UNDETERRED Our Most Resilient Business Leaders Unmasked

We extend our sincerest appreciation to all our Family & Private Business Awards sponsors:

Award Sponsor: Cincinnati Growth Partners | Presenting Sponsors: Clark Schaefer Hackett, Fifth Third Bank, USI | Media Sponsor: Cincinnati Business Courier | Affiliate: University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Congratulations to our 2020 Family & Private Business Honorees...

From top left: Kristen Bailey, Tom Frank, Bobby Slattery, Tara Halpin, Rick Salerno, Jonathan Theders, Anton Gaffney, Roger David, Maggie Nichols, Jay Dollries, Justin and Emily Carabello and Jonathan Adams.

2020: A year to celebrate resilience and an innovation mindset

Carol Butler, President, Goering Center

What an extraordinary year for business. While some owners have been forced to shut their doors, others are posting record earnings. Industry is a major determinant of a company’s ability to weather the current storms. Yet we have countless examples of businesses from the hardest-hit sectors who are not just surviving, but thriving. Read full article.

Family and private business: The heartbeat of America

Jamie Smith, Publisher & Market President, Cincinnati Business Courier

I have been working in some capacity with the Goering Center for Family and Private Business since my early days as director of advertising of the Cincinnati Business Courier in 2003. It took me all of about two interactions with the Center to know that as much as private business and family business is the heartbeat of America, that the Goering Center is the heartbeat of Cincinnati private and family business. Read full article.

Our volunteer of the year: Jonathan Adams of SALIX Data

Jonathan Adams clearly sees the value of the Goering Center for Family and Private Business. And as a dedicated volunteer, he also shares the knowledge he’s gained from the Center over the years with others in the community. Read full article.

Business Honorees

How the innovators innovated this year

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Eureka Ranch and its sister company, Brain Brew Custom Whiskey, already possessed insight into how to innovate. “This is like the innovation Olympics right now,” said Maggie Nichols, Eureka Ranch’s CEO. “This is the moment. If you thought it was optional before, get in line, because it’s not. And so, we practice what we preach.” Read full article.

Top-to-bottom teamwork makes a win for Goering Center member

Gold Star (GSR Brands) was on pace to have quite a year before the COVID-19 pandemic struck with sales 9.7 percent more than the same period last year. But thanks to the company’s advanced planning it was able to quickly change how it served customers when Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana implemented new restrictions for restaurants. From May to June, Gold Star surpassed last year’s sales by 7.4 percent. Read full article.

Brewery beats the odds... with burgers and beer!

Bobby Slattery says COVID-19 is the best thing that has ever happened to his business. And that’s despite the real pain he first experienced as a new reality began to set in. Implementing changes and refusing to quit, his Fifty West Brewing Co. in Columbia Township now employs more people than it did before the pandemic. Revenue has doubled from previous years. Read full article.

Preparation meets necessity with humor and heart

RiskSOURCE Clark-Theders saw the challenges the pandemic presented and chose to invest in its workforce from the beginning. In fact, those preparations started years ago for the West Chester-based insurance agency. Since Hurricane Ike in 2008, RiskSOURCE Clark-Theders established infrastructure that enabled its team to work from home. Most workers were already working from home one day a week before the pandemic. Read full article.

Pandemic no match for food truck's big dreams

“We’re here to stay,” said Kristen Bailey, co-owner of Sweets & Meats BBQ. That’s quite a bold statement to come from a restaurant and catering business during the COVID-19 pandemic but it reflects the confidence, innovation and resilience of Mt. Washington-based Sweets & Meats BBQ. Sweets & Meats, unlike many in the restaurant industry, never closed during the pandemic. It also retained all of its employees, including growing its team by 36%. Read full article.

Private businesses' innovation saves lives

AES Controls took a commonly-used machine that helps people with sleep apnea and turned it into a ventilator to treat COVID-19 patients. For more than 30 years, AES Controls in Springdale has developed and programmed custom automation solutions for products ranging from pharmaceuticals to coiled steel. Read full article.

Printing business focuses on employee safety

Steinhauser Inc. takes its responsibility of being an essential business during the pandemic seriously. Based in Newport, the company makes labels for consumer-packaged goods for retailers such as Kroger. “We were blessed because we got to stay open,” CEO and owner Tara Halpin said. “So that also created a challenge because we had people working very closely together. … People react to things like this differently, so we had to make sure that everybody knew that it was OK to be scared. It was OK to be uncertain.” Read full article.

Company pivots to ‘protect the people, save the millwork’

Like many small business owners, when COVID-19 hit Tom Frank started wondering about cash flow, customers, production schedules, employees, his family and even whether to call his attorney or accountant first. Then the worries gave way to opportunities. Frank is the president of Ohio Woodworking Co. in Norwood. Frank and brother-in-law Rich Grumbley are the third generation to operate the company that Frank’s grandfather started. Read full article.

Coffee shop responds with grit, heart and more coffee

The Carabellos were determined not to let COVID-19 close the business they had started a decade ago. The pandemic and its new reality hit soon after Justin and Emily Carabello, owners of Carabello Coffee in Newport, arrived back to the United States following a trip to Nicaragua, where they visited their coffee-producing partners and the charitable organizations they support. Read full article.

Labeling business serves customers, protects workers

Innovative Labeling Solutions took its duty as an essential business seriously. The Fairfield Township-based company provides digitally-printed labels, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging for consumer-packaged goods such as hand sanitizer, cleaning products, nutritional supplements, food and beverage products and medical supplies. In early February as the pandemic started garnering attention in the United States, the company realized that it would be a critical part of the supply chain to provide essential products and services. Read full article.

2020 Rising Leader

“Above and beyond” is what comes to mind when hearing about Anton Gaffney, the 2020 honoree of the Goering Center for Family and Private Business’ Rising Leader Award. It’s not just a strong work ethic that the general manager of Sweets & Meats BBQ in Mt. Washington brings to the business, its leadership, passion, savvy, loyalty, commitment and steadfastness. Read full article

A letter from the judges

Judging for the Goering Center Family and Private Business Awards is, in any year, a challenging and interesting experience. Given the unique environment caused by the current global pandemic, it has been a much different endeavor this year. Because this year it has not been “business as usual” for any company. As we all know, this year has presented an opportunity that no one expected or wanted: the chance to be flexible, to be proactive and reactive to a series of events over which we had little or no control. The stories presented to us confirmed once again why our applicants are among the best companies in the family and private business community that our region has to offer.

This year, rather than our traditional path of selecting winners in either the Family or Private business categories, we decided to view every company through the same lens: “How did your company respond to the challenges presented by the Pandemic?” The challenges presented required responses to internal company needs; external customer needs; and needs of the broader community. Responses included stories of reacting to the needs of employees and their families, stories of being proactive through a knowledge of what customers require and in some cases what customers might require, and stories about being flexible enough to retool to meet equipment and process needs of the community.

Because we could only pick ten award winners from the many applications, it proved to be a tough challenge. We believe that our choices reflect the very best; the most flexible, the most thoughtful; the most compassionate of the companies who had to ignore “business as usual” and adapt to “business as necessary.” Many thanks to the Goering Center for a challenging yet rewarding experience. While we could only pick ten companies to receive an award, we are reminded once again how many true winners there are in the family and private business community.

Best wishes for many years of continued success, Your Judges (socially distanced, of course)

Mike Miller, LCNB National Bank | Lisa Hinton, Mellott & Mellott, PLL | Rex Wetherill, IoT Diagnostics | Barbara Fant, Clinical Research Consultants, Inc.

Upcoming Events

SEPT 24 / 4 - 5:30 / Innovation: It's Not Just for the Big Guys Register

Marvin Dejean, Sr. Managing Partner & Organizational Design Strategist, Gilead Sanders - Presenter

Connect with members to discuss how to incorporate innovation into business culture. Sponsored by: Cassady Schiller, Frost Brown Todd, PNC Bank

OCT 8 / 8 - Noon / Lift! / Register

Join us for a high-energy, high impact, half-day session that will help you close the year out strong and inspire your team to lift your organization. Sponsored by: Clark Schaefer Hackett, Fifth Third Bank, USI

OCT 22 / Noon - 1:30 / Every Family's Business / Register

Tom Deans, Author, Every Family's Business - Presenter

Prepare to unlearn everything you thought you knew about business succession planning as the author of the all-time best-selling book on the subject shares his contrarian and thought-provoking ideas. Sponsored by: Brixey & Meyer, U.S. Bank/Ascent Private Capital Management, USI