The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 7, 1991 · Page 43
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October 7, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 43

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Monday, October 7, 1991
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Page 43
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w ? V ' 1 : j ' " ; I 1 , j .... i 1 y M 'v li i-: i : v-cy i ! . ) . 1 ; " S ,., .,.-' fc- i k A . i 4. ..... j - . 1 , , H. m i-itflMWWW'IIM'i'l'lj Patricia Gallagher Wj Selling LMJ pO'nts The largest private companies in the area are recognized in the the eighth Greater Cincinnati 100, compiled by The Enquirer and the accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. Arthur Andersen has compiled information on more than 900 privately held companies in the eight-county Greater Cincinnati area. Using information available publicly and facts confirmed by the individual companies, the 100 largest private companies were selected. , To be eligible for the list, a company must be privately held, with fewer than 100 shareholders. It must have at least 80 employees, with headquarters in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont or Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Kenton or Campbell counties in Kentucky; or Dearborn County in Indiana. tDGChor IndustriesBuilding on a recession ! iiiu M4 I ' ... 4 WX1 Erf nTTI" . V'... ' . . .' BY JEFF HARRINGTON The Cincinnati Enquirer In 1982, a cadre of top managers at Charles V. Maescher & Co. agreed to shatter the construction firm's 98-year-old conservative bonds and plot for aggressive growth. The result, the company's first master plan, took form within a year. Soon, Maescher was creating new divisions and a holding company, doubled employment, began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), started bidding for public construction projects for the first time and even dabbled in joint ventures. "This was a commitment by the organization to grow," said Grant V. Hesser, president of Maescher Industries, which acts as a holding company for four construction-related subsidiaries. "We knew it was going to take a long time." Nearly a decade, in fact. Maescher Industries this year makes the single biggest jump up the Cincinnati 100 list leaping 48 notches from No. 96 to 48. The magnitude of the rise even surprised the company. For 1990, it had projected revenue of about $52 million but bested that by almost $10 million. Among the projects: A McAlpin's in Tri-County. A $6 million addition to Northern Ken tucky University's center of fine arts. A $3.5 million addition for Thomas Sysco Food Service in Evendale. A $3 million municipal building for the city of Springdale. A $2 million mail-processing center in Loveland. To Hesser, the successful year is less due to any one or two projects than t6 the nine years of reorganization. Under Maescher's five-year master plan, it outlined a growth strategy that stressed em-, , ployee responsibility and involvement. , ; In the second master plan, created in 1988, the emphasis shifted to structure. Maescher Industries was formed as a holding company with the parent construction firm, Charles V. Maescher, becoming a subsidiary.-,,, Along with the reorganization came a concentrated effort to go after the types of business Maescher used to avoid such as joint ventures and public works projects. Plus, it expanded outside the area with work in Virginia and Pennsylvania. The surge in revenue came across the ' board: 1990 "was a culmination of all that ; planning coming together," Hesser said. "We had enough diversification built in that allowed us to be at the right place at the right time." , 1V -!-'. L The Cincinnati EnquirerTony Jones Grant Hesser, at the site of NKU's new fine arts addition. Joseph.AutoGroup if-r i- ! h 'i ' - u JiiWbUXiiin-' " Ky. students put in their 'uh-huhs' fhe Grant County Middle School in Dry Ridge, Ky., made an appearance between Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Bill Cosby during last night's Ray Charles special. r The seventh- and eighth-graders even had a speaking part. Their line: ','Uh-huh, uh-huh." !' But squeezed into the newest Ray CharlesDiet Pepsi commercial which made its network TV debut during the tribute to blues great Charles the students were easy to miss. ; They were sandwiched between nine other "real people" shots in the spot. The commercial, like others in the series, starts with Charles asking about the popularity of his Pepsi pitch. "You know, I just love this new Diet Pepsi song, but do you think it's caught on yet?" he asks. Six scenes later after groups of choral singers, cheerleaders and assorted other real folk the 220 students of teachers Tim Hart and Sheila Scott answer Charles with their "uh-huh." The school entered a contest to get into the ad, shooting a video of the students this spring. Dressed in red, white and blue, the students lined up in the shape of a Pepsi bottle cap. , They were named winners in July. "It was exciting even though we just say 'uh-huh, uh-uh,' " Principal Joyce Doyle said. i Students now are pondering how to use a $10,000 contest prize. : DEBT LOAD: JacksonRidey & Co. Inc. is gone, but its debts live on. ; The now-defunct Cincinnati ad agency owes dozens of suppliers and publications tens of thousands of dollars, according to its .Sept. 30 bankruptcy filing. The biggest creditors like Time, IIS. News & World Report and Readers Digest can probably absorb the losses, should the agency's liquidation fail to cover what they are owed. But smaller creditors could feel some real pain. It's likely to be a lot harder (of. local shops like Westerman Print Co. to write off a bill of $33,428 or Photo Type Engraving Co. to cover $65,144. Employees and family members could feel some pain, too. Among others, the agency owes President Ron Jackson's ex-wife and partner Adrienne Ridey $70,000 and ex-creative director John Meehan almost $1,300. The insult to the injury: Jackson apparently kept both creditors and employees in the dark about agency problems until the bitter end. ,I ;"People were walking into the office ahd being told, straight-faced, that everything was OK," one person close to the situation said. LEANED OUT: A layoff at Richardson Advertising has spawned Cincinnati's latest "boutique" ad firm. Covington-based Richardson 12 days ago cut Copywriter Steve Deiters, Art Director Dave Fagin, along with Production Manager Lynn Stouder, from its payroll. The agency is endorsing a lean-and-mean strategy to get through the drought in ad spending, President Becky Richardson said. Two days after their firing, Deiters and Fagin began billing themselves as Ad Boys, a troubleshooting creative team. ' The idea: They come in to handle jobs an agency doesn't have the staff or time to handle. They're different than rfegular freelancers, they say, because they work as a team instead of trying jto mesh their ideas and styles with .whatever agency hired them. Agencies that have cut creative staffers during these tough times are likely plients, the Ad Boys say. Among those planning to use the Boys: Sean Cunat, Richardson's general manager and, now, lone "creative." AD-ONS: Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel has turned to Procter & Gamble Co. to restore his apartment building. He's sold billboard space on the building's side to P&G, figuring to use proceeds for renovations, today's issue of Time reports. . . . Gold Star Chili gets a promotional boost from this Weekend's Chili Festival, taking the role of named sponsor from Hook & Ladder, a Cincinnati Recipe Inc. chili brand. . . . Design Team One Inc., a Cincinnati graphic design firm, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a 75-plus piece exhibit in the Dixie Terminal building lobby beginning Thursday and running through Oct. 18. Patricia Gallagher writes about advertising and marketing each week in Business Monday. By JOHN BYCZKOWSKI The Cincinnati Enquirer The wrong word never seems to come out of Ron Joseph's mouth. As he talks, the head of Cincinnati's second-largest auto dealer, trained as an attorney, pauses endless seconds as he searches for the words to convey a precise meaning. He is telling why the dealership the company moved from College Hill to Colerain in 1967 was successful. "The location has done well," he said, slowly, "but location is only part of it. The franchise is a major determining factor in the economics of a dealership, along with the management and employees. "Everything needs to work together in order to sustain a long-term business suited to the customers' needs." Says Lou Rouse, Joseph's executive vice president and financial point man: "It sounds good, Ron. You're on a roll." Joseph laughs. "It's not even 10 o'clock," he says. So, they sell $250 million in cars and trucks in 1990. People should judge success as "doing what they like to do, and doing it to the best of their ability with people they like being with," Joseph says. Joseph Auto Group owners of Columbia Oldsmobile, Camargo Cadillac and Joseph Chevrolet, among others has made a V steady climb up the Cincinnati, 100, cracking , the top 10 in 1986 and in 1990 hit No. 5. The Joseph Auto Group has steadily expanded, buying local dealerships as they've become available and adding new franchises. From three nameplates and dealerships in 1980, the company has grown to 15 name-plates sold in nine dealerships. The newest, Columbia Acura, is under construction in Montgomery. "When people were expanding in good times, we disciplined ourselves not to do something that didn't make sense, knowing that eventually the market would turn around, and it would rain a little bit," Rouse said. It's been Joseph's goal to cover the city geographically and also to cover the spectrum of a customer's auto needs, from high school to family to the executive suite to retirement. His dealerships sell everything from economy cars to trucks to luxury cars. And he's been able to provide space for his employees to grow. The acquisitions were a way of "giving our own people opportunities to advance themselves within the company. Advancement within is a necessary ingredient of the retention of qualified employees," Joseph said. Ron Joseph, at his Columbia Oldsmobile dealership. Ppmeroy InvestmentHpLn By MIKE BOYER The Cincinnati Enquirer lilt V T en years ago, Dave Pomeroy was working for Superior Chevrolet and casting about for a new business to make his ened Pomeroy's growth. The company has enjoyed a 25 compounded annual growth rate, while the industry overall has been increasing about 10 annually, Pomeroy said. Ninety percent of the company's sales are to businesses, the 'balance is evenly divided between home computer users and schools and government offices, Pomeroy said. Although Pomeroy's franchise is regional, its reach is global because it can provide computer hardware and services to area companies with offices around the world through other ComputerLand franchisees. "That really sets us apart from other computer resellers in town," Pomeroy said. Although the ComputerLand outlets are the most visible part of the business, most of the work occurs elsewhere. It involves designing systems for customers, conducting training and arranging financing, said Jim Cor-das, vice president of marketing. The stores are linked by computer with ComputerLand's new automated distribution center in Indianapolis. But the various pieces (Please see POMEROY, Page D-4) mark. "I was sitting in the showroom one day looking at the Wall Street Journal and every page had an ad for computers and every other page had an ad for Apple computers," he said. On went the light bulb. "I thought: 'That's what I'm going to do,' " he said. Today, his company, Pomeroy Investment, operates six ComputerLand branches in Cincinnati, Lexington and Louisville. With $55 million in sales last year and 220 employees, Pomeroy's company was the fourth largest among ComputerLand's 800 franchises, he said. That kind of performance ranked Pomeroy Investment as 62nd on this year's Cincinnati 100 list, the first year the company has participated. After a period of rapid growth in the early 1980s, the computer industry has been consolidating lately, but that trend hasn't damp I -Avvy - V. Tne Cincinnati EnquirerPhaedra Singelis David Pomeroy, at ComputerLand's center in Springdale. Five biggest drops ibp f ivo gainers Maescher Industries Inc., to No.48 in 1990 from No.96 in 1989. J BGP Services, to No.41 from No.67. O Cincinnati Drug Distributors, to No.59 from No.80. Q Miami Systems Corp., to No.40 from No.59. Carlisle Construction Co. Inc., to No.44 from No.63. American Financial Corp., holding company for banking, Insurance, food and other businesses. Thrlftway Inc., operates 23 supermarkets In Greater Cincinnati. Automanage Inc., operates auto dealerships under the name 'Performance." Adam Wholesalers Inc., wholesale building material distributor. Joseph Auto Group, operates nine auto dealerships In Greater Cincinnati and Dayton. O Kirk & Blum Manufacturing Co., to No.73 in 1990 from No.47 in 1989. Paul Hemmer Construction Co., to No.77 from No.54. Fj Monarch Construction, to No.79 from No.56. Habegger Corp., to No.91 from No.71. . Crocker-Fels Co., to No.90 from No.73. (Companies dropped from the 100 due to declines in sales; Legge & Associates; , Co.; S. Rosenthal & Co.; Magnode Corp.; American Laundry Machine Inc.; Total Transportation Service (filed for bankruptcy); and T-Shirt City Inc (Companies new to the list: Keco Industries; Sibcy Cline Inc.; F&W Publishing; Pride PontiacBorcherding Buick; Johnson & Hardin; F&C Internation; Pomeroy Investment; and Hawkslone Associates.) T .5, . , . -..ifc M JM.. A A a m, A M. d JL.M. Jli, : ft A A 1: A 4. Hi 1. A S M, to M M , Z A fl Jt JtJ,tAii jt A J. A A: At JbA A

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