

    Dear Secretary Clark:
              As state Attorneys General committed to preventing our constituent consumers, small businesses, and nonprofits from being victims of baseless patent infringement harassment, we are pleased to offer the following comment in support of FTC’s proposed information requests to Patent Assertion Entities (“PAEs”).
              PAEs, commonly known as “patent trolls,” are a growing consumer protection problem in the United States. Generally, PAEs acquire patents solely for the purpose of using them as weapons to obtain financial gains from entities they claim to have infringed the patent. Lacking any intention to develop the underlying technology, improve upon it, or bring it to market, PAEs typically seek only to extract costly licensing fees and/or pretrial settlements from alleged infringers.
              Through the issuance of numerous demand letters to their targets (often consumers, nonprofits, and small businesses having little, if anything, to do with the underlying patent), PAEs commonly demand license fees or settlements accompanied by the threat of costly litigation if the target does not “pay up.” These consumers, nonprofits, and small businesses usually possess little knowledge of patent law and are intimidated by the demand letters. Given the high costs of patent litigation, even when targets have reason to doubt the validity of the patent or the claim of infringement, they often pay a licensing fee rather than face the prospect of a potentially bankrupting court fight. This has become a kind of silent extortion.
              Lately, Congress and the federal government have demonstrated renewed interest in controlling abusive patent practices. Additionally, state Attorneys General have initiated innovative efforts to use existing unfair and deceptive trade practices laws to attack PAEs’ demand letter campaigns. The increased attention these efforts have garnered is encouraging, but for true and lasting success to be realized, regulators need substantially more information about PAEs, their business models, owners, and
              Toward that end, and given our critical role as enforcers of state consumer protection laws, we applaud the FTC’s recently announced information-gathering proposal. We believe the scope of the request is appropriately comprehensive and will create a valuable enforcement resource for both federal and state authorities to better understand PAEs’ function and techniques.
              We offer the following specific responses to the issues presented by the FTC at 78 FR 61357:
              (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FTC, including whether the information will have practical utility. The FTC’s stated mission is, in part, “To prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers…” We firmly believe that efforts by FTC to examine the problem of patent enforcement abuse, which undoubtedly presents risks of antitrust and unfair and deceptive trade practice violations, are entirely consistent with the FTC’s function and purpose. Given the value that increased knowledge would have in pursuing efforts to prevent violations of antitrust and unfair and deceptive practice laws, we believe the merits of the proposed information request are beyond question.
              Moreover, this information would have significant, practical utility. Given its breadth and scope, the request should yield a trove of information relevant to PAEs’ practices, methods, and beliefs regarding the veracity (or lack thereof) of infringement claims, and the number and types of their target entities. Not only will the public collection of such information greatly assist the FTC in fulfilling its consumer protection mission, it will be valuable to state Attorneys General, who are charged with similar obligations.
             (2) The accuracy of the FTC’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information. We believe the FTC has estimated the burden of the proposed collection of information with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
             (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. We believe the language of the information request itself is of sufficient clarity that it requires little, if any, revision. We suggest that the FTC share, to the extent permitted by law, the entirety of the response to the information request with state Attorneys General. The value of the collected information is such that it should be possessed by both federal and state consumer protection enforcement authorities.
    We would recommend the following additions to the information request, as we believe that this additional information will improve the FTC’s ability to understand the activities of PAEs:
              Under request F.1 (Patent Assertion Information, Demand Information):
    (g) the process by which you identified Person(s) to which the Demand was sent.
    We also suggest that the FTC inquire about the role of legal counsel. Not unlike the area of unfair debt collection practices, attorneys may play a central role in patent assertion schemes. We propose the addition of a new section (H) relating to use of counsel. Some additional requests may include:
              1. Do you use outside counsel or in-house counsel as part of your business.
              2. If you use outside counsel, state the name of the firm employed in relation to each Demand.
              3. Describe the role of counsel in:
                a. Identifying Persons to whom you will send Demands;
                b. Sending Demands; and
                c. Advising on your overall business strategy.
              4. Financial interest of counsel:
                a. Does counsel have any ownership interest in your business;
                b. If you use outside counsel, describe the compensation arrangement with counsel (contingency fee; fees per license; straight hourly billable, etc.)
    (h) whether the Demand threatened that the Firm would initiate Litigation against the recipient of the Demand in the event that the recipient failed to purchase a license.
    Our only additional recommendation would be to increase the number of PAEs, Manufacturing Firms, and Other Firms to which the information request will be submitted. Given the extent of the problem of patent enforcement abuse, collecting as much information as possible—and from as many entities as possible—should be a priority. The marginal effort involved in expanding the number of recipients would likely be minimal, but the marginal value yielded great.
              (4) Ways to minimize the burden of collecting information.
    We believe the burden of collecting the proposed information is minimal, and there are no additional steps that could provide the same quality and utility of information with less burden. While the scope of the information request is appropriately comprehensive, the burden of the request is not unreasonable.
              In conclusion, we again commend the FTC on taking this valuable step to gather additional information regarding PAEs. We believe the collection of such information will greatly assist enforcement efforts against PAEs where they are found to violate antitrust and unfair and deceptive trade practices laws. We look forward to the results of the FTC’s endeavor.



  • First recipient of the Robert F. and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation Chair named

    Posted on Dec 16, 2013

    Announced this morning by Nationwide Children's Hospital:

    During a ceremony held Friday, Richard E. Kirschner, MD, chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and director of the Cleft Lip and Palate-Craniofacial Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, was announced as the first recipient of The Robert F. and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. One of a series of endowed chairs to be announced by Nationwide Children’s this month, the Robert F. Wolfe and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation, a supporting foundation of The Columbus Foundation, was created in 1989 by John W. Wolfe to honor the memory of his grandfather and father, Robert F. Wolfe and Edgar T. Wolfe.

    Robert F. Wolfe arrived in Columbus in 1888 and found work as a shoemaker, eventually beginning the successful Wolfe Brothers Shoe Company. In 1903, he bought The Ohio State Journal with his brother, Harry P. Wolfe. In 1905, they acquired The Columbus Dispatch. Robert’s son, Edgar T. Wolfe, Sr., began working for the Journal in 1919 as an advertising solicitor. He later became co-publisher of both the Journal and the Dispatch.  

    John W. Wolfe, the son of Edgar T. Wolfe, Sr., began his career with Ohio National Bank in 1948. In 1975, he became chairman of the Dispatch Printing Company, parent organization of The Columbus Dispatch. He was appointed to the Governing Committee of The Columbus Foundation in 1984 and provided leadership for decades in the health field in central Ohio.

    In 1995, the Wolfe Foundation established four permanent endowment funds, which provides support to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation, COSI Columbus, The McConnell Heart Health Center and The Columbus Foundation.

    Richard E. Kirschner, MD , is chief of the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Professor of Surgery and senior vice chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. A native of Southern California, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami, serving as student vice president of its chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He later graduated with research distinction from the University of Miami School of Medicine, serving as president of its chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed an internship and residency in general surgery at The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, a residency in plastic surgery at The University of Pennsylvania, and a fellowship in pediatric plastic surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he remained on faculty for 12 years. Dr. Kirschner joined the Nationwide Children’s team to lead the development of the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2010.  He is currently director of Ambulatory Surgery, of the Cleft Lip and Palate Center, and of the Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship at Nationwide Children’s, where he also serves as co-director of the 22q Center.

    Dr. Kirschner has lectured and published extensively on cleft lip and palate both in the United States and abroad. He is co-editor of the text Comprehensive Cleft Care, now in its second edition. He has served on the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) Research Education Committee, the Program Committee, and the Task Force on Clinical Trials/Outcome Studies. He currently serves as ACPA vice president and as chairman of the Program Committee.  He has served on the Cleft Palate Foundation’s Research Grants Task Force and has chaired the CPF Research Grants Committee and the Task Force on Economic Models of Team Care. Dr. Kirschner has traveled with Smile Train to provide educational symposia for cleft care providers in South America, Asia, and Africa. He and his wife LoriAnn are co-founders of Casa Azul America, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to providing care to underprivileged children with cleft lip and palate in Latin America.

    For clinicians and researchers working in academic-medical institutions like Nationwide Children’s, endowed chairs represent the most prestigious and significant recognition of their work.

  • Company party dress

    Posted on Dec 13, 2013

    dressing for office holiday events 


  • Andersons to match Red Kettle donations this weekend

    Posted on Dec 11, 2013

    This weekend, $1 will get you $3 in Salvation Army donations thanks to Maumee-based The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDE). From the Salvation Army news release:

    The weekend of December 12-14 2013, The Andersons will match money raised in Red Kettles at The Andersons’ stores on Sawmill and Brice Roads, 3 to 1, up to $150,000.  $5.00 in the Red Kettle becomes $15.00 etc.  The Salvation Army will then use the funds to assist families in need.  

    "We anticipate a drastic increase in demand on our pantries in 2014 as a result of the cuts," says Major Frank Kirk, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army in Central Ohio. "The funds from Andersons will help us meet that need.  The money will buy fresh produce and other healthy foods for seven food pantries, along with much-needed household items for the hundreds of families served by dozens of Housing Programs we offer.”

    “We have been blessed this year and want to share our bounty with our neighbors in the Columbus community,” says CEO Mike Anderson.  “This gift is part of our $1.7 million contribution to charitable organizations in the Toledo and Columbus areas and more than half of our contributions are being provided to organizations that provide for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.”

    Local celebrities and celebrities are scheduled through the event dates including the OSU Ensemble Band and community choir and bell groups.  

    PHOTO: A passerby at The Anderson's store slips dollar bills into the kettle as Curt Overstake plays Christmas Carols in the store's entranceway on 12/9/10. (Chris Russell/Dispatch Photo) 

  • Columbus Chamber Small Business Awards finalists

    Posted on Dec 10, 2013

    The Columbus Chamber has annonced the finalists for the annual 2014 Small Business Awards. From the Chamber's announcement: 

    The awards include the Small Business Award of Excellence, which will be given to a small business that has substantiated success by increasing sales, number of employees and contributions to the community; and the Small Business Leader Award, which will be presented to an individual business professional who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities in a wide range of areas.

    Small Business Award of Excellence Finalists:

      • Tom Harris, HMB, Inc.
      • Elizabeth Blount McCormick, Uniglobe Travel Designers
      • Neil Mortine, Fahlgren Mortine

    Small Business Leader Award Finalists:

      • Merry P. Korn, Pearl Interactive
      • Jennifer Lewis, Nurtur the Salon
      • Caroline Z. Worley, Worley Law, LLC

    More than 100 nominations were received during an open submission process this fall. A committee, including members of the Chamber’s Small Business Council, selected the finalists. Small businesses are defined as those having 500 or fewer employees.

    Award recipients will be recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting Feb. 5, 2014 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center’s Battelle Grand ballroom. Tickets to the event are available through Jan. 1 for $75 each or $750 for a table of 10 (Chamber members) and $95 each or $950 for a table of 10 (nonmembers). After Jan. 1, all tickets will be $100 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. Register at The Annual Meeting is presented by State Auto Insurance Companies.

    The 2014 Columbus Chamber Small Awards are presented in partnership with Commerce National Bank with support from Columbus C.E.O. Magazine, Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea, E.E. Ward Moving and Storage Co., King Business Interiors, Inc., Portfolio Creative, The Refectory Restaurant and United Commercial Travelers.

  • The CYP Club honors local leaders

    Posted on Dec 5, 2013

    Details of the event from the CYP press release: 

    The Columbus Young Professionals Club (CYP CLUB) will host its Year-End Celebration on Monday, December 9 at the Boat House at Confluence Park from 5:30-10:00pm. Beginning with the State of the Club address at 6:00pm, program notes will highlight the year in review, the successful launch of CitYPulse: The Young Professional’s Guide to Columbus, presentation of the Young-at-Heart Awards, partner and volunteer recognition, and more. Recognized as the nation’s largest YP membership organization with nearly 20,000 members, the CYP CLUB will also honor eight Wonderful Workplaces for YPs, as rated and nominated by members of the club as exemplary companies for working professionals throughout the Columbus region.

     Young-at-Heart Award Honorees 2013

    DENNISON “DENNY” GRIFFITH, the third president of Columbus College of Art & Design, was appointed to the position in 1998. During his presidency, he has overseen the construction or renovation of over 275,000 square feet of new academic, residential, and student life facilities, the installation of the college’s iconic ten-story “ART” sculpture as well as growth in CCAD’s academic, community outreach, and exhibition programs. He currently serves on the boards of the Columbus Partnership, Experience Columbus, and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, the leading accreditation agency for the art and design field in this country. He has served as a curator, juror, and grants adjudicator for numerous arts agencies, service organizations, and visual arts presenters.

    Jungle JACK HANNA explores the globe as one of the most respected animal ambassadors. His enthusiasm and “hands-on” approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as a conservationist, television personality, author and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and the Wilds. Jack took his infectious energy to the airwaves by creating three nationally televised programs. Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures ran for 10 years and is still currently in syndication. Most recently, the Columbus Zoo and Nationwide Insurance have partnered to sponsor the Emmy Award winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and a new show on ABC, Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.

     JIM LORIMER is an attorney and former Special Agent of the F.B.I. He has been promoting a wide range of sports events in Columbus since the 1960s. He promoted National Championships in track and field and weightlifting in Columbus – and in 1970 directed the World Weightlifting Championships and Mr. World Contest. Arnold Schwarzenegger won the 1970 event and that developed into a friendship and partnership that has lasted 42 years. Since then the annual event in Columbus, Ohio has grown to be the largest multi-sport event in our nation – involving 50 sports and events, 18,000 athletes from 81 nations, nine competitive venues, and 175,000 attendees.

    ANGELA PACE is the Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV. A life-long Columbus resident, Angela was a television reporter/anchor for more than 25 years. She serves on several boards, including Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation Board, the Greater Columbus Arts Council Board, and the boards of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts and the Lincoln Theatre Association. Among her many awards, the YWCA Woman of Achievement, the Governor's Award for Journalism and Community Service, the NATAS Silver Circle Award, five local Emmy’s and a regional Telly Award.

    CHARLES PENZONE is chairman and founder of The Charles Penzone Salons, an Ohio-based salon and spa group established in 1969. Forty three years ago, Charles defied what others thought was impossible by starting his first salon with two employees and a $500 bank loan. In the years that followed, Charles transformed this business into what it is today – six salon locations that serve over 300,000 guests a year.  Charles also owns and operates a product distribution company that provides professional salon products to salons in five states, a consulting company and a real estate management company.

    For nearly 25 years, DEBRA PENZONE has contributed to The Charles Penzone Salons organization. She now serves as President over the six salons and The Brittany Group Professional Beauty Products and Education. Debra is actively involved with her community leading efforts for the American Cancer Society, A Kid Again, American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, Komen Columbus “Race for the Cure,” in addition to her foundation, Earth Angels, The Debra Penzone Foundation with the Columbus Foundation. In 2011, Debra published her first book, “Debbie’s Club™: Discovering MyTrueBeauty™ for Girls” to help inspire and empower girls to see their unique beauty from the inside out. Debra serves as a board member of the American Cancer Society, Franklin Park Conservatory Women’s Board and SAKS external Advisory Board.



    Year-End Celebration Event Information

    Date: Monday, December 9, 2013

    Location: The Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 W. Spring Street, Columbus, OH 43215

    Details: There will be social networking, complimentary hors d'oeuvres/desserts from The Refectory, Mezzo, Hubbard Grille, Confluence Park, Buca Di Beppo, Fado Irish Pub, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Average Joe's, PolkaDot Cupcakery, and Buffalo Trace Bourbon, live music, photo booths, cash bars, and more, including a great view of the downtown skyline and inspirational remarks from this year's Young-at-Heart honorees. More than 500 are expected to attend.

    5:30-6:00pm: Doors open, attendee welcome and social networking.

    6:00-7:00pm: "State of the Club" – an on-stage program featuring the leadership team, annual sponsor recognition, Wonderful Workplaces for YPs recognition, the "Young-at-Heart" awards, and what's ahead.

    7:00-10:00pm: Celebration and fun with live music, mixing/mingling, and dancing.

    Tickets to attend are $10 at or $20 at the door. Media passes are available by contacting Angela Less at 614-579-9398.                

  • Pizzuti mugs!

    Posted on Dec 4, 2013

    The Pizzuti Company's annual holiday mug arrived in the Columbus CEO office this morning. Every year the distinctive mugs feature the work of a new artist. In Columbus, Pizzuti mugs signal the beginning of the holiday season and close the business year on a friendly note.  

    The 2013 mug features "Natural Spring," a drawing by Columbus resident/Detroit native Laura Sanders. Sanders is a BFA graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design. Sanders' work is displayed in the Columbus Museum of Art, the Pizzuti Collection and--as of this morning--desks throughout the city. 

  • HMB expanding in Westerville

    Posted on Dec 3, 2013

    HMB software solutions and tech services is expanding it's Westerville operation. Co-founder and CEO Tom Harris was recognized as one of Columbus's 2013 CEOs of the Year. His profile ran in Columbus CEO's Dec. issue and can be read here.

    Columbus 2020 announced HMB's expansion yesterday:

    HMB, Inc., an information technology company, is expanding in Westerville as a result of a continued increase to its production service line. The expansion includes adding 75 employees to its current roster of 145 over the next three years, and investing $550,000 in training, software and equipment.

    “Since opening our doors in 1994, we’ve quickly grown into a trusted provider in the IT sector,” said John Mackessy, CFO, HMB. “Our credibility and success can be attributed, in part, to the Columbus Region companies that have become our partners. We hope to continue to build on that success in the Region.”

    HMB offers full-service, on-site, custom technology development services and business consulting services to clients in the Columbus Region. Growth of the company’s production service line has created the demand for expansion and more employees.

    The company’s 75 new jobs represent $5.6 million in new payroll. Hiring for the positions, which include designers, developers and strategists , is expected to begin in January.

    “The Columbus Region is an ideal location for companies like HMB because of broad access to technology consumers,” said Jason Bechtold, economic development administrator, City of Westerville. “We are excited to see this expansion happening based on how well the company is thriving in Westerville.”