Friday, July 30, 2010

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

Is it an HR problem? Trouble with finances? Are you stuck in a rut and need a boost to make your business grow, but don’t know where to start?

…Please let us know what you’re dealing with! We want to help you. That’s part of your privilege as a Chamber member. We will listen, and we will help you find the resources you need to overcome your problem. Don’t be afraid to contact any member of the staff and ask for help. Did you know that you can email our president, Mike Landram, directly, and ask for help with your business? He’ll apply his business expertise to YOUR problem, and help you find solutions.

We know that happy members are those that are sleeping well at night, not awake worrying about that nagging problem. So tell us how we can help you. 

Global Conference on Orthopedics Industry Comes to Fort Wayne

If you or someone you know is in the orthopedic technology/manufacturing sector, this post is for you! The call also goes out to orthopedic suppliers, and surgeons and hospital leadership (gee, if only we had an extensive medical community in Fort Wayne!). 

The Fifth Annual Orthopedic Design & Technology (ODT) Conference & Exhibition is coming to Fort Wayne September 22-23 at the Grand Wayne. This is a global event. That's right - global. The conference offers a dynamic opportunity for attendees to network and learn from OEM industry leaders, orthopedic surgeons, hospital leadership, select suppliers and service providers. It brings together orthopedic finished goods manufacturers, suppliers and surgeons for networking, general sessions, panel discussions, targeted conference sessions and select exhibitors.

Highlights this year will include a live surgery broadcast and in-depth panel discussions on topics including hospital and surgeon reimbursements, and barriers to entering the market.

This is only a tiny sampling of what will take place at this two-conference! Learn more and find registration information here

Longest Drive Proceeds for United Way

Dave Young, Chamber VP of Air Service Development, presents proceeds from the Longest Drive competition to Ron Turpin, United Way of Allen County Board President. Proceeds from the event were split between Riley Children's Hospital and the United Way. 

How Does the New Energy Code Impact You?

By Melissa Beber, Government Affairs Coordinator

The Chamber is hosting an issue forum on the impact the new Indiana Energy Code has on business. Dan Gagen of Project Design & Management will present an overview of the new code, explain how it is applied to efforts on existing buildings, and identify specific areas that will impact the design, construction, and cost of new facilities.

The new regulations could increase the cost of a project by requiring new windows and doors, replacing the heating/air system, new ducting, and possibly a new roof. Anyone constructing a new building, adding on to an existing facility, or renovating a building needs to hear how the new regulations could affect their project. 

The issue forum is on Tuesday, August 3rd from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the Fort Wayne Chamber. The cost is only $10 for members and $15 for non-members. This issue forum is too important to miss! So register today at or contact me for more information.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lutheran Schools Partnership Unveils New Brand

Chamber member The Lutheran Schools Partnership has just launched a brand new Web site - thelutheranschools.orgThe Lutheran Schools is a new brand, a collective name for the area’s Lutheran preschools, elementary schools, and Concordia Lutheran High School.

On the Web site you can find news, contact information, help finding a school, social media connections, and of course a breakdown of the most important aspects of the organization: the value they offer, academics, the students, and a map to find the school location you are looking for. Perhaps its my bias from working in the communications field, but I think a big congratulations is due to the Partnership for unveiling this new site - a branding transformation like this requires a lot of work, and its clear this new site is very user-friendly (great pictures and graphics, simple layout, good information!).

What's more, they were helped by another Chamber member, the Nichols Company, who was in charge of the design, writing, and launch of the site for the Partnership. The Nichols company is a Fort Wayne-based versatile marketing-services agency. Their client list ranges from 
major manufacturers, to medical practices, to educational institutions and social-service agencies.

New Member Roundup: Thoughts From Our New Members


Contact: Andrew Thiele, General Manager
Web site/Phone Number:, (260) 416-0325
A Chamber member since: January 28, 2010

If you had 30 seconds to communicate to someone what you do, what would you say?
Anything to do with landscaping besides nursery stock. We provide mulch, grass seed, fertilizers, etc.

What is one thing that sets you apart from all others?
Our location, our prices, and our delivery.

Who are you looking to connect with through your Chamber membership?
Mostly landscapers and builders.

What is your #1 goal for 2010?
We would like to grow into the east end of our property, possibly lease a nursery there or turn it into a natural stone yard. We will also be a bulk salt dealer this winter.

Contact:  Pam and Bud Chaney, Owners
Web site/Phone Number:, (260) 637-8143
A Chamber member since: March 8, 2010

If you had 30 seconds to communicate to someone what you do, what would you say?

We provide uncompromising health in three basic areas; the first and foremost being air purification. Number two is water quality. Air and water are both things we can’t live without. The third is nutricuticles, daily supplements or specific supplements to help with weight loss, bone strength, etc.

What is one thing that sets you apart from all others?
Focusing on the air purification aspect, our air technology is filterless. Most technology is the old fly paper technology that all the air has to pass through in order for the particles to be collected that cause allergies. Our technology is active, which means that we address the problem before it even enters the home or building. If it were a boxing match, we’d be considered the heavy weight. We can clean an environment’s air completely compared to about 10% that is cleaned by a filter system.

Who are you looking to connect with through your Chamber membership?
We are looking to build relationships with potential customers, individuals dealing with allergies, asthma, or mold issues. We would also like to connect with anyone having issues with water quality. We’d love to establish relationships with any health and wellness organizations that might work in complementing each other. 

What is your #1 goal for 2010?
Our goal is to provide the income so we can focus on ministry and still be able to provide for our family. We are helping people with our products and the business is helping us to have the time for our kids and ministry. We’d love to triple the size of our business in the next year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lutheran Life Villages Receives Special Gift for Residents

As they say, “It pays to advertise.” 

That's just what Chamber member Lutheran Life Villages found out when one of the retirement community’s recent TV spots caught the attention of Fort Wayne businessman Keith Robinson. 

The TV ad depicts residents of Lutheran Life Villages participating in a variety of activities aimed at promoting their overall health and well-being. The part that piqued Robinson’s interest showed residents pursuing their hobbies in the community’s workshop.

The workshop is also Robinson’s milieu during his downtime. As founder and principal of Resource Financial, Robinson helps individuals and companies with financial and insurance planning. But he’s happiest when surrounded by sawdust, sandpaper, and shellac in his own home woodworking shop, where he makes furniture, home accessories, and toys. 

"I don’t golf or hunt,” Robinson says. “Woodworking is the way I relax.”

Robinson had just updated his shop at home when he saw the commercial for Lutheran Life Villages. “The ad showed several guys working on what looked to be some antiquated equipment in the workshop,” Robinson says. “I had just bought some new equipment for my shop at home, and I was planning on selling my old equipment locally or on eBay.

“After I saw that ad, I thought, why not donate it to Lutheran Life Villages, where people would probably get more use out of it than someone I might sell it to? I’m sure that many, many men—and maybe some ladies, too—will use it there.” 

Robinson’s gift to Lutheran Life Villages included some serious woodworking equipment with a combined value of approximately $5,000: a 10-inch cabinet table saw, a 6-inch jointer, a bandsaw, and a 15-inch wood planer.

The gift fits like a dado joint, says Bruce Blalock, president and CEO of Lutheran Life Villages. “We can’t thank Keith enough for this generous donation of equipment. Our workshop is the place to be for many of our residents, and these professional-grade tools will enable them to take their talents to a new level."

“Our workshop is just one of the countless ways we provide our residents with programs and activities that promote their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being,” Blalock adds.

JH Specialty Meets Challenge for PGA Event

T&B Equipment Company, Inc provides seating and skyboxes for premier events like the Greenbrier Classic, PGA event. They contacted Chamber member JH Specialty and challenged them with a way to allow companies to advertise on 1200 deluxe sky box seats and add additional comfort to the VIP venue. JH Specialty worked hand-in-hand with T&B Equipment and created a custom seat cover.
The product allows for a custom imprint, and creates an additional level of comfort for the spectator. Keep an eye out on the 18th green for this new product offering while watching The Greenbrier Classic which is being nationally televised July 26th-August 1st, 2010.
"This was a great project, and we are proud we could create a custom product that met the client’s needs" said John Henry Jr. (JJ), a Sales Professional at JH Specialty, Inc. "We were able to utilize our industry knowledge and connections to pull this off under a tight deadline".
The total project took more than a year of research and development involving other Fort Wayne companies and several from the Dallas, Fort Worth area. JH Specialty, Inc. was founded right here in Fort Wayne over a decade ago, and employs 20+ talented individuals. 

Let's Get Back to the Basics

Of Chamber membership, that is. 

All new and current Chamber members are invited to Chamber 101 – a free breakfast event designed to present the basics of Chamber membership. Join us tomorrow -- Thursday, July 29 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. We will review the benefits of Chamber membership and help you discover how you can utilize your benefits fully – we guarantee you will learn something new about your Chamber membership!

You will meet other Chamber members, Chamber Staff, and Chamber Ambassadors. Each member will have the opportunity to present their thirty-second “elevator speech” to all the other members in the room – an excellent exposure opportunity for your business. Also, bring plenty of business cards and sales material for display.

Physicians Health Plan and Office Depot will both be present to share about the substantial discounts they offer to all Chamber members – not only that, but Office Depot will be offering giveaways! 

RSVP is required, and we want to be sure to have enough breakfast for everyone, so please respond today. RSVP online now

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lutheran Health Network Celebrates new 30-Year Knee

Any time one of our members is celebrating an accomplishment, we like to share that news. The Lutheran Health Network is celebrating a development and success in patient care. This caught my eye not only because it is an interesting and positive development in the medical field, but because of the human interest story that comes with it…

For years, orthopaedic surgeons have cautioned knee replacement patients with the same warning – any implant can fail after years of use, and if that happens, it has to be repaired. While that message is still true, the likelihood of a patient’s knee implant failing due to normal wear has been significantly reduced thanks to VERILAST™ knee technology, which is now being used by Timothy van de Leur, MD, at The Orthopaedic Hospital of Lutheran Health Network. Over the last three months, van de Leur has implanted more than 50 total knees at The Orthopaedic Hospital using the new 30-year knee.

Patients like 60-year-old Scott Lougheed, a local engineer and former Purdue University football player who had both his knees replaced, are already seeing the benefits. 
A three-sport star at South Side High School and a two-sport standout at Purdue, Lougheed had battled numerous knee issues since a rugby injury at the age of 22. Multiple surgeries, medications and therapies couldn’t alleviate his discomfort, yet physicians continued to take a wait-and-see approach knowing the implants available at the time might not be the long-term answer. “Knowing this knee implant can last longer is really a boon for people my age,” Lougheed said. “I think the fear in the past from physicians was they didn’t want patients to outlive their implants and need more surgery.”

Now Lougheed, who shares the record at Purdue for most punts in a single game with 12, is quickly working his way back to the active lifestyle that has long been a big part of his normal routine. “The other day I caught myself walking fast with no pain and realized I hadn’t been able to do that in years.”    

Cancer Researcher to Speak at Health Care Hero Awards

Speaking of the medical community, here's another note for you. Don't forget to submit your nominations for the Business Weekly's 2010 Health Care Hero Awards. The Awards honor organizations and individuals in the health care field who epitomize the spirit embodied in the word "hero." Nominations for the awards will be accepted until July 30 and forms are available online. A winner and a runner-up will be honored in each of the following categories: Community Achievement in Health Care, Physician, Advancement in Health Care, Medical Professional and Volunteers. 

The Awards breakfast will take place September 17, and keynote speaker will be Douglas J. Schwartzentruber, M.D., surgical oncologist and medical director of the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen. Earlier this year he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for his work in cancer research.

P.S. Don't forget another upcoming awards ceremony - the Innovation Awards If you or someone you know has developed an innovative business, product, or service - now is the time to show that off! The Innovation Awards will recognize innovative companies and individuals in the 16-county Fort Wayne region

What is a Salesperson to Do?

These are not easy times for the sales professional. Understandably, businesses are having to tighten their budgets and spend on only that which is essential to them. It becomes even more important to convey the value and return on what you have to offer them.

One of our members, SalesPartners of Indiana Northeast, is part of a network that provides business mentoring services around the world (10 countries). Our SalesPartners provide business performance reviews, business mentoring programs, Rent-A-Sales-Manager, strategic planning, Sales Master University (a three-month program focused on building core sales and marketing skills and systems), and Sales Drill and Grill (bring your team once a month for a drill in
 sales, presentation, and objection handling skills).

I encourage you to check out the
 SalesPartners Web site and see the variety of services they offer. They also hold events, and in fact, they will be holding a one-hour sales training event right here at the Chamber this Wednesday. Remember that tough market we were talking about? Well Dick Read of SalesPartners is going to talk about just that - how to sell in a tough market, and create a Cash Flow Explosion. Now who doesn't want that? You will learn how to control your #1 asset, build power and lasting confidence, and gain market share while others retreat. This relaxed bring-your-own-lunch workshop takes place from Noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, and registration is available online.

Employers: Now is the Time to Find an Intern

Employers, are you in need of a little extra help at your business? We have an answer for you! Interns are an excellent way to bring energy, enthusiasm and skill into your organization. We've talked about our Graduate Retention Program before. Our staff in GR works to attract and maintain the best and brightest graduates to the region in order to fill high-skill, high-wage jobs for our employers. Not only does this keep buying power in our economy, it helps employers avoid costly national or international recruiting efforts.

The GR Program works to fulfill their mission by promoting internships - an inevitable win-win for the student and the the employer. College and high school students need valuable hands-on experiences to complete their education. They need to learn by doing. And employers, particularly in tough economic times, need talented help for projects. Internships can also save employers significant amounts of money if used as a recruiting tool (as we like to say - internships are the hiring wave of the future!).

So why bring this up now? Because now is the time to act! If you are an employer considering having an intern at your business, get started now. Contact our Graduate Retention staff at or (260) 424-1435 and ask them how to get started. They will walk you through the process. Students are looking right now for the internships they will do in the fall semester. Don't miss out on this opportunity!

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Member Roundup: Thoughts From Our New Members

James Khan, Managing Partner
Web site/Phone Number:, (260) 484-3300
A Chamber member since: March 11, 2010

If you had 30 seconds to communicate to someone what you do, what would you say?
We’re a fine dining steak house with the number one goal of ensuring that we are giving the best guest experience possible by going above and beyond what the average restaurant will do. Our food is made from scratch to order. We also have the capability and the knowledge to create anything for a guest with special requests or needs. We train our servers to ensure we give the guests every possible comfort.

What is one thing that sets you apart from all others?
We’re locally and family owned but we still have, between the management staff, over 80 years of restaurant experience. We’re all from the community so we treat everybody as if they are coming into our home when they come to our place of business.

Who are you looking to connect with through your Chamber membership?
We’re looking to connect with people who are looking to experience a restaurant that does things the way it should be done and not the way things are conventionally done.

What is your #1 goal for 2010?
For 2010, our #1 business goal is to open for lunch by the end of this year.

Mark Sholl, Sales Manager
Web site/Phone Number:, (260) 482-8615
A Chamber member since: May 19, 2010

If you had 30 seconds to communicate to someone what you do, what would you say?
We are a company that has been in business since 1933, manufacturing chemicals and servicing customers in the building maintenance industry. From schools to manufacturing plants, we specialize in maintenance and sanitation products and understand that there is no substitute for personal service.

What is one thing that sets you apart from all others?
Two things:  First, our people. We have a great staff here to serve our customers needs. And second, with our manufacturing facility and two chemists on staff, there is no problem we cannot solve

Who are you looking to connect with through your Chamber membership?
I would like to connect with other business managers/owners. We all face challenges in our businesses… hopefully to share and learn to become better at what you do.

What is your #1 goal for 2010?
My goal for 2010 is to learn something new every day and make my company stronger. 2009 was a tough year for most companies and we were fortunate to come out in good shape.

Voices of Unity Heads Home with Gold

A big round of applause for Fort Wayne's Voices of Unity choir - as you know, VOU spent the last few months campaigning energetically to raise money to pay for each student choir member to represent the U.S. at the World Choir games in Shaoxing, China. Voices of Unity represented not just Fort Wayne, but the entire country, at what is considered the "Olympics" of choir competition.

Well guess what? They won Gold! According to the VOU Facebook page, the team won Gold in the Gospel and Pop Chorale categories, as well as Overall Grand Champion in Gospel!

Congratulations to this choir for their outstanding efforts, and to all the businesses and community members who helped make this choir's "Dreams of Gold" come true.

Disability Advocacy Coalition Commemorates Legislation

This morning at 10 a.m., join members of the Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition as they hold a press conference on the steps of the Federal Building (1300 South Harrison Street) in Fort Wayne to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In Northeast Indiana nearly 22,000 individuals have a disability. The Coalition invites you to join them to hear from individuals whose lives have been transformed because of ADA and discover how our community has made a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. The Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition will also unveil a report card on the efforts being made to make this a disability friendly region. Chamber members who are part of the Coalition include AWS Foundation, Easter Seals ARC, Goodwill, Pathfinder Services, and Turnstone.